Church Charter

I. General provisions.

1.1 The First Russian Baptist Church (hereinafter referred to as the Church) is a voluntary association of Evangelical Christian Baptists (ECB).

1.2 The basis of our faith is the Bible (the canonical books of Holy Scripture), as the only, complete and complete revelation of God. What we believe and what we teach is summarized in the  Doctrine of ECB .

1.3 The Church adheres to the biblical principle of respect for the laws and Constitution of the country (Rom.13:1-7; Tit.3:1-2; Acts.5:29).

II . The goals and objectives of the church.

  • Praise God

  • Gospel preaching

  • Missionary service and evangelism

  • Prayer Ministry

  • Devotion to God, striving to do His will in everything

  • Spiritual education of believers in growth in piety and holiness

  • Strengthening the Christian Family

  • Strengthening youth and children in Christian truth

  • Performing works of mercy and charity

  • Strengthening spiritual unity and Christian love among church members

  • God-pleasing relationships with other ECB churches

  • Preservation of Church Members from Heretical and False Teachings

III . Church activities.

3.1. For joint worship of God and spiritual fellowship of believers, the church holds regular liturgical meetings on Sunday and during the week.

3.2. Holding solemn liturgical meetings on the following Christian holidays:

  • Nativity of Jesus Christ

  • Baptism of Jesus Christ

  • Candlemas

  • Annunciation

  • Solemn Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem

  • Holy Thursday

  • Easter - Resurrection of Jesus Christ

  • Ascension of Jesus Christ

  • Trinity - Descent of the Holy Spirit

  • Transfiguration

  • Harvest - Thanksgiving

  • New Year's Eve

3.3. Funeral services and burial.

3.4. The church may hold evangelistic events, seminars, courses, youth, women's and other meetings.

3.5. The church can organize Sunday schools for all ages, Bible study classes, choirs, orchestras, Christian holiday camps, libraries, audio-video studios;

3.6. The church can organize missions and charitable foundations; establish affiliated churches. Their creation should be carried out with the consent of the Brethren Council and the church. Their activity should not contradict the Word of God and this Charter.

3.7. The church may have missionaries and evangelists. Provide material assistance to churches, take on the maintenance of missionaries.

3.8. The Church can have Christian educational, theological and other educational institutions, publish spiritual literature, use the media to spread the Word of God, record and broadcast liturgical meetings.

3.9. The Church can cooperate and have spiritual fellowship with other ECB churches. To have the right to join a union or association related to it by faith, as well as to withdraw from such by decision and consent of at least 75% of the votes of the membership meeting of the church.

IV  The structure of the church. The order of election and responsibility of ministers of the church.

4.1. Meeting of church members .

4.1.1 The membership meeting is the decisive body of the church, and makes the final decision on the issues proposed to it.

4.1.2. The local church is self-governing. Decisions made at a church membership meeting cannot be annulled by anyone without the consent of the church.

4.1.3. The main spiritual, financial, economic issues of the church are accepted by the consent of 75% of the votes of the membership meeting of the church.

4.1.4. Regular membership meetings are held at least once every three months, and as needed.

The membership meeting is announced a week in advance.

4.1.5. The reporting-annual membership meeting is held in the first quarter of the year, in which the report of the material ministry of the church is made.

4.2. The procedure for the election and approval of ministers of the church.

4.2.1. Ministers are chosen by the church, in accordance with the teachings of Christ and the apostles, standing firm in the faith, observing sound doctrine, preserving the unity of the church, and consecrating themselves to the service of God. (1 Timothy 3:1-13).

4.2.2. All who serve in the church, whether as officials or on councils, must be members of the local church.

4.2.3. Ordained ministers who have arrived in the church can be elected to the diaconal ministry after a year of stay in the church, to the presbyter - after three years.

4.2.4. The responsible presbyter, presbyters, evangelists, deacons will be considered elected, having collected 75% of the votes from those present at the membership meeting. The method of electing ministers is by secret ballot.

