Our Church Constitution
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principle of God's Word.
Section 1. NAME
This church shall be known as the First Baptist Church of Weston, West Virginia.
Section 2. CHARACTER
It is a congregation of believers in Jesus Christ baptized by immersion in His name, and associated in the fellowship of the Gospel by a Covenant and a Confession of Faith. It is a church regularly constituted, independent of every Ecclesiastical body, having the Spiritual authority to govern itself, to choose and remove its own officers, and to receive, discipline and dismiss its own members.
Section 3. PURPOSE (8.4.93)
The purpose of the First Baptist Church of Weston is to be a united, loving body, saved through Christ and led by the Holy Spirit. Under the church's leadership, all members will be nurtured and trained to use their spiritual gifts for the advancement of God's Kingdom. The congregation will be a visible body, striving to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the local church, the community and the world.
Section 4. RELATIONSHIP
This church affiliates with the Broad Run Baptist Association, The West Virginia Baptist Convention, The American Baptist Convention, and the Baptist World Alliance in the execution of Christ's Great Commission to the churches.
Article II - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. QUALIFICATIONS
Any person may become a member of this church by a majority vote of the church provided any one of the following requirements is met:
a. Upon public confession of faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord followed by immersion as soon as possible after candidate has presented himself.
b. By letter from another Church of like faith and order.
c. Upon statement of Christian experience, if previously baptized by immersion.
d. By restoration.
Section. 2. DUTIES OF MEMBERS
Members of this church shall endeavor to understand and familiarize themselves with the principles and teachings of Baptists and the Church Covenant, to endeavor with all earnestness to practice them; to attend habitually the services of the church to give of their time and talents to the church programs; and to contribute consistently and generously in support of the work including local expenses and missionary efforts.
Section 3. DISMISSAL OF MEMBERS
a. Letters of dismissal, for the purpose of uniting with some other Baptist Church of like faith and order, shall be granted to members in good standing, by a majority vote of the members present.
b. Any member in good standing desiring to unite with a church of some other denomination may, by a majority vote of the members present, be granted a letter of dismission. Upon authorization of the church, the church clerk shall send this letter of dismission to the church making the request.
c. Should any member unite with another church without giving this church due notice, this church upon receiving good and sufficient evidence shall remove that member's name from the membership roll.
Section 4. MEMBERS WHO DISREGARD THEIR COVENANT OBLIGATIONS
Any member who by continued un-Christian conduct and persistent disregard of church obligations and cannot be reclaimed shall upon recommendation of the Board of Deacons and an affirmative vote of the church, if a quorum is present, be erased from the membership roll. This is to be done only after scriptural means as described in Matthew 18 have been followed.
Section 5. REQUEST FOR ERASURE OF NAME
When a member requests that his or her name be erased from the church roll, and no charges have been made against such member, the Board of Deacons shall investigate, and if they are satisfied that said member cannot be reclaimed, they shall present to the church a recommendation that the name be erased from the membership roll. The church may immediately act upon such recommendation.
Section 6. NON-RESIDENT MEMBERS
Non-resident members who move from this community and fail to communicate with the church concerning their spiritual state or to contribute to its expense and the spread of the Gospel for a period of two years, will automatically be placed on an inactive membership roll.
Section 7. INACTIVE MEMBERS
a. When a member of the church who is physically able has been inactive for a period of one year without communicating with the church either by his or her presence at services or contributions to the financial program of the church, his or her name shall be placed upon the inactive membership roll.
b. The names on this inactive membership roll shall not be counted in making a report of membership.
c. Members on the inactive membership roll shall not have the power to vote.Article III - Officers
Section 1. LISTING OFFICERS
b. Church School Superintendent
c. Church Clerk
d. Assistant Church School Superintendent
f. Assistant Treasurer
g. Financial Secretary
h. Assistant Financial Secretary
I. Head Usher
j. Assistant Usher
k. Assistant Church Clerk
a. Board of Deacons
b. Board of Trustees
c. Board of Christian Education
a. Finance Committee
b. Nominating Committee
c. Music Committee
All officers shall be members of this church in good standing and shall, with the exception of the pastor, be elected for a term of office as provided in Article IV of the constitution.
All officers shall assume office at the beginning of the fiscal year of the church. Officers elected to till a vacancy shall assume office immediately upon election and shall serve the remainder of that term.
