BETHEL BIBLE CHURCH BYLAWS
Section 1 ~ Qualifications:
A. All applicants must profess a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and have a
personal relationship with Him.
B. A person’s profession of faith shall be evident through his testimony, reputation
C. Every individual considering membership should accept, be in agreement with,
and willingly submit himself to this Constitution and Bylaws.
D. Following the command of Jesus, we require believers baptism by immersion of
all membership candidates.
E. The individual shall be willing to support Bethel Bible Church in attendance,
prayer, monetary giving and serving in areas where his/her spiritual gifts can be
used to minister to others.
F. Each individual must be at least 14 years of age.
G. An Associate Membership will be given to those individuals who are members of
another church body and are temporarily living away from their home church for
an anticipated length of over 6 months. These could be individuals such as
students, interns, traveling business people, foreign visitors, and/or missionaries
on furlough. The same qualifications as listed above and the rights and
privileges as outlined in Section 4 of this article will be adhered to with the
exception that the individual will not be extended voting rights.
Section 2 ~ Procedure
A. The individual considering membership will need to obtain and read a copy of
this Constitution and Bylaws and enroll in the membership orientation class,
B. The individual will need to obtain a membership questionnaire and submit the
completed form to the Elder Board or any member of the pastoral staff.
C. The Elder Board will contact the individual and schedule the interview meeting.
This meeting is for the purpose of discussing, but is not limited to, the
individual’s testimony and evidence of his/her understanding of and agreement
with this document in its entirety. This meeting shall be held at the
convenience of the Elder Board and the individual once the questionnaire has
been submitted. The majority of the Elder Board will need to be present for
D. Approval for membership shall be granted upon a satisfactory interview and the
status of believer’s baptism.
E. Every new member shall be welcomed publicly at a regular Sunday morning
F. New members shall be added to the current membership roll.
G. At the Annual Congregational Business Meeting, all members will be asked to
reaffirm Bethel Bible Church’s purpose and beliefs.
Section 3 ~ Lifestyle
A. Members are encouraged to live righteous lives according to Titus 2:1-8, 11-14
and I Thessalonians 4:1-12.
B. Members, as part of the body of Christ, are encouraged to get involved in
activities that are beneficial in stimulating spiritual growth. These activities
may include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. spending time daily in the Word of God and in prayer (Psalm 119:9,11,18;
Colossians 4:2; I Thessalonians 5:17-18)
2. spending time daily in personal and family devotions (Deuteronomy 6:4-9;
3. attending church services on a regular basis (Psalm 122:1; Hebrews
4. getting involved in small group Bible studies (Acts 17:11; II Timothy 2:15)
5. serving in areas of ministry (Romans 12:1-12)
6. committing to teach, train and nurture people in spiritual growth
(Proverbs 22:6; III John 4; I Peter 5.2)
C. Members should encourage one another and speak in love for the purpose of
building each other up. (Hebrews 10:24-25) Members should also support one
another through prayer and be willing to help those who are in need. (Galatians
D. Members are encouraged to support Bethel Bible Church by giving a portion of
their income. (I Corinthians 16:2, II Corinthians 8:3, II Corinthians 9:6-7)
E. Members are encouraged to live a life that reflects Jesus Christ, striving
towards Christ-like living. Spiritual growth of the individual should be evident
through the fruit of the Spirit which is recorded in Galatians 5:22-23 as “love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-
F. Members are encouraged to be witnesses in their communities by carefully and
consistently living in a manner worthy of Jesus Christ. (James 1:26-27)
G. We believe that Scripture discourages Christians from bringing civil lawsuits
against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. God’s
church has all of the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between
members. In seeking to reconcile differences, mediation and arbitration are to
be sought rather than litigation. (I Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32)
Section 4 ~ Rights/Privileges
A. The voting age of membership shall be 18 years of age.
B. Proxy and absentee voting is prohibited.
C. Voting members are eligible to serve on any of the boards, subject to meeting
the biblical qualifications outlined in Article III, Section 1-C, Section 2-C, and
D. Members are eligible to serve in any areas of ministry according to their gifts
E. Voting members may submit nominations for board members. The selection
process for the Elder Board and Deacon Board is outlined in Article III, Section
1-D of these Bylaws.
