ARTICLE ONE: NAME
1.1 The Title of this organization shall be:
The Buckley Gospel Tabernacle
ARTICLE TWO: PURPOSE
2.1 The purpose of this organization shall be as follows:
Vision: Changed lives
Mission: Love God, love people, make disciples
ARTICLE THREE: STATEMENT OF FAITH
3.1 The Triune God
We believe that the one and only true God is Spirit; self existent, eternal, infinite, personal, and unchangeable; perfect in every good attribute and work; omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent; creator and sustainer of all things; eternally existent in three persons Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Exodus 34:6; Deuteronomy 32:4; Matthew 28:19)
God the Father
We believe that the Father is self – existent, neither begotten nor proceeding; the external Father of the Lord Jesus Christ; the author of salvation; the Father of all who are begotten into newness of life through faith in Christ. (Psalm 90:2; 1Peter 1:3)
God the Son
We believe in the Deity of Christ; in His eternal generation from the Father, in His incarnation, whereby He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, thereby uniting the divine and the human nature in His one unique person; in His sinless life and His vicarious death to make atonement for the sins of the world; in His bodily resurrection and ascension to the Father; in His present mediatorial work for the believer; and in His imminent coming in power and glory. (Hebrews 1:8; Acts 2:22-25)
God the Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit as the person of the Holy Trinity who lives within the believer. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, empowers us to live a holy life, counsels, comforts and guides us in truth. (John 15:26; Acts 15:8-9)
3.2 The Bible
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God given by divine inspiration, inerrant in the original manuscript, and is the unchanging authority in matters of Christian faith and practices. (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
We believe that mankind was created by God, in His own image, but because of Adam’s sin (disobedience) man inherits a corrupt nature that inclines him to do wrong. Man cannot save himself by his own will or works. (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3; Romans 5:12) We believe that gender is sacred as created by God, and that men and women have equal value before God.
Salvation is accomplished by Grace, through Faith. Jesus Christ, the living Son of God, was given by God, as a sacrifice for the sins of all men. Christ died on the cross to mend the relationship between God and man which has been broken by man’s sin of disobedience. Belief and faith in Jesus Christ, recognizing him as Lord and Savior, gives men and women the free gift of eternal life. (John 3:16-18; Romans 3:22-24; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9)
We believe that sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse the heart, indwell the person of the believer, and direct and empower a life dedicated to the will of God. (1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 2:12-13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13)
3.6 The Church
We believe that the invisible and universal church is an organism composed of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, who have been called out from the world, separated from sin, and vitally united by faith to Christ, its head and sovereign Lord. (Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 12:23)
3.7 The Second Coming of Christ (Heaven and Hell)
We believe that those who have not accepted Christ as their personal Savior and are unrepentant, will be judged by God in His perfect justice and doomed to eternal punishment. We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ to receive His believers into heaven and eternal life. The time of His return is unknown but may be at any moment. This is the glorious hope of all of God’s children. (Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Corinthians 15:50-54; 2 Corinthians 5:10; John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
ARTICLE FOUR: CHRISTIAN DISCIPLESHIP AND CHRISTIAN CONDUCT
The Bible teaches the observance of two ordinances:
We believe that baptism by water is the symbol of one’s union by faith with Christ in death, burial, and resurrection; constitutes a public confession of faith in Christ; and is the answer of a good conscience toward God. Baptism, preferably by immersion, is for those who give evidence of having been born again, and is restricted to those of an age of accountability. (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Peter 3:21)
b) The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s supper is a memorial of Christ’s death; a center of communion and fellowship; a testimony to saving faith; and a visible seal of Christ’s redemptive covenant. It is to be observed only by the true child of God, and is open to all true believers. The scriptures strongly urge that one examine himself before partaking of this ordinance. (1 Corinthians 11:23-29)
We believe the overarching aim of discipleship is for the Christian to live a life of obedience to God, summarized in the following scriptures:
The Great Commandment – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30)
The Great Commission – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a)
“My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
We believe that Scripture teaches that we are saved by grace alone through faith alone (Romans and Galatians). We also affirm that the true believer’s life will display the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work (Galatians 5) and be marked by obedience.
“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth.” (John 14:15-17a)
“Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17b)
4.3 Christian Conduct
Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we are silent, in essentials – unity; in opinions – liberty; and in all things - love.
