THE CONSTITUTION

of

PROVIDENCE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Revised 11/2001

 

ARTICLE I.  NAME

 

            Section 1.  The name of this church is Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, a non-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Missouri, hereinafter referred to as "this Church."

 

            Section 2.  This Church is a particular congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, herein after referred to as "the PCA."

 

ARTICLE II.  PURPOSE

 

            Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, having come into being under God and being submitted to His inerrant Word, recognizes the Biblical fact that man was created to worship God and that God seeks true worshipers.  Consequently, it is the purpose of this Church to provide God-centered opportunities for believers to express their worship of God.  To that end, the morning worship service shall maintain the character of objective worship, framed as a dialogue between God and His people, and incorporating vigorous preaching of the whole counsel of God.  Further, the principles of Biblical worship shall be incorporated in every home so that each member of the church shall come to glorify and enjoy God consistently.

 

            To reach the goal of developing better worshipers for God, the church will strive to broaden and deepen each worshiper's knowledge of God through Christian education.  Such education will take into consideration the breadth of God's revelation (through Bible survey and study of the expansion of God's covenant in Scripture).  Furthermore, each worshiper will study the depth of Scripture by means of inductive Bible studies of selected books, topical studies in practical areas, Bible doctrine as reflected in the Westminster Standards, and the church's application of Scripture through history.

 

            A mature worshiper must go beyond mere study and on to application.  There-fore, to increase the number of worshipers, this church will maintain an active evangelism program.  This program will consist of winsomely aggressive evangelism in the area of southwest county plus visitor follow-up, evangelistic Bible studies, evangelistic preaching, and community events.  Moreover, this church will be actively committed to the support of national and world missions.

 

            Furthermore, the outgrowth of true worship is true love, and this must be evident here as the Holy Spirit molds Providence Church into a caring, serving community of believers.  Therefore, fellowship, prayer, discipleship, service, and support groups will all be fostered and encouraged.  Full-orbed worship implies that all the members of the body employ their gifts in the service of God and of one another.

 

            Finally, because the Scripture is covenant-oriented, Providence Church will place great stress on the importance of the family and will not permit "church" work to preempt family life.  Nor shall mere activity be the image of this church.

 

ARTICLE III.  DOCTRINE

 

            This Church is reformed in theology.  This Church holds that the Bible, consisting of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God, and is thoroughly infallible and authoritative in its original manuscripts.  Subordinate to the Holy Scriptures, this Church adheres to the Reformed Faith as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter catechisms as approved and adopted by the P.C.A.  These documents are incorporated herein by reference and stand as part of this Constitution, as though fully set forth herein.

 

ARTICLE IV.  GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH

 

            This Church recognizes Jesus Christ, the one revealed in the infallible written Word of God, as the only preeminent Head of His Church.  It accepts no civil authority in ecclesiastical matters, and it holds to the Presbyterian form of church government.  The elders (session) chosen by the people from their own number shall in conjunction with the minister exercise government and discipline and take the spiritual oversight of the particular congregation and also of the church generally when called upon so to do.

 

            Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, being a member of the P.C.A., is subject to the laws pertaining thereto.

 

            The government of this Church shall be divided into two branches, to be known as the Congregation and the Corporation.

 

            The congregation shall deal with matters of a spiritual nature.  (Amplified in Article I of the Bylaws).  The chief responsibility for carrying out the affairs of the congregation shall rest with the session.

 

            The corporation shall deal with matters of a temporal nature.  (Amplified in Article VIII of the Bylaws).  All communicant members of the church eighteen years of age and older shall be members of the corporation.  The affairs of the corporation shall be administered by a board of directors, but this board shall have no authority other than that delegated to it by the corporation.

 

ARTICLE V.  MEMBERSHIP

 

            The membership of this church shall be composed of communicant members, non-communicant members, voting members, and associate members.

 

            Communicant members are those persons who have appeared before the session and have given a credible profession of personal faith in Christ as their Savior, shall have received the sacrament of water baptism, and have indicated a desire to regularly attend the stated meetings of the church and to work in unity with the other members of the church.

 

            Non-communicant members are those baptized children of communicant members.  One or both parents or foster parents must vow in the presence of the congregation to bring up these children in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord."  These children are not entitled to vote in any meeting of the church.

 

            Voting members are those baptized Christians who have been received by the session as communicant members and are eighteen years of age or older.

 

            Associate members are those people (such as seminary or college students) who wish to retain their membership in their home church.  These persons shall appear before the session and give a credible profession of their faith in Christ as Savior.  They shall enjoy all the privileges of fellowship, worship, and service under the supervision of the pastor and spiritual leaders but shall not vote in congregational or corporation meetings and shall not hold elected offices for the congregation or corporation.  The home church of the associate member shall be notified of his/her reception as an associate member and will receive notice of baptisms, weddings and funerals involving associate members and their families, and of any need for the administration of judicial discipline.

 

            Membership may be effected by one of three methods: confession of faith, re-affirmation of faith, or transfer of letter, defined as follows:

 

            Confession of faith - if a person confesses Christ and has never been a member in another evangelical church.

 

            Re-affirmation of faith - if a person has previously been a member in another church and now wishes to unite with this church and the mechanics of a transfer of letter are not applicable.

 

            Transfer of letter - if a person has been a member of a sister church a letter of transfer may be requested and granted.

 

            Periodically, but at least annually, the session shall review the church roll to determine those members who have been regularly absent from worship services to consider appropriate action. 

 

            No inactive roll shall be established.

 

ARTICLE VI.  AMENDMENTS

 

            This constitution can be amended only be a three-quarters vote of those members present and voting at two duly called consecutive meetings of the congregation, which are not less than two weeks apart.  The amendment shall be announced from the pulpit for two consecutive weeks prior to the first congregational meeting and the proposed amendment shall be received in writing by each member of the congregation not less than five days prior to the first congregational meeting.

 

ARTICLE VII.  THE OFFICERS

 

            The officers of this church shall be elders, deacons and directors.

 

            The elders (ruling and teaching) shall exercise government and discipline and shall take the spiritual oversight of this congregation and church.

 

            The deacons shall be responsible for assistance given to the poor of the congregation and of the community, and may perform such other administrative and charitable duties as may be assigned by the session or congregation.

 

            The directors of the corporation shall be the active ruling elders, and shall be empowered to carry out the directions of the corporation concerning the financial and real estate business of the church and any other items required as a not-for-profit corporation of the State of Missouri.

 

ARTICLE VIII.  DENOMINATIONAL RELATIONSHIP

 

            This constitution and Bylaws shall never contradict the Book of Church Order of the PCA, and any items not expressly covered herein shall be subject to the BCO of this denomination.