The First Baptist Church
October 2, 2016
We, the members of the First Baptist Church of Augusta, Kansas, in order to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, hereby subscribe to the following Articles of Faith and this Constitution. The following Articles of Faith reflect the core beliefs of our church.
Article I - Name
The name of this Church shall be “The First Baptist Church of Augusta, Kansas.” The beginning of this Church was January 9, 1869. This Corporation was duly organized under the Laws of Kansas on the 27th day of May 1875.
Article II - Purpose
A. The purpose of this Church shall be the advancement of the Gospel of Christ and His Kingdom.
B. By the aid of the Holy Spirit, this Church shall seek to accomplish this end through public worship of God, preaching of the Gospel, consistent Christian living, personal evangelism, missionary endeavor, and Christian education.
C. The Church is to be an instrument by which one’s faith in Christ can grow.
Article III - Governance
The ultimate authority for all decisions and actions of this Church rests with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The congregation, which is the body of members who compose this Church, is responsible to God for the governance of the Church.
Section 1. Deacons
The congregation approves individual members to serve as Deacons who, in concert with the senior pastor, determine the vision and direction for the Church through God’s Word in the Bible and through prayer.
A. Composition & Qualifications
1. The Deacons include 8 – 12 members who serve up to two consecutive three-year terms and who select their chairman, vice chairman, and secretary each July. A Deacon may serve again after a one-year hiatus.
2. A Deacon is a man who must be at least 25 years old and must have been an active member of the church for the full year prior to selection. He must also conform to the qualifications described in Acts 6:3-4 and I Timothy 3:1-13.
3. The Senior Pastor may serve as a non-voting ex officio member, except in matters relating to his own evaluation.
1. The Deacons provide vision and leadership for the Church and for the future growth of its mission and ministries.
2. The Deacons assist the Pastoral Staff in worship services, including the Ordinances of Communion and Baptism as well as prayers. In the absence of the Senior Pastor the Deacons provide leaders for the pulpit ministry and prayer meetings.
3. The Deacons are responsible to approve admission of new members and dismissal of out-going members. They are also to maintain a list of all Church members, including whether each member is active.
4. The Deacons administer a Benevolence Fund on behalf of the Church.
5. The Deacons handle Church discipline issues through the principles described in Matthew 18:15-17.
6. The Deacons establish goals and objectives each year for each Pastoral Staff member in conjunction with the member and the Senior Pastor. The Deacons conduct an evaluation at least annually of each Pastor, based on the established goals and objectives.
7. The Deacons develop and manage the budget assigned for their responsibilities.
8. The Deacons select one Deacon to serve as a voting member of the Implementation Team and one Deacon to serve as a voting member of the Nominating Team.
Section 2. Implementation Team
The congregation approves individual members to serve on the Implementation Team which is responsible for implementing the vision and direction provided by the Deacons.
A. Composition & Qualifications
1. The Implementation Team includes 4 - 6 members who serve up to two consecutive three-year terms and who select their chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary each July. A member may serve again after a one-year hiatus. A Deacon and a voting member of the Finance Team also serve as voting members, but may not be officers.
2. Each Implementation Team member must be at least 25 years old and must have been an active member of the church for the full year prior to selection and must not be serving on any Core Team.
3. The Senior Pastor and the Moderator may serve as non-voting ex officio
1. The Implementation Team provides organization, coordination, and oversight of the Core Teams to implement the vision provided by the Deacons.
2. The Implementation Team maintains a manual of policies and procedures covering the day-to-day operations of the Core Teams.
3. The Implementation Team recommends Constitutional amendments to the church body for approval.
4. The Implementation Team sets a threshold for Core Team decisions that it must approve for items of high, non-budgeted cost and/or of significant congregational impact.
5. The Implementation Team reviews a proposed annual budget and presents it for congregational approval at the final business meeting of the year.
Section 3. Core Teams
The congregation approves individual members to serve on the Core Teams which are responsible for specific portions of the Church’s ministries and missions. The Core Teams include Deaconesses, Discipleship, Finance, Facilities, Missions, and Nominations.
A. Composition & Qualifications
1. Each Core Team includes 4 - 8 members who serve up to two consecutive three-year terms and who select their chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary each July. A member may serve again after a one-year hiatus. The following exceptions apply to various teams:
a. The Deaconesses include 8 – 12 members.
b. The Discipleship Team also includes all pastoral staff members, who may not serve as team officers and may not vote, and the Sunday School Superintendent.
c. The Finance Team also includes the Operations Officer and the Financial Secretary, who serve as non-voting members.
d. The Facilities Team also includes the Operations Officer, who serves as a non-voting member.
e. The Nominating Team includes 3 – 4 members in addition to a representative of the Deacons.
