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Church Constitution

Preamble

We, the members of Foundation Baptist Church of Calgary, having entered into covenant together as a local assembly, adopt this constitution as a declaration of our convictions and as a guideline for our conduct in governing the affairs of our church. We mutually agree and submit to these articles and principles in order that we may be able to carry on the work of our church in a decent and orderly manner.

Article I – NAME

The name of this church shall be Foundation Baptist Church of Calgary, Alberta.

Article II – PURPOSE

The purpose of Foundation Baptist Church is to glorify God by carrying out the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved the church and gave Himself for it, and now has made it His body here on earth (Ephesians 5:25; 1 Corinthians 12:13). We shall do this by:

  • Promotion of godly worship, conducting services on a regular basis, and serving as a church home for those of like faith in this general area (Hebrews 10:25).
  • Edification of the saints of God by the faithful preaching and teaching of the whole counsel of the Word of God (Acts 20:26-27; Ephesians 4:11-16).
  • Proclamation of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ expressed in the shed blood and finished work of Christ on the cross (Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
  • Administration of the church ordinances of baptism (union) and the Lord’s Supper (communion) (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41; 10:48; Matthew 26:26-30; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
  • Application of Biblical discipline (Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 6:1-8).
  • Incorporation of all other possible God-honoring means in propagating our Christian faith such as: personal witness, evangelistic campaigns, fervent missionary efforts and programs, Christian education, printed page, establishing other churches of like faith, and by maintaining a good testimony for Christ in our own community through godliness and good works (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

Article III – AUTONOMY

Foundation Baptist Church shall be an independent, fundamental, autonomous church, subject only to Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church. It has the right to cooperate and associate with other fundamental groups on a voluntary basis.

Article IV – MEMBERSHIP

Section 1:

The membership of Foundation Baptist Church shall be constituted of persons who, having professed faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior, give evidence of regeneration and of conduct worthy of their profession, whose convictions are in harmony with the faith and practice of this church as set forth in the covenant, doctrinal statement, and constitution, and who have been examined and recommended by the Pastor and/or elders to be received into membership upon majority vote of the Church.

All those baptized in Foundation Baptist Church are thereby constituted members of the church. Baptism will not be extended to those refusing membership in the assembly, since both are matters of Christian obedience.

Section 2:

It shall be required by those seeking membership to give a personal testimony before the church as to their Christian experience of salvation.

Section 3:

All candidates for membership shall receive, read, and subscribe to the covenant, doctrinal statement, and constitution of this church.

Section 4:

Members are expected to regularly attend services and to be active in using their spiritual gift(s) for the good of the assembly (Hebrews 10:24-25; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

If a member stops attending services of the church (unless providentially hindered by circumstances such as attending college away from Calgary, military service, serious illness), the pastor(s) and people of the church shall make diligent efforts to encourage the member to resume meeting with the assembly. If the member does not resume attending services of the church and has missed services for a period of four (4) months, then they will automatically be removed from the church roll at the next regularly scheduled Business Meeting of the church.

Section 5:

Discipline has as its aims the glory of God, the purity of the church, and the spiritual growth of the offender.

With these aims in view, it shall be the duty of the Pastor and people of the Foundation Baptist Church to seek diligently to reclaim any member known to be living in disregard of his Biblical and covenant obligations. It is recognized that while every member has the right of private opinion in all matters, no member shall have the right to engage in secret or open propaganda, or of deliberately disturbing the peace and interrupting the work of the church (Ephesians 4:1-3; 1 Corinthians 3:10-17). It is further recognized that when the church, by regular order and proper vote, has determined upon a course of action, that course becomes the duty of every member of the church. If any member cannot conscientiously follow the decision of the church, he should quietly and peacefully withdraw from the membership.

Members of this church who are walking disorderly and in conflict with the above principles, or who are involved in any known immorality, dishonesty, public scandal, or doctrinal heresy shall be subject to dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-13. Any person so dismissed who gives satisfactory evidence of being penitent shall be fully restored to the fellowship of the assembly by majority vote of the members of the church (2 Corinthians 2:4-11; 7:8-12).

