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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Hebrew 10: 16,17


Preamble

We believe that the true constitution of the church is the Word of God, and as a New Testament Church, particularly the New Testament Scriptures.

As Baptists, we believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that all and every Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and has its authority from God alone. Thus it is the only perfect, supreme, infallible, and sufficient standard of faith and practice.

Since we fully accept the supremacy of the Holy Scriptures as our one all-sufficient authority and guide in all matters of faith (what we believe), and practice (what we do), the following Constitution, and all matters therein, is subject to the Lordship of Christ and the authority of the Bible. It is meant only as a guide to bring the organization of the church into focus, and to indicate the responsibilities of the officers, that all things might be done decently and in order and that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.



Article I

General Provisions

Section 1 - Name

The name of this church shall be the Ambassador Baptist Church, located at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Section 2 - Purpose

The purpose of this non-profit organization is the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, the administration of the ordinances of the New Testament, the spiritual improvement of its members in accordance with the Scriptures, and the fulfillment of the Lordís great commission of Evangelism, Baptism, and Discipleship. In order to fulfill these purposes, this church shall engage in activities and conduct ministries which may include, but are not limited to, worship services, evangelistic services, prayer meetings, youth activities, radio and television programs, a day school, a Sunday school, a bus ministry, missionary activities, a Bible institute, college, and\or seminary.

This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, and the building, maintaining, and operating of churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, rescue missions, print shops, day-care centers, camps, and nursing homes.


Section 3 - Doctrine

The Doctrines held by the church are expressed in the Doctrinal Statement of Ambassador Baptist Church.


Section 4 - Associations

Ambassador Baptist Church shall be and remain independent and autonomous. However, it may participate in fellowship and activity with other churches of like faith and practice for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the edification of believers so long as there is no infringement upon the independence or autonomy of this church.


Section 5 - Financial Support

This church shall be solely supported by the tithes and offerings of the people. (Mal. 3:9,10; I Cor. 9:6-15; 16:2)


Section 6 - Practice and Policy

No person or organization of the church shall engage in any practice or policy contrary to the general provisions of the church itself.



Article II

Church Government

The government of this church, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, is vested in the active members who compose it, whose vote shall be final. This body of believers is solely responsible to the Head of the Church, the Lord Jesus Christ, and no outside ecclesiastical authority. According to the New Testament, the local congregation is responsible:

  1. to determine the qualifications for membership. (Acts 2:41-42, I Cor. 5:13)

  2. to settle its own internal affairs. (I Cor. 6:1-8)

  3. to discipline its own members. (I Cor. 5:13)

  4. to elect its own officers. (Acts 6:3-5)

  5. to guard the Doctrines of the faith. (Jude 3)

  6. to conduct its own business. (Acts 15)



Article III

Membership

Section 1 - Membership

Everyone received into the membership of this church is expected to fulfill his duties as a member, which include adherence to the Doctrinal Statement and the Covenant of Ambassador Baptist Church.


Section 2 - Reception of Members

  1. People may be admitted to the church membership by:

    1. Believerís baptism by immersion into the church body following salvation.

    2. The reception of a letter of recommendation or transfer from another New Testament Church of like faith and practice, the candidate having given satisfactory evidence of conversion and Biblical baptism

    3. Experience. Any person who has once been a member of a New Testament Church may, upon satisfactory evidence of conversion and Biblical baptism, be admitted to the church membership. If the candidate has been removed from the membership rolls at another Church of like faith and practice because of discipline or because of prolonged absence, he must restore a right relationship with his former church before he will be received into Ambassador Baptist Church.

    4. Restoration. Any excluded member may be restored to membership after having dealt with his sin to the satisfaction of the church.

  2. Any person desiring to unite with the church must meet with the Pastor and give satisfactory evidence of salvation. If it is determined that the candidate is eligible for membership, the candidate shall then be required to give his personal testimony, including his acceptance of the Doctrinal Statement and Covenant, before the membership at any church service agreeable to him and the Pastor. The candidate shall be accepted into the membership by majority vote of the church members present at that meeting.


Section 3 - Termination of Membership

  1. The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the church in the preceding four months. Upon good cause being shown to the pastor, this provision for termination may be waived in the case of any individual member at the discretion of the pastor.