We believe that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within covenant marriage between one man and one woman. The Bible deems all other sexual activities as sin. (1 Corinthians 6:18)
We believe that marriage is defined solely as the union of one man and one woman. This union was originated by God and affirmed by Jesus. This definition excludes same-sex, transgender and polygamous unions. (Genesis 2:20; Matthew 19:4-6)
We will faithfully follow these scripturally supported definitions of gender, sexuality and marriage in the teachings and practices of this church, her staff and members. At the same time, The Tabernacle will provide an environment that welcomes people who struggle with sexual sin. We seek to love all people in Jesus’ name, pointing them towards Christ’s power to forgive and heal.
On matters of discipleship, conduct and practice, members should always remember the personal and communal implications as set forth in the following scriptures:
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12)
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:3-5)
Jesus’ Prayer For All Believers “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)
The follower of Christ is expected to personally pursue God in obedience, prayer, worship, and in strengthening that comes through the fellowship of believers. Furthermore, members are expected to submit to the organizational leadership and spiritual accountability of the church elders and pastors, and to pray faithfully for them. Members are expected to participate as they are gifted and able in the edification of the church body. (Romans 12)
The Christian must carefully consider the teachings of scripture, which is our authority on matters of Christian conduct, and to faithfully obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit. On moral issues that are clearly set forth in scripture, the member is expected to strictly adhere. On matters that are unclear or open to interpretation, the member is expected to, “Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters… to not put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way,” and to “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:1, 13, 19)
Please also consider the following guiding scriptures: Romans 12:1; Galatians 5:19-26; Colossians 3:12-14; Psalm 139; Matthew 5:32; Romans 1:24-31; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:7; James 4:11, 5:9;
1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Corinthians 6:9-12, 20; Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:5-10.
THE BY-LAWS OF THE BUCKLEY GOSPEL TABERNACLE
ARTICLE ONE: MEMBERSHIP
1.1 Requirements for Membership
A prospective member of this church, with regular attendance for 6 months, must heartily subscribe to the statements of faith and discipleship as outlined in Article Three and Four of the Constitution. He must be a believer in God, have repented of sin, displayed faith in the pardoning grace of Jesus Christ, and seek to grow in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 10:9-10) The prospective member shall be asked to attend a membership meeting and/or fill out the following forms: Response and Testimony, Skills, Talents, Hobbies and the Covenant of Membership. A prospective member shall be of the age of 16 or older.
1.2 Admission of Members
a) The name of the person desiring membership shall then be presented to the Executive Board by the Pastoral Staff Team.
b) The Prospective member’s name shall then be presented to the Executive Board as a whole, along with the completed forms for membership as needed and any recommendations deemed necessary. A vote of the Board shall be taken. Upon the affirmative vote of 2/3 of the Board Membership the applicant shall be admitted to membership.
c) For a letter of transfer from another church the prospective member would be asked to attend a membership meeting and/or fill out the following forms: Response and Testimony, Skills, Talents, Hobbies and the Covenant of Membership.
1.3 Membership Roll
A permanent record of membership shall be kept by the Board Secretary in a database with a permanent copy placed at the end of each year’s records. The record shall show the name of the member, the date of admission to membership, and the date and circumstances of any removal from membership. The Executive Board shall annually inspect this membership roll and see that it is kept faithfully up-to-date.
1.4 Dismissal of Members
Membership at The Tabernacle is a covenant relationship. The membership roll is a list of those who have made and are endeavoring to keep the membership covenant. It is expected that all who are members shall be regular in their attendance at The Tabernacle when they are in the area and as health permits. When members have permanently moved out of the area (for three (3) years or more) their membership shall be terminated here unless they are involved in Christian ministry as a pastor, pastor’s wife, missionary, etc. Members who move are encouraged to unite with another congregation of believers as part of Christ’s Church. A letter of recommendation shall be granted to any member who has left the Buckley Gospel Tabernacle in good standing, upon their request.
When there is a biblical cause for dismissal of a member, such cause shall be presented to the Executive Board in private session. After due examination of such causes, and after earnest effort to reclaim the errant member in a biblical manner, the Board may expel such a member, by a 2/3 vote.
