Constitution and Bylaws
Kinsey Drive Baptist Church
Constitution and By-Laws
Dr. Ronald W. McKinney, Pastor
Kinsey Drive Baptist Church
2626 Kinsey Drive
Dalton, Georgia 30720
706 277 3505
Article 1, Office
Article 2, Seal
Article 3, Statement of Purpose
Article 4, Declaration of Faith
Article 5 Membership
Article 6 Conduct
Article 7, Church Discipline
Article 8, Church Officers
Article 9, Congregational Meetings
Article 10, Church officials and Committees
Article 11, Miscellaneous Provisions
We the members of Kinsey Drive Baptist Church do ordain and establish the following articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
The principal office and place of business of the corporation shall be in Whitfield County, Georgia.
The seal of the corporation shall be in a circular form and shall have inscribed thereon the words “Kinsey Drive Baptist Church, Inc. 1974” and the word “Seal”.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this church is to glorify God by providing for the corporate worship of God in prayer, and praise, by providing for the nurture of God’s people through preaching, teaching and pastoral care, by evangelizing sinners, and by contending for the faith once delivered to the saints.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
We do hereby adopt as the fullest expression of our faith, the First London Baptist Confession of 1646 along with an Appendix by Benjamin Cox. These documents are the most excellent epitome of things most surely believed among us. We accept the same, not as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby we are fettered, but as assistance to us in controversy, a confirmation of our faith, and a means of edification and righteousness. Here, the members of our church will have a Body of Divinity in small compass, will be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within them.
As a summary of, and addenda to, the foregoing confession of Faith, we do hereby adopt the following:
1. The Scriptures:
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfection, and being infinite to them all. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.
3. The Trinity:
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.
God, from Eternity, decrees or permits things that come to pass and perpetually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events, yet so as not in any wise to be the Author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the responsibility of intelligent creatures.
Election is God’s eternal choice of some persons unto eternal life, not because of foreseen merit in them, but because of His mercy in Christ. As a result of this choice they are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified.
6. The Fall of Man:
God originally created man in His own image and free from sin, but through the temptation of Satan he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original state of holiness and righteousness, whereby his descendants inherit a corrupt nature and are wholly opposed to God and His law, and are under condemnation.
7. The Mediator:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried and arose again the third day and ascended to the Father, at whose right hand he ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only mediator: the Prophet, Priest, and King of the Church and Sovereign of the universe.
Regeneration is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickens the dead in trespasses and sin, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God and renewing their whole nature so that they may love and practice holiness. It is the work of God’s free and special grace alone.
Repentance is a gospel grace, by means of which the Holy Spirit causes a person to feel the manifold evils of sin, and by faith in Christ, to humble himself on account of sin. This humiliation is characterized by a godly sorrow, a detestation of sin and self abhorrence. It is also accompanied by prayer for pardon and a purpose to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
Saving faith is the belief on God’s authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; receiving and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is produced in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all saving graces and leads to a life of holiness.
Justification is God’s gracious and full acquittal of sinners who believe in Christ, from all sin, and imputing to them righteousness. This is done for Christ’s sake alone and not for anything wrought in them or done by them. This righteousness, reckoned to them, is not through faith nor any other obedience to the gospel, but Christ’s obedience alone. (His active obedience to the divine law and passive obedience rendered in His death).
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God’s Word and Spirit working in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of divine strength, which all Christians seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cheerful and willing obedience to the commands of Christ.
13. Perseverance of the Saints:
Those whom God has accepted in Christ the Beloved, and effectually called and sanctified by the Spirit, can never totally nor finally fall away from a state of grace, but shall certainly persevere in grace to the end and be eternally saved. Though they may fall into sin because of neglect and temptation, and may continue in sin for a time, thereby grieving the Spirit, bringing reproach upon the church and temporal judgment on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again through repentance and kept by the power of God unto salvation.
14. The Church:
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular assemblies or churches which He has given the necessary authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed. The regular officers of a church are bishops or elders, and deacons.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ and obligatory upon every believer. It consists in immersion in water upon profession of faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is administered in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is a sign of the believer’s fellowship in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, of the remission of his sin and of his giving himself to God to live and walk in newness of life. It is a prerequisite to church membership.
