Victory Life Baptist Church
Constitution and Bylaws

Article I. Name and Purpose

A. We, a body of believers in Jesus Christ, shall be known as Victory Life Baptist Church of Lubbock, Texas and shall be referred to in this document as “this Church.”

B. We hold the exclusive right to govern this Church and we reserve to ourselves the exclusive right to make the decisions, spiritual and temporal, affecting this Church in accordance with Holy Scripture. This church exists with Christ as its head (Col 1:18) and is Elder led, Deacon served and Congregationally governed. We exist to glorify God in all things through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Article II. Statement of Faith

A. We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and as the only basis of our beliefs. This Church accepts “The Baptist Faith and Message” as amended, as an affirmation of basic Christian beliefs, and a general statement of our faith as follows:

1. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19, Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7–10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16, 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33: 24:44–46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4: 12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

2. God
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

a. God the Father
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3, 15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10, 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; I John 5:7.

b. God the Son
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever present Lord.

Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5;27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1;3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5; 21-22, 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5, 20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; Romans 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15: 1-8,24-28, 2 Corinthians 5:19-21;8.9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; Colossians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2;13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2, 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13–16; 5:9-14; 12:10–11; 13:8;19:16.

c. God the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Saviour, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16, 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10, 12, Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18–19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16–17, 26; 15:26, 16:7–14; Acts 1:8; 2: 1–4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1–6; Romans 8:9-11, 14–16; 26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11, 13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14, 3:16, Hebrews 9:8, 14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6–7, Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

3. Man
Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-22;3; 9;6; Psalms 1; 8:3–6, 32:1–5, 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19–32; 3:10-18, 23, 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14–25; 8:14-18, 29, 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

4. Salvation
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

a. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

b. Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

c. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

d. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21–26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68–69; 2:28-32; John 1: 11-14, 29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15: 1-16; 17:17, Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff; 5:8-10; 6:1-23, 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10, 13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1: 18,30; 6:19-20; 15: 10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3;1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11–14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2: 11; Revelation 3:20: 21:1-22:5.

5. God's Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4–7, 19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68–79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44–48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15: 16; 17:6, 12, 17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12– 15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 
2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10, 19; Hebrews 11:39–12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2–5, 13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

6. The Church
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
The New Testament speaks also of the church as the Body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5: 11–14; 6.3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23, 27; 15: 1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22–32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39–40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2–3; 21:2-3.

7. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

Matthew 3:13- 17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22–26; Luke 3:21–22, 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10: 16, 21; 11:23–29; Colossians 2:12.

8. The Lord's Day
The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Exodus 20:8–11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33–36; John 4:21-24; 20:1, 19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14.5-10; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16; 3:16, Revelation 1:10.

9. The Kingdom
The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7. Jeremiah 23:5–6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8–10,23; 12:25-28; 13: 1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31–32; 17:20–21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22–31; Romans 5:17: 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1: 13; Hebrews 11:10, 16; 12:28, 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6, 9; 5: 10; 11:15, 21-22.

10. Last Things
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

Isaiah 2:4; 11:9. Matthew 16:27; 18:8–9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31–46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43– 48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19–26; 17:22–37: 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28, 35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5, 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14, 2 Timothy 4: 1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28. James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1: 18; 3:11; 20:1-22; 13.

11. Evangelism and Missions
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

Genesis 12:1–3; Exodus 19:5–6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37–38; 10:5-15; 13:18–30, 37–43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8, 16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39–12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

12. Education
Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5, 9, 14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13: Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff. 4:1-10; 8:1-7, 11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2, 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3, 8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6; 3; James 1:5; 3:17.

13. Stewardship
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30–32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3.8-12; Matthew 6:1-4, 19-21, 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16–21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44–47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1–2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8–9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

14. Cooperation
Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

Exodus 17:12; 18;17ff; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15, 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2: 1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1: 15-18.

15. The Christian and the Social Order
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

Exodus 20:3–17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13–16,43–48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12–14; 1Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20–24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.

