989 MO-42 (Junction of Hwy 54 and Hwy 42) Osage Beach, MO 65065

Constitution and By-Laws

Constitution and By-Laws Of Riverview Baptist Church

Effective January 1, 2022
(Proposed & Unanimously Accepted 2021)

Constitution Of Riverview Baptist Church

Name

This body shall be known as the Riverview Baptist Church, Inc. located at 989 Highway 42, Osage Beach, MO

 

Preamble

Being led by God and in response to His Holy Spirit, we the members of Riverview Baptist Church, adopt this document as our constitution and a declaration of our beliefs and understanding of the Scripture, form of church government, and purposes as a body.  In doing so, we aim to promote unity of mind among our membership and to help those interested in joining this church gain a clear understanding of our beliefs and objectives.  (Phil. 2:2)

 

Purpose and Objectives

Riverview Baptist Church exists to glorify God as we equip believers to make disciples and encourage them to daily live as citizens of God’s Kingdom by loving all people according to God’s Word.  (Matt. 28:19-20 & Matt. 22:37-40). This will be fulfilled in our worship (Col. 3:16), missions and outreach (Acts 1:8), in our ministries (Rom. 12:3-8), and in our fellowship (Acts 2:42).

 

Statement of Faith

Riverview Baptist Church adheres to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as our statement of faith.

 

Church Covenant

Having been led, as we believe, by the Holy Spirit of God to receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ. (1 Cor. 12:18)

We agree by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love (Matt. 5:16); to strive for the growth of this church in love, in faith, in knowledge, and in holiness; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry (2 Cor. 8:1-6; 2 Cor. 9:7), to the relief of the poor, and the expenses of the church; with the purpose of spreading of the gospel to all people and all nations.

We encourage one another to maintain family and private devotions in God’s Word; to bring our children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4); to seek the salvation of the lost; to give thoughtful attention to how we live in the world, and to walk above reproach and in the fruit of the Spirit; being zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.

We agree to hold one another accountable in brotherly love (Gal. 6:1); to remember one another in prayer; to be ready to share with those in need (Jas. 2:14-16); to be slow to anger and slow to take offense (Jas. 1:19-20); always ready to forgive and reconcile. (Matt. 5:23-24; Eph. 4.32)

 

Relationships/Denominational Affiliation

The government of this church is ultimately vested in the body of members composed of believers in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) who agree to come under the leadership and shepherding of the body of elders whom they have appointed. This body of believers is subject to the control of no outside ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Baptist churches.  Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the association and state convention affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

By-Laws of Riverview Baptist Church

 I. MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1: CANDIDACY

  1.  The membership of this church shall consist of persons who confess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, who give evidence of regeneration by living consistent with their profession, who agree to the doctrine and practice of this church, who have been baptized by immersion, and who have been received into its membership according to the By-Laws of this church.
    • Incoming members will participate in the church’s new members orientation class and participate in an initial interview with an elder so that the elders can testify to the candidates’ conversion, baptism, and desire to join.
    • Should as many as 10% of those voting dissent to any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to the pastor and elders for further investigation, and the making of a recommendation to the church within a reasonable time. A three-fourths vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to confer membership to such candidates.

 

SECTION 2: VOTING PRIVILEGE

  1. Every member of the church, 16 years of age and older, is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in a members’ meeting, provided the member is present.
  2. Ballot votes shall be required for the following:
    • Hiring and firing of pastors and paid staff.
    • Election and removal of lay-elders.
    • Annual budgets, and any amendments to the budget.
    • Changes to the bylaws and constitution.
    • Removal of any church members.

 

SECTION 3: TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP

  1. Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
    • Death
    • Dismissal to another church
    • Voluntary resignation by request of said member
    • Exclusion as an act of church discipline with a vote of two-thirds majority of those present at a members’ meeting.
  2. The church shall have authority to refuse a member’s voluntary resignation or transfer of membership to another church, either for the purpose of proceeding with a process of church discipline, or for any other biblical reason.

