redeemer constitution

Constitution  of  Redeemer Church High Desert
Apple Valley, California
Adopted by the membership on June 27, 2021

Preamble
 
Being called, by the grace of God, to glorify Christ and make Him known  
in this high desert community,
 
We re-affirm our commitment to the Word of God and to the  
God of the Word who called this local body of believers into  
being on November 18, 1956;
 
We re-affirm our commitment to Jesus Christ as our  
all-sufficient Savior and we place ourselves willingly under  
His Lordship;
 
We re-affirm our commitment to the Holy Spirit who indwells  
us individually and corporately and we open ourselves eagerly  
to His divine influence;
 
We, binding ourselves together by doctrine, covenant, and common experience, do  
adopt for our government and plan of ministry the following Constitution and By-laws rescinding  
all previous action contrary thereto.
 
Article I – Name and Purpose for Existence
 
Section 1.  Name and Location of Offices
 
The name of this corporation is the First Baptist Church of Apple Valley, California.
 
As of [Date pending Congregational Vote], we shall do business as Redeemer Church High Desert and shall be known in this document as RCHD
 
Section 2. Purpose for Existence
 
This corporation exists for religious purposes.  Our commission is summarized by Matthew 28:18-20:
 
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on  
Earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all  
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and  
of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
 
 
Article II – Character and Government
 
Section 1. Statement of Faith
 
The statement of faith of RCHD is that which is on record in the church’s main office.  It shall be affirmed by all active members, is available upon request, and can be found on the church’s website. The statement of faith is part of the constitution and subject to all rules for amendments in Article VIII.
 
Section 2. Church Covenant
 
The covenant of RCHD is that which is on record in the church’s main office.  It shall be signed by all members before joining RCHD as a sign of their affirmation of it and willing submission to it.  The church covenant is part of the constitution and subject to all rules for amendments in Article VIII.
 
Section 3. Two ordinances to be observed
 
  1. Baptism:  Baptism is the immersion in water of believers in Jesus Christ, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” symbolizing the fact of accomplished regeneration and portraying them as having been linked spiritually with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, with the effect of their death to sin, and resurrection to new life.  It is a visual witness to the world of their relationship to Jesus Christ.  It is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.  
 
  1. The Lord’s Supper:  The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of His broken body and shed blood for the remission of sin and symbolizes the fact that the believers partaking of the Lord’s Supper has faith in and acknowledges Christ’s vicarious death for them, and identifies themselves with the death of Jesus.  This ordinance should be partaken only by those whose faith is in Christ and can partake in remembrance and thankfulness for what He has done for them and accomplished in them, and should be preceded by a renewed self-examination and commitment to Him. This ordinance is to be continued until He comes.     
 
Section 4. Polity and Authority
 
Christ is the head of his body, the church.  He has expressed his will for his body in the Scriptures.  Therefore, the Bible is our final authority in all matters of doctrine and church life.  The Bible entrusts the leadership of the church, under Christ, who is the chief shepherd, to Elders, his under shepherds. The call of qualified men to the office of eldership is no small matter. Scripture has clearly stated elder conduct and authority.  
 
Conduct – any man who is seeking the office of eldership will clearly demonstrate a life that models the character qualities outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. This does not mean they will be perfect in these areas, but they will model them in such a way that those they lead will strive to live such a godly life.  
 
Authority – The government of RCHD is vested in the body of believers who compose its membership. Once Elders have been confirmed, the authority of the church membership shall be considered to reside with the Elders except for: changing the Constitution; dismissing or calling the Senior Pastor; confirmation of Elders; acquiring or disposing of church real property or incurring indebtedness in the corporate name; and approval of the annual Church budget.
 
Section 5. Affiliations
 
RCHD will be considered an independent church. RCHD submits only to Jesus Christ as the true head of the Church, and the Holy Spirit as the true administer of the Church. There shall be no governing authority outside of RCHD. RCHD will govern itself by the authority of Scripture and the duly elected elders of the Church.  
 
