Article I: NAME
This church shall be known as The First Baptist Church of Westfield, New York.
Article II: PURPOSE
The purpose of the organization shall be to promote the objectives of the Church Covenant.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our 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, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We purpose, 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, discipline and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also purpose to maintain family and private 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; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further purpose to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other 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 purpose that, when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
Article III: DOCTRINE
Section 1: The Scriptures
We believe “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Timothy 3:16). We accept these 66 books of the Old and New Testament as the infallible and complete Word and Revelation of God, and therefore, the only rule of faith and practice. (II Timothy 3:15 – 17)
Section 2: God
We believe in one God as revealed in the Scriptures, as omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, and eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of creation and redemption. (Genesis 1:1)
Section 3: Christ
We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, co-equal and co-eternal with the
Father; His virgin birth; His sinless life; his substitutionary death on the Cross for man’s sins; His physical resurrection from the grave; his ascension to the right hand of God where He ever liveth to make intercession with the Father for believers; and His personal, visible, bodily, premillineal return to the earth. (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:27-35; Luke 24:6;
John 1:1-3, 14; Acts 1:9, 11; Romans 8:34; I Corinthians15:3, 4; II Corinthians 5:21; I John 2:2; Revelation 19:11-16 compare Rev. 20:4-6)
Section 4: The Holy Spirit
We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God and Son. (John 14:16, 17, 26; Acts 5:3, 4)
Section 5: Satan
We believe that Satan is a real, created person who, because of rebellion against God, was cast out of heaven and who is actively engaged in leading man into rebellion against God today. Satan’s destiny is to be judged and cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:10; Isaiah 14:12-16; John 8:44; Luke 10:18; Ezekiel 28:12-19; I Peter 5:8)
Section 6: Man
We believe God made man in His own image by a distinct creative act. We believe the Scriptural record of the fall of man through disobedience to God, and as a result man is “dead in trespasses and sins”. (Genesis 1:26, 27; Genesis 3; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3)
Section 7: Salvation
Salvation is entirely a gift of God’s grace through faith in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is in no way based on a person’s earning it by goodness or merit.
Salvation includes: conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit; repentance; forgiveness of sin; regeneration or a new birth; justification; sealing with the Holy Spirit; all bringing one into a new life in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8, 9; John 3:3; 16:8, 9; Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38;
Section 8: Sanctification
We believe sanctification is:
1. Instantaneous – God bought us, therefore He owns us, and has declared us sanctified. (I Corinthians 6:11)
2. Progressive – He is remolding is into the image of Christ. (II Corinthians 7:1; Romans 3:29)
3. Complete – “…We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (I John 3:2)
Section 9: The Church
We believe that the New Testament Church is a body of believers, called out of the world, baptized on a credible confession of faith in Jesus Christ, sovereign in polity, banded together voluntarily for the observance of the ordinances, worship, service, fellowship, and carry out the Great Commission.
We believe that a church is self-governing under the oversight of its pastors and deacons, who are chosen by and accountable to the congregation.
1. Baptism – We believe in the immersion of believers in water as the only Biblical mode of baptism. (Romans 6:3-5)
2. Communion – We believe in the communion of the Lord’s Supper as a privilege peculiar to those who are born again believers in Christ. (I Corinthians 11:23 -29)
We believe the commission of the church given by our Lord is to make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19, 20)
We believe that at the end of this age of grace the dead believers shall be raised and with living believers be caught up in the air and be forever with the Lord.
(I Thessalonians 4:16, 17)
Section 10: Marriage
We believe marriage is between one man and one woman, and that it is a sacred covenant before God and man. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6)
Section 11: Eternity
We believe in the everlasting bliss of the saved. They will receive awards commensurate with their service for the Lord. (John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 3:12-15)
We believe in the everlasting punishment of those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. They will receive punishment commensurate with their deeds. (Revelations 20:15; Luke 12:47, 48)
ARTICLE IV: CHURCH GOVERNMENT
This church shall be self-governing and democratic in polity. It shall remain free from all outside political and ecclesiastical control.