 

SECTION 4: INACTIVE MEMBERSHIP

  1. Any member who does not attend church services and who, in the discretion of the body of elders, shows no interest in the church for a period of one year and who gives no positive response to an inquiry of the body of elders within three months regarding such lack of interest shall automatically be transferred to the Inactive List.
    • Members who are homebound, physically unable to attend, or are absent on otherwise clear and biblical grounds (such as overseas mission work) will not be placed on the Inactive List.
    • Members placed on the Inactive List are not eligible to vote or hold office.
    • Members who remain on the Inactive List in excess of one year will be recommended by the body of elders to be dismissed from the membership of the church at a regular members’ meeting.
    • Members on the Inactive List for less than one year may be transferred back to active membership status by regular attendance, making request of, and being approved by the body of elders.

 

SECTION 5: ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP

  1. Any person may offer himself/herself as a candidate for associate membership in this church based on the same terms of membership as listed under “candidacy” above. However, the following conditions must also be clear and applicable:
    • Their involvement in the life of this church is known in advance to be transient, or short-term;
    • Associate members shall not serve on a committee or claim voting rights in any church meeting.
    • Should as many as 10% of those voting dissent to any candidate, such dissent shall be referred to the pastor and elders for investigation, and the making of a recommendation to the church within a reasonable time. A three-fourths vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to associate membership.

 

SECTION 6 – DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP

  1. In accordance with the duties enumerated in the Church Covenant, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church, consistent with God’s leading and with the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God.
  2. Only members of the congregation (or associate members) shall be entitled to serve in the ministries of the church; non-members may serve on an ad-hoc basis with the approval of the elders. Notwithstanding, non-members may serve the church for purposes of administration and professional consultation.
  3. Under Christ this congregation is governed by its members. Therefore, it is the privilege and responsibility of members to attend members’ meetings and vote on the election of officers, on decisions regarding membership status, and on such other matters as may be submitted to a vote.

 

SECTION 7– CHURCH DISCIPLINE

  1. Any member:
    • consistently neglectful of his or her duties within the Church Covenant or,
    • guilty of unrepentant, and public sin or,
    • opposing the welfare of the church or,
    • recanting a profession of faithshall be subject to the admonition of the elders and the discipline of the church, according to the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18:5–17.
  2. Church discipline, then, should ordinarily be contemplated after individual private admonition has failed and can include admonition by the elders or congregation, deposition from office, and excommunication (see Matthew 18:15–17; 1 Timothy 5:19; 1 Corinthians 5:4–5).
  3. The purpose of such discipline should be:
    • Supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character
      (see Deuteronomy 5:11; I Kings 11:2; II Chronicles 19:2; Ezra 6:21; Nehemiah 9:2; Isaiah 52:11; Ezekiel 36:20; Matthew 5:16; John 15:8; 18:17, 25; Romans 2:24; 15:5–6; II Corinthians 6:14–7:1; Ephesians 1:4; 5:27; I Peter 2:12).
    • For the repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined
      :15–17; Luke 17:3; Acts 2:40; I Corinthians 5:5; Galatians 6:1–5; II Thessalonians 3:6,14–15; I Timothy1:20 Titus 1:13–14; James 1:22);
    • For the instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them
      (see Proverbs 13:20; Romans 15:14; I Corinthians 5:11; 15: 33; Colossians 3:16; I Thess. 5: ; I Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:11; Heb 10:24–25)
    • For the purity of the church as a whole
      (see I Corinthians 5:6–7; II Corinthians 13:10; Ephesians 5:27; I John10; Jude 24; Revelation 21:2)
    • For the good of our corporate witness to non–Christians
      (see Proverbs 28:7; Matthew 5:13–16; John 13:35; Acts 5:1–14; Ephesians 5:11; I Timothy 3: 7)