This does not eliminate the possibility of RCHD affiliating with like-minded Christian churches or Christian organizations in the future subject to approval of the church membership by a majority vote. Should RCHD determine that it would be in the interest of the church to affiliate with other regional, state, or national Christian organizations, their official statement of faith shall in no way be in contradiction to RCHD’s official statement of faith.
 
Article III – Membership
 
Section 1. Admission
 
  1. Qualifications:  RCHD shall only consist of and be open to believers in Jesus Christ who have given evidence of repentance and regeneration of heart; have been baptized by immersion after making a profession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who without mental reservation subscribe to RCHD’s Statement of Faith and the Church Covenant.   
 
  1. Procedure for Admissions 
 
  1. Repentance (Matthew 3:8-12; Matthew 5:13; Matthew 4:17) 
  1. Baptism (Acts 2:41) 
  1. Attendance at membership orientation class (this may precede baptism) 
 
  1. Associate Church Membership:  Any person who is temporarily living in our area or who for personal reasons so requests, and who qualifies under Section 1.A and B of this Article. shall be listed as an associate member upon recommendation of the Elders.  The person’s name need not be removed from the church roll where it is currently recorded.  Associate members shall have all the rights and privileges of church membership, except they shall not have the right to vote in business meetings or hold elective office.  
 
Section 2. Duties and Privileges
 
  1. Duties:  Members shall strive to keep their Covenant obligations.  They should honor and esteem those who exercise spiritual leadership within the membership.  They shall particularly welcome the ministry of the Elders whose responsibility it is to watch over and care for them.  Members shall strive at all times to preserve the unity of the Spirit within the membership and if they should find themselves no longer in sympathy with the fundamental doctrines and policies of RCHD they shall present their disagreements to the Elders for discussion or quietly withdraw without creating a disruption within the fellowship.   
 
  1. Privileges:  Members of RCHD shall share in the privilege and responsibility of determining God’s leading for the church’s ministry by voting at the regular and special Business Meetings of the church membership. The members of the church shall be granted the privilege of teaching and ministering within the congregation and on behalf of the church membership in the surrounding community as the Spirit of God gifts them and the leaders of the various church ministries recognize those gifts and recruit them for service. 
 
The members of the church shall be granted the privilege of providing leadership within the congregation by holding leadership roles defined in Article V and sharing in the on-going administrative functions of the church as their leadership gifts are recognized by the church membership and they are placed in office.  
 
Duties and privileges should include but are not limited to the following
  1. Attending church regularly 
  1. Giving joyfully 
  1. Participating in a community of believers (community group, bible study, and/or service to the church) 
  1. Caring for other members of the church 
  1. Serving within the church 
  1. Submitting to church leadership 
 
  1. Stipulations: Voting privileges shall be limited to those members of the church who are 18 years of age or older. Regular teaching positions within the church shall be reserved for members of the church in order that the integrity of the church not be compromised. 
 
Section 3. Special Circumstances
 
  1. “Non-resident members” are members in good standing who are living too far away to attend regularly, such as students, military personnel, etc., but who maintain contact with the church.   
 
  1. “Removals”: All members who have not attended the worship services for six months and have not contributed to the support of the church, shall be given written notification of the intention of the Elders to remove them from the membership roll.  If they don’t reply with a satisfactory explanation, they will be removed from membership by action of the Elders.   
 
  1. Reinstatement:  Members whose names have been removed from membership, may be reinstated to membership after meeting with and gaining the approval of the Elders.  
 
Section 4. Transfer and Dismissal of Members  
 
  1. Uniting with a like-minded church:  Letters of transfer for the purpose of uniting with some other like-minded church of like faith may be granted to members upon request of a specific Church.  This name may then be removed from RCHD’s membership.   
  1. Dismissal for Misconduct:  See Article IV. 
 
 
Article IV – Church Discipline
 
Section 1. Purpose of Discipline  
 
  1. To glorify God in preserving the unity of church membership (1 Cor. 5:6; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). 
 
