CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF THE LIGHTHOUSE BAPTIST CHURCH

dba Lighthouse Country Cowboy Church

(Ratified May 5, 1996 and as amended August 3, 2008)

 

Preamble

 

 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 its relation to other churches.

 

I. NAME

 

This body shall be known as the Lighthouse Baptist Church located in Parker County, Texas.

 

II. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

 

To be a dynamic spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to share Christ with as many people as possible in our church, community, and throughout the world.
 

To be a worshipping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing His person, and responding in obedience to His leadership.
 

To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers.
 

To help people experience a growing knowledge of God and man.
 

To be a church that ministers unselfishly to persons in the community and world in the name of Jesus.
 

To be a church whose purpose is to be Christlike in our daily living by emphasizing total commitment of life, personality, and possessions to the lordship of Christ.

 

III. STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

The Holy Bible is the inspired word of God and is the basis for any statement of faith. The church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of the “The Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

 

IV. RELATIONSHIPS

 

The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It 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 it is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the association and state convention affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. All internal groups, committees, programs, and organizations created and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action or these bylaws. 

 

V. CHURCH COVENANT

 

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord 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, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and spread of the gospel through all nations.
 

We also engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs or alcohol and the spread of pornography; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of the 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.

 

BYLAWS

 

I. 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 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:

(1)  By profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this church.
 

(2)  By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church.
 

(3)  By restoration upon a statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a Baptist  church when no letter is available.
 

Should there be any dissent as to any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to the pastor and the deacons for investigation and the making of a recommendation to the church within thirty (30) days. A three-fourths vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership.

 

Section 3.  New Member Orientation
 

New church members will be expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation program. 

 

Section 4.  Voting Rights of Members
 

Every active  member of the church that is at least 16 years old is entitled to vote in all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present. No provisions shall be made for proxy voting. An active member is defined as a member of the church that attends an average of at least (2) Bible Studies or two (2) worship services per month unless the member has been prohibited from regular attendance due to health reasons, military obligations, employment circumstances or situations beyond the member’s control. Attendance records of church members shall be maintained by the church clerk to validate active membership status.

 

Section 5.  Termination of Membership
 

Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: (1)death, (2) dismission to another Baptist church, (3) exclusion by action of this church, (4) or upon the receipt of a written letter of resignation to the church clerk submitted by the member desiring to terminate membership. A letter of resignation does not require a church vote or approval but shall be accepted as read and entered in the minutes and the member’s name shall be removed from the membership.

 

Section 6.  Discipline
 

(1) It shall be the basic purpose of the 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. Redemption rather than punishment should be the guideline which governs the attitude of one member toward another.
 

(2) Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable measure will be taken by the pastor and by the deacons to resolve the problem. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance and no disciplinary action or recommendation to exclude the member from the church membership shall be taken against the member unless the pastor and the deacons are both in agreement. (Matthew 18:15-17 shall serve as the model for the process dealing with disciplinary action) If agreement between the pastor and deacons cannot be reached then the matter will be referred to the church council for their recommendation to the church. Under no circumstances shall the pastor, church council or deacons acting on their own individual initiative impose discipline or exclude a member from the church membership without church approval. But, finding that the welfare of the church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the church may proceed to declare the offender  to be no longer in the membership of the church. A majority vote of members present at a regular business meeting is required to exclude the offender from membership.
 

(3) Any person whose membership has been terminated for any condition which has made it necessary for the church to exclude them may upon their request be restored to membership by a majority vote of the members  present at a regular business meeting and upon evidence of their repentance, reformation, and recommendation of the pastor and the deacons.
 

II. CHURCH OFFICERS
 

General Requirements:
 

 (1) All church officers must be active members of the church for at least one year (except for the pastor and ministerial staff who will be required to join the church after they have been called to serve in this church), not a recent convert, and at least 21 years old. (A recent convert shall be defined as a person that has been a Christian not less than three years. It is imperative that officers be mature in the faith and experienced. References: I Timothy 3:6,10; 5:22) The one year membership requirement for officers (excluding the pastor and ministerial staff) shall be effective one year after this Constitution and Bylaws has been ratified. (Constitution and Bylaws were ratified May 5, 1996)
 

(2) No church officer may serve on more than two committees concurrently or hold more than two offices concurrently unless specifically approved by a majority vote of the members present at a regular business meeting or as otherwise stated in these bylaws.
 

