Church Constitution

How We Are Governed

This document took effect immediately after it was overwhelmingly approved by the congregation on Sunday, October 27, 2019

Article I. Preamble

This constitution supersedes any other policy of the church, written or oral, and shall be used as the guide in all church matters affecting Sylvania Church.

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. This constitution is to be read and applied in a manner consistent with biblical principles. A copy of this constitution is available to each member upon request.

ARTICLE II. NAME AND LOCATION OF OFFICES

The name of this Church is SYLVANIA CHURCH. It is a Texas non-profit religious church with principal offices in Smith County, in the state of Texas.

The Board of Directors established in the Certificate of Formation, as amended from time to time, is granted full power and authority to change said principal office from one location to another. The Board of Directors is the Board of Elders of the Church and shall hereinafter be called the Board of Elders. Each active member of the Board of Elders shall be vested with the authority as “Trustee,” except the Senior Pastor, as that office is necessary to carry out the corporate functions of the church.

ARTICLE III. PURPOSE

This church is an autonomous religious entity and is not organized for the private gain of any person. It is organized under the Texas Business Organizations Code exclusively for Christian purposes. This church elects to be governed by all of the provisions of the Texas Business Organizations Code, except as otherwise described herein. A further description of the church’s purposes includes, but is not limited to, the following: to operate as a Christian church or churches and perform all of the functions of a church including, without limitation, the conduct of Christian worship, the ordaining, licensing, and commissioning of ministers, Elders, and Deacons; the administration of the ordinances of baptism and communion; and to establish and operate Christian services, activities, and operations; and to cultivate, promote, promulgate, and extend the teachings and precepts of Christianity.

ARTICLE IV. CONFESSION OF FAITH

Sylvania Church holds to and teaches historic, orthodox, reformed Christian doctrine.

Specifically, we believe:

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1. Of the Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men who were divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that God is its author, that salvation is its end, and that it is inerrant. We believe that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us, and therefore it is, and always shall be, the center of Christian unity, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Prov. 30:5-6; Rom. 2:12; Phil. 3:16; 1 John 4:1.

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2. Of the True God

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God. He is the Maker and Ruler of heaven and earth. He is inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, praise, and love. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who have each eternally existed and who are equal in every divine perfection and execute distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. We affirm the mysterious Incarnation of Jesus, the Son. He is both fully God and fully man, born of the virgin Mary. John 4:24; Ps. 83:18; Heb. 3:4; Rom. 1:20; Jer.10:10; Ex. 15:11; Ps. 147:5; Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:6-8; Mark 12:30; Rev. 4:11; Matt. 10:37; Jer. 2:12-13; Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7; John 10:30; John 5:17; John 14:23; John 17:5, 10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Phil. 2:5-6; Eph. 2:18; 2 Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-5.
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3. Of Man

We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of His Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, dead in sin. Mankind is now, by nature, utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. Further, we believe that mankind was created male and female, and that the creation of mankind in two sexes is a gift of God and an expression of His goodness. Moreover, God created the institution of marriage for His glory. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment between each other and God for a lifetime. Gen. 1:27; Gen. 1:31; Ecc. 7:29; Acts 17:26-29; Gen. 2:16-17; Gen. 3:6-24; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 5:15-19; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 8:7; Isa. 53:6; Gen. 6:12; Rom. 3:9-18; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:18, 32; Rom. 2:1-16; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 20:15; Ezek. 18:19-20; Rom. 1:20; Rom. 3:19; Gal. 3:22.
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4. Of the Way of Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, was wholly obedient to the divine law, and by His death made a full atonement for our sins. We believe Jesus rose from the dead, and is now enthroned in heaven. Eph. 2:3; Matt. 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; Acts 15:11; John 3:16; John 1:1-14; Heb. 4:14; Heb. 12-24; Phil: 2:9, 14; 2 Cor. 5:21; Isa. 42:21; Phil. 2:8; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 3:21; Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; Rom. 3:21-26; 1 John 2:3; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Heb. 9:13-15; Heb. 1:8; Heb. 1:3; Col. 3:14; Heb. 7:25; Col. 2:18; Heb. 7:26; Ps. 89:19; Ps. 34.
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5. Of Justification

