In 1843, Rev. Konrad Fleischman founded the first North American Baptist Church in Philadelphia, PA. This German immigrant dreamed of reaching people, especially other immigrants with the Good News of Jesus Christ. He knew his one church could only do so much. So, in 1865, a small group of German-speaking churches formed the North American Baptist Conference. Because of their support for, and influence with, one another, they impacted not only their local communities but other parts of the world. This first generation of North American Baptists laid the foundation and values for others to come.

Because of that commitment to making disciples of Jesus Christ, the NAB Conference grew into a family of churches representating many cultures and heritages throughout Canada and the United States. While you can still hear German spoken in a few churches, you will also hear English, Cambodian, Spanish, Chinese, Urdu, French, Korean, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian.

Today, the North American Baptist Conference consists of over 400 churches with more than 74,000 who worship with them in the United States and Canada. North American Baptists are a diverse group of believers with a common mission. Our churches come in all sizes, shapes and distinctive ministries but share the ultimate aim of living out the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-39) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) of Jesus Christ. North American Baptists have always been known for their passion for global missions and our worldwide outreach to Cameroon, Nigeria, Brazil, Japan, Central and Eastern Europe, Mexico and the Philippians.

Each of our local churches chose to be part of the North American Baptist Conference because they wanted to be part of a larger church family focused on developing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. That voluntary decision to cooperate with others is a very important witness to our unity in Him.

Much of that cooperation can be seen locally through 13 NAB regions. Regions are an important ministry of our Conference, allowing many of our churches to network, maximize resources, and partner on important initiatives.

The Great Lakes Association, of which First Baptist Auburn is a part, is a region of churches affiliated with the North American Baptist Conference. It is made up of 28 churches in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana with 6,054 members and 6,889 people (on average) who worship each week in those churches.

This church, First Baptist of Auburn, began in 1896 as Beaver Road Baptist Church located on Carter Road in Beaver Township. On April 14, 1957 the congregation moved into their new facility on Garfield Road in the town of Auburn. The building consisted of the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. In 1965 the education wing was completed and in 1982 the gym was added.

This building is a wonderful facility which has been used for the glory of God. Our prayer is that it would continue as a place of spreading the Gospel for many years to come.

WHAT WE BELIEVE:

1. The pre-eminence of Jesus Christ as our Savior, Lord and Master.
2. The inspired authority of the Bible as our only rule of faith and conduct.
3. The right of private interpretation and the competency of the individual soul in direct approach to God (Soul Liberty).
4. The absolute separation of church and state.
5. A regenerate church membership.
6. Believers baptism by immersion.
7. The complete independence of the local church.
8. The congregational form of church government: the solemn obligation of majority rule, guaranteeing equal rights to all, and special privileges to none.
9. The spiritual unity of all Christian believers, for which our Lord so earnestly prayed.
10. The proclamation of the gospel throughout the world.

Glossary: pre-eminence – being first in importance
competency – being able on its own
regenerate – spiritually re-born

Purpose

The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It shall seek to attain this end through public worship of God, preaching of the Gospel, administration of the New Testament ordinances, consistent Christian living of its members, efforts of personal evangelism, missionary endeavor, and Christian education.

Mission Statement

The mission of the First Baptist Church of Auburn is to glorify God by developing disciples who know Christ personally as prescribed in God’s Word, through worship, teaching, fellowship, and outreach to our community and world.
Confession of Faith

Scriptures

We believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” and is the supreme and final authority in matters of faith and life. It is trustworthy, sufficient, without error.

God

We believe in one God, holy, sovereign, eternal, existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Man

We believe that man was created in the image of God, but through voluntary disobedience he now is the creature of sin, both by nature and action.

Salvation

We believe that salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, received by faith in Jesus Christ who by His death made atonement for our sins.

Church

We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers who observe the ordinances of Christ, who worship together, and who seek to fulfill the commands of their Lord.

Of Things To Come

We believe that the personal and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ is imminent, and that His ultimate Kingdom and Reign will be established. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the unjust to everlasting conscious punishment and the just to everlasting conscious enjoyment of eternal life.

Holy Spirit

We believe that a person is baptized with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ at the time of conversion (I Cor. 12:13; Romans 8:9-17), and that this baptism or presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer is not proven nor necessarily evidenced (or signed) by the Gift of Tongues. The Scriptures share that tongues is only one of the gifts given by the Lord for the specific purpose of being a sign to unbelievers (I Cor. 14:22-23).

