As a body of believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as our Lord and Savior, we establish this constitution to honor Him with diligence and orderliness in our responsibilities to both God and man.
This Church Body shall be identified as the First Baptist Church of Chappell Hill, Texas.
Section 1. Polity
The ultimate and final authority of the Church body is Jesus Christ, its head. The pastor, the under-shepherd of Jesus Christ in the Church Body is her visible authority in all matters of faith, doctrinal interpretation, and conduct (Ephesians 4:11; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).
The responsibilities for review and recall rest in the church Body as a corporate entity. She is under the control of no outside ecclesiastical structure, but she does acknowledge the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation that affiliate her with other Southern Baptist Churches. As far as she is able, this Church Body will support and cooperate with the Association and State affiliates of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Section 2. Doctrine
We, the Church Body, acknowledge the Bible as our earthly authority for faith and practice. Our understanding of Biblical truth is in essential agreement with the BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963 and amended in 1998.
Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death (Psalm 139:13-16).
We believe the Bible teaches that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant and reflects the relationship of Christ and the church, and that God has ordained marriage and defined it as the life-long covenant relationship between one man, one woman, and Himself (Genesis 2:18-25; Malachi 2:14; Ephesians 5:25-32).
Divorce and Remarriage
We believe that God intended marriage to be a life-long commitment (Malachi 2:14-16, Romans 7:2-3). Recognizing the human condition, we extend grace and mercy to those who have divorced, or who have remarried (Colossians 3:12-13; James 2:12-13).
We believe that God commands that sexual intimacy occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20; Hebrews 13:4). All other sexual relationships are sinful (Romans 1:24-27).
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female and that these two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological gender or any attempt to change one’s gender is against God’s created design.
Responsibility to the Neighbor
We believe our responsibility is to speak the truth in love and that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:15; Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. We reject hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual, as not in keeping with Scripture (Luke 10:36-37; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31).
Section 1. Baptism
Believer’s baptism is the immersion of the believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the act of baptism is an act of obedience and does not, in and of itself, dispense salvation or cleansing. Believer's baptism shall be a prerequisite for church membership (Matthew 3:13-17, 28:19; Acts 8:35-39, 16:30-33).
Section 2. The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper is a service of this Church Body that memorializes the death of Jesus Christ, that celebrates the presence of Jesus Christ by means of His Holy Spirit in the midst of His Church, and that anticipates our fellowship with Jesus Christ face to face at the end of the age. All who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and have followed Him in Christian baptism may freely participate in the service of the Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Revelation 19:6-9, 22:17-20).
IV. CHURCH COVENANT
We, as members of the First Baptist Church of Chappell Hill, Texas, having banded together to form a local and visible expression of the Body of Jesus Christ, mutually covenant with each other (Colossians 3:12-17):
• To seek continually to "whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
• To work faithfully to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19).
• To support consistently the work of the ministry with our tithes and offerings (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23; 2 Corinthians 9:7).
• To commit ourselves to minister to the needs of one another with brotherly love (Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 4:8-10).
• To submit ourselves to one another "out of reverence for Christ" (Ephesians 5:21), and to "be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love[; and] make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:2-3).
Amendments to this constitution may be made at any regular church business meeting, provided that such amendments have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting within the last 90 days, and provided that written copies of the proposed amendments be made accessible to the members of the Church Body both before and during the meeting at which amendments are voted on.
Amendments to this constitution must be adopted by a two- thirds majority of the votes cast on the motion to amend this constitution.
[AMENDED July 31, 2016]