Constitution and By-Laws of the Little Mount Baptist Church
We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other churches.
This body is known as the Little Mount Baptist Church of 6129 Little Mount Road, Taylorsville, Kentucky, USA 40071.
III. Statement of Basic Beliefs
We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired word of God and the basis for our beliefs. This church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in 1963. We voluntarily band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost humankind. The ordinances of the church are believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (See Article IV of the By-laws.)
IV. Church Covenant
Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God 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, doctrines, and discipline; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, and the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations. We also engage to maintain family and individual devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our behavior; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography; 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 one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it 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.
V. Polity and Relationships
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. Persons duly received by the members shall constitute the membership. (See Article I of the Bylaws.) All internal groups created and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the association, the state convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
I. Church Membership
Section 1. General
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.
Section 2. Candidacy
Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church service for membership in any of the following ways:
Section 3. New Member Orientation
New members of this church are expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation conducted by the pastor or someone appointed by the pastor.
Section 4. Membership Duties and Rights
Section 5. Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: (1) death of the member, (2) dismissal to another Baptist church, (3) exclusion by action of this church, (4) erasure upon the member’s request or proof of membership in a church of another denomination. Section
Section 6. Discipline
It shall be the practice of this church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, other members of the church staff, and deacons are available for counsel and guidance. The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment. Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, the pastor and the deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accord with Matthew 18. If it becomes necessary for the church to take the action to exclude a member, a two-thirds vote of the members present is required; and the church may proceed to declare the person to be no longer in the membership of the church. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person, and by vote of church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation.
II. Church Officers and Committees
The New Testament requires in Acts 6:3 that the leadership of the church be of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. Any person elected by this church to hold office shall be a member of this church, shall attend regularly the services of this church, and shall systematically support the financial program of this church to the best of his or her ability. All church officers should display evidence of a personal call of God to minister.
Section 1. Church Officers
The officers of this church shall be the pastor, the church staff, the deacons, a moderator, a clerk, a treasurer, and trustees.
The pastor’s qualifications should measure up to those set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7. The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks.
The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church. As such, the pastor works with the deacons and church staff to: (1) lead the church in the achievement of its mission, (2) proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers, and (3) care for the church’s members and other persons in the community.
A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose of which at least one week’s public notice has been given.
A pastor selection committee (recommended by the nominating committee) shall be elected by the church to seek out a suitable pastor. The pastor selection committee’s recommendation will constitute a nomination. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one name at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot, an affirmative vote of three-fourths of those present being necessary for a choice. The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by either the pastor’s or church’s request. The pastor shall preside at meetings of this church and, if so designated, may serve as moderator in all business meetings in keeping with the rules of order authorized in these by-laws.
The pastor may hold two (2) revival meetings away from the church each year without prior church approval. Such meetings shall not require the pastor’s absence from the pulpit more than two Sundays throughout the year.
When practical, the church shall send the pastor to the Southern Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptist Convention, conferences and assemblies, and other ministry opportunities such as mission trips and/or additional revivals.
The pastor shall have two (2) weeks each year as vacation with regular compensation. This vacation may be taken in one or two week periods.
It shall be the responsibility of the pastor to obtain pulpit supply. The church shall pay for the pulpit supply when the pastor is absent from the pulpit due to revivals, conventions, conferences and assemblies, ministry opportunities approved by the church, vacation, and illness or death in the family.
The pastor may relinquish the office as pastor by giving at least two weeks’ notice to the church at the time of resignation.
The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week’s public notice has been given. The meeting may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the deacons. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot, an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present being necessary to declare the office vacant. The church will compensate the pastor with not less than one month’s compensation. The termination shall be immediate and compensation shall be rendered in not more than thirty days.
2. Ministerial Staff
The ministerial staff (minister of music, minister to children/youth, etc.) shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices. A job description shall be written when the need for a staff member is determined. Staff members shall be recommended to the church by a duly elected search committee (recommended by the nominating committee) and called by church action.