16. Peace and War
It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.
The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38–48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36, 38; Romans 12:18–19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.

17. Religious Liberty
God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7, 24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1, 13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2: 1–2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

18.  Marriage
Marriage is a biblical institution established by God as described by Scripture.  We believe biblical marriage can only occur between one man born a male at birth and one woman born a female at birth.  The church recognizes that marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.  Accordingly, this church, its pastors, staff and members will not participate in same-sex unions or same-sex marriages, nor shall its property or resources be used for such purposes.

Leviticus 18:22; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Romans 1:26-28; Leviticus 20:13; 1 Timothy 1:10; Mark 10:6-9; 1 Corinthians 7:2; Jude 1:7

Article III. Membership

A. Qualifications of Members:
1. Any person may present himself to this Church for membership on the basis of any one of the following:
a. A profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and subsequent baptism by immersion;
b. A letter received from another church of like faith and practice with termination of membership in that church;
c. A statement of prior conversion experience and subsequent baptism by immersion. 

2. Upon presentation for membership, the candidate shall complete a “new member's class” and/or a membership interview or receive equivalent instruction from an Elder. Upon completion of this requirement, the candidate must express agreement with the Articles of Faith adopted by this Church and willingness to be governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of this Church.

B. Responsibilities of Membership:
1. Members must profess faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and exhibit repentance of sins and shall make every effort to live a holy life, worthy of the Lord and of their calling and according to the Word of God. 

2. Members shall make every effort to maintain the personal, spiritual disciplines that are the means of grace needed to live a holy life, including but not limited to regular Bible reading, prayer, worship, evangelism, service, and stewardship. 

3. Members agree to submit to the governance of this local assembly and to the leadership of the Elders working for the purity and peace of the bride of Christ. Members agree to devote themselves to this body working to minister using the gifts, talents and resources that God has given.

C. Watchcare Membership:
1. Watchcare membership is specifically for college students, military personnel, and people working in a job that requires a temporary placement.  Under watchcare membership the conditional member may identify with our church participate in worship, discipleship, and fellowship, without transferring membership from their home church.  This is a non-voting, temporary membership.

D. Separation of Members:
1. Voluntary Separation:
a. Any member may, by written request, have his name removed from the membership roll of this Church.

b. All changes will be reported to the congregation in the quarterly business meetings.

2. Inactive Separation:
a. A motion to separate a member because of inactivity must be presented by the Elders and must include a report of actions taken to contact and restore the member to active participation in this Church.

b. A member separated because of inactivity may be restored to full membership under the provisions of Section A of this Article III.

3. Church Discipline:
a. Every reasonable measure will be taken to minister to any troubled member.  The Pastor, Elders, and members will seek redemption rather than punishment.  Should  a serious problem arise regarding the conduct or activities of a member which would cause that member to become a liability to the welfare and interest of the church, the Pastor, and Elders will seek to resolve the problem according to Matthew 18:15-20.

4. Death: Members shall be removed from this Church roll upon announcement of their homegoing.

Article IV. Office Bearers

A. Pastor
1. Qualifications of the Pastor: Any man called to be the Pastor of this Church must meet the qualifications for Pastor found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 and must agree with the provisions of this Church’s Articles of Faith and with the stated, written positions adopted by this Church.

2. Duties of the Pastor:
a. The office of Pastor is one of dignity and service. He must shepherd God’s flock under his care (1 Peter 5:2), exercise leadership and discipline, and oversee the spiritual interests of the congregation. The Pastor shall serve as the head Elder among the council of Elders.

b. The specific duties of the Pastor include, but are not limited to, preaching and teaching the Word of God, administering the ordinances of this Church, visiting the sick of this Church, and supervising church activities and ministries. The Pastor shall serve as the primary teaching and preaching Elder of the church (1 Tim 5:17) in addition to undertaking all the tasks of the Elders articulated in Article IV, Section B.

