Article I. Offices
Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for religious, charitable, and educational purposes. The principal offices of this Corporation, Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church, Inc. (which shall also be referred to herein as the “Church”) are at 1413 West Denver Street in Greenwood, Arkansas. The said principal office may be changed at any time by appropriate vote of the Church body.
Article II. Church Affiliations
Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church is affiliated with the Baptist Missionary Association of America and the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas, and the United Baptist Missionary Association.
Article III. Church Membership
Section 1. General
This is a sovereign 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.
Membership in this Church shall consist of all persons who have met the requirements for membership, as provided in Article III, Section 2, been approved by the congregation, and are listed on the membership roll.
Section 2. Candidacy
Any person may offer himself/herself as a candidate for membership in this Church.
(1) By profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and Scriptural baptism (as defined in Article
VI, Section 1).
(2) By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church of like faith and practice.
(3) By statement of prior conversion experience and Scriptural baptism by a church of like faith and
(4) By restoration as provided in Article III, Section 6.
A simple majority vote of those Church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership. Any dissent shall be resolved according to Article III, Section 6 of these bylaws.
Section 3. Responsibilities of Members
In order to be a responsible member of Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church, members should :
(1) Be in agreement with the Church’s statement of faith and purpose.
(2) Discover, develop and deploy their spiritual gifts in the ministries of the Church.
(3) Be diligent to live according to the statements of the Church covenant.
(4) Be faithful in attendance to worship services and Bible study.
(5) Become a student of the word of God and of prayer.
(6) Make a commitment to personal evangelism and discipleship.
(7) Maintain scriptural stewardship of time, talents, tithes, and offerings.
Section 4. Voting Responsibilities of Members
Only members of the Church are entitled to vote on questions submitted to the Church in conference. Members must be present to vote.
Section 5. Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
(1) By death.
(2) By transfer (lettering) to another Baptist Church of like faith and order.
(3) By disciplinary action of this Church as provided in Article III, Section 6.
(4) By joining with another Church.
(5) By personal request for name to be removed from Church membership.
Note: Letters of dismissal shall be granted only to other Churches of like faith and order and not to individual members requesting termination of membership.
Section 6. Discipline
It shall be the basic purpose of Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The Pastor, members of the Church pastoral staff, and deacons are available for counsel and guidance. Reconciliation rather than punishment should be the guideline that governs the attitude of one member toward another.
Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become 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 in accordance with Matthew 18:15-35, I Corinthians 5:1-13, and II Corinthians 2:1-11.
All such proceedings shall be guided by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. If it is determined that the welfare of the Church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the Church may take this action by a two-thirds secret ballot vote of the members.
Any person, whose membership has been terminated through disciplinary action, may be restored to membership upon his/her request. This requires a recommendation of the Pastor and deacons and an affirmation vote of the Church upon evidence of his/her repentance and reformation.
Article IV. Church Officers and Committees
Section 1. Pastor
Calling of Pastor. Whenever the position of Pastor becomes vacant, the Church shall proceed to call another person to fill that vacancy. A Pastor Search Committee shall be elected by the Church at the earliest possible date after the vacancy has occurred or has been announced.
Pastor Search Committee - The Pastor Search Committee shall be composed of five members and include at least one Deacon. Church members may submit names to the Nominating/Personnel Committee for consideration. The Church Nominating/Personnel Committee shall then compile a list of fifteen (15) nominees who represent the appropriate mix of ages and gender. This list of nominees shall be presented to the Church in a special Church conference at least one (1) week prior to the Church conference at which the Pastor Search Committee is scheduled to be elected. The entire list of at-large nominees will subsequently be presented to the Church for a vote at the meeting designated for election of the Pastor Search Committee.
Functions of the Pastor Search Committee.
The Committee shall seek out suitable candidates for the Pastor position, investigating and evaluating each man as to his character, doctrine, training, and pastoral experience and willingness to accept and uphold this Constitution and Bylaws.
By a unanimous vote of its members, the Pastor Search Committee shall determine a candidate to present to the Church. Immediately after the unanimous vote and before presentation of the candidate to the Church, they will work with the Church Nominating/Personnel Committee and Finance Committee in determining a benefits and compensation package and transitional expenses for the pastoral candidate. Only one (1) candidate at a time shall be brought before the Church for its consideration.