  1. To preserve the purity of the church (1 Cor. 5:6-7; Eph. 5:27; 1 Tim 5:20) 
 
  1. To uphold the spiritual welfare of the church by ministering to the offending member(s) seeking restoration to a walk of faith that will make possible continued growth in grace. (2 Thess. 3:6-15; Gal. 6:1) 
 
Section 2. Occasions for Discipline  
 
  1. Unresolved sin between members of the church.  
 
  1. Doctrinal teaching and/or practices that are not in accord with the Gospel message and sound doctrine that has been historically affirmed by the church of Jesus Christ; those doctrines that are affirmed in the RCHD statement of faith and generally covered in the RCHD covenant 
 
  1. Gross misconduct; examples include but not limited to: sexual immorality, drunkenness, illegal drug use or any other criminal act, sowing of discord or disunity that threatens the purity and testimony of the church.  
 
Section 3. Method and Spirit of Discipline  
 
Every human, though created in the image of God, is a sinner by nature and by choice. When a case of actual or presumed sin has been identified, either by a church member or one of the leaders of the church, Redeemer Church will follow the process of dealing with sin as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, and 1 Tim. 5:19-21 in cases involving leadership.  
 
  1. The offended party should approach the offending member personally and explain the the actual or perceived sin with the desire to see repentance and gain reconciliation in the relationship 
 
  1. If it is not resolved, they should take one or two mature believers with them and approach the offending member again so that the actual or perceived sin can be discussed among the offender and witnesses, again with the desire to see repentance and gain reconciliation in the relationship.  
 
  1. If the complaint is not resolved and the witnesses who accompanied the offended member agree, the matter should be brought to the attention of the Elders, the Elders shall then listen and make counsel to the charge being brought to them.  
 
  1. If the member in question continues to refuse to acknowledge or repent or make restitution for their sin the Elders shall determine such action as shall be deemed appropriate.  Upon their concurrence, the Elders shall bring the recommendation for action to the church membership. 
 
Section 4. Extent of Discipline  
 
Official church discipline can include:  
 
  1. Private reprimand, removal of certain privileges, and appeal for repentance made by the Elders and/or other ministry leaders; 
 
  1. Public reprimand and appeal for repentance made in the presence of the gathered church membership (members only in attendance); 
 
  1. In each of these situations, an unrepentant response can lead to the excommunication of the member upon the determination of the Elders. 
 
  1. Such removal must be preceded by: 
  1. A sincere effort to bring the offending member to a point of repentance and   
  1. A written notification to the offending member that such public action is being proposed and    
  1. An opportunity for the offending member to appear before the Elders to speak on their own behalf. 
 
Section 5. Restoration  
 
  1. The goal of all church discipline is repentance and restoration.  It is the responsibility of the Elders to monitor the progress of the disciplined member during the period of discipline.    
 
  1.  When genuine repentance as acknowledged by the elders is demonstrated, the disciplined member shall appeal for restoration to the Elders who shall, after a satisfactory interview and review, restore the member to the membership roll and that member will be accepted back into fellowship by the members at that time (2 Cor. 2:5-11)    
 
  1. Consideration of new or renewed ministry and/or service within the body for the restored member shall be at the discretion of the Elders after sufficient time and evidence of repentance. 
 
Article V – Leadership of the Church
 
Section 1. Leadership Qualifications, Duties, and Terms  
 
Each position of leadership within the church is a position of honor and humility, which in the spirit of unity amongst its members, these servants of the church shall voluntarily and with no mental reservation affirm the church’s Statement of Faith, and willfully submit to the Covenant of the Church to fulfill its commission and be held accountable for all matters of doctrine, Christian living, and sin for the protection of the church from threats both internal and external and most importantly for the honor of Christ.
 
