11677 Brown Bridge Rd, Covington, GA 30016 info@gatewaycommunity.org 678-712-6199

Gateway Community Church Constitution



1. All things shall be done decently and in order (1 Cor 14:40).
2. All things shall be done as governed by the Word of God (1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:15).
3. All things shall be done in love (John 13:34-35; 1 Cor. 16:14).
4. All things shall be done with an attitude of service (Matt. 20:28; 1 Cor. 4:1-2).
5. All things shall be done for the glory of God (Matt. 5:16; 2 Cor 4:15; 1 Cor. 10:31).
6. All things shall be done with joy (Rom 15:13; 1 Peter 1:8; Ps 5:11; 33:3; 1 Chron. 16:27).
We, the members of GATEWAY COMMUNITY CHURCH, do ordain and establish the following articles
which form our constitution.
ARTICLE I – (Name+Association)
The name of this church shall be GATEWAY COMMUNITY CHURCH and shall be incorporated under the
umbrella of Gateway Community Ministries, a non-profit Georgia corporation.
ARTICLE II – (Purpose)
The purpose of this church is to be to the glory of God through edification of the saints and the effective
evangelization of the lost. This purpose shall be carried out by the teaching of sound doctrine in
accordance with the Scriptures, to the end that believers in Christ might be equipped to do works of
service that the body of Christ may be built up and that believers shall be spiritually mature (Eph 4:11-
ARTICLE III – (Statement of Faith)
We subscribe to the following statement of faith:
We believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God, inerrant in the original manuscripts and
preserved by God in its entirety (2 Tim. 3:16 – 17; 2 Peter 1:21).
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (John
6:27; Heb. 1:8; Acts 5:3-4; Matt. 28:19).
We believe that Jesus Christ in the flesh was both God and Man. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless
life, performed miracles, and vicariously atoned for our sins through His shed blood on Calvary. We
believe that He died, was buried, He descended into hell, and bodily rose from the tomb on the third
day. He ascended to the right hand of God the Father where He is head of the church and intercedes for
believers. We believe that there is coming a time in future history when He will return visibly in power
and great glory. (John 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:6-11; Eph. 5:23; Rom. 8:34; 1 Thess. 4:16-17 1 Peter 3:19).


We believe that man in his natural state is born a sinner thus he is spiritually dead and cannot discern
the things of God (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23; 1 Cor. 2:14; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:1-2).
We believe that regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for the salvation of lost and sinful
men (John 6:44, 65; 16:8-11).
We believe that the gift of eternal life is received by trusting Christ alone for Salvation (Eph. 2:8-9; Acts
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells all true believers and enables them to live a godly life (Rom. 8:9;
1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14).
We believe in the perseverance of the saints. (Phil. 1:6; Rom 14:4; Heb. 12:1-2; Eph. 1:13-14; John 6:39).
We believe that both the saved and the lost will be bodily resurrected from the dead — they that are
saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation (Rev.
We believe in the spiritual unity of all true believers (Eph. 4:4-5; Rom 15:5-6).
We believe that the local church is God's primary tool for edifying the saints and evangelizing the lost.
(Eph. 4:11-13).
ARTICLE IV – (Membership)
A. Membership
Membership in this church is based upon personal testimony of the individual’s faith in Jesus Christ as
Savior and Lord. Members are entitled to all the blessings and benefits of this fellowship.
B. Qualifications for Membership
There are three qualifications for membership in Gateway Community Church. These are:
1. Personal testimony of faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.
2. Agreement with the Statement of Faith as found in Article III of this constitution.
3. Willingness to be governed by this constitution and its adopted amendments. Any person desiring to
become a member of Gateway Community Church should make such a request known to the Pastor or
to any of the other elders. Prospective members will then be visited and questioned regarding the
information on the New Member Information form and to their agreement with the three qualifications
as listed above.
C. Receiving Members
Prospective members must fill out the New Member information form, then meet with the Pastor or an
elder for a time of inquiry and instruction. Those who are found to have satisfied fully the qualifications
for membership shall be received into the membership of Gateway Community Church, and welcomed
publicly into the fellowship of this church at the first convenient service.


