Bluegrove Baptist Church
Henrietta, TX 76365
We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern this body in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in its relationship to other church bodies.
Article 1 Name
This body shall be known as Bluegrove Baptist Church, located in Clay County, Texas, organized in 1878, which is a religious corporation incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas. Its office and principal place of business at the church meeting place at 1980 FM 172, Henrietta, TX, 76365.
Article 2 Purpose, Mission and Vision
Purpose - The purpose of this church is to support the public worship of God, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to minister to the needs of others, to disciple its members, and to love each other as God loves us.
Mission- To be a unified body that grows in Christ’s likeness, that worships in the Spirit and truth in every context, and that serves in love in order to lead all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior into a right relationship with God.
Vision- Growing, Worshiping, and Serving for the Kingdom of God.
Article 3 Statement of Faith
This church subscribes to “The Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted June 14, 2000 since we believe it most accurately represents the teachings of the Bible. Since “The Baptist Faith and Message” does not exhaust the extent of our faith, the Bible itself is the final source of all we believe.
We voluntarily cooperate with Southern Baptists worldwide for the purpose of maximum mobilization and effectiveness in evangelistic, educational, missionary, and benevolent ministries. We also seek to lovingly and supportively cooperate with others who are committed to Jesus Christ as Lord.
Article 4 Covenant
Having been, as we trust, brought by divine Grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ, and to give ourselves wholly to him, we do now solemnly and joyfully covenant with each other, to walk together with him, with brotherly love, to His glory as our common Lord. We do, therefore, in His strength, engage—
That, we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully warn, exhort, and admonish each other as occasion may require:
That, we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but will uphold the public worship of God, and the ordinances of His house:
That, we will not omit closet and family religion at home, nor neglect the great duty of religiously training our children, and those under our care, for the service of Christ, and the enjoyment of heaven:
That, as we are the light of the world, and salt of the earth, we will seek divine aid, to enable us to deny ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and to walk circumspectly in the world, that we may win the souls of men:
That, we will cheerfully contribute of our property, according as God has prospered us, for the maintenance of a faithful and evangelical ministry among us, for the support of the poor, and to spread the gospel over the earth:
That, we will, in all conditions, even till death, strive to live to the glory of him, who hath called us out of darkness unto his marvelous light.
And may the God of Peace, who brought again from the death our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in us, that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever.
Article 5 Amendments
Changes in the constitution may be made at any business meeting provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at the previous regular business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment have been provided to each Resident member at least two (2) weeks before the vote is taken. Amendments to the constitution shall be approved by at least three-quarters (3/4) secret ballot vote with at least two-thirds (2/3) Resident Members present and voting.
Article 6 Dissolution
On discontinuance of this church by dissolution or otherwise, its assets are to be transferred to the Wichita-Archer-Clay Baptist Association and/or its assigned, in such that it qualifies as an exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The development of these bylaws has been guided by two (2) basic Christian principles: 1) All persons have an equal right to direct access to God; and 2) All believers have a right to equal privileges in the church.
The intent of these bylaws is that they allow for smooth operation of the church. They are not to be interpreted in such a strict manner as to encumber the work of the Holy Spirit or impose any undue restrictions on church activity.
Article 1 Church Membership
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This membership is to be self-governed in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of the church. The membership determines who shall be members of the church and the conditions of membership. The membership shall be those persons whose names are duly inscribed on the church membership roll.
1.1 Membership. This church shall have two types of membership.
(a) Resident Members. Resident Members in this Church shall consist of all persons who have met the qualifications of membership as set forth in Section 1.2 below and are listed on the membership roll (hereafter referred to as “Resident Members”). Resident Members shall have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a Member of the Church.
(b) Non-Resident Members. Non-Resident Members in this Church shall consist of all persons who have met the qualifications of membership as set forth in Section 1.2 below and are listed on the membership roll (hereafter referred to as “Non-Resident Members”). Non-Resident Members shall have all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a Member of the Church, except for voting and holding positions of leadership as defined in Article 2 hereafter.
