"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."
5. PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT
6. PRINCIPLE AND PRACTICE OF BIBLICAL SEPARATION
7. MAIN PRACTICES OF THE CHURCH
10. MEMBERSHIP IN THE PRESBYTERY
11. THE CHURCH GOVERNMENT
12. THE CHURCH SESSION
13. ELECTION TO THE CHURCH SESSION
16. DEACONS AND DEACONESSES
17. BOARD OF ELDERS
18. POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE BOARD OF ELDERS
19. CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS
21. FINANCE AND AUDIT
22. BY LAWS
Article 1: Name
The name of the Church shall be the Calvary Bible‑Presbyterian Church (hereinafter referred to as "the Church").
Article 2: Address
The address of the Church shall be at 1 Tao Ching Road, Singapore 618720, or such address as may be decided by the Church and approved by the Registrar of Societies. The Church shall carry out its activities only in places and venues which have the prior written approval from the relevant authorities.
Article 3: Objects
The objects for which the Church is established are:
3.1 The salvation of souls;
3.2 The edification of Christians through the teaching of God's Word;
3.3 The promotion of godly worship;
3.4 The defence of "the faith which was once delivered unto the saints";
3.5 The establishment and extension of Christian missions and institutions for the furtherance of God's Kingdom on earth;
3.6 The promotion of Christian relief for the poor and needy;
3.7 The strengthening of mutual fellowship, encouragement and unity among individual Bible‑Presbyterian Churches affiliated to the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore and among other Bible‑believing churches of similar stand "for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Rev 1:9).
Article 4: Doctrine
4.1 The doctrine of the Church shall be in accordance with that system commonly called "the Reformed Faith" as expressed in the Confession of Faith as set forth by the historic Westminster Assembly together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
4.2 In abbreviated form the chief tenets of the doctrine of the Church, apart from the Apostles' Creed, shall be as follows
4.2.1 We believe in the divine, verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures in the original languages, their consequent inerrancy and infallibility, and, as the Word of God, the Supreme and final authority in faith and life.
4.2.2 We believe in one God existing in three co-equal and co-eternal Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
4.2.3 We believe that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.
4.2.4 We believe that man was created in the image of God, but sinned through the fall of Adam, thereby incurring not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature and become sinners in thought, word and deed.
4.2.5 We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died a propitiatory and expiatory death as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who repent of their sins and believe in Him are justified before God on the grounds of His shed blood.
4.2.6 We believe in the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His exaltation at the right hand of God, where He intercedes for us as our High Priest and Advocate.
4.2.7 We believe in the personal, visible and premillennial return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to judge this world and bring peace to the nations.
4.2.8 We believe that salvation is by grace through faith, not by works, and that all who repent and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour are born again by the Holy Spirit and thereby become the children of God.
4.2.9 We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to convict and regenerate the sinner, indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service.
4.2.10 We believe that Christ instituted the Sacrament of Baptism for believers and their children and the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which sacraments shall be observed by His Church till He comes.
4.2.11 We believe in the eternal security, bodily resurrection, and eternal blessedness of the saved and in the bodily resurrection and eternal conscious punishment of the lost.
4.2.12 We believe in the real, spiritual unity in Christ of all redeemed by His precious blood and the necessity of faithfully maintaining the purity of the Church in doctrine and life according to the Word of God and the principle and practice of biblical separation from the apostasy of the day being spearheaded by the Ecumenical Movement (2 Cor 6:14‑18; Rev 18:4).
Article 5: Principles of Government
The Church, in setting forth the form of government which it maintains as being founded upon and agreeable to the Word of God, reiterates, by way of introduction, several cardinal principles which are basic to and regulative of its form of church government.
5.1 "God alone is Lord of the conscience" and "hash left it free from the doctrine and commandments of men, which are in any thing contrary to His Word, or beside it in matters of faith or worship." Therefore we consider the rights of private judgement, in all matters that respect religion, as universal and inalienable. We do not even wish to see any religious institution aided by the civil power further than may be necessary for protection and security and, at the same time, be equal and common to all others.