The leadership of this church shall include but not be necessarily limited to the following:
  • Ministry Volunteers 
  • Ministry Leaders 
  • Deacons  
  • Administrative Staff 
  • Ministerial Staff Members 
  • Pastor-Teachers 
  • Senior Pastor   
  • Elders 
 
Note: Associate members can only be ministry volunteers
 
Section 2. Ministry Volunteers
 
  1. In addition to the leadership requirements in Section 1 of this article, Ministry volunteers shall be upstanding members of the church; shall be appointed-by and accountable-to Ministry Leaders, Deacons, Pastoral Staff Members, Pastor-Teachers and/or Elders.  
 
Section 3. Ministry Leaders
 
  1. Qualifications: In addition to the leadership requirements in section 1 of this section, Ministry Leaders shall be upstanding members of the church; appointed-by and accountable-to, Pastoral Staff Members, Pastor-Teachers, the Senior Pastor, and/or Elders.  
 
  1. Duties: 
Under the direction of Pastoral Staff Members, Pastor-Teachers, the Senior Pastor, and/or Elders. Ministry Leaders are to:
  1. To seek to comfort, strengthen, encourage and support members of the church membership during times of personal or family crisis.       
  1. To seek to disciple and correct Ministry Volunteers for the building up and guarding of the Church. 
  1. To refer for counsel those members who are experiencing significant trauma or struggle.       
  1. To pray regularly (both individually and corporately) for the members of the congregation. 
 
Section 4. Deacons
 
  1. Qualifications:  In addition to the leadership requirements in section 1 of this article; Deacons shall be male or female members of the church; shall be members of the church for at least one year; and shall have served within other ministries of the church; they shall meet the requirements of I Timothy 3, serve as Deacon as described in Acts 6; be nominated by the Senior Pastor and confirmed by the Elders; accountable-to Pastoral Staff Members, Pastor-Teachers, the Senior Pastor, and/or Elders.  The number of Deacons shall be determined by the Elder Board.  
 
  1. Duties:   
Under the direction of Pastoral Staff Members, Pastor-Teachers, the Senior Pastor, and/or Elders. Deacons shall:    
  1. seek to comfort, strengthen, encourage and support members of the church membership during times of personal or family crisis. 
  1. administer physical and material assistance as situations of need arise. 
  1. refer for counsel those members who are experiencing significant trauma or struggle.       
  1. pray regularly (both individually and corporately) for the members of the congregation.       
  1. assist in the administration of the ordinances of baptism and communion.  
 
Section 5. Administrative Staff Members    
  1. Duties: Under the direction of the Senior Pastor, Administrative Staff Members shall:  
  2. perform assigned duties per the prescribed job description for the general benefit of the church. 
 
Section 6. Ministerial Staff Members
 
  1. Qualifications:  In addition to the leadership requirements in section 1 of this article, Ministerial Staff Members shall be selected by the Senior Pastor and confirmed by a majority of the Elders; accountable-to the Senior Pastor or his delegate, and/or the Elders.  
 
  1. Duties: Under the direction of the Senior Pastor, Ministerial Staff Members shall: 
  1. assist in the arrangement of all public and regular services of the church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. 
  1. seek to comfort, strengthen, encourage and support members of the church membership during times of personal or family crisis. 
  1. pray regularly (both individually and corporately) for the members of the congregation.    
 
 
Section 6: Pastor-Teachers
 
  1. Qualifications: In addition to the leadership requirements in section 1 of this article, Pastor-Teachers shall be men who meet the requirements of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9; and shall be selected by the Senior Pastor and confirmed by a majority of the Elders.   
   
  1. Duties:  Under the direction of the Senior Pastor, Pastor-Teachers shall assist in the arrangement of all public and regular services of the church and he shall be responsible for assisting in the general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. In the absence of the Senior Pastor, and at the sole discretion of the Elders, Pastor-Teachers will assume primary responsibility for the arrangement of the public and regular services of the church.  
  1. May serve as an ex officio member of all councils and committees, and shall be responsible to the Senior Pastor and Elders of the church.  
  1. Shall seek to comfort, equip, encourage and support members of the church membership during times of personal or family crisis. 
  1. Shall pray regularly (both individually and corporately) for the members of the congregation.    
 
