The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International Constitution
Adopted June 15, 2000 (Revised and Restated June 11, 2013)
This Constitution is neither a substitute for, nor a supplement to, the Word of God. It is simply a review of the doctrines as they apply to practical matters concerning the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International. It is a guide to aid in the application of biblical principles to fellowship polity. The Word of God shall be the first and final authority on all fellowship matters, and any issue whereon this Constitution is silent shall be governed by the clear statement of the Word of God.
This fellowship is the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International (FBFI).
This fellowship shall be an independent and sovereign organization and as such, unrelated to any other organization or movement, but in fellowship with New Testament Fundamental Baptists everywhere. It shall exist to serve them.
Article II – Statement of Purpose
In order that we, the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International might—for the glory of God and the exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ—hold fast, with tenacity and zeal, the heritage of historic, Baptist fundamentalism which has been handed down to us, and further that we might perpetuate that heritage complete, intact, pure and undiluted to succeeding generations of fundamentalists:
We purpose to foster a deep, abiding love and loyalty to God and His Word and, to this end, to provide national and international leadership in the ongoing historic battle for biblical truth and the propagation of the gospel. In so doing, we purpose to boldly affirm and proclaim that the Bible is the supernaturally revealed, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God, without error or omission in the whole and in every part—the exclusive and absolute authority for what we believe, teach, preach, and practice.
We purpose to strengthen the fundamentalist movement, and to furnish a rallying point in defense of the faith at the cutting edge of the issues of the day—for the truth and against error—to which pastors, Christian workers and lay-people everywhere who share our convictions can come to find refuge, strength, encouragement and fellowship. In so doing, we purpose to foster a genuine spirit of love and biblical unity among those who are truly fundamentalists.
We purpose to both expose and oppose apostasy and religious compromise in any form by defining, declaring and disseminating the truth on key issues of the day, and by advocating and promoting obedience to the mandate of biblical separation.
We purpose, in the Spirit of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and to the glory of God, to militantly promote historic fundamentalism and to promote our historic Baptist distinctives, while maintaining ecclesiastical, personal and civil (church and state) separation—all in the spirit of a godly, spirit-filled aggressiveness.
We purpose to lead in an aggressive effort to reach our world for Christ by evangelism and church planting—locally, nationally and worldwide.
We purpose to stand united and vigilant in support of the cause of religious liberty, and in opposition to all assaults against our freedoms to preach, propagate and practice our Faith.
We purpose to accomplish these objectives through fellowship meetings, conferences, preaching, policy and position statements, and publications.
We purpose, in nature, to be a fellowship of fundamental, independent, Baptist pastors, Christian workers and laymen as distinct from a convention of churches. We purpose to avoid any denominational structure.
ARTICLE III – STATEMENT OF FAITH
Section 1. The Scripture
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments alone as verbally, plenarily inspired of God, without error in the original writings and the sole authority of faith and practice, providentially preserved as God’s eternal Word (2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 1 Pet. 1:23 (b)-25). We believe in a dispensational understanding of the Bible based on the progressive unfolding of the divine mysteries from God, which result in distinguishable stewardships of God’s truth (Heb. 1:1-3; Eph. 1:10; 1 Cor. 10:32).
Section 2. The Godhead
We believe in one God, an eternal Spirit existing in three distinct uncreated Persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—yet One in essence and equal in every divine perfection and attribute (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 3:13-17; Matt. 28-19; 2 Cor. 13:14).
Section 3. Jesus Christ
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son Who was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is truly God and truly Man, one Person with two natures, divine and human (Matt. 1:18-20; John 1:1,2,14). We believe the Lord Jesus Christ died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all men according to the Scriptures, and all who receive Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood (1 Cor. 15:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:21-26; Heb. 2:9; 1 Jn. 2:2). We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His bodily ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there as High Priest for us (Matt. 28:1-10; Acts 1:9; Heb. 7:25-28). We believe in the imminent return of Christ prior to the inauguration of Daniel’s seventieth week, at which time all believers in Christ will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and be kept from the promised period of divine wrath upon the Earth (Dan. 9:24-27; 1 Thess. 4:14-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 Thess. 5:9; Rom. 5:9).
