By-Laws / Rules of Operation

(As amended October 15, 2017)

First Baptist Church of Gallatin, Missouri

(A Corporate Body)

Preamble

For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our Faith to the end that this body may be governed and function in an orderly manner, consistent with the accepted tenets of the Southern Baptist Convention (S.B.C.), and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of the Church and the freedom of the action of this body with respect to its relation to other churches of the same Faith and order, we do declare and establish these “Rules of Operation”.

Name

This body shall be known as “The First Baptist Church” of Gallatin, Missouri.

Articles of Faith

This Church accepts and adopts as a statement of its Scriptural and Doctrinal Beliefs and “Articles of Faith” of “The New Hampshire Baptist Confession of Faith”, as revised and currently used by Churches of the Southern Baptist Convention.

First Baptist Church of Gallatin affirms God's original design to create two distinct and complementary sexes, male and female, to glorify Him (Gen. 1:27; Isa. 43:7; Matt. 19:4-6; Mk. 10:6). Marriage is the first divine institution, essentially rooted in the created order, uniting one man and one woman in an exclusive covenant commitment for their joint lifetime, for their good and for the good of any children who may be conceived and born into this union (Gen. 1:28, 2:19-24; Malachi 2:13-16; Mark 10:11-12).

The assignment of biological sex at birth is a gift of God and part of God's glory in creation. The Fall of Man into sin and God's subsequent curse have introduced brokenness and futility into God's good creation (Gen. 3:1-24; Rom. 8:20). We extend love and compassion to those whose experience of this brokenness includes a perceived conflict between their biological sex and their gender identity (Rom. 8:22-23). We affirm God's good design that gender identity should be determined by biological sex and not by one's self-perception -- a perception which is often influenced by fallen human nature in ways contrary to God's design (Eph. 4:17-18). We affirm distinctions in masculine and feminine roles as ordained by God as part of the created order, and that those distinctions should find an echo in every human heart (Gen. 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor. 11:7-9; Eph. 5:22-23; 1 Tim. 2:12-14). We believe that efforts to live contrary to birth sex, whether by behavior, attire, cosmetics, or even medical or surgical therapy, are resisting or rebelling against the gift of God and a central dimension of His will for that person, and therefore such behavior is sinful. We condemn efforts to alter one's bodily identity (e.g. cross-sex hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery) to bring it into line with one's perceived gender identity. We love our transgender neighbors, seek their good always, welcome them into our congregations as they repent and believe in Christ, and spur them on to love and good deeds in the name of Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20; Gal. 5:14; Heb. 10:24). We continue to oppose steadfastly all efforts by any court, or legislature of policymakers, to validate a transgender identity as morally good, right or praiseworthy (Isa. 5:20). We commit ourselves to make decisions about membership, personnel and other church matters based on this biblical perspective of human sexuality (see Policy and Procedures General Use of Building/Facility of First Baptist Church of Gallatin, MO).

Church Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our 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 Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, 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 the 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 its ministry, the expenses of the Church 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, including such deeply held religious beliefs of our church concerning marriage and sexuality (see Statement of Faith); to see the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from intoxication; 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 each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offence, but ready always 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 the covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

Government

Its government is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Churches cooperating with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Membership

ADMISSION

  1. Any person professing saving faith in Jesus Christ and accepting the views of faith and practices     held by the Church may, upon baptism, be received as members.

  2. Members from cooperating Baptist Churches may be received by letter of dismissal and recommendation from their former church, provided their original membership was based upon Scriptural baptism by immersion.

  3. Persons from non-cooperating Baptist Churches and Churches from other denominations who give testimony of a personal conversion experience and who have experienced believer’s baptism may be received on a “statement” satisfactory to the membership of the Church.

  4. Excluded members from the Church may be re-instated upon confession of their faults, evidence of repentance and request for re-instatement.

  5. The vote for receiving member shall require a 2/3 majority (66) percent of the members present and voting.

When people come forward during the invitations making their various decisions, they will be greeted and commended for the decisions made and a vote will be taken to receive the candidate for Church membership at the time of the decision unless the pastor (or moderator) decides to delay the reception of the prospective member(s) to allow time for counseling. The decision to receive the candidate into Church membership will then be made at a future Church business meeting.

