CENTRAL CHRISTIAN CHURCH,
Recommended by the Elders, Deacons and Ministry Council
Of Central Christian Church: August / September 1996
Approved and Adopted by the Congregation:
October / November 1996
We, the members of Central Christian Church, Jonesborough, Tennessee, in order to promote the work of the Church in the Spirit of Christ and thus advance His Kingdom, do hereby adopt this Constitution for Central Christian Church, Jonesborough, Tennessee.
ARTICLE I: IDENTITY
SECTION 1: The name of this organization shall be Central Christian Church of Jonesborough, Tennessee and hereinafter is referred to as such.
SECTION 2:This local congregation is a self-governing Christian community, historically identified with the body of people generally known as Churches of Christ or Christian Churches.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The purpose of Central Christian Church is to worship God by doing what Jesus did and taught (Acts 1:1).
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1: In common with the New Testament Church (Mt. 16:16) Central Christian Church acknowledges no creed but Christ.
SECTION 2: The repentant believer upon confession of this faith: the belief that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, acceptance of Him as personal Savior, and a decision to follow Him as Lord, and then upon immersion in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, becomes a member of Christ’s Church on earth and is recognized as a member of the Congregation of Central Christian Church.
SECTION 3: Members of other Congregations, if immersed, repentant believers will be received as members on presentation of proper letters of commendation, or by confession of faith as described in Section 2 above given before the Congregation at one of its worship services.
SECTION 4: A letter of transfer of individual membership shall be sent to another congregation if requested by the member to any of the elders, deacons or minister of Central Christian Church.
SECTION 5: The elders and senior minister, as part of their shepherding duties, shall periodically review the Congregational membership roster to ensure that current members may be contacted and ministered to, and that former members attending elsewhere or who have otherwise removed themselves from fellowship with the local Congregation are not improperly counted on the local Congregation’s roster.
ARTICLE IV: PERIOD OF ORGANIZATION
The Central Christian Church is to have perpetual existence.
ARTICLE V: LEADERS OF THE CHURCH
SECTION 1: ELECTED OFFICERS: The elected Officers of the Church shall consist of elders and deacons whose qualifications are described in the following section.
SECTION 2: QUALIFICATIONS: Elders must be members of the Congregation of Central Christian Church, over 21 years of age, who are regular in their attendance and stewardship. They must have moral and personal qualifications in line with the Scriptural qualifications for the office of elder. They must have consistently demonstrated those qualifications through service and involvement in the life and activities of the Church beyond simple attendance on Sunday mornings. They must have demonstrated the special skills of shepherding and spiritual counseling required of their office; they must be able and willing to devote their time and their efforts to visitation in members’ homes. They must assist the Senior Minister and Ministry Team leaders in developing service programs that work to build Christianity and spread the Gospel to non-Christians. They must have been members of the Congregation of Central Christian Church for at least one year and one day prior to their election.
Deacons must be members of the Congregation of Central Christian Church, regular in attendance and stewardship and having moral and personal qualifications in line with the respective Scriptural requirements for the office of Deacon. They must have demonstrated those qualifications through service and involvement in the life and activities of the Church beyond simple attendance on Sunday mornings. They will be expected to lead the congregation in service on one or more Ministry Teams and must be able and willing to devote their time and their efforts to that work. They must have been members of the Congregation of Central Christian Church for at least one year and one day prior to their election.
SECTION 3: ELECTION: All elders and deacons shall be elected by the Congregation at a special congregational meeting for that purpose to be held on or about the last Lord’s day in August of each calendar year at the morning worship hour. Voting shall be done by printed ballot, showing candidates for office and their terms of office. A blank space for each office to be filled shall be left on each ballot to permit the writing in of the name of another candidate. All elders and deacons must receive two thirds of the votes cast in order to be elected. Votes for write-in candidates must appear on two-thirds of the ballots received in order to be elected.