II.  GOVERNANCE

SECTION 1: ORGANIZATION

Part 1: General Organization

  1. Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the final authority of this church rests with those who are members of this congregation. This authority is normally exercised through the election of elders and officers to govern the church. However, the vote of the membership of this church at a properly called members’ meeting, as provided in these by-laws, shall be required to effect the following:
    • Accept members into the church, give letters of transfer, or drop members from the church roll;
    • Elect officers, elders, and deacons of the church;
    • Discipline members by dismissing them and discipline officers by removing them from office;
    • Approve annual budgets of the church; authorize any expenditure of the funds of the church when such expenditure is not covered by an approved budget or approved by the administration committee; and approve any transactions regarding real property;
    • Accept, reject, or otherwise dispose of any matter submitted to the membership of the church by the body of elders, or raised by motion at a members’ meeting;
    • Adopt, amend, or repeal the constitution or By-Laws of this church;
    • Approve the call and job description of those elders who receive compensation from the church for fulfilling their elder responsibilities.
  1. The Scriptural offices of the church shall be elder and deacon. The purpose of these offices is to lovingly lead, care for, and equip the membership to do the work of the ministry.
  2. The leadership of the church shall be vested in the body of elders who are responsible for governing the church, teaching the Word and tending the flock of God. The elders shall be equal in authority but may be specialized in function.
  3. Deacons shall assist the body of elders by performing services of administration and implementation.
  4. In addition to the Scriptural offices, the church shall retain corporate officers who will represent the church in any legal matters in coordination with the senior pastor. Their positions shall be: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and secretary. They shall be appointed each year during a members’ meeting.
  5. All church officers shall be active members of this church in good standing.
  6. Until such a time as the church body agrees to dissolve them through a vote in a members’ meeting, there shall be three standing committees for the purposes of counting, administration, and nominations. 

 

SECTION 2: LEADERSHIP

Part 1: Senior Pastor

  1. The Senior Pastor shall be an elder and is responsible to work with, and alongside the body of elders to lead the church to function as a New Testament church (Eph. 4:11-16).
  2. The Senior Pastor shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching, and shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation or to the term limitation set out in section 2, part 3 (below) for elders.
  3. As such, he works with the elders and church staff to:
    • Lead the church to engage in: prayer, teaching, discipleship, worship, ministry, and evangelism.
    • Proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers;
    • Care for the church’s members and other persons in the community;
  1. The Senior Pastor shall supervise the church staff in performing their duties.
  2. The Senior Pastor shall not be required to, but shall have the privilege to participate in any committee of the church, at his discretion, as an ex-officio member.

 

Part 2: Associate Pastors

  1. The church may call additional pastors whose relationship to the senior pastor is that of associate.
  2. An associate pastor shall be an elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder described in section 2, part 3 (immediately below) and shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching.
  3. His call shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation or to the term limitation set out in section 2, part 3 (immediately below) for elders.
  4. He shall assist the senior pastor in the performance of his regular duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of pastor, as set forth in the constitution, or in a written job description.
  5. In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor for defined periods of time (such as sabbatical or illness), the associate pastors shall assume the responsibility for his duties with oversight of the elders.

 

Part 3: Elders

  1. Subject to the will of the membership, the elders shall oversee the ministry and resources of the church.
  2. The body of elders shall be comprised of not less than three men who satisfy the qualifications for the office of elder set forth in I Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:6–9.
    • The long-term goal shall be to maintain a majority of lay-elders relative to the number of paid elders at any given time.
  1. The church shall recognize men gifted and willing to serve in this calling, in accordance with the constitutional provisions on elections. These men shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as elders. This recognition shall be reaffirmed by the church triennially.
    • No elder shall also hold the office of deacon during his tenure.
    • Immediate family members may not serve on the body of elders simultaneously (children, parents, and grandparents).
  1. In keeping with the principles set forth in Acts 6: 1–6 and I Peter 5: 1–4, the elders shall devote their time to prayer, the ministry of the Word (by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine), and shepherding God’s flock.
  2. The elders of this church shall take particular responsibility to:
    • examine and instruct prospective members,
    • examine and recommend all prospective candidates for offices and positions,
    • oversee the work of the deacons and appointed church agents and committees,
    • conduct worship services and administer the ordinances of baptism and communion,
    • equip the membership for the work of the ministry,
    • encourage sound doctrine and practice,
    • admonish and correct error wherever it occurs within the church body,
    • oversee the process of church discipline,
    • coordinate and promote the ministries of the church,
    • and mobilize the church for world missions.
  1. Further, the elders should seek to ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation, including outside speakers, affirm our fundamental gospel convictions and do not teach our church anything contrary to the Statement of Faith.
  2. After an elder, other than the senior or associate pastor(s), has served 2 consecutive 3-year terms, he may only be elected to the office of elder after at least 1 year of leave from ministry as an elder.
  3. Any elder’s term of office may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal.
  4. Any two members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed due to a clear and biblical moral failing, should first express such concern to another elder.
    • The body of elders shall then confront the elder in question regarding his moral failure.
    • Should the matter be confirmed or remain in question, it shall be expressed to the administration committee and the body of deacons, and shall eventually be brought to the church.
    • Any elder may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church
    • Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15–17 and I Timothy 5:17–21.
  1. The body of elders shall elect a chairman who shall ensure minutes of their meetings are recorded.
  2. The body of elders shall determine the frequency of their meetings.
    • During these meetings, the body of elders may establish sub-committees to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities, and may also request to establish ministry positions in coordination with the administration committee.
    • The elders may also propose funding for new paid staff positions in coordination with the administration committee.
    • The scope and approval of job descriptions for staff positions (other than the positions of senior and associate pastor) shall reside in the hands of those with hiring authority for that position.

