Emmanuel Baptist Church Constitution
ARTICLE 1 - NAME
The name of this church shall be the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Bloomington, Indiana, having been organized February 9, 1958 and incorporated May 19, 1963.
ARTICLE 2 - PURPOSE
Emmanuel Baptist Church exists to glorify God. We purpose to make Him known in this community and the world by proclaiming and living God's Word. Therefore, by God's grace, nonbelievers will trust the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and believers will be established in the faith and equipped for ministry to others.
ARTICLE 3 - ASSOCIATIONS
The church is associated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, the Crossroads Fellowship, and the Indiana Southern Baptist Churches. Emmanuel can have association with other ministry organizations only if the leadership board determines that they are in agreement with our Statement of Faith.
ARTICLE 4 - MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 Any person, at least 16 years old, professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, having been baptized by immersion after salvation, and willing to be governed by the Constitution, Covenant and Statement of Faith is invited to become a member of this church. The person shall fill out a church membership application and complete a membership interview with a member of the leadership board. If the interview is satisfactory, the leadership board member will recommend the person to the leadership board for membership. The person shall be accepted into membership by a majority vote of the leadership board.
Section 2 A member must subject himself/herself to the lordship of Christ and leadership of the church and be regularly involved in the life of the church. Only a member may be the leader of an ongoing church ministry, and only a member may vote.
Section 3 Any member, in good standing, may resign without a congregational vote. A member not responding to discipline or not having contact with the church for a period of time will have his/her name recommended by the leadership board for termination from membership by a majority vote of the church.
Section 4 Associate membership is available for anyone who temporarily comes to Bloomington for educational, vocational, or personal reasons but wishes to remain a member of his/her home church. The procedure for becoming an associate member as well as the responsibilities and the privileges are the same as for regular membership.
ARTICLE 5 - OFFICERS, COMMITTEES, AND STAFF
Section 1 Officers of this church shall include senior pastor, associate pastors, deacons, church clerk, treasurer, financial secretaries and auditors. The church may have as many associate pastors and deacons as deemed necessary by the congregation, with a minimum of three deacons.
Section 2 The leadership board of the church consists of the senior pastor, associate pastors, and deacons. Committees shall consist of the nominating committee as well as other committees formed by the leadership board to enable them to fulfill their responsibilities. When necessary, a pulpit committee shall be formed. All committees are responsible to the leadership board.
Section 3 Any officer, except senior and associate pastor, must have been a member of the church for at least one year. Officers' lives must demonstrate spiritual maturity and agreement with the Constitution, Covenant and Statement of Faith. In addition, pastors' lives must be characterized by the qualifications of 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Pastoral candidates must also meet qualifications for membership. Deacons' lives must be characterized by the qualifications of 1Timothy 3:8-13 and Acts 6:1-6. An office will remain vacant if there are no qualified candidates.
Section 4 Nominations for all offices, except pastors, may be made in writing to the nominating committee by any member. The nominating committee shall review these nominations and formulate a ballot. Nominees shall be elected by a majority of votes cast.
Section 5 Nominations for pastors will be made to the congregation by the pulpit committee. A meeting for a congregational vote shall be announced at least one Sunday in advance. A three-fourth’s majority of votes cast is required to call a senior pastor, and a two-third’s majority is required to call an associate pastor. Pastors automatically become members of the church.
Section 6 Non-pastoral staff positions can only be created by congregational vote. The leadership board shall hire persons to fill these positions. Persons hired shall be responsible to an officer determined at the time of hire and may be discussed by the leadership board.
ARTICLE 6 - DUTIES
Section 1 The senior pastor is responsible for the following areas of ministry: shepherding, public worship, Christian education, ministry development, leadership training, Biblical counseling and discipleship, and evangelism. He is an ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 2 Associate pastors are responsible to the senior pastor and shall assist him in carrying out his duties. They shall also fill in for the senior pastor in his absence.
Section 3 Deacons are responsible for assisting in the oversight of the ministry, including the following areas:
Real property and real estate: The deacons shall see that adequate insurance is in force, maintain building and grounds in a state conducive to the ministry of the church, plan for future needs of the ministry and see that all uses of the church facilities are consistent with the ministry of the church.
