FBC Riesel - Bylaws
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Bylaws for First Baptist Church, Riesel, Texas

 

Drafted[1]: 11/21/2010

Adopted: 1/16/2011

 

 

Preamble to the Church Bylaws

We, the membership of First Baptist Church, Riesel, Texas, do declare and establish these bylaws for the preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to govern the body in an orderly manner.

Article One
Principal Office

•    Organized: 1895

•    Constituted: 1895

•    Articles of Incorporation dated:

•    Location Address: 301 Edwards Street

City: Riesel   State: TX   Zip: 76682

•    Phone: (254) 896-3421

•    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 509, Riesel, Texas, 76682

•    Web Site: fbcriesel.org Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

•    Associational Affiliation: Waco Baptist Regional Network

Article Two
Membership

Section 1- General

 

•    The New Testament presents a picture of definable groups of people who, once committed to the Lord, identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body (Acts 2:42-46; Romans 16:1; I Corinthians 1:2; II Corinthians 8:1; Philippians 1:1; Acts 11:26).

•    Membership is open to people who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, have been baptized by immersion, and who are united together by covenant as one body in Christ.

•    This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  The membership retains the right to exclusive self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church.

Section 2- Candidacy

Any person may offer oneself as a candidate for membership in this church and shall be presented to the church at any regular church service in any of the following ways:

  • By profession of faith and for baptism by immersion as demonstrated by Jesus in Scripture.

  • By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church.

  • By statement of belief of prior conversion and membership in a Baptist Church.

Section 3 – Designation

In an effort to properly reflect the membership of the church, two (2) church rolls will be maintained by the Church Clerk; to be updated periodically and reported to the church, and one hard copy to be kept at the church.

·         Active members: All members who are currently involved in the activities, functions and worship of the church.

·         Inactive members: Members who have become inactive as a result of moving from the Church’s ministry area and not having joined another church, or members who have been inactive for twelve (12) months as determined by attendance in Sunday School or worship. Attendance at any church service makes a member active.

 

Section 4 – Responsibilities

 

The responsibilities of membership are as follows:

·         Protect the unity of the church by acting in love toward other members, and by refusing to gossip. (Rom. 15:5 &19; I Peter 1:22; Eph. 4:29; Heb. 13:17).

·         Share the responsibility of the church by praying for its growth, inviting the un-churched to attend and by warmly welcoming those who attend (I Thessalonians 1:2; Luke 4:23; Romans 15:7).

·         Serve the ministry of the church by discovering individual gifts and talents, being equipped to serve by pastors and by developing a servant’s heart (I Pet. 4:10; Eph. 4:11-12; Phil. 2:3-4, & 7).

·         Support the testimony of the church by attending faithfully, living a godly life and by giving regularly (Heb. 10:24, 25; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 16:2).

Section 5 – Voting Rights

 

•    Every active member is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in business meeting.

•    Voting matters include but are not limited to: annual Church budget, election of Trustees, acquisition of real property and related indebtedness, incurring indebtedness for facilities development, merger or dissolution of the Church, amendments to the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution or Bylaws, calling or removing of a Pastor or other church employee and election of messengers for annual associational, state and national meetings.

•    Voting by proxy is prohibited.

Section 6 – Termination

 

Membership shall be terminated for the following reasons:

·         Death

·         Transfer of membership to another Baptist Church.

·         Proof of membership in a church of another denomination.

·         By personal request of the member.

 

Section 7 – Discipline

 

•     It shall be the practice of this church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, Deacons, and other members of the church staff are available for counsel and guidance.  The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment.

•     Should a member commit a serious offense which the church considers to be detrimental to the church’s general welfare and reputation, the Pastor and Deacons will take every reasonable measure to encourage the offender to repent and be reconciled to God and the Church in accordance with Scripture (1 Cor. 5:6; 1 Tim. 5:20-21; Matt. 18:15-18).

•     If the welfare of the Church is best served by the dismissal of the member, the church may, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, dismiss the member by a two-thirds vote in a specially called meeting.

•     The Church may restore membership to any person previously dismissed upon their request, and by vote of the church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation.

