Constitution and By-Laws


That we might with one mind and one voice glorify God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; that we might earnestly contend for and never depart from the faith; that our worship services and business meetings might be carried out decently and in order; and that in all things Christ might have the pre-eminence; we, the members of the HILLSDALE BIBLE CHURCH, adopt the following Constitution and By-Laws. (Jude 3)


A. Name: This body shall be KNOWN as the HILLSDALE BIBLE CHURCH.

B. Description: Seeking to conform to the New Testament pattern, this body shall be an Independent Bible Church. It shall not be affiliated with any ecclesiastical group, body, organization, association, conference, etc. This is not for the purpose of isolation, but merely to function as we believe the New Testament teaches. (II Cor. 6:14)

C. Object: This church, believing the Bible to be the inspired and infallible Word of God, will have for its object: (1) To build up and strengthen the Christian through teaching, preaching, and study of God's Word that he might be properly motivated and prepared to witness for Christ -- this to be accomplished through regular public worship and prayer services. (2) To support home and world-wide missions through prayers, gifts, and service.

(II Peter 1:20-21, Job 32,8, II Timothy 3:16)

D. Stand: It is the purpose of this Church to function freely as a Missionary, Evangelistic, Premillennial, Independent Bible Church, recognizing no authority higher than the local assembly. We are opposed to modernism, communism, ecclesiasticism, the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, TEV "Good News for Modern Man', as well as all other liberal translations; and, ecumenicalism, whose sin is to destroy the true Church of Christ.

(Matthew 28:19-20)


This church holds the following statement of faith as being a summary of Christian doctrine whose authority consists only in its agreement with the Word of God.


We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as verbally inspired of God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life. (II Timothy 3:16-17, II Peter 1:21, Revelation 22:18-19)


We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (I John 5:7, Matthew 28:19)

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holly Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man. (Matthew 1:20-21, Luke 1:35- 36, Luke 2:10-11)

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, the "Head of the Body, the Church". (Ephesians 1:22-23, Colossians 1:9-22)


We believe that man was created in holiness under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy, happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice, being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil, and therefore under just condemnation to eternal hell without defense or excuse. (Genesis 1:27-31, Genesis 3:6-24, Isaiah 53:6, Romans 1:20 & 5:19)


We believe that all those, and only those, who by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, are miraculously born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby without benefit of any human merit, or religious rite, or ceremony, partake of the Divine life and nature, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit for time and eternity. (II Corin. 1:22, 5:21, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, I John 5:11-13)


We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood. (Romans 5:9, I Corin. 15:3-4, Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14)


We believe that at the time of the New Birth, the believer receives the Holy Spirit and by Him is baptized into the Body of Christ; is forever indwelt by the Holy Spirit as guide and comforter; and if yielded to Him, is empowered for service. (John 1:32-34, Romans 12:1-2, 6:13, Acts 15:8)


We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel, that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation. (Isaiah 55:1, John 3:19; 5:40, Romans 16:25,26)


We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening Spirit of God; and thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Savior. (Psalms 51:1-4, Isaiah 55:6- 7, Mark 1:15, Luke 12:8; 18:13, Acts 20:21; 2:37, Romans 7:13, Psalms 51:7)


We believe in separation from the world. All believers are called into a life of separation from all worldly and sinful practices. (I Corin. 6:14-18, Romans 12:1-2, James 4:4)


We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the "Head of the Body, the Church". (Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 1:9-22)

We believe that a local church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its only Scriptural officers are bishops, or pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. (Matthew 18:17, 28:20, Acts 2:41-42, I Cor. 1:1-13, 11:2, I Timothy 3, Titus 1)


Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as the symbol of his participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church membership.

The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by His churches until He comes again. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death symbolically. It is to be preceded always with solemn self- examination. (I Cor. 11:26, 28, Matthew 28:19, John 3:22-23, Acts 2:41-42, 8:36, 39, Romans 6:4)


We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the Kings of the earth. (Romans 13:1-7, Acts 5:29, I Timothy 2:1-3, Matthew 22:21, 23:10)


We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such as through faith are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem, while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in life and after death. (Luke 16:25, Romans 1:17, I John 5:19, Malachi 3:18)


We believe that Satan is a real being, a personal devil; that he, the enemy of God, the "Father of lies", the great deceiver of mankind, is the instigator of all false systems of religion, and that, with him all persistent followers of such will find their end in the lake of fire. (II Cor. 4:3-4, 11:13-16, Eph. 2:2, Rev. 20:2)


We believe that the end of this age is approaching. (I Peter 4:7)

We believe in "that blessed hope", the personal, pre-tribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. (Acts 1:11, I Thess. 4:13-18, II Thess. 2:1-3)

We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust, the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost. (Matt. 24:31-46, Acts 24:15, Rev. 20:4-6, 22:11)


The government of this church, under the Head of Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit, is vested in the body of believers who compose it, whose majority vote shall be final.