      3. Calling:
a. Pastor Selection Committee (Maximum of 10 people): When a vacancy in the pastorate occurs, a Pastor Selection Committee shall be nominated by the Elders and approved by this Church. The Pastor Selection Committee shall include at least the Elders and an Elder shall be appointed as chairman. The Pastor Selection Committee shall, after consultation and deliberation, recommend to the congregation a pastoral candidate who, in its judgment, fulfills the requirements of that office.

b. Examination of Candidate: The Pastor Selection Committee shall examine any candidate for full information about his salvation and Christian experience, his personal character and management of his family, his call to the ministry, his theological views, his understanding and appreciation of the ordinances of this Church, his knowledge of Church history, and his views on the principles and rules of church government and discipline.

c. Presentation of Candidate: The Pastor Selection Committee may, upon choosing a candidate meeting the qualifications of paragraph 1 of this Section and after completing its examination of the candidate under subparagraph b of this paragraph, extend an invitation to the candidate to be examined by this Church.

i. Notice of Candidate’s Visit: Public notice of the scheduled meetings involving the candidate shall be given from the pulpit of this Church during the two Sunday morning services immediately preceding the Sunday morning at which the candidate will be preaching. Each member shall also be notified of the candidate’s visit by mail or electronic means.

ii. Congregational Meetings: A called congregational meeting will be held within two weeks following the Sunday on which the candidate preached at this Church. This meeting will be for discussion and prayer. At this meeting the date of the vote shall be announced, or taken immediately based upon a recommendation of the selection committee.

iii. Voting: Every member present on church property during that service, but no others, shall be entitled to vote. The vote shall be by secret ballot without discussion. An affirmative vote of 90% of the ballots cast will constitute an official call to the pastorate.

4. Separation of Pastor:
a. This Church may separate with the Pastor by a TWO-THIRDS (⅔) of the members present at a special congregational meeting called for that purpose. Public notice of this meeting shall be given from the pulpit of this Church during the two Sunday morning services immediately preceding the date of the meeting.

b. The motion for separation shall be presented by the Elders and shall include the specific cause for the action, the specific qualification that the Pastor no longer meets.

c. This Church may, upon vote of separation, authorize the Treasurer to pay the Pastor a severance.

5. Resignation of Pastor:  A Pastor may resign at any time by written resignation presented to the Elders. The Pastor’s resignation shall be publicly accepted at the next quarterly congregational meeting of this Church or at a special meeting called for that purpose. This Church may, at that meeting, authorize the Treasurer to pay the Pastor a severance.

B.  Elders
1. The office of Elder should not be entered into lightly (James 3:1). The office of Elder, Pastor and Overseer are all synonymous in Scripture. The Elders shall oversee the ministry, resources and shepherding of the church (1 Tim 5:17, 1 Thess 5:12-14, 1 Pet 5:1-4). They shall shepherd the flock through teaching, prayer and leadership not under compulsion, but willingly and shall equip this body for the work of the ministry (Eph 4:12). They shall be men of prayer and men of the Word of God and shall teach the Word, encourage sound doctrine, exhort the body, refute error, pray for the sick, provide pastoral care for the members and shall oversee the ministries, discipline, Deacons and committees of this church. Under the leadership of the Pastor, the Elders shall be responsible for the direction of worship services, the Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the interviewing of prospective members and shall seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28).

2. Elders shall meet the Biblical qualifications of 1 Tim 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Elders shall be men only (1 Tim 2:12) and shall express a willingness not to contradict the Articles of Faith of this church. The elders shall be made of three or more qualified men and may or may not be in the pay of this church based on vocation. The elders although possessing differing gifts shall be equal in authority. Elders will be nominated by the current council of elders and will set apart by the congregation of this church and respected as men who evidence the calling, character and capabilities of the office. If there is an insufficient number qualified men to serve as elders, the congregation shall seek the leadership of the Pastor until such time as a plurality of elders can be determined. (Titus 1:5). If at any given time a plurality of elders does not exist, the Pastor shall nominate to the church body one or more qualified elder candidates.

