Statement of faith (Doctrine)
1. The divine inspiration and infallibility of Holy
Scripture, as originally given, and its supreme authority in all
matters of faith and conduct.
2. The unity, equality and individual personality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the Godhead.
3. The sovereignty of God in creation, revelation, redemption and final judgement.
4. The full deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, his incarnation and virgin birth, and his real and sinless humanity.
5. The personality of Satan, the arch-enemy of God and man.
6. The universal sinfulness and guilt of human nature since the Fall,
rendering man subject to Godís wrath and condemnation, and his total
inability to save himself, apart from the intervention of the only
mediator, Jesus Christ.
7. Redemption from the guilt, penalty and power of sin and from the
dominion of Satan only through the sacrificial death (as our
representative and substitute) of Jesus Christ.
8. The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and his
ascension to the right hand of the Father, his present intercessory
ministry as great high priest, and his future personal return and
9. The necessity of the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit to make
the death of Christ effective to the individual sinner, convicting him
of sin, granting him repentance towards God and faith in Jesus Christ.
10. The indwelling and continuous work of the Holy Spirit in every believer.
11. The resurrection of the body, the judgement of mankind by our Lord
Jesus Christ, the eternal blessedness in Heaven of the redeemed and the
eternal banishment of the lost in Hell.
12. The one, holy, universal church, which is the Body of Christ, and to which all true believers belong.
13. The local church as a called-out community of born-again believers,
with the liberty to order its life as the Holy Spirit will guide
through the Scriptures, and enjoying fellowship with all those who love
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
1. The Christian religion being a way of life, I promise, by the help of the Holy Spirit, to live as directed by God's Word.
2. Jesus Christ is Lord and King, and so I promise to do all that I can
for his sake, accepting any responsibility or service which I am deemed
worthy to bear by the church.
3. It is needful to cultivate the Christian life, and so I
promise to present myself at the services of worship, realising the
importance of the prayer meeting, and putting away all idle excuses and
4. It is necessary to live the Christian life within the
fellowship, and so I promise to be slow either to give or take offence,
and to love the brotherhood, to forgive when offended, and to seek
forgiveness when I give offence, accepting the words of our Lord in
5. The church is a separate fellowship, and so I promise to
keep the particular affairs of the church within the church and to
respect those who lead in the life of the church.
6. Jesus Christ gave himself with unstinting love, a sacrifice
for me, and so I promise to generously support his church, recognising
that Jesus Christ has a claim on all I possess.
7. I promise to make the Bible my rule of faith and conduct,
to read and study it, and to seek all spiritual guidance in its light.
(adopted on 25th September 1985)
Preamble: The Trust Deed, dated 21st. October 1846, which established
the Church, says: "being independent as to Church discipline and
maintaining the Doctrines of One living and true God three equal
persons in the Godhead, eternal and personal election, original sin,
particular redemption, free justification by the righteousness of
Christ imputed, the law of God a perfect rule for the conduct of
believers, the final perseverance of the saints, the resurrection unto
eternal life, the future judgement and the eternal happiness of the
righteous and the everlasting misery of such as die impenitent, and
also administering the ordnance of baptism by immersion to such only as
are of years of understanding upon their own confession of repentance
towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ....."
1. Name of Church
The name of the Church is "King's
Norton Baptist Church". It is affiliated to the Baptist Union of Great
Britain and Ireland. The Trustees of the Church are the West Midland
2.1 Membership shall be open to
born-again believers who accept this document as the Constitution,
Doctrinal Basis and Covenant of the church. Applicants for membership
shall be visited by the elders or their representatives, who shall give
a report to a church members' meeting. Alternatively, a letter of
commendation shall be received from an applicant's previous church.
Acceptance into membership shall be subject to the approval of the
2.2 Responsibilities of church members shall include:
2.2.1 to attend faithfully church services and meetings (Heb 10:25)
2.2.2 to be willing for some specific service within the life and
work of the church, according to a member's recognised gifts and
abilities. (Rom 12:3-8, Eph 4:11-16, I Cor 12:13-31.)
2.2.3 to contribute financially, regularly, according to their
ability, to the maintenance of the church's ministry, the church
relying on the direct giving of its members (Mic 3:10, 2 Cor 8&9, I
2.2.4 to attend church members' meetings where possible, and to
seek the will of God regarding church business along with other members
2.3 Who is a member?
2.3.1. A membership roll shall be maintained and shall be periodically reviewed by the elders.
2.3.2. Membership shall usually be for life or until the member
formally transfers membership to another church. However it is
recognised that members may become unwilling to comply with the
responsibilities of membership including those laid down in 2.2. In
such instances, those members should be visited by the elders or their
representatives in order, if possible, to restore them to fellowship.
Removal from the membership roll shall be subject to the approval of
the church meeting.
2.4 There shall be a category of Associate Member for those
temporarily resident in the area (e.g. students). Associate members
shall be accepted into membership on the same basis as ordinary
members, and shall have the same privileges and obligations, except
that they shall not vote at church members' meetings.
3. Ordinances (or Sacraments)
The church recognises two ordinances as instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ: Baptism, and the Lord's Supper.
