Constitution of the First Baptist Church of Diana, Texas, Incorporated

Ratified by congregational vote on June 14, 2020

Preamble

It pleased Almighty God, by His Spirit, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ 1919, to call a number of His servants to unite under the name James Baptist Church, for the worship of God and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God has sustained this work to the present day.

We, the members of First Baptist Church of Diana, Texas, Incorporated, the spiritual posterity of that original congregation, having searched the Scriptures under the guidance of God’s Spirit, have recognized the need to reconstitute ourselves to more closely conform to God’s will for the Church in this age and prepare ourselves for greater efforts in the name of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we, the members of First Baptist Church of Diana, Texas, Incorporated, do hereby organize ourselves under the articles of this Constitution, to be interpreted at all times to reflect the character of Jesus Christ and to bring Him glory, as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and articulated in the standards set forth in our Confession of Faith and Membership Covenant, which are distinct but interdependent documents.

 

Article I. Name

The name of this church is First Baptist Church of Diana, Texas, Incorporated.

 

Article II. Purpose

This church exists by the grace of God, for the glory of God, which shall be the ultimate purpose in all its activities.

This church glorifies God by loving Him and obeying His commands, which are revealed on the pages of Holy Scripture. Specifically, this church endeavors to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ, baptizing new disciples into membership and teaching all members to follow Christ’s commands (Matthew 28:18-20).

The means by which this church shall make disciples are gathering for congregational worship, biblically administering the ordinances of baptism and communion, engaging in personal evangelism, encouraging and supporting missionary efforts, encouraging biblical fellowship among believers, and any other means consistent with the teachings of Holy Scripture.

 

Article III. Membership

Section 1. Qualifications

1.1. To qualify for membership in this church, a person must be a believer in Jesus Christ who gives evidence of regeneration, who has been baptized, in obedience to Christ, following his or her regeneration, and who wholeheartedly believes in the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. Each member must agree to submit to the teaching of Scripture as expressed in the Confession of Faith and must promise to keep the commitments expressed in the Membership Covenant.

1.2. The body of elders shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualification for church membership. In making this determination, they may rely on a person’s profession of faith, or such other evidence, as the elders deem appropriate.

Section 2. Admission of Members

2.1. To be admitted into church membership, applicants shall be ordinarily, but not necessarily, recommended by the elders for admission and must be accepted by vote of the assembled congregation (see Article V, Section 2) at any regular or special meeting of the members.

2.2. Upon acceptance by the assembled congregation, church members shall relinquish their membership in other churches.

Section 3. Duties and Privileges of Membership

3.1. In accord with the duties enumerated in the Membership Covenant, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church, consistent with God’s leading and with the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God.

3.2. Only church members shall be entitled to serve in the ministries of the church; though, non-members may serve on an ad-hoc basis with the approval of the elders. Notwithstanding, non-members may serve the church for purposes deemed appropriate by the assembled congregation (see Article V, Section 2).

3.3. Under Christ this congregation is governed by its members. Therefore, it is the privilege and responsibility of church members to attend members’ meetings and vote on the election of officers, on decisions regarding membership status, and on such other matters as may be submitted to a vote.

Section 4. Church Discipline

4.1. It shall be the practice of this local church body to emphasize to its members that each is expected to act in accordance with the Membership Covenant. Additionally, the body of elders will give loving effort to assist any troubled, neglectful, or rebellious member.

4.2. Any member consistently neglectful of his or her duties or guilty of conduct by which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be dishonored, and so opposing the welfare of the church and/or rendering doubtful a profession of faith, shall be subject to the admonition of the elders and the discipline of the church, according to the instructions of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:15-17) and the example of Scripture (1 Corinthians 5:4-5; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8). Public church discipline, then, should ordinarily be contemplated after individual private admonition has failed.

