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Church Bylaws

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

 

FOREST TOWER BAPTIST CHURCH

 

CONSTITUTION

 

 

PREAMBLE

        

For more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the teachings of the New Testament, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of this church and the freedom of the action of this body with respect to its relation to other Baptist churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this Constitution.

                 

ARTICLE I -- THE NAME

        

This body shall be called the Forest Tower Baptist Church, 4303 Grant 53, Hensley, Arkansas, incorporated under the laws of the state of Arkansas.

                 

ARTICLE II -- PURPOSES

        

The purpose of this church shall be:

        

  1. To maintain regular services.

 

  1. To proclaim earnestly the Gospel message and urge its personal acceptance.

 

  1. To cooperate wholeheartedly by prayer, service and by the voluntary giving of tithes and offerings in the effort to establish the Kingdom of Christ throughout the world.

 

  1. To promote systematic Bible study and training for Christian service, and to encourage in every possible way, life enlistment in some form of religious activity.

 

  1. To urge our members to live daily according to the principles that are set forth in the Scriptures.

 

ARTICLE III -- AFFILIATION

        

This church shall cooperate with the Pulaski Baptist Association, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

 

ARTICLE IV -- ARTICLES OF FAITH

 

We shall subscribe to the Baptist Faith and Message, a statement adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on May 9, 1963, a copy of which follows the By-Laws.

 

ARTICLE V -- CHURCH COVENANT

         

This church shall be bound together by the following covenant:

 

Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and on the profession of 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.

        

FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THIS CHURCH

 

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; and to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrine.

        

AS CHRISTIAN STEWARDS

        

To contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

        

ALONE AND AT HOME

        

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to educate our children religiously; and to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances.

        

BEFORE THE WORLD

        

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; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.

 

TOWARD ONE ANOTHER

 

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

        

WHEN WE MOVE

 

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

                 

ARTICLE VI -- CHARACTER - POLITY AND DOCTRINE

 

Section 1.  Polity

 

The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it.  It 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 Southern Baptist churches.

        

Section 2.  Doctrine

 

This church receives the Scriptures as its authority in all matters of faith and practice.  Its understanding of Christian truth as contained therein is an essential accord with the belief of the Baptist churches as indicated in the Articles of Faith.

 

ARTICLE VII -- OFFICERS

 

All officers of this church shall be duly elected by the church and shall endeavor to support the church in all of its functions.

 

 

 

BY- LAWS

 

ARTICLE I -- MEMBERSHIP

 

Section 1.  Qualifications

 

The membership of this church shall consist of persons who have received Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and, having experienced New Testament baptism, are in sympathy with the faith and practices of this church.

 

Section 2.  Admission

 

This church shall receive members upon vote of the church as follows:

 

  1. By baptism following a public profession of faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour.

 

  1. By letter from another Baptist church of like faith and order showing the individual to be in good standing.  He/she shall be a member in full fellowship upon receipt of letter by our church clerk, and the letter shall be acknowledged in the following business session.

 

  1. By statement that the individual has had an experience of grace and has been baptized by a Baptist church but for some reason is unable to obtain a church letter.

 

  1. By restoration, when a person’s membership has been terminated for any offense, and the person gives evidence of his repentance and reformation, or if on account of continued absence, provides a satisfactory explanation.

 

All members received into this fellowship shall have been baptized by immersion under the authority of a Baptist church.

 

Section 3.  New Members

 

All those uniting with this church shall be made acquainted with the Church Covenant and Budget and shall immediately be given an opportunity to fulfill their stewardship obligations as to worship, service, and giving.

 

Section 4.  Duties

 

Members are expected to be faithful in all 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 or pastor of any change of address.

 

Section 5.  Voting on Members

 

All action regarding the receiving and dismissing of members shall be by vote of the church.

 

Section 6.  Rights

 

All members are equal in rank and privilege and may act and vote in the transactions of the church, except in instances where the law requires a certain age limit.

 

Section 7.  Discipline

 

Discipline shall be administered when a member openly and willfully violates the church covenant to the detriment of the fellowship and of the church’s witness in the community.  This shall be carried out in love according to the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17.

 

Section 8.  Termination

 

The termination of church membership shall be effective on any one of the following conditions:

 

  1. By death.

 

  1. Any member in good standing who desires a letter of recommendation to any other Baptist church of like faith and order is entitled to it upon request of that church.

