CONSTITUTION OF SEDLEY BAPTIST CHURCH
For the preservation and security of the principles of our faith and that all things be done
“decently and in order” and “with love”, consistent with the teachings of the New Testament and
the accepted beliefs of the Southern Baptist Convention, and for the purpose of safeguarding the
inherent liberties of each individual member of this Church and also the freedom of action of this
body in relation to Christ and to other bodies of like faith, we do adopt and establish this
ARTICLE 1. NAME
This Church shall be known as the Sedley Baptist Church of 17494 Johnsons Mill Road, Sedley,
Southampton County, Virginia.
ARTICLE 2. INCORPORATION AND TAX-EXEMPT PURPOSES
Section 1. Incorporation
This Church shall be incorporated under the Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act.
Section 2. Spiritual Purposes
A. This Church was organized in 1925 by 30 charter members for the purpose of advancing
and promoting the worship of God through the reading and studying of the Holy Bible as
the revealed Word of God, the teaching and preaching of the Gospel of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ, to increase Christ-likeness in its constituents, to serve the
community of which it is a part in every possible Christian way, conducting regular
services of worship for the spiritual training, development, and benefit of each member
and for the winning of souls to Jesus Christ.
B. This Church seeks to discover and follow the truths of the Holy Scripture, interpreted
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Each member shall seek to promote the spiritual
life and growth of our own membership, and to exemplify the spirit of Christ and his
teachings that the unsaved may be won to Christ.
C. This Church shall be missionary in spirit, extending the Gospel through our organized
religious channels to the entire world. It shall promote and maintain the teachings and
doctrines of the Christian, Missionary denomination universally known and designated as
the Southern Baptist Convention. It shall sustain the ordinances, doctrines, and ethics set
forth in the New Testament for the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to channel its
offerings to the support of the objectives of the Kingdom of God.
Section 3. Tax-Exempt Purposes
The Church is organized exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes within
the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or corresponding
provision of any future United States Revenue Law).
Section 4. Prerogatives
The Church may engage in all legal activities to fulfill its non-profit purposes as a religious,
educational, and charitable corporation.
ARTICLE 3. DECLARATION OF FAITH
The following is the Church’s declaration of faith, to which members shall adhere:
A. We believe the Holy Bible is the inspired word of God, without any mixture of error
and is the record of God's revelation of Himself and of His way and will for mankind.
It speaks with final authority about all matters of spiritual faith and moral duty. As
God's pattern for human living, it is to be studied, learned, believed, and taught to all
B. We believe there is only one living and true God who created, preserves, and controls
the universe. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. He is
revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes,
but without division of nature, essence or being.
C. We believe Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and the Savior of the world. He was
born of a virgin and came in the likeness of man. He was and is the full and final
revelation of God's nature and purpose. He is our example of perfect righteousness. In
His death, He made atonement for all the sin of the world. He is our great High Priest,
our living Lord, and the all-sufficient Savior.
D. We believe the Holy Spirit is a person who is one in nature with the Father and the
Son. As the divine agent in regeneration, preservation and sanctification, He abides in
the hearts of Christians, aids them in prayer, interprets truth, and gives power for
Christ-like living and witnessing.
E. We believe Man is a person, created in the image of God, with moral competence and
responsibility. He is a sinner, corrupted in his moral nature by evil and inclined
toward sin. He yearns for God and inner peace and has the capacity for faith and
transformation through the redemption of Christ.
F. We believe Salvation is wholly by the grace of God who takes the initiative in
providing for man's redemption through His Son, who by the Holy Spirit was born of
the Virgin Mary and took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, and made atonement
for our sins by His death on the cross. To be saved, one must repent of sin and believe
on the Lord Jesus Christ.
G. We believe the Christian experience is both a state and a process. The Christian has
been justified and is becoming sanctified. His life should be a continuous Growth in
knowledge and Christ likeness through self-discipline, dedication, and perseverance.
H. We believe in the final Perseverance of the saints as revealed and taught in the word
of God because they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
I. A Church is a congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant in the faith
and fellowship of the gospel for the purpose of carrying out the commission of our
Lord throughout all the world.
