Linwood Baptist Church
18 N. Steel Street
Lafayette GA 30728
Church Constitution And Bylaws
NAME AND PURPOSE
This congregation of believers shall be known as Linwood Baptist Church of Lafayette GA. It is incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the laws of the state of Georgia.
This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), for such purposes including, but not limited to, the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to people of all ages; the establishing and maintaining of religious worship; the educating of believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture; and the maintaining of missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country.
STATEMENT OF FAITH AND COVENANT
SECTION 2.01—STATEMENT OF FAITH
(A) The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Old and New Testament Scriptures are the verbally and plenarily inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed and are, therefore, the final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the complete and divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the pastor. The King James Version of the Bible shall be the official and only translation used by the church. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21)
(B) Dispensationalism. We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life that define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations—the law, the church, and the kingdom—are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; 1 Cor. 9:17; 2 Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10; 3:2-10; Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6)
(C) The Godhead. We believe in one triune God, eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 14:10, 26; 2 Cor. 13:14)
(D) The Person and Work of Christ.
(1) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men. (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Phil. 2:5-8)
(2) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. (Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5)
(3) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2)
(E) The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
(1) We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-14)
(2) We believe that He is the divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (Eph. 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27)
(3) We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the church to do the work of the ministry. (Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:7-12)
(4) We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues and the gift of healing, were temporary. Speaking in tongues was never the common or necessary sign of the baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit. Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, although God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing. (1 Cor. 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22)
(F) The Total Depravity of Man. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God; but that in Adam’s sin the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. (Gen. 1:26-27; Rom. 3:22-23; 5:12; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 4:17-19)
(G) Salvation. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who shed His blood on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. We believe that all sins, except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, are forgivable. (Matt. 12:31-32; John 1:12; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 John 1:9)
(H) The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers.
(1) We believe that once a person is saved, he is kept by God’s power and remains secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 8:1; 38-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; 1 Pet. 1:4-5)
(2) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word; which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. (Rom. 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13; Titus 2:11-15)
(I) The Church
(1) We believe that the local church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again believers. (1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27)
(2) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament. (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11)
(3) We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or controls, and any affiliations, societies, organizations, associations, or agencies this church affiliates with to further the objectives stated in the Purpose Statement are not authoritative in matters of church practice or belief. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4)
(4) We recognize water baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper as the Scriptural ordinances of obedience for the church in this age. (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-38; 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
(J) Separation. We believe that believers should maintain a godly testimony and live in such a way that that their lives do not bring reproach upon their Savior. God commands His people to separate from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations, and to refrain from all immodest and immoderate appearances, piercings, and bodily markings. We stand against any and all worldly philosophies that seek to destroy or undermine the truth of Biblical Christianity. (Lev. 19:28; Rom. 12:1-2; 14:13; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 John 2:15-17; 2 John 9-11)
(K) The Second Coming of Christ. We believe in that blessed hope, the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, which was promised to the nation of Israel. (Ps. 89:3-4; Dan. 2:31-45; Zech. 14:4-11; 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Rev. 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6)
(L) The Eternal State.
(1) We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Matt. 25:46; John 5:28, 29; 11:25-26; Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
(2) We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord. (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 20:4-6)
(3) We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment. (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)
(M) The Personality of Satan. We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2-11; 25:41; Rev. 20:10)
(N) Creation. We believe that the Genesis account of creation is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of God’s creation of the universe in six literal, 24-hour periods. We reject evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, and Theistic Evolution as unscriptural theories of origin. (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:11)
(O) Civil Government. We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home, 2) the church, and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God. (Rom. 13:1-7; Eph. 5:22-24; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13-14)
(P) Human Sexuality.
