11905 Highway 92 | Woodstock, GA 30188 (Map) | Phone: 770-926-4428
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WOODSTOCK GEORGIA, INC.
For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith, and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted tenets of the Southern Baptist Churches, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of the church and the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relation to the churches of the same faith and order, we do declare and establish this constitution.
ARTICLE I. NAME
This body shall be known as and operate under the corporate name of "The First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia, Inc."
ARTICLE II. ARTICLES OF FAITH
The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God and is the basis of our faith. This church accepts "The Baptist Faith and Message" as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention on June 14, 2000. The church is a committed body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ and is committed to personally sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The church follows our Lord Jesus Christ in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper.
ARTICLE III. CHURCH COVENANT
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit we do now in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter in the 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 and to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort. We will promote its prosperity and spirituality. We engage to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines. We will also 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 and private devotions, to religiously educate our children and seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances. We will walk circumspectly in the Word, will be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and be exemplary in our deportment.
We will abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, the abusive use of drugs and will be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We will seek to avoid tattling, backbiting and excessive anger.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress and cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech. We also will be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the commands 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.
ARTICLE IV. CHARACTER
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers (members) who compose it. This church will be, and is always to be a sovereign, autonomous Baptist church, self-governing on all matters by a majority of the body of members who compose it and recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Southern Baptist Churches. In no way is this to be understood that such co-operation, or affiliation shall ever become one of the doctrines and/or tenets of this church.
ARTICLE V. DOCTRINE
This church receives the scriptures (Holy Bible) as its authority of faith and practice. Its understanding of Christian truth as contained therein is in essential accord with the belief of the Baptist churches as indicated in the Articles of Faith referred to in Article II.
ARTICLE VI. MARRIAGE
We believe the word "marriage" means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. Marriages outside of these parameters will not be performed by church ministers or on church property.
CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WOODSTOCK GEORGIA, INC.
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1. GENERAL
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church.
The membership reserves the executive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.
SECTION 2. CANDIDACY (QUALIFICATIONS)
Any person may offer himself/herself as a candidate for membership of this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular worship service for membership in any of the following ways:
1. By profession of faith and for baptism according the policies of this church.
2. By promise of letter from another Baptist church.
3. Upon statement of prior conversion experience through faith followed by baptism by immersion in a church of like faith. A church of like faith shall always be determined at the sole discretion of the Sr. Pastor or Church Staff.
Should there be any question that might require prayer, thought or study or if there is any dissent as to any candidate, such question or dissent shall be referred to the Sr. Pastor and at his discretion to the Church Staff for the making of a recommendation within thirty (30) days to the church.
The membership of this church shall consist of such persons as confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord and who (1) after due examination by the church as to their Christian experience, and if coming from other churches, the receipt of an acceptable letter of recommendation or satisfactory therefore, (2) have been accepted by affirmation of the church and have been baptized, (3) enter into this covenant.
SECTION 3. DUTIES
Members are expected to be faithful and obedient in all areas of the Christian life, attend the services of this church, give regularly to its support, and participate in its ministries.
SECTION 4. RIGHTS
Members in good standing as defined in Sections 2 and 3 above may participate in the ministries of the church, vote in church conference, hold office and exercise leadership and service.
SECTION 5. TERMINATION
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
2. Transfer to another Baptist church.
3. Affiliation with a church of another denomination.
4. Exclusion by action of the church. (Matthew 18:15-22)
5. By request of member desiring termination.
All requests for recommendations as to the termination of a member under paragraph (4) shall first be brought to the attention of the Sr. Pastor who shall, after consideration of the matter, either himself or his duly appointed representative, confer with the individual subject to said termination and only after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance shall the Sr. Pastor recommend to the church that the membership of said person be terminated. The member subject to termination will be notified in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to the recommendation that his/her membership be terminated. Such recommendation will be presented to the church at a church conference. Action to terminate will be taken upon an affirmative vote of the church in conference.
