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The Lighthouse Church Constitution

March 27th, 1999

Constitution and Bylaws of Lighthouse Church of Antioch 

PREAMBLE:    We, the members of Lighthouse Church of Antioch declare and establish this Constitution and Bylaws in order to honor and glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Head of the church, to preserve and secure the principles of our faith in order to govern the body in an orderly manner, and preserve the liberties of each individual Church member and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches of like faith and order; in particular those participating in the Southern Baptist Convention.

CONSTITUTION:

ARTICLE I:  Name, Purpose, and Incorporation.

Section 1.

This congregation shall be known as Lighthouse Church of Antioch.  The church is currently meeting at 554 Parkway, Antioch, Illinois.

Section 2.

The purpose of this congregation is embodied in our motto: "Piercing the darkness with  the light of Jesus Christ; Instilling Hope, Establishing Faith, and Developing Character."  Lighthouse Church of Antioch exists to carry out the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded  in Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15;  and Acts 1:8; develop Christian fellowship and promote growth in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ among the saints.

Section 3.

Lighthouse Church of Antioch shall be incorporated in accordance with the laws of the state of Illinois governing religious bodies. The handling of property shall be in accordance with such laws.

 

ARTICLE II:  Polity, Doctrine, and Ordinances.

Section 1.

The government of this church is vested in a body of elders who compose the pastorate, in conjunction with the democratic processes described herein.  Lighthouse Church of Antioch is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the benefits of mutual counsel and cooperation.

Section 2.

The essential doctrines for preaching and teaching shall be found in THE LIGHTHOUSE STATEMENT OF FAITH (see Appendix A). Also, Lighthouse Church of Antioch recognizes THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE as printed in 1963, the former taking precedence. 

Section 3.

The cooperation of Lighthouse Church of Antioch shall be with the Lake County Baptist Association, the Illinois Baptist State Association and the Southern Baptist Convention, or such similar associations or bodies or other like denominational churches or associations that the church may become affiliated with, so long as such cooperation does not violate the autonomy of the church, and the doctrines it has adopted.   

Section 4.

The church embraces the New Testament ordinances of  Baptism and the Lord's Supper (or Communion). The definitions and significance of these ordinances are found in THE LIGHTHOUSE STATEMENT OF FAITH  (see Appendix A). This congregation shall not be limited in adopting other practices as the governing body shall establish provided such practices do not conflict with its established doctrines.

 

ARTICLE III:  Church Membership.

Section 1.

The membership of Lighthouse Church of Antioch shall consist of such persons as confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord.

Section 2.

Candidates for membership shall complete an introductory (or welcome) class and/or pamphlet. Upon completion of such they shall notify the elders of their desire for membership and, baring  objections, shall be accepted as such.

Section 3.

The  clerk  shall  maintain  a  membership  roll  with the  following designations: Active, Inactive and Dismissed. The clerk shall present a list of inactive members as candidates for removal from  the rolls annually.

Section 4.

Termination of membership will result from the following criteria:

A. Upon the death of a member.

B. Upon request of the member that their name be removed from the roll.

C. Upon the member joining another church.

D. Upon the withdrawal of membership by the church body.

(withdrawal of membership will be exercised  in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17).

Section 5.

Any member who has reached the age of majority shall be eligible for office and able to vote at all business meetings or advisory panels.

 

ARTICLE IV:  Church Officers.

Section 1. 

Clerk: The church shall elect, annually, a church clerk. The clerk shall keep, in a suitable medium, a record of all the actions of  the church, except as otherwise provided. He/she shall keep a register of the names of the members, with dates of admission, dismission, or death, together with records of baptisms. He/She shall issue letters of dismission voted by the church and shall preserve on file  all essential communications and written official reports. Subject to the discretion of the church, the clerk is eligible for re-election. The clerk may appoint an assistant at any time during his/her term of service.

Section 2.

