By Laws

Living Word Bible Church

6306 South Gray Road

Indianapolis, IN 46237

Article I

Name

 

The name of this church shall be the Living Word Bible Church, hereinafter referred to as “this church”, which is a d.b.a. of Bible Doctrine Church of Indianapolis, Inc., an Indiana non-profit corporation, under the provisions of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

 

Article II

 

Purpose

 

The purpose of this church is to present Bible teaching in an isagogic, categorical, and exegetical format, standing unequivocally in support for the fundamentals of Christianity as contained in the Holy Scriptures. 

 

The thrust of this church is to provide sound, accurate doctrine to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, so that each might have an opportunity to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18), to the end that each might become spiritually self-sustaining, i.e. until we all attain the goal in the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a mature man, unto the standard of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:13)

 

The execution of the purpose and thrust of this church is the uniform and consistent teaching of the Canon of Scripture.

 

Article III

 

Doctrine

 

The following basic doctrines contained in the Holy Scriptures are adopted by this church:

 

The Holy Scriptures:  We believe the Holy Scriptures to be the inspired Word of God, authoritative, inerrant, and God-breathed (qeo,pneustoj, 2 Tim. 3:16), and the only source of divine truth.

(Mat. 5:18; John 16:12-13; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

 

The Godhead:  We believe in one Triune God, existing in three Persons;  Father, Son and Holy Spirit, eternal in being, identical in nature, equal in power and glory and having the same attributes and perfections (Deut. 6:4; Mat. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14).  God the Father is the Author of the Divine Plan; God the Son, Jesus Christ, is the implementer of the Divine plan; God the Holy Spirit is the energizer of the Divine plan. 

 

Sovereignty:  We believe that God, existing as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, is sovereign, and exercises supreme and absolute rule over all creation as part of and consistent with the essence and attributes of deity (1 Chro. 29:11-12; Ps. 24:1; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11; 1 Tim. 6:15).

 

The Total Depravity of Man:  We believe that man was created initially in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin, the human race fell, inherited his sinful nature, became alienated from God, and is totally unable to retrieve his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12; Eph. 2:12; 2:8-9)

 

 

The Person and Work of Christ:  We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, and equal to God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that he might reveal God and redeem sinful man; that He accomplished our redemption through His deaths on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice; that our redemption is made sure to us by His literal physical resurrection from the dead (John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35; Rom. 3:24-25, 4:25; 1 Pet. 1:3-5); that the Lord Jesus Christ is now seated in Heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where as the High Priest for his people, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate (Heb. 9:24, 7:35; Rom. 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).

 


 

Personality and Work of the Holy Spirit:  We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person of the Godhead who convicts the world of sin, indwells all believers in the present age, baptizes them into the body of Christ, seals them unto the day of redemption, and that it is the duty of every believer to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Eph. 1:13-14, 5:18).

 

Salvation:  We believe that salvation was provided totally by the death of Jesus Christ for the sins of all members of the human race as a free gift.  Each person must decide either to reject or accept the offer by God of the gift of salvation (Eph. 2:8-10; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:18-19). 

 

Eternal Security of Believers:  We believe that all believers are kept secure forever (Rom. 8:1, 38, 39; John 10:27-30, Acts 16:31; 1 Cor. 1:4-8

 

The Church:  We believe that the Church, all believers in Jesus Christ in this present age, now the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:12; 1 Cor. 10:17), and to become the Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism genetically-spiritually united with Christ, and includes all born-again persons irrespective of their religious or Christian organizations (Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Rom. 6:3-5).

 

The Personality of Satan:  We believe in the personality of Satan, who is the declared enemy of God and man (Job 1:6-7; Mat. 4:2-11; Isa. 14:12-17).

 

The Rapture of the Church:  We believe Jesus Christ Himself will return for His Body, the Church, to receive both dead and alive Believers.  This return is impending and will precede the Great Tribulation.  This is known as the Rapture of the Church (1 Thes. 4:13-18; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Tim. 6:14-15; 1 Cor. 15:51-57). 

