name of this local body of believers is Cornerstone Evangelical Free
Church, founded on July 4, 1993, and admitted into the Eastern District
of the EFCA on October 21, 1993.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Cornerstone
of our lives, both individually and collectively, and that all matters
concerning our faith and fellowship must center on Him and His
infallible Word if we are to be healthy members of His body.
Psalm 118:22; Matthew 21:42;
Ephesians 2:20; I Peter 2:7-8.
Our purpose is to...
We, as a congregation, are committed to:
...build up and equip the community of believers, and
...tell others about Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
- ...the centrality of Jesus Christ.
"He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might have the
We focus on Christ, His model and His teachings, as the basis for our conduct, relationships, decision-making and leadership
"In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
demonstrate our dependence on the Lord Jesus by making prayer a
priority, both personally in our daily schedules, and collectively
on a weekly basis.
- ...the family.
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Fathers,
...bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
Ephesians 5:21, 6:1,4
We will make the spiritual health of our families a priority through
mutual encouragement and accountability. Furthermore, we teach
and share Christ's design for the family, and involve all family
members in the ongoing life of the church.
- ...the church as community.
"But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater
honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no
division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for
I Corinthians 12:24,25.
We make "community" a living reality in our body through active involvement in each other's lives, making needs known and skills
available to one another.
- ...a congregational government.
"So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together..."
We seek to make every member of the body a part of the decision-making process whenever appropriate.
- ...building the Kingdom through --
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason
for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."
I Peter 3:15
We seek to equip every believer to clearly and logically defend their
faith in Christ. We encourage every believer to joyfully share
their faith as a lifestyle.
"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will be qualified to teach
II Timothy 2:2.
We seek to involve every believer in a process of personal growth and
spiritual maturity through discipleship with one another. As
each believer is discipled, he or she should grow, in both maturity and
vision, such that each will commit to disciple still others. Thus, as
our local body grows, we may "present every man mature in Christ"
c) church planting.
"...and you shall be my witnesses in Judea, and all Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."
We believe that smaller, community-based churches can more effectively fulfill the Great Commission mandate to make disciples.
Therefore, we are committed to planting and nurturing new neighborhood churches under God's direction.
"Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age."
We seek to fulfill Christ's purpose for His church, to spread the Good News and make disciples, beginning in our community and
extending to people groups throughout the earth.
- ...a blended style of worship.
"...you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual
house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 2:5
We worship God through a combination of both traditional and
contemporary styles. Our teaching is Bible-centered, for both new and
mature believers. Our music is God-honoring, as we express the great
truths of Scripture in "psalms, hymns and spiritual songs"
"Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become
great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you
desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did
not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a
ransom for many."
Mark 10:43-45 We affirm
that the true essence of spiritual leadership is servant leadership.
The objective of our leadership in the body is to
serve, not to lord over the body. Leaders will follow Christ's example
of shepherding, guiding, and instructing the flock.
III. DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
We believe the Scriptures, the 66 books comprising the Old and New
Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the
original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the
salvation of men and the Divine and final authority for Christian faith
Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25; I Thessalonians
2:13; II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:20,21.
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy
Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 48:16; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; John 10:30; Acts 5:3,4;
II Corinthians. 13:14; Ephesians 4:6; I Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 1:8.
We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, having been
conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He
died on the cross, the sacrifice for our sins, according to the
Scriptures. Further, He was buried, arose bodily from the dead, and
He ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of God the Father, He
is now our High Priest and Advocate.
Luke 1:34,35; John 1:3,14; John 20:28; Romans 9:5; I Corinthians 15:3,4; Ephesians 4:8,9;
Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1.
4. Holy Spirit. We believe that the ministry of the
Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to
convict men, regenerate
the sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for
godly living and service.
John 3:3-6; John 15:26; John 16:7-13; Romans 8:9-1 1; I Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:22,23.
We believe that all men are created in the image of God. Through Adam,
sin entered the world and all men became sinners. Therefore,
all men are lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can
salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
Genesis 1:26,27; John 3:16; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Titus 3:5.
We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ, through His crucifixion
and His resurrection from the dead, provides the only basis
for justification and salvation for all who believe. Only those who
receive Jesus Christ are born of the Holy Spirit, and thus become
children of God.
Matthew 26:26-28; John 1:1 2,13; John 3:5-7; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:25; Romans 6:3-8; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8,9; Colossians 1:19,20; Hebrews 1:1-3; I Peter 1:3; I Peter 2:21-24.
7 . Baptism & Communion.
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances
(practices) to be observed by the Church during the present age. They
are not, however, to be regarded as means to salvation.
Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 2:38-41; Acts 4:12; Acts 8:35-38; Acts 10:44-48; Romans 6:3-6;
I Corinthians 11:23-29; I Thessalonians 5:9; Hebrews 10:11-14.
