PROVIDENCE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
(Revised and Adopted October 25, 2015)
ARTICLE I. NAME
Section 1. The name of this church is Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Missouri, hereinafter referred to as "this Church."
Section 2. This Church is a particular congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America, herein after referred to as "the PCA".
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE
Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, having come into being under God and being submitted to His inerrant Word, recognizes the Biblical fact that man was created to worship God and that God seeks true worshipers. Consequently, it is the purpose of this Church to provide God-centered opportunities for believers to express their worship of God. To that end, the morning worship service shall maintain the character of objective worship, framed as a dialogue between God and His people, and incorporating vigorous preaching of the whole counsel of God. Further, the principles of Biblical worship shall be incorporated in every home so that each member of the church shall come to glorify and enjoy God consistently.
To reach the goal of developing better worshipers for God, the church will strive to broaden and deepen each worshiper's knowledge of God through Christian education. Such education will take into consideration the breadth of God's revelation (through Bible survey and study of the expansion of God's covenant in Scripture). Furthermore, each worshiper will study the depth of Scripture by means of inductive Bible studies of selected books, topical studies in practical areas, Bible doctrine as reflected in the Westminster Standards, and the church's application of Scripture through history.
A mature worshiper must go beyond mere study and on to application. Therefore, to increase the number of worshipers, this church will maintain an active evangelism program. This program will consist of winsomely aggressive evangelism in the southwest area of St. Louis County plus visitor follow-up, evangelistic Bible studies, evangelistic preaching, and community events. Moreover, this church will be actively committed to the support of national and world missions.
Furthermore, the outgrowth of true worship is true love, and this must be evident here as the Holy Spirit molds Providence Church into a caring, serving community of believers. Therefore, fellowship, prayer, discipleship, service, and support groups will all be fostered and encouraged. Full-orbed worship implies that all the members of the body employ their gifts in the service of God and of one another.
Finally, because the Scripture is covenant-oriented, Providence Church will place great stress on the importance of the family and will not permit "church" work to preempt family life. Nor shall mere activity be the image of this church.
ARTICLE III. DOCTRINE AND STATEMENT OF BELIEF
This Church is reformed in theology. This Church holds that the Bible, consisting of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God, and is thoroughly infallible and authoritative in its original manuscripts. Subordinate to the Holy Scriptures, this Church adheres to the Reformed Faith as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter catechisms as approved and adopted by the PCA. These documents are incorporated herein by reference and stand as part of this Constitution, as though fully set forth herein.
We believe that the Bible teaches that all human life is created by the Triune God in His image. Human life is a gift of God and therefore to be protected in all its dimensions, including the unborn, the young, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged and every other stage or condition of life from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life regardless of its perceived “quality.”
We believe that God has revealed in His Word that He wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary sexes/genders together reflect the image and nature of God Himself. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
This Church holds that the family is one of the basic building blocks for God’s people and for society as a whole. According to the Scriptures, when God created humanity, He ordained the marriage covenant to be a unique bond between one man and one woman. Therefore, we believe that the divinely sanctioned standard for sexual activity is fidelity within a marriage between one man and one woman and the standard is chastity outside of such a marriage. We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual conduct, bisexual or trans-gender identity, bestiality, incest, and/or use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God.
According to God’s infallible Word, the Lord graciously offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We believe the Scriptures require us to treat every person with compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity as is worthy of God’s image-bearers and instruct us to repudiate unloving and injurious behavior directed toward any individual.
ARTICLE IV. GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH
This Church recognizes Jesus Christ, the one revealed in the infallible written Word of God, as the only preeminent Head of His Church. It accepts no civil authority in ecclesiastical matters, and it holds to the Presbyterian form of church government. The elders (Session) chosen by the people from their own number shall in conjunction with the minister exercise government and discipline and take the spiritual oversight of the particular congregation and also of the church generally when called upon so to do.
Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church, being a member of the PCA, is subject to the laws pertaining thereto.
The government of this Church shall be divided into two branches, to be known as the Congregation and the Corporation.
The Congregation shall deal with matters of a spiritual nature. (Amplified in Article I of the Bylaws). The chief responsibility for carrying out the affairs of the congregation shall rest with the Session.
The Corporation shall deal with matters of a temporal nature. (Amplified in Article VIII of the Bylaws). All communicant members of the Congregation eighteen years of age and older shall be members of the Corporation. The affairs of the corporation shall be administered by a board of directors, but this board shall have no authority other than that delegated to it by the Corporation.
ARTICLE V. MEMBERSHIP IN THE CONGREGATION
The membership of the Congregation shall be composed of communicant members, non-communicant members, voting members, and associate members.
Communicant members are those persons, adults and children, who have been admitted to the Lord’s Table by the Session, having received the sacrament of baptism and having made an age-appropriate or capability-appropriate profession of personal faith in Christ as their Savior.
Non-communicant members are those baptized children of communicant members. One or both parents, foster parents, or guardians must vow in the presence of the congregation to bring up these children in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord." These children are not entitled to vote in any meeting of the church.
Voting members are those baptized Christians who have been received by the Session as communicant members, are eighteen years of age or older, and have taken the membership vows of the PCA.
Associate members are those people (such as seminary or college students) who wish to retain their membership in their home church. These persons shall appear before the Session and give a credible profession of their faith in Christ as Savior. They shall enjoy all the privileges of fellowship, worship, and service under the supervision of the pastor and spiritual leaders but shall not vote in Congregational or Corporation meetings and shall not hold elected offices for the Congregation or Corporation. The home church of the associate member shall be notified of his/her reception as an associate member and will receive notice of baptisms, weddings and funerals involving associate members and their families, and of any need for the administration of judicial discipline.
Membership may be effected by one of three methods: confession of faith, re-affirmation of faith, or transfer of letter, defined as follows:
Confession of faith - if a person confesses Christ and has never been a member in another evangelical church.
Re-affirmation of faith - if a person has previously been a member in another church and now wishes to unite with this church and the mechanics of a transfer of letter are not applicable.
Transfer of letter - if a person has been a member of a sister church a letter of transfer may be requested and granted.
Periodically, but at least annually, the session shall review the church roll to determine those members who have been regularly absent from worship services to consider appropriate action.
No inactive roll shall be established.
ARTICLE VI. AMENDMENTS
This constitution can be amended only be a three-quarters vote of those members present and voting at two duly called consecutive meetings of the congregation, which are not less than two weeks apart. The amendment shall be announced from the pulpit for two consecutive weeks prior to the first congregational meeting and the proposed amendment shall be received in writing by each member of the congregation not less than five days prior to the first congregational meeting.
ARTICLE VII. THE OFFICERS OF THE CONGREGATION
The officers of the Congregation shall be elders and deacons.
The elders (ruling and teaching) shall exercise government and discipline and shall take the spiritual oversight of this congregation and church.
The deacons shall be responsible for assistance given to the poor of the congregation and of the community, and may perform such other administrative and charitable duties as may be assigned by the Session or congregation.
ARTICLE VIII. DENOMINATIONAL RELATIONSHIP
This constitution and Bylaws shall never contradict the Book of Church Order of the PCA, and any items not expressly covered herein shall be subject to the Book of Church Order of the PCA.
ARTICLE IX. THE CORPORATION
The Corporation is chartered by the State of Missouri as a not-for-profit entity organized specifically for religious worship. All voting members of the Congregation are voting members of the Corporation. The Corporation is governed by a Board of Directors, which shall be the active Ruling Elders of the Congregation. The Corporation is the legal entity with normal rights to hold property and other privileges granted to corporations.