- ARTICLE I – NAME
- ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
- ARTICLE III – DOCTRINE
- ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
- ARTICLE V – ORDINANCES
- ARTICLE VI – ORGANIZATION
- ARTICLE VII – BUSINESS MEETINGS
- ARTICLE VIII – FINANCES
- ARTICLE IX – MINISTRIES
- ARTICLE X – DISSOLUTION
- ARTICLE XI – ASSOCIATIONS
- ARTICLE XII – EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
- ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENT
- ARTICLE XIV – INDEMNIFICATION
- REV COMMENT
This Church shall provide a place of worship, fellowship, training and service. Regular services shall be conducted locally for the observing of the ordinances and for the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. Missionary and evangelistic endeavors which are in agreement with the beliefs and practices of this Church shall be encouraged and supported.
ARTICLE III – DOCTRINE
The Articles of Faith, originally adopted on March 9, 1971, and revised on December 7 and 28, 1977, shall constitute the doctrines of this Church.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
SECTION A – QUALIFICATIONS
This Church shall consist of baptized believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who are in agreement with its Articles of Faith, Covenant, and Constitution.
1. Anyone professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, having been baptized by immersion, giving evidence of a changed heart, and declaring himself in agreement with the principles, practices, and doctrines of this Church may become a candidate for Church membership.
2. Every candidate for membership shall be examined by the Pastor(s) and Deacons. If the leadership is satisfied with the applicant’s testimony, they shall recommend the candidate to the Church for membership.
3. All recommended applicants shall give a personal testimony of salvation to the Church and shall then be received into membership upon a three-quarter vote of those members present and voting.
4. Any person who is a part-time resident and meets the above qualifications may become a candidate for Watchcare Membership. A Watchcare Member will have the same privileges and responsibilities as a Regular Member with the exception of holding an elected office. A Watchcare Member will be automatically considered inactive upon the member’s leaving this area for any extended period of time. If a Watchcare Member does not renew fellowship within three years, his membership shall be terminated. If attendance is re-established within the year, the Watchcare Member’s active status shall be automatically reinstated. Any Watchcare Member establishing permanent residency in the area and requesting Regular Membership shall be accepted into the Regular Membership without re-examination.
SECTION B – RESPONSIBILITIES
Members are expected to regularly attend services, pray for each other, be responsible for their own spiritual growth, pray for, be involved in and support the ministry of the church. Please refer to the Church Covenant for further details.
SECTION C – STATUS/DISMISSAL
1. The Deacons shall determine that any member failing to be involved in the Church for three months without a satisfactory reason shall be inactive. Every effort must be made to contact an individual before this determination is made. An inactive member shall not be entitled to vote or hold office.
2. Renewed involvement satisfactory to the Deacons shall restore a member to active status.
3. The Deacons shall make every reasonable effort to contact a Regular Member who remains inactive for at least three months. If interest in the ministry of the Church is not demonstrated, the Deacons shall recommend to the Church that the individual be removed from the membership. A member shall be removed by a three-quarter vote of those members present and voting. When possible, a removed individual shall be notified of the Church’s action.
SECTION D – DISCIPLINE
Discipline includes Christian teaching, training, admonition and rebuke, both private and public, with the goal of helping the individual Christian turn from worldliness, grow in grace, mature in faith and live wholly for the Lord.
2. DISCIPLINE COMMITTEE
The Deacons shall act as the Discipline Committee.
The Discipline Committee shall take prompt action when a member is involved in behavior which clearly violates the principles of the Word of God, the Articles of Faith or the Constitution. MAT:18:15-17 shall govern all disciplinary matters providing a step by step procedure in dealing with such issues. Charges against any member of Calvary Baptist Church must be made in writing, signed and presented to the Discipline Committee.