Section 5 ~ Absence/Withdrawal
A. Any member, absent for one year and from whom no communication has been
received, may be removed from the membership list by a majority approval of
the Elder Board.
B. Anyone removed from membership shall be notified in writing by the Church
C. Any member who wishes to be removed from membership shall inform the Elder
Board in writing.
D. Letters of transfer will be granted upon request, to departing members who are
in good standing at Bethel Bible Church.
E. It shall be within the scope of the Elder Board to review the church
membership whenever they deem necessary.
Section 6 ~ Church Discipline
A. Bethel Bible Church shall make every effort to adhere to the principles set
forth in Matthew 18:15-17, “If your brother sins against you, go and show him
his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your
brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that
every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church, and if he refuses to listen
even to the church, treat him as you would an unbeliever.”
B. The motivation behind discipline is love and ultimately restoration.
1. “Do everything in love.” (I Corinthians 16:14)
2. “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be
devoted to one another in brotherly love.” (Romans 12:9-10a)
3. ”My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone
should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the
error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of
sins.” (James 5:19-20)
C. If any member is found to consistently conduct himself in a manner that is in
any way a direct violation of clear biblical commands, becomes divisive within
this church body, and denies any of the doctrinal statements found in the
Statement of Faith, the principles found in Matthew 18 shall set the standard
for the following steps taken to help restore the brother or sister:
1. Personally approach the member one on one to confront the sin. If the
member shows true repentance, no further action shall be taken. If
he/she is unwilling to repent, continue with Step 2. We are warned in
Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual
should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be
2. Confront the member a second time, bringing one or two other fellow
members with you as witnesses. If the member shows true repentance,
no further action shall be taken. If the member once again is unwilling to
repent, continue with step 3.
3. The particular matter being addressed shall be brought to the attention
of the Elder Board. The Board members shall meet with the member in
question to confront him/her and to see if there has been any evidence
of repentance. If the Board determines that the member is
unrepentant, they shall present the matter at a called, member only,
congregational meeting. This is in accordance with I Timothy 5:20,
“Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others may take
warning.” If the member still refuses to listen to biblical counsel, then
continue with step 4.
4. The Elder Board may remove the person from membership by a majority
vote of the Board, and then provide the reason in writing to the
individual. We are told in II Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15, “In the name of
the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from
every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you
received from us . . . If anyone does not obey our instruction in this
letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that
he may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him
as a brother.”
5. The Elder Board shall disclose to the congregation, at any called
congregational business meeting, the action taken regarding any person
who was disciplined and removed from membership.
D. Any member is subject to the steps outlined above and may be removed from
any role of pastor, board member, trustee, officer, ministry leader or any other
role of service until the disciplinary issue is resolved. The resolution could be
reinstatement, probation, permanent removal or variations thereof.
Ordinances of the Church
Section 1 ~ Communion
A. The Lord’s Supper shall be practiced on a regular basis.
B. All believers who profess a saving faith in Jesus Christ are invited to partake in
C. Prior to receiving communion, one should take time for personal self-examination
and confession of sin before the Lord. In this way, each believer might partake
in the Lord’s Supper in a worthy manner. (I Corinthians 11:27-29)
D. The Lord’s Supper is observed as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrificial death, with
the elements serving only as a symbol of His broken body and shed blood on the
Section 2 ~ Baptism
A. Baptism by immersion shall be the mode practiced by this body of believers.
B. Baptism by immersion, which is symbolic of Jesus’ death, burial and
resurrection, shall serve as an act of obedience to the command of Jesus and as
a public statement of faith. (Matthew 3:6; Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 3:21-22;
Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:11-12)
C. Baptism by immersion is a requirement for membership into Bethel Bible Church.
Section 1 ~ Elder Board
The purpose of the Elder Board is to provide the spiritual leadership of this
church. This Board shall serve as overseers and shepherds of God’s flock as
commanded in I Peter 5:1-4, “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow
elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to
be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as
overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you
to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those
entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief
Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade
1. The Elder Board is accountable, first to the authority of Christ, who is
the Head of the Church, and second, to the membership, as stated in
Article II of the Constitution. They shall be responsible for teaching,
encouraging and correcting this body according to scripture. (Titus 1:9)
2. The Board shall strive to stimulate the spiritual development of each
individual, resulting in spiritual growth as a body of believers. (Ephesians
3. The Elder Board shall hold regularly scheduled, monthly Board meetings.
4. The Elder Board shall be responsible for the interview and approval of
prospective church members.
