THE MINISTRY

1. No member of our connection shall be at liberty to take upon himself the public ministry of Word, he feels divinely called, and makes report of the same to the church to which he belongs, and if the church shall be satisfied with his qualifications, and call of such person, then the church may grant said person the liberty to preach twelve months. He shall be listed as a licentiate minister by his church.

a. When he feels he is divinely called, he is given a license by the Pastor of the Church to which he belongs

b. If, after attending and being under the watch care of his church for months, he proves satisfactory to the church, they will grant a letter of recommendation, signed by the Pastor and clerk to be sent to the Quarterly Meeting. (Recommendation shall consist of his attendance at church, Sunday school, conference and knowledge of the John Thomas Association by-laws)

c. If satisfactory to same, the quarterly meeting may recommend him to the Ordaining Council.

d. He shall be ordained if proven satisfactory to the Council, if not he will be laid over by the ordaining council until a later date.

 

2. The Ordaining Council, consisting of three ordained ministers, must be elected by each quarterly conference according to its rules… and shall serve for a period of twelve months.

 

3. When a minister of another denomination wishes to unite with a Freewill Baptist Church of the John-Thomas Association, he must first become a member of the church, and then the proceedings are the same as with licentiates.

 

4. Any minister that leave a Church in the John-Thomas Association and joins a church in another Conference that is not a member of The John-Thomas Association, if he desires to be reinstated in any conference in the John-Thomas Association, shall be dealt with as though they had never belonged to the Church.

 

5. If an ordained minister becomes disorderly, or preaches a doctrine contrary to the John Thomas Association Freewill Baptist faith, the minister shall be called to question by the church offended. He shall be given a fair and impartial trial, by evidence mainly by the Freewill Baptist members; if the charges shall be sustained, he shall be reported to the ministers conference; Each ministers' conference shall deal with him according to their rules. (See by-laws of the ministers' conference number 3)

 

6. If the charges are against a licentiate, the church where he belongs has the exclusive right to deal with him. (He is under the watch care of the church and not the quarterly conference.)

 

7. Any ordained minister of the John-Thomas Association of Freewill Baptists may serve the church in the absence of the pastor, in every Gospel order required of him by the church.

 

8. Ministers from another Freewill Baptist conference elected to pastor a church in a conference in the John-Thomas Association will be required to join the conference. (He will be examined by the ordaining council as to the John-Thomas Association doctrine and if in agreement he will be issued a license by the conference accepting him.)

9. The John-Thomas Association of Freewill Baptists or any conference or church belonging to the Association will not:

a. Ordain any woman into the ministry

b. Ordain any known homosexual, trans-gender or gender-neutral into the ministry

c. No John-Thomas Association minister shall at anytime, now or in the indefinite future, be required or allowed to perform same sex marriages (male to male or female to female) according to our biblical and religious belief. (Articles of Faith number 8) 

10. The John-Thomas Association of Freewill Baptists or any Conference or any Church belonging to the Association for clarification of the term "BlBLE” as our rule of faith and practice will use only the Authorized King James Version of the Scripture of the 1611 translation (translated out of the original tongues, with former translations diligently compared and revised) to read, preach, teach, marry, baptize, bury the dead, present to our Ministers when ordained, and to carry out any Gospel instructions.

11. When a new church wishes to unite with a conference in the John-Thomas Association, all their ordained ministers are examined by the ordaining council of the receiving conference and to doctrine of The John-Thomas Association and if such are in agreement with them, those ministers are then issued a license by the conference, lf any ministers are under the watch care of said church, his time under the watch care will be counted.

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