Placing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, believing in His teachings and in the practices of the Holy Bible and in these principles:
- The Pre-eminence of Christ as our divine Savior and Lord.
- The supreme authority and infallibility of the Bible and its sufficiency as our only rule of faith and practice.
- The right of private interpretation and the competency of the individual soul in direct approach to God.
- The absolute separation of Church and State.
- The symbolic ordinances of believer’s baptism and the Lords Supper in obedience to the command of Christ.
- A regenerate Church membership.
- The complete independence of the local Church and its interdependence in associated fellowship with other Baptist churches.
- The solemn obligation of majority rule, guaranteeing equal rights to all and special privilege to none.
- The spiritual unity of all believers, for which the Master so earnestly prayed.
- A world wide program of missionary fervor and evangelism in obedience to the final command of Jesus.
We, therefore, unite ourselves as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ and adopt for our government, plan of worship, and service, the following articles:
This church, an ecclesiastical corporation, shall be incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan as THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF HOLLY.
The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It will seek to do this through the following methods:
- The public worship of God.
- The preaching of the gospel.
- Consistent Christian living by its members.
- Sharing Christ personally.
- Giving to, and participating in Missions.
- Christian education.
The church’s government is vested in the body which composes its membership, but because its parish is world-wide, it recognizes its obligation to co-operate with other religious bodies having the same general objectives. It shall therefore be affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of U.S.A./Michigan.
All new applicants to membership in the church shall be admitted to membership after completion of a membership class, recommendation of the Church Council, and acceptance by vote of the church at any business meeting or regular meeting of worship according to one of the following procedures:
- By profession and believers baptism - those who profess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord, promise to live a Christian life, and who have been baptized by our church, by immersion if physically possible.
- By other church membership and believer’s baptism - those who present letters or other satisfactory proof from another Christian Church where they were members and had experienced believers baptism.
- By Christian experience and believer’s baptism - those who relate their Christian experience to the Church Council.
- By Restoration - those people who wish to have membership restored in this church for any reason may be restored to membership upon their request, by recommendation of the Church Council, and a vote of the church.
Members of this church shall be removed from membership by death or after recommendation of the Church Council for the following reasons.
- By letter - Any member who requests a letter of dismissal and/or recommendation to any other church shall receive such letter after action by the church council. The name of the church to which membership is being transferred must be indicated in the request and the letter shall be sent to the minister or clerk of that church with notation concerning their method of baptism.
- By joining another church - Any member who joins another church will automatically cease to be a member of this church. Any member who resides part of the year in our community and part elsewhere and wishes to keep membership in a church at both locations will be allowed to do so providing the spirit and intent of this constitution is not violated. A note will be added to their membership record designating this condition.
- By request - A member requesting removal from membership without designation of another church with which they wish to affiliate shall be removed from membership.
A member may be excluded for defiling the body and harming the witness of the church. A member may be excluded after steps to secure reconciliation, forgiveness, and restoration as in Matthew 5 & 18 are adhered to, using a committee of persons selected by the Church Council. On the committee’s recommendation, dismissal shall be approved by a vote of the Church Council. The member may appeal this decision to the congregation within 1 month of the exclusion vote.
All members who wish to be included on the membership rolls will be expected to renew their membership on an annual basis.
- Commitment cards for Renewal of Membership will be placed in an easily accessible area of the church for members to pick up and sign, on or about the first Sunday of December each year.
- Membership cards not picked up and signed by the second Sunday of January of the following year will be mailed to the members last reported address.
- Members who do not return their membership card in person or by mail within 2 months of the mailing will be removed from membership.
All members will be encouraged to:
- Take a spiritual gifts inventory to enable them and the nominating committee to determine their area of potential service.
- Use their spiritual gifts to serve in an area of ministry.
- Strive to grow, develop, and strengthen a vital personal faith in Jesus Christ through prayer, personal study, and meditation.
- Seek to actively participate in our public worship services and business meetings.
- Give sacrificially to the financial support of the church, with the goal of tithing.
Only members will have the right to:
- Serve on the Church Council and/or ministry teams, and hold teaching positions.
- Vote on the sale of property or disposal of capital assets (if the member is over the age of 18).
- Vote on issues that are determined by the Church Council to be subject to a vote of the membership.