ARTICLE V: AFFILIATION
This church may affiliate for fellowship and/or advancing the Lord’s work with organizations of like doctrine and practice. Such affiliations shall not have any control over church policy or doctrine.
ARTICLE VI: PROPERTY
In the event of dissolution of this church as a nonprofit organization, the assets of the organization shall be given and paid over to a nonprofit organization of like faith and order as outlined in the Articles of Faith of this constitution which would satisfy the remaining membership and quality under the provisions of Section 501 © (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its regulations. None of its assets shall be divided among its members, individuals, or any groups not holding tax exemption.
Article I: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Admission to Membership
1. Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior, giving positive evidence of a changed life, being baptized, and declaring himself or herself in accord with the Articles of Faith and the ideals of the Church Covenant may become a candidate for church membership.
2. Every candidate for admission to church membership shall relate his or her Christian experience to the Deacon Board. When they are satisfied that the candidate is eligible for membership, they shall recommend to the church that the candidate be received. A majority vote of the members present at a regular service or business meeting shall be required.
3. Application to church membership is by:
a. confession of faith and baptism for a candidate who has not experienced believers’ baptism;
b. confession of faith and letter of transfer for a candidate who is already a baptized member of another church of like faith;
c. confession of faith and testimony of baptism for a candidate who is not a member of a church of like faith or for whom no letter is available; or
d. request for restoration for a former member who has been removed from membership by church discipline.
Section 2: Removal from Membership
1. In the case of a member’s death, the name of the deceased shall automatically be removed.
2. A letter of transfer shall be sent by recommendation of the Deacon Board and majority vote of the church on behalf of an active member to another church of like faith at that church’s request.
3. A letter of dismissal shall be sent by recommendation of the Deacon Board and majority vote of the church on behalf of an inactive member or of a member joining a church which is not of like faith at the church’s request.
4. A member may be removed from membership by church discipline when he or she is found guilty and unrepentant of unchristian conduct or of propagating teachings contrary to the Scriptures. Such action is to be taken by recommendation of the Deacon Board and a majority vote of the church.
5. A member who has been on the inactive list for more than two years may be removed from membership by recommendation of the Deacon Board and a majority vote of the church.
6. A member who departs from the vicinity of the church and fails to unite with another church may be removed from membership after four years by recommendation of the Deacon Board and a majority vote of the church.
7. A member shall at his or her own request be removed from the membership roll.
8. A member who has become a member of another church without request for a letter shall automatically be removed from membership.
Section 3: Inactive Members
1. A member who habitually fails to attend services for a period of two years without legitimate reason may be put on the inactive roll by action of the Deacon Board.
2. A member who has moved away from the church and who fails to join another church may be put on the inactive roll after two years by action of the Deacon Board.
Special allowance may be made for college students, military personnel and others whose living situations may be temporary.
3. A member on the inactive roll shall have no voice or vote on church business, shall not be granted a letter of transfer with recommendation, but may be granted a letter of transfer.
4. A member on the inactive roll may be restored to active membership by action of the Deacon Board on the basis of renewed faithfulness evidenced over a six-month period.
Section 4: Voting Members
1. Voting is a privilege for all active members who are at least eighteen years old.
Section 5: Discipline of Members
1. The exercise of discipline shall be recognized as a solemn obligation of the church (Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 5; Galatians 6:1; I Thessalonians 5:14; II Thessalonians 3:6; I Timothy 5:20; 6:3-5; Titus 1:13; 3:10, 11).
2. The basis for discipline shall be:
unchristian conduct or propagating unscriptural teachings.
3. The principles of Matthew 18:15-17 shall be followed as much as possible.
4. Charges against a member shall be brought before the Deacon Board before they are brought before the church.
5. The accused member shall have the opportunity to respond to the charges brought against him or her by personal appearance before the Deacon Board or in writing.
