Constitution and Statement of Faith
Also available in PDF format
ARTICLE I (NAME)
The name of this organization shall be the WESTERN CANADA BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP (hereafter WCBF).
ARTICLE II (PURPOSE)
The purpose shall be to provide fellowship among the Baptist churches, pastors and missionaries of western Canada that are in full agreement with the doctrinal statement set forth in ARTICLE II, SECTION 2, and to stimulate a common vision, a common enthusiasm and a common commitment among fellowshipping churches in the advancement of the common task of evangelistic and missionary endeavours.
We believe that Scriptural fellowship encourages believers to live a holy life in submission to the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, that it promotes a godly forbearance of each other’s’ differences of conviction, and that it is marked by a desire to hold one another willingly accountable in love to live godly in Christ Jesus until He comes. It is the purpose of the WCBF to promote such fellowship.
We believe that a limited organizational structure is needed to provide fellowship among Biblical, Baptistic, separatist local churches, to unite the testimony of our churches in these days of apostasy and departure from the clear teachings of the Scriptures, to protect our churches from the ecumenical movement and from possible future government action against “Isolationist” churches, and to oppose the spread of New Evangelicalism and Charismaticism while ensuring each local congregation of full liberty and autonomy.
We adopt the following Doctrinal Statement:
1. We believe that the Bible, sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is without error in its original writing, that its author was God using Spirit-guided men, and that it is verbally and plenarily inspired, the only authority for faith and conduct. (Prov. 30:5,6; John 17:17; II Peter 1:19-21; Acts 3:21; Heb. 1:1-3; II Sam. 23:2; I Cor. 2:13,14; II Tim. 3:15-16; Matt. 5:18; II Peter 3:15-16; Acts 17:11; I John 4:1)
2. We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, eternal, self-existing, perfect Spirit. He is a personal Being, the creator and upholder of the universe. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection but having distinct work. (Deut. 6:4,5; Jer. 10:10; John 4:24; James 1:17; Heb. 3:4; Ps. 139:1-16; Matt. 28:19; Matt. 3:16; Ps. 2:2; Isa. 63:10; John 10:30; Phil. 2:5,6; I Cor. 8:6; John 3:16; John 15:26)
3. We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God, very deity Himself, conceived by the Holy Spirit, of virgin birth, who assumed human nature without sin and lived a perfect life, shed His precious blood on the cross, arose bodily from the grave, and ascended to reign in heaven. We believe in His personal, pre-tribulational, pre-millennial appearance to rapture the church, His bride. His righteous judgments will then be poured out on an unbelieving world until the physical return of Jesus Christ to the earth in great glory to introduce His earthly reign in the Davidic kingdom, during which Satan will be bound and the curse will be lifted from the physical creation for a millennium. Following the judgment the bodies and souls of the wicked shall be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire. (Acts 1:10,11; Acts 2:22,36; Matt. 1:18; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:14; John 1:12,13; John 17:1-26; II Cor. 5:8; I Cor. 15:51-57; Titus 2:13; I Thess. 4:14-17; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 19:11-16; Rom.11:26,27; Rev. 20:2,3,11-15)
4. We believe in the Holy Spirit whose work it is to convince the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, and to regenerate the sinner and seal, indwell, empower, comfort, and sanctify those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour. We do not believe that “speaking in tongues” is a sign of regeneration, or receiving the Holy Spirit, or of sanctification, nor is the New Testament gift of tongues evident today, but has ceased. (John 14:16,17,26; John 15:26; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:3,4; Acts 5:30-32; Rom. 8:14,16,27; I Cor. 12:13; Eph. 4:30; Eph. 5:17,18; II Pet. 1:20,21)
5. We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively. We believe that the six days of creation were solar, twenty-four hour days; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law is that they bring forth only “after their kind,” that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness without evolving from any lower form of life. (Gen. 1:26-28; Gen 2:7,18-24; Matt. 19:4; I Thess. 5:23)
6. We believe that man, although created without sin, by one transgression fell so that all mankind are now sinners by state, disposition, choice, and act and are justly under condemnation. To everyone the blessings of salvation are freely offered in the Gospel, and it is the duty of everyone to accept Jesus Christ as Saviour by penitent and obedient faith. We believe that all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are justified, their sin is forgiven and the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed to them. They are regenerated (born again) and grow in grace; they shall persevere to the end and shall rejoice forever in the presence of our great God. (Gen. 3:1-24; Gen 5:3; Eph. 2:3; Rom. 3:23; Rom. 5:12; Rom. 1:18; Rom. 3:19; Rom. 3:24; Rom. 6:23; John 3:16-18; John 6:28,29; Acts 16:30,31; Eph. 2:8,9; I John 5:13; Gal. 3:26; John 5:24; Eph. 1:3; II Pet. 1:3; John 10:27-30)
7. We believe that a local, visible church is a congregation of baptized believers associated together by a common faith and fellowship in the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ and governed by His Word, seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth, and that its only Scriptural officers are pastors and deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. (Heb. 10:25; Acts 2:41-47; Matt. 28:20; I Cor. 11:17-22; I Cor. 1:2)
8. We believe that the local visible church of Christ is a voluntary and independent autonomous group of baptized believers; that it is an obedient theocracy which organically must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority or patronage, and that it has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament. Each congregation recognizes its own self-contained government, obedient to the Holy Scriptures as its highest authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ who is its head. (Matt. 18:15-18; I Cor. 5:4,5,13; I Tim. 3:15; Jude 3; Rev. 2 and 3; Acts 6:3-5)
9. We believe the Scriptures teach total and complete separation from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy such as is seen within the World Council of Churches and its Canadian Council of Churches, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Charismatic Movement, and others. The Scriptures teach that we are to try them, mark them, rebuke them, have no fellowship, withdraw ourselves, have no company with them, and separate from them. (I John 4:1; Rom. 16:17; Titus 1:13; Eph. 5:11; II Thess. 3:6,14; II John 10,11; II Cor. 6:17; Titus 3:10)
Nothing in this Constitution may be construed to infringe in any way upon the complete independence and autonomy of the affiliated church.