D. Church Roll
This roll shall consist of all members who are actively involved in this church's fellowship and ministry.
The Elders, mindful of their obligation as shepherds of the flock, shall review the rolls quarterly.
E. Voting Members
Voting members shall be those members who are on the active rolls who have reached their 18th
birthday by the date of the church’s meeting.
F. Children
Children are admitted to fellowship in the same manner as adults but cannot vote until age 18.
All children of members, having been set apart unto the Lord (1 Cor 7:12-14), are entitled to pastoral
care, instruction, and government of the church with a view to their own faith in Christ and membership
in the church.
G. Discipline of Members
If a member of this church should err in doctrine or conduct, he should be warned and brought to
repentance in gentleness and love. It is the responsibility of any member who has knowledge of such a
situation to go the erring member and restore him after careful examination of his own spiritual
condition (Matt. 18:15; Gal. 6:1).
If the erring member refuses to listen and repent, the other member should go to the elders of the
church who will select one or two of their number to go to the erring member and confront him or her
with gentleness and love, remembering that the purpose of church discipline is restoration. (Matt.
18:16; 2 Cor. 2:5-11).
If the erring member continues in his or her sin, refusing to listen and repent, then it shall be incumbent
upon the elders to comply with the instruction of Scripture as found in Matthew 18:17, 2 Thessalonians
3:14-15, Romans 16:17, 1 Corinthians 5:7-13, and Titus 3:10 and dismiss the erring member from
fellowship. Such action will be reported to the church in compliance with Matthew 18:17 and all
members shall be asked to comply with the above specified Scriptures in hope that the erring member
will see the error of his/her way repent and be restored.
I. Dismissal of Members from membership
A member shall be dismissed from membership by consensus of the elders in a duly called meeting of
the elders. The erring member shall be informed in writing at least 15 days prior to the meeting of the
intention of the elders to pursue this course of action. The member under consideration may stop such
action by either demonstrating an attitude of repentance or by proving the accusation false in the called
meeting. The member may bring witnesses, may introduce evidence, or may cross examine the member
bringing the allegations.
ARTICLE V – (Church Business Meetings)


A. Place
All business meetings shall be held at the primary place of worship, unless otherwise notified.
B. Annual Meeting
The church shall hold an annual meeting of the membership the first week of December. The purpose of
this meeting shall be to receive annual reports, ratify church officers, and approve the annual budget.
C. Called Business Meetings
Business meetings of the church may be called by the elders. Announcement of special business
meeting shall be made from the pulpit two Sundays prior to the meeting.
D. Special Circumstances
A special business meeting maybe called for by the elders at any time and without prior notice of any
sort in exigent conditions. Exigent conditions are those which require immediate attention or which are
urgent and/or critical. Special business meetings may also be called in the event of the need to take
immediate action on time sensitive material.
E. Conduct of Business
1. Business items requiring a vote shall prevail upon a two-thirds vote of the members present.
2. The agenda of all business meetings shall include the following:
a. Opening and closing prayer
b. Disposition of business for which the meeting was called.
c. Reports and elections, as required in the church constitution.
4. Business meetings will be presided over by a designated leader appointed by the board of elders.
F. Voting
Voting method shall be determined by secret ballot in person. No voting by proxy or letter shall be
ARTICLE VII – (Government)
The government of this church is determined by the mandate of Scripture. We are a congregational
fellowship (that is the congregation has the final voice in major decisions) under the spiritual direction of
elders as described in Scripture. A team of elders and deacons carry on the normal business functions of
the church. The authority and responsibility of the pastor, elders and deacons is determined by the
ARTICLE VIII – (Board of Elders)
A. Makeup