6. If guilt is determined, discipline may take the form of any or any combination of the following: suspension from any appointed positions, recall from elected office, request for restitution, disapproval for all church service, dismissal from membership, and exclusion from church services and premises.
7. The church shall have the right to deny a letter of transfer for a member under discipline, and also shall have the right to indicate disciplinary action that is being taken in any letter that is granted.
8. Where applicable, the Deacon Board shall specify the time limit of the disciplinary action and/or any conditions that must be met before the disciplinary action can be suspended.
9. Any discipline resulting in removal from membership or exclusion from church services and premises shall be by recommendation of the Deacon Board and majority vote of the church.
10. Any person being disciplined, who feels the action of the Deacon Board to be unjust, may appeal to the church for a hearing of the case before the church. The church may then decide whether to hear the case or whether it will uphold, without such hearing, the action of the Deacon Board.
11. Galatians 6:1 shall determine both the goal of church discipline and the spirit in which such discipline is to be administered.
12. A person removed from membership may be restored to membership by the process described in Section 1 of this Article, after he has given evidence of genuine repentance.
Article II: OFFICERS AND BOARDS
Section 1: General Requirements
1. The officers of the church shall be: the Pastor(s), Deacons (Deacon Board), Deaconesses (Deaconess Board), Trustees (Trustee Board), Church Clerk, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary, Missionary Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, and Assistant Sunday School Superintendent.
2. All officers are to recognize that their office is a spiritual one; therefore, their service is to be done as unto the Lord, and they are to endeavor to set examples of godliness and faithfulness. Those elected to office should be those who have already demonstrated a consistent Christian testimony and a commitment to this church.
3. All officers are to be members of the church.
4. The authority of any officer or board shall not exceed the duties and responsibilities as set forth in the Constitution.
Section 2: Pastor
a. He shall be called by recommendation of the Pulpit Committee and vote of the church at a business meeting of the church, public notice of such action having been given at least two weeks preceeding the date of such meeting. A three- fourths vote by ballot of the qualified voters present shall be necessary for his call. He shall be called for an indefinite term, unless specifically stated otherwise in a written agreement.
b. Only candidates who are of the same doctrinal position as the church shall be considered. The candidate must accept Article III of the Constitution and inform the church in writing that his doctrinal position is in agreement with this Article before the church may offer him a call as Pastor. He must also be in sympathy with the church’s positions as expressed in Article V of the Constitution.
a. The Pastor shall give the church a notice in writing not to exceed sixty days and not less than thirty days of his intention to discontinue his position as Pastor.
b. The church may, by a majority vote of the qualified voters present at a properly called meeting (BY-LAWS: Article VI, Section 2:4), vote to give thirty-days notice of the termination of the Pastor’s services.
c. If the pastor is found guilty of charges that require church discipline, his dismissal by the church may become effective immediately, but four weeks salary shall be paid. If there is genuine repentance, the Deacons may present a recommendation to the church concerning whether or not the pastor should remain in office. The vote of the church shall decide the issue.
a. The Pastor shall, with the Board of Deacons, have the general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church.
b. He shall preach the Gospel according to the principles of faith covered by Article III of the Constitution; he shall have in his charge the stated services of public worship; he shall administer the ordinances; he shall perform the usual duties of a minister.
c. He shall, with the Deacons, approve all guest speakers invited to any church function.
d. He shall be an advisory, unless specifically named as a member, on all committees and boards.
4. Membership: It is expected that the pastor and eligible members of his family will make every effort to become members of the local assembly as soon as possible.
a. When a Pastor is called to minister, he shall be offered a pay package including salary, benefits, and vacation time.
b. The Pastor’s pay package shall be reviewed annually. Any changes shall be recommended by the Budget Committee, approved by the Trustee Board and voted on by the congregation at the Annual Business Meeting.
c. Changes made at any other time shall be made by the Trustee Board with the approval of the Deacon Board.
d. If the Pastor desires to make changes in his pay package which do not affect the total amount approved at the Annual Business Meeting, he may do so with the approval of the Trustee Board.
