1. Name - The name of this organization shall be called Salem Baptist Church. 2. Organization - The organization is incorporated in the state of Wisconsin. It was organized on January 5, 1891 at 4:00 PM (Henry Duffy, Reg.). 3. Date of Incorporation - May 16, 1892 at I0:00 A.M.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSE STATEMENT
The purpose of the church shall be to glorify God by our: a. WORSHIP - to assemble together for regular times of corporate worship, prayer, fellowship and the administration of the New Testament ordinances. b. WALK - to edify Christians through the preaching and teaching of God's truth as found in the Bible., c. WITNESS - to proclaim the Gospel of grace and salvation by faith to the unsaved.
ARTICLE III - AFFIRMATION OF FAITH
1. THE WORD OF GOD. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. 2 Tim. 3:1.6-17; 2 Peter 1:21. 2. THE TRINITY, We believe that there is one, living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. Matt. 3:16; 2 Cor. 13:1-14. 3. GOD THE FATHER. We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. John 1: 1-4; Matt.28:19-20. 4. JESUS CHRIST. We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people and personal visible return to earth. Matt. 1:23; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; John 14:1-3. 5. THE HOLY SPIRIT. We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that he is an abiding helper, teacher and guide. John, 14:16- 17; Matt, 28:19; Rom. 8:9,14,16,27. 6. REGENERATION. We believe that all are sinners by nature and by choice, and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated. John 3:18,36; 1:12-13; Rom. 10:8-13. 7. THE CHURCH. We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is, the Head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. Matt. 16:16,18; Eph. 1:22-23. 8. CHRISTIAN CONDUCT. We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellowman; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. Phil. 2:15; 2 Peter 3:14-18. 9. THE ORDINANCES. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church; baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 22:15-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-33. 10. RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that the Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other. Rom. 13:1-7; Acts 4:19-20. 11. CHURCH COOPERATION. We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization. Such an organization, whether a regional or district conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. Churches may likewise cooperate with interdenominational fellowships on a voluntary independent basis. Acts 15:13-18; I Cor.16:1-4. 12. THE LAST THINGS. We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal bliss of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked with everlasting destruction. I Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 1:9; Matt. 24:15-28; Rev. 20.
ARTICLE IV - COVENANT
Having been led by the Holy Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as Savior and to confess Him as Lord, 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, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ,
We purpose, therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk worthy of our high calling in Christ together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, peace and purity; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to contribute as faithful stewards such time, talent and money in the measure that God prospers us toward the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spreading of the Gospel through all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and private devotions; to nurture and train our children in the ways of the Lord; to seek the salvation of our family and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world by being just in our dealings, faithful in our commitments and exemplary in our conduct, to avoid unkind words, gossip, backbiting or unrighteous anger and to abstain from every appearance of evil. Furthermore, we will also be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior and to make Him first in all things both spiritual and temporal.
We further purpose 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 of speech, to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation, to be mindful of the Scriptures and apply them without delay and to encourage one another to prepare for the blessed hope, the coming glory of Christ. We moreover pledge that if we move 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 the Word of God.
ARTICLE V - MEMBERSHIP
The body of Christ is composed of interdependent members, each having received gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are to be exercised in building up the whole body and in bearing one another's spiritual and temporal burdens in the spirit of unity and harmony.
SECTION I - ADMISSION OF MEMBERS Candidates for membership shall: - Profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and give evidence of a personal relationship to Christ - Accept the views of faith and practice as set forth in the Affirmation of Faith and Covenant - Receive instruction from this church in the basic doctrines, beliefs and church life
Candidates shall be interviewed by at least three members of the Elder Board. Upon positive recommendation of these elder's and approval by the entire Elder Board, candidates will be presented to the church body for acceptance into membership. Membership will be based on one of the following:
a. By Baptism: Any person confessing faith in Jesus Christ to be his/her Savior and Lord, and giving evidence of regeneration, may upon baptism by immersion be received. b. By Experience: Any person giving a satisfactory statement of his/her experience of faith in Christ and following that commitment of having been baptized by immersion. c, By Letter: Any person to whom the ordinance of baptism by immersion has been administered, may be received by confession of faith and by letter from another church. d. By Restoration: Members of the church from whom the hand of fellowship has been withdrawn, may upon recommendation of the Elder Board, be restored.