We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification. Justification includes: the pardon of sin and the promise of eternal life in righteousness. Justification is bestowed solely through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, and is not granted in consideration of any works of righteousness. By virtue of Jesus Christ and His blood, His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God, it brings us into a state of peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity. John 1:16; Eph. 3:8; Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:11-12; Rom. 5:1-2; Rom. 5:9; Zech. 13:1; Matt. 9:6; Acts 10:43; Rom. 5:17; Titus 3:5-7; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Rom. 5:21; Rom. 4:4-5; Rom. 6:23; Phil. 3:7-9; Rom. 5:19; Rom. 3:24-26; Rom. 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12; Rom. 5:3; Rom. 5:11; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Matt. 6:33; 1 Tim. 4:8.
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6. Of Regeneration & Election

All those whom God has predestined unto life, he is pleased, in His appointed time, to effectually call, by His Word and Spirit, out of a state of sin and death, in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ, taking away their heart of stone, and giving them a heart of flesh, renewing their wills, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ, yet so, as they come freely, being made willingly by His grace. God’s effectual call is made of God’s free grace alone, and not from anything at all foreseen in man, who is altogether passive therein, until, being made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he is thereby enabled to answer the call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it. Rom. 8:30; 2 Thess. 2:13; Rom. 8:2; Acts 26:18; Ezek. 36:26; Ezek. 11:19; Eph. 1:19; John 6:44; Ps. 110:3; John 6:37; Rom. 6:16; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:4; Eph. 2:4; Rom. 9:11; 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7.
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7. Of Repentance & Faith

We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt and helplessness, and of the way of salvation of Christ, we turn to God with contrition and confession and ask for His mercy; at the same time we heartily receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and rely on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior. Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1; John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 16:30-31; Luke 18:13; Luke 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Cor. 7:11; Tim. 10:12-13; Ps. 51; Rom. 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23; Heb. 4:14; Ps. 2:6; Heb. 1:8; Heb. 7:25; 2 Tim. 1:12.
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8. Of Sanctification

We believe that sanctification is the process by which we are made partakers of God’s holiness, according to His will. It is a progressive work that is begun in regeneration, and that is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of appointed means, especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer. 1 Thess. 4:3; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Cor. 7:1; 2 Cor. 13:10; Phil. 3:12-16; 1 John 2:29; Rom. 8:5; Eph. 1:4; Prov. 4:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 6:1; 2 Peter 1:5-8; John 3:6; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:13-14; Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 13:5 Luke 11:35; Luke 9:23; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 6:18; Eph. 4:30.
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9. Of Perseverance of the Saints

We believe that true believers endure to the end, that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors, that a special providence watches over their welfare, and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:18; 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:20-21; John: 6:66-69; Job 17:9; Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:30-33; Jer. 32:40; Ps. 121:3; Ps. 91:11-12; Phil. 1:6; Phil. 2:13; Jude 24-25; Heb. 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Heb. 13:5; 1 John 4:4.
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10. Of the Saving Effectiveness of Christ's Death

We believe it was the entirely free plan and very gracious will and intention of God the Father that the enlivening and saving effectiveness of His Son’s costly death should work itself out in all the elect, in order that God might grant justifying faith to them only and thereby lead them without fail to salvation. It was God’s will that Christ, through the blood of the cross (by which he confirmed the new covenant), should effectively redeem from every people, tribe, nation, and language all those and only those who were chosen from eternity to salvation and given to Him by the Father; that Christ should grant them faith (which, like the Holy Spirit’s other saving gifts, he acquired for them by His death). It was also God’s will that Christ should cleanse them by His blood from all their sins, both original and actual, whether committed before or after their coming to faith; that he should faithfully preserve them to the very end; and that he should finally present them to himself, a glorious people, without spot or wrinkle. Matt. 1:21; Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; John 6:37-65; 10:11-29; Acts 20:28; Rom. 8:32-35; Eph. 5:25; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 4:9-10; Rev. 5:9.
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11. Of a Gospel Church

We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; that its only scriptural officers are elders (also called bishops or pastors) and deacons whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. We also believe in the timeless collection of all believers, the church invisible and universal. 1 Cor. 1:1-3; Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11; Acts 8:1; Acts 11:21-23; 1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Cor. 14:23; 3 John 9; 1 Tim. 3:5; Acts 2:41-42; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 5:12-13; 1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-24; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:6; 2 Cor. 2:17; 1 Cor. 4:17; Matt. 28: 20; John 14:15; John 15:12; 1 John 14:21; 1 Thess. 4:2; 2 John 6; Gal. 6:2; Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 14:12; Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23; Acts 15:22; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1.
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12. Of Baptism & the Lord's Supper

