Mountain View Chapel Constitution

In April of 1953 a Bible study began in the home of Everett Faithful. The group grew to the point where it was necessary to construct a chapel to accommodate their size. The original Mountain View Chapel was constructed from October 1954 to May 1955 by Kenneth Hanley, Sr., Karl Hanley, Everett Faithful, and Wilbur Clark. An addition was completed in May 1991.

PREAMBLE

We, the members of Mountain View Chapel, do ordain and establish the following articles to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

ARTICLE I

NAME
The name of this church shall be "Mountain View Chapel".

ARTICLE II

PURPOSE
A. The purpose of this church is to foster the worship of God, to edify believers through the teaching of God's word and fellowship, and to make known to the lost the gospel of God's saving grace through Jesus Christ.

B. The purpose of this church is to maintain the continuance of the ordinances established by our Lord and his apostles, namely the baptism of believers and the communion of the Lord's supper.

C. The purpose of this church is to maintain the purity of the testimony of Jesus Christ through the exercise of Biblical church discipline.

ARTICLE III

DOCTRINAL POSITION
A. We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

B. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

C. We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Father He is now our High Priest and Advocate.

D. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, to convict men, to regenerate the believing sinner, and to indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.

E. We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost and totally marked by corruption and evil. Only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

F. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification before God the Father and salvation for all who believe.

G. We believe that all who believe in Jesus Christ are regenerated, indwelt, baptized, and sealed by the Holy Spirit and so are secured for the day of redemption. We believe that those so secured will persevere in the faith of Jesus Christ and produce fruit evidencing their relationship to God.

H. We believe that the baptism of believers and the communion of the Lord's Supper are the two ordinances to be observed by the church during this present age. These ordinances, however, are not to be regarded as a means of salvation.

I. We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ, of which Christ is the head.

J. We believe that only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.

K. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and the Head of the Church and that every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs.

L. We believe in the personal and bodily return of Jesus Christ to this earth to consummate the kingdom of God and that this truth has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of every believer.

M. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord, of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment.

N. We believe that Satan is the adversary of Christ and the people of God, and that his destiny is everlasting conscious punishment.

ARTICLE IV

MEMBERSHIP
A. Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior, having submitted himself to believer's baptism, and agreeing with the doctrinal statement of Mountain View Chapel (Article III) may be received into membership of this church. Desire for membership and assent to the doctrinal statement shall be made to the elders verbally.

B. Anyone baptized by the elders or pastor of Mountain View Chapel shall be automatically received into the membership of the church.

C. Applicants for membership shall be received at a regularly scheduled service of the church. Reception shall be by the pastor or by an elder.

D. Members serving the Lord in other places (e.g. missionaries, students, those in the armed forces) retain their membership automatically.

E. Only members may serve in a leadership capacity in any ministry of the church.

F. Absence from regular services for three months shall be considered just cause for being dropped from the membership roll after review by the elders.

ARTICLE V

DISCIPLINE
A. Sin in the congregation, including grievances and differences among believers, shall be dealt with in the manner outlined in Matthew 18:15-16: first, personal confrontation; second, confrontation with two or three witnesses; third, confrontation by the body (or the elders as representative of the body).

B. Any who refuse to hear the verdict of the congregational body are subject to excommunication (Matthew 18:17) cf. II Thessalonians 3:14-15).

C. Excommunication is an act of the congregation. The evidence of the sinning member's hard-heart and unrepentant spirit must be set before the members of the congregation in a public meeting. A member can be excommunicated only by a three-fourths vote of the congregation present.

D. Excommunication involves casting the sinning member out of the fellowship of the church (II Thessalonians 3:14 into the hands of Satan in the hope that the sinning member will eventually repent (I Corinthians 5:5). All membership privileges are revoked.

E. An exception to the procedure of Article V.A. is flagrant public sin, which is subject to immediate excommunication by the congregation at the discretion of the elders (I Corinthians 5:1-13).

F. Once excommunicated a sinning member may only be restored to the fellowship of the congregation upon repentance before the membership of the congregation. Only members shall participate in meetings of this nature. The repentant member shall be returned to the fellowship by a majority vote of the congregation and shall have all membership privileges restored.

G. Discipline of non-members who attend Mountain View Chapel on a regular basis is permitted in accordance with the discretion of the elders.

H. The leaders (elders, pastor, deacons) of the congregation may be disciplined by the congregation in the fashion noted above. Accusations against leader must be brought to the board by two or three witnesses (I Timothy 5:19).

ARTICLE VI

CHURCH GOVERNMENT
A. This church shall remain independent, guided in all matters by the Scriptures and the wisdom given by the Holy Spirit through prayer and meditation on the Scriptures.

B. The church shall be governed by a board consisting of the pastor, elders, and deacons. The purpose of the board is to facilitate the government of the church by the congregation. It shall have supervision over all officers and committees of the church, and it may call any congregational meeting deemed necessary.

C. The church board shall instruct the church treasurer, secretary, and ministry leaders and committees within the church.

D. The church board shall have the management of all church property, and shall have authority to purchase, sell, or convey real estate for the church, subject to the approval of the membership, in accordance with Article VIII.B. of this Constitution.

