INCLUDING THE STATEMENT OF FAITH,
OF FAITH BIBLE CHURCH OF
THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Depending upon the leading of the Holy Spirit consistent with Scripture, in order to constitute an independent, non-denominational, Bible believing church, we, the members of Faith Bible Church (FBC) of the San Fernando Valley, agree to the following Bylaws and Statement of Faith.
ARTICLE I: NAME OF ORGANIZATION
The name of this organization shall be Faith Bible Church of the San Fernando Valley. This organization was incorporated in the State of California in the year of our Lord 1964. It will be referred to hereinafter in these Bylaws and Statement of Faith as “this church” or FBC.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE OF ORGANIZATION
The ultimate and singular purpose of every Christian attending Faith Bible Church is to glorify God (Ps 86:12; 1 Cor 10:31; Col 3:17) as he or she is:
- Worshiping God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)
- Equipped to serve God (Eph 4:11-13)
- Witnessing for God to non-Christians (Acts 1:8; Matt 28:19-20)
- Caring without partiality for other believers at Faith Bible Church (1 Cor 12:25)
ARTICLE III: GOVERNMENT
Faith Bible Church shall be an independent body of baptized believers. The government of Faith Bible Church shall be vested in its assembled membership, through its duly elected or appointed officers and pastoral staff, and shall never be subject to the control of any other ecclesiastical body. No denomination or associational representatives shall ever sit in judgment over its affairs. The church may fellowship and cooperate with other churches or other organizations when such shall be wholly in accordance with the Scriptures and the purposes stated in ARTICLE II.
ARTICLE IV: FINANCE
A. Scriptural giving is an expression of love for the Lord Jesus Christ; therefore, the church shall be sustained by voluntary and free-will offerings, uninfluenced by any consideration of worldly or other material reward. The members are responsible to bring their offerings into the general treasury of the church. These principles are found in 1 Cor 16:2 and 2 Cor 9:6-8.
B. All missions supported by the church shall be through the annual budget process.
C. The centrality of offerings for financial support shall not preclude the elders from deriving income for the church from interest on monies deposited in savings accounts, fees for use, or other prudent short-term investments, as may be deemed appropriate.
D. The elders are responsible for the administration of the annual budget. In matters of emergency or ministry related needs, they may exceed the budget. They shall report such expenditures to the congregation at the earliest opportunity.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS AND/OR STAFF OF FAITH BIBLE CHURCH
SECTION 1. THE SENIOR PASTOR
The pastor is a spiritual leader of Faith Bible Church, and as such, his office is entrusted primarily with the spiritual welfare of this church (Eph 4:7-13).
A. SCRIPTURAL RECOGNITION OF THE PASTORAL POSITION – It is the obligation of Faith Bible Church to recognize the position of the pastor as an under-shepherd of Christ (1 Pet 5:2) and to acknowledge the importance of his spiritual ministry (1 Thess 5:12; 1 Tim 5:17). The church will recognize him as one who gives himself “to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:2, 4). The senior pastor shall be recognized as the principal teaching elder.
B. DUTIES – It is the duty of the pastor to preach and teach the Word so as to bring the saints to maturity (Eph 4:11-13). Additionally, the pastor shall provide watch-care over the flock (Acts 20:28; Heb 13:17).
C. THE PASTOR AS AN EXAMPLE – The pastor shall be an example to the “flock of God” in carrying out the purposes of ARTICLE II of these bylaws (1 Pet 5:2-3).
D. RELATIONSHIP TO BOARDS AND COMMITTEES – The senior pastor is an elder of Faith Bible Church and shall meet all the qualifications of that office. He shall also have the right at any time to interact and vote on any and all committees of the church when he deems it necessary.
E. CALLING OF A PASTOR – Whenever the office of senior pastor becomes vacant by reason of death, resignation, retirement or dismissal, the Board of Elders shall, without delay, begin the following procedure for securing a new senior pastor:
1. A pulpit committee shall be formed, composed of no less than five and no more than seven members, at least three being elders. One of the elders shall serve as chairman.
2. The pulpit committee shall, in a Spirit-led and prayerful manner, conduct a search for God’s man to fill the position of senior pastor.
3. After the search, the pulpit committee shall make a recommendation of one man to the Board of Elders, which shall then interview him. Upon approval, the Board of Elders shall arrange that he supply the pulpit as many times as it feels necessary. The Board of Elders, upon unanimous agreement, shall then make a recommendation to the congregation for the calling of this candidate as senior pastor.
