Matthew 22:37 & 39


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Open Bible Fellowship has chosen to have a congregational form of government, that is, the affairs of the church are ordered by the entire congregation, led by a Board of Deacons and a pastor, as outlined in the bylaws. We have done this in order to give every member a voice in the church, with no one, deacon or pastor, having more authority except in clearly outlined circumstances. This may appear cumbersome at times but we believe this structure is very important to encourage the spiritual growth of each member.

We believe the Board of Deacons is responsible for the administrative business of the church (“waiting tables”, see Acts 6:2) while the pastor is responsible for “prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). The pastor has the same voting privileges as any other member of the church but the pastor is not given voting privileges on the Board of Deacons.


The name of this corporation shall be OPEN BIBLE FELLOWSHIP, De Beque, Colorado.


This organization shall seek to glorify God and our Lord Jesus Christ, and to this end, it shall endeavor to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3). Through a program of public worship, we will provide biblical Christian education which will edify the believer and encourage them to share in the work of the ministry, using the variety of gifts that each individual has been blessed with, by the grace of God (Ephesians 4:7-13).

We will also work to demonstrate the need for a saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ to all unbelievers, both through the program of the church and through the witness of individual believers and families.

We will share in world evangelism by sending/supporting those called into the work of the ministry. (Matthew 28:19-20)


The period of duration is perpetual.


A. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible authoritative word of God.

B. We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

C. We believe in the deity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

D. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

E. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

F. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

G. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

H. We believe in baptism by immersion.

I. We believe in partaking of the Lord’s Supper as stated in 1 Corinthians 11:24-30.


A. The membership of this church shall consist of those who have given testimony of having received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, accepted the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and who are in agreement with the By-Laws of this fellowship. Personal testimony must be given before both the Board of Deacons and then again at the next quarterly meeting of the fellowship. Membership becomes official after testimony is given before the Board of Deacons. Voting privileges are subject to Article VIII B.

B. Members indicate a commitment as follows:

1. To grow in the knowledge of and to follow the Lord Jesus as outlined in His Word with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

2. Seek to abide by the Great Commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and “Shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

3. To engage in and be supportive of the organization and the activities (both physically and spiritually) of Open Bible Fellowship as the church seeks to become a force of love, acceptance and forgiveness in our community.

4. To contribute, as they have purposed in their heart, to the financial needs of Open Bible Fellowship and its ministries.

5. To use their spiritual gifts in a place of ministry within this body of believers and in our community, as a witness to the love of God at work in their lives.

C. There are two classifications of membership:

1. Active voting member

2. In-active non-voting member
Prior to each quarterly business meeting, the secretary will provide to the Board of Deacons a current updated membership list. If a member has failed to attend church services and has failed to participate in church activities for a period of six (6) months, the member shall become an inactive non-voting member. Placing a member in the inactive non-voting status must be done by a majority vote of the Board of Deacons prior to the next quarterly business meeting. If the circumstances persist for a total of eighteen (18) months, the member will be recommended for termination according to Article V D. An inactive non-voting member may be reinstated to active voting membership by indicating his/her desire to do so to the Board of Deacons and by two months attendance at church services.

D. Termination of membership:

Membership may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

1. Personal request by the member

2. A notice of death

3. Written notice of another church that the member has been received into their membership

4. By the majority vote of those in position of deacon, and approved by the 3/4 majority vote of the members present at a quarterly meeting.


A. The four Executive officers of this church are:

1. Chairperson (selected from the Board of Deacons)

2. Vice-Chairperson (selected from the Board of Deacons)

3. Secretary (selected from membership)

4. Treasurer (selected from membership)

B. Board of Deacons

1. Any active voting member may be eligible to serve on the Board of Deacons.

2. The maximum number of Deacons shall be three (3). The minimum is one (1).

3. The Board of Deacons and the Pastor shall meet at least once a month to discuss and pray for guidance and direction in all aspects of the local church.

4. Terms of Office for the Board of Deacons: To provide for staggered terms of office, two deacons shall be elected to serve on even years and one deacon to serve on uneven years. Deacons terms of office shall be two years. Before the end of November each year, the Board of Deacons will elect a Chairperson and a Vice-chairperson from among themselves. The Vice-chairperson will be responsible to take minutes of Board of Deacons meetings.