Section 4. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the eternal deity and personality of the Holy Spirit Who is one of the three Persons of the Trinity. We believe the following are among His ministries: the restraining of evil in the world to the measure of the divine will; the conviction of the world regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment; the calling and regeneration of all believers; the indwelling of those who are saved; and, the continued filling for power, teaching, and service of all among the saved who are truly yielded to Him (Rom. 8:28, 29; 1 Cor. 1:24; 2 Thess. 2:7; John 3:6; 16:7-11; Rom. 8:9; Eph. 4:30, 5:18). We believe the Holy Spirit produces His fruit in the lives of all believers (Gal. 5:22, 23; Col. 1:10, 12). We believe some gifts of the Holy Spirit were temporary. We believe that certain gifts, being miraculous in nature, were prevalent in the church in the first century. They were foundational and transitional. These gifts have ceased, being no longer needed because the Scriptures have been completed and the church has been divinely certified (Heb. 2:1-4; 1 Cor. 13:8-12; Eph. 2:20). We believe that speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the filling or baptism of the Spirit. We believe God, in accord with His own will, does hear and answer prayer for the sick and afflicted (1 Cor. 12:11, 30; 13:8; James 5:14-16).
Section 5. Man
We believe that man was created directly by God on day six of the creation week (Gen 1:26-31), in His image (Jas 3:9), and in a state of sinlessness (Eph 4:24). We believe that originally man freely chose to transgress the will of God, and thereby, incurred sin, condemnation, physical and spiritual death (Gen 3:1-7; Rom 5:12-19; Eph 2:1-3) so that man is a sinner by nature and by choice, completely depraved, destitute of any moral good, and utterly unable to merit God’s favor or contribute to his salvation (Rom 3:10; Jer 17:9; Eph 2:9; Titus 3:5; Rom 4:5-6).
Section 6. Salvation
We believe in the salvation of sinners through Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, Who is the only Savior of men by virtue of His shed blood, i.e., His substitutionary death for sinners. We believe that salvation is completely dependent on the grace of God, is a free gift of God that man cannot earn or merit in any way, and is appropriated by repentance and faith in the person and cross work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We hold that in salvation the believer is called, regenerated, Spirit baptized into union with Christ, justified (including the forgiveness of sin and restoration to favor with God through the merit or righteousness of Christ), adopted, sanctified, and glorified. We believe that God secures and guarantees the final salvation of every true believer, and that the genuine believer will continue in his faith and show evidence of his faith in Christ until he meets the Lord. We believe all the elect of God, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever (Jn. 14:6; Rom. 3:25; Is. 53:4-6; Eph. 2:9; Jn. 16:8-11; Acts 20:21; Eph. 2:8-10; Jn. 1:13; Rom. 6:3-5; Rom. 5:1; Rom. 8:15; Heb. 10:10, 14; Rom. 8:30; Jn. 6:39; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Jn. 2:19; 1 Cor. 15:2; Rom. 8:37-37).
Section 7. Sanctification
We believe sanctification is presented in three senses in Scriptures: (1) every saved person has been sanctified through the death of Christ; (2) is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit; and (3) will be completely sanctified at his glorification. Every believer has two natures, old and new, and the old cannot be eradicated during this life (Heb. 10:10; John 17:17; Eph. 5:25-27; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:18-25).
Section 8. Separation
We believe in the biblical doctrine of separation which encompasses: (1) separation of the local church from all affiliation and fellowship with false teachers who deny the verities of the Christian faith, and from those who are content to walk in fellowship with unbelief and inclusivism (from Christian individuals or organizations that affiliate with those who deny the faith or are content to walk with those who compromise the doctrine and practice of Scripture) (2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Cor. 5:1-11; 1 Tim. 1:18-20; Mt. 18:15-17; (2) separation of the individual believer from all worldly practices (philosophies, goals, lifestyles, amusements, habits, and practices) that dishonor the Savior; and (3) separation of church and state (2 Tim. 3:1-5; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11; Matt. 22:21).