4. General meetings between the candidate and members of the congregation shall be arranged prior to voting by the membership. These meetings shall be conducted in a question and answer format with the pulpit committee chairman moderating. The active voting membership of the church shall be notified two weeks in advance from the pulpit and in writing of a called business meeting to vote for the pastoral candidate. Approval of 75% of the active voting members present shall be necessary for calling a senior pastor. The voting shall be by secret ballot.
5. If the senior pastor has not been previously ordained, his vote of calling shall, when accepted, constitute approval for licensing and acceptance into church membership for him and his wife. After one year of service, the senior pastor may request the Board of Elders to arrange for an ordination service.
6. The senior pastor shall serve for an indeterminate length of time.
F. SUSPENSION/TERMINATION OF A PASTOR
1. Should the senior pastor cease to meet the scriptural qualifications as outlined in ARTICLE V, SECTION 4, A, or his relations with the Board of Elders or congregation become strained to the point that remaining would cause harm and discord in the body, the Board of Elders, with 75% of the board in agreement, shall ask him to resign.
2. Should the senior pastor refuse to resign, the Board of Elders shall immediately suspend him with pay and arrange for a business meeting. The meeting shall be held no later than fourteen days after commencement of the suspension. All active voting members shall be notified in writing and by a church announcement of the meeting. In the meeting, the board chairman shall present the board’s statement regarding the reasons for dismissal. The senior pastor shall be afforded an equitable opportunity to respond. A 75% vote of the active voting members present shall be sufficient to approve the dismissal. If a 75% vote for dismissal is not reached, then the senior pastor shall have the suspension lifted and he may immediately resume service.
a. A suspended pastor may not preach from the pulpit or teach a Sunday School or Bible class. He shall also refrain from contacting members of the church in a manner that creates friction or generates support for his position.
b. The elders shall also refrain from communicating with members of the church in a manner that creates friction or generates support for their position.
c. Should the situation warrant, the board may request another pastor or ordained member of the IFCA International to assist in counsel and mediation; however, all decisions in the matter shall be handled by the constituted order of this church.
SECTION 2. ASSOCIATE PASTORAL STAFF
A. The Board of Elders may hire or terminate associate pastors in behalf of Faith Bible Church. Such decisions shall be consistent with biblical requirements, current congregational needs and budget constraints.
B. An associate pastor shall be an example to the “flock of God” in carrying out the purposes of ARTICLE II of these bylaws (1 Pet 5:2-3).
C. At the time of employment, the associate pastor shall be licensed as a minister of the gospel and, after one year, may also request to be ordained. An associate pastor shall be a non-elected member of the Board of Elders while he holds his staff position.
SECTION 3. INTERIM PASTOR
During a period in which there is no senior pastor, the Board of Elders may appoint an interim pastor to carry the load of preaching, counseling and other ecclesiastical duties. The interim pastor may attend all meetings but cannot vote. However, the day-to-day functions and operations of the church shall normally be supplied by the existing staff or a qualified elder.
SECTION 4. ELDERS
The office of an elder is a spiritual office. An elder is a member and spiritual leader of Faith Bible Church.
A. QUALIFICATIONS – The qualifications for elders are found in 1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Pet 5:1-3.
1 Tim 3:1-7
(1) It is a trustworthy statement; if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. (2) An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (3) not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. (4) He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (5) (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); (6) and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. (7) And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
(5) For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, (6) namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. (7) For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, (8) but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled, (9) holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
1 Pet 5:1-3
(1) Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow-elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, (2) shepherd the flock of God among you, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; (3) nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
B. OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF ELDERS – At the first regular elder board meeting following the annual meeting, the elders shall elect from their members, deacons or other qualified “representatives” (cf. Article V, Section 4, B3e.) the officers of the corporation: a chairman, who will also act as president of the corporation; a vice-chairman (vice-president of the corporation); a church secretary; and a church treasurer.
1. The chairman or a designated board member shall moderate at all board and church business meetings. The vice-chairman shall assume the responsibilities of the chairman in his absence. The church secretary shall keep the minutes of the Board of Elders meetings and church business meetings and shall keep records of all official correspondence. Such records shall be produced upon request of the moderator at the meetings of the board or a business meeting. The church secretary shall maintain a register of the membership and shall be responsible to give proper notice to the congregation of all church business meetings. The church treasurer shall manage all financial matters at the direction of the elder board and shall make monthly financial reports. In addition, the treasurer shall prepare a financial report for the annual business meetings. Proper records and books providing the timely financial maintenance of all assets, liabilities and equities shall be available for auditing or inspection at any reasonable time by active voting church members or other persons approved by the Board of Elders.
