We believe that to carry on the religious mission of the church, to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is necessary that all persons who associate with this church as members should abide by and agree to the following statements and seek to conduct themselves in accordance with them.
Whereas it pleased Almighty God, by His Holy Spirit, to call certain of his servants to unite on October 19, 1958, under the name Cincinnati Primitive Baptist Church (CPBC) for the worship of God, the fellowship and service of the saints, and whereas he has sustained and prospered this work to the present day; and
Whereas we, the members of CPBC, recognize the need to further clarify in writing our articles of governance,
Therefore, we do hereby adopt this constitution to be interpreted at all times to reflect the character of and bring glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
Article 1. Purpose.
This church exists by the grace of God, for the glory of God, which shall be the ultimate purpose in all its activities. This church glorifies God by loving Him and obeying His commands through:
Article 2. Church Covenant
Having, as we trust, been brought by divine and sovereign grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give ourselves up to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on his gracious aid, solemnly and joyfully renew our covenant with each other.
We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a Christian church, exercise an affectionate care and watchfulness over each other and faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require.
We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others.
We will endeavor to bring up those who may at any time be under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to live out and share the gospel with our family and friends.
We will rejoice at each other’s happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.
We will seek, by Divine aid, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life.
We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We will 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 will, when we move from this place, unite with some other church as soon as possible where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.
Article 3. Statement of Faith
3.1 Of the Holy Scriptures
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be of divine authority, inspired by God and therefore inerrant, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe that therein are revealed all the doctrines and truths which we here state and believe (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
3.2 Of God and the Trinity
We believe in the existence, immutability, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, and eternal perfections of the One and only true and living God (Exodus 3:14; Deuteronomy 4:35; Deuteronomy 6:4; Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 2:2-3; Psalm 90:2, Psalm 115:3, Psalm 139:7-10; Ecclesiastes 3:14; Isaiah 46:9; Jeremiah 10:10, Jeremiah 23:24; Malachi 3:6; Mark 12:29; John 4:24; 1 Corinthians 8:6;). We believe that the one God exists eternally as Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are the same in substance and equal in power and glory (Matthew 28:19; John 1:1; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7; Jude 20,21). This God was and is the Sovereign Creator, Upholder, Governor, and Judge of the universe (Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35; John 10:15,30; Ephesians 2:22; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 9:14).
3.3 Of God’s Purpose of Grace
We believe in the everlasting and unchangeable love of God (Jeremiah 31:3) and that before the foundation of the world the Father did elect a definite number of the human race unto everlasting salvation, whom He did predestinate unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:2-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 John 3:1; 1 Peter 1:2, 2:9). We believe that in fulfilling this gracious design, He did make a covenant of grace and peace with the Son and with the Holy Spirit on behalf of those persons thus chosen (John 1:17). In this covenant the Son was appointed a Savior, and all spiritual blessings provided for the elect, and also that their persons, with all the grace and glory designed for them were put into the hands of the Son as their Covenant Head and made his care and charge (Psalm 111:8-9; Isaiah 54:10, Isaiah 55:3; John 6:37, John 17:2; Acts 4:12; Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 2:13; Hebrews 6:17-18; Hebrews 8:8-13).
3.4 Of the Fall of Man
We believe in the Fall into sin of our first parent, Adam, who by God’s appointment stood in the place of all mankind so that the guilt of sin was imputed, and corrupted nature conveyed, to all his posterity descending from him by ordinary generation, who are now conceived in sin, and by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death, and all other miseries, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, unless the Lord Jesus set them free, (Genesis 3:1-24; 6:5; 8:21; Job 19:4; Job 24:4; Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 3:10-24; 5:12-21; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Ephesians 2:1-10; John 5:19).
3.5 Of the Person of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who, when the fullness of time had come, took upon Himself man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities of it, yet without sin, being conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and so was born of the tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David according to the Scriptures. Therefore in Him two whole, perfect, and distinct natures were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. This person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only mediator between God and man (Mt. 1:22-23; Lk. 1:27, 31, 35; Jn. 1:14; Rom. 8:3; 9:5; Gal. 4:4; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 2:14, 16-17; 4:15).
3.6 Of Redemption
We believe that the eternal redemption which Christ has obtained by the shedding of his blood is special and particular (Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:12-15); that is to say, that it was intentionally designed only for the Elect of God, the Sheep of Christ, who therefore alone share in the special and peculiar blessings thereof (Isaiah 35:10; John 10:15; Acts 13:48; Acts 20:28; Romans 5:8-10; Romans 8:33-34; Romans 9:13, 15, 16).