4.2.5. The selection and consideration of candidates should be carried out by the fraternal council of the church. Any member of the church also has the right to nominate candidates. The election is held at a membership meeting announced at least a week in advance.

4.2.6. Ministers who have been ordained and have not received a sufficient number of votes to confirm their ministry in this church may be called to the priesthood at the discretion of the responsible presbyter.

4.3. Responsible pastor of the church .

4.3.1. For the daily ministry and conduct of church affairs, the church elects a responsible elder.

4.3.2. The candidate for the office of responsible pastor must be from among the approved elders of the church.

4.3.3. The fraternal council, having considered all the proposals, must submit one name for the vote of the church. Having collected 75% of the votes from the number of those present at the membership meeting, the minister begins to serve.

4.3.4. If a candidate does not receive 75% of the votes, another candidate is nominated. If that candidate did not get 75% of the votes and there is no other candidate, then the one who received more votes is considered elected to the ministry of the responsible presbyter.

4.3.5. The responsible presbyter is accountable to the church. At the discretion of the church, may be on its content.

4.3.6. The responsible presbyter is the spiritual leader of the church: he is responsible for liturgical meetings and the spiritual education of church members. Together with other ministers, he performs the ordinances of the Lord and the sacred rites.

4.3.7. The responsible presbyter conducts membership educational meetings; conversations with deacons, preachers, evangelists, choir directors, youth, children, Sunday school teachers responsible for the ministry of evangelism, charity and mercy, and other conversations.

4.3.8. The responsible presbyter represents the interests of the church and believers before the authorities, Christian unions and other churches.

4.4. The procedure for the re-election of the responsible presbyter.

4.4.1. The responsible presbyter is elected for a term of three years.

4.4.2. At the reporting-annual membership meeting, the church votes for his candidacy. Having collected 75% of the votes of those present at the membership meeting, the responsible presbyter is approved for the next term.

4.4.3. If the responsible presbyter did not get 75% of the votes, then another candidate is nominated. If the candidate did not receive 75% of the votes, then the one who received the most votes is considered elected to the ministry of the responsible presbyter.

4.4.4. If the responsible presbyter intends to leave the ministry of the responsible presbyter, then another candidate must be prepared for the re-election meeting. If a candidate does not receive 75% of the votes, then another candidate is nominated. If that candidate did not get 75% of the votes, then the one who received more votes will be considered elected to the ministry of the responsible elder.

4.4.5. The Responsible Elder continues to serve as the Responsible Elder until he is re-elected by another.

4.5. Church deacons.

4.5.1. The deacons of the church help the responsible presbyter in all matters of the spiritual life of the church.

  • To Be Employees of a Responsible Elder in the Spiritual Service

  • Help in carrying out gospel ordinances

  • Visiting the sick and needy

  • Responsibility for the material and economic ministry and order in the church.

4.6. Council of ordained ministers of the  church .

  • Consists of church-approved presbyters and deacons,

  • Responsible for counseling in the church.

4.7. Church council.

4.7.1. From among the presbyters, deacons, secretary, and those responsible for various ministries in the church, a church council is formed, headed by a responsible presbyter.

4.7.2. The approval of the members of the church council, the audit committee, trustees, the cashier and the secretary, are carried out at the membership meeting, upon receipt by the candidate (s) of 75% of the votes from among those present.

4.7.3. The cashier of the church, the secretary, the audit commission and its chairman are reapproved at the reporting and re-election meeting of the church and, if necessary, are re-elected.

4.7.4. The church may employ members of the church to perform both spiritual service and for the economic maintenance of the activities of the church.

4.8. Brotherly Council.

4.8.1. If necessary, a church council meets with the participation of all brothers participating in the life of the church.

4.8.2. The fraternal and church councils have the authority to resolve all kinds of spiritual and administrative issues between business membership meetings.

4.9. Secretary and his duties .

  • The secretary keeps records of all minutes of church board meetings and business meetings of the church

  • Keeps a register of members of the church

  • Prepares required documents

  • Replies to emails

4.10. Cashier and  with an even commission  .

4.10.1. After each collection of donations,  the cashier and the counting commission calculate and account for material resources.

