Bethel's Constitution

Bethel Baptist Church Constitution

Ratified on November 6, 1988

Preamble


We establish this constitution to provide an outline for governing the operations and functions of this church body in a Christ-like manner.  Furthermore, it will protect the freedom of each church member to affect and influence the ministry of this church.

I. Name


This body shall be known as Bethel Baptist Church located in Halifax, Virginia.

II. Objectives


To engage in meaningful worship, led by the Holy Spirit in accordance with the Bible since worship is vital to this Church’s function.

To participate in a growing knowledge of God’s plan for His creation by learning and teaching the Bible.

To be a church caring and ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of those in our community and in our world in the name of Jesus Christ.

To be a fellowship of believers, growing in togetherness by sharing with each other in the presence of God.

To be a church whose purpose is to be Christ-like in our daily living by emphasizing total commitment of life, personality, and possessions to the lordship of Christ.

III. Statement of Basic Beliefs


We believe the Holy Bible, God’s inspired word, which is the foundation of our beliefs.  This church adopts the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963.  Our mission is to spread the gospel to all persons.  The ordinances of this church are believer’s baptism and The Lord’s Supper.

IV. The Church Covenant


Having been led as we trust, by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the influence of His Spirit to give ourselves to Him, so we do now solemnly covenant with each other as God shall enable us, that we will work together in brotherly love; that we exercise  a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully warn, rebuke, and admonish one another, as the case may require, that we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor omit the great duty of prayer, both for ourselves and for others; that we will participate in each other’s joys, and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows; that we will seek Divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectly and watchfully in the world, denying ungodliness and every worldly lust; that we will strive together for the support of a faithful evangelical ministry among us in our own country and in the world at large, and through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Him who hath called us out of darkness into this marvelous light; and may God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit ever bless, strengthen, and guide us in the due observance of this solemn covenant.  Amen.

V.                 Polity and Relationships


The government of this church is the responsibility of those who comprise its membership.  Persons duly received by the members shall constitute the membership.

All those appointed, elected, and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by church action.

This church is not subject to the control of any other established institution, but we also understand it is necessary to communicate and cooperate with other churches.  This church will cooperate with and support the Dan River Baptist Association, the Virginia Baptist General Association, and the Southern Baptist Convention as deemed practical.



BYLAWS


I.                   Church Membership

Section 1.  General


This is a self-governing and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ.  The membership is the exclusive government for all aspects of the life of this church.

The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership.

Section 2.  Candidacy

Any person may offer themselves as a candidate for membership in any of the following ways:
(1)   By profession of faith in Jesus Christ and for baptism according to the policies of this church.
(2)   By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church of like faith.
(3)   By receiving a statement of a prior profession of faith in Jesus and baptism in a Baptist church when no letter is obtainable.

Addendum: A candidate who presents themselves for membership at a service shall be voted on by the members present at the conclusion of that service.

Should there be any dissent as to any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to the active deacons for investigation and the making of a recommendation to the church at the next regularly scheduled business meeting.  A two-thirds vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such a candidate to membership.

All such candidates shall be received into the watchcare of the church until presented by the deacons for membership at the next regularly scheduled business meeting.

All candidates for membership must be or have been baptized according to the policies of this church.

Section 3.  Rights of Members
(1)    Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church business sessions, provided the member is present.
(2)    Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for elective officers in the church.
(3)    Every member may participate in the ordinances of this church as administered by the church.

Section 4.  Termination of Membership

Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
(1)   death of the member
(2)   dismissing to another Baptist church
(3)   exclusion by action of this church
(4)   erasure upon request or proof of membership in a church of another denomination

Section 5.  Discipline

The members of this church shall be under the watchcare of each other and seek to promote each other in worship and service.

We recognize that we are all sinners seeking salvation through Jesus Christ, therefore, judgement of our brother or sister is not our aim.  We will not seek to work towards the harm of another, but as an agent of reconciliation.

We will use every reasonable and available means of counsel for any member in need.  All proceedings shall be conducted in kindness and love, without anger or malice.

Should a member become a liability to the witness and welfare of the church and the name of Jesus Christ, we will make every effort through the pastor, deacons or appropriate and committee to resolve the problem

Should a member in an elected position be unable to fulfill their obligation to that position because of their offensive and/or unchristian conduct, the pastor and deacons shall seek that person’s resignation.  All attempts to obtain a resignation being exhausted, the deacons by unanimous agreement shall bring that person’s name before the church in business session to recommend that person be removed from their position by two-thirds vote of the voting members present.

The membership of persons may be terminated who have become an offense to the church and its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct.

After notification, hearing, and all efforts have been exhausted, upon unanimous recommendation from the deacons a member may be excluded by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present in a business session.

The person may then be declared no longer a member.

The church may restore the person who has been excluded upon request of that person, and by a two-thirds vote of the voting members present, upon evidence of that person’s repentance and reformation.



II.                Church Officers and Committees


All who serve as officers of the church and those who serve on church committees shall be members of the church.

Section 1. Church Officers

The officers of the church shall be the pastor, the ministerial staff, the minister of music, the deacons, a clerk, a treasurer, and trustees.

(1)   The pastor is responsible for the spiritual leadership of the church in Christian education, proclamation, administration and caring.

A pastor shall be chosen and called by a church whenever a vacancy occurs.  The election shall take place at a special business meeting.  It shall be held at the conclusion of morning worship one-week after the trial sermon.  A week’s advance notice of both the trial sermon and the election shall be given.  “A Pastor Selection Committee shall be nominated by the nominating committee and elected by the church to seek a suitable pastor.  The Pastor Selection Committee will consist of 7 members with 2 alternates.  The alternates will be 1 female, 1 male.  In the event of a resignation of an original Pastor Selection Committee member, the same gender alternate will automatically replace the resigned member.  At least one member of the Pastor Selection Committee will be a current member of the Personnel Committee.  The Church Treasurer will be consulted and act as an advisor to the Pastor Selection Committee before a salary package is offered to the potential pastor.  A background check including criminal and financial portions will be conducted by the Pastor Selection Committee before the Pastor candidate is presented to the congregation for vote.” (Voted on and passed in business meeting 1/6/2010)

Recommendation of the committee will constitute a nomination for pastor.  Any church member has the privilege of making suggestions for pastor only through the pastor-selection committee.  The committee shall bring to consideration of the church only one name at a time.  Election shall be by ballot, an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the voting members being necessary for the choice.  The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the church’s request. The Nominating Committee shall nominate a moderator each church year.  In the absence of a moderator during the church year, the clerk shall call the church to order and preside for the election of an acting moderator.

The office of the pastor may be vacated by:  (1) the pastor’s resignation with at least four weeks notice, (2) the church declaring the office vacant.  Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week’s public notice has been given.  The meeting may be called by the unanimous recommendation of the deacons or a written petition signed by at least fifty resident church members.  The petition and its signature will be read at the beginning of the meeting.  Any invalid signature will nullify the petition and the meeting will be dismissed immediately.  The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the voting members present being necessary to declare the office vacant.  Except in instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from office, the church will compensate the pastor with not less than two month’s of his total annual compensation including the use of the parsonage.  The termination shall be immediate and the compensation rendered in not more than sixty days.

Amendment – March 4, 1992 business meeting
The pastor may take two weeks of vacation at a time.  The pastor may carry over two days a year if needed.  The two days carried over must be taken the next year – cannot be added year after year.  In case of emergency, the above may be changed if approved at a church business meeting.

(2)   The ministerial staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such officers.  A job description shall be written when the need for a staff member is determined.  Those staff members of whom the church requires ordination to ministry shall be recommended to the church by a personnel search committee and called by church action, At the time of resignation, at least four weeks notice shall be given to the church.  The church may vote to vacate such positions upon unanimous recommendation of the deacons, such terminations being immediate and the compensation conditions being the same as for the pastor, except that the amount shall relate to the individual’s compensation.

The minister of music shall be nominated by the music committee and approved by the church in a regular business session with at least one week’s public notice.  The minister of music shall be a member of Bethel Baptist church.  The conditions for termination shall be at the recommendation of the music committee and approved by the church in a regular business session.

Non ministerial staff members such as secretarial, custodial, choir director, and musicians shall be employed as the church determines the need for their services.  The pastor or appropriate committee as determined by the church shall have the authority to nominate non-ministerial staff members.  Such employment and termination of services shall be with the recommendation of supervising staff members or appropriate committee and approved by the church in a regular business session.

(3)   In accordance with the meaning of the work and the practice in the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church.  Their task is to serve with the pastor and staff in performing the pastoral ministries tasks of:  (1) leading the church in the achievement of its mission, (2) proclaiming the gospel to believers and unbelievers, and (3) caring for the church’s members and other persons in the community.  To achieve these goals, deacons will adhere to the standards and practices as set forth in the Deacon Covenant in Appendix I.

Deacons shall serve three years terms with one year between terms.  If a deacon fulfills another’s unexpired term, they may be nominated to serve with out the one-year interim.  Deacons must be 21 years of age, a Christian, and a Southern Baptist for at least three years and a member of Bethel Baptist church for a minimum of two years prior to election.

The deacons shall be nominated by the church on the last Sunday morning in August so that they may take office on October 1 of each year after at least two weeks notice of such proposed proceedings.  The members of the church may nominate anyone who meets the above requirements.

Each member will nominate only three persons.  Those ballots which contain more than three names will be thrown out.  The ballots will than be counted and the unordained nominees will be screened by a counting and screening committee.  The counting and screening committee shall be one in the same and composed of not more than five (5) members of the church only two (2) of which should be deacons.  This committee shall be selected by the pastor.  This committee shall keep all information concerning the nominations confidential and shall not talk about the nomination or election outside of their committee meeting.  The pastor shall be an ex-officio member of this committee as other committees.

Those receiving the highest number of nominations will be the church’s deacon candidates.  In the case of the unordained candidate(s), the counting and screening committee shall determine whether or not they meet the qualifications of a deacon.  The ordained candidates and approved unordained candidates shall be contacted by the pastor (or the chairman of deacons when the church is without a pastor) as to their willingness to serve as a deacon; and in the case of the unordained, to see if that person(s) will consent to ordination at the hands of the church.  If a nominee wishes not to accept the nomination, then the pastor (or chairman of deacons when the church is without a pastor) will contact the one who has the next highest number of votes for nomination who are willing to serve and who meet the qualifications (with reference to an unordained nominee).  Only three shall be elected to serve as deacon annually. 
Vacancies created by death or resignation shall be filled with all haste using the above process to nominate deacons to fill only those vacancies.  Only one nomination per vacancy, per voting member present shall be accepted.
(4)    The Nominating Committee shall nominate a moderator each church year.  In the absence of a moderator during the church year, the clerk shall call the church to order and preside for the election of an acting moderator.
(5)   The church shall elect annually a clerk as its clerical officer.  The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided.  The clerk shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members with dates of admission, dismission, death, or erasure together with a record of baptisms.  The clerk shall issue letters of dismission voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports.  The clerk shall be responsible for preparing the annual letter to the association.
The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary who will assist the elected clerk.  All church records are church property.
(6)   The church shall elect annually a church treasurer as its financial officer.  It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve and pay out upon receipt of vouchers approved and signed by authorized personnel, all money or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times, an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements.  It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements of the preceding month.
(7)   The church shall elect three or more trustees to serve as legal officers of the church.  They shall hold in trust the church property.  Upon specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any church property.  When the signatures of trustees are required, they shall sign legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property or other legal documents related to church approved matters.  Trustees shall serve for life or until resignation.

Section 1.  Church committees

The committees of this church shall be a nominating committee, a building and grounds committee, a cemetery committee, a stewardship committee, a missions committee, a  church music committee, and such other regular and special committees as the church shall authorize.  Additional regular committees may be added by the amendment procedure prescribed within these bylaws.  All church committee members shall be recommended by the church nominating committee and elected by the church to serve on an annual basis unless otherwise specified within these bylaws.
(1)   The nominating committee shall be made up of current Sunday School director; assistant Sunday School director, WMU director, brotherhood director, minister of music, chairman of deacons, and three members at large selected by the previous year’s committee.  The nominating committee coordinated the staffing of all church leadership positions filled by volunteer workers, unless otherwise specified herein.  Persons considered for any such positions shall first be approved by the nominating committee before they be approached for recruitment.  The nominating committee shall present to the church for election all that accept the invitation to serve.
(2)   The building and grounds committee shall consist of five members nominated by the nominating committee of which at least two shall be women.  They shall serve on a three year rotating basis with one man and one woman rotating per year excepting of the third year when only one member shall rotate.  There shall be one year between terms. 
The building and grounds committee assists the church in matters related to property administration.  Its work includes such areas as maintaining all church properties for ready use, recommending policies regarding use of properties, consulting with the church staff regarding the need for and employment of maintenance personnel, and the preparation of an annual budget proposal.  The committee may authorize disbursement of funds for budgeted items not to exceed five hundred dollars per project.  Items not budgeted or exceeding five hundred dollars must receive church approval.
(3)   The stewardship committee shall be made up of the church clerk, church treasurer, Sunday School director, W.M.U. director, minister of music, chairman of deacons, chairman of building and grounds, assistant church treasurer, and Brotherhood director.
The stewardship committee develops and recommends an overall stewardship development plan, a unified church budget, and budget subscription plans.  It advises and makes recommendations in the administration of the gifts of church members and others using sound principles of financial management.  It works with the treasurer in the preparation and presentation to the church of the annual budget proposal.
(4)   The mission committee consists of Women’s Missionary Union director and Brotherhood director.
The missions committee seeks to discover possibilities for local mission projects, share findings with church program organizations and serves the church in establishing and conducting such mission projects as may be assigned to it.  The missions committee shall recommend mission offering goals for church approval.
(5)   The church cemetery committee will oversee the division of cemetery plots, contribute to the maintenance of the grounds and collection of funds from the sale of plots.  The members of this committee shall serve indefinite terms upon agreement with the church and individual committee members.  The cemetery committee shall make an annual financial disclosure to the church.
(6)   The music committee shall be appointed by the nominating committee and shall serve for one year.  The minister of music, organist, and pianist shall be ex-officio members if qualified under Bylaw II.  Membership shall consist of  five (5) members and the ex-officio members.  The committee will be responsible for:  (1) helping plan, with the minister of music, for the music program, (2) bringing to the church recommendations for hiring music ministry personnel, (3) helping to plan the music ministry budget, (4) establishing and carrying out policies and job descriptions for music ministry personnel, (5) making any other recommendations to the church that involve church music.


III.             Church Program Organizations

The church shall maintain programs of Bible teaching; new member orientation, mission education, action, and support; and music education training and performance.  All organizations related to the church programs shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church, reporting regularly to the church, and all program activities subject to church coordination and approval.  The church shall provide the human resources, the physical resources, and the financial resources for the appropriate advancement of these programs.
(1)    The Sunday School shall be the basic organization for the Bible teaching program.  Its tasks shall be to teach the biblical revelation, reach persons for Christ and church membership, perform the functions of the church within its constituency, provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.
The Sunday School shall be organized by departments and/or classes, as appropriate for all ages, and shall be conducted under the direction of the Sunday School director elected by the church.
(2)    Women’s Missionary Union shall be the mission education, mission action, and mission support organization of the church for women, young women, girls, and preschool children.  Its tasks shall be to teach missions; engage in mission action; support world missions through praying and giving; and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.  Women’s Missionary Union shall have such officers and organization, as the program requires.
(3)    The Brotherhood shall be the church’s organization for mission education, mission action, and mission support for men, young men, and boys.  Its tasks shall be to teach missions, engage in mission action, support world missions through praying and giving, and provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.  The Brotherhood shall have such officers and organizations as the program requires.
(4)    The church music organization, under the direction of the church-elected minister of music or music director, shall be the music education, training, and performance organization of the church.  Its tasks shall be to teach music; and provide music in the church and community.

IV.              Church Program Services

The church shall maintain media center services, recreation services, and benevolent services for the purpose of enriching and extending the ministries and programs of the church.
(1)   The media center service will be the resource center for the church.  Its personnel will seek to provide and promote the use of printed and audiovisual resources.  They also will provide consultation to church leaders and members in the use of printed and audiovisual resource.
(2)   The church benevolent service will seek to meet the financial needs of those persons in crisis.  The benevolent committee and the pastor shall establish the need and administer the funds accordingly.

V.                 Church Council

The church council shall serve the church by leading in planning, coordinating, conducting and evaluating the ministries and programs of the church and its organizations.  The primary functions of the church council shall be to recommend to the church suggested objectives and church goals; to review and coordinate ministry and program plans recommended by church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the church the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to program priorities; and to evaluate achievements in terms of church objectives and goals.
Regular member of the church council shall be the pastor, other church staff members, directors of the church program organizations, media center director, chairman of deacons, and church officers.
All matters agreed upon by the council which call for action not already approved shall be referred to the church for approval or disapproval.

VI.              Church Ordinances


Section 1.  Baptism

This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes him publicly at any worship service, who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, and who is confirmed by the church body.
(1)   Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
(2)   The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism.  The baptism committee shall assist in the preparation for and the observance of baptism.
(3)   Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.
(4)   Any person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor and/or staff or deacons.  If negative interest is ascertained on the part of the candidate, they shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism.
Section 2.  The Lord’s Supper
The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly, the first Sunday of each quarter, unless otherwise scheduled by the church.  The pastor and deacons shall administer the Lord’s supper, the Lord’s Supper committee being responsible for the physical preparations.

VII.            Church Meetings

Section 1.  Worship Services

The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God.  Any cancellation of worship shall be at the discretion of the church.  Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction, evangelism, and other acts of worship shall make up these serves.  The pastor shall direct the services for all the church members and for all others who may choose to attend.

Section 2.  Special Services
Revival services and any other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.
Section 3.  Regular Business Meetings
The church shall hold regular business meetings monthly on Wednesday night following the first Sunday unless others designated.
Section 4.  Special Business Meetings
The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance.  A one-week notice must be given for the specially called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical.  Bulleting notice shall include the subject, the date and time and place.
Section 5.  Quorum
The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
Section 6.  Parliamentary Rules
Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.

VIII.         Church Finances

Section 1. Budget

The stewardship committee, in consultation with the church committees, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all expenses.  Offering envelopes will be provided for members’ use.
It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular, proportionate gifts.  When appropriate, there shall be opportunity provided to secure worthy commitments of financial support from the church members.
Section 2.  Accounting Procedures
All funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the hands of the church treasurer, financial secretary, or a counting committee, and be properly recorded on the books of the church.  (See Article II, Section 1, (6) regarding the church treasurer).
A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the stewardship committee in cooperation with the church treasurer.
Section 3.  Fiscal Year
The church fiscal year shall begin January 1 and end December 31.

IX.              Church Operations Manual

A special committee of the church shall develop a church operations manual to include church policies and procedures and organization charts depicting lines of responsibility in the administration of the church.  The manual shall be kept in the church office and made available for use there by any member of the church.  The church secretary shall maintain the manual.  The church council or a special committee shall review the manual at least annually, with authority to recommend changes for the church to consider.  Any church member or church organization may initiate suggested changes in the manual.
Addition, revision, or deletion of church policies requires; (1) the recommendation of the church officer or organization to whose areas of assignment the procedures relate, (2) approval by the church council, and (3) approval of the church, if the church council deems it necessary.

X.                 Amendments

Changes in the constitution and bylaws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment shall have been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting.  Amendments to the constitution shall be by two-thirds vote of voting member present.  Amendments to the bylaws shall have a concurrence of a majority of the members present and voting.

Appendix I

Bethel Baptist Church
Deacon Covenant
Having been selected by our church to serve in the capacity of deacon, we most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another and with our church.  We enter into covenant with reference to the following matters:
We shall earnestly strive to attain the Christian character expressed in the scriptural qualifications for a deacon in I Timothy 3:;8-13 and Acts 6:1-7.
I.                   As to Scripture and Doctrine: We believe the Bible to be God’s Holy Word written by men and inspired of God.  Further, we believe it to be the sole guide for the understanding of doctrine and our faith.
II.                As to conduct:
1.      We engage, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk and work together in Christian love; to walk circumspectly in the world; abstaining from the use or sale of alcoholic beverages in any form; and from worldly pleasures and practices that would in any way bring reproach on the name of Christ.
2.      We further engage, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to be Godly at all times in our speech, endeavoring to be charitable and sympathetic, and not unjust or unkind in our criticism of others.
3.      We further engage, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to “rule our houses well” by setting a Christian example before our household, by religiously educating our children and putting the proper emphasis on devotion and prayer, we shall seek to make our homes thoroughly and properly Christian.
III.             As to Duties;
1.      We shall share counsel with the pastor in the church’s ministry, especially in matters of church policy, discipline, soul winning, and fellowship among the members of the church.
2.      We shall attempt to cultivate the fellowship and guard the unity of the spirit within the church.
3.      We further engage to set the example along with our pastor in spiritual matters; therefore, we agree to gladly take an active part in the major organizations of the church, and in both of the regular worship services of the Lord’s Day, and in the mid-week services commonly called the Prayer Meeting, unless we are providentially hindered.
4.      We further engage to be faithful in attendance at the regular and special meetings of the deacons, unless providentially hindered.
5.      We agree to counsel with the finance, budget, nominating or any other committee or group within the church when called upon.
6.      We shall aid the pastor in administering the ordinances and the ushers in the gathering of the offering when called upon.
7.      We agree to aid the pastor in performing special ministries such as caring for the needs of church members and other members of the community.
IV.              As to Dedication:
1)      We shall endeavor, by the aid of the Holy spirit, to know and to understand the fundamental doctrines of the Bible, to understand the distinctive teachings of our church and denomination, and therefore, be able at all times to share with every man the faith that we have in Christ.
2)      We shall be good stewards of that which God has given us.  We will use our time, talents, and we will give unto God the tithe, which is rightfully His.

Realizing that the terms, deacon, means “servant”, one who actively serves, we agree that to the best of our ability and by the aid of the Holy Spirit to be good servants of our Lord and church.  To this high and holy task we therefore dedicate ourselves as deacons of our church.                                                                                                                                            We recognize and to the best of our ability will adhere to the church covenant.

END OF CHURCH CONSTITUTION


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Pastor-Church Covenant

With the recognition and acknowledgment that God has brought us together through His divine guidance to serve Him and this community, we, the members of Bethel Baptist Church and the pastor of the same, prayerfully and willingly enter into this Covenant.

The membership of the Bethel Baptist Church solemnly and joyfully enters into this Covenant with our pastor, Gregory T. Smith.

Recognizing the governing principles as defined in the Constitution and By-Laws of the church as adopted, we adopt this Covenant as evidence of our commitment to promote a harmonious working relationship between the membership and the pastor.  We believe that these mutual agreements and understandings will be of benefit to the church in promoting its ministries and in fostering prosperity and growth.

We promise to support by our prayers and actions this pastor-church covenant.  We prayerfully request the leadership and guidance of the Holy Spirit in this endeavor.

The Pastor’s Covenant

Because God has called me to the Gospel ministry, and to serve as pastor of Bethel Baptist Church, I will:

1.      Place God first, my family second, and the congregation third.  Be accessible and available to the people of the congregation.
2.      Do all that is within me to be a committed follower of Jesus Christ, seeking to grow and mature in my faith.  Regularly participate in my own continuing education and personal development.
3.      Be involved in regular study and sermon preparation, and also to be involved in times of reflection, prayer, and quiet discernment.
4.      Be responsible for preaching, teaching, leading Bible study and prayer on Wednesday nights and at other times. 
5.      Designate revival speakers and other guest speakers throughout the year. 
6.      Lead worship for weddings and funerals.  Perform premarital counseling before weddings.
7.      Serve as an administrator and a resource for the church's boards and committees, and to teach and provide leadership for stewardship.  Consult with committees as needed, meet with deacon chair, (preferably once a month), meet with other chairpersons when  a big project or conflict occurs, plan training for  key leaders as needed, and lead church council in planning and implementing programs. Remind church leaders and secretary of annual work that needs to be done such as Bethel Baptist Cares, newsletter deadlines, and remind church leadership of deadlines, deacon elections, budget nominating committee work, etc.  Deliver ministry checks to local organizations.
8.      Coordinate pastoral staff responsibilities. 
9.      Oversee secretarial work.
10.  Demonstrate commitment to minister to the needs of people at critical times in their lives, including those who are seriously ill, in the hospital or in their homes, members in crisis, grieving, or shut-in.
11.  Counsel members in need of counseling, Lead in conflict resolutions with church members. Provide resources for all of the above, making referrals through other community resources as needed or available.
12.  Be informed and involved in the life of the Dan River Baptist Association, the Baptist General Association of Virginia, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Southern Baptist Convention.  Attend denominational meetings on the local, state and national level, and keep the church informed.
13.  Be engaged in personal evangelism, and lead the congregation in reaching out to others in the community who need Christ, to call on new visitors and to teach new member classes.
14.  Work diligently to relate to the congregation in a healthy, constructive and redemptive manner especially when we experience conflict.
15.  Participate in ecumenical efforts and to inform our congregation of opportunities for mutual ministry and service.
16.  Design creative worship and devotional resources. 
17.  Meet regularly with the Pastoral Care Committee, to engage in mutual evaluation of ministry, to discuss opportunities for continuing education and issues of self-care, and to review compensation annually.
18.  Upon my departure as your minister, I will cease my pastoral functions, which rightfully should be conducted by my successor.

The Church’s Covenant

Because we have called you to move to our community and serve as the Shephed of this flock under Christ, our head, we the body of Bethel Baptist Church will:

1.      Accept your feeling of call under God to do His work.
2.      Pray for you daily and support you emotionally.
3.      Realize that the pastor does not serve alone, but in a community.
4.      Be open, honest, and compassionate in sharing feelings, hopes and fears with you.
5.      Be faithful in our involvement in the life of the church, both in its gathered life and as we are scattered about the community.
6.      Accept our responsibility to provide you with the adequate compensation and reimbursement for ministry related expenses.
7.      Insist that you take care of your physical life and your family relationships.  Encourage the pastor to systematically observe his regular days off, which will ordinarily be Fridays and Saturdays.
8.      Respect the pastor and family’s need to have uninterrupted vacation time, even during times of member crisis, and will accept the ministry of deacons and other church leaders in the pastor’s absence.
9.      Require no more rigid standard of conduct for your spouse and children than we recognize for ourselves.
10.  Work diligently to relate to you in a healthy, constructive and redemptive manner, especially when we experience conflict.
11.  Cease to look to you for pastoral guidance when you terminate your service with us.


This Covenant will be reviewed annually and updated as needed according to the needs and direction of Bethel Baptist Church and our Pastor.

This covenant is entered into gladly and willingly by the members of Bethel Baptist Church, and by Pastor Greg Smith. 



Signed at the Pastoral Installation Service, June 23, 2013,
Pastor Greg Smith
Mr. Roy Yeatts, Deacon Chairman
Mr. Barry McCormick, Pastor Care Committee Chair

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