CHURCH CONSTITUTION

PREAMBLE

For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the teachings of the Bible, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of this church and the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relation to other churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this constitution and bylaws.

I. NAME

This body shall be known as the First Baptist Church of Sudbury. Massachusetts (successor in interests to the Calvary Baptist Church of Framingham, Massachusetts).

II. AFFILIATION

Said church shall be affiliated with the Greater Boston Baptist Association, the Baptist Convention of New England, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

III. STATEMENT OF FAITH

The statement of faith, as outlined in "The Baptist Faith and Message" adopted May 9, 1963, by The Southern Baptist Convention, represents in principle the doctrine and confession of faith held by the First Baptist Church of Sudbury.

IV. OBJECTIVES

To be a dynamic spiritual organism, empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community, and throughout the world

To be a worshipping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing His person, and responding in obedience to His leadership.

To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers.

To teach and nurture people in a growing knowledge of God and man.

To be a church that ministers unselfishly to persons in the community and world in Jesus’ name.

To be a church whose purpose is to be Christlike in our daily living by emphasizing total commitment of life, personality, and possessions to the lordship of Christ.

V. CHURCH COVENANT

Believing that we have been brought by the grace of God to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into the following covenant with one another as one body in Christ:

As God is perfectly joyful, we affirm by the power of the Holy Spirit, the gospel of Jesus Christ as the objective truth that governs the world and our lives, thus the only source of true joy. We commit to walk in the joy of our salvation, to keep our affections for Christ and his saving work primary in and over every circumstance. We joyfully submit to the word of God through reading, studying, and obeying all it says for the purpose of holy transformation that yields joy. (Gal. 1:8-9, Jer. 15:16, Rom. 12:2,1 Pet. 1:22)

As God dwells in perfect unity, we commit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to be unified, standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. We commit to graciously hold one another accountable to holiness in all things: praying earnestly, gathering regularly, forgiving completely, bearing in love, giving generously, serving humbly, and declaring Christ boldly. In committing to these things, we hope to live in an authentic community that sanctifies one another in Christ and is distinct to our world. (John 16:12-15, Ps. 133:1, Phil. 1:27, Lk. 10:2, Heb. 10:25, Col. 3:13, Eph. 4:32, Mal.3:10, Phil 2:3-4,7-8, Phil. 2:14-16)

As God pursues his children, we commit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, in word and deed to do everything to the glory of God; to believe ourselves missionaries in this life. We commit to pray, give, and serve our local and regional communities in any way that would allow us to love our neighbors as ourselves. We commit to partner globally with missionaries of like faith in prayer, giving, encouraging, and going, that we may endeavor in Christ’s mission to bring every people around His throne. (1 John 4:14, Col. 3:17, Acts 1:8, Mt. 22:39, Rev. 7:9-12)

As God is perfectly sacrificial, we offer by the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives as living sacrifices in order to truly worship; no longer living for ourselves, but for Christ alone. We commit to give sacrificially our resources, believing we are strangers in this world and merely stewards of what the Lord has given. We commit to sacrificially give our glory, to fear no man’s evaluation of our reputation nor threat of physical death, believing to die for Christ is to truly live. (Phil. 2:8-9, Heb. 9:22, Rom. 12:1, 2 Cor. 5:15, Acts 2:45, 1 Peter 2:11, 4:10, Gal. 2:20)

And it is our prayer that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that we may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Phil 1:9-11)

VI. CHARACTER

SECTION 1: POLITY

The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who comprise it, the government of the church is subjected to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but the body of believers recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Southern Baptist churches and other churches of like faith and practice.

SECTION 2: DOCTRINE

The Bible shall be this body of believer’s sole authority and guide in matters of faith and practice.

SECTION 3: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

A current Policy and Procedures Manual will be maintained. Committees composition, responsibilities, regularly scheduled activities, and other information that would facilitate the normal operations of the church will be included in this manual.

VII. CORPORATION STATUS

This body is to be incorporated as a religious corporation in compliance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

BYLAWS

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1: PURPOSE

The purpose of church membership is to follow the pattern witnessed in scripture (Acts 2:41, 6:1-6) whereby the local body of Christ represents the universal body of Christ in purity (2 Cor.
6:14-18; Eph. 5:25-27) and witness (Matt 28:18-20; Rev. 7:9-10).

SECTION 2: GENERAL

This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual
and temporal life of this church. The membership reserves this exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.