 

Part 4: Deacons

  1. Deacons exist to support the elder body in works of service to the church.
    • The qualifications of deacons are set forth in the New Testament (Acts 6:3 & 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
    • New deacons shall be ordained after being vetted by the body of elders and voted on by the membership.
  1. There shall be set term limits for an actively serving deacon. After a deacon has served two consecutive three-year terms, he shall take at least one year of leave from active ministry as a deacon.
    • Deacons may request to actively serve again upon the approval of the elders and action of the church in a constitutionally called members’ meeting.
    • There is no obligation to constitute as an active deacon a person who comes to the church from another church where he has served as deacon.
    • Deacons may notify the elder body that they desire to become inactive without losing their ordination. Furthermore, a deacon will not lose their ordination while taking the required one year of leave from active ministry after serving two consecutive three-year terms.
  1. The deacons of this church shall take particular responsibility to:
    • Physically care for the widows within this congregation
    • Perform acts of benevolence for church-members and community members alike.
    • Oversee and assist in the maintenance of the building and grounds owned by this congregation.
    • Oversee the counting of all tithes and offerings.
    • Assist in the serving of the Lord’s Supper.
    • Assist in the visitation of the sick or infirmed.
    • And serve as examples of hospitality by preparing meals for church gatherings.

 

Part 5: Church Staff

  1. The church shall call, or employ, such staff members as the church shall need.
    • There shall be no obligation to constitute as deacons or elders those serving in staff positions.
  1. church staff positions may be full-time or part-time and may include, but are not limited to the following roles:
    • Office administrators, secretaries, ministry directors, custodial staff, and interns.
  1. The elders, in coordination with the administration committee, shall write a job description for each staff position when the need for a staff member is determined.
    • Full-time staff members, other than the pastoral staff, shall be recommended to the church by the elders and administration committee and employed by a majority vote in a members’ meeting.

 

Part 6: Other Offices

  1. A moderator shall be elected annually to serve at all members’ meetings. In the absence of the moderator one of the assistant moderators shall preside; or in the absence of both moderator and assistant moderator, an acting elder shall be appointed.
  2. A church clerk shall keep records of all the actions of the church except as otherwise herein provided.
    • The clerk is responsible to work with the office administrator to keep a register of the names of members, with dates of admission, dismissal, or death, together with a record of baptisms.
    • The clerk shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give legal notice of all meetings where such notice is necessary, as indicated in these by-laws.
    • The church may delegate these clerical responsibilities to a office administrator upon clear communication. All church records are church property and should be made available to the church members at any time, excluding individual giving records, minutes of elders’ meetings that are sensitive in nature, and personnel records.

 

SECTION 3: COMMITTEES

Part 1: General

  1. There shall be three standing committees.
    • An administration committee shall exist for the purpose of aiding the elders with matters regarding the administration of duties pertaining to the personnel and finances of the church.
    • A counting committee shall exist for the purpose of collecting and counting tithes and offerings.
    • A nominating committee shall exist for the purpose of receiving nominations to the office of elder & corporate officer, and nominations to all standing committees (including the nominating committee itself).
  1. The membership of such standing committees shall be a multiple of three, one-third of which shall be elected annually for a term of three years.
  2. To facilitate communication between the deacons, elders, and congregation, at least one actively serving deacon, and one actively serving lay-elder will sit as members on the administration and nominating committees.
  3. Special committees may be created from time to time by the elders. The elders will determine the membership and functions of such a committee. Above provisions shall not apply to special committees.