Section 1. Government of Church Affairs

This church takes the true Biblical position of government which is the absolute autonomy of the local church and firmly upholds this position in all of its affairs. Therefore, this church shall always be a self- governing body and shall not be subject to any rules, regulations, pressures, etc., of any ecclesiastical body, group, or organization. The majority vote of the active members of this church as laid down in this Constitution shall be the determining factor in all decisions to be made. Those who compose the active membership of this church shall earnestly defend this position.

Section 2. Government of Properties

All properties owned by this church- - buildings and grounds (including the church pastorium) - - shall be governed by this church body. The control, management, use or disposition of these properties shall be determined by the vote of the active members of this church who are present at the time of voting and act in accordance with this Constitution. No ecclesiastical body, group, or organization can have control over the property of this church, nor any voice in the use or disposition of this property.

Section 3. Independence

This church shall remain an Independent Bible Church and shall not join or become affiliated with any Association, Convention, or Organization.

Section 4. Rules of Order for Business Meetings

The Pastor shall act as Moderator of all business meetings of the Church, keeping order, and in case the church is equally divided on any question, he shall give the deciding vote.

The meeting shall be opened and closed with prayer.

The order of the business shall be:

(1) Reading of the Minutes of previous meeting.

(2) Reports of committees.

(3) Unfinished business.

(4) New business.

A motion before the church must be disposed of before another motion can be entertained, unless the motion be to amend, postpone, adjourn, or call for the previous question.

The Pastor may speak on any question by calling on any brother to preside in his place.

Every member must first address the Pastor to obtain the floor.

The church in conference shall entertain no proposition for discussion which has not been presented on motion of one member and seconded by another member.

If a member of the Church desires to be recognized and the Pastor refuses to recognize him, he can appeal to the church for that recognition, whose decision shall be final.

All questions, as specified in this Constitution and By-laws, shall be by the vote of a majority.

There shall be a meeting of this church upon the first Thursday evening of each month for the purpose of conducting the business of the church. Other special business meetings may be called by the Pastor as the need arises. When special business meetings are called, the nature of business to be discussed must be announced the preceding Sunday at regular services. Only that business announced shall be handled at the special business meeting. All active members of the church who are sixteen years of age and older shall be entitled to vote on all church business.


Section 1. Qualification for Membership

(1) Regeneration -- Before any person is accepted into the full fellowship of this church as a member, whether by baptism, statement, or letter, that person must be able to relate a definite experience of God's grace whereby he became a child of God by way of the New Birth through the transforming power of God's Holy Spirit, this all being the result of personally receiving Jesus Christ as his Savior. Such a person's declaration of his saving faith must be based on and according to the Scriptures. (I Peter 3:15)

(2) Consecration -- Before any person is accepted into the full fellowship of this church as a member, that person's Christian life should be, as far as can be known by the church, consistent with his profession of faith and according to godliness. (Hebrews 6:9- 12)

(3) Conformity -- Any person uniting with this church must accept its doctrine, its stand, and its practice.

Section 2. Mode of Admission

(1) Baptism -- Any person who has given sufficient testimony and evidence of regeneration shall be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They, then, shall be voted into membership by the majority of the members present and voting. If a person is unable to be baptized by reason of physical disability, they can still be voted into membership by expressing a desire to be baptized when their disability permits them.

(2) By Letter -- Any person who qualifies for membership in this church according to this Constitution, and has been scripturally baptized by a church of like faith and practice, may be received by letter from such a church into this fellowship by the majority vote of the active members present at the time of voting.

(3) Statement -- Any person who has been scripturally baptized by another church of like faith and practice, through he cannot for some reason, present a letter, may give a statement of his salvation experience and baptism. If, according to such a person's statement, he is qualified for membership in this church according to the standards of this Constitution, he may be received my majority vote of the active members present at the time of voting.

Section 4. Rules of Membership

(1) Only active members shall be allowed to speak or vote on church business.