Section 3: Associate Pastor(s)
1. Calling: He shall be called in the same way as the Senior Pastor so far as it is applicable, but also with the recommendation of the Senior Pastor.
2. Dismissal: It shall be in the same way as the Senior Pastor so far as it is applicable, but dismissal shall also take place when requested by the Senior Pastor and the Deacon Board.
a. The primary duties shall be clearly specified before a call shall be extended.
b. Changes in these duties shall be made only with his approval or by church action.
c. He shall also be willing to serve in other capacities as able and as needs arise.
4. Membership: It is expected that the Associate Pastor(s) and eligible members of his family will make every effort to become members of the local assembly as soon as possible.
5. Remuneration: It shall be determined in the same way as the Senior Pastor’s.
Section 4: Deacon Board
1. The Board of Deacons shall consist of six members serving three-year terms with a maximum of two consecutive terms when possible. Each year at the Annual Business Meeting, two Deacons shall be elected.
2. The board may be enlarged as necessary with a ratio of one Deacon to each forty church members.
3. Deacons shall be qualified as prescribed in I Timothy 3:8-13.
4. The Deacons shall elect from their number a chairman and a secretary. The former shall preside at their meetings; the latter shall keep a record of the business conducted and major topics of consideration except in cases which are deemed advisable to leave unrecorded.
5. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chairman, Pastor, or two-thirds of the Deacons. A majority of the Deacons shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of those present shall be necessary for a motion to carry.
6. The Deacons shall, with the Pastor, have the general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. Their duties shall include:
a. They shall direct matters pertaining to membership according to Article I of these By-Laws, maintain accurate membership rolls, and notify the clerk of changes in membership status.
b. They shall assist the Pastor in discovering areas of need in the church and in seeking ways to improve the effectiveness of the church’s ministry.
c. They shall provide counsel to the Pastor in the matters he brings before them.
d. They shall arbitrate disputes among church members.
e. They shall oversee all other boards, committees, and ministries of the church to maintain their compliance to the Constitution and By-Laws. Any action taken by the Deacons in such a case may be appealed to the church for a hearing. The church shall then decide whether to hear the case or whether it will uphold, without such hearing, the action of the Deacon Board.
f. They shall serve on the Pulpit Committee.
g. They shall, with the Pastor, have final say in who may come as a guest speaker to any church function.
h. They shall approve all special collections to be taken from the congregation at large when the church has not acted thereon.
i. They shall direct the distribution of the Deacon Care Fund.
j. They shall assist in the administration of the ordinances.
k. They shall approve the nominations of the Nominating Committee.
l. In case of an unfulfilled term of office for an elected official, they may appoint a replacement to fulfill the term.
m. They shall make a written report for the Annual Business Meeting of the church.
7. An elderly Deacon, with extended faithful service as such, may be elected “Deacon Emeritus” at an Annual Business Meeting of the church.
Section 5: Deaconess Board
1. The Board of Deaconesses shall consist of six members whose terms of office shall be for three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms when possible.
2. Their duties shall include:
a. They shall prepare for the Ordinance of Communion.
b. They shall assist in the Ordinance of Baptism when requested.
c. In the event of a funeral, they shall make arrangements for any food that is needed.
d. They shall help with the visitation of the shut-ins.
e. They shall help with meals when needed in case of illness.
f. They shall assist the Pastor at his request in caring for other needs.
g. They shall commit themselves to prayer for the needs brought before them.
h. They shall make a written report for the Annual Business Meeting of the church.
3. An elderly Deaconess may be elected to the honorary position “Deaconess Emeritus” at an Annual Business Meeting.
Section 6: Trustee Board
1. The Board of Trustees shall consist of six members whose terms of office shall be for three years with a maximum of two consecutive terms when possible. Two Trustees shall be elected each year at the Annual Business Meeting.
2. The Trustees shall elect from their number a chairman and secretary. The former shall preside at their meetings; the latter shall keep a record of the business conducted and the work accomplished.