16. The Lord’s Supper:
The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine and to be observed by His Church until He returns. It is in no sense a sacrifice or a means of having one’s sins cleansed, but it was designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other Christian graces, and is to be a bond, pledge, and renewal of their communion with Him and their church fellowship.
17. Liberty of Conscience:
God alone is the Lord of conscience and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any way contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates are ordained of God and we are to be subject to these in all lawful things in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’s sake.
The bodies of all mankind after death return to dust, with the righteous spirits returning immediately to God to rest with Him, and the wicked to being reserved under darkness until the judgment. The bodies of all dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
19. The Judgment:
God has appointed a day wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when everyone shall receive his reward in accordance with what they have done in this earthly life, whether good or evil. The wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, the righteous into everlasting peace.
20. Evangelism and Missions:
It is the duty of every Christian man and woman, and the duty of every church of Christ, to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Missionary efforts on the part of all rest upon the spiritual necessity of the regenerate life. It is also expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teaching of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God, by personal effort and by all other methods sanctioned by the Word of God, to constantly encourage people to seek the Lord and His salvation.
21. Return of Christ:
We believe in the personal and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Qualifications for membership
Any person who professes repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives credible evidence of the genuineness of his profession by a Scriptural conversion experience, a belief in the truths summarized herein and consistent Christian life, who has been baptized by immersion upon profession of his faith, who willingly submits himself to the government of the church, and who expresses agreement with the doctrines and aims of this church shall be eligible for membership
2. Responsibilities of membership
A. Members are expected to be present regularly at services for public worship: the Sunday services, the Lord’s Table, prayer meeting and business meetings. Attendance is not only a duty but a privilege given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. He has commanded us to forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.
B. Elders, being ordained by the Holy Spirit to rule and pastor the flock of Jesus Christ, are to be honored and the flock is to submit to their spiritual authority. Members must pray regularly for elders in the discharge of their duties.
C. Members are responsible to pray regularly and systematically for the church in public prayer, in family prayer, and in private prayer.
D. Regular proportionate giving according to one’s means is required of every member.
E. Members are to willingly discover their spiritual gifts, to carefully develop their gifts, and to faithfully deploy their gifts in this church
F. Members should seek to avoid all causes of division within the body and to love and care for each other as brothers in Christ. That love and care should be demonstrated by praying for one another, by encouraging each other to love and good works, by admonishing one another, by showing hospitality, and by bearing one another’s burdens.
3. Privileges of membership – it shall be the privilege of every member to:
A. Be ruled by the Word of God in everything.
B. Be lovingly received by the church into its life and fellowship.
C. Be under the care and discipline of faithful elders.
D. Be nurtured and edified by clear teaching, by public preaching, and by personal counseling.
E. Be equipped for the work of the ministry.
F. Receive the ordinances of our Lord.
RECEPTION OF MEMBERS
Persons desiring membership in this church must present themselves to the pastor for a personal interview to discuss church membership. With a clear understanding of the nature of church membership, they may request a meeting with the membership committee to present themselves for membership. Persons may apply for membership in one of the following manners:
1. Oral confession of Faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, followed by baptism.
2. Transfer of a church letter in good standing from another recognized Baptist church of like faith and practice. Before final acceptance into membership, a letter of recommendation must be received from the former church as to his or her standing in that church.
3. By statement of faith having been scripturally baptized. Those who have been inactive members of another church or whose names have been dropped from a church role should give account of their former church relationship and substantiate their present interest in church membership. Those who have withdrawn fellowship from a church of which they are presently members must sufficiently explain the circumstance surrounding their action. Those who are under church discipline may not be admitted into membership until Biblical reconciliation is effected.
TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Church membership is held to be of perpetual obligation. When an individual becomes a member it is for life, unless some providential interposition should break the bonds. Christians should not live outside the ford of the Good Shepherd, but within the shelter of its fellowship.
There are three ways whereby membership may be terminated.
1. By transfer of letter
Letters of dismissal shall be granted to members who apply for them provided they are in good standing and not subject to, or under discipline at the time of application. When such letters have been granted, the relationship to this church shall be considered terminated. Letters of dismissal shall be granted only to those uniting with another Baptist church of like faith and practice.
2. By Exclusion
If a member is willfully absent from the stated meetings of this church without just cause or is unwilling to settle differences with others in a Scriptural manner, or requests severance of membership, he or she may be excluded from membership by the congregation upon recommendation of the eldership. The congregation shall have the right to exclude a member by two-thirds of the membership present and voting at a specially called meeting.