SECTION 3: CANDIDACY

A. Qualifications for Membership

To be eligible for membership in this church, one must have had personal experience of regeneration by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, confessed Him as both Savior and Lord, been baptized as a believer (practiced by immersion), expressed willingness to enter into the church covenant, and been accepted by vote of the church members.

B. Admission of Members

(1) The pastor is responsible for meeting with and verifying each candidate’s qualification for membership, exercising discretion as appropriate. The pastor will rely upon the candidate’s profession of faith, witness of current FBCS members, witness of previous church affiliations, or any other pertinent information concerning the candidate.

(2) All candidates will complete the orientation process.

(3) All candidates completing the orientation process will be presented to the church members at the first possible membership meeting and voted upon. All candidates will be voted in as members by three-fourths majority vote.

a. Should any member dissent to any candidate prior to a vote, the membership vote will be tabled, and such dissent shall be referred to the elected church leadership for investigation and the making of a recommendation to the church at the next regular membership meeting. The results of the investigation will be communicated to the members and a recommendation will be made to the members at the next regular membership meeting.

(4) All candidates approved by the church members will be presented as new members at the
first possible Sunday morning service.

C. Privileges and Duties of Membership.

(1) In accordance with the duties enumerated in the Church Covenant, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church. Only members of this congregation shall be privileged to serve as leaders in ministry. Non-members may serve on an ad-hoc basis (in non-leadership roles or in support roles) after approval by the pastor, under supervision of the ministry team leader. Non-members may be contracted to serve the church for purposes of service, administration, and professional consultation.

(2) Under Christ, this congregation shall be governed by the membership. Therefore, it is the privilege and responsibility of members to attend all members’ meetings and vote on the election of officers, decisions regarding membership status, and such other matters as may be submitted to a vote. Members 18 years of age or older may vote.

(3) All members shall have the privilege of training, care, and counseling according to the Bible to promote their spiritual growth and to equip them for service.

D. Termination of Membership

The member will clearly communicate intent to depart from the covenant commitment of membership. Membership will be terminated under the following circumstances:

(1) Membership will be terminated upon the death of a member.

(2) Membership will be terminated by uniting with another church.

(3) Membership can be terminated as an act of church discipline, following the procedure set forth in Article 1, Section 3, Subsection E.

E. Discipline

(1) Scripture exhorts our membership to take every reasonable measure to assist any troubled member (2 Cor. 5:18-20). The pastor, other members of the church staff, and deacons are available for counsel and guidance. Redemption rather than punishment will be the guideline which governs the attitude of one member toward another. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance.

(2) In accordance with the Scriptures, any member who is absent from the church without response to communication from the church membership or guilty of conduct by which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be dishonored, or failing to fulfill duties of membership, and so opposing the welfare of the church, shall be subject to church discipline. Church discipline can include admonition by any church member, suspension from communion for a definite period, deposition from office or service, or removal of membership. The above actions should be carried out within the context of the discipline process given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:15-17 and detailed below.

a. The process begins with a private, one-on-one restoration of the member through repentance of his/her offense. Depending on the nature of the offense, this same process may be repeated multiple times over a period of time.

b. If the member refuses to repent during the one-on-one restoration, then the process will continue privately with two or three members restoring the member, calling him/her to repentance, perhaps many times. If the member still refuses to repent, then the offense will be brought before the church.

c. At a membership meeting, the members will be informed of the name of the member and the offense for which he/she is being disciplined. The membership may vote to exclude the member from the communion or remove them from a position of leadership. If the member refuses to listen to the church’s call to repent, then at a subsequent members’ meeting there shall be a vote to remove the member from church membership. (Matthew 18: 15–17; 2 Thessalonians 3:14–15; 1 Timothy 5:19–20; 1 Corinthians 5:4–5; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11). The church may take this action by three-fourths majority vote of the members present at the meeting.