(1) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
(2) We believe that the only Scriptural marriage is the joining of one man and one woman, and no other union will be permitted or accepted by the church. Our pastor will not be permitted to officiate or participate in any union other than that of one man and one woman. Our church properties will not be permitted to be used for any gathering that celebrates any union other than that of one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; 1 Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23)
(Q) Family Relationships
(1) We believe that men and women are spiritually equal in position before God but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and the church. The husband is to be the leader of the home, and men are to be the leaders (pastors and deacons) of the church. Accordingly, only men are eligible for licensure and ordination by the church. (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; 3:4-5, 12)
(2) We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. The wife is to submit herself to the Scriptural leadership of her husband as the church submits to the headship of Christ. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Parents are responsible for teaching their children spiritual and moral values through consistent lifestyle example and appropriate discipline, including Scriptural corporal correction. (Gen. 1:26-28; Ex. 20:12; Deut. 6:4-9; Ps. 127:3-5; Prov. 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; Mk. 10:6-12; 1 Cor. 7:1-16; Eph. 5:21-33; 6:1-4, Col. 3:18-21; Heb. 13:4; 1 Pet. 3:1-7)
(R) Divorce and remarriage. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids divorce and intends marriage to last until one of the spouses dies. Divorce and remarriage is regarded as adultery except on the grounds of fornication. Although divorced and remarried persons or divorced persons may hold positions of service in the church and be greatly used of God for Christian service, they may not be considered for the offices of pastor or deacon. (Mal. 2:14-17; Matt. 19:3-12; Rom. 7:1-3; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6)
(S) Abortion. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the physical or mental well being of the mother are acceptable. (Job 3:16; Ps. 51:5; 139:14-16; Isa. 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jer. 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44)
(T) Euthanasia. We believe that the direct taking of an innocent human life is a moral evil, regardless of the intention. Life is a gift of God and must be respected from conception until natural death. Thus we believe that an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder contrary to the will of God. Discontinuing medical procedures that are extraordinary or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be a legitimate refusal of over-zealous treatment. (Ex. 20:13, 23:7; Matt. 5:21; Acts 17:28)
(U) Love. We believe that we should demonstrate love for others, not only toward fellow believers, but also toward those who are not believers, those who oppose us, and those who engage in sinful actions. We are to deal with those who oppose us graciously, gently, patiently, and humbly. God forbids the stirring up of strife, the taking of revenge, or the threat or use of violence as a means of resolving personal conflict or obtaining personal justice. Although God commands us to abhor sinful actions, we are to love and pray for any person who engages in such sinful actions. (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 5:44-48; Luke 6:31; John 13:34-35; Rom. 12:9-10; 17-21; 13:8-10; Phil. 2:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Titus 3:2; 1 John 3:17-18)
(V) Lawsuits Between Believers. We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe the church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between members. We do believe, however, that a Christian may seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander. (1 Cor. 6:1-8; Eph. 4:31-32).
(W) Missions. We believe that God has given the church a great commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group, and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ we must use all available means to go to the foreign nations and not wait for them to come to us. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2 Cor. 5:20)
(X) Giving. We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support financially his local church. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving, but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the church, the relief of those in need, and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen. 14:20; Prov. 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7; Gal. 6:6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 John 3:17)
SECTION 2.02—AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teachings of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature, whether print or electronic, used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of our Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, 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.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; and to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the truth of God’s Word; to seek the salvation of our families, acquaintances, and all others; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful to our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid backbiting, excessive anger, and all gossip or secretive meetings regarding personal issues of church members, church leadership or practice; to abstain from such worldly amusements as watching ungodly movies, gambling, rock music, and dancing; to be free from all oath-bound secret societies and partnerships with unbelievers; to abstain from the abuse of drugs and the sale or use of pornography, intoxicating drink or tobacco in any form; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage, that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
SECTION 3.01—QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Those seeking membership must, through their actions, words, lifestyle and affiliations, evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior. They must renounce sin and endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord. Candidates seeking membership in the church will be required to meet with the pastor, or the pastor may designate a leader of the church to review the Biblical beliefs and positions of the church. After the candidates have met, and accepted al Biblical beliefs and positions of the church, the pastor, or designated leader may recommended the candidates to the church for membership. After such recommendation, membership will be granted upon a majority voice vote of the members present at any church service or meeting, and upon compliance with any one of the following conditions:
(A) By baptism (immersion) at this local church following a profession of faith as a believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior;
(B) By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith;
(C) By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion in another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice; or
(D) By restoration, if having been removed from membership, upon majority vote of the congregation after confession is made publicly before the church membership of the sin or sins involved, and satisfactorily evidencing repentance to the pastor (or the board of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant).
SECTION 3.02—DUTIES OF A MEMBER
On becoming a member of this church, in addition to the covenant contained in Section 2.03, each member further covenants to love, honor, and esteem the pastor; to pray for him; to recognize his authority in the spiritual and day-to-day affairs of the church; to cherish a brotherly love for all members of the church; to support the church in prayer, tithes, offerings and with other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with Biblical commands, to support through a lifestyle walk affirming the beliefs and practices of the church.
SECTION 3.03—PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP
(A) Only members at least eighteen years of age who are physically present at a duly called meeting of the church shall be entitled to vote. There shall be no proxy or absentee voting. The eligible membership of the church may only exercise voting privileges in those areas that are defined and limited by these bylaws. Members must attend at least four service a month to maintain voting privileges. Members may not vote to initiate any church action, rather the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction of the church as determined by the pastor and the board of deacons.
(B) This congregation functions not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the pastor as the under-shepherd with the counsel of the board of deacons. Determinations of the internal affairs of this church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the church’s own rules and procedures. The pastor shall oversee and/or conduct all aspects of this church. The board of deacons shall give counsel and assistance to the pastor as requested by him.
(C) Membership in this church does not afford the members with any property, contractual, or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Although the general public is invited to all of the church’s worship services, the church property remains private property. The pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the board of deacons) has the authority to suspend or revoke the right of any person, including a member, to enter or remain on church property. If after being notified of such a suspension or revocation, the person enters or remains on church property, the person may, in the discretion of the pastor, (or in his absence, an individual designated by the board of deacons), be treated as a trespasser.
(D) A member may inspect or copy the prepared financial statements of the church and the minutes of the proceedings of church and committee meetings, provided he shall have made a written request upon the church and the church has received the written request at least five business days before the requested inspection date. Minutes from deacon board and discipline committee meetings are exempt from this provision and are not subject to inspection or copy .