(3) No church officer may serve on a committee that has one or more members of their immediate family on the same committee. (Immediate family shall be defined as husband, wife, mother, father, son, and daughter.)
 

(4)  The church may add, alter or remove officers as needed from these bylaws by means of an amendment to these bylaws.
 

(5) The officers of this church are pastor, church administrator, ministerial staff, deacons, clerk, trustees and treasurer. (church  administrator added August 3, 2008)
 

(6)  All elected offices (excluding the pastor and ministerial staff) will be filled in September. Newly elected officers will assume their offices October 1. This requirement will be effective one year after this Constitution and Bylaws has been ratified. (Constitution and Bylaws were ratified May 5, 1996)

 

Section 1. Part I: Pastor
 

The pastor is responsible to the church and Jesus Christ for leading the church to determine its mission and move toward the attainment of its mission. He proclaims the gospel and provides pastoral care for persons in the church and the community. He serves as an enabler to equip the saints and involve church members in the work of  the church so that its divine mission can be achieved. The pastor’s responsibilities are as follows:
 

(1) Proclaim the gospel and lead church members in the proclamation of the gospel in the church and community.
 

(2) Care for persons and lead church members and deacons to care for persons in the church and in the community.
 

(3) Provide administrative leadership to guide the church in attainment of its divine mission.
 

(4) Provide leadership for congregational services, and lead in conducting the church ordinances (Lord’s Supper and baptism). The pastor is solely responsible for seeing that the pulpit is filled, but in the event he is incapacitated and unable to do so, then the chairman of the deacons or his designated alternate shall fill the pulpit until the pastor is able to resume his responsibility.
 

(5) Conduct wedding ceremonies and funeral services.
 

(6) Work closely with the deacons in their training and performance in their work of proclamation, caring, building up the church fellowship, and other services they may render to help the pastor as he leads the church to fulfill its divine mission.
 

(7)  Serve as chairman of the church council, ex-officio member of all church committees, and moderate the church business meetings. As an ex-officio member of all church committees, the pastor may attend any meeting he desires and he must be kept informed by the committees when and where they meet. The pastor’s attendance is not mandatory at any committee meeting except for the church council and business meetings, and he may only vote on issues in a committee meeting to break a tie. The pastor may not serve as chairman of any committee, except the church council, unless this has been specifically approved by a majority of active church members at a regular business meeting.
 

(8)  Supervise church staff members and provide for staff training and development. 

 

Section 2. Part II: Hiring and Removing Pastors

 

A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week’s public notice shall be given.
 

 A pastor search committee consisting of at least three and no more than five active members of the church shall be elected by the church to seek out a new pastor, and its recommendation will constitute a nomination. Any member has the privilege of making recommendations for nomination to the pastor search committee, but under no circumstances shall a nomination for pastor come to the church except through the pastor search committee. Any petitions for an alternate pastor nominee that does not come through the pastor search committee will be disqualified and disallowed. 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 the active members present at this meeting being necessary for a choice. The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or by church action. The pastor shall give at least two week’s notice at the time of resignation before terminating his responsibilities as pastor.
 

In the event that the church seeks to remove the pastor it will be necessary for a written petition signed by not less than one-fourth of the active church members to be submitted to the nominating and personnel committee  A copy of this petition shall be given to the church clerk and the local director of missions. Upon receipt of this petition, the nominating and personnel committee will poll its signers and affirm their reasons for seeking to remove the pastor. This poll shall occur within a time frame not to exceed thirty (30) days after the nominating and personnel committee has received the petition. After the poll has been taken, then the nominating and personnel committee shall meet in a  closed meeting with the church council and the pastor. The director of missions will serve as moderator of this meeting and the pastor facing removal will have an opportunity to state his case. In the event that the local director of missions is unable to moderate this meeting then the pastor facing removal may call a pastor from a  church in the association to moderate. The pastor has the right to call to this meeting and question any signer of the petition to remove him; he also has the right to call active church members that support his continued employment to testify in his behalf. If this meeting determines that there is no just cause to remove the pastor, then the petition will be dismissed. If this meeting determines that there is just cause to remove the pastor, then a motion from the nominating and personnel committee to remove the pastor will be placed on the agenda at the next regular business meeting. The vote to remove the pastor shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the active members present at this meeting being necessary to remove the pastor.
 

