1 BETHLEHEM BAPTIST CHURCH 1838 Bethlehem Church Road Carthage, North Carolina CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
2 PREAMBLE We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith, and to govern the body in an orderly manner under the Lordship of Christ. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member; the spirit of Christian love; and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches. I Corinthians 14:33, 40; Colossians 1:18; John 13:34,35; Jude 3,4. ARTICLE I Name This body shall be known as the Bethlehem Baptist Church of Carthage, Moore County, North Carolina. The purpose of this body shall be: To be Christ-like in our daily living; ARTICLE II Purpose To provide regular opportunities for public worship; To sustain the ordinances, doctrines, and ethics set forth in a New Testament Church; To nurture its members through a program of Christian Education; To channel its offerings to the support of the objectives of the Redeemer's Kingdom; To be a church that ministers unselfishly to people everywhere in Jesus' name; To preach and propagate among all people the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:42, 46,47; I Corinthians 11:22, 26; Galatians 6:1-5; John 4:24.
3 ARTICLE III Statement of Faith The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis for any statement of faith. The church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in l963. We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the Good News of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are baptism and the Lord's Supper. ARTICLE IV Government The government of this church shall be independent in form, and the right of administration is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the Sandhills Baptist Association, the North Carolina Baptist State Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. ARTICLE V Covenant Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as 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 this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the 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 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
4 beverage; to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography; 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 one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy 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 some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word. Section 1. General: ARTICLE VI Membership This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership reserves unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the life of this church and the exclusive right to determine who shall be members and the conditions regarding membership. Section 2. Candidates: Any person may offer himself/herself as a candidate for membership in this church. Such candidates may be presented to the church for membership at any worship service in any of the following ways: By profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, pending baptism by immersion. By transfer of membership by letter from another Baptist church. By restoration upon a statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a Baptist Church when no letter is obtainable. By statement of faith from another Christian Church and baptism by immersion. Should there by any dissent as to any candidate, the matter shall be referred to the pastor and deacons. The party/parties dissenting to the candidacy shall submit their reasons in writing to the Chairman of the Board of Deacons within one week. The pastor and deacons shall investigate the reason and bring a recommendation to the church within thirty days after receiving the reason for dissent. A three-fourths (3/4) vote shall be required to elect such candidates to membership. Section 3. New Member Orientation: New church members shall be expected to participate in the church's new member orientation plan. (Refer to Section 3. Church Training.)
5 Section 4. Voting Rights of Members: Every member of the church is entitled to vote on all matters submitted to the church in conference. Section 5. Voting Procedure: At the designated time of vote, all members shall stand and the Clerk shall count the number of persons qualified to vote. After the ballots are taken to be counted, the Clerk will verify the number of ballots, and match to the numbers of members counted. If the ballots are equal or less than the members counted, the ballots will be counted. (This allows for some members not voting.) If the ballots are more than the number of members counted, ballots will be cast aside and a new vote taken. All votes should be by paper ballot unless for transfer of membership or ordinary motions. Section 6. Termination of Membership: Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: Death Letter of recommendation to another Baptist Church, which may be granted at any quarterly church conference. Statement that the member has joined another faith and order. Dismissal by action of the church. Section 7. Discipline: It is the basic purpose of Bethlehem Baptist Church to emphasize that our Lord commanded that our attitude toward any troubled members be that of love, forgiveness, and acceptance. The first duty of the pastor, deacons and other members of the church is to practice the spirit of reconciliation. Should some serious offense exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the church and its good name, every reasonable measure shall be taken to restore such a member in the spirit of Galatians 6:1-2; Romans 15:1; II Corinthians 2:6-7; and then to sorrowfully carry out II Thessalonians 3:6, All such proceedings shall be carried out in the spirit of Christ's love. Any member or members considered for dismissal must be contacted in writing by the deacons and pastor stating a reason for dismissal. A meeting with the member(s), deacon board, and seven active members in good standing: three selected by the member(s) being considered for dismissal and four selected by the body of church members through paper ballot. The meeting shall take place within seven days of the motion. A report shall be given to the member(s) considered for dismissal and church members within fifteen days. This report will be prepared by the deacons and pastor. After finding that the welfare of the church will be best served by the dismissal of this member and or members, the church may take this action by a three-fourth affirmative vote of the members present and voting at a called conference for this purpose.