5. The Board shall provide spiritual leadership and direction in accordance
with the purpose, mission and vision of this body of believers.
6. Members of the Board shall assist the pastor(s) during worship services
when needed. This may include, but is not limited to, serving communion,
performing baptisms, and leading services in the absence of the
7. The Board shall provide Elder Board liaisons to each member of the
pastoral staff for the purpose of support, enhanced communication and
8. The members of the Elder Board shall determine the number of new
Elder and/or Deacon Board members needed as determined by the size
and needs of this congregation. No family members shall be elected to
serve in a majority status on any church Boards.
9. The Elder Board shall review the Nominating Committee report and
approve the candidates and the ballot before the annual meeting.
10. The Elder Board is responsible to conduct the annual meetings.
1. The Elder Board shall be selected and approved based upon the
qualifications listed in the following two passages of scripture.
a. I Timothy 3:1-7, “Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his
heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now, the
overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife,
temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not
given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a
lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his
children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how
to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He
must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall
under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good
reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and
into the devil’s trap.”
b. Titus 1:6-9, “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife,
a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being
wild and disobedient. Since an overseer is entrusted with God’s work,
he must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given
to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather he
must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, and who is self-
controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the
trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage
others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
2. All elders must be members of Bethel Bible Church.
3. All Pastors, once elected by the congregation, are automatically Elder
D. Selection Process
1. The Elder Board shall establish a Nominating Committee each year for
the purpose of creating a slate of candidates to fill positions that are
vacant, or soon to be vacant. The Nominating Committee should consist
of one elder, one deacon and three church members, but the actual size
can be changed as needed, so long as the congregation is adequately
represented. Efforts will be made to include some new Nominating
Committee members in the process each year. Once selected, the
Nominating Committee members shall be announced to the congregation
and printed in the bulletin. At that time, the elders will also announce to
the congregation that nominations for new Elder and Deacon Board
members are being accepted.
2. The Nominating Committee shall accept confidential, written nominations
which identify both the nominee and the nominator. Nomination forms
will be provided by the Nominating Committee. Nominations will be
closed 45 days before the annual meeting.
3. A member may nominate himself or be nominated by any member of the
church. Those nominating someone shall receive prior consent and
signature from the individual before submitting the nomination form to
the Nominating Committee.
4. The Nominating Committee may interview the nominator of a candidate
for the purpose of determining why he/she believes the nominee is
qualified for the position indicated. The Nominating Committee shall
review the names of the candidates being considered for the positions
and conduct individual interviews of each prospective candidate to hear
their testimony and to determine whether they meet the qualifications
as outlined in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.
5. Each Nominating Committee member shall prayerfully consider each
6. If the Nominating Committee determines that a candidate is not
biblically qualified for the position, he shall be informed confidentially by
the Committee as to the reason. Out of consideration for the candidate,
no details regarding this decision will be made public.
7. A proposed list of candidates and length of individual terms shall be
presented to the Elder Board for consideration. Approval will be based
on a majority vote of the current Elder Board members present at any
one of their scheduled meetings.
8. The approved list of candidates shall be presented to the congregation
no later than 30 days prior to the Annual Congregational Business
Meeting, which shall be held on any Sunday during March.
9. Members will be asked to prayerfully consider each candidate, keeping in
mind the qualifications found in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.