 

  1. In the event a member unites with a church not of like faith and order, or of some other denomination, membership in this church ceases and is formally terminated by vote of the church.

 

  1. Should a member become an offense to the church, and to its good name, by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of his covenant vows, or nonsupport of the church, the church shall terminate his membership, but only after due notice and hearing, and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance and amendment.

 

  1. If a member requests to be released from his covenant obligations to this church, we shall patiently and kindly endeavor to secure continuation in our fellowship.  If for reasons which the church by vote shall finally deem satisfactory, such request shall be granted, and the membership terminated, and the person shall be notified by the clerk.

 

  1. Any member refusing to have fellowship with the church and failing to communicate with the church in some way during the period of two (2) years shall, after due notice and kindly effort, have his membership terminated by vote of the church.

 

The membership of any person shall not be terminated (except by death or by letter) at the meeting when the recommendation for such action is made.  There must be a waiting period of one (I) month before final termination is effective (except in case of death or a letter).

 

Section 9.  Non-Resident Members

 

A non-resident members’ file will be kept up to date by the church clerk, and will include those members whose place of residence makes it impossible or impractical for them to be active in this church.  Members who move to a community where there is no Baptist church of like faith and order are expected to keep in contact with this church.  Members who fail in this respect will be dealt with in accordance with Article I, Section 8, F.

 

ARTICLE II -- GENERAL CHURCH OFFICERS

 

Section 1.  General Officers

 

The primary officers of this church shall be the Pastor, Deacons, Music Director, Clerk, Treasurer, Trustees, and any other officers that may be deemed necessary to carry out a full church program.  All officers shall be elected annually except the Pastor, Deacons, and Trustees as herein directed.

 

Section 2.  Pastor

 

  1. The Call:  The pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs.  A pulpit committee shall be appointed by the church to seek out a suitable pastor, and its recommendation shall constitute a nomination.  The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one man at a time.  His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one (I) week’s notice shall be given.  Election shall require an affirmative vote of 90% of those voting.

 

  1. Qualifications:  The pastor shall be ordained or a candidate for ordination.   He shall meet all the biblical qualifications as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7.   He shall be in sympathy with the programs of the Southern Baptist Convention.

 

  1. Duties:  The pastor shall preach the gospel, administer the ordinances, conduct the worship services, watch over the membership, have in his charge the spiritual welfare of the congregation, and shall preside at all business meetings and worship services of the church, except as hereinafter provided.

 

  1. Privileges:

 

    1. He shall be paid a salary and shall have an annual vacation of two weeks with pay.  After five years of service he shall have an annual vacation of three weeks with pay.  After ten years of service he shall have an annual vacation of four weeks with pay.  Special privileges may be granted by the church at its own discretion.

 

    1. He shall have permission to hold revivals during the year, not to exceed a total of four (4) weeks, unless otherwise specified by the church.  The pastor will be responsible for securing the supply and the payment of the honorarium during his absence in revival.

 

    1. The church will determine in its yearly budget its ability to give an expense account or allowance to the pastor for use in attending the Southern Baptist Convention, evangelistic conferences, and assemblies.

 

    1. The church shall pay the supply and salary in case of illness of the pastor.  In case of prolonged illness, action will be taken by the church and the pastor notified as to future arrangements.

 

    1. The church shall pay the expense of moving the pastor from his former location to the local field.  The mode of moving must be approved by both.

 

    1. The church shall pay a house allowance and car allowance, unless otherwise agreed upon by the pastor and the church.

 

  1. Termination:

 

    1. The pastor, when resigning, is expected to give the church at least two weeks’ notice.  The church may, at its discretion, waive the required notice and make the resignation effective at such earlier time as it deems wise, provided the pastor is paid his regular compensation for the two weeks.

 

    1. The pastor, if retiring, is expected to seek the counsel of the deacons in the timing of his retirement and the public announcement thereof.

 

    1. The church may terminate the services of the pastor for any reason it deems to be in the best interest of the church.  Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one (1) week’s notice shall be given from the pulpit.  If the termination is approved by majority vote of those attending, the pastor shall be given a reason for it and shall be paid his regular compensation for two weeks.