Article Three
Meetings/Business Meetings

 

 

Section 1 – Place

 

•     The Church shall hold regular meetings for worship, teaching, training, outreach and fellowship at the principle Church location, unless otherwise designated from time to time by the Pastor or Staff.

•     There shall be a Sunday School conducted each Sunday morning as well as other classes and organizations which may be deemed advisable by the church for the purpose of teaching the Word of God and training in Christian life and service

•     The church may conduct evangelistic meetings from time to time as shall be determined by the church and pastor for the best interest of the church.

•     The church may in each year conduct one or more Bible Schools.

•     All instructional leadership positions shall be held by church members.  Non-members may assist in all activities and ministries of the church.

Section 2 – Ordinances

Baptism: A person shall be received for Baptism

•     Who receives Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith

•     Who professes Him publicly at any worship service

•     Who indicates commitment to follow Christ as Lord

Baptism shall be by immersion in water, shall be administered by the Pastor or other minister of the church or by anyone approved by the church at any regular business meeting, and shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service.

Lord’s Supper: The Lord’s Supper is a symbol of obedience whereby members of the Body of Christ, through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine, commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming.

•     The Pastor, other ministers, or Deacons shall be responsible for the administration of the Lord’s Supper.

•    The Lord’s Supper shall be observed regularly at the direction of the Pastor, but not less

than once every three months.

 

Section 3- Regular Business

 

•     Regular business meetings shall be held once per month, unless otherwise agreed to by this church at the previous regular business meeting.

•     All business meetings will be guided by Christian courtesy and conducted according to parliamentary procedure as laid out in Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Edition.

•     All decisions will be by simple majority vote unless otherwise presented.

•     The pastor’s presence is not required to conduct a regular business meeting.

Section 4 – Special Called

 

Called meetings may be called by the Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons, or a group of at least 10 members for any purpose by giving notice to the members in accordance with Section 5 of this Article.

 

Section 5 –Notices

 

•    Notice of the called business meeting must be given in three consecutive services preceding the called business meeting.

•      Members will be notified from the pulpit of the time, place and purpose of such a meeting, and no other business will be transacted at said meeting except as specified in the notice.

 

Section 6 – Quorum

 

•    A quorum shall consist of 10 members present and voting at a regular meeting or a meeting duly noticed and called for the transaction of business.

Section 7 – Voting

 

•    Voting procedure shall follow Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Edition.

a)  Simple majority shall be required at regular business meetings.

b)  2/3 majority shall be required at special called business meetings.

 

Section 8 - Rules Of Order

 

•    Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised Edition is the authority for Parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.

 

 

Article Four
Professional Ministerial Leadership Staff

 

Section 1- Staff Overview

 

•    Pastor

•    Minister of Children

•    Minister of Youth

Section 2- Staff Function

See Individual Staff Job Descriptions in the Policy and Procedures Manual

Pastor

The Pastor is responsible for leading the church body in functioning as a New Testament Church (Acts 14:23, 20:28-32;1 Tim. 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). The Pastor is responsible for providing spiritual instruction and strategic leadership to the members, staff and ministries of the church.

Minister of Youth

The Minister of Youth is responsible for planning, administering, coordinating, supervising and evaluating a comprehensive and active Youth Ministry.

Minister of Children

The Minister of Children is responsible for planning, administering, coordinating, supervising and evaluating a comprehensive and active Children’s Ministry.

Section 3- Staff Selection

 

Pastor: Shall be chosen by the Pastor Search Committee and called by the church during a special called business meeting for that purpose, of which a one week notice shall be given to the membership. A two-thirds vote is required for the election of a Pastor.

The Pastor shall continue to serve until the relationship is ended by resignation or termination. A two-thirds vote is required for the termination of a Pastor.

Ministerial Staff: Shall be presented to the church by the Personnel Committee for employment in these and any other necessary positions.

•    Service in these positions shall continue until the relationship is ended either by resignation (30 days written notice given to the Pastor, Personnel Committee or the Chairman of the Deacons), the Pastor and Personnel Committee, or by the expiration of a predetermined time of service.

