A. The local
congregation of believers is the only visible form of the "church" founded
by the direct authority of Scripture. Free Will Baptists, therefore, recognize
the local church as the sole source of authority possessed and exercised
within the visible church.
B. The local
church is an independent and self-governing body, with full authority to
transact its business, choose its pastor and officers, receive, discipline,
and dismiss members, hold free title to all its properties, and conduct
all its internal affairs.
SECTION II: Its Relationships
The local Free
Will Baptist church bears two important relationships to other churches:
within the local church are members of the universal and invisible church,
known as the body of Christ.
B. Local churches
voluntarily form associations which organize and cooperate as the Free
Will Baptist denomination.