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Churches

Constitution

Transylvania Baptist Association

 

Preamble

We, the Baptist Churches of Transylvania County, to facilitate the proclamation of the gospel, to provide a medium of cooperation and to recognize our interdependence and our dependence upon our Lord Jesus Christ, do hereby propose to establish and maintain a Baptist Association in conformity to the following plan. Bylaws are simply the rules that govern the day-to-day functions of the various officers, committees, teams, and members.

 

Article I – Name

The name of this body is Transylvania Baptist Association, hence referred to as “the Association.”

 

Article II – Purpose

Our Purpose:  To assist our churches in fulfilling the Great commandment and the Great Commission by linking hearts and hands for Jesus Christ.  (Acts 1:8)

Our Priority:  To enable, empower, equip, and energize our churches in all areas of ministry in order to assist them in fulfilling their God given vision and purpose.

Our Core Values:  To seek to partner in unity with churches in proclaiming the Gospel through promoting worship, evangelism, disciple making and caring for the churches by encouraging them to do the same.

 

Article III – Membership

The Association shall consist of messengers who are members of the affiliated churches as follows:

  1. Each church affiliated with the Association shall be entitled to four messengers, and every church having one hundred members shall be entitled to five messengers, with one additional messenger for every one hundred or fraction thereof, not to exceed ten;
  2. Pastors of the affiliated churches and/or their missions;
  3. Duly elected officers of the Association.

 

Article IV – Affiliated Churches

Section A.  The churches affiliated with this association shall be churches who use the New Testament as a statement of their faith and church policy, and require that a person, upon his profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, be immersed in water to qualify for church membership.

Section B.  Churches desiring membership in the association shall apply to the Executive Committee.  Application should include:

  1. Formal action by the group seeking admission reflecting that 75% of those voting express their intent to cooperate.
  2. A written statement reflecting their beliefs and practices.
  3. A written statement that expresses their intent to cooperate.
  4. A willingness to meet with the Executive Committee to discuss other items of mutual interest to both parties.

The Executive Committee should be sensitive to groups seeking its services and be willing to present a statement of Baptist belief and practices and what it means to cooperate with the churches in the association in a worldwide mission program.  If recommended by this committee and accepted by the association a mission or a church shall agree to come under watch-care of the association for a minimum of one year.  Membership within the association shall be determined by vote of the association at its annual meeting.  Churches under watch-care shall be entitled to all rights and privileges of the association except their members shall not hold office nor vote.

 

Section CThe Association shall in no case presume to direct or control the churches in reference to their government or internal policy, and recognizes the complete autonomy of each affiliated church.  Each church shall recognize the complete autonomy of the Association of churches.

 

Section D.  Should any church disqualify itself by practices or doctrines contrary to those (as set forth in Article XI) of the association, the Executive Committee may, upon failing to reconcile such church, recommend to the Executive Board dismissal of such church.  A vote of 75% of the Executive Board members present is required for approval of the recommendation to be presented to the association in the following annual session.  A vote of 75% of the messengers present at the annual session would be required to constitute dismissal.

 

Section E.  Guidelines for Agreement between the Transylvania Baptist Association and churches and missions seeking membership in the association:

  1.  What churches and missions can expect from the association:
    1. A genuine show of concern for the church.
    2. An invitation to participate in all meetings of the association.
    3. Schedule meetings between the Executive Committee and the church to discuss ways of helping the church.
    4. Willingness to furnish leadership, both the employed staff and volunteer staff, which can, upon request, assist the church.
    5. Provide copies of the Associational Constitution, Bylaws, and Minutes for information.
    6. Place the church officers on the Associational, State Convention, and Southern Baptist Convention mailing lists to receive all information that member churches receive.

 

  1. What the Association can expect from the churches and missions:
    1. To follow commonly accepted principles of Southern Baptist Churches.
    2. To become familiar with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Association in order to determine if the church actually agrees with the goals and purposes of the Association.
    3. To elect two lay representatives to the Associational Board who, along with the pastor, will attend the Board meetings and report on this to the church.
    4. To cooperate in support of the planned mission work of the Association, including prayer support, personal support, and financial support.
    5. To participate in training and fellowship opportunities in the Association.
    6. To report regularly on the church’s attendance, offerings, etc.

 

Article V – Missions Policy

Section A.  The association is committed to a program for the starting of new churches and missions, as needed.  It believes, however, that the initiative for beginning such is a cooperative effort between the local churches and the association.

Section B.  The association assumes that its affiliated churches shall seek the leadership of the association in exercising general guidance and coordination in what is otherwise a church centered missions program.

