|St. Paul Baptist Church By-Laws|
The name of this Church shall be "St. Paul Baptist Church," otherwise know as the "St. Paul Church," and incorporated as "St. Paul Baptist Church, Inc" and engage in activities consistent with the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) and organizations established thereby.
"To prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up" (Ephesians 4:12/NIV).
OUR MISSION: God calls us to be equipped for responsible Christian discipleship through worship, service, growth, evangelism, and fellowship.
God calls us to be equipped for responsible Christian discipleship through worship, service, growth, evangelism, and fellowship.
The St. Paul Baptist Church seeks to be a purpose-driven congregation where members shall (a) worship God freely as prescribed in the Holy Bible, the inspired word of God, through proclamation, prayer, and praise and worship; (b) serve God gladly through an intergenerational ministry to our congregation, community, and region ; (c) grow in God intentionally, diligently studying the word of God, identifying, developing, and using our spiritual gifts, and religiously educating our children, so that the work of God's church will not be left undone in generations to come; (d) go for God obediently, as we engage in evangelism, empowered by the Holy Spirit, winning souls for Christ, and being actively involved in outreach ministry to demonstrate God's love, power, and plan of salvation and (e) strengthen the bonds of fellowship through regular and faithful attendance at worship services and responsible stewardship through the faithful giving of tithes, time, and talent.
Statement of Faith
1. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God, fully inspired and without error in the original manuscript, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that it has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
2. The Trinity
We believe that there is one loving and true God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that these are equal in every divine perfection and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption.
3. God The Father
We believe in God, the Father, an infinite personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of people, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all that come to Him through Jesus Christ.
4. Jesus Christ
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's one and only 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 His visible return for His Church.
5. 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.
We believe that all men are sinners by nature and choice and are therefore under condemnation. We believe that those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
7. 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 companion of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, service, growth, evangelism, 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.
8. Christian Conduct
We believe that a Christian should live holy to the glory of God and the well being of his fellowman, 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.
9. The Ordinances
We believe that the Lord Jesus has committed two ordinances to the local church, Believer's Baptism and the Lord's Supper. We believe that Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ in commemoration of His death. We believe that these two ordinances should be observed and administered until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
10. 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 an 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.
11. Church Cooperation
We believe that local churches can best promote the cause of Jesus Christ by cooperation with one another in a denominational organization. Such organization, whether a regional or district conference, should exist and function by the will of the participating churches. Cooperation in a conference should be on a voluntary basis and may be terminated at any time.
12. The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal joy of the righteous, and the endless punishment of the wicked.
1. Having been led, as we believe, by the spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus as our Savior; and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
2. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness; to give it a place in our affections, prayers and services above every organization of human origin; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, towards its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. In case of difference of opinion, in the church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority to govern.
3. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be kind and just to those in our employ, and faithful in the service we promise others; endeavoring in the purity of heart and good will towards all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.
4. We further engage; to watch over, to pray for, to exhort and stir up each other unto every good word and work; to guard each other's reputation, not needlessly exposing the infirmities of others; to participate in each other's joys, and with tender sympathy bear one another's burdens and sorrow; to cultivate Christian courtesy; to be slow to give or take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, being mindful of the rules of the Savior in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, to secure it without delay; and through life, amid evil report, and good report, to seek to live to the glory of God, who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.
5. When we remove from this place, we engage as soon as possible to unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's word.
1. The church shall maintain regular worship services to bring glory and honor to the name of God, spiritual welfare for believers, and provide an opportunity for prospective Christians to accept the invitation to Christian discipleship. These services shall be held weekly and at other times as shall be provided for by the Pastor and Board of Deacons.
2. The Ordinance of the Lord's Supper shall be customarily observed by this church on the first (1st) Sunday of each month and the Ordinance of Baptism shall be customarily held on the fourth (4th) Sunday of each month; however, such services may be held at other times as the Pastor and Board of Deacons may deem appropriate.
Believer's Baptism and Membership
1. The membership of this church shall consist of baptized believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are in agreement with its Mission Statement, Statement of Faith, and Church Covenant.
