LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH - SBC
Placing our faith and trust in Jesus
Christ alone for our salvation, accepting the entire scriptures as our sole and
perfect rule, and believing in the historic teachings and practices of
Baptists; we, a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ the Lord do hereby
organize for the purpose of carrying forth the commands of Christ as set forth
in the New Testament. Deeming it wise and
proper to have definite laws, that “all things may be done in decency and
order”, and that the principles and doctrines of this church may be carefully
guarded and maintained, be it therefore
RESOLVED, that beginning September
2008, we shall be governed by the following Constitution and By-Laws:
Article I – Name
The name of this organization shall
Lighthouse Baptist Church – SBC.
The address is: 308 Lincoln Street, St. George, Kansas 66535-0109.
Article II – Purpose
The purpose of Lighthouse Baptist
Church – SBC (Lighthouse Baptist
Church) is to worship Almighty God in Spirit and in Truth according to His Word
(The Bible). We worship God by obeying
His will and following His commandments.
His Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) is to love the Lord our God
with all of our heart, soul and mind; and to love our neighbors as
ourselves. To this we firmly hold. The Great Commission was given by Jesus in
Matthew 28:18-20 and was faithfully followed by the early church as expressed
in Acts 2:41-47, which is summarized thus:
devoted themselves to the apostles teaching, to fellowship, and to the
of bread, and to prayer…and they ministered to one another…and
added to their number daily, those who were being saved.
As a church we purpose to follow this
example and as the Lord adds to our number we will nurture all to develop in
them a consistent Christian character.
We will provide Christian love and fellowship to encourage them in their
walk of faith. We will work to spread
the Gospel within and beyond our community.
We will promote and support missionary efforts wherever God leads. In faithfully accomplishing these things we
will be a beacon in our community like a “lighthouse on the hill-side that
overlooks the sea”.
– Statement of Faith
This church is of the Southern Baptist
association beliefs and holds to the truth of the Word as written in the Holy
Bible. We believe that the Bible is 100%
true and is God inspired.
Article IV – Church
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 by immersion 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
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 spiritually; 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 private
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
of, and use of, destructive drugs or intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun
pornography; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further covenant to encourage and
watch over one another in brotherly love, by cultivating relationships within
the church body, remembering one another in prayer, and aiding one another in
sickness and distress. We will be slow to
take offence; always seeking reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our
Savior to secure it without delay.
Article V – Elder
Knowing that in a healthy church, the
spiritually immature will usually greatly outnumber the spiritually mature, and
seeking to have this church led in a Biblical fashion; we establish that this
church shall be governed by a plurality of elders according to a Biblical model
of elder rule.
Section I. Membership
The membership of this church shall
consist of persons professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, giving evidence
of repentance and adopting and submitting to the views of faith and practice
held by this church.
Members will be accepted by this church
at the discretion of the elders in the following ways: (1)
by profession of faith and baptism, (2)
by letter from a bible believing church of like faith and practice, (3) by
statement of having been saved and baptized in a bible believing church of like
faith and practice, or (4) by restoration.
Any members excluded from membership by discipline may be restored into
full membership when they acknowledge the justice of the discipline and
evidence godly sorrow and repentance for their misdeeds. Membership may be terminated by death, transfer
of letter, request, by joining another denomination, or removed due to
We view church membership as a sacred
trust that is not to be taken lightly.
It is a relationship of the utmost importance and value in the life of
the Christian. For this reason,
recognize active membership as the only viable expression of church
l. When members move they are encouraged to, as
soon as possible, unite with another church of like faith and practice.
If a member is to be absent for an extended period of time with intent
to return to this body at the end of that time (such as college, short term
mission work, military deployment, etc.) the member is expected to find a
church of like faith and practice to be involved within their new
location. At that time, the elders
write a letter of Christian character to the pastor of that church requesting
them to temporarily take on the spiritual shepherding of our displaced member.
If a member in good standing desires to unite with another church; they
have the right to request a letter of recommendation to that church.
Membership may also be terminated by action
of the church, by discipline, by death, or by inactivity (shut-ins are not
considered as inactive).
