Section 1. Qualifications: The membership of this church shall consist of such persons who confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord and who:
- after due examination by the church as to their Christian experience, and, if coming by statement of faith from other churches of like faith and order, as to their letters of dismissal, and recommendation or satisfactory substitutes therefore;
- having been baptized and having been accepted by vote of the church and;
- enter into its Covenant (see Prologue).
Section 2. Duties: Members are expected to be faithful in all duties essential to the Christian life, to attend regularly the services of this church, to give regularly for its support and its causes, and to share in its organized work. We believe that to carry on the mission of First Baptist Church, to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons who associate with the church as members should abide by and agree to the following statements and conduct themselves in accordance with them.
- Statement of Faith (See Appendix A)
- Statement on Marriage, Gender and Sexuality (See Appendix B)
- Statement on Life (See Appendix B)
- Statement of Final Authority on Matters of Faith and Conduct (See Appendix B)
Section 3. Rights: Such and only members, age 16 years and older, as are in full and regular standing and do not hold letters of dismissal, may act and vote in transacting the business of the church.
Section 4. Termination: Continuance of membership shall be subject to the principles and general usages of Baptist churches and especially the following:
- Transfer of Letter: A letter of dismissal and recommendation may be granted for any member in good and regular standing to unite with another church of like faith and order when requested by such church.
- Voluntary Request: If a member in good standing requests to be released from his covenant obligations to this church for reasons which the church may finally deem satisfactory after it has patiently and compassionately endeavored to secure his continuance in its fellowship, such request may be granted and his membership terminated.
- Non-resident Termination: The church may terminate the membership of persons who have been non-resident for two (2) years. Notice of such intent shall be given such non-residents by the most efficient and secure means ninety (90) days prior to such action and if no satisfactory explanation has been given by such member.
The names of persons whose membership has been terminated in accordance with this subsection shall be kept filed alphabetically by card index, under the supervision of the church clerk, separate from the records of the members of the church. No letter of dismissal shall be granted for persons whose membership has been terminated hereunder, but on request for a letter of dismissal there shall be given a letter of explanation only.
- Resident Termination: As stated above in Section 2, members of First Baptist Church are expected to fellowship and worship regularly. The church may terminate the membership of resident members who have regularly failed to worship with First Baptist Church for a period of one (1) year. Termination will come only after due notice and hearing and compassionate efforts to make such action unnecessary. See also Section 5. However, prolonged absence from services due to illness or unusual circumstances is excusable and will be looked upon as a ministry opportunity for the church.
- Except by Transfer of Letter or Voluntary Request, the membership of no person shall be terminated at the meeting when the recommendation for such action is made and not sooner than ninety (90) days there after.
- All requests for termination of membership or action looking thereto shall first be considered by the deacons who shall make recommendations to the church.
Section 5. Church Discipline: The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1). Any member of this church who practices or affirms a doctrine or conduct that, in the judgment of the Pastoral Staff/Deacon Board, is opposed to the teaching of the Word of God, or is threatening to the testimony of this church, or is divisive to the body, shall be subject to the disciplinary process laid out in Matthew 18:15-20 (see also 1 Corinthians 5; 2 Corinthians 2:7-8; Galatians 6:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; Titus 3:10-11; and 2 John 7-11).