Presentation of a Pastor Candidate to the Church - With the congregation receiving prior notice at least 1 week prior to the conference, the Pastor Search Committee shall present the recommended candidate to the Church at a designated Sunday conference. Twenty-five (25) percent of the Church membership shall constitute a quorum for the calling of a Pastor. Election shall be by secret ballot issued to eligible voting members. A minimum of eighty five (85) percent affirmative ballots of those members present and voting at that worship hour shall be required to call a Pastor. Voting shall be by secret ballot. All votes will be counted by the Deacons following the vote.
Pastor's Term of Service - The person, thus elected, if he accepts the call, shall serve as Pastor of Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church for an indefinite period of time at the will of the Church or until the relationship is terminated by either the Pastor or Church. The person shall seek at all times to follow the will of God and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Qualifications of Pastor
Shall be ordained (or a candidate for ordination).
Shall meet all Biblical qualifications as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7.
The Pastor should be a good steward of his income, recognizing the tithe to his local Church as a minimum of his giving.
If the Pastor is married, his wife shall share in like manner in Christian consecration and Church loyalty.
Duties of Pastor
Shall have general oversight of all spiritual matters, staff, and programs of the Church.
Shall be liaison to all Committees unless otherwise specified herein.
Shall be responsible for the faithful conduct of the worship services of the Church.
Shall perform the various duties incumbent on the office. They include but are not limited to the following: Shepherd to the flock, not only in feeding them spiritually by preaching and teaching the love, mercy, grace, justice and judgment of our Lord; but in caring physically for the flock in the outward expression of that love in the homes, hospitals, and gravesides of those in need of the Pastor's care.
Shall be responsible to God first, then the Church Body.
Voluntary Resignation of Pastor - Pastor may tender his resignation as Pastor to the Church Body. The Nominating/Personnel Committee and Finance Committee shall recommend any severance package presented to a resigning Pastor, as appropriate or applicable.
Involuntary Termination of Pastor - Termination of the Pastor by the Church shall require a simple majority of votes cast by the eligible voting membership present. Such a vote shall be taken by secret ballot at a special called Church conference. Notice of said special Church conference shall be announced on two (2) consecutive Sundays prior to the date of the special called Church conference.
The special Church conference for the purpose of voting on the termination of the Pastor may be called by any one (1) of the following procedures:
By recommendation of two-thirds (⅔) majority of the deacon body voting to terminate the Pastor at any regular or specially called deacons meeting; or
By written petition calling for the termination of the Pastor signed by not less than twenty (20) percent of the membership of the Church filed with the Church clerk.
Any Motion for Termination of the Pastor submitted to vote of the Church shall require a simple majority of members to be effective as the official action of the Church on that matter. Voting shall be by secret ballot. The Deacons will count all votes immediately following the vote.
Call To Full-Time Service - The Pastor and ministerial staff shall engage in opportunities that will enhance or further the ministries of the Church. With respect to commitments outside the Church, the Pastor and ministerial staff should use discretion with regard to outside employment in accordance with the Personnel Policies of the Church.
Section 2. Church Staff
All Church staff, other than the Pastor, shall be recommended to the Church by the Nominating/Personnel Committee (or an ad-hoc search committee created by the Nominating/Personnel Committee) and employed by Church action. All pastoral staff members will be directly responsible to the Pastor.
At the time of resignation by a pastoral staff member, at least two (2) weeks’ notice should be given to the Church.
The Church may terminate a staff member by majority vote upon the recommendation of the Pastor, deacons and the Nominating/Personnel Committee. The termination of the duties shall be effective immediately upon publication of the outcome of the vote.
Section 3. Deacon Ministry Fellowship
In accordance with the meaning of the work and the practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the Church. The task of the deacon is to assist and encourage the Pastor and pastoral staff in performing ministry tasks; proclaim the gospel to unbelievers; care for Church members and other persons in the community.
A deacon shall serve until his service is terminated by his death, resignation, termination of Church membership, or by a majority secret ballot vote of the members.
Qualifications. All deacons shall meet the qualifications for a deacon as stated in the Holy Scriptures (Acts 6:1-7 and I Timothy 3:8-13). These biblical qualifications shall always supersede any specific requirements of the Church or the deacon body.
Selection. The Deacon Body shall maintain a written procedure for selecting and recommending Deacons to the Church membership. This process will allow Church members to submit nominations to the deacons for consideration.
Section 4. Moderator
The moderator shall be the Pastor. In the absence of the Pastor, any member selected by the Pastor shall serve as moderator. If there is a vacancy in the position of Pastor, then the Church shall elect a moderator until the position of Pastor has been filled.