SECTION 4: NOMINATION: At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Church Ministry Council (at such a time in the church business year as to reasonably allow nominations to be made) the Chairman of the Council shall appoint a Nominating committee consisting of two elders or deacons, one officer or teacher of the Bible School not an elder or deacon (to be selected by the teachers from among themselves), and one member of the Congregation at large not being from either of the two above bodies. The Nominating Committee will seek recommendations from the Congregation for qualified persons for each office to be filled. The Nominating Committee has the duty to discuss with the nominees the seriousness and responsibility of the office for which the nominee is considered.
All elders and deacons so elected to that office for the first time shall be ordained and shall affirm their commitment to service in the office in an ordination service to be conducted before the Congregation. Elders and deacons previously ordained shall reaffirm their commitment to service before the congregation at that time. The installation and ordination service shall be conducted for the officers by the first Lord’s Day in October following the annual election in August.
SECTION 5: APPOINTMENT TO FILL VACANCIES: Should a vacancy occur in the offices of elders or deacons, by resignation or otherwise, the remaining elders and deacons may fill such vacancy by appointment of any Church member meeting the qualifications described in Article V Section 2 of this Constitution. Such appointment shall be made to cover the period intervening prior to the next annual election at which time the Congregation shall elect an officer to fill the unexpired term.
ARTICLE VI: DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF CHURCH LEADERS
SECTION 1: DUTIES OF ELDERS:The elders and senior minister are the leading pastors of the Church and have spiritual oversight for the Church. They prayerfully establish the spiritual direction for the Church and set clearly defined goals for each specific area of the Church’s ministries: worship, stewardship, shepherding, property, missions, evangelism, education and other ministries of the Church. The elders are expected to play the primary role in the activities of shepherding, counseling and spiritual support for the rest of the Congregation. The elders shall see that the pulpit is supplied in the absence of the senior minister, be ready for consultation and advice and act at the Lord’s Supper.
SECTION 2: DUTIES OF DEACONS: The Deacons are specially recognized servants of the Church and must work to minister to the spiritual needs of the congregation and the community. Each Deacon is expected to lead or participate actively in one or more Ministry teams in carrying out that work.
SECTION 3: MINISTRY COUNCIL: The governing body responsible for doing the day-to-day work of the church in implementing the spiritual programs defined by the Elders in service to the Congregation, the community and the mission fields will be known as the Ministry Council. The Ministry Council will conduct its affairs according to a set of By-Laws which it shall develop, publish and amend as it finds necessary to meet the needs of the Church.
SECTION 4: MEETINGS: All meetings of the Elders, Deacons and the Ministry Council shall be open to attendance and non-disruptive participation by all members of the Congregation except for specific portions where matters of individual privacy are being discussed.
The functional, financial and logistical matters of the ministries are to be presented and reviewed in a regularly meeting of the Ministry Council. These meetings are to be held at a time and place announced to the Congregation to reasonably permit their participation as required above. Matters directly affecting the overall yearly budget or the spiritual life of the Congregation are to be voted upon and approved by a simple majority of the Ministry Council members present before being implemented.
Meetings of the Congregation may be held upon request of the Council or written request of one third of the resident membership as determined by the average of the last four Lord’s Day attendance totals for regular worship. Notice of all meetings of the Congregation shall be given verbally or in writing before the Congregation at the regular Lord’s Day morning worship services for two weeks in advance of the meeting.
Voting in congregation shall be limited to those active members whose names appear as baptized members on the most current Congregation’s roster. Proxy or absentee voting shall not be permitted.
ARTICLE VII: AMENDMENTS
Any member of the Congregation may offer an amendment to this Constitution at any regular meeting of the Ministry Council, provided that the amendment shall be presented in writing before the Council on two different regular meeting days, receiving a vote of two thirds majority of the Council members present of the second of those days. It shall then be presented on two different Lord’s Days before the Congregation and receive a two thirds majority vote of the Congregational members present of the second of those days in order to be adopted and become a part of this Constitution.