LIVE COALS PRESS
Constitution and General Rules
Fire-Baptized Holiness Church
This organization shall be called the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church.
OBJECT AND DESIGN.
The object and purpose of this church is three-fold:
- The deepening of the spiritual life among ourselves, so that all of
our members shall attain the highest state of Christian experience possible in this
- The ordination and appointment of Elders, Pastors, Evangelists and
Missionaries divinely called, qualified and set apart to the work.
- All our Elders, Pastors, Evangelists and Missionaries shall be
required to teach and preach the doctrines set forth in the basis of union.
- All our regularly ordained Elders, Pastors, Evangelists and
Missionaries shall have authority to administer the ordinances of the Lords
supper and baptism and to solemnize matrimony.
BASIS OF UNION.
- We believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the remission of
sins that are past (Rom. 3:25), and for the regeneration of penitent sinners and for
salvation from sin and from sinning (I. John 3:5-10; Eph. 2:1-10).
- We believe, teach and firmly maintain the scriptural doctrine of
justification by faith alone, as taught by John Wesley and the early fathers of
Methodism (Rom. 5:1).
- We believe also that Jesus Christ shed His blood for the complete
cleansing of the justified believer from all indwelling sin, and from its pollution
subsequent to regeneration.
- We believe also that entire sanctification destroys and eradicates
inbred sin (Rom. 6:6; Heb. 13:12; I. John 1:7-9; I. Thes. 5:23; John 17:17; Acts
- We believe that the entire sanctification is an instantaneous,
definite, second work of grace, obtainable by faith on the part of the fully
- We believe also that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is obtainable by
a definite act of appropriating faith on the part of the fully cleansed believer (Acts
1:5; 2:1-4, 38; Luke 11:13; Acts 19:6).
- We believe also that the baptism with fire is a definite, scriptural
experience, obtainable by faith on the part of the Spirit-filled believer (Matt. 3:11;
Luke 3:16; Rev. 15:2; Psa. 104:4; Acts 2:1-4; Heb. 12:29; Ezek. 1:4-14; 10:2-7; Isa.
- We believe also in divine healing as in the atonement (Isa. 53:3-5;
Matt. 8:16, 17; Mark 16:14-18; James 5:14-16; Ex. 15:26).
- We believe in the imminent, personal, pre-millennial, second coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ (I. Thes. 4:15-18; Titus 2:13; II. Peter 3:1-14; Matt. 24:29-44), and we love and
wait for His appearing (II. Tim. 4:8).
- We do not believe that the baptism with fire is an experience
independent of, or disassociated from, the Holy Ghost, but we do believe that the
divine baptism of Jesus is two-fold. Christs baptism is with the Holy Ghost and with
fire. We believe that it is He, the Comforter, abiding in the heart of the purified
believer, who creates an intense longing for the experience of the baptism with fire, and,
as the Executive of the Godhead, baptizes those in whom He dwells with the baptism of
fire, and that none can receive the experience of the baptism with fire except those in
whom the personal Holy Ghost already abides.
- The Fire-Baptized Holiness Church is utterly opposed to the
teaching of the so-called Christian Scientists, Spiritualists, Unitarians,
Universalists and Mormons. We deny as false unscriptural Seventh-Day Adventist,
annihiliation of the wicked, conditional immortality, anitinomianism, absolute perfection,
so-called come-outism, the so-called resurrection life, the so-called redemption or
glorification of the body in this life, and the doctrine of the restitution of all things
as set forth in millennial dawnism and taught by Jukes and others, and the false teaching
that we are not born of God until we are sanctified wholly.
- The Lord says, "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled," and the
Fire-Baptized Holiness Church firmly holds that there are certain relations between
husband and wife which are strictly private according to the Word of God, and into this
sacred privacy no one has any right to inquire (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 7:1-5).
- No subsequent General Council, State Convention, local church or other body shall have
authority to change the basis of union of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church.
- No one shall be admitted to full membership in this church who is not in full accord
with the teachings of the same as set forth in the basis of union.
