We declare and establish this Constitution and these Bylaws to preserve and perpetuate the principles of our common Christian faith and to govern this body in an orderly and Biblical manner. These Bylaws will seek to preserve the liberties of each individual member and the freedom of action of this body to accomplish its God-given purpose.
The legal name of this organization shall be the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches, Inc. and shall also be known as the General Association of Six-Principle Baptists.
To stand for Christ-centered, morally sound, Biblical Christianity which comprises the Christian faith: the faith and practice of the Apostles and the early Disciples of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Recognizing the unity of the Church of Christ in all the world, and knowing that we are but one branch of Christ's people, while adhering to our particular faith and order, we extend to all believers the hand of Christian fellowship, upon the basis of those great fundamental truths in which all should agree. With them we confess our belief in one God, whose nature is love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of grace. We believe that Jesus came in the flesh, died for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Affirming now our belief that those who thus hold to these fundamental truths together constitute the one universal Church, the several households of which, though called by different names, are the one body of Christ, and that these members of his body are sacredly bound to keep "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," we declare that we will cooperate with all who hold these truths.
We believe that, beyond these fundamental truths, there can be unity in diversity and diversity in unity in other particulars of faith within the body of Christ.
Six-Principle Baptists have no ecclesiastically binding creed. The following Principles, while not to be used as a test of Christian cooperation and unity in the overall body of Christ, are adopted as a testimony of faith and of the spirit in which Six-Principle Baptists interpret the Holy Scriptures.We believe in
- One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him;
- One Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him;
- The Holy Spirit as our Comfortor and Guide;
- The Bible as the supreme written authority in matters of faith and practice;
- Liberty of Conscience in all matters of interpretation and worship.
- The Six Principles of Hebrews 6:1-2 (Repentance, Faith, Baptisms, Laying on of hands, Resurrection, and Judgment) as foundational concepts;
Membership shall consist of persons who are in agreement with the Statement of Faith, and who will abide by the Constitution and Bylaws of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches, Inc.
The fundamental principles of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches are based upon the Word of God. Therefore every member is expected to live according to its teachings and avoid and refrain from that which is destructive to the Christian life and dishonorable to God. Every member is earnestly admonished to:
All members and ministers of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches are responsible for his or her own actions. The General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches assumes no legal resposibility for any of its members or associated ministers. Membership and Ministerial standing in the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches will be revoked upon proven behaviors unbecoming Christians and Ministers.
The government of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches is semi-congregational. The central governing and regulatory body of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches is the General Council. The General Council is composed of the General Directors, the Council of Elders, and such officers as the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches may determine from time to time. No salaries are to be paid to any officer of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches.
General Directors: The General Directors are the Presiding Officers, Executive Administrators, and Spiritual Leaders of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches.
The General Directors are invested with the responsibility of insuring the purpose and mission of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches is carried out and that Statement of Faith and the general principles of the Christian Faith are adhered to. Their responibilities include overseeing and regulating issues related to the administrative, legislative, ministerial, evangelistic, educational, missionary, benevolent and other interests of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches.
Council of Elders: The members of the Council of Elders are appointed by the General Directors. The purpose of the Council of Elders is to assist, advise, and counsel the General Directors. The Board of Elders has no decision making powers. All final decisions regarding the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches in regard to polity and procedure belong exclusively to the General Directors.
State Directors: The State Directors are Superintendents of their assigned State or Province.
The duties and responsibilities of the State Directors are to assist, encourage, elder, support and mentor Local Associations, Churches, Ministries, and Pastors. It is the duty of the State Director to insure each local association, pastor, ministry, congregation and other affiliations of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches adhere to the Statement of Faith, and the principles of the Christian Faith.
Local associations, pastors, ministries, congregations and other affiliates report any problems or concerns directly to the State Directors. State Directors are encouraged to resolve any problems or concerns at the state and local level before contacting the General Directors.
The General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches recognizes that God calls all members of the church to be ministers and witnesses to the Gospel in their lives and in society. It also recognizes that God calls some to be missionaries, evangelists, shepherds, overseers, pastors, and teachers, as servants, to prepare His people for service to others, and for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Ordination by the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches is the rite whereby one so called is recognized and authorized to perform those ministerial duties under the auspice of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches.
Members of the General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches may propose amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws. Such proposed amendments shall be submitted to the Council of Elders for discussion. The General Directors makes the final determination of whether or not to adopt the changes.