Menominee Grace Brethren Church
Constitution and By-Laws
To better set forth our position before the world, deﬁne our relations one with another, facilitate an orderly transaction of business, conduct our various activities and promote harmony and cooperation among the members within the church and define our relationships with other churches and organizations, we, the members of the Menominee Grace Brethren Church, adopt and accept the following articles to be the Constitution and By Laws of this church.
Article I: Name and association
The name of this church shall be Menominee Grace Brethren Church. This church shall not be under any denominational authority, but may associate with any fellowship which is in agreement with the Statement of Faith as it chooses.
Article II: Members’ Covenant
The covenant by which this church exists as a distinct body, and which every member accepts, is as follows:
Acknowledging Jesus Christ to be our Savior and Lord, and accepting the Holy Scriptures as our rule of belief and behavior, and recognizing the privilege and duty of uniting ourselves for Christian fellowship, the enjoyment of Christian ordinances, the public worship of God, and the advancement of His Church on earth, we do now, in the sight of God and invoking His blessing, solemnly covenant and agree with each other to associate ourselves as a church of the Lord Jesus Christ, as warranted by the Word of God.
We agree to maintain the institution of the Gospel, to submit ourselves to the orderly administration of the affairs of the church, to faithfully support its work with our time, talents and finances and to walk together in brotherly love. And this we do depending on the aid of our Heavenly Father, Who so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son for our salvation, and of Jesus Christ, who had redeemed us with His Blood, and of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Guide
Article III: Statement of Faith
Believing the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible to be the infallible rule of faith and of practice and feeling the responsibility to make known the divine message of the Bible, we present the following articles as a statement of those basic truths taught in the Bible which are common to our Christian faith and practice.
- THE BIBLE. The Word of God, the sixty six Books of the Old and New Testaments, verbally inspired in all parts, and therefore wholly without error as originally given of God (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21).
- THE ONE TRUE GOD. Existing eternally as three persons the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:22; Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
- THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. His preexistence and deity (John 1:1-3), incarnation by virgin birth (John 1:14; Matthew 1:18-23), sinless life (Heb. 4:15), substitutionary death (2 Cor. 5:21), bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36-43), ascension into heaven and present ministry (Heb. 4:14-16), and coming again (Acts 1:11).
- THE HOLY SPIRIT. His personality (John 16:7-15), and deity (Acts 5:3-4), and His work in each believer: filling (Eph. 5:18) to empower for Christian life and service (Eph. 3:16; Acts 1:8; Gal. 5:22-23).
- MAN. His direct creation in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28), his subsequent fall into sin resulting in spiritual death (Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 5:12), and the necessity of the new birth for his salvation (John 3:3-5).
- SALVATION. A complete and eternal salvation by God’s grace alone received as the gift of God through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work (Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
- THE CHURCH. The church is a local body of believers, called out for worship, for edification of believers, and for worldwide gospel witness, each local church being autonomous but cooperating in fellowship and work (Matt. 28:19-20, Acts 1:8, Eph. 4:11-16).
- CHRISTIAN LIFE. A life of righteousness, good works and separation unto God from the evil ways of the world (Rom. 12:1-2), manifested by speaking the truth (James 5:12), maintaining the sanctity of the home (Eph. 5:22-6:4), settling differences between Christians in accordance with the Word of God (1 Cor. 6:1-8), not engaging in carnal strife but showing a Christ like attitude toward all men (Rom. 12:17-21), exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), and maintaining a life of prayer (Eph. 6:18; Phil. 4:6).
- ORDINANCES. The Church should practice the seven ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ which are grouped in three observances: (1)baptism of believers by triune immersion (Matt. 28:19) and (2) Laying on of hands; the threefold communion service, consisting of (3) the washing of the saints’ feet (John 13:1 17), (4) the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20-22, 33-34; Jude 12), (5) the communion of the bread and the cup (1 Cor. 11:23-26) and (6) holy salutation (Rom. 16:16, I Cor. 16:20, II Cor. 13:12, I Thes. 5:26); finally, the anointing of the sick with oil (James 5:13-18)
- SATAN. His existence and personality as the great adversary of God and His people (Rev. 12:1-10), his judgment (John 12:31), and final doom (Rev. 20:10).
- SECOND COMING. The personal, visible, and imminent return of Christ to remove His church from the earth (1 Thess. 4:16-17) before the tribulation (1 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 3:10), and afterward to descend with the Church to establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth (Rev. 19:11-20:6).
- FUTURE LIFE. The conscious existence of the dead (Phil. 1:21-23; Luke 16:19-31), the resurrection of the body (John 5:28-29), the judgment and reward of believers (Rom. 14:10 12; 2 Cor. 5:10), the judgment and condemnation of unbelievers (Rev. 20:11-15), the eternal life of the saved (John 3:16), and the eternal punishment of the lost (Matt. 25:46; Rev. 20:15).
Article IV: Membership
Section 1, Qualification:
Any person, having demonstrated conversion by faith in Jesus Christ, and in agreement with the Covenant and Statement of faith, may join this assembly with the assent of the congregation.
Section 2, Withdrawal:
A member failing to maintain faithfulness to the Covenant or Statement of Faith shall be considered inactive. Any active member, wishing to join with another church of like faith, may request a letter of transfer.
Section 3, Discipline:
Should any member persist in false doctrine or unscriptural behavior, and, having been admonished privately, choose to continue in error, shall be addressed by the Pastor and one or two other members and called to repentance in a spirit of grace and love. Should the erring member refuse to repent, they shall be called before the congregation in a private meeting and lovingly and graciously invited to repent and continue in fellowship. If the erring member refuses to hear the church, they shall be grievingly considered outside of the fellowship of the church until they come to repentance. (Matthew 18, I Corinthians 5, II Corinthians 6)
Article V: Officers and Government
Section 1, Officers:
a) The pastor shall meet the qualifications enumerated in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1.
b) The pastor must wholeheartedly adhere to the Statement of Faith.
The church shall first seek a man from within the congregation who meets the qualifications and exhibits the call of God. If one cannot be found, then the church may call a pastor from outside. The call is perpetual, and may only be rescinded if the pastor falls into false doctrine or disqualifies himself according to the above passages of Scripture.
The pastor is the Overseer and leader of the church. The pastor is responsible for the spiritual direction, teaching and preaching and pastoral care. The pastor is responsible first to Jesus Christ, whose church this is, and then to the congregation. The pastor is a de facto member of any committee, class or organization within the church.
Deacons are the servants of the church, and must meet the qualifications listed in Acts 6:1-7 and I Timothy 3:8-13. Deacons may be chosen by the church as needed in order to assist the pastor with the practical ministry of the church.
Section 2, Church Government:
The government of the church shall be pastor-led congregational form, not subject to any outside organization or body. Temporary committees may be appointed by the congregation for a specific purpose.
Article VI: Property
Any real property shall be held by the church. The church shall not enter into debt except by the unanimous consent of the membership, and any debt must be speedily discharged.
Article VII: Amendment
This constitution may be amended at any regular or called business meeting upon the condition that the proposed amendment or revision has been announced at two regular services prior. A two-thirds majority is required to approve the amendment. Unanimity is to be sought, and any dissent should be seriously weighed.
Article VIII: Dissolution
In the event of the dissolution of this church, any unencumbered properties and finances shall be given to another Grace Brethren organization as designated by the congregation. Organizations that supported this work in its founding shall be preferred.