Section C.  The association is aware of the financial support provided by the churches, which makes possible such a program of work.  Any policies or actions of the association should therefore respect the integrity of the cooperating churches and associational mission endeavors.

Section D.  The association has no control over any other body, but does seek to encourage all missionary Baptists to work in cooperation for effecting an orderly growth and for maintaining the fellowship of churches and association.

Section E.  The association encourages all churches to formulate their own membership policy in a way that is true to the New Testament and to Baptist policy.

 

Article VI – Officers

Section AThe officers of this body shall be Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Trustees, Baptist Men Team Leader, Discipleship Team Leader, Evangelism Team Leader, Fellowship Team Leader, Go Team Leader, Prayer Team Leader, WMMU Team Leader, Worship Team Leader, Youth Team Leader, and Associational Missionary. 

Section B.  Election of Officers:  All officers shall be nominated and elected as set forth in Article VIII, Section B, No. 1.  This shall not preclude nominations from the floor.

 

Article VII – Executive Board

Section A.  Executive Board

  1. The Executive Board shall be composed of the pastor and full time ministry staff of each affiliated church and/or mission, and two lay persons from affiliated church and/or mission, the officers of the association, and chairmen of all standing committees.
  2. The names of the laymen of the Executive Board, elected by the church, shall be reported to the association at its annual meeting and shall take office following the said meeting.
  3. The Executive Board is charged with the duty of executing the plans and decisions of the association. A full report of its work shall be presented at each annual meeting, together with plans and recommendations for the promotion and extension of the work of the association.  The Executive Board shall act for the association between annual meetings in conformity with the expressed decisions of the association.
  4. This Board shall meet quarterly on the date as prescribed by the associational Calendar of Activities. Ten members shall constitute a quorum after all the members have been duly notified of the meeting.
  5. The Executive Board shall be authorized to hold special meetings if needed, upon the call of the Moderator, or in his absence the Vice Moderator, or the Associational Missionary. Notice must be given one week in advance for any special meeting.
  6. Officers of the Executive Board shall be the Moderator, Vice Moderator, and Clerk of the association.
  7. The Executive Board shall have the authority to fill all vacancies as they occur during the year upon the recommendation of the nominating committee.

 

Section B.  Associational Team Leaders

  1. The Council shall be composed of Moderator, Finance/Stewardship Team Leader, Sunday School Team Leader, Go Team Leader, Discipleship Team Leader, Women’s Missions and Ministry Team Leader, Baptist Men Team Leader, Music Team Leader, Youth Team Leader, Evangelism Team Leader and the Associational Missionary, who will serve as the Chairman. Any future new ministry Team Leaders will also be part of the Council.
  2. The duties of the Council are:
  1. To promote all work of the association.
  2. To prepare a Calendar of Activities. If any cancellations take place after dates have been approved and placed in the printed calendar, it will be the responsibility of the person in charge of the program to see that the proper notice has been mailed to the churches.

 

Article VIII – Teams

Section A.  Executive Committee of the Executive Board

This committee shall be composed of Moderator, Vice Moderator, and Associational Team Leaders.

It shall administer all matters referred to it by the association or the Executive Board.  It shall receive churches under watch-care of the association within the guidelines of this constitution.  It shall act on emergency matters between executive board meetings.  It shall work with the Associational Missionary and serve as a mediator between him and the association.

Section B.  Standing Committees/Teams

All Standing Committees will serve for three (3) years with one-third rotating off each year, except the Pastor/Church Relations Committee, which is a non-rotating committee.  Members of the rotating committees who have served three (3) years cannot be re-elected to the same committee until one year has elapsed unless approved by the association.

Committees

  1. Nominating Committee. This committee shall be composed of six (6) members.  It shall bring nominations for all officers and committees of the association to the April meeting of the Executive Board.  This committee shall name the chairman of committees, unless otherwise stated in the constitution.  Nominations of all other officers and committee members are to be presented to the association during the annual session. 
  2. Finance/Stewardship Committee. This commitee shall be composed of six (6) members.  The duties of this committee are outlined under Article IV of the Bylaws.
  3. Personnel Committee.
    1. This committee shall be composed of three (3) members. It shall be the responsibility of this committee to work with the Associational Missionary in preparing a job description for employees of the association. This committee shall recommend to the Executive Board needed positions.  It will also be the responsibility of this committee to establish and maintain an office procedures manual which will include job descriptions, compensation, benefits and policies related to salaried employees as authorized by the Executive Board and/or association.
    2. This committee shall interview all employees except Associational Missionary.
  4. Auditing Committee.  This committee shall be composed of three (3) members whose duty it shall be to examine the Treasurer’s records, and report to the Executive Board.
  5. Constitution and Bylaws Committee. This committee shall be composed of three (3) members who shall have the responsibility to review the Association’s constitution and bylaws and make recommendations to the Association for updating.
  6. Trustee Committee. This committee shall be composed of three (3) members and serve as a legal signature on any transaction approved by the Association. Details of Trustee responsibilities are in Article IX.
  7. Temporary Committees. Committees/Teams may be elected or appointed at any time to perform temporary functions.  The Executive Board shall determine when these duties have been performed and dismiss the committee/team.