- Vote on the dissolving of the corporation.
This church receives the Holy Bible as the all-sufficient basis of doctrine and practice.
The following paragraphs contain our Church Covenant, which has been adopted by The First Baptist Church of Holly. The covenant contains ideals toward which members should strive. Holding to soul liberty, each member has the right to read and interpret the scriptures for faith and practice.
We believe that the Holy Spirit of God has led us to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. On the profession of this faith, we have been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. In response to these truths, in the presence of God, angels, and this gathering of fellow members, we solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We promise, therefore, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian Love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and unity of purpose; to promote this church’s vitality and spirituality. We promise to maintain and support its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We promise to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of this church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout the world.
We also promise to maintain family and personal devotions, to provide Christian education for our children, and to seek the salvation of our family and acquaintances. We promise to live a Christ-like life, being just in our dealings, faithful in our promises and an example in our behavior. We pledge our obedience to Christ with attitudes and actions which reflect Gods Spirit working through us every place, all the time.
We also promise to care for one another in Christian love, remembering each other in prayer, aiding each other in sickness and distress, striving to make our attitudes, words and deeds toward others more Christ-like. We promise to be slow to take offense, and always ready for reconciliation, remembering the teachings of our Savior, to restore relationships promptly.
We also promise that when we leave this fellowship, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of Gods Word.
- The Minister shall be called for an indefinite period of time by the church membership. Candidates are to be recommended by a Search Committee. (See By-Laws) No consideration will be given to any candidate not first recommended by the Search Committee. The Minister may be dismissed by vote of the church at a properly called business meeting. Written notice shall be given of his dismissal to become effective no later than thirty (30) days from the date of the business meeting. The Minister may resign by giving the church at least thirty (30) days notice of his intentions. Details will be agreed upon with the Church Council.
- Other Pastoral staff, such as an Assistant Pastor, Youth Pastor, or Director of Pastoral Care, added by church action, shall be chosen and dismissed in the same manner as the minister with the added stipulation that he/she shall be acceptable to the Minister.
- Support staff shall be chosen by the Human Resources Team of the Church Council and the pastor as provided for in the By-Laws.
- The elected officers of the church shall be the Moderator, Church Clerk, Treasurer, two (2) Assistant Treasurers (one of whom shall be in charge of dispersing Mission Funds), Financial Secretary and two (2) Assistant Financial Secretaries.
- All officers shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee as designated in the By-Laws and elected by the church membership at the Annual Business Meeting of the church. They shall hold office from the date of their election until the following Annual Business Meeting, or until replaced in a properly held election at a special business meeting. No person may hold more than one (1) elected office at the same time. Their duties are defined in the By-Laws. All officers shall be members of the church.
The Church Council members shall be elected by the membership of the church. Council members shall recruit working ministry teams. Council members shall have their duties and terms of office defined by the By-Laws. Ministry team tasks shall be determined by the Council. All members of the Church Council shall be members of the church, be at least 18 years of age, attend church regularly, and be faithful in support of, and in service to the church.
- Prerequisites for voting:
Only members having attained the the age of eighteen (18) years shall be entitled to vote on matters involving expenditures, the buying, selling, or mortgaging of property. All voting must be done at a properly called business meeting. (See By-Laws, Article B, Section 2).
- Routine Matters
In all routine business of the church a hand or voice vote is acceptable and a majority vote will carry the decision.
- Ballot Voting
All of the following items must be voted on by written ballot. Notice of such proposed action must be given by announcement at two (2) regular Sunday Morning Worship Services preceding the vote, one of which may be on the day of the vote.
- In the election of officers, a simple majority vote is required for election.
- A two thirds (2/3) affirmative vote is required for the following issues:
- In the call or dismissal of a Minister or other pastoral staff.
- In the purchase, sale, or encumbering of property.
- Revising or amending the constitution, or amendment of a By-Law.
All questions of order shall be settled by the customary rules governing deliberative bodies, as given in “Robert’s Rules of Order.”
Suitable By-Laws shall be adopted describing duties of the staff, the officers, council, and Ministry Teams, time of meetings, and information necessary to carry out the mission of this church. By-Laws shall become effective by vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present and voting at any properly called business meeting as prescribed in Article VIII, Section 2.