 CONSTITUTION OF

THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

Auburn, Michigan

Preamble

Placing our faith completely in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, believing in the teachings and practices of the Baptists and in those great distinctive principles for which they have stood, namely:

1.  The pre-eminence of Jesus Christ as our Savior, Lord and Master.

2.  The inspired authority of the Bible as our only rule of faith and conduct.

3.  The right of private interpretation and the competency of the individual soul in direct approach to God (Soul Liberty).

4.  The absolute separation of church and state.

5.  A regenerate church membership.

6.  Believers’ baptism by immersion.

7.  The complete independence of the local church.

8.  The congregational form of church government:  the solemn obligation of majority rule,

guaranteeing equal rights to all and special privileges to none.

9.  The spiritual unity of all Christian believers, for which our Lord so earnestly prayed.

10.  The proclamation of the gospel throughout the world.

Glossary:  pre-eminence – being first in importance

competency – being able on its own

regenerate – spiritually re-born

We, therefore, band ourselves together as a body of believers in Jesus Christ and adopt for our government, plan of worship and services, the following articles:

 Article I – Name

     The name of this church shall be “The First Baptist Church” of Auburn, Michigan.

Article II – Affiliation

     This church shall maintain fraternal fellowship and cooperation with the North American Baptist Conference and the Great Lakes Association of Churches of the North American Baptist Conference.

Article III – Purpose

     The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  It shall seek to attain this end through public worship of God, preaching of the Gospel, administration of the New Testament ordinances, consistent Christian living of its members, efforts of personal evangelism, missionary endeavor and Christian education.

Article IV – Church Covenant

      Having been led by the Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…

We so now, in the presence of God and this assembly, joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.  We do, therefore, in His strength pledge:

General Loyalty

      That we will strive to promote the prosperity and spirituality of this church and sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine.

Faithful Attendance

That we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together at such times and places as the church may appoint for instruction, prayer, Bible study, evangelism and business.  (Hebrew 10:25)

Devotional Life

      That we will strive to maintain family and private devotions, bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and seek the salvation of our relatives, friends and acquaintances.

Christian Personality

      That we shall seek the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – as opposed to pride, anger, envy, impurity, gluttony, laziness, greed – in order to preserve the unity of the church and maintain its testimony before others, remembering that God has given to us the spirit of love and of a sound mind.

Brotherly Love

      That we will watch over one another in brotherly love, remembering each other in prayer and aiding each other in sickness and distress.  That we will be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation.

Careful Conduct

      That we will walk wisely before the world, refraining from its games, amusements, fashions and habits that are foes of spiritual growth.  (I John 2:15; I Thessalonians 5:22)

Obedient Stewardship

      That we will cheerfully and regularly according to our ability contribute of our means toward the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the needy and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.

Benediction

      “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen”  (Hebrews 13:20-21)

Article V – Confession of Faith

Scriptures

We believe that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God” and is the supreme and final authority in matters of faith and life.  It is trustworthy, sufficient, without error.

God

We believe in one God, holy, sovereign, eternal, existing in three persons:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Man

We believe that man was created in the image of God, but through voluntary disobedience he now is the creature of sin, both by nature and action.

Salvation

We believe that salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, received by faith in Jesus Christ who by His death made atonement for our sins.

Church

We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers who observe the ordinances of Christ, who worship together and who seek to fulfill the commands of their Lord.

Of Things To Come

We believe that the personal and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and that His ultimate Kingdom and Reign will be established.  We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the unjust to everlasting conscious punishment and the just to everlasting conscious enjoyment of eternal life.

Article VI – Membership

Section 1Reception of Members

     aBy baptism.  Any person professing faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, giving evidence of regeneration and adopting the scriptural views of faith and practice held by this church, may, upon baptism by immersion, be received into its membership.

     b.  By letter.  Members of other Baptist churches of like faith and order may be received by their letter of transfer, certifying their faith in Christ and their baptism by immersion, duly granted by said churches.

     cBy experience. Persons who have been members of Baptist churches but for some peculiar circumstances are unable to obtain letters of transfer.  Also, persons who are not members of a Baptist church but have been immersed upon profession of their faith in Christ and who accept the views of faith and practice of this church, may be received into its membership.

     dBy restoration.  Excluded members may be restored after confessing their error and giving evidence of repentance.

Section 2 – Mode of Procedure

Persons desiring membership shall first attend membership classes conducted by the pastor or a deacon and appear before an examining committee consisting of the minister and deacons.  The church shall vote on receiving said persons into its fellowship upon hearing the recommendation of the examining committee and encouraging the sharing of their personal testimony with the church.