a. Each Elder shall be nominated unanimously by the active Elders and be elected by this Church at the annual meeting for the election of officers or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The name of a proposed elder shall be released at least 28 days prior to the congregational vote for that proposed Elder. The proposed Elder must receive an affirmative vote of 90% in order to be selected.

b. Each Elder shall serve as long as he is Biblically qualified and able to fulfill his duties. Elders, with the exception of vocational pastors, will be presented by the elders to the congregation every three years for reaffirmation and must receive at least an affirmative vote of 90% of the ballots cast.

c. Elders, to include vocational pastors, will be afforded the opportunity for sabbatical as the time, need and resources present themselves.

d. The Elders shall nominate and elect their own chairman and any other officers as needed.

3. Elders shall provide for the ministry of preaching and the conduct of worship services in the absence of the Pastor, shall direct the preparation of the elements for the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper and shall assist the Pastor in its observance. They shall assist the Pastor in his duties, including but not limited to, visitation and oversight of this Church as needed, and shall be aware of the financial and physical problems of the members, especially widows, and be prepared to recommend appropriate actions be taken by this Church.

4. Elders shall monitor the income and expenses of this Church and prepare and present a budget for this Church each fiscal year, with the assistance of the Treasurer. They shall appoint up to two (2) Assistant Treasurers, one of which may be an Elder, both having authority to sign checks and to act in the Treasurer’s absence.

5. Elders shall have authority over the property of this Church and over any matters not specifically designated by these bylaws as the function of other officers. Elders may propose further staff positions subject to congregational approval as well as create volunteer ministry positions within the membership of the church.

6. Separation of Elders:
a. An Elder may separate from his service by voluntary resignation submitted in writing to the other active Elders.

b. An Elder, if an employee of this Church, will be separated from his service, upon termination of employment for any reason.

c. An Elder may be separated from his service by a TWO-THIRDS (⅔) vote of the members present at a special business meeting called for that purpose. Public notice of this meeting shall be given from the pulpit of this Church during the two Sunday morning services immediately preceding the date of the meeting. In the event of the necessity for discipline of an Elder arises, the principles set forth in Matt 18:15-17 and 1 Tim 5:19-21 should be followed.

C. Deacons
  1. The office of Deacon is set forth in 1 Tim 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-7 and is a recognized office of service within the Church of God. The number of Deacons serving at any time will be based on the church’s size and service needs. Any person called to be a Deacon of this Church must meet the qualifications for Deacon found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and must express a willingness not to contradict the provisions of this Church’s Articles of Faith and with the stated, written positions adopted by this Church.

2. Duties of Deacons:
a. Deacons shall provide for the temporal needs of this church such as, but not limited to: the financial benevolence of this Church, caring for those within this Church, ministering to those outside this Church, mercy ministry, counting, Building and Grounds and other such service-oriented tasks. Deacons shall serve under the leadership and direction of the Pastor and Elders. The deacon body need to elect a deacon chairman annually of whom can be confirmed in consecutive terms with no limitation to the number of terms as chairman.

3. Nomination, Election, and Term:
a. Each shall be nominated by the Pastor and the active Elders and be elected by this Church at the annual meeting for the election of officers or at a special meeting called for that purpose. The name of a proposed Deacon shall be released at least 2 weeks prior to the congregational vote for that proposed Deacon.

b. A Deacon’s term shall be three years. A Deacon’s term of office may be renewed, or terminated either by resignation, discipline, expiration of term or when the Elders deem that particular Deacon’s area of service is no longer needed.

D. Treasurer
1. Qualification of Treasurer: The Treasurer must be a person experienced in managing money and accounts and have a reputation for integrity in business dealings.

2. Term of Treasurer: The initial term of any newly appointed Treasurer shall be two years, after which he/she may succeed himself/herself for one year terms.

