BY-LAWS

 

                                                    I.  CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

 

 

SECTION A.  GENERAL

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

 

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

 

 

SECTION B.  CANDIDACY/QUALIFICATIONS

Any person may offer himself as a candidate for membership in this church.  All such candidates for membership shall be presented to the church at any regular church service in any of the ways listed below.  Final approval of all church membership, by majority vote, will be given at a church business meeting.

     1.    By public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, (having been examined by a member of the ministerial staff as to the personal confession of faith and upon the minister's recommendation as to acceptance), and having been baptized.

     2.    By letter or promise of letter from another church of like faith and order.

     3.    By statement of Christian experience and assurance of previous baptism by immersion from a church of like faith.

     4.    By proxy if unable to be present due to physical limitations or providential hindrance.

 

 

SECTION C.  DUTIES

Members are expected to be faithful in all of the duties essential to the Christian life:  to attend faithfully and invite others to the services of the church, to give regularly for its support and its causes and to share in its organized work, to extend a cordial welcome to all visitors at all times, and to notify the church office prior to change of address.

 

 

SECTION D.  RIGHTS OF MEMBERS

1.         All members of the church are equal in rank and privilege and are entitled to vote in all election and on all questions submitted to the church in business sessions, provided the member is present or a provision has been made for absentee balloting.

2.         Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by the membership as a candidate for elective office in the church subject to Biblical teachings.

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

 

 

SECTION E.  TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

Termination of membership shall be effective on the following conditions:

1.         Death

2.         Transfer to another Baptist church of like faith and order upon request of that church.

3.         Erasure in event that a member unites with another church not of like faith and order.

4.         Release from covenant obligations to this church upon receipt of the member's written request.  The person shall be notified of such action by the church clerk only after the church shall have patiently and kindly endeavored to secure his continuance it its fellowship.

5.         Exclusion by action of the church for open and continued breach of the church covenant.

 

Except in the events of request for letter or erasure, the membership of any person shall not be terminated at the meeting when the recommendation for such action is made.  There must be a waiting period of one month before final termination of membership is effective.

 

 

SECTION F.  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, other members of the church staff, and deacons are available for counsel and guidance.  The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment.

 

Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, the pastor and the deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accord with Matthew 18.  All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance.

 

If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to terminate a member, two-thirds vote of the members present at a special business meeting is required, after which the church may proceed to declare the person to be no longer in the membership of the church.  Any person involved in disciplinary action by the church shall be given notice of such action by certified mail, with return receipt requested, at least ten days prior to any hearing or meeting regarding such discipline or exclusion.

 

 

SECTION G.  RESTORATION OF MEMBERSHIP

The church may restore to membership, by two-thirds vote of the members present at a special business meeting, any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person, and upon evidence of his repentance and reformation.

 

 

SECTION H.  NON-RESIDENT MEMBERS

Members who move from the church field are expected to seek fellowship in a church of like faith in their community in keeping with the provisions of the church covenant.  If such a church is not available, it is then their duty to keep in contact with this church.

 

 

                                    II.  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 A.  CHURCH OFFICERS

The officers of this church shall be the pastor, the ministerial staff, the deacons, moderator, church clerk, treasurer, and the trustees.

1. PASTOR

The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church.  He will lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks.

            a. Qualifications

                                                I.          He shall be ordained or a candidate for ordination.  If a candidate, ordination shall be in like manner for deacons.

                                                ii.         He shall meet all Biblical qualifications for the role of a pastor as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

                                                iii.        He shall be a good steward of his income recognizing the tithe to his local church as the minimum of his giving.

                                                iv.        Should he be married, his wife shall share in like manner in Christian consecration and church loyalty.

 

            b. Duties

                                                I.          He shall serve as chief administrative officer, having general oversight of the church, leading the church to function as a New Testament church.

                                                ii.         He shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, the Body of Deacons, and the Trustees.

                                                iii.        He shall be responsible for the faithful conduct of the worship services of the church.

                                                iv.        He shall lead the organizations of the church and the church staff members to perform their tasks.

                                                v.         He shall be in agreement and sympathy with the cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention.

                                                vi.        He shall in his temporary absence arrange for a substitute speaker for all services.

 

            c. Vacancy of Office

                                                I.          The pastor shall relinquish the office of pastor by giving two-weeks written notice to the church.

                                                ii.         The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant in the following manner:  A meeting of the church may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the Personnel Committee and the Body of Deacons or by a written petition signed by at least one-fourth of the resident church membership.  Public notice of such a meeting and its purpose must be given to the church at least one week prior to the meeting. 

 

A special moderator for this meeting shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present and must be someone other than the pastor.  A secret ballot will be held at the meeting; if two-thirds of those members present vote for dismissal, the office of pastor will be declared vacant.  Except for instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from the office, the church shall compensate him with no less than one-twelfth of his total annual compensation.  The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be rendered in not more than thirty days.

