Article I: Name and Purpose
The name and purpose of this organization shall be as set forth in the constitution adopted on May 5, 2004.
Article II: Membership
Admission to membership in this body shall be upon majority vote of the members present and voting in any regularly scheduled meeting based upon the satisfaction of one of the following criteria:
1. Upon profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
2. Upon transfer of letter from some other Baptist church of like faith and order;
3. Upon restoration to membership if, for various reasons, the name of an individual has been dropped from our roll;
4. By personal statement of a Baptist having been baptized by immersion into the fellowship of a Baptist church and whose church connection or church letter has been lost;
5. By personal statement of an individual that he or she is already a Christian and was immersed by a church of like faith and order as set forth in Section 1 above.
Individuals may be received under the watch-care of the church for the purpose of worshiping regularly with our fellowship with no privilege of voting (designed primarily for non-Baptists).
Names of members may be removed from the roll in any of the following ways:
1. Upon due request from another Baptist church of like faith and order, the church may grant letters at its discretion;
2. The name of a member will be removed upon the member’s death;
3. The name of a member who united with a church of another denomination may be removed from the roll by erasure when this church is notified by the member or by the church with which the member has united;
4. A member may be dismissed from membership as a method of church discipline provided a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the members present and voting at a regularly scheduled business meeting of the church favor withdrawal of fellowship.
Article III: Meetings
The church shall hold regular meetings for the purpose of worship, prayer, teaching, training and fellowship on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings. Other meetings of the church as a whole shall be set according to the needs of the church.
A church conference shall be held on the Wednesday evening following the first Sunday in each month (unless otherwise scheduled) at which time written reports will be received from the church clerk, the Finance Committee, and from such other standing committees or ministry teams as the church may require from time to time. When a report is to be made by a special committee appointed for a specific or limited purpose, prior notice of the intent to present the report will be given the membership by means of announcement in the church’s regular publication. Any other business of the church may be considered at these monthly conferences without advance notice except as otherwise specified in the constitution or elsewhere in the by-laws.
A special church conference may be called by the Pastor, the Chairman of Deacons or by majority vote of the members present and voting at a regularly scheduled worship meeting provided that written notice shall be given in the church’s regular publication at least one week in advance of the special session, stating the purpose of said meeting. A special church conference may also be called during any regular Sunday or Wednesday meeting by the joint consent of the Pastor and the Chairman of Deacons with the unanimous consent of the members present and voting.
All church conferences shall be conducted in accordance with standard parliamentary procedure as described in Robert’s Rules of Order.
In the event of an emergency (fire, storm, natural disaster, etc.), the Pastor and/or Chairman of Deacons is authorized to make decisions about the use of the church’s property and/or resources to meet the particular emergency.
Article IV: Officers
The Pastor, the Church Moderator, the Church Clerk, and the Church Treasurer shall constitute the Administrative Officers of the church. The Pastor shall hold the position of Church Moderator if he so desires. Any person elected to one of these official positions may, in addition, serve as a corporate officer.
The corporate officers shall be nominated annually by the Committee on Committees and elected by the church.The corporate officers of the church shall include a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary and a treasurer. The corporate treasurer shall also be the church treasurer. The corporate officers shall be nominated by the Committee on Committees and elected by the church. Terms of service shall be three years with one or two officers rotating off each year as with standing committees.
The church incorporated primarily to protect the membership at large from legal liability. The corporate officers shall therefore be authorized to review policies and procedures and to assess any potential risk that might arise from the day-to-day operations of the church. The results of such an audit shall be presented to the church with appropriate recommendations for action to mitigate the potential risk.
The corporate officers shall assume the role formerly held by the trustees of the church. That is, they shall represent the church in legal matters.
The corporate officers shall initiate recommendations to the church regarding the usage or placement of funds other than those that are budgeted or designated.
A Church Moderator (if the Pastor chooses not to serve in this capacity) shall be elected annually by the church to serve for a period of one year, the term to begin on January 1 following election. In the event the Moderator is absent from any regular or special church conference, the Chairman of Deacons shall preside, or the members present and voting shall elect a temporary moderator to preside over that particular conference. The Moderator shall preside over the regular and special church conferences described in these by-laws and the constitution.
Terms of Service.
The terms of service of the administrative and corporate officers shall be one year or until successors are duly elected. The Pastor is excluded from this provision and shall be elected for an unspecified term of office.
Article V: Deacons
The church shall elect from its membership deacons in a number the church deems necessary to fill its needs. Deacons will be elected by the church in regular conference upon recommendation of the Deacon Body. The Deacon Body shall elect its own officers including, but not limited to, a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman and Secretary.
In accordance with the meaning of the word “deacon” and the example of the New Testament churches, deacons are to be leader-servants of the church. The following principles of service (based on Acts 6) define the purpose for deacons:
1. To assist the ministerial staff with secondary responsibilities in order that they may spend more time in prayer and the ministry of the Word. (For example, the visitation ministry, aid church committees in administration matters, ministry to the sick and needy, etc.) All recommendations from church committees and ministry teams will be presented to the Deacon Council for approval and then forwarded to the church for final determination.
2. To give attention to the needs of the membership, especially to widows.
3. To assist in resolving problems which arise within the fellowship and work toward unity.
4. To be supportive of the God-called leadership.
5. To be examples within the fellowship of wisdom, spirituality, faithfulness and good character.
Article VI: Standing Committees
All standing committees shall be elected by the church in regular conference. Terms of service shall be three years, and approximately one-third (1/3) of the members of each committee shall be elected annually in order that continuity be maintained in the work of the committees. A member who has served a three-year term on a committee is not eligible for election to any committee until at least one year has elapsed. A member of the church staff shall serve as adviser for each standing committee.