 

The Tribulation:  We believe that the Rapture of the Church will be followed by the fulfillment of Israel’s seventieth week, the latter half of which is the time of Jacob’s trouble, the great tribulation. (Dan 9:27; Jer. 30:7; Mat. 24:15-25, 46; 2 Thes. 1: 7-10; Rev.20:6)

 

The Second Advent of Christ:  We believe that the great tribulation will be climaxed by the (pre-millennial) return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth to set up His kingdom.

(Zech. 14:4-11; Mat. 24:15-25, 46; 2 Thes. 1:7-10; Rev. 20:6).

 

The Eternal State: We believe that the soul and the human spirit of those who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do, at death, immediately pass into His presence, and there remain in the conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming, when soul, human spirit and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in the glory; but the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (Lk. 16:19-26, 23:43; 2 Cor.5:8; Phil 1:23; 2 Thes. 1:7-9; Jude 6,7; Rev. 20:11-15)

                              

 

The Responsibility of Believers

 

All Believers are commanded to grow in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pt. 3:18); therefore, to reach toward the goal of maximum maturity through the consistent intake of Bible Doctrine, for the purpose of becoming spiritually self-sustaining, wherein the Believer’s assignment might be fulfilled in time, glorifying and pleasing to God. (Eph. 4:13-16; Phil. 3: 12-17; 1 Cor. 7:17; 1 Pt. 2:9; 1 Cor. 6: 20; Gal. 1:24; Ro. 4:20; Mt. 5:16, 9:8; Ro. 15:16; 1 Pt. 2:12, 4:11, 16)

 

Church Ordinances: We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper to be observed until His return. (1 Cor. 11:23-26)

 

Spirituality: We believe that spirituality is an absolute condition in the life of a believer in this dispensation wherein he is filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit, walking in love and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. (Ro. 8; Col.1:8; 1 Cor 2:15; Gal. 5:16, 25) We believe that spirituality is distinct from maturity, that a believer becomes carnal through any act of mental, verbal, or overt sin and that spirituality or fellowship with Christ is restored solely by personal confession of that sin to God the Father. (Jn. 15:7-8; 2 Cor. 5:16; Eph. 5:18; Ro. 6: 11-13; 1 Jn. 1:9, 1:5, 2:2; 1 Cor. 11:30, 31; Gal 5:16; Ps. 66:18, 51, 32:5-6; Prov. 28:13; Isa. 1:16)

 


 

Spiritual Gifts:  We believe that God the Holy Spirit, in grace and apart from human merit, sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts to believers in this dispensation.  Some of the permanent spiritual gifts which exist today are Pastor-Teacher, ministering, governments, helps, giving, and showing of mercy.  We further believe that the temporary spiritual gifts ceased with the completion of the Canon of Scripture.  These include: Apostleship, prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, healing and working of miracles.  (1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:7-12; Ro. 12:4-8)  Any member practicing these temporary gifts shall be subject to immediate dismissal.   

 

                                                           

TENETS

 

This Church shall not at any time become a member, sanction, or support the National Council of Churches of Christ in America, the World Council of Churches, or any other such organizations.

 

This Church shall not solicit anyone to become a member.  Those who desire to affiliate with this church may do so by complying with the provision of Article V.

 

This Church shall not require contributions or pledges among the members.

 

Article IV

Government

 

The spiritual leadership of this Church is vested in the Pastor-Teacher solely, whose absolute authority is derived from the scripture (1 Tim. 5:17; Tit. 3:5). 

 

The daily administration of the affairs of this Church, including the interpretation of these By-Laws is vested in the Board of Deacons, under the advice of the Pastor-Teacher except as hereafter provided

(See Article VIII-Deacon Duties).

 

Article V

Membership

 

Qualifications for Membership:  A person shall qualify for membership who: (a) believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, (b) agrees to be governed in Church affiliation by these By-Laws and its duly adopted amendments (c) acknowledges and accepts the authority of the Pastor-Teacher.

 

Receiving Members:  Any person desiring to become a member of this Church, who makes such a request to the Pastor or any Deacon, and who meets the qualifications of this Article, shall be received as a member into the membership of this Church.

 

Voting Member:  The voting members shall be limited to those members who are 18 years old or older. 

 

Membership Roll:  A member may be removed from the membership roll by action of the Pastor-Teacher with a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the Deacon Board.  Reinstatement, after a time period of one week, shall follow the same procedure as Qualifications for Membership.