8. The Church.
We believe that the true Church is composed of all those who through
saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy
Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ, of which He is
John 17:20-23; Romans 12:4,5; I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 2:13-22; I John 1:3-7.
9. Local Church.
We believe that only those who are members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and
that every local church has the right under Christ to decide,
govern, and resolve its own affairs.
21:42; I Corinthians 3:10-11; I Corinthians 6:1-6; Ephesians 1:20-23; Ephesians 2:19-22;
Ephesians 5:22-25; I Peter 2:6.
11. Last Days.
We believe in the personal, premillennial and imminent coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ, and that the certainty of His return has a
vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
Matthew 24:30; Matt. 25:13; Titus 2:11-13; I John 3:2,3; Revelation 20:4-6.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead: of the believer to
everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord in heaven; of the
unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment in hell,
separated from God.
Luke 16:19-28; John 14:2,3; I Corinthians 15:32-58; II Corinthians 5:1; I Peter 1:3,4; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:5-8.
We believe that water baptism by immersion is to be observed by the
Church during the present age, but is not a means of salvation. Every
believer should be baptized as a public testimony to his identification
with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Participants will receive a Certificate of Baptism.
We believe that the Lord's Supper is to be observed by the Church
during the present age, but is not a means of salvation. It is
symbolic of Christ's sacrificed body and shed blood and is to be
administered in remembrance of the substitutionary suffering and
death of our Lord Jesus Christ on our behalf. It's observance is
celebrated in anticipation of His imminent coming again and is to be
preceded by prayerful self-examination.
The church is the Body of Christ, whose Head is the Lord Jesus Christ.
"From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every
supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part
does its work."(Ephesians 4:16)
We believe every member of this local body has been called by God to
exercise those gifts bestowed on him by the Holy Spirit. We
further believe that the Scriptures reveal that certain members are to
serve in leadership capacities to oversee the various functions
of the body. Thus, the church is organized into Offices, the Nominating
Committee, and Ministry Groups. The Church conducts its
ministry through regular and special meetings as defined below:
Elders shall be responsible for attending to the spiritual needs of the church through:
Each elder candidate must be called by God to this vital ministry and be willing and eager to serve, as advised in I Peter 5:2.
Elders, except the Pastor(s) shall be nominated by the Nominating
Committee (see Article V,4) and elected by at least of all votes
cast by the body -- this only after a thorough, honest and careful
evaluation of the candidate's qualifications for the office of
elder as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and
Elders shall serve for a term of two (2) years. They may then be
nominated for and serve a second term. Following the second
consecutive term, the individual must be given a minimum of a one year
hiatus before being eligible to be nominated as a candidate for
any leadership position (the exception being the Pastor(s)). Terms will
be staggered for continuity.
The elders shall meet at regularly scheduled times as well as special
times as necessary. Any member of the local body with an issue
to bring before the elders may contact any elder. Any member of the
local body with a grievance concerning an elder must follow the
steps outlined for such matters in Matthew
18:15-35 and I Timothy 5:17-19.
The required number of elders serving the body shall be left open for
the elders to determine how many are needed to accomplish the
goals and tasks set before them.
The Pastor(s) shall be an elder(s)
specifically called by God and the local body as a financially
for the congregation.
The full-time Pastor(s) role in the local body shall be understood to
be his exclusive position of employment, in consideration of a
supportable church budget; however, the pastor(s) shall not be
precluded from augmenting his income provided said augmentation:
- has been brought before and is approved by the elders.
- does not interfere with his pastoral duties.
The Pastor(s) shall be called by unanimous agreement of the Pulpit Committee, and by a 3/4 majority vote of the local body in a
specially called meeting, on the recommendation of the Pulpit Committee, which automatically becomes operational when a vacancy
exists. The Pulpit Committee shall consist of the elders (excluding Pastors), and 2 church members elected at a special
The local body shall provide the Pastor(s) with sabbatical leaves of absence, for reflection, evaluation, and revitalization.
Deacons shall be responsible for attending to the physical needs of the church through:
Deacons shall be appointed by the elders and shall serve for the
duration of their ministry and shall be reviewed annually by the
elders. Acts 6:1-7.
b. mercy ministries
c. ministry resources -- overseeing the:
- finances, [including drafting the proposed budget, in cooperation with at least one elder selected by the elders]
- facilities and
- other material items which are resources for ministry. This would include drafting the proposed budget, in cooperation with at
least one elder, selected by the elders.
Deacons shall report the status of their ministry as requested by the elders.
Stewardship Deacon or Deaconess:
The Stewardship Deacon / Deaconess shall be a deacon appointed by the
elders and responsible for overseeing the collection and
depositing of all monies, the keeping of records of all donations and
expenses, and the preparation of monthly reports for the elders
and reports for congregational meetings as necessary.