2. Persons wishing to unite with this church by baptism, Christian experience, letter, restoration, or association shall meet with the Deacons and/or assigned discipleship commitment counselors and relate their Christian experience. Candidates may be approved for membership by vote of the church at any worship service or church family conference upon recommendation by the Board of Deacons and New Beginnings Ministry.
a. Membership By Baptism: Church membership for the new Christian shall be by profession of faith in Christ and baptism by immersion. Candidates recommended by the Board of Deacons and New Beginnings Ministry pursuant to Section 2 of this Article may be approved for membership and received into this church fellowship upon being baptized. Baptism shall be by immersion unless circumstances make it impractical for the prospective member to be so baptized. In such event the Pastor shall exercise his judgment as to an appropriate manner of baptism other than immersion.
b. Membership By Letter: A member of another church may be approved for membership and received into this church fellowship by virtue of a letter certifying baptism by immersion, duly granted by a church of like beliefs and practices, that was issued longer than three (3) months prior to the date of application.
c. Membership By Christian Experience of Grace: A person seeking membership in this church, by virtue of Christian experience of grace and baptism by immersion, may be approved for membership and received into this church fellowship upon a profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and acceptance of its Mission Statement, Statement of Faith and Church Covenant.
d. Membership By Restoration: Any person whose membership has lapsed may, upon the discretion of the Pastor and Board of Deacons, be restored to fellowship and membership upon profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, verification of baptism by immersion, acceptance of this church's Mission Statement, Statement of Faith, and Church Covenant.
e. Membership By Association: Students, missionaries, persons engaged in Christian ministries, and other persons temporarily residing in the area and wishing to retain membership in their home churches, may be received as Associate Members in this church upon certification of their baptism by immersion and membership in good standing in their home churches, as well as commitment to the Mission Statement, Statement of Faith, and Church Covenant.
3. After completing the prescribed Membership Classes and New Member's Orientation, each candidate shall be given the Hand of Fellowship which entitles each member to all rights and privileges, and obligates each member to all duties and responsibilities of membership of this church in accordance with each person's membership status.
4. Duties and Responsibilities:
a. Each-Member shall maintain the-obligations of the Church Mission Statement, Statement of Faith, and Church Covenant and adhere to the Church By-Laws.
b. Each Member shall respect each other and the Pastor, and assist him in carrying out the purpose-driven ministries of the church.
c. Each Member shall endeavor to preserve the unity of the church.
d. Each Member shall be regular, faithful and punctual in attendance at Sunday worship, mid-week services, and other such services, and strive to maintain the regular observance of Holy Communion.
e. Each Member shall be regular and punctual in attendance of church family conference. At such meetings, members shall respect the moderator and each other, and shall conduct themselves in a decent and orderly manner (1 Cor.14:40).
f. Each Member shall "study to show (himself] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). Such studying shall include participation in Sunday School, weekly Bible Study classes, and daily Bible reading programs, e.g., Lamplights, Footsteps, etc.
g. Each Active Member shall on or before the last Sunday in November of each year, provide the Stewardship Secretary with his or her then present home address and the amount which said member pledges to contribute each Sunday to this church for the period of the coming calendar year according to Malachi 3:10. If any member shall fail to provide said pledge to the church or if said member shall for any period of three (3) consecutive calendar months, during said calendar year, fail to contribute to the church, in accordance with said pledge, the name of such member shall be referred to the Board of Deacons for an investigation, where possible within thirty (30) days, after obtaining such name to ascertain the reason for such delinquency. After prayerful deliberation, the Pastor and the Board of Deacons may place said member on the inactive membership roll, suspend him from membership, remove his name from the membership roll, or excuse such a person from the obligation of the pledge. Immediately upon admission of a new or restored member to the membership in accordance with Article VI hereof, said member shall accept his/her envelopes and make his/her pledge in accordance with the terms hereof for the balance of the then calendar year of the church.
