In 1995, Crestview had no guiding documents other than a personnel policy manual. A committee was formed to write a constitution and bylaws. The purpose of the document was not to be a legalistic rule, but a reflection of the organizational structure and intent of the church. Two of the members of the committee that are especially remembered as participating were Betty Knauth and Cecil Ray. Betty’s husband Fred had served many years as treasurer before passing away and she had been a part of the beginnings of the church. Dr. Ray was retired, but had a background as an executive in the Baptist General Convention of Texas as well as being the former Executive Secretary of the Baptist Convention of North Carolina. We studied several examples from other churches and then formulated our own. One of the decisions we made was that we would not restrict receiving members to only those who had made professions of faith and been baptized in a Baptist church. This was deemed an idea about membership based on what is known as Landmarkism. We acknowledged that in our day there are many churches with identical understandings of the nature of salvation and believer’s baptism, and that requiring another baptism for such persons was not necessary. They could be interviewed and instructed as to our understanding of church practices and polity and if found in agreement, received by statement of their faith and baptism. We also inserted a plan for a person to be under the watchcare of the church if they were not desirous of believer’s baptism due to an affinity for another denominational heritage and yet wanted to be more than a continual visitor. This status would allow us to more carefully care for and minister to such persons who desire to company with us just short of full membership. These persons could not vote or hold positions of leadership, but otherwise could be an important partner in ministry.

We also developed a living personnel policy manual that has undergone several revisions to accommodate a growing church. We developed a Deacon Handbook in 2006. We have a missions manual that has been written and revised to accommodate the changing realities of our direct missions work. This is also a living document that is coordinated by our Missions Committee. New opportunities and realities require constant review of these documents due to the growth of our church.

Finally, in 1995 Crestview adopted the following mission statement which is based on an understanding of the Great Commisssion of our Lord found in Matthew 28. It is as follows:

We are people sharing Jesus through Lifting up Jesus (That is worship and prayer.)

Learning to follow Him, (That is discipleship.)

and Leading others to know Him, (That is evangelism and missions.)

because people need the Lord.

Dan Wooldridge

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