I. MEMBERSHIP- POLICES & PROCEDURES
This is a sovereign and democratic traditional Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of the church. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.
B. RECEPTION OF MEMBERS
Each person uniting with this congregation shall understand such action as involving a commitment to the Nature of Organization stated above. First Baptist Church accepts members as follows:
Persons usually present themselves for membership in services of public worship at First Baptist Church.
An individual may become part of First Baptist Church in one of the following ways: a. By profession of faith in Jesus Christ. This indicates an open and public acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour. The church accepts the person as a candidate for baptism, and membership begins when the person is baptized. b. By letter. This indicates that the individual holds membership in another Baptist church and has been baptized by immersion. This church will then write the former church requesting the transfer of membership to this church. Membership begins when the church affirms the person’s request for membership. c. By statement. This indicates that an individual was at one time a member of a Baptist church, joined a church of another denomination but now wishes to be a part of this Baptist fellowship again. The statement of having been baptized by immersion and church membership is all that is needed. Baptism is not required of those who have experienced believer's baptism by immersion even from a church of another denomination. Membership begins when the church affirms the person’s request for membership. d. By baptism. The individual requests transfer of membership from a church of another denomination and receives baptism by immersion if such baptism has not previously taken place. This is not a reflection on the validity of the individual's profession of faith but an acceptance of the Baptist belief in baptism by immersion. The church accepts the person as a candidate for baptism, and membership begins when the person is baptized.
An affirmation by a majority of those present in the worship service constitutes approval.
New members are encouraged to attend a new member’s class.
C. RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
1. Only members may vote in the transactions of the church.
2. Members may present any matter of church business to the Deacon Ministry Team. If congregational action is required, such matters will not be addressed until after due notice has been given to the church.
D. DUTIES OF MEMBERS
Membership in First Baptist Church involves serious intention to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, to be a direct participant in the public worship, benevolent service and financial life of the church, and to do these in such a manner as to strengthen the unity of Christ's church. Specifically,
1. Members shall subscribe in letter and in spirit to the church's Purpose and Statement of Faith and Doctrine.
2. Each shall be a servant of Christ on a mission in the local and worldwide community. This servanthood is to be performed in family life, daily work, recreation and social activities, responsible citizenship, the issues of
corporate life and in all attitudes toward others.
3. Each shall be a witness for Christ in the world, light, and leaven in society and a reconciler in a culture of
conflict. Each shall identify with the agony and suffering of the world and attempt to radiate and exemplify
the Christ of hope.
E. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Names of persons shall be removed from the church membership for the following reasons:
Transfer of membership to another church. A written request that their name is removed. Requests by members for termination of membership may be granted by the church office, with the timely report made to the church.
Death of the member.
Exclusion. Exclusion of a member shall be in accordance with the procedure on discipline in Paragraph F., below.
First Baptist Church shall take every reasonable measure to assist any troubled member. The ministers and deacons are available for counsel and guidance. Redemption rather than punishment is the guideline that shall govern the attitude of one member toward another. Should a serious condition exist which would indicate a member is becoming a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable effort will be made by the ministers and deacons to resolve the problem in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17. All such proceedings shall be conducted in the spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. Finding that the welfare of the church would be best served by the exclusion of the member and upon recommendation of the Deacon Ministry Team, the church may take this action by a concurrence of two-thirds of the members present at a meeting announced two weeks in advance and called for this purpose.
Any person whose membership has been terminated by exclusion may, upon that person's request and the recommendation of the Deacon Ministry Team, be restored to membership by a simple majority vote of the church in conference.
H. NON-RESIDENT MEMBERS
Excepting students or members of the military service, a member who moves from this church's attendance area is urged to unite with a local Baptist church on promise of letter from First Baptist Church. Should a year pass and no request be received, or any indication of support, such an individual's name shall be placed on the roll of non-resident members.
NATURE OF ORGANIZATION
POLICIES & PROCEDURES