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Bible Search
Constitution & Bylaws]

                            

Homewood Baptist Church

Alexandria, Louisiana

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION

AND

BYLAWS

 

 

 

January 6, 2016

 

 

 

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 

I Corinthians 14:40

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Preamble………………………………………………………………………..………………………3

 

ARTICLE I   (Church Name, Location and Purpose)…………………………………….…………….3

 

ARTICLE II   (Articles of Faith and Facility Use) ………………………...…………………………...4

 

ARTICLE III   (Church Government and Membership) ……………………..….…………..…………7

 

ARTICLE IV   (Church Meetings) ……………………..….………………………………...………..10

 

ARTICLE V   (Church Officers and Staff) …………………….....………...………………………….11

 

ARTICLE VI   (Organizations and Committees) …………………….……………..………………….16

 

ARTICLE VII   (Licensing and Ordination) ………………..…..………………………………………20

 

ARTICLE VIII   (Church Discipline) …………………………………………..………………………21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

OF HOMEWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH

 

Preamble

 

This Constitution and Bylaws are made to:

 

1.         Preserve and secure the principles of our faith.

 

2.         Preserve the liberties of each individual member of the church.

 

3.         Ensure freedom of action of independence from any religious body or organization.

 

4.         Provide for orderly conduct of internal affairs, dealing with others, and governing church members.

 

5.         These Bylaws are written and adopted for the purpose of enlarging and expanding the provisions set forth in the Articles of Incorporation.  In no way are these Bylaws intended to supersede or contradict any portion or provision of the Articles of Incorporation.  In the event that there is or may in the future be a contradiction between the Bylaws and the Articles of incorporation, the Articles of Incorporation is to take precedence.

 

 

ARTICLE I

 

CHURCH NAME, LOCATION AND PURPOSE

 

 

SECTION 1: NAME

 

The name of this church shall be Homewood Baptist Church. It shall be affiliated with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, Louisiana Baptist Convention, and Southern Baptist Convention.

 

 

SECTION 2: BUSINESS LOCATION

 

The address of the principal office of this church shall be: 3111 Rapides Ave., Alexandria, LA 71301.

 

 

SECTION 3: PURPOSE

 

The purposes of Homewood Baptist Church are:

 

  1. To worship and serve God and to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ as set forth in

            Matthew 28:19- 20.

 

2.         To minister to the needs of the members and others as the church is able to do so.

 

3.         We affirm that God expects every member of Homewood Baptist Church to be personally involved, directly and indirectly, in making disciples for Christ in order that they may also worship Him.

ARTICLE II

ARTICLES OF FAITH AND FACILITY USE

 

 

SECTION 1: ARTICLES OF FAITH

 

  1. We believe the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God, without any error, the all-sufficient authority in matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living.

 

  1. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

 

3.         We believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ, and during His time on earth, He was fully God and fully man. He died on the cross for our sins. He rose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven where He assumed His original glory and sits at the right hand of the Father and is now our High Priest and Advocate.

 

4.         We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore separated from God. Only through regeneration by the work of the Holy Spirit can man's salvation and spiritual life be obtained.

 

5.         We believe that eternal salvation is the free gift of God, entirely apart from man's works, and is possessed  by any and all who have faith in and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

 

6.         We believe in a regenerated church membership: that is, persons old enough to understand their need for Jesus Christ and, of their own free will, accepted Him as their personal Lord and Savior.

 

7.         We believe that baptism is by immersion and the Lord's Supper is a memorial to His suffering and death on the cross. These are ordinances to be observed by the church in its present age. They are, however, not to be regarded as means for man's salvation.

 

8.         We believe in the personal, bodily, imminent, and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ and that His Second Coming inspires believers for dynamic and zealous life and service for Him while waiting for His return.

 

9.         We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the everlasting blessedness of the saved in heaven, and the everlasting punishment and separation from God of the unsaved in hell.

 

10.       We believe in the autonomy of the local church. The church shall manage its own affairs and shall not be subject to any other religious body or organization.

 

11.       We subscribe to the "Baptist Faith and Message" adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000 as our larger statement of faith with scriptural references.

