Article I – Name
The name of this Church, organized according to the principles of the Word of God, shall be, The Moline Baptist Church of Moline, Michigan.
Article II – Purpose
The purpose and object of this Church shall be to preach and teach the Gospel according to the Word of God contained in the 66 Books thereof, to the salvation of lost souls, the edifying and building up in the faith of the saints, the administration of the two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and any other function based upon the Word of God to the furtherance of this program.
Article II, of this Constitution cannot be altered, for to do so would alter the object for which the Lord Jesus Christ has established His Church here upon the earth.
Article III – Church Membership
Section 1 Condition of Membership
These conditions are three: First, a regenerate life and evidence of transformation; Second, a confession of faith; Third, the reception of baptism.
Section 2 Reception of Member
(a) By Baptism: The candidate shall be carefully examined by the Board of Elders and Pastor concerning his conversion and transformed life and Church membership, and if satisfactory, shall be baptized by immersion and recommended for Church Membership.
(b) By Letter: Members of other Churches of like faith and practice may, upon presentation of a letter of dismissal from their former church, be recommended for church membership after careful examining by the Board of Elders and Pastor.
(c) By Experience: Persons who have fulfilled the three conditions of Art. III, Sec. I may be received into this Church upon relating their Christian experience.
(d) By Restoration: Those members who for any reason have been excluded or suspended, upon expression of repentance and evidence of same, and those erased, upon expression of a renewal of interest, may be restored. Restoration of Church membership does not restore to office held prior to exclusion.
(e) Christians who divorce and remarry: Those who have divorced with their former partner(s) still living, or Christians who marry a divorced person with their former partner still living shall be eligible for Church membership if they meet the requirements placed upon any other prospective member. They must be informed at the time of application for membership that Art. IV, Sec. 9 note 4 forbids them holding any Church Board position whether the divorce took place before or after salvation.
(f) An Associate Membership: Associate membership may be held by a student living in the area on a temporary basis if they meet the requirements for membership in the church. They shall be granted all the privileges of full members except that they may not vote, nor hold any elected office. They are expected to assume all the responsibilities that are placed upon any church member.
Note 1 – All applications for membership shall be presented to the Board of Elders and Pastor who shall, after due consideration, report to the Church.
Note 2 – “The Right Hand of Fellowship” shall be given at a time convenient to both parties.
Section 3 Dismissal of Members
(a) By Letter: A member in good standing may, upon application, receive a letter of commendation, and dismissal from this Church in order to unite with another Church of like faith and practice. When one has so united with another Church, membership with this church shall cease.
(b) By Erasure: When the residence of any member has been unknown to the Church for six months, or when any member has been negligent of his Covenant vows for six months, his name may be erased from the roll by vote of the Church.
(c) By Exclusion: When the Church, in the exercise of its lawful authority and discipline, withdraws fellowship from one proven to be an unworthy member, his membership immediately ceases (I Co. 5:11, II Th. 3:6, 14, 15).
(d) By Suspension: When a member so conducts himself as to cause serious disapproval of the church he may be suspended, and any office held by such a member shall be thereby vacated. While under suspension, the member shall not receive the Communion nor have a right to vote in any affairs of the Church.
Note 1 – A member in good standing is one who has been regularly admitted, who has not lost his right to membership by any of the above methods, and is a member in good standing with the Church.
Note 2 – Action leading to dismissal of members must first be taken by the Board of Elders and Pastor and then recommended to the Church at any regular Church Meeting. A majority of votes by those present at the meeting will be final.
Note 3 – When a member in good standing desires to unite with a church of some other denomination, a certificate of recommendation may be given upon vote of the church, but a direct transfer may not be given to any church differing doctrinally with this Church.
Section 4 Duties of Members
It is the duty of all members by Divine help, to keep their Covenant Vows.
Article – IV Officers
Section 1 The Elected Officers
The elected officers of the church shall consist of 7+ Elders (see sec. 3 for number), 6 Deaconesses, 7 Deacons, (6 elected plus the Clerk). Their term shall begin immediately following the Annual (4th Quarter) Business Meeting. The qualifications of all officers are to be in accordance with I Timothy 3 & Titus 1.
Section 2 The Pastor
It shall be the duty of the Pastor to seek to promote with fidelity the functions of his office as “a good minister of Christ Jesus.” He shall be an ex-officio member of all Boards and Committees and the Moderator of all Church Congregational Meetings. His tenure of office shall be for an indefinite period of time, but may be terminated upon three months notice by either the Pastor or the Church. These terms may be waived by mutual agreement. The candidate for the pulpit shall be willing to endorse Article II of the present Constitution. The Pastor’s responsibilities to the church shall be laid out in his call, and a job description shall be binding on both parties unless altered by mutual consent.
Section 3 The Elders
The term of office shall be so arranged as to have a balance of vacancies each year. Their term of office shall be three years. It shall be their duty to assist the Pastor in the oversight of the spiritual interest of the Church and in the administration of the Ordinances. It shall be their duty to make calls upon new converts, to visit the sick and to assist in the visitation programs of the Church. They shall also make such needful arrangements as may be advisable for orderly conduct of the Church Worship. Two-thirds of the Elders shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. One Elder shall be appointed to serve on the Missionary Committee. The Chairman shall be the senior Elder, one of the Elders longest in office, and decided upon by the Elder Board. He is the Vice-Chairman of Congregational Meetings. In the absence of the Pastor, he becomes the Chairman of the Board and Moderator at Congregational Meetings. The number of Elders shall be six or a ratio of one Elder to every fifteen families who attend the church, which ever is greater. In addition to these, the Sunday School Superintendent is also a member of the Elder Board and his duties are laid out under Section 7.