 

iii.        When a vacancy occurs (a vacancy is defined as the physical absence of the pastor after the expiration of the two week notice period), the pastor shall be chosen in the following manner:  A Pastor Search Committee of eight members shall be chosen by the church from the list of nominations presented to the church. Nominations shall be made as follows:

                                                                       

                                                                               >   The Adult Departments Young Adult 1, and 1 and 2 shall nominate one man and one woman; Adult Departments 3 and 4 shall nominate one man and one woman; Adult Departments 5 and 6 shall nominate one man and one woman and Adult Department 7, 8 and 9 shall nominate one man and one woman.

                                                                               >   The church membership as a whole shall nominate four men and four women after the above nominations are selected. The church membership will nominate in a special called business meeting for the purpose of church-wide nominations.

 

Once all nominations are in place, the church shall vote at the next business meeting, either regular or special called, for the Pastor Search Committee. Each member present and voting can vote for a maximum of eight candidates by selecting one candidate from each of the nominating categories as above described and four candidates from the church membership as a whole.

 

There shall be a minimum of three men and three women on the Ministerial Search Committee and the vote tabulation shall be adjusted to achieve said balance. The Chairman of Deacons, Chairman of the Trustees and the Church Treasurer shall tabulate the ballots.

 

Only one member of an immediate family shall serve on the Pastor Search Committee. No church member selected to serve on a ministerial Search Committee can serve on any other Ministerial Search Committee until five years have elapsed. Each Department will be provided with a list of names of those who have served on Ministerial Search Committees in the previous five years so as to avoid duplication. Additionally, any member unwilling or unable to serve shall notify their department prior to the selection of candidates from that department.

 

The Youth Council in consultation with the Youth Pastor, shall select two actively involved, spiritually mature youth (one male and one female) to serve in an advisory capacity to the Pastor  Search Committee, giving input from a youth point of view. The youth will not have voting privileges, nor will they travel with the committee. They will be expected to listen to taped sermons and meet the candidate(s) as they are brought in. The committee will take their opinions under advisement when making a final decision.

 

In the event of retirement of the pastor, the church may start election of the above committee by motion, second and a majority vote at any regular or specially called business meeting.

 

 

2. STAFF MEMBERS

            a. Ministerial Staff

The ministerial staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices.  A job description shall be on file or written when the need for a staff member is determined.  Those staff members, of whom the church requires evidence of personal call of God to minister, shall be recommended to the church by the Personnel and/or Search Committee.

 

When a ministerial staff position becomes available, a search committee shall be formed consisting of eight members chosen by the church from the list of nominations presented to the church. Nominations shall be made as follows:

                                                       >   The Adult Departments Young Adults 1, and 1 and 2 shall nominate one man and one woman; Adult Departments 3 and 4 shall nominate one man and one woman; Adult Departments 5 and 6 shall nominate one man and one woman and Adult Department 7, 8 and 9 shall nominate one man and one woman.

                                                       >   The church membership as a whole shall nominate four men and four women after the above nominations are selected. The church membership will nominate in a special called business meeting for the purpose of church-wide nominations.

 

Once all nominations are in place, the church shall vote at the next business meeting, either regular or special called, for the Ministerial Search Committee. Each member present and voting can vote for a maximum of eight candidates by selecting one candidate from each of the Adult Department nominating categories as above described and four candidates from the church membership as a whole.

 

There shall be a minimum of three men and three women on the Ministerial Search Committee and the vote tabulation shall be adjusted to achieve said balance. The Chairman of Deacons, Chairman of the Trustees and the Church Treasurer shall tabulate the ballots.

 

No more than one member of an immediate family shall serve on the Ministerial Search Committee. No church member selected to serve on a Ministerial Search Committee shall serve on any other Ministerial Search Committees, including the Pastor Search Committee, until five years have elapsed. Each Department will be provided with a list of names of those who have served on the Ministerial Search Committees in the previous five years so as to avoid duplication. Additionally, any member unwilling or unable to serve shall notify their department prior to the selection of candidates from that department.

The Youth Council in consultation with the Youth Pastor, shall select two actively involved, spiritually mature youth (one male and one female) to serve in an advisory capacity to the Ministerial Search Committee, giving input from a youth point of view. The youth will not have voting privileges, nor will they travel with the committee. They will be expected to listen to taped sermons and meet the candidate(s) as they are brought in. The committee will take their opinions under advisement when making a final decision.

 

A resigning ministerial staff member shall give two weeks written notice to the church. At any time the church may vote to vacate a staff position upon the recommendation of the Personnel Committee. In the event of retirement of a ministerial staff member, the church may start election of the above committee by motion, second and a majority vote at any regular or specially called business meeting.

 

b. Non-Ministerial Staff Members

Each person shall be employed as the church determines the need for such services.  The personnel committee shall have the authority to employ and to terminate the services of non-ministerial staff members.  Such employment and termination of services shall be with the recommendation of the supervising staff member.  Secretarial personnel shall be selected by the appropriate supervising staff and approved by the Pastor.

 

3.  DEACONS

In accordance with the meaning of the word and the practice in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church.  Their task is to serve with the pastor and staff in performing the pastoral ministries of leading the church in the achievement of its mission, proclaiming the Gospel to believers and unbelievers and caring for members of the church and other persons in the community.