DISMISSAL

  1. A member in good standing may be dismissed by “letter” to the fellowship of another Baptist Church.

  2. Members who unite with another denomination are automatically dismissed from membership in the church.

  3. In all cases where there is unchristian conduct or a departure from the faith or doctrines as set forth in our Articles of Faith and Church Covenant, written charges, signed by the person, or persons, having knowledge of, and complaining of, the facts, shall be filed with the Church Clerk. Upon the direction of the Church, the Deacons shall call the accused before them to answer charges. If the accused fails to respond to the citation, or if the charges are substantiated, then the Church may take such action as it deems best, including withdrawal of fellowship.

 

Duties

  1. Members are expected, first of all, to lead exemplary Christians, lives; to attend habitually the services of this Church; to give regularly to its support and its causes; and to share in doing its organized work.

  2. Members removing from the vicinity of this Church shall expect to unite as soon as possible with a Church of like faith and order in their new community. Should this not be practicable, they are to furnish the Clerk of this Church their new address within three months, and shall be expected to support it financially as long as they are members and able.

 

Corporate Officers

Statement

  • Officers of the Corporation shall be the Chairman (Chairman of Trustees)

  • Vice-Chairman (Vice-Chairman of Trustees)

  • Secretary (Church Clerk)

  • Treasurer (Church Treasurer)

Scriptural Church Officers

Statement

            Scriptural Church Officers shall be Pastors and Deacons

 

PASTOR

  1. The Pastor of this Church shall be a regular ordained minister of the Southern Baptist Convention.

  2. The duties and qualifications of the Pastor shall be such as are prescribed and exemplified in the New Testament. The Pastor is responsible to the church to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, to teach the Biblical revelation, to engage in pastoral care ministries. To provide administrative leadership in all areas of church life, to act as the chief administrator of the paid church staff, and have immediate, cooperative supervision of all ministry staff, both lay and paid ministers and departments heads. (Acts 20:28, I Timothy 3:5, 5:17, Hebrews 13:7, 17)

  3. The Pastor is to act as moderator at Business Meeting (except where he shall wish to be relieved) and shall be ex-officio member of all committees.

  4. The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite term.

  5. Marriage and Funerals: The pastor or church leadership has the authority and right to accept or deny any request regarding marriage and funerals. The pastor has the right to ask for participation in marriage counseling before conducting a wedding (see Wedding Policy for First Baptist Church of Gallatin, MO, as amended.

  6. The pastoral relationship may be terminated at any time by mutual consent of Pastor and Church or by either party by giving sixty days’ notice. A majority of those present and voting at a meeting called for the purpose shall constitute dissolution of the pastoral relationship. Any resignation by a pastor of this Church will be made at the monthly business meeting. In case of a vacancy in the pastor office, a pulpit committee elected by the Church shall present nominees which may be voted upon by the church in any regular or called business meeting provided announcement of such meeting and its purpose has been made at least one week previously. A ninety percent majority of those present and voting shall be necessary only for the election of a Pastor.

 

DEACONS

  1. There shall be a minimum of twelve active deacons. Their term shall be for three years, with one-third being elected each year.

  2.  No deacon, having served three years, shall be eligible for reelection until after the lapse of one year.

  3. Nominations shall be made by the regular Church Nominating Committee, and those elected shall take office September 1 subject to ordination.

  4. It shall be the duty of Deacons to seek out such members as need financial assistance and arrange for a possible relief, to visit the sick, to assist the pastor in serving the Lord’s Supper and administering baptism, to cooperate with and assist the pastor in any way needed in the performance of his duties, to serve with the pastor in all matters of Church discipline; to provide a Counting Committee to count all money received by the Church.

  5. Deacons shall re-organize each year in September, electing a chairman, vice chairman, and secretary. (The chairman is to act as Church Moderator in the absence of the pastor.)

  6. Deacons shall meet monthly, preceding Business Meeting.

  7. Procedure for filling an unexpired term shall be same as for regular election of deacons.

  8. Any deacon who has served the Church well, but is by reason of age or physical handicap unable to serve actively and regularly may upon his request and by vote of the Church, be granted permanent inactive status. Any deacon who has been granted permanent inactive status may, upon the recommendation of two-thirds of the active deacons and by a two-thirds majority vote of the Church members present and voting be made Deacon Emeritus. He shall be appropriately presented a certificate of recognition.


OTHER CHURCH OFFICERS

Statement – Any other officers whom the Church may deem it wise to designate and elect. All elected officers, and leaders of the Church and its organizations, except the Pastor and those otherwise designated in the Rules of Operation shall begin their term of service on September 1 each year.

CLERK

  1. Shall be identified as Secretary of the corporate body and shall perform those duties required of this corporate office in conjunction with corporate affairs.

  2. Shall record faithfully all proceedings of all business session, regular and called.

  3. Conduct the Church’s correspondence.

  4. Keep a membership record of all members, resident and non-resident, including date of birth of those baptized in the Church.

  5. Keep safely and up to date, all books and records pertaining to the office of Church Clerk.

  6. Prepare the annual letter to the Association.

  7. Prepare letters of dismissal upon authorization of the Church.

 

TREASURER

  1. As Treasurer of the corporate body shall perform those duties required of this corporate office in conjunction with corporate affairs.

  2. Shall receive all monies received by the Church, and as soon as practicable, deposit in the proper account.

  3. Shall obtain receipts for all disbursements.

  4. Shall keep itemized accounts subject to inspection by any member.

  5. Shall render to the Church at each monthly business meeting, in conjunction with the Finance Committee, a written itemized report of all receipts and disbursements and distribute a copy thereof to each member present.

  6. Make an annual report at the February Business Meeting (financial year of this report shall be January 1 to December 31).

  7. The Treasurer is elected annually.

 

FINANCIAL SECRETARY

  1. Shall receive the empty collection envelopes and checks after the money for the Church has been counted by the persons selected by the Deacons to serve in that role, and from these shall give each contributor individual credit.

  2. Shall also be responsible for mailing an Annual report of their contributions to each contributor.

  3. The Financial Secretary is elected annually.

 

TRUSTEES

  1. There shall be six trustees, elected for a period of three years with terms staggered so that two are elected annually.

  2. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Trustees shall be appointed by the Nominating Committee who are in turn identified as Officers of the Corporation and shall perform those duties required in conjunction with corporate affairs. They shall meet monthly prior to regular Church Business Meeting.

  3. The trustees shall hold in trust all legal documents such as titles, mortgages, insurance papers, certificates of deposit, etc., for which a safety deposit box shall be provided, and shall transact all legal affairs as the Church requests.

  4. The trustees shall make an annual report to the Church in August Business Meeting of all legal documents and papers held by them for the Church and of transactions made by them during the year for the Church.

  5. They shall have actual care and maintenance of the Church property, real and personal, within the scope of the Trustee’s budget, with the exception of emergency needs which may be handled at the discretion of the Trustees.

  6. They shall prepare and submit annually to the Finance Committee a budget recommended for the necessary funds to cover items in the budget relating to buildings, grounds, equipment and insurance.

 

ADMINISTRATOR

  1. The pastor shall be the administrator.

  2. He shall have oversight of paid church staff and shall have immediate, cooperative supervision of all ministry staff, both lay and paid ministers and department heads. He will make recommendations to the Deacons for any paid personnel changes, recommendations to the Deacons for any removal of volunteer workers, and recommendations for employee benefits to be proved by the church.

 

CHOIR DIRECTOR

  1. Shall be responsible for developing Church choir, or choirs, for use in the regular and special services of the Church.

  2. Shall cooperate with the Special Music Committee in arranging desired “special numbers”.

  3. Shall be consulted on purchase of all music materials, and on propriety of all music programs.

 

ORGANIST AND PIANIST

  1. Shall preside at their instruments at the direction of the choir director and Special Music Committee.

  2. Shall arrange for substitute when unable to be present.

 

HEAD USHER

  1. Shall, together with such assistants as shall be necessary, greet and seat members and visitors at all services.

  2. Passing of the offering plates shall be under his supervision.

  3. Shall choose his assistants, and shall arrange well in advance for their dates of service.

 

LIBRARIAN

  1. Shall see that all books, literature and supplies of the Church and its organizations are kept in their proper place.

 

SUNDAY SCHOOL DIRECTOR

  1. Assist the Pastor in the planning, conduct, and evaluation of the Sunday School program.

  2. Direct the recruitment, training, and work with the nominating committee to assign workers in the Sunday School; establish contingency plans for absent workers.

  3. Provide guidance in selection of curriculum materials; order and keep a record of all literature and supplies for the Sunday School.

  4. Schedule and conduct periodic workers training meetings; solicit participation in denominational, state, and associational training programs.

  5. Recommend budget requirement for the Sunday School.

  6. Recommend and coordinate efficient space utilization.

  7. Become familiar with the resources pertaining to Sunday School work.

 

ASSOCIATIONAL BOARD MEMBER

  1. Shall be elected annual, as the Association By-Laws shall prescribed, and shall faithfully represent the church.

 

HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS

  1. Sunday School Director, Nursery Coordinator, AWANA Commander, Student Ministry Team Director, Women’s Missionary Union Director, and Brotherhood Director must be members of this Church.

  2. Shall be regular in attendance on the stated services of the Church and faithful in supporting the entire program of the Church.

  3. Shall make a report of the Department Activities to the Church at each monthly business meeting.

  4. Shall have immediate, cooperative supervision of all other workers in their departments.

  5. May be removed from office by a majority vote of the Church members at any regular business meeting after the matter has been considered by the deacons and pastor.

 

OTHER DEPARTMENT WORKERS

  1. Shall be elected annually.

  2. Shall serve at the direction of the Department Head.

  3. Shall faithfully support the general Church program.

 

INSTALLATION:  All officers and workers shall be publicly recognized and installed on the last Sunday in August, or at another time set by the Church.

STANDING COMMITTEES

Statement – All Standing Committees (except the Nominating Committee) shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee, elected annually, and begin service on September 1. The Committee Chairman shall be named at the time of election.

Nominating Committee

  1. At the regular business meeting in May, the Church shall elect two members to the Nominating Committee. These two along with the four other members of the committee shall constitute a committee of six. They shall be elected by majority vote. A minimum of two candidates shall be nominated for each of the two positions. The two having the highest number of votes shall be elected. In the event that someone resigns from the committee, nominations shall be made for someone to fill the unexpired term.

  2. Those elected shall take office immediately and serve for a period of three years. The chairman shall be appointed by the moderator. The committee shall elect their own secretary.

  3. This committee shall present candidates for Sunday School Director, WMU Director and Brotherhood Director at the June business meeting. When elected, these three shall then work with the Committee in presenting at the July business meeting candidates for the following places of service; Clerk, Treasurer, Music Leader, Organist, Associational Board Member, Vacation Bible School Director, Children’s Church Director, Senior Adult Ministry Director and Department (or age groups) Director and Leaders of the Sunday School, WMU and Brotherhood. This committee shall present at the August business meeting candidates for the remaining places of service in the entire Church program.

  4. The Nominating Committee shall present names to fill all vacancies occurring during the year.

 

Finance Committee

  1. The Finance Committee shall consist of seven members elected for three year terms. The Church Treasurer and any member of the Trustees shall serve as ex-officio members. No member shall serve consecutive terms. No member shall serve as chairman more than one time during his tenure of committee service. The chairman shall be appointed by the Nominating Committee and elected by the Church.

  2. The Finance Committee shall consult through written communication and have written responses from all chairman of standing committees, the Directors of WMU and Brotherhood, Sunday School Director, Chairman of Deacons, Chairman of Trustees, and all other Department Heads as to anticipated financial needs of the Church and shall thereafter prepare a Church Budget and present same for consideration by the Deacons before submitting it for approval by the Church.

  3. The Finance Committee shall have supervision over the expenditures of the Church.

  4. All expenditures shall be made upon the authority of the Church after recommendation by the finance committee, save that the Church may give general authorization to the Committee for normal supplies and also for general items such as stated salaries.

  5. The Finance Committee shall present a monthly financial statement to the Church as to the financial condition of the Church at each monthly business meeting. The Finance Committee shall promote a plan of systematic financial stewardship.

  6. The Finance Committee shall provide for an annual audit of all books and accounts of the Church.

  7. The Finance Committee has the approval to make minor modifications (not exceeding $50.00 per line item) within the Church approved budget with the consent of the affected Department Head or Church Officer having control over the applicable budget items. All other non-budget expenditures must be approved by the congregation prior to actual expenditure, emergency repairs being the only exception.

 

Auditing Committee

  1. Shall consist of two members.

  2. Shall audit all financial records of the church once each year (or more often if the Church requests), and make a written report of its findings to the Church in business session during February following each financial year.

 

Church Council

  1. Shall consist of the Sunday School Director, Student Ministry Director, AWANA Commander, WMU Director, Brotherhood Director, Choir Director, Chairman of Social Committee, and the Pastor, who shall be Chairman.

  2. Shall meet quarterly to assist the Pastor in formulating and maintaining an effective program of Church activities.

 

Long Range Planning Committee

  1. The Long Range Planning Committee shall consist of six members, three male and three female. The Committee Membership shall be representative of all phases of Church life. The Church Ministerial Staff shall serve as ex-officio members.

  2. Members of this Committee shall be elected for a three year term, two to be elected each year. A member shall be ineligible for re-election for a period of one year.

  3. The purpose of this Committee is to identify future needs and recommend courses of action. The Committee shall meet at least quarterly and provide an annual report at the January business meeting projecting yearly goals of 5 to 10 years. These goals shall include such items as land purchase, additional employees, mission needs, etc.

 

Flower Committee – Shall consist of two or more members who shall encourage and superintend flower decoration in the church and carry out the Church’s wishes relative to flowers for ill or deceased members.

Social Committee – Shall consist of three or more members who shall plan and supervise the general social affairs of the Church.

Lord’s Supper Committee – Shall consist of a Chairman and other persons to assist her in preparing the elements and arranging for observance of the Lord’s Supper.

Baptismal Committee – Shall consist of two or more persons who shall assist the caretaker and pastor in preparing for and completing baptismal services.

Church Nursery Correlating Committee – A Committee of Church members to deal with nursery problems as they arise. This committee to be made up of the nursery coordinators, cradle roll superintendent, one deacon, a father and mother of nursery age children (not in the same family). The Pastor and Sunday School Director will serve as ex-officio members of the committee and will recommend to the Church names of persons to serve on this committee. The Nursery Correlating Committee will meet quarterly.

Funeral Serving Committee – Shall consist of a General Chairman who shall in turn notify the team in charge of serving. There shall be six teams with a Chairman and a Co-Chairman for each team. Their duty shall be to carry out the Church’s wishes regarding serving family’s dinner the day of the funeral.

Temporary Committees

The Church in Business, shall elect, or ask the Moderator to appoint any additional committees deemed necessary in carrying out the Church’s wishes and obligations.

Meetings

Unless the Church, in business session, shall determine otherwise, the regularly schedule meetings of the Church shall be:

  1. Morning and evening worship on the first day of each week.

  2. Bible School preceding morning worship.

  3. Monthly Business Meeting.

 

Special or Called Meeting

  1. The Church shall, in Business session, arrange for any special meetings deemed necessary to its best interests.

  2. The Pastor and a majority of Active deacons may call for a Business Session of the Church at any morning or evening worship service for the transaction of business considered urgent, in need of immediate attention, and not in opposition to prescribed treatment elsewhere in these Rules of Operation.

  3. The regular business meeting in August shall be known as the Annual Business Meeting. At it shall be read all annual reports and letter of annual report to the Association.

 

Miscellany

  1. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at the first’ Sunday Morning or Evening Worship in each quarter unless changed by vote of the church.

  2. The administering of Church Ordinances shall be done by ordained Pastors and Deacons only.

  3. The Church “financial year” shall be January 1 to December 31.

  4. Delegates may be elected or appointed by the Church to represent the Church in Local, Associational, State and other Church Councils and Conventions whenever the Church shall deem it advisable.

  5. A majority of the members present and voting at any business session shall be sufficient to determine action except on matters described in these Rules of Operation as demanding different procedure. Voting shall be by ballot, unless otherwise ordered at the time. No vote by proxy shall be allowed. Only members may vote.

  6. Any major financial expenditure of $5,000 or more shall be submitted to the Church Body thirty (30) days in advance of the vote on said issue and the vote to be decided by 2/3 of the minimum of fifty members present and voting. A member must be 18 years or older to vote on these issues. Such action hereby is intended to exclude previous commitments and budgets.

  7. Parliamentary procedure used by this Church shall be prescribed in “Kerfoot’s Parliamentary Law and Roberts Rules of Order.”

  8. These “Rules of Operation” may be amended at any regular or called business session by a 2/3 majority of members present and voting, provided that one month’s notice of the proposed amendment shall have been presented to the church and posted on the bulletin board.

  9. These By-Laws-Rules of Operation, along with the Certificate of Corporate Records and Articles of Agreement attached thereto, constitute the two formal written instruments which govern the operation and conduct of the affairs of the Church.

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©2014 First Baptist Gallatin Church. All Rights Reserved.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version​© (ESV​©), copyright ​© 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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