2. Elders shall be selected from men within the membership who have been faithful in their membership to the church (ARTICLE VI, SECTION 3) for at least one year (except for the senior pastor and associate pastoral staff).
3. The Board of Elders shall consist of a minimum of three members. If a time comes when there are less than three elders, the church members shall meet within six months to consider options for the future of Faith Bible Church. These options should include, but not be limited to:
a. Examination of the assembly for qualified elders who are not currently serving
b. Allowing elders from an assembly which is like-minded in matters of doctrine and practice to serve temporarily at FBC
c. Merger with another assembly which is like-minded in matters of doctrine and practice
d. Dissolution (ARTICLE XI)
e. Allowing the remaining elder(s) to continue in their role as spiritual leaders of the church. This does not preclude their actively seeking counsel and input from the deacons and other Biblically qualified members who desire to provide it. The elder(s) shall also grant the deacons and/or other “representatives” (nominated according to the same process as elders in Article V, Section 4, D1 and to be approved by a 75% vote of the congregation) as necessary, equal voting power in all FBC financial decisions, including the approval of the annual budget. This group (elders/deacons and representatives) shall consist of no less than five members of FBC in good standing, with a majority of unpaid members. The deacons and any lay representatives shall retain this voting power until such a time as there are once again three or more elders, with at least one of the three serving in a lay role (unpaid).
1. Elders are called by God to serve as shepherds of the local church (Acts 20:28). They are to be devoted primarily to prayer and the ministry of the Word of God (Acts 6:4). Thus, the duties of an elder include: teaching Biblical truth to the church (1 Tim 5:17), protecting it from the error of false doctrine (Tit 1:9), leading and managing it with the attitude of a servant (1 Pet 5:1-3), and tending to the needs of its members (James 5:14).
2. Other servants entrusted with work in support of the services and spiritual life of Faith Bible Church will be appointed, hired or terminated by the Board of Elders as needed. These individuals may receive financial remuneration for services rendered. The senior pastor shall be responsible for oversight of all paid staff.
D. NOMINATIONS FOR THE POSITION OF ELDER
1. Prior to the annual business meeting, the Board of Elders shall request nominations for the position of elder from the membership. An announcement shall be made from the pulpit and distributed to all active voting members that nominations for elders are being accepted. Each member shall prayerfully consider the qualifications for elder before making a nomination.
2. A nominating committee shall be formed, comprised of no less than two elders, if possible, and two members of the congregation at large, selected by the Board of Elders. None of the committee members shall be currently nominated. One of the elders shall function as chairman. The committee shall review the nominees and send its recommendations to the Board of Elders.
3. The elders shall meet with each nominee to review his qualifications and willingness to serve. The Board of Elders shall make the final approval of the list to be presented to the congregation.
4. Anyone removed from the list shall be duly notified as to the reason.
5. The names of the candidates shall be posted two weeks prior to the vote.
6. If a member of Faith Bible Church has questions or concerns about a nominee’s qualifications or ability to serve, he or she will be encouraged to speak directly to the nominee. If, after speaking to the nominee, a member still has reservations about that nominee, those concerns should be brought to the elders for further review.
E. ELECTION OF ELDERS – An elder is elected by secret ballot at the annual business meeting with a 75% vote of the active voting members present.
F. RESIGNATION OF AN ELDER – An elder who feels that he can no longer fulfill his responsibilities may at any time resign from his office after giving written notice to the senior pastor and board chairman.
G. TERM OF OFFICE OF AN ELECTED ELDER – The term of office shall be three years. If an elder desires to serve for another three years, he must be approved by the nominating committee and the Board of Elders and be reelected.
H. REMOVAL OF AN ELECTED ELDER – An elder, (1) who no longer meets the scriptural and personal qualifications for the office, or (2) whose relationship with the congregation or the board makes his effective functioning impossible or hampers the work of Christ in the church, shall be asked to resign with a 75% vote of the remainder of the board. Should that member refuse to resign, the matter shall be taken to the congregation in the same manner as described for the senior pastor in ARTICLE V, SECTION 1, F, 2.
