ARTICLE I: NAME
This church will be known as Lakewood Park Baptist Church, Inc., of Auburn, DeKalb County, Indiana.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The purpose of Lakewood Park Baptist Church is to mature as an assembly of believers under the authority of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. (Acts 2, Ephesians 1:22, Colossian 1:18, I Corinthians 10:31)
ARTICLE III: GOVERNMENT
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who actively compose it. It is entirely independent with the right to cooperate with other groups of like faith on a voluntary basis.
Lakewood Park Baptist Church is a voluntary member of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
The Head of the Church is Jesus Christ. It is His Church.
[Colossians 1: 18] His glory and honor is to be the objective of every act and function of this Body. The Church receives its guidance from the Bible [II Timothy 3: 16-17]. We will trust the Holy Spirit to lead us through prayer as we are obedient to His Word.
The elders of the church, chosen by the congregation, are responsible for overseeing the church and are ultimately accountable to God for the proper shepherding of its members. All decisions should be made only after prayerfully searching the Scriptures as to God's willl in a matter.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
A. Persons are eligible for membership when they:
1. Are baptized through immersion following a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior or by giving a testimony of salvation and baptism;
2. Accept our Covenant and Statement of Faith;
3. Consent to be governed by the By - Laws and Structure of Ministry;
4. Agree to use their Spiritual gift in this local church for the benefit of God's Kingdom;
5. Commit to support the church through regular attendance and financial stewardship..
6. Complete the church membership class.
7. Once eligibility requirements are met, candidates are recommended by the Elder board to the congregation for approval. An approval of 75% of the voting members present is required to gain membership.
B. To be eligible to vote at a business meeting, a member must be at least 17 years old.
C. A person may be removed from membership of Lakewood Park Baptist Church by:
1. Joining another church.
2. Requesting their name to be dropped.
3. Becoming inactive. Inactive is determined as follows: After.3 months without attendance the Elders will contact and encourage the member to become active. After a period of 6 months of inactivity the individual may be dropped from membership. Exceptions are made for shut-ins.
4. Through an act of church discipline as outlined under Article VIII.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS AND DUTIES
A. OFFICERS: The Officers will consist of the Senior Pastor, Elders and Deacons. The Elders shall serve as the Directors of the Corporation. Only lay members are eligible for election as a voting Elder or to fulfill the role of Deacon. The Senior Pastor serves as an Elder in an ex-officio capacity. Other Pastoral staff members are Biblical elders, who serve in an advisory capacity to the board as deemed appropriate by the Senior Pastor. The term of service for an Elder shall be 3 years and for a Deacon shall be 2 years. A person may serve as many as 2 consecutive terms after which there will be a one year break before consideration will be given to selection to the Elder or Deacon Body.
1. All officers of the Church will be elected at a meeting of the church called for that purpose. Public notice of the meeting will be given from the pulpit at least 2 Sundays prior to the election. All officers other than Senior Pastor will be elected by vocal consent of the congregation. If deemed necessary by the moderator a 75% vote by secret ballot of the membership present will be necessary to elect an officer. A minimum of.10% of the voting membership is required for quorum. Thirty days notice or by mutual consent, will be given in terminating the pastoral relationship. The number of Elders and/or Deacons will be determined by the number of men qualified and the needs of the church.
.. 2. Recommendations for Elders and Deacons will be made by the Pastoral Staff, the Elders and Deacons.
3. The Body of Elders and Pastoral Staff will review each candidate to determine if they have met the Scriptural and Constitutional requirements. The candidate himself must then agree to serve. The church will be given the list of candidates for a 30-day review. The church will vote on the candidates at the annual business meeting. Each voting member shall have one vote.
B. SENIOR PASTOR: The Pastor will preach the Word of God regularly; administer the ordinances; be a member ex-officio of all boards and committees; tenderly watch over the membership and spiritual interests of the church; and organize and direct the church for the best possible service. The Senior Pastor shall serve as an Elder. The Senior Pastor, or his designee, will moderate the Elder Body and all business meetings. If the office of Senior Pastor is vacant, the Elders will designate a moderator.
1. ELECTION: The Senior Pastor shall be elected for an indefinite term at a special or regular business meeting of the church. Public announcement must be given from the pulpit 2 Sundays prior to the election. A quorum of 10% of the church membership is necessary for a vote to be taken. An approval of at least 75% is necessary for his election.
