Summit Baptist Church
Adopted by the membership on October 16, 2011
Revised by the membership on April 15, 2012
Revised by the membership on May 16, 2021
Article 1 – Membership
Section 1 – Qualifications
A. To qualify for membership in this church, a person must be a believer in Jesus Christ who gives evidence of regeneration, who has been baptized by immersion, in obedience to Christ, following his or her regeneration, and who wholeheartedly believes in the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. Each member must agree to submit to the teaching of scripture as expressed in the Statement of Faith and must promise to keep the commitments expressed in the Church Covenant. The elders shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualification for membership. In making this determination, they may rely on a person’s profession of faith, or such other evidence, as the elders deem appropriate.
B. The church reserves the exclusive right to determine its own membership. This is a voluntary organization, and there is no basis for any person to demand or require membership. The church shall determine any and all conditions of membership applying to it members.
Section 2 – Admission of Members
A. To be admitted into church membership, applicants shall make their request for membership known to an elder of the church. The applicant will then be enrolled in the new members’ class. During this time period the applicant for membership will also be introduced to the elder board who in turn will determine each person’s qualification for membership. A unanimous affirmative vote must be received from the elder board for acceptance into membership. After completion of the new members’ class and acceptance of the elders the applicant will be recommended by the elders for admission to the church where at that time the church will vote on receiving the applicant into the membership of the church at any regular or special meeting of the members, and shall at that point relinquish their membership to other churches. Any new applicant for membership must receive a 90% affirmative vote by the membership of the church.
B. If a prospective member is transferring their membership from another Southern Baptist Church a transfer of membership letter will be requested by the church clerk. A transfer of membership letter must be received before admission of membership is approved.
C. If, during the application process any church member has reservations regarding the applicant, that church member is expected to share their concerns with the Elders.
Section 3 – Denial of Membership
A. If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective church member, the Elder Board determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the elders shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
Section 4 – Admission of Applicants
A. Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service designated by the Pastor-Teacher and the rest of the Elders, at which service such applicants shall publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as church members.
B. Also at this time newly installed members will sign the church covenant thereby placing their names on the membership role.
Section 5 – Duties and Privileges of Membership
A. In accord with the duties enumerated in the Church Covenant, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church, consistent with God’s leading and with the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God. Only those who are members of this congregation shall be entitled to serve in the ministries of the church.
Section 6 – On Church Discipline
A. Any member consistently neglectful of his or her duties or guilty of conduct by which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be dishonored, and so opposing the welfare of the church and/or rendering doubtful a profession of faith, shall be subject to admonition of the elders and the discipline of the church, according to the instruction of our Lord in Matthew 18:15-17 and the example of scripture. Church discipline, then, should ordinarily be contemplated after individual private admonition has failed.
B. Church discipline can include admonition by the elders or congregation, removal from office, and excommunication (Matthew 18:15-17, 1st Timothy 5:19-20, 1st Corinthians 5:4-5).
C. The purpose of such discipline should be for the following reasons, repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined (Proverbs 15:5; 29:15; 1st Corinthians 4:14; Ephesians 6:4; 1st Timothy 3:4-5; Hebrews 12:1-11; Psalm 119:115; 141:5; Proverbs 17:10; 25:12; 27:5; Ecclesiastes 7:5; Matthew 7:26-27; 18:15-17; Luke 17:3; Acts 2:40; 1st Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:1-5; 2nd Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15; 1st Timothy 1:20; Titus 1:13-14; James 1:22).
D. For the instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them (Proverbs 13:20; Romans 15:14; 1st Corinthians 5:11; 15:33; Colossians 3:16; 1st Thessalonians 5:14 [Note-this is written to the whole church, not just to leaders]; 1st Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:11; Hebrews 10:24-25).
E. For the purity of the church as a whole (1st Corinthians 5:6-7; 2nd Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 5:27; 2nd John 10; Jude 24; Revelation 21:2).
F. For the good of our corporate witness to non-Christians (Proverbs 28:7; Matthew 5:13-16; John 13:35; Acts 5:1-14; Ephesians 5:11; 1st Timothy 3:7; 2nd Peter 2:2; 1st John 3:10); and supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character (Deuteronomy 5:11; 1st Kings 11:2; 2nd Chronicles 19:2; Ezra 6:21; Nehemiah 9:2; Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 36:20; Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; 18:17, 25; Romans 2:24; 15:5-6; 2nd Corinthians 6:14-7:1; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; 1st Peter 2:12).
Section 7 – Termination of Membership
A. The church shall recognize the termination of a person’s membership following his or her death, and it shall also recognize the termination of a person’s membership following his or her self-professed apostasy as confirmed by the entire Elder board who in turn brings the recommendation of termination of membership to the congregation for a vote. The vote cast by the membership must be a vote of no less than 90% of the membership for congregational approval. The Elder Board will bring a recommendation for dismissal only after the process found in Matthew 18:15-17 has been thoroughly exhausted. There must be the one-on-one visit followed by the one or two witnesses, which if necessary is then followed up by as many members of the church who will go to the person in question to help bring them back into a right relationship with God. Additionally, the church may recognize the termination of a person’s membership after he or she has voluntarily resigned or joined with another church.
B. The church shall have authority to refuse a member’s voluntary resignation or transfer of membership to another church, either for the purpose of proceeding with a process of church discipline, or for any other biblical reason.
C. The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or termination of a person’s membership.
Article 2 – Meetings
Section 1 – Worship Meetings
A. Worship meetings shall be held each Lord’s Day, and may be held throughout the week as the Elders determine.
Section 2 – Members Meetings
A. In every meeting together, members shall act in that spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration which is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
B. There shall be a regular member’s meeting held on the third Sunday of each month apart from a public worship service. If a change is ever made regarding date and time of this meeting then it is required that these changes be announced at least two weeks prior by posting a notice in the church bulletin and by announcing the changes during two prior Sunday morning services.
C. An Elder designated by the Elder Board shall preside as moderator at all members meetings of the church. The Elders shall see that the stated meetings of the church are regularly held and that required reports are submitted to the church by the responsible members.
D. Special church members meetings may be called as required by the Elders, or at the written request, submitted to the Elders, of ten percent of the voting membership. Before the scheduling of the special called meeting discussion will take place between the Elder Board and those members who have called for the meeting as to its purpose. The date, time, and purpose of any special meeting shall be announced at all public services of the church within two weeks preceding the meeting and placed in the church bulletin during that time period. In the event of a written request from the members, the elders shall call a special meeting to be held within one month of their receipt of the request.
E. Church members who desire to bring items of business before any regular church members meeting are to provide in writing to the elders a brief explanation of the matter they wish to have presented at least one week before the meeting. The elders may exercise discretion concerning such matters to the extent of tabling such items, but only until the next month’s regularly scheduled church members meeting.
F. Provided that all provisions for notification for either a regular or special called members meeting have been met, as stated in the by-laws, the church members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. All votes shall be tallied based on the number of votes cast by members present.
G. All church members meetings are open to all members of the church. Inactive members (Defined as those who habitually disregard the following of the church covenant, as determined by the Elder Board) and guests of the church may attend but may not vote on any proceeding or share in any discussion regarding church business. An exception for a non-member to share in discussion would be when such a person is invited by the church to share in an expertise that will help with decision making, such as a contractor would be asked to address the church if the church were conducting a construction project.
H. A budget, that has been presented by the Elders, shall be approved by the membership at a members meeting not more than three months after the start of the fiscal year (January 1). Congregational approval shall proceed, without amendment, as a single vote on the budget in its entirety. Prior to this approval and subject to the Elders’ discretion, expenditures may continue at the prior year’s level.
I. A 90% vote in the affirmative of those active members’ present at any meeting of the membership is always required for any action to carry.
Article 3 – Officers
Section 1 - Summary
A. The Biblical offices in the church are Elders and Deacons. In addition, our church recognizes the administrative positions of clerk and treasurer. All officers must be members of this church prior to assuming their responsibilities.
Section 2 – Elders
A. The Elders shall be comprised of men from the membership of the church, ages 21 and over. It is ideal that there at all times be no less than three elders who serve, yet at times it is understood that this may not be possible. These men are to satisfy the qualifications for the office of elder as set forth in 1st Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. No Elder shall hold the office of Deacon during his tenure.
B. The Elders shall oversee the ministries and resources of the church. In keeping with the principles set forth in Scripture the Elders shall devote their time to prayer (Acts 6:4), to the ministry of the Word by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine (Acts 6:4, 1st Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:9), to overseeing the daily affairs of the church (1st Timothy 3:4-5), and protect the church from false doctrine and false teachers (Acts 20:28, Titus 1:9).
C. The Elders shall take particular responsibility to examine and instruct prospective church members, examine, recommend, and vote on all prospective candidates for offices within the church. The Elders will oversee the work of the Deacons and Deaconesses, appoint church agents and committees, conduct worship services, administer the ordinances of baptism and communion, equip the membership for the work of the ministry, encourage sound doctrine and practice, admonish and correct error, oversee the process of church discipline, coordinate and promote the ministries of the church, and mobilize the church for local and worldwide missions. Further, the Elders should seek to ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation, including outside speakers, affirm our fundamental gospel convictions and do not teach our church anything contrary to the Statement of Faith.
D. Recommendations to fill the office of Elder shall be requested of the church as needs arise. This proposed slate of nominees shall be submitted to the Board of Elders, along with any relevant comments. The Board of Elders may then add to the list of nominees and shall then vet to approve or disapprove each nominee at its sole discretion. This list of Elder nominee(s) will be placed in the church bulletin for a period of four Sundays. A unanimous vote from the Elder Board is required for any man to serve as an Elder. The church will vote on those men presented by the Elder Board to serve as Elders. A vote of not less than 90% of the church at a members meeting is needed for approval. The newly selected Elder(s) shall assume office immediately. Provided the Elder meets all biblical requirements for service, there are no required, or defined limits on an Elder’s term of office. No man may serve as an Elder who has not been an active member of the church for a minimum of six months.
E. Each Elder will serve the church in a particular ministry as determined before their election.
F. Any member of the church who has any reservations for a nominee to serve is expected to approach the Board of Elders with their concerns. The Elders will always take any concerns under serious advisement.
G. Each Elder must be an active member of this church and possess the qualifications described in 1st Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He shall be:
1. Blameless as a steward of God; above reproach (1st Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
2. Husband of one wife; a one-woman man (1st Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
3. Temperate, sober, vigilant (1st Timothy 3:2)
4. Sober-minded, prudent (1st Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
5. Of good behavior; orderly, respectable (1st Timothy 3:2)
6. Given to hospitality (1st Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
7. Apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching
(1st Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
8. Not given to wine (1st Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
9. Not violent; not pugnacious (1st Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
10. Patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle (1st Timothy 3:3)
11. Not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick-tempered
(1st Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
12. Not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain
(1st Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
13. Rules well his own house; his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God
(1st Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:7)
14. Not a novice, not a new convert (3:4; Titus 1:7)
15. Has a good report or reputation with outsiders (1st Timothy 3:7)
16. Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)
17. A lover of good men and things (Titus 1:8)
18. Just, fair (Titus 1:8)
19. Holy, devout (Titus 1:8)
20. Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)
H. An Elder’s term of office may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal. If by resignation, an Elder may resign effective upon giving written notice to the Chairman of the Elder Board or the Secretary of the Elder Board, unless the notice specifies a later time for the effectiveness of such resignation. If the resignation is to take effect at some future time, a successor may be selected before that time.
I. If an Elder is dismissed from office he may be removed at any regular or special meeting of the Elders. Any two members of the Elder Board or any two members of the church, with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the Elders (1st Timothy 5:19). When an Elder is removed because of sin that is deemed sufficient to disqualify him from shepherding, and if he refuses to repent from that sin, the removal shall be accompanied by a public rebuke, and notice shall be made before the church at a regularly scheduled worship service as prescribed in Matthew 18:15-17 and 1st Timothy 5:20. The Elder Board will make the decision if the Elder that is in question will be removed from office. The vote of the Elder Board must be unanimous for dismissal.
J. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in the Bylaws, any meeting (whether regular, special, or adjourned) of the Elder Board may be held at any place within or without the State of Arizona.
K. Regular meetings of the Elder Board shall be held without call or notice on the second Thursday of each month, unless otherwise modified by the Elder Board. Meetings of the Elder Board are for the sole participation of the Elders.
L. Special meetings of the Elder Board may be called at any time by order of the Chairman or Vice-Chairman or the Secretary of the Elder Board or by a quorum of the members of the Elder Board. All elders who are serving the church must be present.
M. All Elders who are serving the church must be present whenever the matter to be considered concerns calling or dismissing a Pastor-Teacher, or buying or selling real estate. In the event that the Elders meet in regard to the calling or dismissing of a Pastor-Teacher or in regard to the buying or selling of real estate, the matter will eventually be taken to the church membership for final approval.
N. Each year the Elders, after consultation with the Deacons, the Deaconesses, and those serving in leadership within the ministries of the church, shall present to the church membership an itemized budget. This budget shall be presented for discussion at a regular or specially called budget meeting and called up for a vote at the following members’ meeting. For the budget to pass approval there must be at least a 90% approval from the church membership of active members present at the members meeting.
O. The Elders may establish ministry positions or committees to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities. The Elders may also propose funding for new paid staff positions. The scope and approval of job descriptions for any staff position shall reside in the hands of the Elders and others within the membership with hiring authority for that position. Elders will vote on those members who are nominated by the membership to serve on each committee. A unanimous vote of approval by the elders for each nominee is required for the member to be presented to the membership to serve on a given committee. A 90% vote is required by the membership for a member to then serve on a committee. All committees are voted on at the first members meeting of the year in January.
P. No money shall be solicited by or on behalf of the church or any of the ministries of the church without the approval of the Elders.
Q. All recommendations for any types of additions, deletions, modifications, changes, or upgrades, including any decorating to the building facility or grounds are to be presented to the Elder Board and approved by the Elder Board.
R. Any additions, deletions, modifications, changes, or upgrades, including decorating to the building facility or grounds that come to a financial cost of more than $250.00 will be presented by the Elders to the church membership at a member’s meeting for approval of the church. Approval must receive an affirmative of no less than 90% of the members who are present at the particular members meeting. The action will be placed into the agenda for the members meeting and made available for the church membership at least two weeks prior to the members meeting.
S. The Elder Board has the authority to spend at their discretion from the church account an amount of money not to exceed $250.00. Any amount that exceeds this
T. In the event of church ownership and in the event of what is deemed an emergency in regard to the church facility (plumbing issue, damage to the structure, etc.) the Elders can determine the course of action without the prior approval of the church membership. However, if it is determined that upgrades or modifications, additions, deletions, or changes are requested then church approval is required consistent with the budget.
U. At this time in the life of the church the church is presently renting its facility. When it is determined that any additions, deletions, modifications, changes or upgrades to the building facility or grounds are deemed necessary the Elders will take the request to the landlord of the facility and grounds for approval.
V. Any literature that is dispersed or displayed within the facility of the church or on the outside grounds of the church must first be approved by the Elders. Also, any literature that is dispersed out into the world with the name of the church associated with it must also be approved by the Elders. Additionally anything with the church name or logo associated with it must be approved by the Elders as well. The Elders must be unanimous in their approval of these items.
W. All teaching material used by the church must be approved unanimously by the Elder Board.
X. The Elders shall elect from their number a Chairman of Elders to conduct and oversee Elder Board meetings. The Elders shall also elect one of their number to serve as moderator of all members meetings. For purposes of compliance with the nonprofit corporation laws of the state of Arizona, the elders shall elect one of their number to serve as the president of the corporation.
Y. Elders, with the exception of the Pastor Teacher (as such), shall not receive any stated fixed salary for their services.
Section 3 – Deacons & Deaconesses
A. The Deacons shall consist of male church members possessing the qualifications described in 1st Timothy 3:8-13. No man may serve as a Deacon who has not been an active member of the church for a minimum of six months. Recommendations to fill the office of Deacon shall be requested of the church as needs arise. The church membership is encouraged to address the Elder Board if there are any concerns regarding any of the nominees. The Board of Elders will compile, review and, at its sole discretion, confirm or disapprove each of the nominations. A unanimous vote from the Elder Board is required for any man to serve as a Deacon. The nominees affirmed by the Elder Board will then be taken to the church membership for final approval by vote. A vote of no less than 90% of the active membership who attend the members meeting is required. The Elders shall post written notice in January of each year of the Deacons serving the church. The Deacons shall serve for a term of two (2) years and may only be elected to another term after taking one continuous year off. The Deacons shall assist the elders in the shepherding of the saints, assist the Pastor-Teacher at communion and baptismal services, aid in the general spiritual care of the church, and perform other duties as assigned by the elders. A Deacon shall be a man of dignity, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not fond of sordid gain, holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, first tested and found above reproach.
B. The Deaconesses shall consist of female church members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3-5. No woman may serve as a Deaconess who has not been an active member of the church for a minimum of six months. Recommendations to fill the office of Deaconess shall be requested of the church as needs arise. The church membership is encouraged to address the Elder Board if there are any concerns regarding any of the nominees. The Board of Elders will compile, review and, at its sole discretion, confirm or disapprove each of the nominations. A unanimous vote from the Elder Board is required for any woman to serve as a Deaconess. The nominees affirmed by the Elder Board will then be taken to the church membership for final approval by vote. A vote of no less than 90% of the active membership who attend the members meeting is required. The Elders shall post written notice in January of each year of the deaconesses serving the church. The Deaconesses shall serve for a term of two (2) years and may only be elected to another term after taking one continuous year off. They shall prepare the Communion elements, assist the Pastor-Teacher at baptismal services and in the general spiritual care of the church, and shall assist in the care of the sick and needy. A Deaconess shall be dignified, not a malicious gossip, temperate, and faithful in all things.
C. The Elders, with assistance from the Deacons and Deaconesses shall receive, hold, and disburse a fund for benevolence. The Deacons and Deaconesses shall report to the Elders the use of the fund at the Elders request and will report to the church the fund’s total receipts and total disbursements only. The report of disbursements of the benevolence fund will be given at each members meeting.
D. The deacons and deaconesses, with the agreement of the Elders, may establish ministry teams consisting of members to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in the church.
Section 4 – Clerk
A. It shall be the duty of the clerk to record the minutes of all regular and special members meetings of the church, to preserve an accurate roll of the membership, and to render reports as requested by the Elders or the church. The clerk shall provide church transfer of membership letters for departing members, and receive such letters from other Southern Baptist churches when new members so request. The clerk shall also work alongside the church historian in recording marriages, baptisms, funerals, and other events in the life of the church.
B. The clerk, who shall be a member for a minimum of six months and in good standing shall be nominated by the membership of the church, which includes Elders, and submitted to the Elder Board, along with any relevant comments during the month of November. The Elder Board will then interview those nominated. A unanimous vote from the Elder Board is required for any person to continue in the nomination process. Following the interview process the Elder Board will then present one candidate before the church membership at which time the church membership will vote on the candidate. A 90% vote at minimum is required for approval of the candidate to serve as the clerk of the church.
C. In the absence or incapacity of the clerk, the Elders shall appoint a member to perform the duties of the church clerk.
D. For purposes of compliance with the nonprofit corporation laws of the state of Arizona, the clerk shall serve as the secretary of the corporation and be available to sign any legal papers requiring a Corporate Secretary signature.
E. The church clerk shall ensure that dated copies of the most recent revision of the Constitution and the By-Laws shall be available for all church members.
Section 5 – Treasurer
A. The treasurer, who shall not be an active elder, deacon, or paid church staff member, shall be a member in good standing. The treasurer shall support the elders in providing oversight of the financial and accounting activities of the church, shall not have custody of church funds, and shall insure that all funds and securities of the church are properly secured in such banks, financial institutions, or depositories as appropriate. The treasurer shall also be responsible for presenting regular reports of the account balances, revenues, and expenses of the church at each members’ meeting. This responsibility may be delegated with the approval of the elders. The treasurer shall also see that full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements are kept in books and or electronically belonging to the church, and that adequate controls are implemented to ensure that all funds belonging to the church are appropriately handled by any officer, employee, or agent of the church. The treasurer shall render to the Elders, whenever they may require it, an account of all activities as treasurer and of the financial condition of the church.
B. The treasurer, who shall be a member for a minimum of six months and in good standing shall be nominated by the membership of the church, which includes Elders, and submitted to the Elder Board, along with any relevant comments during the month of November. The Elder Board will then interview those nominated. A unanimous vote from the Elder Board is required for any person to continue in the nomination process. Following the interview process the Elder Board will then present one candidate before the church membership at which time the church membership will vote on the candidate. A 90% vote at minimum is required for approval of the candidate to serve as the treasurer of the church.
Article 4 – The Pastor-Teacher
Section 1 – Election
A. A Pastor-Teacher search committee will be formed for the search of a man to fill the ministry of Pastor-Teacher. This committee will consist of all the Elders of the church along with selected members from the congregation of the church. The details for the forming of the Pastor-Teacher search committee along with its role and function are found in the church Committees and Ministries Manual. The Pastor-Teacher shall be nominated by 100% of those serving on the Pastor-Teacher search committee and then voted on by the church. A 90% affirmative vote by the active members of the church is required for approval. The Pastor-Teacher shall remain in office an indefinite period of time subject to the following reservations: the elders reserve the right to dismiss the Pastor-Teacher upon giving him one month’s written notice of its intention to dismiss. It is required that all of the Elders vote to dismiss in order for a dismissal of the Pastor-Teacher to occur. If the Elders find cause to dismiss the Pastor-Teacher their decision will be taken before the church for final approval by the church. There must be a minimum of a 90% approval from the church for such motion to pass. The Pastor-Teacher must give one month’s notice if he intends to resign. The time limit of a Pastor-Teacher’s resignation or dismissal is subject to a lesser time if both the Pastor-Teacher and the Elders by mutual agreement provide otherwise.
B. In addition, the church must be given adequate opportunity to meet with, get to know, and ask questions of the potential Pastor-Teacher along with his wife, as well as have opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential Pastor-Teacher and, before being asked to express its judgement, must receive assurance from the Pastor-Teacher search committee that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. Notice of the nomination of a man to be called as Pastor-Teacher (which shall include, if necessary, election to membership of him and his wife if he is married) must be given at two Sunday morning services following the nomination, prior to the vote at a special called members meeting. This announcement will be made in the church bulletin and also from the pulpit.
Section 2 – Duties
A. The Pastor-Teacher shall serve as an Elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder described in Article 3 Section 2B and Article 3 Section 2C. He shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to full-time ministry of preaching and teaching.
B. The Pastor-Teacher shall be an ex officio member of all councils and committees, and he shall be responsible to the other Elders. He shall have primary responsibility for the supervision and evaluation of staff members. This responsibility may, on a case-by-case basis, be delegated to another staff member.
C. The Pastor-Teacher shall arrange for and conduct all public and regular services of the church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. In the absence or incapacity of the Pastor-Teacher the Elders shall assume responsibility for his duties, any of which can be delegated.
D. The Pastor-Teacher shall receive a salary from the church. Other financial renumeration can include retirement contributions from the church along with health insurance contributions and housing allowance. The amount for any renumeration will be what is stated in the budget of the church.
(1st Timothy 5:17-18)
Article 5 – Associate Pastor-Teachers
A. The Elders, along with the church, may call additional Pastor-Teachers whose relationship to the Pastor-Teacher is that of associate.
B. An Associate Pastor-Teacher shall serve as an Elder. He shall perform the duties of an Elder and shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching.
C. In the calling of any man to the position of Associate Pastor-Teacher, the same process of calling the Pastor-Teacher must be followed. In addition, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential Associate Pastor-Teacher and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the Associate Pastor-Teacher search committee that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. Notice of the nomination of a man to be called as Associate Pastor-Teacher (which shall include, if necessary, election to membership of him and his wife if he is married) must be given at two Sunday morning services following the nomination, prior to the vote at a members meeting. This announcement will be made in the church bulletin and also from the pulpit.
D. The Associate Pastor-Teacher shall assist the Pastor-Teacher in the performance of his regular duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of Pastor-Teacher, or as set forth in the by-laws, or which may be specifically assigned to him by the Elders.
E. In the absence or incapacity of the Pastor-Teacher for defined periods of time (such as sabbatical or illness), the Associate Pastor-Teacher(s) shall assume the responsibility for his duties under the oversight of the elders.
Article 6 – Ordination, Licensing, and Commissioning
Section 1 – Ordination
Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Board of Elders of a man’s call to
ministry, preparation as a shepherd, and qualification to serve. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
Section 2 – Licensing
The license is issued by the Board of Elders and is given in recognition of a man’s service in a ministry. Its aim is to allow a man to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions of the church. Licenses are to be issued only to church members of Summit Baptist Church.
Section 3 – Commissioning
When local-church certification is required for ministry or where ordination would otherwise be unnecessary or inappropriate, a person may be commissioned by the Board of Elders to minister. This commissioning continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect and as long as the person maintains the qualifications for ministry, or until the Board of Elders in its sole discretion revokes the commissioning.
Section 4 – Marriages and Weddings
All male members of Summit Baptist Church who are ordained, licensed, commissioned or otherwise authorized by this church to solemnize marriages may do so, in the exercise of religious freedom, only where the participants are one man and one woman (Genesis 2:21-24; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 1:6-9). Church facilities may be used for weddings only where both prospective spouses are church members in good standing; church facilities are not available to the general public for that purpose, nor is alcohol allowed for any purposes.
Article 7– Elections
Section 1 – Principles
A. The process for church elections shall be interpreted and carried out to fulfill the following principles:
a. Substantial prayer, both individually and corporately, should be an integral part of the election process.
b. Nominations should proceed with the support of the Elders and others who serve on any nominating committee.
c. All candidates for church office should be treated with the grace, kindness, and honesty appropriate in evaluating fellow members.
d. The election process shall express that spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration that is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Section 2 – Selection of Officers
A. The election of Deacons and Deaconesses is outlined in Article 3, Section 3 A-B. The election of the Clerk and Treasurer is outlined in Article 3, Section 4B and Section 5B.
B. The election of a Pastor-Teacher is outlined in Article 4, Section 1A. The election of the Associate Pastor-Teacher is outlined in Article 5, Section C.
C. The elders should seek recommendations and involvement from the general membership in the nomination process. Any member with reason to believe that a nominated candidate is unqualified for an office should express such concern to the elders. Members intending to speak in opposition to a candidate should express their objection to the elders as far in advance as possible before the relevant Elders meeting or members meeting.
D. Abstentions will not be considered as votes cast.
E. The persons elected shall assume their respective offices upon election unless another date has been specifically designated.
F. All votes taken within the church will require either a unanimous vote for a motion to pass or a vote of no less than a 90% approval to pass a motion. The church by-laws state which instances require either a unanimous vote or a 90% vote for approval of a motion.
Section 3 – Voters Age
A. The minimum voting age of a church member is 18.
Article 8 – Committees and Ministries
A. To promote efficient handling of Board matters and ministries, the Board of Elders may appoint various committees from within its membership, the staff, and from the church at large. These committees shall perform tasks solely in accordance with the duties and with powers specifically delegated by the Board of Elders.
B. All committees shall exist for the period specified by the Board of Elders.
C. The tasks of the Committees and Ministries of the church are found in the Committees and Ministries Manual
D. A committee review performed by the Elders will be completed prior to January 1 with any committee changes of committee members done at that time or the dissolution of a committee.
Article 9 – Dispute Resolution
A. Believing that the Bible commands Christians to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian Church (see, e.g., Matthew 18:15-20, 1st Corinthians 6:1-8), the church shall require its members to resolve ordinary civil disputes among themselves according to biblically based principles, without reliance on the secular courts. In the case of criminal activity within the congregation, the State has a God-given responsibility to protect the peace and security of its citizens that should be supported and encouraged. Consistent with its call to peacemaking, the church shall encourage the use of biblically based principles to resolve disputes between itself and those outside the church, whether Christian or pagan and whether individuals or corporate entities.
Article 10 – Deviations of Practice
A. If a church member believes the church to be out of accord with the constitution and the by-laws, he or she should inform the Elders. When the Elders determine that the church is out of accord with the constitution and by-laws, they must provide an update at each members’ meeting until the situation is remedied.
Article 11 – Amendments
A. The Statement of Faith, Church Covenant, Constitution and By-Laws may be brought before the membership of the church for amendments by the Elders. When an amendment is brought before the church membership, the amendment must first be presented in writing at the previous members meeting, and shall have been announced in the church bulletin at church services two successive Sundays prior to such vote. Also at the two prior Sunday church services it must be announced from the pulpit that a proposed amendment is in the church bulletin for all to read.
B. The Statement of Faith, Church Covenant, Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a 90% vote of the members present and voting at a members’ meeting.
C. Any amendment made to the Committees and Ministries Manual shall be made by the Elders. A unanimous vote is required by the Elders.
D. Any amendment shall be made available to all church members by the church clerk.
Article 12 - Dissolution
A. In the event that the Elders of the church determine that there is reasonable cause to dissolve the Summit Baptist Church as a corporate entity, the Elders shall recommend dissolution to the membership. The Elders shall call a special members meeting. Notice of the meeting shall be placed in the church bulletin not less than sixty days prior to the meeting. The notice shall state that the purpose of the meeting is to consider dissolution of the corporation and how the assets of the corporation will be distributed after all creditors have been paid. At least 90% of the members present at the meeting must vote in the affirmative to approve the proposal of dissolution.
B. After approval of dissolution by the members, all of the corporation’s debts shall be fully satisfied. None of its assets or holdings shall be divided among the members or other individuals, but shall be irrevocably designated, as approved by 90% of the members present at a members meeting, to one or more religious organizations which meet the qualifications described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and which are in agreement with the letter and spirit of the Statement of Faith. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of exclusively for such exempt purposes by a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the corporation is then located.
Article 13 – Statement regarding male and female
A. Any reference made to male and female, man, or woman in the by laws is a reference to a biological male and female at the time of birth.