4.10.2. The cashier keeps a record of all donations, deposits money in the bank, performs all financial transactions, provides information about the funds to the church council and the audit commission.

4.11. Audit committee.

4.11.1. To check the economic and financial activities of the church, an audit commission and its chairman are elected.

4.11.2. The audit of funds and material assets is carried out by the audit commission at least once a year. The results of the audit are approved at the membership meeting.

4.12. Trustees (trustees, trustees) of the church.

4.12.1. The church selects three trustees to represent them as legal, church officials.

4.12.2. By the decision of the church, they sign legal documents for the sale, purchase, lease of property of the church, and other legal documents accepted by the church.

4.12.3. Each trustee serves for six years. On a rotational basis, a new trustee is elected every two years.

4.13. Release from service.

4.13.1. Any of the ministers (presbyters, deacons, members of the church council and other members of the church who serve and work in the church) can be released from service.

  • Take it with age, for health reasons, or for personal reasons.

  • By decision in the church for unsatisfactory performance of the ministry, or unworthy behavior.

  • In case of deviation into heresy or fall into sin, they should be removed from service.

V. _ Structure and discipline of the church

5.1. Church membership.

5.1.1. The church unites Evangelical Christian Baptists (ECB); those who believed, were reborn, who received holy water baptism as adults by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and who keep the gospel way of life.

5.1.2. Church members who have arrived from other ECB churches can be accepted into the local church by declaring their desire and expressing their agreement with this charter. Based on a written testimonial from the church from which they dropped out, or an oral testimonial from members of this local church.

5.1.3. New converts, having experienced the new birth, become members of the church by receiving water baptism by faith. Candidates for baptism undergo preparatory interviews and testing before the church.

5.1.4. Ordained ministers who come from other churches are accepted as members of the church, and at the discretion of the responsible presbyter, may take part in the service.

5.1.5. Admission to the membership of the local church who came from other denominations or excommunicated, is decided by discussion at the church council, with the approval of the decision at the membership meeting of the church.

5.1.6. The church decides on membership by an open vote with the consent of 75% of the votes.

5.2. Withdrawal or loss of membership.

5.2.1. A church member has the right to leave the local church, in connection with moving to a new place of residence or moving to another doctrinally related church, by declaring his decision in the church.

5.2.2. A church member temporarily leaving for more than three months must report this to the church, and may be removed from the list of church members.

5.2.3. If a church member, without a valid excuse, does not attend meetings, and does not participate in the Lord's Supper for more than six months, he loses his church membership.

5.2.4. Conscious deviation from the teachings of ECB leads to the loss of church membership.

5.2.5. Members of this church cannot be:

  • drinking alcohol (including beer); tobacco; drugs;

  • allowing adultery or premarital sex in their lives;

  • living in same-sex marriage or other sexual perversions;

  • practicing the occult of every kind;

( Deut. 18:9-12), (Gal. 5.19-21), (Eph. 5.3-5), (Lev. 18:22-30; Rom. 1.26-32), (Rev. 21.8).

The church has the right to excommunicate any member of the church who is and lives in sins of this kind.

5.3. Church discipline.

5.3.1. The main place of Christian education is the family:

  • The head of the family (husband) is responsible for the spiritual and material condition of the entire family;

  • Spiritual and physical measures of education must comply with the Holy Scriptures and the Gospel standards of life. (Eph. 6:1-4; Prov. 29:15,17).

5.3.2. The responsible presbyter, together with the ministers of the church, is responsible for the spiritual upbringing of church members:

  • They conduct spiritually instructive membership meetings and individual spiritual and educational work.

  • They may ask for an account from church members for their behavior at home, in the family, at work, in public places;

  • Have the right to delve into conflict situations of church members or their families;

  • Church members who violate biblical principles may be subject to ecclesiastical education to correct them.

5.4. Measures of church education.

5.4.1. Reproof (Titus 2:15).

  • Reproof is the effort to remove a person from sin and bring him back to righteousness.

