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By-Laws
First Baptist Church Jacksboro, Texas
 
Article One
 MEMBERSHIP
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ.  The membership retains 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.
 
Candidacy
Any person may offer themselves as a candidate for membership in this church.  Membership shall be voted on at any church service in any of the following ways:
-After a public profession of faith in Christ as personal Savior and Lord, and contingent upon baptism by immersion in water as authorized by the church;
-By promise of letter from another church of like faith and order;
-By a statement of prior conversion experience and New Testament baptism when no letter is obtainable from a church of like faith and order.
Membership will be granted by a majority vote of those members present.
 
New Member Orientation
As offered, new members are expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation.  Also, copies of the church constitution, by-laws, policies and procedures will be made available to new members.  All new Christians will receive a Bible upon following the Lord in baptism.
 
 
Rights and Duties of Members
Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present.
Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for elective positions in the church in accordance with these by-laws.
Every member of the church may participate in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church.
Every member is requested and encouraged to be faithful in all the duties of the Christian life, to regularly attend church services, to support financially the church and its causes through tithes and offerings, and to share in its ministries through a commitment of time and talents.
 
Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
-Death of the member;
-Transfer of letter to another Baptist church;
-Affiliation/membership with a church of another faith or denomination;
-Removal at the request of the member;
-Withdrawal of fellowship from the church of a member as provided by the Holy Scriptures in Matthew 18: 15-17.
 
Church Discipline
It shall be the practice of this 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 the deacons are available for counsel and guidance.  The attitude of the members toward one another shall be a concern for redemption, rather than punishment.
Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, the pastor and the deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem according to the guidelines of Matthew 18: 15-17.
 
Finding that the welfare of the church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the church may take this action by a majority vote of the members present at a meeting called for this purpose; and the church may proceed to declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church.  All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance.
Upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation, the church may restore such a person to membership upon request of such person, and by majority vote of the church members present.
 
Article Two
CHURCH OFFICERS
All who serve as officers of the church shall be members of the church.  The officers of the church shall be the Pastor, other Ministerial Staff, Church Deacons, Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, Church Moderator, and Trustees.
 
Pastor
The Pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church.  The Pastor has the responsibility to lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks.  The Pastor will be expected to delegate appropriate responsibilities to others to insure the work of the church is done in a consistent manner.
The Pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church.   As such he works with the deacons and the church staff to:
-Lead the church to carry out the mission and purpose of the church;
-Proclaim the Gospel both inside and outside the church;
-Provide appropriate care for both church members and persons in the community.
Selection: 
A Pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. 
After prayerful consideration, a pastor search committee of seven members shall be elected by secret ballot by the church membership.
No more than one member of any family shall serve on the pastor search committee, unless due to extenuating circumstances it is necessary to complete the required seven members.  “Family” is defined as a group of people related by consanguinity (blood relations) or affinity (marital relations) living under the same roof.
The committee will screen and interview candidates, and as led by the Holy Spirit, the committee will present a candidate for approval by the church.  The recommendation by the pastor search committee will constitute a nomination. 
The Pastor must be licensed and ordained, and must show evidence of a divine call in their life.  (See License and Ordination).
The candidate will be voted on by the church by secret ballot.  A three-fourths majority vote of the members present is required to call the candidate to be Pastor.
Termination:
The Pastor is called by the church for an indefinite period of service.  This service may be terminated in the following manner:
-Resignation:  The Pastor may relinquish the Office of Pastor by giving at least two weeks’ notice to the church at the time of resignation.  Upon proper resignation, any accrued vacation would be paid.
-Dismissal:  The church should view dismissal as a last resort only after the church has followed the Matthew 18: 15-17 principles and/or the church has sought help through mediation. 
The deacons shall have the responsibility to see that every effort has been made to effect reconciliation.
The deacons must make a recommendation for dismissal to the church in writing, at least 14 days prior to a vote; stating reasons for the proposed dismissal.  The Chairman of the Deacons will be responsible for presenting the letter of recommendation to the church body.  If the Deacon Chairman is not available, the Vice-Chairman or Secretary will present the letter.
Should the deacons fail to perform their duties in matters of dismissal, then any church member can bring it up at a regular business meeting and discuss it with the church body, and then follow the regular procedure in these matters.
The vote for dismissal shall take place following a Sunday night service, after due time for discussion.  The Chairman of the Deacons will moderate the meeting.  If the Deacon Chairman is not available to moderate the meeting, the Vice Chairman or Secretary will moderate the meeting.
The vote for dismissal shall be conducted by secret ballot.
A three-fourths majority vote of those present shall constitute dismissal, effective immediately.
-Temporary Administrative Committee:  Upon termination of the ministry of the Pastor, a temporary committee shall be responsible for the administration of the church, subject to the Constitution, By-Laws, Policies, and Procedures. 
This committee shall be composed of the Minister of Music, the Minister of Youth, the Chairman of Deacons, the Chairman of the Personnel Committee, and the Finance Committee Chairman. The Chairman of Deacons shall serve as the chairman of the committee.  In the event there is not a church staff member available to serve on the committee, the deacons shall select another committee member from the membership of the church. The Temporary Administrative Committee will serve until the church selects a new Pastor.
 
Ministerial Staff
Ministerial staff must show evidence of a personal call of God to ministry.  Called ministerial staff will be employed as the church determines the need for such positions.
The ministerial staff shall be sufficiently educated, trained, and experienced to fulfill the duties as specified in their job description.
Selection:
The selection of a candidate for ministerial staff positions shall come from a five member committee that has been elected, by secret ballot, by the church membership.  The Pastor shall also serve in the selection process.
The recommendation by the committee and the Pastor shall constitute a nomination.
Ministerial staff must be licensed and ordained, and show evidence of a divine call in their life.  (See License and Ordination).
The candidate shall be voted on by the church by secret ballot.  A three-fourths majority vote of the members present during a regular business meeting, or a meeting called for this purpose, is required to call the candidate to serve as ministerial staff.
Termination:
Ministerial staff service may be terminated in the following manner:
-Resignation:  A written notice of resignation is expected.  Upon proper resignation, any accrued vacation would be paid.
-Dismissal:  The dismissal of ministerial staff shall be conducted exactly as the dismissal process previously set forth for the Pastor.
 
Church Deacons
A deacon shall be a male member of the church who has attained the age of 21 years and he shall faithfully and actively support the total ministry of the church.  He shall possess the scriptural qualifications as set forth in Acts 6: 3 and I Timothy 3: 8-13.  He shall have been ordained by this church or by another church of like faith and order.  (See License and Ordination).
In accordance with the meaning of the work and practice in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church:
-Deacons shall serve with the pastor and staff in performing church ministries;
-Help lead the church in the achieving of its mission;
-Proclaim the Gospel to believers and unbelievers;
-Care for the church membership.
Selection:
An election of a deacon shall be held as required to fill vacancies and to add to the deacons such numbers as the Church Deacon Body may determine.  The Church Deacon Body shall determine the specific date and process of the selection of a candidate.  The deacon candidate shall be voted on by the church by secret ballot, and a three-fourths majority vote of the members present is required to elect a deacon.
(Corporate/Deacon Officers)
In compliance with the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act, the church shall have the following Corporate Officers:
President:  The office of President and Chairman of the Body of Deacons shall be held by the same person.  In addition to his duties as Chairman of the Body of Deacons, the President’s only other authority in the capacity of President shall be the power to execute on behalf of the church such instruments and agreements as may be required by the church when the execution thereof has been authorized as provided in these By-Laws.
Vice-President:  The office of the Vice-President and Vice-Chairman of the Body of Deacons shall be held by the same person.  In addition to his duties as Vice-Chairman of the Body of Deacons, the Vice-President’s only other authority in the capacity of Vice-President shall be the power to perform the duties of the President upon the death, absence, resignation, or inability of the President to perform the duties of his office.
Secretary:  The office of Secretary and Secretary of the Body of Deacons shall be held by the same person.  In addition to his duties as Secretary of the Body of Deacons, the Secretary’s only other authority in the capacity of Secretary shall be the power to attest and execute on behalf of the church such instruments and agreements as may be required by the church when the execution thereof has been authorized as provided in these By-Laws.
Treasurer:  The Treasurer is authorized to perform the functions of a treasurer and shall be the Church Treasurer.  He may or may not be a deacon, but he or she must be a member of the church.
(Election of Corporate/Deacon Officers)
The President, Vice-President, and Secretary shall be elected annually by the Body of Deacons and confirmed by a majority vote of the church members present at the annual meeting.  The Treasurer shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present at the annual meeting.
Unless an officer’s term of service is terminated as provided herein, each officer so elected shall continue in office until a successor shall have been duly elected as herein provided and shall have assumed the responsibilities of the office.
Deacon responsibilities regarding other duties and officers:
The Body of Deacons at their discretion may impose upon non-ministerial church officers other duties as the Body of Deacons may designate consistent with these By-Laws.  The Body of Deacons may also at their discretion appoint other officers and assistant officers as they may deem necessary. 
Any such additional officers may or may not be deacons, but he or she must be a member of the church and be approved by a majority vote of the members present at any church business meeting.
Unless expressly authorized by the Body of Deacons, none of the non-ministerial officers will receive any form of compensation or salary for their services as officers.
Termination:  (See License and Ordination).
 
Church Clerk
The Church Clerk must be a member of the church, and shall be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of the church.
The clerk shall preserve the minutes of business meetings and written official reports.  All records maintained by the clerk will be kept in the church office, and shall be available for inspection by any church member during regular church office hours.
 
 
Selection:
A recommendation of the Nominating Committee shall constitute a nomination of the Church Clerk.  The Church Clerk shall be elected by a majority vote, of the members present at the annual business meeting.  The Church Clerk shall serve a one year term.  However, there shall be no term limit.
Church Treasurer
The Church Treasurer must be a member of the church, and shall be responsible for receiving, preserving, and dispersing, upon receipt of invoices approved and signed by authorized personnel, all monies given to the church. 
Selection:
A recommendation of the Nominating Committee shall constitute a nomination of the Church Treasurer.  The Church Treasurer shall be elected by a majority vote, of the members present at the annual business meeting.  The Church Treasurer shall serve a one year term.  However, there shall be no term limit.
 
Church Moderator
The Pastor shall serve as the Church Moderator.  In the absence of the Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both, the Vice-Chairman of the Deacons shall preside; then if he is absent, the Church Clerk shall call the meeting to order and an acting Moderator shall be elected for said meeting.
 
Trustees
The Trustees shall hold in trust the church property.  Upon a majority vote of the church membership authorizing each action, the Trustees have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any church property.
It shall be the function of the Trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgaging, or purchase or rental of property or other documents where the signature of Trustees are required.  A minimum of three Trustees signatures is required on such documents.
Selection:
A recommendation of the Nominating Committee shall constitute a nomination for Trustee.  The Trustee shall be elected by a majority vote, of the members present at the annual business meeting.  Three Trustees shall serve on a rotation basis, with one new trustee being elected each year for a three year term.
Vacancy in the office of Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, or Trustees:
An office shall become vacant when the office holder dies, becomes incapacitated, is no longer a member of the church, or is terminated.
A vacancy in the office of Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, or Trustee shall be filled according to the previously described selection process; and by election of a majority vote by the church members present at a regular business meeting, or a meeting called for that purpose.
Termination: 
Church officers may be terminated in the following manner:
-Resignation:  A written notice of resignation is expected.
-Dismissal:  A dismissal from the office of Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, or Trustee shall come from a joint recommendation of the Pastor and Chairman of the Body of Deacons, and confirmed by a majority vote by the church members present at a regular business meeting, or a meeting called for that purpose.
 
Article Three
OTHER CHURCH EMPLOYEES
Other church employees shall be utilized to carry out the functions of the day to day operations of the church.  Church employees shall be sufficiently educated, trained, and experienced to fulfill the duties within their job description.  The duties and responsibilities of church employees shall be specifically set out in the Church Policy and Procedures Manual.
Examples of church employees include:  Church office secretary; custodian; musicians; and other non-ministerial employees.
Selection:
Based upon the specific need, the selection of church employee positions shall come from a recommendation of the appropriate Standing Committee/s.  The Pastor shall also serve in the selection process.
The recommendation by the committee and the Pastor shall constitute a nomination. 
A majority vote of the members present at a regular business meeting, or a meeting called for this purpose is required for the appointment of a church employee.
 
Termination:
A church employee position may be terminated in the following manner:
-Resignation:  A written notice of resignation is expected.  Upon proper resignation, any accrued vacation would be paid.
-Dismissal:  The dismissal of a church employee shall be based upon the recommendation of the Pastor and the Personnel Committee, and approval by a majority vote of church members present at a regular business meeting or a meeting called for that purpose.
 
Article Four
CHURCH COMMITTEES
The church shall authorize such committees as are necessary to carry out its mission.  The committee members shall be elected by a majority vote of the church members present at a regular business meeting, or at a meeting called for that purpose.
 
Standing Committees
Members of the Standing Committees shall be recommended to the church prior to June of each year by the Committee on Committees.  Additional nominations for Standing Committee members may be made from the floor by any church member. 
All Standing Committee members shall be members of the church.  No more than one member of any family shall serve on Administrative Committees, or on the Committee on Committees.  “Family” is defined as a group of people related by consanguinity (blood relations) or affinity (marital relations) living under the same roof.
Standing Committee members shall be elected annually, and their term shall begin on June 1.  Standing Committees that consist of three, or more, members shall serve on a rotation basis with new committee member/s being elected each year.  The Pastor shall serve as an ex-officio member of all Standing Committees.
Additional Standing Committees may be created as needed; upon recommendation of the Committee on Committees, or any church member, and must be approved by a majority vote of the church members present at any regular business meeting, or a meeting called for that purpose.
 
 
The Standing Committees shall be structured into two distinct categories:
-Administrative Committees:  Building and Grounds; Finance; Insurance; and Personnel.
-Service Committees:  Banking; Committee on Committees; Evangelism; Flower; Hostess; Library; Music, Nominating; Nursery; Ordinance; Technology and Multi-Media; Transportation; Usher; and Youth.
The number of members, purposes, duties, and term limits of each of the Standing Committee categories shall be specifically set out in the Church Policy and Procedure Manual.
 
Special Committees
Special committees may be nominated and elected from the church membership to serve as needed for special projects and services.  The goals and/or duties of these committees shall be stated at the time of election and the members will serve until the duties are accomplished and the committee is dissolved. 
All special committee members shall be members of the church, and the pastor shall serve as an ex-officio member of all special committees.
 
Article Five
CHURCH PROGRAM ORGANIZATIONS
In striving to accomplish the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel to believers and unbelievers, and to represent Christ through the church and the community, church program organizations shall provide opportunities for:  Bible teaching; church member training; worship; prayer; mission outreach; servant leadership, and fellowship. Such church program organizations shall only be led by current church members. The church shall also strive to provide the spiritual, physical, and financial resources necessary to support the various church programs.
Church program organizations may include, but are not limited to:
Sunday school programs; Bible study programs; Home groups; Children’s Ministry; Youth Ministry; Music Ministry; Women’s Ministry; and Men’s Ministry.
The primary objective of each church program organization shall be to fulfill The Great Commission as stated in Matthew 28:18-20.
 
 
Article Six
CHURCH ORDINANCES
The church shall observe the ordinance of baptism and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.
 
Baptism
The church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who profess him publicly at any worship service, and who has indicated a commitment to follow Christ as Lord.
Baptism shall be by immersion in water, and the Pastor, or whoever is authorized, shall administer the baptism.  The baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.
The Lord’s Supper
The church shall regularly observe the Lord’s Supper utilizing two symbolic elements of bread and the fruit of the vine.  In accordance of the spirit of I Corinthians 11:28, those present shall be urged to examine themselves as to Christian conversion and as to an obedient Christian walk.
 
Article Seven
CHURCH MEETINGS
The church shall conduct weekly public services of worship.  Revival services and other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s mission shall be scheduled accordingly and announced to the membership.
Regular business meetings shall be held on a monthly basis, and special called business meetings shall be published in the bulletin, and on the website, one week prior to the meeting.
The Annual Meeting shall be held at the regular business meeting in May of each year.
 
 
 
 
 
The following guidelines shall apply to all church meetings:
-Quorum:  A quorum shall consist of those members who attend the meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
-Freedom of Expression:  Any member shall have the right to speak at any business meeting, regular or called, if he or she desires.
-Parliamentary Rules:  The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the guideline for parliamentary rule procedure for all business meetings, deacons’ meetings, and committee meetings.
 
Article Eight
CHURCH YEAR AND FISCAL YEAR
Church Year
The church year shall be June 1 through May 31.
Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall be January 1 through December 31.
 
 
Article Nine
TAX EXEMPTION DECLARED
The First Baptist Church, Jacksboro, Texas, is organized and shall be operated for the purpose of engaging in religious worship and promoting the spiritual development and well-being of individuals.  Its assets are pledged for use in performing its religious functions.  On discontinuance of this organization by dissolution or otherwise, its assets are to be transferred to a religious or charitable organization that is qualified as an exempt organization under Section 501 (C) (3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or as they may hereafter be amended.
 
 
 
Article Ten
LICENSE AND ORDINATION
 
To the Gospel Ministry
From time to time the church shall license and ordain to the gospel ministry men who have shown evidence of divine call in their lives.
-License:  A license to preach the gospel shall be issued upon recommendation of the Church Deacon Body and a majority vote of the church members present in any regular or special business meeting.
-Ordination:  A man shall be ordained to the Gospel ministry upon request of a sister church of like faith, or upon the recommendation of the body of the church.  Upon such a request or recommendation, the Pastor shall convene a council of ordained ministers and deacons to thoroughly examine the candidate.  His life, doctrine, and call shall be examined in light of Timothy 3: 1-7, other applicable scriptures, and usual Baptist practice.  This examination shall take place before an ordination service is scheduled or announced. 
Upon the recommendation of the examining council, the ordination service will be scheduled.  At this service a presbytery of all ordained men present shall be formed to receive the recommendation of the examining council.  Upon acceptance of the examining council’s report, the church shall vote to proceed with the ordination.
A license or ordination granted by this church shall remain valid for life; however, the church reserves the right to withdraw, upon three-fourths majority vote, any license or ordination it has issued should the life of the minister cease to bear those qualities required for such recognition, or at the request of the licensed or ordained minister.
 
Deacon Ordination
The church shall ordain the un-ordained, newly elected, deacons as soon as convenient following their election.  The deacon body shall elect a deacon counseling committee who, with the Pastor, shall counsel the candidates for ordination as to the duties and responsibilities of deacons.  At the ordination service, a presbytery of all ordained men present shall lay hands on the candidates and ordain them to the deacon ministry.  The deacon counseling committee shall consist of the deacons of this church.
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.  Any and all duly ordained deacons or candidates for deaconship must have been a resident and active member of this church for at least one year before being eligible for assignments as a deacon of this church.
The ordination of this church is valid for the lifetime of the deacon.  However, the church reserves the right to withdraw the ordination upon a three-fourths majority vote, should the life of the deacon cease to bear those qualities required for such recognition, or at the request of the ordained deacon.
 
Article Eleven
CHURCH POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
The church shall develop and keep updated a Church Policy and Procedures Manual.  This manual may be developed by a special committee or by the Personnel Committee, as directed by the church.
The manual shall be maintained in the church office by the church secretary and made available for use by any member of the church. 
The Pastor, Personnel Committee, and a special appointed committee shall review the manual at least annually. If needed, recommended changes to the manual shall be presented for consideration at any regular or called meeting for that purpose. 
Any church member, church organization, or church committee may also initiate suggested changes in the manual.
Any addition, revision, or deletion of church policies and procedures shall require a majority vote of the members present during a regular business meeting or a meeting called for that purpose.

 
Article Twelve
MARRIAGE
Believing that the Bible teaches that marriage is defined as an institution between one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24),  and that such definition is later affirmed by Christ (Matthew 19:4-12); affirming the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and which addresses human sexuality; and acknowledging that no human law can change what God has ordained, the church affirms the following:
Church facilities will not host, nor will church staff perform, same-sex, transgender, or polygamous weddings or civil unions for members or non-members.  All weddings on church facilities or grounds must be for one man and one woman.
If the church congregation is ever legally compelled to perform same-sex, transgender, or polygamous weddings or civil unions, all clergy, and all members of the church's congregation are required to opt out of any participation on such ceremonies, or face dismissal from church membership.
Non-members, non-attendees, and/or outsiders of or to the church may not rent and/or use any church facilities for same-sex, transgender or polygamous weddings or any other civil ceremonies related to such unions.
If these bylaws, or other policies or procedures of the church, are overridden by civil, State or Federal court order, and all other legal or civil alternatives are exhausted, church clergy, staff and members are duty bound to peacefully engage in civil disobedience and refuse to comply with the law, irrespective of penalties, consequences and/or cultural stigma they may receive.
These bylaws are not meant to disparage, injure, degrade, demean or humiliate our fellow human beings in any fashion, but only to be faithful to our faith, our Lord, and His Word as spoken and written in the Bible. As Peter and John said in Acts 4:19-20, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.  For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
 
Article Thirteen
AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be revised or amended at any regular business meeting or a meeting called for that purpose, by a two-thirds majority vote.  The proposed revision or amendment shall have been submitted in writing to the members of the church for whom the church has a mailing address, or email address, at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting.
    

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