Church constitution

Our constitution is a set of rules and procedures that we have agreed upon in order to function well as a church and order ourselves to glorify God and encourage one another.


Preamble

Since it pleased Almighty God, by His Holy Spirit, to call certain of His servants to unite here in 1977 under the name The Chapel in Middleburg Heights, Ohio, for the worship of God and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and since He has sustained and prospered this work to the present day; and

Whereas we, having searched the Scriptures under the guidance of His Spirit, have recognized the need to constitute ourselves to conform more closely to His will for the Church in this age and to prepare ourselves for greater efforts in His name;

Now therefore, we do hereby organize ourselves in accord with the Ohio Nonprofit Corporation Act and adopt this Constitution as our articles of governance, to be interpreted at all times to reflect the character of and bring glory to Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Holy Bible and articulated in the Statement of Faith and Covenant of this church.


Article 1 – Name

1.1 As of 1996, the name of this church is Old Oak Bible Church


Article 2 – Purpose

2.1. This church exists by the grace of God and for the glory of God, which shall be the ultimate purpose in all its activities.

2.2. This church glorifies God by loving him and obeying his commands through:

  • 2.2.1. Worshipping him;
  • 2.2.2. Equipping the saints through preaching, instructing, and studying the Bible;
  • 2.2.3. Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching and personal evangelism, and any other means consistent with the teachings of the Bible;
  • 2.2.4. Encouraging, supporting, and participating in local, domestic, and international missions work;
  • 2.2.5. Administering the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper;
  • 2.2.6. Encouraging biblical fellowship among believers;
  • 2.2.7. Serving other individuals, families, and churches by providing for physical, emotional, and spiritual needs;
  • 2.2.8. And encouraging fellow churches to biblical faithfulness and purity.


Article 3 – Affiliation

3.1 Old Oak Bible Church operates as an independent church with its own governance structure.  To further its purposes, however, the church may affiliate with any like-minded churches, associations, or denominations.


Article 4 – Membership

Section 1 – Qualifications

4.1.1. Members of this church shall be believers in Jesus Christ who:

  • 4.1.2. give evidence of regeneration;
  • 4.1.3. have been baptized as believers in obedience to Christ[1]
  • 4.1.4. hold the doctrines of our church as expressed in the statement of faith; and
  • 4.1.5. promise to keep the commitments expressed in the church covenant.

4.1.6. The elders shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualifications for membership. In making this determination, they may rely on a person’s profession of faith, or such other evidence, as the elders deem appropriate. 


Section 2 – Admission of Members

4.2.1. All persons desiring to unite with this church shall attend a multi-session membership class, meet with an elder, and shall give testimony of their conversion and transformed life. 

4.2.2. An applicant shall be received as a member of the church upon the recommendation of the elders and the subsequent agreement of the majority of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.

4.2.3.  No member of this church shall retain membership in any other church.


Section 3 – Duties and Privileges of Membership

Members shall be expected to participate actively in the life of the church by:

  • 4.3.1.  Regularly attending public worship on the Lord’s Day;
  • 4.3.2.  Faithfully observing its ordinances, namely, baptism and the Lord’s Supper;
  • 4.3.3.  Submitting to its discipline and instruction;
  • 4.3.4.  Attending its members’ meetings;
  • 4.3.5. Voting on the church’s governing documents (constitution, statement of faith, and covenant) and on all other matters submitted to the congregation at a members’ meeting.
  • 4.3.6.  Contributing to the ministry of the church consistent with the gifts, time, and resources each has received from God.

4.3.7.  No person who is not a member shall lead any ministry or hold any office of the church. Non-members may participate on a case-by-case basis with approval from the elders.


Section 4 – Members’ Meeting Responsibilities

The church, duly assembled in a members’ meeting, shall be responsible to:

  • 4.4.1.  Elect and remove elders, deacons/deaconesses, and other officers;
  • 4.4.2.  Receive applicants into membership;
  • 4.4.3.  Recognize that membership has been terminated by death, apostasy, or voluntary resignation;
  • 4.4.4.  Exercise church discipline;
  • 4.4.5.  Approve an annual budget;
  • 4.4.6.  Hear reports from the elders and, from time to time, the various deacons/deaconesses; and,
  • 4.4.7.  Take any other action it deems necessary or desirable.