 

Article VI

Bible Class Services

 

Bible Class services shall be held when and as often as the Pastor-Teacher determines, or in the event a vacancy in the office of Pastor-Teacher exists, as the Deacons may determine.  The Pastor-Teacher shall be the final authority in the regulation of all aspects of these Bible Class services if he is able and available.

 

Article VII

Business Meetings of the Members

 

Place:  All business meetings of the members shall be held at the principal place of Bible Class services of this Church, unless otherwise specified in any notice.

 

Time of Annual Meeting:  There shall be an annual business meeting of the members within 90 days after the end of the calendar year, the exact date to be determined by the Deacons and called in the manner prescribed for special business meetings of the membership.

 


 

Special Business Meetings:  Special business meetings of the membership shall be called by the Secretary upon notice from the Pastor-Teacher or the Deacons.  Announcement, general purpose and content of such meeting shall be given on two Sundays immediately preceding said meetings.

 

General Meetings:  A general meeting is defined as one called by the Pastor-Teacher or the Deacons to impart or gather information where no vote is required.  Announcement and purpose of any such meeting shall be given from the pulpit five (5) days preceding the meeting.  A general meeting shall not constitute a business meeting as elsewhere herein mentioned.

 

Quorum and Conduct of Business:  (a) A quorum for the transaction of business shall be twenty percent (20%) of the voting members.  The majority vote of such members present and voting shall prevail unless the vote of a greater number is required by law or these By-Laws. 

 

(b) The agenda of all business meetings of the members shall include the following:  Opening and closing prayer, proof of notice of meeting and quorum, reading of the Minutes, disposition of business for which the meeting was called, reports and elections as required by these By-Laws. 

 

(c) In all business meetings, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons shall preside, and in his absence, the Vice-Chairman, and if both be absent, a Chairman shall be appointed by the Deacons.

 

(d) In the transaction of business, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall be used in all cases not covered by these By-Laws.

 

Voting:  The Chairman of the meeting shall determine the method of voting except the following shall be by secret ballot:  the ratification of Deacons; the appointment or dismissal of the Pastor-Teacher, the purchase, sale or transfer of real or personal property.

 

Article VIII

Deacons

 

Number:  The Board of Deacons shall consist of not less than three (3) male voting members, nor more than twenty (20).  It is understood that the Deacons of this Church are equal and equivalent to the Directors, so designated in the Articles of Incorporation of this Church.

 

Appointment Procedure:  The Pastor will annually appoint the members of the Board of Deacons by submitting a list of appointees to the Board of Deacons then in office, for approval at the January meeting of the Board of Deacons.

 

Ratification: Upon approval by the Board of Deacons, the list of appointees will be submitted to the congregation at the next regular business meeting of members for ratification by an affirmative vote of a majority of voting members there present. 

 

Conditions and Tenure of Office:  (a) A member who is employed by the Church shall not serve as a Deacon.  (b) The Board of Deacons shall be appointed annually by the Pastor as provided herein.

 

Vacancy:  Any Deacon vacancy shall be filled by appointment of the Pastor-Teacher and such appointee shall serve the unexpired term of his predecessor. If the pulpit is vacant at the time of a Deacon vacancy, the Deacon Board shall appoint a Deacon replacement to serve the unexpired term of the predecessor.

 

Regular Meetings:  A regular meeting of the Board of Deacons shall be held not later than thirty (30) days after the Annual Meeting of this Church, for the purpose of electing officers.  Other regular meetings shall be held at such times and places as the Deacons may determine, but at least once quarterly.

 

Quorum:  A quorum shall be two-thirds of the total number of Deacons.  The acts of the majority of the Deacons present shall be the act of the Deacons unless otherwise specifically required by law or by these By-Laws.

 

Voting by Proxy:  A Deacon entitled to vote at any meeting may vote either in person or by proxy, executed in writing by the Deacon.  No proxy shall be voted at any meeting unless the same shall be filed with the Secretary of the meeting at the commencement thereof. The proxy must set forth in reasonable detail the purpose of such meeting.


