MEADVILLE 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.
ARTICLE I. Name
The name of this organization shall be Meadville Baptist Church, Inc., corner of Franklin and Edison Streets, Meadville, Mississippi, 39653, Franklin Association.
ARTICLE II. Objectives
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 worshiping 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 which ministers unselfishly to persons in the community and the world in Jesus' name.
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.
ARTICLE III. Statement of Faith
The Holy Bible is the inspired word of God and is the basis for our statement of faith. "The Baptist Faith and Message" adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention, May 9, 1963, constitutes our articles of faith.
ARTICLE 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 secret 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 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.
ARTICLE V. Organization
Section 1. 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.
Section 2. Direction
The affairs of the church shall be managed by the membership of the church acting in conference, who shall delegate such responsibilities as it sees fit to the following officers:
(1) Pastor - The pastor shall be the chief officer of the
church, and shall be responsible for filling the pulpit at all regular services of the church. He shall be moderator of all business meetings, ex-officio member of all committees, and
pastor and advisor to all organizations of the entire church family. The pastor shall direct the work of the church staff. He shall, together with the Church Council, recommend to the church a suggested program for each year, and with the Church Council be
responsible for carrying out such a program as may be adopted by the church in conference. He shall, together with the deacons, care for the spiritual ministry of the church family as well as seek the salvation of the lost.
The church year for the election of the officers, budget, and finances shall extend from October 1 through the following September 30 of each year.
ARTICLE VII. Amendments
This constitution and/or bylaws may be changed, altered, modified, amended, revoked or annulled by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present. When such desires-a-Change shall have been announced to the church at a regular conference, the specific changes shall be presented in writing to the church the following Sunday at the Morning Worship Hour with action therein deferred until the next regular conference. Copies of the proposed changes shall be furnished the Pastor, Deacons, and the Church Clerk before being presented to the church.
ARTICLE 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:
their own have more recently affiliated themselves with other churches.
Section 3. Duties
Members are expected, first of all to be faithful in all the duties essential to the Christian life; and also to attend habitually the services of this church, to give regularly for its support and its causes, and to share in its organized work.
Section 4. Rights of Members
Section 5. Termination
The continuance of membership shall be subject to the principles and usages of the Southern Baptist churches, and especially as follows:
Section 6. Quorum
Five percent of the active roll of membership shall constitute a quorum, except that for the election of officers, ten per cent,
and for the consideration of issuing a call to or dismissal of a staff member, twenty-five percent shall be necessary.
ARTICLE II THE PASTOR
Section 1. Calling the Pastor
A Pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever 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 pulpit committee shall be appointed by the church to seek out a suitable pastor, and the committee's recommendation
shall constitute a nomination. The committee shall bring to the
church consideration of only one man at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot, and affirmative vote of 80% of those present being necessary to a choice:_-`_—
When the church is without a pastor, a Pastoral Search Committee shall be elected in the following manner:
-The Pastoral Search Committee shall be composed of three (3) gentlemen and two (2) ladies, and two (2) alternates, who are members of Meadville Baptist Church. These shall be selected by the deacon body and presented to the church for election at a regular or special called business meeting. _At._.the_time the pulpit is vacated, the deacon body shall as soon as possible, not
to exceed thirty (30) days, select a committee.
Section 2. Role of the Pastor
The Pastor shall be the chief officer of the church and shall have charge of the welfare and oversight of the church. He shall preside at all meetings of the church. (In the absence of the Pastor, the chairman of the Deacons shall preside; or in the absence of them both, the Clerk shall call the church to order and a moderator pro tem shall be elected.) The Pastor shall be ex-officio member of all committees, and Pastor-advisor to all organizations of the church. He shall direct the work of the church staff. He shall be responsible for supplying the pulpit at all regular services of the church.
Section 3. Dismissal of the Pastor
a. By a resolution originating from the Deacon council, which shall have been adopted by a two-thirds
majority vote of the entire active Deacon membership or
b. By a resolution originating from the membership at large, signed by at least twenty-five per cent (25%) of the resident membership and filed with the Deacons.
For dismissal of the Pastor
Against dismissal of the Pastor
Section 4. The call or dismissal of other other staff personnel will follow the procedure as stated for the pastor.
ARTICLE III THE DEACONS
Section 1. Regular Meetings
Section 2. Absence from Meetings
The absence of a Deacon from three regular consecutive monthly
meetings during a calendar year, without satisfactory cause, which cause shall be determined by the Deacons after appropriate consultation with said Deacon, shall result in the forfeiture by such Deacon of his office.
When a vacancy occurs under this rule, the Chairman and Secretary of the Deacons shall certify such fact to the church at its next business conference. Thereon, such vacancy shall be promptly filled by the church. The election to fill this vacancy shall proceed according to Article III, Section 3, Paragraph 4.
