bylaws of the corporation of versailles baptist church
ARTICLE I — Name
The name of this church shall be the Versailles Baptist Church, Inc. of Versailles, Indiana
ARTICLE II — Purpose
The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It shall seek to attain this end through the public worship of God, the preaching of the Gospel, consistent Christian living by its members, personal evangelism, missionary endeavor and Christian education.
ARTICLE III — Policy
The governing of this church shall be vested in the body which composes its membership. It shall, however, maintain affiliation and cooperation with the Laughery Baptist Association, the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and the American Baptist Churches USA.
ARTICLE IV — Doctrine
The Versailles Baptist Church receives the New Testament as the primary basis for doctrine and practice. As a summary of doctrinal principles for Christian conduct among its members, it adopts the following church covenant:
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. We endeavor, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to unite together in Christian love; to work for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel through all the nations.
We commit ourselves to maintain family and secret devotions, to teach our children the Christian truths; to seek the salvation of our family and friends; to exhibit Christ’s love to society; to be honest in our dealings, faithful in our responsibilities and exemplary in our actions; to avoid all forms of verbal slander along with excessive anger; to abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages and any other form of drug abuse and to be committed in our efforts to proclaim the Gospel and minister to those in our community.
We further commit ourselves to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aide one another in sickness and distress; to reach out to one another in Christian love; to be slow to take offense but always ready to seek reconciliation, in accordance with the teaching of our Savior. We moreover promise that if and when we leave this church, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and principles of God’s word.
ARTICLE V — Membership
Section 1 Admission of Members (revised 6/3/2009)
At the discretion of the pastor or the approval of the deacon board, the pastor can ask the church body to accept by a majority vote the person(s) decision to become a candidate for church membership by the following methods:
Persons who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and concur with the basic doctrinal views and principles of faith of this church and are baptized by immersion may be received into the fellowship of the church.
Persons who are in agreement with the doctrinal views and principles of faith of this church may be received by transfer of letter from another church, provided they have been baptized by immersion according to the New Testament model.
There are two situations by which individuals are permitted to join the membership of this church by experience. These are:
(1). Persons who have been a member of a Baptist church of like faith and order and, due to consequences beyond their or their former church’s control, cannot produce a regular letter of dismissal, may be received by giving satisfactory evidence of Christian conduct and scriptural faith by citing at least two references from their former church who can attest to their spiritual profession.
(2). Persons who have been members of a church other than a Baptist church, who state that they have at a previous time accepted Jesus Christ and have experienced salvation by faith in Him and as an act of obedience, have been baptized by immersion according to the New Testament model, may be received into the fellowship of the church.
Persons who have lost their (active) membership for any reason may be restored to membership upon recommendation of the pastor and board of deacons.
Section 2 Dismissal of Members
Any member in good standing who desires a church letter of dismissal and recommendation to any other church may receive it upon request and upon the recommendation of the board of deacons, subject to a vote of the church. The name of the church to which membership is requested shall be named in the request, and the letter shall be sent to the pastor or the clerk of that church.
Should any member become offensive to the church because of conduct that is deemed to be immoral or unchristian according to the standards given in scripture, or by consistent breach of covenant vows held by this body, his/her membership will be terminated. This is contingent, however, upon the giving of due notice and the opportunity of a hearing before the board of deacons and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such members to repentance and reconciliation.
Section 3 Active/Inactive Members
There shall be two classes of membership, active and inactive.
(A). The active member shall be one who’s active participation includes either involvement by attendance or financial support on at least a periodic basis.
(B). The member who resides within the area of ministry of this church, but is prevented from such participation by circumstances beyond his/her control shall also be considered an active member.
(A). Those who are neither active, based upon the above criteria, nor prevented from being active by unavoidable circumstances shall be considered inactive members. All inactive members shall be ineligible to vote. The board of deacons, on a periodic basis, (no more than 5 years), based upon the criteria of participation in the service of worship or financial support of the church, will review and revise the active/inactive membership roll to determine each member’s status.
A letter will be sent to those who have been inactive over a two year or longer period to determine if they should be moved from the active list to the inactive list. That letter will also ask if they wish to be removed from our church roll. Once contacted, the deacon board will act upon the wishes of that member, and bring its recommendation to the church body at a scheduled meeting.
ARTICLE VI –The Pastors, Officers and Staff
Section 1A Pastor
The pastor shall preach the Gospel, administer the ordinances, watch over the membership, have in his/her charge the spiritual welfare of the congregation and the stated service of public worship. He/She shall be an ex-officio member of all boards and committees of the church and its auxiliary organizations. In the event the pastor is unable to fulfill his/her duties, a committee consisting of the chairman of the deacons, chairman of trustees and church moderator will conduct the business affairs of the church which are normally handled by the pastor.