  • To convict means to reveal, to point out to the sinner his sin.

5.4.2. Exhortation (1 Tim. 1:5).

  • Exhortation - admonition in the spirit of love with appropriate arguments and evidence

  • Make every effort and means to soften the heart or clarify the matter.

5.4.3. Prohibition (2 Tim. 4:2)

  • The exhortation is accompanied by the abstinence of the exhorted from participation in the Lord's Supper.

  • Removal from ongoing service in the Church.

5.4.4. Remark (2 Thess. 3:14)

  • In fact, every sinning member is already on the notice of the church during his long exhortation, when he is already deprived of participation in the Lord's Supper and suspended from serving in the church.

  • The sinner is left under the notice of the church for a certain period, at the discretion of the church or the church council, but not more than 6 months, during which he must come to consciousness and correct himself, after which the notice is removed from him or he, in case of impenitence, is excommunicated from the church.

  • Those who are on church notice or excommunicated cannot be at church membership meetings until their membership is restored.

5.4.5. Excommunication (Mat. 16:19; 18:18)

  • Excommunication is a complete separation, the loss of all rights by a member of the church and indicates his isolation from the church.

  • Excommunication is applicable only in the case of an open and proven sin, falling away from the faith or deviation into heresy after all the gospel measures were taken to spiritually enlighten the sinner and he turned out to be incorrigible.

  • The Church makes a decision to excommunicate or take someone to notice, by open vote with the consent of 75% of the votes.

5.4.6. Repentance of the Excommunicated and Ways of Their Return to the Church.

  • The one who has been excommunicated and repented before the Lord of his sin, until his return to the church, remains deprived of fraternal fellowship and practically bears punishment.

  • After his repentance, the church council has the right to set a certain period for testing the sincerity of his repentance and, after verifying this, the church decides to restore his membership.

VI . Rights and obligations of a church member.

6.1. The right and responsibility of every church member:

  • attend meetings;

  • Participate in the Lord's Supper;

  • Vote in all elections and ecclesiastical decisions;

  • Take part in worship;

  • Engage in meaningful material service.

6.2. A church member should strive to fulfill personal Christian duties:

  • Read the Bible; prays; strive for spiritual growth and sanctification.

  • Have brotherly relationships with church members and participate in the life of the church.

  • Be diligent in fulfilling your obligations and promises.

  • Set a Christian example for others.

  • When moving to another area, join a related church in terms of doctrine.

  • The outward appearance of a church member should be as befitting a saint, not worldly (Tit. 2:3, 1 Tim. 2:9).

  • A married sister must have a veil during worship according to (1 Cor. 11:3-16).

6.3. Responsibility of a member of the church in the execution of civil laws:

6.3.1. On the basis of the Bible, a member of the church is called to be conscientious in the performance of his civic duties and respectful to the appointed authorities: (1 Pet.2:13-21; Rom.13:1-7; Tit.3:1.).

6.3.2. Members of the local church, based on Christian beliefs, have an agreement that we cannot use weapons against others under any circumstances. The Bible says, "Thou shalt not kill" (Deut. 5:17), therefore, based on the Word of God and our faith, we cannot raise any weapon to encroach on someone's life.

6.3.3. Based on the Bible and our faith, we cannot make oaths (Matt. 5:34-37).

VII . Ordinances of the Lord and sacred rites in the church.

7.1. Water baptism.

  • Is the fulfillment of the commandment of Jesus Christ (Matt. 28:19)

  • Performed on a sincerely repentant and reborn person who wants to become a member of the church

  • It is performed by faith, by complete immersion in water, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

  • After baptism, prayer is performed over those who have received baptism with the laying on of hands, and the Lord's Supper is administered.

  • Allowed upon reaching the age of 16. With an age of less than 16 years, each case is considered by the ministers of the church separately.

7.2. Lord's Supper.

  • There is a remembrance and proclamation of the death and suffering of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 11:23-29).

