CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WOODLAWN, OHIO
We, the members of the First Baptist Church of Woodlawn, Ohio, desiring to more effectively carry on the work of Kingdom Building and the administration of the affairs of the Church, do hereby ordain and establish this Constitution and By-laws, whose provisions shall be as follows:
Article I - Name
The name of this organization shall be known as The First Baptist Church of Woodlawn, Ohio, located in the Village of Woodlawn, Ohio.
Article II - Mission and Objective
The purpose of this church is to establish a Christian congregation for worshipping God and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as written in the Scriptures of the Holy Bible; and the Eighteen Articles of Faith to promote Christian life and the salvation of humankind throughout the world; and to advance the Kingdom of God by all available means. This church places emphasis on proclaiming and spreading the gospel through an evangelistic preaching ministry and Christian education, propagation of the Truth, the edifying of its members, uplifting fallen humanity, aiding the distressed, and saving the lost.
Article III - Membership
Members are received voluntarily by one of four modes of admission. These are Confession of Faith and Baptism, Letter of Transfer, Christian Experience and Reinstatement.
Section 3.1 Confession of Faith and Baptism
Persons professing faith for the first time shall be received on their confession of faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, received into the church by a majority vote of the members present, baptized by immersion in water (according to New Testament doctrine) by an ordained Baptist minister, and given the Right Hand of Fellowship. The person shall receive a membership orientation to Christian life and the church organization.
Section 3.2 Letter of Transfer
Persons wishing to move their membership from another Baptist church may be received by presenting a Letter of Transfer from their previous church communicating that the person has standing as a member and is qualified to be received into the fellowship of First Baptist Church of Woodlawn. The member shall be received into the membership by a majority vote of members of the congregation present. A person without a letter in hand may be admitted to membership conditionally upon the promise of a letter. This new member shall receive an orientation to the Church organization and the Right Hand of Fellowship.
Section 3.3 Christian Experience
Persons who have confessed their faith, have been baptized by immersion by an ordained Baptist minister, and have been received into membership by a previous Baptist church may be admitted into membership by Christian Experience. In such cases the person will share an account of his or her personal Christian journey with the congregation, or the Pastor and Deacon Board chairman, after which they may be received by a majority vote of the congregation present. This new member shall receive an orientation to the Christian life, Church organization and the Right Hand of Fellowship.
Section 3.4 Reinstatement of In-active Members
Persons who have not attended Church services for more than 3 months, and are without communication with the pastor or officers as to the reason, are in an inactive membership status with the Church. To resume an active membership status, the person is required to make a statement requesting re-instatement with the Church in the presence of the congregation during the call for membership at a Church service. They may be received for re-instatement by a majority vote of the congregation present. The re-instated member will receive orientation and training to Christian Life and Church organization, and the Right Hand of Fellowship.
Section 3.5 Membership Training Classes
Membership Training and orientation materials will be provided for all persons entering Church membership. This will include new members confessing faith for the first time and requiring baptism, as well as members admitted through Letter of Transfer, Christian Experience and Re-instatement from in-active status. The training will be scheduled and coordinated by the Chairperson of the Membership Committee in consultation with the Pastor.
Section 3.6 Inactive Members
All persons received shall promise to obey the rules and regulations of the Church. Members with no physical contact with services or programs for three (3) months or more, and are without explanation or communication with the Pastor or officers as to reason, will be extended outreach efforts to determine reasons for none attendance; and to determine if continued membership is desired. Outreach will be extended through telephone or visit by the Pastor, deacons, or other persons or auxiliaries officially representing the Church. If there is no response to telephone or visit attempts, a written communication will be sent from the Pastor inquiring about the absence, and asking the person to contact the Pastor regarding the lack of contact. If there is no response to the written communication, a 2nd communication will be sent indicating the member's placement on an inactive membership status due that their lack contact, communication and response to outreach efforts. In the event the inactive members wish to resume their membership, they will be required to be reinstated as discussed in Section 3.4.
Member’s whose behavior is disrespectful to the church, or disruptive to the harmony and purpose of the Church, may be counseled in the Spirit of Christ by the Pastor, deacons, or others designated by the Pastor.
