Decatur , Alabama
Of Philadelphia Baptist Church - Decatur , Alabama :
March 24, 1984 By Authority Of Philadelphia Baptist Church
Birmingham. Alabama - E. G. Cook Pastor
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES:
We believe the Bible as originally written was verbally inspired. By that
we mean that the men who wrote the original Bible were under, not just
Holy Spirit guidance, but Holy Spirit control. We believe these men were
under the control of the Holy Spirit to the extent that the words which
they wrote in the original manuscripts were actually God's own words, and
that He assumes all responsibility for these words as much as if He were
to stand before us bodily and speak them with His own lips. II Timothy
3:16-I7, 2 Peter 1:19-21 Matthew 4:4, Isaiah 1:10, 51:15-16, 59:21 .
Therefore, we reject the teaching that God inspired these men with
the thought and left it to them to clothe the thought in their own words.
We further believe that everything pertaining to spiritual things of any
nature can only be justified by the Word.
II. OF THE TRUE GOD:
We believe there is but one true and living God consisting of three persons:
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19-20 .
That He created the heaven and the earth, Genesis 1:1, that He created
man, Genesis 1:26, Mark 10:6 . That He made all things that were
ever made, John 1:3. That the three persons of the God-head, though equal
in every Divine perfection, perform different functions. That the Holy
Spirit is as much God as the Father or the Son are God.
III. OF SATAN:
We believe that Satan is a person, and not just an evil influence. That
he is the original source of all evil. That he is the prince, or ruler
of the power of the air, Ephesians 2:2, and the god of this world who blinds
the mind of unbelievers, II Corinthians 4:4. I Peter 5:8 .
IV. OF THE FALL OF MAN:
We believe that Adam was created in the image of God, that he was sinless
and innocent under the law of his creator, that he voluntarily sinned of
his own free will, I Timothy 2:14 . That no other man has ever since
that time been able to exercise his free will in the sense that Adam did.
That because of Adam's sin all of his offspring are born in sin with a
totally depraved nature, Jeremiah 17:9 , Romans 3:9-I 8 .
That they are not only sinners by nature, but by practice as well. That
this puts them under the just condemnation of God without any excuse, Romans
1:20 . They are dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1 .
V. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH:
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Spirit and conceived
in the womb of the virgin Mary, Luke 1:35, Isaiah 7:14 . That He
was the only person ever born into this world who was able to choose the
woman that was to be His mother. Luke 1:30-31 , the time of His
birth, Galatians 4:4 , and the place of His birth, Psalm 132:5-6
5:2 . We reject any and all teaching contrary to the Virgin Birth as
heresy promulgated by an infidel whether he admits being an infidel or
whether he stands in a Baptist pulpit, or sits in a Baptist professor's
VI. OF THE ATONEMENT:
We believe the sinner's sins can be atoned for only by our Lord, Acts
4:12 , and that it is by grace from beginning to end, Ephesians
2:8 . That no lost person even desires to atone for his sins, and if
he could desire to do so he does not have the ability to do it. That no
saved person, though he may desire ever so much to atone for the sins of
the lost, has the power to do it, Acts 15:11, Romans 3:24 , John
VII. OF SALVATION:
We believe that our salvation is wholly and solely in, of and by the person
of the Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians I :6 , That good works have
absolutely no part in obtaining, or in keeping our salvation, Ephesians
2:9 . That repentance is not an attitude toward, nor is it concerning.
sin. That the Greek word METANOIO which is translated repentance simply
means a change of mind. Our repentance is from dead works (the only kind
a lost person has), Hebrews 6:1 . That it is toward God, Acts
20:21 , and it is a gift of God, II Timothy 2:25 . That the
faith which we must have before we can believe is also a gift of God, Ephesians
2:8 . That in the light of all this, the lost, spiritually dead sinner
is wholly unable to change his mind about God, to believe in Him, or to
even desire to do so until God gives him the desire, Philippians 2:13
There is no new birth apart from the Word of God, I Peter 1:23-25
and the workings of the Holy Spirit, II Thessalonians 2:13-14
VIII. OF THE CHURCH:
We believe a church is a local assembly of Scripturally baptized saints
joined together for the edification of the saints, and for the propagation
of the gospel at home and abroad. That the sole head of the church is Jesus
Christ, and her marching orders is the New Testament. That the officers
of the church are pastor and deacons. That since the Greek word ECCLESIA
which our Lord and others used when talking about what we call a
church means local assembly, and since it has always meant a local assembly,
we therefore reject and abhor any teaching that relates to the universal
invisible church, or any modification of it. We further believe that independent
Baptist churches who are of like doctrinal conviction can and should cooperate.
