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The Local Church

SECTION I: Its Authority and Independence
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:
A. Christians 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.

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