Members will, at all times, strive
keep their covenant obligations:
Because of their work and responsibility for the church, members should
respect, honor and esteem the elders.
They should pray for them regularly and assist them in carrying out the
ministry of the church (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy
Members shall demonstrate commitment to the church and her mission by
regular attendance at services, participation in the ordinances, participation
in small group Bible studies and by maintaining daily personal devotions.
This is the heart of true worship (John 4:24;
Hebrews 10:25). If a member is going
be unable to attend services for an extended period of time, that member needs
to advise the elders as to the reason.
Members will share, encourage, support and pray for each other as
members of the family of God. They
strive at all times to maintain the bond of love and unity in the body.
This is the heart of true fellowship (1 John
1:7; Acts 2:44-47; Hebrews 10:23-25; Romans 15:5-7; John 13:34-35).
Members shall promote personal spiritual growth and discipleship through
Bible teaching. This is the heart
true discipleship (1 Timothy 2:2; Ephesians 4:11-13; Matthew 18:20).
Members will serve unselfishly in Jesus’ name meeting the physical,
emotional and spiritual needs of those in our church, community and in the
world. This is the heart of true
ministry (1 Peter 4:10-11; Matthew 25:34-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Galatians
Members will be intentional in the sharing of their faith (Acts 1:8) by
lifting up the risen Christ (Acts 2:32; John 12:32) to all whom they know and
come into contact with. They will
to live a life that is consistent with their faith and that honors Christ in all
they do. This is the heart of true
evangelism (James 2:18; Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:15-16).
Members shall contribute regularly to the support of the church and its
mission, ministry and activities as they have prospered. This is the heart of true stewardship
(Malachi 3:10; 1 Timothy 6:3-10).
8. The member body confirms or sends
back to the elders for reconsideration the selection of elders, pastor,
deacons, church officers and other key positions within the church
organization. The annual budget,
financial reports and progress/activity reports are also confirmed by the
9. The church membership shall approve
all decisions regarding the acquisition or disposal of church buildings,
building contents (valued at $500 or more), land and vehicles.
The purpose for discipline within the
body is to maintain the purity of the body.
Its aim is the restoration of a sinning brother. The church imposes discipline for the purpose
of correcting sin and bringing an erring member back into the right
relationship with the church and with God.
Galatians 6:1 tells us that we are to restore one who is overtaken in
trespass in a spirit of gentleness, being mindful lest we also become tempted. James 5:19-20 tells us that if we succeed in
restoring such a one, we save a soul from death and cover a multitude of
sins. The overall purpose is always
redemptive, not punitive. Jesus
instituted the method for dealing with a sinning brother in Matthew
18:15-17. In this statement our
described the process that we are to follow:
Go to the brother alone and tell him your complaint.
If he will not listen to you, take with you one or two witnesses.
If he still will not listen, take the issue to the church.
If he will not listen to the church, let him be like a heathen to you
and a tax collector.
It is important that we realize that
the heathen and the tax collector were to Jesus an object of special attention
for evangelism. They were the field He
most wanted to harvest (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34). This tells us that even if we are forced to
remove someone from membership, we are not to turn away from them, but minister
all the more to them.
If a member of this church is in gross
violation of their covenant vows or are living in public sin so as to bring
reproach on the name of the church and to dishonor the glory of our Lord Jesus
Christ; because of our love for them we as a church are obligated to bring
disciplinary measures as laid out in scripture.
This is not optional; it is our sacred duty before God for the sake of
the church and of the individual member.
Section II. Elders
Elders are to be appointed out of the
body (allowing the exception of the pastor/elder) by the existing Spiritual
leadership (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5) according to the qualifications laid out in
Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-7, 5:19-22; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4) and shall all
remain a part of the body in regards to accountability and discipline. Prior to the final installation, the names of
any men being considered will be announced to the church body.
The church body will have a period of one
week to present valid scriptural objections to any candidate.
