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Church Constitution and Bylaws – December 2013

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

Of Grove Station Baptist Church

2013 December 31 CONSTITUTION

Article I – Name The name of this church shall be known as Grove Station Baptist Church of Piedmont, South Carolina.

Article II – Preamble We, the members of Grove Station Baptist Church, do declare and establish this constitution and bylaws to:

1. Preserve and secure the principles of our faith.

2. Ensure the freedoms of the church under God.

3. Preserve the liberties of individual members.

4. Provide for the orderly conduct of church affairs both internally and externally.

Article III – Purpose The purpose of this body shall be:

1. To glorify God and carry out the Great Commission. (Matthew 28:19-20) 2. To make the Gospel relevant to people so they will have the opportunity to put their trust in Christ and become effective disciples of Jesus. 3. To minister to one another and to the larger community through Christian fellowship, Bible study, worship, evangelism, missions, and benevolence.

Article IV – Articles of Faith We believe:

1. The Bible is the inspired Word of God and is our all-sufficient authority in matters of faith, doctrine and Christian living.

2. In one God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

3. In Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, arose from the dead, ascended to heaven where He sits on the right hand of the Father and is now our High Priest and Advocate.

4. In salvation by grace through faith. It is not by works. It is a gift of God. Each person who reaches the age of accountability may voluntarily accept Christ and be saved.

5. The church is God’s people for carrying out the Great Commission in the world. The church is made up of people, who have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, been baptized by immersion, and joined with fellow believers to grow, serve and be on mission for Christ.

6. That baptism by immersion is symbolic of what has happened between the believer and Christ in the new birth. The Lord’s Supper is a reminder of the sacrifices of Jesus’ broken body and shed blood for us. These two ordinances are to be observed by the church.

7. In the glorious bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ at the end of the ages, the resurrection of the dead, and the changes to a spiritual body for all believers. Believers will go to everlasting blessedness and unbelievers will be separated from God forever.

8. In the autonomy of the local church. It shall not be subject to any other religious body and shall manage its own affairs. It shall be affiliated with and financially cooperate with the Greenville Baptist Association, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention. It may choose to cooperate in projects with other organizations in order to accomplish the mission of the church in the world.

Article V – Government Grove Station Baptist Church shall be governed, under God, by its membership. The church election and financial budget year will be September 1 through August 31.

Article VI – Membership

1. A person may become a member by: a. Profession of faith in Jesus Christ and baptism by immersion. b. Receipt of a letter from a Baptist church. c. Statement by the candidate of his/her salvation experience, baptism by immersion and membership in a Baptist church. Joining by statement will be recognized in cases where a letter cannot be obtained such as previous church has closed or records lost.

2. Members shall be received into the church by a majority vote of members present.

3. Members may be terminated by: a. Death. b. Joining another church of like faith and order and that church requesting a letter of recommendation. c. Erasure because of joining a church of another denomination. d. Dismissal by the church due to failure of efforts to reclaim a person after unbiblical conduct.

4. Members shall have the right to bring matters before the church, discuss issues and vote in church conferences. They shall have the privileges of full participation in the life and work of the church.

5. Duties of the members: a. Seek to live a life that glorifies God and carries out the Great Commission. b. Uphold the Articles of Faith, the Constitution and Bylaws and advance the Kingdom of God through faithful attendance and financial support of Grove Station Baptist Church.

BYLAWS Article I – Church Officers

1. Pastor:

a. Qualifications:

i. His life should be consistent with the qualifications listed in I Timothy 3:1-7.

ii. His Christian character and love for people should fit him for the office of pastor.

b. Responsibilities:

i. He will serve as the administrative head of the church through preaching, teaching, counseling, ministry, planning, and guidance.

ii. He will lead the church in evangelism, Christian education, missions, worship, proclamation, spiritual growth and discipleship development.

iii. He will serve as moderator of the church.

iv. He will lead all staff in performance of their jobs.

v. He will serve as ex officio member of all church groups.

c. Pastor Selection:

i. A Pastor Search Team shall be recommended by the Ministry Team and elected by the church to seek and recommend a pastor to the church.