1.2 Qualifications for Membership. A person shall become a Member in the Church in any of the following ways:
(a) By profession of faith in Jesus Christ and identifying with Him in baptism by immersion. Profession of faith in Jesus Christ involves:
Personal conviction of sin and the need for forgiveness (Rom 6:23).
Repentance (turning away from sin) and asking Christ for forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
Receiving Christ as personal Savior and Lord (Rom 10:9–l0).
(b) By way of transfer of membership through a letter of request from another church of like faith and order.
(c) By statement of personal faith in Christ, coming as a Christian from another church, having already been baptized by immersion after conversion.
By restoration for any member whose membership has been effected because of some offense upon satisfactory evidence of repentance and reformation by a majority vote of the church in a regular business meeting
1.3 Member Discipline. Guided by the covenantal nature of membership specified in 1 Corinthians 12, it shall be the practice of this Church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment. Should a condition exist which a member becomes a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable effort shall be made to resolve the problem in accordance with Matt 18:15–18.
If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a member, the matter will be addressed in the monthly Deacon’s meeting. Upon a vote of at least a majority of the Deacon body, a recommendation shall be made as to whether the person’s membership in the church will be terminated at a regular business meeting. A person’s membership shall be terminated upon a majority vote at a regular business meeting. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance.
1.4 Change or Termination of Membership. Membership shall be changed or terminated in the following ways.
Membership Additions and Changes. Membership shall be changed in the following situations during a regular business meeting, after being recommended by the Lead Pastor and one of the deacons and approved by a majority vote.
Resident Members shall be admitted to the membership roll after being recommended by the Lead Pastor and one of the deacons and approved by a majority vote. In the event the office of Lead Pastor is vacant, recommendation shall be made by two of the deacons.
A Resident Member shall have his or her status changed to Non-Resident Member in either of the following situations unless extenuating circumstances are determined by the Lead Pastor and Deacon body.
Member moves more than sixty (60) miles away from the principle meeting place.
Member is inactive for a period of six (6) months and has been contacted by Family Deacon and Lead Pastor.
A Non-Resident Members shall be restored to Resident Member after being active for a period of two (2) months.
Membership Termination. Membership shall be terminated in the following situations.
Transfer of membership through a letter of request from another church.
Erasure upon reasonable evidence of membership in another church.
Failure to comply with church discipline as specified in Section 1.3.
Article 2 Church Leadership
The leaders of the church shall all be Resident Members of the congregation, and serve at the pleasure of the church. Scripturally, the Pastors and Deacons are the leaders of the church. However, the church may elect other organizational leaders, such as Committee Members, as needed to carry out the work of the church. Furthermore, all leaders within the church will act in accordance with Article 3, “Statement of Faith” of the Constitution.
2.1 Lead Pastor. In accordance with the New Testament, the Lead Pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament Church. As a result, the Lead Pastor reports directly to the church.
Filling a Vacancy of Lead Pastor. When a vacancy in the position of lead pastor occurs, a special business meeting shall be called to elect a Pastor Search Committee that shall consist of five (5) members which represent various demographics of the church.
Calling a Lead Pastor. When the Pastor Search Committee has made its selection, the new pastoral candidate will be invited to preach in view of a call. Following the service in which he preaches, an election shall be conducted by secret ballot and an eighty percent (80%) affirmative vote of those present and voting will constitute a call. The Lead Pastor shall be called for an indefinite term of service.
Duties of Lead Pastor. The Lead Pastor reports directly to the church. His responsibilities shall be expressly stated in the Pastor/Church Covenant. A signed copy shall be filed with the Church Clerk upon approval of all parties and shall serve as the guidelines for evaluation.
Scheduled Lead Pastor Evaluations. The Deacon body shall evaluate the Lead Pastor on a bi-annual basis (June and December). Such evaluations should be based upon the fulfilment of the Pastor/Church Covenant.
Immediate Removal of Lead Pastor. Subject to the terms under any contract of employment with the Church, the Lead Pastor shall be removed with a unanimous vote by the Deacon body for gross moral failure and/or immoral conduct with conclusive evidence that could hinder the spread of the Gospel. Conditions of pay and benefits shall be determined by the Deacon body upon termination under aforementioned circumstances.