10. At the Annual Congregational Business Meeting, the candidates shall be
presented to the congregation to give their testimonies before being
voted on by written ballot. The ballot shall show each candidates name
and length of term. Approval of the candidate(s) will be based on a
majority vote of the voting members present. Actual vote count will not
11. Existing office holders will be required to publicly re-affirm their
beliefs each year at the annual meeting.
12. A nominee or candidate may withdraw his name at any time during this
13. In the event of an unexpected vacancy, the Elder Board is responsible to
evaluate the need of a replacement depending on the length of the
remaining term. The Elder Board may make a temporary appointment if
the remaining term is 3 months or less, or they may establish a
Nominating Committee in order to fill a longer vacancy.
Elder Board members shall be elected for terms of one, two or three years in
order to maintain stability within the Board by minimizing the number of
retirements each year.
1. A year of service shall be from annual meeting date to annual meeting
2. Elder Board members are limited to serving two consecutive terms
followed by at least one sabbatical year.
3. A Board member may be removed from the Board by his own decision, or
by a majority vote of the voting members present at any called
congregational business meeting, only after adhering to I Timothy 5:19
and the steps outlined under church discipline.
4. All Elder Board members are subject to disciplinary procedures as
outlined under Article I, Section 6 of these Bylaws.
Section 2 ~ Deacon Board
The purpose of the Deacon Board is to accomplish the work of Christian service
in order that the elders may devote themselves to prayer and the teaching of
the Word. The Deacon Board is responsible for serving the needs of this body
of believers and conducting the caring ministries of this church body. The
Deacon Board is accountable first to the authority of Christ, who is the Head of
the Church, and second to the Elder Board, which represents the membership as
stated in Article II of the Constitution.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Conduct the benevolence ministry.
2. Visit the sick.
3. Visit the negligent members.
4. Be alert to the cares, concerns and spiritual needs of the people in this
congregation, apprising the elders of these matters so that appropriate
action may be taken.
5. Promote unity within this church body.
6. Assist in serving communion and assist with baptisms.
7. Oversee any and all church property.
8. Each deacon shall be responsible for a designated number of families
determined by the size and needs of the congregation.
9. The chairman of the Deacon Board shall act as spokesman to the Elder
Board and Pastoral Staff.
10. Meet at least once a month to conduct any necessary business.
1. Deacons shall be selected and approved based upon the character
qualifications listed in scripture: I Timothy 3:8-12, “Deacons, likewise,
are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and
not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of
the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if
there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”
2. Deaconesses shall be selected and approved upon the character
qualifications listed in scripture:
a. I Timothy 3:11, “Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious
gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.” (NASB)
b. Titus 2:3-5, “Older women likewise, are to be reverent in their
behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching
what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love
their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at
home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of
God will not be dishonored.” (NASB)
3. Deacon Board members must be willing to serve the body of believers:
Acts 6:1-4, “In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,
the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews
because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of
food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, ‘It
would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in
order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who
are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this
responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the
ministry of the word.’” Romans 16:1, “I commend to you our sister
Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea.” (NASB)
4. Deacons/Deaconesses must be members of Bethel Bible Church.
D. Selection Process
The selection process for Deacon Board members is the same as for Elder
Board members outlined under Article III, Section 1-D of these Bylaws.
E. Term /Removal
Deacon Board members are subject to the same term of position and removal
from position as the elders as outlined in Article III, Section 1-E of these
Section 3 ~ Church Council
The Church Council shall be made up of the elders, deacons, trustees and
officers for the purpose of meeting together to discuss and deal with any items
of mutual interest or concern.
B. The Church Council shall meet whenever they deem necessary.
Section 4 ~ Church Chairman
The purpose of the church chairman is to exercise guidance, direction and/or
control during all church congregational and/or business meetings.
The responsibilities of the church chairman include, but are not limited to, the
1. serve as chairman of the Elder Board
2. act as moderator/mediator at all church congregational and/or business
3. serve as ex officio member of all church ministries and committees
4. fulfill additional responsibilities as determined by the Elder Board
The church chairman must be an elder. The qualifications listed for an elder
are outlined under Article III, Section 1-C of these Bylaws.