Article IV - Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall consist of the Pastor, Deacon Board Chair, Trustee Board Chair, Clerk, Treasurer, and two (2) appointed church members. This Council exists to enhance the intra- organizational communication and planning within the Church body. As such it serves as a general overseer of Church life, studying long range plans, conducting strategic planning consistent with and such to the direction and approval of the Church congregation, coordinating the work of the various groups represented, and working out cooperative programs. The Council does not make binding decisions upon the Church, but refers these to the Church Business Meeting. Details of its work may be referred to the boards or committees represented as appropriate. The Executive Committee shall meet in the interim between Church Business Meetings at the pleasure of the Pastor, Chairman of the Deacon Board, or Chairman of the Trustee Board. The Pastor shall moderate the meetings. In the absence of the Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacon Board will moderate meetings. If the Chairman of the Deacon Board is unavailable, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees will moderate the meeting.
Article V - Officers
The Officers of the Church are the Pastor, Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, Finance Committee, The Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary, Sunday School Superintendent, Assistant Sunday School Superintendent, Watch Night Chair, Bylaw Committee Chair, Nominating Committee Chair, and Pastor's Aid Chair. With the exception of the Pastor and Deacons, all officers shall be elected annually in November or December at an annual Church Business meeting, and shall commence their term the first day of the incoming year. An Officer unable or failing to function or discharge his or her duty may be replaced at any time at the discretion of the Church body, by way of nomination and a majority vote.
Section 5.1 - Pastor
The Pastor shall preach the Word of God, seek and win lost souls to Christ, and lead the Church in various ministries, and perform other ministerial duties consistent with the New Testament Christianity. The Pastor shall serve as a resource and member to all boards, committees and auxiliaries, and may participate in deliberations of each. The Pastor may appoint interim replacements for officer positions that become vacant until the first church business meeting following the resignation or termination; at which due process of nominations and a majority vote shall take place.
The Pastor shall moderate all Church meetings with the exception of those that may directly involve him.
The Pastor shall reserve the right to accept ministers to be his associates.
The Pastor is elected or called indefinitely. Before any separation of the Pastor and Church each must be given three months notice, unless the Pastor is paid three months salary in advance of the separation.
Section 5.2 - Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacon shall conduct a ministry to care for the sick and needy among the membership, and assist the Pastor and other ministers in advancing the spiritual welfare of the Church. This will include leading worship and devotional services, reading of the Scriptures, preparing candidates for baptism, and other activities that encourage spiritual growth in worship. Deacons shall assist in the preparation of the elements for the Lord's Supper, and assist the Pastor in serving the elements to the congregation. In the event of a vacancy in the Pastor's position, deacons are responsible for conducting devotional and worship services, administering the spiritual concerns of the Church in general, and for arranging interim ministerial leadership of pulpit responsibilities. Deacons shall also provide leadership to a search committee in the efforts to fill the Pastor's position vacancy.
Section 5.3 - Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall consist of an uneven number of not more than nine (9) members. The Chairman of the Deacon Board and the Treasurer shall be standing members of the Board of Trustees. The Chairperson and the remaining six (6) members of the Trustee Board shall be elected by the Church body. The Board of Trustees shall hold in trust the legal title to the property of the Church, and shall be the official representatives of the Church for its business, legal and financial affairs in accordance with State Incorporation laws. As a standing member, the Treasurer shall operate under the auspices of the Board of Trustees. The Board shall review a quarterly itemized expenditure report from the Treasurer, audit the records of the Treasurer on an annual basis, or whenever deemed necessary, and make such reports to the Church membership. The Trustee Board shall be responsible for repairs and maintenance of Church property, maintaining adequate insurance coverage on property, maintaining custody of Church papers and titles, maintaining minutes of Trustee Board meetings, and making reports of its activities and findings to the Church membership at Quarterly Business Meetings. The Board of Trustees shall be responsible for developing Standard Operating Procedures for the maintenance of official Church records and files. Terms of Office - The Chairperson and 3 other members-at-large positions will be elected to two year terms. The remaining 4 members-at-large will be elected to one (1) year terms. Members may be re-elected when the term expires.
The members of the Board of Trustees will be elected to staggered two (2) year terms. Initially, the Chairperson and 3 other members at large will be elected for 2 years and 3 other members at large will be elected for 1 year. As the initial terms expire, all positions will be elected for 2 year terms. Members may be re-elected when their terms expire. In the event of electing or replacing the Trustee Chairperson, the succession of the Trustee Chairperson must be someone currently serving on the Trustee Board.
Section 5.4 - The Clerk
The Clerk shall be elected to a two (2) year term by the Church body. The Clerk is responsible for recording, reading and distributing complete and accurate minutes of Church Business Meetings; maintaining an accurate active and inactive membership roll which includes an address and telephone directory; maintaining dates of member admission, baptism and termination; producing, maintaining, and distributing other membership documents as required; preservation of official reports and information of historical interest to the Church; and preparing and sending letters or resolutions at the request of the Pastor; maintaining an accurate and organized central filing system containing all Church documents on the Church premises.
