Constitution & Bylaws

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1 Constitution & Bylaws Revised and Adopted September 2003 Fairview Baptist Church 1062 Fairview Rd. Mineral Wells, TX Phone (940)

2 The Church Covenant Having been led as we believe by the spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into a covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, doctrines, and discipline; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations. We also engage to maintain family and private devotions and strive to keep the Ten (10) Commandments of Exodus 20; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger. While we are deeply concerned about the social ills, we give priority to the introduction of The Great Physician, Jesus Christ to a lost and sin sick world, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid 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 Savior to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that when we remove from this body 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. 2 2

3 CONSTITUTION ARTICLE I. PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION 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 church member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other churches. ARTICLE II. CHURCH NAME This body of believers shall be known as: FAIRVIEW BAPTIST CHURCH, located at 1062 Fairview Rd., Mineral Wells, TX Phone number: ( ). address: ARTICLE III. CHURCH OBJECTIVES 1. 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. 2. To be a worshiping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing his person, and responding in obedience to his leadership. 3. To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers. 4. To help people experience a growing knowledge of God and man. 5. To be a church that ministers unselfishly to persons in the community and the world in Jesus name. 6. 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 Christ. ARTICLE IV. STATEMENT OF BASIC BELIEFS We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God, and the basis of our beliefs. This church includes those who subscribe to either of the doctrinal statements of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963 or We voluntarily band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally 3

4 committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are believers baptism and the Lord s Supper. (See Article IV of the Bylaws.) ARTICLE V. GOVERNMENT AND RELATIONS The Government of this church shall be of the congregational type wherein the congregation, acting in the light of its interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, shall be supreme. Persons duly received by its members shall constitute the membership. (See Article I of the Bylaws.) 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 (church) body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Southern Baptist Churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the Palo Pinto Baptist Association, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and the Southern Baptist Convention. 4 4

5 BYLAWS ARTICLE I. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership. Section 1. Responsibility of Members All members of Fairview Baptist Church shall be expected to strive to carry out the spirit of the church covenant and be true to the principles of God s Word. It is expected that all members will be faithful, participate in church ministries and activities, and support the church through regular prayer, attendance, contributions, time, and resources. Section 2. Receiving of members Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church business meeting for membership in any of the following ways: 1. By profession of faith and follow the Lord in baptism according to the policies of this church. 2. By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church. 3. By statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a Baptist church when no letter of recommendation is obtainable. 4. By statement of prior conversion experience in a non-baptist denomination which baptizes according to the policies of this Church. (See Article IV of Bylaws) 5. By baptism of a Christian coming for membership from a non-baptist denomination, which does not baptize according to the policies of this Church. (See Article IV of Bylaws.) Should there be any dissent as to any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to the Deacons for investigation. The Deacons shall make a recommendation to the church concerning the candidate within thirty (30) days. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership. 5

6 Section 3. New Member Orientation New members of this church will be provided a copy of the constitution and bylaws and the ministry opportunities of the community. New members will be enrolled in Sunday school for their age level and encouraged to engage in independent Bible study. Section 4. Rights of members 1. Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present. 2. Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by the Membership as candidates for elected offices in the church. 3. Every member of the church may participate in the ordinances of the Church as administered by the church. Section 5. Termination of Membership Membership shall be terminated in the following ways, by church action: 1. By the death of the member. 2. By granting a letter of recommendation to another Baptist Church. 3. By exclusion in accordance with Section 6, DISCIPLINE, below. 4. By erasure: A. upon written request of the person involved. B. upon proof of membership in a church of another denomination. C. upon 10 years of inactivity, in response to the church s effort to determine membership status. Section 6. 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, the other members of the church staff, and the deacons are available for counsel and guidance. The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment. 6 6

7 Should a condition of continuing immorality (sin without repentance in word and deed) exist, the church will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accordance with Matthew 18: If such a condition exists among a church officer or teacher, then it will be the practice of this church to remove the individual from their position for a time of testing. If every reasonable effort has been made to encourage repentance according to Matthew 18:15-20 and the member refuses to repent, the pastor, staff, and deacons may then recommend that the church declare the person to be no longer in the membership of the church. If according to their testimony, the immoral person affirms that he or she is a believer, the church affirms that he or she is indeed living immorally, and the immoral person then refuses to repent, the person shall be declared excluded. At that point, the person should be asked not to participate in any church activity until he or she demonstrates repentance and seeks restoration. Until that time, the church commits to continue in prayer for the immoral person and to make continuing, regular efforts to encourage their repentance. A spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance shall pervade all such proceedings. The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person, and by majority vote of the church upon evidence of the excluded persons repentance and reformation. ARTICLE II. CHURCH OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES All who serve as officers of the church and those who serve on church committees shall be members of this church. Section 1. Church Officers The officers of this church shall be the Pastor, the ministerial staff, the Deacons, The Trustees, the moderator, the church clerk, the church treasurer, and the assistant treasurer. Each is to be elected by secret ballot. 1. 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 to perform their tasks. The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church. As such, he works with the trustees and church staff to: A. Lead the church in the achievement of its mission. B. Proclaim the gospel to believers and to unbelievers C. Care for the church s members and other persons in the community. D. Serve as ex-officio to all committees, but without a vote. 7