Section 9. The Church
We believe in the Church—a living, spiritual body of which Christ is the Head, and of which all regenerated people in this age are a part. We believe the Church is a body peculiar to the age of grace and entirely distinct from national Israel. We believe a local church is a company of believers in Jesus Christ, immersed upon a credible confession of faith and associated for worship, the work of the ministry, evangelism, observance of the ordinances (baptism and the Lord’s supper), and fellowship. We believe the local church is autonomous, the center of God’s program for this age, and that every Christian is bound by Scripture to give his unhindered cooperation to the ministry of his local church (Matt. 16:16-18; 1 Cor. 12:12-17; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Tim. 3:15-16; Eph. 4:11, 12; Mt. 28:19, 20; Acts 1:8). We believe that the local church is an autonomous body having the God-ordained right of self-government; free from the interference of any religious hierarchy; solely responsible to preserve its own internal integrity, maintain pure doctrine and practice, elect its own officers, ordain men to the ministry, settle its own internal affairs, and determine the method and extent of its cooperation with other churches (Jude 3; Acts 6:1-6; Acts 13:1-3; 1 Cor. 6:1-5; Acts 15). The proper form of church government is congregational (Mt. 18:15-17; Acts 6:1-6; 1 Cor. 5: 4, 5). The two scriptural offices of the local church are pastor and deacon (1 Tim. 3:1, 8).
Section 10. The Ordinances
We believe there are two ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called “believer’s baptism.” It sets forth, in a beautiful and solemn way, our identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and the resultant responsibility to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Baptism is a prerequisite to church membership. The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of the Lord’s death until He comes, is a reminder of our continual fellowship with Him, and should be preceded by careful self-examination (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 11:23-32).
Section 11. The Great Commission
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ has commissioned us to take the Gospel to the world, and evangelism and church-planting at home and abroad should be primary in the program of the local church, which includes baptism and instruction of believers (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
Section 12. Last Things
We believe in the imminent rapture of the church to Heaven followed by a seven-year period of tribulation upon all the earth. At the end of the period of tribulation, Jesus Christ shall come back to earth in power and glory with His Church to establish the promised Davidic Kingdom. He shall reign for one thousand years during which time peace and righteousness will cover the earth, Satan shall be bound, and Israel shall be established in her own land. At the end of this glorious reign, Satan shall lead a rebellion against Christ, shall be defeated, and shall be forever banished to the Lake of Fire. The wicked dead shall be judged at the Great White Throne, and shall be condemned to everlasting conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire. The righteous shall be in eternal conscious blessedness in the presence of the Lord (John 14:3; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 19:11-16; 21:1-15; Ezek. 39:25-29; 1 Thess. 4:17).
Section 13. Marriage:
We believe that the only Biblically sanctioned marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; Matt. 19:4-6; Mark 10-6-9; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22, 23).
Article IV – Organization
The Word of God shall be the supreme law of this Fellowship. The Will of God shall be the supreme guide. All members in full fellowship shall have opportunity to express their desire without fear of intimidation or coercion. The Will of God shall be determined by the clear statement of Scripture, under the leadership of the President and the Board of Directors as they follow the direction of the Holy Spirit. Decisions, both spiritual and temporal, will be made “in one accord;” not self-willed, but seeking God’s Will. Genuine discernment of God’s Will and sufficient teaching of God’s Word should promote a spirit of one accord among the Board of Directors and the membership.
Section 1: Board of Directors
a. Selection and Term of Office: The Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International shall be divided into natural and geographical regions, and as much as possible, there shall be a proportionate number of board members from each of these divisions. There shall be a minimum of twenty (20) board members, all of whom shall be men of unquestionable theological standing in the fundamentals of the faith, who, having given evidence of forsaking theological and ecclesiastical inclusivism, are proponents of a fundamental theological faith. They shall be members in good standing of an independent, fundamental, separate Baptist church. They shall be elected to three-year terms with one-third being elected each year. They shall subscribe to the Statement of Faith as found in Article III. They may be re-elected indefinitely as long as they meet the qualifications herein stated, and have been faithful in attendance and support of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International. Their election shall be by majority vote. The board shall be selfperpetuating.