(2) Any member who is absent from worship services for a period of three months (except when due to unavoidable circumstances, physical ailments which render attendance impossible, temporary duty away from this area, etc.) shall be placed of the list of inactive members and denied voting privilege. No church letter shall be granted for members on inactive status. Inactive members may regain active statue by regular attendance at 75% of services for one month. (Hebrews 10:25)

(3) A copy of this constitution shall be presented to each member upon reception, or prospective members who request one.

(4) Each member shall notify the clerk of any change in address.

(5) Every member shall always conduct himself or herself in a scriptural manner during church business meetings. God's business is to be transacted decently, orderly, and according to teachings of the Scriptures. Any member who shows an unchristian attitude or is out of order in any way may be called to order by the Pastor and can be subjected to church discipline if necessary. (I Corin. 14:40)

Section 5. Dismission of Members

(1) By Letter of Recommendation -- Any active member may be granted a letter of recommendation when uniting with another church of like faith and practice upon request from that church. Such letter must be granted by majority vote of active members present at time of voting.

No letter of recommendation may be granted to inactive members.

(2) By Disciplinary Action -- Should changes be brought against any member of this church that will subject such a member to exclusion from membership and should such a member be found guilty of these charges, fellowship may be withdrawn from him or her on majority vote of active members present. Such a person is thereby excluded from membership in this church. (I Corin. 5:7-13)

(3) By Suspension -- Members who are placed on the inactive member list shall be notified by the clerk at the last know address. If there is no response within ninety days, such members shall become subject to removal from the rolls of the church and shall be notified accordingly. If there is no response within thirty days, their names shall be removed from the church roll.

Section 6. Duties of Members

(1) It shall be the duty of the members of the church to attend its regular meetings and to observe its constitution.

(2) The church recommends to each and every member that they enter into the Lord's blessing by returning to Him the tithe. (Malachi 3:10, II Corin. 9:6-7)


Section 1. Self-Discipline -- It shall be the sacred duty of each member to conduct themselves orderly and reverently in all church or church related activities. All parents shall see that children under their care conduct themselves accordingly.

(I Corin. 14:40)

It shall also be the duty of members to respect God's property--the church building, grounds. literature, etc., and not to mutilate such in any way.

Section 2. Church Discipline

(1) Personal Differences -- It shall be the duty of members to settle all differences in a scriptural manner. (Matthew 18: 15-16)

(2) Preferring Charges -- Charges that have been substantiated may be brought against any member of this church showing evidence of: violating the church Constitution or violating the articles of faith, being guilty of any conduct contrary to the principles and practices of this church, or being guilty of conduct unbecoming to followers of Christ. Such charges must be made to the church in loving concern, not is a spirit of animosity. No action can be taken except on majority vote of the active members present at the time of voting. (Heb. 10:23- 24, I Corin. 5:7-13, Gal. 6:1)


Section 1. Pastor

(1) Qualifications -- The Pastor of this church shall be a man who has been called of God to preach the Gospel, and must meet the spiritual qualifications given in the Scriptures (I Timothy 3, Titus 1). He must believe the doctrines as given in the Doctrinal Statement in this Constitution and preach them. He must whole-heartedly agree with the stand and position of this church. He must be separated from the world, and must not indulge in any habits which could damage his testimony or influence for Christ.

(2) Duties -- As Under-shepherd of this flock, he shall watch over and care for this body. It shall be the duty of the pastor to preach the Whole Counsel of God, and administer the ordinances, to take and have charge of all services, and to watch over the spiritual interest of the church. He shall have perfect liberty at all times, while in good standing with the church, as he is led by the Holy Spirit, to plan special meetings, such as Bible conferences, revivals, missionary conferences, etc. Also, he may choose speakers for these meetings without special permission from the church. He shall, however, announce the chosen speakers immediately after scheduling them, to the church. Then, if the church knows of any reason why such speakers shouldn't occupy the pulpit, the church shall exercise its authority to cancel the appointment of such speakers. Decision will based on majority vote of the members present at the time of voting. (Acts 6:2-4)

(3) Election -- The church will extend invitations to prospective pastors to come and preach for the purpose of selecting a pastor for the church. If the church is interested in hearing a preacher a second or more times, then following this, the church would have an opportunity to ask him questions and to give him an opportunity to ask questions of the church. After the church has decided she has heard enough preachers to enable her to make a selection, she will vote. The preacher shall be elected by a majority vote of active members present at the time of voting, and shall serve until he resigns or is dismissed for cause by the church.