 

Section 4-Staff Search Process

 

Pastor Search Committee

A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. A Pastor Search Committee shall be elected by the church upon nomination by the Nominating Committee. The Pastor Search Committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one nomination at a time.  The Pastor Search Committee shall be comprised of five (5) members of the church with two (2) alternates. No two members of the Pastor Search Committee shall be from the same immediate family. The call of a pastor shall take place at a called business meeting, after notice as provided for other called or special business meetings has been given. A two-thirds vote by ballot of the members present and voting shall be necessary to extend a call.

Personnel Committee

The Personnel Committee shall be elected by the church upon nomination by the Nominating Committee and shall be responsible for personnel administration activities for all employees of the church. The Committee may delegate such functions as necessary in order to establish supervisory/management responsibilities. The Personnel Committee is to carry out the policies and procedures for personnel administration as approved by the church. The Committee shall maintain oversight of church staff management and perform other duties and functions as outlined in the church-approved policies and procedures.

 

Section 5-Hiring Support Staff

 

•    Support staff may be hired by appropriate supervisors, with approval of the Personnel Committee, following the screening and interviewing process, pending ratification by the church at the next regular business meeting.

•    Compensation shall be specified by the Personnel Committee, subject to approval of the church.

Section 6- Staff Screening

 

All staff, Ministerial and Support Staff will go through full screening procedures prior to hiring/calling, as outlined in the Policy and Procedures Manual; including: credit check, address verifications, criminal, sexual, and academic background checks.

 

Section 7-Terminations

 

Voluntary Termination

Support Staff employees should give at least a two-week written notice to their immediate supervisor before leaving their job. This will allow their supervisor enough time to adjust working schedules and secure a replacement.

Involuntary Termination

An involuntary termination is that which is initiated by the Church body for reasons other than changing ministry conditions.

Layoff

A layoff is a termination of employment by the church body that results from changing ministry conditions which necessitate a reduction in staff.

 

 

Article Six
General Church Officers, Deacons & Other Leadership

Section 1-Overview

 

•    The leadership structure of First Baptist Church, Riesel is based upon the nature of the church as revealed in Scripture, as well as the necessary legal requirements for a recognized religious organization. The leadership structure of the Church is intentionally designed to accommodate simplicity, growth, unity, and biblical teaching.

•    The primary officers of this church shall be Pastor, Deacons, Trustees, Moderator, Clerk and Treasurer, whose election, tenure and duties shall be as provided for in the Bylaws.

•    All officers of the church shall be members of the church.

Section 2-Officer Functions/ Specific Duties

 

Pastor – is responsible for providing spiritual instruction and strategic leadership to the members, staff and ministries of the church.

Moderator – shall preside at all business meetings of the Church consistent with the guidelines for a presiding officer in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Clerk – is responsible for recording minutes of business meetings, preserving historical records, correspondence to membership, and preparing annual information for the association and state convention.

Treasurer – shall pay out, according to financial policies, all monies and other funds of the Church, keeping at all times an itemized report of receipts and disbursements.

Trustees – shall, at the direction and discretion of the Church, serve a pro-tem term wherein they will hold legal title to church property, sign all contracts/documents as approved by the church.

 

Section 3-Enlistment & Election

 

Pastor - Shall be chosen by the Pastor Search Committee and called by the church during a special called business meeting for that purpose, of which a one week notice shall be given to the membership. A two-thirds vote is required for the election of a Pastor.

Moderator, Clerk, & Treasurer – The church membership will elect the Clerk and Treasurer for an indefinite term of service to be ended either at the request of the officer or by vote of the church body.

Trustees – Three (3) or more trustees, elected by the church, will hold in trust the church property.  They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property without a specific vote of the church authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property or other legal documents where the signatures of trustees are required. Trustees shall serve a limited term as spelled out in section 2 above.

Section 4-Deacon Service

 

•      Deacons are expected to attend Sunday School, worship, church activities, monthly Deacons’ meetings, and business meetings as examples of faithful service to the Kingdom of God.