5.2 In perfect consistency with the above principle of common right, every Christian Church, or union or association of Christian churches is entitled to declare the terms of admission into its communion and the qualifications of its ministers and members, as well as the whole system of its internal government which Christ has appointed. In the exercise of this right it may, notwithstanding, err in making the terms of communion either too lax or too narrow; yet, even in this case, it does not infringe upon the liberty or the rights of others, but only makes an improper use of its own liberty and rights.
5.3 Our blessed Saviour, for the edification of the visible Church, which is His body, appointed officers, not only to preach the Gospel and administer the Sacraments but also to exercise discipline for the preservation both of truth and duty; it is incumbent upon these officers and upon the whole Church, in whose name they act, to censure or cast out the erroneous and scandalous, observing in all cases the rules contained in the Word of God.
5.4 Truth leads to goodness; the great touchstone of truth is its tendency to promote holiness; according to our Saviour's rule, "by their fruits ye shall know them." No opinion can be either more pernicious or more absurd than that which brings truth and falsehood upon a level and represents it as of no consequence what a man's opinions are. On the contrary, we are persuaded that there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty; otherwise it would be of no consequence either to discover truth or to embrace it.
5.5 Under the conviction of the above principle, we think it necessary to make effectual provision that all who are admitted as teachers be sound in the faith. We also believe that there are truths and forms with respect to which men of good character and principles may differ. And in all these we think it the duty both of private Christians and societies to exercise mutual forbearance toward each other.
5.6 Though the character, qualifications, and authority of church officers are laid down in the Holy Scriptures, as well as the proper method of their investiture and institution, yet the election of persons to the exercise of this authority, in any particular society, is in that society.
5.7 All church power, whether exercised by the body in general or in the way of representation by delegated authority, is only ministerial and declarative; that is to say, the Holy Scriptures are the only rule of faith and conduct; no church court ought to pretend to make laws to bind the conscience in virtue of its own authority; all its decisions should be founded upon the revealed will of God. Now though it will be easily admitted, that all synods and councils may err through the frailty inseparable from humanity, yet, there is much greater danger from the usurped claim of making laws than from the right of judging upon laws already made and common to all who profess the gospel, although this right, as necessity requires in the present state, be lodged with fallible men.
5.8 If the preceding Scriptural and rational principles are steadfastly adhered to, the vigour and strictness of its discipline will contribute to the glory and happiness of any church. Since ecclesiastical discipline must be purely moral or spiritual in its object and not accompanied by any civil effects, it can derive no force whatever but from its own justice, the approbation of an impartial public, and the countenance and blessing of the great Head of the Church universal.
Article 6: Principle and Practice of Biblical Separation
6.1 The doctrine of separation from sin unto God is a fundamental principle of the Bible, one grievously ignored in the church today.
6.2 This doctrine arises out of the holiness of God. Both the purity and righteousness of God (Luke 1:75) are involved. "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Pet 1:16; also 3:11; Exod 15:11; Isa 6:3; 2 Cor 7:1).
6.3 The Bible does speak of cooperation ("be of one mind," "that they may all be one," "labourers together," "keep the unity of the Spirit," "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord," also 1 Cor 12:25). However, biblical cooperation is based upon TRUTH. It involves the united effort of God's people. This is not a cooperation born of a spirit of undiscerning pluralism, or that of seeking "truth" in all religions.
6.4 We maintain that Scripture teaches a separation that is based on the holiness of God, producing purity in all of life, personal and ecclesiastical.
6.5 It is the duty of all true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ to make a clear testimony to their faith in Him, especially in these darkening days of apostasy in many professing churches, by which apostasy whole denominations in their official capacity, as well as individual churches, have been swept into a paganising stream of modernism under various names and in varying degrees.
6.6 There has been a notable growth of autocratic domination on the part especially of modernistic leaders by whom the rightful powers of true churches are often usurped and are now being usurped.