D. Selection Process
1. Generally, the elder, who is in his last term year, is elected to this
position. However, it is open to any non-staff member of the Elder Board
willing to serve as church chairman.
2. The Elder Board shall vote and announce to the congregation the elder
elected to be chairman of both the church and the Elder Board.
1. The position of church chairman should be for the duration of the last
year of his term on the Elder Board.
2. The church chairman is subject to the term and removal clause of an
elder as outlined under Article III, Section 1-E of these Bylaws.
Section 5 ~ Pastoral Staff
A. The pastoral staff shall include the senior pastor and associate pastor(s).
1. Each member of the pastoral staff must meet the qualifications of an
elder as outlined under Article III, Section 1-C of these Bylaws.
2. Each member of the pastoral staff must be in agreement with all articles
of this Constitution and abide by this church’s Bylaws.
3. He must uphold, maintain and defend this Constitution and Bylaws in its
1. The senior pastor and the associate pastor(s) shall serve as members of
the Elder Board.
2. Each member of the pastoral staff shall be accountable to the Elder
Board through its liaisons and to the congregation.
3. The responsibilities of the pastoral staff are the same as that of an
elder as outlined under Article III, Section 1-B of these Bylaws.
4. The senior pastor shall also be responsible for the following:
a. To teach and preach the Word of God to this congregation on a
b. To administer the ordinances of the church as outlined under
Article II of these Bylaws.
c. To communicate the purpose, and develop the mission and vision of
Bethel Bible Church.
5. The Elder Board shall determine any additional responsibilities of the
senior pastor and the associate pastor(s).
6. The pastoral staff may initiate new ministries. See also Article VI,
Section 2-B of these Bylaws.
7. The pastoral staff shall be responsible to oversee any and all ministry
D. Selection Process
1. A Pastoral Search Team shall be composed of members of this
congregation. The Team may be composed of elders, deacons and other
members of the congregation. No more than two elders/deacons may
serve on the Pastoral Search Team. Positions on the Search Team are on
a volunteer basis. The number of Team members shall be determined by
the size and needs of the congregation.
2. The Church Chairman shall make an announcement to the congregation
that a Pastoral Search Team will be forming.
3. Church members will be given two full weeks to volunteer for the Team.
If an inadequate number volunteer, the Elder Board shall seek additional
4. On the third Sunday, after the first announcement is made, a printed
ballot of Search Team candidates will be presented to the congregation
for a vote. Acceptance will be based on a majority vote of the voting
5. The Pastoral Search Team shall determine the best way to post the
available position. The position can be posted in Christian circulars
and/or Christian colleges, universities and seminaries.
6. The Pastoral Search Team shall have a chairman and secretary. The
chairman shall serve as the one to guide, direct and moderate all Team
meetings. The secretary is responsible for keeping minutes as well as
any other documentation necessary for record keeping (i.e. job listings,
questionnaires, resumes and letters). These records, if requested, shall
be made available to the congregation.
7. The Team shall evaluate the candidates who have responded and shown
interest in the position. The Team shall respond by sending
questionnaires, as well as church and/or community information, to all
8. If the Team receives returned questionnaires, they shall evaluate them
and decide which candidate(s) they would like to pursue.
9. If no response is received in a timely manner, the chairman and/or
secretary shall make follow-up phone calls to the potential candidates.
10. If it has been determined that a candidate seems suitable for the
position, he shall be contacted by letter or e-mail and then by phone to
schedule an interview meeting. It is also an opportunity to get to know
the candidate, and if possible, his family as well, on a more personal level.
11. The Pastoral Search Team shall determine if any members of the Team
need to travel to the candidate’s hometown for the purpose of observing
and gathering any information that may be pertinent to his candidacy.
12. Once this interview meeting has been held, it shall be determined if the
Team feels that this is the best qualified candidate. The candidate may
be presented to the Elder Board after a majority vote of the Pastoral
Search Team at any of the Team’s meetings.
13. Once the candidate has been presented to the Elder Board, they may
determine if additional interviews and/or meetings need to be scheduled.