3.1 Baptism is not essential to salvation, but it is clearly taught
in Scripture as a command of Christ for every believer. It signifies
the separation of the believer from the world and his/her
identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection to
newness of life. For this reason, immersion in water is considered the
most appropriate mode of baptism. Candidates for baptism shall be those
who have repented of their sin and made a profession of faith in the
Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. (Matt 28:19, Acts 2:38-41, Rom
3.2 The Lord's Supper is a memorial feast, serving as a continual
reminder of his sufferings and death on our behalf and as an expression
of the unity of his church as one body in him. It shall be observed
regularly at least monthly. The Lord's table is open to all who profess
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who are looking to him alone for their
salvation, and who approach the Lord's supper in a worthy manner. (Luke
22:14-20, I Cor 10:16-17, I Cor 11:23ff.)
The church recognises two offices in the local church, as taught in the New Testament: Elder, and Deacon.
4.1.1. Elders, including the pastor or
minister, shall be men from the membership of the church of appropriate
Christian maturity who, fulfil the qualifications set out in I Tim
3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 .
4.1.2. Elders shall give themselves to prayer and to the study and
ministry of the Scriptures, and as under-shepherds they shall have
responsibility for: visitation of members; spiritual rule of the
church; encouragement of the gifts and abilities of members; exercise
of discipline; maintenance of sound doctrine in all teaching and
preaching. (Acts 6:4, 20:28, Heb 13:17, I Pet 5:1-5.)
4.1.3. A prospective candidate for eldership shall after wide
consultation be made known by the existing eldership to the church
220.127.116.11. Any member feeling unable to join the church in
recognition of the prospective elder must make his reasons known to the
elders within twenty-eight days. Unless valid Biblical reasons are
furnished against his appointment, the elders shall then set him apart
to that work before the Church (see I Timothy 5:19.)
If reasons are given to the elders and the elders cannot agree or the
reasons given are not valid Biblically, the elders shall bring the
question of recognition to the attention of church members in a church
members' meeting and the church members can express their support for
the recognition of new elders by a vote.
18.104.22.168. It is recognised that valid Biblical reasons as to why
the proposed elder should not be set apart for the work may not become
apparent until after the initial appointment. Therefore, opportunity
should be given to the membership at regular intervals of 3 years to
furnish such reasons to the other elders within 28 days of the
opportunity being made known at a church meeting.
22.214.171.124. If an elder does not conform to the Scriptural standard,
the Biblical reasons shall be put before a church meeting and the elder
may be dismissed by the church members' meeting.
126.96.36.199. Should there be occasion where no elders exist within the
church, the Superintendent of West Midlands Baptist Association or a
representative of that office bearer would normally assume the
responsibilities of eldership within the church until such time as
elders are appointed in accordance with 4.1.3. and 188.8.131.52. above.
4.1.4. A candidate for pastor shall be nominated by the elders and
appointed if he receives a clear mandate in a church meeting. A
candidate in membership with another church shall first be commended by
that church to the pastorate at King's Norton Baptist Church.
4.2.1 Deacons shall be members of the
church who fulfil the qualifications set out in I Tim 3:8-12. who are
filled with the Holy Spirit and whose godly life is known to all.
4.2.2 Deacons shall be appointed to administer the church's
property, finances, organisations and the church's responsibility for
the material needs of church members, and to assist the elders.
4.2.3 Candidates for deacon shall be nominated by two church
members. Notice of election shall be given at least two weeks in
advance of a church members' meeting. Deacons shall be appointed if
they receive at least two thirds of the votes cast at a church meeting.
The period of office of a deacon shall be three years; he/she shall be
eligible for re-election. He/she may be dismissed in the interim by a
two-thirds majority of those voting at a church members' meeting.
5. Church Members' Meetings
5.1 Church members' meetings for the transaction of church business shall be held at least four times a year.
5.2 The quorum at church meetings shall be one-third of the current membership.
5.3. The business transacted at a church members' meeting shall be
deemed private. Members shall be given proper notice of a meeting and
an agenda, not later than the Sunday preceding that meeting., so that
they may prayerfully consider the business to be transacted. Items for
inclusion on the Agenda may come from the elders or deacons, by notice
given at a previous church meeting; or by notice given at the
commencement of a meeting, provided it is accepted by a majority of the
members present at the meeting. Matters to be brought to a church
meeting may be submitted by members to elders or deacons at any time.
5.4. Reports on the work of the church, including the audited
financial accounts of the church, shall be presented annually to a
church members' meeting.
5.5. Because the Church Meeting, having a spiritual
responsibility, meets to find God's will, and recognising that the
members shall be of one mind and in the spirit, voting will normally be
open. However, it is recognised that there may be occasions when voting
might be more appropriately carried out secretly and it shall be so
carried out if a majority open vote firstly deems it appropriate.
6.1 All organisations using the church's
name or purporting to be run on behalf of the church shall be subject
to the control of the church through its officers.
6.2 Reports on organisations' work, including financial reports, shall be presented annually to a church members' meeting.
No alterations shall be made to this
Constitution, including its appendices, except by a two-thirds majority
vote at a church members' meeting, with at least two weeks' notice
having been given of any proposed alteration.