Carolyn Dye

           

           

FINALLY FOUND LOVE

Personal Testimony of Carolyn Dye

I was born into a family of 7 children.  I was the only girl.  My mother tried to take us to church some, but she received a lot of objection and ridicule from my dad.  My dad was an alcoholic and had no use for the things of God unless our family was in trouble or in need of something.  Then the church people were good folks.

When I was 11 years old, my mother left home and abandoned us.  We children lived with my mother’s sister for a year.  She was a mean woman.  My dad and her battled over custody of us, but they would not go to court, because they were afraid the authorities would take all the children away from both of them.  Finally, Dad got married again, and we lived with him, but I still pretty much took care of the children.  We didn’t go to church then, because the woman he married didn’t want God either.  So, for the most part, there was no God in our lives at all while we were growing up.

When I was 13 years old, I met Jimmie Dye, who would be my husband.  He had good parents, and they treated me like I belonged to them.  At 14, we married and started our family.  Jimmie and I didn’t go to church for the first several years.  We moved and lived in Texas, and things weren’t going well between us.  We had lived there for about a year, and I knew something needed to change.  Then one evening, I was listening to Billy Graham on the television.  He was preaching on salvation.  He said that if I asked Jesus into my heart that my life would change and God would be there for me.  I needed my life to change, so I did what he said, but there was no God there, and change didn’t come.

We moved back home to New Albany, Mississippi, and we started going to Northside Baptist Church because that was where Jimmie’s mother went.  We didn’t go there very long.  We moved to Tupelo, and the rest of our children were born there.  We never went to church while in Tupelo.  We did a lot of drinking and partying and our marriage situation grew worse.

In around 1969, we moved back to New Albany and raised our children there.  Jimmie had an experience and thought he was saved when he was 17.  However, he had nothing about him that was Godly.  After our move back, some people came to visit us and invited us to their church.  Jimmie would always say “yes,” we would go, but we never would follow through.  Our oldest son, Mike, called him on it after the people left.  Jimmie became upset at Mike, but from that point on he took us to church, I think, simply out of spite.   We were faithful in seeing to it that we took our children to church.  We attended Clark Street Baptist Church in New Albany; Jimmie even became a deacon.  I did whatever I was asked to do in the church, but I never really felt like things were right between God and me.

Occasionally, God would move on me.  I would respond, but there never was any lasting change.  I never felt the love of God completely in my heart.  I would feel it for a short time, but I really didn’t feel God was there for me.  I thought that was the way it was, because nearly everyone I knew was the same way.

Around this time was when my mother decided to reconnect  herself to our family.  She moved back to New Albany from Memphis, Tennessee and lived with Jimmie and me.  It was pretty difficult at first adjusting to having my mother back in my life.  I loved her and was always close to her, but trust was a major issue.  I was afraid to depend on her.  I believe this affected me a lot in my life.  She moved just down the street so she and I became close, and she was very involved in my children’s lives after that.

We raised our children there until they were all grown.  The church closed down and Jimmie and I stopped going anywhere to church.  There was one lay revival that Jimmie and I attended together.  God moved on my heart there, and again I responded.  It lasted longer than any of the other experiences I had.

Another 4 or 5 years passed and our marriage was on the rocks.   Jimmie left me for another woman.  I completely fell apart emotionally.  All my children were grown and gone and had their own lives.  Now my husband was gone and I felt all alone.  I did not have God to lean on.  I tried to lean on my earlier experience, but it came up empty.

I tried to find love in all the wrong places.  I went to the bars and partied and did all kinds of things that I don’t have liberty to discuss, but finally realized I wasn’t going to find real love there and began to clean up my act.  I was introduced to another man and wound up marrying him.  That marriage lasted 2 years.  We didn’t really love each other.  I think we each just needed someone and reached out to each other.  He was not a good person, and I married him for the wrong reasons.  I still loved Jimmie, but by then he had already remarried and that was a closed chapter.  I just found it hard to go on alone.