3. By Excommunication
It is right and in harmony with the Scriptures for the congregation, upon recommendation of the eldership, to exclude from this fellowship any person who persists in holding false or heretical doctrines; or who obviously and persistently lives inconsistently with his Christian profession; who lives in violation of the civil magistrate; or who walks disorderly; or any person that persists in disturbing the unity and peace of this church. The congregation shall have the right to excommunicate a member by two-thirds of the members present and voting at a specially called meeting.
MEANS OF GRACE
All public and private means of grace, regular attendance at the services of the church, daily systematic reading of the Bible, and private and family prayers shall be urged upon all members.
GOVERNMENT AND THE HOME
The church expects its members to follow the Scriptures in home government. God has required that godliness in the home have a high priority in every life. The home holds a central attention in God’s law and is the object of frequent exhortation in the New Testament. Men are expected to rule their homes with gentleness but firmness. Women must be subject to their husbands in everything.
Parents should train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4) by holy example, catechizing, consistent education, and firm discipline (including corporal punishment). Children must reverently obey their parents (Ephesians 6:1). These primary responsibilities, prayerfully executed, will honor the name of Christ in generations to come.
MISSIONS AND WITNESSING
It is the duty of every Christian and of every church of Christ to seek to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Missionary efforts are the natural consequences of regeneration (Psalm 51:10-14). “Preach the Gospel” is a frequently repeated command of Christ. It is the duty of every child of God to witness by life and word. Personal efforts at witnessing for Christ are expected of every member. Beyond this, we are committed to common efforts for sending the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
PRINCIPLES OF GIVING
We also assert our conviction that Christians are to support the work of the Lord by offerings made to the local church. Proportionate giving is a distinct and positive command in Scripture (Malachi 3:8-11). Hence we pledge ourselves to systematic contribution for the support of this church with proportion of our income according to the principle in 1 Corinthians 16:2.
We shall require of each other in our daily walk and conversation loyal obedience to all those moral precepts established in the Word of God (Hebrews 10:24-25). However, where God has not prohibited certain practices in His Word, the Christian has liberty to participate in them.
The following must always guide the Christian’s exercise of liberty:
1. Fear of God
As the servant of Christ, all actions must be motivated by love to God, and all objects must be used for His glory. The term “liberty” is often used as a cloak of malicious self-indulgence, which is sin (I Corinthians 10:31, I Timothy 4:4-5, I Peter 2:15, 16).
2. Love of the Brethren
Though no man may dictate to the Christian’s conscience, the welfare of fellow saints must always deeply affect his decisions. In a spirit of serving the brethren, he must do that which he judges will edify them and prevent their stumbling (Galatians 5:13, I Corinthians 10:23, I Corinthians 8:9).
3. Compassion for the Unconverted
Use of liberty must always be regulated by its effect upon sinners, and that behavior chosen which is likely to win some ( I Corinthians 9:23-27).
4. Watchfulness Over the Soul
Though free in conscience to use all God’s creation, carefulness in practice is demanded because of remaining lusts. Where the Christian judges himself weak through lust, he must abstain in order to Scripturally persevere (I Corinthians 9:23-27).
MEMBER’S RESPONSIBILITIES TOWARDS ELDERS
It is the duty of every member to respect God-appointed officers to the church. The duties of church members toward their Elders, Deacons, teachers, and ministers are as follows:
1. Praying for them, that God would open a door of utterance unto them, to unfold the mysteries of the Gospel (Ephesians 6:18-20).
2. To obey them in the Lord, in whatsoever they admonish them, according to the Word of God (Hebrews 13:17-22).
3. Following their example and footsteps, as far as warranted by the Word of God (I Corinthians 4:16, 11:1, Philippians 8:17, Hebrews 13:7).
4. Standing by them, in all their trials and afflictions, and defending them in all good causes, as far as in them lies. In II Timothy 1:15-16 those of Asia are blamed for turning away or not standing by the Apostle.
5. Not exposing the infirmities of the person, remembering that the prosperity of the Gospel depends on their good report (Acts 23:5, I Timothy 5:19).
Formative discipline is the character molding, which is accomplished by the public teaching and preaching of the Word and the private exercise of spiritual gifts to the edification of the body. Such ministry will effect growth in grace within the body of Christ. It is to be acknowledged that the failure of formative discipline leads to the necessity for corrective discipline.