Section 5.5- The Assistant Clerk
The Assistant Clerk shall be elected to a two (2) year term by the Church body. The Assistant Clerk is responsible for assisting the Clerk with all duties stated in Section 4.4 as delegated.
Section 5.6 - The Treasurer
The Treasurer shall be elected to a three (3) year term by the Church body. The Treasurer shall be the custodian of all Church funds, and is responsible for receiving all financial income of the Church and banking the income in the Church's name. This includes tithes, offerings, financial contributions, and financial income from special events. The Treasurer shall be a standing member of the Trustee Board and the Finance Committee, and shall Chair the Finance Committee. In this capacity the Treasurer is responsible for oversight of the activities of budget preparation, budget administration, and all operating procedures for the receipt, counting, banking and disbursement of funds. The Treasurer shall work closely with the Financial Secretary and Assistant Financial Secretary, to maintain an itemized accounting of all receipts and disbursements, and shall be responsible for the preparation of checks to pay expenses. All checks will require a minimum of two (2) signatures.
The Treasurer shall reconcile all monthly bank account statements; and shall provide a detailed itemized financial report reflecting income, expenses and disbursements to the Pastor and the Board of Trustees on a monthly basis, and a summary report to the Church body at the Quarterly Church Business Meetings. The Treasurer shall submit an annual financial report of the previous year to the Church body by February of the next year.
Section 5.7 - The Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary shall be elected to a two (2) year term by the Church body. The Financial Secretary shall coordinate with the Treasurer to maintain accurate records of all income receipts as received for designated purposes and disbursements in accordance with the Church budget; and shall maintain an accurate record of the financial contributions of each member through offering envelopes.
At the end of the calendar year he or she will provide the members an accurate statement upon request. The financial secretary shall assist the Treasurer in maintaining a financial reporting system from auxiliaries and committees to the Church Treasurer.
Section 5.8 - The Assistant Financial Secretary
The Assistant Financial Secretary shall assist the Financial Secretary in recording all income from tithes, offering, donations and re-reimbursements; and shall assist the Financial Secretary in recording disbursements from the general fund.
Section 5.9 - The Sunday School Superintendent
The Sunday School Superintendent shall be elected to a three (3) year term by the Church body. The Sunday School Superintendent shall administer a Sunday Church School Program for children and adults. In this capacity, the Superintendent shall develop and oversee the delivery of a Christian Education curriculum consistent with the principles and doctrine of God's word in the Holy Bible and New Testament Christianity. The Superintendent is be responsible for developing and maintaining a Christian Education resource library containing historical and contemporary Christian educational and training materials; and is responsible for the administration of the Sunday School finances and budget within the authority of the standards set by these by-laws, and the policies and procedures of the Church Finance Committee.
Section 5.10 - The Assistant Sunday School Superintendent
The Assistant Sunday School Superintendent shall be elected to a three (3) year term by the Church body. The Assistant Sunday School Superintendent, in the absence of the Sunday School Superintendent shall administer a Sunday Church School Program for children and adults.
Section 5.11 – Watch Night Chair
Watch Night Chair shall select a committee and coordinate the New Year’s Eve program on behalf of the First Baptist Church of Woodlawn.
Article VI - Auxiliaries and Committees
The auxiliaries of the Church are the Choir, the Missionary Society, the Nurses' Guild, the Sunday School, the Usher Board and Official Photographer. The committees are the Pastor's Aid, Membership, Finance, Special Building Fund, Men and Women's Day, Church Anniversary, and By-laws. All committees, ad-hoc committees and auxiliaries operate under the auspices of the Church which establishes the rules and regulations for their existence. With the exception of the Sunday School, Finance and Pastor's Aid Committees, auxiliaries and committees, elect their respective chairmen. All auxiliaries and committees elect the other respective officers and maintain records of financial holdings, programs and minutes of meetings. All auxiliaries and committees that generate money are subject to the financial policies and standards set forth in these by-laws, and the policies and procedures of the Church Finance Committee. As such, all auxiliaries and committees that generate money shall remit the funds to the Finance Committee, and the Church body.