The Board of elders shall consist of the Pastor, and duly ratified and currently serving ordained elders,
currently on active service. All members of the Board of elders, including the pastor are entitled to vote.
B. Officers
The Senior Pastor or his designate shall be the chairman of the board of Elders. The elders shall elect
from themselves a secretary.
1. The Chairman shall be vested with all authority necessary for the preservation of order and for the
proper and expedient conduct of all business meetings of the Board of Elders. The Chairman is
responsible for the convening and adjourning of meetings, as well as developing the agenda for all
2. In the absence of the Pastor, the Board may appoint someone among their ranks to act as the
chairman, in such instances he shall be vested with all the authority of the Chair.
3. The Secretary is charged with the recording and preservation of all minutes of the elder’s meetings
as well as all business meetings. Included in this responsibility shall be the preservation of such
notes in a legible and easily readable form.
C. Quorum and voting
1. Since it is believed that as believers we are to be of the same mind and purpose, decisions regarding
church business shall be by consensus of the elders.
2. A quorum of two-thirds of the elder board shall be necessary when setting church policies and
conducting church business involving expenditures over $1,000.
D. Meetings
The board of elders shall meet on a monthly basis with the regular meeting date set at the first
convened meeting after the annual business meeting. Special meetings may be called by the pastor or
two or more elders when deemed necessary. In the event of absence of the pastor and in an emergency
situation, two or more elders may call for a meeting. Reasonable notice must be given as required for all
called meetings. Only in extreme emergencies can a special meeting be called without at least 48 hour
E. Term of Service
With the exception of the teaching elder (pastor), elders will be reconfirmed annually at the annual
church meeting. An elder may request a sabbatical for a designated period of time.
F. Responsibilities
The Board of Elders is charged with maintaining the spiritual and physical government of the church.
Therefore, its members have the authority to:
1. Inquire into the knowledge and Christian conduct of all church members.
2. To encourage, exhort, rebuke or admonish church members according to the rules of Scripture.


3. To receive members into the fellowship of Gateway Community Church according to the rules
described in Article IV.
4. To instruct, examine, ordain, and install Pastors, staff, governing elders and deacons.
5. To require church officers to devote themselves to their responsibility.
6. To act as overseers in the church as the Scripture instructs. All teams and organizations within the
church are subject to the board of elders.
7. To develop and supervise the work of the educational program of the church. (Such work may be
delegated to a Christian Education Team).
8. To assemble the people for worship in the absence of the pastor.
9. To assist the pastor in the administration of the Lord's supper.
10. To supervise the finances of the church and to select a church treasurer whose responsibilities shall
be to record, report, and dispense church funds. The treasurer and his designates shall have the
authority to write and authorize church checks.
11. To devise suitable means for advancing the spiritual interest of the church and its congregation.
12. To hire/fire staff as necessary.
ARTICLE IX – (Teaching Elder)
1. The person who fills this office is given in Scripture different names expressive of his various duties. As
he has the oversight of the church, he is termed Overseer. As he feeds the flock of Christ spiritual food,
he is termed Pastor. As he serves Christ and His church, he is termed minister. As it is his duty to be an
example to the flock, he is termed teaching elder. As he is sent to declare the Word of God to lost men
and to beseech them to repent and be reconciled to God through Christ, he is termed ambassador. As
he stands to proclaim God's Word to God's people, he is termed the Man of God. As he expounds the
Word of God, and by sound doctrine exhorts, convinces, and rebukes the hearer, he is termed teacher.
These names do not indicate grades of office but describe the duties of the Man of God who fills the
office, pastor-teacher.
2. The one who fills the office of Pastor-teacher, must meet the qualifications of Scripture. (See 1 Tim.
3:1-7; and Titus 1:3-9 in particular). The Pastor-teacher should be a man of sound faith, able to teach,
and should possess a competency in Biblical exposition. He should live a life becoming of the Name of
Christ, and should be a man of wisdom, discretion, and holiness. He should rule his own house well and
have a good reputation in the church and in the world.
3. When a Pastor-teacher is called by the congregation, it becomes his responsibility to fulfill all the
duties of his office. He is to Preach and Teach in accordance with sound Biblical Doctrine. He is to pray
with and for the flock under his care. He is to direct the congregation in worship, and lead by example in
outreach and fellowship. He is to visit his people giving special attention to those in need. (Note: The