Teams

  1. Evangelism Team. This team shall direct and promote the evangelistic focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association.
  2. Ordination Advisory Team.  This team shall act in an advisory capacity for churches or for ministerial students seeking counsel concerning ordination.  The team shall assist in the examination of candidates for the ministry only after their call to some specific position in Christian service.
  3. Baptist Men Team.  The duties of this team shall be to care for all physical properties of the Association. This includes such items as repair and maintenance, insurance, property improvement, office equipment, and long-range planning and development.
  4. Pastor/Church Relations Team. This team shall be composed of the Moderator, Vice Moderator, and Associational Missionary, and shall exist to formulate appropriate strategies for resolving any church related disputes brought to its attention, if requested by involved parties.
  5. Youth Team. This team shall direct and promote the youth and student ministry focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association.
  6. Worship Team. This team shall direct and promote the worship focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association.
  7. Missions “Go” Team. This team shall direct and promote the mission focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association.
  8. WMMU Team. This team shall serve the churches of the association in Southern Baptist Convention Mission education and promotion and Women’s Ministry.
  9. Discipleship Team. This team shall direct and promote the discipleship focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association.
  1. Prayer Team. This team shall direct and promote the prayer focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association.
  2. Revitalization Team. This team shall serve churches requesting help in any area of church revitalization or church health.
  3. Team Life. Teams can prayerfully be added or discontinued with the approval of the Association.

Article IX – Property

Section A.  Title to all property, real or personal, owned and held by the association, either outright or on special trust, with the exception of the association’s current operating funds, shall be vested in the Board of Trustees, to consist of three (3) persons who are members of affiliated churches.  Trustees shall serve for three (3) years with one trustee rotating off each year beginning in 1978 and cannot be re-elected as a trustee until one year has elapsed.

Section B.  The Trustees shall appoint their own chairman and secretary.

Section C.  The Trustees of the association, in addition to holding title to the association’s real and personal property, shall sign and execute all deeds, bills of sale, contracts, notes, mortgages, deeds of trust, and other papers and documents affecting the association’s property; upon authorization given at any regular or special meeting of the Executive Board held between regular or special meetings of the association and at other times if required by the Executive Board.

 

Article X – Parliamentary Law

The business of the association shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order, where not otherwise specified by this Constitution or its Bylaws.

Article XI – Doctrinal Statement

The Bible is the sole authority for the faith and practice of the Association.  The 2000 Baptist Faith and Message reflects in general the doctrinal beliefs of this body.

 

Article XII – Amendments

This Constitution may be amended at any session of the association by a vote of two-thirds of the messengers present and voting; provided there is notice to amend, and a written statement of the proposed amendment be presented to and discussed by the Executive Board at least one month prior to the annual session.  A copy of the proposed change will be mailed to each member of the Executive Board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bylaws

Transylvania Baptist Association

 

In order to carry out the provisions of the Constitution, the following Bylaws are adopted for the governing of the Association.

Article I – Meetings

Section AThe association shall meet annually in the week following the third Sunday in October. Special meetings may be called by the Executive Board provided one week notice is given.

Section B.  Messengers from one-half of the affiliated churches shall constitute the necessary quorum.

Article II – Church Letter

Each affiliated church shall send to the Clerk of the association prior to the annual session of the association, on forms furnished by the Clerk, a full report of the church work for the year ending September 30.