14. The candidate shall be approved by a majority vote of the Elder Board.
Members of the pastoral staff are ineligible to vote, due to the
possibility of a conflict of interest.
15. The candidate shall be presented to the congregation by the Pastoral
Search Team and Elder Board. The Pastoral Search Team shall schedule
the candidate to speak at regular Sunday worship service(s). He may also
be asked to speak at other church functions and/or gatherings. He shall
be required to give his testimony publicly. He may also be scheduled to
speak at an informal congregational meeting for the purpose of a
question and answer session.
16. The vote for a new member of the pastoral staff shall take place only
after he has met the requirements outlined above. Approval of a
candidate for the pastoral staff is based on a three-fourths majority
vote of voting members present at a called congregational business
meeting as outlined in Article IV of these Bylaws.
1. The term of pastor shall begin once he has been publicly affirmed and
presented to the congregation as a member of the pastoral staff.
2. A pastor automatically becomes a member of Bethel Bible Church upon
public affirmation and presentation to the congregation.
3. A member of the pastoral staff may serve for an indefinite term.
4. A pastor may resign from his position by his own decision. A letter of
resignation must be received by the church chairman no later than thirty
days prior to his last day serving on staff. If sin is involved and a setting
aside from ministry is required, the resignation is effective immediately.
5. A pastor may be removed by a three-fourths majority vote of the voting
members present at any called congregational business meeting of church
members, only after adhering to I Timothy 5:19 and the steps outlined
under church discipline in Article I, Section 6 of these Bylaws.
6. All members of the pastoral staff are subject to the disciplinary
procedures outlined under Article I, Section 6 of these Bylaws.
7. At the discretion of the Elder Board, a severance package may be
allowed. It shall consist of a minimum of one month’s salary and benefits,
but shall not exceed six months.
Section 6 ~ Officers and Trustees
The officers of Bethel Bible Church shall be the church clerk and church
treasurer. They are accountable to the Elder Board as are all deacons.
The purpose of each of these positions is to establish order within the
business of the church.
2. Selection Process
The candidates for the positions of church clerk and treasurer shall be
selected by the Nominating Committee as delineated in Article III,
Section 1 – D – 1 through 13.
a. The above mentioned officers are required to be members of
Bethel Bible Church who are at least twenty-one years of age.
b. The church clerk and treasurer should meet all qualifications
required of deacons/deaconesses but shall attend the regular
Deacon Board meetings only as requested.
c. The offices of church treasurer and church clerk shall be
available to all qualified men or women.
4. Duties and Responsibilities
a. Church Clerk
The church clerk is responsible for:
1. Recording the minutes and keeping accurate records of
actions taken at all congregational business meetings. These
records shall then be submitted for approval at the next
congregational business meeting.
2. Keeping all records of the church, and maintaining accurate
records of the elders, deacons, officers and church
membership rolls. These records shall include, but are not
limited to, information pertaining to the elections and
approvals or removals of the members of this body of
3. Completing any and all records and/or reports that may be
required by county, state or federal laws.
4. Fulfilling any other duties or responsibilities that the Elder
Board may deem necessary.
b. Treasurer (Executive Financial Officer)
The treasurer shall be responsible for:
1. Forming a financial team, based on the magnitude of the task
and the approval of the Elder Board.
2. Overseeing the disbursement and receipt of funds of the
church according to the annual budget.
3. Establishing a procedure for handling all tithes and
offerings, which shall be received, counted and tallied in the
presence of a staff member, finance team member or church
4. Preparing a proposed annual budget that shall be presented
to the Elder Board for approval.
5. Presenting the proposed budget to the congregation no later
than four weeks prior to the Annual Congregational Business
6. Maintaining accurate records of all financial transactions of
the church and annually reporting the financial standings to
the congregation, and as additionally needed.
7. Preparing accurate financial statements, posting receipts and
disbursements of each account, and making these statements
available to the membership.