4.3. The purpose of such discipline should be:

4.3.1. for the repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined (see Proverbs 15:5; 29:15; 1 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4-5; Hebrews 12:1-11; Psalm 119:115; 141:5; Proverbs 17:10; 25:12; 27:5; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Matthew 7: 26-27; 18:15-17; Luke 17:3; Acts 2:40; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; 1 Timothy 1:20; Titus 1:13-14; James 1:22).

4.3.2. for the instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them (see Proverbs 13:20; Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 15:33; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:14 [note this is written to the whole church, not just to leaders]; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:11; Hebrews 10:24-25);

4.3.3. for the purity of the church as a whole (see 1 Corinthians 5:6-7; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 5:27; 2 John 10; Jude 24; Revelation 21:2);

4.3.4. for the good of our corporate witness to non–Christians (see Proverbs 28:7; Matthew 5:13-16; John 13:35; Acts 5:1-14; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Peter 2:2; 1 John 3:10);

4.3.5. and supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character (see Deuteronomy 5:11; I Kings 11:2; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Ezra 6:21; Nehemiah 9:2; Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 36:20; Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; 18:17, 25; Romans 2:24; 15:5-6; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; 1 Peter 2:12).

Section 5. Termination of Membership

5.1. The church shall recognize the termination of a person’s membership following his or her death.

5.2. The church shall recognize the termination of a person’s membership following his or her self-professed apostasy as informed by the elders.

5.3. The church may recognize, by vote of the assembled congregation, the termination of a person’s membership after he or she has voluntarily resigned or joined with another church.

5.4. Membership may also be terminated as an act of church discipline (ordinarily, but not necessarily, at the recommendation of the elders) upon the vote of at least two-thirds of the members present at any regular or special meeting of the members (see Article III. Section 4.).

5.5. The church shall have authority to refuse a member’s voluntary resignation or transfer of membership to another church, either for the purpose of proceeding with a process of church discipline, or for any other biblical reason.

Section 6. Restoration of Membership

6.1. The assembled congregation (see Article V, Section 2) may restore to membership any person previously excluded. The assembled congregation shall vote on the basis of the following preconditions:

6.1.1. The excluded individual shall demonstrate repentance and reformation over an appropriate period of time.

6.1.2. The body of elders shall recommend the restoration of the excluded individual to the church assembled at a members’ meeting.

6.1.3. The excluded individual shall provide personal testimony of repentance and reformation at the same members’ meeting.

 

Article IV. Church Meetings

Section 1. Worship Meetings

1.1. Worship services shall be held each Lord’s Day and may be held throughout the week as the church determines.

Section 2. Regular Members’ Meetings

2.1. There shall be regular members’ meetings at least four times each year, scheduled and agreed upon by the membership. In these meetings, like all others, members shall act in a spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration which is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2.2. An elder, designated by the body of elders, shall preside as moderator at all members’ meetings of the church. The body of elders shall see to it that regular members’ meetings are held and that required reports are submitted to the assembled congregation (see Article V, Section 2) by the responsible members.

2.3. Provided all constitutional provisions for notification have been met, a quorum shall be understood to be met by those members present. All votes shall be tallied based on the number of votes cast by members present.

2.4. Annually, after consulting with the deacons, committee members, and members of the church, the elders shall present a proposed budget to the church. The proposed budget shall be made available to church members no less than two weeks prior to the last regularly scheduled members’ meeting of the year. At the last regularly scheduled members’ meeting of the year, the proposed budget shall be presented for discussion and vote. The annual budget shall be approved by no less than a two-thirds vote of the assembled congregation.

2.5. At any regular or special members’ meeting, the elders may nominate officers or propose new staff positions or committees, which shall be subject to the approval of the assembled congregation. Officers may be elected, and positions filled as needed, so long as all relevant constitutional requirements have been met (see Article VII).

Section 3. Special Members’ Meetings

3.1. A special members’ meeting may be called by the elders, or at the written request, submitted to the elders, of no less than five percent of the voting membership.