(3) The purpose of such discipline should be for:

a. The repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined (see Proverbs 15:5; 29:15; 1 Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 3:4–5; Hebrews 12:1–11; Psalm 119:115; 141:5; Proverbs 17:10; 25:12; 27:5; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Matthew 7:26–27; 18:15–17; Luke 17:3; Acts 2:40; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:1–5; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14–15; 1 Timothy 1:20; Titus 1:13–14; James 1:22)

b. The instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them (see Proverbs 13:20; Romans 15:14; 1 Corinthians 5:11; 15:33; Colossians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:14 [note: this is written to the whole church, not just to leaders]; 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:11; Hebrews 10:24–25)

c. The purity of the church as a whole (see 1 Corinthians 5:6–7; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 5:27; 2 John 10; Jude 24; Revelation 21:2)

d. The good of our corporate witness to non–Christians (see Proverbs 28:7; Matthew 5:13–16; John 13:35; Acts 5:1–14; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 3:7; 2 Peter 2:2; 1 John 3:10)

e. Ultimately, for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character (see Deuteronomy 5:11; 1 Kings 11:2; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Ezra 6: 21; Nehemiah 9:2; Isaiah 40, 52:11; Ezekiel 36:20; Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; 18:17, 25; Romans 2: 12–24; 15:5–6; 2 Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; 1 Peter 2:12)

(4) Any person whose membership has been terminated by the congregation may, upon personal request, be restored to membership by a vote of the church upon evidence of repentance and reformation.

ARTICLE II. OFFICERS AND DUTIES

SECTION 1: OFFICERS, GENERAL

The scriptural officers of the church are the pastor and deacons. Recognizing the need for the performance of other duties, this church may also have the following administrative officers: trustees, moderator, clerk, treasurer, financial secretary, and any others the church may elect to carry out its New Testament program. All officers shall be church members and elected by the church body.

SECTION 2: PASTOR AND STAFF WORKERS

A. The number shall be determined by the needs of the church.

B. They shall be called to office with an indefinite call to serve at the will of the church. All employees, other than the pastor, are to be recommended by the personnel committee and shall be elected by ballot at a regular church business meeting. Employees shall be under the general direction of the pastor, aided by the personnel committee

C. The pastor and employees shall serve under the conditions of their call. The conditions of call shall be stated in the form of a written job description mutually agreeable to each party. Changes thereto shall be mutually agreed upon by the church and the employee.

D. Pastor

(1) A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. A pastoral search committee, consisting of six (6) members and two (2) alternates nominated from the floor and elected by the church at a regular business meeting shall seek out a suitable pastor. Only the recommendation of the pastoral search committee shall constitute a nomination. The vote to extend the call shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose. At least two (2) week’s written notice must be given prior to the meeting. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one name at a time. An affirmative written vote of three-fourths of those members present shall be necessary to approve. Prior to active service the pastor shall be ordained, as a pastor, unless already ordained by a church of like faith and practice.

(2) The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff in the performance of their tasks. The pastor is leader of all ministries in the church and as such works with the deacons and church staff to:

a. Lead the church in performing tasks.

b. Lead the church to engage in fellowship of worship, witness, education, ministry and application.

c. Proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers.

d. Care for the church’s members and other persons in the community.

(3) The pastor shall be responsible for selecting the pulpit supply. The church’s financial obligation pertaining to pulpit supply shall be as defined in the pastor’s job description and the church budget.

(4) The pastor’s salary, housing and utilities, expenses (auto, convention, pulpit supplies, etc.), number of Sundays away from the church (vacations revivals, etc.) and any other relevant matters shall be included in the pastor’s job description and the church budget.

(5) The pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated by mutual consent, unless dissatisfaction with the pastor should arise among members. The deacons shall examine the grounds for such dissatisfaction and, if deemed necessary, shall confer with the pastor in order to resolve the difficulty. If the difficulty cannot be resolved, the deacons shall vote to determine if the matter should be presented to the church body. A three-fourths majority vote of the deacon body shall be required to convene a business meeting for that purpose, which must be announced, in writing, two weeks in advance. The pastoral relationship may thus be dissolved by three-fourths vote of those members present by written ballot at that meeting.

SECTION 3: DEACONS

A. There may be six active deacons for the first one hundred resident members, and at least one additional deacon for each additional fifty resident members. This quota need not be maintained if sufficient persons meeting the deacon qualifications presented in I Timothy 3 are unavailable to serve. It shall be pertinent for the church to promote to honorary life membership any deacon who by reason of age or infirmity shall, only after honorable service, be no longer able to render active service.