 

Part 2: Requirements for Committee Membership

  1. All individuals nominated and elected to serve on any committee must be members of Riverview Baptist church in good standing.
  2. All church committee members shall be recommended by the Nominating Committee and elected by the membership of this church in a members’ meeting.
  3. The following considerations shall apply to the membership of standing committees:
    • Immediate family members may not serve on the same committee simultaneously (spouses, in-laws, children, parents, and grandparents).
    • The wife of an actively serving elder shall not serve on the administration or nominating committees.
    • In the event a committee member is unable or unwilling to complete the 3-year term, as described above, the Nominating Committee shall nominate an individual to fill the unexpired term of such person, to be approved by vote of the church in a members’ meeting. Thus, the newly nominated member of such committee will complete the term of the resigning committee member.

 

SECTION 4: POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

  1. Church policies and procedures shall be described in the church policies manual.
    • The manual shall be kept in the church office, maintained by the office administrator, and made available to any member of the church upon request.
    • The administration committee, along with the the body of elders, must recommend any changes to the church policies and procedures to the congregation for a vote during a regular members’ meeting

III.  ELECTIONS

SECTION 1: PRINCIPLES

  1. The process for church elections shall be interpreted and carried out to fulfill the following principles:
    • Substantial prayer, both individually and corporately, should be integral to the election process.
    • Nominations should proceed with the support of the elders.
    • All candidates for church office should be treated with grace, kindness, and honesty.
    • The election process shall express a spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration that is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

SECTION 2: SELECTION OF OFFICERS

  1. The election of officers shall be held at a members’ meeting of the church.
  2. Names of nominees to serve as elders, corporate officers, moderators, clerks, or committee members shall be presented by the nominating committee to the church at least three weeks before the vote and the election shall proceed as directed by the moderator.
  3. Names of nominees to serve as deacons shall be presented by the elder board to the Church at least three weeks before the vote and the election shall proceed as directed by the moderator.
  4. The nominating committee should seek recommendations and involvement from both the elders and the general membership in the nomination processes of any committee or church office.
  5. Elders shall be recommended to the church only after being proposed by the nominating committee to the elders and appropriately vetted by the elder body.
    • The nominating committee shall then recommend the candidate to the church in coordination with the elders, and the church membership shall vote to approve candidates.
    • Any member with reason to believe that a nominated candidate is unqualified for an office should express such concern to the elders with discretion and care.
    • Members intending to speak in opposition to a candidate should express their objection to the elders as far in advance as possible before the relevant members’ meeting.
    • The moderator shall declare elected all men receiving a two-thirds majority of all votes cast for the office of elder at a regularly-scheduled members meeting.
  1. For all other offices, the moderator shall declare elected all persons receiving a simple majority of all votes cast; abstentions will not be considered as votes cast.
  2. The persons elected shall assume their respective offices upon election, unless another date has been specifically designated.

 

SECTION 3: CALLING OF ASSOCIATE PASTOR(S)

  1. Whenever the position of Associate Pastor becomes available:
    • The elder body shall lead the church through the search process.
    • If the elder body consists of less than 5 actively serving elders, a search committee shall be formed that is composed of all actively serving elders and up to three members of the administration committee.
  1. The church must also be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that:
    • having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant.
    • Notice of the nomination of any man to be elected to membership and called as pastor (which shall include, election to membership of his wife if he is married) must be given at all morning worship services on two Sundays following the nomination, prior to the vote at a members’ meeting.