3. Duties of Treasurer:
a. The Treasurer shall oversee with the financial secretary the keeping of accurate and confidential records of individual contributors to this Church and will distribute a statement of contributions to each contributor annually or additionally as requested.

b. The Treasurer shall have oversight over and make himself/herself available to assist the financial secretary in all aspects of contributions and deposits.  He/she shall be responsible for the disbursement of Church funds according to this Church’s budget.

c. The Treasurer shall present a quarterly written report to this Church at each quarterly congregational meeting showing the receipts, expenditures, and transfers for the previous calendar quarters.

E. Trustees
1. Number of Trustees: There shall be no less than two (2) Trustees serving at any time and this Church may approve additional Trustees, not to exceed five (5), as the need exists.

2. Term of Trustees: Trustees shall be appointed for a five (5) year term and may succeed themselves indefinitely.

3. Duties of Trustees: Under the spiritual direction of the Elders, Trustees hold in trust the real estate property of this Church and may represent this Church in legal matters pertaining to this Church that are specific issues of direct congregational action; but they have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, encumber, pledge the credit of this Church, or transfer any property without a specific vote of this Church authorizing such action.

F. Church Clerk
1. The Clerk shall be responsible for keeping accurate and complete minutes of the reports and business transacted at the annual, quarterly and special meetings of this Church.

2. The Clerk shall present a quarterly report to this Church at each quarterly congregational meeting detailing the minutes of the last meeting and any membership changes made in the previous quarter.

G. Moderator
1. Appointment of Moderator: The Elders shall appoint the Moderator for each congregational meeting, who shall be one of the Elders who is not, at the time of that meeting, serving as Chairman.

2. Duties of Moderator: The Moderator shall preside over the congregational meetings of this Church according to Robert’s Rules of Order (latest revision) or some other set of rules adopted by this Church.

I. Miscellaneous Provisions
1. No person shall be qualified to hold any office provided for in Article IV unless he or she is a member of this Church and is qualified to vote under Article VI, Section B, except that this Church may call a Pastor who is not, at the time the call is extended, a member of this Church.

2. All office bearers shall hold their office for a term of one year and may succeed themselves indefinitely unless otherwise stated in this Article IV.

Article V. Church Meetings

A. Congregational Meetings
1. The government of this Church is vested in the body of believers (members) who compose it. This Church will be, and is always to be a sovereign, autonomous Baptist church, self-governing on all matters by a majority of the body of members who compose it. This Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world missions, this Church voluntarily affiliates with the Southern Baptist Convention and is dually aligned with both the Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and associates itself with the Lubbock Area Baptist Association.

2. Quarterly congregational meetings shall be held. The business of this Church shall be transacted and the reports of officers and committees shall be given during these meetings.  The congregation will be given two weeks notice for special meetings.

Article VI. Purchase of Real Property

A. This Church shall have the right to purchase any real property determined necessary for the carrying out of its objectives after following the procedures set out in this Article.

B. An on-site inspection of the real property shall be made by the Pastor, the Elders, the members of the Building and Grounds Committee, and the Trustees.

C. A special meeting of those required to inspect the real property shall be held to determining whether to present the purchase of the real property to this Church.  An affirmative vote of 90% approving purchase is required to present a motion to this Church.

D. The Elders shall present the motion to purchase the real property at a special business meeting called for that purpose.  An affirmative vote of 90% of this Church at that special congregational meeting shall be required to purchase the property.

Article VII. Miscellaneous Provisions

A. Fiscal Year:  The fiscal year of this Church shall be the calendar year.

B. Amendments
1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws must be submitted to the Elders for consideration.  Upon prayerful consideration, the Elders may reject the proposed amendment, may recommend its adoption by this Church, or may present it to this Church without recommendation.

2. The amendment may be presented at any quarterly congregational meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose.

3. The amendment may be voted on at any quarterly or special congregational meeting that is held at least 27 days after the meeting at which the amendment was presented.

4. An affirmative vote of 90% approving the amendment shall be required to amend the Constitution and bylaws.

C.  Other Ministries
1. This Church may engage in ministries other than those set out in these Bylaws and may appoint qualified members of this Church to lead or work in these ministries under the guidance and direction of the Elders.