Bylaws

    April 02, 2020 | Governing Documents

    Article 1 - Membership

    Article 2 - Government

    Article 3 - Amendments


    ARTICLE 1

    Membership

    SECTION 1

             Any person who has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and who is in agreement with the Statement of Doctrine of the Church shall be eligible for membership.  It is not demanded that the candidate be baptized to become a member, but it shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to encourage obedience to the teaching of the Word of God.  Any person desiring to be baptized by a Pastor of this Church shall be immersed.

    SECTION 2

                Candidates for membership shall appear before the membership committee as appointed by the Board of Elders or the Board of Elders for examination. At that time they must be able to give a clear testimony to the fact that they have received Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour in order to be approved.  Those candidates who meet with the approval of the Board shall be received into the covenant membership of the Church.

    SECTION 3

                Every candidate who is approved by the Board of Elders and received into the membership, shall be given a Covenant bearing his name; and said Covenant shall bear the names of the Pastor, Assistant Pastor(s), and members of the Board of Elders.

    SECTION 4

                No candidate for membership shall be received on the basis of a Letter of Transfer of membership from another church.  Such Letters of Transfer shall be recognized as released of membership obligations to the previous church; but the candidate in question must follow the regular procedure to obtain Covenant Membership.

    SECTION 5

                Letters transferring membership may be granted by the Church upon recommendation of the Board of Elders when such request is made by a member in good standing on the Roll of this Church.

    SECTION 6

                Every Covenant member of the Church is subject to discipline by the Board of Elders.  This discipline shall be administered according to the instructions that are given in the Word of God.  (1 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians. 3:14-15; Galatians 6:1)

    SECTION 7

                Any member who has failed to attend the regular services of worship for a period of six (6) months shall be placed on the probationary list.  Members placed on this list shall be notified immediately of the action taken by the Board of Elders.  They shall be given one (1) month time to renew their fellowship; and if they do so, they shall again be considered a member in good standing.  If they fail to return to fellowship within one (1) month of their notification, or if they fail to give an acceptable reason for their absence, their names will be automatically dropped from the list of Covenant Members.  After a name has been removed, any who may desire reinstatement will have to follow the usual procedure of obtaining Covenant Membership.

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    ARTICLE 2

    Government
    SECTION 1

                The Board of Elders shall be recognized by the Congregation as the chosen leaders of the Church in all spiritual matters and general oversight of the Church.  The Board’s authority only emanates from and is consistent with the Word of God and this Constitution.  (Mark 10:42-45; 1 Peter 5:3)  The Candidates for Elder must be men of spiritual stability and meet the qualifications of an Elder as set forth in 1Timothy 3:1-7.

    SECTION 2

                The Board of Deacons shall be recognized by the Congregation as deriving any and all of its authority directly from the Board of Elders.  Though, traditionally, these men have been vested with the responsibility of maintaining the physical needs of the property belonging to the Church, their scope of work is in no means limited to this.  Their job is to assist the Elders in the exercise of their (Elder’s) duties.  These men may be called upon to attend “spiritual” and other matters traditionally viewed as “Elder responsibilities.”  The deacon’s scope of ministry is limited only by Elder discretion.  The candidates for Deacon must be men of spiritual stability and meet the qualifications of Deacon as set forth in I Timothy 3:8-12.

    SECTION 3

                The Board of Elders shall be recognized as the Board of Directors of the Church Corporation.  This Board alone shall have the authority to sign all official documents connected with legal transactions, financial transactions, and any documents required by the State or Federal Governments.  This Board shall have in its possession the Seal of Incorporation and is the only Board authorized to officially use the Seal.  This Board shall have the control of all property belonging to the Church.  It shall not encumber with mortgage loan, transfer, sell or purchase any real estate for the church, except by the express authorization conveyed through a majority vote of the membership.  This vote shall be taken by ballots delivered, either through the mail or in person, to every member of the Congregation in good standing.  Members from the age of eighteen (18) years and upward, shall be permitted to cast a ballot.  This Board may negotiate a general loan to the amount of $20,000 without the authorization of the membership; but on any one loan exceeding $20,000 or any proposed loan that will cause the indebtedness of the Church, not including mortgage loan, to exceed $40,000 must be approved by a membership vote as written above.  This Board shall convene for an Annual Meeting sometime during the first quarter of each year; and it may also be called into session by the Chairman, or by a written request signed by a majority of the members of the Board, at any time during the year or by written requests signed by thirty (30) members of the Congregation.

    SECTION 4

                The Teachers and Officers of the Sunday School shall have the authority to transact the business of the Sunday School under the leadership of the General Superintendent of the Sunday School.  The Board of Elders shall have the authority to appoint the General Superintendent of the Sunday School and all Superintendents of Department of the Sunday School.  The activities and decisions of the Teachers and Officers of the Sunday School shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Elders.