(1) A member may not, under any circumstances, inspect or copy any record relating to individual contributions to the church, the list of names and addresses of the church members, or the accounting books and financial records of the church.
(2) The church may impose a reasonable charge, covering the costs of labor and material, for copies of any documents provided to the member before releasing the copies to the member.
SECTION 3.04—DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER
(A) There shall be a discipline committee consisting of the pastor and the board of deacons. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical deviations from the Statement of Faith and violations of the church covenant. If the pastor or a deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as a member of the discipline committee. The pastor and deacons shall be entitled to the same steps as other church members and be subject to the same discipline.
(B) Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders the spiritual growth and testimony of an individual in the local church or the body as a whole, he is to go alone to the offending party and seek to restore his brother. Before he goes, he should first examine himself. When he goes, he should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.
(C) If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either a deacon or the pastor, is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. This second step should also be preceded by self-examination and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration.
(D) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, the discipline committee, as the church representatives Biblically responsible for putting down murmuring, shall hear the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing before the discipline committee, the committee shall recommend to the members of the church that they, after self-examination, make an effort personally to go to the offending member and seek that member’s restoration.
(E) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B), (C), and (D) have been taken, such members who refuse to repent and be restored are to be removed from the membership of the church upon a majority vote of the membership present at a meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action. The member subject to disciplinary action is not entitled to vote on his/her own discipline.
(F) No matter may be heard by the discipline committee or the church unless the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
(G) If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the church membership, members of the church should have no social contact with him, and any contact from that point forward (except by family members) must be for the sake of restoration. Persons placed under church discipline must immediately return any property belonging to the church.
(H) The procedures provided in this section are based on Matt. 18:15-20; Rom. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 5:1-13; 2 Cor. 2:1-11; Gal. 6:1; 1 Thess. 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:6, 10-15; 1 Tim. 5:19-20; and Titus 3:10-11.
SECTION 3.05—TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP
Members not under the disciplinary process of Section 3.04 may request that letters of transfer be sent to another church.
SECTION 3.06—AUTOMATIC TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
(A) The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the church in the preceding three months. Upon good cause being shown to the pastor, this provision for termination may be waived in the case of any individual member at the discretion of the pastor. For instance, health, education, missionary, evangelist or military service.
(B) No member of this church may hold membership in another church. The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member unites in membership with another church. Certain missionaries are permitted to hold duel membership upon the approval of the pastor, and the missionaries understanding of their responsibilities to both churches.
(C) The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the deacons or pastor become aware of a member’s open and unrepentant involvement in any sexual misconduct described in Section 2.01(P) or if a member files a lawsuit in violation of Section 2.01(V). Prospective members involved in such actions will not even be granted membership in this church.
(D) The membership of any individual member shall automatically
terminate without notice if the member openly and unashamedly disagrees with any provision found in the Statement of Faith.
(E) The membership of any individual member shall automatically terminate without notice if the member in a spirit of dissension actively engages in secretive discussions and/or intentionally organized, secretive meetings in a concerted effort to overthrow the pastor or present church leadership.
(F) The membership of an individual will automatically terminate upon his or her death.
(G) No provision contained in this section shall be subject to or governed by the procedures regarding discipline of members set forth in Section 3.04.
(H) A member may resign at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon such resignation, except at the discretion of the pastor.
SECTION 3.07—AFFILIATED CO-LABORER
Those desiring fellowship, accountability and opportunities for service with this assembly on a temporary basis but who maintain active membership in a like body of believers outside this city, may be granted affiliated co-laborer status with this church. The affiliated co-laborer may be eligible to serve in certain capacities determined by the pastor and deacons, and may attend fellowship events granted for members. In no way, however, does this affiliation grant membership or the rights of membership to the individual(s) so granted. Affiliated co-laborers shall not be entitled to hold any office, vote in or have any say in any church matter, and shall not be counted for quorum purposes. A person wishing to become an affiliated co-laborer with this assembly must request so of the pastor, who will, in consultation with the deacons if necessary, decide if affiliated co-laborer status may be granted to the individual. If the pastor so determines, the person may be granted such upon a majority vote of the church membership at any public service or church administration meeting.
SECTION 4.01—CHURCH OFFICERS
The church officers are pastor, deacon, church clerk and church treasurer. One person may hold two or more offices, except that the church treasurer and financial secretary may not be the same person, and the pastor may not hold any other offices. Officers of the church must be elected by a majority of the present, voting membership at a regular church administration meeting. The pastor, from time to time as he deems appropriate, may appoint other church officers, subject to a majority confirmation vote by present, voting church members at any regular or special church administrative meeting.
SECTION 4.02—DESIGNATION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS
As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the church, the pastor shall serve as president of the corporation; the church clerk shall serve as secretary of the corporation; the church treasurer shall serve as treasurer of the corporation; and the chairman of the board of deacons shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
SECTION 4.03—ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICE
(A) The church shall not install or retain an officer who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith set forth in Article 2. All church officers, upon request of the pastor, shall affirm their agreement with the Statement of Faith.