2. Each Core Team member must be at least 18 years old and must have been an active member of the church for the full year prior to selection. Each team chairperson must be at least 25 years of age.
3. The Senior Pastor may serve, or may appoint an associate pastor to serve, as a non-voting ex officio member of each Core Team.
1. The Deaconesses are responsible for service and hospitality ministries. Their tasks include:
a. Providing input and support to the Deacons as the Deacons lead the church.
b. Preparing for communion, baptismal, and baby dedication services.
c. Facilitating church anniversary celebrations, receptions, funeral dinners, and seasonal and special social events.
d. Developing and managing the budget assigned for their responsibilities.
2. The Discipleship Team is responsible for Christian education and outreach for adults, youth, children, and families, and for the non-pastoral aspects of the worship services. Their tasks include:
a. Promoting Sunday School, small groups, and other ministries for all age groups, and selecting, training, and evaluating leaders to promote and manage them.
b. Developing outreach programs, both to bring in new members and to support members who cannot attend worship services and other Church activities.
c. Assuring support for worship services.
d. Supporting the Church’s Christian Life Center ministries.
e. Developing and managing the budget assigned for their responsibilities.
3. The Finance Team is responsible for the financial health of the Church, including overseeing financial record keeping and reporting. Their tasks include:
a. Developing procedures for maintaining the financial integrity of the Church, including record keeping and reporting as needed or required by law.
b. Assuring that the Operations Officer performs all tasks required by law to maintain the Church’s tax exempt status as an IRS 501(c)(3) organization.
c. Supporting other teams as they develop and manage their budgets.
d. Developing the annual church budget and presenting it to the Implementation Team for the review and approval process.
e. Developing and managing the budget assigned for their responsibilities.
f. Supplying one voting member to serve as a voting member of the Implementation Team.
4. The Facilities Team has responsibility for all Church property. Their tasks include:
a. Assuring that all Church property is adequately maintained, insured, improved, and as appropriate, disposed of, as needed for Church purposes and/or to conform to state and local laws and ordinances.
b. Establish procedures for facility usage by member and non-member groups.
c. Developing and managing the budget assigned for their responsibilities.
5. The Missions Team is responsible to promote a culture of mission outreach within the Church. Their tasks include:
a. Developing and promoting mission awareness and participation.
b. Administering the missions budget, including an annual review of all mission programs the Church supports.
6. The Nominations Team has responsibility to recommend members to fill positions on the teams. Their tasks include recruiting members and presenting recommendations to the congregation for confirmation.
Section 4. Authority
A. Operating Procedures
Each team develops and maintains procedures to govern the tasks for which they are responsible. These procedures are collected by the Implementation Team and are to be made available for viewing by any member of the congregation.
B. Items Requiring Congregational Authorization
The following items require congregational approval:
1. Hiring and/or dismissing the senior and associate pastors.
2. Buying and/or selling property.
3. Joining and/or leaving a denomination or other association of congregations.
4. Approving and/or modifying a budget.
5. Taking on debt.
6. Changing the Constitution.
7. Approving Deacons and members of the Implementation and Core Teams.
8. Any issue the Deacons and/or the Implementation Team wishes to bring to the congregation.
9. Any issue the congregation desires, as indicated by a petition signed by at least 25 active members and presented to the Deacons or to the Church Moderator.
ARTICLE IV - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Admission of Members
Any person who confesses Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and follows that confession with baptism by immersion may be received into membership by any of the following methods, subject to the recommendation of the Deacons:
A. Baptism By Immersion
Following profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, and after proper instruction, those being baptized are eligible to be received into the Church’s membership.
B. Letter of Transfer
A member from another Church may unite with this Church upon presentation of a letter of transfer, evidence of their profession of faith in Jesus Christ, baptism by immersion, and by their allegiance to this body in Christ.
C. Christian Experience
Any person who has been baptized by immersion and who once was a member of a Church of like faith and order but cannot obtain a letter of transfer, may, upon statement of his or her Christian experience, and giving satisfactory evidence of their faith in Christ, be received into membership.
Any person who has been excluded from membership may be restored by vote of the membership after giving evidence of change and renewed commitment to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and adherence to Christian principles.
Section 2. Dismissal of Members
Church membership may be withdrawn or revoked by the following methods, each subject to approval by the Deacons:
A. Letter of Transfer or Release
Any member who requests a letter of transfer to another Church of like faith and order may receive it. The letter so requested is to be sent to the receiving Church in care of the Pastor or Clerk. A member wishing to unite with a Church of a different faith and order my be issued a statement of release.