Section 2. Officers and Qualifications

The officers of this church shall consist of the deacons, trustees, treasurer, clerk, and financial secretary. Boards and committees shall be those listed in this article and such others as the church may see fit to appoint or elect from time to time.

Officers and teachers and all others who serve in the capacity of leadership where they will be exerting a definite shall, along with other qualifications, be required to abstain from worldly practices, immodesty of dress in public, and all uses of tobacco and intoxicating beverages. Church musicians and choir members shall also have these requirements. (I Cor. 3:16-17, Eph. 4:1-3, 22-32, I Tim. 2:9-10, I Cor. 11:14)

All officers, members of boards, and members of committees shall be chosen on the following basis: (1) Spirituality--they shall have proven themselves to be consecrated persons, separated from the world unto Christ. They shall not engage in any form of conduct which is questionable as becoming followers of Christ or detrimental to their testimony as children of God. (2) Capability--they shall be persons who are capable of carrying out the various duties required of the office which they are to fill. (3) Dependability--they must be persons who can be depended upon to faithfully execute the duties of their position. Furthermore, all officers, board members, etc., shall be required, before installation, to acknowledge that they will uphold and teach the doctrinal statement given in this Constitution.

A. Deacons

(1) Number -- the number of deacons shall be seven.

(2) Qualifications -- the qualifications of deacons shall be those outlined in the Scriptures according to I Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-8.

(3) Election -- election of deacons shall be by nomination from the floor and majority vote of the active membership present and voting. The term shall be for one year.

(4) Duties -- the deacons shall assist in the serving of the Lord's Supper. They shall visit the members, care for the sick, widows, needy, and distressed members of the church. (Acts 6)

B Trustees

(1) The trustees shall consist of three men, elected by the church and shall have the responsibility of its management and up-keep. They shall not sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber the real estate or other property of the church unless permitted to do so by majority vote of the active members present at a meeting called for that purpose and announced from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. They shall direct the treasurer in the expenditure of funds allocated to them by vote of the church.

(2) They shall be nominated and elected by majority vote of the active membership present. They shall be elected for staggered terms, starting three, two, and one year terms. One trustee will be elected every year thereafter.

C. Treasurer

(1) The church treasurer will have charge of all church finances and disburse as directed by the church. He or she will also keep records of offerings, financial transactions, etc., and shall make monthly and annual reports to the church.

(2) The treasurer shall be nominated and elected by majority vote of the active membership present. and shall serve a term of one year and may be re- elected.

D. Clerk

(1) The clerk shall keep a record of all business meetings and business transactions of the church, such as reception of new members, dismission of members, etc. He or she will be custodian of all official church records, documents, minutes of meetings, etc., and shall perform all other duties of this office as laid down by the church body.

(2) The treasurer shall be nominated and elected by majority vote of the active membership present, and shall serve a term of one year and may be re- elected.

E. Financial Secretary

(1) The financial secretary shall receive all authorized bills and present them to the treasurer. The financial secretary shall then receive from the treasurer the checks to forward payment to whom they are due.

(2) The financial secretary shall be nominated and elected by majority vote of the active membership present, and shall serve a term of one year and may be re-elected.

Note: Women of the church who meet the qualifications previously stated for officers of the church may be eligible for the offices of Treasurer, Clerk, Financial Secretary, Music Director, and Pianist.

Section 3. Sunday School Department

(1) Sunday School Superintendent

(a) The Sunday School Superintendent shall have general supervision of the Sunday School Nursery. It is his responsibility to order and distribute literature and supplies that have been approved by the church, the class teacher, and the Pastor.

(b) He shall go to the Pastor and the board for

teacher replacements/

(c) The Superintendent shall be nominated and elected by majority vote of the active membership present. The individual receiving the second largest number of votes will be the assistant.

(2) Sunday School Teachers

Teachers will be selected by the Sunday School Superintendent from the list of qualified individuals maintained by the Pastor and the Board. Needs for teachers may be announced publicly. Those members wishing to volunteer for teachers or assistant teachers shall be put on the list after being screened by the Pastor and the Board. Teachers selected will teach for an indefinite period of time. Assistant teachers will take an active part and be allowed to teach periodically.

Section 4. Other Workers

(1) Head Usher -- shall be elected by the church to serve for a period of one year. he shall then select the other ushers--the number to be determined by the needs of the church.

(2) Music director -- will serve for one year and may be re-elected. He/she shall be nominated from the floor and elected by majority vote of the active membership present.