SECTION 5. DEACONS AND DEACONESSES
A deacon or deaconess is someone appointed to a special ministry of service by the Board of Elders. The congregation is encouraged to provide input. These deacons or deaconesses shall provide spiritual and/or physical help to the church as necessary. Only active voting members of Faith Bible Church may serve in this capacity. The term of office of a deacon or deaconess shall be three years.
A. QUALIFICATIONS – The qualifications for deacons and deaconesses are given in 1 Tim 3:8-13.
(8) Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, (9) but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. (10) And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. (11) Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. (12) Let deacons be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. (13) For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 3:8-13
B. INSTALLATION – The deacons and/or deaconesses are installed at a designated public meeting of the church.
C. REMOVAL – If necessary, a deacon or deaconess may resign from the position with written notice to the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders may also remove a deacon or deaconess from service, if the elders determine that the person is unable to serve or no longer meets the qualifications to serve.
ARTICLE VI: CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. REQUIREMENTS – A prospective member shall:
A. Be a Christian: Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved (Acts 16:30-31)
B. Be baptized after becoming a Christian (Acts 8:35-38)
C. Be committed to serve at Faith Bible Church using his or her spiritual gifts, natural abilities and financial resources (1 Pet 4:10-11; 2 Cor 9:7-8)
D. Be accountable to other believers and the Board of Elders (Eph 5:21; Heb 10:24-25, 13:17)
E. Be in agreement with the Statement of Faith and abide by the Bylaws and practices of Faith Bible Church
SECTION 2. PROCESS – Anyone desiring to become a member shall:
A. Submit a membership application form
B. Complete the membership curriculum as determined by the Board of Elders
Note: Names of candidates for membership will be posted for two consecutive Sundays prior to meeting with the elders.
C. Meet with at least two elders to share his or her testimony and discuss any other necessary issues
D. Receive approval by the Board of Elders
E. Be welcomed into the fellowship at the next Sunday worship service
SECTION 3. CONDUCT — -Members are to:
A. Glorify God through the four purposes of Faith Bible Church (ARTICLE II)
B. Use their spiritual gift(s) for the common good of the congregation (1 Cor 12:7)
C. Give voluntarily and proportionately of their financial resources (1 Cor 16:2; 2 Cor 9:6-9)
D. Strive to live a life consistent with Scripture (Eph 4:1)
SECTION 4. CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP – Categories of membership are:
A. Active: One whose “conduct” is consistent with ARTICLE VI, SECTION 3
Voting: The privilege of voting is given to active members at least 16 years old
B. Non-active: The Board of Elders may transfer active members to non-active status (and vice versa) as needed. Examples of non-active members: Those physically unable to attend worship services for three months or individuals out of town due to education, military or job related obligations.
SECTION 5. TERMINATION — -Grounds for termination shall be:
B. Unrepentant sin, i.e., church discipline (ARTICLE VIII)
C. Not attending worship service for two consecutive months
A member who is able, but intentionally misses, two consecutive months of worship services shall be contacted by an elder. Based on his recommendation, the Board of Elders may terminate the individual’s membership.
D. Written request (except an individual in the process of church discipline, ARTICLE VIII)
ARTICLE VII: CHURCH BUSINESS
SECTION 1. ORDER OF BUSINESS MEETINGS
The Bible shall govern the conduct and decisions of all business meetings. These Bylaws shall also be followed. Robert’s Rules of Order, as last revised, may be consulted to assist the flow of meetings. All meetings are to be conducted in an orderly way (1 Cor 14:40) with all participants demonstrating Christ-likeness in their attitudes and actions (Eph 4:25-32; Phil 2:1-8). A meeting that falls short of these standards may be suspended for up to two weeks by the moderator to allow all participants time for prayer and self-examination (Gal 5:13-15).
A. THE MODERATOR – The moderator for all business meetings is the chairman of the Board of Elders or a designated board member.
B. MOTIONS FROM THE FLOOR – A member of Faith Bible Church may make a “motion from the floor” if it is related to an item that is on the meeting’s agenda. Upon a second, the motion shall be discussed and voted upon by the active voting membership present. Nothing in this article precludes consideration of new business in its proper order.
C. QUORUM – A quorum for the transaction of business meetings shall be at least 50% of the active voting membership.
D. MAJORITY – Unless otherwise noted, a majority vote for a single office or for a proposition is 75% of the active voting members present.
SECTION 2. THE ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
The church membership shall have an annual business meeting on a date set by the Board of Elders. The annual meeting shall be held no later than the second week of December. The church operational budget and term of officers shall be from January 1st through December 31st.