If the signers of the petition are not satisfied with the judgment of the nominating and personnel committee to dismiss the petition, then a vote to remove the pastor may be taken at the next regular business meeting provided that this matter has been placed on the meeting’s agenda according to the policy established in these bylaws. The vote to remove the pastor shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the active members present at this meeting being necessary to remove the pastor. Except in cases of gross misconduct by the pastor so removed from office, the church will compensate the pastor with not less than two-twelfths of his total annual compensation. The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be rendered in not more than thirty days. 

 

Section 3  Ministerial Staff Members

 

The ministerial staff members shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices.  Ministerial staff members may include, but not be limited, to the following positions: Associate Pastor, Youth Minister, Minister of Education, Minister of Music, Children’s Minister, Recreation Director, etc. A job description shall be written by the nominating and personnel committee when the need for a ministerial staff member is determined. The nominating and personnel committee shall work with the pastor to find a qualified person that can work with the pastor and the church in the accomplishment of his or her position. The candidate for a ministerial staff position shall be presented by a recommendation from the pastor and the nominating and personnel committee and a three-fourths affirmative vote of those active members present at a regular business meeting shall be required to call the candidate to the staff position. At the time of resignation at least two week’s notice shall be given to the church. The church may vote to remove staff members upon the recommendation of the pastor to the nominating and personnel committee or upon the presentation of a  petition to remove the staff member signed by one-fourth of the active church members. The same procedure that is defined in Section 2 Part II: Hiring and Removing Pastors, to remove a pastor shall be followed to remove the ministerial staff member.

 

Section 4.  Deacons

 

The church shall elect deacons by ballot at regular business meetings of the church. Church members may present candidates for consideration as deacons to the nominating and personnel committee. The nominating and personnel committee will present eligible candidates to the church.
 

The requirements for an eligible deacon candidate of this church are as follows:
 

(1)  Must be an active church member, at least 25 years old, not a recent convert, and

mature in the Christian faith.
 

(2)  “Worthy of respect” (ref I Timothy 3:8 NIV)- Have a good reputation within the church and outside of the church.
 

(3)  “Sincere” (ref I Timothy 3:8 NIV)- Honest, genuine, their “yes” means “yes” and their  “no” means “no”. The candidate is not a hypocrite.
 

(4)  “Not indulging in much wine” (ref I Timothy 3:8 NIV)- Not addicted or enslaved to alcohol, drugs, and other evil habits.
 

(5)  “Not pursuing dishonest gain” (ref I Timothy 3:8 NIV)- The candidate’s motive for service is not to line his pockets with money or to use this position in the church for his own personal gain.
 

(6)  “They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience” (ref I Tim 3:9 NIV)- The candidate must have a close personal relationship with Christ and a practical and personal knowledge of God’s Word and show evidence in their life that they are not just talking the talk but also walking the walk.
 

(7)  “They must first be tested” (ref I Timothy 3:10 NIV)- The deacon candidate must have a past record of experience in church work and service such as teaching in Sunday School, working in Vacation Bible School, teaching Discipleship classes, work on church committees, personal evangelism, preaching, etc.
 

(8)  “Then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons” (I Tim 3:10 NIV)-

If no factors are found that would render the deacon candidate’s service ineffective then he may be presented as a deacon candidate to the church.
 

(9)  “In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything” (ref I Timothy 3:11 NIV) Recognizing that the role of the deacon’s wife will impact both his ministry and the welfare of the church, due consideration will be given to her character and spiritual maturity. If the deacon candidate is married, his wife will be a help and not a hindrance to his service to the church. The deacon candidate’s wife will have a good reputation inside and outside the church, and will keep in confidence anything her husband may tell her.

           

(10)  “A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well” (ref I Timothy 3:12 NIV)- If the deacon candidate is married, then he must be faithful to his wife and have a stable relationship with her and his children. This is not a mandate that only married men can serve as deacons and this does not prohibit a divorced man from serving as a deacon.
 

There shall be a minimum of one deacon elected for assigned service to a maximum of fifteen (15) church members or four (4) families (depending upon the availability of eligible deacon candidates). At the time of the annual deacon rotations, all church family groups or church members assigned to individual deacons will be reassigned. Each year the assigned term or office of one-third of the number of deacons shall expire, and an election shall be held to fill vacancies and to add to the deacon body such numbers as the church size warrants. 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, 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; but in such instances as one might be chosen by this church for assignment as a deacon, his previous ordination by another church of like faith and order shall suffice for this church.
 

 In accordance with the meaning of the work and the practice in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church.
 

