Our Beliefs

First Baptist Church
Dixon, Missouri
Constitution & By Laws

TABLE OF CONTENTS
                                      
Preamble                                       
Article I.  Name
Article II.  Statement of Faith
    Section 1.  The Scriptures
    Section 2.  God
    Section 3.  Man                               
    Section 4.  Salvation                               
    Section 5.  God's Purpose of Grace
    Section 6.  The Church                            
    Section 7.  Baptism and the Lord's Supper
    Section 8.  The Lord's Day
    Section 9.  The Kingdom                           
    Section 10.  Last Things
    Section 11.  Evangelism and Missions
    Section 12.  Education
    Section 13.  Stewardship                           
    Section 14.  Cooperation
    Section 15.  The Christian and the Social Order
    Section 16.  Peace and War                            
    Section 17.  Religious Liberty
    Section 18.  The Family   
Article III.  Church Covenant                           
Article IV.  Church Character                           
    Section 1.  Polity
    Section 2.  Doctrine
    Section 3.  Denominational Cooperation
Article V.  Ordinances of the Church
    Section 1.  Baptism
    Section 2.  The Lord’s Supper                    


By-Laws
Article I.  Church Government                           
    Section 1.  Purpose of Church Government
    Section 2.  Structure of Church Government
    Section 3.  Church Government Qualifications               
    Section 4.  Ordination
    Section 5.  Programmatics
Article II.  Church Officers                                
    Section 1.  Church Trustees
    Section 2.  Church Clerk
    Section 3.  Church Deacons
    Section 4.  Nursery Coordinator                        
    Section 5.  Sunday School Superintendent
    Section 6.  Discipleship Training Director                   
    Section 7.  Missions & Outreach Director                   
Article III.  Church Staff                               
    Section 1.  Pastors                               
    Section 2.  Director of Children’s Ministry                   
    Section 3.  Director of Music Ministry
    Section 4.  Church Treasurer
    Section 5.  Church Secretary
    Section 6.  Church Custodian
Article IV.  Church Membership                            
    Section 1.  The Church Defined
    Section 2.  Membership Defined
    Section 3.  Purpose of Church Membership
    Section 4.  Procedures for Church Membership   
    Section 5.  Membership Covenant                       
    Section 6.  New Member Orientation
    Section 7.  Discipline of Members
    Section 8.  Removal from Membership                   
    Section 9.  Restoration of Membership
Article V.  Church Ministry Fields                           
Article VI.  Church Meetings                                
Article VII. Church Committees                                   
    Section 1.  Types of Committees                       
    Section 2.  Committee Service
    Section 3.  Standing Committees                       
Article VIII.  Property Holdings                            
Article IX.  Finances                                   
    Section 1.  Giving
    Section 2.  Authorized Payment
    Section 3.  Budget   
Article X.  Church Representation at Denominational Meetings
    Section 1.  Messengers Association Meetings
    Section 2.  Executive Board Members
    Section 3.  Messengers to the MO/SBC Conventions   
Article XI.  Dissolution of the Church                    
Article XII.  Amendments
 

 



CONSTITUTION



PREAMBLE



The purpose of this church is as stated in the New Testament scriptures. This church exists for God's pleasure and to bring glory and honor to His name and the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is done through the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of its members to attain unity of faith and true knowledge of Christ to spiritual maturity. Thus, we can be light in a darkened world in word and in deed. The church shall be devoted to one another in the loving fellowship of Jesus Christ, equipping one another in everything good for doing Christ’s will, worshipping together the Lord our God, and witnessing to the lost world of the grace and mercy of our God toward them.

References:  Colossians 1:15-19, Ephesians 4:11-16, Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:7-8, Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 13:21; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 4:11-16

ARTICLE I.  NAME

The name of this body shall be First Baptist Church of Dixon, Dixon, Missouri, a not for profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Missouri.  The church is located at 400 West 4th Street, Dixon, Missouri, 65459.

ARTICLE II.  STATEMENT OF FAITH
 
SECTION 1.  THE SCRIPTURES

The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.

References: Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

SECTION 2. GOD

There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. God is all powerful and all knowing; and His perfect knowledge extends to all things, past, present, and future, including the future decisions of His free creatures. To Him we owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience. The eternal triune God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.

A. God the Father.  God as Father reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise. God is Father in truth to those who become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.

References:  Genesis 1:1; 2:7; Exodus 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11ff.; 20:1ff.; Leviticus 22:2; Deuteronomy 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isaiah 43:3,15; 64:8; Jeremiah 10:10; 17:13; Matthew 6:9ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Romans 8:14-15; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 4:6; Colossians 1:15; 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7.

B. God the Son.  Christ is the eternal Son of God. In His incarnation as Jesus Christ He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself human nature with its demands and necessities and identifying Himself completely with mankind yet without sin. He honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and in His substitutionary death on the cross He made provision for the redemption of men from sin. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where He is the One Mediator, fully God, fully man, in whose Person is effected the reconciliation between God and man. He will return in power and glory to judge the world and to consummate His redemptive mission. He now dwells in all believers as the living and ever-present Lord.

References:  Genesis 18:1ff.; Psalms 2:7ff.; 110:1ff.; Isaiah 7:14; 53; Matthew 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16,27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6,19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18,29; 10:30,38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16,28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20,28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5,20; Romans 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3,34; 10:4; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8,24-28; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; 8:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Hebrews 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15,24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Revelation 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16.

C. God the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God, fully divine. He inspired holy men of old to write the Scriptures. Through illumination He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Christ. He convicts men of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He calls men to the Savior, and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His church. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. His presence in the Christian is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the church in worship, evangelism, and service.

References:  Genesis 1:2; Judges 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalms 51:11; 139:7ff.; Isaiah 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matthew 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10,12; Luke 1:35; 4:1,18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17,26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4,38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17,39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Romans 8:9-11,14-16,26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11,13; Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:19; 1 Timothy 3:16; 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:14; 3:16; Hebrews 9:8,14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Revelation 1:10; 22:17.

SECTION 3. MAN

Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God's creation. In the beginning man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore, every person of every race possesses full dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

References:  Genesis 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalms 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isaiah 6:5; Jeremiah 17:5; Matthew 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Romans 1:19-32; 3:10-18,23; 5:6,12,19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18,29; 1 Corinthians 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Ephesians 2:1-22; Colossians 1:21-22; 3:9-11.

SECTION 4.  SALVATION

Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord.

A. Regeneration. Regeneration, or the new birth, is a work of God's grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Repentance and faith are inseparable experiences of grace.
Repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

B. Justification.  Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal upon principles of His righteousness of all sinners who repent and believe in Christ. Justification brings the believer unto a relationship of peace and favor with God.

C. Sanctification. Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God's purposes, and is enabled to progress toward moral and spiritual maturity through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the regenerate person's life.

D. Glorification. Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

References:  Genesis 3:15; Exodus 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matthew 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22-28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14,29; 3:3-21,36; 5:24; 10:9,28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Romans 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18,29-39; 10:9-10,13; 13:11-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18,30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Galatians 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:9-22; 3:1ff.; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1-12:8,14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6-2:11; Revelation 3:20; 21:1-22:5.

SECTION 5.  GOD’S PURPOSE OF GRACE

Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

References: Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-8; 1 Samuel 8:4-7,19-22; Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 31:31ff.; Matthew 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6, 12, 17-18; Acts 20:32; Romans 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Ephesians 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Colossians 1:12-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; 2 Timothy 1:12; 2:10,19; Hebrews 11:39-12:2; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2.

SECTION 6.  THE CHURCH

A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth. Each congregation operates under the Lordship of Christ through democratic processes. In such a congregation each member is responsible and accountable to Christ as Lord. Its scriptural officers are pastors and deacons. While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.  The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ, which includes all of the redeemed of all the ages, believers from every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation.

