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BY-LAWS

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ARTICLE ONE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

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Section 1: General

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This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church, and shall use the Baptist Faith & Message (1963 as amended in 1998) as its guide, as stated in our constitution.

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

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Section 2: Candidacy

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Any baptized believer may offer themselves as candidates for membership in this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church service for membership in any of the following ways:

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(1) By profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this church.

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(2) By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church.

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(3) By restoration upon a statement of prior conversion experience and subsequent baptism by immersion by a Christian church when no letter is obtained.

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Should there be any dissent concerning any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to a meeting of the Deacons for investigation and recommendation to the church within thirty (30) days. A three-fourths vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership.

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Section 3: New Member Orientation

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New members of this church are expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation, which will review the Baptist Faith & Message (1998, as amended in 1998), history, and organizational structure and seek to appropriately engage them in the ministry of the church in accordance with their giftedness, experience, and calling as described in Romans 12:1-7)

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Section 4: Rights of Members

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(1) Every member of the church 18 years of age or older is entitled to vote at all church business conferences provided the member is present or provision has been made for absentee balloting.

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(2) Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for elective offices and other leadership roles in the church.

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(3) Every member of the church may participate in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church.

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Section 5: Termination of Membership

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Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: Not for distribution

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(1) death of the member,

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(2) transfer by letter of recommendation to another Baptist church,

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(3) exclusion by action of this church, or

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(4) erasure upon request or proof of membership in a church of another denomination.

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Section 6: Discipline

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It shall be the practice of this church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, other members of the church staff, and deacons will be available for counsel and guidance. The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption and restoration rather than punishment.

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Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare and harmony of the church the pastor and the deacons will take prayerful and reasonable measures to resolve the problem following the principles found in Matthew 18:15- 17. If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a member, a two-thirds vote of the members present is required; and the church may proceed to declare the person to no longer be in the membership of the church. All such proceedings shall be bathed in prayer and exhibit a spirit of Christian kindness and patience.

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The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded upon request of the excluded person, and by vote of the church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance.

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Should there be a conflict within the church that involves issues between pastor, staff, deacons, and the church membership that could destroy or hinder the work of the church, the church will call for an outside mediator to work with the parties involved to make every reasonable attempt to resolve the conflict. The church should request a mediator before the problem escalates to the point it causes a break in the unity, harmony and fellowship of the congregation.

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ARTICLE TWOCHURCH OFFICERS AND COMMITTEES

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All who serve as officers of the church, on Standing Committees, and those who lead ad-hoc committees shall be members of this church, as outlined in these By-Laws and/or Church Policy Manual. Unless otherwise excluded in these By-Laws or the Church Policy Manual, non-members may participate on ad-hoc committees and may occasionally be invited to participate as non-voting members of Standing Committees.

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Section 1: Church Officers

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The scriptural officers of this church shall be the pastor(s), and deacons. Legal officers of the church will be elected to assure compliance with state and federal law and otherwise assure checks & balances within the body. Typically this will include Trustees, Moderator, Treasurer, and Clerk (recording secretary).

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(1) The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The pastor has the responsibility to lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks. The pastor will be expected to delegate appropriate responsibilities to others to ensure the work of the church is done in a consistent manner and encourages members to use their giftedness as described in Romans 12:1-7.

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The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church. As such he works with the deacons and the church staff to:

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(a) lead the church to carry out the mission and purpose of the church,

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(b) proclaim the gospel both inside and outside the church,

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(c) provide appropriate care for both church members and persons in the community.

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A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose. At least one week’s public notice shall be given before a candidate for pastor shall be presented for consideration. The church shall elect an ad-hoc pastor search committee after prayerful consideration. Adequate time should be given to the process to help the church through the transition period, and an Intentional Interim Pastor will be employed during this time.