B. The rotating membership plan shall be followed with approximately one-third of the deacons being changed annually. Terms shall be for three years, except when filling an unexpired term. No deacon shall be eligible for reelection for a period of one year after completing a regular term. Serving an unexpired term of more than one year shall constitute a regular term

C. Selection of deacons: The church nominating committee shall be responsible for preparing and conducting the activities associated with the selection of deacons. The following procedures shall be used:

(1) For two weeks prior to the church vote, the nominating committee shall provide a ballot box and ballot slips at an announced location within the church plant. During these two weeks, church members may deposit in the box the name of one nominee for each vacancy existing. To be eligible for nomination a person must at the time of the nomination been a member of the First Baptist Church of Sudbury, Massachusetts, for no less than one full year. The nominating committee shall review the ballots cast and place the name of each nominee (who has not requested that his name be omitted) on the ballot for church vote.

(2) At the time selected for the church vote, the nominating committee shall distribute ballots containing the names of the nominees to each church member present. The ballots shall be completed by marking the name of one nominee for each vacancy existing. Absentee ballots will not be accepted.

(3) The nominating committee shall count the votes cast and prepare a list of candidates in order of votes received. To be eligible for consideration, a candidate must receive votes from 25% of those present and voting. Only the nominating committee shall have access to the specifics of the vote count.

(4) The names of the candidates receiving the most votes shall be provided to the chairperson of the deacons for interviews by the deacons. The number of the names submitted shall be equal to the number of vacancies which exist, if sufficient number are nominated.

(5) The deacons shall interview each candidate to determine if that person is scripturally qualified and willing to serve. Acts 6:1-6 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13 shall serve as guidelines for scriptural qualification. Should a candidate not be scripturally qualified or unwilling to serve, the nominating committee shall provide the chairperson of the deacons with the name of the candidate who received the next eligible vote count.

(6) When all the interviews are completed, the chairperson of the deacons shall report to the nominating committee the names of those candidates who are scripturally qualified and are willing to serve. The nominating committee shall announce to the church the names of those elected as deacons.

D. Ordination: Prior to active service the deacons thus elected shall be ordained by the church, except when already ordained by a church of like faith and practice.

E. Duties: In accordance with the meaning of the word and practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church. They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit within the church in the bonds of peace. They shall serve as a council of advice and conferences with the pastor in all matters pertaining to the welfare and work of the church. With the pastor, they are to consider and formulate plans for the constant efforts and progress of the church in all things pertaining to the proclamations of the Gospel, the development of Christians, and the extension and growth of the church.

SECTION 4: MODERATOR

The church shall elect annually a moderator as its presiding officer. In the absence of the moderator, the chairperson of the deacons shall preside or in the absence of both, the church clerk shall call the church to order and a moderator pro tem shall be elected. The moderator shall preside at the church business meetings.

SECTION 5: CLERK

The church shall annually elect a church Clerk. The Clerk of the church shall keep a suitable record of all the actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided. The Clerk shall keep a register of the names of members, with dates of admission, dismissal, or death, together with a record of baptisms and shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church. The Clerk shall preserve on file all communications and written official reports and give legal notice of all meetings when such notice is required. All church records are church property and shall be retained by the church. The Clerk has the responsibility to keep such records as required to maintain tax-exempt status and other regulatory functions.

SECTION 6: TREASURER AND ASSISTANT TREASURER

The church shall annually elect a church treasurer. As the need arises, an assistant treasurer shall be annually elected by the church. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out all monies or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. Payment of bills for local work and expenses shall be made promptly by check, and all funds received for denominational or other causes shall be remitted at least monthly by check. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render the church an itemized report of receipts and disbursement for the preceding month, and this report shall be read (or presented in printed form) to the church in the regular monthly business meeting. Within thirty days after the end of each fiscal year, an annual financial report shall be prepared by the treasurer or assistant treasurer, approved by an auditing committee, and presented to the church for approval. A copy of this report shall be delivered to the church clerk and a duplicate sent to the church office for permanent filing. All books, accounts, and records kept by the treasurer shall be considered the property of the church. The books shall be open to inspection at all times, and at reasonable hours, by any member of the church.

SECTION 7: FINANCIAL SECRETARY

The financial secretary shall be responsible for all records and all gifts to the church. The financial secretary shall also insure that quarterly statements are sent to each member.

SECTION 8: ORGANIZATIONAL OFFICERS AND TEACHERS

The church shall sponsor such organizations as will contribute to the upbuilding of the church, all of which shall be under the direct control of the church.

A. Organizational Officers The Sunday school director, church discipleship training director, Women’s Missionary Union president, Brotherhood president, and music director, shall be recommended by the nominating committee. These nominations shall be presented to the church at the June business meeting. Other organizational heads shall be selected by their respective organizations and the church notified of the selection by the September business meeting.