Committee on Committees.
The Committee on Committees shall be elected by the church in regular conference. One-third of the committee shall be elected each year from nominations made by the members prior to the conference. This committee shall bring recommendations to the church for members of all standing committees except for the Committee on Committees.
The Finance Committee shall perform the following duties:
Review financial expenditures each month, evaluate requests for special offerings by church organizations, and keep the church membership informed regarding receipts and expenditures.
They shall report to the church at regular monthly church conferences on receipts and expenditures through the budget and any other authorized funds.
Along with the Church Council, they shall study expenditures and needs, estimate giving potential of the church, prepare an achievable budget for the coming year and present it to the church for its consideration.
This committee shall be entrusted with the responsibility of physical property, upkeep of current and future buildings, operation of oversight of physical plant needs. This shall include buildings, furnishings and permanently installed equipment.
The Personnel Committee shall assist the Pastor in matters related to personnel administration and management including such areas as employment, salaries, benefits, personnel and services, and preparation of job descriptions.
Other standing committees may be elected to fill specific needs and shall operate under the same general provisions as described in this article for the committees specifically named. Such committees may be added, continued or discontinued as the church sees fit.
Article VII: Pastor Supply/Search Committees
In the event that the office of Pastor shall become vacant, two special committees shall be elected: a Pulpit Supply Committee, and a Pastor Search Committee.
Pulpit Supply Committee
The Pulpit Supply Committee shall be nominated by the Committee on Committees and elected by the church. The committee shall not consist of more than seven persons.
The Pulpit Supply Committee shall be responsible for securing an appropriate speaker for each worship service until more permanent arrangements are made.
The Pulpit Supply Committee shall, if appropriate and desired by the church, recommend to the church for its consideration a person to serve as Interim Pastor until such time as a pastor is called.
Pastor Search Committee
The Pastor Search Committee shall consist of a membership of seven active members (four men and three women) and one alternate who will be privileged to attend meetings and who will be available to fill any vacancy which may occur on the Pastor Search Committee.
The committee members will be selected under the supervision of the Personnel Committee as follows:
a. Every church member shall have the opportunity to submit a single, written and signed list of nominations of not more than five persons for election to the Pastor Search Committee.
b. The Personnel Committee will, from these nominations, prepare a ballot of thirty nominees, observing the following criteria:
1) Give primary consideration to the number of nominations each person received.
2) No two members of the same family or related family shall be elected to the Pastor Search Committee. The man or woman receiving the lesser number of votes shall be dropped and the next highest man or woman shall be elected.
3) No church staff member or member of the household of any church staff member shall be placed on the ballot.
4) All nominees must be members of First Baptist Church of Corsicana, twenty-one years of age or older and must, in advance, consent to serve if elected.
c. The ballot of thirty nominees will be published in the regular church publication and the election will be held at the Sunday morning service on the Sunday after the publication date. Each church member will have the opportunity to cast a written ballot for seven nominees (four men and three women). All ballots shall be signed. The seven nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall constitute the Pastor Search Committee. If an alternate is needed, the one receiving the next highest number of votes will serve as alternate (either male or female).
The Pastor Search Committee, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, shall have the duty of seeking out and, after prayerful consideration, recommending to the church a person to be called to serve as Pastor. In the process of fulfilling this responsibility, the Pastor Search Committee will work closely with the Finance Committee, the Personnel Committee, and such other committees as may be necessary.
After its election, the Pastor Search Committee will meet, select its own chairman and organize itself to fulfill its duties. The Pastor Search Committee shall make periodic reports to the church in conference on its progress.
The work of the Pastor Search Committee is complete when a Pastor has been called, has accepted and has arrived on the field. The Pastor Search Committee shall then be automatically dissolved.
Article VIII: Selection of Other Staff
Selection of other staff positions (Education, Music, Youth, et. al.) shall be done through the service of the Personnel Committee plus additional members chosen from the church-at-large to form a Search Committee not to exceed a total of nine (9) persons. Nominations for three additional members may be made from the floor of the church in conference. People nominated must grant their permission to serve on a search committee. The three receiving the highest number of votes shall be included in the search committee.
The committee shall select its own chairman and organize to fulfill its duties. They shall make periodic reports to the church in conference on its progress. The committee will work closely with the Finance Committee and other leadership in the area of work (S.S., Music, etc.) as may be necessary.
This committee shall function until such time as they bring a recommendation to the church and the selection of a new staff member is made after which they will be dissolved as a committee.
Article IX: Selection of Messengers
Messengers to the annual meetings of the Corsicana Baptist Association, Baptist General Convention of Texas and the Southern Baptist Convention shall be elected by the church in accordance with the following procedure:
1. Persons who are willing to be considered as messengers to any of these annual meetings shall inform the church office of their willingness to serve at least thirty days prior to the scheduled meeting for which they are being considered for election as messengers.
2. The requests shall be referred to the Committee on Committees. The committee shall, in the last regularly scheduled business meeting before the date that messengers must be appointed in order to be eligible to attend the applicable convention, present to the church its recommendations of persons to be elected as messengers and alternates.
3. If full allotment of messengers has not been reached additional nominations may be made from the floor if desired, and the church in conference will elect the appropriate number of messengers and alternates.
Article X: Amendments
These by-laws may be amended by the following procedure:
1. Any proposed amendment shall be offered in writing at the regular church conference.
2. The proposed amendment, together with the designated time for its consideration, shall be published in two consecutive issues of the church’s official weekly publication thirty days prior to the meeting in which a vote is to be taken.
3. The proposed amendment shall be approved by three-fourths (3/4) of the members present and voting at each of two consecutive regular business meetings of the church after proper offering and notification described above.