  2. Suspended individuals may be restored to membership by a majority of the church after they have given satisfactory evidence that they have dealt with the sin of unfaithfulness.

  3. Members who move away from the area are expected to transfer their membership to a Bible believing Baptist church in their new locale as soon as possible. Under normal circumstances, if the individual has not joined a new church within six months, his membership in Ambassador Baptist Church will be suspended. Exceptions may be made for college students, military personnel, and missionaries. This action will take place by a majority vote of the church members present at any scheduled business meeting, and will be preceded by a letter from the Pastor to the individual. An individual who has been gone from the area for six months will no longer have a right to vote in a business meeting.

  4. No member of this church may hold membership in another church. The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member unites in membership with another church.

  5. The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member states that he or she is actively involved in any conduct described in the Doctrinal Statement, Article I, Section 16, Paragraphs A-1-a and b, or files a lawsuit in violation of Article XI, Section 1 of the Constitution.

  6. No provision contained in this section shall be subject to or governed by the procedures regarding discipline of members set forth in Article III, Section 5.


Section 5 - Discipline of Members

  1. The Pastor and deacons shall constitute the Discipline Committee of the church, and have sole charge in determining Scriptural violations and discipline.

  2. The object of discipline is to uphold the Doctrine, standards, purity and reputation of the church, and to reclaim erring members whenever possible.

  3. . In differences between individuals, or in the cases of sins not generally known, the wronged party shall follow the teachings of Gal. 6:1; Matt. 7:3; and Matt. 18:15-17. A person bringing a matter into the public or before the church prior to following these Scriptures shall be subject to rebuke. No church member shall ever bring a civil lawsuit against another church member. (I Cor. 6:1-8)

  4. Matters requiring public action by or before the church shall include:

    1. public sins, or sins known by the church or the general public.

    2. holding and\or propagating false doctrine.

    3. open antagonism toward or flagrant violation of the church Covenant.

  5. In all cases, Matt. 18:15-17 must be followed.

  6. Both the church and the accused member must be informed of the disciplinary business meeting one week before it is to take place. If the accused fails to appear, the church may proceed in his absence.

  7. If, after being rebuked by the church, the accused refuses to repent, the church shall proceed with a vote of expulsion. A majority vote of those members present is sufficient to expel. No member shall be expelled if genuine fruit of repentance is evidenced.

  8. . When the unrepentant offending party is expelled from the membership and from the church building itself ( a heathen), all relationship with him from that point on should cease (a publican), except such as is for the purpose of reconciliation (Matt. 18:17; I Cor. 5:11; II Thess. 3:14). The entire church should recognize a responsibility to "say the same thing" in a loving attempt to restore the offending one and to maintain the churchís testimony and unity.

  9. . If an excluded individual repents, and brings forth the fruits of repentance, he should be restored to membership following his public testimony of repentance before the church and his evidence of any necessary restitution. (See Article III, Section 2A, paragraph 4.)



Article IV

Officers

Section 1 - Pastor(s)

  1. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd, but the Pastor is the under-shepherd of the flock (I Peter 5:14). He is the Bishop (overseer - the office, or what he does) (Titus 1:5-7; Acts 20:28; I Tim. 3:1). He is the Elder (president of the Assembly - the man, or what he is) (I Tim. 5:1). He is the minister (servant) (I Peter 5).

  2. The Pastor shall be in complete agreement with the Doctrinal Statement and Covenant of the church and willing to work within the confines of the Constitution. He shall fulfill all the Scriptural requirements of this office. (I Tim. 3:1-7; Heb. 13:7-12; Titus 1:5-9)

  3. In calling a Pastor, the deacons shall serve as the pulpit committee. They shall investigate all candidates as to the doctrine, practice, behavior, and previous ministries. Only one candidate will be considered at a time, with adequate time being given for the church to consider his gifts and calling. A vote will be taken at the midweek service following his candidacy. A majority vote is necessary for a call to be extended. Before offering a call, the deacons shall present to the candidate a proposal, approved by the church, which includes salary, benefits, and moving expenses.

