We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other churches.
This body shall be known as the Northridge Baptist Church of Fort Wayne, Indiana and is located at 1300 East Cook Road. The same having been formed as a mission on May 16, 1978, and constituted as a church on May 20, 1979, unless otherwise specified by church action.
This church shall be limited in affiliation to the following:
- Northeastern Indiana Baptist Association
- State Convention of Baptists in Indiana
- Southern Baptist Convention
- To be a dynamic, spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community and throughout the world.
- To be a worshiping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing His person and responding in obedience to His leadership.
- To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers.
- To help people experience a growing knowledge of God and man
- To be a church that ministers unselfishly to persons in the community and the world in Jesus’ name.
- To be a church whose purpose is to be Christ like in our daily living by emphasizing total commitment of life, personality and possessions to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired word of God and the basis for our beliefs and as the sole authority in matters of faith and practice. This church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of the BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE as adopted by the Southern Baptist convention in 1963 and in 2000. 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.
You become a Southern Baptist by uniting with a Southern Baptist church, one in friendly cooperation with the general Southern Baptist enterprise of reaching the world for Christ. Typically, church membership is a matter of receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord and experiencing believer’s baptism by immersion.
Southern Baptists have prepared a statement of generally held convictions called The Baptist Faith and Message. It serves as a guide to understanding who Southern Baptists are. Copies are available at Southern Baptist churches. The topics here provide only a brief, partial summary.
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
There is one and only one living and true God. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ, He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross, He made provision for the redemption of men from sin.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.
Man is the special creation of God, in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification.
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. All true believers endure to the end. Those who God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.
A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness undergirded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
The first day of the week is the Lord’s Day. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion.
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly. The dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. The righteous will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Christ’s people should organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objectives of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations
Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal.
The cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence. There should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions.
All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in their own lives and in human society. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.
God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God’s image. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage.
Having been led as we believe by the spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, 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
- Strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort
- Promote its doctrines and discipline
- 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 to all nations
We also engage to:
- Maintain family and personal devotions
- Religiously educate our children
- Seek the salvation of kindred and acquaintances
- Walk circumspectly in the world
- Be just in our dealings
- Faithful in our engagements
- Exemplary in our deportment
- Avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger
- Use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs, the spread of pornography, abortion, gambling in all its forms.
- Be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior
We further strive to:
- Watch over each other in brotherly love
- Remember one another in prayer
- Aid one another in sickness and distress
- Cultivate Christian sympathy in feelings and Christian courtesy in speech
- Be slow to take offense and always be ready for reconciliation being mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
Moreover, we assert that when we move 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.
Section A. Church Government
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. Persons duly received by the members 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 it is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the association, the state convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Section B. Relationships
The government of this church is to be congregational in form, whereby the assembled body of regenerated believers exercise autonomous control of its affairs while yielding to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The church is independent from any individual or group of individuals within the church or any ecclesiastical body external to the church. It recognizes and seeks to cooperate in mutual love with other Southern Baptist churches through conventions and associations which are organized for and devoted to the propagation of the Gospel, religious education and other efforts undertaken for advancing the cause of Christ. This church may also make common enterprise with other churches, denominations or institutions to promote moral, benevolent, civil or other related causes. In such cooperation however, this church shall retain complete independence of action and government and shall not compromise its doctrine, prerogative or sovereignty.
Section A. General
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church.
The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.
Section B. Candidacy
Any person regardless of race, color or national origin may present themselves as a candidate for membership in this church at any regular service as follows:
- By profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and for baptism according to the policies of this church.
- By promise of a letter of recommendation from another church of like faith and practice.
- By statement of their prior conversion experience and believer’s baptism where no letter of recommendation or record is available.
- By restoration after adequate counseling and satisfactory evidence of their sincerity.
A person will be received as a candidate for membership in this church after having made public decision by one of the four above stated ways. Said candidates will then be received under the watchful care of the church until they receive affirmation approval by three-fourths majority of the membership present at a regular business meeting.
