CONSTITUTION

 High Street Baptist Church

 

We declare and establish this Constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in a decent and orderly manner. This Constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other churches.

 

Article I

 

Church Name

 

This body shall be known as High Street Baptist Church. The primary offices will be located at 102 Bourne   Avenue, Somerset, Kentucky.

 

Article II

 

Mission Statement

 

In obedience to God, as a Christ-centered body of believers, we commit to disciple, enable and encourage one another to love, worship, and serve our Savior, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we commit to share the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout High Street Baptist Church, in the surrounding communities, and throughout the world.

 

Article III

 

Our Purpose Statement

 

HighStreetBaptistChurch exists to obey God, expand the Kingdom, and change lives. Six primary strategies are central to our success:

 

We exist for Celebration.   Celebration occurs every time we enter the presence of God. Scripture calls this worship and there are many expressions of worship including: singing, commitment, praying, hearing the word of God, giving, baptism, meditating, and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. (Matthew 4:10, John 4:23-24)

 

We exist to Change Lives. Evangelism is the communication of God’s word to a lost world. The Bible declares that The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. The Bible places the responsibility of evangelism on the church. “His intent was that through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.” (Ephesians 3:10, II Peter 3:9)

 

We exist for Service. Ministry/Missions are the hands on demonstration of Christianity to one another and to the earthly community we serve. God has put a high priority on ministry and missions. The Bible says, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples-that you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.  Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mathew 28: 18-20)

 

We exist for Discipleship.  Educating God’s people in God’s word is the key to spiritual growth.  Discipleship brings about fulfillment and maturity in the church. “Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.” (Hebrews 6:1)

 

We exist for Prayer.  The first thing the early church did when they assembled was pray together. Prayer is the fuel that drives the ambitious priorities of the church and the spiritual power that changes the world. Christ demonstrated the power of prayer by making it a priority of His earthly ministry. If the Church is going to be effective, it must pray. (Acts 1:14, John 17, I Peter 5:7)

 

We exist for Fellowship.  Jesus Christ insisted that believers be trained in the process of fellowship of the church.  “The Greek word for this is sharing in the lives of other believers”.  (Nelson’s Bible Commentary)  Fellowship can be expressed through such things as communion and corporate prayer.  The apostles “…devoted themselves to the… teaching of fellowship, the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)

 

ARTICLE IV 

 

ARTICLES OF FAITH

 

I                The Scriptures

 

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain, and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience.

     

      II               God

 

There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinity in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.

 

 

 

 III            The Trinity

 

God is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.

 

IV            Providence

 

God from eternity decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author or approver of sin nor to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.

 

V.             The Fall of Man

 

God originally created man in his own image, and free from sin; but through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; where-by his posterity inherit nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become transgressors.

 

VI.           Election

 

Election is God’s eternal choice to redeem fallen man unto everlasting life – not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ – in consequence of which choice they are called, justified, and glorified.

 

VII.         The Mediator

 

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man.  Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners.  He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended, to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people.  He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.

 

VIII.       Regeneration

 

Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickens the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness.  It is a work of God’s free and special grace alone.

 

IX.           Repentance

 

Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk with God so as to please Him in all things.

 

X.             Faith 

 

Saving faith is the belief, on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification, sanctification, and eternal life.  It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.

 

XI.           Justification

 

Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ, through the satisfaction that Christ has made, not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they rest on Him and His righteousness by faith.

 

XII.         Sanctification

 

Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s word and Spirit dwelling in them.  This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ’s commands.

 

XIII.       Perseverance of the Saints

 

Those whom God has accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

 

XIV.        The Church

 

The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government.  According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches He has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline, and worship which He hath appointed.  The regular officers of a Church are Bishops or Elders (Pastors) and Deacons.

 

XV.     Marriage and Family

 

We believe that according to scripture marriages and families are designed by God to provide for human companionship, procreation, and a safe environment in which people may grow and develop as God intended. We affirm the definition of marriage as the union of one man with one woman for life. We further affirm the concept that a Christian marriage in which both partners seek to follow Christ is the earthly embodiment of the scriptural ideal whereby marriage reflects the relationship between Christ and the church as His Bride. We do not recognize any other type of union to be a marriage nor do we sanction the cohabitation of any couple outside the bonds of marriage. Sexual relations between married partners is encouraged as part of a healthy relationship. The perversion of such intimate relations can damage the trust and stability needed to maintain a healthy marriage; therefore, extra-marital sexual activity of any type should be carefully avoided, including computer images or digital communications, printed material, films, or any other misrepresentation of genuine sexuality.