 

Place of Meeting:  All meetings of the Deacons shall be held at the principal place of Bible class services unless otherwise specified. 

 

Notice of Meetings:  A regular or special meeting of the board of Deacons can be called by two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Deacons or the Pastor-Teacher.

 

Duties:  The Board of Deacons shall serve in two specific ways: 

 

(I) As an advice and counsel Board to the Pastor-Teacher, wherein no vote is accepted, since the Pastor-Teacher is the sole authority over all spiritual aspects of this church.

 

(II) As an administrative Board with total and full authority to administer the affairs of this Church as herein specified. (See Article IV, Government). 


These responsibilities include:  (1) To make provision for the supply of the pulpit in the event of a temporary vacancy (three (3) months or less) in the office of Pastor-Teacher due to an accident, illness, extended vacation, or other reason, in accordance with the authority and guidance of the current Pastor-Teacher, if possible.

 

(2) Upon a vacancy of a permanent nature which includes, but not limited to, death, resignation or termination, the Board of Deacons will make provision for the supply of the pulpit as provided herein.  If, due to an illness or accident, the pulpit is vacated for more than three months, and the return of the Pastor-Teacher is unlikely, (within a reasonable length of time, as determined by the Board of Deacons), said vacancy will also be considered of a permanent nature.

 

(a)  Either a search committee appointed by the Board, or the Board itself, will search for candidates, who must agree and adhere to the purpose and doctrinal positions established by the By-Laws of this Church.

 

(b) Once the candidate list is received and approved by a majority vote of the Board of Deacons, then the approved candidates will be asked to complete a Pastor-Teacher Doctrinal Questionnaire. 

 

(c) Once the Doctrinal Questionnaire is received and approved by the Board of Deacons, each approved candidate will be invited to this Church, where each will be given an opportunity to teach at least two or more Bible Classes, each to be followed by a question-and-answer time, moderated by the Chairman of the Board of Deacons, whereupon voting members of this Church will be allowed to question the candidate. 

 

(d) When a single candidate is approved by a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote by the Board of Deacons, this candidate will then be submitted to the voting members of this Church at a duly called special business meeting, whereupon a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all voting members present may approve the candidate for Pastor-Teacher.  If the voting members present deny approval, the Board will then proceed in the same manner as outlined above until a candidate is approved by a majority of all voting members present.

 

(3) To supervise and administer all handling of funds.

 

(4) To receive and disburse funds in accordance with these By-Laws;

 

(5) To hire, determine salaries and discharge persons or organizations who supply various services to this Church;

 

(6) To hold title to all property, in trust for the use and benefit of the members, but shall not acquire or dispose of real property or its fixtures, or contract for any loans on behalf of this Church, except upon prior specific instruction and authority of the voting members of this Church at a duly called business meeting;


 

(7) To take all necessary measures for the protection, management and upkeep of all property;

 

(8) To determine the use of the facilities of this Church for all extra or secular purposes;

 

(9) To render a written report to the members at the Annual Meeting of the members, outlining therein the activities of the Board of Deacons for the past year, with recommendations, if any, for the members to consider;

 

(10) The Board of Deacons may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents of this Church, in addition to the officers, if any, so authorized by these By-Laws, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of this Church.  Such authority may be general or may be confined to specific instances, provided however, that the Board of Deacons review and authorize all contracts in excess of One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500). 

 

Article IX

Church Officers

 

The Church officers shall be a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, each of whom shall be a Deacon.  The offices of Chairman and Secretary shall not be combined.

 

Chairman:  The Chairman shall preside at all business meetings of the members and of the Deacons; shall have general supervision of the administrative affairs of this Church as provided in these By-Laws and/or directed by the Deacons or members; shall sign all instruments of this Church as authorized by the Deacons or members; shall be an ex-officio member of all committees; and shall perform all other duties incident to this office.

 

Vice Chairman: The Vice Chairman shall assist the Chairman as directed, and perform the functions of the Chairman during his absence.

 

Secretary:  The Secretary shall keep the minutes of the business meetings of the members and the Deacons; receive and issue notice of all business meetings of the members and the Deacons; be custodian of the Corporate Seal and records; keep current a roster of all members with addresses; maintain a record of attendance at Deacon’s meetings; sign instruments authorized by the Deacons or members; and prepare the agenda of all business meetings of the members and Deacons. 

