By the grace of God, our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ and our faith in Him, we, the members of Big Sky Baptist Church of Hamilton, Montana, being completely dependent on the guidance of God’s Word and direction of the Holy Spirit, in order to establish rules and procedures with which to administer this independent local New Testament Church, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and Bylaws to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
SECTION 1.01 – NAME This congregation of believers shall be known as Big Sky Baptist Church of Hamilton.
SECTION 1.02 – PURPOSE
(A) This congregation is organized as a church exclusively for charitable, religious, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Revenue Law), including, but not limited to, for such purposes, the establishing and maintaining of religious worship, the building, maintaining and operating of churches, parsonages, schools, chapels, radio stations, television stations, web sites and other forms of electronic media, rescue missions, print shops, day care centers, camps, nursing homes, and cemeteries, and any other ministries that the Church may be led of God to establish.
(B) The Church shall also ordain and license men to the Gospel ministry, evangelize the unsaved by the proclaiming of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ; educate believers in a manner consistent with the requirements of Holy Scripture, both in Sunday and weekday schools of Christian education; maintain missionary activities in the United States and any foreign country; and engage in any other ministry that the Church may decide from time to time, to pursue in obedience to the will of God.
(C) The specific and primary purpose of this corporation is the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, according to the Authorized King James Bible. The object of the church shall be the maintenance of public worship, the proclamation of the Gospel for the evangelization of the world, and the administration of the ordinances of the New Testament church for the edification of its members. The church now and in the future, shall not become officially connected with any convention or association of churches, but shall remain an independent, self-governing body which conducts its business in accordance with the Word of God. This church shall also now and in the future hold to and never depart from the Baptist Distinctives stated in Section 2.01 (U).
SECTION 2.01 – STATEMENT OF FAITH
The sixty-six books of the Authorized King James Bible contain the full and sole statement of faith of Big Sky Baptist Church of Hamilton.
The following comprise a brief set of some of the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
The following comprise a brief set of some of the Scriptural beliefs of this church and its members.
(A) The Holy Scriptures. We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible and God-breathed, and therefore are the sole and final authority for faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments (called Scriptures) are the complete and only written divine revelation of God to Man. The Scriptures shall be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning, and all issues of interpretation and meaning shall be determined by the pastor. The sixty-six books of the Authorized King James Bible shall be the official and only translation of the Scriptures used by the church. (IITim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21)
(B) Dispensationalism. We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life, which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not different ways of salvation, but rather are divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these dispensations – the law, the church, and the kingdom – are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture. (Gen. 1:28; I Cor. 9:17; II Cor. 3:9-18; Gal. 3:13-25; Eph. 1:10, 3:2-10, Col. 1:24-25, 27; Rev. 20:2-6)
(C) The Godhead. We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing as – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13-14; John 14:10, 26)
(D) The Nature and Work of Christ.
SECTION 2.02-AUTHORITY OF STATEMENT OF FAITH
The statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents some of the teachings of the Bible, and therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one local body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; to give it a sacred preeminence over all institutions of human origin; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure reconciliation without delay.
We moreover engage, that if we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and principles of God’s Word. In the event there is no such church, we shall seek, with the Lord’s help, to establish one.
SECTION 3.01-QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Upon a majority vote of the members present at any church service or meeting, membership shall be extended to all who have had and whose lives evidence a genuine experience of regeneration through faith in and acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior; who renounce sin; who endeavor to live a consecrated life wholly unto the Lord; who fully subscribe to the Statement of Faith contained herein; who enter into the Church Covenant contained herein; who agree to submit to the authority of the church and its leaders as set forth herein; and upon compliance with any one of the following conditions:
(A) By baptism (immersion) as a true believer in Christ Jesus as personal Savior;
(B) By letter of transfer from another Bible-believing church of like faith and practice, or other written statement of good standing from the prior church if the applicant has been baptized by immersion subsequent to a profession of faith;
(C) By testimony of faith, having been baptized by immersion; or
(D) By restoration, if having been removed from membership, upon majority vote of the congregation after confession is made publicly before the church membership or the board of deacons (as determined by the Pastor), of the sin or sins involved and satisfactorily evidencing repentance to the pastor (or the board of deacons if the office of Pastor is vacant).
SECTION 3.02-DUTIES OF A MEMBER
On becoming a member of this Church, in addition to the covenant contained in Article II, Section 2.03, each one further agrees to love, honor, and esteem the pastor, to pray for him; to recognize his authority in spiritual affairs of the church; to cherish a brotherly love for all members of the church; to support the church in prayer, tithes, offerings, and with other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with Biblical commands to support through a lifestyle, walk affirming the beliefs and practices of the church.
SECTION 3.03-PRIVILEGES OF MEMBERSHIP
(A) Only members at least eighteen years of age who are physically present at a duly called meeting of the church shall be entitled to vote. There shall be no proxy or absentee voting. The eligible membership of the church has certain limited areas to exercise a vote. Members may not vote to initiate any church action, but rather the vote of a member is to confirm and ratify the direction of the church as determined by the pastor and the board of directors.
(B) This congregation functions, not as a pure democracy, but as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction of the pastor as the under-shepherd with the counsel of the board of directors. Determination of the internal affairs of this church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the church’s own rules and procedures. The pastor shall oversee and/or conduct all aspects of this church. The board of directors shall give counsel and assistance to the pastor.
(C) Membership in this church does not afford the members with any property, contractual, or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Although the general public is invited to all of the church’s worship services, the church property remains private property. The pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the board of directors) has the authority to suspend or revoke the right of any person, including a member, to enter or remain on church property. If after being notified of such a suspension or revocation, the person enters or remains on the church property, the person may, at the discretion of the pastor (or in his absence, an individual designated by the board of directors), be treated as a trespasser.
(D) A member, upon five-business days prior with written request made upon the church, may inspect or copy the prepared financial statements of the church, the minutes of the proceedings of the church meetings, and the minutes of the proceedings of board meetings.
SECTION 3.04-DISCIPLINE OF A MEMBER
(A)There shall be a discipline committee consisting of the pastor and the board of directors. These men shall have sole authority in determining heretical deviations from the Statement of Faith and violations of the Church Covenant. If the pastor or a deacon is the subject of a disciplinary matter, he shall not sit as member of the discipline committee. The pastor and deacons shall be entitled to the same steps as other church members and be subject to the same discipline.
(B) Members are expected to demonstrate special loyalty and concern for one another. When a member becomes aware of an offense of such magnitude that it hinders spiritual growth and testimony, he/she is to go alone to the offending party and seek to restore their brother or sister. Before he/she goes, he/she should first examine themselves. When he/she goes, he/she should go with a spirit of humility and have the goal of restoration.
(C) If reconciliation is not reached, a second member, either a deacon or the pastor is to accompany the one seeking to resolve the matter. The second step should also be preceded by self-examination and exercised in a spirit of humility with the goal of restoration.
(D) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, the discipline committee, as the church representatives Biblically responsible for putting down murmuring, shall hear the matter. If the matter is not resolved during the hearing before the discipline committee, the committee shall recommend to the members of the church that they, after self-examination, make an effort personally to go to the offending member and seek the member’s restoration.
(E) If the matter is still unresolved after the steps outlined in subsections (B), (C), and (D) have been taken, such members who refuse to repent and be restored are to be removed from the membership of the church upon a majority vote of the membership present at a meeting called for the purpose of considering disciplinary action.
(F) No matter may be heard by the discipline committee or the church unless the steps outlined in subsections (B) and (C) have been taken, except in the case of a public offense.
(G) If an unrepentant offending party is removed from the church membership, all contact with him from that point forward (except by family members) must be for the sake of restoration.
(H) The procedures provided in this section are based on Matt. 18:15-20; Rom. 16:17-18; I Cor. 5:1-13; II Cor. 2:1-11; Gal. 6:1; I Thes. 5:14; II Thes. 3:6, 10-15; I Tim. 5:19-20; and Titus 3:10-11.
SECTION 3.05-TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP
Members, not under the disciplining process of Section 3.04, may request that letters of transfer be sent to another church.
SECTION 3.06-TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
(A) The membership of any individual member shall be automatically terminated without notice if the member in question has not attended a regular worship service of the church during a period of three months. Upon good cause being shown to the pastor, this provision for termination may be waived in the case of any individual member at the discretion of the pastor.
(B) If any member unites in membership with another church, that person is automatically terminated without notice from membership in this church.
(C) A member may resign at any time, but no letter of transfer or written statement of good standing will be issued upon or subsequent to such resignation, except at the discretion of the pastor.
SECTION 4.01-CHURCH OFFICERS
The church officers are pastor (Section 5.01), deacon (Section 5.02), minister of records (Section 5.03), minister of finance (Section 5.04). One person may hold two or more offices, except that of pastor. The pastor, from time to time as he deems appropriate, may appoint other church officers, subject to a confirmation vote of the church membership.
SECTION 4.02-DESIGNATION OF CORPORATE OFFICERS
As an accommodation to legal relationships outside the church, the pastor shall serve as president of the corporation; the minister of records shall serve as secretary of the corporation; the minister of finances shall serve as treasurer of the corporation; and the chairman of the board of deacons shall serve as vice president of the corporation.
SECTION 4.03-ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICE
(A) The Pastor. Because the Bible commands Christians to walk worthy of the vocation to which God has called them (Eph. 4:1) and compliments a man desiring the office of a bishop as one who desires a good work (I Tim. 3:1), the pastor must, in addition to his adherence to the Statement of Faith as provided in Article 2 and the qualifications for and duties of membership as provided in Sections 3.01 and 3.02, conduct his personal and professional life according to the following Biblical Standards:
SECTION 4.04-TERMS OF OFFICE
(A) The relationship between the pastor and the church shall be permanent unless dissolved at the option of either party by the giving of a month’s notice, or less by mutual consent. The calling of a pastor or a severance of the relationship between the pastor and the church may be considered at any regular church administration meeting, provided notice to that effect shall have been given from the pulpit to the church two Sundays prior to said regular church administration meeting. A three-fourths majority of the eligible members present and voting shall be required to call a pastor or to sever the relationship between the pastor and the church. Disciplinary removal of the pastor from office automatically terminates his membership.
(B) The term of service for all offices and positions in the church, except the pastor, shall be one year, at the expiration of which they may be re-elected or re-appointed.
(C) A vacancy occurring in any office or board, except in the case of the pastor, may be filled at any regular church administration meeting.
(D) All elected and appointed officers shall serve in their respective offices until their successors are duly elected or appointed.
(E) Members of the board of deacons or directors may be removed from office for unscriptural conduct, upon a majority vote of the remaining members of the respective board.
SECTION 4.05-ELECTION OF OFFICERS:
The annual election of officers (excluding the Pastor) by the church membership shall occur during the church administration meeting in the month of January.
SECTION 4.06-CONGREGATIONAL VOTING PROCEDURES
(A) The system of voting shall be open public response by a 2/3 majority show of hands in support or opposition of any proposal and voicing of the scriptural endorsement of “Amen”.
(B) Ballot or closed voting will be used only for the protection of names suggested for office or where public embarrassment may be possible.
(C) The pastor and deacons will make recommendations and the church will approve or disapprove by vote. During the business meeting the congregation may have opportunity to make suggestions of business for consideration.
(D) A quorum will consist of the active eligible members present at that meeting.
(E) Eligible voters are represented by those 18 years of age and older who are listed as active members.
(F) No voting action or recommendation of action shall take place outside of the context of pastor, deacon, and/or church body. No secret meetings shall be held; no vote shall be considered outside this approved method of practice.
(G) Business meetings are called to present church business, promote new business, and discuss the possible options and opinions of the church.
SECTION 4.07-PASTORAL OVERSIGHT OF OFFICERS AND STAFF
(A) Subject to the condition that they shall become a member of the church upon assuming their duties, the pastor may hire associates and assistants and staff to assist the pastor in carrying out his God-given responsibilities.
(B) All church staff, whether paid or volunteer, shall be under the supervision of the pastor who has the sole authority to hire, appoint, or dismiss the same. The church shall not hire, appoint, or retain any employee or volunteer who fails to adhere to or expresses disagreement with the Statement of Faith.