The elders will investigate any objections;
if these objections are found to be true, the candidate will be disqualified
for service at this time. If there
no objections, candidates will then be interviewed by an ordaining council
after which a special service will be held so that the church body may affirm
the appointee as an elder, and ordain him if needed. The ordination and ministry of an elder is
for life. For this reason, care
be taken that this is not done hastily (1 Timothy 5:22) or out of a perceived
“need” for more elders. Only
God has clearly raised up shall be installed as elders. The active role of the elder in this body is
terminated by the elder moving his membership to another church, personal
resignation or removal by the church body.
The individual elders shall be under the authority of the church body in
regards to church discipline just the same as any other member.
However, the stricture for discipline to them
is harsher because of their public office (1 Timothy 5:19-20).
Accusations against an elder should
be lightly entertained. If two or more
witnesses bring charges against an elder, the elder body shall investigate the
charges. If they are found to be
groundless, the matter shall be dropped.
If the charges are found to have merit, the elder must be publicly
rebuked by the elder body, in the presence of the church body.
This discipline and all subsequent actions by
the church must be public and strong, so that the entire body will be
encouraged to righteousness by this example.
If the elder or church body determines that the elder should be removed from
his position, a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the church’s active membership of
voting members (16 years of age or older) as recorded in the church’s roll is
necessary for this removal to take place.
Since it is difficult to get all members to a meeting, voting by a
ballot in the mail may become necessary.
Elders are to jointly rule the church
diligently and well (Romans 12:8) not lording it over them (1 Peter 5:3) but
shepherding the flock as stewards of Christ’s bride. The
goal, therefore, in all major decisions
is consensual unity within the body.
Thus the elders should strive to lead the congregation into that spirit
of oneness that honors our Lord and shall not attempt to force the congregation
into decisions against their collective will.
Neither shall the elder body make unilateral decisions regarding church
property, monies, or resources that are contrary to the expressed will of the church
The elder body shall have the sole
authority of leading this church under the direction of the Holy Spirit as under
shepherds of the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
They, and the church they lead are not subject to any other body, board
or ecclesiastical power and shall not, affiliate with or join with, groups that
are affiliated with the National Council of Churches or any other ecumenical
body or agency of such body. All
decisions of the church, and any group associated with the church, are under
the direct authority of the elder body.
The elders, who are given governance in Scripture to rule, superintend,
manage, oversee and guard have the authority and obligation to overrule any
decision of the church and said groups that they deem to be unscriptural,
doctrinally incorrect or interfering with the spiritual life of the church.
This includes any activity that takes place
in or at the church property, any activity sponsored by the church and any
event led by church members for spiritual purposes, or which is done under the
ministry umbrella of the church. Elders
also have the responsibility to call and conduct any congregational meetings of
the church for conducting business whenever they deem them necessary.
The number of elders is determined
the number of qualified members (who are able and willing to serve) in the
church body with the number usually being around 3-5 elders per 150 members.
The elders are responsible for
interviewing and selecting the church pastor with a clear consensus from the
church body. They are also responsible
to appoint individuals to other church positions and to establish committees
and committee chairs as deemed necessary to carry out church business.
These appointments are to be from the church
membership when possible and confirmed by the church body.
Section III. The Pastor/Elder
The pastor shall meet the requirements
and qualifications set forth in the New Testament, specifically Titus 1:6-9; 1
Timothy 3:1-7; and 1 Peter 5:2-3. The pastor
is the senior elder and as such leads the elder body (board) in their duties.
The prospective pastor
shall be selected
by the elders. The elders shall seek out
a man who they perceive, after prayerful consideration, to be the man selected
by God to be the leader of this church.
The man selected for consideration as pastor will be asked to lead
Sunday worship services and meetings as arranged by the elders at the
church. The following Sunday a special
business meeting will be held for the elders to seek input from the
congregation. The purpose for this
meeting is to arrive at a clear consensus.
The magnitude of this decision requires unity from the body. Following this meeting, if the congregation
is united in favor of the candidate, the elders will extend a call.
If the congregation is not united in favor of
the candidate, the elders will advise the candidate and continue the search.
The pastor shall be a paid position
according to the guidelines laid out by the New Testament (1 Timothy
5:17-18). His compensation should
include salary, housing allowance, auto allowance, health benefits and
The pastor shall be responsible for
personal growth for self and others.
