Alice Drive Baptist Church Constitution

 

Preamble

We do declare and establish this Constitution for the purpose of preserving and securing the principles of our faith and to the end that this body of believers may be governed in an orderly manner, consistent with the teaching of Scripture, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties that are inherent in each individual member of the Church; and the freedom of action of this body to relate to other bodies in Christ.

 

Article I – Name and Principle Office

This corporation shall be known as ALICE DRIVE BAPTIST CHURCH. The corporation will be further referred to in the Constitution as “the Church.”  The Principle Office of the Church is located at 1305 Loring Mill Road, Sumter, SC 29150.  Trustees may change the Principle Office at the direction of the Church.

 

Article II – Mission

The mission of Alice Drive Baptist Church is to help as many people as possible take their next step toward Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

ARTICLE III – INCORPORATION

Alice Drive Baptist Church shall be incorporated in accordance with the laws of South Carolina governing religious bodies. The corporation is not for profit. The purposes for which the corporation is organized are to operate exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of section 501(C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or the corresponding section of any future Federal tax code. No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its directors, officers, or other private individuals or persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized and empowered to make reasonable compensation for goods and services rendered and to make payments in furtherance’s of the purposes set forth above. No substantial part of the activities of the corporation shall be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation. The corporation shall not participate in or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code, or by any corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 107 (C) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or corresponding section of any future Federal tax code.

 

ARTICLE IV – STATEMENT OF FAITH

The statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Alice Drive Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Vision Council is the Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

 

 

Article V – Church Covenant

We the people of Alice Drive Baptist Church commit ourselves to God and to helping as many people as possible take their next step toward Jesus.

  • Because we believe that all people matter to God, we want all people to know Jesus as we know Him. We will welcome those exploring Jesus since we ourselves are sinners saved by grace through faith.  We will deepen our relationship with Jesus, worshipping Him publicly and privately.  (John 17:31 John 5:2Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • Because we believe Alice Drive Baptist Church should be a place of grace, we want all people to know community as we know community. We will gather regularly in fellowship, care for each other, and give grace to all.  We will protect the unity of our church by acting in love toward one another, refusing to gossip, and following the leaders God provides.  (Hebrews 12:1John 15:12Acts 2:42-47)
  • Because we believe people should be like Jesus, we will grow our character to be like His. We will pledge ourselves to disciplines of prayer, study, giving, and fasting so our hearts may be healed and transformed.  (Acts 2:42-471 Thessalonians 5:172 Timothy 2:15Malachi 3:10Matthew 6:17-18)
  • Because we believe all people have a purpose, we will seek to discover our calling and go share the blessings God gives us. We will serve with our gifts, we will share our resources, and we will spread the story of Jesus.  (Jeremiah 29:111 Corinthians 12:72 Corinthians 9:7Acts 1:8)

We hold ourselves and our leaders accountable to this covenant.  All this we pledge to do to the glory of God and in obedience to our leader Jesus, empowered by the Spirit.

 

Amen

 

 

Article VI – Church Government and Affiliations

Under the Lordship of Christ, the government of Alice Drive Baptist Church is vested in the members who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body; and is autonomous in its decision-making. The Church recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Churches. While maintaining its local autonomy, the Church will cooperate with and support Baptist bodies deemed appropriate by the Church in their local, state and national expressions; for example: the Southern Baptist Convention, the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Santee Baptist Association.  We will also cooperate with and relate to other bodies that further the purposes of Jesus Christ and advance the work of His kingdom.

 

 