References: Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3.

SECTION 7.  BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

A.  Baptism.  Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord's Supper.

B.  The Lord’s Supper.  The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

References: Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Colossians 2:12.

SECTION 8.  THE LORD’S DAY

The first day of the week is the Lord's Day. It is a Christian institution for regular observance. It commemorates the resurrection of Christ from the dead and should include exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private. Activities on the Lord's Day should be commensurate with the Christian's conscience under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

References: Exodus 20:8-11; Matthew 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24, 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Romans 14:5-10; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Colossians 2:16, 3:16; Revelation 1:10.


SECTION 9.  THE KINGDOM

The Kingdom of God includes both His general sovereignty over the universe and His particular kingship over men who willfully acknowledge Him as King. Particularly the Kingdom is the realm of salvation into which men enter by trustful, childlike commitment to Jesus Christ. Christians ought to pray and to labor that the Kingdom may come and God's will be done on earth. The full consummation of the Kingdom awaits the return of Jesus Christ and the end of this age.

References: Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 9:6-7; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Matthew 3:2; 4:8-10,23; 12:25-28; 13:1-52; 25:31-46; 26:29; Mark 1:14-15; 9:1; Luke 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; 12:31-32; 17:20-21; 23:42; John 3:3; 18:36; Acts 1:6-7; 17:22-31; Romans 5:17; 8:19; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:10,16; 12:28; 1 Peter 2:4-10; 4:13; Revelation 1:6,9; 5:10; 11:15; 21-22.

SECTION 10.  LAST THINGS

God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous in their resurrected and glorified bodies will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.

References: Isaiah 2:4; 11:9; Matthew 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27,30,36,44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40,48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Romans 14:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 15:24-28,35-58; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18; 5:1ff.; 2 Thessalonians 1:7ff.; 2; 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7ff.; 1 John 2:28; 3:2; Jude 14; Revelation 1:18; 3:11; 20:1-22:13.

SECTION 11.  EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man's spirit by God's Holy Spirit means the birth of love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests thus upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ has commanded the preaching of the gospel to all nations. It is the duty of every child of God to seek constantly to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness under-girded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

References: Genesis 12:1-3; Exodus 19:5-6; Isaiah 6:1-8; Matthew 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18- 30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8,16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 3:1-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Timothy 4:5; Hebrews 2:1-3; 11:39-12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 22:17.

SECTION 12.  EDUCATION

Christianity is the faith of enlightenment and intelligence. In Jesus Christ abide all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. All sound learning is, therefore, a part of our Christian heritage. The new birth opens all human faculties and creates a thirst for knowledge. Moreover, the cause of education in the Kingdom of Christ is co-ordinate with the causes of missions and general benevolence, and should receive along with these the liberal support of the churches. An adequate system of Christian education is necessary to a complete spiritual program for Christ's people.

In Christian education there should be a proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility. Freedom in any orderly relationship of human life is always limited and never absolute. The freedom of a teacher in a Christian school, college, or seminary is limited by the pre-eminence of Jesus Christ, by the authoritative nature of the Scriptures, and by the distinct purpose for which the school exists.

References: Deuteronomy 4:1,5,9,14; 6:1-10; 31:12-13; Nehemiah 8:1-8; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:7ff.; 119:11; Proverbs 3:13ff.; 4:1-10; 8:1-7,11; 15:14; Ecclesiastes 7:19; Matthew 5:2; 7:24ff.; 28:19-20; Luke 2:40; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 4:11-16; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 2:3,8-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17; Hebrews 5:12-6:3; James 1:5; 3:17.

SECTION 13. STEWARDSHIP

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Scriptures, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer's cause on earth.

References: Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30-32; Deuteronomy 8:18; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21,42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Romans 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 12:15; Philippians 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

SECTION 14.  COOPERATION

Christ's people should, as occasion requires, organize such associations and conventions as may best secure cooperation for the great objects of the Kingdom of God. Such organizations have no authority over one another or over the churches. They are voluntary and advisory bodies designed to elicit, combine, and direct the energies of our people in the most effective manner. Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ's Kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament.

References: Exodus 17:12; 18:17ff.; Judges 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Nehemiah 4; 8:1-5; Matthew 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Galatians 1:6-10; Ephesians 4:1-16; Philippians 1:15-18.

SECTION 15.  THE CHRISTIAN AND THE SOCIAL ORDER

All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.

References: Exodus 20:3-17; Leviticus 6:2-5; Deuteronomy 10:12; 27:17; Psalm 101:5; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 8:16; Matthew 5:13-16,43-48; 22:36-40; 25:35; Mark 1:29-34; 2:3ff.; 10:21; Luke 4:18-21; 10:27-37; 20:25; John 15:12; 17:15; Romans 12-14; 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 6:1-7; 7:20-24; 10:23-11:1; Galatians 3:26-28; Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:12-17; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philemon; James 1:27; 2:8.

SECTION 16.  PEACE AND WAR

It is the duty of Christians to seek peace with all men on principles of righteousness. In accordance with the spirit and teachings of Christ they should do all in their power to put an end to war.

The true remedy for the war spirit is the gospel of our Lord. The supreme need of the world is the acceptance of His teachings in all the affairs of men and nations, and the practical application of His law of love. Christian people throughout the world should pray for the reign of the Prince of Peace.

References: Isaiah 2:4; Matthew 5:9,38-48; 6:33; 26:52; Luke 22:36,38; Romans 12:18-19; 13:1-7; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14; James 4:1-2.

SECTION 17.  RELIGIOUS LIBERTY

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are contrary to His Word or not contained in it. Church and state should be separate. The state owes to every church protection and full freedom in the pursuit of its spiritual ends. In providing for such freedom no ecclesiastical group or denomination should be favored by the state more than others. Civil government being ordained of God, it is the duty of Christians to render loyal obedience thereto in all things not contrary to the revealed will of God. The church should not resort to the civil power to carry on its work. The gospel of Christ contemplates spiritual means alone for the pursuit of its ends. The state has no right to impose penalties for religious opinions of any kind. The state has no right to impose taxes for the support of any form of religion. A free church in a free state is the Christian ideal, and this implies the right of free and unhindered access to God on the part of all men, and the right to form and propagate opinions in the sphere of religion without interference by the civil power.

References: Genesis 1:27; 2:7; Matthew 6:6-7, 24; 16:26; 22:21; John 8:36; Acts 4:19-20; Romans 6:1-2; 13:1-7; Galatians 5:1,13; Philippians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; James 4:12; 1 Peter 2:12-17; 3:11-17; 4:12-19.

SECTION 18.  THE FAMILY

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption.
Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race.

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation.

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.

References: Genesis 1:26-28; 2:15-25; 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5; 78:1-8; 127; 128; 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8; 5:15-20; 6:20-22; 12:4; 13:24; 14:1; 17:6; 18:22; 22:6,15; 23:13-14; 24:3; 29:15,17; 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32; 18:2-5; 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8,14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.