 

Treasurer:  The Treasurer shall be responsible for the receipt, deposit and disbursement of all funds and/or securities as authorized by the Board of Deacons and the members; keep books of account; shall render a current financial statement at each Board of Deacons meeting; and shall render a current financial statement at the Annual Meeting of this Church; shall issue other such reports as may be directed by the Board of Deacons; shall, upon request, issue an Annual Contributions statement to members. 

 

Removal of Officers:  Any officer may be removed with cause by affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Deacons.

 

Article X

 Pastor

 

Call:  A candidate for Pastor-Teacher of this Church, whether appointed by the current Pastor-Teacher and the congregation as provided below, or appointed by the Board of Deacons and the congregation, as provided in Article VIII, (Duties of the Deacons), shall be considered only after he has completed the Pastor-Teacher Candidate Questionnaire and agrees with the purpose and doctrinal positions stated in the By-Laws of this Church. 

 

If the current Pastor-teacher is vacating the pulpit and is available to appoint the next pastor, he shall do so.  The procedure for the new Pastor-Teacher appointment by the current Pastor-Teacher will proceed as follows: 

 

(a) Biblically, the new Pastor-Teacher candidate should come from his own congregation under the doctrinal concept of Pastors teaching others to teach others. If no candidate is available from within the congregation, the Pastor-Teacher shall look elsewhere for a replacement candidate. 


(b) The new Pastor-Teacher candidate will fill out the Pastor-Teacher Candidate Questionnaire. 


 

c) The current Pastor-Teacher will review the questionnaire of the Pastor-Teacher candidate and also have a verbal question and answer session. 


(d) If the current Pastor-Teacher approves the new Pastor-Teacher candidate, the candidate will be presented to the Board of Deacons for approval. 

 

(e) Upon approval by at least two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote by the Board of Deacons, the candidate will be recommended to the congregation and called to fill the pulpit vacancy with at least two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote by the members present at a duly called business meeting.  

 

Terminating a Pastor-Teacher’s Service:  A Pastor-Teacher may be recommended for dismissal by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Deacons.  Voting shall be in a duly called meeting of the Deacons.  At least fourteen (14) days prior to such a meeting, the Pastor-Teacher under dismissal consideration shall be notified in writing of the reason(s) for recommended dismissal, and at his own election may be represented by two members, introduce evidence, present and cross examine the Board of Deacons.   If the vote is for dismissal, recommendation shall be made by the Deacon Board to the members, and the services of the Pastor-Teacher may then be terminated by at least a two-thirds (2/3) vote of  all voting members present in a duly called business meeting for this purpose. 

 

In the event of the dismissal of the Pastor-Teacher, the Pastor shall continue to receive his usual salary and all benefits for a period of thirty days.  All voting by the Board of Deacons and the membership will be by secret ballot.

 

Article XI

 Committees/Ministers

Committees and/or Ministers may be appointed or elected at any time the Deacon Board determines necessary, with or without the advice of the Pastor-Teacher.

 

Article XII

 Contributions

Contributions will be used in keeping with the purpose and policy of this Church.

 

Article XIII

Licensing & Ordination

No licensing will be done at the present time, but the right of licensing will be reserved.

No ordaining will be done at the present time, but the right of ordination will be reserved.

 

Article XIV

 Fiscal Year

This Church will follow a Calendar year, which shall begin the first day of January and end on the last day of December each year.

 

Article XV

Seal

The Deacon Board shall provide a Corporate Seal which shall be in form of a circle and shall have inscribed thereon the name of this Church.

 

Article XVI

Amendments

These By-Laws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members present at a duly called business meeting provided the amendment(s) has been approved by the Board of Deacons and distributed at least two weeks prior to the business meeting to all of the voting members of this Church.

 

Article XVII

 

Limitations

 The Pastor-Teacher, Deacons, Officers and members of this Church shall have no power or authority to do any act which might prevent the corporation of this Church from being recognized at all times as a non-profit organization described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

© 2017 Living Word Bible Church
6306 Gray Road | Indianapolis, IN 46237 | Phone: (317) 781-9030

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