b. Duties of the Board of Directors: The Board of Directors shall govern all affairs of the Corporation, as directed by this Constitution and such standing policy statements as may be adopted from time to time. The Board of Directors shall speak to the CEO with one voice through adoption of its Constitution, policy statements, or majority vote.
c. Election of Officers: A Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be annually elected by vote of the Board of Directors and shall serve as Officers of the Corporation. They may serve six terms in office, after which they shall retire from office for one year before being elected to office or appointed to a committee chairmanship. To provide for orderly succession, this disqualification for election to office or appointment to a committee chairmanship shall not take effect until the annual board meeting of 2019 for the election of the treasurer and the vice chairman and shall not take effect until the annual board meeting of 2020 for the election of the chairman. It is also clarified that the disqualification set forth in this subsection does not apply to the election of the President as set forth below. A President shall be elected by two-thirds majority of the Board of Directors. He shall serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Fellowship with full authority to implement, by any reasonable interpretation, the policy established by the Constitution and policy statements. He shall be authorized to take any action on behalf of the Fellowship not specifically prohibited by the Board of Directors. He shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors without voting privileges.
d. Executive Committee: The Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Standing Committee Chairmen, and Chaplaincy Commission Chairman shall compose the Executive Committee. If required by law, the Executive Committee shall serve as Trustees. Both the retiring Chairman, who shall serve for one year, and the President, who shall serve while in office, shall serve on the Executive Committee ex-officio, without voting rights.
Section 2: Non-Voting Boards—Emeritus, Advisory, and Cooperating
a. Board Members Emeritus: Long term members of the Board of Directors may be appointed as non-voting Board Members Emeritus, to serve without expiration of term while they are members in good standing of the FBFI, or until resignation. Appointment shall be by the Board of Directors. They shall not be required to attend all meetings, and shall serve without voting privileges.
b. Advisory Board: Potential future board members who are members in good standing of an independent, fundamental, separate Baptist church, shall be elected by the Board of Directors to a three year term. At the end of the three year term, they shall be eligible for re-election for one additional term or nominated for the Board of Directors by unanimous consent of the Executive Committee. Advisory Board members shall serve without voting privileges.
c. Cooperating Board of State Representatives: As far as possible, there should be at least one state representative from each of the states in the United States, and one representative from each International Division for the purpose of promoting meetings and recruiting other like-minded persons into the fellowship. There should be Regional Directors, appointed from the Board of Directors, Emeritus or Advisory Boards, to coordinate the efforts of these State Representatives. Generally, Regional Directors shall be appointed from the Board of Directors, and shall meet with the State Representatives as a non-voting Cooperating Board of State Representatives during the Annual Fellowship.
Section 3: Committees
a. The Board of Directors shall approve Standing and Special Committees as necessary to fulfill the purposes of the Fellowship, and to serve as working groups for projects and policies. Their titles and duties shall be established by policy statements.
b. Committee Chairmen shall be nominated by the CEO for approval by the Board of Directors. Committee members may include non-voting board members. The Officers of the Board of Directors may serve as Committee Chairmen. Standing Committee Chairmen will serve on the Executive Committee.
Section 4: Chaplaincy Commission
a. The Board of Directors shall appoint the Chairman of the Chaplaincy Commission.
b. The CEO, with the consent of the Chaplaincy Commission shall serve as or appoint the Chaplaincy Endorser. The Commission shall meet regularly to approve Chaplaincy Candidates for Endorsement.
c. The Chaplaincy Commission shall function in accordance with current policy statements.
Section 5. Membership
a. The FBFI is a fellowship of individuals who agree without reservation with the Statement of Faith and purposes of the Fellowship. Although it is not an organization of churches or other ministry agencies, since the Bible teaches that all true believers are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, let it be determined that this fellowship shall seek fellowship with all believers of like mind and doctrine, and that we will abstain from fellowship with all that is ungodly, worldly, or otherwise contrary to the Word of God.
b. FBFI members who are pastors are encouraged to associate their churches with the FBFI chaplaincy endorsing agency for the exclusive purpose of endorsing chaplains.