6.7 The commands of God to His people to be separate from all unbelief and corruption are clear and positive: "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Cor 6:14; see also Matt 6:24; Rom 16:17; Gal 1; Eph 5:11; 2 Thess 3:6, 14; 2 Tim 3:1‑7; Titus 3:10; 2 Pet 2:1‑3; 1 John 4:1‑3; 2 John 7‑11; Jude 3, 20‑24; and Rev 18:4). We reach out to those who are part of any human system which involves compromise with error, and who thus ought to "come out from among them" (2 Cor 6:17), separate themselves unto the "Father . . . the Lord almighty" (2 Cor 6:18), thus cleansing themselves and "perfecting holiness in the fear of God' (2 Cor 7:1).
6.8 In loyalty to the revealed Word we, as an organised portion of the people of God, are obliged to oppose all forms of modernism, cultism, Romanism, and false religions. Dialogue for the purpose of reaching a compromise between all true Bible believers and representatives of such beliefs is impious, unbiblical, treasonous and unfaithful to the holy God, as He has revealed Himself to us in His infallible, inerrant Word.
6.9 We are opposed to all efforts to obscure or wipe out the clear line of separation between these absolutes: truth and error, light and darkness (see Isa 5:20; 2 Cor 6:14‑18). We refer to such efforts by New Evangelicals, Charismatic Christians, promoters of ecumenical cooperative evangelism and of the social gospel, and all churches and other movements and organisations that are aligned with or sympathetic to the Ecumenical Movement.
6.10 The Church, having been founded on the principle of Biblical Separation and being affiliated with the Bible‑Presbyterian Church of Singapore which is a member of the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC), is likewise affiliated with the ICCC as long as the ICCC faithfully maintains its stand on Biblical Separation.
Article 7: Main Practices of the Church
The main practices of the Church are as follows:
7.1 BAPTISM: The observance of the Baptism of believers is by sprinkling on personal confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Infants of one or both the believing parents are to be baptised (Matt 28:19‑20; Acts 2:38‑42; 8:35‑38;10:44‑48;1 Cor 7:14).
7.2 REAFFIRMATION OF FAITH: Baptised infants upon coming of age in that they can satisfy the Board of Elders as to their faith shall be received into communicant membership by reaffirmation of faith.
7.3 THE LORD'S SUPPER: The remembrance of the Lord's death through the Lord's Supper shall be observed regularly, and normally all baptised believers (except baptised children of constituent members who have not reaffirmed their faith) whose conduct is consistent with their confession of their faith shall be received at the Lord's Table (Luke 22:14-29; Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7; Rom 14:19; 15:7; 1 Cor 5:6-8; 11:23-26).
7.4 FELLOWSHIP AND DISCIPLESHIP: Every member shall participate in fellowship, prayer and instruction with other believers and the exercise of spiritual gifts for the edification of the Church (Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12; Eph 4:1-16; Heb 10:23-25; 1 Pet 4:7-11).
7.5 EVANGELISM & MISSIONS: The local Church in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, both as individual and collective witnesses, shall proclaim the Gospel to their families, neighbours, colleagues, friends, the nation as well as the regions beyond (Matt 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; Acts 1:8; 1 Pet 2:9; 3:15).
7.6 STEWARDSHIP: Every member shall have the responsibility and privilege to contribute his gifts, talents, time and resources to the work of God and the extension of His kingdom. It shall also be the responsibility and privilege of each member to tithe and contribute willingly, regularly and generously according to his ability as God enables (Rom 12:1-13; 1 Cor 6:19-20; 16:1-2; 2 Cor 8; 9).
7.7 CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: The Church shall conduct a Christian Education programme to build up the members on the most holy faith (Jude 20) through Sunday School, Bible study classes, Bible study groups, catechism classes, Christian publications, Gospel tracts and such other similar measures as the Church Session and / or Board of Elders may decide.