Section 5 – Church Discipline

4.5.1. Any member consistently neglectful of his or her duties (as articulated in Article 4, Section 3) or guilty of unrepentant conduct contrary to the principles of Scripture, and so opposing the welfare of the church, may be subject to the admonition of the elders and the discipline of the church, according to the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15–17, 1 Corinthians 5, and other Scriptures.

4.5.2. Church discipline, then, should ordinarily be contemplated after individual private admonition has failed.

4.5.3. Church discipline can include admonition by the elders or congregation, removal from office, and excommunication (see Matthew 18:15–17; 2 Thessalonians 3:14–15; 1 Timothy 5:19– 20; 1 Corinthians 5:4–5).

4.5.4. The purpose of such discipline should be for:

  • 4.5.5. The repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the person disciplined 
    • (see Proverbs 15:5; 29: 15; 1 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4–5; Hebrews       12:1–11; Psalm 119:115; 141:5; Proverbs 17:10; 25:12; 27: 5; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Matthew 7:26–27; 18:15–17; Luke 17:3; Acts 2:40; 1 Corinthians 5:5;       Galatians 6:1–5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14–15; 1 Timothy 1:20; Titus       1:13–14; James 1:22);
  • 4.5.6. The instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them 
    • (see Proverbs 13:20; Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 15:33; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:14 [note this is written to the whole church, not just to       leaders]; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:11; Hebrews 10:24– 25);
  • 4.5.7. The purity of the church as a whole 
    • (see 1 Corinthians 5:6–7; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 5:27; 2 John 10; Jude 24;       Revelation 21:2);
  • 4.5.8. The church’s corporate witness to non-Christians 
    • (see Proverbs 28:7; Matthew 5:13–16; John 13:35; Acts 5:1–14; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Peter 2:2; 1 John 3:10); and,
  • 4.5.9. Supremely, for the glory of God by reflecting his holy character 
    • (see Deuteronomy 5:11; 1 Kings 11:2; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Ezra 6:21; Nehemiah 9:2; Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 36:20; Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; 18:17, 25; Romans 2:24; 15:5–6; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; 1 Peter 2:12).


Section 6 – Removal/Termination of Membership

4.6.1.  The church shall recognize the termination of a person’s membership following his or her death, apostasy, or his or her voluntary resignation with intent to join another gospel-preaching church.

4.6.2.  The church shall have authority to refuse a member’s voluntary resignation or transfer of membership to another church, either for the purpose of proceeding with church discipline, or for any other reason the church deems necessary or prudent.

4.6.3.  A member shall be removed from membership as a matter of church discipline upon the recommendation of the elders and the later agreement of at least three-quarters of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.


Section 7 – Associate Membership

4.7.1. Students and others temporarily residing in the Middleburg Heights area may be received as Associates of the church, provided they are members in good standing of another evangelical, Baptistic church.

4.7.2. An Applicant shall be received as an Associate upon the recommendation of the Elders and the subsequent agreement of a majority of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.

4.7.3.. Associates shall retain membership in one other evangelical, baptistic church.

4.7.4.. Associates shall be expected to participate actively in the life of the church in the same way as Members, except that they shall not be eligible either to stand for any office or to vote.

4.7.5.. A person’s association with the church shall terminate immediately upon the ending of residence in the Middleburg Heights area or by voluntary resignation. The church shall have authority to terminate the association of any church associate consistently neglectful of his or her duties, or guilty of scandalous conduct by which the reputation of Christ or His church is dishonored. In such an event, the elders shall refer disciplinary action to the pastor or elders of the excluded person’s home church.


Article 5 – Meetings

Section 1 – Worship

5.1.1.  The church shall meet together for public worship each Lord’s Day, and at other times throughout the week as the church may determine.


Section 2 – Members’ Meetings

In every meeting together, members shall act in the spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration that is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

5.2.1. The church shall hold a regular members’ meeting at least once every three months, which shall not be held in place of the regular Lord’s Day morning meeting, but at some other time. 