Section 5. Clerk
The Church shall elect a clerk annually who is responsible for recording official business decisions. The Nominating/Personnel Committee will nominate a person for election by majority vote of Church membership.
Section 6. Treasurer
The Church shall elect a Church treasurer annually who oversees the financial activities of the church. The Nominating/Personnel Committee will nominate a person for election by majority vote of Church membership.
Section 7. Trustees
Three trustees, one-third (1/3) of whom shall be elected annually by majority vote of Church membership to serve for three years, and, until their successors shall be appointed, will hold in trust the property of the Church. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any real property without a specific vote of the Church authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgaging, purchase or rental of property or other legal documents where the signatures of trustees are required. The trustees will serve as the officers of the corporation.
Should a trustee be unable to complete the term of office; the Pastor, in cooperation with the deacons, will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term. Should the remaining term be less than one year, the successor will be eligible for appointment for an additional term of office. Should the remaining term be greater than one year, the successor may not be elected to a successive term. The Nominating/Personnel Committee will make nominations annually for Church consideration.
The Pastor, nor any member of the Church staff or their immediate family members, shall serve as a trustee.
Section 8. Committees
There are four standing committees at Denver Street Missionary Baptist Church; the Nominating/Personnel Committee, Finance Committee, Building and Grounds Committee, and the Youth Committee. Following are the operational guidelines for each:
Elections. The Nominating/Personnel Committee makes nominations for the new committee members to be elected annually by majority vote of Church membership. Nominations from the floor will also be accepted. All nominees should be faithful Church members.
Emergency Replacements. Should a committee member be unable to complete their term of office; the Nominating/Personnel Committee will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of Church fiscal year.
Size. Committees vary in size and are assigned herein as deemed appropriate for the committee. The committee chairman always has voting privileges and shall petition the Nominating/Personnel Committee to fill vacancies.
Term Service. The terms of service for each committee shall be three (3) consecutive years. Emphasis should be made by the Nominating/Personnel Committee to limit a member’s service to one standing committee at a time when possible. All newly elected members shall begin service on the first day of the new Church fiscal year.
Election of Committee Officers. The members of each committee will elect a chairman. This election should occur at a meeting prior to the end of each year, to be called by the outgoing chairman.
General Meeting Rules. The chairman will be responsible for coordinating and settling meeting schedules, and proper notification to all committee members. A quorum (simple majority) must be present for meetings to be official. No committee shall meet during any worship or prayer meeting time without prior approval of the Pastor.
Committee Discipline. Each committee is responsible for proper functioning and discipline within its own membership. Individuals carry the responsibility given them by the Church to be prompt, considerate, courteous, conscientious, and honest in their duties. Each member shall be challenged by his peers to exhibit biblical qualities in his actions; and in failure to consistently do so, be encouraged to resign from the committee.
Ad-Hoc Committees. From time-to-time, the need may arise to form special purpose committees, deemed “Ad-Hoc” committees. These are temporary committees formed for a specific purpose, and a specified timeframe, as approved by vote of the Church. This committee may be created at any time and membership will be appointed by the Nominating/Personnel committee and approved by Church vote.
Section 9. Nominating/Personnel Committee
This committee shall consist of a minimum of five (5) members. The members shall serve on a rotating basis with each new member being elected for a consecutive three (3) year term of service. The Pastor shall be a non-voting member of this committee.
Those being considered to serve on the Nominating/Personnel Committee shall be faithful members who have demonstrated a commitment to the Lord and His Church. They also shall have served in leadership capacities within the Church and demonstrated their commitment, leadership, and knowledge of the Church members.
This committee is responsible to the Church to present candidates to serve on each of the Trustees, Finance, Nominating/Personnel, Building and Grounds, and the Youth Committee as vacancies occur. The Committee shall also present candidates to serve as the Pastor Search Committee.
It is the responsibility of this committee to prayerfully consider each nominee and subsequently contact each nominee and secure a willingness to serve prior to presenting him or her to the Church for action.
This committee has the responsibility to counsel with the Pastor and Staff relating to terms of employment and working conditions of all employees of the Church.
This committee in cooperation with the Finance Committee shall recommend for Church approval wage and benefit standards for the Pastor, ministerial staff, and all other Church employees.
This Committee shall review and recommend changes for all compensation, salaries, and benefits to the Finance Committee in a timely fashion to be included in the preparation of the Church’s annual budget.
This committee shall review and recommend changes to any benefit policy and/or employee agreements as required.