7.8 WORSHIP: All members shall meet regularly for the public worship of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and shall maintain family and personal devotions (Psa 27:4; Heb 10:24-25; Song of Solomon 1 :6; Psa 122:1; Psa 1 :1-3). Believing parents shall endeavour to bring up their children in the fear of the Lord and to lead them into a saving knowledge of the Lord by regular instruction of the Word of God (Prov 22:6; Deut 6:4-9; Eph 6:4).
7.9 WEDDINGS: The solemnisation of marriages between born-again believers. The groom must be a baptised believer and the bride either a baptised believer or a catechumen (2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:21-33).
7.10 FUNERALS: The normal practice of the Bible-Presbyterian Church is to bury the dead. Christian funeral is to be conducted only for born-again believers.
Article 8: Membership
8.1 Membership of the Church shall be of two categories:
8.1.1 Communicant Members Persons who can satisfy the Board of Elders as to their Christian faith, knowledge, and manner of life and who have been baptised or have reaffirmed their Christian faith or transferred from another Bible-Presbyterian Church or another Bible-believing Church shall be Communicant Members. They shall be eligible to vote at congregational meetings provided that they are 16 years and above. No member under the age of 21 shall be eligible to stand for election to the Session. No communicant member shall be a member of another church.
8.1.2 Non‑Communicant Members Baptised children of Communicant Members or of Christians who have not yet acquired Communicant Membership in the Church shall be Non‑Communicant Members.
8.2 If any member shall be found by the Board of Elders to have acted in a manner unbecoming of a member or by his act or omission be likely to hinder the witness of the Church or render it of ill repute, the Board of Elders shall request him to appear before the Board. The Board shall have the power to admonish, rebuke, suspend, depose or ex-communicate the member in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Bible-Presbyterian Book of Discipline.
8.3 A communicant member shall remain a member of the Church until he dies or is transferred to another church or ex-communicated.
8.4 Members are expected to strive conscientiously to live according to the light given to them by the Holy Spirit through God's Word, and to support wholeheartedly the services and activities of the Church.
8.5 Those below twenty-one years of age shall not be accepted as members without the parent's written consent.
Article 9: Branches
9.1 The Church may establish branches subject to the approval of the Registrar of Societies.
9.2 Such branches shall be under the control of the Church and bear the same name and shall function in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and the rules made there under.
Article 10: Membership in the Presbytery
10.1 The Church, being a Bible-Presbyterian congregation having objects similar to those of the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore, shall seek affiliation with that body for the strengthening of mutual fellowship, encouragement and unity among Bible-Presbyterian congregations in Singapore and, in particular, for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 1:9).
10.2 The Church may resign from membership in the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore provided that such a decision is adopted by a two‑thirds majority vote at an Extraordinary Congregational Meeting. The quorum for this Meeting shall be two-thirds of the resident voting members in good standing. At such Meeting the Presbytery or Synod of the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore shall have the right to present its views or case. In the event of a lack of quorum, the Chairman shall adjourn the meeting for half an hour and should the quorum be still lacking, the matter shall be held in abeyance.
Article 11: The Church Government
11.1 The government, administration, and discipline of the Church shall be in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and with the Form of Government and the Book of Discipline of the Bible-Presbyterian Church, except in those instances where specific statements in this Constitution supersede them.
11.2 The spiritual oversight of the Church in matters of doctrine, principles of government, church elections, admission and discipline of members and the administrative oversight of the Church shall be the specific responsibilities of the Board of Elders.
11.3 The general spiritual and administrative oversight of the Church may be delegated by the Board of Elders to the Deacons and Deaconesses.
Article 12: The Church Session
12.1 The Church Session shall consist of the Pastor who shall also be the Chairman, Associate Pastor, if any, and / or an Advisory Pastor or Supervisory Pastor when necessary, Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses if any. Unless with the prior approval in writing to the Registrar or an Assistant Registrar of Societies, all the Session members shall be either Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents.