Section C. New Membership Orientation.
New members of this church are expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation program.
Section D. Rights of Members
- Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present.
- Every member of the church in good standing (see Section E) is eligible for consideration by membership as candidates for elective offices in the church.
- Every member of the church may participate in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church.
Section E. Duties of Members
Members are expected to be faithful in all duties essential to the Christian life.
- Attend faithfully the services of the church.
- To be faithful in giving of time, talent and tithe. Members should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately and liberally for the advancement and support of the church.
- Embrace without reservation the Faith and Church Government statements of this constitution.
Section F. Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
- Death of a member
- Transfer to another church
- Exclusion by action of this church
- By written request from the member to be removed as a member
Section G. Discipline
It shall be the practice of this church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor or other members of the church staff and the deacons are available for counsel and guidance. The attitude of the members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment. Should serious conditions exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, the pastor and the deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accordance with Matthew 18. If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a member, a three-fourths vote of the member’s present is required; and the church may proceed to declare that person to be no longer in membership of the church. All such proceedings shall be provided in a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance.
Section H. Restoration
The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person and upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation. Resolution of this action shall be by written ballot and will require a three-fourths majority vote of the members present.
All who serve as officers of the church and those who serve on church committees shall be members of this church.
1. Covenant for Pastor-Church Relationship
A. The Pastor’s Expectations of His Church
1. Trust in him as a person of integrity dedicated to the work of the ministry and as a competent professional person who can manage the use of his time wisely.
2. Support for him as a leader by faithful stewardship in attending, giving and serving the church along with recognition when his work is well done.
3. Consultation with him about the church affairs before decisions are made so that the church can benefit from his training and experience and so that the work of the church can be coordinated.
4. Authority for him to approve or disapprove the coming of other ministers and religious groups to the church and to supervise all paid employees of the church staff.
B. The Church’s Expectation of its Pastor
1. Competency in ministry through well-prepared sermons, regular visitations, pastoral care in crisis situations, administrative and organization leadership and the improvement of pastoral skills through continued study.
2. Availability by having it announced when and where he can be contacted during the week and by letting it be known how he can be contacted when he is away from the church field.
3. Leadership in worship services, evangelistic outreach efforts, the development of a Christian education program and the administrative work of the church in cooperation with the churches leaders.
4. Loyalty to Baptist beliefs as found in the scriptures, attendance at denominational meetings and support for the Cooperative Program.
5. Participation in civic and community affairs and cooperation with compatible interdenominational endeavors in the area.
C. The Pastor’s Obligation to His Church
1. To fulfill the duties of the office of pastor as a servant of the church.
2. To seek to meet the spiritual needs of the congregation through biblical preaching and teaching and to refrain from proclaiming his own opinions as the word of God.
3. To meet the reasonable expectations of the congregation for him as it’s minister while at the same time living his own life as he believes God would have him to do.
4. To manage his money with integrity so as not to bring reproach upon the church.
5. To accept the church as an imperfect organization composed of imperfect people who must be loved and forgiven; to work with the elected leaders of the church.
6. To acknowledge that constructive criticism from the congregation can be helpful and to be open enough to accept it and profit by it.
7. To recognize the need for help from outside the church when his role as pastor is endangered and to avoid actions that would harm the church.
D. The Church’s Obligation to its Pastor
1. To respect the office of pastor and to support his ministry for as long as he holds the office to which the church has called him.
2. To guarantee the freedom of the pulpit so that the pastor can preach his convictions in his own manner and style as the Holy Spirit leads him.
3. To allow the pastor to be himself instead of trying to fit him into some ministerial mold.
4. To expect no more of his family than any other family in the church.
5. To provide for the pastor’s support to the best of the church’s ability and to review annually the pastor’s compensation as evidence of the church’s care and concern for him and his family.
6. To recognize that because the pastor is human he makes mistakes and needs forgiveness the same as everyone else.
7. To understand that because of the limitations of time he cannot fulfill everyone’s expectations.
8. To confer with the pastor about any accusations made against him or any member of his family, instead of discussing it in secret. To refrain from passing judgement upon him until he has had an opportunity to defend himself.