SECTION II - REMOVAL FROM MEMBERSHIP The Elder Board may remove people from membership by one of the following ways: a. Any members desiring to terminate their membership without letter of transfer shall be removed upon request to the Elder's. b. Any members may request removal by letter of transfer to any other church. The Elder Board may recommend to the church members removal of people from membership as follows: a. Any members who have been absent and have failed to communicate with the church or to contribute to the church for a continuous six-month period may be placed on the inactive list while efforts are made to contact them. If such absence continues for another six months, they shall be recommended for removal from membership. b. Any members whose doctrine and/or conduct is so opposed to the church's doctrine and witness as to destroy fellowship may be removed. Such action will be taken only after efforts to restore fellowship have been made according to the practices of Scripture in Matthew 18:15-20; Galatians 6:1-2.
ARTICLE VI - GOVERNMENT
Recognizing the headship of Christ and the supreme authority of Scripture, the government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it, and who shall be the final authority in all church matters. The administration of the government of the church shall be through a church board known as an Elder Board.
SECTION 1 - CHURCH MEMBERS
The church members shall take final action on the following: (For quorum requirements see Article IX, Section 4) a. The establishment of any and all pastoral/ministerial/professional staff positions. This action will require 3/4 vote for approval. b. The calling of the senior pastor and other pastoral staff. This action will require 3/4 vote for approval. c. The dismissal of an elder, senior pastor and other staff. This action will require 3/4 vote for approval. d. The confirmation of Elder Board members and other ministerial or professional staff selections. This action will require a 3/4 vote for approval. e. The purchase or sale of any land, buildings or building expansions. This action will require a 3/4 vote for approval. f. The approval of the church budget. This action will require a 3/4 vote for approval. g. The consolidation with another church or the dissolution of the church. This action will require a 3/4 vote for approval. h. The adoption of any amendments. This action will require a 3/4 vote for approval. i. The adoption of the ministry divisions as identified and recommended by the Elder Board. This action will require a 3/4 vote for approval.
SECTION 2 - ELDER BOARD
a. A member of the Elder Board shall be a church member who meets New Testament standards of spiritual maturity as exemplified in I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9 and I Peter 5:1-4. b. The Elder Board shall consist of five to twelve members excluding members of the pastoral staff. c. Vacancies to the Elder Board shall be communicated to the church body, and the following process initiated: (1) A nominating committee shall consist of the senior pastor, one elder, and three members-at -large. The members-at- large will be voted on by the church body, requiring an affirmative vote of at least 75%. Recommendations of persons to this nominating committee may be presented to the existing nominating committee for consideration, provided the person has given consent. Each member of this committee shall meet deacon/ deaconess qualifications. This committee will remain in office for one year. (2) The congregation shall be provided with teaching regarding the Biblical qualifications for elders, (3) With the Biblical qualifications in mind, members of the congregation, after being informed of the vacancies, will be given 14 days to prayerfully submit the names of candidates for consideration as elder, provided the person has given consent. (4) Persons whose names are submitted shall be so informed and they shall be urged to engage in self-appraisal and personal evaluation in light of the Scriptural qualifications. Any person may withdraw his name at that point, if he does not aspire to the position of elder (I Tim.3:1) or if he does not believe he adequately meets the qualifications. (5) The nominating committee shall review the names of the nominees and shall conduct interviews with each nominee. (6) After prayerfully considering each nominee, the nominating committee shall make final recommendations to the elders. Those nominees who have not been recommended to the elders shall be informed by the nominating committee as to the reason for their not being recommended, with reference to whatever qualifications might not have been fulfilled. (7) The elders shall review the nominees and make a final selection. Nominees not selected at this point shall also be given reason by the elders as to why they were not selected. (8) The names of the prospective elders shall be brought before the members of the church who will be given 14 days to show cause why any one of the prospective elders would not be qualified to serve. Consistent with Matt.18:15 and Matt.5:24, any member with “cause" must