The committee shall work with the Pastor and ministerial staff to develop and regularly review (and revise when necessary) policies and procedures as related to personnel. All revision to the Personnel Policy shall be approved by the Church.
Section 10. Finance Committee
The Finance Committee is to model, encourage, and promote the responsible management of the Church’s financial resources that are entrusted by God and to nurture the spirit of Christian fellowship.
The Committee shall work with the Treasurer to develop an annual line item church budget and to monitor income and expenses, approving monthly financial statements and reporting them at regularly scheduled Church conferences to the Church.
The Committee shall work with the Treasurer to develop and regularly review (and revise when necessary) proper financial practices and procedures in accordance with accounting principles.
The Finance committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members. The members shall serve on a rotating basis for a consecutive three (3) year term of service. The Church Treasurer is included in all business of the Finance Committee, except the right to vote. The Pastor and all ministerial staff shall be liaison members of the Committee.
Section 11. Building and Grounds Committee
This committee is responsible for the maintenance and security of the grounds, buildings, and all equipment.
This committee is responsible for analyzing possible future needs and/or improvements to existing property and makes recommendations to the Church body as appropriate.
The Building and Grounds Committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members. The members shall serve on a rotating basis for a consecutive three (3) year term of service. The Church Treasurer is a non-voting member of this committee. The Pastor and all ministerial staff shall be liaison members of the Committee.
Section 12. Youth Committee
The Youth Committee shall consist of a minimum of three (3) members. The members shall serve on a rotating basis for a consecutive three (3) year term of service. The Pastor and all ministerial staff shall be liaison members of the Committee.
This committee will work with the Youth Director to coordinate and plan the educational, discipleship, and social experiences of the Church youth.
This committee will work with the Youth Director to plan and coordinate opportunities for the Church youth to actively participate in roles that foster Christian leadership skills.
Articles V. Church Meetings
Section 1. Worship Services
The Church shall meet regularly at least each Sunday, for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and for the worship of Almighty God. Exceptions must be approved by the Pastor and the deacons. Any other Church meetings, which will be essential in the promotion of the objectives of the Church, shall be placed on the Church calendar.
Section 2. Church Conference
The business of the Church shall be conducted through two types of meetings:
The Monthly Church Conference - The Church will assemble at least once every month to hear reports from any committees or ministries of the Church, conduct miscellaneous business as needed, and pray for the Church.
Special Church Conference - The Church will assemble for conference upon the request of the Pastor or the deacons. Any Church member may submit a request to the Pastor or the deacons for a special conference. Special Church conference will be announced two weeks prior to the date of the conference through the service announcements and any publication mailed to members. On rare occasions an emergency may arise making the two-week notice impractical. No special Church conference shall be called by the deacons unless the Pastor is made aware. Should the Pastor position be vacant, the Church elected moderator or the deacons may call a special Church conference.
Section 3. Quorum
A quorum consists of those who attend the Church conference, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
Section 4. Parliamentary Rules
Roberts’ Rules of Order, Revised, is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all Church conferences. The moderator shall select a parliamentarian.
Section 5. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin on September 1 and end August 31 of the following calendar year.
Article VI. Ordinances
Section 1. Baptism
A person who receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by personal faith who professes Him publicly at any worship service; and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, shall be received for baptism.
Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
Baptism shall be administered by the Pastor, a member of the pastoral staff, or any member specifically authorized by the Church.
Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship.
Section 2. The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the Church, through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine, commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming.
The Lord’s Supper should be observed at least once per quarter
The Pastor and deacons shall be responsible for the administration of the Lord’s Supper.
The deacons shall be responsible for the physical preparations of the Lord’s Supper.
Article VII. Designated Funds
All donations accepted by the Church will be allocated to the general fund unless it is specifically designated otherwise.
Article VIII. Church Finances
Section 1. Budget
The finance committee, in consultation with the ministerial staff, shall prepare and submit to the Church for approval an inclusive annual budget, indicating the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses.
Section 2. Accounting Procedures
Funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the hands of the Church treasurer and be properly recorded on the books of the Church. No review or audit of the financial records of the Church shall be allowed without approval of the Finance Committee.
Article IX. Amendments
New bylaws may be adopted or these bylaws may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of votes cast at a meeting called for such purpose.
The Church membership shall be given two weeks advance notice of the time of such meeting. Further, a copy of the proposed changes shall be made available to members at two consecutive weeks of Sunday morning worship services in advance of the meeting.