J. Baptism and the Lord's Supper are The Two Ordinances Commanded by Christ.
Baptism, which is immersion in water of a believer, celebrates the beginning of the
Christian experience as it symbolizes death, burial and resurrection. The Lord's
Supper, by use of bread and the fruit of the vine, commemorates the undying love of
Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross.
K. We believe Christ will return to the earth visibly, personally, and suddenly. Believers
are to live in readiness for His coming by obeying the commands of Christ given after
His first coming.
L. We believe it is the duty of every Christian to seek and to win the Lost to Christ by
personal efforts and to extend this opportunity to people in other lands through the
support of Evangelism and Missionary Programs.
M. We believe God is the source of all blessings, temporal, and spiritual, and the rightful
owner of all His creation. Man is entrusted with time, talents, and material
possessions, which are to be used for the glory of God and the service of others.
Christians should contribute of their means to advance Christ's work on earth.
N. We believe The Kingdom of God is the reign of God in the lives of Believers
everywhere. Our chief means for promoting God's kingdom on earth are the Churches
through which we teach and preach and pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is
O. We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath, and
is to be kept sacred to religious purposes as God commanded in Exodus 20:8-11.
"We believe that the term 'marriage' has only one meaning and that is marriage
sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union,
as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-6, Romans 7:2, 1st Corinthians 7:10, Ephesians 5:22-23)
"We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman
who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate
sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
"We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication,
homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or any attempt to change
one's sex, or disagreement with one's biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.
(Genesis 2:24, Genesis 19:5,13, Genesis 26:8,9, Leviticus 18:1-30, Romans 1:26-29, 1st
Corinthians 5:1, 6:9, 1st Thessalonians 4:1-8, Hebrews 13:4)
"We believe that to preserve the function and integrity of the Church as the local Body of
Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Church members and the community, it
is imperative that all persons employed by the Church in any capacity, or who serve as
volunteers, should abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and
conduct themselves accordingly. "We believe that God offers redemption and restoration
to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus
Christ. (Isaiah 55:7, Proverbs 28:13, Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:20-22, Romans 3:24-26,
1 John 1:9)
"We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and
dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to
be repudiated and are not in accord with scripture nor the doctrines of the Church."(Luke
6:35, 1st Corinthians 16:14, 2nd Corinthians 1:3-4, 2nd Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 4:32,
Philippians 2:1-4, Colossians 3:12-13)
Q. Gender Identity
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female.
These two distinct and complimentary genders together reflect the image and nature of
God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that
person. Genesis 1:26-27.
R. Sanctity of Life
` We believe that all Human Life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is
of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the
mentally and physically challenged, and every other stage or condition, from conception
through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human
life. Psalm 139.
ARTICLE 4. CHURCH COVENANT
The following is the Church Covenant to which members shall adhere:
We accept the following covenant as a summary of the ideals of our Church in all its
activities and in relation to our homes and to each individual member.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as
our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
We do now, in the presence of God, angels, and the assembly, most solemnly and
joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to
strive for the advancement of this Church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to
promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and
doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the
expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our
children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in
the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our
deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale
and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance
the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other
in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in
feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for
reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible,
unite with some other Church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the
principles of God's Word.
ARTICLE 5. CHARACTER
Section 1. Polity
The government of this Church is vested in the body of believers who compose its membership.
It recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation common among
Baptist churches but is not subject to the control of any ecclesiastical body or organization.
Section 2. Doctrine
This Church accepts the Scriptures, the Holy Bible, as its sole Authority in matters of faith and
Section 3. Denominational Affiliation
The Church shall be affiliated with The Baptist General Association of Virginia and the Southern
Baptist Convention and may affiliate with a local association or network of churches of its
Section 4 . Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, which has the
inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality,
and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For
purposes of the Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Pastor, Deacon
Chair, and Deacon Vice-Chair are the Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s
meaning and application.
ARTICLE 6. AMENDMENT OF CONSTITUTION
This Constitution may be amended, altered, or repealed by a two-thirds majority vote of
the members present and voting at any regular Church conference or called conference, provided
such amendment was proposed in writing at the preceding Church conference