first express his concern to the prospective elder and then must also express his concern to the board of elders for consideration. (9) At the end of the 14 day period, the prospective elders will be presented to the members of the church for approval. d. The non-pastoral members of the Elder Board will serve three year terms with one-third of these terms expiring each year. Non-pastoral Board members will be limited to two consecutive three-year terms. After an absence of one year a person may again be eligible for selection to the Elder Board. e. There shall be two ex-officio voting pastoral staff members, one being the senior pastor or his designate. The senior pastor will determine which other pastor will serve as the second ex- officio member., f. A quorum shall consist of a majority of voting Board members. g. The Elder Board shall meet monthly and additionally as required. h. The Elder Board shall be the legally constituted officers and spiritual leaders of this church and shall annually organize itself as follows: (I) A chairperson, who is a non-pastoral member and who shall also be chairperson and moderator of the church meetings. (2) A vice chairperson, who is a non-pastoral member and who shall act for the chairperson when appropriate. (3) A recording secretary, who is a non-pastoral member and who shall also be the recording secretary of the church. The recording secretary may delegate recording duties to other person(s) with Board approval. (4) A financial officer, a non-pastoral Board member who shall be responsible for overseeing the receiving, recording and disbursing of all checks, monies, bonds, collateral or funds of any kind belonging to the church, as directed by the Elder Board., The financial officer may delegate financial duties, with Board approval, to other person(s) with necessary financial skills. All funds will be kept in a bank approved by the Elder Board, and all accounts will be paid after authorization of payment and consistent with the church budget. i. The Board shall be responsible to: (1) Attend to the spiritual affairs of the church in conjunction with the pastors. (2) Develop and implement annual and long range planning. (3) Establish such operating policies and procedures as are deemed appropriate and necessary for the effective operation of the church and promptly communicate any changes to the church members. (4) Prepare and recommend the annual budget to the church members for approval. (5) Make necessary adjustments to the annual budget which are consistent with the needs of operations and ministries provided such adjustments do not increase the total budget. (6) Insure that the management of the church's funds are conducted in a responsible and accountable manner, including a yearly audit. (7) Oversee and give leadership to all ministry divisions. (8) Appoint deacons and deaconesses to ministry divisions. (9) Appoint and/or approve teachers, ministry team members and other personnel (except as provided in Article VII - CHURCH STAFF) to fulfill the programs of the church. (10) Appoint as necessary, representatives to the conferences with which the church is affiliated. (11) Recommend to the church members, matters of business requiring church approval. (12) Keep the church informed of Board decisions.
SECTION 3 - MINISTRY DIVISIONS a. The Elder Board shall carry out the purpose of the church through specific ministry divisions. b. The Elder Board shall have the responsibility to administer the ministry divisions as necessary to accomplish the purpose and goals of the church. c. The Elder Board shall have the responsibility to recommend to the church members to create, disband and reorganize ministry divisions.
SECTION 4 - DEACONS AND DEACONESSES Deacons and deaconesses shall be appointed by the Elder Board. a. A deacon and deaconess must be a member committed to live in accordance with the standard set forth in I Timothy 3:8-12 and Acts 6:3. b. The responsibility of deacons and deaconesses is to serve the congregation by assisting the Elder Board.
ARTICLE VII - CHURCH STAFF
SECTION 1 - SENIOR PASTOR a. The senior pastor shall be an ordained minister. He shall perform all the Scriptural duties of his office, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have freedom of the pulpit. He shall be an ex- officio member of the Elder Board and all organizations and groups in the church. b. Along with other pastoral staff, the senior pastor shall be responsible for the equipping and mobilization of the church body to do the work of the ministry. He shall be accountable for the pastoral staff and shall provide counsel, encouragement and direction to them in accomplishing their objectives. c. The senior pastor shall be accountable to the Elder Board.
SECTION 2 - CALL OF A SENIOR PASTOR The Elder Board or a committee appointed by it shall function as a pulpit committee in contacting possible candidates and in making recommendations to the church members. The senior pastor shall be chosen by written ballot of the membership. An affirmative vote by 3/4 of the members voting shall be needed to extend a call.