ARTICLE III.  CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord 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 and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

Since we have committed ourselves to Jesus Christ and have experienced the acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption of God our Father, we covenant together as members of this church that with God's help through the guiding presence of His Spirit:
1.    We will walk together in brotherly love.
2.    We will show loving care for one another and encourage, counsel and admonish one another.
3.    We will assemble faithfully for worship and fellowship, and will pray earnestly for others as well as for ourselves.
4.    We will endeavor to bring up those under our care "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" by setting a Godly example and maintaining personal and family devotions.
5.    We will seek, by Christian example and personal effort, to win others to Christ and to encourage their growth toward Christian maturity.
6.    We will share one another's joys and endeavor to bear one another's burdens and sorrows.
7.    We will oppose all conduct that compromises our Christian faith and will uphold high standards of Christian morality.
8.    We will abstain from the sale and use of illegal drugs and the abuse of intoxicating drinks.
9.    We will prove the reality of our conversion by living godly, fruitful lives.
10.    We will maintain a faithful ministry of worship, witness, education, fellowship, and service.
11.    We will be faithful stewards of our resources through the giving of tithes and offerings and our abilities in fulfilling our personal ministry to the church, discipling one another, and sharing the gospel with people of all nations through the Cooperative Missions program.
As a result of this covenant relationship, we will seek earnestly to live to the glory of God who brought us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

References: Matthew 16:15-19; 18:15-20; John 17:21, Acts 2:41-42,47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Romans 1:7, 12:5; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 10:17; 12; Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11,21; 5:22-32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 2:9-14; 3:1-15; 4:14; Hebrews 11:39-40; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3; Jeremiah 35:6


ARTICLE IV.  CHURCH CHARACTER

SECTION 1. POLITY

We are governed by the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Body, the church, as He shall reveal His leadership to us through the Word of God and the Spirit of God.  The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it.  All internal groups created and empowered by the church through the leadership of the Holy Spirit, shall report to and be accountable only to the church.  All internal groups, including the church government, will function as servants of the church, working to help the church make wise decisions, not make decisions for the church.

SECTION 2. DOCTRINE

This church accepts the Holy Bible as its authority in matters of faith and practice.  Its understanding of Christian truth as contained herein is in essential accord with the belief of our southern Baptist churches as expressed in the Baptist Faith and Message, see Article II of this constitution.

SECTION 3. DENOMINATIONAL COOPERATION

This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Southern Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the Pulaski County Baptist Association, the Missouri State Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.  This cooperation does not grant to any of the aforementioned entities any authority over this church, nor in any way alter or lessen the autonomy and independence of this church.

ARTICLE V.  ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

SECTION 1.  BAPTISM

This church shall receive for baptism 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 whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism. The Baptism Committee shall assist in the preparation for, and the observance of, baptism.
3. Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.
4. A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the senior pastor, staff, or deacons. If negative interest is ascertained on the part of the candidate, he or she shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism and rendered ineligible for church membership.

References: Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:37-38 and 22:16; Romans 6:3-7; I Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 3:5

SECTION 2. THE LORD’S SUPPER

The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper at least quarterly, at a regular worship service, unless otherwise scheduled by the church. The pastor and deacons shall administer the Lord’s Supper to all believers who wish to partake, the deacons being responsible for the physical preparations.

References: Matthew 26:26-29;Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 10:16-21 and 11:17-34
 

BY-LAWS


ARTICLE I. CHURCH GOVERNMENT

SECTION 1. PURPOSE OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT

Church government is an extremely practical and theologically significant issue. Biblical structure and function allows the peaceful and orderly working out of the ministry of the church.  The Church is the family of God and its head is Jesus Christ.  Just as God has given us the structure and the function of each person in a family, He has done so in regards to His church.  God's Word reveals the proper structure of the church and the function of each of its parts.  The purpose of such structure and instruction is to ensure spiritual maturity both individually and corporately as a New Testament Church.

The government of First Baptist Church, Dixon, MO, is vested in its members.  The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of its life and organization.

References:  Ephesians 5:23, Ephesians 4:11-13

SECTION 2. STRUCTURE OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT

A. JESUS CHRIST
Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.  Jesus Christ has revealed His will for us, as the Church, through His Word, the Bible.

B. PASTORS
Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church mediates His rule over the Church by calling and appointing pastors to shepherd, oversee, and lead the church.  These pastors are directly responsible to Jesus Christ for the governing of the church according to His Word. See Article III, Section 1, pages 20-21.
 
C. CHURCH OFFICERS
Church officers are church members in a non-pay status who are charged by the church to minister to the needs of the Body of Christ.  All who serve as officers of the church will be in agreement with and committed to the doctrinal statement, bylaws and established policies of this church.  See Article II of the By-laws.

D. CHURCH STAFF
1.  Support staff:  Support staff are paid employees who are not required to be members of the church.  These positions consist of part-time or full-time secretaries, treasurers, custodial workers and any other position that does not fall within the ministerial staff category which requires a vote by the congregation for hiring.
2.  Ministerial staff:  Ministerial staff are church members in a pay status who are charged by the church to minister to the needs of the Body of Christ and provide oversight for the daily care of the church, the body of Christ, and the administration of church programs.  These positions consist of pastors, senior adult minister, director of children’s ministry, director of music ministry, and any other position that requires a vote by the congregation for hiring.  All who serve as ministerial staff of the church will be in agreement with and committed to the doctrinal statement, by-laws and established policies of this church. 


E. CHURCH MEMBERS
All church members are called to Christian ministry and serve as “Royal Priests.”  As such, Jesus Christ, our Chief Priest equips us and empowers each member to fulfill a specific function(s) within the Body of Christ for the edification of the church and the glory of God.  See Article IV. of the By-laws.

F. CHURCH ORGANIZATION
Figure 1, appended to these by-laws, shows the organizational diagram of the First Baptist Church of Dixon. 

G. SUCCESSION OF CHURCH AUTHORITY
Unless specified otherwise in this document, the authority for daily church decisions is vested in the Senior Pastor.  If he is absent or unable to perform his duties, the Associate Pastor shall fulfill the duties of the Senior Pastor.  If there is no Associate Pastor, he is absent, or unable to fulfill the duties of Senior Pastor, the next in the line of succession is the Chairman of the Deacons and then the Chairman of the Personnel Committee.

References:  1 Pet 2:9, Rom. 12:4-8

SECTION 3. CHURCH GOVERNMENT QUALIFICATIONS

Each Church member that serves in a governmental position must:
1. Be a born again and committed Christian who is assured of his/her personal relationship to Christ and is maturing in faith and practice.
2. Be certain of a definite call from God in this area of service within the local church.
3. Be well-grounded and equipped for service through academic training, doctrinal stability, and total commitment.
4. Be obedient unto God’s command concerning the tithe and offerings.
5. Be supportive of, and totally committed to Southern Baptist doctrines, practices, and ministries.
6. Be a dedicated, active member of First Baptist Church for at least one year.  New pastors and paid church staff must become members of the church upon hiring and are excepted from the one-year membership provision above.

If the church needs or desires services from a non-church member, the trustees will initiate a contract; they will not be hired on as staff members.

SECTION 4. ORDINATION
Ordination refers to the recognition by the church of a man's call to the ministry as a pastor or a deacon. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man manifests the qualifications of the office to which he was ordained.

References:  Acts 6:6; Acts 13:2-4; Acts 20:28

SECTION 5. PROGRAMMATICS

A.  FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the church begins on January 1st and ends on December 31st of each year.

B.  PROGRAM YEAR
The program year of the church begins on July 1st and ends on June 30th of each year. 



ARTICLE II.  CHURCH OFFICERS

SECTION 1. TRUSTEES

A.  NUMBER
The church (corporation) shall have three (3) trustees.  The chairman of the trustees shall be the president of the corporation.

B. DUTIES
Trustees shall manage the legal affairs of the church.  Trustees shall recommend purchase and sale of church property.  Each shall sign necessary paper work at the direction of the church.  The trustees shall have direct access to the church secure deposit box.

C.  ELECTION
Trustees shall be elected for a three (3) year term.  A trustee shall be nominated by the nominating committee or a nomination from the floor and elected in the May business meeting annually or at a called meeting for that purpose.

D.  CHURCH RECORDS AND BOOKS
Trustees shall maintain current records of church business and properties.  All such records shall be kept either in the church safe or the bank safety deposit box. 

