THE CONSTITUTION
OF HOLY HANDS CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES

(By-Laws)

ARTICLE I

THE NAME

The name of this organization shall be Holy Hands Christian Ministries.

Holy Hands Christian Ministries had its beginning in Palmyra Road United Methodist Church in the year 2000 and decided to form an independent Church organization to more faithfully receive and practice their individual and corporate calls to ministry in the name of Jesus Christ.

ARTICLE II

THE PURPOSE

The purpose of this organization shall be:

  1. to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world lost in sin and to edify Christians through the teaching of God's Word;
  2. to engage in such religious, educational, charitable, and benevolent work as the Constitution and By-laws of this organization may determine;
  3. to equip and enable Christians to minister to the world;
  4. to own and maintain such property, buildings and equipment as may be required to carry out the above stated purpose.

ARTICLE III

STATEMENT OF FAITH

The Statement of Faith of this organization shall be as follows:

We Believe -

  1. The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.
  2. In one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  3. That Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.
  4. That the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
  5. That man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
  6. That the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe, and only such as receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become children of God.
  7. That water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means of Salvation except that they are faithful acts by which we may obtain spiritual grace.
  8. That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.
  9. That only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
  10. That Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.
  11. In the personal coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this "Blessed Hope" has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
  12. In the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

ARTICLE IV

MEMBERSHIP

Qualifications

Any person who has trusted in Jesus Christ as personal Savior, is baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, whose conduct is in accord with his confession, who subscribes to the above Statement of Faith, and who is willing to support the church with faithful attendance, prayer and material means may become a member of this organization, hereafter referred to as the church. The procedure for membership shall be outlined in the By-laws.

Responsibility

Members of this church are admonished to strive for the advancement of this church by attending, as much as possible, Sunday services and prayer meetings and other announced services; to contribute regularly, as the Lord prospers, to the support of the ministry and the spread of the Gospel throughout all nations; to maintain private and family devotions; to educate their children in the doctrines of the Christian faith; to seek the salvation of the lost; to watch over one another in love; to be slow to take offense, to be always ready for reconciliation, and be in ministry to the world in the name of Jesus Christ.

Discipline

Should the Pastor or any member of the Church Board or any member of the church fall into sin and be found to live and or teach contrary to the Word of God and the Statement of Faith of this church he shall be disciplined according to the principles set forth in the New Testament.

  1. Grounds for discipline:
    1. Unrepentant practice of immorality - I Cor. 5:1-13
    2. Persistent doctrinal heresy - I Tim. 1: 19-20; Titus 3: 1 0
    3. Persistent divisions and refusal to reconcile with another - Matt. 18:17
  2. Purpose of discipline:
    1. To remove the defilement of sin - Gal. 5:9; 1 Cor. 5:7-13
    2. To exert a restraining influence on sin in others - 1 Tim. 5:20
    3. To restore the erring party to fellowship - Gal. 6: 1; 2 Cor, 2:5-1 1
  3. Procedure in discipline:
    1. Step 1 - Individual confrontation - Matt. 18:15
    2. Step 2 - Small group confrontation Matt. 18:16
    3. Step 3 - Before the church - Matt. 18:17a
    4. Step 4 - If unrepentant - expulsion from fellowship - Matt. 18:17b; 1 Cor. 5:7-13
    5. Step 5 - Restoration upon repentance and confession - Luke 17:3-4; 2 Cor. 2:5-11
  4. Consequences when expulsion occurs:

No expelled or discharged member has any rights in a business session of the church, and has no right or claim to any of its property.

ARTICLE V

GOVERNMENT AND LEADERSHIP

Jesus Christ: The Head of the Church

Jesus Christ, God's Son, is the sole head of The Holy Hands Christian Ministries, the leader before whom all merely human leaders must bow (Eph. 1:22,23; Matt. 23:8-1 1; I Pet. 5:4). He communicates His will for the church through His Word, the Bible. He gives additional guidance by means of the special leading of the Holy Spirit who indwells the heart of each true believer. He also shepherds the flock by gifting the church with undershepherds who are commissioned, under His leadership, with the task of equipping the flock for its full functioning (Eph. 4:7-16). In a real sense, The Holy Hands Christian Ministries belongs to Him; He has taken the responsibility for ordering the life of the church so that He may someday present it to Himself glorious, with no spot or wrinkle that would detract from heaven's beauty (Eph. 5:24-27).