 

12.       Marriage and Sexuality Statement

 

a)         We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Homewood Baptist Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by this church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)

 

b)         We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26-27.)  Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

 

c)         We believe the term “marriage” has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We hold to the fundamental biblical conviction that Christian marriage is, by definition, the spiritual and physical uniting of one man and one woman in an exclusive covenant commitment for their joint lifetime.  Christian marriage is God’s unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His Church. (Genesis 2:18-25.)

 

d)         We believe that God commands sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other.

 

f)         We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)

 

g)         We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.)

 

h)         We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.  (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture or the doctrines of this church.

 

 

SECTION 2:  FACILITY USE

 

The church’s facilities were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members. The church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and to bring God glory. Although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we make our facilities available to approved non-members as a witness to our faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice.

 

But facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or    

practices that conflict with the church’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other 

places, the church’s constitution and Bylaws. Nor may church facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, the church’s faith or moral teachings. The pastor, or his official designee, is the final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.

 

This restricted facility use policy is necessary for two important reasons. First, the church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or beliefs that are contrary to its faith. Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict the church’s beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave violation of the church’s faith and religious practice. (2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)

 

Second, it is very important that the church present a consistent message to the community, and that the church staff and members conscientiously maintain that message as part of their witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs or engage in practices contrary to the church’s faith would have a severe, negative impact on the message that the church strives to promote. It could also cause confusion and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, the church agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its facilities.

 

Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in practices that contradict the church’s faith use any church facility. Nor may church facilities be used in any way that contradicts the church’s faith. This policy applies to all church facilities, regardless of whether the facilities are connected to the church’s sanctuary, because the church sees all of its property as holy and set apart to worship God. (Colossians 3:17.)

 

  1. This church believes that wedding ceremonies on church property are spiritual observances of worship of God who created this divine institution. The facilities may only be used for weddings that adhere to the Biblical definition of marriage and are solely reserved for use by members and their immediate family members.  

 

2)         As worship services, weddings on church property shall be officiated by one or more duly ordained ministers of the gospel or persons “licensed into the Gospel ministry” by Homewood Baptist Church. The church may decline to make its facilities or ministers available for any wedding if it is determined that either of the parties is not biblically eligible to marry. Such determinations may be made by Pastor and the Deacon Body. No pastoral staff of the church is permitted to officiate at any marriage ceremony, at any location, unless it is consistent with this policy. All weddings sanctioned and supported and recognized by Homewood Baptist Church will be consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws.

 

3)         The facilities may not be used by any individual, group, or organization that advocate, endorse, or promote homosexuality as an alternative or acceptable lifestyle. This policy also applies to birthday parties, reunions, anniversaries, wedding or baby showers, held in church facilities, etc.

 

4)         Alcohol Policy: No alcohol may be sold, served or consumed in church facilities or on church property.

 

5)         Smoking Policy: Smoking in indoor church facilities is prohibited.

 

6)         Groups are restricted to only those areas of the facility that the group has reserved.

 

7)         Except for the elements for observing the Lord’s Supper and bottled water, no food or beverages will be allowed in the Sanctuary.

 

8)         Church equipment, such as tables and chairs, must be returned to original placement, unless arranged otherwise prior to the event.

 

9)         All lights must be turned off and doors locked upon departure.

 

10)       Clean-up

 

a)           All users must remove from inside church property any garbage/trash generated by their event to the trash containers outside the Fellowship Hall.

 

b)          All users must perform cleanup, repair, replacement, and garbage/trash removal as described above or future use of facilities/equipment may be barred.

 

     c)           All user-installed wall or ceiling decorations require use of approved (Mavalus tape from School Aids or other source) adhesive tape only.  No staples, tacks, nails, etc.

 

d)          No fees will be charged for the use of facilities by church members.  Church members will be expected to leave the facilities in the condition in which they found them.

 

e)           Fees for use by non-members that sign the Facility Use policy are stated in the “Schedule of Fees and Deposits” policy.

 

11)       Firearms are prohibited on church grounds except those authorized by the Deacon Body. Commissioned Law Enforcement officers and concealed permit holders are exempt.

 

12)       Abusive or foul language, violent behavior, and drug or alcohol use are strictly prohibited on church premises. Any person exhibiting such behavior will be required to leave the premises.

 

13)       Any person or group must sign the “Church Facility Reservation Request and Agreement” form prior to reservation of church facilities.