2. VACANCY: In case a vacancy in the office of Senior Pastor occurs, a Pulpit Committee composed of not less than 3 Elders and 1 Pastoral Staff shall seek a Pastor. They will bring a recommendation of one man at a time. He must agree with the doctrinal statement and mission of Lakewood Park Baptist Church.
C. ELDERS: It will be the duty of the Elders to have charge over the church [I Timothy 5:17; I Timothy 3:1-7]. They will oversee the affairs of the church, appoint committees, nominate Deacons, and delegate authority as needs arise. They are responsible to hold each other accountable to Biblical standards, to guide the church as under shepherds, lead by example, and pray for the sick. There shall be a minimum of 5 Elders serving at the same time. Additional Elders may be added as the need arises. Any individual serving as a member of the Elder Body must be a member of the church for at least 2 years and conform in experience and practice with the spiritual leadership qualifications as outlined in I Timothy3:2-7 and Titus 1 :6-9. An Elder or the Senior Pastor's designee will take and keep records of all Elders and church business meetings. There shall be a quorum of at least 51 % of the elders in order to conduct official business of the church.
D. DEACONS: It will be the duty of Deacon's to assist the Elders in the care ministry of the church. The office of Deacon is an honored office primarily of service to others. It is the privilege of Deacons to minister to those in need and in distress. The Deacon will strive to promote harmony and unity within the body. In the discharge of their duties, the Deacons are under the supervision of the Elders. Any candidate for the office of Deacon must be a member of the church for at least 1 year and conform in experience and practice with the spiritual leadership qualifications as outlined in I Timothy 3:8-13. The number of Deacons is determined by need.
E. PASTORAL STAFF: According to the needs of the church, with the recommendation and approval of the Elders and Congregation, persons may be added to the Pastoral Staff.
1.The duties of the staff will be designated by the Senior Pastor. They will be accountable directly to the Senior Pastor or his designee.
2. Staff must be a member of the church.
ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES
A. A FINANCIAL REVIEW committee will be selected by the Elder Body. This committee will provide a review of the church books at the close of each business year.
B. A MISSIONS COUNCIL approved by the Elders will oversee the missions program of the church under the supervision of the Pastoral Staff.
C. DEACONESSES:- The' Elders will recommend for congregational approval Deaconesses as needed to meet the needs of the church. They shall serve for 2-year terms and may serve for as many as 3 consecutive terms. After that time, one year must elapse before she can be elected to another term as Deaconess. The Deaconesses shall care for the set up of Communion, Baptism, Funeral dinners, church functions and other areas of need that may arise; A woman must be a church member for at least.1 year before serving as a Deaconess..
D. OTHER COMMITTEES as may be deemed necessary by the Elder Body may be appointed, periodically.
ARTICLE VII: MEETINGS
A. The ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING of the church will be held no later than the second Sunday of December. The election of Elders and Deacons will be held at the annual meeting. Public notice for the annual business meeting will be given from the pulpit at least two Sundays prior to such meeting.
B. A SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETING may be called by the Senior Pastor, Elders, or at the written request of 10% of the voting members of the church. Written requests must be submitted to the Elders; Notice of the meeting and the purpose for which it is called will be given from the pulpit on the Sunday prior to the meeting.
C. 10% of the voting church membership must be present at a regular or special business meeting duly called in order to constitute a quorum.
ARTICLE VIII: CHURCH DISCIPLINE
The New Testament' teaches that a person must be disciplined if guilty of unrepentant, overt, moral delinquency (I Corinthians 5:9-13; II Thessalonians 3:6, 10-15), divisive behavior (Titus 3: 1 0), or of teaching heresy (Galatians 1 :6-9; II John 1:7-11). Discipline is not for the repentant but for the one who sins deliberately and continues without repentance. The purpose of discipline, which must be administered in love, is to restore the person who has sinned (I Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:1;I Timothy 1:19-20; II Thessalonians 3:11-15). Before any thought of discipline, there must be prayer and self-examination (Galatians 6:1; Matthew 7:1-5). The Biblical pattern is outlined clearly in Matthew 18: 15-18:
A. The first step is to go to the member in personal counsel (Galatians 6:1-2; Romans 15:1). It is devious to go to anyone other than the member initially.
B. The second step is to take others and counsel together with the member (Matthew 18:16).
C. Church discipline then follows as the final step (I Timothy 5:10; II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-16). The Pastors and Elders shall admonish such member in a loving and Christian spirit. If no repentance occurs, said member, upon the recommendation of the Elders, shall be excluded from this congregation (Matthew 18:15-18; Titus 3:10-11).