•      Deacons – shall at all times consider themselves as servants of the Church. It shall be their duty to look after the spiritual well-being of the congregation, to cooperate with the Pastor and other minsters of the church in the furtherance of their duties and to lead the church in winning the hearts and minds of the community to Christ by visiting the sick and caring for the needy, and performing such other duties as usually pertain to that office.

•       Deacons – The church membership will elect the Deacons to serve. Names may be nominated by ballot at an announced opportunity in the body of the church. The names of those nominated and willing to serve will be placed on a ballot for vote at a called church meeting.

Section 5-Officer/Deacon/Leadership Qualifications

 

•    Officers/Deacons/Leadership shall be members of First Baptist Church, Riesel.

•    Officer/Leadership qualifications are to be based on the characteristics defined in Scripture (John 12:26; 1 Cor. 11:1; Luke 22:22; 1 Peter 5:2-5).

•    Deacon qualifications are found in1 Timothy 3:1-12.

 

Section 6-Termination

 

•    Any Officer, Deacon, or Leader may resign by written notification to the church body.

•    Any Officer, Deacon or Leader may be removed from office for 1) physical incapacitation, 2) spiritual or moral issues, 3) doctrinal issues, 4) failure to fulfill responsibilities of the office. Steps 1, 2, and 3 in Matthew 18:15-17 shall be used to implement dismissal by the church body.

 

Section 7- Screening Officers, Deacons, Leaders, and Workers

All Officers, Deacons, Leaders, and Workers are subject to a full screening procedure prior to their name being presented to the church for election, as outlined in the Policy and Procedures Manual.

Article Seven
Standing Committees/Teams

 

Section 1- General Overview

 

•    All committees are advisory groups and have no powers except those authorized and approved by church vote. Standing committees will be approved and members elected from the Church body membership. Specific duties and responsibilities of each committee will be as presented by the Nominating Committee and approved by Church vote. It is encouraged that committee membership change by rotating off after a three-year term. The Church body may form ad-hoc committees, as needed, for short-term purposes.

 

Section 2-General Responsibilities

 

Nominating Committee – coordinates the staffing of all church leadership positions filled by volunteer workers; meet when necessary to consider all vacancies that may have occurred and make nominations to fill all vacancies; prepare a list of recommendations for all volunteer positions in each new church year.

Personnel Committee – shall be in charge of and responsible for personnel administration activities for all employees of the church; carry out the policies and procedures for personnel administration as approved by the church; maintain oversight of church staff management.

Budget Committee – shall develop and present the annual budget to the church for approval and shall establish and monitor the procedures of collecting, handling, managing, and reporting of all funds in cooperation with the church treasurer.

Property Management Committee – shall have general charge of the administration and upkeep of the grounds, vehicles, and buildings.  They shall oversee maintenance and repairs.

Children’s and Youth Committees – assist in planning and implementing ministry events and activities for the children and youth programs. Membership on these committees shall be made up of volunteers selected by the Children’s Minister and Youth Minister.  In the vacancy of a minister, the Nominating Committee shall fill these seats.

 

Section 3-Enlist & Elect

 

•    Standing committees will be approved and members elected from the Church body. Specific duties and responsibilities of each committee will be as presented by the Nominating Committee and approved by Church vote.

•    Nominations for the Nominating Committee will come from the floor of a regular church business meeting.

Section 4-Qualifications

 

•    Standing Committee members shall be members of First Baptist Church, Riesel who support the mission and ministries of the church.

 

 

 

Section 5-Termination

 

•    Any Standing Committee member may resign by written notification to the church body and the Chairperson of their committee.

•    Any Standing Committee member may be removed from office for 1) physical incapacitation, 2) spiritual or moral issues, 3) doctrinal issues, 4) failure to fulfill responsibilities of the office.

•    Steps 1, 2 and 3 in Matthew 18:15-17 shall be used to implement dismissal by the church body.

 

Section 6-Team and Program Ministries Overviews

 

•    All Team and Program leaders are recommended annually, by the Nominating and Personnel Committees, to the church for approval.

•    Members on a Team or Program are determined by a combination of volunteering and recruitment by the Leader of that Team.

