Constitution & By Laws

08-21-16

CONSTITUTION

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

CANTON, GEORGIA

PREAMBLE

We declare and establish this Constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in an orderly manner.

ARTICLE I

NAME

This body shall be known as the First Baptist Church of Canton, Georgia, Inc.

ARTICLE II

DECLARATION OF FAITH

The Holy Bible is the divinely inspired word of God and is the basis for any statement of faith and practice.

The Church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of “The Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on June 14, 2000.  Any member of the Church may obtain a copy of the current doctrinal statement at the Church office.

This Church is a congregation of people who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, who have been baptized by immersion in obedience to His command, and who are united together by covenant as one body in Christ.

The First Baptist Church of Canton, Georgia, a body of dedicated believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, being led by the Holy Spirit of God is committed to meet the needs of this local Church body, our community, and our world.  We shall win the lost to Christ by witnessing, teaching, Christian example, and service.  We voluntarily band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind.

We are, therefore, engaged in the preaching of the gospel, the education and spiritual enrichment of the fellowship, the ministry of benevolent services and the establishing of God’s Kingdom throughout all nations.  We are personally committed to share in the good news of salvation to lost mankind.

The truth, as set forth in the Bible, shall be our standard for all matters of faith and conduct.

The ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Therefore:   We the believers, with Christ as our example and the New Testament Church as our standard, seek always to be obedient to God’s Commands and, by His grace, to further His Kingdom.

ARTICLE III

CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, doctrines, and discipline; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, and the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world, to be just in our dealings; faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage or any other substances which would do harm to the body or the mind and which may serve to weaken our Christian witness, to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with another Church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

ARTICLE IV

POLITY AND_RELATIONSHIPS

The government of this Church is vested in the body of believers who compose it.  Persons duly received by the members pursuant to the by-laws herein established shall constitute the membership.

All internal groups created and empowered by the Church shall report to and be accountable only to the Church, unless otherwise specified by Church action.

This Church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist Churches.  Insofar as is practical, this Church will cooperate with and support the association, the state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

ARTICLE V

STATEMENTS OF FAITH, BELIEF, AND PRACTICE

Section 1 – Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

We believe and affirm that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological gender is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

We believe and affirm that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18-25.) We believe and affirm that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a biological man and a biological woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4.) We believe and affirm that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman.

We believe and affirm that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, transgender behavior, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)

We believe and affirm that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the First Baptist Church of Canton, Georgia, Inc., (hereinafter referenced as “First Baptist Canton,”) as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the First Baptist Canton members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by First Baptist Canton in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.)

We believe and affirm that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.)

We believe and affirm that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of First Baptist Canton.

Therefore, because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, First Baptist Canton will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman.

Further, the Pastors, and Ministerial Staff of First Baptist Canton shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one biological man and one biological woman.

Finally, the facilities and property of First Baptist Canton shall only host weddings between one biological man and one biological woman.

Section 2 – Statement on Facility Use

The properties and facilities of the First Baptist Church of Canton, Georgia, Inc., (hereinafter referenced as “First Baptist Canton,”) were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members. First Baptist Canton desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and to bring God glory. Although the facilities are not generally open to the public, the church makes its facilities available to approved non-members as a witness to its faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice.

Facility use will NOT be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices that conflict with the church’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, the church’s Constitution and Bylaws. Furthermore, church facilities may NOT be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, the church’s faith or moral teachings.  Ministerial Staff, in cooperation with Church Administrator, Facility Manager, or their official designee in this matter, is the final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.

This restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, the church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the church’s beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of the church’s faith and religious practice. (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22.)

Second, it is very important that the church present a consistent message to the community, and that the church staff and members conscientiously maintain that message as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the church’s faith would have a severe, negative impact on the message that the church strives to promote. It also could cause confusion and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the church agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its facilities.

Therefore, in NO event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict the church’s faith, use any church facility. Furthermore, church facilities may NOT be used in any way that contradicts the church’s faith. This policy applies to all church facilities, regardless of whether the facilities are connected to the church’s sanctuary, because the church sees all of its property as holy and set apart to worship God. (Colossians 3:17.)

Section 3 – Statement on The Sanctity Of Human Life

The First Baptist Church of Canton, Georgia, Inc., believes that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Psalms 139).


BY LAWS

ARTICLE I

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Section 1 – 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 this Church.

Section 2 – Candidacy

Any person may offer himself 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 any of the following ways:

(1)        By profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this Church.