SECTION 2. CHURCH CLERK

The Church Clerk is the secretary of the corporation.  The clerk shall keep the official copy of this constitution and bylaws, and be the custodian of all records and papers belonging to the church, except those designated to be kept by the Treasurer.  The clerk will assist with church administrative duties such as maintaining church and membership records, and annotating minutes at business meetings.  The clerk shall keep the legal papers of the church in a secure deposit box and shall have a key to the box.  All records and keys in the custody of the clerk shall be transferred to a new clerk upon election.  

SECTION 3. CHURCH DEACONS

The New Testament scripture teaches that deacons were set apart by the church as servants to minister to the needs of the Body of Christ. This ministry allows the pastors to devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. The office of deacon is one of a servant to the Body of Christ. Any other concept does injustice to the New Testament record found in the references below. It is not a position or office to give a man in order to honor him.

References:  Acts 6:1-7, 1 Timothy 3

A.  PURPOSE AND DUTIES.

1.  PURPOSE AND GENERAL DUTIES
The purpose of all deacons in the church is as follows:
A. To work and serve alongside the pastors and staff to support, encourage, promote, and uphold their ministry.
B. To exemplify spiritual leadership in the fellowship of the church, in their family, personal, and business relationships.
C. To be men of prayer and students of the Word of God.
D. To seek to lead the lost to the Lord Jesus Christ.
E. To help the pastor administer the Lord’s Supper, the deacons being responsible for the physical preparations.
F. To extend the love and care of the church to a hurting community.

References: Acts 6:3, 1 Timothy 2:8, 2:14-15,  and 3:8-16, Matthew 28:19-20

2.    SPECIFIC DUTIES

A.  Each deacon, as a child of God, has been given a spiritual gift for the service and edification of the body of Christ.  Accordingly, each deacon shall serve in specific duties related to his spiritual gift.  The specific ministry fields are provided in Art. V. of by-laws.
B.  In his ministry field, each deacon will:
1.    As a servant of the Body of Christ, assist and serve the pastors, church officers, program director(s), staff member(s), and committee chairmen of the programs in his ministry field in the performance of their duties.
2.    Serve as a member of each committee functioning within his ministry field.
3.    Actively participate in and support the ministries within his assigned ministry field.
4.    Serve as an information coordinator between the programs and activities within his ministry field and as a ministry field information resource for the members of the church.

References:  Romans 12:4-8, Ephesians 4:7-8, 11-13, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Hebrews 13:17

B.  ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

    1.  ACTIVE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Any man elected to the Deacon body must have been a member of this church for
at least one (1) year immediately prior to election and be at least twenty-five (25)
years old.
 
    2.  BIBLICAL QUALIFICATIONS
A deacon must possess the qualifications described in scripture. He shall be:
A. A man of good reputation.
B. A man full of the Spirit and wisdom.
C. A man of dignity, not doubled tongued, not addicted to wine, or fond of sordid gain.
D. A man who holds the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
E. A man beyond reproach.
F. A man who is the husband of only one wife.
G. A man who is a good manager of his children and his own household.

References:   Acts 6:3, 1 Timothy 3:8-12, Matthew 5:31-32
 
C.  PERIOD OF SERVICE
1.  Deacons are ordained for life so long as the man manifests the qualifications of the office to which he was ordained, see Art I, Sec 4. 
2.  Deacons may serve in the church in three statuses; in active status, in reserve status, or as Deacon Emeritus. 
3.  Once elected, approved and ordained for deacon service, the deacon enters active status and serves in this capacity for three years.  At the end of three years service, he will be placed into reserve status for a period of at least one year.  A Deacon in reserve status may be reinstated to active status in less than one year if emergency needs arise.  At the inception of this process, one-third of deacons shall serve three years, one-third two years, and one-third one year. 

D.  DEACON SELECTION PROCESS
The deacons shall consist of not less than twelve members (12), with at least two deacons per each ministry field listed in Article V., page 26.  Deacon election shall be held as the need for additional deacons may arise.  The process by which deacons are selected is as follows:

1. The Chairman of Deacons and Senior Pastor shall determine the number of deacons required on active status to support the needs of the church.
2.  The church clerk shall create a list of all the men of the church who are at least 25 years of age and have been members of the church for at least one year (as of the date the deacon elections are scheduled).
3. The church clerk shall give each man on the list a Deacon Service packet that details the general duties, qualifications, and ministry fields of service for deacons in this church.  Each man must determine whether he meets the qualifications required of a deacon and whether he would be willing to serve as a Deacon if nominated.  Each man will complete the packet, sign it, and return it to the clerk.
4. The clerk will then create a list of all the men of the church who: have confirmed that they feel the calling of God to serve as a deacon, meet the qualifications for a deacon, and would serve in that capacity, if nominated, elected, and ordained.
5. The date of a special business meeting for the selection of deacons will be printed in the church bulletin and announced from the pulpit at least two weeks prior to the meeting.  A list of the qualified men desiring to serve as deacons will also be provided.
6. The special business meeting for the selection of deacons will be conducted immediately following a regular Sunday morning worship service.
7.  Church members present at the business meeting will vote by ballot to select the men best qualified for the vacant deacon position(s).  Once the men receiving the highest number of votes are determined, those men will be presented to the church for a confirmation vote.
8.  The church will vote, by ballot, to confirm or deny the slate of men for the office of deacon.  A majority must vote yea for the slate of men to be confirmed for the office of deacon.
9. Ordained men transferring from other southern Baptist churches may be accepted as active deacons for service in their ministry field calling, upon the recommendation of the deacon body and vote of the church, following the 1 year membership period.

E.  DEACON OFFICERS
The officers of the deacons, all of whom shall be members of the church in full fellowship and active Deacons, shall be a follows:
1. The Chairman
2. Vice Chairman and
3. Secretary/Treasurer. 
The officers shall be elected by the deacon body at the May deacons meeting.  The deacon chairman may succeed himself in office only one year.  He will not be eligible for reelection for a third consecutive year. 

F.  DEACON EMERITUS
Deacon emeritus shall be elected by the church at any regular or special business meeting of the church.  To be eligible, such person must have served as an active deacon in this church and requested retirement from active deacon service.

G.  DEACON RESIGNATION OR DISMISSAL
When a deacon wishes to resign, he shall submit his resignation in writing to the church.  Resignations will be effective upon receipt of notification.  At the option of the church, a deacon’s services may be terminated at any time for cause (no longer meets the qualifications of deacon), by a two-thirds majority vote of the Church.  Whenever a deacon resigns for cause or is dismissed for cause, his ordination shall also be revoked.

H.  DEACON MEETINGS
Meetings of the deacons shall be held at least monthly or more often if deemed necessary and called by the chairman, vice chairman or pastor.  Notice of the meetings shall be given by publication at least once in the church bulletin and shall be announced at a regular worship service from the pulpit.  A quorum for the transaction of business shall be not less than 40% of the active deacons.

The chairman shall preside at all meetings of the deacons and shall perform such other duties as may be provided by the constitution and bylaws.  The vice chairman shall act in the absence of the chairman.  The secretary/treasurer shall keep a true and accurate record of the minutes of the meetings of the deacons and the deacon fund.

SECTION 4. NURSERY COORDINATOR

A. DUTIES
The Nursery Coordinator shall be responsible to the pastor and the church for performing the duties related to the care of children in the church nursery.  The nursery coordinator shall oversee the care and well-being of the children placed in the nursery during all Sunday services and at other times as announced.  The Nursery Coordinator is responsible for setting up a quarterly schedule of nursery workers, contacting workers and making sure that the nursery is adequately staffed each week, instructing new workers on policies and procedures, and seeing that the nursery is adequately supplied.  The Nursery Coordinator will conduct an annual review of the list of volunteer workers and perform any other duties as assigned relating to the care of children in the nursery. 

B. ELECTION
The Nursery Coordinator shall be nominated by the nominating committee and elected annually at the May business meeting or at a called business meeting for that purpose.