3. Meetings shall be held at the call of the chairman, Pastor, or two-thirds of the Trustees. A majority of the Trustees shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of those present shall be necessary for a motion to carry.
4. Duties of the Trustees shall include:
a. They shall be responsible for the care and use of the property of the church including the buildings, equipment and grounds.
b. They shall be responsible for maintaining an adequate insurance policy for church needs.
c. They shall approve monthly financial statements and make these statements available to the church.
d. They shall hire and supervise the janitor, and any other personnel to be hired for the care of the property under their responsibility.
e. They shall hire, with the Pastor’s approval, the church secretary and shall resolve any questions that arise about his or her duties.
f. They shall be stewards of the amount budgeted to them to maintain the property, to make improvements, or to purchase new equipment and materials.
g. They shall approve the proposals of the Budget Committee.
h. Two Trustees shall be appointed by the board to authorize the payment of all bills.
i. They shall make a written report for the Annual Business Meeting.
5. They shall not have authority to dispose of church property exceeding five hundred dollars in value without approval of the church.
6. They shall have authority to reject or accept items donated to the church, as well as to approve or disapprove of work projects initiated by other groups except when these are approved by the church.
7. They shall have authority to limit the expenditure of budgeted amounts for any individual or group within the church when such funds are not available or when more pressing needs necessitate using the funds elsewhere.
Section 7: Clerk
1. The Clerk shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from among the members of this church for a term of one year.
2. The Clerk shall make and preserve all records of the church and keep a register of the names of all members with dates of baptism, admission, transfer, dismissal or death.
3. The Clerk shall issue letters of transfer or dismissal when voted by the church; the Clerk shall send letters of request for letters of transfer or dismissal when voted by the church.
4. The Clerk shall issue other letters when requested by the church.
5. The Clerk shall record any official action taken by the church.
6. The Clerk shall submit a report for the Annual Business Meeting indicating membership changes.
Section 8: Treasurer
1. The Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from the members of the church for a term of one year.
2. The Treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all money received for the support and maintenance of the church, to be paid out on the order of the Board of Trustees. All accounts shall be accurately kept, and all deposits made and checks drawn shall be made in the name of the church.
3. The Treasurer shall give monthly report of receipts and disbursements to the trustees for their approval, said report then to be made available to the church.
4. The Treasurer shall make sure at least two people count the weekly receipts of the church. These counters may be the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary, or in case of need, someone else whom he or she may appoint.
5. The Treasurer shall process the church payroll.
6. The Treasurer shall prepare quarterly and annual payroll tax reports as necessary.
7. The Treasurer shall give a written report in detail at the Annual Business Meeting of all receipts and disbursements.
8. The Treasurer shall furnish to the Board of Trustees such financial information as is requested by said board.
Section 9: Assistant Treasurer
1. The Assistant Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from the members of the church for a term of one year.
2. The Assistant Treasurer shall assist the Treasurer as needed, and shall assume the duties of the Treasurer in the case of his or her absence.
3. The Assistant Treasurer may help count the weekly receipts.
Section 10: Financial Secretary
1. The Financial Secretary shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from among the members of the church for a term of one year.
2. The Financial Secretary may help count the weekly receipts.
3. The Financial Secretary shall supervise the use of the church offering envelopes,9oikl, and shall keep record of individual giving when possible and except when requested not to by the individual giving.
4. The Financial Secretary shall provide a year-end statement of giving for those for whom record has been kept.
5. The Financial Secretary shall give a monthly report to the Trustees for their approval, said report then to be made available to the church.
6. The Financial Secretary shall provide a complete report of receipts at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 11: Assistant Financial Secretary
1. The Assistant Financial Secretary shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from the members of the church for a term of one year.
2. The Assistant Financial Secretary shall assist the Financial Secretary as needed, and shall assume the duties of the Financial Secretary in the case of his or her absence.
3. The Assistant Financial Secretary may help count the weekly receipts.
Section 12: Missionary Treasurer
1. The Missionary Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from among the members of this church for a term of one year.