During this time, I would attend church occasionally.  Sometimes I would attend New Oak Grove Baptist Church.  I didn’t really like it, but there was something there that enticed me to find out more.  My son, Sandy, and his wife, Becky, went to everything at church.  I would get upset because Sandy would choose the things of God and church activities above our family gatherings.  I didn’t understand.  I really felt like they were involved in some kind of cult.  I began going to church more and more and listening to what Bro. Claude Mills was preaching.  I was really going to try to find something that I could hold against him or prove him wrong in the scripture.  Many of the people that had been there for a long time began to leave.  I had a difficult time understanding how they could all be wrong, but to my surprise the more I searched, the more I found Bro. Claude was right.   Losing them hurt for a little while, but God showed me it was okay.

When I started going to New Oak Grove, it was for the wrong reasons.  Little did I know the great work God had in mind for me.   I would listen to Bro. Claude’s messages and leave under conviction.  I thought I was saved, but things weren’t right in me.  I searched the scriptures trying to prove him wrong.   I kept arguing with God, because I felt justified in doing the things I had done earlier on.  I even went back and visited with some friends from my old church and they would tell me how good I was and prop me up, but it didn’t help.  God continued to work on me.  I would go home with the words of the messages on my heart and ask God to show me my true condition.  Was I saved or was I lost?  I needed to know something.

God finally showed me I was lost.  My son, Sandy, and I went to talk to Bro. Claude one night after service.  I was questioning where I was spiritually.  Bro. Claude told me that if I didn’t have love for God and the brethren that I wasn’t of God – meaning I wasn’t saved.  I was lost.  I took those words to heart.

I continued to go to church, and I would repent and try to get everything right that God showed me was wrong.  I was working myself to death.  On February 27, 2000, Bro. Claude preached a message about being saved today.  My spiritual ears picked up and I listened with my heart.   God was telling me through Bro. Claude what I needed.  God began telling me that He loved me and He would be there for me.   I asked God what He would do if I messed up, and He told me HE would never leave me.  He would be with me forever.  He would LOVE me forever.  I began thanking God for His love and the next thing I knew it was over.  God had completed His mighty work in my life.  I was now HIS CHILD.  He loved me.  I needed no other.   I had finally found true love.  God is love.  He teaches me more and more every day.

Just to let you know how good God has been to me since I have been saved.  I was given the honor of being the caregiver to my mother during her last days here on earth.  I cared for her 24 hours, 7 days a  week, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Through taking care of my mother, I learned how much my church family loved me and encouraged me.  I learned even more about God’s love through His people.

On February 14, 2011, God chose to take my mother.  It was one of the hardest days of my life, but God’s grace has been truly sufficient.  My church family has been there for me and I thank God for the way He has shown me just how much HE truly loves me through them.

God is love and good in all things!

Faith Baptist Church of Myrtle Ms. Constitution

And By-Laws

Preamble

We, the members of Faith Baptist Church of Myrtle,Ms, do hereby declare and establish this Constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in an orderly manner, to maintain the autonomy of this church in freedom of action in relation to other churches and organizations.

Article One

NAME

This body shall be known as the Faith Baptist Church, located at Myrtle Ms.

Article Two

The Purpose of Faith Baptist Church

To rebuild the walls of Salvation and the Gates of Praise, which have been destroyed by modern evangelism of our day, such as easy believism and decisional regeneration.

To bring people to the Glorious Liberty that is found in Christ.

To bear the Cup of Salvation to the world and to preserve the true way of Salvation.

To bring forth fruit that should remain for the Glory of the Father.

To love one another with a pure heart fervently without hypocrisy being joined together as the body of Christ

To make manifest the manifold wisdom of God

Article Three

PRINCIPLES OF FAITH

We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are God’s revelation to mankind, and that it is inspired by

God, it is without error  it is an accurate record of the history and future of mankind, and that it depicts the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Savior of all mankind, our Lord Jesus Christ, and is therefore the sole basis for our faith.

We regard the scriptures of the Holy Bible as authoritative in all matters of faith, practice, and principle.