Treasurer: The church shall elect, annually, a church treasurer, who shall be directly accountable to the elder board.  The duties of the treasurer shall be to receive, preserve, and pay out all money  or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements.  Payments shall be made by check. A monthly accounting  report  shall  be presented to the church, in writing, at its annual meeting.  All books, records, and  accounts  kept by the treasurer shall be considered the property of the church. The books (excluding the individual giving record of other members) shall be opened to inspection by any contributing member of the church. The  treasurer shall be bonded with the church paying the required fee.  An annual audit of the financial  record shall be made and certification made to the church. The  treasurer shall, in cooperation with the elder board, submit a spending plan for the subsequent year at the annual business meeting  for adoption by the membership. The  spending plan shall be provided to all the membership 10  days before said meeting. The treasurer is eligible for re-election and shall appoint an assistant within 10 days following his/her election who will serve as the financial secretary.

Section 3.

Financial Secretary: The  financial secretary will be responsible for keeping records of all contributions of the individual members.

Section 4.

Trustees: The church shall elect three trustees (two elders and one non-related member). Trustees shall serve for as long as they remain members in good standing and wish to remain in office. Candidates for trustee shall be nominated by the elder board. Trustees will hold in trust the church property. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property without a specific vote of the church body authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgaging,  purchase, or rental of property or other legal documents where the signatures of trustees are required.

Section 5.

Pastorate: The church shall be governed by a board of elders selected from among the membership.  Elders shall be men who are found to exemplify the qualifications spelled out  in the New Testament (especially Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus). Potential elders shall be nominated by the elder board and elected for as long as they remain members in good standing after a 4/5 vote at the annual business meeting or a special advisory panel called by the  elder board.

Section 6.

The Senior Pastor:  A Senior Pastor (elder) shall be selected by the method described above when a vacancy occurs. All other pastors (elders) shall be considered associates to the senior pastor.  The Senior Pastor shall be responsible for all aspects of preaching, worship, music, and the general promotion of holiness in the membership and maintaining accountability standards for all associate pastors and church leaders.

Associate Pastors:  Associate pastors (elders) would be responsible for specialized fields of ministry such as discipleship, missions, evangelism, youth, and the like as church needs may warrant.

All elders, specifically mentioned or not, shall provide general oversight in all church affairs.

Section 7.

All members shall have the right to petition the elders for address of grievances or offenses. Such redress will not extend beyond dismission of an offender's membership.

Section 8.

Deacons:  Deacons shall be those members who are found to exemplify the qualifications spelled out in the New Testament (especially Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus). They shall be appointed to a specific task or ministry with the affirmation of the church. Their primary responsibility will be to minister to the social (physical) needs of the church and those to whom the church might minister to. Deacons shall serve as deacons as long as they remain members in good standing.

Section 9.

Anyone appointed to positions of leadership, responsibility, or authority shall exemplify the qualifications and characteristics of such which are prescribed in the Old and New Testaments. Excluded or disqualified from such positions are those who are found to hold or practice behaviors that are specifically prohibited in the Old and New Testaments. These prohibited practices and philosophies are found in, but not limited to, the following biblical passages: Romans 1:24-28, Leviticus 18, 1 Corinthians 5:9, and the like.

 

ARTICLE V:  Business Meetings and Advisory Panels.

Section 1.

The  elders  shall  serve  as  moderators for any and all business meetings and advisory panels. If the meeting involves the censure of an elder or deacon, the Senior Pastor shall moderate. If it involves censure or removal of  the Senior Pastor, the Discipleship associate shall moderate.

Section 2.

Lighthouse Church of Antioch shall hold annual business meetings for the purpose of electing officers and approving a spending plan and other business that effects the membership, such as the sale or purchase of property, capital improvements and the like. All new business shall be provided to the membership 10 days or more prior to the meeting.  All resolutions that are voted on shall be passed with a simple majority (except where specified by other sections). Robert's rules of order shall be used by the moderators.

Section 3.