 

Section 3.  Deacons

 

  1. Nominations: There may be as many deacons as the church deems necessary to carry out their duties as hereinafter described.  Whenever a vacancy occurs, or when the church feels it expedient to increase the number of deacons actively serving, the church shall, by vote, specify the number of vacancies to be filled. 

 

Any church member may then submit nominations in writing to the active deacons.  Any male member of the church may be nominated, provided he has been a member of this church for at least twelve (12) months, and provided his wife, if he is married, is also a member of this church. 

 

 

All nominations will then be prayerfully considered by the deacons and pastor, with any names being eliminated who are known to be unqualified.   All remaining nominees will then be prayerfully listed in sequence according to their qualifi­cations and other criteria deemed appropriate by the deacons and pastor.   Beginning with the top of the list, each man considered will be visited by the pastor and chairman of deacons and will be asked to read carefully The Baptist Deacon, by Robert E.  Naylor, or some other suitable piece of literature approved by the church.  Each man will be asked to pray individually, and with his family, seeking God’s will in the matter of serving.  He will be asked to give a response within a reasonable length of time.

 

  1. Election:  When the necessary number of favorable responses has been received (determined by the number of vacancies to be filled), the deacons and pastor shall interview and/or examine each nominee to whatever extent they feel necessary in order to ascertain the candidate’s personal, spiritual, and Biblical qualifications for the office of deacon.

 

After such determination has been made, the pastor will publicly announce the names of each nominee and identify him as a candidate for election.  The election shall be held at any regular or special business conference of the church, of which at least one (I) week’s notice has been given.  Prior to voting, each candidate and his wife shall be asked to share with the church a brief testimony concerning their salvation experience, church relationship, and willingness to serve.  Any member of the church may then direct any’ relevant question to any of the candidates.  Voting shall then be done by secret ballot, and election shall require a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of those voting.

 

  1. Ordination: Ordination for those not previously ordained shall be planned by the pastor in consultation with the deacons, including the newly elected deacons.  Previous ordination by another Baptist church shall be recognized and accepted if that church were one from which this church would ordinarily accept a member by letter.  Ordination shall be for life, unless subsequently rescinded by the ordaining church. 

 Any active deacon may, for health or personal reasons, request to be placed on inactive status, thus                                  freeing him from the usual responsibilities as a deacon but without affecting his ordination.

 

  1. Qualifications: The basic requirements for a deacon are found in the Bible in Acts 6:1-7 and I Timothy 3:8-13, and these are always to be held over and above the specific requirements for deacons of this church.  The business life of a deacon shall be in harmony with Christian principles.  He shall believe in and practice total abstinence from all forms of intoxicating beverages both in use and in selling same.  The deacon should be able and willing to be regular in attendance at the services, deacons’ meetings, and the business meetings of the church, along with supporting the teachings and visiting ministries of the church.  He shall be a good steward of his income, recognizing the tithe as the minimum of his giving, and being in agreement with and participating in the financial program of the church.

 

  1. Duties: In accordance with the meaning of the word and practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church.  The first deacons were set aside by the New Testament church to be assistants to the pastors.  Therefore, the deacon should follow the leadership of the pastor in assisting him in every way possible.  They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit within the church in the bonds of peace.  By proper organization and method among themselves, they are to establish and maintain personal fraternal relations with all the membership of the church.  Especially are they to know the physical and the moral and spiritual struggles of the brethren and sisters; and to serve the whole church in relieving, encouraging, and developing all who are in need.  In counsel with the pastor, they are to have oversight of the discipline of the church, using Matthew 18:15-17, I Corinthians 5:9-13 and I Thessalonians 5:12-14 as their guide.  In case of absence or inability of the pastor, subject to advice from and confer­ence with him, they will provide for pulpit supplies, except as herein provided in these By-Laws.  They shall form the committee responsible for the preparation of the Lord’s Supper and assist in its observance.  The deacons shall have only powers and authority, as this church shall grant them.

 

  1. Receiving Deacons from Other Churches: Must be an active deacon for 12 months before he can be considered as a deacon of this church.  He will be thoroughly investigated and questioned by the pastor and deacons before being presented to the church for consideration as a deacon.