- He must also give satisfactory evidence aside from his own testimony that he is
regenerated, clearly justified, sanctified wholly, and is groaning after the fulness of
the Spirit and the definite experience of the baptism with fire. Provided, also, that
applicants in the enjoyment of the experience of scriptural justification may be received
as probationers for the period of three months. Provided, further, that no one shall be
received into full membership no entitled to a vote who does not enjoy the experience of
entire sanctification and is agonizing after the fulness of the Spirit and the definite
experience of the baptism with fire.
- In accordance with these professions, all who remain with us shall take as their rule of
conduct the Word of God (Gal. 6:16) and shall conform outwardly as well as I inwardly in
their daily walk and conversation to its simple teachings.
- We are commanded in Gods Word not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers,
and to have no communion or fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, such as
oathbound secret societies, social clubs, and corrupt partisan politics (II. Cor. 6:14;
Eph. 5:11); not to be conformed to this world (Rom. 12:2); to come out from among them and
be separate (II. Cor. 6:16), and even to turn away from those who have the form of
godliness, but deny the power thereof (II. Tim 3:5); to cleanse ourselves from all
filthiness of the flesh and spirit (II. Cor. 7:1), such as the use, growth, sale or
handling of tobacco in every form, or of morphine, or intoxicants, filthiness of speech,
foolish talking or jesting, or the use of slang language; to abstain from all appearance
of evil (I. Thes. 5:22); and to do all we do to the glory of God and in the name of Jesus
Christ (Col. 3:17; I. Cor. 10:31); to wear no outward adorning, such as jewelry, gold,
feathers, flowers, costly apparel or ornamentation of any kind (I. Tim. 2:9; I. Peter
3:3); and a practical observance of all these scriptural requirements, and a complete
separation from anything which does not tend to deepen our own spirituality and promote
the glory of God, is hereby required of all our members.
- Every member of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church shall be required to observe the
Lords day according to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the holy apostles, and to
abstain from doing their own pleasure thereon.
- To abstain from mentioning the faults of an absent person, and refuse to listen to those
who do, except it be absolutely necessary for the glory of God and the good of the cause,
and of the person concerned.
- The tenth is the Lords and shall be recognized as such by all our members (Gen.
28:22; Matt. 23:23).
- All our members are required to be patterns of frugality, diligence, faith and charity,
taking up the cross daily, and true to the abiding baptism of fire.
- To witness on all suitable occasions, even if it costs us our lives, to what the Lord
has done for us, especially to sanctification, divine healing, and the baptism with the
Holy Ghost with fire.
These are the general rules of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church,
and we believe them to be in accordance with the teachings of Gods Word, and
therefore for the good of our own souls and for the glory of God.
All our evangelists and workers shall cause the members to know
what is expected of them regarding everything mentioned, directly or indirectly, in the
general rules, and shall deal faithfully with every one.
QUESTIONS FOR THE RECEPTION OF PRIVATE MEMBERS.
- Have you the forgiveness of your sins? (I. Jno. 1:9.)
- Have you peace now with God through our Lord Jesus Christ? (Rom. 5:2.)
- Have you the witness of the Holy Ghost agreeing with your spirit that you are a child of
God? (Rom. 8:16.)
- Has no sin, inward or outward, dominion over you? (Rom. 6:14.)
- Are you wholly sanctified according to I. Thes 5:23?
- Have you the personal Holy Ghost as promised in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:13; Luke 11:13
and Acts 19:2?
- Have you the experience of the baptism with fire? and if not, are you earnestly seeking
it with all your heart? (Matt. 3:11; Luke 3:16; Acts 2:4; Eph. 3:20; Heb 1:7.)
- Do you believe in divine healing as in the atonement? And in the laying on of hands, and
in anointing with oil? (Isa. 53:3-5; Matt. 8:17; Mark 16:14-18; James 5:14-16.)
- Do you believe in the imminent, personal pre-millennial, second coming of our Lord? (I.
Thes. 4:15-18; II. Peter 3:1-4.)