(B) All church officers must be approved initially and thereafter annually by the pastor in order for them to commence or continue in their offices.
(C) Only church members are eligible for election or appointment to any church office or position. Affiliated co-laborers with this ministry are not eligible for such election or appointment.
SECTION 4.04—TERMS OF OFFICE
(A) The relationship between the pastor and the church shall be permanent unless dissolved at the option of either party by the giving of a month’s notice, or less by mutual consent. The severance of the relationship between the pastor and the church may be considered at any regular or special church administration meeting by following the procedures outlined in 6.04, provided notice of the meeting shall have been given to the church two Sundays prior to the meeting. A two-thirds majority of the eligible members present and voting shall be required to sever the relationship between the pastor and the church. Disciplinary removal of the pastor from office automatically terminates his membership. A restoration to membership after disciplinary removal will be subject to the requirements of Section 3.01(D).
(B) The term of service for all offices and positions in the church, except the pastor, shall be one year, at the expiration of which the officers may be re-elected or re-appointed.
(C) A vacancy occurring in any office or board, except in the case of the pastor, may be filled at any regular church administration meeting by a majority vote of present members.
(D) All elected and appointed officers shall serve in their respective offices until their successors are duly elected or appointed.
(E) Members of the board of deacons may be removed from office for unbiblical conduct, as determined by the other board members, upon a majority vote of the remaining members of the board of deacons.
SECTION 4.05— CALLING A PASTOR
Upon the resignation, death or dismissal of the Pastor, the church shall seek a candidate who subscribes to the Statement of Faith, the Covenant and bylaw provisions of this church, and whose life aligns with the qualifications of a pastor as described in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. The church shall abide by the following guidelines for calling a pastor:
(A) The deacons shall select a pulpit committee to consist of one deacon and up to four other members elected by a simple majority of the deacons. The pulpit committee shall interview potential candidates and will only consider men who completely subscribe to the Statement of Faith and Covenant contained herein;
(B) Prior to being announced to the congregation as a formal candidate, any man being considered for pastoral candidate must preach at least one Sunday service. Thereafter, upon a majority vote of the pulpit committee may formally announce the candidate to the church, after which the candidate must preach at least one regularly scheduled services and be available for a church-wide question/answer time prior to being voted upon by the congregation;
(C) Notice from the pulpit must be given 2 consecutive Sundays prior to a formal candidate’s preaching services, and 2 consecutive Sundays prior to the church congregational vote;
(D) The candidate must be elected as Pastor by a 75% vote of qualified, present voting members. The pulpit committee will only present for consideration to the church one candidate at a time, and an up or do
SECTION 4.06—ELECTION OF OFFICERS
The annual election of officers by the church membership shall occur during the month of October at the quarterly church administration meeting. If new officer are necessary and elected, they will begin serving their term in January of the following year.
SECTION 4.07—PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF OFFICERS AND STAFF
(A) Subject to appropriate budgetary allowance, and on the condition that they shall become a member of the church upon assuming their duties, the pastor may hire associates and assistants to assist him in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
(B) All church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the pastor who has the sole authority to dismiss the same. No employee or volunteer shall be hired, appointed, or retained who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith.
DUTIES AND POWERS OF OFFICERS
SECTION 5.01—THE PASTOR
(A) The pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly and shall be at liberty to preach the whole counsel of the Word of God as the Lord leads him. He shall administer the ordinances of the church, act as moderator at all church meetings for the transaction of church matters, supervise the teaching ministries of the church, and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
(B) The pastor shall appoint the members of the various committees at the annual church administration meeting or, in the case of a vacancy or newly created committee, at other duly called special meetings. He shall serve as the president of the corporation. He shall publicly inform all newly elected officers of the function and responsibilities of their respective offices. He shall extend the right hand of fellowship to all new members on behalf of the church and shall perform such other duties as generally appertain to such a position. The pastor shall be free to choose the means and methods by which he exercises the ministry God has given him.
(C) All appointments for public worship and Bible study and the arrangements thereof, including time and place and the use of the property belonging to the church for purposes other than the stated appointments, shall be under the control of the pastor, who shall be able to determine the appropriateness of practices as well as persons permitted to use the church property.
(D) The pastor shall be responsible to fill the pulpit for each regularly scheduled church service as well as any special services. In the event of his absence, he (or the chairman of the deacon board in the case of a vacancy in the office of pastor or where the pastor is ill and unable to perform his duties) shall be responsible to invite speakers from within the membership or outside the church to preach in a manner consistent with the beliefs articulated in the Statement of Faith.
(E) The pastor shall be responsible, in coordination with the deacons, to establish mandatory safety and security procedures for all ministries and programs involving minors.
SECTION 5.02—THE BOARD OF DEACONS
(A) The board of deacons shall assist the pastor, in such manner as he shall request, in promoting the spiritual welfare of the church, in conducting the church services, and in performing all other work of the church. The deacons are responsible for making preparations to observe church ordinances and shall, if requested by the pastor, consider applications for church membership and affiliated co-laborers. They shall disburse the benevolence fund in cooperation with the pastor, and shall assist him in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the church. The board of deacons shall assist the pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the church’s various ministries. They shall provide the pulpit supply and choose a moderator for church meetings if the pastor is unavailable or the office of pastor is vacant. Upon the death, resignation, or dismissal of the pastor, the board of deacons may appoint a pulpit committee.