B. Teachers All teachers within the Sunday school and church training department shall be recommended to the church annually by the nominating committee.

C. Tenure of Office

(1) Organizational officers and teachers shall be elected annually and assume responsibilities October 1, except when otherwise provided.

(2) All officers and teachers elected by the church shall notify the church thirty days in advance when desiring to offer their resignations. D. Qualifications All organizational officers and teachers shall be church members before being elected

ARTICLE III. CHURCH COUNCIL

The primary functions of the church council shall be to recommend to the church suggested objectives and church goals; to review and coordinate ministry and program plans recommended by church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time and other resources according to the program priorities; and to evaluate achievements in terms of church objectives and goals.

Regular members of the church council shall be the pastor, Sunday school director, discipleship training director, youth director, chairperson of the deacons, chairperson of the missions development committee, chairperson of the kitchen committee, and chairperson of the trustees. Additional supporting members may be added or removed by the church as necessary. Council shall meet monthly or quarterly, as may be desired, or on call of the pastor at any time deemed necessary.

ARTICLE IV. COMMITTEES

The church at any properly assembled business meeting may authorize any committee or council, and define and limit the duties, power, life and authority to be exercised by any such committee or council, in any matter whatsoever pertaining to the interests and activities of this church, except as otherwise defined within this constitution and bylaws.

In all cases where a committee, council or board is established and the term of membership is designated to be rotational, approximately one-third will be elected for a term of three (3) years, one-third for a term of two (2) years, and one-third for a term of one (1) year for the original committee, council, or board. Subsequent members will be elected for a term of three (3) years, except where elected to fill an unexpired term. No committee member shall succeed himself for a period of one (1) year after serving a regular term.

The chairperson of each committee, council, or board shall be nominated by the membership of the committee, council, or board and the church so informed. The chairperson shall be responsible for a written quarterly report to the church.

SECTION 1: NOMINATING COMMITTEE

The nominating committee shall be composed of five (5) members to be nominated by and elected from the church floor at the May business meeting. The elected members shall be rotational, with two (2) being elected each year.

It shall be the duty of the appointed members to present to the church a recommendation of the Sunday school director and the church training director and the music director at the June business meeting. Upon approval of these officers by the church, the Sunday school director and the church training director shall become members of the nominating committee to aid in recommending to the church all other officers, members of the church’s standing committees, and teachers of the church which are elected annually, except as otherwise specified herein. The committee shall also be responsible for the nominating of officers and teachers to fill any vacancies which occur or any additional needs which may occur. The committee shall only recommend those who are members of the local church who are qualified and willing to accept the nomination if elected.

SECTION 2: PERSONNEL COMMITTEE

A. Members The personnel committee shall be recommended by the church nominating committee and shall consist of five (5) members.

B. Duties It shall be the duty of this committee to investigate the need for employees such as the educational director, minister of music, church secretary, church custodian, nursery workers, etc. This committee shall be responsible for the preparation of a written job description for church approval, shall contact and interview appropriate candidates, and shall recommend to the church, names of persons to fill the various vacancies. The committee shall also be responsible for establishing personnel policies and for administering annual reviews for church employees. This committee shall not function as the pastoral search committee. Membership on this committee shall be rotational.

SECTION 3: FINANCE COMMITTEE

A. Members This committee shall consist of six (6) members. These members shall be the treasurer, assistant treasurer, a representative from the deacons, a representative from the trustees and two (2) members nominated and elected from the church floor for a one (1) year term. Members may serve a maximum of three (3) consecutive one (1) year terms.

B. Duties The finance committee shall prepare an annual budget for presentation to the church in November for discussion and adoption in December. The budget shall run from January 1 through December 31. Any changes to an approved budget will be brought forth to the congregation in the form of a motion at a regularly called business meeting.

SECTION 4: TRUSTEES

A. Members The board of trustees shall consist of three (3) or more members as defined by the church policy. The trustees shall serve three (3) year rotational terms of office.

B. Duties (1) The trustees shall be the legal representatives of the church. (2) The trustees shall be entrusted with the care and maintenance of all church real and personal property. They shall be responsible for maintaining the property in good repair, making such alterations as may be voted by the church, and for keeping the property and contents insured, using funds that are appropriated for such purposes. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property without church approval.