12.2 The Church which has no Pastor and / or Elder of its own, may co-opt a Pastor and / or Elder from another Bible-Presbyterian church who shall have all the rights and powers in the affairs of the Church.
12.3 The Church Session shall appoint a Clerk of Session who shall be the Secretary from among its members and define his duties and may appoint such other office bearers as it may think fit.
12.4 The Church Session may delegate specific powers to any one of its members and appoint such committees as it deems fit and to make such rules and standing orders to regulate the duties and powers of such persons or committees.
12.5 The Church Session may co‑opt members of the Church or such persons as it deems fit to serve on any committee.
12.6 The Church Session shall meet once a month or once in two months at such place and time as the Pastor or Board of Elders may determine. Emergency meetings may be convened by the Pastor / Associate Pastor / Assistant Pastor, or in his absence, by the Elder appointed to act for the Pastor. Such a meeting shall be also conivened at the joint request of any two Elders.
12.7 A simple majority of the Session members present in Singapore shall constitute a quorum for the Session meeting.
12.8 The Church Session shall act by consensus or by a simple majority vote when necessary. The Moderator or Chairman shall have only the casting vote.
12.9 The Church Session shall at the Annual Congregational Meeting of the Church present a budget for the next fiscal year or period, and the previous financial year's accounts duly audited either internally or externally.
12.10 The Church Session, through the Clerk of Session, shall be responsible for keeping the following registers:
12.10.1 An up-to-date Register of Members with full particulars of name, address, date and place of birth, baptism, reaffirmation of faith, transfer, marriage, death or dismissal.
12.10.2 A Minutes Book to record the minutes of the Session, Board of Elders and of the Congregational Meetings.
Article 13: Election to the Church Session
13.1 Candidates shall satisfy the requirements listed in 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1 and 1 Peter 5. Additionally, and to ensure better objectivity in selection, they shall fulfill the following conditions:
13.1.1 Demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt, and over a sufficient length of time, that they are faithful and mature members of the Body of Christ and faithfully devote themselves to personal prayer and study of the Word.
13.1.2 Attend public worship and prayer meetings of the Church regularly unless prevented from doing so for valid reasons.
13.1.3 Make a careful study of the Constitution, in particular the Principle and Practice of Biblical Separation and fully accept it.
13.1.4 Be willing to participate wholeheartedly in the ministry of the Church, with the Pastor, and to devote time, talents and resources in such ministry which shall include serving in the various departments of the Church.
13.2 The Board of Elders shall nominate candidates for election to the Church Session. Nominations may also be submitted by any member of the congregation to the Board of Elders.
13.3 Proposals for election to the Church Session shall be carefully screened by the Board of Elders to ensure that only those with the essential qualifications and who are in full agreement with the doctrinal stand of the Bible-Presbyterian Church, in particular with its Principle and Practice of Biblical Separation, are considered for nomination and election to the Church Session.
13.4 Elected Elders / Deacons / Deaconesses shall be formally installed into office at a Service of Consecration to be held on an appropriate Lord's Day soon after election.
Article 14: Pastors
14.1 The Pastor and / or Associate Pastor / Assistant Pastor shall be elected by the members of the Church at the Annual Congregational Meeting by a majority of the votes cast and shall hold office for a term of three years but shall be eligible for re-election. The Pastor shall be the Chairman of the Session.
14.2 No Minister shall receive the call to be the Pastor of the Church save through the hands of the Presbytery or Synod of the Bible-Presbyterian Church at the instance of the Board of Elders (1 Tim 4:14).
14.3 The Pastor shall possess the spiritual, educational and other qualifications as set forth in the Bible-Presbyterian Form of Government or such other qualifications as the Board of Elders or Church Session may determine.
14.4 The Pastor and Associate Pastor / Assistant Pastor, Supervisory Pastor and Advisory Pastor shall be subject, through the Board of Elders, to the discipline of the particular Presbytery of the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore, of which they are members. They may appeal to the Synod against the Presbytery's decision.
