Here is the full proposed bylaws revision. We will discuss this document in our August 13 members’ meeting at 9:45 am.
1. The Church
This congregation shall be known as Mambrino Baptist Church. The church’s property is located at 1625 Mambrino Highway, Granbury, Texas.
Mambrino Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers in Jesus Christ who take the Bible alone as the standard by which all matters of belief and conduct are to be decided. We believe the Bible, consisting of the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books that comprise the Canon of Sacred Scripture, is the completed and final revelation of divine truth. We believe every word of the original writings of the Sacred Scripture is inspired by God and that the Bible is, therefore, our inerrant and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. If any point of these Bylaws is found to be inconsistent or contrary to the Bible that point of Bylaws is null and void.
1.1. Purpose of the Church
Mambrino Baptist Church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and love their neighbors.
Our purpose is derived from the Great Confession in Matthew 16:13-20, the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, and the Great Commandment in Matthew 22:37-40.
Mambrino Baptist Church is an autonomous body subject to the Lordship of Christ, under the authority of Scripture, led by its elders, and accountable to the congregation. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who may be members, elders, and deacons of this church and the conditions of such membership in accordance with Scripture.
1.3. Core Values of the Church
We cherish the value of God above the recognized worth of every person, institution, and thing (Philippians 3:8, Deuteronomy 4:39, Romans 11:33-36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:4-6).
- The Authority of Scripture
We cherish God’s Word written and seek to live every aspect of our lives in accord with the whole counsel of God’s authoritative, inerrant, infallible, and sufficient word (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 3:15-16).
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ
We cherish the good news that God himself has come to rescue, reconcile, and renew his creation through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Colossians 1:15-23).
We cherish prayer as God’s ordained form of continued communication through which we confess our sins, offer praise and thanksgiving to God, become aligned with God’s will, petition our heavenly Father, and are guided by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15-17 & 26-27, Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We cherish biblical evangelism and discipleship as the only way individuals can be reconciled to God (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:14-15, Acts 1:8, John 14:6).
We cherish unity that is expressed in a passionate concern for one another as well as for our neighbors (1 Corinthians 12:4-26, Hebrews 10:23-25, Luke 10:25-37).
1.4. Statement of Faith
This church will have a statement of faith for the purpose of teaching and uniting the people of God with the Word of God. Our statement of faith, known as the New Hampshire Baptist Statement, can be found in appendix 1 of this document.
The number and extent of such meetings are to be determined by the congregation or its elders. The congregation may vote on any particular issue only at a properly called meeting of the membership where a quorum is present.
Mambrino Baptist Church will conduct the following Congregational Meetings under the oversight of its elders:
Regular Congregational Meetings
The Church shall meet regularly on Sundays for the worship of Almighty God and the building up of one another.
- Quarterly Members’ Meetings
Church members’ meetings shall be held on the second Sundays of February, May, August, and November. The time of each meeting will be determined by the elders to best suit the members. The purpose of these meetings is to prayerfully renew the membership covenant, prayerfully receive and release members, and prayerfully review ministries.
Special members’ meetings may be called as required by the elders, or at the written request, submitted to the elders, of five percent of the membership. The date, time, and purpose of any special meeting shall be announced at all public services of the church within two weeks preceding the meeting. In the event of a written request from the members, the elders shall call a special meeting to be held within one month of their receipt of the request.
An elder designated by the elders shall preside as moderator at all members’ meetings of the church.
- Changes and/or Cancellations
Changes to the time or place for a Regular Congregational Meeting will require a two-thirds (2/3) approval vote taken during any members’ meeting. Changes to the time and place or cancellation of any Congregational Meeting during a situation that could pose a dangerous or emergency situation for the congregation may be made by the elders without an approval vote of the congregation. In such a situation all reasonable efforts shall be taken to advise the congregation of such action in a reasonable and timely manner.
Eighteen members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
All meetings shall be held on church property.