E. Matters of Mutual Agreement
1. The church shall have a Pastor/Church Relations Committee to work with the pastor in keeping the covenant up to date; abiding by the guidelines adapted for the relationship. This committee will review compensation and time arrangements, arrange for mutual evaluation sessions, handle criticism of the pastor, hear complaints, help with staff difficulties and deal with any other problems.
2. If there is a disruptive conflict in the church the pastor and the deacons shall mutually agree to seek competent help from outside the church membership to meet with them and advise them about solving their problems.
3. If the pastor is dismissed or resigns under pressure he shall be paid one week’s salary for each year of service up to one month’s salary as severance pay and shall not fill the pulpit or perform pastoral ministries during that time. Under ordinary circumstances the pastor shall give the church 30 days’ notice of his resignation.
F. Pastor’s Vacation, Revival, Convention Schedule
1. The pastor shall be allowed one week of vacation after six months of service and two weeks per year through year four. After five years of service he shall be allowed three weeks and after ten years of service he shall be allowed four weeks.
2. The pastor shall be permitted to preach two revivals away from church each year, with time and financial allowances dependent upon the location of the conventions. Receipts for all expenses are to be provided to the church treasurer upon return.
3. Financial responsibility for a substitute pastor during the above absences will be assumed by the church. (Approved by the church in business session 16 March 1988)
4. The pastor shall be free to conduct funerals when asked at his discretion.
5. The pastor shall be free to conduct weddings according to the biblical standards. The pastor shall not conduct weddings that go against the doctorial beliefs of this church, which includes gay marriage, transgender or any other combination besides the union of biological male and female.
G. The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations and the church staff in the performance of their tasks.
H. A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at meeting properly called for that purpose.
I. A pastor selection committee shall be elected by the church to seek a suitable pastor and its recommendations will constitute a nomination. Any church member has the privilege of making other nominations according to the policy established by the church. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one name at a time with each prospective candidate having preached two sermons. Election shall be by written ballot. An affirmative vote of three-fourths of those present is necessary for a call. The pastor, thus selected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the churches request. He shall preside at meetings of this church and if so designated may serve as the moderator at all business meetings in keeping with the rules of order authorized in these by-laws.
J. The pastor may relinquish the office as pastor by giving at least thirty days’ notice to the church at the time of resignation. The thirty days’ notice may be dispensed with upon mutual consent of the pastor and the church. The church may declare the office of the pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting properly called for that purpose. (See Article VII, Section D) The meeting may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the Personnel Committee and the deacons or by written petition signed by not less than three-fourths of the resident church members. The moderator for this meeting shall be someone other than the pastor. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by written ballot, and affirmative vote of three-fourths of the member’s present being necessary to declare the office vacant.
2. Church Staff
A. Ministerial staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices. A job description shall be written when the need for a staff member is determined. Those staff members of whom the church require evidence of a personal call of God to minister shall be recommended to the church by the Personnel Committee and called by church action. At the time of resignation at least thirty days’ notice shall be given to the church. The thirty days’ notice may be dispensed with upon mutual consent of the employee and the church. The church may vote to vacate such positions upon recommendation of the Personnel Committee. Such termination shall be immediate, the compensation conditions being the same as for the pastor, except the amount shall relate to the individual’s compensation.
B. Non-ministerial members shall be employed as the church determines the need for their services. The church Personnel Committee shall have the authority to employ and to terminate services of non-ministerial staff members. Such employment and termination of services shall be with the recommendations of the supervision staff member and, as appropriate, with the consultation of related committees of the church.
A. Office: The office of the deacon shall be recognized as a servant’s office and as in the New Testament, it shall exist to aid the pastor in sharing the caring and spiritual ministry of the church, thus allowing the pastor more time for prayer and study of the word.