At any time during the year the elders may call an advisory  panel of all or a portion of the membership and/or outside specialists to provide the elder board  with advice as to how to  proceed in a particular issue or concern. A vote may be taken at the end of such a panel, if  warranted.  When the elders call an advisory panel for those issues that involve the church as a whole, notification will be provided to the entire membership. Members listed as  "active" on the roll shall be notified 10 days prior to the meeting date (except in emergencies). All resolutions that are voted on shall be passed with a simple majority  (except where specified by other sections). Robert's rules of order shall be used by the moderators.

 

ARTICLE VI:  Amendments.

Section 1.

This constitution shall be amended only by a 4/5ths majority vote of the membership at a constitutional  convention.  The third trustee shall serve as moderator. All the members listed as "active" on the  roll shall be notified 30 days prior to the convention along with the proposed changes in writing. 

Section 2.

Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3rds majority vote at any annual meeting or advisory panel convened for that purpose. The Senior Pastor shall serve as moderator in such a meeting.  All the members listed as "active" on the roll shall be notified 14 days prior to the panel along with the proposed changes in writing. 

 

APPENDIX A: The Lighthouse Statement of Faith

God

There is one living and true God who has revealed Himself, as to his divine nature, a Trinity. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit--three distinct Persons, yet One God.

God is timeless and eternal. He has always existed and will always exist. God is the creator of all there is.  He is all-knowing, all-powerful and everywhere present. His character is the definitive expression of love, perfection, righteousness, kindness, justice, mercy, goodness, holiness...

The Bible

The Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is God's written revelation to mankind, the original autographs of which were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is the Christian's sole and sufficient authority of God's revelation to man.

Mankind

Men and women are created in the image or likeness of God. We have, collectively, fallen from innocence as a result of the disobedience of Adam. We are, consequently, born into a state of hostility with God and are unable to liberate ourselves from this condition, without His provision.

To bring about His eternal purpose in restoring us to a peaceful relationship with Himself, God sovereignly moves within the lives of individuals and the destiny of nations as instruments of that purpose.

Salvation

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, at the appointed time in history, left His place of honor with the Father and became a man on the earth. He was born of a virgin woman named Mary and His conception was the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus lived a sinless life, fulfilling and keeping all of the requirements of the law of God.  He was crucified outside the gates of the city of Jerusalem and gave up His spirit to die. He was buried in the garden tomb of a rich man. On the third day, Jesus rose from the grave, appeared to many witnesses and returned once again to His original place of honor at the right hand of God the Father.

Jesus' death on the cross provided the perfect substitutionary sacrifice for mankind's sins.  Having taken upon Himself the eternal penalty we all deserve, He paid the penalty for our transgressions of the laws of God, whereby God's justice and holy anger against sinners is satisfied.  All those who believe, by faith, that Jesus Christ's death rescues them from their condemned state receive a pardon from their impending doom and is sanctified in the sight of God.

The Church

All those who have been saved by faith in Christ make up the Body of Christ (the Church). The Church is endowed by the Holy Spirit with gifts and abilities to be effective ministers and servants of Christ for the benefit of others and for the glory of God.

The Church practices two ordinances, Baptism (typically by immersion) and Communion (or the Lord's Supper). The former serves as a public and symbolic identification by the participants with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The latter serves as a memorial for believers, reminding them of the sacrificial nature of the Lord's death and the covenant God has established with them by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Last Things

Jesus Christ will, at some unknown time in the future, come again to earth and take up believers to heaven.   All those who have been saved, living or dead, will receive new, glorified, and eternal bodies.  Following the rapture of the church, the earth will be subjected to God's wrath upon a rebellious world in a 7-year period known as the Great Tribulation, which will be followed by the return of Christ to Earth.  He will reign on earth following the Great Tribulation for a period of 1000 years, which will end at the Great White Throne Judgment. The redeemed will enjoy the untold blessings of everlasting life with God, free from the burden and the influence of sin and evil.   Satan, the demons, and  the unredeemed, will be cast into the "Lake of Fire" and spend eternity in torment.