6 A member whose membership has been terminated by church action of exclusion may be restored upon evidence of repentance and reformation. Section 1. General: ARTICLE VII Church Officers The church officers shall be pastor, deacons, trustees, clerk, treasurer and such staff and elected officers as required. All church officers, pastor excepted, shall be members in good standing at the time of election. Section 2. Pastor: (1) Duties: The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament Church. The pastor will lead the congregation and organizations to perform their tasks. The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church. As such he works with the deacons to: A. Lead the church in the achievement of its mission; B. Proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers; C. Care for the church's members and other persons in the community. He shall in cooperation with the deacons provide for pulpit supply in his absence. He is to arrange for workers to assist in revival and other special services. The pastor shall preside at all church meetings and conferences except as otherwise provided in this constitution. He shall be ex-officio member of all organizations and committees. (2) Relationship: The pastor shall be called to serve until the relationship is terminated at the request of the pastor of the church. A sixty (60) day notice shall be given of the termination of the church/pastoral relationship unless otherwise mutually agreed upon. In the case of permanent disability the pastor and church shall mutually agree upon the proper time to terminate his service. The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week's public notice has been given. The meeting may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the deacons or by written petition signed by not less than one-fourth (1/4) of the resident church members. The moderator for this meeting shall be designated by the members present by majority vote, and he shall be someone other than the pastor. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting being necessary to declare the office vacant. Except in instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from office,
7 the church will compensate the pastor with not less than one-twelfth (1/12) salary without benefits. The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be rendered within thirty (30) days. It shall be the responsibility of the pastor and deacons to discuss any disagreement and attempt to bring about a resolution before a church meeting is called for the purpose of declaring the office vacant. (3) Annual Review: The active church members will participate in an annual written evaluation of the pastor. The evaluation form will be developed by the deacon body. The evaluation will be completed in July prior to the annual financial budget review in mid-august. (4) Call of Pastor: Whenever a vacancy occurs, the deacons will nominate eight (8) candidates. The church members will vote by paper ballot to elect five (5) pastor search committee members. The five (5) who receive the most votes will serve on the pulpit committee. The election will be held at a called church conference during the Sunday Morning Worship Service. The pastor committee shall seek and recommend a suitable pastor to the church members. The committee shall bring only one name at a time for consideration and no other nomination shall be made except that brought by the committee. The pastor search committee shall take measures to investigate this person, to the extent of visiting in his community, talking with deacons and staff of his last two to three churches covering at least five years of his last employment. The pastor search committee shall follow the guidelines of the Southern Baptist State Convention. Also, a financial statement will be provided by the pastor for consideration to the Pastor Search Committee. This financial statement shall cover the past three years. A resume and history of the candidate will be provided to members at least fourteen (14) days before a trial sermon. The deacons will be in charge of lodging and any other related needs and expenses involved in the process of selecting a pastor. The call of the pastor shall occur at a called meeting with a minimum of a two (2) week notice given after the prospect has been personally presented to the church. The called meeting shall be during the Sunday Morning Worship Service. The voting shall be by ballot with an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) voting constituting a call. Should the nominee receive less than twothirds (2/3) vote, the committee shall be instructed to seek another pastor and the meeting shall be adjourned without debate. Section 3. Deacons: (1) Qualifications and Term of Office: There shall be at least two deacons for the first one hundred members of the church and two for each additional one hundred members or major fraction thereof, and then as many other deacons as the church may require; there shall be no less than five. These shall be elected from those members who have been active for a minimum of five (5) years. The candidates must meet the Scriptural qualifications in Titus 1:5-9 and Timothy 3:1-15 and be loyal to the total program of the church: Sunday School, the Worship Hour, Wednesday evening Bible Study, and church conferences. Deacons shall be elected for a term of
8 office that begins January 1 and runs through December 31 three years later. One-third (1/3) of the number shall be elected each year. After the completion of a full three year term, no deacon shall be eligible for re-election until after the lapse of at least one year. (2) Nomination of Deacons: Nomination for the office of deacons shall be made at a called conference on the second Sunday in November. The church members shall cast ballots on which their choices for the number of deacons to be elected is entered. These ballots shall be counted by three tellers appointed by the moderator from the active deacon body. They shall give the church clerk a tally of the names in the order in which each nominee stood in respect to the number of votes received, but without disclosing the number of votes received by anyone. The church clerk shall take from the top of this list names equal to twice the number of deacons to be elected. The pastor shall confer with each of the nominees who meets the qualifications in Titus 1 and Timothy 3. The pastor shall confer with each of the qualified nominees to ascertain his/her willingness to serve if elected. If for any reason any of the nominees cannot serve, the pastor shall ask the clerk for the next highest name on the tally list and shall follow the same procedure until the required number of nominees have been qualified. (3) Candidates for deacon: Candidates must be active church members in good standing and with membership in the church for a minimum of five years. Active includes regular participation in Sunday School, Worship Service, Wednesday Bible Study, and attendance at regular business meetings (church conferences). (4) Election of Deacons: Election of deacons shall be at a called conference on the second Sunday in December. Each member shall mark his choices on the ballot listing the nominees. The ballots shall be counted by three tellers chosen by the moderator from the active deacon body. Those receiving the highest number of ballots shall be declared elected as deacons. The deacons shall choose their own chairman each year. In the absence of a pastor, it shall be his responsibility to call any needed church to serve a specified term. In the event of a vacancy in the office of deacon, for any cause, the church may elect a replacement at once to serve the unexpired term in accordance with the regular election procedure. (5) Duties: In accordance with the meaning of the word and the practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church. A) They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit with the church. B) They shall assist the pastor in the observances of the ordinances. C) They are to serve as a council of advice and confer with the pastor in all matters pertaining to the work of the church. D) They are to establish and maintain personal relations with all the members of the church They are to seek to know the physical and spiritual needs of the church community and to lead the church in meeting them.