3.2. The date, time, location, and purpose of any special members’ meeting shall be announced at all public services of the church within two weeks preceding the meeting.

3.3. In the event of a written request from the members, the elders shall call a special members’ meeting to be held within one month upon receiving the request.

3.4. Only matters related to the subject of the special members’ meeting may be considered during conference.

 

Article V. Church Government

Section 1. Summary

1.1. Under Christ, the final earthly authority is vested in the assembled congregation. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body or outside authority, but this church voluntarily complies with the laws of the state and federal government unless any such law contradicts the teachings of Holy Scripture.

1.2. This church recognizes and welcomes voluntarily cooperation with other Christian organizations and churches, which is a common practice among Baptist churches. Cooperation and association with any other entity is contingent upon a shared belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ and subject to the consent of the assembled congregation.

1.3. The two biblical offices of the church are elders and deacons. The office of elder includes both vocational and non-paid elders, and the church recognizes the appointments of senior pastor and associate pastor as vocation elders.

Section 2. The Assembled Congregation

2.1. The assembled congregation is constituted of all the members present at any regular or special members’ meeting of the church.

2.2. The assembled congregation shall express final earthly authority through the democratic process of voting (see Article IV). Therefore, it is the privilege and responsibility of members to attend members’ meetings and vote on the election of officers, on decisions regarding membership status, and on such other matters as may be submitted to a vote.

2.3. The assembled congregation possesses the exclusive right to determine who shall be admitted as members of this church and the conditions of membership, which shall be defined by the Holy Scriptures, the Constitution of this church, and the Church Covenant.

2.4. The assembled congregation possesses the exclusive right to disallow, postpone, regulate, or exclude any individual membership or any individual membership request.

Section 3. Elders

3.1. Qualifications. The body of elders shall be comprised of not less than three men who each satisfy the qualifications of church membership as well as the qualifications of the office of elder, as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. In accordance with 1 Timothy 2:12 and 3:2, women shall not serve as elders.

3.2. Commission. Subject to the will of the congregation, the elders shall oversee the ministry, resources, and business of the church. In keeping with Acts 6:1-6 and 1 Peter 5:1-4, the elders shall devote their time to prayer, to the ministry of the Word of God (by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine), and shepherding God’s flock.

3.3. Installation. The church shall recognize particular men who are gifted and willing to serve as elders, in accordance with the constitutional provisions on elections (see Article VII). These men shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as elders. An elder’s term of office may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal.

3.4. Term. Each elder shall be installed by vote of the assembled congregation (see Article VII). Upon installation to the office, a vocational elder shall serve for the duration of his employment. Upon installation to the office, a non-paid elder shall serve for a period of three years. Each non-paid elder may serve two consecutive three-year terms, but no more. A non-paid elder may be elected to the office again after at least one year of sabbatical. Any elder’s term may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal.

3.5. Dismissal. Any two members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the other elder(s) and, if need be, to the congregation. Any such action shall be handled in accordance with the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ in 1 Timothy 5:17-20 and Matthew 18:15-17. Any disqualified elder may be dismissed by a majority vote of the members present at any members’ meeting (see Article III, Section 4).

3.6. Duties. The body of elders shall collectively take particular responsibility to:

3.6.1. plan and oversee the weekly gatherings of the church;

3.6.2. oversee the ordinances, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper;

3.6.3. examine and instruct prospective members, providing oversight throughout the process of church membership;

3.6.4. equip the church members for the work of the ministry;

3.6.5. encourage sound doctrine and practice, admonish and correct error, and oversee the process of church discipline;

3.6.6. examine and recommend candidates for all church offices and positions;

3.6.7. oversee the work of deacons and other church agents (including volunteers and paid staff) and committees;

3.6.8. mobilize the church for participation in missionary efforts, both far and near;

3.6.9. ensure that all who minister the Word of God to the congregation (including all teachers, preachers, and outside speakers) affirm our fundamental gospel convictions and do not teach our church anything contrary to the Confession of Faith.