 

Section 4.  Trustees

 

  1. Election:  There shall be six (6) Trustees, which number may be changed by the vote of the church.  Trustees shall be elected to a three (3) year term of service, and each one shall not succeed themselves until a lapse of at least one year from the expiration of a regular term of office.  At no time shall the Trustees be made up of a majority of active deacons.  Nominations for regular and unexpired trustee terms shall be brought forth first by the Nominating Committee, and then additional nominations may be made by any member of the church.  Just prior to the end of the church year, the Chairman of Trustees shall be responsible for leading the group to elect its own chairman for the coming year.  If he fails to do so, the Moderator shall convene and preside over a meeting for that purpose.  The Trustees shall meet as often as their responsibilities demand.

 

  1. Duties:  The Trustees shall be entrusted with the care and maintenance of all existing church buildings and all real and personal property.  They shall be the legal representatives of the church, including such responsibilities as may be assigned by civil law.  They shall maintain the property in good repair and see that such alterations as may be voted by the church are carried out, except for those specifically assigned to the Building Committee.  They shall keep the church buildings and contents insured to present day value, to be reviewed and adjusted annually.  They shall employ such persons as may be needed for the church’s orderly maintenance, using funds appropriated for such purposes.  They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any item and shall not exceed the appropriation in their expenditures, unless authorized so by the church.  In no case shall any Trustee act individually, except as directed by the group.

 

  1. Committees:  The Trustees may and shall when necessary call upon individuals to help them discharge their obligations to the church.  They may appoint such subcommittees from within the church membership as may be necessary to orderly carry out their responsibilities.

 

Section 5.  Treasurer

 

The duties of the Treasurer are as follows:

 

  1. Preserve and pay out all money or things of value from the church’s General Fund, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements.  Payment of bills for local expenses shall be made promptly by check, if and when funds are available, and all funds received for denominational or other causes shall be remitted at least monthly by check.

 

  1. Render to the church a report of receipts and disbursements for the preceding month.  This report shall be presented to the church in written form at its monthly business session and, if possible, copies provided the membership.

 

  1. Within thirty (3O) days after the end of the fiscal year, render to the church an annual report showing the total amount of receipts and an itemized statement of all, disbursements.  All, books, records, and accounts kept by the Treasurer are the property of the church, and shall be open to inspection by any member, upon approval and/or supervision of the Chairman of the Finance Committee.

 

  1. Deliver the annual report rendered at the end of the fiscal year, after its approval by the church, to the clerk, who shall preserve it as a part of the permanent records of the church.

 

  1. All purchases, whether cash or credit, shall be coordinated with the Treasurer before they are made.  The Treasurer is authorized to disburse funds only as set forth in the budget, except those approved fixed items and any designated funds, unless otherwise so ordered by the church in a business conference.  If any designated cause is in question, the Treasurer shall seek specific instructions from the church, in keeping with Item E. under Article III.

 

  1. The church at its discretion may elect an assistant treasurer authorized to function during the absence or illness of the Treasurer.  The church may also authorize other individuals to sign checks, but each check shall require the signature of two authorized persons.

 

  1. The church at its discretion shall appoint as many committees as it sees fit and may invest in them the authority to spend whatever amount of money they deem wise.  In such case, the Treasurer would be justified in paying whatever bills they make, as long as they were within the limits set forth by the church.

 

Section 6.  Church Clerk

 

  1. The clerk shall record and maintain in a suitable book an accurate record of all the actions of the church.

 

  1. A register must be kept of all church members with dates and manner or admission, dates and manner of termination of membership, marriages, etc., together with a record of baptisms.

 

  1. Records shall be maintained of: special attendances; ordination of new deacons; men licensed or ordained to preach; volunteers for other church related vocations; and any other important date, event, or activity that would be considered a vital part of the church’s history.

 

  1. The clerk shall notify all officers, members of committees, and messengers of their election or appointment to office.

 

  1. The clerk shall issue letters of dismissal and shall preserve on file all communications and all official reports, and shall give legal notice of all meetings when such notice is necessary.

 

  1. The clerk shall prepare and send to the associational clerk the annual church letter.

 

  1. The clerk shall take every precaution for the safekeeping of the church records in his/her charge.

 

  1. The clerk shall attend all business meetings of the church, if possible, and shall present at each business meeting the minutes of the previous meeting (including special meetings) for approval by the church.