The goal of Church Discipline is restoration, including acknowledgment, confession, repentance and restitution. Kindness and consideration motivated by Christian love shall be displayed throughout the entire process. Every effort should be made to restore the member. If reconciliation is unsuccessful, and the Committee is convinced of the validity of the charges, the Committee shall recommend to the Church that the member be dismissed from the membership. Concurrently, the member shall be suspended from any office or position of leadership, forfeit the privilege to speak at any business meeting except at his hearing, and forfeit the right to vote. At a specially-called business meeting, a three-quarter majority vote by the members present and voting shall be required to dismiss a member.
If the Church approves the recommendation from the Discipline Committee, fellowship with the disciplined member by other Church members shall be withheld except that which is necessary to see restitution accomplished. If the Church fails to approve the recommendation from the Committee, the Church must hear the case at the same meeting.
ARTICLE V – ORDINANCES
SECTION A – BAPTISM
Individuals demonstrating saving faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior may, by their own choice, become a candidate for baptism. The Pastor(s), or another person authorized by the Church, shall baptize such candidates by immersion. Only applicants for membership will be baptized.
SECTION B – THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Pastor(s), or some person designated by the Church, and the Deacons shall serve the Lord’s Supper (Communion) regularly to the assembled Church. The Pastor(s) shall explain the meaning of the ordinance and encourage all believers walking in fellowship with the Lord to participate.
ARTICLE VI – ORGANIZATION
SECTION A – GOVERNMENT
The government of this Church shall be vested in its members. They shall call Pastors and elect officers consisting of the Deacons, Clerk, Treasurer and Sunday School Superintendents, all of whom must be active members. No person shall be eligible to hold an office until he has been a member for three months. All Pastors, officers and leaders must agree to the Christian Workers’ Standards. An Installation Service shall be conducted for all elected officers to pray for the Lord’s blessing on the upcoming year of service.
SECTION B – PASTORS
The Deacons shall act as the Pulpit Committee of the Church whenever a vacancy in the Senior Pastorate occurs. The Senior Pastor shall also be a member of the Pulpit Committee in the search for an Assistant Pastor.
All candidates must be men in agreement with the doctrines as set forth in the Articles of Faith, have sufficient education and spiritual experience to qualify for the office of Pastor in accordance with the requirements as set forth in 1TM 3:1-7 and TIT 1:6-9. Candidates must be either ordained or be willing to seek ordination. A divorced man or one married to a divorced woman will not be considered. Candidates and their wives must be willing to become members of the Church.
Only one candidate at a time may be considered and voted upon by the Church. After careful and prayerful consideration of possible candidates, the Pulpit Committee, by unanimous vote, shall invite the man of their choice to candidate for the Pastorate.
There must be an announcement made from the pulpit on two consecutive Sundays and a letter mailed to the membership before a vote may be taken to call a Pastor. The salary, pension, and vacation time shall accompany the recommendation.
The election of the Pastor shall be by secret ballot. His proposed salary must be included on the ballot, but may be voted on separately. A three-quarter vote of active members present and voting shall constitute a call.
He shall have the oversight of the Church in all matters.
He shall have charge of the pulpit ministry of the Church.
He shall preside as, or appoint, the Chairman for all business meetings of the Church.
He shall preside over all worship services, or in his absence secure suitable substitutes in conference with the Deacons.
He shall administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
He shall be an ex-officio member of all committees and shall be notified of all meetings.
He shall be under the direct supervision of the Senior Pastor.
He shall be an ex-officio member of all committees relating to his assigned areas of ministry.
He shall work closely with the Senior Pastor and Deacons, seeking their counsel and advice.
A Pastor shall continue his ministry at Calvary Baptist Church until he resigns or is dismissed by a vote of the Congregation.
A Pastor’s resignation shall be given to the Church in writing not fewer than thirty nor more than sixty days in advance of its effective date.
The dismissal of a Pastor shall be initiated by the Discipline Committee or by a petition signed by one-fifth of the active members. The petition must be presented to the Discipline Committee who must meet to consider the merits of the evidence, including verification of stated allegations. Within two weeks of receiving the petition, the Discipline Committee must give notice of a special meeting of the Church to make a decision regarding the matter. Notice of such a meeting must be given two weeks in advance through a letter to each voting member. The Discipline Committee must present the case against the Pastor. A three-quarter vote of active members present shall be necessary for the removal of the Pastor.