    SECTION 5

                Regulations governing the membership and the general conduct of the Board of Elders:

    1. The Chairman shall be chosen by the Board. An Assistant Chairman shall be chosen by the Board to serve in the absence of the Chairman.
    2. The regular members of the Board of Elders shall serve for a term of four years unless removed from office for the same reasons as stated in Sub-division D2 of Section 8 of this Article.  After the completion of a term of office, an Elder shall be eligible for re-election.   
    3. No regular member of the Board of Elders may be removed from office except by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Board of Elders.
    4. The regular expiration of office shall occur on the thirty-first of December of each year, and the successors shall be chosen during the month of November.
    5. Candidates for the office of Elder must be chosen from the membership of the church.  He must be a man of thirty (30) years of age or older, who has been saved at least five (5) years, and has been a Covenant Member of the Church for at least one (1) year.  He must meet the qualifications of an Elder as set forth in I Timothy 3:1-7.
    6. Whenever a vacancy occurs on the Board, whether by regular expiration of office, by death, by resignation, by removal, or by need the following procedure shall govern the choice of the successor or successors:
      1. The Elders shall consider every man whose name is listed as a member in good standing on the official Church Roll.  The names of the men who qualify under Sub-division E of Section 5 of this Article shall be recognized as eligible candidates.  All eligible candidates for the office of Elder shall be voted upon by the Board of Elders.  Any candidate that receives a two-thirds majority vote shall be confirmed to office. In the event that there are more eligible candidates than open seats to fill on the board, a lot shall be taken to determine which candidates fill the open seats on the board. 
      2. The Board shall annually elect its officers, which shall include a Chairman, Assistant Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
    7. All officers that the Board considers necessary for the proper functioning of the Board shall be elected by the Board.  The Church Treasurer may be chosen from among the members of the Board of Elders, but if the Board sees fit, they may choose a man from the Board of Deacons or from the Congregation at large.  Even though the Treasurer is an officer of the Board, if he is not an Elder he shall not have the authority to move, second a motion, or vote on any matter that is before the Elders.
    8. The Pastor and any ordained Assistant Pastor(s) shall be considered Elders.  By virtue of their position, they are permanent members of the Board of Elders.  They are to attend the meetings of the Board to express their opinions.  They shall have the authority to move, second a motion, and vote.  They are not eligible to be an officer on this Board.   Any man serving a Pastoral position that is not ordained is not a member of this Board.
    9. The Board of Elders shall have a monthly meeting, unless unforeseen conditions in a given month shall make it impossible. No meeting shall be considered as an official meeting unless a quorum is present.  A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Board in addition to the Chairman.
    SECTION 6

                Regulations governing the membership and the general conduct of the Board of Deacons:

    1. The Chairman shall be chosen by the Board.  An Assistant Chairman shall be chosen by the Board to serve in the absence of the Chairman.
    2. The regular members of the Board of Deacons shall serve for a term of four  years unless removed from office for the same reasons as stated in Sub-division D2 of Section 8 of this Article, as applied to the Board of Deacons instead of the Elders.  After the completion of a term of office, a Deacon shall be eligible for re-election.         
    3. If any Deacon shall be subject to removal proceedings, he shall be given the opportunity to appear before the Board of Elders in his own defense.  After a full hearing has been granted, The Board of Elders shall cast their vote indicating whether they are in favor, or not in favor of the removal of the accused.  No Deacon may be removed from office except by a majority vote of the members of the Board of Elders.  
    4. The regular expiration of office shall occur on the thirty-first of December of each year, and the successors shall be chosen by the Board of Elders during the month of November.
    5. Candidates for the office of Deacon must be chosen from the membership of the Church.  He must be a man of twenty-one (21) years of age or over, who has been saved for at least three (3) years, and who has been a Covenant Member of the Church for at least one (1) year.  He must meet the qualifications of Deacon as set forth in I Timothy 3:8-13.
    6. Whenever a vacancy occurs on the Board, whether by regular expiration of office, by death, by resignation, by removal, or by need the following procedure shall govern the choice of the successor or successors:
    7. The Elders shall consider every man whose name is listed as a member in good standing on the official Church Roll.  The names of the men who qualify under Sub-division E of Section 6 of this Article shall be recognized as eligible candidates.  All eligible candidates for the office of Deacon shall be voted upon by the Board of Elders.  Any candidate that receives a two-thirds majority vote shall be confirmed to office.  In the event that there are more eligible candidates than open seats to fill on the board, a lot shall be taken by the Board of Elders, to determine which candidates fill the open seats on the board. 
    8. The Board shall annually elect its officers, which shall include a Chairman, Assistant Chairman, and Secretary.
    9. The Board of Deacons shall meet at least once each quarter at the call of the Chairman; and they may be called into session at any time by the Chairman, or by a written request signed by a majority of the members of the Board.  No meeting shall be considered as an official meeting unless a quorum is present.  A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Board in addition to the Chairman. 
    SECTION 7