2. The Missionary Treasurer shall be a member of the Missionary Committee, and shall keep an accurate record of the receipts and disbursements of the funds handled by said committee.
3. The Missionary Treasurer shall disburse the missions funds as directed by the Missionary Committee.
4. The Missionary Treasurer shall give a monthly report to the trustees for their approval, said report then to be made available to the church.
5. The Missionary Treasurer shall provide a complete report of receipts and disbursements at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 13: Sunday School Superintendent
1. The Superintendent of the Sunday school shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from the members of the church for a term of one year.
2. The Superintendent shall be in charge of the administration and promotion of the Sunday school.
3. The duties of the Superintendent include:
a. making sure that each class has a qualified teacher,
b. ordering lesson material and teaching aids,
c. working with the teachers to resolve problems that arise,
d. promoting manageable growth in the Sunday school, and
e. endeavoring to provide teacher training opportunities.
4. The Superintendent may appoint personnel to assist him in his work such as: General Secretary, Recording Secretary, and Department Superintendents.
5. New teachers or new members of the Sunday school staff shall be approved by the Deacon Board.
6. Changes in the core teaching curriculum shall be approved by the Deacon Board.
Section 14: Assistant Sunday School Superintendent
1. The Assistant Sunday School Superintendent shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting from the members of the church for a term of one year.
2. The Assistant Sunday School Superintendent shall work with the Superintendent in any way that will benefit the administration of the school, and replace him or her in case of absence.
Section 15: Official Board
1. This board shall consist of the officers of the church.
2. The Pastor shall normally serve as the board moderator. At such a time as the church is without a Pastor, the chairman of the Board of Deacons shall be the moderator, or in his absence, someone selected by the Official Board.
3. It shall meet not less than eight weeks before the Annual Business Meeting to appoint a Nominating Committee and a Budget Committee.
4. Special meetings of the board may be called by a Pastor, the chairman of Deacons, or the chairman of Trustees, to discuss any matter where a representation wider than any other board is desired.
5. Recommendations from this board may be presented to the church body.
Article III: COMMITTEES AND POSITIONS
Section 1: General Provisos
1. All members of official church committees or holders of official church positions shall be members in good standing of this church.
2. Unless indicated otherwise below, they shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee, approved by the Deacon Board, and elected by the vote of the church at the Annual Business Meeting.
3. They shall be elected to serve for one year unless indicated otherwise below. They may be re-elected for successive terms of service.
4. Unfulfilled terms of service may be filled by qualified members selected by the Deacon Board.
5. Other committees and positions may be authorized by the Deacon Board. In such cases, it is urged that a description of the responsibilities of the committee or position be put into a written form and approved by the Deacon Board as soon as possible. Such committees and positions shall last only as long as needed or as personnel are available to serve in these capacities.
6. All committees and positions shall be under the general oversight of the Pastor and Deacon Board.
7. All committees and positions are expected to present a written report for the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 2: Missionary Committee
1. The Missionary Committee shall consist of the pastor, a representative from a ladies’ missionary organization and a representative from a men’s missionary organization (when such organizations are functioning), a representative from the Deacon Board, the Missionary Treasurer, and three members of the church to be elected at the Annual Business Meeting to serve for a period of one year.
2. Duties of the Missionary Committee shall include:
a. It shall carry out the policies prescribed under 3 and 4 below.
b. It shall draft an annual missionary budget to be presented to the Budget Committee for approval, then to the Trustee Board for approval, and then to the church for approval at the Annual Business Meeting.
c. It shall seek to promote the cause of missions through information, publicity, prayer, missionary speakers, special missionary projects., etc.