(3) Pianist -- shall serve for one year and may be re- elected. He/she will be nominated from the floor and elected by majority vote of the active membership present.


Section 1. Meetings of the Church

(1) Worship Services -- this church shall maintain public worship services each Sunday morning and evening.

(2) Prayer Services -- there shall be a prayer service in this church each Thursday evening, or as otherwise designated.

(3) Special Services -- services, other than regular worship and prayer services, may be scheduled at the discretion of the Pastor and the church body. These meetings may be revival services, Bible conferences, missionary conferences, etc., as the Lord leads.

Section 2. Organizations

The Sunday School shall operate for the purpose of the faithful teaching of the Word of God on the level of all age groups. so that souls may find Christ as Savior and be established in the faith. No literature shall be used in this school except that which is true to the Bible as the inspired and infallible Word of God, and is in harmony with the Doctrinal Statement as given in this Constitution. This organization is not to be separate from, but a definite part of this church, and its operation shall be determined by the church body.


Section 1. The Church Year

It shall be the policy of this church for its church year to extend from January first to December thirty- first of each calendar year. The annual business meeting and election of officers shall be the second Thursday in December.

Section 2. Raising of Funds

It shall be the policy of this church never to use any schemes or campaigns in raising funds other than free- will offerings. There shall be no suppers for the purpose of selling food, no selling of merchandise of any kind, nor any other like methods of raising money, no matter how worthy the cause. The church is to be supported solely by the tithes and free-will offerings of the believers.

This church shall contribute financial support only to those organizations and causes which are scriptural in their beliefs, methods, and practices.

This church believes that the primary responsibility of the church is to get the gospel out, and there shall always be a definite emphasis upon missions, both home and foreign.

Section 3. Spending of Funds

Expenditure of funds must first be approved by the board, except those funds allocated to the trustees by vote of the church for normal operating expenses.

Section 4. Athletics, etc.

This church shall not sponsor or provide athletic teams to participate in organized sports activities, except with churches and Christian schools of like standards and conduct.

No mixed swimming (boys and girls, or men and women together in the same pool at the same time) shall be permitted at any church sponsored or related activity.

Section 5. The Official Board

The Official Board shall consist of the Pastor, the Deacons, the Trustees, Treasurer, Clerk, Financial Secretary, and Sunday School Superintendent.


We believe, according to the Scriptures, the Jesus Christ commanded the observance of two Ordinances before He ascended unto His Father in Heaven: namely, Baptism (Matthew 28:19) and the Lord's Supper (I Cor. 11:23-30).

A. Baptism -- we believe that all truly born-again believers are to follow the Bible example of the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13- 16). As we believe that He was immersed, so we conclude that we are to be immersed after his example. Although salvation is not contingent upon baptism (Eph. 2:8-9), we believe that ever born- again believer will gladly follow the Lord in scriptural baptism as soon after conversion as possible as a public confession of the salvation experience: a complete break with all known sin and the world and a sincere intent to reckon oneself dead unto sin and the world and alive unto God. (Romans 6:3-5) This ordinance openly signifies that the believer is truly crucified with Christ and buried with Him, being dead to sin and resurrected with Him by the power of God to newness of life through Him. (Acts 2:38-41)

B. Lord's Supper -- The Lord's Supper is a commemorative ordinance to be observed by the church in memory of he Savior. (I Cor 11:24) All believers have a right to partake of the Supper. (Acts 2:41- 42) The fellowship of this table will be observed the First Sunday of each month, or at special services, as desired by the Pastor and the Board. A careful examination of the heart should have been made by each believer, for the unworthy partaking of the Lord's Supper brings damnation (judgment) upon himself. (I Cor. 11:28-30)


This Constitution and By-laws may be amended by majority vote of the active membership present at a regular or special meeting (business). Notice of a proposed amendment must be given two weeks prior to the meeting at which it will be voted upon.



I. Article VI.-Section 4.

There will be two music directors, one for the adults, and one for the children. They will serve for one year and may be re-elected. He or she will be nominated from the floor and be elected by the majority vote of the active membership present. (Submitted 2-3-74)

II. Article VI.-Section 4. -Part 4.

The Sunday School secretary and the assistant will be selected by the Sunday School Superintendent from the list of qualified individuals maintained by the pastor and the board. (3-7-74)

III. Article VI.-Section 2. -Part A-3.

The election of deacons shall be by nomination from the floor and by majority vote of the active membership present at the time of voting. They shall be elected for staggered terms of one, two, and three years.