1 THE BY-LAWS Of The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada Atlantic Region ARTICLE I NAME The name of this organization will be The Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada Atlantic Region (hereinafter referred to as FEBCAR) ARTICLE II AFFIRMATION OF FAITH Adopted by the F.E.B.C.C. at its organizational Convention, October 21, Section A Bible We believe the Bible to be the complete Word of God; that the sixty-six books, as originally written, comprising the Old and New Testaments were verbally inspired by the Spirit of God and were entirely free from error; that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice, and the true basis of Christian union. Section B God We believe in one God, creator of all, holy, sovereign, eternal, existing in three equal Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Section C Christ We believe in the absolute deity of Jesus Christ, in His eternal existence with the Father in preincarnate glory, in His virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, triumphant ascension, mediatorial ministry, and personal return. Section D The Holy Spirit We believe in the absolute and essential deity and personality of the Holy Spirit, Who convinces of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement; Who regenerates, sanctifies, illuminates, and comforts those who believe in Jesus Christ. Section E Satan We believe that Satan exists as an evil personality, the originator of sin, and the archenemy of God and man. Section F Man We believe that man was divinely created in the image of God; that he sinned, becoming guilty before God, resulting in total depravity, thereby incurring physical and spiritual death. Section G Salvation We believe that salvation is by the sovereign, electing grace of God; that by the appointment of the Father, Christ voluntarily suffered a vicarious, expiatory and propitiatory death: that justification is by faith alone in the all-sufficient sacrifice and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that those whom God has effectually called shall be divinely preserved and finally perfected in the image of the Lord. Section H Future Things We believe in the personal, bodily, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust; in the eternal blessedness of the redeemed, and in the judgement and conscious, eternal punishment of the wicked.
2 Section I The Local Church We believe that a church is a company of immersed believers, called out from the world, separated unto the Lord Jesus, voluntarily associated for the ministry of the Word, the mutual edification of its members, the propagation of the faith and the observance of the ordinances. We believe it is a sovereign, independent body, exercising its own divinely awarded gifts, precepts, and privileges under the Lordship of Christ, the great Head of the Church. We believe that its officers are pastors and deacons. In the NT the office of pastor / elder / overseer is for the oversight of the doctrine and practice of the church. In the local churches of Fellowship Atlantic this gender specific office is for qualified men only. Section J Ordinances We believe that there are only two ordinances for the church regularly observed in the New Testament in the following order: (1) )Baptism which is the immersion of the believer in water, whereby he obeys Christ s command and sets forth his identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. (2) ) The Lord s Supper which is the memorial wherein the believer partakes of the two elements, bread and wine, which symbolize the Lord s body and shed blood, proclaiming His death until He comes. Section K The Church and State We believe in the entire separation of church and state. Section L Religious Liberty We believe in religious liberty; that every man has the right to practice and propagate his beliefs. Section M The Lord s Day We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord s day and that, in a special sense, it is the divinely appointed day for worship and spiritual exercise. Section N Civil Government We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of society; that magistrates are to prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed, except only in the things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience and Prince of the kings of the earth. ARTICLE III IDENTITY STATEMENT FEBCAR is an association of Baptist churches whose history and commitment is one of separation unto God, our Saviour, in holiness of life, from theological liberalism and from the world; whose authority and theology is Biblical; whose position is evangelical; and whose regional, national, and global purpose is to fulfill the Great Commission through evangelism, discipleship, church planting and compassionate response to human need, unto the glory of God. ARTICLE IV PURPOSE, MISSION, AND STRATEGY STATEMENT Section A Purpose The purpose of FEBCAR is to provide fellowship for Baptist churches of like faith and order, to inspire the worship of God; to spread the Gospel at home and abroad by preaching the Word and establishing New Testament churches, to encourage sound Christian education; to contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.