This constitution may be revised or amended at any regular or special business meeting of the church providing a written copy of such revision or amendment is posted two (2) weeks prior to the meeting. The meeting shall be held as prescribed in Article VIII, Section 2.
This constitution will replace the last constitution printed in 1995, as a properly revised and amended version of the older document according to Article X of that former constitution (approved and printed in 1995) and immediately after approval according to Article X of this constitution.
Constitution Committee: Steve Atkins, Alan Highfield, Marilyn Highfield, Cheryl Long, Virgil Long, Ed Pedley, Clare Visser.
The fiscal year of the church shall begin January 1 of each year and close on December 31 of that year.
- The church shall meet each Sunday for worship, the presentation of the Gospel, and Christian Education, and at other times for any purpose as the church may decide.
- The church shall have a mid-week meeting for prayer and Bible Study.
- The church shall meet for the observance of the Lords Supper on the first Lords Day of the month, or at such other times as the church may decide.
- Annual Business Meeting
The Annual Business Meeting of the church shall be held during the first full week of February for the purpose of receiving the printed annual reports of individual officers and ministry teams, adoption of the annual budget, and election of officers and Ministry Team Leaders. Ministry Team leaders shall include in their team reports a summary of the reports of the committees and organizations under their leadership. A quorum for all business meetings (regular and specially called) shall consist of 20 members. The Nominating Committee shall post a slate of officers and Ministry Team Leaders at least 2 weeks prior to the Annual Meeting. Congregation members may nominate potential officers and Ministry Team Leaders with the permission of the person being nominated (indicated by their initials on the posting). No nominations will be allowed from the floor during the Annual Meeting.
- Special Business Meetings
Special Business meetings may be called by the minister or the Church Council. The Church Council shall honor the request of 5 voting members to schedule a special meeting. The date and purpose of a special meeting shall be announced at least two (2) Sundays preceding such meetings at a regular Sunday worship service, one of which may be the day of the meeting.
A one (1) day retreat is to be held each year following the Annual election for the Ministry Team leaders and all other church officers for the purpose of evaluation, planning, calendaring, and visioning for the coming year.
The following should be used as a guide in all business meetings:
- Devotional and Opening Prayer
- Presentation of Minutes
- Reception of Members
- Dismissal of Members
- Reports of Officers
- Reports of Ministry Teams
- Reports of Special Committees
- Unfinished Business
- Election of Officers
- New Business
- Adjournment and Closing Prayer
The Pastor shall be in full agreement with the Preamble to this constitution and the Church Covenant. The Pastor shall preach the Gospel faithfully, administer the ordinances, have charge of the stated services of public worship, and direct the spiritual welfare of the church. The Pastor shall submit an annual report to the church and shall be a member of the Church Council and all Ministry Teams and committees ex-officio. The Pastor may delegate the performance of some duties to other members, but the Pastor is still responsible for the proper performance of these duties.
Any additional Pastoral shall be in full agreement with the preamble to this constitution and the Church Covenant. Any additional Pastoral staff shall work in concert with the Pastor and the Church Council, following guidelines established at the time of their call.
Any administrative assistants employed by the church shall be responsible to the person or persons for whom they work. The Pastor shall be in general charge to determine priority for services.
Musicians employed by the church shall perform the duties suggested by their job descriptions. They shall be responsible to the Church Council.
Custodians or maintenance personnel employed by the church shall be responsible to the Church Council as outlined in their job description.
Any new office must be created by vote of the church and by amendment to these By-Laws. All officers shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a term of one (1) year and may not serve more than three (3) consecutive full year terms.
The Moderator shall preside at all business meetings of the church and of the Church Council. No member shall hold the office of Moderator for more than three (3) consecutive one-year (1) terms. The Moderator, in co-ordination with the Pastor shall prepare a proposed agenda to present to the Church Council prior to each Council meeting and business meeting. The Moderator shall sign all official church documents.
The Church Clerk shall keep a correct and permanent record of all the business meetings of the Church and the Church Council, sign all letters of dismissal and/or recommendation, maintain a register of members, and shall record the manner of admission and dismissal of all members. The Clerk shall also make a report to the church at the annual business meeting. The clerk shall be responsible for the preparation of such association, State Convention, or American Baptist Convention reports as may be required. The clerk shall also keep the Church Constitution and By-Laws up to date by preparing inserts of all changes authorized by the church. Insofar as possible and advisable, the church clerk shall be responsible for keeping records of births, baptisms, deaths, and licenses to preach issued by the church in a permanent record which will have legal status as official records of the church. The Church Clerk shall sign all official church documents.