14.5 The Pastor shall have the general oversight of the spiritual life, regular service, and ministration of the Sacraments of the Church and the ordination of Elders.
14.6 The Pastor shall be the ex-officio member and advisor of all committees connected with the Church.
14.7 The Pastor shall be the Moderator of the Church Session, except for prudential reasons, when the Board of Elders shall appoint one of its Elders as Chairman of a particular meeting.
14.8 A Pastor or retired Pastor of a Bible-Presbyterian Church may be requested to serve in another Bible-Presbyterian Church as Superivisory Pastor where a particular church is without a Pastor, or as an Advisory Pastor where a particular church having a Pastor still wishes to have the services of an additional Pastor as advisor. Both positions are honorary.
Article 15: Elders
15.1 A candidate for election to the office of an Elder shall be a Deacon of not less than six years' standing, duly nominated by the Board of Elders and elected by a majority vote of the members of the Church at the Annual Congregational Meeting, save that the Board of Elders may in its absolute discretion, shorten the qualifying period.
15.2 Upon election, an Elder shall hold office for a term of three years and may be eligible for re-election.
15.3 An Elder may be elected in absentia, with his written consent.
15.4 An Elder, once elected and ordained, shall not be divested of his status as Elder when he is not re-elected or when he declines re-election. In either case, he shall not be a member of the Church Session or Board of Elders. He may attend meetings of the Presbytery, or Synod when so appointed by the Presbytery or Synod.
15.5 An Elder, with the approval of his Board of Elders, may serve in another Bible-Presbyterian Church for such duration of time as may be determined.
15.6 An Elder shall endeavour by God's grace to serve in full conformity with the standards set forth in the Word of God (1 Tim 3:2-7; Titus 1:6-9), joining with the Pastor in the government, administration and discipline of the Church, visiting the sick and sorrowing members, investigating delinquents and endeavouring to remedy any spiritual weakness in the lives of members.
15.7 Elders shall be subject, through the Board of Elders, to the discipline of the particular Presbytery of the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore, of which they are members. They may appeal to the Synod against the Presbytery's decision.
Article 16: Deacons and Deaconesses
16.1 A Deacon or Deaconess shall be elected by a majority vote of the members of the Church at the Annual Congregational Meeting, provided the candidate shall have attained 21 years of age at the time of nomination.
16.2 Upon election, a Deacon or Deaconess shall hold office for a term of three years and may be eligible for re-election.
16.3 They may be elected in absentia, with their written consent.
16.4 They shall endeavour by God's grace to serve in full conformity with the standards set forth in the Word of God (1 Tim 3:8-13).
16.5 Deacons but not Deaconesses may be requested by the Pastor or Elder to assist in the ministration of the Holy Communion.
16.6 Deacons and Deaconesses shall be subject to the discipline of the Board of Elders. They may appeal to the particular Presbytery of the Bible-Presbyterian Church of Singapore to which their Church is affiliated against the decision of the Board of Elders.
Article 17: Board of Elders
17.1 The Board of Elders shall consist of the Pastor and Elders and, if any, the Associate Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Supervisory Pastor, Advisory Pastor.
17.2 The Pastor shall be the Chairman of the Board of Elders. In his absence or when deemed prudent, one of the Elders shall act as Chairman.
17.3 The Board of Elders may appoint or invite Deacons / Deaconesses to take part in any meeting of the Board of Elders without voting right.
17.4 The Board of Elders shall meet when necessary. The quorum shall be a simple majority of the members resident in Singapore.