5.2.2.  The elders, whenever they deem it necessary, or within thirty days of receiving a written request signed by ten percent of the membership, shall call a special members’ meeting.

5.2.3.  No members’ meeting shall be held unless the date, time, and place of the meeting has been announced at every public meeting of the church for at least a week immediately before the members’ meeting in question.

5.2.4.  An elder designated by the board of elders shall preside as moderator at all members’ meetings, but shall have no vote, unless the members are equally divided on a question.

5.2.5.  Members’ meetings shall proceed in reasonable order, and the members present shall constitute a quorum to do business.  Motions shall be adopted by a majority vote of the members present and voting on the question, except on matters otherwise provided for in this constitution.

5.2.6. Members may participate in a members meeting by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment whereby all persons participating in the meeting can simultaneously hear each other. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at such meeting. When such a meeting is conducted by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment, a written record shall be made of the action taken at such meeting, noting participation of those who were present by means of such communications equipment.


Article 6 – Government

Section 1 – Summary

6.1.1.  The biblical offices in the church shall be elders and deacons, but final earthly authority is vested in the assembled congregation. All elders and deacons must be members of this church prior to assuming their responsibilities.


Section 2 – Elders

6.2.1. Introduction: Subject to the will of the congregation, the elders shall oversee the ministry, resources, legal, business, and facilities of the church. 

6.2.2. The board of elders shall be comprised of no fewer than three men who satisfy the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 and who shall carry out their duties in accordance with 1 Peter 5:1-4.

6.2.3. Selection: Elders shall be recognized as follows: The elders may present the name of a nominee (or nominees) to the church at any regular members’ meeting.  For at least a month, the church shall consider whether the nominee is (or nominees are) qualified.  Any member intending to vote against a nominee should express his or her objection to at least one elder as early as possible before the vote. Elders may decide to remove the nomination based on said advice. Once at least a month has passed, the elders may move the nomination(s) to a vote at a regular members’ meeting.  The members shall vote on nominees by written ballot one at a time.  The moderator or his delegates shall count the votes, and any nominee immediately shall become an elder who receives the approval of at least three-quarters of the members present and voting on his nomination.  In due haste after the vote, the church shall publicly recognize and set apart all such newly approved elders.

6.2.3. Taking Recommendations: At least once in every year, the Elders shall at any members’ meeting solicit from the congregation recommendations for the office of Elder, which recommendations shall be given to the Elders in private, and not publicly. The Elders shall give due consideration to any recommendation received.

6.2.4. On Women Elders: In accordance with 1 Timothy 2:12 and 3:2, women shall not serve as elders.[2]

6.2.5. Majority Lay Elders: A majority of the Elders shall be laymen, that is, church members not in the regular pay of the church. 

6.2.6. Term Regulations: With the exception of the preaching elder (also called the senior pastor) and associate pastors, elders shall be reaffirmed by vote of the church triennially, and having served two consecutive three-year terms, shall not be eligible for reelection for one year. In the case that a term regulation would cause there to be less than three elders and there are no eligible elders in consideration, the church may vote to extend an elder’s term by one year. Neither a lead pastor nor an associate pastor shall be subject to any term limit. 

6.2.7. Elders Cannot Hold Office of Deacon: No elder shall hold the office of deacon during his tenure.

6.2.8. Elders and Officers of Corporation: In accordance with the nonprofit corporation laws of Ohio, the elders shall serve as the board of trustees of the corporation, and the elders shall designate the senior pastor to serve as the president/chairman of the corporation.  