Finances: The deacons shall propose a budget for the coming year to be approved by the congregation and shall oversee spending based on the budget.
Caring fund: The deacons shall receive designated offerings, disburse as needs arise and report receipts and disbursements to the congregation in summary form.
Other responsibilities: The deacons shall assist the pastoral staff in carrying out their responsibilities, stimulate and encourage fellowship and hospitality in the church family and provide pulpit supply as needed. They shall function as the legal trustees of EBC.
Section 4 The church clerk shall prepare accurate minutes of all church business meetings.
Section 5 The financial secretaries shall count offerings, deposit offerings in the church's account, keep accurate, and confidential records of all offerings received, give receipts annually to givers and report, in summary form to leadership board as requested.
Section 6 The treasurer shall disburse funds according to vouchers approved by a leadership board designee and shall give reports to leadership, as requested, and to the congregation at quarterly business meetings.
Section 7 Auditors shall audit financial records and report their findings to the congregation at the April business meeting.
ARTICLE 7 - TERMS OF OFFICE
Section 1 There is no time-limit on a pastor's term of office. To resign, a senior pastor must give two weeks' notice to the leadership board. Associate pastors must give two weeks' notice to the senior pastor.
Section 2 Deacons, financial secretaries and auditors shall serve a three-year term of office and may serve consecutive terms. The terms will be staggered so that one-third of them (or as close as possible) will end each year. Other officers shall serve one-year terms and may serve consecutive terms.
Section 3 A person with a charge against any officer shall go to that person in obedience to Matthew 18:15-20 and Galatians 6:1-5. If the problem is not resolved, that person should immediately go to the senior pastor and request that they go to the officer together. If the problem is still not resolved, they should go to the deacons who will, if necessary, present the matter to the congregation. The congregation may remove any officer other than a pastor with a majority of votes cast.
Section 4 A pastor's term of office may also be terminated involuntarily. Members representing at least three households may request that the deacons evaluate the pastor's ministry. The deacons must then determine whether a vote of confidence should be taken. Should they choose to conduct a vote of confidence, the pastor must be notified, privately, one week before any announcement from the pulpit and must be told the schedule for the meetings required for such a vote.
A vote of confidence requires two meetings, one for discussion and one for the vote. The vote of confidence must be announced from the pulpit for three consecutive Sundays. The first meeting will take place between the second and third announcements. At this meeting, each side will be given opportunity to present its case fairly and objectively. The second meeting will take place after the third announcement. At this meeting, a vote will be taken, but no discussion will be permitted. A two-third’s affirmative vote of members present is required for the pastor to continue his ministry at Emmanuel. Should a vote of confidence not be sustained, or should he resign after being notified of the vote of confidence but before the date of the second meeting, his term of office will cease immediately and he shall receive two months' compensation.
ARTICLE 8 - MEETINGS
Section 1 The church shall meet regularly on Sunday for public worship. The Lord's Supper shall be observed at such times as shall be determined by the Leadership Board.
Section 2 Five regular business meetings are required throughout the year. Additional business meetings may be held as necessary. Each meeting must be announced at least one week in advance. A quorum consisting of a minimum of 30% of members residing in Indiana must be present at the beginning of the meeting.
Section 3 Business meetings shall be moderated by a pastor or a deacon. Meetings shall follow the regulations set forth in this constitution and the parliamentary procedure described by Robert's Rules of Order.
Section 4 Four of the five required business meetings will be quarterly meetings and shall be held in the months of January, April, July and October. The vote for the annual budget shall be held at the January meeting. The fifth meeting shall be for the election of officers and shall be held during the month of December. Newly elected officers shall assume their responsibilities at the beginning of the new year.
ARTICLE 9 - AMENDMENTS
Any member may submit written proposals for constitutional amendments or revisions to the Leadership Board. The Leadership Board shall review the proposal and report its decision to the person who submitted the proposal. The Leadership Board may propose constitutional amendments and revisions to the congregation. The proposal and the date of the vote must be announced for two consecutive weeks prior to the vote and the text of the proposal must be available for inspection by the congregation during this time. A two-third’s majority of votes cast is necessary for ratification or revision of the amendment.