17.5 The Board of Elders shall act by consensus.
Article 18: Powers and Responsibilities of the Board of Elders
Subject to Article 11 of this Constitution, the Board of Eiders shall:
18.1 be responsible for the spiritual welfare and ministry of the Church;
18.2 supervise all public worship and preaching services, the ministration of the Sacraments, Bible Classes, Prayer Meetings, Special Meetings, and all similar efforts aimed at reaching the lost for Christ and at building up Christians in the faith;
18.3 receive members into the Church by confession and reaffirmation of faith and by transfer from other churches;
18.4 appoint Staff Workers and other office staff as it deems necessary;
18.5 exercise discipline in the Church according to the Word of God and the Bible-Presbyterian Book of Discipline;
18.6 enquire into the knowledge and Christian conduct of the members of the Church;
18.7 call before them offenders with witness or witnesses from within or without their congregation;
18.8 admonish and rebuke those who are found to deserve censure, suspend or exclude offenders from the Holy Sacrament;
18.9 determine by itself or when it deems necessary, in consultation with the Deacons and Deaconesses all matters concerning the religious services and spiritual life of the Church and the suitability of candidates for election to the Church Session.
Article 19: Congregational Meetings
19.1 The management of the Church is vested in a general meeting of the members presided over by the Chairman. Any Congregational Meeting of the Church may be constituted as a general meeting for the transaction of business, provided announcement of the said Meeting has been given from the pulpit at two regular worship services on the two preceding Lord's Days or by two weeks' written notice to members.
19.2 Congregational Meetings shall be opened with Scripture reading and prayer and closed with prayer.
19.3 Congregational Meetings shall be of two kinds; namely, Annual Congregational Meeting and Extraordinary Congregational Meeting.
19.3.1 The Annual Congregational Meeting for the transaction of business pertaining to the Church shall be held in the month of March.
19.3.2 At such Meeting, the Church Session shall report on the spiritual and temporal conditions of the congregation and announce plans for the coming year.
19.3.3 Items of business shall include the Clerk of Session's Report, the Treasurer's Reports, the Budget, election of internal Auditors, and any other matters on the agenda.
19.3.4 An Extraordinary Meeting for the transaction of particular business pertaining to the Church may be held at any time upon due notice being given.
19.3.5 Only such business as is specifically mentioned in the call may be considered at such a meeting.
19.3.6 The Session shall call an Extraordinary Meeting when so requested by one-tenth of the communicant members.
19.4 The quorum of the Congregational Meetings in the election of the Pastor, Associate Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses and in the amendments of the Constitution shall be a simple majority of all resident voting communicant members in good standing.
19.5 The quorum of the Congregational Meetings for all other business shall be one-third of all such resident voting communicant members in the transaction of other business.
19.6 In the event of a lack of quorum for the Congregational Meetings, the Chairman shall adjourn the meeting for half an hour and should the number then present be insufficient to form a quorum, those present shall constitute the quorum, but they shall have no power to alter, amend or make addition to any of the existing rules.
19.7 The election of the Pastor, Associate Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses shall be by secret ballot.
19.8 The election of Session members, and decisions on all other businesses of the Church shall only be adopted by a majority vote of those present except the amendments to the Constitution which shall not be adopted without a two-thirds majority vote of those present.
19.9 The Pastor shall be the Chairman of the Meeting except for prudential reasons, when the Board of Elders shall appoint one from among them as Chairman of the Meeting.
Article 20: Trustees
20.1 The Church shall have the power to acquire immovable property and such other property as the relevant authorities shall permit in its name and vest it in trustees not less than two or not exceeding four in number appointed by the members at a Congregational Meeting convened for such a purpose.
20.2 Any trustee may resign his trusteeship.
20.3 When a trustee dies or is found to be of unsound mind, or becomes a bankrupt or emigrates from Singapore or ceases membership of the Church, or is incapacitated for any reason, his trusteeship is deemed to have ceased.
20.4 When a trustee is guilty of misconduct of such a kind as to render it undesirable that he continues to be a trustee, the Congregational Meeting may remove him from his trusteeship.
20.5 Notice of any proposal to remove a trustee from his trusteeship or appoint a new trustee shall be given in the Church Bulletin or announced at the regular Worship Service two weeks preceding the Congregational Meeting convened for the purpose. The address of immovable properties, names of trustees and any subsequent changes must be notified to the Registrar of Societies.