We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful picture our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life, and that baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of a church relationship and to participation in the Lord’s Supper. We believe that the members of the church, by the sacred use of bread and the cup, are to commemorate together the love of Christ, exemplified in His suffering and death, and that this should always be preceded by solemn self-examination. Acts 8;36; Matt. 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; John 4:12; Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Acts 16:32-34; Acts 18:8; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:26-28; Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:20-21; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:41-42; 1 Cor. 11:26; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20; 1 Cor. 11:28; 1 Cor. 5:1-8; 1 Cor. 10:3-32; 1 Cor. 11:17-32; John 6:26.
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13. Of the World to Come

We believe that at the Last Day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead bodily from the grave, and that a solemn separation will then take place: that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy in the presence of Christ, and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in either the new heavens and new earth, or hell. 1 Pet. 4:7; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Heb. 1:10-12; Matt. 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matt. 28:20; Matt. 13:39-40; 2 Peter 3:1-13; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Thess. 5:1-11; Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:12-58; Luke 14:14; Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; John 6:40; John 11:25-26; 2 Tim. 1:10; Acts 10:42; Matt. 13:49; Matt. 13:37-43; Matt. 24:30-31; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 22:11; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Peter 2:9; Jude 7; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 6:23; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; John 4:36; 2 Cor. 4:18; Rom. 3:5-6; 2 Thess. 1:6-12; Heb.
6:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:5; Acts 17:311; Rom. 2:2-16; Rev. 20:11-12; 1 John 2:28; 1 John 4:17; 2 Peter 3:11-12.

ARTICLE V. THE CHURCH’S COMMISSION

The commission of this Church is to glorify God in everything we do. We worship God. We preach and teach the saving grace of God revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By the Holy Spirit and the preaching of His Word, we make disciples, or followers, of Jesus. We support the church with our time, talents, and offerings. We strive to preach, teach, and live the whole counsel of God, and by so doing, to be “the light of the world.” In this way, we will witness Jesus Christ to our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and to all people throughout the world, as we are led and enabled by the Spirit of God.

ARTICLE VI. WORSHIP SERVICES

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Section 1: Services

This Church shall conduct regular worship services during each week. Worship services shall be held for the purposes stated in Article III of this Constitution and to carry out the commission stated in Article V of this Constitution and must be in accordance with the Confession of Faith stated in Article IV of this Constitution.
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Section 2: Attendance

The worship services shall be open to any person or persons who are interested in reverently and peacefully participating in said services. Members are expected “not to forsake the assembling” of themselves together.

ARTICLE VII. MEMBERSHIP

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Section 1: Application for Membership and Covenant

(A) Persons may become members of the church by applying for membership with the Board of Elders. To be received into membership, applicants must give a credible profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; provide testimony of a Scriptural baptism following their conversion; give credible evidence of a life consistent with being a disciple of Jesus Christ; and be willing to enter solemn covenant with the church. Applicants are recommended for membership to the congregation upon being evaluated by one or more of the members of the Board of Elders. By joining and uniting with the Church, members declare their willingness and commitment to submit to the authority and discipline of the congregation and follow the leadership of the Board of Elders of Sylvania Church. Heb. 13:17.

(B) Members may be removed from membership by their resignation from membership, or by having their membership revoked. Should a member resign while under the process of church discipline, the Board of Elders may, at their discretion, yet proceed with church discipline proceedings, including excommunication.

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Section 2: Responsibilities and Privileges of the Membership

Membership in this Church shall not vest in any member any proprietary rights in the Church, but shall only entitle the member, if age 18 or over, to vote as set forth in this Constitution, on the following matters:

(1) The acceptance of members;
(2) The annual budget and any amendments thereto;
(3) The sale, purchase, or encumbrance of real-estate;
(4) The incurring of indebtedness;
(5) The creation or dissolution of any new ministerial position;
(6) The hiring of any candidate for a ministerial position;
(7) The appointing of Elders, Deacons, the Senior Pastor, and any Interim Pastor;
(8) The removal of an Elder, including the Senior Pastor, or Deacon;
(9) The final charge of removing members by the process of excommunication by way of church discipline;
(10) The amending of this Constitution.