E. Meetings of the board shall be held monthly on a date agreed by the board or at any time as announced by the chairman of the board. All members of the board must be notified of board meetings which are not regularly scheduled.

F. A majority shall constitute a quorum for all official meetings of the board. In case of a special meeting, every member of the board must be contacted and his opinion obtained before a final decision may be made, and all decisions of the board shall be reached by majority vote.

G. In case a vacancy occurs in the board, the remaining members of the board may appoint someone to fill the vacancy. The appointee must fulfill the qualifications set forth for his office and shall be eligible for re-election at the annual business meeting.

H. The determination of the pastor's support is to be the duty of the board. The pastor is to be excluded from this determination.

ARTICLE VII

LEADERS
A. Elders
1. Qualifications
a. An elder must profess that he has been born-again by the spirit of God.
b. An elder must meet the qualifications of the elder as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
c. An elder must be in accord with Article III.
d. An elder must be a member of Mountain View Chapel.
e. A woman may not serve as an elder of this church.
2. Appointment
a. There shall be a minimum of two active elders in service at a time.
b. Elders are to be appointed for a life-time term, and shall serve an
active term of two years on the board followed by a year of inactive
service.
c. Inactive elders may choose to remain inactive for age, health, or
other reasons.
d. The existing elders of the congregation, both active and inactive,
shall annually determine whether any of the members meet the qualifications of elder. If a majority of the existing elders agree that a member of the congregation meets the qualifications of elder, they are to approach him and ask him to consider accepting appointment to the office of elder.
e. Should the candidate accept the invitation to serve as an active elder,
his name will be presented to the membership of the congregation. The candidate shall be accepted as an active elder if he is approved by a two-thirds vote of the congregation.
f. An elder's call shall be reaffirmed by a two-thirds vote of confidence
upon re-entry into active service.
g. An elder may be dismissed for sinful behavior in accordance with
3. Responsibilities
a. All elders are representative leaders of the congregation and as such
represent the wisdom and prudence of the congregation.
b. The active elders are responsible for the oversight of the spiritual life
and growth of the congregation, and shall visit and counsel the
congregation as they deem necessary and as their time permits.
c. The active elders are finally responsible for the oversight of the
administrative affairs of the church, and are finally responsible for
the teaching ministries of the church, including the appointment of
teachers.
d. If the Scriptures or the Constitution do not directly address a
situation which arises in any aspect of the life of the church, the active
elders shall decide the manner in which the situation should be handled, or they may call for a meeting with the inactive elders for
counsel before a final decision.
e. Each active elder shall have a vote on the board.

B. Pastor
1. Qualifications
a. The pastor must profess that he has been born-again by the Spirit
of God.
b. The pastor must meet the qualifications of the elder as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
c. The pastor must be in accord with Article III.
d. A woman may not serve as the pastor of this church.
2. Obtaining a pastor
a. The elders shall act as a pulpit committee whose responsibility it shall be to fill the pulpit with candidates or supply pastors as they see fit.
b. Before the name of anyone shall be presented to the congregation to
be voted upon, he shall be examined by the elders concerning his doctrinal position. The candidate shall be approved for presentation to the congregation by a three-fourths vote by the elders.
c. A two-thirds vote of the congregation shall be required to approve the calling of a candidate to the pastorate.
d. At the annual business meeting of the church following his call, the pastor shall again be approved by a two-thirds vote. However, should
the call precede the annual meeting by less than six months, the pastor's reaffirmation shall be deferred to the next annual meeting.
e. The pastor's call shall be reaffirmed by a two-thirds vote of confidence
every three years.
f. The pastor may be dismissed for sinful behavior in accordance with Article V.
3. Responsibilities
a. The pastor is to be considered primarily as a teaching elder and is to
labor in word and doctrine (I Timothy 5:17).
b. The pastor shall oversee the pulpit ministry of the church and shall be
responsible to see that the pulpit is filled during any temporary absences (e.g. vacations) on his part.
c. The pastor shall be primarily responsible for the administration of the
ordinances of baptism and the Lord's supper in church.
d. As an elder, the pastor shall share the general oversight of the spiritual
life of the congregation with the elders, including counseling, visitation, and administration of the ministries of the church.
e. The pastor shall be a member of the church board and may act as a
moderator in the meetings of the church if so requested by a majority of the elders.
f. The pastor shall have a vote on the board.

C. Deacons
1. Qualifications
a. A deacon must confess that he has been born-again by the Spirit of God.
b. A deacon must meet the qualifications of the deacon as forth in
I Timothy 3:8-13.
c. A deacon must be in accord with Article III.
d. A deacon must be a member of Mountain View Chapel.
e. A woman shall not serve as a deacon in this church.
2. Appointment
a. Deacons shall be chosen annually by the congregation and shall be
approved by a two-thirds vote of the elders. A deacon shall serve a
two year term.
b. The elders shall determine the number of deacons who shall serve in
a given year.
c. A deacon may be dismissed for sinful behavior in accordance with
Article V.
3. Responsibilities
a. The deacons of the congregation possess only that authority which shall be delegated to them by the elders.
b. The deacons shall be responsible for the oversight of the physical plant
of the church.
c. The deacons shall be responsible for counting all offerings and for
preparing signed statements of the amount of offerings for the
treasurer's signature.
d. The deacons shall arrange annually for the audit of the treasurer's books.
e. The deacons shall have authority to sign legal documents and papers
for the church without incurring personal obligation.
f. Deacons may be called upon to assist the elders in the spiritual
affairs of the church.
g. Deacons may be called upon to vote on issues in a board meeting at
the request of the elders.