Article 21: Finance and Audit
21.1 The work and programme of the Church shall be supported by the freewill offerings and tithes of its members and gifts, donations from friends and by such other income as may be derived by the Church according to the Holy Scriptures.
21.2 The funds of the Church shall be used in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
21.3 The Session shall elect one of its members as Treasurer and another member as Assistant Treasurer, if necessary. (The Treasurer and / or the Assistant Treasurer shall not hold Office for the same or related post for another consecutive term.) The Session may appoint a Finance Committee from among its members to take charge of the financial affairs of the Church. The Treasurer shall keep a cash balance of not more than $1,000.00 at any one time. All Monies exceeding this amount shall be deposited with a bank designated by the Church Session. All cheques shall be signed by the Treasurer or in his absence the Assistant Treasurer, and one other Church Session member appointed by the Church Session.
21.4 The Church Session may appoint an auditing firm as external auditor to audit the accounts of the Church.
21.5 In addition to the external auditors, the Church shall elect two internal auditors who are not members of the Church Session, at the Annual Congregational Meeting of the Church.
21.6 The internal auditors shall hold office for one year and shall not be eligible for re-election.
21.7 The internal auditors and / or the auditing firm shall certify the correctness of the accounts for presentation to the Annual Congregational Meeting at the end of each financial year which shall end on 31 December.
Article 22: by-laws
The Board of Elders or the Church Session may make rules not inconsistent with this Constitution for giving effect to the provisions of this Constitution for, but not limited to, the following matters:
22.1 The way and manner the activities of the Church business shall be administered.
22.2 The appointment of staff workers, paid secretaries, clerks and other personnel for the proper functioning of the Church.
Article 23: Amendments
23.1 No amendments to this Constitution shall be made except at a Congregational Meeting of the Church.
23.2 No amendments to the Constitution shall be adopted without at least a two‑thirds majority vote cast by those present.
23.3 No amendments to the Constitution shall come into force without the advice of the Bible‑Presbyterian Church of Singapore and the prior approval of the Registrar of Societies.
Article 24: Interpretation
In the event of any question or matter arising out of any point which is not expressly provided for in the Constitution, the Board of Elders and the Church Session shall decide on the matter or the necessary steps to be taken.
Article 25: Prohibitions
25.1 Gambling of any kind and the playing of paikow or mahjong, whether for stakes or not, is forbidden on the Church's premises. The introduction of materials for gambling or drug taking and of bad characters into the premises is prohibited.
25.2 The funds of the Church shall not be used to pay the fines of members who have been convicted in Court.
25.3 The Church shall not engage in Trade Union activity as defined in any written law relating to trade unions for the time being in force in Singapore.
The Church shall not attempt to restrict or interfere with trade or make directly or indirectly any recommendation to, or any arrangement with its members which has the purpose or is likely to have the effect of fixing or controlling the price or any discount, allowance or rebate relating to any goods or services to be supplied by them.
25.4 The Church shall not hold any lottery, whether confined to its members or not, in the name of the Church or its office-bearers, Church Session or members.
25.5 The Church shall not indulge in any political activity or allow its fund and / or premises to be used for political purposes.
25.6 The Church shall not raise funds from the public for whatever purpose without the prior approval in writing of the Registrar of Societies and other relevant authorities.
Article 26: Dissolution
26.1 The Church shall not be dissolved, except with the consent of not less than three‑fourths of the members of the Church for the time being resident in Singapore expressed either in person or by proxy at a Congregational Meeting convened for the purpose.
26.2 In the event of the Church being dissolved as provided above, all debts and liabilities legally incurred on behalf of the Church shall be fully discharged. The remaining funds shall be given or transferred to the trustees for carrying out the objects similar to those hereinbefore set out, or to be applied to such charitable organisations as the members of the Church may determine at a Congregational Meeting.
26.3 Notice of dissolution shall be given to the Registrar of Societies within seven (7) days of the dissolution.