a. Active Member: An Active member is hereby defined to be, among other things, a member who clearly demonstrates a commitment to the Purpose of this church set forth in the Mission Statement in Article II hereof; and is regular and faithful in attendance at worship services and Bible study, engages in the discovery of spiritual gifts, and is actively involved in the ministry of the church and church family conference. An active member shall be expected to attend, participate in and vote (members 18 and older) at church family conferences, and such other rights and privileges extended by the church, including but not limited to, the care, support, comfort, and accountability of a spiritual family, scholarship awards, and the use of the church sanctuary for funerals and weddings at a reduced cost for the facility
b. Inactive Member: An Inactive member is hereby defined to be a member who has been placed on the Inactive Roll, for among other reasons health, breach of his/her membership duties and responsibilities as set forth in Section 4, Section 5(a), and Section 8(a) of this Article. Such Member shall not be provided any reports of the church, nor be permitted to vote in any of the meetings of the church, nor have the normal rights and privileges granted to Active members. An Inactive member may be restored to the Active Roll by showing evidence of rededication and faithfulness and by requesting reinstatement through the Board of Deacons. At the discretion of the Pastor and Board of Deacons, members who are Inactive for health reasons may not be required to show evidence of rededication and faithfulness.
c. Deceased Member: Upon the death of a member said name shall be automatically removed from the membership roll.
d. Associate Member: Such member shall have all the rights and privileges of membership except the right to vote.
e. Life Member: Upon recommendation from the Pastor and Board of Deacons and acceptance by the Church at a church family conference, in very rare cases, a member may be designated a Life member thereby exempting said member from the obligations of an Active member. Such member shall have all the rights and privileges of membership except the right to vote.
6. Status Review:
The Board of Deacons, with the aide of the Trustees, and membership secretary shall routinely review the membership roll and, immediately prior to each church family conference, determine whether each member is adhering to the duty of responsible Stewardship. Any member who has failed to contribute in accordance with said member's commitment shall be investigated by the Board of Deacons for an appropriate recommendation in accordance with Section 4(g) of this Article.
In a case of disagreement or dissatisfaction in this church, a member shall be obligated to resolve such matters according to the Holy Scriptures without disrupting the unity of this church. Such member shall be encouraged to:
a. review prayerfully the motives and the overall implication of the disagreement or dissatisfaction.
b. meet with representatives of the Board of Deacons to review the matter. Every effort shall be made to restore harmony, establish necessary lines of communication, and/or achieve a workable compromise consistent with the Covenant obligations (in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17). After exhausting these measures, if a resolution cannot be reached a member shall not engage in conduct that is deemed inappropriate for Christian behavior and disruptive. Said member shall determine whether the failure to reach an amicable resolution will impact said member's ability to maintain the duties and responsibilities of membership. If a negative decision is reached, such member shall notify the Chairman of the Board of Deacons in writing and said member's membership shall automatically terminate.
The church shall discipline members whose conduct breaches the duties and responsibilities of membership. The following forms of discipline shall be available:
a. Suspension from church membership for a specified period,
b. Dismissal from church membership.
c. Those provided for in Section 4 of this Article with respect to membership and stewardship responsibilities.
a. A letter of dismissal to another Baptist church shall be granted to an Active member in good standing who desires to unite with such church. Such letter shall be sent to said other Baptist church at its request.
b. A letter of certification of Christian character shall be granted to an Active member in good standing who desires to unite with an evangelical church of another denomination.
c. Whenever a member shall join another church, his membership in this church shall automatically terminate.
d. Dismissal also occurs when a member's name is removed from the roll pursuant to Section 8 of this Article.
Pastor and Assistant(s) to the Pastor
It shall be the duty of the Pastor to provide opportunities for the church to engage in worship, service, growth, evangelism, and fellowship. The Pastor, or his designee, will preach during the Sunday worship services; administer the ordinances of the Gospel; preside at church family conferences; teach during mid-week Bible studies; lead other prayer, praise, and worship services; extend the hand of fellowship to new members; provide pastoral counseling; perform wedding ceremonies; officiate at funerals; provide vision casting for the direction of this ministry; function as the President and Chief Executive officer of St. Paul Baptist Church, Inc., and to perform the various other duties usually incumbent upon his office.