B. Qualifications: The church is not obligated to place a brother on the body of active deacons who comes from another church where he served as deacon. In order for one be ordained as a deacon he shall be:
1. Characterized by the qualifications named for all Christians in the New Testament and special requirements listed in 1st Timothy 3:8-13 and in Acts 6:1-6
2. A member for one year (other ordained deacons shall be a member of the church for six months).
C. Organization: The Deacon body shall consist of the number of deacons the church deems necessary. Each church year the deacon body will reorganize and elect a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and other officers as deemed necessary.
D. Nomination: A Deacon Screening Committee shall be nominated by the deacons and approved by the church. This committee shall administer the Deacon Nomination Policy. These should not be excluded from other committees.
E. Tenure: When the church membership reaches three hundred a rotating system shall be instituted as follows: Each member shall serve for a period of three years after such time he will rotate off the active body for at least one year. A deacon on the inactive list may be elected to fill an unexpired term in case of death, removal or incapacity to serve by one of the members. If the unexpired term exceeds one year, the elected deacon will be ineligible to serve again until he has remained on the inactive list for the required year.
F. Duties: In accordance with the meaning of the work and practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church. The task of the deacons is to serve with the pastor and staff in performing pastoral ministry tasks, proclaiming the gospel to believers and unbelievers and care for church members and other persons in the community. The deacons shall be responsible for the benevolence ministry of the church.
G. Meetings: The Deacon body shall meet in regular sessions once a month or at least ten times a year. It shall meet at a time agreed upon by approved functions. Called meetings may be held when the necessity is agreed upon by the pastor and deacon chairman, or by at least a majority of the members of the body. No meeting shall be considered official in any way unless all members have been previously notified as to the date, time and place.
H. Quorum, Vote and Recommendations: A quorum shall be considered met when sixty percent or more of the deacon body is present at the previously announced or regular called meeting. A recommendation or action shall be considered approved when receiving a majority vote. No action of the body is binding on the church unless authority has previously been given by an affirmation vote of the church members present and voting in a regular or called business meeting or otherwise assigned by the constitution.
I. Separation from the Active Body: A deacon will serve until such time that he rotates off the Active Body of deacons, he requests to be placed on inactive body for personal or physical reasons or by continued negligence of his high calling even after having been admonished by his peers to repent. He may then be brought before the church by recommendation of the deacon body and be subject to disciplinary action stated in Article I, Section G of the bylaws. The unexcused absence by an active deacon from three consecutive regular meetings or a total of five deacon meetings during the church year shall be sufficient cause to relinquish his office by such action.
4. Church Moderator (Note: The Pastor may act as the moderator): The church shall elect annually, upon the recommendation of the Nominating Committee, a moderator as its presiding officer. In the absence of the moderator the chairman of deacons shall preside. In the absence of both the clerk shall call the church to order and provide for the election of an acting moderator.
5. Church Clerk: The church clerk shall be elected annually upon recommendations of the Nominating Committee. The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided. The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members with dates of admission, dismissal, death or erasure, together with records of baptisms. The clerk shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports and give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary as indicated in these bylaws. The clerk shall be responsible for preparing the annual letter of the church to the association. The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary who will assist the elected clerk. All clerical church records are church property and shall be kept in the church office when an office is maintained.
6. Church Treasurer: The church treasurer shall be elected annually upon the recommendations of the nominating committee. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve and payout upon receipt of vouchers, approved and signed by authorized personnel, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements.
7. Trustees: The church shall elect three or more trustees to serve as legal officers for the church. They shall hold in trust the church property. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any church property. When the signatures of the trustee are required, they shall sign legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase or rental of property or other legal documents related to the church approved matters.
- Nominating Committee: A nominating committee consisting of the church moderator, chairman of deacons and the pastor will serve as the nucleus of the nominating committee and shall have the responsibility of presenting to the church at the May business meeting the following officers: Sunday School Director, Music Director, Baptist Men Director and Baptist Women Director.
Persons considered for any church position shall first be approved by the Nominating Committee before they are approached for recruitment. The Nominating Committee shall present to the church for election, at the September business meeting or in case of vacancies at the next business meeting, all who accepted the invitation to serve.