 

SECTION 4: CALLING OF THE SENIOR PASTOR

  1. Whenever the position of Senior Pastor becomes available, and the body of elders is composed of a majority of lay-elders:
    • The elder body shall oversee the preaching and teaching ministry of the church.
    • The elder body shall lead the church through the search process.
  1. Whenever the position of Senior Pastor becomes available, and the body of elders is not composed of a majority of lay-elders:
    • The body of elders shall oversee the preaching and teaching ministry of the church.
    • The body of elders shall lead the church to form a search-committee whose membership shall:
    • consist of a majority of non-staff members,
    • include all actively serving elders,
    • be a multiple of three,
    • and include up to three members of the administration committee.
  1. The church must also be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that:
    • having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant.
    • Notice of the nomination of any man to be elected to membership and called as pastor (which shall include, election to membership of his wife if he is married) must be given at all morning worship services on two Sundays following the nomination, prior to the vote at a members’ meeting.

IV. FINANCES

SECTION 1: GENERAL

  1. It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligations to support the church and its causes with regular and proportionate giving.
  2. Each member shall be encouraged in Scriptural giving, with tithing as the ideal minimum.
  3. Special offerings may be sought by the church with the approval of the body of elders.
    • This shall not preclude individuals from making special offerings or designated gifts at any time as the Spirit of God may move them.
  1. No method of raising funds shall be entertained which is in conflict with the Scriptural ideals of the church and apart from approval of the body of elders.
  2. All funds donated for missions shall pass through the Church Office in order that due record may be made and credit given to the church.
  3. All charitable giving processes shall adhere to all IRS guidelines.
  4. The church explicitly reserves the right to reject any donation of real property, personal property, securities, or any other gift(s), as deemed in the best interest of the church.
  5. The deacons shall provide oversight for the counting committee and counting of funds donated.

 

SECTION 2: BUDGET

  1. The financial planning of the church shall be carried out through the medium of annual budgets for carrying out of the various programs of its work.
  2. Each fiscal year, operating budgets shall be adopted by the church upon recommendation of the administration committee, and in coordination with the body of elders.
    • The fiscal year of the church shall begin on January 1, and end on December 31.
  1. Matters involving staff compensation shall be the responsibility of the administration committee in coordination with lay members of the body of elders.
    • The senior pastor may recommend salary increases for paid staff, other than himself, to the administration committee and lay elders.

 

SECTION 3: ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES

  1. A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the office administrator.
  2. For the purposes of accountability and transparency, an external audit of the church’s financial practices shall be performed at a minimum of every 5 years.
    • The extent and scope of the audit shall be determined by the corporate officers.
    • The office administrator shall then work with the external auditors, and the corporate officers to ensure the church complies with appropriate auditing standards.


SECTION 4: INDEBTEDNESS

  1. No note or contract exceeding 1% of the total annual budget whereby the credit of the church is pledged shall be made, except by recommendation from the body of elders and corporate officers, and approved by the church.


SECTION 5: AUTHORITY TO BIND THE CHURCH

  1. Actively serving members on the body of elders (including the senior pastor), corporate officers, or the office administrator are the only agents and officers who have authority, in accordance with these by-laws, the church constitution, and any applicable laws, to execute legal documents relating to
    • real estate, church property, or insurance,
    • or endowment accounts.

V. MEETINGS

SECTION 1:  GENERAL WORSHIP SERVICES

  1. The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning and Wednesday evenings for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and for the worship of Almighty God (Heb. 13:15; Eph. 5:19). These meetings will be open for all people and shall be conducted under the direction of the elders.
  2. All cancellations of regularly scheduled services shall have the approval of the pastoral staff or elder approval. Providential hindrances and acts of God shall, of themselves, provide for the dismissal of services.

 

SECTION 2: REGULAR MEMBERS’ MEETINGS

  1. Regular members’ meetings shall be held quarterly on the third Sunday afternoon/evening of March, September, and December of each year.
  2. Due to Father’s Day, there shall be another regular member’s meeting held on the 4th Sunday of June.
    • The quorum of a members’ meeting consists of 4 percent of the resident members, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
    • Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all members meetings of the church. (1 Cor. 14:33)

 

SECTION 3:  SPECIAL CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS

  1. A specially called members’ meeting may be held to consider special matters of significant nature.
  2. Only actively serving elders, actively serving corporate officers, and the current chairman of deacons are permitted to request specially called members’ meetings.
  3. At least a two-week notice of the subject, date, time, and location must be given for the specially called members’ meeting.