6.2.9. Responsibilities: The elders shall, in keeping with Scripture (especially Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; James 5:14; and 1 Peter 5:1-5), take responsibility to shepherd God’s flock by devoting themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.  They shall have particular authority to:

  • 6.2.10.  Plan and oversee worship services;
  • 6.2.11.  Oversee the ordinances, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper;
  • 6.2.12.  Examine and instruct prospective members;
  • 6.2.13.  Oversee the process of church discipline;
  • 6.2.14.  Examine and recommend candidates for all offices and positions;
  • 6.2.15.  Oversee the work of deacons, deaconesses, and all other agents of the church;
  • 6.2.16.  Give final oversight, when necessary, to the hiring and termination of non-elder church staff, as ordinarily conducted by the senior pastor; 
  • 6.2.17 Shall determine who may or may not use the church facilities
  • 6.2.18  Ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation, including outside speakers, share the fundamental convictions of OOBC; 
  • 6.2.19. Sign any legal contracts on behalf of OOBC; and
  • 6.2.20.  Take any other action which shall be necessary and proper for faithfully overseeing and shepherding the church; and

6.2.20 Elders Meetings: By the majority of the elders present the elders shall select one person to chair each meeting. Meetings of the elders shall be conducted in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws and any procedures adopted by the elders. Unless otherwise required by the Constitution and Bylaws or any procedures adopted by the elders, the act of the majority of the elders present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the elders. A quorum of elders shall consist of over half of the elders of the church.

Elders may participate in a meeting of the elders or any committee by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment whereby all persons participating in the meeting can simultaneously hear each other. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at such meeting. When such a meeting is conducted by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment, a written record shall be made of the action taken at such meeting, noting participation of those who were present by means of such communications equipment.

Any action required or permitted to be taken by the elders may be taken without a meeting, if a majority of the elders, individually or collectively, consent to the action. Such action shall have the same force and effect as a vote of the elders at a regular meeting.

6.2.21.  Presenting Budget: Annually, after consulting with the deacons, deaconesses, officers, and members of the church, the elders shall present to the church an itemized budget.  This budget shall be presented for discussion at a specially called meeting and moved to a vote on the budget as a whole at the following members’ meeting.  No money shall be solicited by or on behalf of the church or any of its ministries without the approval of the elders.

6.2.22. Removal: As members of the church, elders shall be subject to the same church discipline process (see Art. 4, Sec. 5). Even if repentant, an elder may still render himself disqualified from his position. An elder shall be removed from office upon the vote of three-quarters of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Timothy 5:17-21.  


Section 3 – The Senior Pastor

6.3.1. Introduction: Primary responsibility for preaching and teaching the Scriptures in public meetings of the church will be vested in the senior pastor. The senior pastor shall be an elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder described in Section 2, above. 

6.3.2. As defined below, and in accordance with the nonprofit corporation laws of Ohio, the elders shall designate the senior pastor to serve as the president of the corporation.

6.3.3. If the senior pastor is absent or incapacitated, the elders shall assume responsibility for his duties, any of which may be delegated to someone biblically qualified to perform such duties.

6.3.4. Selection: The senior pastor shall be selected as follows:  The elders shall present the name of one nominee to the position of preaching elder at a regular members meeting.  For at least a month, the church shall consider the nominee’s gifts in preaching and teaching, his commitment to minister personally to the members of this church, and his wholehearted assent to the statement of faith and church covenant.  Any member intending to vote against a nominee should express his or her objection to at least one elder as early as possible before the vote. The elders may on the basis of that advice remove names from the list of nominees. Once at least a month has passed, the elders may move the nomination to a vote at a regular members’ meeting.  The moderator or his delegates shall count the votes, and if the nominee receives the approval of at least three-quarters of the members present and voting on his nomination, he shall immediately be the preaching elder (and, if he is not yet an elder and member, also an elder and member).  In a reasonable time after the vote, the church shall publicly recognize and set apart the lead pastor. 

6.3.5 Term Regulations: The senior pastor shall not be subject to any term limit.

6.3.6 Removal: The lead pastor is subject to the same removal process as the rest of the elders. He shall be removed from office upon the vote of three-quarters of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1 Timothy 5:17-21. If intending to discontinue as pastor, the senior pastor shall give the church no less than sixty days’ notice of his intention to discontinue as pastor. The church will pay two months’ salary and medical insurance upon the date of removal. 


Section 4 – Associate Pastors

6.4.1. Introduction: The church may call additional pastors whose relationship to the preaching elder (or lead pastor) is that of associate.  Other pastoral responsibilities may be vested in one or more staff elders, or associate pastors.