Section 3 – Termination of Members

a.  By death.

b.  By letter:

(1)  To other Baptist churches.  Any member, in good standing, shall be granted, on request, a letter of dismissal to any other church of like faith and order.

(2)  To non-Baptist churches.  When a member of this church wishes to unite with some other evangelical church a certificate of Christian standing shall be issued.

c.  By erasure.  Members not reporting to the church for a period of one year shall be erased from the membership list.  These shall be notified 30 days before any action is taken.  If there is no response, they shall be erased from the membership.  If there is a response, the pastor and deacons shall judge the case on the basis of the response.

d.  By exclusion.  Any member who has been adjudged guilty of immoral acts or un-Christian conduct or of gross disregard of covenant obligations may be excluded from membership of this church.

e.  Any member uniting with any other church without letter of transfer or certificate of Christian standing shall be dropped from the membership upon satisfactory proof thereof.

f.  Mode of procedure.  All terminations, with the exception of a, c, and e shall come about by recommendation of the Board of Deacons, the Advisory Board and the vote of the church.

Section 4 – Non-Resident Members

a.  Members moving to a community where there is a Baptist church of like faith and order, shall be encouraged to transfer their membership to said church.

b.  Members moving to a community where there is no Baptist church or other evangelical church shall write to the home church from time to time and continue to fulfill their financial obligation to the church as long as they are members.

Article VII – Discipline

 Section 1 – Step One

      Should any grievance arise between members, it should be approached in a tender spirit following the rules given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15,16 with reconciliation in mind.

 Section 2 – Step

      Should reconciliation fail with the aid of witnesses (Matthew 18:16), the complaint should then be brought in writing to the Pastor and/or the Board of Deacons who shall endeavor to resolve the offense.  Anyone submitting a charge in writing without first following the teaching of Matthew 18:15,16 shall himself be subject to discipline.

 Section 3 – Step

      Should reconciliation fail here and the Board of Deacons recognize a legitimate complaint, then the matter shall be brought before the church (Matthew 18:17a) in the following manner:

a.  The Board of Deacons shall send a written copy of the charge to the person compiled against and shall set a reasonable time to bring the matter before the church.

b.  Should the person complained against choose not to appear, the church may proceed to hear the matter in his absence.

 Section 4 – Final Step

      All proceedings shall be conducted in the spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance, but should an adverse decision be reached, the church may admonish the offender or declare such a one no longer a member of the church. (Matthew 18:17b)

Article VIII – Officers

 

Section 1 – Election of Officers

      Church officers as listed below shall be members of the church and shall be elected or appointed as provided for in this Article.

(1)  Except as otherwise indicated, all officers shall be elected at the annual business meeting of the church, in December, for a period of one year, to begin the following January 1.

(2)  Calling and Dismissal of the Minister

a.  The minister shall be called for an indefinite period by the church membership.  No consideration shall be given by the church to any candidate who is not first recommended by the Pulpit Committee.  The qualifications to be considered in calling a minister shall be those defined in I Timothy 3:1-7.

b.  The minister may be dismissed by the vote of the church at a properly called business meeting, at which time the clerk shall be instructed to give the minister three months formal, written notice of his dismissal.  The minister may resign at any time by giving the church three months formal, written notice of his intention to resign.  However, in either case, the time may be shortened by mutual agreement between the church and the minister.

(3)  Calling and Dismissal of the Youth Minister/Director

a.  The youth minister/director shall be called for an indefinite period by the church membership.  No consideration shall be given by the church to any candidate who is not first recommended by the Board of Christian Education and Missions.  The qualifications to be considered in calling a youth minister/director shall be those defined in I Timothy 3:1-7.

b.  The youth minister/director may be dismissed by the vote of the church at a properly called business meeting, at which time the clerk shall be instructed to give the youth minister/director three months formal, written notice of his dismissal.  The youth minister/director may resign at any time by giving the church three months formal, written notice of his intention to resign.  However, in either case, the time may be shortened by mutual agreement between the church and the youth minister/director.

Section 2 – Officers and Their Duties

      (1)  MinisterThe minister shall perform all duties common to such office in Baptist churches.  (Acts 20:28;        I Peter 5:2-3)  He shall make a report to the church at every regular business meeting.  He shall be an ex-officio member of all boards and committees.  Any questions in regard to his duties or privileges shall be taken up with the Board of Deacons.