Article VII – Membership

  • Qualification of Members
  • All members of Alice Drive Baptist Church will indicate their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and give testimony of a personal experience with Him to a Staff Minister or persons designated by the Ministers.
  • Church members of Alice Drive Baptist Church will be baptized by immersion or give evidence of such a baptism by another Church body.
  • All adult members 16 years and older will attend a New Member Class. The Ministers will offer such a class on a regular basis.
  • All members of Alice Drive Baptist Church will make a commitment to abide by the Church Covenant and to uphold the Statement of Faith and the Purpose of the Church as expressed in the mission statement.
  • No Church member of Alice Drive Baptist Church shall hold concurrent membership in another Church.
  • Categories and Privileges of Membership
  • Church Members.  Church members of Alice Drive Baptist Church are those who meet all the qualifications of membership as listed in this document.  They are eligible to serve in appropriate Church offices as defined by the Church constitution and Church policies.  Church members 16 years old and older have full voting privileges.   A Church member who has not attended in the previous 12 months shall not be eligible to serve in church leadership.
  • Fellowship Members. Persons who desire to be part of the Alice Drive Baptist Church family while maintaining ties to another Christian Church of like faith may be considered for fellowship membership.  They may present themselves before the Church body and ask to be included in the life of the Alice Drive Baptist Church family. Fellowship members must make a commitment to abide by the Church Covenant and to uphold the Statement of Faith and Purpose of the Church as expressed in the mission statement. Baptism by immersion is not a requirement for a fellowship member. A fellowship member shall not be eligible to vote or serve in a church Leadership position specified in this constitution.
  • A member shall be considered inactive when he or she has not attended, given or been in contact with the church for a period of 1 year. An inactive member shall not be eligible for leadership or able to vote on church matters.  A person may be reinstated when they begin attending, giving or are in contact with the church.
  • Procedure for Membership
  • Prospective members should present themselves to the Church family or to the Ministerial Staff or to the Deacon Officers requesting membership.
  • Prospective members will be informed about the qualifications of membership and   their fulfillment of the qualifications of membership will be verified by the Church Staff.
  • Termination of Membership
  • Membership is terminated when the Church receives a written request from a member or receiving Church asking for a transfer of membership.
  • When a person joins another Church in full membership, that person’s membership in Alice Drive Baptist Church is terminated.
  • A Church member whose behavior is harmful to the Church and who is unrepentant of his/her actions may have their membership in Alice Drive Baptist Church terminated on the recommendation of the Deacon Officers and the Lead Pastor.  Before termination of membership, the Deacon Officers and the Lead Pastor will initiate the procedure outlined in Matthew 18.  Such a termination must be approved by the Deacons.  If the member remains unrepentant, the membership will be terminated.  The member may appeal to the Church body as a whole at a special called Church meeting for this purpose.
  • Any member whose membership has been terminated by the Church may appeal for the restoration of his/her membership by approaching the Deacons.  If the Deacons discern a repentant heart, in accordance with 2 Corinthians 2:6-8, they may restore the former member to full membership.
  • Membership is terminated upon the death of a member.

 

 

 

Article VIII – Church Ordinances

  • The Church shall practice the ordinance of baptism for all new believers and those believers who desire active membership in the Church body. Baptism shall be in the form of immersion except in cases of extreme illness or physical limitations. In those cases, the Ministers may administer a form of baptism in keeping with a person’s health needs. The Ministers shall schedule baptism at regular intervals.
  • The Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper, commemorating the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, shall be held at regularly scheduled times as determined by the Ministers. It shall be celebrated not less than four times each year. Deacons and Ministers shall serve the Lord’s Supper to the Church body. A Lord’s Supper preparation team will be given the responsibility for preparing for the Supper.

 

 

Article IX – Church Meetings

  • The Church body shall gather at an annual meeting on or prior to the Sunday before Thanksgiving. During the annual meeting, Church officers and leaders shall be elected as provided by this Constitution and the annual Church budget will be presented for adoption. Other items will be presented as necessary. All items to be presented at the Annual meeting will be made available to the Church two weeks prior to the meeting.
  • Called Meetings. A special meeting of the Church body may be called by a majority vote of the Deacons, a majority vote of the Direction Team, or by the Lead Pastor. One-week notice of such a meeting shall be given through Church publications (e.g. the newsletter, the bulletin, church wide email) unless the urgency of the matter renders the notice impractical. In such case two of the three authorized agents (Deacons, Direction Team, or Lead Pastor) must be in agreement that a meeting should be called. In such emergency situations, the meeting may only be held in conjunction with a regularly scheduled worship service. The only items of business that may be considered during a special Church meeting are those items for which the meeting has been called.
  • A quorum for Church meeting shall consist of the members who are present at the meeting and are eligible to vote. Members who are eligible to vote and are in service on Church property may vote by absentee ballot.
  • All Church meetings shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order, latest revised edition. In the event that Robert’s Rules of Order comes into conflict with basic New Testament teaching, the New Testament shall override the authority of Robert’s Rules of Order.
  • Church meetings shall be presided over by a Church moderator who is nominated by the Nominating Team and elected by the Church to a one-year term.  In the absence of the Moderator, the Chairman of the Deacons shall preside.