The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Article Four

GOVERNMENT OF THE CHURCH

The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who comprise it, owing allegiance only to its head and founder, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Persons duly received by the members shall constitute the membership. These members shall be individuals who have in common with the members their spiritual union with the Lord Jesus Christ and their agreement on the principles of faith contained in this document. These members, so bound together, regard one another as having equal rank and privilege as well as equal responsibility and obligation in fulfilling the purpose of this church as stated in Galatians 3:26-28.

All internal or external groups created and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action under authority of this constitution.

At the same time, this body recognizes the rightful place of the state and pledges itself to the support of federal, state, and local governments in accordance with Romans 12:1-7 and I Peter 2:13-17.

Article Five

RELATIONSHIPS

This Church is subject to the control of no other civil or ecclesiastical body. However we recognize the benefits and sustain the obligations of mutual cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches, associations and conventions. Insofar, as practical, this body agrees to cooperate with and support the churches of Camp Liberty, Pontotoc, Mississippi, USA.

Article Six

AMENDMENTS

This Constitution may be amended, modified or repealed under the following circumstances: the proposal must be read at one regular business meeting. The proposal must then be presented at the next regular business meeting for action by the church. The proposal must be approved by two-thirds majority vote of members present voting in the affirmative.

Article Seven

SOLE AUTHORITY

There shall be no worship, education, service by members or fellowship conducted which is in conflict with this constitution. The church shall not conduct any business transaction contrary to the Constitution.

All rules, regulations, bylaws and policies previously approved, if any, by this Church, in conflict with this Constitution are each and all hereby repealed, set aside and superseded.

This Constitution shall be and is, hereby established as the sole “Constitution” for this Church. No rules, regulations, bylaws or policies may be established which conflict with this constitution.

Article Eight

Statement of Faith

[See attached Pages]

 

 

 

Article Nine

RATIFICATION

This constitution is hereby ordained and established for Faith Baptist Church of Myrtle Ms, by vote of the membership on ___________, 19_____.

_______________________________

 Pastor, Trustee

_______________________________

Trustee, Founding Member, Treasurer

_______________________________

Trustee, Founding Member, Church Clerk

BY-LAWS

ARTICLE ONE

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: General

This is a sovereign Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church.

The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.

Section 2: Candidacy

Any person may offer themselves as a candidate for membership in this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church service for membership in the following way:

            A person seeking membership in FaithBaptist Church must submit a written testimony of their salvation experience. Which must contain within it a place and time where they experienced repentance towards God and faith towards the Lord Jesus. The testimony will be examined first by the pastor and then by the members as a witness to the truth of salvation and for acceptance as a member of FaithBaptist Church.

Should there be any dissent concerning any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to a membership committee for investigation and recommendation to the church within thirty (30) days. A three-fourths vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership.

Section 3: Rights of Members

1) Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all church business conferences provided the member is present and faithful in his obligation to Tithe and attend services.

2) Every member of the church may participate in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church.

Section 5: Termination of Membership

Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: (1) death of the member, (2) transfer by

letter of recommendation to another Baptist church, (3) exclusion by action of this church, or (4) erasure upon request or proof of membership in a church of another denomination.

Section 6: Discipline

It shall be the practice of this church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor will be available for counsel and guidance. The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption and restoration rather than punishment.

Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare and harmony of the church the pastor  will take prayerful and reasonable measures to resolve the problem following the principles found in Matthew 18:15-17. If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a member, a two-thirds vote of the members present is required; and the church may proceed to declare the person to no longer be in the membership of the church. All such proceedings shall be bathed in prayer and exhibit a spirit of Christian kindness and patience.

The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded upon request of the excluded person, and by vote of the church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance.

Should there be a conflict within the church that involves issues between pastor, staff, deacons, and the church membership that could destroy or hinder the work of the church, the church will call for an outside mediator to work with the parties involved to make every reasonable attempt to resolve the conflict. The church should request a mediator before the problem escalates to the point it causes a break in the unity, harmony and fellowship of the congregation.

ARTICLE TWO

CHURCH OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES

All who serve as officers of the church and those who serve on church committees shall be members of this church.