SECTION 6. RESTORATION
Any person whose membership has been terminated may be restored upon evidence of his/her repentance and reformation by recommendation of the Sr. Pastor and affirmative vote of the church.
SECTION 7. RECORD OF MEMBERSHIP
A recording secretary, at the direction of the Church Clerk, shall keep an accurate roll of all members, and insofar as possible, an up-to-date record of addresses.
ARTICLE II. CHURCH ORGANIZATION
SECTION 1. GENERAL
The Church is both a spiritual body and a non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Georgia. The Church is subject to the authority of Scripture in all matters and subject to the rules of duly constituted public authority (Romans 13:1-7). The church organization is to provide the mechanism for the orderly activity of the church body.
SECTION 2. CHURCH CONFERENCES
The spiritual Church shall meet in regular worship services each Sunday at such times and place as may be determined by the Pastor. Additionally, the Church may meet at such other dates and times as may be deemed appropriate by the Sr. Pastor for purpose of worship, edification and proclamation.
The corporate Church shall meet in regularly scheduled or duly called church conferences for the purpose of conducting the business of the Church. Church conferences are to be scheduled as needed by giving at least a ten day notice through the mailing of a notice of meeting to the membership or through announcement during the regular Sunday morning worship service.
The Moderator at the church conference shall be the chief executive officer or his designee, provided the church has a Sr. Pastor. If the church has no Sr. Pastor or in the event the Sr. Pastor or his designee is absent, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, or in his absence, the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, shall call the church to order and nominations from the floor shall be received and a moderator pro-tem shall be elected. It is further provided that any moderator, even though he may be present and acting as moderator, may be required to step down and another elected upon such moderator's request or upon a motion by any member present and approval by a simple majority of the membership in attendance at the meeting. The moderator is to utilize "Robert's Rules of Order" for the purpose of conducting meetings and may appoint a parliamentarian, if he determines such appointment to be appropriate. The Moderator may bring such matters before the conference as he determines at his sole discretion to be appropriate. At least annually as needed the following matters shall be brought before the church in conference:
a. A slate of deacons to serve the church body as may be necessary to fill vacancies or to increase the size of that body.
b. A slate of proposed members of the Nominating Committee as may be necessary to fill vacancies in that body.
c. A slate of messengers to represent the body before local, state and national conventions of the Southern Baptist denomination.
d. An annual church budget or any proposed change to the church's current budget.
Additionally, the following matters are to be brought to conference:
a. Any proposed change to the Church Constitution and Bylaws.
b. Any proposed action regarding the calling of a new Sr. Pastor.
c. Membership admissions and terminations.
Any matter presented to the Church in conference for action shall require a majority vote of those in attendance. Members in attendance at a duly called or regular meeting of the Church in conference shall be deemed to constitute a legal quorum.
SECTION 3. CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
The Sr. Pastor shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation and shall have general and active management of the operation of the corporation. He shall be responsible for the administration of the corporation, including general supervision of the policies of the corporation.
SECTION 4. DIRECTORS
The Board of Directors shall consist of five persons elected from the church membership and shall operate under the corporate name of the "First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia, Inc."
Beginning with the 1974-1975 church year, five Directors shall be elected by the church. One shall be elected to serve for a five-year term, one shall be elected for a four year term, one for three years, one for two years, and one for a term of one year.
A regular term of office for a Director shall be five years. After serving a five-year term, at least one year must elapse before a Director is eligible for re-election.
Vacancies occurring in the Board of Directors for any reason shall be reported to the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall then recommend to the church a suitable person to fill such vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term. A Director is not required to be a Deacon.
The duties of the Directors are:
1. The Directors shall be legal representatives of the Church and as such they are given authority to execute deeds, debentures, mortgages, liens, and other legal documents for the church, but shall have no authority or privileges to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, etc. any property of the Church without approval of the Church.
2. The Directors shall have supervision and maintain any deeds, bonds, insurance policies and important papers of the Church. They are further authorized to receive and disburse monies in accordance with terms of wills, bequests and special instruments wherein the church is named beneficiary.