Section 1B Minister(s)
All ministers (ordained and/or lay ministers) called to serve shall be designated to a particular ministry area of service. A job description will be provided for that ministry area as a separate document from the by-laws. He/she shall oversee their ministry while working with the volunteer leaders in developing, planning, and implementing that ministry area. He/she shall serve as part of a ministry team which will be under the supervision of the pastor. He/she shall create a balanced ministry area focusing on worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism.
He/she shall be an ex-officio member of all boards and teams connected with his/her ministry area. The Board of Deacons shall be responsible for the selection of these minister positions.
Section 2 Church Officers
Board of Investment Directors
The Board of Investment Directors shall be composed of five members including the Pastor, the Church Treasurer, The Chairman of Finance Committee, The Chairman of Deacons and the Chairman of the Trustees and two designated family members, if requested, serving as ex-officio members.
The Church Treasurer shall always be the President of the Board of Investment Directors of Versailles Baptist Church, Inc. and the Chairman of the Finance Committee will be Vice-President and the Chairman of the Trustees will be Secretary.
The purpose of the Board of Investment Directors is to manage investment funds and follow guidelines and requests, to the best of the Board’s ability, of the contributing family. The Board will also serve as the screening committee for memorial awards, if so specified by the contributing family. The objective of the awards program is to assist with the financial needs and to encourage students of Versailles Baptist Church in their educational pursuits.
Any of the five members of this board can change on a yearly basis except the Pastor.
Board of Directors of Versailles Baptist Church, Inc.
The Board of Directors shall be composed of five members including the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Deacons, the Church Clerk, the Church Treasurer, and the Pastor. The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees shall always be the President of the Board of Directors of Versailles Baptist Church, Inc. and the Chairperson of the Deacons will be Vice-President. Any of the five members of this board will change on a yearly basis.
The moderator shall preside at all business and advisory council meetings. He/She shall be elected at each December business meeting to serve for one year.
An assistant moderator shall be elected each year and will fill in for the moderator should he/she be unable to attend stated meetings.
A clerk shall be elected at each December business meeting to serve for one year. He/She shall keep a complete record of the transaction of all business at the meetings of the church. This shall be read for approval at the next meeting. He/She shall keep a record of the names and addresses of members, with dates and manner of admission and dismissal, also a record of baptisms and a list of those suspended. He/She shall notify all officers, committee members and delegates of their election and appointment. He/She shall issue letters of dismissal and recommendation voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written reports, and give legal notice of all meetings where such is required by these bylaws He/She shall assist in preparing denominational reports. He/She shall deliver immediately to his/her successor all books and records for which he/she has been responsible as clerk.
An assistant clerk shall be elected at each December business meeting to serve for one year. He/She shall fill in for the clerk should the clerk be unable to attend any stated meetings.
A treasurer shall be elected at each December business meeting to serve for one year. He/She shall have custody of the funds of the church and all deposits made in the name of the church, and all checks drawn by him/her shall be in the name of the church. He/She shall keep separate accounts of all funds raised or contributed for particular purposes, and no funds shall be disbursed by him/her except for the purposes for which they were raised or contributed. He/She shall have custody of the securities, investments, title papers, and other valuable documents of the church, and shall be bonded.
Funds received for the support of the church and for the reduction of the church indebtedness, shall be disbursed by him/her only on the order of the board of trustees.
He/She shall present to the church an itemized report of receipts and disbursements showing the actual financial condition of the church at the annual meeting and also at each monthly business meeting. The annual report shall be audited previously to the annual meeting by the auditors selected by the advisory council.
He/She shall make such other financial reports as may be desired by the church. He/She shall deliver immediately to his/her successor all books and records pertaining to this office.
An assistant treasurer shall be elected at the December business meeting to serve for one year. He/She shall assist the treasurer and fill in for the treasurer where needed, and shall also be bonded.
A financial secretary shall be elected at each December business meeting to serve for one year. It shall be his/her duty to furnish each member of the church a pledge card and envelopes for contribution to church expenses and benevolence: to keep a record of all pledges made; to collect all money contributed and to keep a correct account thereof between the church and its members. He/She shall deposit such collections weekly in the bank selected by the board of trustees, and render a statement thereof to the treasurer. He/She shall, at the end of each fiscal year, report to the board of trustees an account of the matters pertaining to his office. This officer acts as receiving agent for funds contributed for causes within the American Baptist Convention, and shall be bonded.
Assistant Financial Secretary
An assistant financial secretary shall be elected at each December business meeting to serve for one year. It shall be his/her duties to assist the financial secretary where needed, and shall be bonded.
The Superintendent of the Church School
At each December meeting of the church a superintendent of the church school shall be elected for a term of one year. He/She shall be the executive head of the church school, exercising authority and performing the duties usually pertaining to that office, following the general directives and policies of the board of Christian education.
Assistant Superintendent of the Church School
An assistant superintendent of the church school shall be elected at the December business meeting to serve for one year. He/She shall assist the superintendent and fill in for the superintendent where needed.
Section 3 – Church Staff
Staff i.e. ministers will be added upon the recommendation of the Board of Deacons and approval of the church body at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays.
ARTICLE VII — Advisory Council
There shall be an advisory council consisting of the elected officers of the church, chairpersons of the boards and all standing committees, and presidents of all auxiliary organizations. All matters of importance should be considered by it before being presented to the church. It shall appoint, subject to ratification by the church, all standing committees. It shall be instrumental in developing a program for the church, including long range planning. The council shall undertake to strengthen the total work of the church, its boards, committees and auxiliary organizations. It shall also appoint delegates to the Laughery Baptist Association meeting each year.
ARTICLE VIII – Boards—**REVISED 11/3/2010
Section 1. The Board of Deacons
There shall be a board of deacons. The board will consist of the necessary number of members capable of conducting the business of the church. That number shall be established by each board. The term of office will be one-third of whom shall be elected from the membership of the church at each December business meeting for a term of three years. No man shall be elected to a second term until one year has elapsed.
The board shall choose annually a chairman and an assistant chairman and a secretary and a treasurer and shall meet regularly each month. Special meetings may be called by the chairman or by the secretary, who shall notify the other members. A majority of members shall constitute a quorum.
The board shall in every way assist the pastor in his work; with him consider all applicants for church membership and all requests for letters of dismissal; cooperate with him in providing the pulpit supply in his absence; visit the members of the church, using such fellowship funds as may be needed. The board shall cooperate with the pastor in arranging for special evangelistic meetings, and other evangelistic endeavors.
It shall be the responsibility of the board, based upon the recommendation of the pastor, to secure the services of the church secretary.
The board shall also accept the responsibility to review and evaluate the salaries of the pastor and church secretary each year and submit their recommendation to the finance committee.
The board shall promote Christian instruction and ministry to the church membership, provide for the Lord’s Supper and aid in its administration, and make a written report at each annual meeting for the church on matters in its charge.
Section 2 Deaconesses
There shall be a board of deaconesses. The board will consist of the necessary number of members capable of conducting the business of the church. That number shall be established by each board. The term of office will be one-third of whom shall be elected from the membership of the church at each December business meeting for a term of three years. No woman shall be elected to a second term until one year has elapsed.
The duties shall be in every way to assist the pastor and deacons in the administration of their responsibilities. The board shall choose annually a chairperson, co-chairperson, and a secretary and shall meet regularly each month. The co-chairperson is responsible for sending memorials and rosebuds and cards.
The deaconess shall annually appoint a gift team to assist them in providing seasonal gifts for the church staff and gifts for special occasions.
Section 3 The Board of Trustees
There shall be a board of trustees. The board will consist of the necessary number of members capable of conducting the business of the church. That number shall be established by each board. The term of office will be one-third of whom shall be elected from the membership of the church at each December business meeting for a term of three years. No member shall be elected to a second term until one year has elapsed. The clerk, treasurer and financial secretary shall have the privilege of attending its meetings and shall be present when so requested by the board.
The board shall choose annually a chairperson and a secretary and shall meet regularly each month. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or by the secretary, who shall notify the other members. A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.
The board shall hold in trust all property belonging to the church and shall take all necessary measures for its protection, management and upkeep. It shall determine the use of the church building for all extra or secular purposes, but it shall have no power to buy, mortgage, lease, or transfer real estate without the specific vote of the church authorizing such action. It shall designate the bank where the funds of the church shall be deposited. All bills authorized by the church shall be approved by the board before payment is made. It shall secure the services of a custodian at such salary as is authorized by the church and secure from him/her acceptable service. It shall perform such other duties as are imposed upon it by the church and state.
The board shall cooperate with the every-member enlistment committee to raise funds for the support of the church and for benevolence and the disbursement of these funds as appropriated. It shall make written reports to the church at the annual meetings and at such other times as may be desired.
The board shall annually appoint from the church membership a sound team. This team shall be responsible for the care of the sound equipment and the operation of the sound system during church gatherings.
Section 4. The Board of Christian Education
There shall be a board of Christian education. The board will consist of the necessary number of members capable of conducting the business of the church. That number shall be established by each board. The term of office will be one-third of whom shall be elected from the membership of the church at each December business meeting for a term of three years. No member shall be elected to a second term until one year has elapsed.
The board shall be organized promptly following the annual election. It shall select from its own membership a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary It shall meet monthly at a stated time. Special meetings may be called at any time and shall be called upon the request of the pastor or chairperson. A quorum shall consist of four (4) members. The secretary of the board shall notify all members of all meetings, enter accurate minutes and be responsible for all books, papers, and documents pertaining to the affairs of the board, and surrender all records to the board when a new secretary is elected. The board shall prepare a report of the year’s Christian education program, and activities for presentation at the annual meeting of the church.
The board shall be responsible for the organization and administration of the entire educational program of the church. It shall be responsible for developing and interpreting to the constituency of the church the educational needs of the church and for making decisions concerning (1) time schedules (2) educational use of the housing and equipment (3) the elimination or addition of classes or organizations It shall be responsible for evaluation and supervising the curriculum for the educational program. It shall be responsible for preparing and administering the education budget of the church.
The board shall annually appoint and direct from the church membership a nursery team to assist in nursery staff scheduling for church gatherings and maintaining a proper environment for the nursery children.
SECTION 5. PRESCHOOL GOVERNING BOARD
There shall be a Preschool Governing Board. The board will consist of seven (7) church members. One (1) member is the pastor or minister who oversees the children’s ministries. The remaining six (6) members with educational or business backgrounds.
The term of office will be based on the calendar year, one-third of whom shall be elected from the membership of the church at each December business meeting for a term of 3 years. No member shall be elected to a second term until one year has elapsed. The preschool director will serve as an ex officio member of this board.
The board shall be responsible for the director and staff. It will stay in close contact with the director and teachers. The board will be available to offer ideas if needed.
The board shall oversee all aspects of the preschool including but not limited to hiring the director, approving teachers and staff, deciding on a Christian based curriculum, approaching the church about funds, and monitoring the preschool finances.
The board shall work with trustees on use of the facility, shall present an annual report to the church body in July, and shall not incur debt.
ARTICLE IX — Standing Committees—Revised 9-7-2011
Section 1. Music
The music committee, appointed by the advisory council, shall cooperate with the pastor in the selection of an organist and choir director and in the arrangement of the music of the church service. It shall incur expense only as authorized by the church.
Section 2. Ushering
The ushering committee appointed by the advisory council, shall attend to the seating of the congregation and to the receiving of the offering, except as otherwise provided.
The ushering committee shall annually appoint and direct from the church membership an emergency team to assist in emergency situations during church gatherings.
Section 3 Nominating (5)
The nominating committee shall be appointed by the advisory council in September of each year. It shall prepare a list of those qualified to fill the various offices. It shall interview each nominee proposed and ascertain his or her willingness to serve if elected. The committee shall nominate one or more persons for each office to be filled and report the names to the church at least one week before the election is to be held. Assistants shall be nominated as required. They shall present to the church nominees for any vacancy to be filled.
Section 4 Auditing
The auditing committee, appointed by the advisory council, shall audit the financial records of the church at least once each year and shall make a report to the church in writing at the time of the annual meeting.
Section 5 Finance Committee (7)
The finance committee shall be appointed by the Advisory Council and shall include at least one (1) deacon, and one (1) trustee. The treasurer and financial secretary shall be ex-officio members. The committee shall be in charge of the every-member enlistment program of the church each year. It shall plan, prepare and submit the budget for the new year to the church for their approval at the regular November business meeting each year.
Section 6 Social/Kitchen
The Kitchen/social committee shall be appointed by the advisory council. It shall plan each church dinner, or other social functions, and shall secure representatives from each church organization for assistance as necessary. All requests for their services shall come from the minister or the church moderator, after date has been cleared on the church calendar.
It shall be responsible for the care and arrangement of the equipment in the church kitchen. Cabinets and appliances shall be cleaned as needed, at least once a year. The committee shall approve all requests for use of kitchen items outside the church.
The Kitchen/social committee shall annually appoint from the church membership a funeral food team. This team shall plan, prepare, and serve dinners for grieving families as requested by the church and/or family. This team may enlist the assistance of other members of the church as necessary.
Section 7 Library
The library committee shall be appointed by the advisory council. It shall be responsible for the purchase of library materials for use in the church library, cataloging, arranging and publicizing the library as a tool of Christian growth.
The library committee shall annually appoint and direct from the church membership an historical records team.
Section 8 Search (5)
When a pastorate is vacant, a search committee composed of five members, representative of the church, shall be appointed by the advisory council. This committee shall take the necessary steps to secure a pastor in full consultation with the office of the Executive Secretary of the Indiana Baptist Convention. It shall investigate the merits of each candidate under consideration in regard to his/her personal character, education, ministerial record, and preaching ability in determining his/her fitness for this pastorate. When a suitable person is found, the committee shall recommend him/her to the church for consideration.
Section 9 Flowers & Decoration
The flower and decoration committee shall work with other church organizations in planning and implementing the seasonal decoration of the church’s interior.
Section 10 Publicity Committee –revised 9/7/2011
The purpose of the Publicity Committee would be to publicize, advertise, and inform through local and area media the activities of the Versailles Baptist Church. This would include articles, photos, and ads in the local and area newspapers, radio stations, phone tree, and any other brochures or media the committee would deem appropriate. The Publicity Committee would also be responsible to report church activities to the Baptist Observer, our state denomination’s magazine.
Ex-officio members of this committee would be the church pastor and the church secretary.
Section 11 Special
Special committees shall be appointed by the advisory council as the need shall arise.
ARTICLE X — Pastorate and Ministers
Section 1. Calling Pastors and Ministers
The call of each pastor and minister shall come before the church at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. A vote of three-fourths of the members present and qualified to vote, provided that there be present and voting fifty (50) members, shall be necessary to extend a call. Only one candidate shall be recommended to the church at one time. The vote shall be a written ballot. He/She shall serve the church during mutual consent of pastor/minister and the church.
Section 2. Termination of a Pastor and Ministers – revised 9/3/2008
The term of office may be ended upon thirty (30) days notice on the part of a pastor, minister, or of the church or by mutual consent.
Termination of the office shall be voted at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit at least one week in advance. A vote of a majority, provided that there be present and voting fifty (50) members shall make valid termination of said office.
ARTICLE XI — Elections
Section 1 Time
The annual election of officers shall be held during the December business meeting of the church.
Section 2 Qualifications of voters
All matters pertaining to the purchase, sales and mortgaging of property shall be voted on only by members in good standing and who are of legal age. On all other matters members in good standing who are fifteen years of age or older are entitled to vote.
Section 3 Procedure
At least one week before the election, the nominating committee shall present the names of one or more persons for each office to be filled. At the time of the December meeting it shall be the privilege of any member present and qualified to vote to place in nomination the name of any eligible person for any office. A majority of the ballots cast are necessary for the election of any officer.
Section 4 Vacancies
Vacancies occurring during the year may be filled for any unexpired term at any business meeting. The nominating committee shall present to the church nominees for the vacancy to be filled.
ARTICLE XII — Meetings
Section 1 Worship Service
Public service shall be held on each Lord’s Day, and the fellowships and the church school shall hold weekly meetings at a time recommended by the advisory council and approved by the church.
The Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated on the first Sunday morning of each odd-numbered month or at such other times as the church may determine.
Occasional religious meetings may be appointed by the pastor at his discretion, by the advisory council, or by vote of the church.
Section 2 Business Meetings
The annual business meeting shall be held in January, the meeting date and time to be determined for the purpose of receiving reports of committees and auxiliary organizations and the transaction of such other business as is proper to come before this meeting. All other regularly monthly business meetings shall be held on the first Wednesday of each month.
A quorum for the transaction of business shall be twenty (20).
Special business meetings may be called at any time by the pastor or by the clerk. Notice of such meetings and the object for which it is called shall be given from the pulpit at least three days in advance of the date of the meeting. At any of the regular meetings of worship, however, the church may, without notice, act upon the reception of members, upon the dismissal of members to other churches, and upon the appointment of delegates to councils, associations, and conventions, but not upon extraordinary business.
ARTICLE XIII — Church Year
The fiscal year of the church shall be the calendar year.
ARTICLE XIV — Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended at any regular or called business meeting of the church by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided a quorum is present and voting, and that notice of such amendment, stating the proposed change, shall have been given from the pulpit on two successive Sundays.
Such recommended revisions or amendments to the bylaws, may be initiated by any active member qualified to vote. He/She may submit request to either the pastor, chairman of the deacons, or church moderator for subsequent review by the advisory council.
Revised and approved 3/8/2015