SECTION 3 - TENURE OF A SENIOR PASTOR a. The senior pastor will continue to serve until he resigns or is dismissed by action of the church members. b. The use of the appropriate committee of the Converge Great Lakes Conference is encouraged to facilitate the resolution of tenure issues. Should it be determined that the senior pastor has erred in doctrine or conduct, he shall be charitably admonished by the Elder Board with a goal toward restoration. If this does not bring about the desired effect, the matter shall be brought before the church members. The membership by a 3/4 vote may terminate the employment of the senior pastor. Such action, however, shall not be taken without the consideration of the advice of the appropriate committee of the Converge Great Lakes Conference. Upon written notice by the secretary of the Elder Board, the church will terminate its relationship with the pastor immediately. This termination shall include up to 60 days salary. In following the process described above, if the Elder Board deems the issue to be serious enough to warrant such action, it may place the pastor on suspension with pay until the matter is resolved.
SECTION 4 – OTHER PASTORAL/MINSTERIAL/PROFESSIONAL STAFF a. Candidates for associate pastors, ministerial staff and other professional paid staff members shall be recommended to the church body by the Elder Board. The recommendation will be confirmed by a 3/4 vote of the church body at a constitutionally called business meeting. Candidates will be recommended by the senior pastor to the Elder Board. Any members of the church body may make a recommendation of a potential candidate. b. All staff members shall perform such duties as designated by the senior pastor and the Elder Board. c. All staff members shall be responsible to the senior pastor. d, Staff members may be recommended for termination by the Elder Board. This action will be confirmed by a 3/4 vote at a constitutionally called business meeting of the church members. The Elder Board will be guided by the principles of Article VII, Section 3b. Severance pay will be determined by the Elder Board.
ARTICLE VIII - FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the church shall be from January I to December 31 inclusive.
ARTICLE IX - MEETINGS
SECTION 1 - ANNUAL MEETING An annual meeting of the church shall be held in the first month of the fiscal year. This meeting will include, but not limited to, reports, plans, budget adoption and confirmation of the Elder Board members.
SECTION 2 - SPECIAL MEETINGS All special meetings will be called by the Elder Board. Such meetings may be called as follows: a. By the Elder Board's own initiative. b. By written request of two Elders. Upon receipt of such written request for a special meeting, the Elder Board will schedule the requested meeting within 30 days. c. By the Elder Board at a regular worship service for the purpose of receiving people into membership. d. By written request of at least 15 resident active members. e. All special meetings will be communicated by written notice to the membership, sent at least ten days in advance and announced from the pulpit two Sundays in advance, stating the general terms of the business to be transacted.
SECTION 3 - PUBLIC WORSHIP Public worship meetings include Sunday Worship, Sunday Bible School and such other meetings as may be scheduled, ie. the Lord's Supper, baptism, etc.
SECTION 4 - QUORUM The presence of no less than 20 percent of the resident active members shall constitute a quorum to transact business at any business meeting. All matters pertaining to the purchase, sale or mortgaging of property shall be voted on only by resident active members who are of legal age 18 years). On all other matters, resident active members who have reached their sixteenth birthday shall be eligible to vote.
SECTION 5 - RULES OF ORDER Robert's Rules of Order as last revised shall be the parliamentary manual for the church.
ARTICLE X - CHURCH DISSOLUTION
SECTION 1 - DIVISION In case of organic division of church membership, the church property shall belong to those members who abide by this document.
SECTION 2 - DISSOLUTION Should the church be dissolved, the church property shall be transferred to the Converge Great Lakes Conference or Converge Wordwide.
SECTION 3 - CONSOLIDATION Should conditions arise where a consolidation with another church of the same denomination be advisable, the Elder Board shall be authorized by the church to negotiate the terms of such a consolidation in so far as the property is concerned.
ARTICLE XI - AFFILIATIONS
This church shall be affiliated with the Converge Great Lakes Conference and Converge Worldwide.
ARTICLE XII - AMENDMENTS
The Elder Board will bring any recommended and approved amendment to this document to the church members for action. Any member may request with a written petition, the Elder Board to give consideration to a proposed amendment.
Salem Church of Ashland
Salem Church of Ashland exists to bring glory to God by helping people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ here in the northwoods of Wisconsin and to the ends of the earth.
Here at Salem we prioritize the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God's Word the Bible, spiritual growth, and loving and reaching our community with the good news of the gospel.
715-682-3934 Office and mailing address: 400 Salem Drive Ashland, WI 54806 email us