Section 14 - The Church
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of immersed believers (a) associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel (b) who observe the ordinances of Christ (c) and are governed by His laws while (d) exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word. (e) We believe that its scripturally designated officers are pastors (elders) and deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the scriptures. (f) We believe the true mission of the church is found in the great commission which is to first, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize them; third, to teach and instruct as He has commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order. (g) We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations, and the one and only superintendent is Christ, through the Holy Spirit. (h) We believe that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel, and that church is the sole and only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. (i) On all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.