D. Church Treasurer
1. Qualifications
a. The treasurer must profess that he/she has been born again by the
Spirit of God.
b. The treasurer must be a member of Mountain View Chapel.
2. Appointment
a. The treasurer shall be nominated by the elders and approved by a
majority vote of the congregation.
b. The treasurer shall serve for three years and shall be eligible for
reelection.
3. Responsibilities
a. The treasurer shall have charge of all funds.
b. The treasurer shall bank all funds and pay out all funds as instructed
by the church board, and shall keep a record of all receipts and
disbursements, make monthly reports to the church board, and shall present an annual report to the membership at the annual business meeting of the congregation.
c. The treasurer shall be responsible for all moneys of the body and shall
make all payments by check.

E. Church Secretary
1. Qualifications
a. The secretary must profess that he/she has been born-again by the Spirit of God.
b. The secretary must be a member of Mountain View Chapel.
2. Appointment
a. The secretary shall be nominated by the elders and approved for office by a majority vote of the congregation.
b. The secretary shall serve for one year and shall be eligible for reelection.
c. The secretary is not a member of the church board.
3. Responsibilities
a. The secretary shall make and keep records of all business meetings of the board and congregation and shall have all such records approved by the board.
b. The secretary shall be custodian of the church seal.
c. The secretary shall care for all official church correspondence.

F. Additional Offices
1. Should need arise in the life of the church for additional non-paid positions, (e.g. Sunday School superintendent, DVBS supervisor,
et al) the elders may create such positions with qualifications and job
descriptions to be entered into the minutes of the board.
2. Should need arise for additional paid staff, (assistant to the pastor,
assistant pastor, youth pastor, minister of music, et al) the elders may
obtain and maintain such staff in accordance with Article VII.B.2 of
this constitution. The elders shall create job descriptions for such
additional staff.


ARTICLE VIII

CONGREGATIONAL BUSINESS

A. Finances
1. Any member who is an endorser of a note or who has made himself
financially liable for Mountain View Chapel must be consulted before any increase can be made in the corporate indebtedness and his consent obtained.
2. This church shall be supported by the freewill offerings of those who are led by the Holy Spirit to contribute to its ministry.
3. Upon the dissolution of the corporation the board of elders and deacons shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all the assets of the corporation exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the board of elders and deacons shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. – (Added to the Constitution on June 23, 2002.)

B. Voting
1. A majority shall constitute a quorum for all official meetings of the congregation.
2. Unless otherwise noted by this Constitution, a majority vote of the congregation shall result in approval of an action.
3. Only members 18 years of age and older may vote.
4. Voting shall be by written ballot unless otherwise determined by the elders of the congregation.

C. Congregational Business Meeting
1. The annual congregational business meeting shall be held in the month of January or at a date within but not beyond the first quarter of the year as determined by the elders.
2. Roberts Rules of Order shall prevail on any point of order not established by this Constitution.

D. Amendments
1. These articles may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the congregation at the annual business meeting, provided that the church board has had the proposed amendment in writing and the same has been posted for two weeks prior to the annual meeting.
2. Article III (Doctrinal Statement) may be amended only by unanimous vote of the congregation.


AMENDMENTS


Amendment 1 – Upon the dissolution of the corporation the board of elders and deacons shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all the assets of the corporation exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the board of elders and deacons shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes as said Court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes. – (Constitution so amended on June 23, 2002.)

Amendment 2 – Whereas Christianity has always taught that marriage is an institution to be entered into by members of the opposite sex; and whereas American societal consensus agreed with this Christian value and therefore marriage as a purely heterosexual institution never needed to be explicitly stated in public documentation but was the assumed case in matters legal and religious; and whereas American legal institutions in 2013 began to change the legal definition of marriage to include marriages between members of the same sex as legal and proper – the elders and congregation of Mountain View Chapel hereby state that Mountain View Chapel has, since its founding, adhered to and continues to adhere to the biblical and traditionally Christian viewpoint that marriage is to be entered into only by members of the opposite sex – one man and one woman and to affirm that the pastors and elders of Mountain View Chapel will only officiate and solemnize marriages contracted between one man and one woman (Genesis 1.27 cf. 2.18-25; cf. Matthew 19.4-6 // Mark 10.5-9). Therefore, the pastors and elders of Mountain View Chapel will neither officiate nor solemnize any marriages contracted between members of the same sex or marriages involving any transgendered person, including (but not exclusively limited to) any person who believes himself or herself to be a member of a sex or gender other than that dictated by his or her physical genitalia or one who has undergone surgery to physically alter their genitalia and physical or psychological makeup for the purpose of altering sex or gender in personal, private, or public perception.

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