- Personnel Committee (If full time pastor):
- The personnel committee assists the church in matters related to employed personnel administration, including those called by church action. Their work includes such areas as determining staff needs, employment, salaries, benefits, other compensations, policies, job descriptions and personnel services.
- This committee shall consist of the treasurer, the chairman of deacons, two persons selected by the pastor and one person selected by the nominating committee.
- The personnel committee will also function as a Pastor/Church Relationship Committee in accordance with the Pastor/Church Relationship Covenant.
- The chairperson of the personnel committee with the pastor will be responsible for the supervision of all staff employees.
- Church Property and Space Committee: The church property and space committee shall consist of three persons recommended by the nominating committee and selected by the church. The church property and space committee assist the church in matters related to properties administration. Its work includes such areas as maintaining all church properties for ready use, recommending policies regarding use of properties, consulting with the personnel committee and church staff regarding the needs for and employment of maintenance personnel and regarding the assignment of supervisory responsibility to appropriate personnel.
- Stewardship Committee: The stewardship committee develops an overall stewardship development plan, a unified church budget and budget subscription plans. It advises and recommends in the administration of the gifts of church members and others in the preparation and presentation to the church of required reports regarding financial affairs of the church. The stewardship committee shall appoint a Financial Secretary. The stewardship committee shall consist of the Church Treasurer, the Pastor, the Financial Secretary, and the directors of the church program organizations.
- Missions Committee: The mission’s committee seeks to discover possibilities for mission projects, share findings with the church program organizations and serve the church in establishing and conducting such mission projects as may be assigned to it.
- Such other regular and special committees or service groups as the church shall authorize. Additional regular committees may be added by the amendment procedure prescribed within these bylaws. All church officers and members of above committees shall be recommended by the church nominating committee and selected by the church unless otherwise specified with these bylaws
All organizations related to the church programs shall be under church control. All officers of said programs being elected by the church will report regularly to the church and all program activities are subject to church coordination and approval. The church will provide the human resources, physical resources and financial resources for the appropriate advancement of these programs. All church program organizations shall use Southern Baptist materials and literature unless otherwise approved by the church.
The church shall maintain programs of:
- Bible teaching
- Church member training
- Church leader training
- New member orientation
- Mission education
- Performance training
- Sunday School
The Sunday school shall be the basic organization for the Bible teaching program. Its tasks shall be to teach the biblical revelation, reach people for Christ and church membership, perform the functions of the church within its constituency and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. The Sunday school shall be organized by departments and or classes, as appropriate for all ages and shall be conducted under the direction of the Sunday school director elected by the church.
- Baptist Women
- Baptist Men
- Church Music Program
The church music program, under the direction of the church elected music director, shall be the music education training and music performance organization of the church. Its tasks shall be to teach music, train persons to lead, sing and play music, provide music in the church and community and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. The church music program shall have such officers and organizations as the program requires.
The church shall provide and maintain an organizational structure for the following services:
- Media Center Service: The media center service will be the resource center for the church. Its personnel will seek to provide and promote the use of printed and audio-visual resources. It will also provide consultation to the church leaders and members in the use of printed, audio-visual and electronic resources.
- Church Recreation Service: The church recreation service will seek to meet the recreational needs of members and groups. Its personnel will provide recreation activities, consultation leadership assistance and resources.
- Hospitality Service: The hospitality service will seek to meet the fellowship and social needs of the church through planning and promoting church-related social events as needed. They will ensure that an adequate supply of materials is in stock for all occasions and coordinate events through the church council so as not to conflict with programs or services previously planned.
- Publicity Service: The publicity service shall publicize meetings, special services and events of the church through whatever means deemed effective. The information should be furnished well in advance for announcement.
- Usher Service: The usher service will serve the congregation before, during and after church services. It will function in the areas of greetings, taking of offerings, security, environmental control, passing out church bulletins and visitor cards and etc. It will strive to maintain an orderly and comfortable atmosphere in the church and on the grounds.