(2)        By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church.

(3)        By a statement of a prior conversion experience and baptism by immersion when no letter is obtainable.

Section 3 – Procedures

 (1)        The Church recognizes that uniting with the Church involves having a salvation experience and baptism experience according to the beliefs expressed in the Church Constitution.  The Pastor, Ministerial Staff, Deacons and Trained Encouragers will be responsible for any counseling of candidates for membership.

(2)        Should there be dissent or question as to any candidate, referral will be made to the Pastor and Ministerial Staff for investigation and their recommendation will be made to the Church within thirty days.

(3)        After thirty days, the Church will vote at the next Regular Church Conference whether to accept a candidate as a new member.

Section 4 – New Member Orientation

New members of this Church are expected to participate in the Church’s new member orientation.  Such orientation shall be organized and conducted under the supervision and leadership of the Pastor.

Section 5 – Rights of Members

(1)        Every member of the Church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the Church in conference.  Absentee ballots are appropriate and may be submitted on any matter which was presented for discussion but not voted on at a previous Church conference.  A sealed absentee ballot may be tendered to the Church office, and will be deemed sufficient to register that member’s vote on the matter in question

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

Section 6 – Duties

Members are expected, first of all, to be faithful in all duties essential to the Christian life, and also to attend the services of this Church, to give regularly in its support and its causes, and to share in its organized work.

Section 7 – Termination

Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:

(1)        Death.

(2)        Dismission to another Baptist Church.

(3)        Affiliation with a Church of another denomination.

(4)        Exclusion by action of the Church. (Matthew 18: 15-22)

(5)        By written request of the member desiring termination.

All requests or recommendations as to the termination of a member under provision (4) shall first be brought to either a special called or regular meeting of the Deacons, who shall, after consideration of the matter, either as a group or by duly appointed representative, confer with the individual subject to said termination and only after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance shall the Deacons recommend to the Church that the membership of said person be terminated.  The member subject to termination will be notified in writing (said notice to be given at least thirty (30) days prior to any recommendation by the Deacons that his membership be terminated), that such recommendation will be presented to the Church at a regular Church conference, and the date thereof shall be specified.  The vote necessary to remove a member under this paragraph shall be three-fourths (3/4) of members present and voting.

Section 8 – 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.

Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the Church, the Deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accord with Matthew 18 and pursuant to Section 7 above.  If it becomes necessary for the Church to take action to exclude a member, a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the voting members is required; and the Church may proceed to declare the person to be no longer in the membership of the Church.  All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance.

Section 9 – Restoration

Any person whose membership has been terminated by any offense may be restored by a majority vote of the Church in conference upon evidence of his repentance and reformation.

Section 10 – Record of Membership

The Church Clerk shall keep an accurate roll of all members, and insofar as possible, an up-to-date record of addresses.

ARTICLE II

Church Staff

Section 1 – Pastor

A. Functions. The Pastor, by virtue of his calling, shall serve as the church’s primary preacher, administrator, moderator, counselor, and shepherd. He shall serve alongside the Church Leadership to lead this congregation to achieve its mission. He shall be the administrative head of the Church and, as such, shall direct and supervise the activities of the Church staff, delegating responsibility and authority to ministerial staff members.  It is also understood the Pastor is the person to whom God communicates His vision for the local Church.

B. Qualifications. In order to qualify, the man must be:

(1)        Called by God.

(2)        Ordained by a Baptist Church.

(3)        A cooperating Southern Baptist.

(4)        A faithful steward of his time, talents and tithe.

(5)        He shall meet the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

C. Term. The term of service for the Pastor shall be indefinite.

(1)        Conditions for termination:

a.Upon the Pastor’s discretion in direct communication with the chairman of personnel committee and chairman of the deacons.

b.Upon the Personnel Committee’s recommendation after consultation and agreement with deacon body the termination shall be recommended to the church.

D. Pastor Search Committee. When the need arises, the Deacons shall accept nominations from the Church for persons to serve on a Pastor Search Committee, and shall select nine (9) Church members to serve on said Committee, who shall be ratified by a vote of the Church. The committee members shall, among themselves, elect a chairman, determine methods of procedure, and be charged with bringing to the Church a recommendation for a Pastor.  In the interim, the Deacons in consultation with Ministerial Staff shall nominate an interim or supply Pastor.  The Pastor Search Committee’s recommendation of a Pastor will constitute a nomination.  The committee shall bring one nomination at a time to the Church for consideration.  Election of a Pastor or interim Pastor shall be by a vote requiring an affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of the Church members present and voting.