8. Supplying all records that may be required by any
9. Performing any additional duties or responsibilities that the
Elder Board may deem necessary.
a. The church clerk and treasurer shall each serve for a term of
three years. These positions are limited to serving two
consecutive terms. Once completed, they will not be eligible to
serve in any other office for one year.
b. The year of a term shall be from the end of one Annual
Congregational Meeting to the end of the next.
c. Members serving in each office are subject to disciplinary
procedures as outlined under Article I, Section 6 of these Bylaws.
d. Members serving as officers may be removed from office by
his/her own decision, with a letter of resignation submitted to the
church chairman, or by a majority vote of the voting members
present at any called congregational business meeting, only after
adhering to all the steps outlined under church discipline.
1. The position of trustee shall be composed of a minimum of two members
of the congregation.
2. The responsibility of the trustees is to maintain church property.
3. Trustees shall be appointed by the Elder Board, supported by the Deacon
Board, and approved by a majority vote of church members present at a
congregational business meeting.
4. Trustees should be of sound business judgment and spiritual
discernment. They should have experience in such areas as property
maintenance, insurance and/or business administration.
5. Additional duties and responsibilities of the trustees shall be determined
by the Deacon Board.
6. Trustees are subject to the same terms of position as outlined for an
officer in Article III, Section 6-A-5.
Section 1 ~ Congregational Business Meetings
A. Congregational meetings serve the purpose of keeping the congregation
informed about the business of the church. These meetings also allow the
congregation to communicate with its leadership.
B. The Annual Congregational Business Meeting shall be held during the month of
March. This meeting shall serve the purpose of presenting all annual reports
from committee chairmen and ministry leaders, voting on the annual budget and
new board members, and any other church business that may need to be
communicated to the congregation.
C. A congregational business meeting shall be granted by the Elder Board upon a
written request signed by at least twenty-five percent of the voting members
of this church body, and shall be held within thirty days of the request. The
request shall include a statement of the purpose of the meeting and the action
D. Official minutes of all congregational business meetings shall be recorded and
kept by the church clerk. Minutes from the previous business meeting shall be
read and approved.
E. The church chairman shall conduct meetings based upon Robert’s Rules of
Order, when applicable.
Section 2 ~ Notice
A. The notice of a scheduled congregational business meeting shall be given for the
three consecutive Sundays prior to the date of the meeting and shall include a
statement of the nature of the scheduled meeting and the action proposed.
B. The notice shall be given by announcement from the pulpit and shall be printed
in the bulletin for the three consecutive Sundays prior to the scheduled
Section 3 ~ Quorum
A quorum for congregational business meetings shall consist of at least 51 percent
of the church membership.
Section 4 ~ Voting
A. All members, ages eighteen years and older, have the right to vote at any
business meeting. Matters shall be determined by a majority vote of the
members present, except when otherwise stated in these Bylaws.
B. Each member receives one vote per voting issue, including the church chairman.
C. Proxy and absentee voting are prohibited.
D. Actions requiring a quorum for voting:
1. The election of board members.
2. The borrowing of money by the church.
3. Approval of compensations for salaried staff members.
4. Approval of the annual budget.
5. Amendment or ratification of the budget.
6. Expenditure of church funds in excess of five percent of the total
7. Purchase or sale of church property.
E. Actions requiring a quorum and three-fourths majority vote of the members
1. The election of a pastor.
2. Amendment or ratification of these Bylaws.
Section 1 ~ Annual Budget
A. The proposed annual budget, prepared by the treasurer, shall be presented
first to the Elder Board for approval and then to the congregation.
B. The proposed annual budget shall be available and presented to the congregation
the Sunday prior to the Annual Congregational Business Meeting.
C. Approval of the annual budget is subject to a majority vote of the voting
members present at the Annual Congregational Business Meeting. This action
shall be taken by written ballot.
D. The fiscal year shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
Section 2 ~ Quality Assurance
The review and evaluation of any and/or all financial records of Bethel Bible Church
shall be completed by an independent accounting firm when the Elder Board deems
Section 3 ~ Purchase or Sale of Real Estate Property
A. The trustees or a membership-appointed Building Committee shall have the
authority to propose in writing, the purchase or sale of real estate property for
B. The proposal shall be presented to the Treasurer for financial evaluation and
then to the Elder Board. A majority vote of the Elder Board present at a called
Board meeting shall constitute Board approval of the proposal.