3 Section B Mission The mission of FEBCAR is to develop and implement a regional, national, and global strategy that results in new and growing churches made up on regenerate persons who have been baptized by immersion upon a credible profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who are obedient to His commandments (Mark 12:30-31) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Section C Strategy FEBCAR will facilitate and encourage the realization of this purpose and mission by implementing the following strategies: 1. FEBCAR will maintain as its primary strategy the teaching and proclamation of the Word of God. 2. FEBCAR will seek to exemplify and promote unity of the Spirit among its members before the world in order to focus on its missions mandate. 3. FEBCAR will prayerfully and aggressively recruit and enable qualified missionary candidates whom God calls. (so amended, May 1996) 4. As a tangible expression and commitment to establishing new churches and encouraging the growth of existing churches, FEBCAR will provide support services such as financial support as funds are available, and otherwise, for churches to accomplish their ministry at home and abroad. 5. FEBCAR will encourage high quality Baptist theological education. 6. As a response to the human suffering in our world, FEBCAR will support National Fellowship avenues and agencies that will give its churches and constituents an opportunity to minister to others, both inside and outside the church, through cooperative services for Christ. ARTICLE V MEMBERSHIP, RECOGNITION AND REPRESENTATION Section A Membership 1. FEBCAR, as a corporate body, will be constituted of duly recognized Baptist churches in Atlantic Canada and as such have the word Baptist preceding the word Church or similar designation in their official name (with corresponding language for French and ethnic congregations) which subscribe without reservation to the Affirmation of Faith contained in Article II, which practice Baptist principles of church government, and which cooperate in the pursuit of the objects and purposes set forth in Article IV. 2. Churches belonging to a convention or to an organized group of evangelical Baptist churches, subscribing to the Affirmation of Faith and the By-Laws of the Fellowship, my apply as a convention or as a group but will be received as individual member churches when their applications are approved by an Annual or Special Convention. 3. FEBCAR, At an Annual or Special Convention, will consist of the regularly elected messengers of such Baptist churches as are indicated in Number 1 of Section A of this Article. Section B Recognition and Admission of Churches 1. Local church recognition will be the responsibility of this Region. Each church must meet criteria approved by the Region which will include acceptance of the Regional and National affirmations of Faith and By-Laws. 2. Upon Regional recognition, the church will apply in writing for Regional membership. Acceptance by a Regional convention will, upon notification, lead to recognition and membership within the National Convention at its next regular assembly.
4 3. Every member church must be a member of both National and Regional bodies. Section C Cessation of Membership 1. A church may withdraw from the Fellowship at its own request. 2. Any member church which is known to be no longer in agreement with the By-Laws of FEBCAR which contain our Affirmation of Faith, and has not voluntarily withdrawn itself from FEBCAR, may, upon satisfactory evidence of disagreement being presented to the Council, and upon its recommendation in consultation with the National Cabinet, be removed from the membership by a majority vote of the Convention. 3. The Regional Council in consultation with the National Cabinet may recommend to the Fellowship Convention removal of a church by a majority vote when such action is appropriate. ARTICLE VI CONVENTIONS Section A Annual Conventions A convention of FEBCAR will be held annually for the ministry of the Word, the receiving of reports, the transaction of business and elections, and the sharing of ideas and resources to help our churches fulfill their mission. The time and place of the Annual Convention will be decided by the Convention or Council. Section B Special Conventions Special Conventions of FEBCAR may be called by the Council or will be called at the written request of forty percent (40%) of the churches of FEBCAR. Section C Notice of Conventions Notice of regular and special conventions will be sent to the pastors and clerks of the churches at least thirty (30) days prior to the date of the meeting. The purpose of a Special Convention will be clearly stated in the notice. Section D Representation Each church in FEBCAR will be entitled to send four (4) messengers for the first fifty (50) members or fraction thereof; two (2) additional messengers for the next fifty (50) members. It is understood that the Senior Pastor will serve as one of these messengers. Section E Credentials A Committee on credentials consisting of three (3) members will be appointed by the Convention for the ensuing year. Messengers desiring to be seated at the Convention will present their credentials to this Committee for approval. Any appeal from the Credential Committee s ruling will be referred to the Convention.
5 Section F Cancellation of Convention In the event of an emergency preventing a meeting of the Annual Convention, the business will be conducted by the Council and the decisions of such a meeting will be as binding as if they had been made by FEBCAR at its Annual Convention. Such decisions shall be communicated in writing to all member churches, as quickly as is practical, and further, such decisions shall be read into the Minutes of the next Annual Convention. The decision canceling the Annual Convention of FEBCAR will be made by the Council. Section G Rules of Order All FEBCAR business sessions will be conducted in accordance with Robert s Rules of Order (current edition), and the Secretary of FEBCAR will be responsible to ensure that one (1) copy of these rules of Order be available at all business sessions. Section H Auditors Two (2) auditors will be appointed by the Convention for the ensuing year. ARTICLE VII COMMISSIONS Section A Commissions and Commission Members All commissions will be elected by FEBCAR at Annual Convention. The Commissions will report and be accountable to the Convention. They will report and cooperate with the Council. They will cooperate with one another in matters of finance, policies, and spheres of operation. They will supervise their own fields of service. All business transactions and methods of operation will be in accordance with the By-Laws of FEBCAR and the Commissions individual Principles and Practices. Section B Authority and Responsibility The authority and responsibility of the Commissions are defined in the Principles and Practices of FEBCAR. ARTICLE VIII OFFICERS Section A Designation of Officers The officers of FEBCAR elected by Convention will be President, Vice President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Commission members. Section B Duties of Officers 1. President The President will preside at all business meetings of FEBCAR, of the Council, and of the Executive Committee, unless otherwise requested by himself or Council. He will be an ex-officio member of all Commissions. His role at Commission meetings will be determined by the Principles and Practices of the Commission, and he will perform such other duties as usually pertain to his office. 2. Vice President The Vice President will assist the President as he directs, and will perform the duties of the President in his absence or inability to serve.