(B) Immediately following the annual church administration meeting, the board of deacons shall assemble and elect, from their own number, a chairman who shall be vice president of the corporation, a vice chairman, and a secretary.
(C) The pastor and the board of deacons shall constitute the board of directors of the corporation. The board of directors shall exercise only the following specific powers, upon authorization by a majority vote of the members present at a duly called church administration meeting:
(1) To purchase, lease, or otherwise acquire real and personal property on behalf of the church, and to take real and personal property by will, gift, or bequest on behalf of the
(2) To sell, convey, alienate, transfer, lease, assign, exchange, or otherwise dispose of, and to mortgage, pledge, or otherwise encumber the real and personal property of the church, to borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purpose and use of the church; to cause to be executed, issued, and delivered for the indebtedness, in the name of the church, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, or other evidence of indebtedness; and to secure repayment by deeds of trust, mortgages, or pledges; and
(3) To exercise all powers necessary for the dissolution of the church corporation.
(4) All powers of the directors, (whether deacons or other appointed group) shall be compatible with the laws of the state of Georgia.
SECTION 5.03—CHURCH CLERK
The church clerk shall:
(A) Certify and keep at the office of the church, the original bylaws or a copy, including all amendments or alterations to the bylaws, minutes of meetings, the membership roll, baptisms, and certificates of ordination and license; and deliver such documents to successor upon leaving office;
(B) Keep minutes of all church administration and deacon meetings (unless a separate secretary of deacons has been elected or appointed), including the time and place of holding, the notice given, and the names of those present (unless a church-wide meeting), and an accurate record of all church business approved at each meeting. A copy of these minutes shall be kept as a permanent record of the church and shall be made available at all reasonable times to proper person on terms provided by law and pursuant to these bylaws.
(C) Sign, certify, or attest documents as may be required by law; see that reports, statements, certificates, and all other documents and records required by law are properly kept and filed;
(D) See that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws. (In case of the absence or disability of the secretary, or his or her refusal or neglect to act, notice may be given and served by the pastor or by the chairman of the board of deacons.);
(E) Keep an account of any special events in the life of the church which are of historical interest and give a report at the annual church administration meeting of the status of the church membership roll in the past year;
(F) Serve as the secretary of the corporation and be a member in good standing.
SECTION 5.04—COUNTING COMMITTEE
The counting committee shall:
(A) Be occupied by at least three members in good standing. All church monies counted must have at least two of the three counting committee members present at all times. At the conclusion of counting, all monies must be recorded in a permanent record. This shall be done following each service or day of services of the church.
(B) Convey in a timely manner all funds received to the treasurer for verification and deposit in the bank, including moneys received from outside sources, and shall provide the treasurer with a record of all monies received, specifying the distribution into various funds as designated. A copy shall be provided to the pastor each week or upon request.
The Treasurer shall:
(A) Keep in the church office an accurate and permanent record of all financial transactions of church funds. Make reports of itemized disbursements and the financial condition of the church as requested by pastor and deacons, and for annual, quarterly or otherwise special or regular administration meetings; deliver such records to successor upon leaving office;
(B) Verify all funds received from the counting committee, and deposit these and all other funds received in appropriate amounts at an approved banking facility or trust company as shall be selected by the pastor or board of deacons.
(C) Write, sign, record, and mail checks in payment of church bills and routine expenses approved by the pastor and/or deacons as well as disburse funds and salaries as directed by the church.
(D) At least one directors of this corporation shall be authorized to sign church checks in the treasurer’s absence. The chairman of the deacons shall not perform this duty if functioning on the counting committee. No persons shall be permitted to sign checks written to themselves, and no expenditures of the church (except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements) shall be made by cash.
(E) Serve as treasurer of the corporation and be a member in good standing.
SECTION 5.06—ASSOCIATE PASTORS
Under the direction and guidance of the pastor, the associate pastor(s) of the church shall assist the pastor in carrying out the ministries of the church.
SECTION 5.07—DUTIES OF ALL OFFICERS
(A) All officers shall prepare a written report of their work for the annual church administration meeting and shall surrender all records in their possession to the church clerk at the close of their term of office to be filed as a permanent record of the work of the church. All records are the property of the church and must be kept in the church office.
(B) Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the bylaws for a period of three months may be removed from his office, at the discretion of the pastor, and another may be appointed by the pastor to serve the un-expired term.
SECTION 5.08—INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS
A public installation service in which all newly elected officers of the church are to be dedicated to their respective offices and the ordination of newly elected deacons shall be held at a public church service following their election at the annual church administration meeting.
SECTION 6.01—MEETINGS FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP
Unless otherwise determined by the pastor, the church shall meet each Sunday for public worship both morning and evening and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer.