 The responsibilities of the deacons in this church are as follows:
 

(1) Proclaim the Gospel to Believers and Unbelievers through:

        a) Personal witnessing activities

        b) Preaching as a layman

        c) Church revival support

        d) Teaching the Bible

(2)  Care for the Church’s Members and Other Persons in the Community by:

        a) Ministering in times of crisis

        b) Listening to burdened persons

        c) Serving on the Benevolence Committee

        d) Referring persons in need to qualified sources for assistance if the church is unable to render aid through its
            Benevolence Committee and other ministries.

        e) Counseling on vocational guidance and family ministry

(3)  Build Christian Fellowship Among Church Members

        a) Sharing information about the church ‘s life and work

        b) Assist in administering the ordinances of the church

(4)  Serve as an Exemplary Christian Leader

        a) Set an example in Christian life (Reference: I Timothy 3:8-13)

        b) Provide personal support to church activities

        c) Stand alongside the pastor as a co-laborer in the gospel ministry

        d) Provide constructive advice and counsel to the pastor as he strives to lead the church to attain its divine mission
            and fulfill the Great Commission

(5)  In the absence of the pastor, the chairman of the deacons shall moderate the business meetings.

(6)  In the event that the pastor is incapacitated and unable to preach or appoint a designated alternate
, the chairman of

      the deacons or his designated alternate shall fill the pulpit until the pastor is able to resume his responsibility.
 

(7)  Elect from their numbers a chairman and vice chairman. 

 

Section 5.  Clerk

 

The church shall elect annually a clerk as its clerical officer and trustee to serve on the Board of Trustees as Chairperson-Secretary of the Board of Trustees.  The clerk shall keep in a suitable book and on computer diskettes a record of all the actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided. The clerk is responsible for keeping impartial minutes of all church business meetings and a register of the names of members with dates of admission, dismission, resignation, or death, together with a record of baptisms. The clerk shall issue letters of dismission voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give legal notice of  all meetings where such notice is necessary, as indicated in these bylaws. The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary. All church records are church property and should be filed in the church office when an office is maintained. The clerk shall preserve records for the church historical archives and is responsible for preparing the Annual Church Profile and sending it to the Association. In the absence of the pastor or the chairman of the Deacons, the clerk may call a meeting to order and preside until the immediate election of a chairman pro tem. The clerk shall sign all certified copies of acts of the church and maintain a copy of the constitution and bylaws with any amendments and have them on hand at every meeting. The clerk shall make the minutes and records available to church members upon request within a reasonable period of time not to exceed seven days from the time of the initial request. Upon leaving office, the clerk shall transfer all records and files to his or her successor within seven days after leaving office.

 

Section 6.  Trustees

 

The ownership and disposition of all church property, real and personal, shall remain vested with the church and subject only to church action as authorized in church business meetings. The church shall elect a minimum of three (3) members to serve as trustees. The Church Clerk shall serve as trustee and Chairperson-Secretary of the Board of Trustees. The trustees shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property without a specific vote of the church authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property or other legal documents where the signatures of the trustees are required; provide oversight and consultation on legal and financial matters to the church; attend Finance and Stewardship Committee meetings whenever possible; and ensure that the Treasurer’s books and records are audited at least annually or more often if the church’s financial condition requires it. The signatures of only two (2) trustees shall be sufficient to meet the legal requirements and authorization of the church. Trustees shall serve on a three-year rotation basis with one-third (excluding the church clerk) to be elected each year.

 

Section 7.  Treasurer

 

The church shall elect annually a church treasurer. 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 for the preceding month and make copies of this monthly report available to members present at the meeting. The treasurer’s report and records may be audited annually by a church elected auditing committee or public accountant. The treasurer shall serve as ex-officio chair of the Finance and Stewardship Committee and work with this committee and other committees, programs, and organizations  to develop an annual budget. The treasurer and two designated members of the Finance and Stewardship Committee may be bonded, the church paying for the bond.
 

Upon rendering the annual account at the end of each fiscal year, and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent records of the church. The treasurer shall make the books (excluding individual church member giving records) available for review by any church member upon request within a reasonable period of time not to exceed seven days from the time of the initial request. Giving records of individual church members shall be considered confidential and accessible only to the individual church member, treasurer, and if by necessity, the pastor. Upon leaving office, the treasurer shall transfer all books, papers and funds to his or her successor, clear of all encumbrance within seven days after leaving office. 