As the first meeting of the year each board and committee shall elect a chairman and a secretary and shall establish a regular time of meeting.
The resignation of officers should be in writing to the church, and be effective on the date specified in the resignation.
Article IV - DUTIES AND LENGTH OF TERM OF OFFICE
Section 1. PASTOR
The Pastor shall preach the Gospel, administer the ordinances, watch over his membership, promote the spiritual interests of the church, and organize and develop its strengths for the best possible service. He shall be an ex officio member of all Boards and Committees of the church. He shall serve as moderator, and shall preside at all business meetings of the church. In the absence of the pastor, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons ,or a deacon appointed by the chairman, shall serve as moderator.
His tenure as pastor shall be indefinite. The term of office may be ended upon sixty days notification of the part of pastor or of the church. Termination of the office shall be voted at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose have been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. A vote of two-thirds of the members present and qualified to vote, provided there be a quorum, shall make valid termination of said office or by mutual consent.
Section 2. THE BOARD OF DEACONS
The Board of Deacons shall be composed of nine members. the Deacons shall, in every way, assist the pastor in his work; the shall cooperate with him in providing the pulpit supply and the leaders of prayer meeting in his absence. They shall cooperate with the pastor in visiting the members, and in the care of the sick, needy and distressed members of the church; and in the preparation for the observance of the ordinances of the church. They shall assist in promoting the evangelistic program of the church. They shall seek to reclaim any member who disregards his Covenant obligation.
The term of office shall be three years. Three new Deacons shall be elected each year to replace the three whose term expire. No Deacon can be re-elected until one year has elapsed with the exception of one filling an unexpired term.
Deacons shall be ordained in the service of the church. They shall continue in that capacity until their term expired, until removed by the church, by resignation, by death, or by removal from the community.
Section 3. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Term of office shall be three years, two being elected each year to serve three years.
In case of vacancy by resignation, death, removal from the area, or vote of the church, the church shall elect a member in good standing who will meet the state's requirement for such a trustee to fulfill the unexpired term.
The trustees shall hold in trust all the real estate, deeds, and insurance policies of the church.
They shall see that all property of the church is properly cared for and rendered most serviceable for the church.
They shall employ a sexton, determine his or her duties, and oversee his or her work.
The sexton, if a member of the church, shall be an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.
They, in conjunction with the pastor, shall constitute the House Committee of the church and shall control the use of the property for the best interest of the church.
Trustees shall se that all church building and properties shall be used only for church-related programs and activities. Any exception to this regulation must be worked out with the Board Trustees.
They shall not sell, grant or encumber the real estate or other property of the church unless authorized to do so by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a meeting of the church called for the purpose of considering such a transaction. Such a meeting of the church must be called in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the state of West Virginia which governs the selling or encumbering of church property.
Section 4. THE BOARD OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
The Board of Christian Education shall be composed of six members in good standing elected by the church. One third of the Board shall be elected each year for a term of three years. Ex officio members of this Board shall be the pastor, the Sunday School Superintendent, and the Assistant superintendent.
The Board shall be responsible for:
a. The organization, administration, and supervision of the educational program of the church.
b. Discovering, enlisting, training, and appointing of all church education workers, being sure that each teacher and officer of the Sunday Church School is a member the Church and attends worship services.
c. Evaluation, determining, and supervising the curriculum of the educational program.
d. Developing and interpreting to the constituency of the church, the educational objectives and goals.
e. Formulation and administration of the budget for Christian education.
Section 5. THE FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Finance Committee shall be composed of six members (one deacon, one trustee, and four other from the church at large) all to be nominated by the Nominating Committee. The Treasurer and Financial Secretary will be ex officio members. Three members shall be elected each year for the two year terms.
The Finance Committee shall secure the necessary funds to meet all the expenses the budget, as adopted, to maintain and advance the work of the church. It shall present to the church a proposed budget for the coming year at least one week in advance of the annual business meeting in December. The Committee shall appoint an Auditing Committee of three to audit the books of the Financial Secretary and the Treasurer
Section 6. THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY
The Financial Secretary shall receive all offerings, general and by envelope, and shall keep an accurate record thereof in a book provided by the church. The Secretary shall be responsible for all members having church envelopes. The Financial Secretary shall deposit in the bank to the credit of the treasurer all money received, and shall render duplicate receipts of the same to the Treasurer. His records shall agree with those of the Treasurer. All money shall be counted by the Financial Secretary and the assistant Financial Secretary and/or one other person appointed by the Financial Committee.