 

 

ARTICLE X – CHURCH LEADERSHIP

  • Lead Pastor
  • Role: The Lead Pastor is to be Leader of the church.  He is responsible for Leading the church to fulfill its mission and purpose.  He serves as Leader of the staff and as the non-voting chair of the Direction Team.  He is also a non-voting member of the Deacon body. He may hire and terminate staff members for moral failure and failure to perform duties as specified. 
  • Qualifications: The Lead Pastor is expected to be called of God, spiritually mature, excel at Leadership, have adequate theological knowledge and training, be spiritually gifted for his role. He should meet the qualifications expressed in 1Timothy 3:1-7
  • Accountability: The Lead Pastor is accountable to the church.  The Direction Team shall conduct an annual evaluation of the Lead Pastor.  In the even there are serious concerns about the Lead Pastor’s conduct or an execution of duties the Direction Team along with Deacon officers shall be empowered to address these concerns with the Lead Pastor.  The Direction Team is authorized to immediately terminate the Lead Pastor for proven moral failure.  The model of Matthew 18:15-20 shall serve as guide for all accountability conversations with the Lead Pastor. 
  • Vacancy: The office of the Lead Pastor shall be vacant when the Lead Pastor resigns, dies or is terminated.  If the Lead Pastor resigns a notice of thirty days must be given unless there are extenuating circumstances approved by the Direction Team.  The Lead Pastor may be terminated immediately for moral failure by the Direction Team.  The Lead Pastor may also be terminated for ineffective performance of duties or for failing to adequately represent the cause of Christ through the church.  Such a termination may occur only by recommendation of the Direction Team that is ratified by two-thirds of the Deacons.  Should serious concerns arise with the Lead Pastor’s performance and the Direction Team fails to act, a vote of three-fourths of the Deacons may call a meeting of the church to consider the termination of the Lead Pastor.  The church shall vote to approve or disapprove the recommendation of the team and/or Deacons at a called meeting to consider this item of business only.  One week notice must be given for this meeting.  Lead Pastor will be allowed to address any meeting called for the purpose of terminating him.  A simple majority vote in favor of the recommendation to terminate shall vacate the office of the Lead Pastor. If the Lead Pastor is terminated in such fashion the Direction Team will determine severance pay and benefits. 
  • Selection: When the office of Lead Pastor is vacant through resignation, termination, or death the Direction Team will work ministerial staff and Deacons to provide interim Pastoral Leadership.  The Direction Team shall constitute the Pastor search team.  They will interview and select one candidate they sense God is calling to serve as Pastor of the church.  This prospective candidate will be presented to the church and the church will vote to approve or disapprove that candidate.  A two-thirds majority vote “of those present and voting” is required for a candidate to be called as Pastor.  The candidate will be given up to one week to make a decision if required. 

 

  • Church staff
  • Determination of need: The church may employ other staff Pastors and support staff as needed.  Their duties, qualifications, accountability and benefits will be specified in the church community resource management policies that are approved by the Direction Team. 

 

  • Pastoral staff
  • Each Pastoral position must be created by the approval of the job description by the Direction Team.  The Direction Team will approve a candidate for the position upon recommendation of the Lead Pastor and other Pastoral staff.  A position is filled when the candidate for the Pastoral position accepts the call from the Direction Team. 

 

  • Direction Team
  • Role: The Direction Team, along with Lead Pastor, shall be responsible for directing the energies of the church to fulfill its mission.  This shall be accomplished through prayer, counsel, and recommendations of action to the church, staff, and various teams.  For the purpose of the church’s faith doctrine practice policy and discipline, the Direction Team is the church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.  They are responsible for evaluation of the performance of the Lead Pastor and holding him accountable on behalf of the church.  The Direction Team shall also receive from the church nominations for the office of Deacon, ensuring those nominated are qualified.  They shall then forward these names to the church for election to the office of Deacon.  The Direction Team will adopt and oversee all church policies, including Financial and Human Resource policies.  They will also adopt and enact any other policies as needed by the church.  The Direction Team will recommend an annual church budget to the church for approval at the annual church meeting.  They will serve as the final Board of Appeal in all personnel matters.  The Direction Team shall also nominate the moderator, church clerk, and treasurer for election by the church.  The Direction Team is designated to receive all recommendations for change to this constitution per Article XIV.   The Direction Team shall make a quarterly report to the church.  In the event of a  vacancy in the office of Lead Pastor, the Direction Team, including the Chairperson of the Deacons, shall constitute the Pastor Search Team. 

 

  • Board Officers: The Lead Pastor serves as the non-voting Chair of the Direction Team. The Direction Team shall also elect a Lay Chair, who presides over the Direction Team during the Lead Pastor’s evaluation, when the Lead Pastor is not in attendance, and in other situations as appropriate.

 

    • Qualifications: The Direction Team shall be comprised of church members who are exceptionally mature as believers, gifted as Leaders, above reproach, wise, and respected throughout the church body. They should have been a part of the church family for at least two years.  They must be in agreement with the mission and direction of the church family.  They must be faithful in attendance, and in tithing, and they must fulfill the general spirit of Acts 2:17-1842-47; and 1 Timothy 6:11-12.  No Direction Team member may be employed by the church, with the exception of the Lead Pastor.
    • Accountability: The Direction Team is accountable to the church and to the Lead Pastor for the fulfillment of their duties.  The Lead Pastor must be notified of all Direction Team meetings.  The Direction Team may not take any recommendation to the church without notifying the Lead Pastor.  If a significant issue arises with any member of the Direction Team (excluding the Lead Pastor), the Lead Pastor, with the agreement of the Deacon officers, can ask the member to step down.  The model of Matthew 18:15-20 shall serve as guide for any situation that arises. 
    • Selection and number: There shall not be fewer than seven and not more than twelve members of the Direction Team.  Members shall serve one-year terms and may be re-elected for ten consecutive terms.  Members will be nominated by the Pastoral staff.  The Deacons shall ratify each nominee prior to being presented to the church body for election.  Should a person fail to be ratified by the Deacons, a reason shall be given to that person by the Deacon Chair.  The church in its annual meeting shall ratify those thus nominated.  The Deacon Chair shall serve as ex officio, non-voting member of the Direction Team.  The Lead Pastor may designate other members of the church staff to meet with the team as needed.

 

  • Deacons
  • Deacons shall be the servant ministers of the Church family.  They will endeavor to serve in such a way that the mission of the Church is advanced, the work of the Lead Pastor is supported, and harmony and unity is promoted within the Church family.  As a body they shall be responsible for organizing themselves to the mission-servant work of the Church.  The Deacons shall elect annually a Chair, Vice-Chair, and a Secretary, who together fulfill the responsibilities of Deacon Officers.
  • Deacons must be Church members who are exceptionally mature as believers, gifted as servants, above reproach, wise, and respected throughout the Church body.  They must be in agreement with the mission and direction of the Church family.  They must fulfill in general the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-7.  They must be faithful in attendance, tithing, service, and outreach.  They shall have been members of the Church for at least 1 year.
  • Deacons are responsible to the Church and the Lead Pastor in fulfilling their duties.  If significant issues arise with any member of the Deacon body, the Deacon Officers can ask the Deacon to step down.  The model of Matthew 18:15-20 shall serve as a guide for any situation that arises.
  • Selection and number. The Church will have a minimum of 12 Deacons.  The number may be increased by the Deacon Body.  Deacons shall serve staggered three-year terms, with one third being elected each year.  Once Deacons have completed a three-year term, they shall not be eligible for reelection for a period of one year.  Nominations from the Church body for the office of Deacon will be received by the Vision Council at a specified time.  The Vision Council shall ensure the nominees are Biblically qualified, understand the role of Deacon, and are willing to serve.  Nominees will be presented to the Church for election.  If a vacancy occurs due to death, resignation, or dismissal of a Deacon, the Vision Council may appoint a qualified person to complete the term. A person who fills an un-expired term of one year or less shall be eligible for re-election without waiting the required one-year interval.
  • All Deacons shall be ordained by the Church.  Ordinations in Churches of like faith and practice shall be recognized or reaffirmed by the Lead Pastor.  It is understood that ordination signifies the commitment of a person to servant thinking, values, and lifestyle.  Ordination is a confirmation by the church of God’s calling on a person’s life.
  • A Deacon may serve as an ex-officio (non-voting) member of any church team, as determined by the Deacon Chair.

 

  • Church Clerk
  • The Church Clerk shall maintain accurate records of all Church business including, but not limited to, minutes of Church meetings and Church membership.  The Clerk will work with Church staff to ensure these records are accurate and preserved.  The Clerk may select an assistant to help with these duties.  The Clerk serves as secretary of the corporation and as a member of the Trustees.  Church records shall be kept at the Principle Office.
  • The Clerk shall be a Church member, supportive of the Church mission, gifted in service and a mature follower of Christ.
  • The Clerk will be nominated by the Nominating Team and elected by the Church.  The term of service shall be for one year and the clerk may be re-elected.

 

  • Church Treasurer
  • The Church Treasurer shall oversee the receiving and disbursement of Church funds and shall be responsible for presenting to the Church a written report at each Church meeting.  The Treasurer shall also ensure that accurate financial data is presented to the Stewardship Team and is available to members on a monthly basis.  Adequate Church staff will be provided to assist the Treasurer with these duties.  The Treasurer may request the Nominating Team select an assistant to help with these duties.  The Treasurer may also ask the Nominating Team to appoint Church members or designated Church staff to count funds received by the Church.  The Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that an annual audit is performed.  The Treasurer shall follow all Financial Policies approved by the Stewardship Team. The Treasurer shall make recommendations about banking relationships to the Stewardship Team for their approval.  The Treasurer serves as treasurer of the corporation and as a member of the Trustees.
  • The Treasurer shall be Church member, supportive of the Church mission, gifted in service and a mature follower of Christ.
  • The Treasurer will be nominated by the Nominating Team and elected by the Church.  The term of service shall be for one year and the treasurer may be re-elected.

 

  • Trustees
  • As stipulated in the Church charter, the Church Trustees serve as officers of the corporation.   As directed by the Church, they are authorized to sign and execute legal documents on behalf of the corporation. 
  • Persons duly elected each year as Deacon Chair, Church Treasurer, and Church Clerk shall serve as Trustees.
  • There shall be no sale, conveyance, transfer, mortgaging, or encumbering of Church property, tangible or intangible, unless the same shall be authorized by motion adopted by majority vote at Church meetings as specified in Article IX. 
  • Should proceedings (any threatened, pending, or completed action or proceeding, whether civil, administrative, or investigative) be initiated against the Church or by the Church, the Trustees shall serve as the Church’s agents in such proceedings.  They are empowered to secure counsel and incur reasonable expense in such matters. No proceeding may be initiated by the Church without the approval of two of the following: The Church, the Deacons, or the Vision Council.  The Trustees will ensure that the Church carries adequate liability coverage

 

 

  • Election and Dismissal of Leaders
  • Church Leaders shall be elected to the offices as provided in this constitution. The Direction Team, the Pastoral staff, and the Deacon officers will be empowered to recommend to the church any need not provided for herein.  All Church Leaders shall be elected at the annual meeting of the corporation as specified in Article Nine. 
  • Interim vacancies: In the event of a vacancy on the Direction Team, the Pastoral staff is empowered to nominate a person to fill an unexpired term. This person must be approved by Deacon body.  This person then is eligible for election at the next church meeting.  In the event of a vacancy on the body of Deacons, the Deacon officers shall be empowered to nominate individuals to serve a term who maybe then eligible for election at the next church annual meeting. 

 

 

ARTICLE XI – CHURCH YEAR

The Church Year shall run from January 1 to December 31. This may be changed by vote of the Church in Church meeting.

 

 

 

ARTICLE XII – CHURCH PROPERTY AND AGENTS

  • Church Agents. All Church Property, tangible and intangible, shall be held by the corporation.  Only those persons duly authorized by this Constitution or by action of the Church, may be considered agents of the Church and have authority to convey or encumber Church property, mortgage Church property, enter into contracts on behalf of the Church, or represent the Church.
  • Church Property Policies. Use of church property shall be governed by policies that are approved by the Trustees.
  • Church Policies. The Church may deem it useful to adopt policies to provide guidance in administering specific areas, such as (but not limited to) Property use, Human Resource management, and Financial affairs.  Copies of all church policies will be maintained at the principal office of the Church.  All Church policies shall be available for review by any Church member.

 

  

ARTICLE XIII – CONSTRUCTION AND DEFINITIONS

Unless context requires otherwise, the general provisions, rules of construction and definitions in South Carolina Nonprofit Corporation Law shall govern the construction of this Constitution.

 

 

ARTICLE XIV- ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS

This Constitution shall be enacted and all previous constitutions null and void, when the Church body, duly notified, adopts them by a two-thirds vote in a Church meeting.  Such action shall be recorded by the Church Clerk.  Any provision of this Constitution may be altered, amended, or repealed by a vote of two-thirds of the active members who are eligible to vote and are present at a Church meeting, regular or called.  One week written notice of proposed changes shall be required.  The Vision Council is designated to receive all recommendations for change to this document.

 

 

 

 

Certificate of Church Clerk

 

I, the undersigned, certify that I am presently elected and acting Secretary of Alice Drive Baptist Church, a South Carolina Nonprofit Religious Corporation, and that the Constitution, consisting of _______ pages, was adopted by the members of Alice Drive Baptist Church, on_________________.

 

 

 

As amended and adopted: November 17, 2019

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