Article I

STATEMENTS OF PURPOSE

  1. Church MinistryBased upon our understanding of the Bible as God’s holy, inerrant, infallible and immutable Word, we the people of Three Rivers Baptist Church believe that we, as a local church, are a called out body of Believers established by God for His pleasure and glory. Our foundational purpose is to glorify God by obeying His Word, which declares that we as His people have various privileges and duties, with responsibilities toward both God and Man:

    A. God’s Word
    This Church shall strive to proclaim and protect the whole counsel of God’s Word, by proclaiming the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, by establishing and teaching sound doctrine, and by exhorting individuals and families to engage in and promote the personal study of God’s Word, for through these means we guard the truth entrusted to us for this and following generations.

    B.Worship
    This Church desires to offer up to God the worship that He so richly deserves as our Creator, Savior, and Lord, humbly worshiping Him in spirit and truth with a desire to please Him.

    The word of God prompts us to worship Him in many ways: praising Him in word and song, with instruments; through prayer and thanksgiving, through joyful giving, and through our loving obedience in all things.

    An important part of our worship is keeping the two ordinances which Christ Jesus gave us: the baptism of believers as a testimony of salvation, and the celebration of the Lord’s supper as a proclamation of the Lord’s death until He comes again. In all these things we confess that God alone is worthy of our worship, and that we are to worship no other.

    C. One Another
    This Church is to build up and protect one another through discipline and training; meeting each other’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs; meeting together regularly; avoiding and settling disputes; purifying itself by exercising discipline; and through praying for, encouraging , and loving one another.

    D. Making Disciples
    This Church as a body of individuals, is to make disciples by teaching and exempting the Word of God so that believers grow in their love of Christ, in their obedience to His word, in their anticipation of His return, and in their ability and desire to proclaim His gospel. Those whom God saves we are to baptize and bring into the body so that they also may grow and make disciples.

    E. In the World
    This Church shall minister both spiritually and physically to fellow-believer and the strangers in our midst, as well as to the world-at-large, especially to widows, orphan, prisoners, the poor, and the sick. This Church must also be an example to the community, as demonstrated in our relationships with our families, employers and employees , as well as in our obedience to leaders in governments and in the Church.

  2. Legal Responsibility
    The civil authority that God has appointed over us recognizes this Church as a legal entity subject to certain laws and regulations. One privilege we enjoy as a non-profit corporation is a tax-exempt status. At this time this privilege has no conditions that prevent us from carrying out the purposes of the Church.

    Therefore:

    This Church shall at all times be operated so as to be consistent with the requirements of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and any regulations promulgated thereunder or the corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws. No part of net earnings, gains, profits or dividends shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, deacons, officers, elders, or other private persons, except that reasonable compensation for services rendered, and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth above. The private property of the incorporators, elders, and officers, shall not be subject to the payment of corporate debts to any extent whatever, in furtherance of and not in limitation of the powers conferred by statute; this Church is expressly authorized to on its business and to hold annual or special meetings of its Board of Elders in any of the states, territories or possessions of the United States, or the District of Columbia. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, this Church shall not conduct or carry on any activities not permitted to be conducted or carried on by an organization exempt under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.

    In the event of dissolution of this Church, its assets remaining after payment, or provision of payment of all debts and liabilities of this Church, shall be distributed exclusively for religious purposes to one or more churches or organizations of like faith, which are then exempt from deferral tax under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws and to which contributions are then deductible under 170(c)(2) of such code or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.

    Should there come a time when the conditions of maintaining our tax-exempt status would prevent us from carrying out the purposes of the Church, we must obey God rather than man, and, therefore, forfeit our tax-exempt status.