The Financial Secretary shall be elected for a term of one year
Section 7. THE TREASURER
The general Treasurer shall be the custodian of all moneys contributed for general expenses of the church. All disbursements shall be authorized by the church, and payment of all bills shall be by check. He or she shall make a monthly report of receipts and disbursements, to be incorporated in the minutes, showing the actual financial condition of the church; he or she shall also make an annual report to the church on disbursements. He or She shall present his or her books to be audited at the close of the fiscal year, or more often if requested by the church. He or she shall deliver immediately to his or her successor all books and records pertaining to his office.
The Treasurer shall be elected for one year.
Section 8. CLERK
The Clerk shall keep accurate minutes of the business proceedings of the church, including the reception and dismission of members; keep a complete roll of the members of the church and their addressed; issue letters of dismission and certificates of Christian standing, as authorized by the church' conduct all official correspondence, preserve and properly file in a safe place all letters, reports, and other documents pertaining to his or her office; and assist in preparing denominational reports and any others that may required. He or she shall deliver immediately to his or her successor all books, files, records, and other documents in his or her possession.
The Clerk shall also serve as parliamentarian.
The Clerk shall be elected for one year.
Section 9. SUNDAY CHURCH SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
The Sunday Church School Superintendent and/or the assistant superintendent shall have general supervision of the Sunday Church School.
The Sunday Church School Superintendent and the Assistant shall be elected for one year.
Section 10. THE MUSIC COMMITTEE
The Music Committee shall consist of three members to be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church. They shall be elected for one year terms.
The Committee shall have authority to select the choir director and other musical talent, and shall have general charge of the music of all services of the church in cooperation with the pastor and the choir director., It shall incur expenses only as authorized by the church.
Section 11. THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
The Nominating Committee shall consist of six members nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church. They shall serve one year terms.
Article V - ELECTIONS
Section 1. TIME
The election of officers shall be held during regular business meeting in December.
Section 2. QUORUM
Twenty-five members in good standing, qualified voters, shall constitute a quorum.
All matters pertaining to the purchase, sale or mortgaging of properties shall be voted on only by members who are active and in good standing and who are of legal age. In all other matters, members who are active and in good standing are entitled to vote.
Section 3. PROCEDURE
The nominating Committee shall present to the church, at least one week before the annual Business meeting, the names of one or more persons for each office to be filled. Upon the presentation of said report, it shall be the privilege of any member present and qualified to vote to place in nomination shall be placed upon the ballot. All elections shall be by written ballot, a majority of the ballots cast shall be allowed.
In all business matters of the church, other than the election of officers, the uplifted hand shall be the usual sign of voting unless a standing vote or vote by ballot be called.
Section 4. VACANCIES
The Nominating Committee shall present to the church, nominees to fill any vacancies that may occur during the year. Those elected shall serve only the unexpired term. These may be elected at any regular monthly business meeting.
Article VI - CALLING A PASTOR
When it is necessary to call a pastor, the church at a regular business meeting shall select a representative Pulpit Committee of one Deacon, one Trustee, one member of the Board of Christian Education, one member of American Baptist Woman, two members at large. It shall be the duty of this committee to take necessary steps to call a pastor. The committee shall investigate the merits of every man under consideration in regards to his personal character, education, ministerial record, preaching ability, and poise, in determining his fitness for pastorate. When a suitable man is found, the committee shall recommend him to the church for consideration.
The church will consider one candidate at a time to fill the vacancy.
In case of vacancy in the pulpit, the Deacons shall engage supplies for the pulpit in the interim.
Section 1. DEVOTIONAL MEETINGS
a. The church shall meet regularly each Lord's Day for worship and the preaching of the Gospel.
b. The Lord's Supper shall be observed on the first Sunday of each quarter unless changed by the pastor and the Board of Deacons.
c. The church shall meet at least once each week for prayer, testimony, and study of the Word.
d. The church shall meet each Lord's day for Christian instruction and at such other times at the church may decide.
Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.