 

Section 7.  Moderator

 

The moderator shall be the pastor.  In the absence of the pastor, the chairman of deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both: the clerk shall call the church to order and a moderator pro tern shall be elected.  In the event the moderator wishes to relinquish the chair in order to speak to a motion, or because the action under consideration involves him personally, he may appoint any other church officer as moderator pro tern.

 

Section 8.  Music Director

 

The music director shall be elected as set forth in Article II, Section 1.  He/she shall be charged with the responsibility of working with the pastor in leading the worship services of the church, correlating the music activities of the church, and helping direct the various choirs.

 

Section 9.  Staff Members and Employees

 

The church may add staff members and employees as the need may arise.  Persons to fill these offices are to be elected by the church.  They shall be under the general direction of the pastor, aided by the deacons, unless otherwise specified by the church.  Each employee of the church, other than the pastor, shall have an appropriate job description approved by the church, either at or prior to his/her employment by the church.

 

Section 10.  Officers of Church Organizations

 

All organizations of the church shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church.  It is understood that the pastor is ex-officio head of the organizations named, and his leadership is to be recognized in them all.

 

  1. Sunday School Officers and Teachers: Three months before the close of the Sunday School year, the general director shall be elected by the church.  One month later, the nominating committee, supplemented by the general director, will bring to the church nominations of all other general officers, teachers and department officers.  In each case, the nominations will call for election on the part of the church with any changes it may decide to make.  Therefore, all officers and teachers shall be members of this church.  Following their election a public installation shall be held.  The duties of these officers and teachers shall be those ordinarily designated in the approved denominational standards.

 

  1. Discipleship Training Program: The Discipleship Training Director and officers shall be elected in the same manner as the Sunday School officers.  The Discipleship Training Director shall be added to the nominating committee in the same manner as the Sunday School Director.

 

  1. Other Officers:  The President of the Baptist Men’s Organization, Director of the Woman’s Missionary Union, Directors of the Auxiliaries, or any other organizations, when and if such organizations are authorized by the church, shall be elected by the church, although each organization may have the privilege of nominating its own leaders.

 

  1. Music Ministry:  The nominating committee will present nominations annually for organist and pianist and assistants for election by the church.  These individuals will be charged with the responsibility of working with the pastor and minister of music and/or music director to provide suitable music for the various services and organizations of the church.

 

ARTICLE III -- FINANCIAL POLICIES

 

General financial policies not otherwise covered by-the By-Laws are as follows:

 

  1. This church recognizes and adopts the Scriptural method of “Tithes and Offerings” as its plan of finance.

 

  1. The fiscal year shall be January 1 through December 31, and the church year shall be October 1 through September 30.

 

  1. Any funds, for any and all purposes, shall pass through the office of the treasurer and be properly recorded on the books of the church.  The expenses of all organizations, as approved by the church, shall be paid from the accounts provided.

 

  1. Receipts from all sources shall be deposited in a bank at least weekly and kept in such accounts as the church may care to designate.  All checks shall have two authorized signatures, as directed in Article II, Section 5, Item F.

 

  1. Special offerings may be sought by the church or by any of its organizations only upon approval of the church after recommendation of the finance committee, with the exception of one yearly offering each for foreign, home and state missions.  This does not preclude individuals making special offerings to various causes at any time as the Spirit of God may move them, but the church shall retain the right to determine what causes may be acceptable or unaccept­able for such designated offerings channeled through the church.  Love offerings may be taken at the discretion of the deacons.

 

  1. This church will participate in cooperative world-wide mission endeavors of the local association, state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention by specific percentage of the undesignated receipts, not ever to be less than ten (10) percent.  Such monies will be directed through approved denominational programs.

 

 

 

 

 

ARTICLE IV -- CHURCH COMMITTEES

 

Section 1.  General

 

The standing committees shall be: nominating, finance, Lord’s Supper, music, counting, bus ministry, building, and any other standing or special committees that may be deemed necessary to carry out a full church program.  All committee members shall be members of this church, and shall be elected annually except as herein directed.  Any committee member, who fails to attend three consecutive committee meetings, without giving a reason, shall be deemed to have voluntarily resigned from the committee.  The pastor shall be a non-voting ex officio member of all committees.