3.7. Trustees. The body of elders shall serve as the trustees of the church, which are the legal officers of the church. Upon a specific vote of authorization by the assembled congregation, the body of elders shall have the authority to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any church property. When the signatures of trustees are required, the elders shall have the authority to sign legal documents on behalf of the church.

3.7. Organization. The body of elders shall elect a chairman of elders’ meetings and shall also elect one of their number to serve as moderator of members’ meetings.

3.9. Exclusivity. A man may not serve as both an elder and a deacon simultaneously.  Voluntary resignation from one office must precede installation to the other.

Section 4. The Senior Pastor

4.1. The senior pastor shall be an elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder (see Article V. Section 3), and he shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the vocational ministry of preaching and teaching.

4.2. The senior pastor shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation or to the term limitation set out in Article V. Section 3.4 for elders. His election shall be defined as set out in this constitution (see Article VII).

4.3. The senior pastor shall have primary responsibility for the supervision and evaluation of staff members. This responsibility may, on a case-by-case basis, be delegated to another staff member.

4.4. The senior pastor shall have no formal authority distinct from the body of elders.

4.5. In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor the body of elders shall assume responsibility for his duties, any of which may be delegated.

4.6. The senior pastor is subject to the same dismissal rules as any other elder (see Article V. Section 3.5.).

Section 5. Associate Pastor(s)

5.1. The church may employ additional pastors, as the need arises, whose relationship to the senior pastor is that of associate.

5.2. An associate pastor shall be an elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder (see Article IV. Section 3.), and he shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the vocational ministry of preaching and teaching.

5.3. An associate pastor shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation or to the term limitation set out in Article IV. Section 3.4. for elders. His election shall be defined as set out in this constitution (see Article VII).

5.4. He shall assist the senior pastor in the performance of his regular duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of elder, or as set forth in the constitution, or which may be specifically assigned to him by the senior pastor.

5.5. An associate pastor shall have no formal authority distinct from the body of elders.

5.6. In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor for defined periods of time (such as sabbatical or illness), the associate pastor(s), distinct among the body of elders as vocational elders, shall assume primary responsibility for his duties.

5.7. An associate pastor is subject to the same dismissal rules as any other elder (see Article IV. Section 3.5.).

Section 6. Deacons

6.1. Qualifications. The qualifications for those who would serve in the office of deacon are described in I Timothy 3:8–13. The church shall recognize, in accordance with the constitutional provisions on elections (see Article VII), members who are giving of themselves in service to the church, and who possess particular gifts of service.

6.2. Commission. In keeping with the principles in Acts 6:1-6, deacons shall not exercise spiritual authority, but shall enable the elders to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word, and deacons shall also work to maintain the unity of the church. Deacons shall care for the temporal needs of church members and attend to the accommodations for public worship. The number of deacons will vary depending on the needs of the church and on who shall satisfy the qualifications.

6.3. Installation. In keeping with the principles set forth in Acts 6:1-6, qualified and gifted members shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as deacons. Each diaconate position shall serve a particular need of the church and shall be created or dissolved upon the recommendation of the elders and the subsequent vote of the assembled congregation (see Article VII).

6.4. Term. Each deacon shall serve for a period of three years, unless the term is terminated by resignation or by dismissal. A diaconate term may also be terminated by resignation or by dismissal.

6.5. Dismissal. Any member with reason to believe that a deacon should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders. Any such action shall be handled in accordance with the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:15-17. A deacon may also be removed from office upon the recommendation of the elders and the vote of the assembled congregation. Any of the deacons may be dismissed by a two-thirds of the members present at any members’ meeting.

6.6. Duties. Deacons may be assigned by the elders to tasks in the following categories.

6.6.1. Benevolence distribution (including receiving, holding, and dispersing funds) as an assistance to church members. Deacons shall report the use of funds to the body of elders, and deacons shall report the total receipts and total disbursements only.

