We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith, and to govern the body in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches.
Article 1 – Name
This body shall be known as the First Baptist Church of Stover, located at 102 Cherry Street, Stover, Missouri.
Article II – Objectives
The objectives of this church are as follows:
1) To be a dynamic, spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with all people of our church, community, and throughout the world.
2) To be a worshiping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing His Person, and responding in obedience to His leadership.
3) To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers.
4) To help people experience a growing knowledge of God and man.
5) To be a church that ministers unselfishly to persons in the community and world in the name of Jesus.
6) To be a church whose purpose is to be Christ-like in our daily living by emphasizing total commitment of life, personality, and possessions to the lordship of Christ.
Article III – Statement of Faith
The Holy Bible is the inspired word of God and is the basis for our statement of faith. The church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of “The Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000. We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
Article IV – Government
The church government is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the Lamine Association and Missouri Baptist Convention affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Article V – Church Covenant
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk wisely in the world; to be just in our dealings faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our conduct; striving to avoid all sin in obedience to the Holy Word of God; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offence, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s word.
Article VI – Amendments
This constitution may be amended at any business meeting of the church by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting, upon the report and recommendation of a committee appointed by the church to consider the question(s) of such amendment(s) provided that public notices, consisting of reading the proposed amendments(s) and the designated time for voting, shall have been given on two consecutive Sundays neither of which notices shall be less than one or more than five weeks prior to the voting date.
Article I - Membership
Section 1 – General
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the right to self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church.
The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.
Section 2 – Qualifications
Any person, having repented of his/her sin and professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, giving evidence of having been born of the Spirit may offer himself/herself as a candidate for membership of this church. All such candidate may be presented to the church at any regular church service for membership in any of the following ways:
A. By profession of faith in Jesus Christ and acknowledgment of His lordship by having been baptized by immersion and agreeing to abide by the covenant of this Southern Baptist Church.
B. By promise of letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church of like faith and order and agreeing to abide by the covenant of this Southern Baptist Church.
C. By a statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a Baptist church, when no letter is obtainable, and agreeing to abide by the covenant of this Southern Baptist Church.
D. Persons coming from churches of a different faith and order, who give evidence of their Christian experience and who accept the doctrinal teachings and agree to abide by the covenant of this Southern Baptist Church, but not having been baptized by immersion according to our belief, regarding the same, may when baptized, be received into membership.
E. At the time the candidate is presented to the church, the church shall vote as to whether such candidate shall be received into membership of the church.
F. It is to be made clear to each candidate for baptism that church membership accompanies baptism
Section 3 – New Member Orientation
New members will be expected to participate in the new member orientation plan of the church.
Section 4 – Voting Rights of Members
Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present.
Section 5 – Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
B. Letter of transfer to another Baptist church of like faith and order.
C. When a member joins a church of a different faith and order, membership in this church terminates.
D. Any member in good standing desiring to unite with a church of some other denomination may be granted a letter of Christian standing and commendation.
Section 6 – Discipline
A. It shall be basic purpose of the First Baptist Church of Stover to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The Pastor, other members of the church staff and Deacons are available for counsel and guidance. Reconciliation rather than punishment should be the guideline that governs the attitude of one member toward another.
B. Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable measure will be taken by the Pastor and by the Deacons to resolve the problem in the spirit of the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. But finding that the welfare of the church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the church may take this action by a two-thirds vote of the members present, and voting, at a meeting called for this purpose; and the church may proceed to declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church.
C. Any person whose membership has been terminated for any condition, which has made it necessary for the church to exclude him/her, may upon his/her request be restored to membership by vote of the church upon evidence of his/her repentance and reformation.
Article II – Officers and Staff
Section 1 – Called or elected officers of First Baptist Church of Stover are as follows:
C. Trustees – not less than three (3) active at all times
D. Clerk – The Clerk and Assistant Clerk may not be members of the same family.
E. Assistant Clerk
F. Treasurer – The Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer may not be members of the same family.
G. Assistant Treasurer
H. Heads of All Departments and Auxiliaries
1) Director of Sunday School
2) Assistant Director of Sunday School
3) Director of Music
4) Director of Women’s Missionary Union
5) President of the Baptist Men’s Organization
I. All other elected officers and assistants.
** All officers of the church are urged to take advantage of training opportunities offered by the Association whenever possible.
Section 2 – The duties of the above listed officers shall be in general as outlined below:
A. Pastor – The following qualifications shall be the minimum standard for a pastor of this church. These qualifications are based upon I Timothy 3:1-7 and I Peter 5:1-4
I Timothy 3:1-7
Vs. 1: This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
Vs. 2: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;
Vs. 3 Not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;
Vs. 4: One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence.
Vs. 5: (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)
Vs. 6: Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
Vs. 7: Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
I Peter 5:1-4
Vs. 1: The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
Vs. 2: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
Vs. 3: Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;