Section 4 The Deacons
The Trustees of this corporation shall be called Deacons and will be referred to as such throughout this Constitution. The term of office shall be so arranged that there shall be two vacancies per year. Their term of office shall be three years. It shall be the duty of the Deacons to have oversight of the temporal affairs of the church, to keep the property in good condition, to make whatever repairs, alterations, or additions that may be thought necessary, to employ a Janitor for the care of the church properties, to appoint the Head Usher and to adhere to the annually approved budget, with the exception of emergencies and additional Congregation approved items. Two thirds of the Deacon Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The Chairman shall be the senior Deacon, one of the Deacons longest in office, and decided upon by the Deacon Board. In addition to these, the Clerk is also a member of the Deacon Board and his duties are laid out under Section 6.
Section 5 The Deaconesses
The term of office shall be so arranged that there shall be two vacancies per year. The term of office shall be three years. It shall be their duty to assist the Pastor in visiting the new women converts, in personal evangelism and general visiting program of the church, in calling on the sick, in preparing the communion service, and in assisting in the ordinance of Baptism. They also have oversight of the Nursery. One Deaconess shall be appointed to serve on the Missionary Committee. The Chairwoman shall be the senior Deaconess, one of the Deaconesses longest in office, and decided upon by the Deaconess Board.
Section 6 The Clerk
The Clerk shall keep a record of all the business transacted by the Church Board, Deacon Board and Congregational Business Meetings. It shall be his duty to keep all church records and other matters designated by the body. His term of office shall be three years. He shall be a member of the Deacon Board.
Section 7 Sunday School Superintendent
The Sunday School Superintendent shall hold the office three years. He shall be in charge of the overall conduct of the Sunday School. He shall be a member of the Elder Board and subject to their direction.
Note 1 – It is understood that all officers shall be members of the Church.
Note 2 – All members of the Church Boards shall be adult males at least 21 years of age.
Note 3 – Anyone serving on the Church Boards shall have been a member of the Church for at least one year.
Note 4 – No divorced person or anyone married to a divorced person shall be eligible to serve on the Church Boards.
Note 5 – Any vacated office may be filled by appointment by the Church Board or by vote of the Congregation. The method shall be at the discretion of the Church Board.
Article V – Church Personnel
Section 1 Pastoral Assistants
Any pastoral assistants shall be directly responsible to the Pastor in all areas of service. His services shall be secured according to the same rules for calling a Pastor. A job description shall be given for the job if the assistant, the church, or the Pastor desires one. Since the needs of the Church vary from time to time, no one type of assistant shall be designated, nor will any one job description be of a permanent nature. Each assistant shall be chosen to meet the needs of the church. He may sit on the Board as an observer.
Section 2 Church Secretary
A Church Secretary shall be chosen by the Pastor after her name has been approved by the Church Board. The Secretary must meet the requirements of the position. She shall be employed so long as there is need, and so long as she meets the requirements of the position. Each Pastor shall have the privilege of selecting his Secretary.
Section 3 Church Treasurer
A qualified Treasurer shall be appointed by the Deacon Board. The Treasurer shall insure that all budgeted items are paid upon receipt of the bills. No unbudgeted items are to be paid without Deacon Board approval. The Treasurer shall insure that payroll taxes are properly calculated, withheld, and deposited and that the proper state and federal payroll forms are submitted. The Treasurer shall submit a Quarterly report to the Pastor and the Congregation and a monthly report to the Deacons upon request. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Senior Deacon is given the authority to write checks.
Article VI – Committees
Section 1 Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee shall consist of five members chosen by the Congregation at the 2nd Quarter Business Meeting. They are to consist of two Board members, one Sunday School Teacher, two from the congregation and the Pastor. They shall compile a list of all who are eligible for each office. The eligibility of each person shall be in accordance to the qualifications in the New Testament and this Constitution. They shall also compile a list of nominees for the Missionary Committee. These lists will be placed on the bulletin board six weeks prior to elections at the 3rd Quarter Business Meeting. Anyone not on the list desiring consideration and anyone on the list believing before God they should be removed from consideration may contact the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee will present a revised list two weeks before the 3rd Quarter Business Meeting. If a person is nominated for two or more offices, then they shall hold the first office to which they are elected and be removed from consideration for all subsequent offices. The Congregation will vote in the following order: Elder, Deaconesses, Sunday School Superintendent, Deacon, Clerk and Missionary Committee. A person elected to a vacant office must receive 30% of votes cast. If no one gets 30%, a run-off will be of the top three vote-getters to fill that vacancy.
Section 2 Missionary Committee
The Missionary Committee shall consist of one appointed Elder, one appointed Deaconess and four members of the Congregation elected to three year terms. They shall choose their own Chairperson, be accountable to the Elders and bring all their recommendations to the Elder. Their function shall be to promote involvement in Missions, draw up the Missionary Budget for the year to be presented to the Church at the Annual Meeting for their approval and dispense all Missionary monies. New Missionary projects must be thoroughly investigated, be in complete agreement with the Missionary Policy and must be recommended to and approved by the Elder Board and then approved by a Congregational vote.
Section 3 Auditing Committee
the Auditing Committee shall consist of the Board of Deacons. Their duty shall be to audit all financial books of the Church and Sunday School, and prepare a report of the same to be read at the Annual Meeting.
Section 4 Pulpit Committee
When a pastorate is vacated for any reason, a Pulpit Committee consisting of the Elder Board shall be activated. It shall be the duty of this committee to take such steps as may be thought best for securing a Pastor. The election of the Pastor shall take place only in a meeting called for that express purpose by public announcement giving at least one week notice. The vote shall be by ballot, and three-fourths majority of the members present shall be necessary to extend a call to the prospective pastor.