C. The purchase or sale of real estate property shall require approval of the
members of the congregation by a majority vote at a called congregational
business meeting before the sale can be completed.
Section 1 ~ Purpose
Church ministries shall be planned and designed to accomplish one or more of the
aspects found in our purpose statement .
Section 2 ~ New Ministries
A. Approval from the congregation is not needed to start a new ministry.
B. Any member or group of members may propose a new ministry by submitting a
brief written explanation and plan to the Elder Board for approval. The
pastoral staff may also initiate new ministries. A proposal from the pastoral
staff shall be submitted to the Elder Board for approval. Approval of a new
ministry shall be based on a majority vote.
C. A ministry leader may be recommended by the Elder Board.
D. Ministry leaders shall be accountable to the Elder Board.
Section 3 ~ Ministry Evaluations
The Elder Board shall conduct annual evaluations of the pastoral staff and all
A. Evaluations may also be conducted whenever the Elder Board deems it
B. The Elder Board shall provide each pastor and ministry leader with a written
evaluation of their performance in meeting the purpose goals set forth in
Article III of the Constitution.
Hired and Operational Staff
Hired and operational staff may consist of janitors, secretaries and any other
position the Elder Board may deem necessary. The hiring of new staff members
shall be allowed if funds have been properly budgeted and made available for this
purpose. New staff members are hired by and are accountable to the Elder Board.
Resolution Clause of Unbiased Compensation
We agree that all lay-members in positions such as Elder, Deacon/Deaconess,
Treasurer, Church Clerk, and Trustee will be non-salaried. In addition, the salaried
individuals cannot vote on their own compensation. That compensation will be
recommended by the Elder Board and then determined by vote of the congregation.
Dissolution Clause (Required by law)
Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or
more tax exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code, or corresponding section of future federal tax code, or shall be
distributed to the federal government, or to state or local government for a public
purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of
Common Pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then
located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as
said Court shall determine, which are organized or operated exclusively for such
Section 1 ~ Procedure
These Bylaws of Bethel Bible Church may be amended at any called congregational
business meeting provided that the following have been adhered to:
A. Amendment(s) may be proposed by: boards, officers, committees, group
ministries or members of the congregation. A written proposal must be
submitted to the Elder Board for approval.
B. After approval, the proposed amendment(s) shall be published by letter
to the membership and in the bulletin.
C. The congregation will be notified, in the bulletin and from the pulpit, of
the time and place of the scheduled meeting on the three consecutive
Sundays prior to the meeting.
D. Voting on the amendment(s) shall be by secret ballot.
E. Approval of the amendment(s) shall be by a three-fourths majority vote
of the members present at the called congregational business meeting.
Section 2 ~ Exclusions
As long as this Constitution is edict, neither this Article X nor the Statement of
Faith shall ever be amended.
This document, in its entirety, has been officially ratified and adopted by the members
Bethel Bible Church on the 29th day of October in the year 2006.
Ad Hoc Clause to this Constitution and Bylaws for Temporary Interim Government
A temporary Elder Board will be established to oversee this church for a time period from
the approval and acceptance of this constitution and the agreement to the joint merger by
the congregations of Bethel Bible Church and Faith Ministries Community Church until the
scheduled annual business meeting in March of 2008.
This board will consist of the existing Governing Board of Bethel Bible Church (presently
5) and the Elder Board of Faith Ministries Community Church (presently 4).
This Ad Hoc Board will operate under the constraints of this constitution, specifically
Article III Leadership Section 1- Elder Board.
Members of Faith Ministries Community Church will automatically become members of
Bethel Bible Church.
Nine (9) Faith Ministries have been identified for continuation at Bethel Bible Church.
The first regular congregational business meeting will be held in March of 2007 for the
purpose of status reports, the approval of the annual budget, and the approval of any
proposed amendments to these by-laws.
After the regular congregational business meeting of March 2008, this article will become
null and void and record of this Ad Hoc Clause will be filed with the Church Clerk.