5. The Board of Deacons shall be the acting trustees of this corporation. As trustees, they shall hold in trust all properties belonging to Open Bible Fellowship and shall take all necessary measures for its protection. This Board may not sell, mortgage or otherwise encumber the real property of the church without the consent of the church in a proper business meeting. Compensation for the pastor and any other employees shall be recommended to the church by the Board. The Board shall perform such other duties as are imposed upon it by the church or the State of Colorado.

6. Acting as trustees, the Deacons shall have charge of the maintenance and repairs to the corporation’s property, shall oversee the employment and dismissal of all those who have been hired to perform various services as needed. The business and affairs of this corporation shall be managed by its Board of Deacons in coordination with the Church Council when necessary, except for the major decisions which shall be made by the entire membership at a meeting called for such purpose. A major decision shall be defined as any decision involving a sum greater than one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00), real estate, or the calling or dismissal of a pastor.

7. The Board of Deacons shall be in charge of services in the pastor’s absence.

8. The Board shall select and be a part of a Pastoral Search Committee in the case of a vacancy in the Pastoral Office, and will participate in interviewing and inviting prospective candidates for the church.

9. When a vacancy arises on the Board of Deacons, the Deacons and the Pastor shall appoint a person to finish serving out the term of the vacancy created.

10. When a member of the church or the De Beque community is in need of assistance, the chairperson of the Board of Deacons, the Treasurer, and the Director of the Prayer and Benevolence committee will serve as a temporary committee to review the situation and determine what assistance is appropriate. These three will decide if a monetary gift is in order and how much to give.

C. Church Council

1. All council members will be members in good standing.

2. The Church Council shall consist of the Deacons, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the directors of the church committees. The Chairperson of the Deacons will act as the Chairperson of the Church Council.

3. The committees are as follows: Sunday School, Service Coordinator, Prayer and Benevolence, Building and Maintenance, Activities, and Music. Others will be added, changed, or deleted as needed. Current job descriptions assigned to each director can be obtained from the Pastor or the Board of Deacons. The directors will be appointed by the Board of Deacons.

4. The Church Council shall meet quarterly, or as needed, to conduct the general business of the church.

5. When a vacancy arises on the Church Council, the Deacons and the Pastor shall appoint a person to finish serving out the term of the vacancy created.

6. The term of council members shall be one year.

D. Church Secretary

1. The secretary must be a member in good standing of Open Bible Fellowship.

2. The secretary’s responsibilities shall include keeping true records of all procedures of all business meetings of the church and Church Council, and shall keep an up-to-date record of the church membership.

3. The secretary shall do certain other correspondence for the church as needed.

4. The term of secretary shall be one (1) year.

E. Church Treasurer

1. The treasurer must be a member in good standing of Open Bible Fellowship.

2. The treasurer shall disburse monies from the general treasury of the church. An income and expense report along with the general fund bank statement will be presented to the Board of Deacons at their monthly meeting for their approval.

3. The treasurer shall keep a faithful and accurate record of all receipts and disbursements of the church funds and deposit monies into the church bank accounts.

4. The treasurer will make written report of receipts and disbursements to present to the church at each regular quarterly and annual business meeting.

5. The treasurer’s books shall be audited before the annual meeting in May by a committee appointed by the Board of Deacons.

6. Checks may be signed by the Chairperson, the Vice-chairperson or the Treasurer.

7. The term of the treasurer shall be one (1) year.


A. The pastor must be a born again Christian, who qualifies as a deacon, who with a spirit of love, lives and preaches a message to the unsaved, teaching them of their need for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and to the saved who need to be led by the Word of God so that they are challenged to grow spiritually.

B. To be approved, a motion for hiring of the pastor must receive at least a three fourths (3/4) majority vote by secret ballot at a duly called meeting.

C. To be approved, a motion for dismissal of the pastor must receive a vote of a simple majority by secret ballot at a duly called meeting.

D. The pastor or his designee, as directed by the Deacons, shall preside at all worship services. The pastor shall be a non-voting member of the Board of Deacons. The pastor shall be an ex-officio voting member of the church and all other boards and committees.