SECTION 3. A CALLED BUSINESS MEETING
A. A business meeting may be called at any time at the request of the Board of Elders. The specific matters to be considered shall be announced on two Sundays prior to the day of the meeting. In case of emergency, the two-Sunday notice may be waived with the unanimous approval of the Board of Elders.
B. Any ten voting members may petition the Board of Elders to request a called business meeting of the church. The Board of Elders must then do so within twenty days upon receiving the petition to address the issues raised. The agenda of such a meeting shall be conducted as all other business meetings with the board chairman or other designated board member moderating.
SECTION 4. ELDER BOARD MEETINGS
The board shall meet on a regularly scheduled basis and upon the call of any board member. When voting, the ratio of staff to lay elders shall favor the lay elders. The Board of Elders should strive for unanimity and seriously consider setting aside any decision which is not unanimous.
SECTION 5. CHURCH PROPERTIES
A. The Board of Elders together with a majority of unpaid members (including elders, deacons and “representatives” – see Article V, Section 4, B3e.) shall comprise a “Finance Committee” alongside of the board of elders. This committee holds in trust all church properties. It is responsible for negotiating loans, drawing up contracts, and arranging financial transactions in the name of Faith Bible Church. Its duties are to oversee all financial and temporal affairs and audit yearly or cause to be audited all goods and accounts of this church.
B. The Finance Committee shall ensure that the church buildings and grounds are maintained, being careful to delegate as much of this responsibility to the deacons as possible.
C. Sale or encumbrance of church properties:
1. With the exception of item 2 immediately below, the Finance Committee shall not sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber the real estate of this church without the consent of a 75% majority of the active voting members of Faith Bible Church present at a called business meeting. Two weeks’ notice, stating the business transactions under consideration, shall be given prior to such a meeting.
2. Ancillary pieces of real or capital property, not part of the ongoing ministry of the church, such as gifts to the church of stocks, bonds or real property, may be sold at the discretion of the board.
D. The church may make its facilities available to other churches and ministries to promote the gospel, Christian education and evangelism. Such use shall be by groups who are like-minded in matters of doctrine, but do not necessarily need to be affiliated with the IFCA International. They should not be groups whose doctrinal standards or practices might call into question the fidelity of Faith Bible Church to its stated positions. Rent or fees for such usage may be charged or waived at the discretion of the Board of Elders.
SECTION 6. DETERMINATION OF SALARIES, JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND CONDUCT
The Board of Elders shall determine the salary to be paid each employee. Employees of Faith Bible Church who are board members will be excluded from the salary decision process. The Board of Elders will determine the job descriptions for all church staff. In case of salary decisions in which there are less than two lay elders on the board, the finance committee (see Article VII, Section 5. Church Properties) shall be called upon or reinstated if necessary, to decide in this matter. All employees shall abide by the same standards of conduct as members of Faith Bible Church.
SECTION 7. BUSINESS REPORTS
At the annual business meeting, the Board of Elders shall present a written report summarizing the transactions of the year. This report shall be a condensed financial report, prepared with the assistance of the church treasurer. Copies of the report shall be given to individual members. The Board of Elders shall also make a report of its transactions when requested by the membership as described in ARTICLE VII, SECTION 3, B.
SECTION 8. CHURCH POLICIES
The Board of Elders shall formulate policies and establish practices as needed. Such policies and practices shall be consistent with scriptural principles. Anyone in a teaching, speaking or leadership position, including pulpit supply, must be a church member, unless authorized by the Board of Elders.
SECTION 9. COMMITTEES, MINISTRIES AND AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS
Committees, ministries and auxiliary organizations that are in keeping with the purpose statement of Faith Bible Church may be formed with the consent of the Board of Elders. Such committees, ministries and auxiliary organizations will be responsible to the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE VIII: CHURCH DISCIPLINE
(1 Cor 5; 2 Cor 2:6-8; Gal 6:1; 1 Tim 1:20; Rom 16:17; Gal 1:9)
SECTION 1. THE STEPS OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE
Scripture indicates some latitude in how matters of church discipline are to be handled. Where possible the pattern taught by Jesus in Matt 18:15-17 shall be followed with the intent of restoring the sinning brother or sister. If there is no repentance, the elders may remove that individual from membership.
