|A. THE PREAMBLE
Whereas the New Testament as presented in the bible is the only perfect Constitution regarding church doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, we accept it as our reference in matters of faith and practice. We acknowledge no creed, confession, and/or articles of faith other than those which are disclaimed in the bible, the sacred word of God as recorded by the apostles and the prophets of the church whose Jesus-Christ is the head.
These by-laws which are a written document exist to explain how the principles of the New Testament shall be applied to the functioning and the governing of this local congregation. These by-laws will be reviewed every five years and may be amended then.
| ARTICLE I - NAME
This church or body of believers shall be known as
“Haitian Missionary Baptist Church “, and is incorporated as
“Haitian Missionary Baptist Church Inc. ”
| ARTICLE II - PURPOSE
To carry out the Great Commission, to go and reach out to the lost persons of our community and elsewhere with the love of Jesus-Christ, to edify the existing believers into the likeness of our Lord Jesus-Christ.
The following is a set of seven objectives that we, as a church, agree to pursue
• Worship God
• Fellowship and Promote fellowship among God’s people
• Evangelize the lost
• Disciple the believers in Christ
• Train the disciples for acts of service or ministry
• Minister or serve God and our fellow brothers and sisters in the name of Christ
• Engage in missionary actions and go for the Lord, in the name of the Lord in the context of the Great Commission of Mathew 28
| ARTICLE III - CORE VALUES
• A local church must seek to impact positively its community and its surroundings.
• Fellowship should be at the heart of a growing and healthy church.
• Each member should find through the local church an instrument which will enable him/her to exercise his/her spiritual gifts.
• The church of Jesus-Christ must be rooted in the written word of God.
• A New Testament church must focus on the fate of the underprivileged and the hurts of its community and its surroundings.
• While the church has a sacred mandate to point its members to the kingdom of God, it should also focus on the physical and material well-being of its members.
• The church should grow to become progressively and gradually multicultural.
• The church should definitely be mission-oriented.
| ARTICLE IV - STATEMENT OF FAITH
I. The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and new Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, therefore are the final authority for faith and life.
II. The Godhead.
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections.
III. The Person and Work of Christ.
We believe that the Lord Jesus-Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men.
We believe also that the Lord Jesus-Christ accomplished our redemption through his death on the cross as a representative, substitutionary sacrifice; that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead.
We believe that the Lord Jesus-Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate.
IV. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person. He is the One who convicts man of sin, righteousness, and of judgment. He is the Supernatural agent in the regeneration process, and the baptizing of believers into the body of Christ. He dwells in the believer’s heart and seals him unto the day of final redemption. We believe that God through the work of the Holy Spirit bestows to each believer some gifts (spiritual gifts) for the building up of His church. Through those spiritual gifts, the believer is equipped to do acts of service unto others. We believe that he sign gifts or the physical manifestations of the Holy Spirit are the results of God’s doing without any manipulation or maneuver from man. We believe in the laying of hands on believers for the purpose of special anointing, ministry, deliverance, and healing.
V. The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and the likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, and inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and that man is totally depraved, and utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace. Salvation is received when one experiences inner and real repentance from sins and heartfelt acknowledgement (not only intellectual acknowledgement) that Jesus-Christ is the redeemer as written in Scriptures, and acceptance of Christ as personal Lord and Savior, and His blood that was shed on Calvary as unique means of forgiveness of our sins.
VII. The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that “blessed hope”, the personal, imminent return of Christ who will rapture His Church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. We also believe that, at the end of the tribulation period, Christ will return personally and visibly with His saints to establish His earthly messianic kingdom.
VIII. The Eternal State
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to the eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment.
We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where, in conscious bliss, they await the first resurrection when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord.
IX. The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man and that he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire.
We believe that God created the universe in six days. We reject the evolution theories and the likes as unscriptural theories of origin.
XI. Civil Government
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the Church; 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His word. God has given each institution specific biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the Church, and the sate are equal and sovereign in their respective biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God.
XII. Human Sexuality
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.
XIII. Marriage - Divorce – Remarriage
HMBC will adhere strictly to the premises of the New Testament regarding the practice of marriage, divorce and remarriage.
We believe that marriage according to God is between one man and one woman.
We also believe that God intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce is regarded as sin except on the grounds of adultery or desertion of one of the spouse. We furthermore believe that remarriage is sinful except on the grounds of a letter of divorce given by an unbelieving spouse. Although divorced persons in some cases may hold positions of service in the Church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the office of pastor or deacon and deaconess.
(as in most Southern Baptist churches, exception will made for those who got divorced before the time of conversion and their new birth experience, and/or in some cases for those who were a victim of a divorce rather than a petitioner of the divorce and who stay unmarried)
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable.
We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe in the Lord Jesus-Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to all nations (home and foreign), and not wait for them to come to us.
XVI. Lawsuits between Believers
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the Church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander.
We believe that every Christian, as steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him/her, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. We believe that all those involved in the ministry or leadership of the Church, at one level or another, must tithe or give ten percent of their income to support the ministry of the church as a whole.
| ARTICLE V - AUTHORITY OF THE STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Statement of Faith is a summary of the Church basic doctrines and foundations. The bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members of Haitian Missionary Baptist Church.
| ARTICLE VI - RELATIONSHIPS
The government of this Church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It 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 and the state convention affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
| ARTICLE VII - CHURCH COVENANT:
Having been lead, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus-Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we don now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into a 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 give 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 promote healthy family living and to maintain family and private devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from creating and the spreading of rumors; to be free from all secret societies and cults that are in conflict with the teaching of the Scriptures and partnerships with unbelievers; 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 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, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage, that when we relocate 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.