2. As the Pastor seeks to perform all of the Scriptural duties of his office, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, he shall maintain a close working relationship with the Deacons as a co-laborer and overseer of the flock. The Pastor, with the assistance of the Executive Board and Personnel Committee, shall hire, supervise, develop, and dismiss all paid and volunteer staff, ministerial and nonministerial, including individual contractors. The Pastor shall be an ordained Baptist minister, and both he and his assistants shall be in agreement with the Mission Statement, the Statement of Faith, and the Church Covenant.
3. To call a Pastor to serve this church, a Pulpit Committee of eleven people shall be appointed by the Joint Board and approved by the church. This Pulpit Committee shall consist of four Deacons, three Trustees and four members from the congregation at large. The findings and recommendations of the Pulpit Committee shall be reported to the Joint Board for recommendation to the congregation at a meeting called by the Joint Board. After six (6) months the Pulpit Committee shall serve at the discretion of the Joint Board. In any event, the term of the Pulpit Committee shall not exceed one (1) year from the date of appointment. A two-thirds vote of the Active members present shall be required for the call of a Pastor. A quorum of not less than thirty (30) percent of the Active members of this church shall be required for such meeting.
4. The engagement of a Pastor may be terminated by a two-thirds vote of the active members present at a church family conference called for that purpose by the Joint Board. A quorum of not less than thirty (30) percent of the Active members of this church shall be required for such conference.
1. The officers of the church shall be the Deacons, Trustees, Church Treasurer, Membership Secretary, and Stewardship Secretary. It shall not be required that the Church Treasurer, Membership Secretary, or Stewardship Secretary be a Deacon or Trustee. Assistants to these positions may be established as deemed necessary by the Pastor and Joint Board. The church shall not elect any one to be an officer who cannot fully subscribe to the Mission Statement, the Statement of Faith, Covenant of Leadership, with the specified qualifications of leadership, and the Church Covenant of the church. Any officer who changes his/her beliefs shall immediately tender his/her resignation or be removed from office in accordance with these Church By-Laws.
2. The Board of Deacons and the Board of Trustees shall respectively elect officers as specified below. The newly elected Chairman and Vice Chairmen shall be approved by the Church at the Church Family Conference in December. The Chairman of the Deacon and Trustee Boards, respectively, shall not be elected for more than three (3) consecutive years, after which he must not succeed himself for at least one year. Subject to these rules, the boards shall fix their own rules as to the times of meetings and conduct of business.
Qualifications For Officers
3. Prior to election, each officer of the church shall be required to sign a Covenant of Leadership indicating that said officer will adhere to the qualifications for church leaders as stated below. Each officer shall also signify that said officer is familiar with the duties of the office for which said officer is being considered, as outlined in these Church By-Laws.
4. Each officer of this church shall give unquestioned evidence of:
(a) testimony of conversion to Christian Discipleship,
(b) Willingness to cooperate with the Pastor and church leaders,
(c) commitment to responsible stewardship, e.g., tithing,
(d) agreement with Mission Statement, Statement of Faith, and Church Covenant,
(e) available time needed to serve faithfully.
(f) having been discipled, and being committed to discipling and preparing others for works of ministry.
5. St. Paul's leaders are encouraged to accept their role prayerfully, and should keep in mind the responsibilities of the task of leadership and diligently strive to exemplify the seven "C"s as a way of life. These are: Christian, Competence, Compassion, Commitment, Cooperation, Completion, and Community.
6. Any candidate for a position as an officer must have been an Active member of this church for a minimum of one (1) year.
7. The Board of Deacons shall strive to consist of a minimum of 12 members. However, the church shall endeavor to have one deacon for every fifty (50) Active members in order to administer effectively to the needs of the membership.
8. It shall be the duty of the Deacons to counsel with, cooperate with and assist the Pastor in advancing the spiritual and temporal interests of the church; to visit the sick; to prepare and distribute the elements of the Lord's Supper; to have oversight of and disburse the Deacon's Discretionary Fund (benevolent funds) of the church. The Deacons shall also, in conjunction with the New Beginning's Ministry and the Commitment Counseling Ministry, examine and approve all applicants for church membership, and prepare them for the ordinance of baptism and for membership.