 

 

ARTICLE III

 

CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND MEMBERSHIP

 

SECTION 1: GOVERNMENT

 

The government of Homewood Baptist Church is vested in its members. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of its life and organization. It recognizes the needs for mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches. This church will voluntarily cooperate with and mutually work with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, Louisiana Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

 

 

SECTION 2: NONPROFIT STATUS AND LIQUIDATION

 

This church is not organized for profit. In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the church, all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the Homewood Baptist Board of Advisors (Trustees) to the Central Louisiana Baptist Association and/or Louisiana Baptist Convention as designated by the church in its minutes of dissolution.

 

SECTION 3: AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

 

This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended provided the proposed amendment shall have been presented in writing at a regular church business meeting and then circulated to the membership. Amendments to this Constitution and Bylaws shall be by two-thirds (2/3) vote of members of the church qualified to vote and are present in the business meeting with a quorum to discuss and vote for this matter.

 

 

SECTION 4: CHURCH COVENANT

 

Having been led by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

 

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, doctrines and disciplines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly, as God has prospered us, toward its expenses, for the support of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel through the world.  In case of a difference of opinion in the Church, we will strive to avoid a contentious spirit, and, if we cannot unanimously agree, we will cheerfully recognize the right of the majority to govern under the leadership of Jesus Christ.

 

We, also, engage to maintain family and personal devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun pornography and to be zealous in our effort to advance the Kingdom of our Savior. We pledge, as a Church, and to each other, to take a stand against deeds of the flesh and to live according to the fruit of the Spirit according to Galatians 5:19-25.

 

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courteous in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

 

We, moreover, engage that, when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with another church of like faith and belief, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant which is based on the principles of God’s Holy Word.

 

 

SECTION 5: CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

 

The membership of this Church shall be composed of individuals who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and affirm the Articles of Faith, and who offer evidence, by their confession and their conduct, that they are living in accord with their affirmations and this Constitution and Bylaws, and are actively pursuing and continuing in a vital fellowship with the Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

 

A.        Qualifications:

Membership of Homewood Baptist Church shall consist of people who have made a profession of their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and who, having been scripturally baptized by immersion, and are in agreement with the Articles of Faith as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws.

 

B.        Reception:

Membership in the church may be attained by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the church in any of its regular business meetings and in one of the following manners:

 

1.         Scriptural baptism by immersion after profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.

 

2.         Transfer of church letter from another Baptist church.

 

3.         Statement of faith of their prior experience of conversion and scriptural baptism by immersion in another evangelical church of like faith and practice.

 

4.         Restoration to the church membership after having been dropped.

 

If disagreement should arise over a prospective member, then the matter shall be reviewed by the

Pastor and deacons. They shall present a recommendation to the church within thirty (30) days.

 

            Candidates for membership and new members need to attend the Church Membership Class to learn and understand the privileges and responsibilities of members to God and the church. This can be done after the church votes to receive the candidate as a member.

 

C.        Termination:

            Membership in this church shall be terminated when a member:

 

1.         Requests a letter of transfer to join another Baptist church.

 

2.         Is dropped from the roll of membership when he or she joins another kind of church. A letter of transfer is not necessary.

 

3.         Dies

 

4.         Is dismissed by a vote of the church due to reasons and circumstances provided for in ARTICLE VIII, Section 1 of this document on church discipline. The pastor and deacons will do all they can to counsel the member for restoration prior to action of dismissal or a request of the member to be dismissed from the church membership.

 

D.        Responsibilities:

 

1.         Active members, 12 years of age and over, shall have the right to a voice and vote in all church transactions and shall have the right and privileges to full participation in the life and work of the church.

 

2.         It shall be the duty of church members to uphold the Articles of Faith, Constitution and Bylaws, and Church Covenant.

 

3.         Homewood Baptist Church is a sovereign Baptist Church, whose membership in the Southern Baptist Convention is strictly voluntary.  Therefore, the membership retains unto itself the exclusive right to self-government through the democratic process.  The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be accepted as members of this Church and the conditions of membership.

 

4.         Members must be present to vote; no absentee voting is permitted.

 

5.         No member, other than the Board of Advisors (Trustees), shall ever be held responsible or liable for contracts, debts, or defaults of Homewood Baptist Church by reason of his/her status as a member.