Section 7. Senior Pastor
 
  1. Qualifications:  In addition to the leadership requirements in section 1 of this article the Senior Pastor shall be a man who meets the requirements of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.  He must receive a minimum of 80% positive vote of those active members present at a duly called church membership meeting.   
 
  1. Duties:  the Senior Pastor of Redeemer Church  
  1. shall faithfully preach the whole counsel of God without compromise 
  1. shall lead the congregation in the celebration and partaking of the ordinances  
  1. shall tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the church body 
  1. shall lead the Church toward the fulfillment of its stated tasks 
  1. shall receive and execute all powers conveyed to an Elder 
  1. may serve as a member of all church boards and committees with the right to vote  
  1. may temporarily delegate these duties to another Elder or a Pastor-Teacher  
  1. shall recommend all church staff candidates 
 
  1. Term of Office:  The Senior Pastor shall serve for an indeterminate term in submission to the leading of the Lord as expressed by the will of the membership.  
 
  1. Dismissal of the Pastor shall require a two-thirds majority of those members present at a duly called church membership meeting. Minimum number of members present for such a vote shall be fifty percent of the active membership. 
 
Section 8. Elders
 
  1. Qualifications: In addition to the leadership requirements in section 1 of this article, an elder shall be a man who meets the following:   
  2. He shall be a member of the church for at least one year; shall be at least 25 years of age and shall have served within other ministries of the church; shall meet the requirement of I Timothy 3 & Titus 1:6-9.   
  1. Lay Elders must be nominated by a majority of the current eldership and receive an 80% positive vote of the members present at a duly called church membership meeting.  
  1. Vocational Elders must receive the nomination of the Senior Pastor and confirmation by a majority of the Elder Board, a Pastor-Teacher may assume the position of Elder; subject to all requirements stated in Timothy and Titus and granted all powers and duties of the office thereof. 
 
  1. Number and Makeup of the Board of Elders: 
  1. The Board of Elders shall contain a majority of Lay-Elders. 
 
  1. Duties:  
  1. Primary guardians of the pulpit ministry (preaching and teaching).. Elders are to ensure that RCHD is being consistently nourished with the uncompromised word of God in accordance with Scripture and the RCHD statement of faith. They will guard the flock in matters pertaining to preaching, teaching, counseling, discipling, and evangelism. 
  1. Provide spiritual and administrative oversight for the total program of the church - serve as the Board of Directors of the Corporation, who shall be authorized to act as the agents of the church membership in all legal matters. Monitor the church’s progress toward the fulfillment of its Mission and Ministry Master Plan. Shall develop and maintain the policies and procedures manual of the church. 
  1. Elders will be responsible for the training and development of future church leadership. Once qualified men are recognized the elders will begin discipling them. When the elders see fit to proceed to appoint them to a church office, they will present them before the church during a member meeting and seek a majority vote of approval.  
  1. Hold all staff and ministry leaders and ministry organizations accountable in their respective areas of ministry responsibility, providing written job descriptions and annual written evaluations for all church staff positions. 
  1. Recommend to the church membership the annual church budget and monitor the financial condition of the church.       
  1. Receive reports from and provide direction and counsel to all church administrative bodies.       
  1. Develop a climate of trust in which creativity can be fostered and all ministries can be developed, approved, encouraged and supported - maintain open communication with the church membership at large.       
  1. Function as the Nominating Committee for the church membership reviewing and recommending candidates for Elder. All nominations must be submitted to the Elders prior to an election. No nominations will be taken from the floor during an election.       
  1. Convene monthly Elder meetings or as necessary.       
  1. Shall participate in the election of Elder Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, who shall be the officers of the corporation. The CEO will be the Chairman of the Elders.  Secretary is responsible for maintaining membership records.  The Treasurer oversees the maintenance of the finances of the church.        
  1. Shall appoint or remove committees and individuals to carry out the ministries of the church.       
  1. In the event of a vacancy in the position of Senior Pastor, the Elders shall appoint a pastoral search committee within 90 days.  
  1. Shall be directly responsible for the hiring and termination of all assistant and associate pastoral staff, in consultation with the Senior Pastor.   
  1. To indemnify the Officers and Directors of the corporation in accordance with the California Corporations Code. 
 