Any vote on the items listed in this section requires approval of three-fourths of the votes cast, and must be done by ballot form, except for the acceptance of new members and the approval of the annual budget. The acceptance of new members and the annual budget shall be done by an open show of hands. Members may vote absentee. Where ballot-voting is required, Any absentee vote must be received prior to any vote held where absentee vote is permitted.

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Section 3: Notice of Meetings

Should the church need to meet to include congregational involvement in any of the above-listed privileges, except for acceptance of new members, notice of such meetings shall be given by the Board of Elders at least ten (10) days before the date of the meeting. Notice shall be given by electronic mail (email), shall be given by announcement at two Sunday-morning worship services on consecutive Sundays, and shall be published in the church bulletin on those same Sundays; additional notice may be given by other reasonable means. The Board of Elders shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure all members are notified in a timely manner.
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Section 4: Quorum

At all properly called meetings, those members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

ARTICLE VIII. DISCIPLINE

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Section 1: Definition

Membership in Sylvania Church is based in part on a person’s profession of faith in Christ, and giving
evidence of the credibility of that profession by conduct and belief. Membership is not salvation, but only the assessment by the church that, among other things, a person’s life and doctrine is consistent with a profession of faith in Christ. At any time that a member’s life, choices, or doctrine become obviously contradictory to his profession; and the member refuses to repent of the action or belief causing this contradiction; his membership may be revoked under the process of discipline.
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Section 2: Method of Discipline

The Bible shall be the basis for all matters of church discipline. Matthew 18:15-17 sets forth the steps that this church will follow in its discipline. While the Board of Elders will exercise shepherding in discipline, excommunication (removal from membership) will finally be the prerogative of the whole body of the church. The members of the church will be encouraged to the following actions: (1) calling the unrepentant member to repentance; (2) prayer for the unrepentant member; and (3) as there is opportunity, urging him/her to repentance.

ARTICLE IX. CHURCH OFFICERS

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Section 1: General Statement

Jesus Christ alone is Head of the church (Col. 1:18). He governs His church through office bearers whom He appoints and who are endowed by His Spirit with the gifts and graces needed to accomplish their work. Office bearers in the church are of two kinds: Elders (also called Bishops and Pastors) and Deacons (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1 13). It is the duty of the church to seek and discover among its members those to whom Christ the Lord has imparted the necessary gifts for office bearing. After formally recognizing them by common suffrage, the church shall set them apart by united prayer, and then submit to their God-given authority. A minimum of three-fourths of the votes of the members present and voting shall be required for the election of an officer.

Any man ordained an Elder by the church shall maintain the honor due an elder, even when that individual is not an active Elder on the Board of Elders. The authority of the Elders shall rest in a Board of Elders as described herein below. Deacons may have their responsibilities shaped by the Board of Elders. Deacons ordained by the church shall maintain the honor of their role even when not active.

In the event that the church is too small to maintain both offices, one Board will function as both Elders and Deacons until such time that qualified Deacons are recognized. Acts 6:1, et seq.; Titus 1:5.

In the event that the church no longer has qualified officers, the membership may invite another like-minded congregation to oversee the church until such time that qualified officers are raised up.

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Section 2: Elders

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A. Plurality & Parity

The Scriptures indicate that normally there should be a plurality of Elders in the local church. Acts 20:17; Phil 1:1. These men are called “Bishops” (meaning overseers) because they have oversight of the assembly. Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2; Heb. 13:17. They are called the “Pastor-teachers” given to the church “for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering unto the building up of the body of Christ.” Eph. 4:11 12; Acts 20:28. There is parity (equality) among the Elders, each bearing authority in the deliberations and decisions of the Board of Elders. Thus the plurality and parity of the Elders guard the flock from the weaknesses of rule by one man and use the collective wisdom of several godly men to rule the flock of God as one Board.
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B. Qualifications