SECTION 6.02—MEETINGS FOR CHURCH ADMINISTRATION
(A) The annual church administration meeting, for the election of officers and the transaction of other business, shall be held on or by the third Sunday in October. Additional administrative meetings will be on or by the third Sunday of each new quarter. A quorum shall consist of the members present. Public notice of the meeting shall be given for two successive Sundays immediately preceding the meeting.
(B) The pastor shall serve as the moderator of all church meeting. If the pastor is not available, he may appoint a moderator to serve on his behalf. In the absence of a pastor, the chairman of the deacon board shall serve as moderator. The moderator shall determine the rules of procedure according to his sense of fairness and common sense, giving all members a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a matter. The moderator is the final authority on questions of procedure, and his decision is final and controlling. The following order shall be observed at the regular church administration meetings:
1. Reading of minutes
2. Reception of members
3. Report of officers
4. Reports of standing committees
5. Unfinished matters
6. New matters
(C) For any meeting under this article, the moderator, in his sole discretion, shall have full and unilateral authority to require nonmembers to leave the meeting room and to order the immediate removal of any member or other person present who is deemed by the moderator to be disruptive to the proceedings by act or presence. The moderator shall have full authority to order the removal of all children (ages to be determined by the moderator) if the moderator determines, in his sole discretion, that circumstances so warrant. If the moderator determines that compliance with his order of removal is unsatisfactory, the moderator may, in his sole discretion, revoke the disruptive person’s right to remain on the premises in accordance with Section 3.03(C) and treat the person as a trespasser.
SECTION 6.03—SPECIAL MEETINGS
(A) The pastor (or deacons if the office of pastor is vacant or the pastor is the subject of possible disciplinary action) may call a special meeting by giving notice of such a meeting and the purpose for which it is called to the church publically at least one Sunday and not less than one week prior to said meeting. A meeting for the calling of a pastor or the severance of the relationship between the church and pastor shall be called in accordance with the provision of Sections 4.04(A) and 4.05.
(B) Bible conferences, missionary conferences, and revivals may be held as the pastor deems beneficial.
Members who desire that a certain motion be made or subject matter be discussed during an annual administrative, regular, or special business meeting must file a written recommendation with the pastor and deacons two weeks prior to the set meeting. The church leadership will then consider the proposal and proceed according to their conscience and what they understand to be in the best interests of the church. All other motions will be presented by the pastor and/or chairman of the board of deacons (or other moderator if the office of pastor and deacon is vacant) unless the pastor and/or deacons has delegated authority to another member and/or officer to raise certain motions.
SECTION— 6.05 FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the church shall begin October 1st and end September 30st.
The church believes that the home and church are responsible before God for providing a Christian education. To help fulfill this responsibility of imparting biblical truth and furthering the Great Commission, this church shall establish and maintain an educational program (or Sunday School program) for the purpose of winning souls to Christ, and teaching Bible doctrine, godly worship, and biblical Christian living. To this end, the church shall engage in educational ministries in keeping with the following dictates.
SECTION 7.02—CHURCH PARTICIPATION
All educational programs or courses of instruction formulated and offered by the church shall be primarily for the benefit of the members of the church; however, the pastor may permit non-church members to participate in church educational programs or courses of instruction if he deems it in the best interest of the church.
SECTION 7.03—STAFF MEMBERSHIP
All instructors, teachers, and administrators shall be members of this church. This provision shall not apply to visiting missionaries, evangelists, or preachers engaged for the purpose of delivering sermons, conducting revivals, or other special meetings on a temporary basis.
SECTION 7.04—AGREEMENT WITH STATEMENT OF FAITH
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be taught and presented in full agreement with the Statement of Faith of the church. The church shall not hire, appoint, or retain any employee or volunteer for its educational programs who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith or who adopts or lives a lifestyle inconsistent with the beliefs and practices of Statement of the Faith or this church, whether in or out of the classroom.
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted as an integral and inseparable ministry of the church.
All educational programs or courses of instruction shall be conducted consistent with the teaching of the inerrant Word of God. Any assertion or belief that conflicts with or questions a Bible truth is a pagan deception and distortion of the truth which will be disclaimed as false. It is the responsibility of every instructor or teacher to present the inerrant Word of God as the sole infallible source of knowledge and wisdom. All teachers and instructors must use the King James Version of the Bible.
ORDINATION AND LICENSING
SECTION 8.01 —ORDINATION QUALIFICATIONS
(A) Any male member who meets the qualifications stated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, may be considered for ordination as a minister of the Gospel. Candidates for ordination must be members of this local assembly or one its mission churches. No other persons may be ordained by this church.
(B) The candidate must have an experience of conversion, a divine call to the ministry, a consistent Christian walk, a vital concern for the souls of men and for the edification of the church at home and abroad.
(C) The candidate must affirm his unequivocal adherence to the Statement of Faith set forth in Article 2 of these bylaws. His doctrinal position on matters not specifically addressed in the Statement of Faith must be based on the Scriptures as the Word of God.
(D) Any uncertainty as to call or other obvious disqualifications should bar a man from ordination regardless of educational attainments.
(E) All persons licensed or ordained by this church must be convinced Baptists who accept the historic Baptist distinctives in all matters pertaining to church order and practice.