Corrective discipline results from disorderly conduct or heretical doctrine which is contrary to the church’s standard of life and doctrine. Reasonable efforts shall be made to resolve difficulties and remove offenses before any action is taken. No offenses shall be brought before the church until the instructions of Christ have first been followed (Matthew 5:23-23, 18:15-16). Corrective discipline always has for its aims the glory of God, the welfare and purity of the church, and the restoration and spiritual growth of the offender.
If a member is willfully absent from the stated meetings of this church without just cause or is unwilling to settle differences with others in a Scriptural manner, or requests severance of membership, he may be excluded from membership by the congregation upon recommendation of the eldership. The congregation shall have the right to exclude a member by two-thirds of the membership present and voting at a specially called meeting.
A. If a member has publicly sinned, but shows hopeful signs of repentance, including submission to the admonitions of church officers, severe discipline, such as excommunication, would be improper.
B. Nevertheless, serious offenses may not be overlooked altogether, lest God’s enemies multiply their blasphemies, lest other saints be emboldened to sin, and lest the offender be harmed by a failure to test his own soul and appreciate the gravity of his offenses. Therefore, at the discretion of the eldership, it may impose lesser terms upon a member such as public rebuke, or suspension of membership. The latter consists of a temporary suspension of the rights to attend the Lord’s Table, publicly serve in the church and vote in congregational meetings. Those who submit to such discipline are to be wholly forgiven and received as brethren. All such actions of the eldership shall be reported to the congregation
It is right and in harmony with the Scriptures for the congregation, upon recommendation of the eldership, to exclude from this fellowship any person who persists in holding false or heretical doctrines; for any person that persists in disturbing the unity and peace of this church. The congregation shall have the right to excommunicate a member by two-thirds of the membership present and voting at a specially called meeting.
It is the right of the church to forgive and restore to membership those persons who give satisfactory evidence of being penitent (II Corinthians 2:6-8). The elders may restore those who have been excluded or suspended when they have judged that the aims of the discipline have been accomplished. Such action is to be reported to the church. Upon recommendation of the eldership the congregation shall have the right to restore an excommunicated person by a majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called congregational meeting.
General Statement, Section one and two approved by the congregation 5/18/2005
Section three approved by the congregation 5/25/2005
Jesus Christ alone is the Head of His Church; as Head, He has ordained that individual churches should be blessed with the spiritual rule and ministry of special office bearers. Therefore it is the duty of the church to seek to discover those to whom Christ has imparted the necessary gifts for office bearing. The Lord’s appointment is recognized by inward conviction of the individual involved, by the approval of the church observing the possession of those gifts and graces required, and by scriptural definition of the office. Except for the pastor, all officers shall have been a member of the church for a period of at least one year before being placed in nomination. Christ has ordained that the administration of the local church is to be by elders and deacons. The eldership shall submit nominations for all officers to the congregation. The nominations for elders and deacons shall be presented to the church body not less than 90 days before the annual business meeting or a business meeting called for the specific purpose of electing elders and/or deacons. It is the duty of the eldership to earnestly seek the will of the congregation in submitting nominations. Therefore, the elders would be open to receive all recommendations from the congregation. It is the duty of the eldership to discuss the qualifications and responsibilities of the office with the nominee and to secure the consent of the nominee. It is the duty of the eldership to eliminate from nomination any individual that fails to meet the scriptural qualifications or to assume the required responsibilities. The term of church officers shall begin upon their election. Retiring officers shall hold office until their successors are chosen.
The Scripture teaches that a local congregation is to be under the care of the eldership comprised of a plurality of elders. The congregation is commanded to submit to their authority as long as it conforms to the Word of God. God gifts elders for the work of shepherding although there is great diversity in the gifts bestowed. Those exercising gifts that are most essential for the edification of the Body should be relieved of other employment to devote themselves fully to the work of ministry, usually those involved in public preaching and teaching. It is reasonable and acceptable that one elder may attain a greater influence, by his consecration to God, in feeding the flock and caring for them. There are no formal authority levels within the eldership, but a mutual submission to one another before the Great Shepherd; this allows for flexibility and diversity. The elder must labor in all aspects denoted by the various titles: elder, bishop, shepherd, (pastor), and teacher. He must be gifted to rule in decision-making, to shepherd and care for the needs of the flock, and to teach publicly and privately.