  4. The Pastor shall be responsible to preach and teach the Word of God to the church so as to prepare the saints for the work of the ministry (Eph 4: 11-12). He is also responsible to administer the ordinances of the New Testament, provide spiritual leadership to the church, and perform the various duties incumbent upon his office. He shall preside at all business meetings, be an official member of any boards and committees, and serve as the agent for the church. He shall supervise the disbursement of all funds using the budget as a guideline. He shall, with the help of the deacons, be responsible to appoint and dismiss any non-elected positions in the church. He shall, with the help of the deacons, appoint and dismiss all salaried employees of the church in accordance with the approved church budget.

  5. The salary and benefits of the Pastor, as well as all other salaried personnel, shall be considered each year.

  6. In case either the Pastor or the church shall desire to sever the pastoral relationship, thirty days notice shall be given by the party so desiring, although the period may be extended or shortened by mutual agreement. If the Pastor is found guilty of doctrinal heresy or immorality, he shall be dismissed immediately by the deacons from his pulpit, pastoral, and administrative duties.

  7. Any salaried personnel desiring to sever their relationship with the church shall give thirty days notice.


Section 2 - Deacons

  1. The word " deacon" means "servant or helper". Therefore, the deacons are the servants of the Lord, the church, and the Pastor. As such, they should meet the qualifications of I Tim 3:8-13 and Acts 6:2-3. They shall assist the Pastor in the work of the church. Such assistance shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. helping with the ordinances.

    2. holding meetings as deemed necessary for the work

    3. serving in the capacity of trustees.

    4. helping the Pastor to appoint non-elected positions within the church.

    5. helping to establish the yearly budget.

    6. serving as the pulpit committee for pastoral candidates, and handling pulpit supply when there is no pastor.

    7. serving with the Pastor as the nominating committee for elected positions within the church.

    8. helping the Pastor to administrate the benevolent fund.

  2. It is the duty of deacons to work with and support the pastoral staff; to be mindful of the needs of the congregation; to actively seek the salvation of the lost, to visit and help the sick and needy of the church, and assist the Pastor in guarding the purity and testimony of the church.

  3. The deacons shall elect a chairman and a secretary. All minutes of deacon's meetings will be recorded.

  4. The deacons, along with the Pastor, shall not have authority to sell, lease, give away, or dispose of in any manner church property that exceeds $1000.00 in value, not to mortgage or encumber the same with debt to exceed the above amount, unless the church shall provide authorization by vote. The deacons, along with the Pastor, shall have authority to spend church funds up to a maximum of $1000.00 in any calendar month. In case of necessary, emergency repairs, this amount may be exceeded, with the church body being informed as soon as possible.

  5. The deacons, along with the Pastor, shall authorize the opening of any bank savings or checking accounts necessary for the operation of the church. The specific individuals authorized to sign checks or make withdrawals of church funds shall be designated by the Pastor and deacons.

  6. This church, through its officers, shall have the right to own, buy, or sell taxable properties, both real and personal. No profit shall ever accrue to the benefit of any persons from the assets, holdings, or other transactions in which this church may become involved.

  7. If a deacon fails to live up to his areas of responsibility, the pastor and other deacons will discuss matters with him in an attempt to solve the problem. If the problem persists, it will be the responsibility of the Pastor and deacons to bring a recommendation to the church as to the action required. In the case of a serious error in conduct or testimony, the Pastor and remaining deacons may immediately, but temporarily, suspend that deacon's ministry. Following the temporary suspension, a church business meeting shall be called at which permanent dismissal from the office of deacon may be considered.

  8. The deacons shall be elected at the annual meeting and will serve for a term of three years. After the completion of their term, they can not hold the office of deacon again until one year has expired.

  9. As much as is possible, the appointed positions of church clerk, church treasurer, financial secretary, and Sunday School superintendent shall be held by deacons.


Section 3 - Duties of Appointed Personnel

  1. Treasurer - the treasurer is responsible for all moneys received through the church. He is responsible for the proper payment of church bills, and the accounting of all funds. He shall present reports to the Pastor and deacons as needed, and to the church at each quarterly business meeting.

  2. Financial Secretary - the financial secretary is responsible to keep a record of all contributions for each member. He shall furnish a statement to each giver at the end of each calendar year.

  3. Church Clerk - the clerk shall keep a correct and permanent record of all the business meetings of the church He shall maintain a current register of members, and be responsible for all correspondence with other churches from which transfers have been received or to which transfers have been sent.