The qualifications for a man chosen to fill the office of Elder are clearly set forth in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. The recognition of these qualifications by the congregation will help prevent the infiltration of hirelings who forsake the flock, and wolves who enter in and destroy the flock. John 10:12-13; Acts 20:28-30. Any man called to the Eldership must be able conscientiously to affirm his agreement with and support of the Confession and Constitution of the church. Should he at any time move from his support of the Confession and Constitution, he is under spiritual and moral obligation to make this fact known to the Elders for further consultation. In the event of irreconcilable differences after consultation, this fact must be made known to the church for further disposition. To be qualified to serve as an Elder of the church, other than as senior pastor, one must have been an active member of the church for at least the preceding two years.
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C. Responsibilities

All Elders are pastors of the flock. Acts 20:28. They are responsible for the spiritual ministrations of the church, the implementation of discipline, the oversight of the souls of the members, and the oversight of all ministries and functions of the church. They shall give account to God for all things in the church. Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2-3.

While every Elder should be “apt to teach,” some will be more engaged in formal and public teaching while others will be more engaged in pastoring (that is, private teaching and admonishing) and governing. 1 Tim. 5:17a. The gifts of each man will be considered by the Board of Elders in assigning responsibilities.

It shall be the duty of the Elders to be diligent and faithful in attendance at meetings of the Board of Elders, and the regular services of the church. They shall make suggestions regarding the pulpit ministry and encourage the one preaching in the work of the Lord.

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D. Number

For the sake of the spiritual good of its members, the church shall always strive to have at least four Elders. No maximum number of Elders shall be established. The Board of Elders shall notify the congregation any time the Board of Elders determines that additional Elders are needed. A three-fourths approval by the Congregation is required to approve the expansion of the number of elders to serve on the Board of Elders. At no time will a majority of the elders be made up of employees of Sylvania Church.
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E. Selection

Elders will be approved by the congregation in accordance with a four-step process: Each year: (1) A call will be made to the congregation to submit names of men who the congregation believes display the qualities of Biblical Eldership within the church. The congregation shall only submit the names of men who are at least 30 years of age and who have been members in good standing for at least the preceding two years. (2) The current Elders will review the names of the men, ask each if he is willing to serve as an Elder, and properly evaluate those willing to serve, consistent with the Scriptural standards of Eldership and this Constitution. (3) The names of those men approved by the Elders as being qualified to be Elders and willing to serve as same shall be presented to the congregation. The membership of the church will have not less than two weeks to evaluate these men independently, asking questions and addressing concerns. A public meeting will be held with prospective Elders for an open forum in which to ask questions and hear candidate responses. (4) At the end of the public evaluation period, the whole church body will vote by closed and signed ballot on the approval of the Elder candidates.
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F. Removal of an elder

Any accusation brought against an Elder must be brought by at least two witnesses; otherwise, it cannot be heard. 1 Tim. 5:19. The witnesses must bring their accusation to the Board of Elders, with the Elder in question being present. The accused Elder may not moderate, chair, or vote at such a meeting. An Elder may be removed from the Eldership by the following process:

Step 1: A majority of the Board of Elders eligible to vote on the matter determines that the accused Elder is: (a) continuing in unrepentant sin; (b) no longer fully and strictly subscribes to the church’s Confession; or (c) is otherwise Biblically unqualified. The accused Elder may not vote on this issue. If the Board of Elders makes such a determination, it will notify the Elder in writing of its vote and its reasoning.

Step 2: The Board of Elders shall then appoint a meeting at which the church membership will vote regarding the removal of the accused Elder from office in accordance with this Constitution. If the cause of his removal is continuing, unrepentant sin, the offending Elder will also be excommunicated or removed from membership of the Church by this same vote.

ARTICLE X. BOARD OF ELDERS

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SECTION 1: ELIGIBILITY

The Board of Elders shall consist of certain elected Elders. For the sake of the spiritual good of its members, the church shall always strive to have at least four Elders serving on the Board of Elders. To be eligible to serve on the Board of Elders, an Elder must meet the qualifications set forth in Article IX and may not have served on the Board of Elders for the year preceding the new term.
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SECTION 2: RESPONSIBILITIES

The Board shall have the general oversight of all of the church’s affairs. The conduct of all church business and the work of all church organizations shall be subject to its supervision. The Board of Elders shall select and oversee the work of the Deacons. The Board of Elders may also create and dissolve committees; such committees will have no authority in themselves. However, the Board of Elders does not have the power to dissolve the Finance Committee.
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SECTION 3: MEMBERSHIP & DISCIPLINE