word "visit" in Scripture has at it's core the idea of oversight that shows concern for someone. Visitation
in Scripture means the exercise of pastoral care and discipline. Thus, it is active concern in watching over
and meeting the needs of the flock entrusted to his care.) Inclusive in the pastor-teacher’s duties are
edification, evangelism, administration of the sacraments (baptism and the Lord's Supper), weddings,
funerals, and the administration of church government in cooperation with the elders.
4. Call. A candidate for Pastor – teacher or any other ministry position, shall be considered only after he
has subscribed in writing to the Statement of Faith and Constitution of this church. He shall give
testimony to his call by the Lord to this office, shall answer acceptably questions of doctrine posed by
the elders, and shall by personal testimony affirm his faith in Jesus Christ, affirm the absolute authority
of Scripture, and affirm his intentions to live faithfully by the Word, and teach sound doctrine by both
instruction and example. Having satisfied these requirements, the candidate for Pastor-teacher or any
other ministry position shall be recommended to the congregation by a consensus of the elders. The
members, in a special called meeting, shall then vote on the candidate. A 3/4 vote shall be considered
sufficient for the calling of a pastor-teacher or any other ministry staff member.
5. Dismissal. The pastor-teacher, or any other ministry staff member may be recommended for dismissal
by a consensus of the elders. Voting shall be in a duly called meeting of the elders, and the pastor-
teacher or staff member under consideration for dismissal must be given a written notice of the meeting
and the reasons for the recommendation of dismissal thirty days prior to the meeting to determine
referral to the membership. At this meeting, the staff member may meet with the elders and present
evidence, witnesses, and cross-examine the prosecution witnesses. If, after said meeting, the elders by
consensus determine to proceed with the dismissal, the matter shall be discussed in a duly called
business meeting of the church and a vote taken by secret ballot. A 2/3 negative vote shall be grounds
for dismissal.
(a). Dismissal shall be made with due Christian consideration and love. Unused vacation time with pay
may be taken at this time and following that time two-week severance pay shall be afforded to staff
members and four-week severance pay shall be afforded to the pastor-teacher.
(b). Exception. The above procedures are not required if the pastor-teacher or staff member is found to
be in direct violation of the moral guidelines of Scripture in violation to the criminal laws of this state. In
such a case, (immorality or criminal activity), the church may move for immediate dismissal of the pastor
teacher or staff member. In such instances, the consensus of the elders shall be deemed grounds for
dismissal. (Note: This exception requires proof according to the rules of evidence in judicial
ARTICLE X – (Elders)
A. The Role of the elder
1. As the apostolic era came to a close, the office of elder emerged as the highest level of local church
leadership. Thus, it carried a great amount of responsibility. There was no higher court of appeal, and
no greater resource to know the mind and heart of God with regard to issues of the church.7


2. The Bible says, "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires
a noble task." (1 Timothy 3:1). In verse 5 of this text Paul defines the task of the "overseer" (the Greek
word is episkopos), as taking care of God's church. The primary responsibility of the elder then is that of
being caretaker for the church.
3. As caretaker of the church the elder has a number of specific duties. First, he is to oversee the affairs
of the local church (1 Tim. 5:17; 1 Tim. 3:4-5; Heb. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; Rom. 12:8). The word used in
these passages translated from the Greek as "rule" is "proistemi" and means literally to stand first, and
speaks of the duty of general oversight common to all elders.
4. As those who rule in the church, elders are not subject to any higher earthly authority outside of the
local assembly. Their authority is not by force or dictatorial power, but by precept and example (Heb.
5. If all elders are guided by the same Spirit and all have the mind of Christ, there should be a consensus
in the decisions they make (1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3; Phil. 1:27; 2:2). If there is division, all the elders should
study and pray and seek the will of God together until consensus is reached. Unity and harmony in the
church at large begin here.
6. The elders are responsible to preach and teach (1 Tim. 5:17; 2 Tim 4:2). They are to determine
doctrinal issues for the church and have the responsibility of proclaiming the truth to the congregation.
1 Timothy 3:2, in listing the spiritual qualifications of the elders, gives only one qualification that relates
to function: he must be "able to teach". All the other qualifications are personal character qualities.
This function of teaching is emphasized in Titus 1:7-9 "Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work . .
. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others
by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." Early in the church, the threat of false teachers was
so great that a key qualification for leadership was an understanding of sound doctrine and the ability to
teach it.
7. The elders are responsible to "correct, rebuke, and encourage" those under their care (2 Tim. 4:2).
The word correct in the Greek is "elecho" and carries the idea of convincing a person of his sin in such a
way that he is led to repentance. "Rebuke" is "epitimao" in the Greek and carries the idea of a sharp
rebuke with the idea of impending pain that will follow if the guilty party does not repent. "Encourage"
is "parakaleo" and means literally "to call near". Thus, the elder’s role includes persuasion (Acts 2:4;
14:22; Titus 1:9), pleading (2 Cor. 8:17-21), comfort (1 Thes. 2:11), encouragement (1 Thes. 4:1), and
patiently reiterating important doctrine (2 Tim. 4:2).
8. The elders are responsible for evangelism (2 Tim. 4:5; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). An elder must be able
to lead a person to faith in Christ and must be able to lead other people by example and teaching how to
lead another to faith in Christ. The elder, as the overseer of the church, must have the heart of the
Father and the desire of the Son. We believe that the Bible teaches that the heart of the Father and the
desire of the Son is to "seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10).
9. The elders are responsible for shepherding the flock of God. Acts 20:28 says, "Keep watch over
yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church