The process of selecting an elder should include but not be limited to the following: Each candidate’s lifestyle and influence shall be considered. One or more of the elders shall meet with the candidate to verify the candidate upholds the First London Confession of Faith (1646) and the Constitution and By-Laws of Kinsey Drive Baptist Church, and the candidate’s willingness and qualifications for the office of elder. The elders will ask for a written testimony of the candidate concerning his qualifications, experience, beliefs, doctrines, and practices. When he returns his written testimony, the elders will examine his response and after a final interview with the candidate and it has been determined that he meets the qualifications, the elders will present him as a candidate for elder to the church body. The elders must be in full agreement that the candidate meets the requirements of an elder.
At the request of the elders the candidate, after his introduction to the congregation, will present to the church his testimony and statement of faith. Within this 90 day period of time the church shall have an opportunity to pray about this candidate, talk with him or with others about him, examine his beliefs more closely, or ask the elders to investigate any questions that surface during this process. Upon completion of this 90 days of considering this man for the office of elder, and after he has been fully evaluated, he shall be presented to the congregation for a secret ballot election.
The election of an elder can be at any regular business meeting or at a business meeting called for the specific purpose of electing an elder. The church shall consider the candidate an elder after he has received a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting at said business meeting. The term of elder shall begin upon their election.
A. Anyone called to this office must be able to wholeheartedly affirm his agreement with the Articles of Faith and Constitution of the church. Should he at any time move from this position, he is under spiritual and moral obligation to make this known to the church.
B. Anyone desiring the office of an Elder must evidence the personal, domestic, and ministerial qualifications as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7 and in Titus 1:5-9.
C. Elders shall be men in full communion with the church, of mature judgment, of unquestioned Christian character, loyal to the Word of God, able to teach sound doctrine, and devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ and the spiritual welfare of the church (I Timothy 3, Titus 1:6-9). They shall be ordained as Elders after their first election, as soon as is convenient.
A. Elders are responsible for the spiritual ministrations of the church and for the oversight of the church in all its ministries and functions.
B. The Elders are responsible for the guidance of church discipline.
C. The Elders are responsible for watching over the souls of the members as those who must give account to God for this responsibility.
D. Elders are responsible for assisting in the administration of the ordinance, in the pulpit ministry, and encouraging each other in the work of the Lord.
E. Elders are responsible for diligently and faithfully attending the Elders’ meetings and all the regular services of the church.
F. Elders must seek to discharge their duties as set forth in the Scriptures, particularly such passages as Acts 20:17-28, I Peter 5:1-4, Hebrews 13:17.
3. Appointment and Dismissal
A. The pastor shall be chosen by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting. He shall be recommended to the congregation by the Pulpit Committee.
B. The elders shall be selected from the membership of the church by a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at a congregational meeting. Each elder shall be recommended to the congregation by the pastor and other elders.
C. If at any time the Pastor or Elders shall make application to be released from his office, or if the congregation shall chose by two-thirds vote to dismiss him, the relationship between Pastor or Elders and church may be terminated by the congregation in thirty days from the date of notice of intention, or in a shorter period of time if it is mutually agreed upon.
D. If the relations between the Pastor or Elders and congregation become detrimental to the welfare of the church, the Elders and Deacons shall have authority to consider this matter and make recommendation to the congregation at a duly called congregational meeting.
E. If the Pastor’s or an Elder’s life and preaching shall violate the standards of this church, and the Elders and Deacons so recommend, the services of Pastor or Elder may be terminated immediately following a congregational meeting, at which his dismissal has been requested by a two-thirds vote of those members present and voting.
F. Elder’s term of office
The elders shall hold office as a permanent position at the will of the membership.
4. Special Duties of the Pastor
A. Position of Pastor
The pastor shall be the spiritual leader and spokesman for the church.
B. Pastoral term of office
The pastor shall hold office as a permanent position at the will of the membership. A new pastor shall have the right to select his own staff. All church staff hold office under the same terms as the pastor.
C. Relative to Committees
The pastor is an ex-officio member of all committees, and shall act as advisor to all committee functions of the church.
D. Relative to Staff
Any and all staff shall work directly with the pastor. Staff members shall work with various committees and in conjunction with the members of the church. The pastor shall have the responsibility of supervising the staff according to the job descriptions.