9. The Deacons, working closely with the Pastor, shall select at the November meeting each year the following officers: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, 2nd Vice-Chairman, Clerk and Assistant Clerk, the Board shall elect such other officers as it deems appropriate to perform its functions. In the event an officer is unable to carry out his/her duties as determined by the Board of Deacons, the Board shall have the authority to replace said officer.
10. Any Deacon who is absent three consecutive Deacon Board or Joint Board meetings, Church Family Conferences, or Communion Services without a plausible excuse shall show cause to the Board of Deacons why he/she should not be removed as a Deacon. If disciplinary action is warranted, the Joint Board shall submit a recommendation to the church for appropriate action.
11. The Deacon's Discretionary Fund of the church handled by the Deacons shall be kept separate from that of other Church funds. The Deacons shall give at the March Church Family Conference, a report, in summary fashion, of all benevolent funds received and disbursed.
12. The Deacons shall, in cooperation with the Pastor, the New Beginnings Ministry, and the Department of Christian Education, conduct classes of indoctrination and orientation for all new candidates for membership to enhance their spiritual growth, and knowledge of the Church, Baptist polity and the kingdom of God.
13. The Deacons, in cooperation with the Pastor and Trustees, shall be responsible for maintaining decency, order, and discipline in this church.
14. The selection of Deacons shall be as follows: upon recommendation by the Pastor and Joint Board, the candidate of: Deacon shall be presented to the church for approval. If accepted by the church, the said Deacon shall serve for approximately one year, on a trial basis (i.e., "Walking Deacon"). After expiration of this period the Deacon, upon recommendation of the Pastor and the Joint Board, may be recommended to the church for ordination. An ordained Deacon will serve for a period of five (5) years, after which his name will be submitted to the church membership for reconfirmation. Each Deacon will be subject to reconfirmation by the church every 5 years. Said term of office may be terminated by the church at a vote of the church taken at a special Church Family Conference called for such purpose.
15. The selection of Trustees shall be as follows: upon recommendation by the Pastor and Joint Board, the name of Trustee candidates shall be presented to the church for approval. The Board of Trustees shall seek to have a minimum of 12 members.
16. The Trustees shall have fiduciary responsibility for all funds except the Deacon's Discretionary funds which are to be handled by the Board of Deacons.
17. The duties of the Board of Trustees shall be such as provided in the State law governing Baptist Churches. In general, the Board shall have the care, custody and oversight of the property of the Church, including, but not limited to:
a. the care and custody of all papers and documents relating to the care, custody and oversight of said property, such as leases, deeds and agreements.
b. the oversight of all receipts and payments for and on account of the Church of whatever nature; must regularly inspect and act upon such matters; and shall authorize payment by the Treasurer.
18. The Trustee Board, working closely with the Pastor, shall organize at a meeting in November and shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Clerk. The Trustee Board shall elect such other officers as it deems appropriate to perform its functions.
19. A Trustee shall serve for a period of three (3) years, after which a Trustee will be subject to re-election for three (3) year terms. The term of a Trustee may be terminated by a vote of the Church at a special Church Family Conference called for such purpose.
20. Any Trustee who is absent three from (3) consecutive Trustee Board or Joint Board meetings or Church Family Conferences without a plausible excuse, shall be called before the Board of Trustees to show cause why his/her office as Trustee shall not be declared vacant. Upon recommendation of the Pastor and Board of Trustees the Church may act to remove a Trustee. If a Trustee abuses or fails to fulfill the duties of his/her office, the Trustees may also recommend appropriate action to the Joint Board and the Church. Upon a vote of a majority of members present, a Trustee may be removed from office.
21. It shall be the right of any Active member to present, in writing, the names of prospective Trustees for consideration by the Pastor and Joint Board. Upon recommendation by the Pastor and Joint Board, the candidate for the position of Trustee shall be presented to the church for approval.