3.7 Of Justification
We believe that sinners are justified before God only on the merit of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ which is received by faith alone (Isaiah 45:24; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 23:6, Romans 4:4,5; 5:1,19; 10:4, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9).
3.8 Of Regeneration
We believe the New Birth or being born again is not an act of man’s free will and natural power, but that it springs from the operation of the mighty, efficacious, and irresistible grace of God (Psalm. 110:3; John 1:13; John 3:7,8; John 6:44, 63, 65).
3.9 Of Good Works
We believe that all the regenerate are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and that good works follow faith as a fruit of it, and that God works in his people both to will and to do of his good pleasure and that it is by their fruits that they are known (Ephesians. 2:10, Philippians. 2:12-13, John 13:35).
3.10 Of the Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that saints are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation and shall never fall finally away (1 Peter 1:5, John 10:28).
3.11 Of the Resurrection
We believe in the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, and a general judgment, and that the joys of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be everlasting (Matthew 25:46; Acts 24:15, John 5:28, 29).
3.12 Of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be continued until His second coming and that believers are the only proper subjects for baptism and that immersion is the only mode, and that none except those who have been properly baptized are admitted to the communion table (Romans. 6:4; 1 Corinthians. 11:24-29; Acts 8:36-38).
3.13 Of Loving Our Neighbors
We believe that we are to welcome all who are willing to respectfully participate with us in our services to hear the gospel of sovereign grace. As a church, we believe that every person is made in the image of God and must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Cincinnati Primitive Baptist Church.
3.14 Of Marriage
We believe that the Bible teaches that God created and ordered marriage as the permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal “one flesh” union of one man and one woman, intrinsically ordered to procreation and biological family, and in furtherance of the moral, spiritual, and public good of binding father, mother, and child. (Genesis 1:27-28; Genesis 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-9; Mark 10:5-9; Ephesians 5: 31-33)
3.15 Of Sexuality
3.15.1 Sexual Immorality – We believe that the Bible teaches that sexual acts outside marriage are prohibited as sinful. Consequently, Christians must resist and refrain from any and all sexual acts outside marriage. (Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18: 7-23; Leviticus 20: 10-21; Deuteronomy 5:18; Matthew 15:19; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 1:26-32; I Corinthians 6:9-13; I Corinthians 7:1-9; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 4:17-10; Colossians 3:5; I Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 13:4)
3.15.2. Sexual Identity – We believe that the Bible teaches that God created mankind in His image: male (man) and female (woman), sexually different but with equal personal dignity. Consequently, Christians must affirm their biological sex and refrain from attempts to physically change, alter, or disagree with their biological sex. (Genesis 1:26-28; Romans 1:26-32; I Corinthians 6:9-11)
3.15.3 Celibacy – We believe that the Bible teaches two life-enhancing options for human sexual behavior: (1) the conjugal “one flesh” marital union of one man and one woman, and (2) celibacy. Either is a gift from God, given as He wills for His glory and the good of those who receive and rejoice in His gift to them. Celibacy and faithful singleness is to be celebrated and affirmed. (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:18-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:5-8; Hebrews 13:4; I Corinthians 7:1-9; Matthew 19:12; I Timothy 5:1-2)
3.15.4 Sexual Redemption – We believe that the Bible teaches that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and should seek restoration through confession, repentance, baptism, and faith in Jesus Christ. Consequently, Christians must welcome and treat with respect, compassion, and sensitivity all who confess sexually immoral acts or attractions but are committed to resisting sexual temptation, refraining from sexual immorality, and conforming their behavior more and more to the image of Christ. (Matthew 11:28-30; Romans 3:23-24; Ephesians 2:1-10; I Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 2:17-18; Hebrews 4:14-16)
3.16 Of Unity of the Body
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of CPBC as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the CPBC members and the community, it is imperative that all members and persons employed by CPBC in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by the above articles (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Article 4. Church Membership
4.1 Requesting membership
Upon request for membership, the pastors will meet with prospective member(s) to 1) hear the testimony of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, 2) review the responsibilities of church membership, and 3) determine the date for presenting the prospective member’s testimony to the church membership for reception by vote, and, if applicable, baptism. If a prospective member is so moved by a call of faith and repentance to follow Jesus and request membership during a worship service, the aforementioned meeting will take place afterward. Acceptance of the terms of the Church Covenant and Articles of Faith is required in order to become a member of this church.