Article V

Meetings

Section 1- Types

  1. The church shall meet twice each Lord's Day, and at least once during each week for Bible Study and Prayer.

  2. The church will regularly observe the Lord's Supper as led of the Lord.

  3. The church will, under normal circumstances, have at least one organized church-wide visitation program each week.

  4. The church shall hold a business meeting immediately following the final mid-week church service in January, April, July, and October. This meeting may be rescheduled by not more than two weeks so long as the change is announced publicly at regularly scheduled church services at least two weeks in advance.

  5. The churchís fiscal year shall be from January 1 through December 31. The annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the January business meeting.

  6. Special business meetings may be called by the Pastor, or by the deacons in his absence. Notice and the nature of the special business meeting will be given from the pulpit for two Sundays prior to the meeting. These meetings will be called for a specific purpose, and no other business will be discussed.


Section 2 - Rules

  1. 25% of the voting membership shall constitute a quorum at any meeting

  2. A simple majority of those voting will be necessary to carry any action.

  3. Minimum voting age shall be 18.

  4. There shall be no voting by proxy, neither shall there be any absentee ballots.

  5. The Pastor will moderate all meetings, unless it concerns his personal relationship with the church. He may choose to allow the chairman of the deacons or other pastoral staff to moderate.

  6. All meetings will be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order.

  7. Nominations for the office of deacons will be posted at least two Sundays before the annual meeting. No nominations will be taken from the floor. Election shall be by written ballot.

  8. The annual church financial report and proposed budget will be posted two Sundays before the annual meeting.

  9. Any recommendation or suggestion considered of special interest to the church shall first be brought to the Pastor and deacons for consideration before being presented to the membership. The deacons may bring a recommendation to the church without pastoral knowledge for special benevolencies extended toward him or his family.

  10. The pastor and/or the deacons have the right to remove, or have removed, any disruptive member from any church meeting.

    Section 3 - Removal from meetings and functions

    Any member/participant may be dismissed/removed from any ministry function, or asked not to return, if he/she demonstrates that he/she is out of harmony with the Doctrinal Statement, or the Church Covenant, or the spirit or policies of the ministry, whether on or off church property, as determined in the sole discretion of the ministry leadership. Re-admission considerations following dismissal/removal will be determined on a case-by-case basis.



    Article VI

    Licensing and Ordination

    Section 1 - Ordination

    This church recognizes the fact that only God can call a man to the ministry of the Gospel, but that it is Scriptural to have such a man commended to the ministry by the local church.

    1. Requirements to consider ordination Any candidate for ordination shall be:

      1. an active member of Ambassador Baptist Church.

      2. a person of high moral character and consistent spirituality.

      3. in agreement with the doctrinal statement of the church.

      4. knowledgeable in the Scriptures, and apt to teach them.

      5. active in Christian service through the church.

      6. one whose home meets Biblical qualifications.

    2. Procedure for ordination

      Believing that God's hand is upon a man, the church shall call for an ordination council to convene for the purpose of a public questioning of the candidate concerning his doctrine and practice. The church shall hear the recommendation of the council, but is not bound by its opinion. The church may then vote to ordain, and proceed with a public ordination service.

    3. Revoking of Ordination

      The church may, by majority vote, revoke its approval of the ordination should the man depart from the faith, doctrinally or morally. If the ordination is revoked, all examining members of the ordination council will be informed of this action.


    Section 2 - Licensing

    The church shall have the right to grant a license to preach to any member of the church who gives evidence of his piety, zeal, aptness to teach, and who believes that he is called of God into the Gospel ministry.



    Article VII

    Regulations

    Section 1

    No auxiliary group shall organize without receiving authority to do so from the Pastor.


    Section 2

    All regular teachers and leaders shall be members of this church who evidence by their life a maturity in their walk with Christ.



    Article VIII

    Indemnification

    Section 1 - Actions Subject to Indemnification

    The Church may indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative, including all appeals (other than an action by or in the right of the Church) by reason of the fact that the person is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the Church, against expenses, including attorneys' fees, judgments, fines, and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding; and if that person acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the Church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or on a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner that he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the Church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful.


    Section 2 - Expenses Subject to Indemnification

    To the extent that a Pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit, or proceeding referred to in this Article, or in defense of any claim, issue, or matter in that action, suit, or proceeding, he or she may be indemnified against expenses, including attorneys fees, actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding.