SECTION C – DEACONS
The Congregation shall elect the Deacons. The number of Deacons shall not exceed one for every 15 voting members. They shall be elected for three years and their terms shall end alternately. A Deacon must take a one-year sabbatical after having served a three-year term.
Deacons shall exemplify the Scriptural standards set forth in ACT:6:2-4 and 1TM:3:8-13. He shall faithfully support the ministry of the Church and perform his responsibilities diligently. A divorced man or a man married to a divorced woman will not be considered for the office of Deacon.
a. The Deacons are to assist the Pastor(s) and serve the Congregation.
b. The Deacons shall conduct the Mid-week Prayer Meeting in the absence of the Pastor(s).
c. The Deacons shall assist the Pastor(s) in preparation for licensing or ordaining qualified ministerial candidates.
d. The Deacons shall constitute the Discipline Committee of the Church.
e. The Deacons shall constitute the Pulpit Committee of the Church.
f. Within two weeks after their election, the Deacons shall meet to organize themselves by electing a Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The Chairman and Secretary shall not serve in the same capacity for more than two consecutive years. The Deacons shall establish a schedule of monthly meetings for the year and make the schedule known to the congregation. The Chairman and Secretary of the Deacons along with the Church Treasurer shall be the only individuals authorized on the Church’s checking account.
g. As soon as possible following the election and reorganization, the Deacons, in consultation with the Pastor(s), shall appoint from among themselves a liaison to each of the standing committees. This list shall be posted for the Congregation’s reference. The liaison Deacon is responsible to call and attend the first meeting of his committee(s). At this meeting a Chairman and Secretary shall be elected and a regular schedule for meetings established. The Pastor(s) and Deacons shall appoint other committees as needed from among the Church body to care for the ministry.
h. The Deacons shall maintain and oversee a Benevolence Fund for assisting those in need. Offerings shall be collected as needed for this purpose. The Deacon Treasurer shall distribute these funds as determined by the Deacons and shall account for these funds to the Deacons. The Deacons shall also make a general accounting of the funds received and dispersed to the congregation at the quarterly business meetings.
i. The Deacons shall hold regularly scheduled monthly meetings and such other meetings as are necessary to carry out their responsibilities. A quorum shall be one-half of the current number of Deacons.
j. No subsidiary group may be organized within the Church without the Deacons’ approval.
k. The Deacons shall have the oversight of the temporal affairs of the Church. Because of their elected positions, the statutes of the State of Arizona qualify them to be the legal statutory officers of Calvary Baptist Church, Inc. The Chairman (as President) and Secretary shall sign all legal documents of this Corporation. The Deacons shall oversee the preparation and distribution of the elements for the Lord’s Supper, attend to the necessities of the needy, and aid the Pastor(s) in zealously guarding and nurturing the flock. They shall lovingly seek to motivate each member to remain active and faithful while diligently following the provisions of Article IV.
l. The Deacons shall count and deposit all church offerings. They shall request a compilation of the financial records of the Church annually by an independent, qualified individual, making a report available to the Congregation upon request.
m. The Deacons shall prepare an annual budget for congregational approval and supervise the raising of all funds.
n. The Deacons shall review the salary, pension and vacation time for the Pastor(s) annually.
o. The Deacons shall be responsible for the maintenance of existing buildings and landscaping, as well as all new construction.
p. The Deacons shall bring all recommendations to the Congregation, including the addition of Pastoral Staff.
SECTION D – OTHER OFFICERS
The Congregation shall elect the Clerk to a one-year term. The Clerk shall keep an accurate record of the membership, including additions and dismissals. The Clerk shall determine the required quorum for each church business meeting and communicate this to the Pastor before the meeting begins. The Clerk, or a substitute appointed by the Chairman, shall keep minutes of all Regular and Special Church Business Meetings. The minutes shall be typed and kept in the Church office.
The Congregation shall elect the Treasurer to a one-year term, thus qualifying him as a legal statutory officer of this Corporation. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the accounting of the finances of the Church under the direction of the Deacons. He shall prepare financial reports for the Deacons’ Monthly Meetings and for the Congregation’s Quarterly and Annual Business Meetings.
3. SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS
The Congregation shall elect a Sunday School Superintendent and an Assistant to a one-year term. They shall be in charge of the administration and promotion of the Sunday School and shall work together in close cooperation with the Pastor(s). The Superintendents shall hold Quarterly Teachers’ Meetings. The Pastor(s) and Superintendents shall secure qualified teachers for the Sunday School classes.
SECTION E – STANDING COMMITTEES
1. All committee members that are not elected by the Congregation shall be appointed by the Deacons. The Deacons shall have committee appointments finalized and will have met with them to elect a Chairman and Secretary by the end of January. Only men may serve as committee chairmen. The Chairman will maintain communication with their liaison Deacon. All committees shall meet at least quarterly. A quorum shall be one-half of the current members. Minutes shall be typed and filed in the Church office within a week of each meeting, with a duplicate copy given to the Deacons. All committees are to submit their recommendations for the upcoming year’s budget to the Deacons by September 15th.
2. A NOMINEE EXAMINATION COMMITTEE shall be composed of two Deacons and two other men elected from the membership.
a. Church members shall make nominations for new officers from the active membership of the Church. At least six weeks prior to the election (see Article VII, Section A) a letter describing the qualifications and responsibilities of all elected officers, shall be mailed to every active member of voting age to solicit nominations for those offices. After prayerful consideration, each member shall nominate members for the offices. The nominations shall be returned to the Nominee Examination Committee by the date designated in the letter.
b. With the Senior Pastor as Chairman, the Committee shall meet at least four weeks before the election to examine those nominated for office.
c. The Committee shall contact all qualified nominees asking their consent to be posted on the ballot.
d. All confirmed nominations shall be posted at least one week before the elections.
3. A MISSIONS COMMITTEE shall be composed of up to six members elected by the Congregation to alternating two-year terms. They shall promote the missionary program of the Church and recommend the Missions Budget to the Deacons.
4. A CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE shall be composed of the Sunday School Superintendent and his Assistant, a Director of Youth Activities, the AWANA Commander, and up to two members appointed by the Pastor(s) and Deacons. They shall coordinate the entire educational program of the Church, including the Sunday School, AWANA Clubs and all youth activities. They shall review and approve all educational materials, including the contents of the library.
5. A MUSIC COMMITTEE shall be composed of the Choir Director and members appointed by the Pastor(s) and Deacons. This Committee shall supervise the music program of the Church by arranging for special music, accompanists and song leaders. The care of all musical instruments, including their purchase, repair and tuning shall be recommended to the Deacons, but supervised by this Committee. No musical organization shall be established within the church without their consent.
SECTION F – STAFF
The employment, dismissal and the conditions of employment for hourly staff members, such as Secretary and Custodian, shall be the responsibility of the Pastor(s) in consultation with the Deacons. The Church may at any time review the conditions of employment.
SECTION G – COMMUNICATION
All requests requiring action from the Pastor(s), Deacons or Committees shall be submitted in written form. All written requests shall receive a written response within forty-five calendar days.
ARTICLE VII – BUSINESS MEETINGS
SECTION A – ANNUAL MEETINGS
The Annual Business Meeting shall be conducted in two parts. Part One, held the Wednesday of the week before Thanksgiving, shall be for the election of officers and approval of the next year’s annual budget. Part Two, held the last Wednesday in January, shall be for the presentation of the annual ministry reports and any other business matters.
Members in charge of each phase of the Church’s ministry, including the Deacons and each standing committee, shall submit a written annual report to the Church office by the second Sunday in January. These shall be compiled, reproduced and be available to the congregation one week before the Part Two meeting.
SECTION B – QUARTERLY MEETINGS
A Quarterly Business Meeting shall be held on the third Wednesday following the end of each quarter in the months of April, July, and October. Members in charge of each phase of the Church’s ministry, including the Deacons and each standing committee, shall submit a written quarterly report to the Church office by the second Sunday of the respective months. These shall be compiled, reproduced and be available to the congregation the Sunday before the Part Two meeting.
SECTION C – SPECIAL MEETINGS
The Senior Pastor or Deacons may call a Special Business Meeting by making an announcement from the pulpit two consecutive weeks prior to the requested meeting. In an extreme emergency, this two-week notice requirement may be waived by a vote of the Congregation, allowing the meeting to continue.
SECTION D – REGULAR BUSINESS
Regular business, such as the reception or dismissal of members, may be transacted at any regular Church meeting on Wednesday or, if necessary, on Sunday, without a previous announcement. Any such action may be reviewed at a regularly scheduled business meeting.
SECTION E – QUORUM
One-fourth of the active, voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of Church business. Servicemen, missionaries, and other non-resident members shall not be considered when determining a quorum.
SECTION F – VOTING
Only active members, eighteen years of age or older, shall be entitled to vote.
All matters of business shall be decided by a majority vote of those present and voting, unless specified otherwise in this Constitution.
All voting involving the elections of officers, acceptance of the budget(s) and the calling or dismissal of a Pastor shall be by secret ballot.
SECTION G – RULES OF ORDER
Unless otherwise stated in this Constitution, Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed.
SECTION B – RAISING AND ACCOUNTING FOR FUNDS
Only free-will offerings will be collected for the support of the church and its ministries. No merchandise or services will be exchanged for money. All monies collected and dispersed by the church will be reported and accounted for to the congregation.
SECTION C – FINANCIAL OBLIGATION
No financial obligation such as a mortgage, lien or note shall be placed upon the Church except by vote of the Congregation. All officers are servants of the Church and subject to its corporate action. Church property shall not be bought, mortgaged, leased, sold, given away or dispersed in any manner without the approval of the Deacons. Transactions meeting any of the following conditions must be approved by Congregational vote:
the amount exceeds the applicable line item in the approved annual budget by more than 5%,
any single project exceeding $2000 regardless of the approved annual budget or
The dispersing of Church property in excess of $1000.
SECTION D – DISBURSING OF FUNDS
All disbursing of funds shall be made by checks prepared by the Financial Secretary and signed by the Treasurer. The Chairman or Secretary of the Deacons may sign checks when the Treasurer is absent. Under no circumstances shall checks be prepared and signed by the same person. The Treasurer shall pay the salaries and other items listed in the approved annual budget. The Treasurer shall not pay any obligation that exceeds the annual budget without Deacon authorization. A Petty Cash Fund balance shall not exceed $100.
ARTICLE X – DISSOLUTION
In the event a decision is made to dissolve this Corporation known as Calvary Baptist Church, provision shall be made by vote of the Congregation previous to the dissolution of the Corporation, to assign all assets to one or more fundamental, Bible-believing, Baptist, non-profit organizations, such as churches, missions, schools or associations. None of the assets shall be given to any individual.
SECTION B – SEPARATION
This Church shall never cooperate with neo-evangelicalism, cooperative evangelism, neo-orthodoxy, modernism, liberalism, apostasy or any group denying the fundamental doctrines as stated in the Statement of Faith.
SECTION C – FELLOWSHIP
This Church shall only seek fellowship with other churches of like precious faith. Currently, this Church declares itself to be in fellowship with the Arizona Association of Regular Baptist Churches and the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
ARTICLE XII – EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
In the event of a natural disaster or political upheaval that prevents the normal assembly and function of the Church, the following emergency procedures shall be implemented.
SECTION A – FULFILLING RESPONSIBILITIES
This Church shall continue to fulfill its Biblical responsibilities.
SECTION B – HOLDING MEETINGS
If it is impossible to hold meetings at the regularly scheduled times, the Pastor(s) shall call meetings at the most feasible times. Notice of such meetings shall be supplied to all members in the best possible manner. A quorum for business meetings shall consist of those members present. Multiple business meetings may be held if necessary, each under the direction of a Pastor or a member appointed by a Pastor. The cumulative vote of the multiple meetings on any single matter shall be binding.
SECTION C – STANDING FOR CHRIST
In such times, a member’s loyalty to Christ should be intensified. Difficult circumstances will not be an excuse for failure to conform to God’s Word. Church discipline shall be carefully practiced. Any member proven to be submitting to government over the Scriptures shall be subject to exclusion from the Membership (Acts 5:29).
SECTION D – CONSISTENCY
No constitutional item shall be legalistically followed if it hinders the Biblical program of the Church in adverse times. None of these provisions shall be construed as relieving members from any Biblical doctrine or practice.
ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENT
This Constitution may be amended at any annual or specially called business meeting by a three-quarter vote of the active members present and voting. A notice in writing of such proposed changes shall be mailed to all voting members at least two weeks in advance.
ARTICLE XIV – INDEMNIFICATION
SECTION A – DEFINITION OF INDEMNIFICATION
Indemnification simply means that the Church shall pay for the defense or restitution that occurs when a Pastor(s), Deacon, Officer, Employee or Agent of the Church makes a decision for which he later becomes the object of legal action. Indemnification is important protection for those whom the Church has placed in authority. It assures them that the Church is willing to stand behind their good-faith decisions.
SECTION B – ACTIONS SUBJECT TO INDEMNIFICATION
The Church may indemnify any person who incurs expenses in the defense of actions taken on behalf of the Church. The person would have to have been, or be threatened to become, a party in a legal action. The legal action, as well as any appeals, could be threatened, pending or completed and could be civil, criminal, administrative or investigative in nature. The Church shall determine if the person acted in accordance with God’s Word, in good faith, and in or not opposed to the best interests of the Church. The termination of any action, suit or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction or on a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or its equivalent shall not of itself create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith.
SECTION C – EXPENSES SUBJECT TO INDEMNIFICATION
The expenses covered may include attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by the person in connection with the action, suit or proceeding.
SECTION D – LIMITATIONS OF INDEMNIFICATION
Any indemnification made under this Article shall be made by the Church only as authorized in the specific case on a determination that indemnification of the Pastor(s), Deacon, Officer, Employee or Agent is accurate according to the standards of conduct set forth in Section A. The determination shall be made by a majority vote of the members of the Church as recommended by a majority of the Pastor(s) and Deacons who have no conflict of interest in the specific case.
SECTION E – TIMING OF INDEMNIFICATION
Expenses of persons seeking indemnification shall be paid by the Church as they are incurred in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit or proceeding. The payments shall be made as authorized by a majority of the Pastor(s) and Deacons who have no conflict of interest in the specific case. If the Church later determines that an individual does not meet the requirements for indemnification, the person shall repay all amounts paid by the Church. The Church shall have six months after the final disposition of the case to review any determination regarding indemnification.
SECTION F – EXTENT OF INDEMNIFICATION
Unless required by law, or as part of an agreement, or provided for by insurance purchased by the Church, the indemnification provided for by this Article shall be discretionary. Any person who has ceased to be a staff member or volunteer of Calvary Baptist Church but who acted in an official capacity while holding that position, or their estate, shall be covered under this Article.
SECTION G – INSURANCE
The Church shall maintain an insurance policy to pay for the defense of a Pastor(s), Deacon, Officer, Employee or Agent acting on behalf of the Church.
This Constitution was voted on and accepted by a unanimous vote by the members of Calvary Baptist Church on March 9, 1971.
A This Constitution was amended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at two specially called business meetings on December 7, 1977 and December 28, 1977.
B This Constitution was amended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at a specially called business meeting on February 29, 1984.
C This Constitution was amended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at the Annual Business Meeting on February 2, 1994.
D This Constitution was amended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at a specially called business meeting on August 20, 1997.
E This Constitution was amended by a two-thirds vote of the Membership at a specially called business meeting on October 4, 1998.
F This Constitution was amended by a unanimous vote of the Membership at a specially called business meeting on March 24, 2010.