 

Section 2.  Nominating Committee

 

This committee of five members, which number may be increased by vote of the church, shall be elected at the May business meeting.  The committee itself will decide the chairmanship, after being convened for that purpose by the moderator.  Should a vacancy occur at any time, the moderator would recommend a replacement for approval by the church.  All committee members shall serve and function until their successors are elected.  The nominating committee will be charged with the responsibility of maintaining a full schedule of officers and standing committee members, bringing to the church nominations when vacancies occur, unless otherwise provided for in these By-Laws.

 

Section 3.  Finance Committee

 

  1. Membership and organization: This committee shall consist of the Sunday School Director, Discipleship Training Director, W.M.U.  Director, Brotherhood President, Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, Music Director, Children’s Church Director, Puppet Ministry Director, Nursery Director, Vacation Bible School Director, Church Social Chairman, and the chairmen of Deacons, Trustees, Counting Committee, Bus Ministry Committee, and Building Committee.  The committee shall elect its own chairman, after being convened for that purpose by the moderator.

 

  1. Duties: This committee shall be responsible for supervising the financial policies of the church as outlined in Article III herein, and including any other financial guidelines adopted by the church.  Toward the end of each fiscal year the committee shall submit to the church for approval and adoption an annual church budget.  The committee shall then be responsible for supervision of the budget to make sure all expenditures are kept under control and within the approved budget guidelines.  The committee chairman shall serve as purchasing agent for the church and shall work closely with the church treasurer to make sure sufficient funds are available before any purchase is made or obligation incurred.

 

Section 4.  Lord’s Supper Committee

 

The duties of this committee are covered in Article II, Section 3, E.

 

Section 5.  Music Committee

 

This committee shall include the music director, church organist, church pianist, their assistants, and other members as appointed by the pastor and/or the music director.  The music director shall serve as chairman of the committee.  This committee shall be responsible for assisting the music director and pastor in developing a program of church music education.  They will make recommendations to the church concerning any needs, which they might have, including any financial requirements of the choir or any other program of church music.

 

 
Section 6.  Counting Committee

 

The counting Committee shall receive the collection envelopes and count the money, make up bank deposits and give to the treasurer.  From these records they shall give each donor individual credit as provided in the record system approved by the church.  They shall also be responsible for the preparing of yearly reports for all donors.  After recording, the envelopes are to be retained for one (1) year following the current calendar year, and then destroyed, but a summary record of family totals shall be kept permanently.  The counting committee has no responsi­bility for keeping the money of the church.  Each person’s record shall be kept confidential.  If at any time a committee member releases any information concerning gifts, that member is automatically dismissed from the counting committee and shall be replaced by vote of the church.

 

Section 7.  Bus Committee

 

This committee shall be composed of five persons and- shall include at least one deacon and one trustee and the director of children’s church.  The committee shall be responsible for determining when and for what purposes the church bus may be used and shall decide who is authorized to drive the bus.  The committee shall also decide where the bus is to be housed or parked when not in use.  The committee shall call to the attention of the trustees any necessary maintenance or repairs needed, and shall cooperate with the trustees in having such work completed.

 

Section 8.  Building Committee

 

This committee shall be composed of at least seven persons who shall serve for an indefinite term, and shall elect its own chairman.  The committee shall be responsible for all new buildings and additions and major renovations, but excluding routine repairs and maintenance and any projects specifically assigned to the trustees.  The committee shall be responsible for recommending to the church a plan for funding or financing any proposed building project, after consulting with the Finance Committee.  The committee shall maintain a savings account for all church funds designated for building purposes and shall disburse funds from that account only upon authorization of the church.  Two signatures shall be required for all disbursements, and the committee chairman shall make regular reports to the church on the status of the account.

 

Section 9.  Pulpit Committee

 

  1. Membership and Organization:  This committee shall be implemented only when a vacancy occurs in the office of pastor.  The committee shall consist of seven persons, four of whom shall be nominated from the floor and three of whom shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee.  Insofar as feasible, the seven shall include various age groups and both sexes.  The election shall be held at any regular or special business conference of the church, of which at least one (1) week’s notice has been given.  If the church has an interim pastor, he shall be invited to meet with the committee in a non—voting advisory capacity.  The committee shall elect its own chairman, after being convened for that purpose by the moderator.