- Will you faithfully and loyally witness to all these experiences? (Acts 2:32; Isa.
43:10; Luke 24:48.)
No one shall be received into full membership who shall not pass
satisfactory examination upon the foregoing questions.
QUESTIONS TO APPLICANTS FOR THE MINISTRY.
- Have you been called of God to preach the gospel, and can you say as the apostle said:
"Woe is me if I preach not the gospel?"
- Will you "preach the Word" without fear or favor, seeking the honor that comes
from God only reproving, rebuking and exhorting with all long-suffering and doctrine,
contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints?
- Will you take the Word of God as your charge and only rule of conduct, and strive to
regulate your life and manner of living by its sacred teachings? (II. Tim. 4:1-5; I. Cor.
9:16; I. Tim. 4:10-16; II. Tim 1:1-13; Acts 20:17-35.)
- Having a dispensation committed unto you, will you undertake to preach this gospel, not
as a hireling, nor by constraint, neither as being lords over Gods heritage, nor for
filthy lucre, but willingly, and of a ready mind, doing all for the glory of God and the
salvation of lost men?
- Have you counted the cost, and do you fully commit yourself for life to the cause of
In addition to the above, the Local Ruling Elders shall be required to pass
satisfactory examinations as to qualifications upon the following Scriptures: Titus
1:5-9; I. Tim 3:2-7, and I. Peter 5:2-4.
Let all these examinations be close and searching, and let all our workers be required
to conform strictly to these requirements.
We recognize and acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ as the Supreme Head and Rightful
Governor of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church in all its various departments, and His
infallible Word as the man of our counsel, and as our only rule of faith and practice.
- There shall be a General Overseer, who shall have the general oversight and care of all
the church, and whose tenure of office shall continue during good behavior. He shall
preside at all the General Councils, and when present, at all the state, provincial and
- There shall be a General Secretary and General Treasurer, appointed by the General
Overseer. The General Secretary shall keep the minutes of each General Council, and a
correct list of the membership of the church, as furnished by the Ruling Elders. The
General Treasurer shall have charge of all money contributed for the benefit of the church
at large, and pay the same by order of the Board of Trustees.
- There shall be a Board of Trustees, consisting of not less than three or more than nine,
appointed by the General Overseer, who shall be chairman of the same. They shall hold in
trust and have charge of al property deeded or bequeathed to the Fire-Baptized Holiness
- The General Overseer shall appoint the Ruling Elders for the state, provincial and
territorial churches, both domestic and foreign, and shall have power and authority to
remove the same and appoint others, whenever, in his best judgement, the good of the cause
- It shall be the duty of the Ruling Elders to preach the Word, giving their time, talents
and influence to the spread of fire-baptized holiness throughout their respective
jurisdictions. They are expected to so direct the work in their respective territories
that the greatest possible good may be accomplished and the greatest number of souls
saved. They shall obtain a list of the members of the churches in their respective
territory and report the same to the General Secretary once each year.
- The power to appoint pastors for the local churches is hereby given to the General
Overseer, or the Assistant General Overseers, upon the recommendation of the Ruling Elder,
appointment to be made at the state convention. Provided, further, that in case of
necessity, between state conventions, the Ruling Elder shall supply pastors to the local
ORDINATION ORDINANCES, ETC.
- The General Overseer shall have power and authority to ordain Elders and Evangelists in
every place where there is need of such, and, under the immediate direction of the Holy
Ghost, to separate them unto the work whereunto the Lord hath called them, according to
the precedent given in Acts 13:1-3, always remembering the scriptural requirement that an
elder must not be a novice, "lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the
condemnation of the devil" (I. Tim. 3:6), and also that other wholesome apostolic
injunction, to "lay hand suddenly on no man" (I. Tim. 55:22).
- The General Overseer shall have authority to delegate to any Ruling Elder or regularly
ordained Evangelist the power to ordain Elders in special cases whenever he may deem it
wise and expedient for the promotion of the fire-baptized work.
- A certificate of ordination shall be issued to each ordained minister in the connection,
officially signed by the General Overseer and the Ruling Elder granting same.