At the time of resignation at least two weeks’ notice shall be given to the church. The church may vote to vacate such positions upon recommendation of the deacons, such termination being immediate and the compensation conditions being the same as for the pastor, except that the amount shall relate to the individual’s compensation.
Non-ministerial staff members shall be employed as the church determines the need for their services. Employment and termination of services will follow the same guidelines as those used for ministerial staff.
Deacons’ qualifications should measure up to those set forth in I Timothy 3:8-13. In accordance with the meaning of the work and practice in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church. Their task is to serve with the pastor and staff in performing the pastoral ministries tasks of (1) leading the church in the achievement of its mission, (2) proclaiming the gospel to believers and unbelievers, and (3) caring for the church’s members and other persons in the community. It is the policy of this church that a deacon should be a member in good standing of the church for at least one year before qualifying as a candidate for deacon.
The church shall elect deacons by ballot at regular business meetings of the church. There shall be nine (9) deacons elected. Deacons shall serve on a rotation basis. Each church year the assigned term of office of one-third of the number of deacons shall expire, and election shall be held to fill vacancies. In case of death or removal or incapacity to serve, the church may elect a deacon to fill the unexpired term. After serving a term of three years’ assignment, a deacon shall be eligible for reelection only after the lapse of at least one year.
There shall be no obligation to constitute as an assigned deacon one who has been a deacon in another church. In such instances as the one might be chosen by this church for assignment as a deacon, previous ordination by another church of like faith and order shall suffice for this church.
The deacons shall elect their own officers, which shall consist of a chairman and a secretary. These officers are to be elected annually. The deacon body shall meet on the last Sunday of each month. The pastor may call a special meeting at any time when circumstances deem it necessary. The deacon body will be authorized to spend up to $200.00 at any time for non-budget items, but approval must come from a meeting of the active deacon body, with notice of transaction made to be given to the church treasurer as soon as possible.
The church shall elect annually a moderator as its presiding officer. In the absence of the moderator, the pastor shall preside; or in the absence of both, the clerk shall call the church to order and preside for the election of an acting moderator.
The church shall elect annually a clerk as its clerical officer. The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided. The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members, with dates of admission, dismissal, death, or erasure, together with a record of baptisms. The clerk shall issue a letter of dismissal voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary, as indicated in these by-laws. The clerks shall be responsible for preparing the annual letter of the church to the association. All church records are church property, and a copy of all church records shall be kept in the church.
The church shall elect annually a church treasurer as its financial officer. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out, upon receipt of vouchers approved and signed by authorized personnel, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements of the preceding month. A copy of each treasurer’s report shall be kept in the church.
The church shall elect three trustees to serve as legal officers for the church. They shall hold in trust the church property. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any church property. When the signatures of trustees are required, they shall sign legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property, or other legal documents related to church-approved matters. Trustees shall serve on a rotation basis, with one new trustee being elected each year.
Section 2. Church Committees
The committees of this church shall be a nominating committee, a church property and space committee, a stewardship committee, standing committees, and such other regular and special committees as the church shall authorize. Additional regular committees may be added by the amendment procedure prescribed within these by-laws. All church committee members shall be recommended by the church nominating committee and elected by the church. Committee members shall serve on a yearly basis. The pastor is ex-officio member of all committees named.
1. Nominating Committee
The nominating committee coordinates the staffing of all church leadership positions and committees filled by volunteer workers. Persons considered for any such positions shall first be approved by the nominating committee before they are approached for recruitment. The nominating committee shall present to the church for election all that accept the invitation to serve. The nominating committee shall be supplemented by the standing organizational leaders and the pastor.
2. Church Property and Space Committee
The church property and space committee assists the church in matters related to properties administration. Its work includes such areas as maintaining all church properties for ready use, recommending policies regarding use of properties, consulting with the church staff regarding the needs for and the employment of maintenance personnel, and regarding the assignment of supervisory responsibility to appropriate personnel. The committee shall make regular inspections of the church buildings and grounds to determine needs. It shall have authority to spend $200.00 without prior church approval in urgent situations.