  1. Term of Office: shall serve a two-year term and may serve three consecutive terms. After serving three terms a member may be elected to the Elder board after a one-year time period has elapsed from the end of their third term. The Elders are a self-disciplining council according to Matthew 18:15-20; I Timothy 5:19, 20.  Any decision regarding discipline of an Elder or Elders shall be made by the Elders eligible to vote.  Any Elder in question is not eligible to vote. An Elder must resign when the Elders by a two-thirds vote of the remaining Elders in office, determine it would be in the best interest of the church.  The number of Elders shall be four or more. 
 
Article VI – Meetings
 
Section 1. Worship
 
The congregation shall meet at least weekly for public worship, devoting “… themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)
 
Section 2. Business
 
  1. Membership Business Meetings:  The membership will meet no less than two (2) meetings each year.  Any meeting may be called by the Elders provided that the date(s) and purpose(s) of said meeting is announced from the pulpit for no less than two (2) consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting. All church meetings will be moderated by the Chairman of the Elder Board or by his designee.   
 
  1. Special Meetings: Topics may include review the churches financial status and activities as well as vote on any budgetary changes; changes to or new ministries of the church; report on the status of members including acceptance of new members, removing members, or matters of church discipline relating to church member or leadership; and the appointment to new officers of the Church. Topics will be announced from the pulpit for no less than less two (2) consecutive Sundays.  
 
  1. Vacancy in Office: Any officer of this church or member of a committee on changing place of residence to such a location that they cannot participate in congregational life shall vacate their office.  If a member of the Elders board or committee within the church shall willfully absent himself for three consecutive regular business meetings of the board or committee, the members of the Board or committee may consider his position vacant and request the Elders to nominate a successor.  Such a nomination shall be acted upon at the next business meeting or by special meeting called by the elders of the church. 
 
  1. Termination of Indeterminate Terms of Office:  Terms of office of all church employees may be terminated by mutual agreement of two (2) weeks’ notice from the employee, or may be terminated on two (2) weeks’ notice from the Elders. 
 
  1. Quorums:  A quorum of members at any business meeting must consist of twenty percent (exception being a vote to remove the senior pastor which requires 50%).  Active members shall include those members who have completed the membership process and are regularly fulfilling their member responsibilities as outlined in the members section of this constitution. 
 
Article VII – Church Property
 
Section 1. Ownership and/or Disposal of Church Property
 
All financial gifts, equipment, physical property, land, or any other donation given to the church, or any of its ministries, becomes the sole possession of the church in perpetuity.  Members of the Church have no corporate property rights.  Upon termination of membership, they are not entitled to any personal interest in the church assets.  If the First Baptist Church of Apple Valley is ever dissolved as a corporation, all real and personal property of the church shall not benefit any private person or group.  The church will have power to buy, own, and sell real property in its own name.  If a division occurs in the church, the real property of the church will belong to those members who abide by this Constitution and Bylaws.
 
Article VIII - Amendments
 
Section 1. Proposal of Amendments:  
 
Any member may submit proposed amendments, along with the reasons and rationale, to the Elders.  The Elders shall consider proposed amendments and may request the attendance of amendment advocates to present their case. If a proposed amendment is rejected by the Elders, the proposed amendment and the Elders reason(s) for rejection shall be available to the church membership at the next regularly scheduled business meeting. Proposed amendments shall be submitted to the church membership by the Elders (or by written appeal of ten or more members in the case of an adverse decision of the Elders) to be voted on at the next business meeting.
 