6.4.2. Selection: An associate pastor shall be selected in the same manner as the senior pastor (see Art. 6, Sec. 3, Cl. 4).

6.4.3. Qualifications and Authority: An associate pastor shall meet all the qualifications and hold all the rights and responsibilities of a church member. He shall meet all the qualifications and hold all the duties and responsibilities of an elder. In terms of formal authority, there shall be no distinction between an elder and an associate pastor.

6.4.4. Responsibilities: Associate pastors shall assist the senior pastor in the performance of his regular duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of pastor, or as set forth in the constitution, or which may be specifically assigned to them by the congregation.

6.4.5. Term Regulations: An associate pastor shall not be subject to any term limit.

6.4.6. Removal: An associate pastor shall be removed in the same manner as the senior pastor (see Art. 6, Sec. 3, Cl. 6). 


Section 5 – Deacons and Deaconnesses

6.5.1. Introduction: Particular service to the church shall be provided by deacons/deaconesses, who will vary in number depending on the needs of the church, and who shall satisfy the qualifications in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

6.5.2. Definition of Role: While the spiritual needs of the church do not change through time, the temporal needs do. Accordingly, the duties of pastors are clearly pointed out in Scripture, whereas the particular duties of deacons are not. Thus, whatever temporal requirements arise from the needs of the church are committed to the deacons, they being the servants of the church.

6.5.3. The deacons/deaconesses shall not meet together regularly as a body. Each diaconate position shall serve a particular need of the church, and shall be created or dissolved upon the recommendation of the elders and the later agreement of a majority of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.

6.5.4. Selection: Deacons/deaconesses shall be recognized as follows: The elders may present the name of a nominee (or nominees) to the church at any regular members’ meeting. For at least a month, the church shall consider whether the nominee is (or nominees are) qualified. Any member intending to vote against a nominee should express his or her objection to at least one elder as early as possible before the vote to the elders, who may on the basis of that advice remove names from the list of nominees. Once at least a month has passed, the elders may move the nomination(s) to a vote at a regular members’ meeting.  The members shall vote on nominees one at a time.  The moderator or his delegates shall count the votes, and any nominee immediately shall become a deacon (or deaconess) who receives the approval of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting on his (or her) nomination.  In due haste after the vote, the church shall publicly recognize and set apart all such newly approved deacons.

6.5.5. Recommendations: At least once in every year, the Elders shall at any regular Members’ Meeting solicit from the congregation recommendations for new diaconate positions and for qualified persons to fill new or vacant positions, which recommendations shall be given to the Elders in private, and not publicly. The Elders shall give due consideration to any recommendation received.

6.5.6. Term Regulations: Deacons/deaconesses shall be elected to one term lasting for a maximum of two years and, having served two two-year terms, shall not be eligible for reelection for one year. However, if no other candidate is under consideration, the church may vote to extend the term by one year. 

6.5.7. Authority: In keeping with the principles in Acts 6:1-6, deacons/deaconesses shall not exercise spiritual authority, but shall be subject to the direction and oversight of the elders and shall enable the elders to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word, work to maintain the unity of the church, and care for the physical needs of the church.

6.5.8. Responsibilities: The church may recognize deacons/deaconesses to take responsibility to:

· 6.5.9. Care for the temporal needs of members,

· 6.5.10. Attend to the accommodations for public worship, and

· 6.5.11. Encourage, support, and mobilize those able to help others.

· 6.5.12. The deacons and deaconesses shall receive, hold, and disburse, upon approval from two elders, a fund for benevolence, reporting on its use to the elders at their request, and reporting to the church only its total receipts and total disbursements.

· 6.5.13. The deacons and deaconesses, with the agreement of the elders, may establish unpaid administrative positions or committees of members to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in the church.

6.5.15. Removal: A deacon/deaconess may be removed from office upon the recommendation of the elders and the later vote of a majority of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.

6.5.16. Vacancy: In the event a diaconate position becomes vacant, the Elders may appoint a person to fill that position and assume its responsibilities, until such time as some person can be duly recognized by the church as a Deacon/Deaconess.