8 A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week s public notice has been given. A pastor selection committee (Search Committee) shall be elected by the church to seek out a suitable pastor, and its recommendations will constitute a nomination. Any church member has the privilege of making a recommendation for a prospective pastor to the pastor selection committee. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one name at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot. An affirmative vote of 90% of those members present is necessary for the church to issue a call to a prospective pastor to become the pastor of the church. The pastor, thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the church s request. The pastor shall, at the time of selection, sign a detailed salary package, to be designed by the church Stewardship Committee, and a detailed job description. The pastor may relinquish the office of pastor by giving at least two week s notice to the church at the time of resignation. The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week s public notice has been given. The meeting may be called upon recommendation of a majority of the trustees, or by written petition signed by not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the active church members. The vote to declare the office of the pastor vacant shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of majority members present being necessary to declare the office of the pastor vacant. Except in instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from office, the church will compensate the pastor with a designated fee of $1,000. The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be given in not more than thirty (30) days from the effective date of termination. 2. The church staff: A. The Ministerial Staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices. A job description shall be written by a special personnel committee when the need for a staff member is determined. Those staff members of whom the church requires evidence of a personal call of God to minister shall be recommended to the church by a special personnel committee and called by church action. At the time of resignation at least two weeks notice shall be given to the church. The church may vote to vacate such positions upon recommendation of the Deacons, such termination being immediate and the compensation shall be two (2) weeks pay. B. Non-ministerial staff shall be employed as the church determines the need for their services. The church in regular business meeting shall have the authority to employ and 8 8

9 to terminate services on non-ministerial staff members. Non-ministerial staff members do not need to be members of Fairview Baptist Church. 3. The Deacons, shall be nominated by secret ballot by the church at a regular business meeting of the church. Each Deacon will be expected to contribute regularly to the financial support of the Church by tithe. The number of men nominated will be determined by the church s need at that time. Those nominated shall be examined according to the standards of 1 st Timothy 3. After a period of testing, election shall be by secret ballot. An affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of the members present is necessary for ordination. The goal shall be a minimum of three (3) active deacons. There shall be no obligation to constitute as an assigned deacon, one who has been a deacon in another church. In such instances where a deacon from another Baptist Church becomes a member of Fairview and the church chooses to recognize him as a deacon of Fairview, his previous ordination by another church like faith and order shall suffice for this church. In accordance with the meaning of the work and the practice in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church. The Deacon Body performing the pastoral ministries tasks of: A. Leading the church in the achievement of its mission. B. Proclaiming the gospel to believers and unbelievers. C. Caring for the church s members and other persons in the community. 4. The Trustees shall consist of four (4) members of the church elected by secret ballot. The trustees shall be the legal representatives of the church in all matters requiring legal representation, such as dealing with deeds of ownership, incorporation of the church, bank loans, etc. Other duties may be assigned to trustees as the church deems necessary. No legal action shall be taken without their unanimous consent. A quorum shall consist of three (3) trustees. In the absence of Deacons, some of their responsibilities will fall to the Trustees as deemed necessary by the Church. Each Deacon will be expected to contribute regularly to the financial support of the Church by tithe. 5. The Moderator and the Assistant moderator shall be elected annually by the church by secret ballot as its presiding officer for all business meetings. The Assistant shall reside in the absence of the moderator. In the absence of both of these, one of the following church officers shall serve for that one business meeting: Chairman of the Trustees, Sunday School Director, or church clerk, in that order. 6. The Church Clerk and the Assistant Church Clerk shall be elected by the church annually by secret ballot as its clerical officers. 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, transfer of membership, death, or erasure, together with a record of baptisms. The clerk shall issue letters of dismissal to another Baptist church as voted by the church, preserve on file 9