 

Article III – Duties of Officers and Team Leaders

  1. Moderator and Vice Moderator. The Moderator or Vice Moderator shall preside at all regular meetings of the Association.  They shall be members of the Executive Board. They shall be elected annually, serving no more than two years consecutively, and shall maintain a balance of alternating clergy and laity serving in these positions.
  2. The duties of the Trustees are set forth in Article IX of the Constitution.
  3. Baptist Men Team Leader. The Baptist Men Team Leader shall direct and promote the Brotherhood/Baptist Men program of the Association under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  4. Discipleship Team Leader. The Discipleship Team Leader shall direct and promote the Sunday School and Discipleship Training programs of the Association under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  5. Evangelism Team Leader. The Evangelism Team Leader shall direct and promote the evangelistic focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  6. Ordination Advisory Team Leader. The Ordination Advisory Team Leader shall be responsible to serve requesting churches in the matter of ordination of candidates for ministry under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  7. Missions “GO” Team Leader. The Missions “GO” Team Leader has five mission performance tasks under the supervision of the Executive Board. They are:
  1. Call churches to be on mission.
  • Provide resources and services to churches and leaders.
  1. Train, develop, and encourage church and associational workers.
  2. Provide opportunities for working together in missions, ministry, growth, and evangelism.
  3. Establish and maintain appropriate communications and relationships with the community and the denomination.
  1. Prayer Team Leader. The Prayer Team Leader shall direct and promote the prayer focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  2. Women’s Mission and Ministry Team Leader. The Women’s Mission and Ministry Team Leader shall serve the churches of the association in Southern Baptist Convention mission education and promotion and Women’s Ministry under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  3. Worship Team Leader. The Worship Team Leader shall direct and promote the worship focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  4. Youth Team Leader. The Youth Team Leader shall direct and promote the youth and student ministry focus, involvement and encouragement of the Association under the supervision of the Executive Board.
  5. Associational Missionary.
      1. Upon election by the association, the Associational Missionary shall hold office for an indefinite period. This relationship may be terminated by giving a thirty day notice by the Associational Missionary or upon the recommendation of the Executive Board with three-fourths majority present and voting. The Associational Missionary shall be under the supervision of the Executive Committee of the Executive Board.
      2. The services of the Associational Missionary shall be offered free and without charge to the churches of the association. However the churches are free to express their appreciation to the Associational Missionary with suitable honorarium.
      1. The Association Missionary shall be an ex officio member of all associational committees.
      2. In consultation with the Personnel Committee, the Associational Missionary will be responsible for interviewing, hiring, and supervising of all personnel employed by the association. He shall be responsible for the supervision of the Transylvania Baptist Center.
    1. The Associational Missionary shall serve as representative for Baptist Children’s Homes, and any other denominational works the Association may desire. He shall promote the efforts of these ministries and report annually the results of these ministries to the Association.
    2. Calling an Associational Missionary. When it becomes necessary to fill the office of Associational Missionary, the Nominating Committee shall name a search committee of five (5) members for the approval of the Executive Board, whose purpose will be to fill this vacancy.  This committee shall bring one candidate at a time before the Executive Board for consideration, and no nomination shall be made except that of the special committee. Election shall be made by ballot, with an affirmative vote of three-fourths of those present and voting necessary for a call.

 

Article IV – Denominational Representatives

The association will elect annually representatives for the North Carolina Baptist Hospital, the North Carolina Baptist Children’s Homes, the North Carolina Baptist Homes for the Aging, and other such denominational works as the association may desire.

It shall be the duty of these representatives to call attention to and promote the ministry of these institutions in the area of the association and bring an annual report of these ministries to the annual meeting.

 

Article V – Finance/Stewardship

Section A.  The association will operate its financial program under a unified budget, and each church is invited and encouraged to contribute to the work on a monthly basis.

            Section B.  The Finance/Stewardship Committee will present a proposed budget for the coming calendar year to the Executive Board by the July meeting for discussion.  The Finance/Stewardship Committee will then present the proposed budget to the annual meeting for its adoption.

            Section C.  The financial year shall be January 1 – December 31.

            Section D.  When adopted by the association, the budget shall stand as authority for the payment for purposes specified.

            Section E.  For any special need the Finance/Stewardship Committee may make its report and recommendation to the Executive Board.  The Executive Board may then authorize the Finance/Stewardship Committee to proceed in obtaining the finances for these needs.

            Section F.  The Finance/Stewardship Committee will have a system for purchasing all items for the association.     Section G.  The Vice Moderator will serve as Chairman of the Finance/Stewardship Committee and will co-sign all checks.

            Section H.  The Finance/Stewardship Committee will oversee the associational budget, encouraging the churches to give to associational missions, increase their world mission program by increasing their gifts to the Cooperative Program and special missions offerings to the association, state missions offering, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. 

 

Article V – Visitors

Visitors, who are not members of the association may, on invitation by the body, participate in the debate of the association, without privilege to vote.

 

Article VI – Amendments

These Bylaws may be amended by an annual session of the association by two-thirds vote of messengers present and voting, provided the proposed amendment has been presented to the association at least one meeting prior to voting.