 

Children are gifted to us from God, both as a blessing and a stewardship. Parents are responsible for the spiritual nurture and instruction of their children from their earliest days. The church can and must reinforce the spiritual formation of children but can never replace the role of parents in this regard. It is the God-given duty of parents to protect children from the damage of worldly influences upon their lives and to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord to be disciplined, productive, and adequately prepared for their own personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

 

XVI.        Baptism

 

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving Himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life.  It is a pre-requisite to Church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper.

 

XVII.      The Lord’s Supper

 

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His churches till the end of the age.  It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their church fellowship. Our Lord’s Supper observance is open – meaning all born again believers in Jesus Christ, scripturally baptized in immersion, may participate.

 

XVIII.    The Lord’s Day

 

The Lord’s day is a Christian institution for regular observance and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.

 

XIX.        Liberty of Conscience

 

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, and not contained in it.  Civil magistrates, being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

 

XX.          The Resurrection

 

The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God – the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment.  At the last day the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.

 

XXI.        Judgment

 

God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment; the righteous into everlasting life.

 

XXII.      Heaven

 

We believe that Heaven is a place from which in the Incarnation Jesus came and to which He returned on His ascension, where He now intercedes and is preparing a place for all true believers who will join Him – reigning throughout all eternity.

 

 

 

 

XXIII.    Hell

 

We believe that Hell is a place prepared for the Devil and his angels and the wicked who have rejected Christ.  It is a place of eternal torment.

 

 

 

Article V

 

Membership Covenant

 

All members of HighStreetBaptistChurch, having made profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and been scripturally baptized, and enabled by His Holy Spirit, do make before God and with one another the following covenant:

 

“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 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.

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 and holiness; to give it a place in our affections, prayers and services above every organization of human origin; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, toward its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. In case of difference of opinion in the church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority to govern.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintance; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be kind and just to those in our employ, and faithful in the service we promise others; endeavoring in the purity of heart and good will towards all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.

We further engage to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other unto every good word and work; to guard each other’s reputation, not needlessly exposing the infirmities of others; to participate in each other’s joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another’s burdens and sorrows; to cultivate Christian courtesy; to be slow to give or take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the rules of the Savior in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, to secure it without delay; and through life, amid evil report, and good report, to seek to live to the glory of God, who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

When we remove from this place, we will engage as soon as possible to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s word.

Article VI

 

Affiliation

 

High Street Baptist Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. However, the Bible teaches that local churches should seek voluntary fellowship with other doctrinally sound churches. This association is to provide help and encouragement while working together as the Lord directs. This is a voluntary association that in no way involves the surrender of the individual church’s freedom or dependence on God.

 

High Street Baptist Church has chosen to affiliate itself with the Southern Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptist Convention and the Pulaski Baptist Association. We continue this relationship, believing that it is God’s will to do so. Fundamental to this affiliation is the understanding that the Southern Baptist Convention is a fellowship of autonomous, biblically sound churches that choose to work together to further God’s Kingdom. Voluntary contributions to local, state, national, and international mission projects maintain this affiliation. Support may also be provided by sending messengers to the associational, state, and national convention for voting on doctrinal, ethical, and procedural positions. (Acts 15:2; 21:17-18; III John 10; Philippians 4:15, 18; I John 1:3; Ephesians 4:3-6)

 

 

Article VII

 

Conducting Church Affairs

 

The conduct of the affairs of High Street Baptist Church not addressed in the Articles of Incorporation or this Constitution will be outlined in the bylaws of High Street Baptist Church. These bylaws define the church’s organizational structure, the rights of members in the structure, and the procedures by which these rights may be exercised.

 

Article VIII

 

Amendments to the Constitution

 

This Constitution or any of its provisions may be altered, amended, or repealed, and a new constitution may be adopted at any time with an affirmation of change, as reflected by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at any regular business meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose and further defined in the bylaws of High Street Baptist Church. (Article 6 of the HSBC by-laws)  Proposed amendments must be in written form in order to be considered.