SECTION 5. SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT

A. DUTIES
The Sunday School Superintendent shall be responsible to the pastor and the church for performing the duties related to Sunday School.  The Sunday School Superintendent shall be a member of the Budget Committee and is responsible for ordering and distributing the Sunday School Literature.  The Sunday School Superintendent is also responsible for making sure that each class has a teacher each week.  The Sunday School Superintendent shall also be a member of the Nominating Committee and in that capacity shall be responsible for securing teachers for all of the Sunday School Classes for the upcoming year.  The Sunday School Superintendent shall also keep records of attendance, give monthly reports at business meetings, and perform any other duties as assigned relating to the Sunday School.

B. ELECTION
The Sunday School Superintendent shall be nominated by the nominating committee and elected annually at the May business meeting or at a called business meeting for that purpose.

SECTION 6. DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING DIRECTOR

A. DUTIES
The Discipleship Training Director shall be responsible to the pastor and the church for performing the duties related to Discipleship Training. Sunday evening discipleship training, small group bible studies, home study groups, etc., will be organized to provide ongoing discipleship training for all church members. The Discipleship Training Director shall be a member of the Nominating Committee and in that capacity shall be responsible for securing leaders for all of the Discipleship Training Classes for the upcoming year.  The Discipleship Training Director is also responsible for making sure that each class has a leader each week.  The Discipleship Training Director shall also keep records of attendance, give monthly reports at business meetings, and perform any other duties as assigned relating to Discipleship Training.

B. ELECTION
The Discipleship Training Director shall be nominated by the nominating committee and elected annually at the May business meeting or at a called business meeting for that purpose.

SECTION 7. MISSIONS & OUTREACH DIRECTOR

A. DUTIES
The Missions and Outreach Director shall be responsible to the pastor and the church for performing the duties related to missions and outreach.  The Missions and Outreach Director is responsible for organizing and coordinating mission trips and community outreach activities such as Children’s Bible School.  The Missions and Outreach Director shall also be responsible for coordinating the Faith Team visits and all other visitation efforts of the church.  The Missions and Outreach Director shall also be active in the Pulaski County Baptist Association and perform any other duties as assigned relating to missions and outreach.

B. ELECTION
The Missions and Outreach Director shall be nominated by the nominating committee and elected annually at the May business meeting or at a called business meeting for that purpose.



ARTICLE III.  CHURCH STAFF


A. GENERAL
The staff shall be composed of those persons employed by the church.  Job descriptions for each position setting forth responsibilities, benefits, terms and conditions of employment, manner of calling or hiring, and conditions of termination shall be drafted by the personnel committee in coordination with the budget committee and approved by the church.  Ministerial Staff members other than the pastor, associate pastor and Support Staff members shall be recommended to the church by the personnel committee and employed by church action.  (Ministerial and Support staff positions are described in Article I., Section 2, Item D., page 13 of the by-laws).


B.  EMPLOYMENT
1.  Ministerial staff:  When a vacancy occurs in a ministerial staff position, the following procedures apply (excepting pastor positions as covered in Section 1 below).  The personnel committee shall interview applicants and recommend its choice to the church for employment.  The personnel committee in coordination with the budget committee will recommend salary and benefits.
2.  Support staff:  The pastor shall interview, select, and hire applicants.  The personnel committee in coordination with the budget committee will recommend salary and benefits.

C.  TERMINATION
In the case of resignation or dismissal of a church staff member the following procedures apply (excepting pastor positions as covered in Section 1 below).  When a church staff member wishes to resign, he or she shall submit his resignation in writing to the church.  The employee shall give at least thirty (30) days notice prior to the termination of services.      
    1.  Ministerial staff:  At the option of the personnel committee or the pastor, the staff member may be terminated at any time for cause.  Staff members may submit a rebuttal within 48 hours of termination to the Personnel Committee for review and final decision.  The Personnel Committee may overturn the pastor’s recommendation by majority vote.  Severance packages (with the exception of Pastors as provided in Sec 1 below) will be governed by the employment contract.
    2.  Support staff:  At the option of the pastor, the staff member may be terminated at any time for cause.  There is no rebuttal process for these staff members.

D.  BEREAVEMENT LEAVE
Bereavement leave may be taken by full-time church staff in the event of the death of a member of their immediate family or their spouse’s immediate family.  This includes mother or stepmother, father or stepfather, grandmother, grandfather, spouse, children, siblings,  mother-in-law and father-in law.  Bereavement leave is not to exceed five consecutive  days.

E.  VACATION
Requests for vacation days must be submitted in writing to the personnel committee at least ten working days in advance to ensure adequate time is available to find personnel to assume the duties of the church staff member during their absence. 

SECTION 1. PASTORS

A.  PASTORAL DUTIES.

1.  All Pastors.  The duties and responsibilities of all pastors are as follows:
A. To pray.
B. To prepare and to preach the inerrant Word of God.
C. To protect the church from false doctrine.
D. To see to the oversight, spiritual equipage, and care of the church body.
E. To assist in the selection of all church staff in accordance with the selection process established in these by-laws.
F. To serve the people for Jesus' sake.
 
References:  Acts 6:4, 10:28, 20:34; I Corinthians 9:16; Ephesians 4:11-16; I Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:7; I Timothy 3:1-7, 4:13-16; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:5-9

    2.  Senior Pastor.  The Senior Pastor also serves as Christ’s chief shepherd for the flock and directs the daily affairs of the church as prescribed in God’s word and in accordance with this constitution and by-laws.  He is especially charged to hold firmly to sound doctrine and preach the trustworthy message of the gospel. 

References:  1 Tim 5:17, Titus 1:7-9

    3.  Associate Pastor(s).  Associate pastor duties are as provided in Section 1A above.  Also, Associate Pastors shall assist the Senior Pastor in his ministry and shall fulfill other ministry duties for which he was hired.  Often, an Associate Pastor will be hired to directly oversee a ministry of the church such as:
A.    Youth Pastor in charge of Youth Ministries, or
B.    Music Pastor in charge of Music Ministries. 

When an Associate Pastor is hired to also serve as a Youth Pastor, Music Pastor, or in another like capacity, the scope of his duties shall be clearly specified by the personnel committee in the hiring process and also in his job description.  Additionally, the Associate Pastor will fulfill the duties of the Senior Pastor in his absence.

4.  Interim Pastor.  In the event of a prolonged absence or immediate release of the Senior Pastor, the church may vote to hire an Interim Pastor.

B. ADDITIONAL PASTOR QUALIFICATIONS
In addition to the qualifications for all members serving in positions of church government in Article I., Section 3, Page 14, all Pastors shall be ordained ministers in good standing with the Southern Baptist Convention. In the event a pastor is called who is not ordained, the church shall ordain him within six months of his installation.  Pastors shall meet the qualifications as given in 1 Timothy 3: 1-7 and be an example to the flock.

References: 1 Timothy 3:1-7

C.  CALLING OF PASTORS
Pastors are ordained for life so long as the man manifests the qualifications of the office to which he was ordained, and shall be called for an indefinite period.  The church shall call a pastor whenever a vacancy occurs.  His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose.  At least two week's public notice shall be given for this meeting. Election shall be by ballot.  An affirmation vote of seventy-five percent (75%) of those present and voting shall be required to call a pastor.

D.  PASTOR SEARCH COMMITTEE
Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of pastor, the church shall elect a pastor search committee.  The nominating committee shall nominate five (5) persons to serve on the search committee.  Other persons may be nominated from the floor.  The five persons receiving the largest number of votes shall comprise the search committee.  The personnel committee in coordination with the budget committee will recommend salary and other benefits.

