We take church membership seriously, recognizing that the local church is the visible representation of the body of Christ in a given community. To apply for church membership, you must have professed belief in the risen Lord Jesus and obeyed the Lord's command of baptism. In addition, our church has developed a 3-session class for those considering membership. Each session is approximately 1-hour long and is led by one of our pastors. During this time, individuals who would like to join our church will receive a membership booklet that explains our basic understanding of what church membership actually is.
If you'd like to know more about becoming a member of The First Baptist Church of New Paris, please speak with a pastor by calling us at 937-437-1171 and scheduling a time to talk. We would love the opportunity to speak with you about any concerns or questions you have about becoming a member.
If you'd like to download the membership booklet we use in class, you can do so below:
Articles of Faith
(Download our Articles of Faith)
Articles of Faith
The First Baptist Church of New Paris
New Paris, Ohio
For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the Holy Bible, and for the purpose of preserving the freedom of action of this body under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and that all who read it may be edified, we do declare and establish these articles.
NAME AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1: NAME. The name of this body shall be The First Baptist Church of New Paris.
SECTION 2: PLACE. The principle office of The First Baptist Church of New Paris is located at 6751 State Route 320, New Paris, Preble County, Ohio, 45347
SECTION 3: PURPOSE. The purpose of this body shall be to:
(A) strive to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27),
(B) publicly gather to worship the God who has revealed Himself to us in the Holy Bible,
(C) carry out the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 28:19-20,
(D) observe the ordinances of the New Testament Church which are The Lord’s Supper and Baptism by immersion,
(E) cultivate the growth, fellowship and ministry of this local body (Ephesians 4).
ARTICLES OF FAITH, COVENANT AND POLITY
SECTION 1: FAITH.
(A) The First Baptist Church of New Paris, shall function and be governed in accordance with the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is God-breathed, inerrant, infallible, authoritative and can never be usurped by any man-made law, document or authority.
(B) We believe that the two New Testament ordinances are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The chief lesson in these two ordinances is symbolism.
(C) We believe that New Testament baptism is the immersion in water of regenerated believers in the Lord Jesus.
(D) We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a memorial of our Lord’s death and is to be observed as such until He comes again.
(E) We believe that biblical evangelism is God’s plan for growing His church.
(F) We believe that biblical stewardship is the faithful offering of tithes and offerings by the body of Christ to God through the local church.
SECTION 2: COVENANT. The covenant that binds the First Baptist Church in fellowship is the New Covenant the Lord Jesus established with the shedding of His blood (Matthew 26:26-28). In this New Covenant we are united together through faith in the Lord Jesus, being redeemed and regenerated by His sacrificial, substitutionary death, burial and resurrection, unto righteous living.
SECTION 3: POLITY. The government of this church shall be vested in its Elders, under the Headship of the Lord Jesus through His Holy Spirit. It is subject to no other body, ecclesiastical or otherwise.
SECTION 1: NO REGULAR MEMBERS. In accordance with Section 1702.14 of the Ohio Revised Code, this corporation shall have no members within the meaning of Section 1702.01(G) of that law. All action that would otherwise require approval by a majority of all members or approval by members shall require only approval of the Elders. All rights that would otherwise vest in members shall vest in the Elders. The First Baptist Church of New Paris is divided into its Voting Members and its Church Members.
(A) Voting members will consist entirely of the Elders of The First Baptist Church of New Paris, who are also the directors.
(B) Church members will consist of individuals who have:
a) publicly professed faith in the Lord Jesus alone for salvation
b) been baptized
c) applied and been accepted for church membership
d) committed to join with this church to fulfill its purpose under the leadership of its Elders
SECTION 2: APPLICATION FOR CHURCH MEMBERSHIP. Individuals who have publicly professed faith in the Lord Jesus alone for salvation and have been baptized may apply for church membership with this local church body. The Elders, after prayer and due consideration, will act with regard to membership requests.
SECTION 3: TERMINATION OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP. Church Members may be removed by the Elders in the following manner:
(A) By letter of transfer to another biblical church. Letters of transfer shall not be granted to individuals, but only to biblical churches requesting them.