The deacons are appointed by Christ to serve the needs of the Body: they are to assist the eldership in the overall care of the Body.
The process of selecting a deacon should include but not be limited to the following: Each candidate’s lifestyle and influence shall be considered. One or more of the elders shall meet with the candidate to verify the candidate upholds the First London Confession of Faith (1646) and the Constitution and By-Laws of Kinsey Drive Baptist Church, and the candidate’s willingness and qualifications for the office of deacon. At the initial introduction of a candidate for the office of deacon the candidate shall provide a written testimony by the candidate concerning his qualifications, experience, beliefs, doctrines, and practices. If, at some point after the candidate’s election, his beliefs and/or doctrines change, he must inform the congregation.
1. Qualifications and Responsibilities
A. Anyone desiring the office of a deacon must evidence the personal, domestic, and ministerial qualifications as set forth in I Timothy 3:8-13.
B. It shall be the duty of the deacons to be diligent and faithful in attendance at Deacon’s meetings and at the regular services of the church. They shall be watchful to assist the Elders in every possible way.
C. The ministry of mercy in our church and community is a special responsibility of the diaconate. The Board of Deacons shall see that the sick, and sorrowing, the aged, and the feeble-minded receive spiritual and physical comfort. They shall minister the Word of God, administer the church’s benevolence funds, and render counsel to those in need of succor. They shall be vigilant for opportunities to do good, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
D. The deacons shall inform the Elders of all their meetings so that a representative may be present.
E. A deacon coming into this fellowship from another church shall not serve as deacon until one year has passed. The church is under no obligation ever to select him.
2. Term of office
The term of office for a deacon in the church shall be for one year. Deacons will be elected to office at the beginning of each new church year. A deacon may or may not be reelected to his position. Election to active office is by the will of the church at the annual meeting of the membership.
3. Active and inactive Deacons
Deacons elected by the church to serve for one year at the annual meeting of the membership of the church shall be constituted active deacons. Other deacons within the membership of the church who are not elected for a given year will be constituted inactive deacons. Inactive deacons do not attend deacons’ meetings but may be called upon to serve whenever such need shall arise.
4. Manner of Election of Deacons
The deacons shall be elected by ballot at the annual meeting of the membership of the corporation. The election is to be by written ballot, electing up to seven deacons to the office from the names appearing on the ballot.
5. Removal of Deacons
Since deacons are elected by the membership of the corporation, they may be removed from office by the corporation at any time such action is necessary for the well-being of the corporation in the uncontrolled discretion of the members. A two-thirds vote of the members of the corporation present at a meeting called for the removal of a deacon from office shall constitute removal.
6. Regular Meeting of the Deacons
Regular meetings of the deacons shall be held on the second Monday after the first Sunday in each month. It shall not be necessary for the deacons to be given notice of regular meetings. They are authorized to conduct the business affairs of the corporation within the limits of the by-laws of the corporation.
7. Special Meetings
Special meetings of the deacons may be called by the pastor, the chairman, or by a majority of the deacons. No special meeting may be called without the knowledge of the pastor and stipulating to the pastor the time, place, and object of the meeting.
8. Powers of the Deacons
The deacons shall regulate and supervise the management and operation of the corporation and have full control over the business affairs of the church. They shall make arrangement for conducting the business of the church as deemed best. In addition to the powers granted by these by-laws, the deacons may exercise all the powers of the corporation and do all such lawful acts and things as are not by statute or by charter or by these by-laws required to be exercised or done by the members. These duties will, of course, be performed seeking the goodwill of the eldership and the body.
9. Vacancies in the deacons
A vacancy within the deacons, however occasioned, may be filled by two-thirds vote of the members of the corporation at any special meeting called for that purpose. A recommendation may come from either the deacons or from the floor. Qualifications would be in accordance with Article 8 section three, 1.
10. Election of officers of the Deacons
At the beginning of each year the deacons shall elect officers to serve within the active deacons. The officers shall be a chairman, a vice-chairman, and a secretary. Anyone serving in the various offices shall be subject to removal from office as chairman, vice-chairman, or secretary, by vote of the deacons.
11. Duties of the Chairman
The chairman of the deacons shall be chief executive officer of the corporation for the tenure of his office. He shall preside at the meetings of the deacons and shall have the general management of the business of the corporation, and shall see that the legal actions of the corporation are carried into effect. He shall execute all papers authorized by the deacons, or the membership of the corporation such as deeds, contracts, mortgages, and notes, but all such contracts shall be attested to by the secretary. He shall perform all other such duties as either the deacons or the members of the corporation shall direct.
