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Name, address and date of establishment as a church 

The name of this church shall be First Baptist Church.  The church address is .  The date of constitution is 1/1/2001.

Scriptural purpose statement

The purposes of (name of church) are: 1. To worship God, who is worthy of all praise and glory. 2. To serve God locally, nationally, and internationally by fulfilling the Great Commission of Jesus Christ as set forth in Matthew 28:19-20. 3. To minister to the needs of the members and others as the church is able to do so. 4. To do any and all things related to and in connection with the carrying out of the purposes of a New Testament Church.

Statement of Faith 

This church subscribes to the “Baptist Faith and Message of 2000” adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention as our statement of faith with scriptural references to explain those beliefs.

Enduring affiliations

It shall be affiliated with the Gulf Stream Baptist Association, the Florida Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Church polity: clearly establishing authority and process for decisions

The government of (name of church) is vested in its members. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of its life and organization. The processes of such self-government are delineated in the bylaws and policies and procedures. 

COMMENT: This is a very important section.  The church should make sure that it reserves to itself the most significant aspects to the business affairs of the church.  Such things as sale of property, the incurring of debt, the call or dismissal of the pastor (and possibly other staff) may be areas that the church reserves to protect itself.

Any positions that the church wishes to protect for the future: abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, etc.

COMMENT: While many congregations choose to spell out specifics in many of these areas, the best place to deal with the issue is in the Statement of Faith.  Issues regarding the use of church facilities can be dealt with in the policies and procedures by limiting the use of the facility to the beliefs of the church.

Reasons for the exercise of church discipline

A. Should any unhappy difference arise among members, the aggrieved member shall follow in a tender spirit, the rules given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17.

B. Should any case of gross breach of relationship, or of public scandal occur, the deacons shall endeavor to resolve the conflict; and if this effort fails, shall report the case to the church.

C. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance, but should an adverse decision be reached, the church may proceed to admonish or declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church.

D. Any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by vote of the church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation; and in case such a person has continued absence, satisfactory explanation of the absence.

Process for revising the constitution

This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended provided the proposed amendment shall have been presented in writing at a regular church business meeting and then circulated to the membership. Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws shall be ninety percent vote of members of the church who are qualified to vote and are present in the business meeting with a quorum to discuss and vote for this matter.

COMMENT: Congregations may wish to strengthen the instructions in the example to include such things as: 1) how the circulation of proposed changes will be done and 2)including a period of time that must pass before vote on a revision may be discussed and voted on.

What will happen to the resources of the church should the church dissolve

This church is not organized for profit. In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the church, all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the trustees to the Gulf Stream Baptist Association, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention or both.

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