(2)  Church ClerkThe church clerk shall keep a correct and permanent record of all the business meetings of the church, sign all letters of dismissal, take charge of all church records, maintain a register of members and shall record the manner of dismissal of all members who shall leave the church.  The clerk shall enter upon the records of the church current events in the life of the church that are likely to be of historical value, thus making the church records a continuous story of the church.  He shall make a report to the church at every regular business meeting.

(3)  TreasurerThe treasurer shall be custodian of all funds belonging to the church.  He shall disburse the money as authorized by the Board of Trustees strictly on the basis of the items within the budget adopted by the church. He shall make a monthly report to the finance committee and report to the church at every regular business meeting.

(4)  Assistant Treasurer.  The assistant treasurer shall receive all monies and deposit all money on hand in the proper bank account.  He shall assist the treasurer when deemed necessary and advisable.  The assistant treasurer shall assist in the counting of church monies.  The assistant treasurer shall file duplicate deposit slips at the church after the end of the fiscal year.

(5)  Financial Secretary.  The financial secretary shall keep a complete and detailed record of all individual contributions.    He shall send financial statements at the end of the fiscal year to all contributing members and non-members showing their individual financial standing.  He shall make a monthly report to the finance committee and prepare the annual financial report of the church.  In the event help is needed in the counting of church monies, it is the role of the financial secretary to call upon pre-approved individuals to assist with counting money.

(6)  Assistant Financial Secretary.  The assistant financial secretary shall assist the financial secretary in keeping a complete and detailed record of all individual contributions.  The assistant financial secretary shall assist in the counting of church monies.

     (7)  Moderator.  The moderator shall preside at all business meetings of the church and of the Advisory Board.  Any member of the church is eligible to be elected moderator, except the church clerk and the minister.  In the absence of the moderator, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons or an approved replacement shall preside.

 

(8)  Sunday School Superintendent.  The Sunday school superintendent shall be responsible for the direct supervision of the entire Sunday school.  He shall report monthly to the Board of Christian Education and Missions as to the progress and needs of the Sunday school.  He shall recommend all Sunday school teachers, materials, programs and a yearly calendar.  He shall be an ex-officio member of the Board of Christian Education and Missions.

(9)  Assistant Sunday School Superintendent.  The assistant Sunday school superintendent shall assist the Sunday school superintendent where deemed necessary and advisable and shall act as superintendent in his absence.

(10)  Head Usher.  The head usher shall be directly responsible for the supervision of the Ushering Committee.  (See Article IX, Section 9)

Section 3 – Declared Vacancy

The office of any elected official or elected board member shall be declared vacant whenever the said person fails to attend three consecutive scheduled meetings of his board without a legitimate reason.  Legitimacy of reasons will be determined by the chairman of his board and the moderator of the Advisory Board.

Article IX – Boards and Committees

Section 1 – Election of Chairman and Terms of Office

Unless otherwise provided, all boards and committees of this church shall elect their own chairman.  No member shall serve on one board for more than three successive terms unless there is no one else to fill the position.

Section 2 – Advisory Board

     There shall be an Advisory Board composed of church members including the minister, the elected officers of the church, all members of all boards, the heads of the men’s, women’s and young people’s organizations and the chairmen of all standing committees responsible to the Advisory Board, thus forming a group representative of the church program and activities.  Ten members of the Advisory Board shall be considered a quorum to transact business.

     The Advisory Board shall be the general planning body of the church.  It shall be constantly studying the needs of the church and needs of its community and shall determine the ways and means by which the policies and programs of the church shall be carried forward.  It shall seek to correlate the programs of all the departments and groups in the church.  All expenditures exceeding .005 (one half of one percent) of the budget which are not covered explicitly by the budget shall be presented by the Advisory Board to the church for their approval.

The Advisory Board shall meet monthly, except in months with a Church Business meeting, on the day determined by the Advisory Board.

The minister and/or the moderator shall arrange an agenda for each meeting.  Special Advisory Board meetings may be called by the minister, moderator or by the chairman of the Board of Deacons.  The Advisory Board shall report at regular business meetings of the church and post a copy of the Advisory Board’s proceedings.

Section 3 – Board of Deacons

There shall be a Board of Deacons consisting of one deacon for every 25 resident members, with a minimum of 3 deacons.  Their term of office shall be two years, with a limit of 3 consecutive terms unless there is no one else to fill the position.

The qualifications for deacon shall be according to the standards set forth in I Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:3. In addition, he shall also have a good knowledge of the scriptures.

The Board of Deacons shall have general oversight of the spiritual life of the church, aid the minister in the performance of his duties and control the spiritual and moral use of the church property.

The deacons shall provide Christian instruction and ministry to the church membership, counsel with applicants for church membership and recommend them for church membership.