But we hold that the cooperation should at all times be under the strict
control of the cooperating church. We reject, and refuse to unionize with
those who have different doctrinal conviction from that held by this church.
IX. OF THE ORDINANCES:
We believe there are two, and only two church ordinances. These we hold
to be baptism and the Lord's Supper. Since the Greek word BAPTIZO has always
meant, and still does mean to immerse, we believe there is no scriptural
baptism other than immersion. And in order for this immersion to be Scriptural
it must be administered upon the authority of Scriptural New Testament
church which has received its authority from another Scriptural New Testament
church. Therefore, we heartily reject any and all alien immersion. We further
reject and abhor the teaching of a Holy Spirit baptism as heresy of the
most damaging sort since it tears down all church truth. We believe the
Lord's Supper is the commemoration of our Lord's death until He comes.
And since it is the Lord's Supper we hold that no one, not even the church
herself has any right, or authority to invite anyone to partake. We further
believe that no one except the members of the individual church should
participate and they only after a solemn self examination. We believe that
Scriptural immersion can only follow salvation, Acts 10:47 , and
that the Lord's Supper can only follow Scriptural immersion. We hold the
Scriptural elements of the Lord's Supper to be unleavened bread and fermented
X. OF THE SECURITY CE THE SAINTS:
We believe that a born again person has an eternal life that is indestructible,
not only in this life, but throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity as
well. Therefore, he is safe and secure for all time and eternity, I
Peter 1:15 , John 10:28 , Romans 8:38-39 .
XI. OF THE RESURRECTION:
We believe in a bodily resurrection for all, both the righteous, I Thessalonians
4:16 , and the wicked, Revelation 20:5 . That the righteous
will be raised and raptured before the great tribulation comes upon the
earth, Revelation 3:10 . And that the wicked will be raised before
the great white throne a thousand years later, Revelation 20:5-12 .
Therefore, we reject all teaching contrary to the pre millennial return
of our Lord, and therefore we must reject all such teaching as post-millennialism
XII. OF THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD:
We believe in the absolute sovereignty of God in all things, including
our salvation. By this we mean that God does absolutely as He pleases.
That He does it when He pleases, how He pleases, and why He pleases, Daniel
4:35 , Isaiah 14:24 . We believe that He elects some of Adam's
race to be saved, Ephesians 1:3, and that apart from that election no one
would be saved, John 5:40, 6:44 . But that everyone whom He has
elected, or chosen before the foundation of the world will be saved, John
6:37 , Romans 9:11-12 , and that because He assumes the responsibility
for their salvation, John 5:21 . We reject all teaching that is
contrary to God's absolute sovereignty in all things.
XIII. CHURCH DISCIPLINE:
We believe that when a member of this church is guilty of holding to, or
teaching a doctrine that is contrary to our articles of faith, or of immoral
conduct, or of sowing discord among the brethren, that church discipline
is absolutely essential to a normal, healthy church. That for the
church to fail to discipline such a one is to displease our Lord, and to
bring heartache and distress to His church. I Corinthians 5:1-7 .
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We, the born-again members of this church, do hereby establish and adopt
the following articles as the constitution to which we and all subsequent
members do voluntarily submit ourselves.
The name of this church, which is located in Decatur , Alabama, shall be
Philadelphia Baptist Church.
This church is committed to the declaration of all the council of God (
20:27 ) and to worship the triune God in spirit and in truth ( John
4:24 ) by continuing to steadfastly assemble ourselves together ( Hebrews
10:25 ) under the bylaws of this constitution which we believe to be
according to New Testament pattern ( Matthew 16:18 ) in order that
the lost might be evangelized ( Matthew 28:18-20 ), the saved edified
( Ephesians 4:12 ), and the Lord exalted ( Ephesians 3:21 ).
Anyone professing faith in the Godman, Jesus Christ as their personal Lord
and Saviour, giving evidence of a changed heart and declaring themselves
in accord with the principles and practices of this assembly may become
a candidate for membership.
Be resolved that membership in this assembly may be gained in three ways.
I. Gaining membership: We will add to our membership those who:
1.) Profess faith in Christ and come for scriptural baptism.
2.) Come by letter form a church of like faith and order.
3.) Come by a statement that they are saved and scripturally baptized,
but that it is impossible or
impractical to secure a letter.
Note: One coming by statement must be for a reason acceptable to this
assembly and can by no
means be accepted if scripturally disciplined from a sister church.
II. Losing membership: We will from our membership those who:
1.) Die and go to be with our Lord.
2.) Are dismissed by a letter of good standing to a Baptist church
of like faith and order in another locality.