  • It is celebrated by ordained ministers every first Sunday of the month and on Holy Thursday before Easter.

  • The Lord's Supper can be attended by all members of the church who retain their Christian dignity and who are not under ecclesiastical reprimand or excommunication.

  • If a member of the church, due to health reasons, cannot attend meetings for a long time, then he can request that he be attended with the Supper.

  • Church members present at the meeting, guests from other churches related to us by faith, as members of the church, may also participate in the Supper.

7.3. Ordination of ministers.

  • It is performed on ministers chosen by the church. According to (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Tit. 1:5-9), it is performed by elders to serve as a presbyter, deacon, or evangelist.

7.4. Marriage.

  • According to the Bible, marriage is a family union of one man and one woman (Mark 10:6-9; 1Cor.7:2).

  • Church members who decide to marry, having mutual consent of the parents, apply to the responsible elder of the church.

  • The responsible presbyter, together with the ministers, after an interview, introduces the bride and groom of the church.

  • Church members who have remarks about those entering into marriage should report this to the responsible elder.

  • At the time of the marriage, those entering into marriage are given instruction and prayer is performed with the laying on of hands.

  • If non-members of the church enter into marriage, then prayer is performed without the laying on of hands.

  • The marriage of a member of the church must be performed according to the Word of God and according to the Will of God (1 Cor. 7:39; Heb. 13:4).

  • A church member must marry a member of a local church, or doctrinal sister church.

  • Scripture condemns marriage with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 John 2:15-17).

  • The Word of God forbids divorce, and if someone gets divorced, he calls not to remarry, but to be reconciled (1 Corinthians 7:10-11).

  • Each individual case, the marriage of a church member to an unbeliever, or a divorce, must be considered by the ministers of the church, with the application of measures of church education.

7.5. Blessing  of children.

  • The blessing of children with the laying on of hands is done at the request of the parents in accordance with the example left by Jesus Christ (Mark 10:13-16).

  • Done by an ordained minister in a church or home.

7.6. Prayer for the sick.

  • It is performed, according to the Word of God, by the elders of the church at the request and faith of the patient.

  • It can be performed with the laying on of hands or with anointing with oil in the name of the Lord (Mark 6.13; 16.18; James 5.14).

7.7.  Consecration  of prayer houses  . 1 Kings 9:3.

  • All newly built and overhauled church premises where services will be held are subject to consecration and dedication to the Lord.

  • When the church premises are consecrated, a solemn meeting is announced, at which the passages of Scripture are read according to the topic, after which the presbyters go out before the people and, raising their hands, make prayers. It is desirable that two or three elders participate in the prayer.

  • Church members who have built or purchased a home may invite ministers to dedicate it.

VIII . Property; economic and financial activities of the church.

8.1. The Church has movable and immovable property; cash; checking accounts, and forms.

8.2. The property and funds of the church are formed from voluntary donations.

8.3. The funds of the church are spent on the maintenance of prayer houses, payment of spiritual and economic workers of the church, on the work of evangelism, charity, mercy, and other needs.

8.4. All economic and financial issues are considered and resolved at the church council and, if necessary, submitted for approval by the church.

IX . Adoption of the charter; procedure for making changes and additions.

9.1. This charter, additions and changes to it, are adopted at the membership meeting of the church, with the approval of 75% of the votes of those present.

9.2. Each amendment or addition to the charter is considered at the fraternal council and submitted in writing to church members at least two weeks in advance.

x . The order of the reorganization of the church.

10.1. The reorganization or termination of the activities of the church can occur:

  • By joining another church,

  • Common outlet for founding another church.

10.2. Termination of the activity of the church can occur only by decision of the meeting of church members with the participation in the voting of at least two-thirds of the list of the church with the approval of at least 75% of the votes of those present.

10.3. In case of termination of the activities of the local church;

  • The leased property is returned to the owners,

  • Existing loans paid off

  • The remaining funds and property may not be distributed to individuals, but transferred to another related church or union, in accordance with the requirements of the US Internal Code of 1954 (part 501 (c) 1, 3).