The deacons shall assist the minister in the conduct of the Ordinance of Baptism, prepare the elements and assist the minister in the conduct of the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month and attend to the necessities of the needy.

The deacons shall be responsible for the pulpit supply when the minister is ill or on vacation and for expressions of good cheer and comfort to the ill and the bereaved.

The deacons shall call a special business meeting of the church to elect a pulpit committee when the church is in need of a minister and shall notify the nominating committee to nominate five candidates for the pulpit committee and to prepare ballots.

The deacons may recommend the hiring of a summer worker to assist the pastor whenever such a position is deemed by them advisable.  They shall propose his job description and salary.  Any questions in regard to his duties or privileges shall be taken up with the Board of Deacons.  The position must be approved by the Advisory Board and then voted upon by the church.

     The Board of Deacons shall meet monthly and shall report at regular business meetings of the Advisory Board and of the church.

If circumstances warrant, any former deacon may be asked to substitute as a member of the Board, upon the recommendation of the Board of Deacons and the approval of the Advisory Board.

Whenever by reason of age and faithful service a member is deemed worthy of special recognition, the church may elect such member an Honorary Deacon.  Such persons shall be recommended by the Nominating Committee and must receive a majority of the votes cast.  There shall be a limit of two Honorary Deacons.

Section 4 – Board of Trustees

There shall be a Board of Trustees consisting of not less than five members.  Their term of office shall be two years, with a limit of three consecutive terms unless there is no one else to fill the position.

The Board of Trustees shall hold in trust all property of the church and shall be responsible for its upkeep and management.  The trustees shall be responsible for the employees of the church (with the exception of the minister), the approval of all bills and the preparation of an annual audit of all the financial books of the church.

They shall not buy, sell or encumber the real estate or other property of the church unless authorized to do so by the church.

The Board of Trustees shall meet monthly and shall report at regular business meetings of the Advisory Board and of the church.

Section 5 –Board of Christian Education and Missions

      There shall be a Board of Christian Education and Missions consisting of not less than four members.

Their term of office shall be two years, with a limit of 3 consecutive terms unless there is no one else to fill the position.

The Board of Christian Education and Missions shall be responsible for creating and maintaining missionary interest throughout the whole church.  It shall supervise the Sunday school, Junior Church and all young people’s organizations and shall be responsible for the appointment and approval of all workers, programs and materials either purchased or used.

The Board of Christian Education and Missions shall meet monthly and shall report at regular business meetings of the Advisory Board and of the church.

Section 6 – Pulpit Committee

      There shall be a Pulpit Committee consisting of five members who shall be elected by the church in accordance with the provisions of Article X, Section 3 when the church is in need of a minister.

The Pulpit Committee shall present to the church only one candidate at a time for their consideration.

Section 7 – Budget and Finance Committee

      There shall be a Budget and Finance Committee consisting of the Financial Secretary, the Treasurer and one representative of the Board of Trustees appointed by the chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The Budget and Finance Committee shall recommend to the church at the annual business meeting a proposed budget of anticipated receipts and expenditures covering all the regular work of the church for the coming fiscal year.  The budget shall be first presented to the Advisory Board, then to the church for approval.

The Budget and Finance Committee shall report at regular business meetings of the Advisory Board and of the church.

This committee shall be responsible to the membership for reporting the financial state of the church as well as suggesting ways and means of securing funds to adequately finance the programs of the church.

 Section 8 – Nominating Committee

     There shall be a Nominating Committee consisting of five members:  one member from the Board of Deacons, one member from the Board of Trustees, one member from the Board of Christian Education and Missions and two members elected from the church at large at the Annual Business meeting.

The Nominating Committee shall prepare ballots and nominate candidates, who shall consent to the placing of their names on the ballot, for all offices to be filled at the annual business meeting.  In the event that there is an impasse on nomination candidates, contact the Pastor.  This provision shall not be construed to prevent nominations being made from the floor.  The ballot shall be presented to the Advisory Board for acceptance.  It shall be posted two weeks before the election.

This committee shall also nominate candidates at any other business meeting of the church to fill vacancies.  The chairman of any board knowing of a vacancy in any church office shall notify this committee of such fact.

Section 9 – Ushering Committee

The Ushering Committee shall consist of the Head Usher, an elected office, and his assistants whom he shall appoint.