Section 1: Church Officers

The officers of this church shall be the pastor who is also the church Moderator, the church staff as elected by the church, the deacons, a clerk, a treasurer, and trustees.

1) The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The pastor has the responsibility to lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks. The pastor will be expected to delegate appropriate responsibilities to others to insure the work of the church is done in a consistent manner.

The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church. As such he works with the deacons and the church staff to: (1) lead the church to carry out the mission and purpose of the church, (2) the proclamation of the gospel both inside and outside the church, (3) to provide appropriate care for church members.

A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose. At least one week’s public notice shall be given before a candidate for pastor shall be presented for consideration.

A pastor search committee shall be elected by the church after prayerful consideration. Adequate time should be given to the process to help the church through the transition period.

      The pastor search committee will have the responsible for seeking the person that will fulfill the pastor’s role for the congregation. The recommendation of the pastor search committee will constitute a nomination. Any church member has the privilege of making other nominations depending on the policies and procedures established by the church. The committee shall bring for the consideration of the church only one name at a time. Election shall be by ballot, an affirmative vote of three fourths of those present and voting (unless previous arrangements are made for absentee balloting) is required to call (elect) the pastor.

The individual called to fill the pastor’s role shall serve until the relationship is terminated by their request or the church’s request. The pastor shall preside at meetings of the church unless another staff member or church member has been designated to fill that role. If so designated the pastor may serve as moderator in all business meetings in keeping with the rules of order authorized in these bylaws.

The pastor may relinquish the office of pastor by giving at least two weeks’ notice to the church at the time of resignation.

The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose with at least one week’s public notice given. Such meeting should take place only after the church has followed the Matthew 18:15-17 principles and/or the church has sought help through mediation. The meeting may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the personnel committee and the deacons or by written petition signed by not less than one fourth of the resident church members. The moderator for this meeting shall be designated by the members present and elected by majority vote. The moderator shall be someone other than the pastor. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of two thirds of the members present being necessary to declare the office vacant. Except in instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from office, the church will compensate the pastor with not less than one twelfth of the pastor’s annual compensation. The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be paid in not more than thirty days.

            2)The church shall elect  a clerk as its clerical officer. The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of the church, except as otherwise provided in these by-laws. The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members, with dates of admission, dismissals, death or erasure, together with a record of baptisms. The clerk shall issues of dismissal approved by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary, as indicated in these by-laws.

The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary or ministry assistant who will assist the elected clerk. All church records are church property and shall be kept in the church office when an office is maintained.

            3)The church shall elect a church treasurer as its financial officer. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out, upon receipt of invoices or vouchers approved and signed by authorized personnel, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to provide to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements during the period between business meetings. The treasurer’s report and records shall be audited annually by an audit committee or public accountant.

Upon completion of the audit at the end of the fiscal year and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall Keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent records of the church.

            4)The church shall elect three or more trustees to serve as legal officers for the church. They shall hold in trust the church property. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any church property. When the signatures of the trustees are required, they shall sign legal documents related to the above items only upon the approval and at the direction of the church body in business meeting.

Trustees shall serve at the discretion of the pastor for as long as he deems fit upon the approval of the church.

ARTICLE THREE

CHURCH ORDINANCES

Section 1: Baptism

This church shall receive for baptism any person who has publicly professed faith in Jesus Christ as Savior during any worship service, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord.

1) Baptism shall be by immersion in water

2) The pastor, or any one so designated by the church shall administer baptism

3) Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church

                  4) Baptism will only be administered to those who have submitted a written testimony of                                    salvation to the church.

Section 2: The Lord’s Supper

The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper as often as the Holy Spirit leads the pastor to do so and it not to become common place and a vain repetition.

ARTICLE FOUR

AMENDMENTS

Changes in the constitution and by-laws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment shall have been furnished to each member present at the time the amendments were first presented. Amendments to the constitution shall be by a two-thirds vote of church members present. Amendments to the by-laws shall be adopted by a majority vote of the members present and voting.

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