CONSTITUTION AND REGULATIONS OF THE NIGERIAN BAPTIST CONVENTION
Article I – Name and Definitions
This body shall be known and called the “Nigerian Baptist Convention”, The title of the corporate body shall be “The registered Trustees of Nigerian Baptist Convention”.
The following terms when used in this constitution shall be understood as follows:-
- Convention: Shall be understood (unless the context determines otherwise) to mean Nigerian Baptist Convention.
- Committee: Shall be a duly elected group charged with specific responsibilities in different areas of Convention work, e.g. Nominating Committee, Programme Planning Committee, etc.
- Board: Shall be a duly elected group to oversee and or advice an institution, department or business concern which belongs to the Convention, e.g. Christian Education Advisory Board, Baptist Bookstore Board, Boards of Governors of Schools, etc.
- Messanger: Shall be a member of a Baptist Church cooperating with the Association, Conference and Convention elected and certified by the church to attend any of the denomination sessions.
- Church: Shall be understood to mean a group of baptized believers in Christ who have covenanted to worship, to fellowship, to teach and evangelize, and organized in a place and co-operating with the Nigerian Baptist Convention with the sole aim of propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Association: A group of Baptist Churches that are geographically contiguous formed by local Churches for the purpose of doing missions and evangelism. It shall consist of not less than six organized Baptist churches, all geographically contiguous, with at least five Baptist trained pastors out of which at least three must be full time; and one of whom must be ordained. An organized Local Church shall not less than 25 baptized believers, trained pastoral leadership, be self-governing, self funding and self propagating; and must have functional key ministerial and educational organs of a local Baptist Church.
- Conference: Shall consist of local Baptist churches in a given wider geographical area or state organized into at least six Baptist associations with not less than eighteen full-time Baptist trained pastors of whom at least twelve shall be ordained.
- Written Notice: In relation to amendments of the Constitution and Regulations, written notice is a communication in writing giving notice of an amendment recommended for the Constitution or Regulation.
- The pronoun “he” is used generically in this document to include male and female.
Article II – Vision and Mission Statement
To be a foremost Christ-like missionary organization in Nigeria, Africa and the whole world.
o be a community of believers that represent Christ by proclaiming the gospel, discipling believers, caring and developing Churches to be involved in holistic ministries – evangelistic, social and healing – and collaborating with other Christian agencies across the globe.
Article III – Membership
The Nigerian Baptist Convention shall consist of all Baptist churches in Nigeria that desire a general organization for Christian service which shall fully respect the independence and equal rights of the churches that work together under the accepted Declaration of the Principles and Objectives set forth in this Constitution and who are willing to accept the responsibilities and privileges of the organization.
Article IV– Declaration of Principles
A. The Convention fully accepts that the Scriptures (the Old and New Testaments) were given by inspiration of God and that they are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule for all saving knowledge, faith and obedience. The Convention recognizes the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God and our Saviour as the Head of His Church and the New Testament teaching as the sole authority in all matters pertaining to faith and practice. Each church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has the liberty to interpret the teachings of the Holy Bible and administer its laws responsibly within the Baptist historic faith and as endorsed by the Statements of Faith and Practice of the Nigerian Baptist Convention.
B. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to show forth a solemn and beautiful emblem of one’s faith in the crucified, buried and risen Saviour. It is a prerequisite of the privileges of church membership and admittance to the Lord’s Supper.
C. The Lord’s Supper is a sacred memorial in which the members of the church, by the use of elements such as bread and wine commemorate together the atoning love of Christ.
D. It is the duty of every disciple to bear personal witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to take part in the evangelization of the world.
E. The Convention recognizes the autonomy of every local Baptist Church co-operating with the Convention under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
.F The Convention recognizes monogamy, the union of natural man to natural woman, as the ideal state of family life according to the New Testament. This Convention places on record its adherence thereto. However, no person who has confessed Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour shall be denied baptism, Church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper; but no member of the Church who is polygamist shall hold any Church office or position.
G. Realizing that membership in a secret society and the taking of oath of membership in such society are both contrary to the teaching of the New Testament, this Convention declares unequivocally that any person in the church co-operating with the Convention who is known to be a member of a secret society (foreign or indigenous) shall not be allowed to hold membership or office in any of the churches, associations, conferences and Convention; to serve or participate in ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper or to be given a Christian burial by any of the Convention churches.
Article V – Objectives
The objectives of the Nigerian Baptist Convention shall be as follows:
A. To harness the resources contributed by local Churches that form the Convention for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel and establishing Churches in all parts of the world.
B. To strengthen and assist needy and weak Baptist churches.
C. To encourage and assist in the establishment and maintenance of Christian Education Programmes, Women’s and Men’s Missionary Unions and similar organizations, as circumstance may require.
D. To assist in the development of schools where children may be educated under Christian influence.
E. To foster schools, colleges and tertiary institutions where young men and women may be specially trained for Christian service as workers ministering to the needs of people in body, mind and soul.
F. To be proprietor of Baptist schools, colleges and tertiary institutions where such is allowed by law to further enhance mission work.
G. To be proprietor of Baptist Medical institutions that will provide loving and efficient care for those who are sick in body, mind and soul, thereby further enhancing and guiding the expansion of the propagation of the Gospel.
H. To be proprietor of Baptist Ministerial Training Institutions.
I. To afford opportunity for united action concerning matters affecting the welfare of churches in the Convention and to cultivate fellowship with all who love the Lord Jesus by means of an annual conference, the publication of regular periodicals and other literature, and by such other means as the Convention may adopt.
J. To confer with and to co-operate with other Christian churches and organizations, as occasions may arise, in so far as it does not contravene the provisions of this constitution and regulations.
K. To own properties, real and equity holding, including shares and stocks in companies whose aims and objectives are not at variance with the declared principles and objectives of the Convention.
L. To establish institutions and agencies to deal in publishing and printing of religious and educational books and materials and other documents that may be of use to the public and for the upliftment of the work of God.
M. To establish companies to deal in the sale of religious and other educational books, stationeries and other items.
N. To invest in such other financial undertakings that are for the propagation of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Article VI – Operation
The Convention shall act through its National Convention, Conferences, Associations, Churches, Committees, Boards, and Officers. All committees, boards and officers shall be subject to the National Convention which shall have full authority concerning all matters pertaining to the Convention.
Article VII – Key Officers
The Convention shall have a Chairman, three Vice Chairmen (one ordained Pastor, and two non-pastors, one of whom must be a woman), provided that the First Vice Chairman shall be the Pastor; the President, three Vice Presidents. Other key officers shall be Director, Christian Education; Director, Publications; Director, Global Missions; Director Medical and Health Ministries; Director, Men’s Missionary Union; Director, Youth and Students’ Ministry; Director Social Ministries; Director, Music Ministries, WMU Director and as many other officers as the Convention shall deem fit for carrying out the purpose of the Convention.