12. Duties of the Vice-chairman
In the absence of the chairman, or in case of his failure to act, the vice-chairman shall have all the powers of the chairman and shall perform such duties as shall from time to time be imposed upon him by the deacons or by the membership of the corporation.
13. Duties of the Secretary
The secretary shall attend and keep the minutes of all the meetings of the deacons. He shall perform all duties incident to the office of secretary of the deacons, subject at all times to the deacons and the membership of the corporation.
The Church Year will be in accord with the regular calendar year, and shall run from October 1st. through September 30th. of each year.
There shall be an annual meeting of the corporation on the third Wednesday in October of each year.
At the annual meeting of the membership of the corporation, the membership shall approve teachers and officers for the coming year, adopt a budget, and do other business that will be in keeping with the objective of the church for the coming year. Items to be discussed are to be on a printed agenda. Regular quarterly business meetings shall be held the third Wednesday after the first Sunday in January, April, and July. A printed agenda is to be used at the quarterly meetings: members may enter items to the agenda to pastor and deacons one week prior to the meeting.
Special meetings of the members of the corporation shall be held whenever called by joint consent of the pastor and chairman of the deacons, or pastor and vice-chairman, or pastor and the majority of the deacons. The membership of the corporation may call a special meeting by a petition containing the names of no less than fifteen members of the corporation. The petition shall be presented to the chairman, vice-chairman, or deacons, who shall announce the special meeting at three regular services, stating the time, place and object of the special meeting.
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETINGS
Notice of all meetings of the members, stating the time, place and object of the meeting shall be given by announcing the meeting at three regular services prior to the meeting.
Any number of members present at any annual meeting or at any properly called meeting shall constitute a quorum and are hereby authorized to transact the business for which the meeting was called.
Each member of the church who is in regular attendance, who regularly supports the church with the giving of his financial means, and who is not involved in conduct unbecoming to a Christian shall have one vote. Any person who has been absent for six weeks period for reasons other than illness shall forfeit his right to vote. No person shall be entitled to vote by proxy.
CHURCH OFFICIALS AND COMMITTEES
The treasurer shall be elected from the membership of the corporation. He must be a deacon of this church (Cf. Acts 6:1-7). He is to exercise and transact all business as directed by eldership, deacons, and membership.
CHURCH CLERK AND ASSISTANT
It shall be the duty of the church clerk or his assistant to keep a full and accurate record of the business meetings of the church and to keep a register of the church’s membership. He shall keep this register up to date, with changes concerning death, longtime absence, relocation, etc. He shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church; conduct its correspondence, unless otherwise directed; and to preserve all papers and reports (in cooperation with the church secretary) which the church may direct to be placed on file.
1. Pulpit committee
The pulpit committee shall consist of the elders and deacons of this church. After prayerful investigation and consideration they shall recommend a man to fill the vacant office of pastor. They may only recommend a gifted man when the committee is in unanimous agreement. All men to be considered must be channeled through the Pulpit committee.
2. Baptismal committee
The Baptismal Committee shall consist of an equal number of men and women. They shall be responsible for helping the candidate for baptism prepare for the ordinance. They shall have all the necessary clothing such as robes and towels prepared beforehand and remain with the candidate through the entire baptismal service. They shall also assist the pastor if he requests their service in his preparation for the ordinance.
3. The Lord’s Supper Committee
The Lord’s Supper Committee shall consist of up to four members whose duties are to prepare the elements for the ordinance. They shall be responsible for consulting the church calendar for the dates of the Lord’s Supper and shall be responsible for having it ready prior to the service in which it is to be observed. They shall also be responsible for putting away and cleaning up the trays and glasses immediately after the supper has been observed and the service closed. The committee shall be responsible for notifying the church secretary when there is a shortage or a need for further supplies.
The Usher Committee shall consist of up to eight men. The church shall elect a Chairman and it is his responsibility to set up a schedule of service. The ushers shall assist leaders and those attending congregational services before, during and after such services. They shall greet and seat persons, provide programs and information, take up the offering, supply visitors’ cards and assist in any special or called services if needed. They shall have all of their materials, such as offering plates, bulletins, programs, visitors’ cards, etc. prepared before the beginning of services.