    Section 3 - Limitations of Indemnification

    Any indemnification made under this Article, may be made by the Church only as authorized in the specific case on a determination that indemnification of the Pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent is proper in the circumstances because he has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in Section 1 of this Article. The determination shall be made (a) by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of the Pastor and deacons who were not and are not parties to, or threatened with, the action, suit, or proceeding; (b) if the described quorum is not obtainable, or if a majority vote of a quorum of disinterested deacons so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion; or (c) by a majority vote of the members of the Church.


    Section 4 - Timing of Indemnification

    Expenses of each person seeking indemnification under this Article, may be paid by the Church as they are incurred, in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit, or proceeding, as authorized by the Pastor and deacons in the specific case, on receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the Pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent to repay the amount if it is ultimately determined that he or she is not qualified to be indemnified by the Church.


    Section 5 - Extent of Indemnification

    The indemnification provided by this Article shall be deemed to be discretionary unless otherwise required as a matter of law or under any agreement or provided by insurance purchased by the Church, both as to action of each person seeking indemnification under this Article in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding that office, and may continue as to a person who has ceased to be a Pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent and may inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of that person.


    Section 6 - Insurance

    The Church may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a Pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the Church against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in that capacity, or arising out of his status in that capacity, whether or not the Church would have the power to indemnify him against liability under the provisions of this Article.



    Article IX

    Tax Exempt Provisions

    Section 1 - Private Inurement

    No part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the Church shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for the services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article 1, Section 2 hereof.


    Section 2 - Political Involvement

    No substantial part of the activities of the Church shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The Church shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.


    Section 3 - Dissolution

    Upon the dissolution of the Church, the trustees shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all the liabilities of the Church, dispose of all of the assets of the Church to such organization or organizations formed and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 5Ol(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future united States Internal Revenue Law), as the Church shall determine. The recipient of these assets will be designated by a vote of the Church at the time of its ceasing to exist as a Church. The assets and property are to go only to other Independent, Fundamental Baptist organizations of like faith and practice.


    Section 4 - Racial Nondiscrimination

    The Church shall have a racially nondiscriminatory policy and therefore shall not discriminate against members, applicants, students, and others on the basis of race, color, or national or ethnic origin.


    Section 5 - Limitation of Activities

    Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, the Church shall not, except to an insubstantial degree, engage in any activities or exercise any powers that are not in furtherance of the purposes stated in Article 1, Section 2.



    Article X

    Designated Contributions

    From time to time the Church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the Pastor and the deacons. No fuduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the Church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Article 1, Section 2.



    Article XI

    Binding Arbitration

    Section 1 - Submission to Arbitration

    Believing that lawsuits between believers are prohibited by Scripture, all members of this Church agree to submit to binding arbitration any matters which cannot otherwise be resolved, and expressly waive any and all rights in law and equity to bringing any civil disagreement before a court of law, except that judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.


    Section 2 - Notice of Arbitration

    In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising out of or relating to these Bylaws or any other church matter, the parties shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreement as befits Christians. To this effect, they shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith and, recognizing their mutual interests not to disgrace the name of Christ, seek to reach a just and equitable solution. If they do not reach such solution within a period of sixty (60) days, then upon notice by either party to the other, disputes, claims, questions, or differences shall be finally settled by arbitration as described in Section 1, above, and such Procedures for Arbitration as are adopted pursuant to the following two sections.


    Section 3 - Limitations on Arbitration Decisions

    1. Should any dispute involve matters of church discipline, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures for church discipline as outlined under Article 3, Section 5 were followed.

    2. Should any dispute involve the removal from office of the Pastor or any church officer, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures set forth in Article 3 were followed.


    Section 4 - Arbitration Procedures

    The procedures for arbitration shall be as adopted by the Pastor and the deacons.



    Article XII

    Amendments

    This constitution, including the Doctrinal Statement, may be amended at any business meeting of the church, provided a two week notice has been given, and the proposed amendment has been posted for those two weeks. Under no circumstances will an amendment be considered which violates Scripture or Scriptural principles. Amendments to the Doctrinal Statement will be limited to additions that either clarify existing statements or further delineate the churchís position on important issues.




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Home of Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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