 

E.         Member Status Lists:

           

  1. There shall be two lists kept of Church members:  Active and Inactive.

 

  1. Active Members are those who attend regular or special services of the Church and have, in some way, supported Church ministries within the last twelve months.

 

  1. Inactive Members are those who have not attended regular or special services and who have not supported Church ministries during the last twelve months.  Extenuating circumstances, such as military service, will be considered prior to moving a person to the Inactive Membership list.

 

  1. Homebound Members are those who are unable to attend or take an active part in the normal activities of the Church and will be included as part of the Inactive list.

 

  1. Any member whose name appears on the Inactive Membership list may request that his name be transferred to the Active Membership list by making a request to the church after again becoming actively involved in the Church.

 

 

ARTICLE IV

 

CHURCH MEETINGS

 

SECTION 1: CHURCH MEETINGS

 

A.        Worship Services:

The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning and evening for the worship of God, for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and on Wednesday, or another night, designated for prayer and Bible study. These meetings will be open for the entire membership of the church and for all people and shall be conducted under the direction of the pastor or designated church officer in the absence of the pastor.

 

B.        Regular Business Meetings:

Regular business meetings shall be held on the Wednesday after the first Sunday of the month.

 

 

C.        Special Business Meeting:

A special business meeting may be called by the pastor, other church officers, or by action of the church to consider special matters of significant nature. A one-week notice or announcement should be given for the special called business meeting. No business except that for which the meeting was called, may be transacted.

 

D.        Quorum:

The quorum for any regular or special business meeting shall be at least a minimum of 15 Active members or 10% of the Church’s total Active membership lists whichever is greater. 

 

E.         Parliamentary Rules:

Robert's Rules of Order (latest edition) is adopted as the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church and for all other meetings that demand voting of the church members, including committee meetings.

 

 

ARTICLE V

 

CHURCH OFFICERS AND STAFF

 

SECTION 1: CHURCH OFFICERS

 

All who serve as officers and ministerial staff of the Church and those who serve on Church Committees shall be members in good standing of this Church with the exception of interim ministerial staff who may not be members of the Church. The following General Officers are not nominated by the Nominating Committee but chosen and elected by other means: Pastor, Minister of Music, Pianist, Organist, the Deacons, Moderator, Church Clerk, and Treasurer. Their tenure is from acceptance until resignation or dismissal.

 

A.        Pastor:

 

1.         The qualifications for pastor shall be consistent with those listed in I Timothy 3:1-7. His training, skills, and experiences are needed in this area of leadership.

 

2.         His responsibilities:

   

  1. These generally fall into the following areas: Preaching, teaching, pastoral visiting and counseling, administration, planning, and guiding the church to grow and fulfill its purposes.

 

  1. He shall lead the church, the organizations, and all leaders of the church in performing their tasks in worship, proclamation, education, and evangelism.

 

  1. The pastor shall be an ex-officio member of all church standing committees, except the Pastor's Selection Committee.

 

                        (d)       He shall assist the deacons in securing pulpit supply for times in his absence.

 

3.         Call:

                       

(a)        A pastor shall be chosen and called whenever a vacancy occurs.

 

(b)        A Pastor's Selection Committee shall be appointed by the church to seek out a suitable pastor and this committee's recommendation will serve as a nomination.

 

                        (c)        The Pastor's Selection Committee will recommend only one candidate at a time.

 

(d)       The pastor's election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week notice shall be given to the Active members.

 

(e)        An affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of those present is necessary to call a pastor.

 

4.         Terms of Service:

    

(a)        The chosen pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated by either his request or that of the church.  In either case, at least thirty (30) days’ notice shall be given unless otherwise mutually agreed.

 

(b)        There shall be a written mutual contract/agreement made between the pastor and the church.

 

B:        Minister of Music:

 

  1. The Minister of Music shall be responsible, in cooperation with the pastor, for planning and administering the Music Program of Homewood Baptist Church.  He/she may enlist the aid of such persons as may be necessary for the carrying out of the music program of this Church.  Such persons he/she may enlist shall be accountable to the Minister of Music and accept supervision from him.

 

2.         The Minister of Music shall be responsible for organizing and developing a church choir, musical programs, Fifth Sunday Night Singings, musical specials and any other type of musical activity for the Church.

 

3.         Call:

                       

(a)        A minister of music shall be chosen and called whenever a vacancy occurs.

 

(b)        The Music Committee shall be appointed by the church to seek out a suitable minister of music and this committee's recommendation will serve as a nomination.

 

                        (c)        The Music Committee will recommend only one candidate at a time.

 

(d)       The minister of music's election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week notice shall be given to the Active members.

 

(e)        An affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of those present is necessary to call a minister of music.

 

4.         Terms of Service:

    

(a)        The chosen minister of music shall serve until the relationship is terminated by either his/her request or that of the church.  In either case, at least thirty (30) days’ notice shall be given unless otherwise mutually agreed.

 

(b)        There shall be a written mutual contract/agreement made between the minister of music and the church.

 

C:        Pianist and Organist:

            The pianist and organist will, both, serve unlimited terms. They shall be under the direction of the Minister of Music.

 

D.        Deacons:

The Deacon Body of Homewood Baptist Church shall consist of men who meet the spiritual qualifications found in I Timothy 3:1-12.  The Deacon Body shall serve from ordination until God calls them home, moves his letter to another church or he violates the Biblical qualifications or the qualifications listed below.

 

            1.         Number:

The number of deacons will be determined by the needs of the Church and leadership of the Holy Spirit.

 

            2.         Qualifications:

 

                    (a)        A church deacon must meet the qualifications listed in I Timothy 3:8-13.

 

(b)        A deacon shall demonstrate an exemplary Christian testimony in private, family, and public life; a committed Christian leader and partner of the pastor; supporter and promoter of the church faith, practice, programs, and ministries.

 

(c)        There shall be no obligation to recognize a Deacon who comes to this Church from another church of like faith.  The Deacon may be nominated by the Deacon Body to the church at any time it feels led to do so.

 

                    (d)       A deacon should support church services and ministries by regular attendance.

 

3.         Election:

 

  1. When a deacon vacancy occurs, the chairman of the Deacon Body shall announce that an election of a deacon will be held during a named church business meeting.

 

  1. The Deacon Body will enlist active men to be recommended to the church. The duties, qualifications, and importance of the office of a deacon will be discussed with the candidates and be reviewed to the church prior to the schedule election of deacons.

 

4.         Ordination:

 

  1. Selection, election, and ordination of deacons is a privilege of the local church.

(b)        When ordination of deacons is planned by the church, it shall authorize the pastor to assemble a council to examine the candidates concerning their qualifications to serve as deacons.

 

  1. The council directed to examine the deacons shall be composed of the pastor, deacons, invited ordained ministers, and deacons of neighboring sister Baptist churches.

 

  1. When the council recommends the ordination of deacons, the ordination service shall be scheduled and led by the pastor.

 

5.         Duties:

 

(a)        Elected deacons shall elect the chairman of their body.

 

(b)        Deacons serve as a body of counsel to assist the pastor concerning the progress and welfare of the church.

 

(c)        Assist the pastor in ministering to the members by implementing the Deacon Family Ministry.

 

(d)       Seek to solve any fellowship problem of the church.

 

(e)        Assist the pastor in administering the church ordinances.

 

(f)        Serve as church membership committee.

 

(g)        In the absence of the pastor, the chairman of the Deacons shall serve as an advisory member to all organizations, departments, and committees of the church.

 

E.         Moderator:

 

1.         The Pastor shall serve as Moderator, presiding over Church business meetings, or upon the Pastor’s request, the Church shall elect annually a Moderator from the membership as its presiding officer.  In the absence of the Moderator, the Chairman of Deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both, the Clerk shall call the Church to order and preside for the election of an acting Moderator.

 

2.         In the guarding and maintaining the fellowship of the Church, the aim of the Moderator must be to bring about unity with people of different views, ideas and convictions.  The objective of the Moderator should be to maintain the spirit of Christian love while presiding, to be fair and courteous with all members and to help members understand parliamentary procedures without embarrassment to them.  The latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be used.

 

F.         Clerk:

 

1.         The church clerk shall be elected and be responsible for keeping an accurate record of all business meeting transactions of the church and preparing the annual report to the association.

 

2.         He or she shall keep a register of the names and addresses of the church members, with dates of admission, dismissal, dedication of children, and deaths of members of the church family.

 

3.         He or she shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church and write letters of transfer of membership, prepare written reports of the church, and keep an accurate history of the church.

 

4.         An assistant church clerk may be elected or the clerk's responsibilities shall be delegated to a church secretary if and when the church can afford to employ one.

 

G.        Treasurer:

 

1.         The church treasurer shall be elected as the custodian of all moneys of the church and shall disburse these moneys by checks as authorized by the church.

 

2.         He or she shall keep, at all times, an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements and shall render a monthly and annually written report of this account to the church.

 

3.         The treasurer, assistant treasurer and church secretary shall be authorized to sign church checks.

 

4.         The treasurer's report should be reviewed annually by the Budget and Finance committee.

 

H.        Church Staff:

The church shall employ or call staff as needed.

 

  1. Staff members other than that of the pastor and minister of music shall be recommended for employment by the Personnel Committee.

 

2.         A written job description and mutual contract/agreement will be prepared when the need for church staff is determined.

 

I.          Board of Advisors (Trustees):  

 

1.         The Board of Advisers (Trustees), as prescribed in the Articles of Incorporation, shall be the Deacon Chairman, Vice-chairman and Deacon Secretary, and these trustees will hold trust the property of the church.

 

  1. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property of the church without a specific vote of the church authorizing each action.

 

  1. It shall be the function of the trustees to sign any and all legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or lease of church property or any other legal documents requiring the signature of the trustees for and in behalf of the church.

 

  1. The trustees have no control over the use of the property of the church except by vote of the Church.

 

5.         The Board of Trustees will have the power to borrow such sums as deemed necessary, with or without security.  This action of the Board must be approved at a regular business meeting or a special business meeting called for this express purpose.

 

J.          Church Council:

 

1.         The Church Council shall have as regular members the pastor, clerk, treasurer, chairman of deacons, Sunday School director, WMU director, chairperson of each church standing committee, presidents of men's, women's, and youth fellowships.

 

2.         Responsibilities of the Church Council:

 

(a) Recommend to the church objectives and goals.

 

(b) Review the coordinated program plans recommended by the pastor, church officers, organizations, and committees.

 

(c) Recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to program priorities.

 

(d) Evaluate program achievements in terms of church goals and objectives.

 

3.         All matters agreed on by the Church Council calling for action not already provided for shall be referred to the church to be voted upon.

 

K.        Vacancies:

In case of vacancy in any office, except that of the pastor and staff members, the vacancy shall be filled by the church at a regular or special meeting as soon as possible after such vacancy has occurred.

 

 

ARTICLE VI

 

ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMITTEES

 

SECTION 1: CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS

 

A.        Sunday School:

 

There shall be a Sunday School divided into departments and classes for all ages and conducted under the direction of the Sunday School Director for the study of God’s Word.  The tasks of the Sunday School shall be to teach the biblical revelation, to reach persons for Christ and Church membership, to provide and to interpret information regarding the work of the Church, the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, the Louisiana State Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.

 

 

 

B.        WMU:

 

There shall be a Woman’s Missionary Union with such officers and organization as needed.  The tasks of the Woman’s Missionary Union shall be to teach missions, to engage in mission action, to support world missions through praying, giving and promoting missions offerings and to interpret information regarding the mission work of the Church and the Denomination.

 

SECTION 2: CHURCH COMMITTEES

 

All church committee members shall be elected by the church from nominations presented by the Nominating Committee, and nominations from the floor with the consent of the nominee.

Any committee member elected to fill any vacancy as needed shall serve the unexpired term of the position vacated. Each committee chairperson may submit an annual budget request to the Budget and Finance Committee.

 

A.        Standing Committees:

 

Homewood Baptist Church shall be served by such standing committees as it deems necessary to carry out the objectives and purposes of this Church.  A church committee performs tasks that the entire membership acting as a whole could not perform with the same efficiency, dispatch, and expertise.  Once created, a standing committee shall exist until dissolved by Church action. 

 

Standing committees shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the Church. Standing committees and their responsibilities are listed below:

 

1.         Nominating Committee:

The Nominating Committee shall be responsible throughout the year for nominating and presenting to the church people to serve in various positions of the church (unless provided for otherwise in these Bylaws) vacated by death, by resignation, or by removal. Each person contacted shall be informed of his or her responsibilities.

 

2.         Budget and Finance Committee:

 

(a).       The church financial committee shall be elected and shall be responsible for seeing that the offerings are properly received, counted, and deposited in the church's bank account.

 

(b).     Shall properly credit each contributor and their offerings.

 

(c).       Shall be responsible for preparing and distributing the annual record of contributions to donors.

 

(d).      Shall have the responsibility of assuring that the adopted budget is adhered to. It shall recommend financial policies to the church and shall foster and promote programs of stewardship.

 

(e).       It shall be responsible for submitting to the church an annual budget during the month of December for the next calendar year.

 

(f).       Taking of special offerings shall be approved by this committee.

 

(g).       Shall be responsible for the annual review of the treasurer's books.

 

(h).       This committee shall consist of the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and elected members.

 

 

 

3.         Building and Grounds Committee:

This committee shall be responsible for upkeep and maintenance of church property. Throughout the year, this committee shall give attention to and study the condition and state of repair and appearance of the building and grounds of the church and equipment therein, making arrangements for repairs and improvements authorized by the church and included in the church budget. All matters of major repairs, changes, improvements or items of equipment not included in the budget shall be referred to the Finance Committee for fiscal review. Purchase of equipment shall be through this committee unless another committee is directed specifically to make studies, report to the church, and make necessary arrangements as the church decides.

 

4.         Music Committee:

This committee will plan and evaluate the music program of the church, in the formation of choirs in the church and planning special musical programs throughout the year. It is responsible for recommending people for the positions of pianist and organist, song leader, and in assisting the pastor with special music in the regular and other services of the church. In the event that a music director is needed as a staff of the church, this committee will look for a qualified person to be recommended to this position, which requires approval by the church.

 

5.         Youth Committee:

This committee is responsible in planning and coordinating youth programs and activities inside and outside of the church. These activities are to be correlated with the activities of the church program organization in attaining objectives set forth by the church. An elected representative of the Youth Committee shall serve as a member of the Church Council.

 

6.         Fellowship and Recreation Committee:

 

(a).       This committee shall be responsible for all social and recreation activities of the church, formulating policies and supervising the services rendered to the church involving the kitchen and promoting regular church functions to build the fellowship of the church.

 

(b).       This committee shall have general supervision of the supplies, equipment, and use of the church kitchen suggesting to the church rules and regulations as they deem wise. It shall enforce policies necessary to properly maintain the kitchen in a clean, orderly, and acceptable condition.

 

7.         Ordinance Committee:

 

(a).       The Deacon Body shall assist the pastor in preparing for the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.

 

(b).       The members of this committee shall be responsible for preparing the candidates and the baptistery for the ordinance of Baptism.

 

(c).       This committee shall request funding to provide attractive and functional equipment, accessories, garments and supplies to make the observance of the Ordinances as reverent, convenient and tasteful as possible.

 

 

 

8.         Outreach Committee:

This committee is under the immediate leadership of the pastor. He forms a committee to develop and implement a strategy for effective programs of community evangelism outreach such as visitation; Bible studies in homes, offices, places of works; special evangelistic meetings inside and outside of the church; and other needed programs to reach people with the gospel.

 

This committee is also responsible for planning training events for soul-winning, as well as the production or securing evangelistic printed materials to be used by the church. This committee shall lead the church in its involvement with the Baptist association, Louisiana Baptist state convention, and other Southern Baptist Convention mission related ministries or programs that mutually benefit the church.

 

9.         Personnel Committee:

The Personnel Committee shall consist of members and chairperson as nominated and approved at the beginning of each church year.

 

The duties and responsibilities of the Personnel Committee are:

 

(a).       Secure applications and/or resumes to fill any salaried position, except pastor, which the Church has or in the future may authorize.  This committee may serve as a Search Committee for salaried staff positions, other than the pastor.

 

(b).       Interview persons the committee feels are qualified to fill any vacant salaried position, except pastor, and in consultation with the Budget and Finance Committee, submit a joint recommendation, including salary, benefits, and job description to the Church at a regular business meeting.       

 

(c).       Annually review the salary, benefits and allowances for all salaried personnel, except pastor, and make recommendations to the Budget and Finance Committee concerning adjustments and/or additions.

 

(d).      In the event a conflict develops between salaried personnel, except pastor, it shall be the duty of the Personnel Committee to seek reconciliation by negotiation. 

 

10.       Membership Committee:

Should a member become an offense to the Church by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct or by denying the acceptance of fundamental doctrines of the Church, it shall be the responsibility of the Membership Committee to take steps to resolve the offense in accordance with Matthew 18:15-20.  If the Membership Committee determines exclusion of the member becomes necessary, after due personal notice and hearing in private by the Membership Committee and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance, membership may be withdrawn upon recommendation of the Membership Committee, and upon the vote of the majority of the members present at a regular business meeting to approve the recommendation of the Membership Committee.  The basis for the recommendation of the Membership Committee shall not be required to be made officially public, announced in public or put forward to the general Church membership or the general public.  

 

 

The Church may restore any person to membership:  

 

  1. Upon request of the excluded person.

 

  1. After the excluded person has met with the Membership Committee and indicated repentance.

 

  1. Upon recommendation of the Membership Committee and by a majority vote at a regular business meeting to approve said recommendation.

 

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 attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment.

 

11.       Other Standing Committees:

There may be from time to time a need to form other standing committees.  Such committees may be created by amending these Bylaws. When such committees are formed, size, tenure, duties and responsibilities should be specified and properly recorded in the church minutes and added to the amendments of these Bylaws.

 

B:         Ad Hoc Committees:

 

From time to time, the Church may create an Ad Hoc Committee to carry out a specific assignment of limited duration.  This committee shall exist until it completes its assignment or until the Church dissolves the committee.  Membership is for the duration of the committee.  Committee members are nominated by the Nominating Committee, voted on and approved in a regular business meeting or a duly called special business meeting.         

 

C:         Committee Recommendations:

 

A committee may make a recommendation to the Church at a regular business meeting or special called meeting.  That recommendation, in order to be presented to the Church for consideration, must be approved by the committee with a majority vote by each member of the committee.  Any matter of a financial nature by a committee must be submitted to the Budget and Finance Committee for approval.

 

 

ARTICLE VII

 

LICENSING AND ORDINATION

      

SECTION 1: LICENSING AND ORDINATION

 

A. Licensing:

Any member of the church who has shown by his life and has felt the call to the gospel ministry may by vote of the membership at a regular meeting be licensed by the church to the Christian ministry.

 

B. Ordination:

1.         Pastor

If another Southern Baptist Church wishes to ordain a member or former member of Homewood Baptist Church, it shall make the request in writing.  The request will be submitted to the Deacon Body for approval and they shall submit a recommendation to the Church. Approval is determined by majority vote at a business meeting. Upon approval, the Church moves forward in the ordination process. The pastor assembles an ordaining council of ministers and deacons, who shall participate in the ordaining of the person to the Gospel Ministry in the name of and in the presence of the Church.

 

2.         Deacons

Deacons of the church may be ordained as deacons upon the vote of the church. The church shall consider submissions of the Deacon Body or a vote of qualified men of the church. This selection shall be approved by a majority vote in a regular meeting. The pastor shall assemble an “ordaining council” for the ordination of qualified and recommended candidates.

 

 

ARTICLE VIII

 

CHURCH DISCIPLINE

 

SECTION 1 CHURCH DISCIPLINE

 

1.         Should any unhappy difference arise among members, the aggrieved member shall follow, in a tender spirit, the rules given by our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17.

 

2.         Should any case of gross breach of covenant or of public scandal occur, the deacons shall endeavor to resolve the conflict as set forth in the description of the Membership Committee’s procedures. If this effort fails, they shall report the case to the church.

 

3.         All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance, but should an adverse decision be reached, the church may proceed to admonish or declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church.

 

4.         Any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by vote of the church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation.

 

 

SECTION 2:  Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct

 

1.         The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.

 

2.         For purposes of Homewood Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Pastor is the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

 

 

 

Unanimously recommended to the Church for adoption by the Constitution and Bylaws committee on January 6, 2016.

 

Adopted by unanimous vote of the church in its regular business meeting on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

 

Moderator: ____________________________ Church Clerk: __________________________