3. Policies concerning the selection of missionaries for regular support.
a. Candidates for support by the church shall be recommended by the Missionary Committee, but only after a thorough examination of the missionary, the proposed work, and the missionary agency.
b. Candidates for support must indicate in writing their acceptance of the doctrine of this church as found in Article III of the Constitution, and their willingness to abide by our missionary policies.
c. Candidates for support must be associated with a mission agency whose doctrine is in conformity to that of this church, that practices believers’ baptism by immersion, that is not in affiliation with the World Council of Churches, and that guarantees that the support given by our church will go to the missionary
to whom it is designated.
d. Where applicable, the above policies shall be used in evaluating missionary organizations, agencies, and ministries which are considered for support.
4. Policies concerning support of approved missionaries
a. Except when otherwise specified, or in such situations as described in the following, missionary support shall continue indefinitely as long as the church is able.
b. If a missionary’s furlough time extends beyond the time specified by the mission agency, support will continue only upon recommendation of the committee and church approval.
c. In case of emergency leave in addition to regular furlough time, support will continue for six months, after which time support will continue only upon recommendation of the committee and church approval.
d. When there is a change in a missionary’s field of service, a change of missionary agencies, a change of status from active to inactive, a withdrawal of the commissioning church’s commission, or other significant changes, the committee shall evaluate whether to continue the same support or to recommend to the church that support be changed or discontinued.
e. Each missionary shall be expected to send some form of report or prayer letter at least quarterly, and to visit the church at least once every four years. When these are not done, the committee shall investigate to see if there are justifiable reasons. If there are not, the missionary shall be urged to comply with these requirements. If no change results, the committee may recommend to the church that support be changed or discontinued.
f. Money designated to a specific missionary shall go to that missionary. Money designated to the Mission Fund will go toward the amount budgeted by the church for missions.
5. Special Missionary Projects
a. All missionary projects for the church at large shall be approved by the Missionary Committee.
b. All funds for such projects shall be channeled through the Missionary Treasurer.
c. The missionary budget may include funds to be disbursed at the discretion of the Missionary Committee for special projects or emergency needs.
Section 3: Auditing Committee
The Auditing Committee shall consist of two members from, or appointed by, the Board of Trustees. They shall audit the financial records of the church before the annual
business meeting and give a report of their findings at that meeting.
Section 4: Pulpit Committee
1. The Pulpit Committee shall consist of the Deacon Board, any Associate Pastors, one Trustee, one Deaconess and two members of the church selected by the Official Board.
2. The Pulpit Committee shall elect a chairman and a secretary.
3. This committee shall become active whenever it becomes necessary for the church to call a new Pastor.
4. It shall be the duty of this committee to investigate and invite men to be considered for the pastorate of this church.
a. No one shall be invited to come as a potential candidate who does not meet the requirements of the Pastor as indicated in Article 2, Section 2 of these By-Laws.
b. A man shall initially be invited to come as a potential candidate.
c. Upon favorable response of this committee and the church, the potential candidate shall be invited to return as a candidate.
d. When a man has come as a candidate for the pastorate of this church, no one else shall be invited to return as a candidate until a decision has been reached on the first candidate.
e. No candidate shall be recommended to the church by this committee except by consensus of the entire committee.
5. Any agreements pertaining to doctrinal acceptance, responsibilities of either party, salary, vacation time, insurance, housing, utilities, social security, gas allowance, car allowance, etc. shall be in writing. This agreement shall be signed by the candidate and the chairman of the Pulpit Committee upon approval by the church membership.
6. This committee shall also have the authority and responsibility to arrange for pulpit supplies for those services in which no potential candidate or candidate is present.
Section 5: Memorial Committee
1. This committee shall consist of three members chosen from the church membership and appointed at the Annual Business Meeting to serve for a one-year term.
2. Its duties shall be:
a. The committee shall accept and account for all memorial contributions, record such contributions and make proper acknowledgements, and turn all such
contributions over to the church treasurer.
b. It shall be responsible for the selection of suitable memorial gifts to be purchased with the contributions received. All such expenditures shall be approved by the Board of Trustees.
c. It shall make a report at the Annual Business Meeting of all receipts and expenditures for the previous year.
Section 6: Nominating Committee
1. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Official Board each year at least eight weeks before the Annual Business Meeting. It shall consist of two Deacons, the Pastor, and two other members of the church.