Other Removal of Lead Pastor. Subject to the terms under any contract of employment with the Church, the Lead Pastor shall only be removed by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Resident Membership of the church present in a special business meeting for this purpose, duly noticed pursuant to Section 3.2 of these Bylaws. The Lead Pastor shall only be removed from office, for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) Teaching doctrines inconsistent with the Bible
(2) Gross neglect of duties
(4) Death or disability
2.2 Deacon Body. Understanding the role, function, and qualifications of the office of Deacon are articulated in Acts 6:3, 1 Tim 3:8–12, and Titus 1:6–9, Deacons are to assist the Lead Pastor in meeting the pastoral care needs of the church, to strive to maintain the unity of the church, and to protect the overall welfare of the Church; additionally the Deacons will serve as a board that oversees the Scholarship fund.
Selecting Deacons. The need for the addition of one or more Deacons shall be determined at the recommendation of the Lead Pastor and the Deacon body. Upon determining a need, the Chairman of the Deacons shall present such a need to the Church in a scheduled business meeting at which point it must be approved by at least a two-thirds (2/3) vote. Upon approval of adding one or more Deacons to the Deacon body, the Lead Pastor and Deacon body will examine candidates from the Resident Membership. Upon unanimous approval of the candidate(s) by the Deacon body, the Chairman of the Deacons shall present the recommendation during a Morning Worship service at least two (2) weeks prior to a special business meeting for this purpose, duly noticed pursuant to Section 3.2 of these Bylaws. Each candidate must be approved by at least a two-thirds (2/3) secret ballot vote.
Deacon Removal. The same reasons, as specified in Sections 2.1.e and 2.1.f, shall apply to the removal of any Deacon with the Lead Pastor added into the Deacon body.
2.3 Other Ministerial Staff. At such time the Lead Pastor and Deacon body see the need for additional ministerial staff, a recommendation will be made during a regular business meeting by the Chairman of the Deacons. Such recommendation shall then be publicized and considered for one (1) month and voted on during the regular business meeting. Approval must be by at least a two-thirds (2/3) secret ballot vote. Upon approval, a special business meeting shall be called to elect a committee pursuant to the same procedure specified in Section 2.1.a.
2.4 Committees. Understanding that God establishes leadership to equip all members (Eph 4:11–12), the Committees of the church should understand their role as primarily a facilitator for members to serve.
Types of Committees. The only defined Committee shall be the Nominating Committee. The purpose of the Nominating Committee shall be to recruit and nominate all Sunday School Teachers, Committee chairpersons, and members of all other Committees. This shall be done in consultation with the Lead Pastor and Deacon body. Furthermore, the Nominating Committee shall make recommendations, in consultation with the Lead Pastor and Deacon body, during regular business meetings as to the establishment and dissolution of other Committees of the church. It shall consist of four (4) members, each serving a two (2) year term. Terms shall be staggered, with two (2) members beginning a new term and two (2) members in the final year of their term; members of the Nominating Committee may not serve consecutive terms.
Qualifications of Committee Members. Each committee member will be nominated based upon due consideration of the following:
Their Resident Membership status.
Their demonstrated commitment to the church based on report within and without the church, regular attendance, and spirit of unity with the church.
Their demonstrated experience and background, as it pertains to the duties of the Committee for which they are being nominated
Committee Member Removal. The same reasons, as specified in Sections 2.1.e and 2.1.f, shall apply to the removal of any Committee Member with the Lead Pastor added into the Deacon body.
Article 3 Church Meetings
3.1 Worship Services. Following is the regular schedule of meetings.
Sunday School 10:00 am
Morning Worship 11:00 am
Evening Worship 5:30 pm
Prayer Meeting 7:00 pm
In addition, the Lead Pastor, in consultation with the Deacon body, may change or cancel any services in the case of an emergency.
3.2 Regular Business Meeting. A regular business meeting shall be a standing scheduled event held following the Sunday Evening Worship service on the second (2nd) Sunday of each month. The Lead Pastor shall be the Moderator and the Chairman of the Deacons the Vice-Moderator. During a regular business meeting, any member may bring forth business. Only Resident Members are entitled one vote per item. Voting by proxy is prohibited.