Section 3. Election of Deacons
The Deacon body shall consist of nine active deacons or as the church size warrants.
Section 4. Deacon Self-Evaluation
Answer truthfully each of the following questions and prayerfully consider whether you qualify for this sacred office.
28:18-20, Ephesians 4:11-13, Acts 1:8)? ________
3. Will you support Meadville Baptist Church in regard to her leadership programs, and policies as stated in her Constitution and Bylaws?
6. Are you willing to train for the deacon ministry?
7. Marital Status:
8. Will your wife and family support your serving in the deacon ministry?
10. Do you drink alcoholic beverages of any kind?
11. If elected to minister as a deacon and you agree to serve, will you work harmoniously at all times with your Pastor and fellow deacons?
12;, If at any time you disagree with a proposal, will you disagree in a spirit of love and continue to work in cooperation with the majority?
with the majority of the deacons and you cannot work or cooperate with them, for the best interest of the Lord, Church, and Deacon body, will you offer your resignation as an active deacon?
If elected to serve in the deacon ministry, will you keep matters discussed in the deacon's meeting confidential until they are brought to the Church?
If yes, what church? ______________
Section 5. Qualifications of Deacons
and right to give an offering to other causes for Christ.
ARTICLE IV CHURCH OFFICERS
In addition to the Pastor, Deacons, Trustees, as provided for in the constitution, other officers of this church shall be: Musicians, Clerk, Treasurer, Librarian, Church Hostess, Sunday School Director, Church Training Director, Woman's Missionary Union Director, Brotherhood Director and such other officers as the church may designate from time to time.
ARTICLE V COMMITTEES
In addition to the committees as provided for in the church policy manual, other committees of this church shall be as the church may designate from time to time.
ARTICLE VI BUSINESS CONFERENCE
Section 1. The church shall have a regular business conference on the Second Sunday of the month after morning services, unless postponed for a good cause to a later date announced in at least one stated meeting of the church.
Section 2. Special Business Conferences may be called by the Pastor, or Chairman of Deacons after advanced announcement in at least one stated meeting or service of the church.
Section 3. Robert's Rules of Order shall be the accepted pattern of parliamentary procedure in the transaction of all church business.
ARTICLE VII ORDINANCES
Section 1. the Lord’s Supper shall be observed at lest four times each year. It may also be observed at other times as deemed wish-111:the opinion of the Pastor and ordinance committee.
Section 2. The ordinance of baptism shall be observed as often as necessary under the discretion of the pastor and ordinance committee.
ARTICLE VIII REVIVALS
It shall be the policy of this church to hold at least two revivals each year, and there may be others as decided upon by the Pastor and Deacons, with the sanction of the church. The Pastor, with the advice of the Church Council shall recommend to the church personnel for any revival.
ARTICLE IX FINANCIAL PROGRAM
Section 1. The Financial Program of the church shall be under the supervision of the stewardship committee of the church.
Section 2. The Stewardship Committee shall prepare and recommend the annual budget to the deacon body and church for adoption. It shall be presented to the church seven (7) days before the vote.
Section 3. The Stewardship Committee shall be charged with responsibility of periodically reviewing the church's financial condition and supervising expenditures of budgetary items.
Section 4. All bills shall be paid out of the church treasury according to the church budget as authorized. For expenditures outside the budget, deacon action and church action in conference is necessary.
Section 5. 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, and it shall be adopted by the church.
ARTICLE X CHURCH POLICIES MANUAL
Established policies shall be maintained to supplement the constitution and bylaws, and shall be reviewed annually by the deacon body.
New policies shall be formed and existing ones modified as deemed necessary through the deacon body, and shall be submitted to the church for approval and final adoption.
ARTICLE XI ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS
Section 1. These bylaws shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect if and when a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at the business meeting at which vote is taken shall vote in favor of same. This vote shall be taken not less than 7 days after formal presentation of the bylaws to the church.
Section 2. These bylaws may be amended, altered, or repealed by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present at any regular business meeting of the church provided, however, that notice and proposal of such amendment, alteration, or repeal, must be given in writing to the Pastor, and read to the congregation at the preceding regular business meeting of the church.
ARTICLE XII VALIDATION
Section 1. The adoption by the church of this constitution and bylaws shall repeal all previously adopted rules in conflict herewith provided, however, that no actions taken by the church prior to the adoption of this constitution shall be invalidated by the adoption of this constitution and bylaws.
Section 2. A copy of this constitution and bylaws shall be kept by the church clerk at all times in the church office. All amendments to or revisions thereof shall be prepared by the church clerk and attached to copies of the constitution and bylaws, and made available to any church member upon request.
ARTICLE XIII DISCIPLINE
Should any unhappy differences arise between members, the aggrieved member shall follow in a tender spirit the rules given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17.