Rules of Church Membership

  1. Any debate or difference that may arise in the Church shall be settled by the majority of the members present, and voting, at a meeting; that is, the greatest number voting shall decide.
  2. No member of any other Church shall receive the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper with this Church without the consent of the members assembled for the Ordinance, and unless known to and commended by one or more of the members, or by some other Church of the same faith and order.
  3. Any member of this Church knowingly receiving the Ordinance of the Lord’s Supper with any Church not of the same Faith and Order with ourselves shall be reproved, and if the offence be repeated, shall be separated.
  4. No person shall be present at our Church Meetings but regular members of this Church, except by special consent of the Church; and no person shall be admitted a member of this Church until he or she has been seen and approved by the Minister or Deacons, and accepted by a majority of the Church voting at a regularly-constituted Church Meeting, and who, upon a profession of his or her faith and assent to our Articles of Faith, has been baptized by immersion in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  5. Any member knowing another to act disorderly shall go to the offending brother or sister, and tell him or her his or her fault alone; and if not satisfied with the explanation, shall acquaint the Minister or Deacons of the Church with the same; and if any member neglect to do so, and be found reporting it to others, such member shall be visited and reproved as acting contrary to the rule laid down in the Scriptures.
  6. Any member bringing, in any manner, an open reproach on the cause shall be suspended, and, after being so suspended for that or any other reason, shall make a proper acknowledgment of the same to the Church and manifest godly sorrow and repentance to the satisfaction of the Church, before being again admitted to enjoy its ordinances and privileges.
  7. When any question has been decided by the majority of the Church, if any member shall attempt to set aside or oppose the same decision within six months afterwards, such member shall be accounted as acting disorderly and contrary to the first rule of this Church.
  8. Any member relating to any other person not a member what has been said or done at any Church Meeting shall be liable to be brought before the Church, according to the judgment of the Minister and Deacons, and to be dealt with according to the decision of the majority of the Church as in Rule (1).
  9. No person shall be admitted into this Church as a regular or transient member (whether having joined another Baptist Church before or not) without giving in his or her experience before this Church. By Baptist Church is meant a Strict Communion Church; that is, a Church which on no account suffers any person to sit down with them at the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper who has not, on an open confession of his or her Faith, as feelingly and experimentally believing in the Articles of Faith hereto prefixed, been baptized, as in Rule (4).
  10. A Church Meeting shall be held every six months (biannual), and oftener if required; and it is expected that all the members will attend who are able.
  11. The Minister or Deacons shall have it in his or their power to call a Church Meeting whenever he or they consider it necessary or expedient; and he or they shall be required to do so when requested by not less than a third of the members; but in every case proper notice shall be given, as in Rule (16); and every Meeting which may be held, whether called by Minister or Deacons or both, not according to such rule, shall be of none effect.
  12. If any member repeatedly neglect to attend the Lord’s Supper, Prayer Meetings, and Preaching of the Word, unless from un-avoidable causes known to the Church, a reason will be required for his or her absence; and if he or she shall be absent from the Lord's Supper upon more than three successive occasions, without being able to give to the Deacons, who shall visit such member, a satisfactory reason for such absence, the Deacons shall bring the matter before the Church, to be dealt with in such a manner as the Church shall determine, whether for the reproof, rebuke, suspension, or exclusion of the offending member.
  13. No Minister or Deacon shall at any time be appointed unless at least three-fifths of the members present, and voting, at any Church Meeting properly held for the appointment of such Minister or Deacon be in favour of such appointment.
  14. No motion of importance shall be brought forward at any Church Meeting unless notice shall have been given thereof at a Church Meeting at least one month previous thereto, as in Rule (16).
  15. When there is a stated Minister over the Church, all Church Meetings shall be presided over by him; but when there is not, then the Senior Deacon present shall preside. A Minister will always be asked to chair the Church Meetings in the absence of a Pastor.
  16. No Church Meeting shall be held on any important matter without the same being audibly announced from the pulpit or desk when the people are regularly assembled for worship on two Lord’s Days immediately preceding the appointed date.
  17. All propositions, whether for Church Membership or otherwise, and all motions shall be proposed and seconded by the members; and in the event of the Church being equally divided on any subject before it, the Pastor or Deacon shall be allowed a second or casting vote. No member who may be under a Church censure shall be present at any Church Meeting.
  18. Any person who may have been baptized while in only a carnal profession of religion, and who has since been called by the Spirit of God to a knowledge of his lost condition by nature and practice, and to a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, shall, if he wish to unite himself to this Church, attend to the Ordinance of Believer's Baptism, agreeably to Rules (4) and (9); for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14 verse 23).
  19. A copy of the Articles of Faith and Doctrine, and the Rules of the Church, shall be given to every person desiring to become a member of the Church, and a profession of his or her faith in, and assent to, the same obtained; and on admission as a member, according to Rule (4), he or she shall sign the same in the Church book.
  20. No member or members shall bring any private difference before the Church which has taken place between themselves, nor any fault that any member may have committed against another, before the rules laid down in Matthew 18 verses 15 and 16 , be first attended to by the offended party; and after those rules have been attended to, that the peace of the Church may be as much as possible preserved, the offended party shall first inform the Minister or Deacons assembled; but if not satisfied with his or their mediation or decision, the member, if supported by two other members, shall be at liberty to bring the case before the Church, by giving one month's notice in writing to the Minister or Deacons.
  21. A statement of the finances of the cause shall be laid before the Church by the Deacons at the Biannual Church Meetings.
  22. The number of Deacons of the Church shall be two; but the number may be made more or less when thought right by the Church.
  23. No Minister shall be appointed as Pastor until he has supplied at least three months on trial, and unless there be at least three-fifths in his favour of the members present and voting at a meeting called in accordance with Rules (14) and (16) to take the matter into consideration; nor shall any Minister be invited so to supply on trial without a like majority at a meeting called for the purpose in like manner.
  24. If at any time, where there is a stated Minister, the conduct of such Minister shall be contrary to the precepts of the Gospel, or if he should depart from the Articles of Faith or any one of them, or if his ministry should become unprofitable, a majority of the members present and voting at a meeting properly called according to Rules (14) and (16) shall be competent to declare he shall no longer be the Minister; and he shall be removed from the pastorate accordingly; and at such meeting the Minister shall not be present.
  25. If any member wishes to resign his or her membership, he or she shall give his or her reasons to the Church, and the members shall decide whether or not such resignation shall be accepted.