D. The excluded member may be restored to membership when repentance is evident and public. The church body should forgive, receive, Iove, help and instruct (Matthew 18:21-35; II Corinthians 2:5-11).
" ARTICLE IX: ARBITRATION
When disputes arise between members; it is the desire of this body that these disputes be resolved in a Biblical manner as described by the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 6:1-8. It shall be the policy of this church; therefore, to resolve all disputes through discussion, mediation and arbitration with the Elders or their designated mediator. If the members involved in the dispute agree to arbitration, the decision of the Elders or their designated moderator will be binding.
ARTICLE X: PROPERTY
All real property of the Church shall be deeded to the Church and held in its name. No property of the Corporation shall be sold, leased, mortgaged or otherwise disposed of except that the same shall have first been authorized by a vote of at least two-thirds of the voting membership who are in attendance and participate in such a vote at a regular meeting or a special meeting of the Church which has been called for such purpose. The proposed action shall be announced in the notice of the business meeting. The Pastor and Secretary of the Elder Body shall certify in such conveyance, lease, or mortgage, that the same has been duly authorized by the vote of the membership. Such certificates shall be held to be conclusive evidence thereof.
ARTICLE XI: INDEMNIFICATION
The Corporation shall indemnify any director, officer, partner, trustee, pastor, elder, deacon, employee, or agent of the corporation to the fullest extent permitted by the law against expenses, including attorney's fees, judgments, fines, settlements, and reasonable expenses, actually incurred by such persons relating to their conduct in the discharge of their duties as director, officer, partner, trustee, pastor, elder, deacon, employee, or agent of the Corporation except that the mandatory indemnification required by this sentence shall not apply (1) to a breach of such person's duty of loyalty to the corporation, (2) for acts of omissions not in good faith or which involve intentional misconduct or knowing violation of the law, or (3) for a transaction from which person derives an improper personal benefit.
ARTICLE XII: LAKEWOOD PARK CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Lakewood Park Christian School is a ministry of Lakewood Park Baptist Church. It shall function under the leadership of the School Administrator who is accountable to the Senior Pastor of the church. All school functions and ministries are to function in a manner consistent with the goals and mission of Lakewood Park Baptist Church.
The School Board of Lakewood Park Christian School will set the financial and policy guidelines for the school. However, all decisions of the school board are subject to the review of the Elder Body of Lakewood Park Baptist Church. Any decision not deemed in the best interest of Lakewood Park Baptist Church may be reversed by a majority vote of the Elders. The number of board members is determined by need. There must always be a minimum of 5 voting members. There must always be a majority of Lakewood Park Baptist Church members serving on the School Board.
ARTICLE XIII: ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Articles of Faith attached to this constitution shall be known as the Declaration of Faith of the General Association " of Regular Baptist Churches of America, and is the Confession of faith of Lakewood Park Baptist Church.
ARTICLE XIV: LIMITATIONS
A. No person shall hold more than 2 major offices of the church at one time. Major offices being defined in Article V.
B. No one will be allowed to hold the office of Pastor, Elder or Deacon who has been divorced.
C. No one will be allowed to hold any major office or any teaching position within the overall ministry of Lakewood Park Baptist Church who is not a Born Again believer living a life of conformity to the revealed will of God as found in Scripture.
D. There is no provision in Scripture for women to hold the office of Pastor, Elder or Deacon.
ARTICLE XV: AMENDMENTS
A. The Articles of Faith contained herein cannot be amended or repealed in any form or manner.
B. Any article or section of the By-Laws or Structure of Ministry may be altered, repealed or amended by a two-thirds majority of the voting members present. Notice of such proposal shall be given from the pulpit on at least two previous Sundays.
ARTICLE XVI: MISCELLANEOUS
No part of the net earnings of this corporation will ever benefit any donor, member, director, officer of the corporation or any private individual and no donor, member, director, officers of the corporation or any private individual will be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets. The property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to religious, charitable purposes and upon liquidation, dissolution or abandonment of this corporation, any and all assets remaining after payment of all debts and obligations of this corporation will be transferred to a non-profit, tax-exempt organization whose assets are irrevocably dedicated to religious and charitable purposes which qualify for exemption under the provisions of Section 501 (C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code 1954, and superseding section or sections thereof, and have the same doctrinal practices set forth in the original Constitution, Structure of Ministry and By-laws.