CONSTITUTION of the MONTANA REGULAR BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP
Montana Regular Baptist Fellowship
To maintain a fellowship of sovereign Bible-believing, Christ honoring Baptist Churches; to promote the spirit of evangelism; to spread the Gospel; to advance Fundamental, Independent Baptist educational and missionary enterprises at home and abroad; to raise and maintain a testimony to the truth of the Gospel and to the purity of the Churches, and to raise a standard of Biblical separation from worldliness, modernism and apostasy; to emphasize the Biblical teaching that a breakdown of divinely established lines between Bible believers and apostates is unscriptural and to be a voice repudiating cooperation with movements which attempt to unite true Bible believers and apostates in evangelistic and other cooperative spiritual efforts, and to offer all possible encouragement to churches of like precious faith toward the enlargement of their fellowship both within this district and nationwide.
A meeting shall be held annually for the transaction of business, the election of officers and the conducting of a Bible and Missionary Conference at a date and place to be fixed by the Council.
Other meetings may be called at the discretion of the Council or at a time appointed by the Annual Meeting of the Fellowship.
Article IV—FELLOWSHIP AND VOTING PRIVILEGES
Any Baptist Church in the territory which is not in fellowship or cooperation with any national or local convention, association or group which permits the presence of modernists or modernism, and which Church subscribes to the Constitution and Articles of Faith herein contained and signifies in writing its desire to be considered in fellowship, may upon such written notice, and recommendation of the Council, be received by a majority vote of the Fellowship. Such notice of the church’s desire shall be presented to the Council by the clerk of the church.
Each church shall be entitled to four voting messengers and its pastor. Each year every voting messenger shall subscribe to the Constitution and Articles of Faith, prior to taking his seat in the Annual Meeting.
If and when there are any salaried personnel, they shall not be entitled to a vote.
Article V—CESSATION OF FELLOWSHIP
It should be clearly understood that this is a voluntary Fellowship of Churches and any Church may withdraw at any time and for any reason sufficient to itself.
Any Church which is proven to be no longer in agreement with the Constitution and Articles of Faith or has failed to manifest interest may be dropped from the rolls by recommendation of the Council and a majority vote of the Fellowship.
Article VI—OFFICERS AND THEIR ELECTION
The officers of the Fellowship shall consist of a Council of six men (members of fellowshipping churches), three of whom shall be elected for one year and three for two years. Thereafter, three shall be elected on the even years and three on the odd years to serve for two years.
The office of a council member shall be forfeited should he cease to be a member of a fellowshipping church (exceptions to the rule being determined by the Council).
In the event of a vacancy from the Council over the course of the fiscal year, the next person having the greatest number of ballots cast in his favor will fill that position until the next Annual Meeting. At that time the position will be open for nomination and election to complete that term or to fill the position, whichever the case may be. It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary of the Council of Six to keep a record in the Council’s minutes for this purpose. (Dated October 1980)
The Council shall meet at the Annual Conference immediately after its election and organize by electing a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer and such other officers as deemed necessary, appoint its committees and arrange necessary meetings.
The Council shall appoint a chairman or chairmen to moderate at public meetings of the Fellowship.
All new members of the Council shall be presented at the closing session of the Annual Conference, and shall assume their Council duties as of that session.
The Council shall be elected in the following manner: Each church in the Fellowship may nominate five names for the Council. These names shall be sent to the secretary of the Council of Six. The highest five names shall be placed on the ballot for the election at the annual meeting. From these five names the messengers shall vote as many names to the Council as may be needed for that year. All nominations must be in the secretary’s hands three weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. Only church elected messengers will have voting privileges.
It shall be the duty of the Council to make recommendations to the Fellowship for the furtherance of its work, and to implement and put into operation all actions and policies. The Council shall secure the services and set the salaries of such personnel as shall be required to carry on the work, only as authorized by the Fellowship. Its authority is that which is committed to it by the Fellowship, and any or all of its actions may be called up for review at any annual meeting, if so desired.
Dual Responsibility: The Council of Six shall also serve as the board of the Mon-Ida baptist Home Mission.
Article VII—ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Articles of Faith shall be those declared by the Montana Regular Baptist Fellowship – Articles of Faith.
This Constitution may be amended at any Annual Meeting be a two-thirds vote of elected messengers present providing a written notice has been sent to each fellowshipping church at least thirty days prior to the time of the voting. A recommendation for amendment must come from either the Council of Six or by two-thirds vote or more of the fellowshipping churches.
October 14, 1981. In order to avoid any conflict of interest on the Council of Six, an amendment was passed which will preclude the nomination of any person serving under the auspices of any mission board so long as that dual responsibility is held.
October 14, 1981. Voted to eliminate the prohibition against serving more that two consecutive terms on the council of six under Article VI, section 1a. Moved to accept by Roger Edwards, seconded by Gerry Clark, carried.
October 7, 2006. Voted to amend Article II – purpose statement of the MRBF Constitution by replacing the word “Regular” with the words “Fundamental, Independent” in the statement “…to advance Regular Baptist educational and missionary enterprises….”
October 7, 2006. Voted to amend Article II – purpose statement of the MRBF Constitution by adding the following words from the National Purpose statement: “to emphasize the Biblical teaching that a breakdown of divinely established lines between Bible believers and apostates is unscriptural and to be a voice repudiating cooperation with movements which attempt to unite true Bible believers and apostates in evangelistic and other cooperative spiritual efforts” between the words “apostasy” and “and to offer” in the statement “modernism and apostasy; and to offer all possible encouragement….”
October 7, 2006. Voted to amend Article VII – Articles of Faith so that Article VII–Articles of Faith will read “The Articles of Faith shall be those declared by the Montana Regular Baptist Fellowship–Articles of Faith.” The Council of Six further recommends that the Montana Regular Baptist Fellowship–Articles of Faith be an exact duplicate of the current, published GARBC–Articles of Faith.