Section 2. Action on Amendments:  
 
Amendments to this constitution may be made at any regular business meeting of the church by vote of two-thirds of the active members present who are upholding membership responsibilities as outlined in the member section, provided that the proposed amendment has been announced from the pulpit in no less than two (2) consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting in which a vote will be made, and has been made available in writing for the members’ examination at least two weeks prior to the vote.
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CHURCH COVENANT
RCHD worships together under a covenant, or statement on how we agree to live as a church. The church covenant is equal parts promise, summary of expectations, ethical statement, and biblical standard. We summarize how we promise to live together in the covenant. It forms the ethics, or the moral principles, of our worldview and holds out a biblical standard by which we live. Our acceptance of this multifaceted document follows the practice of believers throughout the centuries who have pledged to God and one another to live out the gospel in community.
COVENANT
Believing in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, having followed Him in obedience through the waters of Baptism, desiring to live in a manner that will bring glory to Him, and having united myself with this local body of believers called Redeemer Church High Desert, I do now covenant together with them that:
 
I will seek to worship God in spirit and in truth as a continuous practice of my life. (John 4:23-24; I Thessalonians 5:17)
 
I will endeavor to give positive witness of my relationship to Jesus Christ by word and deed in every circumstance in which I am placed. (Colossians 3:17)
 
I will commit myself to a regular study of God’s word so that my mind might be renewed and my life transformed by its truths.  (II Timothy 3:15; Romans 12:1,2)
 
I will invest my finances cheerfully and sacrificially in the work of the Lord.  (Malachi 3:10; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9-8)  
 
I will involve myself lovingly in the lives of the members of this church, recognizing that we are all “one body” and desiring that we all become mature, attaining to the “whole measure of the fullness of Christ”.  (I Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 2:13; Galatians 6:1)  
 
I will make my time, energy, and personal resources available for God’s use knowing that all I am and have is simply a trust from Him. (I Corinthians 4:1-2)
 
I will refrain from any activity or practice of life that might discredit the name of Jesus, harm the temple of the Holy Spirit (my body), hinder a fellow believer, or cause my personal testimony to be compromised. (Romans 2:24; I Corinthians 6:19-20, 8:9; I Timothy 4:12b,15-16; Proverbs 23:29-35)
 
I will not turn a blind eye to sinful practices being committed by fellow members of this church but in love and meekness shall rebuke and help a stumbling brother or sister.  (Hebrews 3:12-13)
 
Lastly, I covenant that I will regard this local church and its various ministries as a sacred priority in my life granting it preeminence over all institutions and agencies of secular origin.  Upon moving from this place, I will as quickly as possible unite myself with another local church of like faith and practice.  (I Corinthians 3:16-17; I Peter 2:5,9; Hebrews 10:25)
STATEMENT OF FAITH
From the time of the Apostles to today, Christians have laid out doctrine (beliefs) in brief, definitive statements. As those who know God, we believe it necessary to set forth in a concise fashion the cornerstone truths of our church as guided by Scripture. Our Statement of Faith summarizes essential Christian beliefs, shows unity in Christ, and guards the church from error.
All who join RCHD are required to affirm the RCHD Statement of Faith. Once we as members agree to the statement, we are responsible for believing and living in accordance with it.
 
RCHD STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Scriptures
 
We believe the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, complete as a revelation of God’s will for salvation, and the supreme and final authority in all matters to which they speak. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:4; John 10:35b; Proverbs 30:5-6)  
 
God and the Holy Trinity
 
We believe in one God, creator and sustainer of all things, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that these are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption. (Ephesians 4:4-6; John 1:1-3; John 14:9-11, 16-17, 26; Mark 1:9-11)  
 
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love.  
 
We believe He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (John 4:24; John 3:16; Matthew 6:9-13; Acts 4:12; John 14:6)  
 
We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s only son, and has precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.  
 
We believe further that He is not only true God, but true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.  
 