 

Section 8.  Church Administrator   (Section 8 added August 3, 2008)

 

The office of Church Administrator is a paid church staff position that combines the offices and functions of the clerk, trustee and treasurer as listed in Article II Sections 5, 6 and 7. If a Church Administrator is employed by the church, then the requirement to annually elect a clerk, trustee and treasurer shall be superseded during the Church Administrator's term of employment.

 

III.  Standing Committees

 

General Requirements:

 

(1)  All committee members must be active members of the church for at least 90 days and at least 18 years old.
 

(2)  No person may serve on more than two standing committees concurrently  and one special committee unless specifically approved by a majority vote of the members present at a regular business meeting or as otherwise stated in these bylaws.
 

(3)  No person may serve on a committee that has one or more members of their immediate family on the same committee. Immediate family shall be defined as husband, wife, mother, father, son and daughter.  
 

(4)  Each standing committee shall have a minimum of three (3) members.
 

(5)  Committee members shall serve on a three-year rotation basis with one-third to be elected each year.
 

(6)  All committee members shall be recommended by the nominating and personnel committee and elected by the church unless otherwise specified in these bylaws.
 

(7)  Committees (excluding the Board of Trustees) shall elect from within their individual committee membership a chairperson and a secretary.  The chairperson of each committee shall preside over the committee meetings and make a monthly report to the church at the regular business meeting and serve on the Church Council. The secretary of each committee shall keep impartial minutes of the committee meetings and submit copies of these minutes to the church clerk. The secretary of each committee will be responsible for notifying the pastor and the other members of the committee when and where the committees are holding their meetings. Committees shall meet at least once each month.
 

(8)  Standing committees are required to submit annual budget requests to the Finance and Stewardship Committee for its annual budget.
 

(9)  Standing committees are authorized to make disbursements that have been authorized by the church. Standing committees may also make emergency or special disbursements of $500 or less without the prior approval of the church provided that the disbursement does not exceed the committee’s current annual allocated budget and after consultation with the Church Treasurer to insure that adequate funds are in the committee’s allocated budget and the church bank account.
 

(10) Standing committees may be added, altered or removed as needed by the church by the amendment procedure prescribed within these bylaws.
 

(11) The Standing committees of this church shall be an Activities Committee, Benevolence Committee, Education and Missions Committee, Finance and Stewardship Committee, Nominating and Personnel Committee, Property and Planning Committee, Media-Technology Committee, and the Board of Trustees.
 

(12)  All Standing Committee positions will be filled in September. Newly elected committee members will assume their positions October 1. This requirement will be effective one year after this Constitution and bylaws has been ratified. (The Constitution and Bylaws were ratified May 5, 1996) 

 

Section 1.  Activities Committee

 

The responsibilities of the Activities Committee are as follows:
 

(1)  Maintain the church calendar and assist in planning church activities in such a way as to avoid scheduling conflicts.
 

 (2)  Plan, organize, and conduct fellowships and other social and recreational activities on a church-wide basis and for individual Sunday School Classes and Departments as requested.
 

(3)  Maintain the church bulletin board by posting a monthly schedule of activities and also a monthly listing of church members that are celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries.
 

(4)  Help the pastor to make preparations and arrangements for weddings and funerals held in the church.
 

(5)  Suggest and recommend procedures for securing, arranging, and disposing of flowers for church services.
 

(6)  Secure and provide flower arrangements for church services.
 

(7)  Dispose of flower arrangements.
 

(8)  Submit annual budget requests to the Finance and Stewardship Committee.
 

(9)  Make reports to the church.
 

(10)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend Church Council meetings as its representative.

 

Section 2.  Benevolence Committee

 

The composition and responsibilities of the Benevolence Committee are as follows:

 

 (1)  The deacons and the pastor shall serve on this committee. Service on this committee is incumbent with the office of deacon and pastor; however, the Benevolence Committee may enlist the services of other church members as needed.
 

(2) The Benevolence Committee shall recommend the amount and frequency of assistance which the church may provide to individuals or families.
 

(3) Locate church members and community persons who can provide appropriate assistance.
 

(4)  Work with other groups within the church that provide benevolent actions.
 

(5)  Survey and determine available community agencies for referrals if the church cannot provide the needed assistance.
 

(6)  Submit an annual budget request to the Finance and Stewardship Committee for funds needed to accomplish its mission.
 