9 E) In accordance with the New Testament teachings and in council with the pastor they are to have oversight of the discipline of the church, guided always by the principles set forth in Matthew 18:15-17, I Corinthians 5:9-13, and I Thessalonians 5: F) In case of the absence or the disability of the pastor, subject to advice from and in conference with him, they will provide for pulpit supplies. In any period when the church is without a pastor, the deacons will arrange for temporary ministry. The work of securing a temporary minister is not intended to interfere with the method by which the church shall proceed in securing a pastor. G) They shall be obligated to meet at least once quarterly shortly before each regular church conference. H) Deacon meetings are open to all members in good standing. The deacons, within two weeks of taking office, must elect a chair person, vice chair person, and secretary. J) The minutes of the deacon meetings will be published within seven days and available to church members. K) The deacons can request an executive session without pastor and members to discuss issues. L) If a deacon is unable to serve for a period of eight (8) weeks he/she must give a written resignation unless medical issues deem otherwise. If a written resignation is not submitted after eight (8) weeks, the position will be filled within four (4) weeks. (6) Deacon Training: Any new ordained deacon must take deacon training within one year of being called to serve on the Board of Deacons. Former deacons being recalled to serve must have had training within the previous three years or retake training within the next year. If any deacon fails to fulfill this requirement, he or she shall be required to step down from serving until such time when he or she will be able or willing to take training. Section 4. Trustees: (1) Number and Election: The trustees shall be five in number and shall be elected by the church in the same manner as the deacons. Election of trustees shall take place in even numbered years. The nomination of trustees shall take place in August, election in September and service to begin October 1. (2) Term of Office: The trustees shall serve for a period of ten (10) years provided they faithfully discharge their duties. Trustees presently serving shall begin rotating in Trustees subsequently elected after adoption of this constitution shall serve on a rotating basis with one trustee elected every second year. If a trustee is unable to serve for a period of eight (8) weeks, he/she must give a written resignation unless medical issues deem otherwise. If a written resignation is not submitted after eight (8) weeks, the position will be filled within four (4) weeks.
10 (3) Duties: A) The trustees shall hold in trust all church property, see that titles are legal, and shall execute contracts, deeds and other legal instruments when authorized by the church. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer property. B) They shall keep the church property protected by adequate insurance. C) They shall see that the church treasurer shall administer any trust funds of the church in keeping with the instructions included in said trusts. D) They shall see that all church property is kept in good repair. They shall keep an inventory of all church furniture and equipment and shall keep the church informed as to the condition of all church property. Section 5. Clerk: The church shall elect annually a church clerk. It shall be the duty of the clerk to record the minutes of all regular and special business meetings of the church, to prepare the annual church letter, to keep the membership rolls of the church and to render reports as requested by the pastor, deacons, or the church membership. Section 6. Treasurer: The church shall elect annually a church treasurer as its financial officer. He/She shall be the chairman of the Church Stewardship and Finance Committee. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out, upon receipt of vouchers approved and signed by authorized persons, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements of the preceding quarter. Upon rendering the annual account at the end of each fiscal year and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as part of the permanent records of the church. The church may delegate financial responsibilities to a church secretary or bookkeeper who will assist the elected treasurer. The treasurer or assistant treasurer shall receive the empty offerings envelopes after the monies have been removed and counted by the proper persons, and from these he shall give each contributor individual credit as provided in the record system approved by the church. He/She shall keep records of the receipts from all monetary collections, and miscellaneous or special offerings. The treasurer shall also be responsible for preparing and mailing regular statements to all contributing members as the church directs. All church financial records are church property.
11 Section 1. General: ARTICLE VIII Committees All church committee members shall be recommended by the nominating committee and elected by the church unless otherwise stated in this constitution. Any member elected to a position that is unable to serve for a period of eight (8) weeks must give a written resignation and this position will be filled within four (4) weeks. If a written resignation is not submitted after the eight (8) weeks, the position will be filled within four (4) weeks. A moderator will be presented by the nominating committee to be elected by the members yearly. The person will serve as moderator only in the absence of the pastor. In the event of an interim pastor the person appointed by the church would serve. The moderator will be nominated by the nominating committee and elected by the church. Section 2. Church Council: The Church Council shall advise and assist the pastor in the development, correlation, promotion and execution of the church programs, including Sunday School, Discipleship Training, Woman's Missionary Union, Brotherhood, Music, Youth, and special programs. The Council, unless otherwise determined by vote of the church, shall have as regular members the pastor, Director of Sunday School, Discipleship Training Director, Woman's Missionary Union Director, Brotherhood Director, Music Director, Youth Director, and the Chairman of Deacons. The chairman of the Stewardship Committee shall be an ex-officio member of the Church Council and meet with the Council as needed. The Church Clerk shall be the secretary to the Council and ex-officio member. All matters agreed upon by the council calling for action not already authorized shall be referred to the church for approval or disapproval. Section 3. Nominating Committee: The nominating committee shall consist of the pastor (ex-officio), Chairman of the Deacons and four others who shall be recommended by the deacons and elected by ballot vote by the church at the regular conference in July. The Sunday School and Discipleship Training Directors shall become additional members of this committee when elected and serve through the following June. This entire committee will serve from the time of their election until June 30. It shall be the duty of this committee to bring to the church nominations of officers, teachers and committees. It is understood that any member of the church may offer additional nominations for any office or committee for which the church nominating committee makes nominations. Each active member is requested to complete a member profile and this will be kept on record and available to the nominating committee, the pastor, and other committees.
12 This committee shall seek to discover persons suitable for office-bearing and tactfully obtain from the membership expression as to preference for person to fill the various offices. This committee shall have the responsibility of enlisting workers to fill vacancies. This committee shall obtain the consent of all nominees before placing their names in nomination. Section 4. Stewardship and Finance Committee: This committee shall be composed of the treasurer, the assistant treasurer, three deacons to be selected by the deacons, one trustee to be selected by the trustees, and one dedicated active participant of each organization of the church, designated to represent that organization, to be nominated by the nominating committee. This committee shall promote the stewardship of the church. The purpose of the committee shall be to help church members grow as Christian stewards by developing an understanding of and a commitment to Biblical teachings of stewardship. This committee shall prepare and submit to the church at the annual conference an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed for local expenses, denominational and other approved causes. This committee shall endeavor to administer the financial affairs of the church in a business-like manner. Section 5. Counting Committee: The church counting committee will be elected annually by the church upon recommendation of the church nominating committee. The committee shall consist of no less than eight nor more than ten members. Husbands and wives or siblings cannot serve together. At least two members will be present to assist in counting the gifts received during all Sunday services. The church treasurer will make and post the schedule. The treasurer or assistant treasurer with the counting committee will count the monies at the end of the offertory prayer or at the end of worship service. In the event the treasurer or assistant treasurer is not present, the counting committee will proceed and the monies be delivered to treasurer. The counting committee will use The Church's Stewardship Ministry, published by the Division of Stewardship, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Cary, North Carolina as its guide. Section 6. Church Grounds Committee: This committee shall consist of at least five members, and they shall be responsible for leading the church to keep the church grounds and cemetery neat and attractive in appearance. Section 7. Grave Site Committee: This committee shall consist of no more than three members, one of which shall be a trustee. All members are to be recommended by the trustees and approved by the church. It shall be the responsibility of this committee to approve the opening of graves and to lay out plots and grave sites.
13 Section 8. Flower Committee: A flower committee of not more than three members shall be responsible for securing, arranging, and disposing of floral arrangement for church services and for providing flowers for families of members of the church or Sunday School who have departed from this life. Section 9. Ushers: This committee shall consist of at least six (6) members who are to welcome people as they enter and leave the church, seat people at the proper time, provide bulletins and/or other materials at the time of seating. The ushers will be attentive to the needs of the congregation and the pastor. Section 10. Baptismal Committee: A baptismal committee consisting of at least two men and two women shall assist the pastor and deacons in preparing for and administering the ordinance of baptism. Section 11. Lord's Supper Committee: A Lord's Supper Committee consisting of at least three members shall assist A Lord's Supper Committee consisting of at least three members shall assist the pastor and deacons in preparing for and administering the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. Each selected member must be an active member who models Christian behavior. Section 1. General: ARTICLE IX Organization and Officers All organizations of the church shall be under the control of the church, and all officers thereof shall be elected by ballot vote by the church members and shall report regularly to the church. Unless otherwise specified, they shall be elected for a term of one year. The officers of the church shall be those named in this constitution and any others deemed necessary. Section 2. Sunday School: The task of the Sunday School shall be to teach God's Word, to win the lost, and to be the primary outreach arm of the church. The Sunday School Director shall be elected by ballot vote in a called church conference during the Sunday Morning Worship Service. The election must be held no later then the first Sunday in August.
14 He/She shall have the oversight of Sunday School, and shall administer its affairs in accordance with the methods of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, subject to the approval of the church. Section 2.(A) Sunday School Staff: The teachers for the nursery through the youth classes will be nominated by the nominating committee and elected by ballot vote by the church members for a term of one year. If a teacher or an assistant teacher has been elected and served for three consecutive years, he/she will rotate off the Sunday School position and have a year for Bible Study and spiritual renewal in a Sunday School class. The members in the adult classes: Adult Women, Adult Men, Multi-aged Adult Women and Men, and any other adult classes that are organized under the guidance of the deacons and pastor shall nominate the teachers and assistant teachers for their classes. Section 3. Disciple Training: The objectives and goals of Disciple Training shall be to provide opportunities for growth through the study of God's Word, to equip Christians to develop a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and to provide counseling and instruction for new church members. The Disciple Training Director shall be elected by ballot vote in a called church conference during the Sunday Morning Worship Service. The election must be held no later than the first Sunday in August. The Disciple Training Director must equip himself/herself with the procedures and responsibilities of this church leadership position. He/She will work with the deacons and pastor to implement and carry out an effective program for discipling both current and new church members with the approval of the church. A minimum of two training classes and a class of instruction for new members shall be provided during the church year. An updated job description will be available for planning purposes. The Discipleship Training Director shall plan, provide information to the congregation about offered classes, and order the necessary materials to carry out a successful program with the approval of the deacons and the pastor. Section 4. Woman's Missionary Union: The Woman's Missionary Union maintains a single focus - missions. Its purpose is to equip preschoolers, children, youth, and adults so they will understand and find their unique place in missions involvement. WMU strives to encourage people whom God is calling to serve as missionaries and volunteers. The WMU elects its own officers and works with the leadership of the National WMU, WMU NC and the WMU Leadership Team of the SBA to carry out the missions program. Officers and
15 leaders must be active members of WMU. The elected officers are reported to the church for information. Section 5. Brotherhood: The tasks of the Brotherhood are to teach missions, to engage in mission action and to support local, state, and world missions. The officers and committees of the Brotherhood shall be chosen by that organization and the general officers reported to the church for information. Section 6. Church Music: The tasks of the church music department shall be to teach music and to promote a program of music education throughout all organizations of the church. The music leaders in cooperation with the pastor shall be charged with the responsibility to provide worshipful music for all services of the church and shall have general oversight and direction of the music. Section 7. Media and Resource Center: The tasks of the Media and Resource Center shall be to receive, secure and evaluate materials helpful to all phases of the church activities and to process and catalog these materials. The media center staff shall consist of no less than two (2) church members. The director shall give assignments to the staff and be responsible for the approval of all helpful materials and the rejection of unsuitable materials. He/She shall adopt suggestions from the media center curriculum outlined by the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, subject to the approval of the church. It shall be the duty of the Media and Resource Staff to have the library books and materials available. Section 8. Employees: All persons employed by the church, other than the pastor, shall be recommended to the church by the deacons and approved for employment by the church. These employees shall be under the general direction of the pastor assisted by the deacons unless provided for elsewhere in this constitution.
16 Section 1. Baptism: ARTICLE X Ordinances This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes Him publicly at any worship service and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord. A) Baptism shall be by immersion in water. B) The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptisms. C) Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church. D) A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor or the deacons. If negative interest is ascertained on the part of the candidate, he/she shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism. Section 2. The Lord's Supper: The church shall observe the Lord's Supper on the first Sunday of the quarter unless otherwise scheduled by the pastor and deacons. Section 1. Worship Services: ARTICLE XI Church Meetings The church shall hold regular services of worship each Sunday morning and each Wednesday unless otherwise agreed by the church. These meetings shall be under the direction of the pastor. Revival services and any other meetings essential to the advancement of the church's objectives shall be placed on the church calendar. Section 2. Regular Business Meetings: A church conference shall be held on the Wednesday evening following the first Sunday of each quarter for the transaction of all necessary business and to hear the reports of the various church organizations. An annual conference of the church shall be held on the Wednesday evening following the second Sunday in September at which time officers and teachers and committees shall be elected by ballot and the budget shall be presented. No other business shall be transacted during this conference.
17 Section 3. Special Business Meetings: The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of a special nature and significance. A one week notice must be given for the special called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. The notice shall include the subject, the date, the time, and place and it must be given in such a manner that all resident members have an opportunity to know of the meeting. Special conferences of the church may be called by the pastor, the chairman of the deacons, the chairman of the trustees, the chairman of any standing committee, or any five active members of the church who are regular in attendance and support. A one week notice is required. Five or more members in good standing can request a meeting (either written or verbal) with the deacons and pastor to discuss motions made before voted on. Members can request this meeting to be held within three (3) days. Answers must be provided at the meeting or within two days of the motion. If no answers are provided, the motion will not be voted on. Section 4. Quorum: A quorum shall consist of thirteen members. Section 5. Parliamentary Rules: In all questions of parliamentary procedures at any church conference the church shall be governed by Robert's Rules of Order (Revised). Section1. Accounting Procedures: ARTICLE XII Church Finances All money received shall be deposited in a bank to the account of Bethlehem Baptist Church. All books, records, and accounts kept by the treasurer are the property of the church. Records normally reported to the church shall be open to inspection by any member of the church. An audit may be conducted upon a recommendation of the deacons five or more active and supporting members. The accounting records shall be kept in accordance with standard accounting procedures and as recommended in THE CHURCH S STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY as published by the Division of Stewardship, State Baptist Convention of North Carolina at Cary. All special offerings promoted by Sandhills Baptist Association, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, and the Southern Baptist Convention will be solicited by the church at its discretion. Designated funds for church projects, i.e., those projects that have not been previously approved by the church, must be approved before the funds can be accepted.
18 Designated offerings shall pass through the hands of the treasurer and disbursed as directed by the donor. Special offerings must be recommended by the deacons and approved by the church. The various classes and other organizations of the church may seek special offerings at their discretion for benevolence or for projects affecting their members from within their own membership. The church will participate in a pastor's retirement program if two-thirds (2/3) of the church membership so agrees. Section 2. Fiscal Year: The church fiscal year shall run concurrently with the church year which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. Section 1. Adoption: ARTICLE XIII Adoption and Amendments This constitution shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect if and when two-thirds of the members present and voting by ballot shall vote in favor of same. This vote shall be taken at least thirty (30) days after this constitution shall have been made available in writing to the church members. Section 2. Amendments: This constitution may be amended or repealed by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members present and voting at a regular conference, provided such amendments or repeal shall have been submitted in writing at a preceding regular conference. This shall be done by ballot vote. Last Revision: 2011
19 January 1: April: June 30: July: August: September: October 1: November: CHURCH CALENDAR Elected Deacons take office First Wednesday after first Sunday: Quarterly Church Conference First Wednesday after first Sunday: Quarterly Church Conference Sunday School and Church Training Directors offices expire First Wednesday after first Sunday: Quarterly Church Conference Elect four (4) members of nominating committee (selected by deacons) Elect Sunday School and Church Training Directors Nominate Trustees (even years) Elect Trustees (even years) First Wednesday after second Sunday: Annual Church Conference - Elect officers and teachers, present church budget Begin new church year Trustees begin service First Wednesday after first Sunday: Quarterly Church Conference Homecoming - Annually on the second Sunday Called Church Conference to nominate deacons on second Sunday December: Called Church Conference to elect deacons on second Sunday December 31: Office of Deacon expires