ii. The Pastor Search Team shall gather background information on a candidate to access his character and past performance before considering him for pastor.

iii. The Pastor Search Team shall interview the candidate before recommending him to the church.

iv. The Pastor Search Team shall bring only one candidate at a time before the church.

v. The church shall have the opportunity to hear and to talk with the candidate in view of a call.

vi. The church shall vote by secret ballot on calling a pastor.

vii. An affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of members present shall be required to call a pastor.

d. Term of Service:

i. The pastor shall serve until his request or that of the church terminates the relationship. Thirty days notice shall be given unless otherwise mutually agreed.

2. Church Staff:

a. The church shall call staff, as it deems necessary, to carry out the mission of the church.

b. The Ministry Team shall recommend to the church any specific ministry positions to be filled.

c. The Ministry Team shall conduct background checks, interviews and the like before recommending a staff person to the church.

d. A two-thirds (2/3) vote by the members present shall be required to call the staff person.

3. Elected Leaders:

a. Deacon:

i. The Deacon will serve as a biblical servant / leader of Grove Station Baptist Church. He will be elected to serve for a two year term. The minimum number of Deacons to actively serve will be three with more added as the needed as a result of church membership growth or ministry responsibilities.

ii. Term-limited rotations off the deacon ministry will be done at the close of the fiscal year on August 31. Rotations will be staggered, so that there are active deacons serving the church members at all times. A 12 month rest is required before a deacon can be reelected as an active deacon.

iii. This man will serve alongside the Pastor as an overseer to the spiritual and general physical needs of all church members. He will be a member of the Ministry Advisory Team. He may serve on other church committees. He will assist the Pastor with visitation of members and visitors. He will be available to assist 6 with the Ordinances of the Church (Baptism and Communion). He will assist in all church discipline issues. He will be faithful to attend church services and be engaged in serving the members of Grove Station Baptist Church. There will be an ordination required for all new Deacons who have not previously served as a Deacon in a Southern Baptist church.

iv. The biblical qualifications of a deacon are as follows: Acts 6:1-7 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13

a. Man of Honest (Good) Report (Acts 6:3) – A good reputation among those in the church, as well as those outside the church.

b. Full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3) – Mature spiritual outlook and personal dedication through the Holy Spirit.

c. Full of Wisdom (Acts 6:3) – Wisdom that is biblically-based and in agreement with whole context of Scriptures.

d. Full of Faith (Acts 6:5) – Like Stephen’s, a Deacon’s power depends on faith. e. Grave (1 Timothy 3:8) – One who possesses Christian purpose, who has great reverence for spiritual matters; one whose word carries weight.

f. Not Double-Tongued (1 Timothy 3:8) – Dependable and responsible in his control of his tongue.

g. Not Given To Much Wine (1 Timothy 3:8) – Temperate in living; steward of good influence, doing all to the glory of God.

h. Not Greedy of Filthy Lucre (1 Timothy 3:8) – A right attitude toward material possessions, not eager to exploit others for his own gain or profit.

i. A Holder of the Faith (1 Timothy 3:9) – A man who gives strength to the church fellowship and one who possesses spiritual integrity beyond reproach.

j. Tested and Proved (1 Timothy 3:10) – A man who demonstrates his spiritual qualifications before 7 being elected to serve and as a deacon is tested and found true.

k. Blameless (1 Timothy 3:10) – A man against whom no charge of wrongdoing can be brought with success.

l. Christian Family Life (1 Timothy 3:11-12) – A Man whose family is well cared for, whose family relationships are healthy and growing.

m. Husband of One Wife (1 Timothy 3:12) – Model of faithful devotion to one’s wife, committed to the sanctity of the marriage bond.

n. Ruling Their Children and Their Own House Well (1 Timothy 3:12) – Manages his own home well, loved and respected by his wife and children still under his care, firm, but with the compassion and tenderness of Christ.

o. Bold In the Faith (1 Timothy 3:13) – Strong and effective because he uses his office as Deacon in the right way for the right purpose.

b. Church Clerk:

i. Keeps minutes of meetings.

ii. Keeps membership role and files appropriate documents.

c. Treasurer:

i. Keeps records of all financial receipts and expenditures.

ii. Makes regular reports to the church.

iii. Pays authorized expenditures.

d. Contributions Recorder:

i. Keeps records of all financial contributions.

ii. Provides a record of those contributions to the appropriate people at the end of the year.

e. Outreach Director

f. Music Directors

g. Pianist 8 4.

