Constitution

Preamble

We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in an orderly manner.  This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other churches.

I. Name

This body shall be known as the First Baptist Church of Poteau.  It is located at 300 North Witte, Poteau, Oklahoma 74953.

II. Objectives

To be a dynamic spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community and throughout the world.

To be a worshipping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing His person, and responding in obedience to His leadership.

To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers.

To help people experience a growing knowledge of God and man’s relationship to God.

To be a church which ministers unselfishly to its members, to other persons in the community, and to the world in Jesus’ name.

To be a church whose purpose is to be Christ-like in our daily living by emphasizing total commitment of life, personality and possessions to the Lordship of Christ.

III. Statement of Basic Beliefs

We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and the basis for our beliefs.  This church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963.  (See Attached) We voluntarily band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind.  The ordinances of the church are Believer’s Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  (See Article VI of the Bylaws).

IV. Church Covenant

            Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit; to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all malicious talk (tattling), backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover, engage that when we remove from this place we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

V. Relationships

            The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it.  Persons duly received by the members shall constitute the membership.  (See Article I of the Bylaws).

All internal groups created and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action.

This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist Churches.  Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the Association, the State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.