10 all communications, written official reports and copies of the minutes of the church business meetings, and required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary, as indicated in the bylaws. The clerk shall be responsible for preparing the annual; church letter for transmission to the Association. The Assistant shall serve in the absence of the Church Clerk. The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary who will assist the elected Church Clerk. All church records are church property. 7. The Church Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer shall be elected annually by the church by secret ballot as its financial officers. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and payout, upon receipt of vouchers signed by a member, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. A Trustee or a member of the Stewardship Committee shall witness the Treasurer s receiving of the money. The treasurer shall render to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements of the preceding month. It shall be the duty of the assistant treasurer to help in all duties such as, counting the weekly deposit, checking the monthly report for accuracy, providing a source of counsel in financial matters that might be in question by the treasurer, writing checks, and carrying out other duties of the treasurer in the temporary absence of the treasurer. In the absence of both the Church Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer, two members of the Trustees or Stewardship Committee shall hold the funds until one of the Treasures returns. The treasurer s report and records shall be audited annually by an auditing committee or public accountant. If the church deems it necessary, the treasurer shall be bonded, the church paying for the bond. Upon rendering the annual account at the end of each fiscal year and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent records of the church. Two signatures shall be required on all bank accounts, consisting of either the church treasurer, assistant treasurer or two members elected annually by the church. 8. The Sunday School Director shall be elected annually by the church by secret ballot. It shall be the duty of the director to order all materials and supplies as needed by the Sunday school teachers and classes. The director shall submit a written budget to the stewardship committee, for consideration, of each year s expected expenditures. Other duties, to be considered but not limited to, shall be; contacting substitute teachers, and attending teacher s meetings. Section 2. Standing Church Committees The committees of this church shall be a nominating committee, a missions committee, a stewardship committee, a building and grounds committee, an evangelism/prayer committee, a fellowship/hospitality committee, a youth/children committee, a baptism/lord s Supper committee, and such other regular and special committees as the church shall authorize

11 Additional regular committees may be added by the amendment procedure prescribed within these bylaws. All church committee members shall be recommended by the church nominating committee and elected by the church unless otherwise specified within these bylaws. Committee members shall be elected by the church annually. Each committee will be responsible for electing its own chairperson. The church expects each committee to meet semi-monthly. 1. The Nominating Committee coordinates the staffing of all church leadership positions filled by volunteer workers, unless otherwise specified herein. Persons considered for any such positions shall first be approved by the nominating committee before they are approached for recruitment. The nominating committee shall present to the church for election all who accept the invitation to service. This committee will consist of five (5) elected members. 2. The Missions Committee seeks to discover possibilities for local mission projects, shares findings with church program organizations, and serves the church in establishing and conducting such mission projects as may be assigned to it. This committee shall lead in promoting and giving for the Southern Baptist mission emphasis including Associational, State, Home and Foreign Missions. Members of this committee shall consist of five (5) elected members. 3. The Stewardship Committee develops and recommends an overall stewardship development plan and unified church budget. It advises and recommends in the administration of the gifts of the church members and others, using sound principles of financial management. It works with the treasurer in the preparation and presentation to the church of required reports regarding the financial affairs of the church. This committee shall be responsible for the annual audit. Each of the members of this committee will be expected to contribute regularly to the financial support of the church by tithe. The members of this committee shall consist of the church treasurer, who shall act as chairperson, and four (4) elected members. 4. The Building and Grounds Committee assists the church in matters related to properties administration. Its work includes such areas as overseeing the maintenance of all church properties for ready use and recommending policies regarding use of church properties. This committee shall consist of five (5) elected members. 5. The Evangelism and Prayer Committee assists the church in planning for and implementing programs of evangelism, such as revivals, outreach visitation, and witness training. Prayer chains shall be organized to support church, community, and other prayer needs. This committee shall consist of three (3) elected members. 11

12 6. The Fellowship/Hospitality Committee shall coordinate the sending of flowers at the death of a member, their spouse, their father or mother, their sister or brother, or their children. The committee shall also send cards to sick members; and shall coordinate church fellowships and other special functions consisting of, but not limited to; church workdays, funerals, revivals, visitors, holidays, etc. This committee shall consist of three (3) elected members. 7. The Youth/Children Committee shall assist the Youth Minister and the Children s Minister in the planning and the implementation of their respective ministry activities. Members of this committee shall consist of seven (7) elected members. 8. The Baptism/Lord s Supper Committee shall assist in the preparation for and the deliverance of the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord s Supper. Members of this committee shall consist of five (5) elected members. ARTICLE III. CHURCH PROGRAM ORGANIZATIONS The church shall maintain programs of Bible teaching, church member training, church leader training, new member orientation, and mission s education, action and support. All organizations related to the church programs shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church, and all program activities subject to church coordination and approval. 1. The Sunday school shall be the basic organization for the Bible teaching program. Its task shall be to teach the biblical revelation, reach persons for Christ and church membership, perform the functions of the church within its constituency, 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. The director shall be elected by the church by secret ballot. 2. The Church training organization shall serve as the new member s orientation and the training unit of the church. 3. The Woman s Missionary Union (WMU) and The Brotherhood are recognized as being beneficial organizations of the church. As our numbers increase and interest grows, these programs may be instituted. 4. The Church Music Organization shall be under the direction of the church music director. ARTICLE IV. CHURCH ORDINANCES 12 12