The Church Treasurer shall be custodian of all funds belonging to the church including such special funds as the Church Council shall establish. The Church Treasurer shall receive all deposit slips from the Financial Secretaries, and shall disburse the money, by check or electronic transfer, on the basis of the items within the budget adopted by the church or as authorized by special church action, or by the Church Council. The Church Treasurer shall make a monthly report to the Church Council and a report to the church at the annual business meeting. Reports to the Council shall be available to Council members one week in advance of their scheduled meetings. The Church Treasurer shall be a member of the Stewardship and Finance Team.
The Assistant Treasurer shall work with the Church Treasurer to carry out his/her duties as described in Section 4. Specific duties shall be determined as mutually agreeable between the Assistant Treasurer, the Treasurer, and the Church Council.
The Assistant Treasurer in charge of Missions disbursement shall be custodian of all funds given towards missionary endeavors by the church. The Assistant Treasurer in charge of Missions disbursement shall receive all deposit slips for missions from the Financial Secretaries and shall disburse monies as authorized by the church budget or upon recommendation of the Church Council and/or authorized by special church action. The Assistant Treasurer in charge of Missions disbursement shall disburse funds by check or electronic transfer.
The Assistant Treasurer in charge of Missions disbursement shall make a report to the church at the annual business meeting and shall be an ex-officio member of the Outreach Ministry Teams.
The Financial Secretary shall receive all financial contributions made to and in the name of the church.
All money received at Sunday morning worship services shall be counted by the Financial Secretary and the Assistant Financial Secretaries. All other money collected at other services shall be counted in the manner described or as the Church Council may direct.
The Financial Secretary shall keep a complete and detailed record of all individual tithes and offerings. On Monday of each week, or as nearly as possible, the Financial Secretary shall deposit all money on hand in the proper bank accounts and shall make a weekly report, including duplicate deposit slips to the Church Treasurer and any special treasurers the Church Council may direct. The Financial Secretary shall send annual financial statements to all contributors of record, showing their individual giving record, and shall furnish quarterly statements to contributors when requested.
The Financial Secretary shall make a monthly report to the Church Council and a report to the church at the annual business meeting. Reports to the Council shall be available to Council members one week in advance of their scheduled meetings. The Financial Secretary shall be a member of the Stewardship and Finance Team.
The Assistant Financial Secretaries shall assist the Financial Secretary in counting the Sunday morning offering and carry out other duties as assigned by the Financial Secretary in his/her absence. Records and reports shall be kept and submitted as requested by the Financial Secretary.
- The Church Council is the executive board of the church, composed of members of the church.
- The Church Council is responsible for the management of both the spiritual and material concerns of the congregation.
- The Church Council is subject to the authority of the membership of the church.
- The Church Council derives its leadership responsibility from the church membership, with whom the Church Council seeks to serve in the work of the church.
- Each Church Council member shall provide a written report pertaining to their individual team’s ministries at the annual church business meeting.
The Church council shall meet at least monthly, and more frequently as necessary.
The Church Council shall:
- Set goals and policies; supervise the officers, ministries and special project teams of the church.
- Conduct the business of the church on all matters that do not require action by the church membership at a regular or special church meeting.
- Consider all matters of importance before being presented to the church for approval, disapproval or information at a scheduled business meeting.
- Hold in trust all property belonging to the church.
- Have authority governing the use of church property.
- Approve or disapprove all non-budgeted expenses not requiring church approval.
- Manage the budget, as adopted, to maintain and advance the work of the church or recommend budget revisions to accommodate funding differences.
- At least 2 weeks in advance of the annual business meeting each year, present to the church a recommended budget for the following fiscal year.
- Perform such other duties imposed upon it by the church and/or governmental agencies.
- Establish other ministries and project teams as needed.
- Inform elected officers, ministry leaders, and project teams about constitutional provisions and policies governing their responsibilities.
- Each ministry team shall develop and maintain/update a policy manual which must have Church Council approval, and be kept on record at the church office.
- Be responsible for authorizing and obtaining the performance of an annual examination of the financial records by a qualified individual or individuals familiar with the accounting practices used by our church. This will be done under the supervision of the Church Council.
Holly Outreach - Helping Hands, benevolence fund, food pantry, community ministries
Global Outreach - Missionaries, Mission trips, Mission Promotion, Mission projects
Celebration - Worship services, (pulpit supply, baptism, communion, ushers, music, flowers)
Connections - Fellowship, marketing, dinners, new members, sports, visitors, outings, VBS, Library, Historian
Spiritual Growth - Sunday School, Small groups, Mid-week programs, Leadership training, Membership class, Youth Ministry
Stewardship & Finance - Accounting, Giving (tithing), Building/Vehicle maintenance, Insurance, Budgets - control, acquisition/sales, finances, Memorial Committee
Congregational Care - Hospital /home visitation, Bereavement, flowers (sympathy, sickness), church discipline, membership
Human Resources - Staff, Nominating committee, Pastoral Relations
The Church Council may establish other ad-hoc committees and/or ministry teams as deemed necessary.
Structure of Ministry Teams and Terms of Office
- Term of Office
- coincides with the church year, that is, from Annual Meeting to Annual Meeting.
- means elected by the Church membership
- means appointed by the Ministry Team Leader with approval of the Church Council
- Church Council
- consists of the elected Ministry Team Leaders and the Moderator. The Pastoral staff shall be ex-officio members.
The Church Council - Ministry Team Leaders and Team Members
Each of the following Ministry Teams shall consist of a Team Leader elected for a term of one year with a limit of 4 consecutive years. Each team shall consist of at least 2 appointed members approved by the Church Council.
Stewardship & Finance
In the event that a potential replacement cannot be found to run for a Church Council position or Office; and, the incumbent has reached the limit of terms permitted by the constitution; and, said Church Council member or Officer desires to maintain their position, the incumbent’s term may be extended for up to 4 one-year terms by a vote of 2/3rds of those attending the Annual Business Meeting.
The provisions of this amendment shall apply to all Church Council members and to the following officers: Moderator, Church Clerk, Church Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer to Mission Funds, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary and new officer whose positions may be created in accordance with the constitution.
No officer or Council Member of The First Baptist Church of Holly shall be personally liable to its creditors or for any indebtedness or liability. Any and all creditors shall look only to the church assets for payment. Further, neither shall any officer, the Church Council nor any of its individual members be liable for acts, neglects, or defaults of an employee, agent, or representative selected with reasonable care, nor for anything the same may do or refrain from doing in good faith, including the following: errors in judgment, acts done or committed on advice of counsel, or any mistakes of fact or law.
The Search Committee shall consist of six members elected by popular vote of the members present at a duly called special meeting. Nominations shall be made by members present at the meeting. No less than 9 nominations and no more than 12 shall be accepted. Nominators must have prior consent of the person being nominated.
|Date||Changed By||Description of Change|
|February 1, 2006||Constitution Committee||The new constitution written by the constitution committee along with an update errata sheet was approved by the members of the church.|
|March 3, 2006||Greg Long||This document was created based on the printed draft constitution along with the updates on the supplied errata sheet. The only changes made to the document (other than typographical errors) involved the physical layout (e.g. fonts and sizes, indentation & spacing).|
|March 4, 2006||Greg Long||This document was converted into a format suitable for web publishing. This revision history was added.|
|January 6, 2007||Greg Long||This document was reformatted to work with the new website layout. The table of contents links were fixed.|
|January 26, 2008||Greg Long||Copied into to new website. many formatting changes made, the text was not changed.|
|January 26, 2008||Greg Long||
Modified per the revisions passed at the annual business meeting on January 23, 2008.
|April 1, 2012||Greg Long||Modified per the revisions passed at the annual business meeting on February 21, 2010
Removed the office of Missions Treasurer. Added a 2nd Assistant Treasurer to be in charge of dispersing missions funds. The changes were made to Article VI – Section 2A – Officers and Article D, Section 6.
|April 1, 2012||Greg Long||Modified per the revisions passed at the annual business meeting on February 8, 2012
Added a provision and the end of Article E that provides for Council members to exceed their term limits if a replacement cannot be found and upon a vote of the church.