Ministry Form of Government

Holy Hands Christian Ministries is committed to the Spirit filled ministry of all believers. We believe that the Scriptures teach that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the ministers can discern the Lord's direction for a congregation. We also believe that congregations can trust God by honoring the authority of these godly ministers and leaders that have been recognized among them, through an election of its ministers, and of its ministers an election of the "overseer" ( hereafter referred to as "Senior Pastor") of the flock. Strong leadership of its senior pastor coupled with discerning, faithful and well-taught ministers can have great effectiveness in achieving God's purposes for His Church. This is the goal of church government (Acts 2:2-6; Acts 14:23, Acts 20:28-3 1; Heb. 13:17; 1 John 4:1-6; 1 Pet. 5:1-4)

Church Officers

  1. The Board of Ministers
    1. The Board of Ministers: Purpose

      In the physical absence of the Senior Pastor, the pastoral care of the flock shall be committed to the hands of its ministers. They are to be called the "Board of Ministers". They shall be men and women of proven Christian maturity, biblically qualified, congregationally recognized and committed to the advancement of the Kingdom of God through a call to "ministry" in this local church. They must be active members of this church. Their duties in general are to equip (prepare) the believers of the church for Christian ministry, so that the whole flock may be built up toward Christ-likeness and unity (Eph. 4:11-16).

      Specifically, by the power and authority of Christ they are to:

      1. equip the members by giving a theological foundation and direction to our various church ministries (Acts 20:28ff; Eph. 4:12-13; 1 Tim. 3:5; 1 Tim. 5:17; 2 Tim. 3:16).
      2. equip the members by exemplifying a mature Christian life (I Pet. 5:2ff).
      3. equip the members by protecting the flock from false teachers (Acts 20:28-3 1).
      4. equip the members by helping the weak (Acts 20:35) and praying for the sick (James 5:14).
      5. equip the members by encouraging and helping missionaries from our fellowship (1 Tim. 4:14).

    2. The Board of Ministers: Motivation for Service

      Those who serve as ministers of the congregation should never domineer others or rule for their own benefit. They are appointed to be servants, following the example of their Lord Jesus. That does not mean that they should not exercise authority firmly, nor that what they do will always be pleasing to those under them. But, nonetheless, they are appointed as servants to serve the membership of the household of God. They do not hold positions of responsibility for their own benefit, but have been called of the Holy Spirit to be in ministry in order to build up the body. They should approach those under their leadership respectfully, with a sacrificial and willing spirit. Yet, those under their leadership are not their masters, but the Lord Himself. He is the one who directs their service. He is the one who is responsible for giving the increase.

  2. Board of Ministers
    1. Pastor(s)

      The English word "pastor" comes from a Latin word which means shepherd. In the Bible shepherds and elders are synonymous terms (Acts 20:28). So we understand pastors to be vocational elders. They are those who have been set apart by God and recognized by the ministers as "overseers" of the flock. Their primary purpose is to "equip the saints for the work of ministry". They do this through preaching, teaching God's Word, praying, leading, training and counseling. They are ultimately responsible to God and immediately responsible to the Board of Ministers and the congregation. They are to work in harmony with the Board of Ministers seeking the mind of Christ for the work of ministry. Pastors shall be members of the Board of Ministers.
       

    2. Spiritual Ministers

      Elders (hereafter called Spiritual Ministers) are recognized by the congregation as leaders of the fellowship. They are called spiritual ministers because they are men and women who are mature in experience as dedicated Christians, called to specific Christian ministry as administrators as spiritual advisors and are respected by others. They must be biblically qualified after such passages as 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. In general they watch over the flock to see that everything goes well and that the body is built up. They are shepherds, leading, caring for and feeding the flock. The ministers will work together with the pastor(s) and be assisted by the deacons in leading and shepherding the flock. They along with the pastor(s) and deacons are ultimately responsible for their leadership in the pursuit of the stated purpose of the congregation.
       