We also believe in His sinless life, His substitutionary atonement, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and His priestly intercession on behalf of His people. (Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:14; John 1:1-14; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 9:11-15, 24-28; Titus 2:11-14; Acts 1:1-11; I Corinthians 15:3-8, 12-28; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:1-6)  
 
We believe in the Holy Spirit, His personality, and His work in regeneration, sanctification, and preservation.  His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and implement Christ’s work of redeeming the lost and empowering the believer for godly living and service. (John 16:7-11; Romans 8:1-17; Titus 3:4-7)  
 
Fall of Man
 
We believe God created man, male and female, in the image of God and free from sin.  We further believe man is a sinner by nature and choice, and is therefore spiritually dead.  We also believe that those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, profess faith in Jesus Christ, and repent of sin are redeemed from this spiritual death. (Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:10-20, 23; Romans 5:12, 17, 19; Romans 6:23; Acts 2:21,38; Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 1:13-14)  
 
Salvation
 
We believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  We further believe that this salvation is based upon the sovereign grace of God and was paid for by the death of Christ on the cross and is received by man through faith, apart from any human merit, works, or ritual.  We further believe salvation results in righteous living, good works, and proper social concern.  (Ephesians 2:1-9; James 2:14-26; James 1:27)  
 
The Individual Christian
 
We believe that the supreme task of every believer is to glorify God; that their conduct should be blameless before the world; that they should be faithful stewards of their possessions; and that they should seek to realize for themselves the full stature of maturity in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3-4; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Peter 2:12; Malachi 3:10; II Corinthians 8:7; Ephesians 4:13-16; Genesis 2:18-25)  
 
Marriage
 
We believe that marriage is a gift from God and finds it’s only true meaning as laid out by God in the scriptures.  Marriage, as instituted by God, is the joining of one biological man and one biological woman in an exclusive union. (Genesis 2:19-25; Matthew 19:4-6).
 
We believe that God’s purposes in instituting marriage include the mutual help of husband and wife, procreation, and the prevention of certain forms of immorality.  As such we believe that sexual intimacy only rightly exists within the union of marriage as instituted by God and that this union is to be held in honor and kept pure. We believe that the marriage of believers is to be a God glorifying illustration of Christ and His Church (Genesis 1:28, 2:18; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 9; Ephesians 5:31-32; Hebrews 13:4)  
 
 
The Church
 
We believe that the church is the spiritual body of which Christ is the head.  We believe that the true church is composed of all persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, have professed faith in Jesus Christ, and have repented of sin.  We believe that this body expresses itself in local assemblies whose members have been immersed upon a credible confession of faith and have associated themselves for worship, for instruction, for evangelism, and for service.  We believe that each local church is self-governing in function, and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority.  
 
We believe the ordinances of the local church are believer’s baptism by immersion, and the Lord’s supper.  (Matthew 16:16-18; I Corinthians 12:12-30; Matthew 28:18-20; I Corinthians 3:16-1711:23-32)  
 
The Great Commission
 
We believe that the Great Commission given by the Lord Jesus in Matt. 28:18-20, to make disciples of people from all nations and baptize them is a command to everyone who is a part of the Body of Christ. We are called to proclaim the gospel to every tribe, tongue, people and nation and teach them the full counsel of God. We are then to gather them into local bodies of believers (churches) so that they can live a vibrant and obedient life within the body of Christ and fulfill the ministry God has given them. We believe in praying for, raising up and sending out believers onto the mission field in fulfillment of this Great Commission (Acts 1:8; Rev. 5:9; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Peter 4:7-11; Romans 12:1-13; Luke 10:2; Romans 10:14-15).
 
The World to Come
 
We believe in Christ’s personal, visible, future return from heaven; the bodily resurrection of the saved and lost; the eternal existence of all men either in heaven or hell; in divine judgments, rewards and punishments.  (Hebrews 9:27; II Corinthians 5:10; John 14:1-4; Revelation 20-22).