of God, which he bought with his own blood." This involves feeding, inspecting, visiting, and protecting
the flock. (See also Acts 20:29-30). Note: while the elder acts as a caring and loving shepherd over the
flock, it must be remembered that never in Scripture is it spoken of as "his flock" or "your flock". It is
always the "flock of God" and the elder is a steward or caretaker for the possession of God (1 Peter 5:2).
10. The elders are a resource for those who seek partnership in prayer. James wrote: "Is any one of you
sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the
Lord." — James 5:14
11. Other duties of the elder include the determination of church policy (Acts 15:22), oversight of the
entire operation of the church (Acts 20:28), ordination of other elders (1 Tim 4:4), and setting an
example of Christian conduct and character. (1 Peter 5:1-3).
12. While elders are charged with the oversight of the church, this does not mean that they themselves
must perform all of the duties regarding day-to-day business, public relations, minor financial
considerations, and the particulars of the day-to-day operation of the church. Indeed, the Scriptures
make it plain that the role of the elder is first of all prayer and ministry of the Word, and then to
delegate responsibility of lessor matters to others (Acts 6:3-4).
B. Qualifications of Elders
1. Above reproach (1 Tim 3:2). Leaders are to be above reproach; having nothing in their lives for which
they can be rebuked.
2. Devoted to their wives (1 Tim. 3:2). They are to be "one-woman men," that is not womanizers, but
dedicated to their own wives. Note verse: this refers to moral character not social status.
3. Temperate (1 Tim. 3:2). They are to be spiritually stable, having a clear, biblical perspective on life.
4. Prudent (1 Tim. 3:2). Sometimes translated "sober-minded". It means that they know their priorities.
5. Respectable (1 Tim. 3:2). Leaders are to have such well-ordered lives that they are honored for it in
the church and in the community.
6. Hospitable (1 Tim. 3:2). They are to love strangers, opening their house to those in need.
7. Able to teach (1 Tim. 3:2). In the Greek this phrase is one word "didaktikos". Didaktikos is never used
to speak of the gift of teaching or the office of a teacher. Therefore, this phrase is not to be interpreted
that the elder is a great Bible teacher. Rather the word is saying that the elder must both be teachable
himself, as well as being able to communicate biblical truth to others. The word itself conveys not the
dynamics of his teaching but his sensitivity to other people; teaching with a meek and gentle spirit.
8. Self-controlled (Titus 1:8). Leaders are not addicted to alcohol or drugs in any form. The leader is to be
one who is in control of himself.
9. Not self-willed (Titus 1:7). Leaders should not be self-centered. A church cannot have people in
leadership who are only concerned with their wants and desires (Phil. 2:3-4). The most important thing
about church leaders is that they be concerned about the people they are serving.