Section 6:

The voting membership of this church shall consist of active members eighteen (18) years of age and older.

Article V – LEADERSHIP

Section 1: Classification:

The leadership of Foundation Baptist Church shall be composed of the following and shall be selected as the need may arise and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit:

Administration
Pastor(s) and Elder(s)
Service
Deacon(s), Clerk, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Sunday School Superintendent, Teachers, Musicians, Ushers, and other ministers as the need may arise.

Section 2: Qualifications:

The leadership shall be elected from among the active members (Article IV Section 4) who give evidence of the qualifications laid down in the Word of God.

Personal endowments
(Romans 12:1-8; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

Moral and spiritual standards
(Acts 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11): All leadership shall strive to be separated from practices which discredit our Christian testimony and cause others to stumble (Romans 14:21; 1 Corinthians 8). Therefore, any individual in leadership who is no longer willing to maintain moral and spiritual standards or is unwilling to fulfill his duties shall resign. If voluntary resignation is not forthcoming, the matter shall be referred to the Pastor and Elders to take the necessary action.

Abstinence from the beverage use of alcohol is encouraged for all members, but is required for pastors, deacons, and teachers.

Section 3: Responsibilities:

The responsibilities of those in leadership will be commensurate with their titles and according to the teaching of the Word of God.

Pastor(s)
The Pastor shall be the executive head of the church and the president of the corporation. He shall have the general oversight of the entire church and shall perform all necessary duties relating to such oversight (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 2:7; 5:17; Titus 1:7; Hebrews 13:7,17; 1 Peter 5:2-4). He shall be moderator at all meetings except when matters concerning him are under consideration.

Elder(s)
As the need arises, Elders shall be nominated by the Pastor and the Board of Elders and voted upon by the church. Each man shall be considered individually. Any Elder may be removed from office if he becomes physically incapacitated, spiritually unqualified, or his inability to serve is established in the minds of the Pastor and the Board of Elders.

Elders shall meet monthly with the Pastor and shall select their own chairman and secretary at their first meeting after the annual meeting. They are to assist the Pastor in the spiritual oversight of the church and are responsible to him at all times.

The Elders are to authorize the preparation and distribution of the elements of the Lord’s Supper.

The Elders shall act in advisory capacity concerning all matters of church business and in the employing and dismissing of other positions of leadership.

When a vacancy occurs in the pastorate, the Elders of Foundation Baptist Church shall seek for a suitable pastor. When they deem wise, they shall present to the church at a specially called business meeting the name of one of the candidates and conduct the voting on the same. It shall continue this procedure until a pastor is chosen. Any candidate recommended to the church must be voted upon by a three-fourths vote of the active members present and voting to be accepted as Pastor. The voting shall be by ballot, public notice of such action having been given from the pulpit two Sundays immediately preceding the date of the meeting.

The Elders of Foundation Baptist Church shall serve as its Nominating Committee, the responsibility of which is to present annually to the church a slate of nominees for its various departments-Secretary(ies), Clerk, Treasurer, Financial Assistant, Sunday School Superintendent, Teachers, Ushers, etc.

Deacon(s)
The nomination and selection of deacons shall be done in the same manner as Elders.

The Deacons shall care for the physical needs of the church (Acts 6:1-6). The Deacons shall meet monthly to discuss the business of the church and shall elect their own chairman and secretary at their first meeting after the annual meeting.

The Deacons shall act in harmony and cooperation with the Board of Elders and shall assist the Elders in dispensing the benevolence of the church.
Other ministers shall be appointed as the need arises and the Holy Spirit directs.

Article VI – GOVERNMENT

The government of Foundation Baptist Church shall be congregational. The business of the church shall be transacted by the congregation in its quarterly business meetings as defined in Article VIII Section 2 of this constitution. All interim business shall be transacted by the Elders, except in such cases as should require special sessions of the congregation. The action of the Elders shall always be subject to the congregation.

Article VII – FINANCES

The entire program of this church shall be supported by tithes and offerings of the members of Foundation Baptist Church and those who are led by the Holy Spirit to contribute to its support. This organization shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and any profit or accretion to the organization shall be used in promoting its objects as herein stated.