6.6.2. Physical assistance (including home maintenance, lawncare, and vehicle maintenance) as an assistance to church members.

6.6.3. Care for the grounds of the church property (such as lawn care and land maintenance).

6.6.4. Maintain the church buildings and facilities.

6.7. Exclusivity. A man may not serve as both a deacon and an elder simultaneously.  Voluntary resignation from one office must precede installation to the other.

 

Article VI. Church Administration

Section 1. Summary

1.1. The church recognizes the administrative positions under this constitution of staff, committees, clerk, and treasurer.

1.2. The elders shall nominate candidates for the positions of clerk and treasurer at any members’ meeting of the church, and the elders shall propose candidates and positions in the categories of staff and committees at any member’s meeting of the church (see Article VII).

Section 2. Qualifications

2.1. The positions of staff, committees, clerk, and treasurer shall be filled with approved and competent church members in good standing, but they shall not be filled by an elder.

2.2. The treasurer shall not be an elder or a paid staff member of the church.

Section 3. Administrative Staff

3.1. The body of elders may establish administrative staff positions. Each position shall be created with a defined scope and job description.   

3.2. The body of elders shall propose funding for new paid staff positions at any members’ meeting of the church, and any new paid staff position is subject to the approval of the assembled congregation.

Section 4. Committees

4.1. The elders may establish committees for the purpose of performing specific tasks.

4.2. Each committee shall be established with a clear purpose, a stated duration of existence, and a determinate budget.

Section 5. Treasurer

5.1. The treasurer shall be elected to a renewable term of one year upon the recommendation of the elders and the subsequent vote of the assembled congregation (see Article VII). No person shall serve more than three consecutive terms as treasurer.

5.2. The treasurer shall ensure that all funds and securities of the church are properly secured in the banks, financial institutions, or depositories held by the church. The treasurer shall also ensure that full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements are kept in books belonging to the church, and that adequate controls are implemented to guarantee that all funds belonging to the church are appropriately handled by any officer, employee, or agent of the church.

5.3. The treasurer shall provide to the elders at least once a year, or whenever the elders may require it, an account of all financial transactions since the last complete account and of the financial condition of the church. The treasurer shall also present reports of the account balances, revenues, and expenses of the church at regular members’ meetings.

5.4. The treasurer may be dismissed from office upon the recommendation of the elders and the majority vote of the assembled congregation.

Section 6. Clerk

6.1. The clerk shall be elected to a renewable term of one year upon the recommendation of the elders and the subsequent vote of the assembled congregation (see Article VII).

6.2. It shall be the duty of the clerk to record the minutes of all regular and special members’ meetings of the church and to render reports as requested by the elders or the church.

6.3. In the absence or incapacity of the clerk, the elders shall appoint a church member to perform the duties of the church clerk at any members’ meeting of the church.

 

Article VII. Church Elections

Section 1. Principles

1.1. The process for church elections shall be interpreted and carried out to fulfill the following principles:

1.1.1. substantial prayer, both individually and corporately, should be an integral part of the election process;

1.1.2. nominations shall proceed with the support of the elders;

1.1.3. all candidates for church office shall be treated with the grace, kindness, and honesty appropriate in evaluating fellow members.

Section 2. Election of Officers

2.1. The election of officers shall be held at a members’ meeting of the church.

2.2. The officers to be elected by the assembled congregation are elders (including senior pastor and associate pastor) and deacons.

2.3. Name(s) of the nominee(s) to serve in any office shall be presented by the elders at the previous members’ meeting to the meeting on which the assembled congregation will vote on the nominee(s), and the election shall proceed as directed by the moderator.

2.4. Any member with reason to believe that a nominated candidate is unqualified for the office should express such concern to the elders. Members intending to speak in opposition to a candidate should express their objection to the elders as far in advance as possible before the relevant church members’ meeting.