10. Not quick tempered (Titus 1:7). Leaders cannot have a volatile temperament; they must be patient.
11. Not violent (Titus 1:7). Another translation of the Greek here is "not pugnacious". The Greek word
literally means "not a fighter". The church does not want someone in leadership who is always looking
for an argument; who wants to solve things with his fists.
12. Not contentious (1 Tim. 3:3). NIV translates this word, "not quarrelsome". This ties in with 11 above.
A church leader cannot be one who likes to compete and debate; he is not argumentative.
13. Gentle (1 Tim. 3:3). The Greek means "forbearing" and ties in with not quarrelsome above.
14. Not materialistic (1 Tim. 3:3). Church leaders should be free from the love of money (but this is not
to say free from money itself).
15. Not given to much wine (1 Tim. 3:3). The Greek here literally says, "does not sit long over wine". The
idea here is that the church leader does not become drunk with wine. While it cannot be said that the
church leader must totally abstain from wine, given the culture of today and the connotation of the
drink, the prudent course of action would be to avoid the very appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22; Rom.
14:13-22; Gal. 5:13).
16. Managing their household well. (1 Tim. 3:4). Church leaders are required to keep their children
under control with dignity. Many people keep their children under control, but not many do it with
17. Having a good reputation among unbelievers (1 Tim. 3:7). What type of reputation does he have in
the community? Church leaders are to interact with the unsaved world with an integrity that should be
above reproach. (See also 1 Peter 2:12).
18. Loving what is good (Titus 1:8). The church leader cannot hold onto evil habits, read or watch
material that would be unbecoming of Christ.
19. Upright (Titus 1:8). The church leader is to be just and fair in all of his dealings.
20. Holy (Titus 1:8).
21. Not new converts (1 Tim. 1:6). They are to be spiritually mature.
C. Selection of Elders
1. Elders are called and appointed by God, confirmed by the church and ordained to the task of
leadership. In the progress of the New Testament, we see that elders were first appointed by the
Apostles (Acts 14:23), then by those who were close to the apostles (Titus 1:5), then in the last phase,
the elders themselves ordained other elders. (1 Tim. 4:4). The important thing to note here is that the
office of elder is not an elected position, but rather an appointed one — appointed by the church
2. While we recognize that there are no apostles today, the biblical pattern still holds. Church leaders
have the responsibility of identifying and ordaining other elders.

3. The process of the selection of elders.
a. The candidate for elder must have a desire to serve in the capacity of elder (1 Tim. 3:1).
b. The candidate must meet the biblical qualifications of the elder and must agree to serve in the biblical
role of an elder performing all functions "voluntary according to the will of God." (1 Peter 5:2).
c. The candidate must have proven faithful to Christ and His Word (1 Tim 3:10).
d. The elders of the church, with fasting and prayer must together seek God's will and affirm that God is
in the decision (Acts 14:23; 20:28). [In response to His call, God plants in a man's heart a passion for
ministry, and then confirms it by the leading of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the leadership through
prayer and fasting. A man should not become an elder just because he has a vague notion that he would
like to use his gifts to serve the church. He should be motivated by a burden that causes him to seek God
earnestly; he should have a sense of call.] e. After the elders of the church affirm the candidate, he shall be presented to the church for
confirmation (Acts 13:2). Upon a two-thirds affirmative vote, the candidate shall be confirmed as an
elder, and shall be installed into office through a service of ordination.
D. Dismissal of Elders
1. An elder may be dismissed from active service on the board for failure to fulfill his responsibilities of
the office to which he has been elected or for any unrepentant change of character which may render
him biblically unsuited for the office. Such action can only be initiated by a consensus of the board of
elders (excluding the person in question). At least thirty-days prior to a meeting for dismissal, the elder
under consideration shall be notified in writing of the reason(s) for the recommendation and may be
present to refute the recommendation or present evidence that a change in activity has taken place.
2. Any elder recommended for dismissal for failure to perform his duties, may elect to demonstrate a
change of action within the 30-day notification period. Such action shall be interpreted as a "good faith"
promise, and the recommendation for dismissal shall instead become a recommendation for probation
during which time the elder who proves his desire to serve may redeem himself. The probationary
period shall not be less than 30 days (in addition to the period between notification and the meeting),
nor shall it be more than 60 days.
3. An elder recommended for dismissal, shall then be dismissed from service upon a unanimous vote of
the active elder board. Such action will then be made known to the congregation in a duly called
business meeting of the church. (Note: dismissal action for failure to perform duties must be verifiable
and not simply a matter of interpretation, i.e., failure to win people to Christ is not grounds for
dismissal, but failure to be an active witness (verified by facts), would be. {An elder must not be one
who claims to witness only with his life but must have the ability to communicate effectively the hope
that is within him (1 Peter 3:15)}.
4. An elder may also be dismissed from active service for known sin for which he is unrepentant, or for
any sin that would cause him to fall short of the qualifications. In such cases 1 Timothy 5:19-21 shall
come into play. If such accusations are made by "two or three" witnesses, the same process described in