ARTICLE TWO: EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Executive Board shall consist of not less than five (5) voting members, elected by the congregation. In addition to the voting members there shall be the following non-voting members: Pastor, [any Associate Pastor or assistant, as deemed necessary by the Lead Pastor] and any non-elected appointees [Treasurer, Secretary, and Trustees]. All Board Members must be members in good standing of the Buckley Gospel Tabernacle.
a) The Executive Board shall elect from their number the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board. The Executive Board shall appoint a Secretary, Treasurer, and Trustees. If Appointees are not from the elected Board they shall be non-voting.
b) The Board shall act as the Pulpit committee to secure a Lead Pastor when needed, provided that their selection be presented to the membership for final approval, such approval requiring at least a 2/3 vote.
c) The Lead Pastor shall be accorded a yearly interview by as many of the members of the Executive Board as desire to meet with him prior to the month when the Pastoral Vote will be taken, if one is to be taken.
d) The Executive Board shall meet not less than four (4) times annually. The Chairman shall have the authority to call a Special Meeting of the Executive Board.
e) The Chairman shall preside at all Business Sessions of the Board and the Church Membership, when he is able to do so.
f) The Vice-Chairman shall preside at all Business Sessions when the Chairman is unable to do so.
g) The Board Secretary shall keep record of all actions of the executive board and the membership rolls.
h) The Treasurer shall be custodian of all church monies. A full record of receipts and expenditures shall be kept, with written reports to be presented monthly or as the Board may designate. The Board shall authorize expenditures of these funds. The Treasurer’s books shall be audited each quarter by a Board appointee.
i) Trustees are representative of the Executive Board and membership, and the overseers of all legal matters regarding the property of the church, such as insurance [including vehicular], maintenance, improvements, disposition of all property, restricting use of property, care of titles, and other legal functions related to church property. The Trustees should oversee an inspection of the Church Plant and Parsonage at least every six (6) months and recommend to the Board any maintenance or improvements deemed necessary.
j) Two-thirds of the membership of the Board shall constitute a Quorum. (Two-thirds rounded to the nearest whole number.)
k) The Executive Board shall appoint an eligible member to replace any Board member who resigns or is unable to complete his term.
ARTICLE THREE: COMMITTEES
3.1 Board appointed. Any committee deemed necessary to the efficient and effective operation of the work of the Tabernacle may be appointed by the Executive Board.
3.2 Pastoral appointed. The pastor shall have the privilege of proposing a committee to the Executive Board for their approval, and shall have no committees not so approved.
ARTICLE FOUR: ANNUAL MEETING
a) Both the Fiscal Year and Church Business Year shall end May 31st each year.
b) The Annual Business Meeting of the Church shall be held on a duly announced (at least 3 services in advance) meeting at the conclusion of the fiscal year. At this Annual Meeting, reports shall be given by the various officers, ministries, committees of the Church to keep the members of the Church informed of the activities of the various facets of the Church work during the past year.
c) The Executive Board shall select a nominating committee from its members. The committee shall solicit nominations from the membership, the pastor(s) and other Executive Board members. The committee shall communicate the biblical qualifications and requirements of the position to the nominees, request their consent or interview as they deem necessary. This committee shall present a list of eligible nominees to the Executive Board for approval by a (2/3) two-thirds vote. Approved nominees are to be put on the ballot at the Annual Membership Meeting, where they will be voted on by the membership. Nominations will not be accepted from the floor at the Annual Membership Meeting.
d) Other business deemed Membership Business is to be cared for at this meeting.
A quorum at any dually called meeting of the church membership shall consist of at least 2/3 executive board and members who are present. Members must be on the roll and eligible to vote but do not qualify for an absentee ballot.
4.3 Voting Eligibility
a) To be eligible to vote, a member must be at least 18 years of age, must reside in the area at least 6 months of the year, and must be regular in their attendance while in the area, as health permits.
b) Members who are eligible to vote but who cannot be present at the business meeting may request an absentee ballot for one of the following reasons:
i) Illness or care of one who is ill
ii) Required work at time of meeting
iii) Out of town at time of meeting
c) All decisions on voting eligibility shall be made by the Board or a committee appointed by the Board. Appeals on Board rulings may be made to the membership meeting in a business session. Since decisions affecting the spiritual life of the church are of great importance, the rules on voting eligibility should be carefully and conscientiously applied.