E.  PASTOR RESIGNATION OR DISMISSAL
When a pastor wishes to resign, he shall submit his resignation in writing to the church.  A pastor shall normally give at least thirty (30) days notice prior to the termination of his services.  At the option of the church, the pastoral relationship may be terminated at any time for cause, by a two-thirds majority vote of the Church.  In either resignation or termination, an ordained pastor’s salary and benefits will continue for thirty (30) days past the resignation submission or the termination vote.   Any church-owned residence occupied by a pastor shall be vacated in that time.

SECTION 2. DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S MINISTRY

The Director of the Children’s Ministry is responsible to the pastor or his designated representative for developing, planning and promoting the children’s programs of the church.  The Director will also serve as the chair of the children’s committee.

SECTION 3. DIRECTOR OF MUSIC MINISTRY

The Director of the Music Ministry is responsible to the pastor or his designated representative for developing, planning and promoting the musical worship portion of all church services (regular and special).

SECTION 4. CHURCH TREASURER

The church treasurer is the treasurer of the corporation and is responsible to the Pastor or his designated representative for performing treasurer duties related to the ministries of the church.  The treasurer shall keep true books of account, be responsible for the safe keeping of said books, and shall render to the church each month a report of the financial operations of the preceding month and report the financial condition of the church at the close of said month.  The treasurer is responsible for all duties relating to payroll and for completing any reports that deal with the financial aspects of the church, such as annual associational and state reports.  The treasurer shall be responsible for keeping a record of all deposits and disbursements of funds in accordance with the following regulations:  all payments are to be made by check and upon proper authorization of the church, all checks shall be signed by the treasurer or the assistant treasurer.  The treasurer shall also serve on the budget committee and provide cumulative budget reports to the committee on a monthly basis.  The treasurer’s books and financial papers shall be made available for audit one month after the close of the fiscal year in December.  All books, records and keys in the custody of the treasurer shall be transferred to a new treasurer in the event of the current treasurer’s resignation or dismissal.

SECTION 5. CHURCH SECRETARY
The secretary is responsible to the pastor or his designated representative for performing secretarial duties related to the ministries of the church.  The secretary shall keep the church calendar updates; assist with the typing, printing, folding, and mailing of the monthly newsletter; maintain current church mailing list; type and print minutes of the business meetings (regular and special called); order office supplies as needed; and will perform other duties as assigned.  The secretary shall be responsible for issuing letters of membership granted to other Baptist churches, and statements of membership to churches of other denominations.  The secretary shall request letters on behalf of those applying for membership.  The secretary shall present in writing, at the July business meeting, the statistics of the previous year, record statements as may seem advisable upon the books of the church, and shall prepare the annual association letter. 
SECTION 6. CHURCH CUSTODIAN

The custodian is responsible for keeping the building clean, comfortable, and performing other duties as directed by the pastor or his designated representative.  The custodian shall also serve on the building and grounds committee.



ARTICLE IV.  CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1. THE CHURCH DEFINED

The word church (ekklesia) means, "called out ones" and can refer to the entire spiritual body of Christ or a local congregation of that body.  In the New Testament it most often refers to an established local congregation of believers.

Scripture teaches that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body called the Church, the family of God, of which Jesus Christ is the head. The Church is made up of individual local congregations of believers that assemble together for the cause of fellowship and growing in Christ.  God has given each local congregation all that it needs to individually and corporately mature and carry out the commands and commissions of our Lord. The church exists for the spiritual purpose set forth in the preamble of this constitution.
References:  Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22, Acts 2:47; Acts 11:22; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Colossians 4:15

SECTION 2. MEMBERSHIP DEFINED
Members of this church shall be comprised of those who:
1. Make a public profession of their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior at a regular or special worship service, and are scripturally baptized by immersion in the presence of this church.
2. Give promise of a letter from another Southern Baptist Church, or
3. Make a statement proclaiming their prior public profession of faith in Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, and their baptism by immersion in accordance with Article V., Section I, pages 11-12 of this constitution.

References:  Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9, Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:12; Acts 19:5

SECTION 3. PURPOSE OF CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Church membership is important in that it facilitates:
1. The defining of who belongs to our local congregation.
2. The knowing of who can participate in the privileges and responsibilities of the church.
3. The provision of adequate care, nurture, and protection for every individual that belongs to this church.
4. The exercising of authority and oversight in discipline and restoration of those members not maintaining a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct.

References:  Philemon 2:2, 1 Timothy 5:16; James 5:14, Acts 6:1, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

SECTION 4. PROCEDURES FOR CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

A. APPLICATION FOR CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Any person may request membership with this church in accordance with Section 2 above, by making a request to a pastor for membership, which initiates the membership process.
 
B. PROCESS FOR CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Upon a person's request for membership, the following procedures will be followed:
1. The person shall meet with a pastor or a pastor-appointed member to discuss if he or she has truly trusted Christ as Savior.
2.  A pastor or a deacon of the church shall give them an information packet including the constitution and by-laws.
3. A pastor or deacon of the church shall meet with the person to discuss and answer any questions regarding the church, the membership covenant, and his or her membership commitment.
4. If after meeting with a pastor of the church, the person is found to be of kindred spirit with the church, and can and will commit to the responsibilities of membership, a pastor shall publicly present his or her request for membership to the church at a regularly scheduled worship service.
5. The person will be received as a new member upon affirmative vote of a majority of members at a regular worship service.
6. New members shall attend the New Members’ orientation class (if they haven’t previously) and, upon completion, be assigned to a Sunday School class for care.

SECTION 5. MEMBERSHIP COVENANT

Each new member will sign the following covenant during new member orientation: 

I affirm that I have made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and have been scripturally baptized.  I further affirm that I have read the statement of faith and doctrine of this church and am of like faith and kindred spirit.

I understand that my responsibilities as a member of this church are to:
1. Seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
2. Uphold the Articles of Faith, Constitution and Bylaws, and Covenant of the Church.
3. Support the church with my regular attendance in worship and Bible study.
4. Seek to use my spiritual gift to benefit the cause of Christ in our church.
5. Support the church financially through tithes and offerings.
6. Be accountable to the church in doctrine and conduct.
7. Submit to the loving rule, oversight, and authority of the pastors regarding reproof, instruction, correction, and loving discipline as given in Matthew 18:15-17.

References:  Hebrews 10:23-25

SECTION 6. NEW MEMBER ORIENTATION

New church members will be expected to participate in the church's new member orientation program where the Baptist Faith and Message will be taught and the provisions of this Constitution and By-Laws will be explained.  New members will also be given a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws.   At the conclusion of the orientation process, new members will be asked to declare an area of ministry in which they are willing to serve the church body and will be introduced to a Sunday School class for continued spiritual growth.

SECTION 7. DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS

Church Members who exhibit a continuing, unrepentant lifestyle of sin in regard to
doctrine or conduct shall be dealt with according to the biblical process of church
discipline.   The purpose of church discipline is to demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ in affecting the restoration of a lost sheep, to uphold biblical standards of conduct, to maintain purity in the local church, and to deter sin.   Members of this church who shall err in doctrine or conduct shall be subject to discipline and/or dismissal according to scripture. 

Before such disciplinary action, however:

1. It shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring member's heresy or misconduct to warn and to correct such erring member in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration.
2. If said erring member does not heed this warning, then the warning member shall again go to the erring member accompanied by one or two witnesses to warn and correct such erring member, seeking his or her repentance and restoration.
3. If said erring member still refuses to heed this additional warning, then, it shall be brought to the attention of the pastors who will attempt correction.
4. If the member will not repent, the pastor, upon careful and prayerful investigation, shall tell it to the church.
5. If said erring member refuses to heed the warning of the pastors and the church, he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the church.
6. There shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
7. It is understood that this process will continue to conclusion even if the erring member leaves the church or otherwise seeks to withdraw from membership to avoid the discipline process.
8. If said member, after dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests restoration of membership, he or she shall be publicly restored to membership.

