This Constitution and Bylaws are made to:
1. Preserve and secure the principles of our faith
2. Preserve the liberties of each individual member of the Church
3. Ensure freedom of action and independence from any religious body or organization
4. Provide for orderly conduct of internal affairs, in dealing with others, and of governing Church members
CONSTITUTION OF CALVARY CHURCH
Name and Principal Office
The name of the Corporation is “CALVARY CHURCH, Inc. WEST HILLS, CALIFORNIA”. This Corporation will be further referred to in the Constitution and Bylaws as the "Church."
The principal office of the Church for the transaction of its business shall be in the County of Los Angeles at the following street address:
7115 Shoup Avenue
West Hills, California 91307
The Church shall have full power and authority to change the principal office from one location to another. Any change of this location shall be recorded by the Clerk on these bylaws opposite this section, or this section may be amended to state the new location.
In obedience to God, as a Christ-centered body of believers, we commit to disciple, enable and encourage one another to love, worship, and serve our Savior, Jesus Christ. Furthermore, we commit to share the Good News and ourselves with our neighbors in the surrounding communities and throughout the world.
The purpose of this Church is to glorify God by fulfilling the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). This purpose is further defined and includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
1.EVANGELISM / MISSIONS - "To share the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible in our community and throughout the world."
(Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Timothy 2:4)
2.EDUCATION - "To help members develop toward full Christian maturity and train them for effective ministry. To promote personal and spiritual growth through discipleship and Bible teaching."
(Ephesians 4:11-13; Matthew 18:20; 2 Timothy 2:2)
3.WORSHIP - "To participate in public worship services together and to maintain personal daily devotions." (John 4:24)
4.MINISTRY / SERVICE - "To serve unselfishly in Jesus' name, meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those in our Church, our community, and the world."
(1 Peter 4:10-11; Matthew 25:34-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Galatians 5:13)
5.FELLOWSHIP - "To encourage, support, and pray for each other as members of the family of God. To share our lives together."
(I John 1:7; Acts 2:44-47; Hebrews 10:23-25; Romans 15:5,7; John 13:34-35)
The Church seeks to benefit the people of the surrounding communities by providing opportunities for spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social development. (Luke 2:52)
Statement of Faith
These are the core beliefs of the membership of Calvary Church. We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and as the only basis for our beliefs. Although it is not binding, this Church accepts the 2000 version of “The Baptist Faith and Message,” (see Appendix II) an affirmation of basic Christian beliefs, as a general statement of our faith.
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(Genesis 1:1; 26- 27, 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
ABOUT JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, and that He is totally true God and totally man. He died on the cross for our sins. He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father and is now our High Priest and Advocate.
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven's glory and will return again some day to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords to redeem His bride, the church.
(Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1Corinthians 15:3, 4; Romans 1:3, 4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14, 15; Titus 2:13)
ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He provides every Christian with spiritual gifts for service at the moment of salvation. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily.
(2 Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 14:16,17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:25)
ABOUT THE BIBLE
We believe the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God, without any error, the all-sufficient authority in matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living.
(2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5)
ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God's creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called "sin". By one man, Adam, sin entered into the world, and death passed upon all people, for that all have sinned. This separates people from God and causes spiritual death along with many problems in life.
(Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; 51:1-8; Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12; Isaiah 59:1, 2)
We believe that eternal salvation is the free gift of God, entirely apart from our own works, and is possessed by any and all who have faith in and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Salvation is by grace through faith, but we must accept it.
We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin's penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his or her life by faith.
(Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 14:6, 1:12; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1)
ABOUT ETERNAL SECURITY
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Once born again, we cannot lose our salvation. Salvation is sustained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian.
(John 10:29; 2 Timothy1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 10:14; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is Eternal Life. Heaven is a literal place where God will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death, mourning, crying, or pain. Believers will live forever in God’s presence.
We also, believe in a literal hell, which is a place of physical and spiritual torment, experienced as a result of eternal separation from God. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
(John 3:16; John 14:7; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
ABOUT THE CHURCH
We believe that the true church is composed of all who have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. We also believe members of the true Church, which is the bride of Christ, are eligible for membership in the local Church. God primarily ministers on earth through the local church. Christ is the head of the Church, not any person, group, or religious organization. While recognizing the value of associating and cooperating with other groups of Christians, we believe that the local Church should be independent, self-governing, and free from any denominational control.
(Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Hebrews 10:25; Colossians 1:18)
The Bible clearly declares that legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely between one man and one woman who have been united in marriage. Hence, sexual relations outside marriage or between individuals of the same sex violate Biblical standards. Calvary Church is in doctrinal agreement with the Baptist Faith and Message which states in Article XV and Article XVIII respectively, that, “In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose…all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography”; “Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.”
A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by the Church only to the extent that it is consistent with the definition of “marriage” found in these Articles.
We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex.
Accordingly, the Church, its Pastor(s), staff and members will not perform any marriage ceremony unless such marriage is consistent with this statement, nor shall its’ property or resources be used for such purposes.
(Genesis 2:18, 24; Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:12-16; Romans 1:26, 1:32; 1Corinthians 6:9, 18)
ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN HOME
We believe that God has given parents the responsibility to bring their children up in the nurture and discipline of the Lord. We believe that it is the parent’s responsibility to educate and disciple their children in the truth of God. We believe that the church must work to compliment the parent’s efforts and facilitate Godly living within the home.
(Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 22:6; Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Joshua 24:15)
ABOUT BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Jesus instructed His disciples to remember His death and resurrection. He gave the Church two visible symbols (called “ordinances”) as reminders. These two ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. While we respect all acts of spiritual obedience the Bible teaches that Baptism is to be done by immersion, following salvation, as a one-time act of obedience and identification with Jesus Christ as Lord. The Lord’s Supper is an ongoing symbol remembering our Lord’s death, burial, resurrection and promised return. These are ordinances to be observed by the church in its present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means for a person’s salvation since the death of Christ on the cross is sufficient.
(Matthew 28:18-20, 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32; Colossians 2:12)
ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that God calls us – with a holy calling – to walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. God wants us to live in the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit, so we will not fulfill the lusts of our physical bodies. We believe that the fallen, Adamic nature of the flesh cannot be eradicated in this life. Therefore, keeping ourselves constantly in subjection to Christ, we must allow God’s Holy Spirit to live through us in a daily “walk” of faith. Otherwise, the flesh will certainly demonstrate a destructive presence in our lives, to the Lord’s dishonor. It is the responsibility and privilege of every Christian to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and to seek to make growing disciples.
(Leviticus 26:30; Philippians 2:13; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Peter 3:15; Galatians 5:16)
In essential beliefs - we have unity.
"There is one Body and one Spirit...there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of us all..." (Ephesians 4:4-6)
In non-essential beliefs - we have liberty.
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters...Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls...So then each of us will give an account of himself to God...So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God."
(Romans 14:1, 4, 12, 22)
In all our beliefs - we show love.
"...If I hold in my mind not only all human knowledge but also the very secrets of God, and if I have the faith that can move mountains - but have no love, I amount to nothing at all."
1 Corinthians 13:2 (Ph)
"Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with Calvary Church’s statements, strategy, and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Calvary Church family. In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
I WILL PROTECT THE UNITY OF MY CHURCH
...By acting in love toward other members
"So let us concentrate on the things which make for harmony and on the growth of our fellowship together." Romans 14:19
"Live in complete harmony with each other - each with the attitude of Christ toward each other."
"Have a sincere love for your fellow believers; love one another earnestly with all your hearts."
1 Peter 1:22
“I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.” John 15:12
...By refusing to gossip
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs..." Ephesians 4:29
...By following the leaders
"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be no advantage to you." Hebrews 13:17
I WILL SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MY CHURCH
...By praying for its growth
"To the church...we always thank God for you and pray for you constantly."
1 Thessalonians 1:2
...By inviting the “unchurched” to attend
"Go out into the country...and urge anyone you find to come in, so that My House will be full."
...By warmly welcoming those who visit
"So, warmly welcome each other into the church, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified." Romans 15:7
I WILL SERVE THE MINISTRY OF MY CHURCH
...By discovering and using my gifts and talents
"Serve one another with the particular gifts God has given each of you..." 1 Peter 4:10
...By seeking to be equipped by my pastor(s) to serve
"God gave some to be pastors and teachers to prepare God's people for works of ministry, so that the body of Christ may be built up..." Ephesians 4:11-12
...By developing a servant's heart
"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ...who took on the very nature of a servant..." Philippians 2:3-4, 7
I WILL SUPPORT THE TESTIMONY OF MY CHURCH
...By attending faithfully
"Let us not give up the habit of meeting together...but let us encourage one another."
...By living a Godly life
"But whatever happens, make sure that your everyday life is worthy of the gospel of Christ."
...By giving regularly
"Each one of you, on the first day of each week, should set aside a specific sum of money in proportion to what you have earned and use it for the offering." 1 Corinthians 16:2
"A tenth of all you produce is the Lord's, and it is holy." Leviticus 27:30
Polity and Relationships
The government of this Church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. All internal groups created by and empowered by the Church shall report to and be held accountable to the Church membership.
This Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world mission, this Church voluntarily affiliates with the Southern Baptist Convention in its national, state and local organizations. Fundamental to this affiliation is the understanding that the Southern Baptist Convention is a fellowship of autonomous, biblically sound churches that choose to work together to further God’s Kingdom. Voluntary contributions to local, state, national and international mission projects maintain this affiliation.
(Acts 15:2, 21:17-18; 3 John 10; Philippians 4:15, 18; 1 John 1:3; Ephesians 4:3-6)
The properties and assets and obligations of this nonprofit religious corporation are irrevocably dedicated to religious or charitable purposes. No part of the net earnings, properties, or assets of this corporation, on dissolution, shall inure to the benefit of any private entity or individual, or any member, trustee, or pastor of this corporation.
On liquidation or dissolution, all properties and assets and obligations shall be distributed and paid over to the San Fernando Valley Southern Baptist Association, Arleta, California; and if no longer in existence all properties and assets and obligations shall be distributed and paid over to the California Baptist Foundation, Fresno, California or their successors in interest.
Amendments to the Constitution
A new Constitution may be adopted or this Constitution may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of a two-thirds majority of the qualified voters represented at a meeting of the members held for this purpose.
Every Pastor, Staff Member and Church Member, by virtue of their membership, affirms their agreement with this Constitution and agrees to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with them.
Certificate Of Church Clerk
I, the undersigned, certify that I am the Clerk of Calvary Church, a Nonprofit Religious Corporation. This document, consisting of EIGHT (8) pages, represents the Constitution of this Corporation as adopted and executed at West Hills, California this 4th day of October , 2015.