E. The pastor must reside in the DeBeque community, unless otherwise approved by the Board of Deacons.

F. The pastor or the Board of Deacons shall give thirty (30) days notice when either wishes to terminate their relationship.

G. The pastor’s family must follow the protocols for membership in Article V.


A. The fiscal year shall begin January 1 and end December 31.

B. Only members may vote on business affairs of the church. A voting quorum shall consist of not less than two-thirds of the active members, eighteen (18) years of age and above, who have been members for at least 60 days prior to the meeting. A quorum is required for all business decisions of the church.

C. The regular quarterly business meetings shall be held in February, May, August and November. The date, time, and place of all business meetings shall be announced at least two Sundays prior to the meeting.

1. The annual business meeting shall occur at the regular quarterly meeting held in May.

2. The deacons shall be elected at the regular quarterly meeting in November.

3. The secretary and treasurer shall be elected at the regular meeting in February. At this meeting, church council directors will be appointed for a period of one year.

4. All officers shall take office immediately upon election.

D. At the annual meeting in May, the Board of Deacons, along with the pastor, secretary and treasurer shall present church progress/status reports in summary of the year.

E. Election of deacons, secretary and treasurer shall be by secret ballot.

F. Election of Deacons

1. Nominations for the Board of Deacons shall be accepted from the membership during the month of October. Call for nominations shall be announced from the pulpit for two (2) Sundays during October. All nominations, including those for incumbents, must be in written form, signed by both the nominator and the nominee.

2. Members of an immediate family, i.e., husband-wife, siblings, parent-child, cannot serve on the Board of Deacons at the same time.

3. The deacons will meet with all nominees and discuss with them their willingness to serve, the responsibilities involved and their spiritual qualifications. The deacons will then select by majority vote, the person(s) they feel should be forwarded on to the membership for voting. Any nominee who is not forwarded to the congregation, should be lovingly counseled on the deacons’ reasons for their decision.

4. The candidates’ names will be given to the congregation for consideration and prayer. At this time, any member is free to talk to a candidate about any concern they may have on the candidate’s qualifications. If there appears to be any unresolved problems, they should be brought to the attention of the deacons who will work to resolve them with the parties involved.

5. The November quarterly business meeting shall be held on or after the 15th of November to provide time for a 15 day review period of candidates in the election process. After the 15-day review time, the membership will vote on the nominations for deacons, electing them by a simple majority.

G. Business involving expenditures of the church funds above those budgeted shall be presented and announced two (2) Sundays before a regular business meeting. Expenditures requiring immediate attention shall be dealt with by the Board of Deacons.

H. Special meetings may be called by the deacons. The date, time, place and reason for a meeting shall be given (such as calling a pastor) and must be announced from the pulpit at least two (2) Sundays in advance of the meeting.


A. The work of the church shall be supported by the regular, freewill giving of its members. Giving is out of a motive of love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (II Corinthians 9:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2)


A. The church is a congregation of believers associated by a commitment of faith and fellowship in the Gospel. (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27; Ephesians 5:21-32; Matthew 16:16-18)

B. We hold that under the headship of Christ, the local church has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference from any hierarchy of human individuals or organizations. We do not belong to, condone or support the National Council of Churches.

C. We believe in the separation of church and state.

D. We believe the Bible teaches that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. (Mark 10:6-9)

E. The church shall be a non-profit organization.


A. These By-laws may be amended at any regular business meeting of the church, by a three-fourths (3/4) majority of those voting. The proposed amendment(s) shall be presented in writing at least two Sundays prior to the business meeting wherein the revision(s) will be presented for adoption. The doctrinal statement cannot be changed in any way after May 15, 1981.


A All instruments pertaining to real estate shall be signed by the Chairman of the Board of Deacons and the Treasurer. The signatures of these officers shall be conclusive evidence that they hold said offices and have been authorized to execute said instruments by the members of this church.


A No member of this corporation shall be liable for the debts of the corporation. Private property of the members of this corporation shall be exempt from the deeds and liability.


A This corporation shall not incur any indebtedness accrued by a lien on the real or personal property of the church without the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those members present at duly authorized meeting of the members of the church authorizing such indebtedness and lien.