References: Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; Gal. 6:1; 1 Timothy 5:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:16-18; James 5:19-20, Matthew 18:15-18, Galatians 6:1, 1Cor 5:1-5; 1Tim. 1:18-20, 1Tim. 5:19-20; 2Tim. 2:16-18; James 5:19-20
 
SECTION 8. REMOVAL FROM MEMBERSHIP

Members may be removed from church membership for any of the following reasons:
1. Death.
2. Transfer of membership to another Southern Baptist church, providing that disciplinary action is not in process for an offense under Section 7 above.
3. Dismissal when membership with a church of another denomination is known.
4. Disciplinary action.
5. Member request, providing that disciplinary action is not in process for an offense under Section 7 above.

SECTION 9. RESTORATION OF MEMBERSHIP

If a member, after dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and                requests reinstatement, he or she shall be publicly restored to membership in accordance with Section 4 above. Any such request shall be made to a pastor.

References:  Galatians 6:1




ARTICLE V. CHURCH MINISTRY FIELDS

The church shall evaluate, plan, organize, and implement such ministries, as the church deems necessary. All ministries of the church shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church. The church programs, activities, and committees are grouped into six ministry fields.  Deacons will be assigned a ministry field in which to serve.  The church will provide the human resources, the physical reserves, and the financial resources for the appropriate advancement of the following ministry fields:

A.  Evangelism and Outreach: The purpose of this ministry is to endeavor to make disciples of all nations.  This starts by constantly seeking to win the lost to Christ by verbal witness, under-girded by a Christian lifestyle, and by other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.  We will do this through such programs as local, national, and international mission trips, the FAITH program, home, and institutional visits, Mission Action, Missions Ministry, Public Relations Committee, and similar ministries.

B.  Mercy and Benevolence:  The purpose of this ministry is to attend to FBC member needs during times of family loss and crisis, and to minister to the poor and oppressed as exampled by Jesus Christ.  We will do this through such programs as the bereavement and benevolence committees, and similar ministries.

C.  Finances and Administration: The purpose of this ministry is to plan and manage the records, finances, logistics, and administrative management of the church.  This will be accomplished through a variety of committees and functions, such as Trustees, Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, Church Secretary, Audit Committee, Budget Committee, Finance Committee, Nominating Committee, Personnel Committee, Church Custodian, Facilities Expansion Committee, Building and Grounds Committee, Transportation Committee, and Strategic Planning and Coordination Committee.

D.  Teaching and Orientation: The purpose of this ministry is to prepare each member for the good works which God has prepared in advance for us to do; to fully prepare each to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason for the hope that we have; to fully equip each to make other disciples from all nations; and, to create a thirst for the true knowledge of Christ in new Christians.  This will be accomplished through such programs and activities as Sunday school, discipleship training, and new member orientation training. 

E.  Children and Youth Activities: The purpose of this ministry is to prepare the church’s children and youth for service to God and provide an atmosphere of loving care and fellowship for them.  This will be done through a variety of personnel, programs and services such as, Associate/Youth Pastor, Children’s Director, Church Nursery Coordinator, Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Children’s Committee, Nursery Committee, Youth Committee, and Youth Council Committee.

F.  Worship and Fellowship Activities: The purpose of this ministry is to bring glory and honor to God’s name and to promote loving fellowship among the body of Christ.  This is done by equipping the saints for the work of service and the building up of our members to attain unity of faith, a true knowledge of Christ, and spiritual maturity.  We will do this through a variety of personnel, committees, and functions such as, Senior Pastor, Music Director, Fellowship Ministry, Music Ministry, Recreation Ministry, Senior Saints Ministry, Baptism Committee, Choir Committee, Christmas Committee, Christmas Program Committee, Christmas Treat Committee, Hospitality Committee, Lord’s Supper Committee, Revival Committee, Senior Members’ Committee, and Ushers’ Committee.


ARTICLE VI. CHURCH MEETINGS

A. TYPES OF MEETINGS
1.  Worship Services.  The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The pastor shall direct the services for all the church members and for all others who may choose to attend.
2.  Special Services.  Revival services and any other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.
3. Regular Business Meetings.  The church shall hold regular business meetings at least quarterly on a designated Sunday night.
4. Special Business Meetings.  The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance.

B. NOTICE OF MEETINGS
All business meetings (regular and special) will be printed in the church bulletin and announced from the pulpit at least two weeks prior to the meeting, with the purpose and time of special meetings specified.

C. CONDUCT OF MEETINGS
The church shall hold regular business meetings at least quarterly on a designated Sunday night.   ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER, NEWLY REVISED, are the authority for parliamentary rules of order for all business meetings of the church.  A quorum shall consist of 5% of the church membership.  The Senior Pastor will normally serve as the moderator.  In his absence or as otherwise determined by the pastor and deacon body, the duties of Moderator will follow the order specified in Article I, Section 2, Item G, page 14, Succession of Church Authority.

D. VOTING
Each member shall be entitled to one vote.  No proxies will be allowed in any regular or called business meeting. 


ARTICLE VII.  CHURCH COMMITTEES

SECTION 1. TYPES OF COMMITTEES

First Baptist Church has two types of committees: standing and ad hoc. The church shall establish and elect such committees, as the church deems necessary.

A. STANDING COMMITTEES
Standing committees are those committees that must continuously function to fulfill the intent for which they are established. 

B. AD HOC COMMITTEES
Ad hoc committees are established for a specific purpose and for a limited duration, and will be disestablished once the purpose for which it was formed is fulfilled. 

SECTION 2.  COMMITTEE SERVICE

All church committee members must be active members of the church and shall be nominated by the nominating committee or nominations from the floor, and elected by the church annually at the May business meeting or at called business meeting for that purpose.  Ad hoc committees may be established and members elected at any business meeting and will serve for the duration of the activity for which the committee was established.

SECTION 3. STANDING COMMITTEES

A. AUDIT COMMITTEE
The audit committee shall consist of at least three (3) members.  This committee shall be responsible for seeing that the treasurer's books are audited annually within ninety (90) days after the close of the church fiscal year (Dec. 31)

B. BAPTISM COMMITTEE
The committee shall consist of at least three (3) members.  Duties include: having the custodian fill the baptistry; notifying candidates of the date of baptism service; and seeing that the changing rooms, robes, and towels are ready for use and towels are cleaned after use.  The baptism committee shall make recommendations to the church concurring new robes, equipment, and improvements to the baptistery and dressing rooms.

C. BEREAVEMENT COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  Duties include: contacting families of deceased members for meal preparation, preparing and serving the bereavement dinner, delivering food to the family home, and cleaning the kitchen after the dinner.

D. BUDGET COMMITTEE
The Budget Committee develops and recommends a unified church budget.  It advises and recommends action concerning the administration of the gifts of church members and others, using sound principles of financial management. It works with the treasurer in the preparation and presentation to the church of required reports regarding the financial affairs of the church. This committee shall be composed of the church staff, church officers, and three committee members nominated from the floor at the May business meeting.  It shall be the duty of this committee to submit a proposed, itemized budget to the church at the December business meeting prior to the beginning of the fiscal or budget year, which begins January 1. 

E. BUILDING AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  The building and grounds committee shall attend to the upkeep and maintenance of the church property and equipment.  The committee shall make recommendations to the custodian and the church concerning keeping the building and Grounds in first-class condition.  The custodian shall be a member of this committee.

F. CHILDREN’S COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members who plan activities and gatherings for the children of the church.  The committee may solicit help to see that all arrangements are made.  The Children’s Director shall chair this committee.