Order of Meeting. Upon being called to order, the regular business meeting shall consist of reading of minutes, financial report, old business, and new business. The agenda for the meeting shall be made available before the Sunday Morning Worship Service on the second (2nd) Sunday of each month.
Financial Motions. Any financial motion that is to be considered at the regular business meeting must be submitted in writing on or before the Sunday prior to the regular business meeting to the Lead Pastor or one of the deacons and must be pursuant with Section 4.
3.3 Special Business Meeting. A special business meeting may be called by the Lead Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons, or at least two (2) chairpersons of a Committee. Special meetings may be called at any time provided notice is given in the regular Sunday morning services at least two (2) weeks before the special business meeting and a clear purpose of the special business meeting is included in the announcement.
3.4 Emergency Business Meeting. In the event of an emergency, an emergency business meeting may be called by the Lead Pastor or the Chairman of the Deacons provided a clear purpose of the special business meeting is included in the announcement. Notice shall be made to all members in the following ways:
Phone calls to all Resident Members
Email sent to all Resident Members
Prominently displayed on all the church’s electronic and social media outlets
3.5 The Church Calendar. The church’s organizational year shall begin on September 1. The church’s fiscal year shall begin on January 1. The official church calendar shall be the official schedule of events for the church. It will take precedence over any non-calendared event. The church calendar shall be coordinated by the Lead Pastor and Deacon body.
Article 4 Church Finances
4.1 The Church MAP (Ministry Action Plan). A Ministry Action Plan (MAP) shall be prepared and submitted to the church during the November regular business meeting. The MAP shall then be approved during the December regular business meeting. The Lead Pastor and Deacon body, in consultation with the church treasurer and all committees, will prepare and provide general oversight of MAP throughout the fiscal year.
4.2 A Record of All Funds. All funds received for any purpose shall be properly monitored by the church treasurer.
Financial Reports. The church treasure, in consultation with any financial administrative services employed by the church, will provide a financial report each month during the regular business meeting. The financial report shall be used as a tool to measure the effectiveness of MAP.
4.3 Benevolence. Benevolence shall not exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750) at one time not to exceed one thousand five hundred dollars ($1500) per occurrence. Should an event arise where a greater sum is needed or the prescribed amount has been exceeded, a motion can be made during a regular or special business meeting.
4.4 Special Offerings. Offerings for non-budgeted items shall be limited to the special missions offerings for mission causes and love offerings as designated for the church, approved by the Lead Pastor and/or the Deacon body.
4.5 Indebtedness. The Deacon body shall execute in the name of Bluegrove Baptist Church all loans and other documents as directed by the church. Motions to for indebtedness may be made at any business meeting provided each motion has been presented in writing at the previous regular business meeting and copies of the proposed motion has been provided to each Resident member at least two (2) weeks before the vote is taken. Motions for indebtedness shall be approved by at least three-quarters (3/4) secret ballot vote with at least two-thirds (2/3) Resident Members present and voting. Church indebtedness repayments shall not exceed thirty percent (30%) of annual receipts.
Article 5 Church Property
5.1 Use of Church Property. All church property—intellectual property, real property, buildings, equipment, vehicles, and furnishings—shall be used primarily for the needs and ministries of this church and should be in accordance with the Article 3, “Statement of Faith” of the Constitution. Other uses may be granted by the Lead Pastor, Deacon body, or during a regular business meeting and must be in accordance with the Fellowship Hall Usage Policy.
5.2 Maintenance. Custodial services shall be provided as needed and as allocated for in the church MAP. Repairs and maintenance shall be directed by any committee designated for such work.
Article 6 Church Operations Manual
An operations manual shall be prepared and maintained by the Lead Pastor, Deacon body, and Church Clerk. The operations manual shall accurately reflect the operations of the church and shall contain all active church policies and agreements, description for each active committee, and any other organization or administrative matter of the church as is needed.
Article 7 Amendments
Changes in the bylaws may be made at any business meeting provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at the previous regular business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment have been provided to each Resident member at least two (2) weeks before the vote is taken. Amendments to the bylaws shall be approved by at least three-quarters (3/4) secret ballot vote with at least two-thirds (2/3) Resident Members present and voting.