SECTION 5: AUDIT COMMITTEE

A. Members The audit committee shall consist of three (3) members elected annually for a one (1) year term. The members of this committee shall be nominated from the church floor at the October business meeting.

B. Duties The audit committee shall audit the financial records of the church and shall within one (1) month of the end of the fiscal year or change in treasurer submit a written report & any recommendations to the church. The report should include a statement of the adequacy of the recording and disbursement system as well as the accuracy of the records.

ARTICLE V. PROPERTY

All property is owned by the First Baptist Church of Sudbury, Massachusetts. If the church is dissolved, the property ownership shall be assumed, in its entirety, in succession by The Greater Boston Baptist Association, The Baptist Convention of New England, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

ARTICLE VI. MEETINGS

SECTION 1: REGULAR WORSHIP MEETINGS

The meetings of the church or of church groups shall be those, which compliment the Lord’s work and in general may include, but shall not be limited to the following:

A. Morning and evening worship and Bible study each Sunday.

B. Midweek services each Wednesday evening.

C. Revival services and special worship services as authorized by the church.

D. Special emphasis visitation and organizational meetings, which have been properly correlated with church calendar of events.

SECTION 2: BUSINESS MEETING

A. The church shall convene a quarterly business meeting as specified in the church’s annual calendar.

B. The following shall govern the regular quarterly business meeting:

(1) The church fiscal year shall extend from January through December 31

(2) The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Edition, shall govern the business sessions of this church in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with this constitution. When interpretation of a ruling is required, the interpretation shall be made by the moderator.

(3) Ten percent of the resident church member shall constitute a quorum for the conducting of church business at any business meeting, except:

a. Election of deacons or disciplinary action relative to a member shall require 25%.

b. The call of any employee, including the call of a pastor shall require 25%.

c. The moderator may call the church into a special business meeting.

C. The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance. A one-week notice must be given for a specially called business meeting. The announcement must be made to the membership in attendance at least one (1) Sunday morning prior to the desired meeting date. In matters of extreme urgency, the meeting may be called by the pastor in agreement with the deacons. The notice shall include the subject, the date and the time and place. The meeting may be called by any one of the following:

(1) the moderator
(2) church members
(3) the pastor
(4) the deacon body

The quorum requirements of paragraph B (3) shall apply.

D. No vote by absentee ballot or proxy will be accepted.

SECTION 3: PRECEDENCE OF MEETINGS

The precedence of the church and its regular or special meetings shall take precedence over any and all meetings and activities or any organization either within or outside the framework of the church.

ARTICLE VII. CHURCH ORDINANCES

A. Baptism

This church shall baptize any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes Him publicly at any worship service, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord.

(1) Baptism shall be by immersion in water.

(2) The pastor, or in the pastor’s absence, any ordained person the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism.

(3) Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.

B. The Lord’s Supper

The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper at least once a quarter. The observance shall be open to any person in attendance who professes to have had an experience of regeneration by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, having confessed Him as both Savior and Lord. The observance shall be administered by the pastor and ordained deacons.

ARTICLE VIII. LICENSING AND ORDAINING

SECTION 1: LICENSING

Any member, who in the judgment of the church, gives evidence of piety, zeal and "aptness to teach," that is called of God to the work of the ministry, after having preached in the hearing of the church, may be licensed to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, provided a two-thirds majority of the members present and voting at any regular business meeting shall agree thereto.

SECTION 2: ORDINATION

If the church, by majority vote, decides, in a regular business meeting, that a licensed preacher possesses the Scriptural qualification for full ordination, it shall call an ordination council. The council shall consist of ordained ministers and/or deacons from the congregation and the associated church who will examine the qualifications of the candidate and shall be vested with the authority for recommending that the church proceeds with the ordination.

SECTION 3: DEACON ORDINATION

The selection and ordination of a deacon of the church is defined in Article II, Section (3).

ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS

The Constitution and Bylaws of this church may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a special business meeting called for that purpose, provided the amendment has been offered in writing, at a previous regular business meeting. However, any change in the "Statement of Faith" or "Church Covenant" will be aligned to Biblical principles and require the following:

(1) The proposed change must be offered, in writing, at a previous regular business meeting not less than (1) one month before the time of the vote.

(2) The proposed change must be read from the pulpit at the regular Sunday morning worship service preceding the vote on such proposal.

(3) The proposed change must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the church members present and voting at a regular business meeting.

CONCLUSION

This constitution supersedes all previous constitutions from this body and shall be available to all church members.