           

Deacons shall serve on a rotating basis.  Each year the assigned term of the deacons who have served four years shall expire and an election shall be held to fill vacancies and to alter the number of Deacons as the church size warrants.  Such changes shall be approved by the church body following recommendations from the Body of Deacons.  In case of death, removal or incapacity to serve, the church may elect a deacon to fill the unexpired term.  There shall be no obligation to accept as an active deacon one who has been a deacon in another church; but in such instances as one might be chosen for active service as a deacon, his previous ordination by another church of like faith and order shall suffice for this church.

           

The nomination and election of the deacons shall be in accordance with the standards outlined in the document "Policies for the Deacon Selection Committee."  The newly-elected deacons shall begin serving on January 1 following their election.

 

 

4.  MODERATOR

The church shall annually elect a moderator to lead the church business meetings.  The church moderator shall serve no more than two successive terms.  In addition, the church shall select a Moderator pro tem to preside in the absence of the Church moderator.  If the moderator position is vacant, the new moderator can serve out the unfinished term of the previous moderator as well as the new the new term.  

 

 

5.  CLERK

The church shall annually 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 herein provided.

            All church records are church property and shall be kept in the church office.

 

 

6.  TREASURER

The church shall annually elect a church treasurer.  The treasurer shall be bonded, the church paying for said bond.  The treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of the finance committee.       The church shall operate under the Unified Budget System and all expenditures shall be guided by the same.  Reports to the Finance Committee will be made monthly and then presented to the church membership.  Upon rendering the annual account at the end of each fiscal year and its acceptance and approval by the church, the financial records shall be preserved as part of the permanent records of the church.  If the church chooses to appoint an administrator the duties and responsibilities of the treasurer shall be performed by the administrator.

   

It shall be the duty of the church administrator, the financial secretary, the treasurer and the finance committee to receive, preserve and disburse upon receipt of 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.

7.  TRUSTEES

Upon recommendations of the Committee on Committees, the church may elect 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 such 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 church-approved matters.  There shall be three trustees serving at all times with one trustee being elected each year for a three-year term.  The trustees may succeed themselves in office.  Said election will occur each October and newly-elected trustees will serve from January through December of the elected term.

 

 

8.  CHURCH COUNCIL

The pastor, ministerial staff, WMU Director, Sunday School Superintendent, Church Training Director, Director of Baptist Men, and Chairman of Deacons will compose the church council and will meet quarterly to coordinate the church calendar.

 

 

SECTION B.  CHURCH COMMITTEES

All committees of the church shall be guided by and shall function in accordance with the standards and assignments as outlined in the current version of the document "Committees (Assignments and Responsibilities)".

 

 

 

III.  CHURCH MEETINGS

 

SECTION A.  WORSHIP SERVICES

The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God.  Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the activities of these services.  The pastor shall direct the church worship services.   Any modification of the adopted church worship schedule will be voted on by the church.

 

SECTION B.  SPECIAL SERVICES

Revival services and any other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.

 

SECTION C.  REGULAR BUSINESS MEETINGS

The church shall hold a regular business meeting monthly on a designated Sunday night.

 

SECTION D.  CALLED BUSINESS MEETINGS

The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance.  A one-week minimum notice must be given for the special business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical.  The notice shall include the subject, the date, time and place; it must be given in such a manner that all resident members have opportunity to know of the meeting.

 

SECTION E.  QUORUM

A quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or properly called.

SECTION F.  PROCEDURE

Robert's Rules of Order, Revised shall be the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.  Matters presented from the floor which have not been previously considered by the proper committee shall be assigned to said committee and brought back to the church at the next business meeting.

 

 

SECTION G.  MINUTES/CHURCH RECORDS

The minutes of every business meeting shall be kept by the church clerk as designated herein.* All church records and minutes are church property and shall be kept in the church office.  Minutes, records and referenced or attached documents shall be kept in a binder or series of binders in chronological order.

 

*All minutes shall be signed by the moderator and the church clerk.

 

 

 

                                                           IV.  AMENDMENTS

 

These By-Lays may be amended at any regular business meeting, or any special business meeting called for that purpose, by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting at such meeting, provided that:

       1.  the proposed amendment or amendments shall have been presented in writing to the members present at any regular business meeting at least three weeks prior to the amendments being voted on,

       2.  the amendment or amendments shall be available in the church office for all other interested persons not in attendance at the initial business meeting wherein said amendment or amendments were first presented in writing,

       3.  at least three weeks advance notice shall be given prior to any vote being taken on the proposed amendment or amendments and that such notice shall be run in the weekly church publication and in the church bulletin during the intervening Sunday service,

       4.  public announcement shall be made in at least three Sunday morning worship services preceding any meeting for the purpose of adopting such amendment or amendments. 

 

 

 

 

                                        V.  APPROVAL AND EFFECTIVE DATE

 

This constitution and By-laws shall become effective immediately upon approval and acceptance of the church body.   The combined document, Constitution and By-laws, were first presented to the church on the _____ _              _____day of  ___        , 1991, by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee.  This document was then accepted and approved by the church on the 15th day of January, 1992.