5. Christian Education Committee
The Christian Education Committee shall consist of up to seven responsible men and women who are spiritually alive and who manifest attributes of competent leadership and who are interested in Christian Education. The pastor and associate shall serve as ex-officio members of this committee. The committee shall be set up on a rotating basis with one-third (3-2-2) of the members being rotated off the committee each year.
The Christian Education Committee shall be duly authorized by the local church. It will be a committee parallel to other committees of the church and its recommendations shall be subject to the approval of the congregation.
The basic functions of the Christian Education Committee shall be:
A. To project, recommend, and develop a total educational program for the entire church. This program shall be studied and reviewed in order to see that all needs of the church are being met. Periodic surveys shall be made by the committee to determine needs, priorities and to what extent needs and priorities are being satisfied.
B. To establish objectives and goals for the various educational agencies of the church.
C. To encourage an educational consciousness on the part of the church membership. One way this can be accomplished is by the committee members showing enthusiasm and dedication for their task.
D. To enlist teachers and workers for the various educational agencies of the Church. This will be a continuing responsibility of the committee. This task can be eased by putting out worker-survey forms annually. The committee may make recommendations to the Nominating Committee but will not replace the Nominating Committee.
E. To train workers and teachers. The committee shall plan and promote Teacher Training Programs. This is to be an adequate and continuous program of leadership development.
F. To provide a Curriculum. Curriculum guidance will consist of direction not dictation. The committee will recommend the Curriculum materials to be used and is to approve any materials that are being used.
G. To analyze and suggest needs for space and equipment. The committee shall direct the use of space and working conditions. This shall be reviewed periodically and changes made subject to the results of the review. The committee shall supervise the use of educational equipment and recommend purchases for the education program.
H. To offer suggestions for the administration of the educational budget. Funds should be appropriated for children’s work, youth work, and adult work. The committee shall annually prepare a Christian Education budget to be submitted to the Finance Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the committee to see that the funds are utilized efficiently and fairly.
I. To schedule events. The committee shall be responsible for projecting a long-range calendar of events for the educational program of the church. This will integrate each activity into the total program of the church, so there will be no conflicts or unnecessary competition
J. To evaluate and report. The committee will constantly evaluate all the educational work of the church, to assure that the Bible is the core of the Curriculum and that Biblical principles are being followed in all the educational agencies of the church. The committee shall give a detailed report annually to the church.
6. Missions Committee
The missions committee composed of five members of the corporation shall guide and recommend to the church proper steps in the work of missions. They shall set forth missions policies and shall perpetually evaluate and review the mission policies of the church.
7. Membership Committee
The membership committee shall be composed of up to three members of the corporation. They shall interview prospective members of the church and shall instruct them in the doctrinal position, the by-laws of the corporation, and answer any questions that a prospective member might have concerning the church. This committee shall recommend to the church the candidate for membership, and the members of the corporation shall receive the candidate into membership at any regular service. The committee shall also have the responsibility of granting letters to those churches requesting them.
8. Temporary Committees
Other committees may be formed to meet special needs of the function of the corporation. They shall function under these by-laws and/or as directed by the membership of the corporation.
In all matters of business and in all internal affairs of the operation of the corporation the membership of the corporation by a majority vote of members present in a local business meeting shall have sovereign and full control and direction of the corporation.
The chairman and secretary of the corporations, as the occasion may arise, and as directed by the membership of the corporation, may borrow money from any proper individual, corporation, insurance or banking institution; and execute such notes or other documents as may be necessary or proper to evidence such a loan; and to renew such evidence to indebtedness and secure therefore from time to time; and pledge and assign to such individual, corporation, insurance company, or banking institution and the property of the corporation to secure any such indebtedness; and to substitute other properties in lieu of that so pledged or assigned or conveyed to secure such indebtedness, and to do such other acts or acts as may be necessary to properly secure the person or institution from whom such money is borrowed.
The chairman and secretary are further authorized to accept warranty deeds, loan deeds, security deeds or mortgages in behalf of the corporation and in furtherance of any or all the objects of the business of the corporation.
These by-laws may be altered or amended and additional by-laws adopted by a two-thirds vote at the annual meeting or at any special meeting of the corporation called for the purpose of amending by-laws.
All meetings of the members of the corporation and of the board of deacons shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.