c. Reception of members: All applicants for membership must give testimony of their agreement with and obedience to the Statement of Faith of the Fellowship by signature on the membership application form. They shall submit any membership fees determined by the Board of Directors along with necessary information for the annual directory. Members who fail to renew their membership in time for the production of the annual directory may be included for the following year at the discretion of the Board of Directors, but must pay any fees due or become inactive.
d. Discipline and Dismissal of Members: Members who persist in sin after the scriptural procedures found in Matthew 18:11-22 have been exercised by their local churches, or who by their persistent resistance to attempts to contact them make reconciliation impossible, or who are known to be out of fellowship with the Statement of Faith and purposes of the Fellowship, and will not alter their direction, shall be excluded by a majority action of the Board of Directors.
Article V – Meetings
There shall be an annual meeting of the Fellowship in June. Regional meetings shall also be held. Satellite meetings in states and areas are encouraged.
The Board of Directors shall conduct its annual meeting in conjunction with the Annual Fellowship in June. The Board of Directors shall meet for an annual work session in February. Attendance at both meetings is required for members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Board Members Emeriti are encouraged to attend. Special meetings of the Board of Directors or Executive Committee may be called by the Chairman or President, providing adequate notice is given to all Board members required to attend, with the particulars of the meeting stated.
Quorum: Nine members shall constitute a quorum of the Board of Directors.
Rules of Order: All elections, duties of officers, and meetings of the Board of Directors and/or Executive Committee shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, except where this Constitution may specifically provide otherwise.
Article VI – Policy Statements
The procedures of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International not specifically stated or explained in this Constitution shall be included as policy statements, which shall be adopted or rescinded at any time by the action of a majority of the Board of Directors. Policy statements are binding on the President, other officers, chaplains endorsed by the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International and other persons when acting on behalf of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International until such policy statements are amended, rescinded or superseded.
The FBFI may also from time to time express its view on matters of importance to its members or to the cause of Christ in general by means of position statements.
Position statements may be adopted by action of a majority of the Board of Directors or of the membership. Position statements are non-binding, and they reflect the consensus of the Board of Directors (or of the membership, as the case may be) at the time of their adoption.
The Board may clarify which standing resolutions, or portions thereof, adopted under prior versions of this constitution shall be treated as position statements and which shall be treated as policy statements.
Article VII – Dissolution of Corporation and Liquidation of Property
In the event that the dissolution of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship International should ever become necessary, the elected officers and active members remaining at the time of dissolution shall have full authority to enforce this provision.
All active members shall be notified, in writing, at least 30 days prior to a meeting called for dissolution of the corporation.
In the event of dissolution, the residual assets of the organization will be turned over to one or more churches or other religious organizations, which themselves are exempt as organizations described in Sections 501(c)(3) and 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding sections of any prior or future Internal Revenue Code, for their religious purposes. No person associated with this corporation may derive benefit or gain from this assignment of assets.
In the event of dissolution, the elected leaders remaining, or an authorized group from within the remaining active membership, shall propose a worthy recipient to be approved by a majority vote of those who attend the meeting called for dissolution of the corporation. Should any ministry related to the Fellowship be able to continue as a separate corporation, it shall receive priority in this consideration.
Article VIII – Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the Board of Directors present and voting at the annual meeting. The Statement of Faith cannot be amended in any way that will change its meaning or adherence to the fundamentals of the faith. The addition of items to the statement of faith does not change its meaning or adherence to the fundamentals of the faith if such additional items (1) are plainly taught in the Scriptures, (2) are not inconsistent with the rest of the Statement of Faith, (3) have historically been believed by the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, and (4) are of fundamental importance. No proposed amendment may be acted upon until due notice is given to each member of the Board of Directors.
Article IX – Adoption
This Constitution, adopted by at least a two-thirds majority vote of the board members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the Board of Directors in which a quorum was present on June 15, 2000, was revised and restated by at least a two-thirds majority vote of the board members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the Board of Directors in which a quorum was present on June 10, 2008. This Constitution supersedes any other Constitutions of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship. It is hereby understood and expressed that this Constitution is, in its totality, a complete substitution and replacement of any former articles or Constitution that may or may not have been formulated in full or in part by the Board of Directors of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship.