These by-laws are adopted and established for our governance and service. No by-laws shall be approved which are contrary to the Constitution of this Fellowship.
Article A - Membership
SECTION 1 - Receiving of Members:
Any candidate professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, having studied the views and practices of this fellowship, (namely the Constitution, Declaration of Faith, Membership commitment †and By-Laws) and can enter into conformity with them may be received into membership upon completion of the following:
1) Faithful participation as one is able, in the services and assemblies of Grace Baptist Church.
2) An interview with and the recommendation of the Pastor/Elders and Board of Deacons.
3) An affirming vote of the membership.
4) Attendance at a membership class is strongly encouraged before or soon after affirmation.
SECTION 2 - Duties and Rights of Members.
shall be the duty of each member of this fellowship to keep the membership
commitment as set forth in the Constitution and assist fellow members in
keeping their commitment.
(b) Voting members shall be 18 years of age.
SECTION 3 - Removal from Membership.
(a) By death.
(b) By request.
(c) By Erasure. †Any person who unites with another church without requesting removal shall be removed from the membership list.
(d) By Discipline.
SECTION 4 - In-Active Members.
(a) Any member who does not demonstrate an interest in the fellowship for a period of 6 months will be contacted, if possible, by the leadership of the fellowship.† The Pastor and Deacons of the Fellowship shall take the appropriate action and attempt notification. †If moved to the inactive list, they shall forfeit their right to vote.† Upon reestablishing evidence of interest in the fellowship, the Deacons shall reinstate the member to active status.†
SECTION 5 - Church Discipline.
The primary purpose of Church discipline is restoration to fellowship.† All steps of this process involve great care, Christian love, and fervent prayer.† The biblical foundation is outlined in Article XIII Section 2 of the GBC constitution.
1. When having offended or having been offended, approach in private and attempt resolution.
2. If step 1 fails
a. Approach with godly witnesses from the fellowship to verify the matter and attempt resolution.†
b. Bring the issue before the board of deacons, meeting as a prudential committee to attempt resolution.
3. If step 2 fails,
a. The issue shall be brought before an open meeting of the membership of GBC to attempt resolution.
b. The fellowship shall pray for and work with the individuals to resolve the issue.
4. If all efforts fail to resolve the issue,
a. A member may be excluded from membership when so recommended by the Deacons and by a two-thirds vote of members present, voting by secret ballot.
b. In an event involving blatant unrepentance, the leadership and the membership will, through prayer to Christ, turn the offender over to Satan for destruction of the flesh so that the soul may be preserved.
5. Restoration can occur at any point in the process and includes due confession to the Lord and to those offended, satisfactory evidence of repentance and restitution as appropriate.
Officers, Their Election and Duties
The biblical offices of this church shall be: Pastor (Elder) and Deacon.† Elected practical offices are Clerk, Treasurer and Financial Secretary. †Appointed practical offices may be established for the needs of the fellowship by the church leadership.
SECTION 1- Pastor (The Lead Elder)
(a) A pastor shall be called for an indefinite period upon the recommendation of the pulpit committee and an affirmative vote by the membership. †At least 80% of the active membership must be present and vote by secret ballot.† The calling shall be affirmed by an 80% vote.† The vote shall take place at a regular or special meeting of the church.† Notice of intent to call a pastor shall be posted and announced at all church meetings during the two preceding weeks. Standard quorum rules will not be used for this matter.
(b) The pastor shall meet the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3: 1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.† The pastor shall be recognized as the under-shepherd of Christís local church and its chief officer, and shall preach the Word of God. He shall administer the ordinances of the New Testament, shepherd the Church and lead it in the fulfillment of its sacred task. He shall maintain, at all times, a Godly deportment that no reproach may come through him upon the body of Christ. †
Pastorís terms of employment shall be negotiated by the pulpit committee within
the guidelines established by the board of trustees.† Subsequent changes to the terms of employment
shall be negotiated by the board of trustees and confirmed by the board of
deacons and the membership.
†Dissolving the relationship between a Pastor
a. The relation between the pastor and the church shall be a permanent one, until dissolved at the option of either by giving one month notice or less by mutual consent.
b. The severance of the relationship between the pastor and the church may be considered at any regular business meeting of the church, provided that the matter has first come before the Board of Deacons, and that recommendation has been made from the Board for consideration of the church.
c. Any desire on the part of the church, be it individual or group, to dismiss a pastor/elder, shall be referred to the Board of Deacons before coming to the attention of the church.† All meetings of the Board of Deacons pursuant to these issues shall be as a prudential committee. The Board of Deacons shall thoroughly investigate the issue hearing both sides of the issue, individually, or together. The Board of Deacons shall then deliberate upon the issues, the pastor and complainant(s) being absent, to determine a course of action. †After these meetings, if deemed necessary, the Deacons shall recommend to the active membership that a secret ballot to dismiss be cast.
d. With 80% of the active membership present and voting by secret ballot, the matter shall be affirmed by an 80% vote.† A notice of intent to sever the relationship between church and pastor shall be posted at least two weeks prior to the business meeting for the vote. Standard quorum rules will not be used for this matter.
SECTION 2 - Deacons
(a) The qualifications for the office of Deacon are set forth in I Timothy 3: 8-13 and Acts 6: 2-4. They shall also be members of this church in good and regular standing, willing to assume the office, and faithful in the discharge of their several duties.
(b) Their Election:
1) Deacons shall be affirmed by secret ballot at an annual business meeting and shall serve a term of two years from February 1st of the year elected.† The number serving shall be based on the needs of the fellowship. Ideally, at least three will be serving at all times.
2) Nominations for deacons shall be made to the board of deacons and elders, who shall review the nominees and make recommendation to the fellowship.
(c) Their Duties:
1) The board of deacons shall have general oversight of the life of the church, including, but not limited to, such duties as aiding the pastor in the performance of his duties, oversight of facility use in accordance with the constitution and established policies, and shall disciple and mentor as they minister to the fellowship. They shall also act in the capacity of a prudential committee for the church in, co-operation with the Elders, in all matters of discipline, following the direction of the New Testament in humility and prayer.
2) All meetings of the board will be open to the fellowship, except when the board is meeting as a prudential committee.
3) They shall help in the administration of the Lordís Supper and Baptism.
4) In the absence of the Pastor they shall secure a substitute in his place, being aware of their solemn responsibility to secure no speaker who cannot subscribe to the views of the Declaration of Faith.
a Prudential Committee the deacons, working together with the Elders, shall
meet annually to verify the active membership and initiate action where
6) When complaints are brought to the board of deacons, they shall hear the matter as a Prudential Committee.† The action of this committee in regard to discipline shall be governed by Article XIII Section 2 of the GBC constitution and section 5 article (a) of these bylaws
7) Anyone desiring an audience with the Board must make the request through a deacon or pastor /elder.† †
SECTION 3- Trustees
(a) Qualifications: The trustees shall be selected for their spiritual dedication to Christ and the fellowships, demonstrated business ability, and desire to do the work of the church.† He or she shall be members of the church in good and regular standing, willing to assume the office, and faithful in the discharge of their several duties.
(b) Ideally, there shall be at least three trustees.† This board shall consist of a chairman appointed from among the deacons by the board of deacons of the church. †Other trustees are to be affirmed by the board of deacons.† Trustees shall be affirmed annually at the first meeting of the board of deacons after the annual business meeting.
(c) Their duties:
1) The board of trustees shall function as Christian stewards and hold in trust all the property of the church, be responsible for the upkeep and management of the same, and perform other such duties as are imposed on trustees by the fellowship and the laws and statutes of the State of Washington.
shall not sell or encumber the existing real estate or other property of the
church or purchase unless authorized to do so by a two-thirds vote of a quorum
at a meeting of the church, called for the purpose of considering such a
transaction; such notice of meeting being posted for a period of two weeks.
3) The Trustees are responsible for all financial transactions, including oversight of the Financial Secretary and Treasurer.† If deemed necessary, they may appoint a person to accomplish the day to day oversight duties; this person being subject to affirmation by the Deacons and Membership.†
4) Giving records shall be maintained in the strictest confidence.
5) The Board of trustees shall serve as a Budget and Finance Committee with cooperative participation from the pastor, treasurer and any other individual or committee with major budget oversite. It shall be the duty of this committee to recommend a proposed annual budget to the deacons for approval no later than the December Deacon meeting each year. The Trustees shall present the deacon approved budget to the members for affirmation at its annual meeting.
Trustees shall ensure periodic audits are performed on all financial processes
and procedures.† They may appoint or hire
a person, while avoiding all conflict of interest, or appearance thereof.† At least one audit shall be accomplished
SECTION 4 - Other Elected Positions.
positions shall be affirmed by a majority vote at the annual business meeting.† The church clerk may also serve as financial
secretary or treasurer, but not both. The Financial Secretary and Treasurer
cannot be the same person.† These offices
shall be filled by individuals competent to perform all the required duties.† Ideally, each of these positions shall have
an elected alternate.
(b) Church Clerk
or she shall be the official recorder and historian of the church. He or she
shall maintain a correct and permanent record of all business meetings of the
church and the board of deacons, take charge of all church records, and
maintain a register of members.
(c) Financial Secretary
1) He or she shall keep a record of all monies contributed to the church. ††
2) A separate account shall be kept for each contributor, and a financial statement for each contributing member shall be provided to the individuals annually.
3) All deposits to the churchís banking accounts shall be made and recorded and receipts kept for a period of seven years.
4) The giving records shall be the responsibility of the Financial Secretary and †be maintained in the strictest confidence.
1) The treasurer shall ensure all accounts payable are kept current and reconciled with bank statements.
2) The treasurer shall provide the following:
i. Monthly financial reports to the Trustees.
ii. Quarterly and Annual financial statements for business meetings.
iii. Historical budget information for budget preparation.
iv. Other information as requested by the Trustees.
SECTION 5 - Pulpit Committee.
(a) Upon a vacancy in the office of Senior (lead) Pastor, the Board of Deacons shall carefully select a list of nominees, representative of the church in itsí various departments, and the church in a regular or called business meeting shall elect, by secret ballot, from this list of nominees a pulpit committee of at least five members and no more than seven. The pulpit committee when elected, shall organize by electing a chairman and a corresponding secretary who shall keep a record of the minutes of the committee and do the official correspondence. All members of the pulpit committee shall be pledged to not reveal any details of the deliberation.
(b) The duties of this committee shall be:
1) To contact prospective candidates as to their availability to a call.
2) To investigate each prospective candidate as to his spiritual, educational and theological qualifications to serve the needs of this pastorate.
3) To contact and follow through on all personal references given by the prospective candidate.
4) To invite the candidate to preach upon receiving his favorable word that he has prayerfully considered accepting the call if extended. This invitation is to involve one Sunday (two services minimum). These services to be announced to the church at least two weeks in advance.
5) To call the church into business session within one week following the last service by the candidate and present the man for vote by secret ballot.
(c) The pulpit committee shall be responsible for supplies while the church is without a pastor, and may engage an interim pastor who shall not be considered a candidate for the pastorate.
(d) They shall maintain carefulness in all things for the good of this church, and the church where the candidate is pastoring.
(e) The committee shall be dissolved immediately, upon the securing of a pastor.
SECTION 1 - Meetings.
(a) For Worship.
1) Meetings shall be held for public worship each Sunday, and other weekly meetings for prayer, praise and Bible Study. †Special meetings for the purpose of promoting Evangelism, Bible Conferences and Missionary Conferences, etc., may be held on recommendation of the Board of Deacons and Pastor.
(b) For Business.
1) Section I Article V of the constitution requires an Annual meeting. The annual business meeting of the church for election of officers and the transaction of other business shall take place in January. The date of the annual meeting shall be set by the Board of Deacons. Officers shall be affirmed by a majority of the votes cast and assume their duties immediately upon election.
2) †A quarterly business meeting will normally be scheduled following the morning worship service on the fourth Sunday of the first month of each quarter. Exceptions may be made by the board of deacons, with such change being made in time to post the change, and announce at regular church meetings at least two weeks prior to the revised date.
3) Special business meetings for the transaction of business may be called by the Pastor or the Board of Deacons, the scheduling of which must comply with Article C section 4 of the by-laws if amendments are to be considered.
4) The Board of Deacons shall have at least one business meeting each month. The date to be decided by the board. Term of office to be from February 1st to February 1st.
5) Robertsí rules of order are hereby adopted to govern all business meetings.
6) Fifty one percent of the active voting membership shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 2 - Licensing and Ordaining.
1) Any candidate for licensing is a man who is a member and is recommended by the church leadership. The candidate must also in the judgment of the church, display evidence of his calling by God to ministry, by his Christian life, zeal, and †aptness to teach.† An annual license to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be issued to a candidate after preaching in the hearing of the church and being affirmed by a majority vote of the membership.
1) If the fellowship observes that a man possesses the scriptural qualifications and training for ordination, and that he gives evidence by his Christian life, zeal and aptness to teach that he is called of God to the work of ministry, the leadership of the church shall call a council of ministers and lay members to examine the qualifications of the candidate. After receiving a favorable report from the council, the church shall affirm the ordination upon a three fourths vote of the membership.
SECTION 3 - Vacancies.
All offices, board and committee positions shall become vacant:
1. by resignation of the occupant
2. removal of residence beyond reasonable distance
3. disqualification of membership in this church
5. failure to perform assigned duties.
Removal from office for reasons not listed above shall be by a two thirds affirmative vote of all secret ballots cast at a meeting of the membership initiated for that purpose.
Mid-term Board of Deacon vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Board of Deacons, with Pastoral approval for the remainder of the elected term.
SECTION 4 - Amendments.
The by-laws may be repealed, amended, or added to at any business meeting of the church, provided the amendment in writing has been approved by the Board of Deacons, posted for two weeks prior to the business meeting, and announced at each regular meeting of the church. A three fourths majority vote of the members present and voting shall be required for approval.