(B) By erasure of those who by choice unite with churches of other faiths and practices, or who fail to support this church through their faithful attendance, use of spiritual gifts and biblical stewardship.
(C) By death. Upon the death of any church member, their name shall be removed from the church membership roll as of the date of death.
(D) By exclusion. The Elders may also terminate membership with any church member who would become an offense to the church by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct. The purpose of such action being to encourage repentance while protecting the church from openly sinful influences. This disciplinary action is to follow the pattern set forth by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17.
OFFICES OF THE CHURCH
SECTION 1: OFFICES. The officers of this church are Elders and Deacons.
(A) DEFINITION OF ELDERS. Elders consist of a plurality of biblically qualified men who jointly “lead” and “care for” the church, and who shall also be known and referred to herein as the Voting Members. The New Testament words for the office of elder are: “elder” (presbuteros), “overseer” (episkopos), “pastor” (poimen), and “them who have the rule over you” (hegeomai), and are referenced in Acts 14:23; 15:2, 4, 6; 16:4; 20:17; 21:18; 1 Timothy 3:2-7; 5:17-20; Titus 1:5-8; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1-5; Hebrews 13:7, 17.
(B) QUALIFICATIONS OF ELDERS. The qualifications for Elders are found in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-8. Elders must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money, not fond of sordid gain, a good manager of his household, one who has his children under control with dignity, not a new convert, one who has a good reputation outside the church, self-controlled, sensible, able to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict, above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, loving what is good, just, and devout. The office of Elder is limited to men only.
(C) RESPONSIBILITIES OF ELDERS. The primary responsibility of an Elder is to serve as a manager and caretaker of the church. As such, Elders are to determine church polity (Acts 15:22), oversee the church (Acts 20:28), ordain other Elders (1 Timothy 4:4), rule, teach, and preach (1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 1 Timothy 3:2), exhort and refute (Titus 1:9), and act as shepherds, setting an example for all to follow (1 Peter 5:1-3).
(D) NOMINATION/SELECTION OF ELDERS. The Elders of this church shall review and decide upon the selection of new Elders.
(E) TERMINATION OF ELDERS. The Elders of this church shall review and decide upon the termination of an Elder.
(A) DEFINITION OF DEACONS. Deacons consist of men who, under the direction and care of the Elders, “serve” the church. The New Testament word for this office is Deacon (diakonos) and means one who serves.
(B) QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACONS. The qualifications for Deacons (and their wives) are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. Deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, hold fast the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience, the husband of one wife, a good manager of his household, and one who has his children under control. Their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, and faithful in all things.
(C) RESPONSIBILITIES OF DEACONS. Deacons will serve the body of Christ under the oversight of the Elders.
(D) NOMINATION/SELECTION OF DEACONS. Deacons will be nominated/selected by the Elders of this church.
(E) TERMINATION OF DEACONS. The Elders of this church shall review and decide upon the termination of a Deacon.
(A) DEFINITION/DISTINCTION: The Preaching Pastor shall be the primary preaching and teaching Elder.
(B) SELECTION OF PREACHING PASTOR: The Preaching Pastor shall be chosen from the Elders and called with a ¾ majority vote of the Elders. The Elders will seek affirmation from the church body at large, although such affirmation will not be binding. If it is determined by the Elders that one is not present among them possessing the unique gifts/call for the Preaching Pastor, they may go outside the local body.
(C) CALL & TERMINATION OF PREACHING PASTOR: The call of Preaching Pastor shall be for an indefinite length of time and may be terminated by either the Elders or the Preaching Pastor. The Preaching Pastor shall give notice to the Elders 30 days prior to his resignation. The Elders may waive such notice. Whenever the Elders take the initiative to ask for the Preaching Pastor’s resignation, it shall give the Preaching Pastor 60 days notice. If it is deemed necessary, the Elders may continue financial compensation of the Preaching Pastor while removing him immediately from his pastoral responsibilities and authority. The Elders will communicate with the church body regarding dismissal of the Preaching Pastor in a manner which is appropriate yet in keeping with godliness.
TRUSTEES: When the state requires the action of trustees, trustees will come from the body of Elders.
This constitution and any accompanying by-laws may be amended by a three-fourths majority vote of the Elders.