3. The Board of Directors shall make a written report to the Church as needed and said report may be incorporated in any annual report.
SECTION 5. OFFICERS
In addition to the Chief Executive Officer, the corporate officers of the Church shall be the Directors of the Church and shall be elected within that body from time to time as may be deemed to be appropriate by those Directors. The corporate offices to be filled are as follows:
1. President. The President of the corporation (who may also simultaneously serve as Treasurer) is to act as Chairman of the Board of Directors and is to moderate meetings of that body. The President may not simultaneously serve as Secretary;
2. Secretary. The Secretary shall also serve as the Church Clerk and shall keep minutes of all business meetings and all meetings of the Board of Directors and have charge of the minute books and seal of the corporation and shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as may from time to time be delegated to him/her by the Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Directors.
3. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be charged with the oversight of the financial affairs of the corporation and shall have the responsibility to recommend action concerning the corporation's financial affairs to the Chief Executive Officer and/or Board of Directors. The Treasurer shall be an ex-officio member, without vote, of the Finance and Budget committees;
4. Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer positions may be elected from the remaining board members as required by the business of the corporation.
A member of the Board of Directors shall be appointed to serve as an ex-officio member, without vote of the Personnel Committee.
SECTION 6. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The Nominating Committee is a seven-member committee of church members elected by the church in conference upon recommendation by the Chief Executive Officer. The function of the Nominating Committee is to examine and propose nominations for vacancies in the following bodies of committees subject to the approval of the Sr. Pastor:
a. Board of Directors (See Section 4 above)
b. Finance Committee (See Section 8 below)
c. Personnel Committee (See Section 9 below)
As appropriate, due to the needs and circumstances, the Nominating Committee is to meet at the request of the Chief Executive Officer and to prepare proposals for consideration of the Church in conference. At any election of members to serve in any one of the above bodies or committees, any member in good standing may nominate a proposed candidate willing to serve prior to vote of the Church in conference.
SECTION 7. DEACONS
1. Functional Role: In accordance with the meaning of the word "deacon" as practiced in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the Church. The function of the deacon is to serve with the Sr. Pastor in performing the tasks of the Church of worshiping, proclaiming, educating and ministering.
2. Number of Active Deacons in Service: The number of deacons shall be based on the needs of the Church as recommended by the Sr. Pastor. The needs of the Church in regard to the number of deacons for the next term shall be determined by the current year's Chairman of the Deacons with input from the current year's active deacon body and presented to the Sr. Pastor as a recommendation.
3. Deacon Nominating Committee: The Deacon Nominating Committee, hereinafter referred to as "Committee", shall consist of a sufficient number of active deacons, consisting of the Chairman of Deacons and other members, to be chosen by the Sr. Pastor and Chairman of Deacons. The Sr. Pastor acts as a nonvoting moderator over the voting committee members. It is preferred for the Committee to consist of deacons who are in their second or third year of deacon service or as church a member, has served at least one year as a deacon at First Baptist Church before. It is recommended that the Sr. Pastor designate his mentees to serve as nonvoting members of the Committee. These individuals will help to ensure current communications between the Sr. Pastor and the Committee. They will see to it that activities of the Committee requiring Church Staff assistance are fulfilled in a timely and accurate manner.
A. Nominating Procedure-The procedure is as follows:
i. It is essential to note the nature of the nominating procedure for our Church. It shall be a procedure in which men are reviewed and possibly selected for deacon service through a process of encouragement and spiritual discernment and not be judgmental or fault focused. We desire to encourage and exhort men into service as deacons. A "hard copy" and an online list of eligible candidates will be made available to the church family no later than July 1. A church member may nominate as many individuals as they desire. The nominees will access a questionnaire online (reviewed and updated annually if necessary by the deacon body) prepared by the Committee. It is to be completed and submitted to the Church online prior to August 1. All questionnaires received after August 1 shall not be reviewed for service, but returned to the responder with a courteous letter indicating the response was received after the indicated deadline.