1-3 above shall be followed.
ARTICLE XI – (Deacon/Male and female)
A. The role of deacon
1. There are three primary words in the New Testament used to refer to deacon. "Deakonos" which
means "servant", "diakonia" which means "service" and "diakoneo" which means "to serve."
2. The role of deacon in the New Testament seems to be a role of service that arose out of specific
needs (Acts 6:1-7). The purpose of deacons, is to serve the church in practical ways so that the church
leaders were freed to give attention to the spiritual needs of the church.
B. Qualifications of Deacons
1. A deacon must be a man "worthy of respect" (1 Tim. 3:8). Acts 6:3 describes them as men who are to
be "full of the Spirit and wisdom". They are to be men of sound, Christian, reputation.
2. Sincere (1 Tim. 3:8). The Greek phrase is "ma dilogos" and means literally, "not double-tongued". A
deacon must not be someone who says one thing but means another, nor is he to be one who makes
different representations to different people about the same thing.
3. "Not indulging in much wine" (1 Tim. 3:8). The deacon is not to be a person addicted to vices that
could be harmful to his health, testimony, or reputation.
4. Not greedy for personal gain (1 Tim. 3:8). Implied in this qualification is the idea that one of the
functions of the deacons was to look after the financial matters of the church in general and the
benevolence in particular. The deacon must be a man who will not be tempted to divert the monies of
the church to projects which will be of personal benefit rather than projects that would be God-
5. They must be committed to understanding and up-holding the faith in both word and deed (1 Tim.
6. They must be men of clear conscience (1 Tim. 3:9).
7. The husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:12). As described in the elders above, this is a "one woman sort of
man" and refers to moral character, not social status. The deacon is not a ladies man.
8. They must manage their own households well with dignity (1 Tim. 3:12).
C. Qualifications of women deacons
1. "In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but
temperate and trustworthy in everything." (1 Timothy 3:11). Some hold that this verse is speaking about
the way the leader’s wives should act. While this is certainly true, the force of the Greek here indicates
that this is an office in the church.
a. As in verse 8 of 1 Timothy, there is no article used of "gunaikas" (women), indicating that Paul is


talking about a specific office in the church. The word translated "in the same way" in the Greek is
"hosautos" and is used to introduce the second or third in a series (adding weight to the argument that
this is an office and not a side comment on deacons' wives). And finally, there is no possessive pronoun
used here which would be necessary if this were talking about the wife of a church leader.
b. In Romans 16:1 we read, "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant (diakonos) of the church in
Cenchrea." It is possible that Phoebe served in an official capacity as a deaconess at the church in
c. It's insertion in the middle of the passage about deacons would indicate that this is not a lessor office
(one who serves the servers), but rather that a deaconess is simply the female equivalent of her male
counter-part, the deacon.
2. Women worthy of respect (1 Tim. 3:11). The Greek word is "semnos" and speaks of a combination of
gravity and dignity which invites the reverence of others.
3. Not malicious talkers (1 Tim. 3:11). King James version say’s "not slanderers". The Greek word is
"diabolous", carrying the idea of being "used by the devil". The word itself comes from diaballo which
means "to throw over or across, to traduce, calumniate, slander, accuse, or defame." In other words, a
woman in church leadership must not be one given to use her tongue to stir up strife in the body.
(Compare 1 Tim. 2:11-14).
4. Temperate (1 Tim. 3:11). The Greek word is "nephalion" and carries the idea of calmness,
dispassionate, circumspect in her dealings.
5. Trustworthy (1 Tim. 3:11). The deaconess is true in her dealings and faithful to her Lord.
D. The functions of deacons.
1. As indicated by the name, the deacon is an office of the church that serves in areas identified as
specific needs. These needs include, but are not limited to, (1) the serving of tables, (2) the distribution
of food and/or benevolence funds, (3) the general up-keep of the church facilities so that the elders may
give themselves to prayer and ministry of the Word.
2. In Gateway Community Church, as a need becomes apparent, the elders may appoint gifted men or
women to fill these positions. Each deacon may then appoint with board approval a committee to help
them accomplish the task to which they are assigned.
E. Selection of deacons
1. The elders, along with the congregation shall recommend qualified individuals to fill positions of
deacon as needs arise.
2. The elders shall examine those who are recommended (1 Tim. 3:10), and upon approval by
consensus, shall recommend the individual to the church for confirmation. An individual shall be
appointed deacon upon a two-thirds affirmative vote of the membership.
F. Tenure