                Regulations governing the membership and the general conduct of the Board of Directors of the Church Corporation:

    1. As stated in Section 3 of this Article, the Board of Elders shall be recognized as the Board of Directors of the Church Corporation.
    2. The Chairman of the Board of Elders shall be the President of the Board of Directors of the Church Corporation. He, along with the Secretary, shall have the authority to sign all legal papers, all papers and notes involved in negotiating loans and all other documents where official signatures of officers of the Corporation are required. 
    3. The Assistant Chairman of the Board of Elders shall be the Executive Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Church Corporation.  In the event of the absence of the President, the Executive Vice-President shall assume the Chair.  When the vacancy in the office of President has been filled, the Chair shall automatically revert to the President.
    4. The Secretary of the Board of Elders shall be the Secretary of the Board of Directors.
    5. The Board of Directors shall elect from its membership any other officers that they deem necessary for the proper functioning of the Board, according to the provision of Article 6 of the Charter of Incorporation.
    6. No meeting of the Board of Directors shall be considered an official meeting unless a quorum is present.  A quorum shall consist of a majority of the members of the Board in addition to the Chairman.  No business may be transacted, and no motions may be placed on the records of the minutes, or voted upon, nor may any business on the minutes from any previous meeting or meetings be disposed of, unless the meeting is an official meeting through the presence of a quorum.
    SECTION 8

                Regulations governing the Office of Pastor and Assistant Pastor(s):

    1. Term of Office:  The service of Pastor and Assistant Pastor(s) shall be for an indefinite period of time as the Elders feel led by the Holy Spirit.
    2. General procedure in the selection of a Pastor:
      1. The Board of Elders shall serve as the Pulpit committee.  It shall be the duty of this committee to arrange for all pulpit supplies until a successor in the office of Pastor has been chosen.  They shall prayerfully seek the leading of the Holy Spirit in their effort to contact the man, or the men who shall be an eligible candidate(s) for the office of Pastor.  The Board of Elders, by a 3/4 majority vote, shall decide which eligible candidate shall then be submitted to the Congregation, who shall express their convictions by means of a ballot which shall be delivered to them, either in person or through the mail.  All Covenant members in good standing from eighteen (18) years and upwards shall be eligible to receive a ballot.  A three-quarters vote of the membership must be received by the candidate before he shall be called as the Pastor of the Congregation.  The Board of Elders will recommend to the congregation one candidate at a time until a Pastor is chosen by the above procedure.
    1. Qualifications of a Pastor
      1. The candidate for the office of Pastor must be a man who meets the qualifications of overseer as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and 1 Peter 5:1-4.
      2. No Pastor shall be called to the pastorate of the Berean Bible Church unless he can clearly testify that he has been born-again.
      3. No Pastor shall be called to the pastorate of Berean Bible Church who does not fully endorse and preach the doctrines that are set forth in our Constitution.
    2. Dismissal of a Pastor and/or Elder
      1. The Pastor shall be free to resign as he feels led of the Holy Spirit; but out of Christian courtesy, he should give a sixty (60) day written notice to the Board of Elders.
      2. Whenever dismissal proceedings may be in order against a Pastor or Elder on the ground of proven immorality, heresy in doctrine, spiritual declension, apostasy, or heresy in practice, the accused shall be given the opportunity to appear before the Board of Elders in his own defense.  Before any accusation(s) brought against a Pastor or Elder will be considered by the Board of Elders the stated accusation(s) must be according to Biblical principles and teachings of Scripture. (Matthew 18:15-17; I Timothy 5:19-20)  If a majority of the Elders favors the dismissal proceedings instigated by the Board of Elders, the Pastor shall immediately be removed from office.  Any accused Pastor or Elder shall not be permitted to vote in his dismissal proceedings. 

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    ARTICLE 3

    AMENDMENTS
    SECTION 1

                The By-Laws of the Berean Bible Church may be amended by the following procedure:

    1. Any proposed amendment(s) must be brought to a meeting of the Board Directors.  The Board will consider the proposed amendment(s) and a vote will be taken.  When the vote is taken and two-thirds of the Directors who are present vote in favor of the proposed amendment(s) the amendment(s) shall be submitted to the Congregation for their vote of approval or disapproval.
    2. When any amendment has received a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, the amendment shall then be placed in writing; and a copy of the amendment along with a ballot shall be delivered either in person or through the mail, to every member of the Congregation in good standing.  Every member from eighteen (18) years and upward shall be permitted to cast a ballot.  Should the proposed amendment receive a majority vote of the membership of the Church, it shall then become an amendment in force in the By-Laws of the Church Corporation.

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