(7)  Investigate and administer benevolence resources as needed.
 

(8) Formulate the recommended policies related to providing flowers for sick and bereaved members.
 

(10)  Secure and provide flower arrangements for the sick and the bereaved.
 

(11)  Make reports to the church that respect the confidentiality of persons receiving assistance.
 

(12)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend Church Council meetings as its representative. 

 

Section 3.  Education and Missions Committee
 

The composition and responsibilities of the Education and Missions Committee are as follows:


 (1)  The Minister of Education, Sunday School Director, Discipleship Training  Director, Vacation Bible School Director, WMU Director, Baptist Men Director, and three (3) church members elected at large shall comprise this committee.
 

(2)  Work with and coordinate the activities of the Sunday School Department.
 

(3)  Work with and coordinate the activities of the Discipleship Training Program.
 

(4)  Work with and coordinate the activities of the annual Vacation Bible School.
 

(5)  Work with and coordinate the activities of the WMU.
 

(6)  Work with and coordinate the activities of the Baptist Men
 

(5)  Discover possibilities for local missions projects, share findings with church program organizations, and serve the church in establishing and conducting such missions and projects as may be assigned to it. Assist the church in planning evangelism priorities, and setting goals and plans for action.
 

(6)  Work with the pastor in scheduling and coordinating revivals.
 

(7)  Educate and  encourage the church to give to local, state, national, and world wide missions work.
 

(8)  Submit annual budget request to the Finance and Stewardship Committee for materials needed in Sunday School, Discipleship, Vacation Bible School, WMU, Baptist Men, Revivals, and other missions activities.
 

(9)  Make reports to the church.
 

(10)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend Church Council meetings as its representative.

 

Section 4.  Finance and Stewardship Committee

The responsibilities of the Finance and Stewardship Committee are as follows:
 

(1)  The Church treasurer shall serve as ex-officio chairperson of this committee.
 

(2)  Develops and recommends an overall stewardship development plan and an annual unified church budget.
 

(3)  Advises and recommends in the administration of the gifts of church members and others using sound principles of financial management.
 

(4)  Develop, promote, and coordinate fund raising activities in the church.
 

(5)  Works with the treasurer in preparing the regular monthly and annual financial reports to the church.
 

(6)  Make reports to the church.
 

(7)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend Church Council meetings as its representative. 

 

Section 5.  Nominating and Personnel Committee
 

The responsibilities of the Nominating and Personnel Committee are as follows:
 

(1)  Coordinate the staffing of all church leadership positions filled by volunteer workers and deacons. Persons considered for any such positions shall first be approved by the nominating and personnel committee before they are approached for recruitment. The committee shall present to the church for election all who accept the invitation to serve.
 

(2)  Provide job descriptions for all paid and volunteer positions within the church except where otherwise described in these bylaws.
 

(3)  Assist the church in matters related to employed personnel administration including those called by church action. Their work includes such areas as determining staff needs, employment, salaries, benefits, other compensation, policies, job descriptions, organizational charts, and policies and procedures relating to church employees, annual ministerial staff performance appraisals, and to conduct an annual survey of voting members to evaluate the effectiveness of the ministerial staff.
 

(4)  Make annual budget requests to the Finance and Stewardship Committee.
 

(5)  Make reports to the church.
 

(6)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend Church Council meetings as its representative.

 

Section 6.  Property and Planning Committee
 

The responsibilities of the Property and Planning Committee are as follows:
 

(1)  Assists the church in matters related to properties administration including adequate insurance coverage.
 

(2)  Maintain all church properties for ready use.
 

(3)  Recommend policies regarding use of properties.
 

(4)  Consult with the nominating and personnel committee and church staff regarding the need and employment of maintenance personnel.
 

(5)  Supervise maintenance personnel.
 

(6)  Make budget recommendations to the Finance and Stewardship Committee for its annual operating budget.
 

(7)  Make reports to the church.
 

(8)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend Church Council meetings as its representative.

 

Section 7.  Media-Technology Committee

The function of this committee will include the following:
 

(1)  Develop and maintain a church library and media center.
 

(2)  Develop and maintain a sound system.
 

(3)  Determine the availability of programs and instructional material which may require technical facilities and assist the church in obtaining and utilizing these facilities.
 

(4)  Assist individual teachers, as requested, in securing and operating equipment.
 

(5)  Submit annual budget request to the finance and stewardship committee.
 

(6)  Make reports to the church.
 