2. Its duties shall be to make nominations for all offices, committees, and positions
to be appointed at the Annual Business Meeting, such nominations to be approved by the Deacon Board, then posted publicly in the church at least two Sundays before the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 7: Budget Committee
1. The Budget Committee shall be appointed by the Official Board each year at least eight weeks before the Annual Business Meeting. It shall consist of one Deacon, two Trustees, the Treasurer, the Pastor, and one member of the church.
2. Its duties shall be to prepare a recommended budget for the church which, after the approval of the Board of Trustees, shall be submitted to the church at the Annual Business Meeting for consideration and adoption. This recommended budget shall be posted publicly in the church at least two Sundays before the Annual Business Meeting.
Article IV: ORGANIZATIONS
Section 1: Sunday School
1. Its purpose is to help the church fulfill its discipling ministry.
2. Curricula shall be approved by the Pastor(s) and Deacon Board.
3. It shall be under the oversight of the Sunday School Superintendent and his assistant, who shall in turn be responsible to the Pastor(s) and Deacon Board.
4. All teachers shall be believers whose character and Christian walk will adorn their teaching. All regular teachers shall be members of the church.
5. Other provisions related to the Sunday school are found in Article II., Section 13 and 14.
Section 2: Other Organizations
1. There may be other organizations to aid the church in fulfilling its purposes. These
may include but are not limited to: youth clubs, missionary groups, support groups, fellowship groups, and various activity groups.
2. All such organizations shall be started with the approval of the Pastor(s) and Deacon Board and shall remain under their general oversight and the authority of the church.
3. The teachings and practices of these organizations shall be consistent with the beliefs of this church as determined by the Pastors and Deacons.
4. Each organization shall make a written report for the Annual Business Meeting.
Article V: FINANCES
1. The fiscal year shall begin on May 1st and end the following April 30th.
2. No moneys shall be raised by the church or any subsidiary organization except by voluntary subscription or free-will offering.
Article VI: REGULAR SERVICES AND BUSINESS MEETINGS OF THE CHURCH
Section 1: Regular Services
1. There shall be a service of worship each Lord’s Day. Its main purposes shall be to honor God and to proclaim His Word.
2. Other regular services can and should be conducted on the Lord’s Day for the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the saints.
3. There shall be regular services for prayer.
4. The ordinance of Communion shall normally be observed on the first Sunday of each month.
5. Times of services shall be determined by the Pastor(s) and Deacon Board.
Section 2: Business Meeting
1. Full notice of all corporate meetings of the church shall be given on two Sundays immediately preceding such meeting, or by written notice served upon each resident member.
2. At any business meeting, twenty (20) qualified voters of the church, as set forth in Article I, Section 3, shall constitute a quorum. If there is doubt that a quorum is present, an actual count shall be made.
3. The Annual Business Meeting of the church shall normally be held in May of each year.
4. Special business meetings may be called at the request of a Pastor, Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, Official Board, or at the written and signed request of ten (10) members of the church. The purpose of the meeting shall be stated in the call.
5. At any regular meeting of the church for worship, the church may act upon the reception or dismissal of members and upon the appointment of delegates to councils and conventions.
Article VII: LICENSING AND ORDAINING
1. Any member of this church who in the judgment of the church gives sufficient evidence by his piety, zeal, and aptness to teach that he is called of God to the work of the ministry, may, upon recommendation of the Board of Deacons, be licensed to preach, provided that three-fourths of the members of the church present at any regularly called business meeting shall agree thereto.
2. Upon recommendation by the Board of Deacons, the church may, by a three-fourths vote of those present at any regularly called meeting, call a council to consider the propriety of ordaining to the full work of the Gospel ministry any qualified member of this church. Upon the recommendation of the council, the church shall proceed with the ordination.
The By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of those present at any business meeting provided that notice of the proposed amendment shall have been given at the regular service on the two Sundays immediately preceding said meeting.