CONSTITUTION OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF COTTONDALE
ARTICLE I. ASSOCIATION
This church shall be an incorporated religious body, society, or association to be known as THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF COTTONDALE, INC. and for convenience same shall be referred to as the Church.
ARTICLE II. OBJECTS OF FAITH AND PRACTICE
The Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention is a statement of the beliefs of the Church.
The general objective of the Church shall be to be a New Testament, Southern Baptist Church (with the realization that the Church is the body of Christ, who is the head, and that as the Father sent the Son, even so the Church is sent, “that the world through Him might be saved;” John 3:17 and 20:21), having for her Articles of Faith and Practice the New Testament and having for her Church Covenant the following:
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels 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 secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger, to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; 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 each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, 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 III. MEMBERSHIP
The membership of the Church shall be composed of Christians, who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, in accordance with the Bible. The Bylaws of the Church shall provide for the ways of admission to and dismission from the Church.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS
The officers of the church shall be as provided in the bylaws.
ARTICLE V. PASTOR’S DUTIES
It shall be the duty of the Pastor to take as his example the Good Shepherd and strive to be a good shepherd to the Flock, in accordance with the Word of God. When present, he shall preside as moderator at all business meetings of the Church unless the Church specifies differently.
ARTICLE VI. DEACONS
It shall be the duty of the Deacons individually and as a Body to, in all ways possible, render assistance to the Pastor and the Church in spiritual as well as temporal matters, and the Deacons, in the performance of their duties, should recognize that they, both individually and collectively, were the “looked out ones” for “service.”
ARTICLE VII. CORPORATE BODY
WHEREAS, the law and statutes of the State of Florida, as construed by the Supreme Court, provide that religious associations, like the Church, cannot hold property or transact business directly; therefore, for the purpose of conforming to the legal manner of transacting business, in which the Church may become engaged , and for the purpose of handling and holding title to her property, it is hereby provided that the Church has caused a corporation, not for profit, to be created under a State Charter, to act as a medium, trustee, and agency, to hold in trust for the Church, her property, and to put into legal form and effect the will and direction of the Church, as to her temporal business matters.
ARTICLE VIII. FINANCES
The finances of the Church shall be based on the tithes and offerings as is God’s plan.
ARTICLE IX. MEETINGS AND VOTING
The Church shall meet for worship as desired and shall hold revival meetings as desired. Business meetings shall be held on the Wednesday night after the first Sunday of each month when practical, and special meetings may be provided for in the Bylaws.
ARTICLE X. MISSIONS
This Church may institute, support, maintain, and provide for local, state, home and foreign missions, and for missionaries both home and foreign.
ARTICLE XI. PUBLICATIONS
This Church may cause to be published a Church paper, calendar, or reminder, or other publications approved by the Church.
ARTICLE XII. AFFILIATIONS
This Church may be affiliated with the appropriate Baptist Association, State Convention, and National Convention.
ARTICLE XIII. AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present at any regular or special meeting, notice of which business meeting and reason therefor, shall have been given (1) one week preceding the meeting, both through the Church Paper or Reminder and by announcement from the pulpit.
These instruments, Constitution and Bylaws, were adopted at a special business meeting of the church with official notice given and an official quorum on April 12, 2000.