This local body shall enlist the services of a professional,
independent auditor to review the financial records of Cornerstone at
- Nominating Committee:
The nominating committee shall be appointed for one year to fulfill the
function of seeking out from among the body of believers those
who would qualify according to the following standards.
There is only one standard for leaders of God's people: blamelessness
-- that is, consistent, mature Christian living which gives no
occasion for public or private reproach. This same standard is that to
which all Christians should aspire (I Tim. 3:2; I Peter 4:15,16; Lev. 14:44,45).
|With respect to:||We take this to mean:|
|1. 'husband of one wife'||married only once, unless widowed, whether male or female.|
|2. 'not given to wine'||neither addicted to, nor under the influence of, alcohol, or any other controlled substance.|
|3. 'manages his household well'||a model of godly behavior as (where applicable) parent, spouse, and/or head of household to manage the spiritual, financial, and
emotional affairs of the home.|
- The committee shall be composed of one elder and two members of the
congregation selected at a congregational meeting. The committee's
tasks shall be as follows:
a. carefully study the biblical qualifications and pray earnestly for God's direction.
b. gather input from the membership as to who may qualify.
c. interview prospective candidates to determine if they do qualify.
d. notify the body regarding potential candidates.
e. prepare for the annual meeting.
- The committee shall be responsible for nominating elders, and next year's nominating committee members.
- A Committee Chairman shall be selected from within the committee to serve as moderator.
- No one may serve more than two consecutive years. Terms shall be staggered for continuity.
- Should an elder step down from their office during their term,
the nominating committee shall convene and present a slate of potential
candidates and an election shall be held at a specially called
- Church Secretary:
The Secretary shall be a member responsible for taking minutes at
congregational meetings, preparing certificates of baptism and
membership, and administering membership records. The Church Secretary
is appointed by the elders from the church membership.
- Ministry Groups:
We define Cornerstone's ministry groups as two or more members who
are called by God to exercise their spiritual gifts in common ministry.
Non-members may participate in any ministry group(s). New ministry
groups can be started by any member with the approval of the elders.
- Congregational Meetings:
a. Annual meeting -- the annual meeting of
the church shall be held during the month of October. This meeting
shall be for the purpose of filling all elected church offices and the
Nominating Committee, for the review and approval of the annual budget,
and for other business as may be necessary.
b. Regular meetings -- congregational meetings shall be held at least quarterly and are open to all members of the local body.
c. Special meetings -- special congregational
meetings may be held when called by the elders, or by a group of the
congregation representing at least ten percent of all voting members of
the local body. Special meetings must be publicized at least three
weeks in advance and include the purpose for such a meeting.
d. Structure -- all congregational meetings
shall be moderated by the elders, with minutes recorded by the Church
Secretary. Agenda and/or format to individual meetings is at the
discretion of the elders.
e. Quorums -- for voting purposes, a quorum
shall be defined as 51 percent of the voting membership of the church
living within a radius of 50 miles. If a quorum is present, a simple
majority is sufficient to decide all issues unless otherwise specified
elsewhere in this constitution.
f. Voting -- all voting for church offices shall
be by secret ballot. Other matters may be determined by verbal or
visual affirmation or by secret ballot at the discretion of the elders.
All persons considering membership in Cornerstone Evangelical Free
Church will receive a copy of our church constitution and attend
membership classes, in which they will become familiar with this local
body's doctrinal statement, core values, and policies and procedures.
Membership will be limited to those sixteen (16) years of age or older.
B. Membership classes shall be administered by the church leadership. A
statement acknowledging those participating in the class shall be
routinely published in the Sunday bulletin.
C. After completion of the membership classes, each applicant desiring
to become a member of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church shall sign a
statement testifying to their agreement with the church constitution,
including its doctrinal statement and core values.
D. An interview shall be convened with each applicant by two or more
elders to either review the written testimony or receive the verbal
testimony of the applicant's personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
E. After completion of the interview, applicants shall be received as
new members through the elders recommending them to the congregation
and the congregation voting them in. New members shall then be publicly
welcomed at the congregational meeting following their acceptance. New
members shall receive a certificate of membership at that service.
F. Transfer and Termination:
Each member shall express annually his or her continuation of
membership in Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church by signing a
2. Termination for conduct warranting discipline shall be handled by
the elders, based on principles of reconciliation and discipline
established in the Scriptures.
the event of dissolution of this church, all of its assets and holdings
shall be irrevocably designated by a vote of the membership for
dissolution to the Eastern District Association of the Evangelical Free
Churches of America.
This constitution may only be amended, altered, or revised at a
special meeting called for this purpose. Any proposed changes must be
publicized for at least two consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting. A
three-fourths vote of the members present is necessary for adoption.
"believe" is more than intellectually agreeing with the gospel. It is
an active trust placed in God which leads to a change of
mind and heart (repentance), and results in obedience to the will of
Last Update: 02/06/05