2.5. The assembled congregation shall vote on nominees individually and by ballot.

2.6. The moderator or his delegates shall count the votes immediately upon reception, and the results shall be announced to the assembled congregation as soon as possible.

2.7. The vote threshold for each office shall be as follows:

2.7.1. Elders. Each individual receiving at least a two-thirds vote of those cast by the assembled congregation for the office of elder shall be installed to that office. Abstentions will not be considered as votes cast.

2.7.2. Deacons. Each individual receiving a simple majority of all votes cast by the assembled congregation for the office of deacon shall be installed to that office. Abstentions will not be considered as votes cast.

2.8. The persons elected shall assume their respective offices upon election, unless another date has been specifically designated.

Section 3. Election of Senior Pastor

3.1. In the calling of any man to this position, the same process of calling an elder must be followed (see Article VII, Section 2).

3.2. The church members must be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential senior pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Confession of Faith and the Membership Covenant.

3.3. If the man to be elected to the office of senior pastor is not currently a member of the church, then his election will include election into membership. If he is married, and if his wife is also not a current member of the church, then her election to membership must also be presented and voted upon by the assembled congregation (see Article III).

Section 4. Election of Associate Pastor(s)

4.1. In the calling of any man to this position, the same process of calling an elder must be followed (see Article VII, Section 2).

4.2. Before being asked to express its judgment, the church must receive assurance from the elders that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Confession of Faith and the Membership Covenant.

4.3. If the man to be elected to the office of associate pastor is not currently a member of the church, then his election will include election into membership. If he is married, and if his wife is also not a current member of the church, then her election to membership must also be presented and voted upon by the assembled congregation (see Article III).

Section 5. Election of Administrative Positions

5.1. The election of church members to the administrative positions of treasurer and clerk shall be held at a members’ meeting of the church.

5.2. The body of elders shall present the creation and description of new administrative staff positions at a regular members’ meeting of the church.

5.3. All elections shall proceed as directed by the moderator.

5.4. The assembled congregation shall vote on nominees and positions individually by ballot and approved by a simple majority of the votes cast by the assembled congregation. Abstentions will not be considered as votes cast.

 

Article VIII. Amendments

Section 1. Confession of Faith and Membership Covenant

1.1. The church’s Confession of Faith and the Membership Covenant shall be amended upon the recommendation of the elders and the agreement of three-quarters of all votes cast by the assembled congregation at a regular members’ meeting, provided the amendment was presented by the elders in writing at a previous regular members’ meeting.

Section 2. Constitution

2.1. This Constitution shall be amended upon the recommendation of the elders and the agreement of three-quarters of all votes cast by the assembled congregation at a regular members’ meeting, provided the amendment was presented by the elders in writing at a previous regular members’ meeting.

 

Article IX. Dissolution

Section 1. Meeting and Approval

1.1. In the event that the pastors (elders, overseers) of the church determine that there is reasonable cause to dissolve the First Baptist Church of Diana, Texas, Incorporated, as a corporate entity, the elders shall recommend dissolution to the membership.

1.2. The elders shall call a special members’ meeting (see Article IV). Notice of the meeting shall be sent in writing to the membership and posted at all entrances to the church building no less than thirty days prior to the meeting. The notice shall state that the purpose of the meeting is to consider dissolution of the corporation.

1.3. Dissolution shall be approved by at least two-thirds of all votes cast by the assembled congregation.

Section 2. Distribution of Assets

2.1. The elders shall inform the members how the assets of the corporation will be distributed, after all creditors have been paid, at the same special members’ meeting at which dissolution shall be approved.

2.2. After approval of dissolution by the members, all of the corporation’s debts shall be fully satisfied.

2.3. None of the corporation’s assets or holdings shall be divided among the members or other individuals, but shall be irrevocably designated to one or more religious organizations which meet the qualifications described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and which are in agreement with the letter and spirit of the Confession of Faith.

2.4. The distribution of assets shall be approved by a simple majority of all votes cast by the assembled congregation.