Duties – They shall cooperate in securing the orderly and courteous seating of the congregation and the greeting of visitors and shall be responsible for the lighting and ventilation of the building.  They shall endeavor to secure and maintain at all services a state of good order conductive to worship.  It shall be the duty of the Head Usher to arrange for a sufficient number of ushers to be on duty before the hour of opening services.  The ushers shall receive offerings of the church and deliver same to church financial secretary.

Section 10 – Music Committee

The Music Committee shall consist of at least two persons:  the church pianist and other members appointed by the Advisory Board.  Their duties shall be to provide music for church services and to seek out talent for such service.

Section 11 – Committees of all Boards

Any board may appoint such standings or temporary committees as it may deem necessary to carry out its duties.  Each standing or temporary committee shall be responsible to the board creating it and shall work under its direction.

Article X – Rules Of Order

 

Section 1 – Fiscal Year

      The fiscal year of the church shall begin on January 1 and close on December 31 of each year.

Section 2 – Meetings

      Church business meetings shall be held quarterly the third week of January and during the first two weeks of April, July and October with an Annual meeting the second week in December to elect officers and to approve a budget for the following year.  At the January meeting, the annual report of all phases of the church program and activities shall be made in writing.  Each board shall include in its report a summary of the reports of the standing committees and organizations under its direction.

Other business meetings.  Special business meetings may be called by the minister, moderator or the chairman of the Board of Deacons.  The date and purpose of the special meeting shall be announced at least two Sundays preceding such meeting.

 Section 3 – Voting

      Anyone who is a member of the church and at least fourteen years of age shall be eligible to vote except on financial matters where he or she must be of legal age as determined by the State of Michigan.  Absentee ballots may be obtained by written request to the Church Clerk.  Completed ballots must be received by the Clerk prior to the election to be valid.

Twenty percent (20%) of the resident church members shall be considered a quorum for the transaction of business.  The call or dismissal of a minister or the purchase, sale or encumbering of property shall be decided by secret ballot.  Notice of such proposed action must be given to the members at least two weeks preceding such a meeting.  A three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of all eligible members voting shall be required for the purchase or sale of property and for calling or dismissing a minister.

All questions of order shall be settled by the customary rules governing deliberative bodies as given in “Robert’s Rules of Order”.

Article XI – Method of Finance

      This church shall operate on the basis of a unified budget.  It shall be proposed by the Budget and Finance Committee and submitted to the Advisory Board for revision/approval and then presented to the church for revision/approval.  The quota for all contributions to the North American Baptist Conference, established by the budget, shall be considered current expense and shall be paid monthly or at the discretion of the trustees.

Article XII – Annual Review

      The church shall conduct an annual evaluation of the programs and the performance of the pastor and all elected officers and board members of the church.  An evaluation form shall be prepared, distributed, tabulated and reported by a review committee composed of the Moderator, Pastor, Chairman of the Boards of Deacons, Trustees and Christian Education and Missions.  The Moderator shall be chairman of this committee.

The review form shall be made available to all members two Sundays prior to the January quarterly business meeting for their completion by the Sunday before the January quarterly business meeting.  The tabulated results of the evaluation shall be presented to the church at the January quarterly business meeting.

Article XIII – Amendments

      This constitution may be revised or amended, after it has been approved by the Advisory Board, at any business meeting of the church.  Two weeks’ notice of such proposed revision or amendment shall be given.  A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of those present and voting is necessary to carry an amendment.

 Article XIV – Approval

     This constitution shall take effect immediately upon its approval.  All trustees, deacons and other officers and employees whose terms have not expired when this constitution is approved shall continue in office under the terms of this constitution if it provides for such office.

DOCTRINAL POSITION IN REFERENCE TO

THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND

THE PRESENT DAY PENTECOSTAL

CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT

 

     We believe that a person is baptized with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ at the time of conversion           (I Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9-17) and that this baptism or presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer is not proven nor necessarily evidenced (or signed) by the Gift of Tongues.  The Scriptures share that tongues is only one of the gifts given by the Lord for the specific purpose of being a sign to unbelievers (I Corinthians 14:22-23) relating especially to Jewish unbelievers who would interpret it as a sign, a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. (Isaiah 28:11; Joel 2:28)

Also in Scripture we find that in Paul’s listing of the gifts/abilities (Charismata) and emphasis laid upon it, he considers tongues as among the least of the gifts: 1)  He lists it last (I Corinthians 12:28);  2)  He advises the Corinthians to covet the best gifts (I Corinthians 12:31) in the choice between prophecy and tongues, prophecy is greater than tongues (I Corinthians 14:5);  3)  The gift of tongues is being discouraged in the Corinthian Church because without interpretation it does not edify the church (I Corinthians 14:4);  4)  Tongues are easily misused in church so Paul put great restrictions on it since it created disorder, confusion and a split in the church there.               (I Corinthians 14:6-9; 27-28; 33)  Paul would rather speak five words in an understandable tongue then ten thousand in an unknown tongue.  (I Corinthians 14:19)  The purpose for God given gifts (Charismata) in the church are for the edifying of the whole body of believers.  (I Corinthians 14:12)