(7)  The chairperson of this committee shall attend church council meetings as its designated representative.  

 

Section 8.  Board of Trustees
 

In compliance with the Texas Non-profit Corporation Act, the members of this board shall serve as the church’s corporate officers and are authorized to execute church instruments in behalf of the church which have been authorized by church action and as provided in these bylaws. The ownership and disposition of all church property, real and personal, shall remain vested with the church and subject only to church action as authorized in church business meetings. The chairman of this board shall attend church council meetings as its designated representative.

 

IV.  SPECIAL COMMITTEES

 

 The Church may from time to time elect special committees.  A special committee is defined as a committee that has been elected to perform a specific task and their function ceases when they have accomplished their task and reported this to the church. Special committee nominations shall come from the Nominating and Personnel Committee and be approved by the church. Examples of Special Committees  may include, but are not limited, to the following committees: Pastor Search Committee, Church Building Committee, Constitution and Bylaws Committee, Special Nominating Committee for a newly organized Church, and so forth.
 

Special Committee members must be active church members for at least 90 days and at least 18 years old. No two members of the same immediate family may serve on the same special committee. (Immediate family shall be defined as husband, wife, mother, father, son and daughter.)

 

V. CHURCH PROGRAM ORGANIZATIONS

 

The church shall maintain programs of Bible teaching; discipleship training; church leadership training; new member orientation; mission education; action, and support; and music education, training, and performance. All organizations related to the church programs shall be under church control, all officers and directors being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church, and all program activities subject to church coordination and approval. The church shall provide the human resources, the physical resources, and the financial resources for the appropriate advancement of these programs.
 

The church may add, alter or remove program organizations as needed by an amendment to these bylaws.
 

(1)  The Sunday School shall be the basic organization for Bible teaching. 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 the 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)  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 by  orienting new members; training church leaders; teaching Christian theology, doctrine, ethics, history, and church government and organization; and to provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and the denomination. The Discipleship Training organization shall be organized by departments and/ or classes, as appropriate for all ages, and shall be conducted under the direction of the Discipleship Training Director elected by the church.
 

(3)  The Church Music organization, under the direction of the church-elected Minister of Music, shall be the music education and training organization of the church. It shall lead the church to worship through music. The Church Music organization shall have such officers and organization as the program requires. 

 

VI. CHURCH COUNCIL
 

The church council shall serve the church by leading in planning, coordinating, conducting, and evaluating the ministries of the programs of the church and its organizations.
 

The primary functions of the church council shall be to recommend to the church suggested objectives and church goals; to review and coordinate ministry and program plans; recommend church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to program activities; and to evaluate achievements in terms of church objectives and goals; and to recommend candidates to the nominating and personnel committee.
 

 Regular members of the church council shall be the pastor, other church staff members, directors of church program organizations, chairman of deacons, church officers, and chairpersons of church committees. The pastor shall serve as chairman of the church council.
 

All matters agreed upon by the council which call for action not already approved shall be referred to the church for approval or disapproval. 

 

VII. 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.
   

(1) Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
 

(2) The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism. The deacons shall assist in the preparation for, and observance of baptism.
 

(3) Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.
 

(4) A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor. If negative interest is ascertained on the part of the candidate, the individual shall be removed from the list of candidates awaiting baptism.

 

Section 2.  The Lord’s Supper
 

The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper on a regular basis, at least once quarterly. The deacons shall assist the pastor in the administration of this ordinance. Any Christian present during the observance of this ordinance who has professed Christ and followed Him in believer’s baptism shall be eligible to participate in this ordinance.

 

VIII.  CHURCH MEETINGS

 

Section 1.  Worship Services
 

The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning for the worship of Almighty God unless a consensus of members approves a temporary modification of the schedule. The church may meet on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening if and when church growth or needs requires it. Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The pastor or his designated alternate shall direct the services for all church members and for all others who may choose to attend. In the event of extreme weather, natural disaster, or coordinated effort with another church, the regular schedule may be temporarily modified at the discretion of the pastor in consultation with the deacons. Church members shall be notified as expeditiously as possible if the regular schedule has been temporarily modified.

 

Section 2.  Special Services
 

Revival services and  other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.