Section 2 – Ministerial Staff

A. Election. Ministerial Staff Positions shall be filled through election by the Church, upon nomination submitted by the Pastor, Search Committee and / or Search Team, after consultation with or upon recommendation from the Personnel Committee.  Election shall be by standing vote requiring an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the members present.

B. Term. The term of service for Ministerial Staff members shall be indefinite.

(1)     Conditions for termination:

a. Upon the Ministerial Staff Member’s discretion in direct communication with the chairman of personnel committee and chairman of the deacons.

b. Upon the Pastor’s and Personnel Committee’s recommendation after consultation and agreement with deacon body.

C. Qualifications for Ordained Ministerial Staff. All ordained ministerial staff shall be evaluated according to the qualifications listed in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

Section 3 – Non-Ministerial Staff

The Non-Ministerial Staff shall work under the supervision of the Pastor or his delegates.  The term of service for a Non-Ministerial Staff member shall be indefinite with either the staff member or Direct Supervisor, after consultation with or upon recommendation from the Personnel Committee, having the right to terminate the relationship.

ARTICLE III

CHURCH ORGANIZATION

Section 1- Deacons

A. Definition. The term Deacon as used in this section shall mean active Deacons, and shall be selected and serve as provided herein.

B. Number. The total number of Deacons shall be established based on the needs of the Church and the membership of the Church, but shall consist of no less than seven (7) men.

C. Qualifications.

Deacons are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.  They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.  They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.  A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.  1 Timothy 3:8-12.

D. Duties and Responsibilities.

(1)        To serve with the Pastor and ministerial staff in performing Pastoral ministries tasks;

(2)        To proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers;

(3)        To care for Church members and other persons in the community;

(4)        To 1ead the Church to engage in a fellowship of worship, witness, and ministry;

(5)        To foster peace, harmony, and spirituality within the Church;

(6)        To serve as liaisons between the Church, its staff, its ministries, and its members;

(7)        To approve all expenditures of funds derived from the R. T. Jones Memorial Community Foundation and the Paul Jones Fund;

(8)        To perform all other duties as set forth in these By Laws.

E. Selection.

(1) Deacon Selection Committee.  The Deacons shall form a Deacon Selection Committee of no less than seven (7) church members, which may include any church member, and which shall be ratified by the Church no later than July 1, which shall review nominee questionnaires and conduct an examination of the nominees.  The committee shall select the number of nominees required to fill any vacant position.

(2) Nomination.  Between August 1 and August 31 of each year, members of the Church will be asked to nominate men to serve as Deacons. These nominees shall be submitted to the Deacon Selection Committee.

(3) Recommendation.  After earnest prayer and careful evaluation, the Deacon Selection Committee shall recommend those men to serve who meet the qualifications and standards set forth in this document.  The Deacon Selection Committee shall consult with the active Deacons and determine the number of Deacons necessary to serve the needs of the Church.

(4) Ratification.  Having obtained their commitment to serve the candidates shall be presented to the Church for ratification by three-fourths (3/4) vote of members present and voting, no later than the last day of October.  If any nominee is not approved by the Church, the Deacon Selection Committee shall submit the name of another nominee to the Church within thirty (30) days, until a nominee is ratified.

F. Term. Deacons shall serve for a period of three (3) years, beginning on January 1.  After three (3) years of service, the Deacon shall remain inactive for a period of one (1) year before being eligible for re-election.

G.Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled at the discretion of the Deacons and in accordance with the procedures established herein.

H. Lifetime Deacons. Any man who has served as a Deacon in a Southern Baptist Church for 20 years or more and has reached a minimum age of 70 shall be eligible for selection as a lifetime Deacon. Lifetime Deacons are invited and encouraged, but not required, to attend regularly scheduled Deacons’ meetings, having authority to vote on any questions presented.  The Deacons, at their discretion, shall present such nominees to the Deacon Selection Committee which shall approve or disapprove of the nominee through procedures established by the Deacon Selection Committee.

I. Internal Affairs. The Deacons shall among themselves elect officers and determine methods of procedure.  Officers shall include: a Chairman, who shall preside at all meetings; a Vice-Chairman, who shall preside in the absence of the Chairman; and a Secretary, who shall record minutes of all meetings.  In the event of the death, disability, or resignation of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall serve the unexpired term of the Chairman and a new Vice-Chairman shall be elected.  Officers shall have no authority to act on behalf of the Deacons without approval of the Deacons.