In this day of Grace we have the totality of God’s message contained within His Word, the Bible and we are cautioned within His Word not to add or detract from the message.  (Revelations 22:18-19)  Because the promotion of unscriptural tongues speaking in the church has resulted in apparently additional revelations and a counterfeiting of the actual gift of tongues, we believe tongues speaking today to be unnecessary and extremely dangerous.  God has enabled us to relate His Wonderful Message of Salvation in an understandable tongue, thus as Paul did in Corinth (I Corinthians 14:28) we caution that those speaking in tongues “Keep Silence” in our church rather than promote confusion and even in certain instances a Division within the Body of Believers.  The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to unify and not divide.  (I Corinthians 12:25)

Because of the above Scriptures and Doctrinal Position, we make the following declarations in regard to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues:

1.  First Baptist Church of Auburn, Michigan is not to be identified with the Present Day Pentecostal Charismatic Movement and is not a “Tongues Speaking” church.  We believe that teaching that all Christians ought to have spoken in tongues to prove or sign their reception of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not Scriptural teaching and doctrine.

2.  We believe that at the time of Conversion every person is baptized with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ and that His Spirit will distribute the gifts He chooses to give to us, as He wills in our church.

3.  We will not encourage or support any speaking of Tongues in any of our Worship Services, Bible Studies, Prayer Services or any other Church Related Activities.

4.  Every member, and particularly every individual having leadership responsibilities, must be able to support this Doctrinal Position in order for the Church to remain a united body.  Any member who does not support this statement or is found to be encouraging others in the Fellowship to follow “Charismatic” doctrines will be dealt with according to the provisions already in our Church Constitution.

5.  The distribution, circulation or promotion of materials which are contradictory to this Doctrinal Position will not be permitted in the church or in activities sponsored by this church.

Here as First Baptist Church of Auburn, we are committed to being filled with God’s Love, His Holy Spirit and we will keep our eyes upon Jesus.  In doing so, we will not be side-tracked by devisive issues which take away from the ministry of leading people into a personal relationship by faith with the Lord and subsequently a walk of obedience and full maturity in Christ.

ADOPTED:  At First Baptist Church of Auburn, Michigan at a Special Business Meeting held on August 30, 1978

A CHRISTIAN AFFIRMATION OF MARRIAGE

NORTH AMERICAN BAPTIST CONFERENCE

      First Baptist Church of Auburn relies on Biblical authority to governs its convictions about the nature of marriage.  We can in good conscience only perform weddings consistent with the view of marriage expressed in the Bible.  God has determined what marriage is.  The church blesses what God has determined.  Therefore, the church cannot confer the spiritual blessing of marriage on other relationships.  (I Corinthians 5:9-13; I Timothy 1:6-11)

From the Bible, we believe . . .

      That God’s intention for marriage is established throughout the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments

This is expressed in creation and the creation story (Genesis 1-2), the Law of Moses (Exodus 20:14, 17; Leviticus 18; Deuteronomy 5:18, 21), the wisdom literature (Proverbs 5; Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 13:22; Proverbs 14:1; Proverbs 17:6; Proverbs 19:13-14; Proverbs 31:10-31; Song of Solomon) and in the prophetic tradition.  (Malachi 2:14-15)  The Divine establishment of marriage is confirmed by the words of Jesus (Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:6-9) and the New Testament authors.  (Ephesians 5:22-33; Hebrews 13:4; I Peter 3:1-7)  They provide guidance for perfecting marriage and affirm its spiritual significance.  Chaste singleness and marriage are both honored as faithful and holy lifestyles ordained by God.  (Matthew 19:10-13; I Corinthians 7)

 

     That God ordained marriage as a voluntary union for life of one man and one woman

Our creation as man and woman, who are complementary to one another (Genesis 2:7, 18-23), has significance in revealing aspects of the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and His relationship to humanity.  (I Corinthians 11:11-12)  The permanence of the marital bond (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:7-9) mirrors God’s faithfulness, just as its monogamy reflects God’s singular devotion to His people (Ephesians 5:25) and His people’s singular devotion to Him.  (Deuteronomy 6:13; Joshua 24:24; Matthew 4:10)