ii. When all questionnaires are submitted by nominees, the Sr. Pastor's designee will secure the anonymity of the candidate by removing the personal identification sheets. A code will be assigned to each candidate and anonymous copies will be given to each member of the Committee for review.
iii. The Committee shall evaluate the anonymous candidates on the basis of answers to the questions, the candidate's record of church membership, and the candidate's known compliance with the Church's qualification for deacon guidelines. Based on the total of all information received, the committee will make their selections of candidates to be interviewed for final evaluation and subsequent recommendation to the Sr. Pastor.
iv. The Committee shall interview each selected nominee individually. All information about each nominee is confidential and shall not be discussed with anyone outside of the Committee except for the Sr. Pastor. The Committee must have unanimous affirmation of each interviewed nominee in order to be presented to the Sr. Pastor for approval.
v. Once the Deacon Nominating Committee selects the candidates and they are approved by the Sr. Pastor, the Church is given an opportunity to affirm the candidates when they are presented to the Church by the Sr. Pastor at an ordination service.
vi. Deacons not selected by the Committee shall be notified by the Committee with great care. The procedure shall be conducted in a manner that encourages and supports the individual for service everywhere in the Church or may suggest mentoring support to prepare the individual for future deacon consideration and service.
4. Deacon Term of Service: The deacon body shall serve on a rotational basis. On the 30th day of September of each year, the term of office for those rotating off shall expire and the newly affirmed deacons shall begin service. After serving a term of three years, no deacon shall be eligible for re-election at the end of such term until a lapse of at least one year.
5. Eligibility Requirements: Any male, age twenty-one or over, with at least one year of membership in the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, as of August 1, and who meets the scriptural requirements of a deacon as found in 1Timothy 3:9-13 and Acts 6:3, is eligible to be nominated as a deacon.
B. Nomination Procedure for Deacon Chairman, Vice Chairman and Cell Group Leaders:
i. The outgoing Chairman will select a candidate he wishes to succeed him as Chairman. He will present his candidate to the Sr. Pastor for approval. Upon approval, the Chairman will ask the candidate to pray over becoming the new Chairman. This process takes place in the July/August time frame. If the candidate chooses not to serve as Chairman, the process continues until a Chairman is selected.
ii. The Vice Chairman(s) is selected by the incoming Chairman. He may select up to 2 candidates who are 2nd or 3rd year deacons. He will also consult with the Sr. Pastor before asking the candidates. Upon approval, the incoming Chairman will ask the candidate(s) to pray over being Vice-Chairman. This process takes place in the August/September time frame. If the candidate(s) chooses not to serve as Vice-Chairman, the process continues until a Vice-Chairman is selected. No more than 2 Vice-Chairmen should be selected.
iii. The Cell Group Leaders are chosen by the incoming Chairman. Cell Captains should be deacons who are in their second or third year of service, or have previously served as deacon at the Church. Deacon cell groups shall be maintained with up to six (6) deacons in each cell. Each cell shall have a designated Cell Captain.
SECTION 8. FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Finance Committee is comprised of six members. The primary function of the Finance Committee is to continuously review the financial affairs of the Church to provide a level of stewardship accountability for the Church staff to the Church membership. This committee meets as needed (or as required by its Chairman) to review the financial statements prepared by the Church Staff, to examine prior approved disbursements for propriety, to consider the accounting and financial systems of the Church, to measure actual financial operations to budgeted amounts, and to advise the Board of Directors of any action needed by the body in the financial area. The Finance Committee meets annually to develop a proposed budget for the next Church fiscal year. Utilizing Church Staff input and through interviews of Church Staff submitting budget requests and recommendations of the Personnel Committee, the Finance Committee formulates a proposed budget, which is then presented to the Church in conference for church membership approval. The Finance Committee is to submit desired revisions in the current budget to the Church in conference as deemed appropriate by the committee and with approval of the Sr. Pastor.
The Treasurer is an ex-officio member, without vote, of the Finance Committee. Members of this committee serve for a three-year term and each year the Nominating Committee proposes to the Church in conference nominations to fill the two vacancies, which will occur during that year.
