RULES OF DECORUM

We the Old School Baptist Church of Christ in the city of Wilmington, Delaware do reaffirm and establish this to be our covenant with God and each other on how the temporal affairs of our church should be conducted, believing all actions of the church should be in decency and in order. We acknoledge the Holy Writ to be the final authority on all scriptural and procedural matters, however for the sake of understanding, establish this to be our rule of church order.

  1. We claim to be and are the Wilmington Old School Baptist Church, New Castle County, Delaware and have through baptism been admitted to the Lord's table and are the proper successors of the congregation which established the First Baptist Church in the Borough of Wilmington, New Castle County Delaware on the 8th day of October in the year of our Lord 1785.
  2. We purpose to maintain ourselves as a church of Jesus Christ, founded in regular order and established upon principles laid down by Jesus Christ and his Apostles.
  3. We feel it necessary to establish and publish and make available to each member of the church basic principles which we feel to have been ordainded by God.
  4. We feel is necessary to meet one with aonother for the purpose of worshiping the most high God and for fellowship one with another. We feel that is necessary to meet at least once per month for this purpose and more often if convinent for the majority of members after having been decided on in regular meeting.
  5. We believe we ought to remember the Lord's passion by taking the bread and the wine in rememberance quarterly, the time of which shall be left to the discretion of the members and availability of proper administrator.
  6. We believe that church meetings should be conducted by singing, prayer and preaching, the manner of which shall be left to the discretion of the members.
  7. WE believe it necessary to hold regular conference or business meetings, at least quarterly. The time of which should be regularly announced and published to all members. Additional sessions may be held at the call of one third of the membership after giving notice of at least two weeks to the church at a regular meeting.
  8. We believe it proper to open and close business sessions with prayer.
  9. We believe is proper, that all members should have the right of freely expressing their opinion on matters under consideration, as long as they do not cast disparaging remarks on other members or personnel speaking to the church, without proof of err on the member about whom the remark was made or addressed.
  10. We believe that each member ought to contribute such sums to the church as they think proper. Such sums then will be deposited with a treasurer who shall be liable for accounting with all monies deposited with him. Such funds on account with the treasurer may be called for by a majority of the members present at regular meeting to pay such obligations as the church may enter in.
  11. We believe that the church should have at least one deacon, who shall be chosen from the male members of the church as being one described by the Apostle Paul. The membership should feel free to chose more than one deacon if the majority of the members should deem expediant. Deacons thus called and duly ordained shall serve the duration of their natural lives.
  12. We believe in necessary to have a clerk, to record the actions of the church is a book purchased for that purpose. That record shall be presented to any individual member who should desire to see the record, or shall be brought to the regular conference for examination at the call of three or more of the members. We believe that the clerk should serve at the pleasure of the church and of theirself.
  13. We believe that the church should have a pastor, who should be duly ordained Elder, meeting the qualifications sepcified by the Apostle Paul, who should be called to serve for terms of one year or longer at the discretion of the membership. The pastor will be liable for removal.
  14. We believe that the church should elect a sexton annually for maintainace of the church property, for which the sexton should be paid out of the church treasury. Unusuall maintinance shall be done collectively or contracted for and paid for by contribution or payment from the treasury, at the discretion of the majority of the members.
  15. We believe a Board of Trustees, as was organized in 1913 should be continued, and that they should oversee matters of the church's physical property. We believe that the trustees should be members or friends of the church. We reserve the right to replace members of the Board of Trustees with persons we feel will defend our property rights in the temporal world.
  16. We reserve the right to determine our membership. We believe it according to Holy Writ to accept membership by baptism by total immersion by a qualified administrator. We are willing to accept members by letter from another church of like faith and discipline, having been dismissed by their original church by favorable letter of recommendation. We are willing to accept members by relation of faith who were at one time members of churches of our faith and order, but which churches have been abandoned or dissolved or become inactive or which have departed from the faith once delivered tot he saints.
  17. Persons presenting themselves for membership shall be voted on by the members of the church persent at the meeting at which they petition for membership. Should the members fail to receive the person by unanimous vote, the person shall be placed under the watchcare of the church for a period not to exceed 6 months at which time another vote shall be taken. Members opposing admission of new members shall be required to give their reason, which shall be investigated by the church. Members shall not be admitted who reject our article of faith or principles.
  18. Dismission of members shall be done by letter, with a vote on whether or not to give a favorable recommendation to a sister church of like faith and order. Persons to whom favorable recommendation is given should have been an active participant in church activities, unless hindered by health or distance.
  19. Church discipline is matter we believe to be of grave importance. We believe that the church has the right to discipline its members in ways the majority of the membership shall deem appropriate. We know that members are often hindered from attendance of church services, however we believe it the duty of each to inform members whom they believe will be present of the reason for their absense. Total lack of communication with the church for a period of 3 months is an offense against the church. If a member so absents himself, the church shall have the right to inquire into reasons for such an absense. If a member does not give a reasonable explanation of their absence they will be suspended from the right of admittance tot he Lord's table and will full under the censure of the church. If a member remains absent for six months without proper excuse, they will be excommunicated. If there be rumors of character of any member, it is the duty of the church to investigate the allegations. If the allegations are substantiated the member is liable for censure or excommunication at the discretion of the membership. If the church shall vote more than 50% guilty, but less than two-thirds, the member shall be censured and placed under the watch care of the church. If two-thirds of the church member not guilty, the member so accused, shall be excommunicated. A member so dealt with may petition to be restored to his former estate within the church, by acknowledgement of error and belief by the church that he has a penitent heart. A member may be restored to his seat if new evidence comes to light which disproves allegations previously made. If the church has erred in its opinion, the church shall make acknowledgement to the individual who was accused. Individual offenses against one another will not be dealt with unless the instructions in Matthew 18 have been followed. No person shall be accussed of heresy unless they have publically advocated doctrine we consider to be unsound. We realize that there are differences of opinion and interpretation and feel that each should feel at liberty to come to their own conclusions, but not to disturb the peace of the church with doctrine the majority consider to be unscriptural. Individuals shall have the right to present their case, therefore no action will be taken without notification of the accussed of their right to present their case, Notice of trail shall be made at regular meeting and shall be adjudicated at the next regular conference.
  20. We believe we are obligated that we ought to bear one anothers burdens. That we ought to maintain ourselves in Godly communications and that it is our duty to strive for peace among God's children.

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