     That sexual intimacy is legitimate only within the bounds of marriage

The commands of God are clear.  (I Thessalonians 4:3, 7-8)  Sexual activity profoundly affects people emotionally and spiritually.  (Proverbs 6:32; I Corinthians 6:18-20; Ephesians 4:19-24)  Sexual intercourse outside of marriage, promiscuity, common law relationships, adultery, homosexual acts, exploitation, incest and sexual perversion contradict God’s purpose for human sexuality.  (Leviticus 18:6-18; Matthew 5:27-32; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:24-27; I Corinthians 5:1, 7:1-2, 9; Colossians 3:5; I Timothy 1:8-11)

     That marriage is more than a contract between two persons:  It is a covenant before God

God is committed to every marriage between a man and a woman.  (Malachi 2:14-15)  In the covenant of marriage, God joins a man and a woman together “in one flesh” and forbids anyone to break it.  (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9)  This covenant is unique among human relationships.  (I Corinthians 11:12)  God intends the married couple to recognize and celebrate His call to an irrevocable commitment to love, to cherish and remain faithful.  (I Corinthians 7:10-11; Ephesians 5:21-33)

     That a health marriage is the best foundation for families and the raising of children

The practical benefits of marriage are inherent to its form.  A healthy marriage is a unique source of benefits for children including the stability of the family and the access of children to a mother and a father.  (Proverbs 6:20-23; Colossians 3:18-21)  God intended that children should receive nurture from male and female parents and in turn learn to honor both.  (Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:1-3)  Neither the church nor anyone else can confer the innate benefits of marriage on other forms of relationships or unions.  (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9)

Therefore we conclude . . .

      That the Bible teaches that marriage is between one man and one woman only, and to recognize other unions as legitimate marriages would be contrary to our understanding of scripture.

      We affirm that each person is unique, possesses dignity and is worthy of respect.

We also affirm that we are called to introduce each person to the loving, reconciling ministry of Jesus Christ and the life changing transformation described in scripture.

As Christians we seek to demonstrate God’s love to all people but we will not compromise our convictions on marriage as defined by scripture.

Therefore, be it resolved that . . .

l.  As a matter of belief, doctrine and religious practice, First Baptist Church of Auburn reserves the term “marriage” for the covenant relationship between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

2.  First Baptist Church of Auburn establishes the standard that all individuals who are licensed to perform marriages will not officiate, co-officiate or participate as a pastor at any marriage outside of the previously stated definition of marriage.

3.  In the event that an individual licensed to perform marriages, officiates, co-officiates or participates as a pastor at a marriage that is outside of the previously stated definition of marriage will be subject to disciplinary action up to/and including exclusion from membership and dismissal from leadership.  (Article VI, Section 3 d. – Termination of Members)

4.  The facilities of First Baptist Church of Auburn will not be used for weddings or receptions where the marriage union is contrary to the provisions of this resolution.

SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

      We believe that human life is sacred from conception to the time God takes a person in death.  From its beginning, life involved the creative act of God (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 1:27-28) and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator.  God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end; therefore no one can under any circumstances claim for himself the right to destroy an innocent human being.

We affirm that all people, born and preborn, have dignity and are deserving of respect because they are created in the image of God and are loved by Him.  Human dignity is not earned and cannot therefore be lost because of their capacities or incapacities, the conveniences or inconveniences of their presence among us or by what they have done, are doing or may do in the future.  While those factors may influence how we interact with them, nothing can add to or diminish their innate human dignity.

We oppose all forms of abortion, including abortifacients such as the “morning-after pill.”

We are furthermore concerned with the protection of the elderly and disabled.  We oppose the use of euthanasia to “dispose” of “unwanted or unfit” persons.  We believe “death with dignity” is when God decides to take a person from this earth; not doctors, family or even the person.

We affirm that throughout Scripture God calls on His people to defend the sanctity of human life by caring for and protecting those who are especially vulnerable, including the poor, the powerless and those who are marginalized.  (Jeremiah 7:5-7; Jeremiah 22:3; James 1:27)  Jesus calls us to love each other.

CONSTITUTION REVISION COMMITTEE

Herta Jaschinsky, Member at Large

Reverand Edward Lawrence, Pastor

Arlene Parker, Member at Large

Graham Parker, Member at Large

Taylor Parker, Member at Large

Nancy VanKleek, Financial Secretary

Revisions adopted by the church

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First Baptist Church of Auburn, Michigan

Prepared for Congregational Quarterly Business Meeting, April 9, 2013