- In view of the increasing number and efficiency of women who are evidently called of God
unto the evangelistic, missionary and rescue work, provision is hereby made for the
appointing, ordaining and sending forth women thus called of God, exactly the same as men,
thus placing fire-baptized women, called of God, upon the same footing with our brethren
of the stronger sex.
- As the question of water baptism has always been a subject of fruitless strife among
carnal professors, we leave it entirely to individual conscience, as to whether they shall
be baptized and as to the mode by which the rite shall be administered.
- In the administration of the Lords supper only unfermented wine shall be used.
- The General Council shall be composed of the General Overseer, the Assistant General
Overseers, the Associate Editors of the official organ, the Trustees, the Ruling Elders,
the General Secretary, the General Treasurer, and a delegate to be elected by each state
- There shall be one regular meeting every two years, provided, that in case of necessity
the General Overseer shall have authority to convene the General Council at such time and
place as he may designate, for the transaction of such business as may properly come
- The object of the General Council shall be to confer together and to adopt such measures
and devise such means as shall be deemed expedient for the promotion and furtherance of
the cause of fire-baptized holiness.
- In the event of the death, removal or disability of the General Overseer, the Active
Editor of the official organ and the Board of Trustees shall have authority to call a
meeting of the General Council, who shall, by prayer and fasting, seek to know the mind of
the Spirit with regard to filling the vacancy, and the one plainly designated by the Holy
Ghost shall be accepted as the divinely appointed one.
- The General Overseer and three Ruling Elders shall constitute a quorum to transact
- The foreign missionary work shall be under the general supervision
of the General Overseer, who shall have the power and authority to appoint one or more
Superintendents of Foreign Missions, as the exigencies of the times may demand.
- Each state, provincial and territorial church shall hold at least one fire-baptized
holiness convention each year, to be open on all the lines of divine truth, especially on
the lines of sanctification, the baptism of fire, and divine healing. The time and place
of these camp meetings shall be designated by the Ruling Elder.
- Each state, provincial and territorial convention shall be composed of the Ruling Elder
thereof, the Evangelists and Pastors within the jurisdiction of the same.
- The following business shall be transacted at the state, provincial or territorial
- The examination and passage of the character of the Ruling Elder, Evangelists and
Pastors belonging to the same.
- The examination and recommendation of applicants for ordination.
- To suspend from the ministry and deprive of credentials persons who are inefficient or
negligent of the duties assigned them.
- Evangelists who are unable to attend the state convention shall report in writing to the
General Secretary once a year regarding their personal experience and work.
- Three or more persons in any community, having the required qualifications for
membership in the local organization, may be organized into a fire-baptized local church,
by an evangelist, helper or missionary. If he deem it wise and expedient, he shall appoint
a leader, who shall report to the Ruling Elder. Should a vacancy occur the society may
elect a leader.
- It is hereby provided that the Ruling Elder or Evangelist organizing any local church
shall have authority to appoint a committee, whose duty it shall be to attend to the
finances of the church.
- This committee shall consist of the leader, who shall be ex-officio chairman of the
same, a secretary, treasurer, and as many others as he may deem necessary.
- This committee shall report to the local church once a quarter, and shall thereafter be
elected annually by the church.
- In every local church meetings shall be held when practicable, either in meeting houses,
private residences, or in the open air, at least once every Lords day, and once
during the week.
- The state, provincial or territorial conventions only shall have authority to license
proper persons to preach upon due examination, when their qualifications and usefulness
warrant the same.
There shall be an official organ of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church, of which the
General Overseer shall be editor-in-chief. He shall also have the general management of
the same, and may appoint as many assistants as he shall deem necessary.
1. When the General Overseer shall be accused or immoral conduct or neglect of duties
assigned him, it shall be the duty of the Ruling Elder, in or nearest whose jurisdiction
said acts of immorality may be committed, to call together the Ruling Elders, whose duty
it shall be thoroughly investigate the case, and if he be found guilty, they
Our copy of the text ends here.