Article VIII – MEETINGS

Section 1: Worship

Meeting for spiritual worship shall be maintained on the Lord’s Day and at least once a week for prayer.
Special meetings such as missionary conferences, Bible conferences, revival meetings, etc. may be arranged as the Pastor may determine.

Section 2: Business

The annual business meeting of the church shall be held during the first week of February each year.
The fiscal year shall be the calendar year, beginning January 1 and ending December 31.
Quarterly business meetings shall be conducted during the first week of April, July, and October. Financial reports shall be submitted by the treasurer and/or financial secretary at these meetings.
Special business meetings may be called at any time, providing public notice be given of the same on the Lord’s Day preceding, except that those calling or dismissing a Pastor shall be given public announcement for two preceding Sundays.
At any regular service of the church new members may be brought into the membership.

Section 3: Quorum

A quorum for all regular and special meetings of this church consists of twenty-five percent of the active membership. Any active member who is away at school, or work, or who is permanently confined because of illness, or in military service, or any member below voting age, shall not be counted in the total membership to constitute the quorum.

Section 4: Voting

A voice, rising, or show-of-hands vote is binding, except where otherwise provided for in this constitution.
A majority vote shall decide all matters, except those stated otherwise in this constitution.

Section 5: Order of Business

All business proceedings of this church shall be governed by “Robert’s Rules of Order for Parliamentary Procedure.”
The Pastor, or in his absence the chairman of the Elders, shall act as moderator in all meetings for the transaction of business.
It shall be the duty of the moderator to keep order, state and explain propositions.
He shall cause the meeting to be opened and closed with prayer.
He shall call for the business of the church in the following order:
Read the minutes of the previous meeting.
Financial report.
Hear the church reports and other unfinished business.
New business.

Article IX – ORGANIZATIONS

Foundation Baptist Church shall have the authority to develop other organizations as the church growth shall demand to reach others for Christ.
All such organizations shall be in harmony with Biblical principles and subject to the general supervision of the church and its constitution and doctrinal statement.
All such organizations shall be approved and accepted by the congregation after the Pastor and Elders have first recommended such organizations.

Article X – MISSIONS

It shall be the policy of this church to support only missionaries engaged principally in evangelization and establishment of fundamental churches (schools, hospitals, and similar ministries must be kept subordinate to the primary objectives).
They shall be known to be in hearty agreement with our doctrinal statement, both in faith and practice.

This church will not support any missionary or mission board that is a member of the World Council of Churches, is involved in the charismatic movement, ecumenical evangelism, or is in sympathy with new evangelicalism.

Article XI – ORDINATION

Since it is our hope that men will be called out from among us to preach the Gospel of the grace of God, such men may be ordained by this church who meet the scriptural qualifications, possess suitable gifts, have the necessary training and the blessing of God upon their public ministry.

The church shall call a council of ministers and brethren to examine the qualifications of the candidate and recommend him to the church. After due consideration of the council’s recommendation, the church shall decide upon the ordination of the candidate by a three-fourths vote of the active members present and voting.

Article XII – PROPERTY

Section 1:

The property of Foundation Baptist Church shall forever remain in the control of its members.

Section 2:

If for any reason a division should occur, those members, even if in the minority, who shall abide by the covenant, doctrinal statement, and constitution as herein set forth, and shall remain as members of this church, shall always have possession and control over all church property.

Section 3:

In the event a decision is made to dissolve this corporation, all of its tangible assets and holdings shall be distributed to one or more non-profit organizations in Canada which would be in full agreement with this covenant, doctrinal statement, and constitution. All decisions in this event would be made by majority vote of the remaining members of the church.

Article XIII – AMENDMENTS

Section 1:

No changes shall be made in the Doctrinal Statement without three-fourths vote of the active members present and voting at the annual business meeting, providing notice of such changes shall have been given in writing four weeks prior to and public announcement two Sundays prior to the annual business meeting.

Section 2:

This Constitution may be amended at any business meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of the active members present and voting, providing notice of the proposed amendment shall have been given in writing four weeks prior to and public announcement two Sundays prior to the regular meeting.