Section 5.01-THE PASTOR
(A) The pastor shall preach the Gospel regularly and shall be at liberty to preach the whole counsel of the Word of God as the Lord leads him. He shall administer the ordinances of the church, act as moderator at all church and board meetings for the transaction of church matters, supervise the teaching ministries of the church, and tenderly watch over the spiritual interests of the membership.
(B) The pastor shall appoint various committees as needed. He shall serve as the president of the corporation. He shall publicly inform all newly elected officers of the particular function and the responsibilities of their respective offices. He shall extend the right hand of fellowship to all new members on behalf of the church and perform such other duties as generally appertain to such a position. The pastor shall be free to choose the means and methods by which he exercises the ministry that God has given him.
(C) All appointments for public worship and Bible study and the arrangements thereof including time and place and the use of the property belonging to the church for purposes other than the stated appointments shall be under the control of the pastor.
SECTION 5.02-THE BOARD OF DEACONS
(A) The board of deacons shall assist the pastor, in such manner as he shall request, in promoting the spiritual welfare of the church, in conducting the religious services, and in performing all other work of the church. They shall make provision for the observance of the ordinances of the church. They shall, if requested by the pastor, consider applications for church membership. They shall, in cooperation with the pastor, disburse the benevolence fund. They shall assist the pastor in visitation and all other evangelistic efforts of the church. The board of deacons shall assist the pastor in caring for the administrative needs of the church’s various ministries as requested by the pastor. They shall provide the pulpit supply and choose a moderator for church meetings if the pastor is unavailable or the office of pastor is vacant. Upon the death, resignation, or dismissal of the pastor, the board of deacons shall appoint a pulpit committee.
(B) Immediately following the annual church administration meeting, the board of deacons shall assemble and elect, from their own number, a chairman, who shall be vice president of the corporation, a vice chairman, a secretary, and a treasurer.
(C) The board of deacons shall constitute the board of directors. In the event there are no deacons, or an insufficient number of deacons, officers may be elected from the eligible membership of the church.
(D) The board of deacons shall constitute the board of trustees of the corporation. The board of trustees shall exercise only the following specific powers:
SECTION 5.03-THE MINISTER OF RECORDS
The minister of records shall:
(A) Certify and keep at the office of the church, the original constitution and bylaws or a copy, including all amendments or alternatives to that document.
(B) Keep at the place where the bylaws or a copy are kept, a record of the proceedings of meetings of the board of deacons and/or board of directors, with the time and place of holding, the notice of meeting given, the names of these present at the meetings.
(B) Keep at the place where the bylaws or a copy are kept, a record of the proceedings of meetings of the board of deacons and/or board of directors, with the time and place of holding, the notice of meeting given, the names of these present at the meetings.
(C) Sign, certify, or attest documents as may be required by law.
(D) See that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and bylaws. In case of the absence or disability of the secretary, or his refusal or neglect to act, notice may be given and served by the pastor, or by the chairman of the board of deacons.
(E) Be custodian of the records of the church, including the membership roll, baptisms, and certificates of ordination, licenses and commissions.
(F) See that the reports, statements, certificates, and all other documents and records required by law are properly kept and filed.
(G) Exhibit at all reasonable times to proper persons on terms provided by law the constitution and bylaws and minutes of proceedings of the boards or the minutes of the meetings of the church members.
(H) Keep an account of any special events in the life of the church which are of historical interest and give a report at the annual church administration meeting of the status of the church membership roll in the past year.
(I) Keep all records at the office of the church and deliver them to any successor upon leaving office.
(J) Serve as the secretary of the corporation.
SECTION 5.04-THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
The minister of finance shall:
(A) Have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, (even though he may delegate tasks) all funds of the Corporation, and deposit all funds in the name of the church in banks, trust companies, or other depositories as shall be selected by the pastor or the board of directors.
(B) Receive, and give receipt for all contributions, gifts, and donations to the church.
