Bylaws

Bylaws

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Article I : Membership

Section 1 : Oversight

All membership oversight, whether admission, discipline, or dismissal, shall be vested to the Deacon Board.

Section 2 : Admission

All persons who desires to be received into membership of this church shall:

  1. Be at least 18 years of age;
  2. Complete a Deacon Board approved membership course;
  3. Be required to submit a signed membership application, in which they agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).
  4. Be elected by a majority vote of present and active members at any regular Sunday gathering.

Consideration of admission will be given to:

  1. Letters from other churches of the same faith and order;
  2. Confession of faith in Jesus Christ and having followed Him through baptismal waters (See Constitution Article V).

Section 3 : Active & Inactive Membership

To be considered an active member of the church, a member must have attended at least 12 regular Sunday morning gatherings during the preceding twelve months.  Those who willfully absence themselves, for this stated period of time, shall automatically be placed on an inactive list and rescind their voting privileges.

Section 4 : Discipline

  1. All members of this church shall hold themselves subject to the discipline of the church and shall conduct themselves in accordance with this church’s Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).
  2. No one shall have the right to accuse any member of the church except by due process.  Any person(s) wishing to accuse another member of grievous and/or moral delinquencies must present a signed, written charge to the Deacon Board.
  3. In the case where offense is believed to have been given, for the sake of the church the offender may be disciplined by the church.  Those who are in possession of evidence concerning the alleged offense must present said evidence in writing to the Deacon Board (in closed session) for consideration.  If the Deacon Board finds the evidence sufficient to warrant action, a recommendation for discipline will be made to the church in open session.
  4. A member under discipline is prohibited from all the rights of membership.  If found guilty of the charges made, he may, by 3/4 of the active membership present and voting, be excluded provided that due notice of the meeting be given to the church in advance.  The accused member shall be afforded an opportunity to appear in his own behalf.  The steps pointed out by the Master in the 5th and 18th chapters of Matthew shall be strictly followed to secure reconciliation and forgiveness, if possible, before the church takes action.
  5. If a member under discipline voluntarily makes a confession to the church and manifests an evidence of true repentance, no further proceedings shall be entertained.  One who has been excluded from membership may be reinstated to full fellowship upon making a voluntary confession, showing true repentance, and following the guidelines outlined in Section 2.

Section 5 : Dismissal

A member may be dismissed to the fellowship of another Free Will Baptist church by a letter of recommendation.  A member wishing to withdraw from the church to enter some other denomination may be granted a certificate of Christian character and their name shall be erased from the roll.

The Deacon Board also reserves the right to dismiss members from the roll after an indeterminate time, no less than one (1) year, of willful absence.

Section 6 : Responsibilities

This church shall not ask its members to do more than the Bible clearly teaches.  The responsibilities of members are as follows:

  1. Protect the unity of this church;
  2. Share in the responsibilities of the church;
  3. Serve in the ministries of the church;
  4. Support the testimony of the church.

Article II : Officers

Section 1 : General Statement

Every officer shall affirm this Church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).  In order to promote a high spiritual standard in the church, all officers will be expected to attend regular gatherings of the church faithfully when they are not providentially hindered.  They will be expected to give generously and joyfully to the support of this church.

Section 2 : Pastors

Section 2.1 : Types Of Pastors

This church’s Pastoral Officers shall include a Lead Pastor and may also include Associate Pastor(s).

Section 2.2 : Term Of Office

Pastors of this church shall be elected for an indefinite term of office by a 2/3 affirmative vote of active and present members.

Section 2.3 : Qualifications

Pastors of this church shall:

  1. Meet the qualifications set by 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, & 1 Peter 5:1-4;
  2. Be licensed to preach through our denomination;
  3. Be examined by the St. Francois District Association prior to election;
  4. Agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 2.3 : Duties

Pastors of this church shall:

  1. Preach the Gospel;
  2. Administer the Ordinances;
  3. Serve as ex officio on all boards;
  4. Moderate all church body gatherings;
  5. Supervise the teaching ministry of this church;
  6. Lovingly govern, care for, and equip the membership of this church to do the work of the ministry;
  7. Organize and develop this church’s ministries;
  8. Restrict absences to no more than 6 Sundays per year, when possible.

Section 2.4 : Lead Pastor Duties

In addition to the duties mentioned in Section 2.3 of these Bylaws, The Lead Pastor shall:

  1. Moderate all board meetings;
  2. Supervise, Lovingly govern, care for, and equip the Associate Pastor(s) of this church;

Section 2.5 :  Liberties

Taking Section 2.3 item 8 as a guideline, Pastors of this church shall have the following liberties:

  1. To speak at revivals, retreats, conferences, or other meetings when he feels led by the Holy Spirit to do so;
  2. Two (2) weeks of vacation per year;
  3. Sabbaticals as the Deacon Board deems appropriate.

Section 2.6 : Dissolution

  1. The relationship may be dissolved by mutual agreement after 30 days notice.  This time may be extended to meet the needs of the pastor or church by mutual agreement.
  2. In case a pastor or the church shall desire to terminate this relationship and the agreement is not mutual, either party may terminate said relationship.  If a pastor terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation as to salary or regularly extended church facilities.  Other arrangements may be made by mutual agreement.  If the church should terminate relationship, the church will extend regular church facilities and salary for at least one month.
  3. The dismissal of a pastor shall come before the church at a regular or special called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall have been read from the pulpit on two (2) successive, regular Sunday morning gatherings prior.
  4. Pastors of this church may be subject to dismissal and voiding of ordination for violating this church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).

Section 3 : Deacons

Section 3.1 : Term Of Office

Deacons of this church shall be elected for an indefinite term of office by a 3/4 affirmative vote of active and present members.

Section 3.2 : Qualifications

Deacons of this church shall:

  1. Meet the qualifications set by 1 Timothy 3:8-13;
  2. Have been an active member of this church for a period of three (3) consecutive years;
  3. Have completed a one (1) year trial period (watch-care) after having been an active member of this church for a period of at least two (2) consecutive years;
  4. Be examined by the General Board and the St. Francois District Association;
  5. Be duly ordained;
  6. Agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 3.3 : Duties

Deacons of this church shall:

  1. Officiate with the Ordained Pastors at the Lord’s Supper;
  2. Attend to the needs of the members of this church;
  3. Attend to the needs of the poor in our community;
  4. Act as advisors to the Pastors in planning the work of the church;
  5. Aid the Pastors in zealously guarding and fostering the spiritual life of this church;
  6. Moderate gatherings and/or meetings when a Pastor is unavailable;
  7. Be vested on the Deacon Board and the General Board under the guidance of Article III, Section 1 of these Bylaws.

Section 3.4 : Dissolution

  1. In case the Deacon or the church shall desire to terminate this relationship and the agreement is not mutual, either party may terminate said relationship.  If the Deacon terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation to him.
  2. The dismissal of a Deacon shall come before the church at a regular or special called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall have been read from the pulpit on two (2) successive Sundays previously.
  3. Deacons of this church may be subject to dismissal and voiding of ordination for violating this church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).

Section 4 : Trustees

Section 4.1 : Term Of Office

Trustees of this church shall be elected for an indefinite term of office by a 2/3 affirmative vote of active and present members.

Section 4.2 : Qualifications

Trustees of this church shall:

  1. Have been an active member of this church for a period of two (2) consecutive years prior to election;
  2. Agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 4.3 : Duties

Trustees of this church shall:

  1. Hold in trust all properties of this church;
  2. Handle all legal business matters;
  3. Be vested on the Trustee Board and the General Board.

Section 4.4 : Dissolution

  1. In case the Trustee or the church shall desire to terminate this relationship and the agreement is not mutual, either party may terminate said relationship.  If the Trustee terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation to him.
  2. The dismissal of a Trustee shall come before the church at a regular or special called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall have been read from the pulpit on two (2) successive Sundays previously.
  3. Trustees of this church may be subject to dismissal for violating this church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).

Section 5 : Treasurer

Section 5.1 : Term Of Office

The Treasurer of this church shall be elected for indefinite term of office by 2/3 affirmative vote of active and present members.

Section 5.2 : Qualifications

The Treasurer of this church shall:

  1. Have been an active member of this church for a period of two (2) consecutive years prior to election;
  2. Be bonded;
  3. Agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 5.3 : Duties

The Treasurer of this church shall:

  1. Receive all monies of the church and make bank deposits;
  2. Keep an account of all transactions and report to the church at each regular business meeting;
  3. Keep records of individual giving and provide that record to the individual at the end of the fiscal year;
  4. Be a signatory on all church accounts;
  5. Be vested on the Trustee Board and the General Board.

Section 5.4 : Dissolution

  1. In case the Treasurer or the church shall desire to terminate this relationship and the agreement is not mutual, either party may terminate said relationship.  If the Treasurer terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation to him/her.
  2. The dismissal of a Treasurer shall come before the church at a regular or special called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall have been read from the pulpit on two (2) successive Sundays previously.
  3. The Treasurer of this church may be subject to dismissal for violating this church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).

Section 6 : Clerk

Section 6.1 : Term Of Office

The Clerk of this church shall be elected for indefinite term of office by 2/3 affirmative vote of active and present members.

Section 6.2 : Qualifications

The Clerk of this church shall:

  1. Have been an active member of this church for a period of two (2) consecutive years prior to election;
  2. Agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 6.3 : Duties

The Clerk of this church shall:

  1. Keep a correct record of the proceedings of the church at all church body business meetings;
  2. Keep a complete registry of membership;
  3. Keep a complete registry of baptisms;
  4. Issue letters of dismissal and/or certificates of Christian character as directed by the church;
  5. Preserve all papers coming into his/her hand during the term of office;
  6. Delivering all records kept to his/her successor.

Section 6.4 : Dissolution

  1. In case the Clerk or the church shall desire to terminate this relationship and the agreement is not mutual, either party may terminate said relationship.  If the Clerk terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation to him/her.
  2. The dismissal of a Clerk shall come before the church at a regular or special called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall have been read from the pulpit on one (1) Sunday previously.
  3. The Clerk of this church may be subject to dismissal for violating this church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).

Section 7 : Financial Secretary

Section 7.1 : Term Of Office

The Financial Secretary of this church shall be elected for indefinite term of office by 2/3 affirmative vote of active and present members.

Section 7.2 : Qualifications

The Financial Secretary of this church shall:

  1. Have been an active member of this church for a period of two (2) consecutive years prior to election;
  2. Be bonded;
  3. Agree to abide by and be held accountable for the church’s beliefs, positions, and policies as outlined in our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 7.3 : Duties

The Financial Secretary of this church shall:

  1. Keep the financial records;
  2. Be a signatory on all church accounts;
  3. Generate checks to meet church indebtedness.

Section 7.4 : Dissolution

  1. In case the Financial Secretary or the church shall desire to terminate this relationship and the agreement is not mutual, either party may terminate said relationship.  If the Treasurer terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any further obligation to him/her.
  2. The dismissal of a Financial Secretary shall come before the church at a regular or special called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall have been read from the pulpit on one (1) Sunday previously.
  3. The Financial Secretary of this church may be subject to dismissal for violating this church’s Statement Of Faith (See Constitution Article III).

Article III : Boards & Committees

Section 1 : Deacon Board

The Deacon Board shall consist of Elected Deacons and consist of no more than 7 Deacons at one time.  When 5 or more Deacons are available:

  1. The Deacon Board shall consist of an odd number of Deacons;
  2. A Deacon shall be vested on the board for a term equal to the number of Deacons available;
  3. A Deacon shall not succeed himself on the board.

Chairman of the Deacon Board shall rotate each year between vested Deacons.

Pastors shall serve on the Deacon Board as ex officio members.

Vested members of the Deacon Board shall also serve on the General Board.

Section 2 : Trustee Board

The Trustee Board shall consist of Elected Trustees and the Treasurer.  It shall consist of no more than 6 Trustees at one time.  When more than 6 Trustees are available:

  1. A Trustee shall be vested on the board for a term equal to the number of Trustees available;
  2. A Trustee shall not succeed himself on the board.

Chairman of the Trustee Board shall rotate each year between vested Trustees.

Pastors shall serve on the Trustee Board as ex officio members.

Vested members of the Trustee Board shall also serve on the General Board.

Section 3 : General Board

The General Board shall consist of Elected Pastors, Deacons vested on the Deacon Board, Trustees vested on the Trustee Board, and the Treasurer.

A quorum for the transaction of business shall be a majority of the General Board.

Chairman of the General Board shall be the Lead Pastor.  Vice-chairman shall be the chairman of the Deacon Board.

Section 4 : Committees

Section 4.1 : General Statement

The General Board reserves the right to form committees at any time for the purposes of (but not limited to):

  1. Investigation;
  2. Organization;
  3. Goal Achievement.

Pastors shall be members of all committees.

Section 4.2 : Pulpit Committee

  • The chairman of the Deacon Board shall act as chairman of the committee and shall convene the committee at the earliest possible time after notification that the pulpit will be vacated.
  • The committee shall investigate and consider candidates received by them and invite such candidates to visit the church who in their judgment are qualified to meet the needs of the church.  Each candidate invited to visit the church in view of a call shall be voted on if the Pulpit Committee desires to consider him as a candidate.  Said vote shall take place before another candidate is invited.
  • The committee shall be responsible for interviewing the candidates while on the field, placing in his hands copies of our Guiding Principles (See Constitution Article II, Section 2).

Section 4.3 : The Budget Committee

In November of each year, for the purpose of creating a budget for the following year, the Budget Committee shall be formed.  It shall consist of Elected Pastors, the current chairmen of the Deacon & Trustee Boards, the following year’s chairmen of the Deacon & Trustee Boards, the Treasurer, and the Financial Secretary.

Article IV : Business Meetings & Voting

Section 1 : Meetings

Section 1.1 : General Statement

Business meetings shall be called only by the General Board and may be called at any time when such a meeting is required.  A quorum for the transaction of business shall be a majority of the General Board.  All business meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer.  No item of business may be brought before the church without first being presented to the General Board in writing.  All motions shall be presented in writing.

Section 1.2 : Annual Business Meeting

Each year, a business meeting shall take place in the month of December.

Section 2 : Voting

Section 2.1 : Voting Members

A voting member of this church shall be:

  1. An active member (see Article I, Section 3);
  2. At least 18 years of age.

Section 2.2 : Voting Methods

The usual method of voting for a business transaction shall be voice vote.  In certain business transactions that requires more than simple majority, voting may take place via secret ballot (See Section 2.3).

Section 2.3 : Business Transactions That Require More Than Simple Majority

  1. Pastoral Elections shall require 2/3 affirmative via secret ballot;
  2. Matters of church discipline shall require 3/4 affirmative via secret ballot;
  3. Denomination Dissolution shall require 3/4 affirmative via secret ballot;
  4. Church Consolidation shall require 3/4 affirmative via secret ballot;
  5. Constitution Amendments shall require 3/4 affirmative;
  6. Bylaw Amendments shall require 2/3 affirmative;
  7. Purchase or Sale of Property shall require 2/3 affirmative;
  8. Indebting the church shall require 2/3 affirmative;
  9. Dismissal of Pastor shall require 2/3 affirmative via secret ballot.

Article V : Ministries Of This Church

Section 1 : General Statement

It shall be understood that all ministries of the church are a part of the church and subject to its jurisdiction.  Ministries shall not conduct themselves in any way that is unbecoming to our Christian faith or that shall bring discredit to the body of which they are a part (See Constitution Article III).

Article VI : Use Of Facilities

For use of church facilities, see Facilities Use Policy.

Article VII : License & Ordination Of Ministers and Ordination Of Deacons

Section 1 : Ministers

If a member is desirous of a license or ordination as a Minister, he shall submit to examination by the General Board.  Upon General Board approval, he shall submit to the church body for recommendation to be licensed or ordained per District Association protocol.

Section 2 : Deacons

After having been an active member for two (2) consecutive years, if a member is desirous of ordination as a Deacon, he shall submit to examination by the General Board.  Upon General Board approval, he shall submit to one (1) year of watch-care.  While under watch-care he shall submit to the Deacon Board.  After one (1) year of watch-care, he shall submit to the church body for recommendation to be ordained per District Association protocol.

Article VIII : Other Church Employees

In addition to Pastoral Staff, the church may employ additional personnel. The moneys for such personnel must be approved by the General Board. The General Board shall be responsible for determining the duties and hiring of such personnel.

Article IX : Church Finances

Section 1 : General Statement

No method of raising funds shall be entertained which is in conflict with the Scriptural ideals of the church. All funds donated shall pass through the Treasurer of the church in order that due record may be made.

Section 2 : Contributions

It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligations to support the church and its causes with regular and proportionate giving. Each member shall be encouraged in scriptural giving, with 10% as the ideal minimum.

Special offerings may be sought by the church, or by any of its ministries, with the approval of the General Board. This shall not preclude individuals from making special offerings or designated gifts at any time as the Spirit of God may move them.

Section 3 : Financial Planning

The financial planning of the church shall be carried out through the medium of an annual budget for carrying out the various programs of its work. An annual budget shall be adopted by the church upon recommendation of the General Board.

Section 4 : Accounts

Financial receipts from all sources shall be accounted for by the Treasurer according to the purposes for which contributions are designated. The Treasurer shall disburse these funds promptly according to the financial program of the church as detailed in the budget or other authorized designations.

Section 5 : Indebtedness

No note or contract shall be made except by recommendation of the General Board and affirmed by 2/3 vote of active and present membership.

Section 6 : Authority To Bind The Church

Only the General Board shall have the authority, in accordance with these Bylaws, the Church Constitution, and any applicable laws, to execute legal documents relating to real estate, church property, and church finances.

Article X : Worship Gatherings

At least one public gathering shall be held on the Lord’s Day, unless providentially hindered. The Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated as often as the Deacon Board deems appropriate. Other gatherings may be appointed as the advancement of the work of the church may require.

During public gatherings, we intend to minister to ANYONE who truly desires to know the Christ of the Holy Scriptures and who demonstrates the desire to abandon their disobedience to God.  We also intend, as indicated in the Holy Scriptures, to comply with those “in authority over us” only to the extent that the Holy Scriptures are not violated.

Article IX : Organization Of Members For Ministry

Members of this church shall have the liberty to participate in and organize themselves for ministry, provided that such participation and organization does not conflict with Article III of the Constitution. Any such organization may seek church sanction from the General Board as an official ministry of this church. Such sanction shall be granted provided that:

  1. Detailed request has been submitted in writing to the General Board;
  2. The object, purpose, belief and conduct of the organization and its members is consistent with Article III of the Constitution;
  3. The primary officers of the organization are: members of the church, or other regular attenders of the church who have been approved under guidelines established by the General Board.

Sanction by the General Board does not necessarily imply support of the organization by the church with personnel, finances, or facilities.

Article X : Revisions, Additions, & Amendments

Revisions, Additions, or Amendments of these Bylaws may be made by a 2/3 affirmative vote of present, active members, only after following due process, which follows:

  1. Must be submitted in writing to the General Board;
  2. Must be approved by the General Board;
  3. Written notice of change must be made available to membership for one (1) regular Sunday gathering prior to business meeting;
  4. Verbal notice of change must be made from the pulpit for one (1) regular Sunday gathering prior to business meeting.