Church Covenant

(Updated November 2, 2014)

 

  1. 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 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, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
  2. 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 peace; to promote its spirituality and fruitfulness; 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.
  3. We also engage to maintain family and personal devotion; to educate our children in the Christian Faith; 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 seek God’s help in abstaining from all drugs, food, drink, and practices which bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardize our own or another’s faith, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Character

Section 1. Polity. The government of this church 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 obligation of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches.

Section 2. Doctrine. This church receives the Scriptures as its authority in matters of faith and practice. Its understanding of Christian truth as contained therein is in essential accord with the belief of Baptist churches as indicated in the Articles of Faith herewith. (Article II.)

Section 3. Property. All property of this church is to be held for the use and benefit of the membership, even though they be a minority, who adhere to, maintain and propagate the doctrines, faith and practices of Southern Baptist churches cooperating with local Baptist Association, Tennessee Baptist Convention, and Southern Baptist Convention.

If there is no minority to make adequate use of said property then the title of the same shall revert to or become vested in the Tennessee Baptist Foundation, as trustee, an agency of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Brentwood, Tennessee, to hold and use said property or the proceeds therefrom, to advance and propagate the Baptist cause and denomination in Tennessee.

 

Membership

Section 1. Qualifications. The membership of this church shall consist of such persons as confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord.

The church shall receive members as follows:

  1. When a person comes forward, confessing and repenting of his sins this person shall be received by vote into the watcher of the church. A day will be arranged for that person to be baptized. Upon baptism by this church, that person will become a full member with all rights and privileges that pertain to membership.
  2. By letter of commendation from other Baptist churches of like faith and practice.
  3. If for some reason a person cannot supply a letter from his church because it has been destroyed, then that person shall be received by statement that he has been saved and baptized into a Baptist church of like faith and practice.
  4. By restoration as defined in Article V section 6 of the constitution

Section 2. Duties. Members are expected, unless providentially hindered, first of all, to be faithful in all duties essential to the Christian life; and also to attend habitually the services of the church, to give regularly for its support and its causes, and to share in its organized work. Opportunities for the giving of tithes and offerings will be offered by the church at the Sunday morning and Sunday evening services.

Section 3. Rights. Such members that comply with section (two) 2 of article V, and who do not hold letters of discussion, and such only, may act and vote in the transaction of the church.

Section 4. Quorum. Five percent of the active roll of the membership shall constitute a quorum, except that for the election of officers, ten percent, and for call of a pastor, twenty-five percent shall be necessary.

Section 5. Termination. The continuance of membership shall be subject to the principles and usage of the Baptist churches.

Any member of this church who fails to adhere to the doctrine, rules, principles, and practices set forth herein shall forfeit his membership in said body, and any claim, use, or possession of this church’s property of any kind.

This church shall terminate membership as follows

  1. Upon the death of a member.
  2. By letter of recommendation. Only members in good standing shall be entitled to a letter of dismissing.
  3. Letters shall be granted to churches with which this church is in good standing and fellowship, and not to individuals.
  4. This church may terminate membership of persons who become an offense to the church and to its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breaks of their covenant vows, or non-support of the church, but only after due notice and hearing, and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such members to repentance and amendment.
  5. The membership of no person shall be terminated (except by letter) at the meeting when the recommendation for such action is made by the church.
  6. All requests for termination of membership or action looking thereto shall first be considered by the deacons, who shall make recommendations to the church.

Section 6. Restoration. Any person whose membership has been terminated for an offense may be restored by vote of the church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation; or, if on account of continued absence, upon satisfactory explanation.

 

Departments

Section 1. The following departments shall be maintained to promote the Christian causes: Church teaching (Sunday school), Church training, Women’s Missionary Union, Brotherhood, Music, and others as needed or necessary.

Section 2. Leaders and officers of these departments shall be members of the church in good standing.

Section 3. Their duties shall be set forth for them in the literature of their respective departments and that placed upon them by vote of the church.

Section 4. All of the leaders and officers of the different departments shall be elected of one year, however, all or part may be reelected if the church desires to do so.

 

Meetings

Section 1. Worship

  1. Public services shall be held steadily on the Lord’s Day and on some regular evening or evenings of the week.
  2. Occasional religious meetings may be appointed by the pastor at his discretion, or by vote of the church.
  3. The two church ordinances, Lord’s Supper and Baptism, shall be observed as often as is needful and necessary.

Section 2. Business

  1. At any of the regular meetings for worship the church may, without special notice, act upon the reception of members or upon the dismissal of members to other churches, and upon the appointment of messengers to councils, local, state and south wide conventions, but not upon other business.
  2. In case of emergency, the pastor may, and shall when requested by the Deacons, Trustees, or a Standing Committee, call from the pulpit special business meetings, the particular object of the meeting being clearly stated in the notice.