13 Section 1. 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 Jesus Christ as Lord. 1. Baptism shall be by immersion in water. 2. The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism. The Baptism/Lord s Supper Committee shall assist in the preparation for, and the observance of baptism. 3. Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church. 4. A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor and/or staff or Deacons. If negative interest is ascertained on the part of the candidate, he shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism by vote of the church. Section 2. The Lord s Supper The church shall observe the Lord s Supper quarterly, the fifth Sunday of each quarter, unless otherwise scheduled by the church. The pastor and deacons shall administer the Lord s Supper, the Baptism/Lord s Supper Committee being responsible for the physical preparations. ARTICLE V. CHURCH MEETINGS Section 1. Worship Services The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning and Sunday evening for the worship of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, music and singing, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the elements of these services. The pastor shall direct the services. Section 2. 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 3. Regular Business Meetings 13

14 The church shall hold business meetings quarterly (every three months) when most conducive to other regular Sunday night church activities. Section 4. Special Business Meetings The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of a special nature and significance. A one (1) week notice must be given for the specially called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. The notice shall be announced at Sunday morning service, and include the subject, the date, the time and place. Section 5. Quorum The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting provided it is a stated meeting of one that has been properly called. Section 6. Parliamentary Rules Roberts Rules of Order, Revised is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church. ARTICLE VI. CHURCH FINANCES Section 1. Budget The Stewardship Committee 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 will be provided for members use. It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular, proportionate gifts. Members are encouraged to practice the Biblical teaching of tithing in accord with Malachi 3. There shall be opportunity provided to secure worthy commitments of financial support from the church members. Section 2. Accounting Procedures All funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the hands of the Church Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer, and be properly recorded on the books of the church according to Article II. Section 1. Number 6. of the bylaws. A system of an accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the treasurer. Section 3. Fiscal Year 14 14

15 The church fiscal year shall begin January 1 and end December 31. ARTICLE VII. DEFINITIONS OF TERMS 1. Election: The formal act of approving the recommendations of the nominating committee for the non-office positions. 2. Secret Ballot: In the election of church officers, each member present shall vote for the appropriate number of members, as indicated on the ballot, to fill each church office. The nominating committee will tally the votes. The member who receives the most votes for each office, if willing, will be named to that office. The member receiving the second highest amount of votes, if willing, will be named as the assistant to each officer, (in the case of the moderator, treasurer, and clerk). In the case of the trustees, the members receiving the four highest amounts of votes, if willing, will be named to the office. In the case of a tie in the amount of votes received for any office, the church shall vote by secret ballot to break the tie. 3. Budget: an annual statement of the financial position of the Church based on estimates of expenditures. 4. Chairperson: Each church committee shall be led by a chairperson. The chairperson is responsible for calling the semi-monthly meeting for each committee. The chairperson shall be elected by the committee he or she serves by majority vote. 5. Active Church Member: The church shall consider those members of the church who have attended personally or given to the church at anytime over the past full calendar year active church members. ARTICLE VIII. AMENDMENTS 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 shall have been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting. Amendments to the constitution shall be by two-thirds (2/3) vote of church members present. Amendments to the bylaws shall have a concurrence of a majority of the member present and voting. ARTICLE IX. PROPERTY DISPOSITION 15

16 Section 1. Doctrinal Disagreement In the event the church becomes divided by a doctrinal disagreement, the property, assets, and liabilities shall remain with the group adhering to the beliefs and practices contained in this document: The official Constitution and Bylaws of Fairview Baptist Church of Mineral Wells, Texas. Section 2. Church Closure In the event the church ceases to be operational, the property, assets, and liabilities of the church shall be transferred to the control of the Executive Board of the Palo Pinto County Baptist Association of disposition. ARTICLE X. SCOPE OF THIS CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS When passed, this Constitution and Bylaws supersedes all previously passed forms of procedure. All authority not herein delegated shall rest with the church in conference

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