(C) Disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the church as may be directed by the pastor, the board of deacons, or the budget adopted by the members of the church at the annual church administration meeting, taking proper vouchers for the disbursements.
(D) Keep and maintain adequate and correct accounts of the church’s properties and business transactions including account of its assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, and capital.
(E) Make all expenditures of the church (except miscellaneous petty cash disbursements) by check.
(F) When and as requested, render to the pastor and the board of deacons accounts of all his transactions as minister of finance and of the financial condition of the church.
(G) Present a written report of itemized disbursements at each meeting of the board of directors and make a general report for the year at the annual church administration meeting.
(H) Keep all church financial records at the office of the church and deliver them to any successor upon leaving office.
(I) Serve as treasurer of the corporation.
SECTION 5.05-ASSISTANT AND ASSOCIATE PASTORS
Under the direction and guidance of the pastor, the assistant and associate pastors of the church shall assist the pastor in carrying out the ministries of the church.
SECTION 5.06-DUTIES OF ALL OFFICERS
(A) All officers shall prepare a written report of their work for the annual administration meeting and shall surrender any records in their possession to the minister of records at the close of the term of office to be filed as a permanent record of the work of the church. All records are the property of the church and must be kept in the church office.
(B) Any officer who neglects his duties as outlined in the constitution and bylaws for a period of two months may be removed from his office at the discretion of the pastor and another may be appointed by the pastor to serve the unexpired term.
SECTION 6.01-MEETINGS FOR WORSHIP
Unless otherwise determined by the pastor, the church shall meet each Sunday for public worship both morning and evening and at least once during the week for Bible study and prayer.
SECTION 6.02-MEETINGS FOR CHURCH ADMINISTRATION
(A) The annual church administration meeting shall be held on the last Wednesday evening of January, at which time the regular church administration shall be considered. A quorum shall consist of the members present, that are eligible to vote.
(B) All church administration meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer for divine guidance and blessing.
(C) The moderator shall determine the rules of procedure according to his sense of fairness and common sense, giving all members a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a matter. The moderator is the final authority on questions of procedure, and his decision is final and controlling. The following order shall act only as a guideline at the regular church administration meetings:
SECTION 6.03-SPECIAL MEETINGS
(A) The pastor (or deacons if the office of pastor is vacant or the pastor is the subject of possible disciplinary action) may call a special meeting by giving notice of such a meeting and the purpose for which it is called to the church from the pulpit at least one Sunday and not less than one week prior to said meeting. A meeting for the calling of a pastor or the severance of the relationship between the church and pastor shall be called in accordance with the provision of Section 4.04(A)
(B) Bible conferences, missionary conferences, revivals and other like meetings may be held as the pastor deems beneficial.
SECTION 6.04-FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the church shall begin January 1st and end December 31st.
SECTION 7.01-ORDINATION QUALIFICATIONS
Any member of this Church or its mission churches (one not on its own yet), who gives evidence of a general call of God into the work of the ministry and possesses the qualifications stated in II Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, and upon proper approval may be ordained as a minister of the Gospel.
SECTION 7.02-ORDINATION PROCEDURE
(A) Upon a conference with the pastor and after the pastor has approved the candidate for ordination, the pastor shall call a council to examine and pass on the qualification of the candidate. The ordination council shall consist of three (3) or more ordained men of like faith to participate in the examination of the candidate.
(B) If the candidate is found worthy of the ordination by the council, the ordination council will recommend that the church ordain the candidate.
(C) The pastor and the chairman of the deacons shall arrange for the ordination service.
SECTION 7.03-COMMISSIONING PROCEDURE TO SEND OUT
(A) The commissioning of ordained ministers from the membership displaying a particular calling upon their ministry is provided for the purpose of duly empowering said representative with the authority and support of the church.
(B) The commissioning is an official recognition of said missionary, evangelist or pastor as an outreach ministry of Big Sky Baptist Church under the same obligation of any other acting agent of said ministry.
(C) The Commissioning Service unites the church family and the minister’s family in union of purpose and commitment, entitling the ministering family to rights and privileges afforded the members and officers of said church, until such time at which they become fully independent.