(F) A Bible college or seminary graduate should spend at least one year after graduation engaged exclusively in preaching and pastoral work before being considered for ordination. Exceptions to this rule will be made when the candidate has had adequate pastoral experience before and during his formal biblical education, or when he must seek early ordination to satisfy requirements for pastoral service of a mission church, missionary service or chaplaincy.
SECTION 8.02 —ORDINATION PROCEDURES
(A) Upon a majority vote at a duly noticed church administration meeting, the church may call an ordination council for the purpose of considering the qualifications for the ordination candidate. The ordination council shall consist of ordained ministers of like faith invited by the pastor to participate in the examination of the candidate.
(B) After organizing itself the council will examine the candidate with respect to his spiritual experience, call to the ministry and view of Christian doctrine and Baptist distinctives. The council should take its responsibility seriously and examine the candidate carefully. The outcome of the examination will be a recommendation to the church whether or not to ordain. If the council recommends ordination, the church shall vote to adopt or reject the council’s recommendation at a duly noticed church administration meeting.
(A) If the candidate is recommended for ordination by the council and the church adopts the recommendation, the pastor and the chairman of the deacons shall arrange for the ordination service. The following parts are usually included in the ordination service: Introduction consisting of the reading of Scripture relating to the qualifications for ordination, prayer, special music and reading of the determination of the examining council; Ordination charge to the church; Ordination prayer accompanied by laying on of hands by the council; Charge to the candidate; Benediction by the newly ordained minister.
SECTION 8.03—REVOCATION OF ORDINATION
(A) Should a minister ordained by the church be found living a life unbecoming a servant of the Lord or preaching and teaching contrary to the Word of God, the pastor may call a council to hear the charges and the minister’s defense.
(B) The reviewing council shall consist of the board of deacons and ordained ministers of like faith invited to participate in the hearing of the charges and the minister’s defense.
(C) Upon a recommendation by a majority vote of the council, the church will then revoke the minister’s ordination certificate.
(A) Those who desire to prepare for the gospel ministry may be issued a license to preach by this church after the pastor and board of deacons have examined the candidate’s divine call and qualifications.
(B) The pastor and the board of deacons may license an associate or assistant pastor as a preliminary step to ordination at a later date.
(C) A license to the ministry shall be considered the equivalent to ordination, but shall be considered probationary in nature. It is expected that the licensed minister will be considered for ordination within four years of being licensed.
SECTION 9.01—ACTIONS SUBJECT TO INDEMNIFICATION
The church may indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative, including all appeals (other than an action by or in the right of the church) by reason of the fact that the person is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the church, against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines, and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding; and if that person acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or on a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner that he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful. This determination of good-faith intent shall be made (a) by a majority vote of the pastor and deacons who were not and are not parties to or threatened with the action, suit, or proceeding; (b) if the described quorum is not obtainable or if a majority vote of a quorum of disinterested deacons so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion; or (c) by a majority vote of the members of the church.
SECTION 9.02—TIMING OF INDEMNIFICATION
Expenses of each person seeking indemnification under this Article may be paid by the church as they are incurred, in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit, or proceeding, as authorized by the board of deacons in the specific case, so long as the pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent agrees to repay the amount if it is ultimately determined that he or she is not qualified to be indemnified by the church.
SECTION 9.03—EXTENT OF INDEMNIFICATION
The indemnification provided by this Article shall be deemed to be discretionary unless otherwise required as a matter of law or under any agreement or provided by insurance purchased by the church, both as to action of each person seeking indemnification under this Article in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding that office, and may continue as to a person who has ceased to be a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent and may inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of that person.
The church may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the church against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in that capacity, or arising out of his status in that capacity, whether or not the church would have the power to indemnify him against liability under the provisions of this Article.
SECTION 10.01—STANDING COMMITTEES
The pastor (or the board of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant) shall appoint standing committees as he deems appropriate and shall designate a chairperson and the membership for each standing committee except when otherwise specifically provided in these bylaws.
SECTION 10.02—SPECIAL COMMITTEES
The board of deacons, in its discretion, may create special committees to provide the board with advice and information regarding matters submitted to the committee by the board for consideration. The committee shall have no authority to act on behalf of the corporation. Nominations for special committee members shall be made by the pastor or such persons as he shall appoint to make such nominations. The members of the committee shall be chosen by a majority vote of the board of deacons and shall serve solely at the pleasure of the board of deacons. The special committee shall be subject to the control and direction of the board of deacons at all times.
SECTION 10.03—ACTIONS OF COMMITTEES
Committees, whether standing or special, have no authority to act on behalf of the corporation. Their primary function is to research and recommend. Committees shall make available upon request all records and materials to the pastor or deacons, who shall have the right to overrule any plans or decisions made by the committee. Each committee shall have a secretary that keeps minutes of each meeting and shall timely submit the minutes to the pastor and church clerk to be filed with church records. If deemed appropriate by the pastor and deacons, the committee secretary, in conjunction with the chairman, shall submit an annual report to the church of the decisions and plans of the committee.