G. CHRISTMAS COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  This committee shall plan and coordinate the church Christmas program, to include setting up the Christmas tree, decorating the tree and auditorium for the Christmas season, and purchasing and distributing treats.

K. FINANCE COMMITTEE
The committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  They shall collect weekly offerings, count and record offerings, and deposit offerings at the bank.

L. FLOWER COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least three (3) members.  The flower committee shall be responsible for flowers for the worship services, enlist members to donate flowers, maintain the flower closet (artificial flowers, decorations, etc.), and ensure that flowers left after Sunday services are given to the sick and shut-ins.

M. FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members. The fellowship committee shall be in charge of all general church fellowships.  The committee may solicit help in seeing that all arrangements are made, refreshments are provided, and the work is done for the fellowships.  The committee shall assure various church guests are cared for with food and lodging, if required.

M. LORD’S SUPPER COMMITTEE
This is a deacon committee under the direction of the chairman of deacons.  The committee prepares the elements and the equipment for the observance of the Lord's Supper in accordance with Article V, Section 2 of the constitution.  The committee is also responsible for administering the Lord’s Supper quarterly to church members who are physically unable to attend church services, i.e., “shut-ins.”

N. PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least three (3) members.  The public relations committee shall promote church functions, be responsible for presenting newsworthy items to the general public, send weekly announcements to radio stations and newspapers about church activities, publish the Banner newspaper, and maintain the church website.

O. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The nominating committee shall consist of three (3) members of the church, nominated and elected from the church floor at the March business meeting.  Each committee member shall serve a three (3) year term with one member being elected each year.  The senior member is chairman each year.  The committee shall nominate appropriate church officers for election at the April business meeting.  After election the Sunday School Director, Discipleship Training Director, and Mission Action Director, shall become members of the nominating committee.  The committee will nominate and present to the church in May all general officers, committees, and teachers who will serve during the new church year (June 1 - May 31 of each year).

P. NURSERY COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least three (3) members.  The nursery committee shall recommend policies, inventory all equipment, recommend equipment purchases, and enlist volunteer help for worship services and at other times as announced.  The nursery coordinator shall chair the committee.

Q. PERSONNEL COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of three deacons nominated by the deacons and elected by the church.  All church staff, with the exception of the pastor, associate pastor, and support staff, shall be recommended to the church by this committee and approved for employment by the church.  Staff members (excluding pastor and support staff) shall be under general direction of the personnel committee.  The committee, in coordination with the Senior Pastor, shall keep current job descriptions for the church staff.  The personnel committee, in coordination with the Senior Pastor, shall conduct an annual job performance review of employees each November, or more often if deemed necessary by the committee.

R. REVIVAL COMMITTEE
This is a deacon committee under the direction of the chairman of deacons.  The deacons, in coordination with the Senior Pastor and church staff, shall plan a revival in the spring and one in the fall of each year.  The committee shall recommend dates, evangelist and music directors to the church for approval.

S. SENIOR MEMBERS COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  The senior members committee shall plan activities for the senior members of the church, as well as coordinate services at the Nursing Home on a regularly scheduled basis.  The committee shall strive to promote the spiritual growth of the senior members of the church.

T. STRATEGIC PLANNING & COORDINATION COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of the church officers and staff.  The pastor shall serve as chairman, and the chairman of deacons shall serve as vice chairman.  The church secretary shall serve as secretary for the committee.

This committee is not a decision-making body but develops strategic plans for the church and implementing programs and plans, both long and short term.  Moreover, the committee assists the church staff in reviewing the needs presented by ministry teams and committees, coordinating actions spanning two or more committees, and making coordinated recommendations to the church Members at the Business Meetings to be voted on.  It serves the church body as a central point to identify issues needing resolution, researching those issues, coordinating with the church government or committees as necessary to resolve those issues or present a cogent motion to the church body for vote.

U. USHERS COMMITTEE
The usher committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  The ushers committee shall welcome visitors and see that visitors needs are met, help with the offering, be responsible for seating the people, take care of any disturbances, hand out bulletins and special materials.

V. TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five (5) members.  The committee shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of the church vehicles.  The committee shall schedule drivers for transportation to and from church.

W. YOUTH COMMITTEE
This committee shall consist of at least five members.  This committee shall plan activities and gatherings for the youth, and promote youth activities and socials to the church.  The minister of youth shall serve as the chairman of this committee.

X. YOUTH COUNCIL COMMITTEE
The youth council shall consist of two (2) middle school students and two (2) high school students and one (1) member at large from the active youth group.  The youth council shall serve as the leadership group within the youth group.  The youth council shall work with the minister of youth to promote church attendance and spiritual growth among the youth.



ARTICLE VIII.  PROPERTY HOLDINGS

If at any time this church shall determine to alter the quality of its beliefs and practices so as to be at variance with the character described in this constitution and in these Articles of Faith, and the decision is by less than unanimous vote of those present at the regular business meeting of the church, it is understood that the rights of the property of the church shall remain with that part of the congregation which shall agree to continue to use the property for the purpose for which it was purchased and has been to that time maintained.  Should the church vote to disband, the property shall revert to the Pulaski Baptist Association or its succeeding agency.

ARTICLE IX.  FINANCES

SECTION 1. GIVING

As a church, we adopt the Bible plan of tithes and offerings.  All funds contributed to the church by members or others shall be deposited to the credit of the church and disbursed by the treasurer or the assistant treasurer upon order of the church as set forth in its budget.  All designated funds shall be sacredly applied according the will of the donors.

SECTION 2. AUTHORIZED PAYMENT

The treasurer shall pay out money only as it is authorized in the budget, as appropriately voted on by the church at a business meeting.  All checks shall bear the signature of the treasurer or other signatures that have been authorized by vote of the church.

SECTION 3. BUDGET

Prior to the beginning of each calendar year (in December), the budget committee shall prepare and present to the church for approval a sound budget for the coming year.

ARTICLE X.  CHURCH REPRESENTATION IN DENOMINATIONAL MEETINGS

SECTION 1. MESSENGERS ASSOCIATION MEETINGS

Each year the allowable number of messengers shall be sent to represent the church at the Pulaski Baptist Association meetings.  The duty of messengers shall be to cooperate with messengers of other churches in promoting the interests of the Kingdom of Christ.  Messengers are nominated from the floor and elected by the church.

SECTION 2. EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS

This church shall be represented by the pastor and two board members on the Pulaski Baptist Associations Executive Board.  Executive board members will be nominated by the nominating committee and elected by the church for a three (3) year term of office.

SECTION 3. MESSENGERS TO THE MO/SBC CONVENTIONS

Messengers shall be elected each year to attend the sessions of the Missouri Baptist State convention and of the Southern Baptist State Convention and of the Southern Baptist Convention.  The pastor, by virtue of his office, shall be considered an elected messenger to the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.


ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION OF THE CHURCH 

The pastor body shall allow the church membership to decide by ballot vote the dissolution of the church.  A 75% majority vote of all eligible members present is required for the dissolution of the church.  Upon the dissolution of the church, the property shall revert to the Pulaski Baptist Association or its succeeding agency. The pastor body shall allow the church membership to approve their decision on the distribution of the assets of the church.  Approval shall be by a 75% majority vote of all eligible members present at a special-called meeting for that purpose.



ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS

Changes in this constitution and bylaws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church.  Such amendments must have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting occurring at least 2 weeks earlier with copies of the proposed amendment furnished to each member present.  A quorum shall be ten percent (5%) of active members.  Amendments to the constitution shall be by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members of the church present and voting.  Amendments to the bylaws shall have a concurrence of the majority of members present and voting.



ADOPTED BY THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH IN REGULAR SESSION IN 2006.

CONSTITUTION COMMITTEE:
Bob Abernathy
Ellen Alexander
Betty Doyle
Bill Harrison
Matt Richards

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