22. In order to facilitate a ministry-action budget and to regulate the expenditures of funds, the Board of Trustees shall cause a budget to be submitted to the Church for approval at the December Church Family Conference. The Budget Committee shall ideally consist of nine (9) persons, five (5) of whom shall be officers and four (4) of whom shall be members of the congregation.
23. The Trustees shall annually engage a certified public accountant to audit the financial transactions of the church and to provide a statement of condition about funds and all transactions.
The Joint Board
24. The Pastor, Deacons, and Trustees, shall comprise the Joint Board. The Joint Board shall hold a meeting prior to each regular Church Family Conference to set an agenda and prepare recommendations from either Board to the Church. Special meetings of the Joint Board may be called by the Pastor and Executive Board.
25. The Joint Board shall be authorized to act for the Church between Church Family Conferences provided circumstances make a special conference of the church impractical to be held. Such action taken must be ratified by the church at the next Church Family Conference.
The Executive Board
26. The Executive Board shall consist of the Pastor, Chairman and Vice Chairmen of the Board of Deacons, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and the Church Treasurer.
27. The Executive Board shall carry out all duties assigned to it by the Joint Board. The Executive Board may also act in an emergency capacity on behalf of the Joint Board. Each member of the Executive Board shall serve on the Personnel Committee.
The Membership Secretary
28. The Membership Secretary shall be elected for a term of two (2) years, and thereafter until respective successor shall be elected and assume office.
29. It shall be the duty of the Membership Secretary to (a) take minutes at church family conferences (b) read recommendations and other correspondence at said meetings (c) maintain membership data records (d) prepare general correspondence and communication to the church membership, such as, church newsletter, church website and other electronic communication, reminders, congratulatory notes, etc (e) prepare condolences for families of deceased members or other persons and (f) other such duties that may be assigned by the Pastor.
30. The Church Treasurer shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and thereafter until a respective successor shall be elected and assume office.
31. It shall be the duty of the Church Treasurer, in conjunction with the Pastor and the Business Manager, to (a) make such disbursements of monies as shall be duly authorized, in writing, by the Board of Trustees or by the Church; (b) keep an accurate record of all receipts and disbursements (c) render a report at all Church Family Conferences of such receipts and disbursements since the date of the last report and at the annual conference of the church present a consolidated report showing all receipts disbursements, balances and liabilities of the church for the period of the last fiscal year and (d) such other duties that may be assigned by the Pastor.
33. The Stewardship Secretary shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and thereafter until a successor is elected and assumes office.
34. The Stewardship Secretary shall (a) maintain all records on membership tithes and offerings (b) provide periodic reports to each member on said member's contributions (c) and provide periodic reports to the Pastor and Joint Board regarding general membership contributions. Upon written request of a member, the Stewardship Secretary shall provide said member with a written report concerning said member's contributions.
35. The Stewardship Secretary is not required to be a Deacon or Trustee.
Assistant officers - Board of Deaconesses
36. There shall be a Board of Deaconesses consisting of the spouses of Deacons and other members of the church who meet the prescribed spiritual qualifications. Upon recommendation of the Pastor and the Joint Board, candidates may be appointed to the Board of Deaconesses by the Church.
37. The duties and responsibilities of the Board of Deaconesses shall include (a) assisting Deacons and the Commitment Counseling Ministry with interviewing and counseling persons responding to the invitation to Christian discipleship (b) preparing female candidates for baptism (c) preparing the Altar and pulpit for communion service (d) preparing the communion elements (e) overseeing the nursery ministry, in cooperation with the Stewards and (f) such other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned from time to time by the Pastor.
38. A Deaconess shall serve for a five (5) year term, after which said Deaconess may be re-elected for successive five (5) year terms.
39. Any Deaconess who is absent from three (3) consecutive Deaconess Board meetings or Church Family Conferences without a plausible excuse, shall be called before the Board of Deaconesses to show cause why she should not be removed as a Deaconess. Upon recommendation of the Board of Deaconesses, the church may act to remove a Deaconess. If a Deaconess abuses or fails to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a Deaconess, the Board of Deaconesses may also recommend appropriate action to the Joint Board and the church. Upon vote of a majority of Active members present at a church family conference pursuant to proper notice given to the membership and individual, a Deaconess may be removed from office.