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(2) The pastor search committee will be responsible for seeking the person that will fulfill the pastor’s role for the congregation. The recommendation of the pastor search committee will constitute a nomination. Any church member has the privilege of making other nominations depending on the policies and procedures established by the church. The committee shall bring for the consideration of the church only one name at a time. Election shall be by ballot, an affirmative vote of three fourths of those present and voting (unless previous arrangements are made for absentee balloting) is required to call (elect) the pastor. The individual called to fill the pastor’s role shall serve until the relationship is terminated by their request or the church’s request. The pastor may relinquish the office of pastor by giving at least two weeks’ notice to the church at the time of resignation.

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The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose with at least one week’s public notice given. Such meeting should take place only after the church has followed the Matthew 18:15-17 principles and/or the church has sought help through mediation. The meeting may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the Personnel Committee and the deacons or by written petition signed by not less than one fourth of the resident church members. The moderator for this meeting shall be designated by the members present and elected by majority vote. The moderator shall be someone other than the pastor. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot; affirmative votes of two thirds of the 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 one twelfth of the pastor’s annual compensation. The termination shall be immediate and the compensation shall be paid in not more than thirty days.

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(3) The ministerial staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such positions. A job description shall be written when the need for a new ministerial position is determined. Those staff members must show evidence of a personal call of God to ministry and shall be recommended to the church by the personnel committee and approved by church action. At the time of resignation at least two weeks’ notice shall be given to the church. The church may vote to vacate the position upon the recommendation of the personnel committee. The personnel committee is to follow the same principles and process used to terminate a pastor. Such termination will be immediate and compensation conditions shall be the same as for the pastor, except that theamount provided shall relate to the individual’s annual compensation.

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(4) Non-ministerial staff members shall be employed as the church determines need for their services. The church Personnel Committee shall have the authority to employ and to terminate services of non-ministerial staff members. Such employment and termination of services shall be with consideration of the recommendation of the supervising staff member and, as appropriate, with the consultation of related committees of the church.

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(5) The church shall elect deacons by ballot at regular business meetings of the church. There shall be one deacon elected for assigned service for every twelve to fifteen families in average attendance or as determined by the current deacons and/or Strategic Leadership Team. A deacon elected but not previously ordained in a like-minded church shall be provisional until such time as he can receive training and ordination. Not for distribution

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When a church senses that God has led a person into deacon ministry, the church may have a council of existing pastor(s) and deacons review his testimony of salvation, his calling from the Lord, and his qualifications (including theological preparation and scriptural qualifications according to 1 Timothy 3) for deacon ministry. Based upon that interview the church typically decides whether or not ordination would be appropriate. Upon confirmation, an ordination service may be held to publicly acknowledge the ordination as planned by the existing pastor(s) and deacons.

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Deacons shall serve on a rotation basis. Each year the assigned term of office of one third of the number of deacons shall expire, and election shall be held to fill vacancies and to add to the deacons such number as the church size warrants. In case of death or removal or incapacity to serve, the church may elect a deacon to fill the unexpired term. After serving a term of three years’ assignment, a deacon shall be eligible for reelection only after the lapse of at least one year. There shall be no obligation to recognize as an active deacon one who has been a deacon in another church; but in such instances his previous ordination by another church of like faith and order shall be recognized by this church. A deacon joining from another church shall not be elected to serve until a member of this church for one year.

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In keeping with the meaning of the work and 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 ministry tasks of:

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(a) leading the church in the achievement of its mission,

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(b) proclaiming the gospel to believers and unbelievers, and

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(c) caring for the church members and other persons in the community.

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(6) The church shall elect annually a Moderator as its presiding officer. In the absence of the Moderator, the Chairman of deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both, the Clerk shall call the church to order and preside for the election of an acting moderator.

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(7) 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 provided in these by-laws. The Clerk shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members, with dates of admission, dismissals, death or erasure, together with a record of baptisms. The Clerk shall record issues of dismissal approved by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary, as indicated in these by-laws. The Clerk shall be responsible for preparing the annual letter of the church to the association, state and national conventions. The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to a church secretary or ministry assistant who will assist the elected Clerk. All church records are church property and shall be kept in the church office when an office is maintained and an appropriate system of backup maintained.

