BY-LAWS OF THE WATSONTOWN BAPTIST CHURCH
Duties of Members
It is the duty of members of this church to willingly subscribe to the Articles of Faith for this church and to endeavor to meet the obligations set forth in our Church Covenant.
ARTICLE 2. The Pastorate
Section 1) CALLING A PASTOR. When a pastorate is vacant, the Diaconate shall appoint a Pastoral Search Committee to take the necessary steps to secure the names of prospective pastors, working in full consultation and cooperation with the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware. It shall request full information about the record and qualifications of those persons whose names are submitted and shall not recommend a pastor until such information is secured.When a suitable candidate for the pastor has been found, the candidate shall be recommended to the church for consideration. Only one candidate shall be presented to the church at a time. The call of a pastor shall be considered by the church at a regular called meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. A vote of three-fourths of the members present and qualified to vote shall be necessary to extend a call.
In the call which is extended to a pastor, there shall be stated: 1) the amount of salary, 2) the length of annual vacation which the church shall grant, 3) information regarding the free use of parsonage, 4 ) other benefits including the statement regarding full pension payment and car allowance, all which shall be clearly specified in writing.
Section 2) DUTIES OF A PASTOR : The pastor shall be the leader of the church in all its activities and shall preach the gospel, administer the ordinances, have charge of the stated services of public worship, and direct the spiritual welfare of the church. The pastor shall be available as a counselor to all members of the congregation and to any others that may need help. The pastor shall be a prayerful student of the Scriptures in knowledge and in daily practice. The pastor shall be expected to lead the church to reach beyond its own constituency in obedience to the command of the Lord. The pastor shall have supervision over the total program of the church and be an ex-officio member of all boards, committees and auxiliary organizations of the church. The pastor shall also lead the church in developing an effective program and a warm Christian fellowship. The pastor shall preside over all congregational business meetings. In the event of the Pastor’s absence, the Chairperson of the Diaconate Board shall preside.
Section 3) TERMINATION OF A PASTORATE. The term of office shall be without limit as to time, but the pastor or the church may terminate the pastorate upon a sixty day notice, or a shorter time by mutual consent. The termination of the office shall be voted at a regular called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. A vote of a majority of the members qualified and present to vote shall make valid termination of said office.
ARTICLE 3 Boards and Officers
Section 1) THE DIACONATE. There shall be a Diaconate Board comprised of 12 members which shall consist of the following: the Church Financial Secretary, the Treasurer, the Church Clerk, three members of the Department of Properties, three members of the Department of Spiritual Life and Nurture, and three members of the Department of Outreach and Missions.
- Shall oversee the spiritual and temporal matters of the church
- Shall assist the pastor in the work of ministry;
- Shall consider all applicants for church membership and requests for letters of dismissal; shall have authority to take action regarding membership transfers, erasures, and restorations on behalf of the congregation.
- Shall visit the sick, needy and distressed members and shall visit potential new members;
- Shall have charge over the Benevolence Fund for the disposition of funds for special needs;
- Shall assist in the administration of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism;
- Shall oversee the educational ministry and worship life of the church.
- Shall oversee all the buildings and properties.
Members of the Diaconate shall be elected to a three year term with the option of serving two consecutive terms. The Board shall elect a chairperson at the first meeting of the new year; they shall meet at least six times a year. A majority of the members (7) constitutes a quorum.
Section 2) Duties of the Departments and Officers of the Diaconate Board:
Financial Secretary: A Financial Secretary shall be elected to a three year term at the Organizational Business Meeting. It shall be the duty of this office…
- To furnish each member of the church a pledge card and envelopes for contribution to church expenses and benevolences;
- To keep a record of all contributions made;
- To collect all financial gifts contributed;
- To keep a correct account thereof between the church and its members.
Treasurer: A treasurer shall be elected at the Organizational Business Meeting to serve a three year term. He/she shall have the custody of the funds of the church and all deposits made in the name of the church, and all checks drawn by the treasurer shall be in the name of the church. The duty of this office is…
- To keep separate accounts of all funds raised or contributed for particular purposes, and no funds shall be disbursed by him/her except for the purposes for which they were raised or contributed.