Section 6.1 – By-laws Committee
The By-laws Committee shall consist of (7) seven members elected by the Church body for staggered three (3) year terms. Initially, 3 members will be elected for three (3) years, 2 members elected for two (2) years, and two (2) members elected for one (1) year. As the initial terms expire, members will be elected for three (3) year terms. The By-laws Committee shall meet at the call of the Chair to consider recommendations by Church members of amendments to keep the Constitution and By-laws documents and practices of the Church sufficient for good Church order. The By-laws Committee will conduct a By-laws review bi-annually to determine if By-laws are sufficient for the efficient operation of the Church.
The By-laws Committee will serve as a parliamentarian resource for all Church Business meetings.
Section 6.2 - Finance Committee
The Finance Committee shall consist of 7 members elected by the Church membership. The Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary, a Deacon Board member (selected by the Deacon board), and a Board of Trustees member (selected by the Trustee Board) shall be standing members of the Finance Committee. The remaining two (2) members-at-large shall be elected by the Church body. The members-at-large shall not be members of the Deacon Board or Board of Trustees.
The Treasurer shall be the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Members of the Finance Committee shall be the first designated to count and bank all money collected at church services or sent to the Church through other means. When Finance Committee members are not available to perform this responsibility, the Pastor may designate Deacons or Trustees.
The Finance Committee shall be responsible for the administration of the Church budget, specifically overseeing that expenditures are in line with the budget; shall review and sign off on the Treasurer's monthly reconciliation of deposits and expenditures reflected in bank statements, and shall develop, supervise Standard Operating Procedures as required, provide financial reports to the Treasurer and the Church body. The Finance Committee shall provide leadership to the Church in the development of an annual budget to be presented for approval to the Church body.
Section 6.3 – Missionary Society
The purpose of the Missionary Society is to become involved in the concerns and outreach to the community. This Society should witness and proclaim the gospel to the sick, the lonely, the elderly, the imprisoned and all others in need of compassion, justice, or restoration. Duties include assisting with communion services. Other missions are to include, but are not limited to supporting disaster victims, the hungry, the homeless, the unemployed and needy individuals. The Missionaries should also support local programs to promote charitable giving. Programs of social concern and outreach are an integral part of the mission of the church and should be carried over by this auxiliary.
Article VII - Proceedings and Rules of Order
The Holy Bible, The Baptist Covenant and the New Hiscox Guide for Baptist Churches (Everett, G.C., 1995) shall be the resources that govern the organization, proceedings, rules of order, and activities of this Church.
Article VIII - Church Business Meetings
All auxiliary, committee and regular business meetings of the Church shall be opened with devotion and closed with benediction. The Church Business Meetings shall be held quarterly in the months of January, April, July, and October or when deemed necessary by the Pastor. An Annual Strategic Planning meeting to include the election of officers shall be held in November or December. Special business meetings may be called by the Pastor, or in his absence, the Chairman of the Deacon Board or Trustee Board. The Pastor, by virtue of his office, shall be the moderator of all meetings of the Church with the exception to those that involve him. In such a case, or in the Pastor's absence, the meeting would be moderated by the Chairman of the Deacon Board. If the Chairman of the Deacon Board is not available, the meeting shall be moderated by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order and the Constitution and By-laws of the Church.
Article IX - Finances
The finances of this church shall be through means of tithes, offerings, and donations on a free will basis, and funds from special events. There shall be no funds raised in the name of First Baptist Church of Woodlawn through the means of sales on Church premises, beginning January 1, 2008.
Article X - Dissolution
Upon the dissolution of The First Baptist Church of Woodlawn, Ohio, all material assets shall be liquidated and added to the general fund. All outstanding financial liabilities shall be settled within 45 days after dissolution. All remaining assets will be distributed to an organization(s) in Ohio which is tax exempt under section 501© (3) of the Internal Revenue Code to be used for public purposes similar to the purposes of The First Baptist Church of Woodlawn, Ohio, said organization(s) shall be designated by a majority of Organization’s membership.
Article XI - Amendment
These By-laws may be amended, altered or added to at any regular business meeting provided that notices of the proposed amendments or alterations shall have been given at the previous regular meeting; or that notice of proposed amendments have been announced over the pulpit by the authority of the Pastor, or his designee, on at least 3 consecutive Sundays prior to the scheduled meeting. In the absence of the Pastor, or if there should be conflict of interest with the Pastor making the announcement, the Chairman of the Deacon Board or the Chairman of the Trustee Board may make such announcement. It shall require a majority vote of those members present to effect such a change.
We, The First Baptist Church of Woodlawn, Ohio, do herein and hereby adopt these Constitution and By-laws as lawful and true.
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Pastor Date Clerk Date
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Chairman, Deacon Board Date Chairman, Board of Trustees Date