J. Removal. In accordance with 1 Timothy 5:19, an accusation against a Deacon will not be entertained unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.  Upon such accusation being brought, two Deacons will investigate and will address the accusation with the accused Deacon, then refer the accusation to the Deacons for a vote as to whether to refer the accusation to the church body.

K. Quorum and Voting. Fifty percent (50%) of the Deacons then serving shall constitute the quorum required to conduct business. A majority vote of those Deacons present and voting shall be required to approve any matter submitted to the Deacons for a vote.

Section 2- Messengers

The Church shall annually elect Messengers to represent the Church in Association, Georgia Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention relationships.  Messengers shall be nominated from the floor and elected by the Church in conference.

Section 3– Committees

A. Qualifications

Before committee members are enlisted, they shall have established a character exhibiting the qualities and practices set forth in the Church Covenant, including support and advancement of the Church and its ministries, walking circumspectly in the world, and being just in their dealings, faithful in their engagements, exemplary in their deportment, and avoiding all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger.

B. Governance

Each committee shall internally elect a Chairman who will preside at all meetings, a Vice-Chairman who will preside at all meetings in the absence or resignation of the chairman, and a Secretary who will record minutes of all committee meetings.  All committees shall report to the, Church in Conference either orally or in writing, on a not less than quarterly basis.  The Finance Committee shall report to the Church in conference, either orally or in writing, on a not less than quarterly basis.  Officers of the respective committees shall have no authority to act on behalf of their Committee without the approval of a majority of the committee members.

All committees shall have an odd number of members as stated in this section.  All committees having a three-year rotational term shall have one-third (1/3) of its members appointed for a three-year term each year.  Any member rotating off such a committee shall remain off for at least one (1) year.  All committees shall keep a record of minutes for each meeting, which shall be maintained in the church office.

C. Duties of Committee Members

(1)        Know the purpose, duties, and members of the committee.

(2)        Be present and on time for meetings.

(3)        Participate in discussions.

(4)        Contribute to the planning and achievement of activities/projects.

(5)        Complete assignments as agreed upon.

(6)        Keep the committee Chairperson informed about progress on assignment report at committee meetings.

D. Creation

Committees may be created by the Church in conference.

E. Selection by Nominating Committee

A Nominating Committee of seven (7) church members, which may include any church member, shall be formed by the Pastor, Ministerial Staff and Deacons, upon nominations from the Church, no later than August 1 of each year. The members of the Nominating Committee shall be ratified by vote of the Church, and shall serve a term of one (1) year. The Nominating Committee, after accepting nominations from the Church, shall present nominations for the members of standing committees for ratification in church conference, by three-fourths (3/4) vote of members present and voting, no later than November 1 of each year.  The Treasurer, Clerk, and Trustees shall follow the same procedure when said positions become vacant.

F. Standing Committees

(1)   Finance Committee

(a)        Membership – Total of seven (7) members

(b)        Term – Three (3) years on a rotating basis

(c)        Responsibilities

(i)         To develop with the input of the Church Leadership a broad program of stewardship education and promotion.

(ii)        To prepare the annual Church budget with the input of the Church staff.

(iii)       To develop and conduct the annual budget interpretation, promotion, and any pledge campaign among the members.

(iv)       To monitor progress toward achievement of budget objectives on a regular basis and to report such progress to the Church at regular quarterly conferences.

(v)        To ensure that sound procedures are instituted for collecting, counting, safeguarding and disbursing funds.

(vi)       To ensure that an audit or review of all Church funds is timely and effectively completed and transmitted to the Church no later than March 15 of each year.  An audit shall be completed at least once every two (2) years.

(vii)      To conduct medium-range and long-range studies in the interest of planning for the total stewardship needs of the Church in changing times and circumstances.

  1. Personnel Committee

(a)        Membership – Total of seven (7) members

(b)        Term – Three (3) years on a rotating basis

(c)        Responsibilities

(i)         Planning for future staff needs in close cooperation with the Pastor, Ministerial Staff and Church Administrator.

(ii)        Ensuring that appropriate job descriptions are prepared for all staff positions.

(iii)       Conducting staff recruitment in cooperation with the Church Leadership.

(iv)       Establish, maintain on a current basis, and administer the policies for the staff and employees regarding duties, vacations, sick leave, and benefits, and also set the working hours of all employees in consultation with Pastor, Ministerial Staff and Church Administrator.

(v)        Establishing appropriate personnel policies and procedures.