3. Stewardship Committee
The stewardship committee develops and recommends an overall stewardship development plan, a unified church budget, and budget subscription plans. It advises and recommends in the administration of the gifts of church members and others, using sound principles of financial management. It works with the treasurer in the preparation and presentation to the church of required reports regarding the financial affairs of the church. Members of the stewardship committee shall assist the treasurer in counting all church receipts.
4. Standing Committees
The following committees shall be standing committees presented by the nominating committee and elected annually: Baptism, Flower, Kitchen, Lord’s Supper, Music, Nursery, Recreation, and Tally. Other committees may be added upon direction of the church.
III. Church Program Organizations
All organizations of the church shall be under church control. All organizational workers shall be elected by the church and report regularly to the church. The pastor is ex-officio officer of all organizations named.
1. Sunday School
The Sunday School shall be the basic organization for the Bible teaching program. Its tasks shall be to teach the biblical revelation, reach persons for Christ and church membership, perform the functions of the church within its constituency, provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.
The Sunday School shall be organized by departments and/or classes, as appropriate for all ages, and shall be conducted under the direction of the Sunday School director elected by the church.
2. Discipleship Training
The Discipleship Training organization shall serve as the training unit of the church. Its tasks shall be to train church members to perform the functions of the church; train church leaders; orient new church members; teach Christian theology, Christian ethics, Christian history, and church polity and organization; and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.
3. Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU)
Woman’s Missionary Union shall be the mission education, mission action, and mission support organization of the church for women, young women, girls, and preschool children. Its tasks shall be to teach missions; engage in mission action; support world missions through praying and giving; and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. The Woman’s Missionary Union shall have such officers and organizations as the program requires.
4. Men On Missions
The Brotherhood shall be the church’s organization for mission education, mission action, and mission support for men, young men, and boys. Its tasks shall be to teach missions, engage in mission action, support world missions through praying and giving, and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. The Brotherhood shall have such officers and organizations as the program requires.
5. Church Music Organization
The Church Music Organization, under the direction of the church-elected music director, shall be the music education, training, and performance organization of the church. Its tasks shall be to teach music; train persons to lead, sing, and play music; provide music in the church and community; and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. The Church Music Program shall have such officers and organizations as the program requires.
IV. Church Ordinances
Section 1. Baptism
This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes him publicly at any worship service, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord.
Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
Section 2. The Lord’s Supper
The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper on the last Sunday of each month, unless otherwise scheduled by the church. The pastor and deacons shall administer the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper Committee shall be responsible for the physical preparations.
V. Church Meetings
Section 1. Worship Services
The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The pastor shall direct the services for all the church members and for all others who may choose to attend.
Section 2. Special Services
Other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar (revivals, mission conferences, special emphasis days, etc.)
Section 3. Regular Business Meetings
The church shall hold regular business meetings on the first Sunday of each month, following morning worship, unless otherwise scheduled by the church.
Section 4. Special Business Meetings
A special business meeting may be called to consider special matters of significant nature. A one-week notice must be given in a regular worship service for any special business meeting, unless the church considers such notice impractical.
Section 5. Quorum
The quorum consists of those active members who attend the business meeting.
Section 6. Parliamentary Rules
Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church, including deacons, organizational, and committee meetings.
Section 7. Fiscal Year
The Church fiscal year shall run concurrently with the church year which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.
VI. Church Finances
We believe the Bible plan for support of our church is “tithes and offerings,” and we adopt this as our financial plan. We further believe that the Bible teaches that all our tithes are to be brought into one treasury and that all disbursements are to be made out of this treasury. We, therefore, adopt the One Treasury System for use in this church.
Section 1. Budget
The stewardship committee shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses. Offering envelopes will be provided for members’ use, as requested.
Section 2. Accounting Procedures
All funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the hands of the church treasurer and be properly recorded on the books of the church. A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the stewardship committee.
Changes in the constitution and by-laws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church, provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment shall have been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting. Amendments to the constitution and/or by-laws shall be by two-thirds vote of active church members present.
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