SECTION 8.01-ACTIONS SUBJECT TO INDEMNIFICATION
The church may indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any threatened, pending or completed action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative, including all appeals (other than an action by or in the right of the church) by reason of the fact that the person is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the church, against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, judgments, fines, and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred by him in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding; and if that person acted in good faith and in a manner he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or on a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) or its equivalent, shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner that he reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the church and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe that his or her conduct was unlawful.
SECTION 8.02-EXPENSES SUBJECT TO INDEMNIFICATION
To the extent that a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent has been successful on the merits or otherwise in defense of any action, suit, or proceeding referred to in this Article, or in defense of any claim, issue, or matter in that action, suit, or proceeding, he or she may be indemnified against expenses, including attorneys’ fees, actually and reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with the action, suit, or proceeding.
SECTION 8.03-LIMITATIONS OF INDEMNIFICATION
(Any indemnification made under this Article, may be made by the church only as authorized in the specific case on a determination that indemnification of the pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent is proper in the circumstances because he has met the applicable standard of conduct set forth in section 1 of this Article. The determination shall be made (a) by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of the pastor and deacons who were not and are not parties to or threatened with the action, suit, or proceeding; (b) if the described quorum is not obtainable or if a majority vote of a quorum of disinterested deacons so directs, by independent legal counsel in a written opinion; or (c) by a majority vote of the members of the church.
SECTION 8.04-TIMING OF INDEMNIFICATION
Expenses of each person seeking indemnification under this Article, may be paid by the church as they are incurred, in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit, or proceeding, as authorized by the board of deacons in the specific case, on receipt of an undertaking by or on behalf of the pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent to repay the amount if it is ultimately determined that he or she is not qualified to be indemnified by the church.
SECTION 8.05-EXTENT OF INDEMNIFICATION
The indemnification provided by this Article shall be deemed to be discretionary unless otherwise required as a matter of law or under any agreement or provided by insurance purchased by the church, both as to action of each person seeking indemnification under this Article in his official capacity and as to action in another capacity while holding that office, and may continue as to a person who has ceased to be a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent and may inure to the benefit of the heirs, executors, and administrators of that person.
The church may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a pastor, deacon, officer, employee, or agent of the church against any liability asserted against him and incurred by him in that capacity, or arising out of his status in that capacity, whether or not the church would have the power to indemnify him against liability under the provisions of this Article.
SECTION 9.01-STANDING COMMITTEES
The pastor (or the board of deacons if the office of pastor is vacant) shall appoint standing committees and designate a chairperson for each standing committee, and except when otherwise specifically provided in these bylaws, shall determine the membership of each standing committee. In addition to the discipline committee, the pastor may appoint other standing committees as he deems appropriate.
SECTION 9.02-SPECIAL COMMITTEES
The board of deacons, in its discretion, and with the approval of the Pastor, unless that office is vacant, may create special committees to provide the board with advice and information regarding matters submitted to the committee by the board for consideration. The committee shall have no authority to act on behalf of the corporation. The members of the committee shall be chosen by a majority vote of the board of deacons and shall serve solely at the pleasure of the board of deacons. The special committee shall be subject to the control and direction of the board of deacons at all times. These committees shall be dissolved as soon as they are no longer needed.
From time to time the church, in the exercise of its religious, educational, and charitable purposes, may establish various funds to accomplish specific goals. Contributors may suggest uses for their contributions but all suggestions shall be deemed advisory rather than mandatory in nature. All contributions made to specific funds or otherwise designated shall remain subject to the exclusive control and discretion of the pastor or in his absence the board of directors. No fiduciary obligation shall be created by any designated contribution made to the church other than to use the contribution for the general furtherance of any of the purposes stated in Section 1.02.
SECTION 11.01-SUBMISSION TO ARBITRATION
Believing that lawsuits between believers are prohibited by Scripture, all members of this church agree to submit to binding arbitration on any matters which cannot otherwise be resolved, and expressly waive any and all rights in law and equity to bringing any civil disagreements before a court of law, except that judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.