    3. Servant Ministers

      The Greek word for deacon means "to serve". Thus, the deacons (hereafter called Servant Ministers) are set apart by God and the congregation to provide special services to the needs of the congregation. They must be called of the Holy Spirit, biblically qualified after such passages as 1 Tim. 3:8-13;Acts 6:1-6. They will work with the pastors and the spiritual elders as part of the Board of Ministers. In general they are to assist the pastors and spiritual ministers in carrying out the work of shepherding the flock.
       

  3. Other Church Officers
    1. Church Treasurer

      The Church Treasurer shall be an active adult member of the congregation who has some basic skills in bookkeeping. In general the Treasurer is responsible for all moneys received from the Financial Secretary.
       

    2. Financial Secretary

      The Financial Secretary shall be an active adult member of the congregation who can be trusted with the confidentiality of personal offerings.
       

    3. Church Secretary

      The church secretary shall be an active adult member of the congregation who can faithfully take notes of official meetings of the church.

ARTICLE VI

CHURCH MEETINGS

Church Meetings

  1. Worship services, Sunday School services and all other services shall be conducted at such times as is decided by the Board of Ministers, in accordance with the Purpose of the Church as set forth in Article II.
  2. Church business meetings shall be held in accordance with the requirements set forth in the By-laws.

ARTICLE VII

STANDING

Authority

This church shall remain free and independent and shall not join itself to any other denomination or synod. It shall remain its own highest authority. The Board of Ministers, at its annual, quarterly and special business meetings, is the legislative and governing body of this organization.

Affiliation

  1. This church may cooperate with other Christian associations, by direct financial or personnel support; by sending delegates to Conferences; by supporting Home and Foreign Missions; and by uniting in any mutual effort for the furtherance of the Gospel as the church itself may officially decide.
  2. If the name of the church is changed, it shall still retain its corporate name, "Holy Hands Christian Ministries", but may do business under another name officially decided.

ARTICLE VIII

PROPERTY RIGHTS

Ownership

  1. This church shall have the power to receive, either by gift or by purchase, and to hold such real, personal, or mixed property as is authorized by the laws of the state of Georgia and as is deemed necessary for the business of the church, and shall have the power to dispose of such property by mortgage, deed, or otherwise. All such property shall be held in the corporate name of the church. The Board of Ministers shall have the power to receive, purchase, acquire, sell, lease, convey, mortgage, deed or otherwise transfer property of the church, but only after having been duly authorized by the voting members at a regularly called business meeting or a special meeting called for said purpose. All contracts, notes, mortgages, conveyances, assignments, leases, releases and other documents and papers in behalf of the church shall be executed by the Board of Ministers.

Division

  1. Should division occur in the church, the name and title to all properties is retained by those adhering to the Constitution and By-Laws of the Church. In the event of irreconcilable differences, the name and title to all properties is to be retained by the majority vote of the Board of Ministries.  In the event of an even split of its members, the Senior Pastor's vote shall be determined as the majority.

Dissolution

  1. Should the church cease to function and its organization be dissolved, the property shall return to a similar Christian non-profit organization to be decided upon by the Board of Ministers at the meeting immediately preceding the date of dissolution.

ARTICLE IX

COMMITTEES

Committees may be formed, appointed, or elected at any business meeting as the need arises, or as otherwise specified in the By-laws. These committees shall be responsible to the Board of Ministers and shall be responsive to the decisions of the Board and the Church sessions.

ARTICLE X

AMENDMENTS

This constitution and By-laws may be amended or rewritten at the annual business meeting or a Board of Ministries meeting and must sustain a two-thirds vote of the members present at that meeting, providing the said proposed amendments has been presented in written form and discussed at a congregational meeting at least three (3) months prior to the time of its adoption.

 

 

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