Article 7 – Administration

In addition, our church recognizes the administrative positions under this constitution of secretary and treasurer. All officers must be members of this church prior to assuming their responsibilities.


Section 1 – Secretary

7.1.1. The secretary shall record the minutes of all regular and special members’ meetings of the church and keep an accurate roll of the membership. In compliance with the nonprofit corporation laws of Ohio, the secretary shall serve as the secretary of the corporation.

7.1.2. The secretary shall be a member of the church. The secretary shall not be an elder.

7.1.3. The secretary shall be selected to a renewable term of three years upon the recommendation of the Elders and the subsequent agreement of a majority of the Members present and voting on the question at any Members’ Meeting.

7.1.4. In the absence or incapacity of the secretary the elders shall appoint a member to perform the duties of the church secretary.

7.1.5. The secretary may be removed from office by a majority vote of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.


Section 2 – Treasurer

7.2.1. The treasurer shall ensure that all funds and securities of the church are properly secured in the banks, financial institutions, or depositories held by the church. The treasurer shall also ensure that full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements are kept in books belonging to the church, and that adequate controls are implemented to guarantee that all funds belonging to the church are appropriately handled by any officer, employee, or agent of the church. The treasurer shall provide to the elders at least once a year, or whenever the elders may require it, an account of all financial transactions since the last complete account and of the financial condition of the church. The treasurer shall also present reports of the account balances, revenues, and expenses of the church at regular members’ meetings.

7.2.2. The treasurer shall be selected to a renewable term of three years upon the recommendation of the Elders and the subsequent agreement of a majority of the Members present and voting on the question at any Members’ Meeting. 

7.2.3. The treasurer shall be a member of the church. No elder or paid staff member of the church may serve as treasurer. 

7.2.4. The treasurer shall be removed from office upon the recommendation of the elders and the later vote of a majority of the members present and voting on the question at any members’ meeting.


Article 8 – Indemnification

8.1. If a legal claim or criminal allegation is made against a person because he or she is or was an officer, employee, or agent of the church, the church shall provide indemnification against liability and costs incurred in defending against the claim if the elders determine that the person acted (a) in good faith, (b) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under similar circumstances, and (c) in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the church, and the person had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful. 

8.2. If a quorum of the elders is not available for an indemnification determination because of the number of elders seeking indemnification, the requisite determination may be made by the membership or by special legal counsel appointed by the membership.


Article 9 – Dispute Resolution

9.1.  Believing that the Bible commands Christians to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian church (see, e.g., Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 6:1-8), the church shall urge its members to resolve conflict among themselves according to biblically based principles, without resorting to the civil courts.

9.2.  In the case of alleged criminal behavior, it may be appropriate to resolve conflict in the criminal courts, not least because such alleged criminal behavior may in some cases legally be required to be reported to the government authorities (see Romans 13:3-4).

9.3.  Consistent with its call to peacemaking, the church shall encourage members to use biblical principles and avoid lawsuits to resolve disputes among themselves and with those outside the church—including believers and unbelievers, and individuals and corporations.  The elders may adopt policies and procedures to encourage the church to live up to these aspirations.


Article 10 – Ratification

10.1. This Constitution shall be ratified upon the approval of two-thirds of the Members present and voting on the question at any regular business meeting of the church, and shall take effect upon the recognition of at least three Elders.


Article 11 – Amendments

11.1. The statement of faith or church covenant shall be amended upon the recommendation of the elders and the agreement of three-quarters of the members voting on the question at any regular members’ meeting, provided the amendment was presented by the elders in writing at a previous regular members’ meeting, and was announced at every public meeting of the church during the two weeks immediately before the vote.

11.2. This constitution shall be amended upon the recommendation of the elders and the agreement of two-thirds of the members voting on the question at any regular members’ meeting, provided the amendment was presented by the elders in writing at a previous regular members’ meeting, and was announced at every public meeting of the church during the two weeks immediately before the vote.

    

[1] OOBC expects all of its members to have the desire to get baptized, but also realizes that due to physical restrictions, some may be unable. 


[2] For a further explanation see our Shepherd Statement on the biblical roles of men and women.