 

  1. Duties:  This committee shall be responsible for finding, examining, and presenting to the church for its consideration the man it feels God has prepared and chosen as pastor for this church at this time.  The committee shall be sensitive to the needs and desires of the entire congregation but shall place the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the good of the church as a whole above any personal preferences.  The committee shall seek to confirm the Biblical qualifications of any potential candidate, and in doing so, shall conduct whatever interviews and investigation it deems necessary.  The committee shall consider the candidate’s marital status, personal integrity, emotional stability, doctrinal soundness, pastoral experience, preaching ability, leadership style, administrative skill, and denominational loyalty to the Southern Baptist Convention, and financial responsibility.  Appropriate references on the candidate shall be checked, including both personal references and those from previous pastorates and/or denominational employment.

 

 

 

Some other questions to be asked are:

 

    1. Is he Southern Baptist?

 

    1. What are his beliefs on speaking in tongues?  No man shall be brought before the church if he has had an experience of speaking in tongues.

 

    1. Does he believe in tithing?  Does he practice tithing?

 

  1. Reporting:  This committee shall make monthly progress reports to the church.  The committee shall recommend a pastoral candidate to the church only when its recommendation is unanimous by the committee members.  Only one candidate at a time is to be presented to the church for consideration, and his election or rejection shall be voted on by the church before another candidate can be presented.  When a pastor has been elected and has accepted, this committee shall then be responsible for supervising and assisting in such matters as moving and housing arrangements, receptions, etc.  The committee shall automatically be dissolved when the new pastor assumes his pastoral duties.

 

ARTICLE V -- CHURCH MEETINGS

 

 

Section 1.  Worship

 

  1. Worship services will be held morning and evening on the Lord’s Day and on Wednesday night of each week, unless voted otherwise by the church.

 

  1. The Lords Super shall be observed at least once a quarter or at such other times as the church may determine.

 

  1. Occasional religious meetings may be appointed by the pastor at his discretion, or by vote of the church.

 

Section 2.  Business

 

  1. A regular monthly business meeting shall be held on Wednesday night after the first Sunday of each month, unless voted otherwise by the church.

 

  1. The moderator may and shall call a special business meeting after being announced two (2) times from the pulpit at regular worship services or voted on at a regular business meeting.

 

  1. At all regular and special business meetings, a quorum shall consist of a number of church members equal to fifty percent (50%) of the average Sunday School attendance for the preceding month.

 

  1. In all questions of procedure in any business meeting, the church shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, unless a definite alternate procedure is outlined in these by-laws.

 

  1. The business session shall, if possible, be conducted as follows:

 

Call to order

Reading of minutes or statement of purpose if meeting is special

Unfinished business

Financial statements

Organizational reports

Reports of committees

Recommendations of deacons

New business Adjournment

 

  1. At any regular meetings for worship, the church may, without special notice, act upon the reception of members, but not upon other business.

 

ARTICLE VI -- GENERAL

 

Section 1.  Use of Buildings and Equipment

 

The use of the buildings and equipment shall be in accordance with the church calendar.  No secular organization shall be allowed to use the church building except upon recommendation of the deacons and vote of the church.  Any other use of the buildings must be approved by the deacons.  Removal of any equipment from the premises must be approved by the trustees.

 

Section 2.  Procedure for Licensing and Ordaining Members

 

  1. Licensing:  Any member of the church, who by his piety, zeal, and aptness to teach gives evidence that he is called of God to the work of the ministry, may by vote of a majority of the members present and voting at a regular business session, and after examination by the pastor and deacons as to his Christian experience, be licensed by the church to the Christian ministry.

 

  1. Ordaining:  When a church of like faith and order calls a member, or former member, of the church as its pastor, and shall request in writing that he be ordained, this church shall consider such request.  If the church honors such request by a majority vote of the members present in a business session, it shall authorize and direct the pastor to assemble a council of ordained ministers and deacons of like faith and order to examine the candidate and to bring to the church, if it can, a satisfactory recommendation.  This council then shall help in the ordaining service, which can be a regular service, or one specially called.

 

ARTICLE VII -- AMENDMENTS

 

This Constitution and By-laws may be amended (with the exception of Article VI of the Constitution – Character -- Section 1, Polity, and Section 2, Doctrine), at any regular or specially called business meeting by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the members present and voting.  The proposal shall be read at a business session and shall not be acted upon until at least a month has elapsed, and it shall be read from the pulpit on the Lord’s Day preceding the time for action.