The church council shall serve the church by leading in planning, coordinating, conducting and evaluating the ministries and programs of the church and its organizations. Regular members of the church council will include the pastor as chairman, other church staff members, directors of church program organizations, chairman of deacons, church officers, chairman of church committees and leaders of church program services. Meetings of the church council shall be at least quarterly. All matters agreed upon by the council which call for action not already approved shall be referred to the church for approval or disapproval.
The primary functions of the church council shall be to:
- Recommend to the church suggested objectives in church goals.
- Review and coordinate ministry and program plans recommended by church officers, organizations and committees.
- Recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time and other resources according to program priorities.
- Evaluate achievements in terms of church objectives and goals.
Section A. Baptism
This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes Him publicly at any worship service and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord. This ordinance shall be administered as follows:
- Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
- The pastor or other ordained minister or deacon (as authorized by the church or pastor), shall administer baptism. The deacon or deacon’s wives shall assist in the preparation for and observance of baptism.
- Baptisms shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.
- A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor, deacons and or staff. If negative interest is ascertained on part of the candidate, they shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism.
Section B. The Lord’s Supper
The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly unless otherwise scheduled by the church or pastor. The pastor and deacons shall administer the Lord’s Supper, the deacons being responsible for the physical preparations. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed by fellow Christians in accordance with
1st Corinthians 11:23-29.
Section A. Worship Services
The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning and midweek for worship and Bible study of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The pastor shall direct the services of all the church members and all others who may choose to attend.
Section B. Special Services
Revival services and any other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.
Section C. Regular Business Meetings
The church shall hold regular business meetings essential to the advancement of church objectives which shall be placed on the church calendar.
Section D. Special Business Meetings
The church may call special business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance. A one-week notice must be given for the specially called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. The notice shall include the subject, the date, the time and the place. It must be given in such a matter that all resident members have opportunity to know of the meeting.
Section E. Quorum
The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
Section F. Parliamentary Rules
“Robert’s Rules of Order, revised”, is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.
Section A. Budget
The Stewardship Committee, in consultation with the Church Council, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses. Offering envelopes may be provided for members’ use.
It is understood that membership in the church involves financial obligation to support the church and it’s causes with regular, proportionate gifts. Annually there shall be opportunity provided to secure worthy commitments of financial support from the church members.
Section B. Accounting Procedures
A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the Church Stewardship Committee and be properly recorded on the books of the church. The counting committee shall verify the contents of each envelope with the recorded amount on the envelope, count all money, record all checks by name and amount that are not in the offering envelope for the Financial Secretary’s records, make out deposit slips, and see that the money is deposited in the bank. The list and envelopes are to be given to the Financial Secretary and the deposit slip given to the Church Treasurer. The Church Treasurer shall have access to all electronic giving.
Section C. Fiscal Year
The church fiscal year shall run concurrently with the church year which begins on October 1 and ends September 30th of the following year.
A special committee of the church shall develop a church operations manual to include church policies, procedures, organization charts, and job descriptions depicting lines of responsibility in the administration of the church. The manual shall be kept in the church office and made available for use there by any member of the church. The church council or a special committee shall review the manual at least annually with authority to recommend changes for the church to consider. Any church member or church organization may initiate suggested changes in the manual.
Any additions, revisions or deletions of church policies require:
- The recommendation of the church officer or organization to whose area of assignment the policy relates.
- Discussion by the church council.
- Approval by the church.
Procedures may be added, revised or deleted by:
- The recommendations of the church officer organization to whose area of assignment the procedures relate.
- Approval by the church council.
- Approval of the church, if the church council deems it necessary.
We believe God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. Marriage is the union of one biological man and one biological woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.
The Bible establishes marriage between one biological man and one biological woman as the only proper arena for sexual expression, therefore the only marriage permitted to be conducted in our church and by our church officials must be between one biological man and one biological woman and this only after extensive counseling by the ordained church officials.
Changes in the constitution and bylaws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment have been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting. Amendments to the Constitution shall be by three-fourths vote of the church members present. Amendments to the bylaws shall have a three-fourths majority of the members present and voting.