Committees:

a. Baptismal

b. Building and Grounds

c. Floral

d. Hostess

e. Lord’s Supper

f. Nursery Coordinators

g. Tellers

h. Ushers

5. Sunday School:

a. General Officers

b. Teachers

6. The church shall elect other leaders as the need arises. Church Leadership Commitment Clause: God has entrusted the gospel of Jesus Christ to His church. It is according to His will and by His own design that He calls His servants to carry out His mission in the world through the spiritual gifts He gives to each Christian. According to the Book of Acts and the Letter to the Ephesians the Holy Spirit led the church to choose out from among themselves certain people for special service of leadership. In the same way the congregation of Grove Station Baptist Church has chosen and entrusted certain leaders to ensure that God’s mission is performed within the body and to care and nurture others through its ministries. Thus, by accepting the position to which they are nominated and elected the members of Grove Station Baptist Church expect their leaders be committed to attendance and action necessary for carrying out all duties necessary for their specific church ministry.

· A church ministry leader is defined as God’s servant who volunteer, those who are nominated and elected, and those who are paid to perform specified ministry duties within the church body.

· Church ministry leaders are expected to act in accordance to God’s will and perform their elected position’s responsibilities for the full duration of their elected period. They are also expected to actively attend and participate in all church services. 9

· There are times when a church leader may have an understandable break in continuity of service such as short vacations, sickness, work schedule or some unforeseen circumstance but during which the church’s ministries are performed without hindrance or neglect by another church member. Nevertheless, when a church leader’s ability to perform the duties of the office or church attendance has become poor and ineffective as a result of any the above situations, the church body should through the nomination process elect another member to serve in the same position.

· A church leader is consider as abandoned their position when there are six (6) failures to attend / perform the duties of the office within ninety (90) day period, unless there is a valid reason as determined by the Pastor and Deacons. In any such case, every possible attempt to reconcile the person to the church family will be made in accordance with Jesus’ directive in Matthew 18:15-17. (Attempts by church leaders or members to reconcile the person to the church family in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17 will be noted and written in the church minutes)

· A church leader who has been caught with moral failure or involved in a physical altercation will be removed from their position by the disciplinary process of Matthew 18: 15-17 by the Pastor and Deacons.

· The church leader who has triggered the leadership commitment clause will be notified by regular letter or email that their elected position at Grove Station Baptist Church has been vacated by their own actions. They are still welcome to return and be reconciled to fellowship with the Grove Station Baptist Church family, but this person will not be returned to the former elected position during the current election cycle, unless the church congregation votes by two thirds (2/3) majority in a church business conference to do so. Any future cycles that an elected office is available to this person will be predicated on the state of reconciliation 10 (Matthew 18:15-17) as determined by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the congregation in an official church business conference.

· The original vacated church ministry position will be brought up before the congregation at the next business conference following the activation of the automatic clause. There will be a special election to either fill the position with someone new, elect a search committee or determine the position unnecessary to support the ministries of Grove Station Baptist Church

Article II – Church Finances

1. Grove Station Baptist Church shall primarily be supported by the tithes and offerings of the members and attendees.

2. The fiscal year shall be September 1 through August 31. (The church will keep on file the current calendar year and store up to 5 years of financial records)

3. The Ministry Team shall present a proposed budget by August 31st of every year and encourage stewardship development.

4. The treasurer shall make quarterly and annual reports to the church.

Article III – Amendments This constitution and accompanying bylaws may be amended by twothirds (2/3) vote of the church members present in a regular or duly called church conference. The proposed amendment is to be given to members in writing at least one (1) week before the vote. 2013 December 31

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