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(8)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 invoices or 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 provide to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements during the period between business meetings. An audit committee or public accountant, as directed by the Trustees or Finance Committee, may audit the Treasurer’s report and records annually. The Treasurer may be required to be bonded, the church paying for the bond. Upon completion of the audit at the end of the fiscal year and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the Treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent records of the church.

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(9)The church shall elect three or more Trustees to serve as legal officers for the church. They shall hold in trust the 4 Not for distribution

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church property. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any church property and are the sole authority to enter into any other contractual agreement. When the signatures of the Trustees are required, they shall sign legal documents related to the above items only upon the approval and at the direction of the church body in business meeting. Trustees shall serve on a rotation basis, with one new trustee being elected each year for a three-year term. A Trustee may also serve as Moderator, Clerk, or Treasurer simultaneously.

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(10) When the church senses that God has led a person into pastoral ministry, it is a common practice to have a council of previously ordained pastors and deacons review his testimony of salvation, his pastoral calling from the Lord, and his qualifications (including theological preparation and scriptural qualifications according to 1 Timothy 3:17 and Titus 1:7-9) for pastoral ministry. Based upon that interview the church typically decides whether or not ordination would be appropriate. Upon confirmation, an ordination service may be held to publicly acknowledge the ordination as planned by the existing pastor(s) and deacons.

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Section 2: Church Committees

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The church body shall determine the number and types of committees that are needed to fulfill the mission of the church. Standing Committees shall be elected annually upon the recommendation of the ad-hoc staffing committee, when one exists, or on the recommendation of the Planning Team or Personnel Committee if not. The church shall elect all committee members unless otherwise specified in these By-Laws. Standing Committee members shall serve on a three-year rotation basis with one-third elected each year. A person shall not serve on more than one Standing Committee at a time, nor serve on more than two committees at a time, except to allow for a third if the ad-hoc committee is established for a period of time not to exceed six months. All matters agreed upon by the Strategy Team should be well documented and communicated intentionally to the church, including but not limited to written reports at each regular business meeting.

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Standing Committees of the church include but are not limited to: Worship & In-reach Committee, Discipleship Committee, Outreach Committee, Finance Committee, Personnel Committee, and any other Standing Committees as the church shall authorize from time to time. Additionally, the church may establish ad-hoc committees, for definite or indefinite periods of time, for specific purposes on an as-needed basis. Some are recommended and described herein. The Strategy Team shall assign any responsibility described in these By-Laws or otherwise required to do the work of the church and not otherwise assigned by the church, to an appropriate Standing Committee.

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(1) The Worship & In-reach Committee develops, recommends and implements an overall worship & in-reach plan that strives to assist the church in assuring relevant, edifying, and inspirational worship services, including meeting times, order of service, music, spiritual testimonies and other communication methods and content, as well as meet the spiritual and ministry needs of the church. It will encourage and guide specific ministry efforts, as well as assure that all church activities are ministry focused. The Chairman of the deacons or his alternate deacon assignee will chair the Worship & In-reach Committee and the Deacon Family Ministry will be one of the primary activities implemented by the Worship & In-reach Committee.

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(2)The Discipleship Committee develops, recommends, and implements an overall discipleship plan for all age groups and discipleship levels, from seekers to mature believers. It advises and recommends all matters related to curricula, teaching, and education organization. It works to equip the body for service in accordance with Ephesians 4:12-16.

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(3)The Outreach Committee develops, recommends, and implements an overall outreach plan, endeavoring to make disciples of all nations in accordance with the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. The Outreach Committee will strive to encourage, train, and guide specific evangelism and mission-minded efforts, as well as assure that all Not for distribution

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church activities encourage and support such efforts.

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(3)The Finance Committee develops and recommends an overall stewardship plan, and a unified church budget. It advises and recommends 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 the required reports regarding the financial affairs of the church, striving to assure integrity and discretion in all matters. It provides a system of accounting for all funds, including a system for counting and handling of tithes and offerings in a way that strives to assure integrity and discretion.

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(4)The Personnel Committee assists the church in matters related to employed personnel administration, both long & short term, including those called by church actions. This committee shall assist in determining staff needs, employment, salaries, benefits, other compensation, policies, job descriptions, objective setting, and performance reviews all of which shall be documented in the Church Policy Manual as is appropriate and practical.

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(5)The ad-hoc administration committee assists the church in matters related to the consistent and efficient administration and documentation of church actions. This committee shall specifically strive to develop, recommend, and implement a thorough Church Policy Manual that will guide the church in a consistent way-of-working, as regularly revised and affirmed by the church.

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(6)The ad-hoc staffing committee coordinates the staffing of all church leadership and committee positions to be filled by volunteer workers, unless otherwise stipulated in these By-Laws. It will assist the church in assuring a clear mission for all ad-hoc committees and orderly transition of leaders and alternates for all volunteer committees.

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(7)The ad-hoc property and space committee assists the church in matters related to properties administration. Its work includes such areas as maintain all church properties for ready use, recommending policies regarding use of properties, consulting with the personnel committee and the church staff regarding the need for, and the employment of, maintenance personnel, and regarding the assignment of supervisory responsibility to appropriate personnel.

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ARTICLE THREE CHURCH STRATEGY & PLANNING

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(1) The Strategy Team shall meet regularly, preferably at least quarterly, on overall organization and direction and establish long-term planning, calling on internal & external experts as required. The Strategy Team will be made up of the Pastor plus the chairs of each Standing Committee or their assigned alternate (Worship & Outreach, Education, Ministry, Finance, Personnel, & Administration). All matters agreed upon by the Strategy Team should be well documented and communicated intentionally to the church, including but not limited to written reports at each regular business meeting.

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(2) The Planning Team shall meet regularly, preferably at least monthly, to serve the church by leading in the planning, coordinating, conducting, and evaluating the ministries and programs of the church and its organizations, maintaining an annual church calendar to prioritize and communicate church plans. The Planning Team will assure the development, revision, use of and adherence to a Church Policy Manual to guide the church in a consistent wayof-working. The Planning Team will be made up of the Strategy Team plus the chairs of all ad-hoc committees elected by the church or their assigned alternate.

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All matters agreed upon by the Planning Team that call for action not already approved shall be referred to the church for action. All matters agreed upon by the Planning Team should be well documented and communicated intentionally to the church, including but not limited to written reports at each regular business meeting.

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ARTICLE FOUR CHURCH ORDINANCES

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Section 1: Baptism 6 Not for distribution

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This church shall receive for baptism any person who has publicly professed faith in Jesus Christ as Savior during any worship service, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord.

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(1) Baptism shall be by immersion in water

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(2) The pastor, or any one so designated by the church shall administer baptism

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(3) Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church

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(4) A person who professes Christ and is not baptized within a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor and/or staff or deacons. If the individual indicates that they are reluctant to follow the Lord in baptism their name shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism and thus, membership.

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Section 2: The Lord’s Supper

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The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper regularly, as planned by the Worship & Outreach Committee. The pastor and deacons shall administer the Lord’s Supper, the deacons and/or their assignees shall be responsible for the physical preparations.

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ARTICLE FIVE CHURCH MEETINGS

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Section 1: Worship Services

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The church shall meet regularly at least each Sunday morning and Wednesday evening for worship, unless providentially hindered, and at other times and places as planned by the Worship & Outreach Committee. The pastor or his assignee shall direct the services.

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Section 2: Special Services

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Revival services and other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.

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Section 3: Regular Business Meetings

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The church shall hold regular business meetings at least quarterly on or about the third Sunday of February, May, and August, as planned by the Planning Team. An Annual Meeting to ratify a unified budget and the slate of officers and leaders for the following calendar year will take place on the 3rd Sunday of November, following the morning service, unless modified at a previously called business meeting.

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Section 4: Special Business Meetings

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The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance, as called by any Strategy Team member or Church Officer. Notice of Special Called Business Meetings must be published and announced at least one week before the meeting is to take place, unless extreme urgency makes such notice impractical. The notice shall include the subject, date, time and place; and it must be given in a way that all resident members have opportunity to be made aware of the meeting.

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Section 5: Quorum

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The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called. Not for distribution

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Section 6: Parliamentary Rules

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Roberts Rules of Order, Revised, is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.

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ARTICLE SIX CHURCH FINANCES

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Section 1: Budget

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The Finance Committee, in consultation with the Planning Team, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by item the amount needed for local and other expenses. The Finance Committee, in cooperation with the Treasurer, will assure regular and accurate reporting of expenses compared to the approved budget, including but not limited to written report at each regularly called business meeting and any business meeting called for that purpose. In the event of any substantive expense in excess of the approved budget, the amount must be reported promptly to the church at the next regular business meeting or special meeting called for that purpose, and the Finance Committee is responsible for recommending an appropriate action plan.

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It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular, proportionate gifts.

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Section 2: Accounting Procedures

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All funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the church Treasurer, or financial secretary, and be properly recorded. Those who have responsibility that involves actual handling of funds may be required to be bonded, the church paying the bond.

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The Treasurer or financial secretary shall provide an accurate accounting at the end of each year to those members who have contributed during the year.

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ARTICLE SEVEN CHURCH POLICY MANUAL

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The church shall develop and keep updated a Church Policy Manual. This manual will be established and maintained by the Administration Committee, and in the absence of an elected administration committee, the Planning Team, and confirmed by the church. This manual should include church policies, procedures, and organizational charts indicating lines of responsibility to be used in the administration of the church. The manual shall be available in the church office by the church secretary for appropriate use by any member of the church. The Strategy Team and the Planning Team are encouraged to contribute to the Church Policy Manual regularly. The Church Policy Manual, with noted recommended updates and revisions, will regularly, and at least annually, be presented to the church to consider affirmation at any regular or a called business meeting for that purpose. Any church member or church organization may initiate suggested changes in the manual.

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ARTICLE EIGHT AMENDMENTS

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Changes in the Constitution may be made only at any Annual Meeting of the church provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous Annual Meeting and copies of the proposed amendment shall have been furnished to each member present at the time the amendments were first presented and as practical subsequently. Amendments to the constitution shall be by a three-quarters vote of church members present. Changes in these By-Laws 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 time the amendments were first presented and as practical subsequently. Amendments to the By-Laws shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting. 8 Not for distribution

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ARTICLE NINE DISSOLUTION

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In the event the church ceases to exist any remaining assets shall be conveyed to the NJ NET organization or its assignees, qualifying for tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or as they may hereafter be amended.

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Appendix of Biblical References

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Matthew 18:15-17

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does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as [e]a Gentile and a tax collector.

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New American Standard Bible (NASB) 15 If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he

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Matthew 28:19-20

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the age.”

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New American Standard Bible (NASB) 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of

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Romans 1:16-17

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righteous man shall live by faith.”

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New American Standard Bible (NASB) 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the

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Ephesians 4:11-16

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all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

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New American Standard Bible (NASB) 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we

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Galatians 3:26-28

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male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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New American Standard Bible (NASB) 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither

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Romans 12:1-7

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renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to

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New American Standard Bible (NASB) 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the

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think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

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Titus 1:7-9

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New American Standard Bible (NASB)

For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, selfcontrolled, 9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

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Cncc bylaws v3 140211  

Just a private draft

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