ARTICLE III (AFFILIATES)
The affiliates of the Fellowship shall consist of:
A. Baptist churches within western Canada that are in full agreement with the statement of purpose and faith as set forth in ARTICLE II.
B. Pastors and missionaries of developing churches who are in full agreement with the statement of purpose and faith as found in ARTICLE II.
Churches or individuals desiring to affiliate with the Fellowship shall apply in writing to the executive committee and shall be received into membership by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the pastors present and voting at the next annual meeting.
Any fellowshipping church or individual, ceasing to be in agreement with the statement of faith and purpose of this Fellowship, shall withdraw by notifying the executive committee in writing.
ARTICLE IV (OFFICES)
The executive officers of the Fellowship shall be: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Area Representatives as each is deemed necessary.
The executive committee shall consist of the officers of the Fellowship as listed in SECTION 1.
A. This committee shall carry forward the will of the constituency between the meetings of the Fellowship. All policies and actions shall be subject to review by the constituency at the Annual Meetings.
B. The committee shall bring recommendations to the Fellowship.
C. The committee shall meet a minimum of three times a year including a meeting at the time of the Annual Meeting. Special meetings may be called at any time by the President and two other members, or by a majority of the committee members.
D. The committee shall have the authority to fill offices made vacant by departure, death, resignation or cessation of fellowship, with such appointments to continue until the next Annual Meeting.
Area Representatives, as they are deemed necessary, shall be elected at the Annual Meeting to represent geographical areas as determined by the executive committee and approved by the constituency.
The executive officers and area representatives shall be elected bi-annually and shall hold office for two years. The President, Treasurer, and Western Representatives shall be elected on an odd year basis while the Vice President, Secretary and Eastern Representatives shall be elected on an even year basis. No person shall hold office for more than two consecutive terms without sitting out for a year.
All officers shall be pastors of churches affiliated with the Western Canada Baptist Fellowship. All officers appointed to office must present the written approval of the respective local churches before assuming office.
Nominations for executive offices shall be received from the constituency one month prior to the annual meeting.
ARTICLE V (ADDITIONAL COMMITTEES)
Special committees shall be created as the constituency shall decide at any Annual Meeting.
ARTICLE VI (MEETINGS)
There shall be an Annual Meeting of the Fellowship held in the Fall of each year.
The Executive Committee may call a special meeting of the Fellowship by a two-thirds majority vote, with written notice stating the purpose to be given to members forty-five (45) days in advance of the meeting.
The President of the Executive Committee shall preside at all meetings of the Fellowship and the Executive Committee.
The Vice-President shall serve in the absence of the President.
The Secretary shall keep a complete, faithful, and permanent record of all actions of the Fellowship as well as the minutes of the Executive Committee.
The Treasurer shall receive, disburse, and record all moneys as directed by the Executive Committee and ratified by the constituency. Annual conference expenses and honorarium shall be taken from the free offerings collected at the conference meetings, and any shortfall should be taken from the WCBF account.
The Area Representatives shall develop fellowship for the pastors and wives in their area through regular contact and meetings geared toward orientation, information, assistance, growth and encouragement. They shall develop friendships with other Independent Baptist churches in their area that are not affiliated and to encourage them to fellowship with us. Though being opposed to any intrusive or denominational overlordship, the Area Representatives do want to be available to help.
Quorum: The Executive Committee shall proceed with its business upon the attendance of two-thirds of its members. A fifty percent representation of all the churches and/or pastors of the Fellowship is required as a quorum at the Annual or Special meetings to carry on the work of the Fellowship.
All business of the Fellowship shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order (Latest Edition) and be under the direction of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VII (AMENDMENTS)
This Constitution may be amended by an affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the voting affiliates present and voting at the Annual Meeting. No pro-posed amendments will be acted upon unless due notice is mailed to each fellowshipping church by the Secretary not less than sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting.