The following is the updated First Baptist Church of Monterey Constitution and By-Laws as approved by the congregation during the September 21st, 2014 business meeting.
First Baptist Church Monterey, California
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to accept Jesus Christ, miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary, as our Savior and Lord, having been baptized as a confession of our faith, and having agreed to the doctrines and Covenant of the church, we desire to unite with those of like precious faith in fellowship, worship and service, submitting ourselves to be governed by the following Constitution and By-laws:
ARTICLE I. NAME
(1) The name of this church, formally organized May 29, 1910, and duly recorded on September 2, 1911, is the First Baptist Church of Monterey, California (8/2/87). It is a non-profit charitable organization without capital stock, incorporated under the provisions of Title 12, Part 4, Division 1 of the Civil Code of the State of California. This Constitution and By-laws were adopted on August 21, 1968 and revised April 29, 1979, and again June 2, 1995. The present revision was passed September 21, 2014.
ARTICLE II. CHARACTER
Section 1. Purpose.
(1) The purpose of First Baptist Church of Monterey is to glorify God by knowing Him and leading everyone to salvation and maturity in His Son, Jesus Christ, through the truth of the Word of God by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.
Section 2. Congregational Affirmation of Faith.
I. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32
II. The Trinity
We believe that the Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of Himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but Himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and most righteous will, for His own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, and withal most just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
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1 Cor. 8:4,6; Deut. 6:4, Jer. 10:10; Isa. 48:12, Exod. 3:14, John 4:24, 1 Tim. 1:17; Deut. 4:15,16 Mal. 3:6, 1 Kings 8:27; Jer. 23:23, Ps. 90:2, Gen. 17:1, Isa. 6:3, Ps. 115:3; Isa. 46:10, Prov. 16:4; Rom. 11:36, Exod. 34:6,7; Heb. 11:6, Neh. 9:32,33, Ps. 5:5,6, Exod. 34:7; Nahum 1:2,3
We believe that God, having all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself, is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creature which He hath made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them; He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, and He hath most sovereign dominion over all creatures, to do by them, for them, or upon them, whatsoever Himself pleases; in His sight all things are open and manifest, His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent or uncertain; He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands; to Him is due from angels and men, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience, as creatures they owe unto the Creator, and whatever He is further pleased to require of them.
John 5:26,Ps. 148:13, Ps. 119:68, Job 22:2,3, Rom. 11:34-36, Dan. 4:25,34,35, Heb. 4:13, Ezek. 11:5; Acts 15:18, Ps. 145:17, Rev. 5:12-14
((The preceding two paragraphs are from the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689)
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.
Genesis 1:1,26; John 1:1,3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19,20; Ephesians 4:5,6
III. God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:21,22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; I Timothy 1:1,2; 2:5,6; I Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6
IV. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only eternal begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth.
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16
V. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
John 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26
We believe that man was created by God in His own image; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature and are sinners by choice and therefore under condemnation. We believe that
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those who repent and forsake sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and become new creatures, delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life.
Genesis. 1:26; 5:2; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Eccl. 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Romans 9:22; II Thessalonians 1:9; Rev. 19:3,20; 20:10;14,15; 21:18; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Proverbs 28:13; I John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 8:1
VII. The Church
We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, and fellowship. We believe that God has laid upon the members of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-21; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25
VIII. Christian Conduct
We believe that a Christian should live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow men; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ.
I Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-2; John 14:15,23-24; I John 2:3-6; II Corinthians 9:6- 9; I Corinthians 4:2; Col. 1:9-10
IX. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has committed two ordinances to the local church, baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of the believer in water into the name of the triune God. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ for commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 6:3-5; I Corinthians 11:23-26
X. Religious Liberty
We believe that every human being has direct relations with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; that therefore Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.
I Timothy 2:5; Romans 14:7-9,12
XI. Church Cooperation
We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperating with one another in a denominational organization. Such an organization, whether a regional or district conference, exists and functions by the will of the churches. Cooperation in a conference is voluntary and may be terminated at any time. First Baptist Church of Monterey associates with the Conservative Baptist Association of Northern California and Nevada, also known as Next Generation Churches.
Acts 15:36,41; 16:5; I Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 1:1-3; Revelations 1:4,10,11
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XII. The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal felicity of the righteous and the endless suffering of the wicked.
Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:15; II Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 4:5; I Corinthians 15; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:4-6,11-15
Marriage is an ordinance of the Church and was established by God. This church defines “marriage” as the exclusive covenantal union of one man and one woman in which such union is a lifetime commitment. A civil government’s sanction of a union will be recognized as a legitimate marriage by the church only to the extent that it is consistent with the definition of “marriage” found in this Covenant.
Genesis 2: 18-25; Malachi 2: 13-16; Matthew 19: 3-6
XIV. Human Sexuality
Legitimate sexual relations are exercised solely within marriage. Hence, sexual activities outside of marriage (referred to in the New Testament as “porneia”), including but nor limited to, adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, and pedophilia are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Church. Further, lascivious conduct, transgender behavior, and the creation and/or distribution and/or viewing of pornography are incompatible with the Biblical witness.
Matthew 15: 19; Ephesians 5: 3-12; Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 18, 10:8; Galatians 5:19; 1 Timothy 1:10
Section 3. Covenant.
(1) The following covenant constitutes a brief summary of important Biblical principles by which our fellowship of believers shall be guided. It is a Scriptural standard to which we aspire and by which we seek to order our lives as the Lord enables.
(2) Having been led by the Holy Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord and having been obedient to Him in believer's baptism as taught in the New Testament, we do now in the presence of God and our fellow believers solemnly enter into this covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
(3) We shall seek:
a) To maintain the personal discipline of regular prayer, worship, and study of the Scriptures that we may grow in the image of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
b) To pray for one another and to serve one another in Christian love; to forgive, even as we ourselves have been forgiven of God, and to seek reconciliation according to Christ's command.
c) To be mindful that we are called to be doers of the Word and not hearers only and thus to serve in this Church with our time, our talents, and our possessions.
d) To set a proper example before our families at all times; to train our children in the doctrines and duties of our faith; and to maintain family and private devotions.
e) To walk before all men that the light of God's presence may shine from our lives in such manner as to encourage them to come to Him Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; therefore, we shall not indulge in practices which might be detrimental to the moral, spiritual, or physical well-being of ourselves, our fellowship, or our community. Where personal habits
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and indulgence in pleasures may be an offense or cast a stumbling block in the path of others, we will voluntarily abstain from these practices in order to maintain a pure witness.
f) We further agree that should it be necessary to be absent from this congregation we shall seek out a church of like faith and practice where we can carry out the principles of the Word of God; or that upon changing residence to another community where there is a church of like faith and practice, we shall transfer our membership without necessary delay.
g) Believing in a loving God Who is sovereign in all the affairs of men and believing in the deity of our Savior, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His promised return to consummate history, and our essential oneness with others of like faith, we shall seek to love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. May God help us as we seek to keep this covenant into which we have prayerfully entered as fellow members of Christ's body.
Section 4. Policy.
(1) The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but recognizes and sustains obligations of mutual cooperation common among Bible-believing Baptist churches. It also recognizes its obligation to cooperate with churches of other denominations in matters on which it is in agreement.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP.
Section 1. Nature.
(1) The membership of this church shall consist of such persons who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, agreed to the preceding Covenant, the views of faith and practice held by this church, and have declared the Lordship of Christ over their lives in a believer's baptism.
Section 2. Admission.
(1) Upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors and a two-thirds vote of the members present at any church business meeting, persons applying for membership and qualifying under one or more of the following classifications shall be received into the membership of the church.
(1) Those being immersed in water, following a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord.
(1) Those transferring membership by letter from another church of like faith and order.
(1) Those, having previously been baptized as a believer, regardless of the mode of baptism, who give satisfactory testimony of Christian experience.
(2) The hand of fellowship shall be extended as soon as possible after the candidate has been voted into the membership of the church.
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(1) Those who wish to retain their membership in a home church, may come under the watchcare of this church, and be received on the same basis as regular members, fulfilling the same requirements for membership. They shall exercise all the privileges of regular membership, except that they are not eligible to serve on the Board of Directors, and upon leaving the area, be automatically dropped from the church roll.
Section 3. Duties.
(1) Members are expected to be faithful in all spiritual duties essential to the Christian life, to attend the services of the church regularly, to give regularly for its support, and to share in its organized work.
Section 4. Classification.
(1) The membership of the church is composed of two parts:
a. Active members.
(1) Those who attends the service and contribute to the spiritual and financial needs of the church.
b. Inactive members.
(1) Those who have been absent from the church services for a period of six months without manifesting interest by communication or contribution. The inactive member's name shall be presented to the Board of Directors, who shall, if they feel the facts warrant, place said name on the Inactive List. Before a member is placed on the Inactive List a sixty (60) day notice of the proposed action shall be mailed to the member's last known address. Persons carried on the Inactive List shall have no voting privileges and are subject to erasure according to Section 7c hereof. Inactive members may be reinstated to the active status by the Board upon evidence of rededication and faithfulness.
(2) At least once a year, the Board shall review the membership of the church for the purpose of updating the church rolls in accordance with Section 7. The Board shall present an updated membership roll to the church at annual business meeting.
Section 5. Discipline.
(1) The fourfold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by:
a. being obedient to instructions given in the Bible (Matthew 18:15-20),
b. maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6),
c. edifying believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20),
d. promoting the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a
Biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).
(2) Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend are subject to church discipline, including erasure according to Matthew 18:15-18. The following shall be corrected and may result in church discipline:
a. Errors in doctrine (Titus 1:9). Grace, gentleness, and forbearance shall be given to those who are new or weak and struggling in the faith. Patience and allowance will be shown allowing all to grow and progress in their faith and knowldege of Biblical doctrine. (Romans 14:1, 15:1, Colossians 3:12-17, Galatians 6:1, 1 Corinthians 8:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, 1 Peter 3:8)
b. Sins against another (Matthew 18:15-20)
c. Engages in conduct that violates Scripture (James 4:17)
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d. Violate principles of Christian faith and life (1 Timothy 6:2)
e. Discredits the church and its work (Titus 1:9)
f. Threatens the church’s unity and spiritual growth with a divisive attitude (Titus 3:10, Ephesians
(3) The Church Discipline process shall be comprised of the following steps as established in Matthew 18:15-20:
a. Stage One (One-to-one). It shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s sin to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. The offended person is to honestly examine his/her own heart and motives, pray for God’s direction, and then go to the offender with the specific actions or words that violated a specific Scripture, seeking their repentance, reconciliation, and restoration.
b. Stage Two (Two or Three Witnesses). If the offender refuses to repent, the offended person shall again go to the erring individual accompanied by one or two other individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur. On this second visit, the offender shall be warned that the Board will be informed if there is no genuine repentance.
c. Stage Three (Tell it to the church). If the offender still refuses to repent, then the matter shall be referred to the Board by the witnesses. The Board shall confirm a sin has occurred and that the offending individual is refusing to repent (Matthew 18:15-20 and 1 Timothy 5:19). The Elders will write a letter calling the offending party or parties to repent by stating the sin and the specific Scripture violated and informing them of when and where the church members will be informed if there is no repentance. The congregation will be informed of the individual’s sin at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance.
d. Stage Four (Treat them as an unbeliever). If the offender refuses to repent after a collective call to repentance by the membership, the offender shall be publicly removed from membership in accordance with Section 7.(c) and not allowed to serve in a ministry at FBCM or share in communion until they repent. The members of the church shall be instructed to treat the individual as if they were an unbeliever while continuing to pray for their repentance or salvation. They are not to be shunned, but as with all unbelievers, there can be no sharing of Christian fellowship or worship (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).
(4) The Board, following Scripture, will ensure that all aspects of church discipline are being conducted according to the Scriptural procedure. They will decide:
a. When church discipline is needed.
b. What steps will be taken to initiate and carry out church discipline. c. When church discipline has succeeded.
d. Further steps to take when church discipline has not succeeded.
(5) This discipline must be initiated with a motive of restoration and must be carried out in a spirit of humility, honesty, and forgiveness (Matthew 18:15-20). When satisfactory evidence of repentance (2 Corinthians 2:6-8) has been demonstrated and the objective of the discipline having been accomplished, the board shall restore the individual to full fellowship/membership and any offended parties will demonstrate forgiveness. If stage three or four has been performed then such restoration will be performed in public at a regularly scheduled worship service.
(6) If a Pastor or other Elder is the subject of a church discipline matter, he shall not be involved in determining the actions to be taken by the Board or the church body; however, he shall be entitled to the same steps as other church members and be subject to the same discipline. No accusation against an Elder shall be heard unless it is brought by two or more witnesses (1 Timothy 5:17-20). Church discipline of an Elder who persists in sin will also include a public rebuke of the Elder by the other Elders according to 1 Timothy 5:19.
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(7) The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that appeals of church discipline may be made to the Board using Scripture, but there shall be no appeal to any civil court of law because of any action taken in the process of church discipline, including any public statements to the members of the congregation as part of the disciplinary process or dismissal (1 Corinthians 6:1-7).
Section 6. Privileges.
(1) All members of the church eighteen (18) years of age or older, who are on the Active List, shall constitute the voting body of the church. Only members on the Active List shall be eligible to hold office in the church.
(2) A member having a grievance may submit the same by letter to the Board of Directors for consideration and adjudication. Any member in good standing has the right to appeal any decision, using Scripture, first to the Board of Directors and if not satisfied, to the church body at any regular or special meeting of the congregation.
(3) Members of this church have no property rights and, upon termination of membership, they shall be entitled to no interest in the assets.
Section 7. Termination.
(1) Termination of membership shall be by recommendation of the Board of Directors, and a two- thirds (2/3) vote of the congregation in one of the following ways:
a. Transfer of letter.
(1) Upon the request of a member in good standing, a letter of dismissal to unite with another Baptist church may be granted. Letters of transfer shall be mailed to the church with which the member wishes to unite.
(1) A person wishing to unite with other than a Baptist church may be furnished with a letter of Christian character and standing, or upon his written request to have his name withdrawn from membership, his request shall be honored and his membership terminated.
(1) It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to seek to reclaim members who disregard Biblical principles and Scriptural standards. When in any case, they are satisfied that the member cannot be reclaimed they shall recommend to the church that the same be removed from the membership of the church.
(2) Additionally, a member who for the space of one year has been on the inactive list should be removed from the membership of the church.
ARTICLE IV. OFFICERS.
Section 1. Number.
(1) The officers of this church shall at a minimum be a Pastor, a Board of Directors, Deaconesses, a Secretary of the Corporation, a Financial Secretary, and a Treasurer. Additional Officers may include Associate Pastor(s), an Assistant Secretary of the Corporation, an Assistant Financial Secretary, an Assistant Treasurer, and a Sunday School Superintendent.
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(2) The Board of Directors shall consist of six (6) or more men, in addition to the Pastors. The required number of Board members shall in no way constitute a requirement to place men on the board that are not fully qualified. In the case where God does not provide enough qualified men to serve on the Board, the number may be reduced until such time as God provides the men to serve.
Section 2. Qualifications.
(1) The Pastor shall be a man who is an ordained Baptist minister of conservative convictions freely subscribing to the doctrinal statement of the church. He shall also meet the qualifications of an Elder.
(2) An Associate Pastor shall be a man who likewise freely subscribe to the doctrinal statement of the church and be either an ordained Baptist minister or a candidate seeking ordination in the Baptist ministry. He shall also meet the qualifications of an Elder.
(3) The Elders shall be men qualified per I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, and I Peter 5:1-3.
(4) The Deacons shall be men qualified per I Timothy 3:8-13.
(5) All other officers of the church, Sunday School teachers and sponsors of children’s and youth activities shall be members in good standing in this church unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors.
Section 3. Election and Terms of Office.
a. The Pastor.
(1) The pastor shall serve for an indeterminate term. He shall be called at a special meeting of the church, on the two-thirds (2/3) recommendation of the Board of Directors, provided notice of same shall have been given from the pulpit at least two Sundays prior thereto. The call of the Pastor shall be determined by ballot. To be declared called, the candidate must receive eighty-five (85) percent of the votes cast.
(2) The pastoral relationship may be terminated upon thirty (30) days notice by the Pastor or sixty (60) days notice by the church. The question of dissolving the pastoral relations may be considered at any business meeting of the church on the two-thirds (2/3) recommendation of the Board of Directors. The pastoral relation shall only be dissolved by an affirmative secret ballot with a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present. Notice shall have been given in the church announcements of the two Sundays preceding the meeting.
(3) The calling of a Pastor or the termination of the Pastoral relationship shall not be valid unless at least thirty (30) percent of the membership entitled to vote is present at such a meeting.
b. The Associate Pastors.
(1) The Associate Pastors shall be procured upon the recommendation of two-thirds (2/3) of the total Board of Directors and a majority vote of the members voting at any regular or special meeting of the church, providing that notice of the intended call has been announced at least seven (7) days in advance. Dissolution of the relationship shall be by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the total Board of Directors.
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c. The Board of Directors.
(1) The members of the Board of Directors shall be elected at the annual meeting of the church for a period of up to three (3) years; a panel equivalent to approximately one-third (1/3) of the total board should be elected each year. Members having completed two full three-year terms shall not be eligible for the office of board member for at least one year thereafter. They may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors for failure to attend without reasonable cause regular meetings of the Board or for conduct impairing their qualifications or efficiency as a board member.
d. The Deaconesses.
(1) The Deaconesses shall function as an auxiliary committee to the Board of Directors and shall consist of up to twelve (12) members, one third of whom should be elected each year, to serve for a period of up to three (3) years. A Deaconess having completed two full three-year terms shall not be eligible for the office of Deaconess for at least one year thereafter. A Deaconess may be removed from office by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Deaconesses for failure to attend or carry out her duties of office without reasonable cause.
e. All Other Officers.
(1) All other officers of the church shall serve for a term of one year or until their successors have assumed office. The term of any officer shall immediately terminate and the office deemed vacant upon such officer's becoming disqualified from holding office as indicated by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Board of Directors.
Section 4. Vacancies in Elected Office.
(1) In the event of a vacancy, other than pastoral, caused by death, resignation or removal, the vacancy may be filled at any regular business meeting of the church. Each committee or board in which a vacancy occurs shall make its nomination to the church. If a vacancy arises in some other area the Board of Directors shall bring a nomination to the church.
Section 5. Pastoral Vacancy.
(1) In the event of pastoral vacancy, other than that of the Associate Pastor, caused by death, resignation or removal of the pastor, the Board of Directors shall recommend to the church a Pulpit Committee of seven persons, three of whom shall be board members. This committee shall function at such time as the church is pastorless, securing pulpit supplies and making prayerful recommendations to the church concerning the call of a pastor. This committee shall present only one candidate at a time for consideration of the church body. The entertainment of supply pastors and candidates for the pulpit, as well as the reception and installation of the new pastor, shall be initiated by this committee. The term of office of such committee shall expire when a new pastor has been installed.
(2) In the event that the Pastor’s proposed resignation is given far enough in advance, a study and search committee may be formed that would later function as a Pulpit Committee upon the official resignation of the pastor.
Section 6. Indemnification.
(1) To the fullest extent permitted by law, this corporation shall indemnify its directors and officers, and may indemnify employees and other persons described in Corporations Code § 9246(a), including persons formerly occupying any such positions, against all expenses, judgments, fines, settlements, and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred by them in connection with any “proceeding,” as that term is used in that section, and including an action by or in the right of the corporation, by
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reason of the fact that the person is or was a person described in that section. “Expenses,” as used in this bylaw, shall have the same meaning as in that section of the Corporations Code.
(2) On written request to the board by any person seeking indemnification under Corporations Code § 9246(b) or § 9246(c), the board shall promptly decide under Corporations Code § 9246(e) whether the applicable standard of conduct set forth in Corporations Code § 9246(b) or § 9246(c) has been met and, if so, the board shall authorize indemnification. If the board cannot authorize indemnification, because the number of directors who are parties to the proceeding with respect to which indemnification is sought prevents the formation of a quorum of directors who are not parties to that proceeding, the board shall promptly call a meeting of members. At that meeting, the members shall determine under Corporations Code § 9246(e) whether the applicable standard of conduct has been met and, if so, the members present at the meeting in person or by proxy shall authorize indemnification.
(3) To the fullest extent permitted by law and except as otherwise determined by the board in a specific instance, expenses incurred by a person seeking indemnification under these bylaws in defending any proceeding covered by those Sections shall be advanced by the corporation before final disposition of the proceeding, on receipt by the corporation of an undertaking by or on behalf of that person that the advance will be repaid unless it is ultimately found that the person is entitled to be indemnified by the corporation for those expenses.
Section 7. Insurance.
(1) This corporation shall have the right, and shall use its best efforts, to purchase and maintain insurance to the full extent permitted by law on behalf of its officers, directors, employees, and other agents, to cover any liability asserted against or incurred by any officer, director, employee, or agent in such capacity or arising from the officer’s, director’s, employee’s, or agent’s status as such.
ARTICLE V. DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1. The Pastor
(1) It shall be the duty of the pastor to have charge of the spiritual welfare of the church; to preside over the services of public worship; to administer the ordinances; and to devote his time and talents to the up building of the congregation and the usefulness of the church. He is an Elder and a voting member of the Board. He shall also be an ex-officio voting member of all committees.
(2) He shall consult with the Elders before making final arrangements to be absent from any Sunday worship service of the church. He shall, in collaboration with the chairman of the Board of Directors, recommend the chairmen of standing or special committees to the board for approval. He shall be granted an annual vacation. His salary shall be determined by the church on a yearly basis. Allowance shall be provided for the payment of an insurance and/or retirement pension plan mutually agreed upon.
(3) The Pastor shall recuse himself from discussion and voting on Board items that directly affect his personal employment, such as a recommendation for dismissal or salary/benefits.
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Section 2. Associate Pastor(s)
(1) An Associate Pastor shall perform duties as assigned to them by the Pastor or Board of Directors. He is an Elder and shall be a voting member of the Board of Directors.
(2) He shall be granted an annual vacation. His salary shall be determined by the church on a yearly basis.
(3) The Associate Pastor shall recuse himself from discussion and voting on Board items that directly affect his personal or other pastors’ employment, such as dismissal or salary/benefits.
Section 3. Elder
(1) Three or more men, in addition to the Pastors, shall be elected as elders. Their duties will be, in general, to equip all believers in the assembly for proper functioning, so that the whole flock may be built up toward Christ-likeness and unity.
(2) Since their chief responsibility is equipping, they may function as an education committee (discipleship) overseeing the various programs that have a teaching/learning function or they may delegate this responsibility to a standing committee.
(3) They shall examine and recommend candidates for church membership, assimilate new members into the life of the church, administer a systematic spiritual program of oversight of the membership, reclaim inactive and delinquent members where possible, submit to the board the names of those who have not responded to efforts of reclamation, and evaluate membership rolls at least once a year.
Section 4. Deacon
(1) Three or more men should be elected as Deacons and shall function in the role of implementers, seeing that the policy and practices of the church find practical avenues of expression through the various programs, agencies and activities.
(2) They shall give oversight to the temporal aspects of the church such as buildings and finance, and may function as a building and finance committee or delegate this responsibility to a standing committee.
Section 5. Deaconess
(1) Deaconesses are vital to the health of the congregation and shall supplement the work of the Elders and Deacons in the care of members.
(2) They shall facilitate fellowship opportunities within the body, assist candidates for baptism, be the custodians of the communion ware, prepare for the communion services, and fulfill such other responsibilities which the Elders or Deacons may request.
Section 6. Secretary of the Corporation.
(1) The Secretary shall be a member of the Board and the custodian of the records of the church and corporation seal, keep an accurate record of the business transactions of all regular and special congregational meetings and other items of interest that occur in the history of the church, keep accurate records of church membership, perform such other duties as the Pastor or the Board of Directors may direct as are normally assigned to a Secretary.
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Section 7. Financial Secretary.
(1) The Financial Secretary shall be under the supervision of the Stewardship Committee and the Board of Directors, and shall keep an accurate record of all monies received by the church and, together with the Assistant Financial Secretary or some person or persons appointed by the Stewardship Committee, shall count and record all receipts of the church. Monies shall be deposited in specified banks or loan companies, and the bank deposit receipts turned over to the Church Treasurer weekly. Quarterly and annual reports shall be made to the church. The Financial Secretary shall send annual statements of accounts to them. The Financial Secretary shall be bonded.
Section 8. Treasurer.
(1) The Treasurer is ultimately responsible for and shall oversee the recording all receipts, holding and distributing monies, except the Fellowship Fund that is under the supervision of the Board of Directors. All expenditures shall be in accordance with the provision of the annual budget unless otherwise provided for by the Board and ratified by the Church.
(2) Disbursements shall be by check, and except in the case of regular expenses, shall be approved by the Pastor or by the Stewardship Committee. Any check over the amount of one percent of the Church’s annual budget must be specifically approved by either the Treasurer or Assistant Treasurer in writing.
(3) At the close of each month the Treasurer shall furnish the Pastor, chairman of the Deacons and chairman of the Board of Directors with a statement of receipts and disbursements and shall make quarterly and annual written reports to the church. The Treasurer shall be bonded.
Section 9. Assistant Secretary of the Corporation.
(1) If this office is filled, the duties of the Assistant Secretary shall be determined by mutual consent between the Secretary and the assistant, as well as perform such other duties as the Pastor or the Board of Directors may direct.
Section 10. Assistant Financial Secretary.
(1) If this office is filled, the Assistant Financial Secretary shall assist the Financial Secretary and shall perform such other duties as directed by the Stewardship Committee and/or the Board of Directors. The Assistant Financial Secretary shall be bonded.
Section 11. Assistant Treasurer.
(1) If this office is filled, this officer shall act for the Treasurer in the fulfillment of his office as the Stewardship Committee instructs. The Assistant Treasurer shall be bonded.
Section 12. Sunday School Superintendent.
(1) If this office is filled, the Sunday School Superintendent shall have general supervision of the Sunday School in cooperation with the Discipleship Committee of which he shall be a member. He shall conduct regular Sunday School staff meetings. He shall make quarterly and annual reports to the Board of Directors and the church regarding the programs of the school.
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Section 13. General.
(1) All additional officers that the church may authorize shall be under the jurisdiction of the Board of Directors and be responsible thereto as well as to the membership, and shall render reports as either may direct.
ARTICLE VI. BOARDS AND COMMITTEES.
Section 1. Board of Directors
(1) Subject to the authority of the church body as expressed generally in Article II, Section 4, hereof, and in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation, the Board of Directors shall be responsible for the management of both the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church. This board shall be and act in all respects as the board of directors of the corporation. As soon as possible following the annual election of officers, it shall elect its own chairman, vice- chairman, secretary and a treasurer of its Fellowship Fund, which it is authorized to distribute. The board shall meet each month on a date it shall determine. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.
(2) The Board of Directors shall consist of both the Elders and Deacons.
(3) The following issues require a two-thirds (2/3) recommendation from the Board before being presented to the congregation:
The calling or termination of a Pastor
Vetted recommendation to Elder
Vetted recommendation to Deacon
Amending the church’s doctrinal statements or Constitution and Bylaws
(4) The Board of Directors shall maintain a Policy and Procedures Manual covering any specific duties not detailed in this document.
(5) The Board of Directors shall
Regularly evaluate themselves for issues of sin and doctrinal accountability and to
keep short accounts within the leadership of the church. (Matt 18:15-17, Gal 6:1-3)
Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the Board’s leadership and shepherding
roles. (Mark 10:42-44)
Regularly review all ministries of the church, at least annually,
Conduct an annual review of the pastors,
Conduct an annual review of all other church salaried staff.
Include in the Policy and Procedures Manual the details and format for all reviews.
Section 2. Deaconesses.
(1) The Deaconesses shall consist of the elected Deaconesses.
Section 3. Standing and Special Committees.
(1) The Board of Directors may work through standing committees, the members of which shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. Not all the committees listed below are required, but if they are established, they will be governed within the limits set forth is this document and shall be under the jurisdiction of the Board of Directors and be responsible thereto as well as to the membership, and shall render reports as either may direct. The Chairman of each committee shall be elected by the committee and ratified by the board, unless otherwise
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specified. A committee member absent from three consecutive meetings without notifying the chairman will automatically cease to be a member of the committee.
a. Nominating Committee
(1) A nominating committee shall be selected, no later than three months prior to the annual meeting, by the Board of Directors to support the annual election of officers and Board members. The Nominating Committee shall be comprised of at least two Board members, a deaconess, and up to two members of the congregation at large, as determined by the Board.
b. Stewardship Committee (Building & Finance).
(1) The Stewardship Committee shall consist of three or more members, including an elder or a deacon, a deaconess, the treasurer and the financial secretary.
(2) The Treasurer shall serve as the chairman of this committee.
(3) The assistants to the treasurer and the financial secretary should plan to fill in for them on
committee when they cannot attend.
(4) The committee shall be charged with the responsibility of fostering total life stewardship
among the members of the church in the area of time, talents and possessions.
(5) The committee shall manage the financial program of the church and its ministries.
(6) Prior to the annual business meeting of the church, it shall recommend to the Board a unified
budget, itemizing the anticipated fiscal needs of all the departments, committees and organizations of the church for the ensuing year. The Board will submit a final budget recommendation to the congregation for its approval.
(7) The committee shall make recommendations to the Board regarding measures to control expenditures within the current income. Budget deviations must be authorized by the congregation in conformance with Article VII, Section 7 at a regular or special meeting of the church.
(8) This committee shall advise the Board in all matters of church property purchasing or sale, maintenance, improvements, insurance coverage, and financial implication of hiring personnel.
c. Worship Committee.
(1) The Worship Committee shall consist of three or more members, including the head usher.
(2) The Worship Leader shall be the chair of this committee.
(3) It shall develop and maintain the best in worship experience for the members and friends of
(4) It shall foster the finest in Christian music for the church services, enlisting the talents of the
membership, and, on occasion, inviting individuals and groups from outside the church.
(5) It shall be responsible for selecting a song director, choral director, organists and pianists, as
(6) It shall be responsible for the procurement, maintenance and care of choral music, hymnals,
choir robes and musical instruments.
(7) It shall work with the head usher and his assistant in providing an ushering staff for the
regular services of the church, and any special meetings where their services will be needed.
(8) It shall also provide for an adequately staffed nursery for each service of the church when
(9) It shall prepare and submit an annual budget request to the Stewardship Committee and fulfill
such other duties as the board may direct and approve.
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d. Fellowship Committee.
(1) The Fellowship Committee shall consist of three or more members.
(2) It shall continually foster such activities that would contribute to the edification of the body in
(3) It shall be in charge of social functions involving all-church fellowship gatherings.
(4) It shall prepare an annual budget request stating projected expenditures in its area of
concern, and shall submit the same to the Stewardship Committee. It shall also fulfill such other duties as the Board may direct and approve.
e. Missions Committee.
(1) The Missions Committee oversees the whole area of evangelism and missions, reaching out into our community and into the world to bring people into the life and likeness of Jesus Christ.
(2) The Missions Committee shall consist of three or more members, including a member of the Board.
(3) It shall be responsible for the formulating and supervising of a program of evangelism through the church and its organizations, seeking to reach the community for Christ and His church. It shall supervise the various outreach ministries of the church such as those to our men and women in service, rest homes and hospitals, child evangelism etc.
(4) It shall supervise a program of missionary education and promotion throughout the church, and shall recommend missionaries, agencies, and institutions to be supported by the church. It shall keep in close touch with church sponsored missionaries and church approved missionary agencies and Christian schools. It shall give general oversight to the Annual Missionary Conference and other outreach programs such as AWANA and Vacation Bible School.
(5) It shall prepare and submit an annual budget request to the Stewardship Committee and fulfill such other duties as the Board may direct and approve.
f. Discipleship Committee (Christian Education).
(1) The Discipleship Committee shall consist of three or more members, including at least 1 Elder and the Sunday School Superintendent, if filled. It shall be responsible for the educational program of the church including Sunday School, children's church, and camping programs.
(2) It shall have oversight of all adult small groups, including, but not limited to, Men’s and Women’s Bible Study, Home Groups, Wednesday night Bible Study, etc.
(3) It shall appoint (except the elected officers) and train all personnel of the above-mentioned programs.
(4) It shall approve all literature used in these programs.
(5) It shall prepare and submit an annual budget request to the Stewardship Committee and shall
perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may direct and approve.
g. Special Committees.
(1) The Board of Directors shall appoint special committees, as it deems necessary. The Board shall document specific duties and authority in writing for any special committees so appointed.
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ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS.
Section 1. Worship.
(1) Stated meetings for worship shall be held each Sunday and at such times as the Board may direct.
(2) The Ordinance of the Lord's Supper shall be commemorated at least once each month and at such other times as the Board may direct.
Section 2. Business.
(1) Meetings for the transaction of business shall be held Quarterly, normally February, May, August, and November.
(2) Special business meetings may be called when deemed necessary by the Board or by the written request of twelve (12) members.
(3) The Annual Meeting shall be in November.
(4) The election of officers and passage of the budget for the coming fiscal year shall take place during the Annual Meeting.
(5) All matters of business should be presented to the Moderator at least one Sunday in advance of the business meeting so that they can be added to the agenda.
Section 3. Meetings of the Boards and Committees.
(1) Regular meetings of the Board shall be held each month at such time and place as it may determine. Any active member may attend a regular Board meeting.
(2) A special meeting of the Board may be called by the chairman, the Pastor, or three of its members. An agenda must be published prior to a special meeting.
(3) The Deaconesses shall meet at least every two months or at such times as it shall be called by its chairman, three of its members, or the Board.
(4) All other Committees shall meet at such times as the Board determines or at the call of the committee chairman or the Chairman of the Board.
(5) Minutes from the meetings of the Board and each Committee shall be published and held at the church office no later than two weeks after the following meeting of the Board or committee.
Section 4. Government.
(1) The Moderator of the business meetings of the church shall be the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Vice-Moderator shall be the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors.
(2) A quorum for the transaction of church business shall be 20% of the active membership eligible to vote.
(3) A quorum for the Boards and Committees of the church shall be a simple majority.
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(4) Questions of parliamentary practice not provided herein by specific rule shall be determined according to the latest edition of “Robert's Rule of Order Newly Revised”.
Section 5. Notice of Business Meetings.
(1) Notice of regular and special business meetings of the church shall be given in the Sunday bulletin or from the pulpit at the regular church services on the Sunday preceding the date of the meetings, except in those cases where the constitution may require additional notice. Every effort should be made to provide at least four weeks notice prior to a regular business meeting.
(2) Matters of business dealing with the reception and dismissal of members or minor items of noncontroversial nature may be presented during or immediately following any regular worship service without prior notification of the membership.
(3) Notice of meetings of the Board of Directors may be given by pulpit announcement at any worship service on the Sunday preceding the meeting, or by other reasonably adapted means to apprise the Board of such meetings.
Section 6. Elections.
(1) Nominees for office will be presented by the Nominating Committee to the Board of Directors at least six weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. This committee should present at least one nominee for each office to be filled. Each nominee shall submit a completed questionnaire, approved by the Board, which seeks to ascertain the level of qualification of the nominee for the particular position being nominated. The Board of Directors will review the nominee’s completed questionnaire for potential issues. Finally, at least two Elders shall personally interview each nominee before establishing whether a nominee is qualified to serve.
(2) Any member may propose a nominee to the Nominating Committee or directly to the Board for consideration at least six weeks prior to the annual meeting. However, due to the inability to properly examine a nominee, in accordance with I Tim 3, nominees from the floor during the meeting will not be accepted.
(3) Once the list of nominees has been properly vetted, it shall be posted in the church foyer at least three weeks prior to the annual meeting for the election of officers. The election of officers shall be by written ballot. Any vacancies that have occurred during the year and have been filled by the Board of Directors will be elected at this time.
Section 7. Voting.
(1) A majority vote shall be adequate for all matters of church business except the following, which require two-thirds (2/3) of those present and voting, unless otherwise specified:
The calling of a pastor or the termination of the pastoral relationship such as defined in Article IV, Sections 3
The sale or purchase of real estate or the disposition of sums of money, outside the approved budget, greater than 1% of the annual budget
Any change of location of where the church meets regularly
Any church indebtedness
Amending the church’s doctrinal statements or Constitution and Bylaws
Dissolving the church or corporation
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(2) A secret ballot shall be taken whenever voting on elections, calling or dismissing a pastor or approval of a candidate for ordination. Any member, present and eligible to vote, may call for a secret ballot on any other matters of business.
ARTICLE VIII. MISCELLANEOUS.
Section 1. The Church Fiscal Year.
(1) The fiscal year of the church shall be from January 1 to December 31 inclusive.
Section 2. Annual Audits
(1) An audit of the church funds shall be conducted annually by an auditing committee or a public accountant selected by the Board of Directors and shall date from the last audit. The report of the audit committee or accountant shall be made to the church.
Section 3. Financial Policy of the Church
(1) Necessary finances for conducting the church programs and its missionary outreach shall be obtained primarily through the voluntary tithes and offerings of members and friends.
(2) Funds may be solicited for designated funds and purposes only upon the approval of the Board of Directors.
(3) Finances obtained beyond our regular weekly giving in worship services require Board of Directors approval.
(4) Funds from sources other than freewill offerings shall not constitute more than 25% of the general budget. If income from non-freewill offerings exceeds 25% of the annual budget, the congregation must vote to decide how the excess will be spent. The congregation is not restricted in the disposition of the excess funds.
Section 4. Messengers and Representatives
(1) The church, upon the recommendation of the Board of Directors may elect from time to time such messengers and representatives, as it is entitled to send to associational, state or national meetings. It is understood that such representatives shall duly represent the policy and attitude of the church.
Section 5. Gifts
(1) Any donations of money or other goods given to the church or to any of its auxiliary organizations shall become the property of the church and shall be administered by the Board of Directors. Monetary gifts to a restricted fund shall be used for the designated purpose, but any gift given for a purpose or under conditions not acceptable to the Board shall be returned to the donor.
Section 6. Disbandment.
(1) In the case of disbandment, the property or the proceeds thereof in case of sale shall be used for Christian missionary effort as voted by the church.
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ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS.
(1) Thisconstitutionmaybeamended,inaccordancewithArticleVII,Section7,providedthatthe amendments do not conflict with the Articles of Incorporation and that notice shall have been given in the regular church announcements on the two Sundays preceding such business meeting.