1. Terms of service, areas of responsibility, and delegation of authority shall be determined by the
2. Deacons will be reconfirmed annually at the annual church meeting. A deacon may request a
sabbatical for a period of time.
G. Responsibility
Deacons, are responsible to, and report to, the elders.
Teams, when required, will be created, organized, staffed and given specific responsibilities along with
proper authority to act by the elders. Each team shall execute only such policy and procedures as
approved by the elders, and shall be responsible to report decisions, actions, and problems to the board
of elders.
The effective ministry of a local body requires that the various parts work well together. At Gateway we
have chosen to call our various ministry administration teams. Team players know the importance of
working together. Ministry teams do not make policy, they administer policy and facilitate action.
We believe that the financial support of the local church is both a privilege and a mandate. A person
would be hard-pressed to prove he or she believed in the ministry of the church if he or she is not
investing in that church.
There are many varying opinions on tithing. At Gateway we adhere to the principle of Grace Giving,
found in 2nd Corinthians 8 and 9. Further we believe that the tithe is a good starting place, but not a
necessary stopping place.
Designated contributions may be used as directed if they are in keeping with the purpose and policy of
Gateway Community Church. Contributions which do not meet this requirement shall be returned to the
donor, if at all possible. Tax law states that the elders have the right to determine the use of all
Missions and missionaries may be supported through the church by designated gifts. No outside
organization or individual however may be placed on the budget of this church. Such giving is solely the
choice and responsibility of the individual giver.
The board of elders may elect to designate, set aside and give up to 10% of the current budget for
special projects. These gifts are designated for one year and are not to be understood as continuing
ARTICLE XIV – (Ordination)
A commission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be granted in the name of this church to any
man by consensus of the elders after proper examination by an Ordaining Counsel. The ordaining
counsel shall consist of the Pastor and elders of Gateway Community Church. The ordaining council shall


thoroughly examine all applicants for ordination as to their personal testimony and walk, their call to the
ministry, education and/or ministry experience, theological understanding, and doctrinal soundness.
The ordaining council may not ordain anyone who does not subscribe to the statement of faith of this
The candidate for ordination must submit to the Pastor of this church a written request for ordination,
as well as a position paper detailing his personal experience with Christ, his reasons for seeking
ordination, his call to the ministry, and his position on the major doctrines of the faith including, but not
limited to: Scriptures, God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Angels, Satan, Demons, Man, Sin, Salvation, the
Church, and Eschatology.
The church shall hold an ordination service for the candidate followed by a fellowship meal and
communion within a timely manner after the ordination is approved.
An ordination granted by this church may be revoked if the ordained minister falls into unrepentant sin
or theological error. The process shall begin upon recommendation of either the ordaining counsel or
elders. Notification of the recommendation shall be given to the minister under consideration 30 days
prior to the meeting at which the recommendation shall be acted on. The minister under consideration
may be present at that meeting to state his case. Revocation of ordination shall be on unanimous vote
by the board of elders.
ARTICLE XV – (Corporate seal)
The Corporate Seal for Gateway Community Church shall be in the form of a circle and shall have the
name of this church inscribed thereon.
The Corporate Seal shall be used on all documents of importance including, Ordination Certificates,
Wedding Licenses, Death Certificates, and Baptismal Certificates.
ARTICLE XVI – (Fiscal Year)
The fiscal year of Gateway Community Church shall run from January 1 to December 31st of each year.
ARTICLE XVII – (Amendments)
Articles in this constitution which are not directed by Scripture may be amended by two-thirds vote of
the members in a duly called business meeting. Proposed amendments of this nature must be presented
in writing to the board of elders accompanied by a petition signed by at least 10% of the current
membership. If the amendment is approved by the board of elders, it will then be brought before the
membership for vote.
Amendments involving matters of Biblical interpretation must be submitted to the board of elders for
consideration accompanied by a petition of two-thirds of the current membership. If the interpretation
is deemed accurate, the elders may submit the amendment to the congregation for a vote. Such
amendments must have a two-thirds vote to be enacted.
The Statement of Faith or the purposes of this church may not be amended.

(Revised August 21, 2021)