SECTION 2. GRIEVANCES/LAWSUITS
If a matter arises between a member of Faith Bible Church and another Christian, they should seek wise counsel among fellow believers. According to 1 Cor 6:1-8, the saints are not to go before the unsaved. The innocent party should rather suffer wrong than go to a civil court to settle the matter.
ARTICLE IX: THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
SECTION 1. THE LORD’S SUPPER
In obedience to our Lord’s words, “do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor 11:24-25), the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper will be observed once each month. It may also be observed on special occasions as the Board of Elders deems appropriate.
SECTION 2. BAPTISM
The baptism of the believer in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior soon after conversion is taught in Scripture both by commandment and by example (Matt 28:19; Acts 8:35-38, 16:31-33). The practice of Faith Bible Church shall be baptism by immersion.
ARTICLE X: AMENDMENTS
SECTION 1. METHOD OF AMENDMENT TO THE BYLAWS
A. A proposed change must be provided to the members at least two weeks in advance.
B. Within two weeks, an open forum shall be held for the congregation to discuss the proposed amendments.
C. The changes will be voted on by the active voting members at a business meeting.
D. Amendments to these bylaws must be approved by 75% of the active voting members present.
SECTION 2. METHOD OF AMENDMENT TO THE STATEMENT OF FAITH
Amendments or changes to the Statement of Faith must be affirmed by 90% of the active voting members present at a business meeting. Such amendments cannot contradict or be in conflict with the current Statement of Faith of the IFCA International unless the church previously votes to disassociate itself from that body. The vote to disassociate itself from the IFCA International requires a 75% majority of the active voting members present. The simple addition or clarification of Scripture references or the correction of grammar or misspelling shall not constitute an actual change to the Statement of Faith. The Board of Elders must notify the members of any changes.
SECTION 3. METHOD OF SUSPENSION
Remembering the words of our Lord that “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27), it is likewise understood that these Bylaws were made to assist in conducting the affairs of Faith Bible Church and not to hinder them. If found to be hindering, a portion of these Bylaws (except ARTICLE II), therefore, may be temporarily suspended for a business meeting by 50% plus one vote of the active voting members present. Any decisions made during a suspension of the rules must be reconfirmed by a majority vote no less than 14 days afterwards.
ARTICLE XI: DISSOLUTION OF THE CORPORATION
The corporation may be dissolved by a vote of 75% of all active voting church members. Upon dissolution of the church corporation, the Board of Elders shall cause the assets of the church to be distributed by transfer of all assets to another not-for-profit corporation with a similar doctrinal statement and beliefs as Faith Bible Church of the San Fernando Valley.
THE STATEMENT OF FAITH OF FAITH BIBLE CHURCH OF THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
I. We believe that the Bible as originally given is the inerrant Word of God and is the final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice.
II. We believe in one God eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
III. We believe in God the Father as the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the Father of all who receive the salvation provided through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
IV. We believe in the Son of God, who became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, who was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of Mary in her virginity, and is true man as well as true God. As such, He willingly died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice, was buried and rose the third day bodily from the dead, being seen of many witnesses; He ascended to the Father to continue His intercessory work for believers and shall return bodily and visibly to receive to Himself all believers, both living and dead, before He begins His tribulation judgments upon the earth, and thereafter shall return to earth to establish His millennial kingdom.
V. We believe in the divine person of the Holy Spirit: in His work of convicting the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment; in His indwelling every believer, enabling him to gain victory over sin, to receive power for service, and to make known to him the things of God.
VI. We believe in man’s creation in the “image of God”; that man sinned and thereby became spiritually dead and subject to physical death; that all descendants of the original parents thus inherit a sinful nature and become sinners in thought, word and deed.
VII. We believe that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith as Savior and Lord are justified in the sight of the Holy God on the grounds of Christ’s shed blood and receive eternal salvation, while those who reject Him are judged to eternal condemnation. Both shall be raised bodily from the dead, the just to everlasting blessedness with the “Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” and the unjust to everlasting punishment in the Lake of Fire with “the devil and his angels.”
VIII. We believe that it is the privilege and responsibility of the Christian to live a Spirit-filled life, a life expressed by the apostle Paul as “not I but Christ liveth in me”; that this victorious life is a life of faith, by faith yielding our life to God and His will once and for all, and by faith yielding to Him moment by moment; that this act of faith will involve the confession and cleansing from past sin with restitution where necessary, deliverance from the practice of known sin, and continuing obedience to the will of God, as God reveals to us His will for our lives through fellowship with Him in prayer and careful study of His Word.