 

Section 3.  Regular Business Meetings
 

The church shall hold regular quarterly business meetings on the second Sunday morning after the morning worship service of the following months: September, December, March and June. In the event that an assigned quarterly meeting date conflicts with other church activities (Examples: revival, death within church family, holidays, etc.) the moderator acting with the approval of a majority of the active deacons may establish an alternate date and time. To the extent that it is possible to do so, such change will be announced a week prior to the alternate meeting date and time. The pastor or church clerk shall serve as moderator of these meetings. These regular quarterly business meetings shall be conducted according to a written agenda which will be distributed to members in attendance at the meeting.  All matters to be discussed and voted on at the regular quarterly business meeting must be submitted in writing to the church clerk no later than 8 PM the Saturday Night preceding the regular quarterly business meeting.  Any items that come from the floor during a regular quarterly meeting which are not on the meeting agenda will be tabled until the next quarterly or a special called meeting unless a majority of the active members present at this meeting approve the temporary suspension of this rule.

 

Section 4.  Special Business Meetings
 

The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance.  A one  week notice must be given for special called business meetings unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. The notice shall include the subject, the date and time and place; and it must be given in such a manner that all active members have an opportunity to attend the meeting. The subject of the special called meeting will be the only matter to be voted on.

 

Section 5.  Quorum
 

A quorum shall consist of at least 30% of the total current voting church members. Business may be conducted without a quorum at the regular scheduled business meetings; however, any active voting member can request a quorum on any specific item.

 

Section 6.Parliamentary Rules
 

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the meetings of this church in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order the church may adopt to conduct its meetings. 

 

IX.  CHURCH FINANCES

 

Section 1.  Budget
 

The Finance and Stewardship Committee, in consultation with the church council and the other standing committees of the church, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an annual inclusive line item budget, indicating the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses. Offering envelopes will be provided for member’s use.

 

It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular proportionate gifts.

 

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. Those who have responsibility that involves actual handling of funds may be bonded, the church paying the bond. All checks issued by the church shall require the signatures of two (2) of the following three (3) people: the Church Treasurer, and two designated members of the Finance and Stewardship Committee.

 

Section 3.  Fiscal Year
 

The church fiscal year shall run from October 1 to September 31.

 

Section 4.  Designated Gifts or Offerings
 

Designated gifts or offerings may be referred to the Finance and Stewardship Committee for consideration before being brought before the church for a vote. If the church does not accept the designated gift or offering it shall be returned to the donor.

 

X. CHURCH OPERATIONS MANUAL

 

Section 1.  Organizational chart
 

An organizational chart shall be prepared by the Nominating and Personnel Committee which will depict lines of responsibility in the administration of the church. This chart shall be reviewed periodically by the Nominating and Personnel Committee and shall be revised as needed. A copy shall be included in the church operations manual.

 

Section 2.  Policies and Procedures
 

Church policies and procedures shall be described in the church operations manual. The manual shall be prepared by the Church Council. The manual shall be kept in the church office and made available to any member of the church. The manual shall be maintained by the church clerk. Changes in policies and procedures may be initiated by any church member or organization. Addition, revision, or deletion of church policies and procedures in the church operations manual requires:

 

(1)  The recommendation of the church officer or organization (including committees) to whose areas of assignment the policy relates.
 

(2)  Discussion by the church council.
 

(3)  Approval by the church.            

 

XI.  AMENDMENTS
 

Changes to this constitution and bylaws may be made at any regular quarterly business meeting of the church, provided each amendment has been presented in writing at a previous regular quarterly business meeting, and copies of the proposed amendment are furnished to each member present at the meeting.  Amendments may also be submitted and ratified during a called business meeting, provided that thirty days have elapsed between the initial submission of the proposed amendment and the ratification vote. Amendments to the constitution and bylaws  shall be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the active voting members of the church present at the business meeting.

 


 

Revision History:

 

1.    August 9, 1998: Changed eligibility for members of special and standing committees as follows-

a.       Active church members for at least 90 days.

b.       Must be at least 18 years old.

 

2.    December 6, 2000: Changed regular monthly business meetings to regular quarterly meetings.

 

3.  October 7, 2001:  Moved regular quarterly meeting day from the first Wednesday of the quarter to the second Wednesday of the quarter.

 

4.  December 12, 2004: Reference Amendments Approved 12 December 2004.doc

 

5.  June 12, 2005: Reference Amendments Approved 12 June 2005.doc

 

6. August 3, 2008: Added office of Church Administrator Section 8 to Article II per Church Administrator Amendment Presented 03August2008.doc
 


 

Page last updated August 3, 2008
For additions and corrections to this page
send email message to The Lighthouse