CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
This church is established to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a result of the religious convictions and missionary activity of Baptist people, affiliated with the Baptist State Convention of Michigan and the Southern Baptist Convention, under the Leadership of the Holy Spirit. We, who are members of the church, put ourselves on record as firmly in agreement with the doctrinal beliefs for which Southern Baptist are known by accepting the bible as our supreme standard of faith and practice. In order that we may fulfill God’s purpose, we do declare and establish this constitution.
This body shall be known as the Niles Avenue Baptist Church.
DOCTRINES AND STANDARDS OF THE CHURCH
This church accepts the Holy Scriptures as its supreme authority in matters of faith and practice. The pamphlet, The Baptist Faith and Message, as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention at its annual meeting in 1964 and as updated in 2000, is suggested as an aid in doctrinal study.
Polity. 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 is it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches.
Covenant. The members of this church shall be enjoined to maintain as individuals and as a fellowship the standards of conduct set forth in the Church Covenant (as published in the Baptist Hymnal).
Practice. The buildings, furnishings, and activities are to be characterized by such qualities as good taste, denominational acceptability, and conformity to recognized standards of beauty, style, and expression. In particular, vulgarity and cheap sensationalism are to be out of order in the services or worship and the music program.
Article I. Membership
Any person desiring membership may be received in one of the following ways:
(1) By baptism following a personal profession of faith in Christ as Savior and Lord, this profession being made in the assembly of the church and in a manner satisfactory to the members present.
(2) By letter from another Baptist Church, provided the person wishing membership is able to give assurance that his experience of trusting and confessing Christ as Savior and Lord, and the mode and meaning of his baptism experience were such as would be acceptable to this church.
(3) By statement, provided the person desiring membership is otherwise acceptable to the church but cannot furnish a satisfactory letter.
(4) By restoration, provided the person in question was formerly a member, lost his membership through the church’s discipline, and offers satisfactory evidence of a change of heart.
- A person who has been received upon promise of a letter shall be entitled to all membership privileges, even though his letter may not have been received.
- A person who wishes to join the church or maintain active membership but who is not physically able to attend may contribute regularly using the church’s website to maintain active membership status.
An individual’s name shall be removed from the church membership roll for the following reasons:
(2) When a letter has been granted to another church upon that church’s request. A letter will not be granted to an individual.
(3) When confirmed evidence has been received of a member’s uniting with another church.
(4) When the church has voted to remove from membership the person in question because of serious misconduct or heresy and accompanying refusal to heed the membership’s admonition to repent and make reformation.
(5) Active voting members who shall without good cause absent themselves from the services of the assembly for a period of 3 consecutive months or more, or who cease to contribute of their means to its support for a period of 3 consecutive months, may be declared inactive members by a majority vote of the church quorum, and thereupon shall lose their voting privileges until they are restored to the fellowship, their standing to be settled by action of the assembly through its church quorum.
No person shall be rejected for membership because of race, previous reputation, or other circumstance that might make him an object of prejudice, provided he is otherwise qualified for membership.
Article II. Church Officers
Section A. Pastor
(1) Duties. It shall be his primary duty to work for the spiritual welfare of the members and their families and to lead them in evangelistic and other activities they need to undertake together.
(2) Term of Service. A pastor shall be called for an indefinite period of service. It is understood that the relationship may be terminated upon thirty (30) days written notice by either pastor or church.
(3) Method of Call. The pulpit committee shall be elected by the church, charged with the responsibilities of having the pulpit filled from Sunday to Sunday, and seeking a suitable prospect for pastor. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one man at a time. Their recommendation shall constitute a nomination. With a quorum present, a majority of three-fourths of those voting affirmatively shall determine a choice.
Section B. Deacons
(1) Deacons shall provide trustworthy leadership for important administrative, business, and other responsibilities that cannot appropriately be discharged by the pastor. The church shall make use of deacons in such number as it desires. This office shall be filled in one of the following ways:
(a) A member who has previously served as a deacon in this or another church of like faith and order may be approved by the church.
(b) Men in the membership may be ordained by the church for service as deacons, after approval by the membership.
The church may choose such other officers as it may deem necessary for the orderly administration of its business and program. In the case of church organizations not designed to include the entire membership, it shall permit the organizations to choose officers and install them after approval by the church. These officers shall be elected for such terms as the church may determine and shall be obligated to render such service as it may prescribe.
Article III. Government and Polity
The Church shall be governed by its members. A majority of the members present voting in an official business session shall constitute legal and binding action.
Business meetings of the church shall be conducted according to the regulations set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order, revised edition.
The church will hold regular monthly business meetings after Service on the second Sunday of each month.
Special business meetings shall be held as deemed necessary following announcement from the pulpit in both Sunday morning and evening services prior to such meeting.
Special meetings may be called by the moderator or by petition of any five members in good standing.
The church shall exercise control over all committees, organizations, and programs. Within the spirit and limits of this constitution, this control shall also extend to the pastor, deacons, other church officers and employees.
The church shall primarily support its activities by tithes and offerings however, when the resident membership drops below 25 percent of the church’s capacity, temporary legal nonprofit money making projects for repairs, preventive maintenance and specific donations for outreach are allowed.
A quorum shall consist of ten percent (10%) of the resident membership.
Any item to be brought up for action at a business meeting must be given to either the church moderator or church clerk no later than 7 days prior to the scheduled business meeting. The agenda for the church business meeting must be printed in the church bulletin on the Sunday preceding the business session. Any business can be brought up at any business session of the church but must be tabled until next business meeting. Any business that is considered emergency in nature, which has not met the above criteria, can be acted upon at that same session, with a majority approval of those present to consider said emergency item.
Article IV. The Program of the Church
The church shall have regular worship services on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and a mid-week prayer service.
The church shall seek to maintain active programs of missions, evangelism, Bible teaching, Christian training, and fellowship in harmony with accepted Baptist belief and practice.
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper shall be administered by the pastor or any other person as the church may designate. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at such intervals as the church shall choose. The elements used shall be unleavened bread and unfermented grape juice.
Article V. Amendments
This Constitution and By-Laws can be amended in the following way:
(a) Each member shall be mailed a copy of the amendment proposal at least on month prior to voting.
(b) By two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of a quorum present at a regular business meeting.