The Board shall accept applicants for church membership and apply discipline to offending members in accordance with Article VII. The Elders shall watch over the souls of the flock as “they that must give account.” Heb. 13:17. They must be persistent in prayer for, visitation of, and instruction of the church.
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SECTION 4: TEACHING & PREACHING

The Elders have complete responsibility for the teaching ministry of the church. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to appoint teachers whose ministry shall be consistent with the Confession of this church. In the event the senior pastor is unavailable to preach during a given worship service, it shall likewise be the duty of the Board of Elders to appoint someone to preach, and such preaching shall be consistent with the Confession of this church.
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SECTION 5: ADMINISTRATION OF BAPTISM & THE LORD'S SUPPER

The Board of Elders shall examine and approve candidates for baptism and church membership. The Board of Elders shall have complete oversight over the administration of the Lord’s Supper, including how often it is observed, the elements used in the observance thereof, and who is eligible to participate in the Lord’s Supper.
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SECTION 6: BUSINESS AFFAIRS

The Board of Elders shall have general executive powers to administer the business affairs of this church. The Board of Elders shall establish a Finance Committee made up of members who are not on the Board of Elders. The Finance Committee shall prepare an annual budget for review by the Board of Elders, and subject to its approval. The annual budget must meet the approval of three-fourths of the votes cast a duly called meeting of the membership of the church, pursuant to Article VI. Section 3.
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SECTION 7: MISCELLANEOUS DUTIES

The Board of Elders shall exercise oversight over all other powers and duties which properly belong to a local church, congregation and corporation, but shall at all times be subject to the three-fourths vote of the congregation unless otherwise stated. Further, the Board of Elders shall receive, consider, address, and strive to resolve any grievance, suggestion, or recommendation by any member or committee of this church.
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SECTION 8: MEETINGS

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A. CALLING OF MEETINGS

The Board of Elders shall designate one of its members as being responsible for calling, organizing, and moderating meetings.
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B. PLACE OF MEETINGS

Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, any meeting may be held at any place which has been designated in the notice of the meeting.

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C. SPECIAL MEETINGS

Special meetings may be called at any time by majority decision of the Board of Elders.

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D. NOTICE OF MEETINGS

Meetings shall be held upon three days’ notice. Notice may be given in person, by phone, or by electronic mail (email).
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F. QUORUM

A majority of the Board of Elders shall constitute a quorum. No meeting shall take place without a quorum. In addition to meeting in person, such quorum may be established by any variety of electronic means as may be available and deemed appropriate by the Board of Elders for holding meetings.
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G. ACTION WITHOUT MEETING

Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board of Elders may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board of Elders consent in writing to such action. Such consents shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote and shall be filed with the minutes of the meeting.
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SECTION 9: TERM

The term of office on the Board of Elders shall be three years, with the option of renewing for an extra year if deemed valuable and necessary by the Board of Elders. However, the Elder serving as senior pastor is a permanent member of the Board of Elders.
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SECTION 10: SELECTION

The men serving as Elders of the church at the time of the adoption of this Constitution shall be members of the Board of Elders, and they shall ensure their terms are so staggered as to have at least one member roll off of the Board of Elders each year, to be replaced by another Elder.

In the event the congregation selects more new Elders than there are openings on the Board of Elders, the Board of Elders may expand the number of the Board of Elders if they believe it appropriate, with approval of three-fourths of the congregation. Any newly-elected Elders desiring to serve on the Board of Elders shall do so as soon as practicable.

ARTICLE XI. AMENDMENT PROCESS

This Constitution may be amended from time to time in the following manner: Any Member may submit to the Board of Elders a proposed amendment to the Constitution. This may be done in any reasonable manner. The Board of Elders, at their next meeting, shall discuss the proposed amendment. If the Board of Elders determines that the proposed amendment is worthy of consideration, then it shall appoint a committee to review the proposed amendment and make a recommendation to the Board of Elders. Such committee shall be appointed within ninety (90) days of the Board of Elders determining the proposed amendment is worthy of consideration. The appointed committee will have one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of its formation to report back to the Board of Elders with a recommendation as to whether the proposed amendment should be adopted. If the Board of Elders approves the proposed amendment, it shall submit the proposed amendment to the congregation for a vote within ninety (90) days of receiving the committee’s report.