•    Teams may include, but are not limited to the Hostess Team, the Lord’s Supper Team, Bereavement Team, Baptism Team, Usher Team, Sunday School Team, Website Team, or any other ad-hoc Team the church body deems necessary.

Article Eight
Ordaining, Licensing & Commissioning

 

Section 1- Ordaining and Licensing of Ministers

 

Licensing – When a member announces to the church a call to the ministry, the Pastor and Deacons may make a recommendation to the church and may, by a majority vote, license the member to the ministry.

Ordaining - In the event this church has been requested to ordain a member who has been called as minister of a Baptist church, the following procedures shall be followed:

1.  The church will express its approval by three-fourths vote of the members present at any regularly arranged business meeting of the church.

2.  The Pastor shall organize a council to examine the candidate concerning fitness for the ministry. Upon receiving a favorable report, the church shall proceed with the ordination.

Section 2- Ordaining Deacons

 

If this church, at a regular church meeting, shall elect Deacons, the Pastor shall assemble an ordination council to perform the ceremony of ordination in the presence of this church.

 

 

Section 3- Commissioning Missionaries

 

Any present or former member of this church now serving in ministry, who by his/her leading and convictions feels called of God to the work of missions may, by a majority vote of the members present at any regular church business meeting, be commissioned by the church to missionary related service.

 

 

Article Nine
Fiscal Responsibilities

 

Section 1- Accounts & Records

 

•    The Church year and fiscal year of First Baptist Church, Riesel shall begin on September 1 and end on August 31 of each year.

•    The church shall have an annual budget to serve as the guide for the financial operation of the church. Such budget shall be presented to the church for discussion and vote at the August business meeting.

 

Section 2- Policy Manuals (to be developed in 2011)

 

The Policy and Procedures Manual for First Baptist Church, Riesel, cross-referenced with the Bylaws of First Baptist Church, Riesel, consists of the following sections:

1.  Administration – Staff / Deacons

2.  Facilities – Hospitality and Property Management Committees

3.  Finance – Finance Committee

4.  Leadership – Nominating Committee / Staff

5.  Ministry – Staff / Mission / Ministry Teams

6.  Personnel – Personnel Committee

Section 3- Inspection of Records

 

•    A copy of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Policies & Procedures of First Baptist Church, Riesel will be available in the church office for viewing by church members.

•    Every member of First Baptist Church, Riesel has the right to inspect all records, reports and documentation of every kind, except that which is deemed confidential, such as personal giving records.

 

Section 4-Auditing Procedures
Financial and Security

 

•    The Budget Committee may conduct or arrange for an independent audit as is deemed necessary with the approval of the church body.

Article Ten
Article of Dissolution

•    First Baptist Church, Riesel, being organized and incorporated, operates as a non-profit tax-exempt organization under the United States Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). In the event of dissolution of First Baptist Church, Riesel, the assets thereof shall be liquidated and distributed for payment of all outstanding debts and obligations; remaining assets shall be distributed to the Waco Baptist Regional Association for the purpose of Kingdom work.

•    No assets of the church shall be distributed to any member, officer, or staff of First Baptist Church, Riesel or any other individual.

Article Eleven
Amendments to the Bylaws

 

Section 1- General Procedures

 

Any of these Bylaws may be amended, altered or repealed by a majority vote at any regular church business meeting provided that such amendments, alterations, or repeals be given in writing to the church body, and the Committee empowered to administrate this document,  thirty days prior to the time the vote is taken.

 

Section 2- Notifications & Reviews

 

Upon approval of amendments by the qualified committees, a church business meeting shall be called for the purpose of presentation of such amendments three weeks prior to the time for vote.

 

Section 3- Presentation and Vote

 

Approved amendments shall be voted on in a regular church business meeting following the questions and comments presentation three weeks prior. A majority vote of First Baptist Church, Riesel members present shall constitute acceptance of amendments.

 

Section 4-Documentation Distribution

 

New documents or sections of amended documents shall be available for pick-up at the church.

 

 


[1] Special thanks to the Constitution and By-Laws Team 2010-2011: Debbie Baker, Debbie Kalbow, Leigh Ann Laughlin, Sandy Scarborough, Terri Schronk and Cynthia Wallace.