4.2 Membership Roll Removal
In order to withdraw membership in good standing, a member must speak with the Senior Pastor to discuss the reason(s) for withdrawal. Members that request a withdrawal of membership in good standing should request new membership in a Christian church within one year of making their request for withdrawal known. Should circumstances hinder, this time frame can be extended. If there are no valid reasons for extending this time period or reasons the transfer could not take place, the member(s) will be removed from membership under discipline. Any member that does not regularly attend worship, who is otherwise able, may be removed from the membership rolls under discipline after loving admonitions to return have gone unheeded.
4.3 Church discipline
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining the purity of the local church (1 Cor. 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin and promoting purity (1 Tim. 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Gal. 6:1; 2 Cor. 2:9).
The Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted the local church with the authority and responsibility to discipline members with the goal of restoration. This discipline is entrusted to the congregation, led by the pastors, and is to follow the biblical pattern as set forth in Mat. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:7-8; Gal. 6:1; 2 Thess. 3:6; Tit. 3:10-11; 2 Jn. 7-11.
4.4 Subjects of church discipline
Any member of CPBC who practices or affirms a doctrine (Tit. 3:10) or conduct (1 Cor. 5:1-7) that, according to the testimony of scripture and in the judgment of the congregation led by the pastors, is opposed to the teaching of the word of God, or is threatening to the testimony of the church, or is divisive to the body, shall be subject to church discipline.
Discipline will follow the said biblical pattern and is an effort to bring the individual to repentance and protect the church from unrepentant sin. Discipline will involve removal from church membership and all the privileges thereof.
The members of this church further knowingly and voluntarily agree that a member cannot withdraw his or her membership in good standing in the midst of the discipline process. A church member may only withdraw his or her membership in good standing if they are not the subject of a disciplinary proceeding at the time or only after a disciplinary process, of which they are the subject, has been concluded.
Article 5. Meeting.
1. Members Meetings
The following rules of decorum shall be observed by the church in conducting business meetings which are scheduled to be quarterly or as needed.
1.1 Each meeting will be opened and closed by prayer and be composed of members unless approved by the leadership. An elder shall serve as moderator unless it is deemed imprudent. In such cases, a brother who is a member may be selected by majority vote to serve as moderator. The moderator is responsible for maintaining order and recognizing each person wishing to speak.
1.2 Any issue identified by the leadership for a decision or action shall be brought before the church by motion and second. The will of the church shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. Each motion and second which comes before the conference shall be acted upon unless withdrawn by the sponsor. Members must be present to vote, though under special circumstances a person or persons may be selected ahead of time by the church to act as a proxy for those who cannot be physically present in the meeting to vote.
1.3 Any issue brought before the congregation that is controversial may be tabled to give all members time to give Scriptural consideration to said issue and to pray for guidance in the matter before final action is taken by the church. The aforementioned time frame shall be decided on a case-by-case basis.
1.4 Matthew 18:15-17 shall be applied in dealing with any grievance that may arise of a personal nature, and only after these Scriptures have been followed shall the offense be brought before the members of the church.
1.5 The church shall choose a clerk to keep a record of all business for each conference. The minutes from the previous meeting shall be read and corrected (as necessary) at the beginning of each meeting. The minutes shall be correctly and legibly recorded in hardcopy form. The clerk shall also keep a correct list of members of the church.
Article 6. Elders
6.1 Numbers of Elders
For the purpose of discussion in this section, the titles “elder” and “pastor” are identical, since in Scripture they refer to the same office (Acts 20:17,28). The number of elders per local assembly is not specified in Scripture, but in all examples recorded there is more than one (Acts 14; Titus 1; Acts 20). Unless such a condition is unavoidable for a period of time, the church should seek a plurality of elders as the Lord raises up laborers in the harvest and as deemed appropriate to manage the various functions of the office.