- The treasurer shall have the custody of the investment securities and shall be empowered to make all transfers, purchases and contracts authorized by the church.
- Funds received for the support of the church, and for the reduction of the church indebtedness, shall be disbursed by the treasurer only on the order of the Board of Deacons.
- This office shall present to the church an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements, showing the actual financial condition of the church at the annual meeting.
- The annual financial report will be audited by auditors appointed by the Board of Deacons.
- There shall also be a financial report given at each Board of Deacons meeting describing the financial condition of the church.
- Other reports shall be made as desired by the church.
Church Clerk: A clerk shall be elected at the Organizational Business Meeting to serve a three year term. He or she shall…
- Keep a complete record of the transaction of all business at the meetings of the church, a copy of which shall be read for approval at the following business meeting;
- Keep a record of the names and addresses of members, with dates and manner of admission and dismissal;
- Keep a record of baptisms and a list of those suspended or erased;
- Shall notify all officers, committee members, and delegates of their election and/or appointment.
- Shall issue letters of dismissal and recommendation voted by the church.
- Shall preserve on file all communication and written reports.
- Shall have the responsibility for safe keeping of all historical records.
Immediately following the election of a successor, the Clerk shall deliver to the new Clerk all books and records for which he/she has been responsible.
Department of Properties: The three members of the Department of Properties shall be responsible for all matters pertaining to upkeep, repairs or improvement to any of the properties belonging to the church. They shall report to the rest of the Diaconate Board any action needed to repair, upkeep or improve the church properties.The Department of Properties may enlist others to serve on special committees designed for a specific improvement or project.
Department of Spiritual Life and Nurture: The three members of the Department of Spiritual Life and Nurture shall be responsible for the following:
- They shall oversee all worship needs including the enlisting of people for ushers, special services etc.
- They shall oversee the educational ministry of the church including the Sunday School, new members classes etc. They shall appoint a Sunday School Superintendent to oversee the Church School, including teacher training opportunities, curriculum concerns and special Sunday School programs.
- They shall present to the Diaconate plans for special services, Church School events, films, speakers etc.
- They shall make a schedule for the Lord’s Supper and enlist needed help during baptisms.
- They shall work closely with the choir and musicians in the music program.
- They shall enlist others to serve in special events and projects.
Department of Outreach and Missions: The three members of the Department of Outreach and Missions shall be responsible for the following:
- Oversee the missionary work of the church and work closely with American Baptist Women and their mission work.
- They shall enlist people to oversee social events and church fellowship dinners. This department will plan such events and enlist any needed help by working with other groups in the church (i.e. ABW, Young Adults, Church School classes, youth etc.);
- They shall oversee and enlist any needed help to assist in special needs including flower arrangements for worship, sickness or death, visitation planning for the sick, distressed and potentially new members. They shall work for the concern of the needy.
- They shall work on making plans with other groups in the church for church growth and evangelism and to be involved in long term planning.
Section 3) Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be composed of five members appointed by the Diaconate at least two months prior to the Annual Meeting. This committee shall prepare a list of vacant offices and shall seek suggestions and nominations to be made. Each nominee for an office shall be interviewed as to his or her willingness to serve if elected. The committee shall make its full report at least two weeks before the election is to be held.
Section 4) The Assistant Treasurer/Financial Secretary: This office is empowered by the church to perform either the duties of the Treasurer or the Financial Secretary in case of their disability or absence.
Section 5) The Sunday School Treasurer/Clerk: This office shall be responsible in the receiving and disbursing of all funds in the Church School. He or she…
- Shall work with the Sunday School Superintendent in the ordering of Church supplies and curriculum;
- Shall keep an accurate record of Sunday School offerings and attendance;
- Shall notify the church clerk of the Sunday School attendance figures annually.
ARTICLE IV. Representation
The church shall, at its Annual Meeting, elect two representatives to the meetings of the Northumberland Baptist Association, the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware, and the American Baptist Churches of the USA.