From time to time the church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. All contributions to these funds shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature and shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the pastor and the board of deacons. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Section 1.02.
SECTION 12.01—SUBMISSION TO ARBITRATION
Believing that lawsuits between believers are prohibited by Scripture, all members of this church agree to submit to binding arbitration any matters which cannot otherwise be resolved, and expressly waive any and all rights in law and equity to bring any civil disagreement before a court of law, except that judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
SECTION 12.02—NOTICE OF ARBITRATION
In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising out of or relating to these bylaws or any other church matter, the parties shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreement as befits Christians and in accord with Matthew 5:15-17. To this effect, they shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith and, recognizing their mutual interests not to disgrace the name of Christ, seek to reach a just and equitable solution. If they do not reach such solution within a period of sixty (60) days, then upon notice by either party to the other, disputes, claims, questions, or differences shall be finally settled by arbitration as described in Section 12.01, above, and such Procedures for Arbitration as are adopted pursuant to Section 12.04, below.
SECTION 12.03—LIMITATIONS ON ARBITRATION DECISIONS
(A) Should any dispute involve matters of church discipline, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures for church discipline, as outlined under Section 3.04, were followed.
(B) Should any dispute involve the removal from office of the pastor or any church officer, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures set forth in Sections 4.04, 4.07, or 5.07 were followed.
SECTION 12.04—ARBITRATION PROCEDURES
The Procedures for Arbitration shall be as adopted by the pastor and the board of deacons.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The purpose of this conflict of interest policy is to protect the church’s interest when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or director of the church or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction. This policy is intended to supplement but not replace any applicable state or federal laws governing conflicts of interest applicable to nonprofit and charitable organizations.
(A) Interested Person: Any director or officer who has a direct or indirect financial interest.
(B) Financial interest: A person has a financial interest if the person has, directly or indirectly, through business, investment, or family:
(1) An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the church has a transaction or arrangement,
(2) A compensation arrangement with the church or with any individual or entity with which the church has a transaction or arrangement, or
(3) A potential ownership or investment interest in, or compensation arrangement with, any entity or individual with which the church is negotiating a transaction or arrangement.
(4) A financial interest is not necessarily a conflict of interest. A person who has a financial interest may have a conflict of interest only if the board of directors decides that a conflict of interest exists.
(C) Compensation: Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration as well as gifts or favors that are not insubstantial.
(D) Board: The term “board” refers to the board of directors of the church.
(A) In connection with any actual or possible conflict of interest, an interested person must disclose the existence of the financial interest and be given the opportunity to disclose all material facts to the directors considering the proposed transaction or arrangement.
(B) After disclosure of the financial interest and all material facts, including any presentations by and discussion with the interested person, he shall leave the board meeting while the determination of a conflict of interest involving the transaction or arrangement is discussed and voted upon. The remaining board members shall decide if a conflict of interest exists by a majority vote.
(1) The chairman of the board shall, if appropriate, appoint a disinterested person or committee to investigate alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement.
(2) After exercising due diligence, the board or committee shall determine whether the church can obtain with reasonable efforts a more advantageous transaction or arrangement from a person or entity that would not give rise to a conflict of interest.
(3) If a more advantageous transaction or arrangement is not reasonably possible under circumstances not producing a conflict of interest, the board shall determine by a majority vote of the disinterested directors whether the transaction or arrangement is in the best interests of the church, for its own benefit, and whether it is fair and reasonable. In conformity with the above determination it shall make its decision as to whether to enter into the transaction or arrangement.
(C) If the board has reasonable cause to believe a member has failed to disclose actual or possible conflicts of interest, it shall inform the member of the basis for such belief and afford the member an opportunity to explain the alleged failure to disclose.
(D) If, after hearing the member’s response and after making further investigation as warranted by the circumstances, the board determines the member has failed to disclose an actual or possible conflict of interest, it shall take appropriate disciplinary and corrective action.
SECTION 13.04—RECORDS OF PROCEEDINGS
(A) The minutes of the board shall contain the names of the persons who disclosed or otherwise were found to have a financial interest in connection with an actual or possible conflict of interest, the nature of the financial interest, any action taken to determine whether a conflict of interest was present, and the board’s decision as to whether a conflict of interest in fact existed.
(B) The minutes of the board also shall contain the names of the persons who were present for discussions and votes relating to the transaction or arrangement, the content of the discussion, including any alternatives to the proposed transaction or arrangement, and a record of any votes taken in connection with the proceedings.
A voting member of the board who receives compensation, directly or indirectly, from the church for services rendered may not vote on matters pertaining to that member’s compensation.
These bylaws may be revised or amended by a three-fourths vote of the members present and voting at any regular church administration meeting, provided that said revision or amendment has been submitted in writing at least two consecutive Sundays, and at least fourteen (14) days before the vote is taken.
Proposed amendments or changes must be made available to voting members for review at least one week prior to the meeting at which the vote to amend the bylaws will be taken.
These bylaws were adopted by a three-fourths majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the church in which a quorum was present.
These bylaws supersede any other bylaws of Linwood Baptist Church.