Spending time before the Lord is imperative for the pastor. To know the mind of Christ and His directive
leadership is the primary role of the pastor.
Then to intercede on the behalf of the congregation is of utmost
importance. He shall lead public
worship, preaching and administering ordinal functions (baptism and the Lord’s
Supper). He is responsible for
discipling and equipping others in the Christian life. It is important that the pastor follow the
example of the Lord Jesus in working personally with individuals to deepen
their walk with the Lord. He is
responsible for counseling and calling which would include individual and
family counseling and pastoral care to families. He is to make home visits – casual drop in
visits as deemed necessary to promote fellowship and understanding of the work
of God. He performs or oversees
weddings, funerals and other functions of the church. He shall be an ex-officio member of all
committees and organizations of the church and shall have access to all books
and records and be privileged to attend any meeting.
The pastor shall serve for an
indefinite period until termination results from:
1. An act of God.
An act of the pastor. The
pastoral relationship may be terminated by a written resignation of the pastor
with the understanding that a minimum of one month’s notice shall be given.
An act of the church. A special
business meeting may be called by the elders to consider the dismissal of the pastor. Announcement of this meeting, stating the
specific reason for its being called, shall be made in a least three regular
church services, two of which must be on separate Sunday Morning services, with
written notice being sent to the membership once during that time.
If the situation warrants it, the elders may
temporarily suspend the pastor with pay until such time as this process has
been completed. As with the hiring
the pastor, the goal is to reach a consensus, for the good of the body.
The final decision, however, rests with the
elders. In the case of dismissal,
minimum severance pay equivalent to one month’s salary and allowance, including
housing, car and health expenses shall be given.
Section IV. Deacons
A deacon shall be a man who is a member
of this church and who meets the qualifications set forth in the New Testament
– specifically, Acts 6:1-16; 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
His wife shall meet the qualifications of a deacon’s wife (1 Timothy
3:11) and be in full support and agreement with her husband’s ministry in the
church. A man qualified to be a
be chosen and nominated by the elder body and presented to the church
membership for their input. Any
of the body having sound scriptural objections to a nominee will have a period
of one week from the nomination to present their objections to the elders.
If there are legitimate objections that are
found to be substantiated, the nominee will be removed from consideration at
this time. If there are no objections,
the elders shall install this man as a deacon in the church.
A special service will be held for the church
body to affirm the candidate as a deacon and ordain him if needed.
The ordination to the office of deacon is for
life; the active role of a
deacon in this church is terminated
the deacon moving his membership to another church, personal resignation, removal
by the church body by a majority of active voting membership, or by a decision
of the elder body.
It shall be the duty of the deacon
minister to those members of the church assigned to him by the elders. He shall visit the sick and afflicted, keep
well informed of the spiritual welfare of his group, admonish and reprove the
wayward, encourage the wayward, encourage the weak, assure that their group’s
spiritual and physical needs are met, and check on members not in regular
attendance at church. He shall prepare
and distribute the elements of the Lord’s Supper, assist in baptism and aid the
pastor in the performance of his duties.
The number of deacons shall be
determined by the need of the church at any particular time.
Section V. Church Council
A church council shall be established
to correlate and coordinate the activities and organizations of the
church. They shall act in an advisory
capacity to the pastor and elders. The
council shall be led by the pastor and composed of the following positions
within the church body: elders,
trustee, clerk, treasurer, church steward, music director, Sunday school director,
and others as assigned by the elder body.
The church council shall meet at least monthly and more often if deemed
necessary by the pastor and elders.
The church council shall function to
promote a sound, scriptural, and sustained program of winning the lost to
Christ; to discuss and recommend approval of church business to the pastor and elders;
to provide an open discussion of the direction of the church; and to identify
and suggest appropriate actions to solve problems. The
council members are to represent
membership to assure management awareness of member concerns.
Section VI. Officers and Committees
The officers and committee heads shall
come from the membership of this church and are appointed for an indefinite period
of time, until such time as they are unwilling, or unable to fulfill their
required duties. The elders have the prerogative
to request the resignation of any of the officers or committee heads if they
are not fulfilling their duties, if they are caught in gross, unrepentant sin,
or if it is otherwise in the best interest of the church. Officers and committee heads are appointed
from the church membership by the elder body and confirmed by the church
body. If not confirmed by the church
body, the elders shall make other selections until a consensus is reached.