** The 6 month residency requirement may be waived by the Board for someone who is away on missionary/ministerial work, provided they are in residence for some part of the previous 12 months before the business meeting, and provided the board believes the individual is reasonably informed as to the issues being voted on.
ARTICLE FIVE: PASTORAL VOTE, CHANGE, AND CALL
A pastoral vote may be taken yearly, in the month of March, if recommended by the Executive Board, or at the end of an appointed term, or as requested by a majority vote of the membership resulting from a duly called meeting. A “duly called” meeting of the membership is a meeting which has been requested by at least six (6) members of the church, approved by the Executive Board, and announced at least three (3) services in advance. (Worship Services or letter mailed to each member)
a) A majority positive vote shall leave it to the discretion of the pastor as to whether or not to retain his position. A majority negative vote shall call for a Pastoral change.
b) In case of a Pastoral change, the Executive Board shall work with the Pastor toward an amicable agreement as to time, severance monies, and any aid in the moving process.
c) Pastor changes should be handled with utmost care, concern and compassion, considering the feelings of all involved. It behooves both Pastor and people to be prepared to accept change graciously and in a manner that will do the least harm to the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.
5.3 Pastoral Call
a) In securing a new Pastor the Executive Board shall act as set forth In Article Two, 2.2 b and c.
b) The Board shall present to the Membership for its vote, candidates it has approved after reviewing resumes’, considering recommendations and carefully interviewing prospective Pastors.
c) Moving expenses for the incoming Pastor shall be covered by Buckley Gospel Tabernacle when those expenses have been approved by the Executive Board.
ARTICLE SIX: AMENDMENTS
6.1 Amendments to the CONSTITUTION
The Constitution of the Buckley Gospel Tabernacle may be amended as follows:
a) Any proposed change must be submitted in writing to the Executive Board. If approved by a majority vote of the Board, it shall then be read to the church membership in two (2) Sunday morning services just prior to the annual membership meeting or a specially called meeting for this purpose.
b) At the business meeting, copies of the proposed changes shall be made available to all voting members, and an opportunity shall be given for thorough discussion of the changes. It shall take a 2/3 majority of the eligible voters of the church to amend the Constitution.
c) No amendment shall be allowed, however, which is contrary to the purposes of this organization or contour which destroy any Article in its Statement of Faith.
6.2 Amendments to the Bylaws
The Bylaws may be amended as follows:
a) The proposed change is to be presented to the Executive Board. If approved by a majority vote of the Board, the proposed change is to be read to the membership present at a regular Sunday morning service at least once before the meeting at which the proposed change is to be voted on.
b) At the Annual Membership Meeting, the proposed changes will be presented to the assembly in the form of a motion and acted upon as a regular motion. A simple majority of those voting being necessary to pass the motion.
ARTICLE SEVEN: DISSOLUTION
The Buckley Gospel Tabernacle
Upon dissolution of the Corporation, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction of the County in which the principal office of the Corporation is then located, exclusively for such
purposes or to such organizations, as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of section 501(c)(3) purposes. No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be carrying on of propaganda, and the corporation shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170 (c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
COVENANT OF MEMBERSHIP
The following covenant of membership is to be duplicated, made available to prospective members at of before the time of their examination by the Board or its committee, and is to be part of the formal service in which the applicant is admitted to membership in the church.
“Having been led to repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, I do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, voluntarily and gladly enter into this covenant with God and this church:
I covenant, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk in Christian Love; to join with others in mutual labors for the Kingdom of Christ; to strive loyally for the advancement of this church in holiness, knowledge, and love; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; and to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines.
I covenant to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God prospers me, to the support of this church and its ministries.
I covenant to maintain family and secret devotions; to endeavor to bring early to a saving knowledge of Christ all over whom I have the care and influence; to be just in my dealings and faithful in my engagements.
I covenant further with other members of this church to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense, and to be always ready for reconciliation.
I covenant to witness faithfully to the saving and keeping power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so that in every way we may bring lost men and women to a saving knowledge of Him.
I covenant to abide by the articles of Christian conduct as given in the Constitution of The Buckley Gospel Tabernacle.”