40. The Board of Deaconesses shall organize at a meeting in November of each year and shall elect a Chairwoman, Vice Chairwoman, and Secretary, among other officers.
Assistant Officers - Stewards
41. There shall be a Board of Stewards consisting of the spouses of the Trustees and other members of the church who meet the prescribed spiritual qualifications.
42. The duties and responsibilities of the Board of Stewards shall include (a) assisting the Board of Trustees with the care and oversight of the church facility which shall include but not be limited to (i) monitoring and providing for supplies in the kitchen and (ii) assessing and assisting with responses to aesthetic/environmental needs of church (b) oversight of nursery ministry, in cooperation with the Board of Deaconesses (c) assist Stewardship Secretary with annual distribution of membership tithing envelopes (d) planning and oversight of the quarterly church-wide workday cleanup and (e) such other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned from time to time by the Pastor.
43. A Steward shall serve for a three (3) year term, after which a Steward may be re-elected to successive three (3) year terms.
44. Any Steward who is absent from three (3) consecutive Board of Stewards meetings or Church Family Conferences without a plausible excuse shall be called before the Board of Stewards to show cause why said Steward should not be removed as a Steward. Upon recommendation of the Board of Stewards, the church may act to remove a Steward. If a Steward abuses or fails to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a Steward, The Board of Stewards may also recommend appropriate action to the Joint Board and the Church. Upon vote of a majority of the Active members present at a Church Family Conference pursuant to proper notice given to the membership and individual, a Steward may be removed from office.
45. The Stewards shall organize at a conference in November of each year and shall elect a Chair, vice-Chair, and Secretary, among other officers.
Church Family Conference
There shall be an Annual Church Family Conference in March at which the ministry, missions, and financial reports of the previous year shall be presented. The annual budget shall be presented for approval at the December conference. All church Officers shall be elected, confirmed or reconfirmed at the December conference. In the event of a vacancy, however, such can be filled at any Church Family Conference.
2. The Pastor and the Joint Board are authorized to change any date/day of the conference provided for in Section one (1) hereof under appropriate or special circumstances.
3. At any Church Family Conference, only such matters as presented by the Pastor and Joint Board, shall be given consideration, except for special conferences called pursuant to paragraph 7 in this Article. The agenda shall include a provision for the presentation by Active members’ comments from the floor or matters for consideration by the Pastor and Joint Board.
4. The Pastor shall serve as moderator of all Church Family Conferences. If for any reason the Pastor is absent from, or unable or unwilling to serve as moderator of a conference, the chairman of the Board of Deacons or his designee shall serve as moderator. If the matter to be acted upon affects the Pastor's status, then for the purpose of consideration of the matter, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons or his designee shall moderate the matter for which action needs to be taken.
5. The right to attend, participate in, and vote at any Church Family Conference will be limited to Active member as defined in Section 5 of Article VI. Ten percent (lot) of the total Active membership of the church shall constitute a quorum for A Church Family. No Proxies shall be permitted at any Church Family Conferences.
6. Special Church Family Conferences may be held pursuant to two (2) weeks notice provided and announced at the Sunday worship services for the Two (2) Sundays preceding the special conference. The subject matter of the conference must be included in the announcement. Special conferences may be called by the Pastor, Chairman of Deacon Board and Chairman of the Trustee Board provided that all three (3) are informed of the subject matter to be presented at the special conference.
7. Special Church Family Conferences may also be called by written petition of ten (10) percent of the Active members. In such cases twenty (20) percent of the Active members shall be required to constitute a quorum. Such request shall be presented to the Pastor and Joint Board for membership verification and for announcement to the congregation. The written petition must clearly provide the subject matter thereof. In the event the Pastor chooses not to give such notice, following verification of membership status by the Joint Board, the notice must be placed on the church bulletin board and a copy of the request provided to the Membership Secretary. The date for a requested special conference must be within thirty (30) days of receipt of the request. For the two (2) Sundays prior to the date of the meeting, the Church Clerk shall announce at the Sunday worship services, the date, time and subject matter of the special conference.