Lighthouse Baptist Church shall have
the following business officers: trustees
(senior trustee, president of corporation); clerk (secretary of corporation);
and treasurer (treasurer of corporation).
The trustees shall be on record as
legal signature for the church in all business dealings. They
shall sign legal documents at the
request of the elders and the church body.
The clerk shall maintain an accurate recording of all business meeting
minutes, keep records of and manage all official church communications and
maintain the church rolls. The treasurer
shall be responsible for the money of the church. He shall keep an accurate record of all
receipts and disbursements and prepare financial reports for the church.
He is the chairman of the finance/budget committee.
Non-business officers include the church
steward, music director and Sunday school director. The
church steward shall have oversight over
the building and grounds of the church.
The music director shall be responsible for the musical program of the
church. The Sunday school director
responsible for the church’s Sunday school programs including the selection of
teachers and materials as approved by the pastor and elders.
Other positions may be established at the
discretion of the pastor and elders if needed to properly manage the church
The budget/finance committee shall
chaired by the treasurer and consist of one elder, one deacon and one or more
from the membership at large. The
committee members will be appointed by the elders annually and shall be charged
with the task of preparing a budget proposal for the church based on ministry
expectations for the coming year. The
committee is also responsible to review the financial operation of the church
and to assure adequate funds to meet required/committed expenses.
The committee shall recommend actions needed
within the church to sustain a viable financial organization.
Other committees can be formed by the
elders as needed for ongoing or task specific purposes (such as a missions
committee, building committee, etc.).
These committees shall be established by the elder body and confirmed by
the church body.
Section VII. Church Meetings
The church shall meet regularly each
Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of
Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching,
instruction and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these
services. Individuals and committees
shall not schedule meetings in conflict with regular service times of the
The church council shall meet at least
monthly for the purpose of coordinating the activities and organizations of the
church and to provide feedback and management direction to the pastor and elder
Report meetings shall be held monthly
as informative meetings for the church body to stay abreast of church
Business meetings shall be held
quarterly by the church for the purpose of discussion and participation by the
body in the decisions of the church.
business meetings may be called at the discretion of the elders.
In all business meetings, twenty-five
percent (25%) of the active voting members shall constitute a quorum. Active voting members include all active
membership (members in regular attendance at church services) who are sixteen
(16) years of age or older.
A simplified rules of order process
be used for all business meetings of the church. The right of every member to
speak on any issue is as important as each member’s right to vote. The rules are to be used to assist a meeting
and not to inhibit it.
Member business meetings shall be
conducted by a moderator as appointed by the elders and confirmed by the church
body. Business meeting agendas are to
be prepared in advance and approved by the elders to assure that proper
preparation and communication takes place prior to the meeting taking place.
Section VIII. Church Finances
Disbursements are to be made in
accordance with the budget which is the recognized authorization from the
church to spend the money of the church.
In the event that an expenditure is not budgeted, or exceeds budget, the
treasurer shall confer with the elders of the church to mutually authorize the
extra expense. In addition, if receipts are short of budget,
the treasurer shall confer with the elders to determine expense reductions
necessary to maintain the viability of the church finances. All checks require two signatures with the treasurer
authorized to sign all checks as a second signature only. The elders have the final responsibility for
the finances of the church.
It is understood that membership in
this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes
with regular proportionate gifts.
Any fund raising activities must first
be approved by the elder body before church members proceed with, or make
commitments for, these activities to take place.
Section IX. Amendments
This constitution or the by-laws may
amended at any regular business meeting of the church by a two-thirds majority
of the active members present (if of voting age) provided that copies of the
present and proposed amendment shall be mailed to each member at least seven
days prior to the business meeting date on which a vote is to occur. Any active
church member may propose a change by submitting it in writing to the elders of
the church. The elders need to respond
within 60 days as to what is being done with the recommended change.
The final decision rests with the elders, but
these decisions are of such importance that unity is the goal in all