(vi)       Reviewing annual staff performance evaluation reports submitted by the  Pastor and/or his designee.

(vii)      Advising and recommending on all personnel and human resources  matters.

Section 4– Other Positions

A. Church Treasurer

(1)        Functions:

(a) Serves as chief fiscal officer in a voluntary capacity.

(b) Serves as Chair of the Finance Committee.

(c) Designs and implements proper accounting and control procedures.

(d) Develops and implements monthly, quarterly and annual reports to the Church.

(e) Evaluates progress toward achievement of the annual budget; informs and challenges the Church as to progress, participation and biblical stewardship  awareness.

(f) Supervises the work of the Financial Secretary.

(g) Plans for and expedites an annual financial review.

(h) Conducts a monthly meeting of the Finance Committee for planning and review purposes.

(i) Is responsible for ensuring that requirements of the Charter of First Baptist Church, Inc. and public law are timely and properly met at all times.

(2)        Term – Three (3) years

B. Clerk

(1)        Functions:

(a) Records and maintains all actions taken by the Church in conferences.

(b) Prepares and submits to the Church records for the annual Church letter to the  Association, and submits letter to the Association after Church approval.

(c) Prepares and mails all official Church correspondence.

(d) Works with Moderator in preparation of agenda for Church business meeting.

(2)        Term – Three (3) years

C. Trustees

The Church shall elect three Trustees who will be responsible for the review and management of the legal title of all Church property.  Since the Church is a duly incorporated entity, the Trustees shall not hold title to property of the Church, and shall not have the authority to buy, sell, encumber, lease, or transfer any property without a specific vote of the Church and a properly executed corporate resolution evidencing such authority.  It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, encumbrance, purchase, or other legal matter.

 

ARTICLE IV

CHURCH MEETINGS

Section 1 – Worship Services

The Church shall meet for the worship of Almighty God through preaching, teaching, instruction and prayer on each Sunday morning, and Wednesday evening and other times the Church deems appropriate.  Worship shall be open to all people and shall be conducted under the leadership of the Pastor.

Section 2 – Church Conferences

A. Conduction of Church Business. The business of the Church shall be conducted at Regular and Called Church Conferences.

B. Regular Conferences. Regular Conferences shall be held at least quarterly, in the months of January, April, July, and October.

C. Called Conferences. Called Church Conferences may be called to consider any matter deemed appropriate by the Pastor or Deacons or by written petition of at least twenty (20) members.  Announcement of a Called Conference shall state the purpose for the Called Conference.  The business agenda of a Called Conference shall be limited to the announced purpose.

D. Notice. The date and time of each Church Conference, whether Regular or Called, shall be announced to the Church at least two (2) weeks prior to the Conference and repeated at each regularly scheduled Church meeting preceding the Conference.

E. Quorum. A quorum of at least 100 members shall be necessary to conduct business at a Called Conference.  A quorum of at least 50 members shall be necessary to conduct business at a Regular Conference.

F. Voting. The following matters shall be submitted to the Church in Called Conference for a vote, with passage of such matter requiring a majority vote of members present and voting, unless specified otherwise in these Bylaws:

(1)        Purchase or sale of real estate

(2)        Approval of the budget

(3)        Hiring of ministry staff

(4)        Selection of Deacons and committee members

(5)        Changes to the Church Constitution and Bylaws

(6)        Major financial initiatives

(7)        Termination of the Pastor

(8)        Any other matter deemed appropriate by the Deacons

Section 3 – Conduct of Meetings

The Pastor or his designee shall serve as Moderator of all meetings.  The Moderator shall prepare an agenda, preside at all Church conferences, and conduct the meetings of the Church in a fitting and orderly manner.  The moderator shall be familiar with Roberts Rules of Order, which shall be utilized to determine methods of procedure.

ARTICLE V

CHURCH ORDINANCES

Section 1 – Baptism

Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, of the remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life.  It is prerequisite to Church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord’s Supper. (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3; I Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12)

Section 2 – The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and fruit of the vine, and to be observed by His Churches till the end of the world.  It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with Him, and of their Church fellowship. (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:19-20; I Corinthians 10:15-18; 24:33)

ARTICLE VI

AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws may be made at a Called Church Conference, at which two hundred (200) members shall constitute a quorum, provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous Church meeting, and copies of the proposed amendment available for each member present.  Amendments to the Constitution shall have a concurrence of three-fourths (3/4) vote of all members present and voting; amendments to the Bylaws shall have a concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting.