Introduction

A church is a fellowship of people who have accepted Christ as Savior and are united by their common relation to the Holy Spirit. The purpose of a church is to worship God, evangelize the unsaved, do missions, Christian ministries, and Christian fellowship. A church constitution and by-law’s document helps a church preserve democratic procedures. This instrument serves as a guide for member to follow in carrying out the work of the church. Basic theology, organizational structure, and church polity are contained in a constitution. By-laws, on the other hand, state the methods for carrying out these principles and policies. The basic advantages of a constitution and by-laws are that they:

  • Furnish members a written statement of their church organization, fundamental guidelines, and theological beliefs:
  • Aid in preserving democracy and harmony since predetermined guidelines have already been established by the members;
  • Provided orderly procedures for guiding the transaction of church business; and
  • Serve as a basis for solving problems before problems arise.
Constitution

Preamble

We declare and establish this constitution for the preservation and security of the principles of our faith, that this body may be governed in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual of this church and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches.

ARTICLE I. NAME

This body shall be known as the First Baptist Church of Langley, Inc.

ARTICLE II. STATEMENT OF BASIC BELIEFS

We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and the basis for our beliefs. This church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. We voluntarily 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 believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (See by-laws)

ARTICLE 111. CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, 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, doctrine, and discipline; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, an the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations. 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 roles of our Savior to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that when we move 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.

ARTICLE IV. POLITY AND RELATIONSHIPS

The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it, Persons duly received by the embers shall constitute the membership (See Article 1 in the by-laws). At internal groups created an empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action. The church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Southern Baptist Churches. Insofar as Craig-Mayes Baptist Association, The Baptist General Convention of the State of Oklahoma, and The Southern Baptist Convention.

By-Laws

ARTICLE 1. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1. GENERAL This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist Church Under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phrases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership. The membership of this church shall consist of such persons as confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord, and have been accepted by a vote by the membership of this church, and have been baptized by immersion by our church or a church of like faith and practice. Members of this church should be active, faithful in all the duties essential to the Christian life, attend regularly the services of this church, give regularly to its support and causes, and share in its organized work. Section 2. Candidacy Any person may offer himself as a candidate for membership in this Church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church service for membership in any of the following ways:

  1. By profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this church
  2. By promise of a letter from another Southern Baptist Church of like faith and order.
  3. By restoration upon a statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a Baptist Church of like faith when no letter is obtainable.

Section 3. Rights of Members

  1. Every active member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present. Parents are asked to give guidance to their children n all matters pertaining to voting if their children are members of the church.
  2. Every active member of the church is eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for elective offices in the church.

Section 4. Active and inactive membership

  1. Active members of this church shall include all members who show their interest in the Church by regular attendance and financial support, or any members who are unable to attend or contribute financially because of old age or illness.
  2. A member will automatically be placed on the church inactive membership roll and relinquish their voting rights if they do not attend (without excuse) for a period of 1 quarter and show no interest in the church by contributing financially). No church approval is necessary to place a member on inactive roll.
  3. An inactive member may be restored as an active member by fulfilling requirements in Section 4. part 1.

Section 5. Termination of Membership Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:

  1. Death of the member
  2. By letter to another Southern Baptist Church
  3. Erasure upon request or proof of membership in a church of another denomination.
  4. Exclusion by action of this church

Section 6. Discipline

  1. It shall be the basic purpose of the First Baptist Church of Langley to emphasize to its Members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, or other members of the church staff, and deacons are available for counsel and guidance, Redemption rather than punishment should be the guideline which governs the attitude of one member toward another,
  2. Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to became a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable measure will be taken by the pastor and by the deacons to resolve the problem. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance, but, finding that the welfare of the church would best be served by the exclusion of the member, the church may take this action. The church may act on this matter at a regular or special business meeting, Voting will be by secret ballot. After a majority of vote the church may declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church.
  3. Any person whose membership has been terminated for any condition which has made It necessary for the church to exclude him may upon request be restored to membership by a vote of the church upon evidence of his repentance and reformation.

ARTICLE II. CHURCH OFFICERS

Section 1. General All who serve as officers of the church shall be active members of this church. Should any such person become an inactive member, that person shall be replaced by the action of the Church. The officers of this church shall be the pastor, the church staff, the deacons, a moderator, a church clerk, a financial secretary treasurer, and the trustees. Section 2. Pastor The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a new Testament Church. The pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations and the church staff to perform their tasks. The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church, as such, he woks with the deacons and church staff to:

  1. lead the church in the achievement of its mission,
  2. proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers,
  3. care for the church’s members and other persons in the community, and
  4. The pastor will be a pro tem advisory member of all committees within the church.

A pastor shall be chose and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week’s public notice has been given. A pastor selection committee shall be elected by the church to seek out a suitable pastor, and its recommendations will constitute a nomination. The committee shall interview such candidate concerning doctrine, experience, and policies of the church to inform the candidate. This committee shall be responsible for an interim pastor of a supply preacher, as the church may decide, during pastoral vacancies. Any church member has the privilege of making other nominations according to the policy established by the church. The pastor selection committee shall be composed of five (5) members with two (2) alternate member to serve as needed. The pastor selection committee shall receive from the personnel committee all matters concerning financial package, vacation, etc. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one name at a time, but the time frame shall be left to the discretion of the selection committee. Election shall be by secret ballot and an affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of those present being necessary of a choice, The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the church’s request. He shall preside at meetings of this church, and if so designated may serve a moderator in all business meetings in keeping with the rules of order authorized in these by-laws. The pastor may relinquish the office as pastor by giving at least two (2) weeks notice to the church at the time of resignation, 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 (1) weeks public notice has been given, the meeting may be called upon the recommendation 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, and affirmative vote of majority of the members present being necessary to declare the office vacant. Except in instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from office, the church will compensate the pastor with two (2) weeks pay and any vacation pay he as due him. The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be rendered in and not more than thirty (30) days. Non-ministerial staff members shall be employed as the church determines the need for their services The church personnel committee shall have the authority to recommend that the church employ or terminate services of non ministerial staff members. Such employment and termination of services shall be with the recommendation of the supervising staff members and, as appropriate, with the consultation of related committee of the church. Section 4. Deacons

  1. The Work of a DeaconIn accordance with the biblical teaching that deacons are spiritual leaders of the church, they shall meet the specific biblical qualification of Acts 6:1-4 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
  2. Selection of a DeaconIn accordance with Acts 6:1-4, deacons shall be selected by the church to serve the church as need is felt. The number of active deacons may vary with the number of members or ministry needs, A deacon shall be ordained for life but shall actively serve the church.When selection of an active deacon is necessary, either because of addition in total number, the names of all the qualified men of the active church membership will be published on a nomination sheet, and made available at the church for the church membership. At the bottom of the sheet a number of blanks will be provided for the membership to write in their nominations, Each member shall be asked to make his or her nomination a matter of prayer, family discussion and thoughtful selection, and is instructed to turn in the list to the pastor or an active deacon. There will be no obligation to constitute as an active deacon a person who comes to the church from another church where he has served as deacon. The deacon body, with the pastor, will tabulate the nominations in order of congregation preference. The pastor and chairman of deacons shall them begin calling on the nominations, beginning with the one receiving the highest number of nominations and working down the list until the required number has been interviewed and accepted. Each interview will include the deacon prospect and his wife. The spiritual duties and qualification shall be read and discussed, the man shall be asked if he meets these qualifications, and if he is willing to serve. Upon consent to serve, the nominee shall be bought before the church at the regular business meeting of the church and be approved by a secret ballot election with a majority vote required for acceptance. Upon approval by the church an ordination service shall be planned. A deacon who becomes involved in immoral behavior or is not a Baptist in belief or practice any longer, shall surrender his ordination papers voluntarily or by request of the church or recommendation of the deacons.

Section 5. Moderator The Pastor shall moderate. If it is not possible for the Pastor to moderate, the Chairman of Deacons shall assume that responsibility. Should he be unable to attend, the members present shall elect or appoint a moderator for that meeting. Section 6. Church Clerk The Church elected clerk of the Church, shall keep in a suitable book a record of all actions of the Church except as otherwise herein provided. This responsibility is the keeping of a register of the names of members, with dates of admission, dismissal, erasure, or death, together with a record of baptisms, The clerk shall issue letters of dismissal, or erasure voted by the Church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and send for requests of membership from other churches. The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary. All church records are church property and shall be filed in the church office when one is maintained. The clerk shall be responsible for preparing the annual letter of the church to the association. Section 7. Financial Secretary Treasurer The church shall elect annually a Church Financial Secretary Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the financial secretary treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay upon request, all bills authorized by the church, 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 for the preceding month, and upon approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the financial secretary treasurer to the Church Clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent record of the church. The financial secretary treasure shall also be responsible for making the deposits of all contributions and gifts, keeping individual contribution records which shall be mailed annually by January 31st of the following year. Should the financial secretary treasure be unable to serve for any reason, the assistant treasurer will acquire this position. Section 8. Trustees The church shall elect three (3) trustees to serve as legal officers of the church. They shall hold in trust the church property. Upon a specified vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any church property, When the signatures of trustees are required they shall sign legal documents involving the sale, mortgage purchase or rental of property, or other legal documents related to church approval matters. The trustees shall be three (3) in number and shall serve on a rotating basis, One (1) shall be elected to serve for three years. No trustee may succeed himself. He may be elected for another term after the lapse of one year. In case of death, removal, or incapacity to serve, the church may elect someone to serve the unexpired term, such person will be eligible to be elected to serve the following full term.

ARTICLE III. CHURCH COMMITTEES

Section 1. General The committees of this church shall be a nominating committee, a personnel committee, a building and grounds committee, a finance committee, and such other regular and special committees as the church shall authorize. Additional regular committees may be added by vote of the church. Members of all permanent committees shall be recommended by the nominating committee and elected by the church unless otherwise indicated in the descriptions to follow, Special or temporary committees may be selected from the floor. All committees shall prepare a proposed budget annually to be presented to the finance committee. Any and all funds required in excess of the approved budget shall be presented to the finance committee for consideration and appropriate church action before any obligation is incurred, All committee and organizations shall coordinate all activities through the church council and/or the church office The chair of each committee shall be named at the first meeting of that committee In the event of chair vacancy one shall be elected at the next meeting. Section 2. Nominating Committee – Three (3) members, and Sunday School Director and Church Training Director. Total five (5) members The nominating committee coordinates the staffing of all church leadership positions filled by volunteer workers, unless otherwise specified herein. Persons considered for any such positions shall first be approved by the nominating committee before they are approached for recruitment. The nominating committee shall present to the church for election all who accept the invitation to serve. The selection and rotation of the nominating committee shall fall under the guidelines of Section 1. General. Section 4. Personnel Committee – Three (3) members) The Personnel Committee assists the church in matters related to employed personnel, administration, including those called by church action. Their work incudes such areas as determining staff needs, employment, salaries, benefits, other compensation, policies, job descriptions and personnel services. Section 4. Building and Grounds Committee – Three (3) members The Building and Grounds Committee assists the church in matters related to the property’s administration. Its work includes such areas as maintaining all church properties for ready use, recommending policies regarding use of properties, consulting with the personnel committee and the church staff regarding the needs for, and the employment of maintenance personnel and regarding the assignment of supervisory responsibility to appropriate personnel. Section 5. Finance Committee – Three (3) members, and Financial Secretary Treasurer. Total four (4) members The financial and unified budget program of the church shall be for the church year, October 1st through September 40th. This committee shall present to the church aproposee budget for the approaching church year no later than the October business meeting. The committee shall request the help and cooperation of all church officers, committees, organizations, and church members, as instructed in Section 1. General. Section 6. Special Committees Special committees shall be elected by the church as the need arises These committees will be selected at a regular business meeting or a special business meeting called for that purpose. Once the task for which the committee is named has been met, that committee is then dissolved. (EX. Pastor Search Committee)

ARTICLE IV. CHURCH PROGRAM ORGANIZATIONS

Section 1. General The church shall maintain programs of Bible teaching church member training, church leader training new member orientation, mission education, action and support. All organizations related to the church programs shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church, and all program activity’s subject to church coordination and approval. It shall be understood that the pastor is ex-officio of all organizations named, and his leadership is to be recognized in them all. The church shall provided the human resources, the physical resources and the financial resources for the appropriate advancement of these programs. These programs shall be organized by departments and/or classes as appropriate for all ages, and shall be conducted under the supervision of the director of each program. Section 2. Sunday School There shall be a Sunday school, divided into departments and classes for all ages and conducted under the direction of a Sunday School Director, for the study of God’s Word. Sunday School is to be conducted each Sunday morning. The task of the Sunday School shall be to teach the Biblical revelation; lead in reaching all prospects for the church members to worship, witness, learn, and minister daily, provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and the denomination. Section 3. Church Training There shall be a Church Training, divided into departments for all ages and conducted under the direction of a general director. Church Training is to be conducted each Sunday evening. The Church Training shall serve as the training organization of the church. The task of Church Training shall be to teach systematic theology, christian history, christian ethics, and church polity and organization; give orientation to new church members; train leaders for the church and the denomination; discover recruit, and train potential leaders; provide for specialized training; provide organization and leadership for special projects of the church; and provide and interpret information regarding the work and the church and he denomination. Section 4. Women’s Missionary Union Women’s Missionary Union shall be the mission education, mission action and mission support organization of the church for women, young women, girls and preschool children. Its task shall be to teach missions, engage in mission action, support world missions through praying and giving, and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. Section 5. Brotherhood The Brotherhood shall be the church’s organization for mission education, mission action, and mission support for men, young men, and boys. Its task shall be to teach mission, engage in mission action, support world missions through praying and giving, and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination. Section 6. Church Music Program The Church Music Program, under the direction f the church-called or eected music director sha be the music education training, and performance organization of the church Its task shall be to teach music, train persons to lead, sing, and play music, provide music in the church community, and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination Section 7. The Church Youth Program The church shall provide for a youth program under the direction of a youth director, The youth director shall plan and develop programs and activities to involve all ages of the youth division and give guidance and leadership in all the youth educational programs of the church in order to have an effective outreach to unenlisted young people; maintain a vital program of instructions and training in Christian faith and living; and seek ways to involve the youth in all phases of the church programs. Section 8. The Church Senior Adult Program The church shall provide for a senior adult program under the direction of a senior adult director, The senior adult director shall plan and develop programs and activities to involve all ages of the senior adult division and give guidance and leadership in all the senior adult educational programs of the church in order to have an effective outreach to unenlisted senior adults, maintain a vital program of instruction and training in Christian faith and living, and seek ways to involve the senior adults in all phases of the church programs. Section 9. The Church Media/Library The church Media/Library, under the direction of the Church Librarian, shall serve as a resource center for the church.

ARTICLE V. CHURCH MEETINGS

Section 1. Worship Service The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning and evening for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and for the worship of Almighty God, and on Wednesday evening for prayer. The meeting will be open for the entire membership of the church and for all people and shall be conducted under the direction of the pastor. Section 2. Special Services Revival services and any other church meetings essential in the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar as needed. Section 3. Regular Business Meetings The church shall hold regular business meetings on the second Sunday evening each month, Section 4. Special Business Meetings The church may conduct called business meeting to consider matters of special nature and significance. Such meeting may be called by the pastor in consultation with the active deacons or by ten (10) active members. 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, time and place, and it must be given in such a manner that all resident members have opportunity to know of the meeting. Only the subject stated in the notice may be voted on. Section 5. Quorum The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called. Section 6. Voting Procedures Pastor, church staff, and deacons shall be voted on by secret ballot and upon request any other matter shall be voted on by secret ballot. On a other issues the moderator shall determine the voting procedure, unless otherwise required. Section 7. Parliamentary Rules Robert’s Rules of Oder, Revised is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church. Section 8. Church Year The fiscal year of the church shall run concurrently with the church year which begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th .

ARTICLE IV. CHURCH COUNCIL

The Church Council shall serve the church by leading in planning, coordinating, conducting, and evaluating the ministries and programs of the church and its organizations, The Church Council shall be a correlating and advisory agency through which all church organizations and church committees may coordinate their activities into one harmonious program of work. The primary functions of the Church Council shall be to recommend to the church suggested objectives and church goals, to review and coordinate ministry and program plans recommended by church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to program priorities; and to evaluate achievements in terms of church objectives and goals. Regular members of the Church Council shall be the pastor, other church staff members, directors of church programs organizations, chair of deacons, church officers, and chair of the church committees and/or councils. The pastor shall be the chair of the Church Council. The Church Council shall meet at least one tie quarterly and it should consider meeting regularly each month and more frequently when the chair deems it advisable and necessary. All matters agreed upon by the council which call for action not already approved shall be referred to the church for approval or disapproval. The church council agrees upon a program or project and it is approved by the church the appropriate church committee shall be fully informed and requested to become responsible for carrying out the program or project.

ARTICLE VII. CHURCH ORDINANCES

Section 1. Baptism The 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. If the individual is a minor, approval of the parents or legal guardian must be obtained before baptism can take place.

  1. Baptism shall be by immersion in water
  2. The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism
  3. Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church and commemorates the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Section 3. The Lord’s Supper The Lord’s Supper is the Lord’s table. Jesus Himself instituted the Supper (see Matthew 26:26-30). It is a symbolic act of obedience memorializing the atoning death of Jesus Christ. It perpetuates the gospel of redeeming grace. It is a celebration, a thanksgiving for Christ’s gift to us, an acknowledgment of His living presence in the act of worship.

  1. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at least quarterly.
  2. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed in the morning or evening worship service.
  3. The preparation of the Lord’s table is the responsibility of the Deacons of the church.
  4. The pastor and deacons shall be responsible for the administration of the Lord’s Supper.

ARTICLE VIII. CHURCH FINANCES

Section 1. General The church recognizes and adopts the scriptural method of “tithes and offerings” as its plan of finance Section 2. Special Gifts and Offerings Special offerings at any regular worship service may be sought by the church, or by any if its organizations, after the approval by the church. This does not preclude individuals making special offerings or love gifts at any time as the Spirit of God may move them. Any gifts or bequests made to the church for a designated purpose shall be used only for that purpose unless the church deems otherwise in consultation with the donor. Section 3. Budget The Finance Committee shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses.

  • Offering envelopes will be provided for members use.
  • It is understood that membership in this church involves a financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular, proportionate gifts

Section 4. Purchasing procedures Any purchase in excess of the budget amount, or not included in the budget, must be approved by the church. Purchases shall be made by authorized personnel only. This authorization shall come from committees, programs organizations, or by special action of the church.

ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS

Changes in the constitution and by-laws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous regular business meeting, and copies of the proposed amendment shall have been furnished to reach members present at the earlier meeting, and, announced in the regular church announcements. This proposed amendment must be given in such a manner that all resident members have opportunity to know of the change, the time and the date for discussion and vote. Amendments to the constitution or by-laws shall be by vote of church members present. This constitution and by-laws adopted October 8, 1997 by vote of the members of Langley First Baptist Church supersedes all other constitution and by-laws held by the church, or any members.