6 3. Secretary The Secretary shall attend all Council meetings as is humanly possible, record the Minutes of all Council meetings, and mail a copy to each member of the Executive. The Secretary shall present the Minutes of the previous meeting(s) for approval to the Council. Correspondence shall be the responsibility of the Secretary under the direction of the Council. Records of Minutes shall be kept in an orderly manner. The secretary shall prepare a package and mail it to each FEBCAR church at least thirty (30) days before the Annual Convention; a blank copy of the Delegate Credential form, a copy of the Nominating Committees report, a copy of the Proposed Budget, a copy of the FEBCAR By-Laws, and any other material necessary. (So amended, May, 1996) 4. Treasurer The Treasurer, subject to such restrictions and directions as may be prescribed by the Council, will receive, disburse, and account for all funds of the Region, and will perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Executive Council. He will be a member of the Stewardship and Finance Commission, and be available to assist the Commission when requested. 5. Past President The Past President will assist the President as he directs and will perform the duties of the President in his and the Vice Presidents absence or inability to serve. ARTICLE IX ELECTIONS Section A Nominating Committee 1. A Nominating Committee of four (4) will be elected at each Annual Convention and will be charged with the responsibility of bringing in nominations at the next Annual Convention. The Nominating Committee will consist of two (2) members of the Executive Council and any two (2) members of our regional churches who are duly nominated and elected at each Annual Convention. At the next Annual Convention, the Nominating committee, through its chairman, will place in turn and in alphabetical order before the messengers at an early session of the Convention, the names of those nominated for all offices of FEBCAR. The nominating Committee will make all nominations in accordance with the provisions of the By-Laws. Additional nominees for all offices may be made from the floor, provided such nominees have been contacted previously and have agreed to allow their names to stand. (So amended, May 1993) 2. A copy of the report of the Nominating Committee, insofar as it has been completed, will be sent to the Secretary to be distributed to the churches at least thirty (30) days prior to the Convention. 3. Any member in good standing of a church in FEBCAR will be eligible for nomination, except full-time or part-time employees of a Council, Commission, Association, or Region. Section B Terms of Office 1. The terms of office for the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer will be for one (1) year. The Commission members will be for three (3) years. (so amended May, 1993) 2. The terms of office and election procedures for FEBCAR Council and Commissions will be in accordance with the By-Laws. 3. In the event that an elected official will be prevented from fulfilling a term of office, the Council will have the option of filling the vacancy until the next Annual Convention.
7 4. Any removal of an elected official will be done by the appropriate body after consultation with the individual, their local church and the Regional Council. Section C Lay Representation This Region will ensure adequate lay representation on its Council and Commissions of at least forty percent (40%) if available. A lay person is defined as anyone whose means of livelihood is not derived from Christian service. Section D Structural Classification The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be called Secretary in each component of the structure with the adjective Regional or Associational determining the area of involvement within the structure. The Presiding Officers of the Council will be called President and Vice President; the Presiding Officer of the Commissions will be called Chairman; the Presiding Officer of an Association will be called Moderator. Regional Executive Officers Staff Structure Regional President and Vice President, Past President, Secretary and Treasurer Regional Secretary Council Commissions Association Executive Officers Staff Association Moderator and Vice Moderator Association Secretary ARTICLE X COUNCIL Section A Composition 1. The President, Vice President, Past President, Treasurer, and Secretary of FEBCAR. 2. The Chairman of each Commission. Section B Authority 1. The Council will have full authority for the supervision and coordination of the entire mission of FEBCAR. 2. Regional representatives to the National Cabinet and Boards will have full authority to act on behalf of the Region when at Cabinet and Board meetings. 3. The Council will be the final authority in matters of business and in interpretation of By- Laws between Annual and/or Special Conventions. 4. The Council will make full reports and recommendations concerning its work and be fully accountable to the Convention. Section C Responsibility
8 The Regional Executive Officers in consultation with the Council will constitute the policymaking Board of FEBCAR, and will be responsible to administer all ministry activities, business affairs of FEBCAR, and to ensure that the purpose, mission, and strategy as per ARTICLE IV of FEBCAR are fulfilled. Through the Commissions and Associations provided for in ARTICLE VII and VIII of the National By-Laws, the Council will have the responsibility for the supervision and coordination of the entire mission of FEBCAR. ARTICLE XI BY-LAWS By-Laws may be adopted by FEBCAR as required to carry on its ministries and business affairs. Such By- Laws may define responsibilities of the Council, the Commissions, Officers of FEBCAR, relationships, procedures for election, and such other matters consistent with our incorporation. ARTICLE XII BY-LAW AMENDMENTS Notice of amendments to these By-Laws will be given in writing to the Secretary at least (60) days prior to the date of the Annual or Special Convention and will be included in the Notice of Convention sent to the Pastors and Clerks of the churches. As a general procedure, such amendments will be stated so as to permit modification by the Convention. Such a notice of amendment may be made by any five members in good standing of a church or churches within FEBCAR. Two-thirds of the messengers present and voting will be required to approve any change in these By-Laws. These By-Laws were accepted at the 18 th Annual Convention held at Faith Baptist Church, Sydney, NS, on May 26, 1990.
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