SECTION 9. PERSONNEL COMMITTEE
The Personnel Committee is a three-member committee one of whose members must be a member of the Finance Committee. The function of the Personnel Committee is to assist the Sr. Pastor in determining the staffing and compensation levels of the Church and with the consultation of the Sr. Pastor or his designee, to propose staffing and compensation changes within the Finance Committee guidelines.
The Personnel Committee members are to serve for a three-year term and one position is to become vacant for Nominating Committee action each year.
Additionally, the Personnel Committee may be asked to advise and counsel the Sr. Pastor in interviews of prospective staff members, employee benefit program considerations, and other personnel-related matters.
ARTICLE III. PASTOR
SECTION 1. SR. PASTOR
By virtue of his calling and office, the Sr. Pastor is the spiritual leader of the Church and Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. He shall be elected for an indefinite period of time and may terminate his position with the Church by a notice of thirty days, or the Church may terminate his position by the same notice.
In the event of a vacancy in the position of Sr. Pastor, a replacement or fill-in shall be considered by a Pulpit Committee consisting of five (5) persons elected by the Church in conference from nominations made from the floor for members in good standing willing to serve. This committee shall consider the scriptural qualifications of potential Pastors. After due consideration, the Pulpit Committee shall recommend a man to the Church for approval or disapproval by written ballot. Only one name will be considered at a time. Approval by at least a three-fourths (3/4) majority of those members present and voting represents the acknowledgement of God's calling of the Sr. Pastor.
The Sr. Pastor shall serve as the preacher and senior Bible teacher by virtue of his calling. The Sr. Pastor, or his designee, shall be considered an ex-officio member, without vote, of all committees as Church Moderator. The Sr. Pastor shall oversee the total ministry of the Church.
The Sr. Pastor is solely responsible for the Church Staff who assume his delegated responsibilities. Each Church Staff member serves at the will of the Sr. Pastor. The Sr. Pastor may remove, replace, or realign existing Church Staff positions, as he deems necessary and appropriate.
ARTICLE IV. CHURCH MINISTRIES
The ministries of the Church are to be consistent with the Church Covenant and Articles of Faith. They are to be under the supervision of the Sr. Pastor, or his designated Church Staff member. In order for a ministry to be considered as a ministry of the Church it must be under the Scriptural authority of the Church so as to insure appropriate accountability, integrity, and management of such ministries.
A Directory of Church Ministries is to be maintained in the Church office. The directory shall describe the ministry name, the defined ministry objective, and the Church Staff position having responsibility for that ministry. The Church Staff person having that ministry responsibility may create such organizational structure as is needed with the approval of the Sr. Pastor.
A church Organizational Chart that describes the Church ministries and responsible supervisory staff is to be maintained under the supervision of the Sr. Pastor.
ARTICLE V. GENERAL
SECTION 1. LICENSING AND ORDINATION
Any person recommended by the Sr. Pastor having given evidence that he is called to the work of the ministry, may be licensed to preach. The Sr. Pastor shall possess the sole right to convene an Ordination Council to examine the qualifications of a candidate and, in turn, advise the Church as to the propriety of ordination. The final action to ordain such minister shall rest with the Church upon recommendation of the Sr. Pastor.
SECTION 2. ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
This Constitution and the Bylaws, shall be considered adopted and will become effective the 29th day of September, 2013 upon affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present at a church conference. The adoption shall affect a repeal of all previously adopted rules in conflict herewith.
SECTION 3. FISCAL YEAR
The Church hereby adopts October through September as its fiscal year.
SECTION 4. AMENDMENTS
This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended at any regular or called church conference by a two-third (2/3) majority vote of those members present and voting, by giving at least a ten day notice through the mailing of a notice of meeting to the membership or through an announcement during the regular Sunday morning worship service.
A copy of this Constitution and Bylaws shall, at all times, be kept by the Church Clerk along with amendments to or revisions thereof. Up-to-date copies shall also be maintained in the church offices and made available to any church member upon request.