SECTION 11.02-NOTICE OF ARBITRATION
In the event of any dispute, claim, question, or disagreement arising out of or relating to this constitution and bylaws or any other church matter, the parties shall use their best efforts to settle such disputes, claims, questions, or disagreement as befits Christians. To this effect, they shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith, and recognizing their mutual interests not to disgrace the name of Christ, seek to reach a just and equitable solution. If they do not reach such solution with a period of sixty (60) days, then upon notice by either party to the other, disputes, claims, questions, or differences shall be fully settled by arbitration as described in section 12.01, above, and such Procedures for Arbitration as are adopted pursuant to Section 12.04 below.
11.03-LIMITATIONS ON ARBITRATION DECISIONS
(A) Should any dispute involve matters of church discipline, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures for church discipline as outlined under Section 3.04, were followed.
(B) Should any dispute involve the removal from office of the pastor or any church officer, the arbitrators shall be limited to determining whether the procedures set forth in Section 3.04 were followed.
SECTION 11.04-ARBITRATION PROCEDURES
The Procedures for Arbitration shall be as follows: The disputing parties shall appear before an arbitration board, consisting of the pastor as head and at least 3 deacons who are not related to any of the parties. The chairman of deacon’s board shall replace the pastor if he is involved in the dispute.
SECTION 12.01-JOINING THE CHURCH
Church membership is not open. We reserve the right to say who may join. People wishing to join must agree to the constitution and bylaws. In order to join a person must be saved and baptized according to Scripture.
SECTION 12.02-JOINING OF AND ATTENDING OF MEETINGS, FUNCTIONS AND GROUPS
The joining of or attending of meetings, functions, and groups is not open. We reserve the right to say who may join or attend.
SECTION 12.03-CONDUCT AT ALL CHURCH RELATED ACTIVITIES
Conduct at all church related activities must be conducted in an appropriate manner, according to Biblical, moral laws and decency. This includes personal conversations (language), modesty and interactions with other persons.
SECTION 12.04-VISITORS TO CHURCH
All visitors are welcome, and all will be treated equally under the constitution and bylaws of Big Sky Baptist Church.
SECTION 12.05-OWNERSHIP OF RECORDED SERMONS, TALKS, MEDIA
All recorded sermons, talks, and media are the sole property of the Pastor and not the church.
We believe marriage was ordained by God as one male and one female becoming one flesh. We believe it was God’s design that a man and woman enter into the marriage union for life. Therefore, the church will not perform a same sex marriage. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; Rom. 7:2; Eph. 5:22-32).
SECTION 13.02-MARITAL AND INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
We believe God has provided for intimate and sexual relations between man and woman within the covenant of marriage; sexual relationships outside the bonds of marriage, including homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, adultery, fornication, pedophilia, among other alluded to in God’s Word, are a sin. We believe acts that defile God’s human creation, such as gender modification, through medical procedures or by appearance, and participation in the sexual degradation of others through pornography, are attacks against the family unit, are against the will of God, and are sins (Gen. 2:24; 19:5, 13; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:18-32; I Cor. 6:6-10; 7:3-5; Heb. 13:4; Eph. 5:3-5; I Thes.4:8).
SECTION 13.03-SANCTITY OF LIFE
We believe in the sanctity of human life. We believe human life begins at conception, and from conception through the elderly adult years life should be respected as a creation of God. We believe abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, suicide, assisted suicide, and other similar actions are acts of murder, and therefore against the will of God (Gen. 1:27; Ex. 20:13; Lev. 19:32; Job 12:12; Psalm 139:113-114; Is. 44:2, 24; Jer. 1:5; Rom. 9:20-22; I Tim. 5:1-2).
We believe children are a blessing from God and are to be taught spiritual and moral values by their parents, who are to rear them with loving discipline, following the example and instruction of our Lord (Deut. 6:6-7; Psalm 78:4-7; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4).
These bylaws may be revised or amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present and voting at any regular church administration meeting, provided that said revision or amendment has been submitted in writing and announced from the pulpit fourteen (14) days before the vote is taken.
These bylaws were adopted by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present and voting at a duly called meeting of the church in which a quorum was present.
These bylaws supersede any other bylaws of Big Sky Baptist Church of Hamilton.