6.2 Selection of Elders
Any male member of the church expressing a desire to enter the work of the ministry (1 Tim. 3:1) shall be first assessed according to the qualifications listed in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Upon satisfactory assessment and direction of the pastoral staff, the candidate shall be given the appropriate training and given opportunity to edify the congregation publicly. The time period for training will be determined on a basic level of completed training and growth in theological understanding (Tit. 1:7; 1 Tim. 4; 2 Tim. 2), pastoral care, and congregational edification. Should it be determined at any time that the candidate does not possess the qualifications or giftedness from Christ to be ordained to the ministry, all training and public speaking will cease. The brother, however, will continue in using other spiritual gifts bestowed upon him for the mutual edification of the church.
Upon completion of training and confirmation by church vote that the candidate is gifted for pastoral ministry, the candidate will be duly ordained and set aside for the full work of the ministry with prayer and the laying on of hands of the elders. A formal presentation by the church and ordination to the ministry will be authorized and take place at an agreed upon date and time.
An elder's term of office may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal. Any two members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders and, if need be, to the congregation. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18: 15–17 and I Timothy 5: 17–21. Any of the elders may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church after a quorum (a majority of the membership) has been established. Although in some instances a proxy may be appointed by the church to vote for those who can’t be physically present (as stated in 5.1.6), in the case of the dismissal of a pastor church members must be physically present to vote.
6.3 Senior Pastor/Elder
The senior pastor shall meet the qualifications as stated in section 6.5. He shall perform the duties of an elder as described in Scripture and shall be recognized by the church as gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching and shepherding the flock. He shall preach on the Lord’s Day, administer the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and perform other duties as usually pertain to that office. The senior pastor shall have the primary responsibility in leading and teaching the congregation.
In the calling of any man to this position, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess his preaching gift and be assured of his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. The elders shall apprise the church of his whole-hearted consent. In the absence of elders, the deacons shall ensure this consent.
6.4 Additional Pastors/Elders
The church may call additional pastors whose relationship to the senior pastor is that of an associate. Such pastors shall meet the qualifications as stated in section 6.5 and be recognized by the church as gifted and called to the ministry of preaching and teaching. They will serve in a support role in helping the senior pastor with oversight to the flock, teaching the congregation and any other duty associated with eldership in Scripture. In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor, they shall assume responsibility until his return, or a new senior pastor is selected by the congregation.
In the calling of any man to this position, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess his preaching gift and be assured of his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. The elders shall apprise the church of his wholehearted consent. In the absence of elders, the deacons shall ensure this consent.
6.5 Qualifications of Pastors/Elders
Each elder must be an active member of this church and possess the qualifications described in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Tit. 1:6-9. He shall be:
Article 7. Deacons
7.1 Number of Deacons
The number of deacons per local assembly is not specified in Scripture. In Acts 6, an issue of administration concerning the daily needs of the Hebrew-speaking and Greek-speaking widows threatened the unity of the church. The Greek-speaking widows complained that they were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. The apostles, in order to meet this problem, instructed the church to look for men that they could set over this business and address the issue of disunity. While seven men were chosen for this work, no command or guidance is given regarding the number and therefore should be determined based on the needs of the church.
7.2 Selecting Deacons
When the church determines such a need, candidates from the membership of the church shall be nominated by the congregation based on the qualifications given in 1 Timothy 3 as follows:
While there should be many qualified men to fill this office, Scripture says that he should first be proven or tested. The candidate therefore should be noted as serving prior to nomination for office. Upon successful determination that all qualifications have been met, the candidate will be confirmed by the church vote and duly ordained to the office. The candidate may at any time withdraw from the process or the office should he determine his ability to serve has been impaired.
A brother who comes to CPBC by letter from a sister church, having been previously ordained to the office of elder or deacon, shall be recognized as such only at the discretion of the church, as to the needs of the church, and to his acceptability to the body.
Article 8. Miscellaneous
8.1 Policy on Weddings
CPBC will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors of CPBC shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of CPBC shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
8.2 Policy on Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in his image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other state or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Ps. 139).
8.3 Policy on Final Authority in Matters of Faith and Conduct
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. It is the Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible and inerrant word of God, that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind. For purposes of CPBC’s faith, doctrine, practice, and discipline, the pastors/elders of CPBC serve as the final interpretative guidance on the Bible’s meaning and application.
8.4 Policy on the Review and Revision of this Constitution
This constitution shall be reviewed annually by the pastor(s) and deacons, and any changes that they determine needed to be made shall be presented to and voted upon by the church body. Any change to this constitution shall require a two-thirds majority vote in a regular church meeting after a quorum (a majority of the membership) has been established.
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