8. The principles and practices of Christian conduct as set forth in the Bible and empowered by the aide of the Holy Spirit are the primary authority for all church business. Subsequently, the rules contained in the Modern Edition of Robert's Rules of Order, where practical and consistent with both these by-laws and the Bible (e.g., 1 Cor. 14:40), shall be applied at all Church Family Conferences.
1. The Pastor, Board of Deacons and the Director(s) of Christian Education shall use their best efforts to ensure the maintenance of a viable program for Christian education, including, but not limited to Sunday School and Wednesday Evening Bible School.
2. Upon the recommendation of the Director of Christian Education, the Pastor shall appoint a Superintendent (s) who shall be responsible for helping with the Sunday School and Wednesday Evening Bible School programs. The Superintendent(s) shall ensure that qualified teachers and their assistants, along with other necessary officers, are appointed to teach the various Bible study classes.
3. In order to be Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent, one must have been a member of St. Paul Baptist Church for no less than one (1) year and meet all of the other requirements for leadership as set forth in sections 4 and 5..
Ministries (i.e. Auxiliaries, Organizations, and Committees)
1. The church may provide for such Ministries that it deems proper and desirable to carry out the functions and purposes of the church set forth in Article II hereof.
2. All Ministries derive their existence from the Church; accordingly, they shall be under the supervision of the Pastor and the Deacon Board.
3. All Ministry heads and Officers must have (a) a testimony of conversion to Christian Discipleship (b) a willingness to cooperate with the Pastor and church leaders (c) a commitment to responsible stewardship, e.g., tithing (d) an agreement by signature each year with the Mission Statement, the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant (e) the available time needed to serve faithfully and (f) meet the other qualifications for leadership as set forth in sections 4 and 5 of Article VIII, as well as any other criteria that may be established from time to time by the Pastor and Board of Deacons.
4. Church membership shall be a criteria for full membership in ministries for persons over age 18.
5. Each organization and auxiliary shall deposit its funds in the general funds of the church. All monies from activities shall be deposited with the Church Treasurer, as soon as practical, but not more than three (3) days after the event.
Licensing and ordinations
1. Any member, giving evidence to the Pastor and Board of Deacons, by said member's piety, zeal and aptness to teach and preach, that he or she is called of God to the work of the ministry, may be licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, provided that, after having been recommended to the Church by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, three-fourths of the members present at any worship service or Church Family Conference agree thereto.
2. If, upon recommendation of the Pastor and Board of Deacons, the Church decides that a licensed minister of the Gospel possesses the Scriptural qualifications for full ordination, it shall call a council of ministers and others (e.g., Deacons, denominational leaders) to examine the qualifications of the candidate, to which council the propriety of ordaining shall be referred.
3. If the licensed preacher is recommended for ordination by the Council of Ministers, the Pastor and Deacon Board shall take appropriate steps to hold an ordination service within sixty (60) days of the Council's recommendation.
The fiscal year of the Church shall extend from January 1st to December 31st of each year.
The church shall indemnify the Pastor, Officers, and other such persons as the Pastor and Executive Board decide for claims, losses, suits, damages and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred by said persons due to claims, losses incurred, suits, damages and expenses incurred arising out of and related to the duties with respect to their positions in furthering the purpose of this Church. Nothing herein shall obligate the church to indemnify anyone under circumstances where the action taken or conduct complained of was ultra vires, i.e., beyond legal power, or against the best interest of the Church.
1. These Church By-Laws can only be amended by a two thirds vote of those Active members present and voting at any Church Family Conference, provided notice of such amendments shall be announced at the Sunday morning worship service for each of the two (2) Sunday services prior to the conference and the subject matter published in written or electronic form and posted by reasonable schedule two (2) weeks in advance of the conference at which it is proposed that such amendments) be approved.
2. A Quorum for the purpose of amending these Church By-Laws shall consist of not less than ten (10%) percent of the Active membership.