VI.  INDEMNIFICATION

SECTION 1: MANDATORY INDEMNIFICATION

  1. If a legal claim or criminal allegation is made against a person because he or she is, or was, an officer, employee, or agent of the church, the church, through their insurance (such as General Liability and/or Directors, Officers & Trustees Liability insurance) shall provide indemnification against liability and costs incurred in defending against the claim if the elders determine that the person acted…
    • in good faith, and
    • with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under like conditions, and
    • in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the church, and
    • the person had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful.

 

SECTION 2: PERMISSIVE INDEMNIFICATION

  1. At the discretion of the elders, the church, through their insurance (such as General Liability insurance and/or their Directors, Officers & Trustees Liability insurance) also may indemnify any person who acted in good faith and reasonably believed that his or her conduct was in the church’s best interest and not unlawful.

 

Indemnification Addendum: Description of Terms

  1. The term “officer” shall apply to: Corporate officers, moderators, clerks and others that have been duly elected.
  2. The term “employee” shall apply to: Those employed by the church as full-time or part-time salaried staff. **This term shall NOT be applied to interns, hourly nursery workers, translators, etc.**
  3. The term “agents” shall apply to: Any church member actively serving as elders, or on official committees.

VII.  DISPUTES AND DEVIATION

SECTION 1: DISPUTES

Believing that the Bible commands Christians to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian Church (see, Matthew 18: 15–20, I Corinthians 6: 1–8), the church shall require its members to resolve ordinary civil disputes among themselves according to biblically based principles, without reliance on the secular courts. In the case of criminal activity within the congregation, the State has a God-given responsibility to protect the peace and security of its citizens, that should be supported and encouraged. Consistent with its call to peacemaking, the church shall encourage the use of biblically based principles to resolve disputes between itself and those outside the church, whether Christian or pagan and whether individuals or corporate entities.

 

SECTION 2: DEVIATION

If a church member believes the church to be out of accord with this constitution, he or she should inform an elder. If the elders determine that the church is out of accord with this constitution, they must provide an update at each members’ meeting until the situation is remedied.

In the unlikely event that the elder body is unable to resolve the matter of deviation from the constitution in a satisfactory matter, the matter will be taken up by the body of deacons to make a determination on the issue at hand. If the deacons find their efforts unsatisfactory, then the matter may be taken to the church.

VIII.  ADOPTION AND AMENDMENTS

SECTION 1.  ADOPTION

  1. This Constitution and By-Laws shall be considered adopted, if and when a two-thirds majority of those present at a members meeting shall vote in favor of the same. It shall take effect no later than Jan. 1, 2022.

 

SECTION 2: AMENDMENTS

  1. Changes in this Constitution and By-Laws may be made at any regular members’ meeting of the church, provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous members’ meeting, and copies of the proposed amendment be furnished to each member present.
    • Amendments to the Constitution shall be by two-thirds vote of all members of the church present entitled to vote.
    • Amendments to these By-Laws shall require the approval of two-thirds vote of all members present entitled to vote.
  1. When deemed necessary, the church shall appoint a temporary committee to review the Constitution and By-Laws and make needed recommendations.
    • At least 2 active lay-elders shall serve on this committee.
    • The Senior Pastor shall sit on this committee as an ex-officio member.

IX.  DISSOLUTION 

  1. The decision to disband and cease to exist as a Southern Baptist Church can only be made if approved by two-thirds of the active membership of the church.

X.  DISPERSAL OF PROPERTIES

  1. Should the church deem it desirable or necessary to change its location, enlarge or extend its work, and in so doing, find it necessary to rent or erect buildings, purchase or mortgage property, make major additions to the buildings, disperse properties for capital, or obtain loans or encumbrances totaling more than 5% of the annual budget, such action shall be authorized by a two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present at a constitutionally called members’ meeting.
  2. In the event the membership of Riverview Baptist church votes to disband and cease to exist as a Southern Baptist Church, the following actions shall be taken:
    • none of its assets or holdings shall be divided among the members or other individuals.
    • All church properties shall be sold and all of the corporation’s debts shall be satisfied.
    • All remaining proceeds of property sales shall be irrevocably donated, in their entirety, to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
    • All other financial assets of the corporation, including any monies at the Missouri Baptist Foundation shall be irrevocably designated, in their entirety, to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.