3.) Are disciplined for doctrinal or moral apostasy.
This assembly , as organized under the bylaws of this constitution, may
elect from its membership the following officers for the purpose of facilitating
business activities, acquiring and holding real estate, and handling financial
records and correspondence.
I. Pastor: The Pastor is the ordained overseer and undershepard of
the assembly. His qualification are recorded in I Timothy 3:17 and
1:1-9 . He shall act as moderator in the business meetings. In his
absence, any other brother may be appointed temporary moderator by a simple
majority vote of the assembly.
II. Deacons: The deacons are officially recognized servants of the
church ( Acts 6:1-7 and I Timothy 3:8-10 ). They may be appointed
as the need arises and publicly ordained to fulfill their offices in caring
for the outward needs of the Pastor and the membership, the material interests
and secular things of the church and to assist the spiritual unity and
growth of the flock.
Note: The office term of Pastor and Deacon shall be indefinite and
all other officers shall be reviewed and ratified annually.
III. Trustee: The church incorporated shall appoint trustees required
by the law to act on behalf of the assembly in legal matters. They do not
have to be deacon, and they shall in no way have authority to dispose of
property in any manner except as the church shall order by corporate act.
IV. Treasurer: The treasurer is to receive all moneys of the
church, to keep a true and fair record of the accounts and to make full
report to the church as directed by the church.
V. Clerk: The clerk shall keep a fair and complete record of all
proceedings, have charge of all records, keep a register of all members
of the church, and write letters of dismissal when called for.
VI. Other: Other officers may be elected as the church feels led
of the Holy Spirit to do so, such as Sunday school teachers, etc..
Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord
Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having
been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most
solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body
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, disciplines and doctrines; to find it a sacred
preeminence over all institutions of human origin; 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 abstain from the
sale and use of intoxicating drinks as beverages, and to be zealous in
our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage 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, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules
of our Saviour 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 of like faith and order; where
we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's
Though not bound by iron clad parliamentary law, all business meetings
whether routine or special shall be conducted decently and in order with
Christian love and courtesy ( I Corinthians 14:40 )
I. Regular Meetings: The regular meetings of the church will be sufficient
for both purpose of worship and business. The man is to fill the spot of
leadership in the public assembly, the woman being subject to the man,
according to the divine order ( Ephesians 5:23-24 , Genesis 3:16
It is therefore the responsibility of the man and not the woman to do the
praying and speaking in the assembly (I Corinthians 14:34-35
Timothy 2:11-14 ). The symbol displayed by the woman in Godly submission
to her head is a head covering which is worn voluntarily symbolizing her
subjection( I Corinthians 11:3-16 ).
II. Special Meetings: One special meeting must be held by the church (incorporated)
annually for the purpose of electing and verifying her legal trustees.
Public notice must be given at the Lord's day worship service at least
one week prior to a special meeting stating its purpose. A special meeting
must be called by the assembly for the amending of this constitution of
for the calling or dismissing of a Pastor.
III. Procedure of Business: The suggested guidelines for all business meetings
is as follows:
1. Call to order by moderator.
2. Minutes of the last meeting to be read, corrected or approved as read.
3. Financial report read, corrected or approved.
4. Unfinished business
6. New business
IV. Rule of Decorum:
1.) Prayer is always in order prior to the moderator's call to order, and
he decides on all votes and rules of order.
2.) No question shall be discussed without a motion and a second.
3.) No one is to speak unless recognized by the moderator and only members
may vote, but not by proxy.
4.) Any male member may stand and, when recognized by the moderator, may
submit his question or motion.
5.) When two members arise to speak at the same time, preference shall
be given to the one farthest from the moderator.
6.) If any member does not understand a proposition to be voted on, any
male member may ask a question for clarification at any time.
7.) All remarks must be confined in a Christian manner to the matter at
hand or be ruled out of order.
8.) The majority of the vote settles the question.
9.) To reconsider a motion that has passed, someone who voted for it must
make the motion to reconsider.
10.) A motion and a second to adjourn is not debatable and is always in
order except when someone is speaking or a vote is being taken.
11.) No business meeting shall be held when the Pastor is absent, unless
with his consent, and an appointed arbitrator by the church.
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament teach tithing as God's financial
plan for the work of the ministry. Therefore, we shall depend solely upon
Him, and wait upon the faithfulness of the saints for the financial support
of this church in the God ordained manner ( Genesis 14:20 &
27:30 ; Numbers 18:21 ; Deuteronomy 12:6
31:5 ; Malachi 3:10 ; Luke 21:1-4
Acts 4:34-35 ;
Corinthians 8:2 , 9:6-8 ;
I Corinthians 16:2 ).
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