A member wishing to withdraw from membership of the Church may make a written request to the Deacons asking that their name be dropped from the membership. The Deacons, after proper investigation, may make such a decision, and the requesting member is to be notified in writing of the action.
C. By Exclusion
Should any member become an offense to the Gospel of Christ and the Church, by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct or by consistent breach of Christian principles, the Church may, after proper investigation and recommendation by the Deacons, terminate their membership but only after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance and restoration.
Section 3. Membership Status
Church members may be regarded as “active” or “inactive” based on the following criteria:
Members who regularly attend worship services or Sunday School or who support the Church financially shall be listed as “active” members.
Members not in compliance with the above guidelines may be listed as “inactive” by the Deacons. Their names will be kept for the record, and every effort shall be made by responsible leaders of the Church to restore such members to active participation.
Those members with an extended illness, college enrollment, or military service will remain listed as “active” unless said member requests otherwise.
Section 4. Duties and Rights
Church members have the following duties and rights:
A. Attendance and Expectations
Members are expected to be faithful in all scriptural duties essential to the Christian life, to attend faithfully the services of the Church, to support it with their tithes and offerings, and to share their talents and spiritual gifts for the spread of the Gospel and the edification of the Church.
B. Voting Rights
All active members who are 16 years of age and over shall have equal voting rights.
C. Right to Participate
All active members are eligible for service on boards and committees of the Church and to teach Sunday School, and have the right to bring matters of concern before the Church at any business meeting, except those called for specific purposes.
D. Property Rights
Members of this Church have no property rights and upon termination of membership are entitled to no interest in Church assets.
Article V - Named Positions and Officers
Section 1. Corporate Officers:
- President – Church Moderator
- First Vice-President – Chairperson of the Leadership Team
- Second Vice-President – Chairperson of Finance
- Secretary – Church Clerk
A. The Corporate Officers of the Church are established for legal purposes only and are responsible to file annual corporate fees and to execute documents or instruments as required by law to maintain a Tax Exempt 501(c)(3) status.
B. The Church Moderator is nominated by the Church body and approved by the Church body and is an ex-officio and non-voting member of the Leadership Team
C. In the temporary absence of the Church Moderator, the First Vice-President shall assume these duties, or if necessary, the Second-Vice President may act as Moderator.
D. If the Church Moderator resigns or is incapacitated, the First Vice-President fills in only until a new Church Moderator is selected and voted into office by the Church.
E. If the First Vice-President resigns or is unable to fill the corporate position, the Leadership Team shall select a new Chairperson to assume the duties of the First Vice-President of the Church.
F. If the second Vice-President resigns or is unable to fill the corporate position, the Vice-Chairperson of Finance is authorized to assume the duties.
G. Each Corporate Officer has one vote at the business meeting.
ARTICLE VI - MINISTERIAL STAFF
Section 1. Senior Pastor Duties
A. The Pastor shall preach the Gospel, administer the Ordinances, watch over the membership, and have in his charge the spiritual welfare of the Church in close association and concert with the Diaconate. He shall carry out these duties in the spirit of leadership and cooperation with prayer.
B. As Senior Pastor, he will be responsible for the leadership and coordination of the Staff with advice and counsel from the Deacons and Leadership Team.
C. He shall be an ex-officio member of all Core Teams of the Church and its auxiliary organizations, and he may attend meetings at his discretion or as requested.
D. He shall be responsible to the Church as the Executive Officer of the Church Staff, which includes Associate Pastors, Church Secretary, Custodian, and other paid or unpaid staff.
E. His term of office is indefinite and rests upon his resignation or termination as described in Article VI, Section 3.
Section 2. Calling a Senior Pastor
A. When the Pastorate falls vacant, the Church shall elect a Pulpit Committee of six (6) members, the Chairperson of which shall be elected by the Church.
B. This Pulpit Committee shall take the necessary steps to secure a Pastor.
C. Primary consideration shall be given to his personal relationship in Jesus Christ and his call to be a Minister of the Gospel. The Senior Pastor shall be a regularly ordained Baptist minister.
D. The Committee shall also investigate the merits of each candidate under consideration in regard to his personal character, education, ministerial record, preaching ability.
E. When a suitable candidate is found, the Committee (after reaching unanimity) shall recommend him to the Church for consideration and shall do so only one candidate at a time.
F. A Pastor shall be called at a special business meeting held for this purpose; notice of this meeting must be given at least two (2) weeks in advance.
G. A three-fourths majority of the qualified voters present shall be necessary to extend a call.
H. Voting shall be by written ballot.
Section 3. Termination of a Pastor or Associate Ministerial Staff
A. The Pastor may terminate their Pastoral relationship with the Church by means of a thirty (30) day written notice to the Church Moderator.
B. Member(s) of the Church who are in good standing who propose the termination of a Pastor may present their case to the Deacons and request a business meeting for that purpose.
C. The Pastoral relationship may be terminated by the Church only at a special business meeting called for such a purpose.
D. At the discretion of the Deacons, a meeting may be called by the Deacons, giving written notice to each active member of the Church at least two (2) weeks prior to the meeting.
E. A three-fourths majority of those present shall be necessary for termination with thirty (30) day notice given to the Pastor.
F. Voting shall be by written ballot.
Section 4. Associate Ministerial Staff
A. As the Church grows and the need arises, the Church shall add part-time and full-time ministerial staff sufficient to maintain effective and fruitful ministry.
B. The Leadership Team will make proposals for needed staff members to the Church.
C. A Search Committee determined by the Leadership Team will accomplish the search for an Associate Staff member.
1. The Search Committee shall investigate the merits of each candidate on the basis of their character, education, recommendations, and suitability of personal skills for that particular position.
2. A two-week advance notice is necessary for a special business meeting called for the vote of the Church.
3. The Church will vote by written ballot. A three-fourths majority vote of the qualified voters present is needed to hire the candidate.
D. The dismissal of Associate Staff shall follow Article VI, Section 3 as above.
ARTICLE VII – AUXILIARY GROUPS
Section 1. General
Those organizations that enhance a worthy cause for the Church and its outreach to the community are designated auxiliary organizations.
Section 2. Auxiliary organizations shall work with the Church and be in agreement with its Articles of Faith. Auxiliary organizations may develop their own constitutions and/or by-laws and guidelines to be approved by the Leadership Team.
Section 3. As such, auxiliary organizations establish their own budget and guidelines. Failure to work with the Church shall be cause for disbanding the relationship.
Section 4. Auxiliary organizations shall employ their own staff. All paid personnel on the level of a director, professional counselor, or administrator must be approved by the Leadership Team or appropriate Core Team.
ARTICLE VIII - WORSHIP
Section 1. Worship services shall be held at such times and hours as the Senior Pastor and the Deacons may direct.
Section 2. No business shall be transacted in a Sunday morning worship service.
Section 3. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed as designated by the Deacons.
Section 4. Other special worship services or evangelistic meetings may be scheduled by the Pastoral Staff and the Deacons.
ARTICLE IX - FINANCES
Section 1. Necessary finances for conducting the work of this Church shall be obtained through tithes, offerings, and income from investments.
Section 2. Freewill offerings may be taken only as deemed advisable by the Leadership Team.
Section 3. No entertainment, suppers or bazaars, or money-raising projects shall be held by the Church for profit. Auxiliary organizations may raise funds toward meeting their expenses, including a long-range plan, but not for profit. CLC events and programs are expected to meet all requirements for maintaining the Church’s nonprofit position with the I.R.S.
Section 4. All fundraising projects must be approved by the Leadership Team.
Section 5. The Church budget shall be compiled by the Finance Core team with input from the other Core teams, approved by the Leadership Team, and final approval by the Church body
ARTICLE X - BUSINESS MEETINGS
Section 1. Annual Business Meetings
A. The annual business meeting for the adoption of the Church budget shall be held in November.
Section 2. Business Meetings
A. Business Meetings may be called at any time by the Leadership Team or Chairman of the Deacons.
B. Notice of such meeting and the purpose shall be given from the pulpit two weeks prior to the meeting and via all reasonable means of communication.
Section 3. Quorum
A. Unless otherwise specified, a quorum for the transaction of Church business shall be 30 members attending the duly called and publicized meeting.
B. Unless otherwise specified, a simple majority vote shall pass a legal motion that has been both moved and seconded by active Church members.
Section 4. Procedure
A. Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary practice for all business meetings.
B. The Leadership Team and/or Diaconate may call a Business meeting and provide the agenda for each meeting.
C. The Church moderator will conduct the business meetings following the provided agenda as a nonpartisan facilitator.
Section 5. Restrictions
A. No business shall be transacted anytime other than at a business meeting except for meetings of the Leadership Team to authorize the reception and dismissal of members, the appointment of delegates to represent the Church in other bodies, and the filling of vacancies of offices as provided for in this Constitution.
B. No Absentee or Proxy Ballots will be allowed.
ARTICLE XI - Amendments and Revisions to the Constitution
Section 1. (Amendments)
Section 2. Constitution Revision
A. This Constitution may be amended at any business meeting of the Church by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, providing that fifteen days of notice of the proposed change is given both through the newsletter and from the pulpit.
B. All Amendments passed by the Church to amend this document will be added to the chronological order of Amendments and Revisions as in this Section and listed above.