The government of this church is vested in the members of Mambrino Baptist Church. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body. This church will, as it chooses, cooperate with and contribute financially to its local Baptist Association, Texas State Conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Qualifications for Membership
To qualify for membership in this church, a person must be a believer in Jesus Christ who gives evidence of regeneration, has been baptized following his or her regeneration, and continues in gospel repentance and faith. Each member must be in friendly agreement with the teaching of Scripture as expressed in the Statement of Faith and must promise to keep the commitments expressed in the Church Covenant. The elders shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualification for membership and presenting those candidates to the church. In making this determination, the elders may rely on a person’s profession of faith, or such other evidence, as the elders deem appropriate.
- Expectation of Membership
Every member is expected to continually grow in Christlikeness through repentance and faith, humbly protect the unity of the church, exercise their gift for the good of the church, support the church, and not forsake the weekly gathering of the church. According to 1 Corinthians 12:7 each believer has been given the manifestation of the Spirit for the good of others. Each member, therefore, will strive to make a gospel difference in the lives of others.
- Church Membership Covenant
As we trust we have been brought by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ and by the influence of his Spirit to give ourselves up to him; so, we do now solemnly covenant with each other:
That, God, enabling us we will walk together in brotherly love.
That, we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully build up, encourage, rebuke, admonish, and discipline one another as the case shall require.
That we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor omit the great duty of prayer, both for ourselves and for others.
That, we will participate in each others joys and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each others burdens and sorrows.
That, we will earnestly endeavor to bring up such as may be under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
That we will seek Divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectfully and watchfully in the world, denying ungodliness and every worldly lust.
That we will strive together for the support both temporally and spiritually for a faithful evangelical ministry among us.
That we will endeavor by example and effort to win souls to Christ,
And through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light,
And may the Great Head of the church enable us to keep and perform this solemn covenant. Amen.
- Acceptance into Membership
- Universal and Local Church
We believe that having been regenerated by the Spirit and receiving Christ as Savior through repentance and faith makes one a member of the universal Church, the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). However, in order to be admitted into the fellowship of a local assembly, we must understand and affirm that we are related to each other by covenant and responsibility, and as such we should hold to common beliefs and vision concerning the Word of God and the purpose of His church.
New members shall participate in a church membership class as determined by the elders.
- Application for Membership
Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in Mambrino Baptist Church. All such candidates are to be presented to the church at any congregational meeting/service of the church. Membership may be granted in any of the following ways:
- Baptism; By repentance toward God and profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord followed by Believer’s baptism by immersion.
- Transfer of Membership; By letter in hand or the promise of a letter of recommendation from another Evangelical Church of like faith and order.
- Members dismissed by the Church shall be restored to full membership privileges according to the spirit of 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 when their conduct is judged by the elders to be in accordance with biblical repentance, The Statement of Faith, and The Church Membership Covenant.
A two-thirds (2/3) vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership.
NOTE: Should there be any dissent as to the validity of the application of any candidate for membership, such dissent shall be referred to the elders for resolution. This dissent shall be in writing with the reason(s) for the dissent clearly presented. The resolution, determined by the elders, shall be presented to the church within thirty (30) days of their decision.
Every member of this church is entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to the church for a vote. The voting member must be present at said meeting unless the congregation has made provision for the use of absentee balloting. A vote of a majority of the members in attendance shall be an act of the membership unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of its members in attendance shall be required for the Church to take the following actions: dissolution of the corporation, merger or consolidation with another corporation, sale of substantially all of the corporation’s assets, and amendment to the corporation’s Certificate of Formation or its Bylaws.
The church will engage one another in the biblical process of church discipline in order to restore the individual(s) and collectively pursue a life of holiness. Disciplinary action in response to ongoing rebellion is part of God’s loving and redemptive pursuit of his children. Redemption through Christ, rather than punishment with the law, is to be the guideline that governs the attitude of all members toward each other. The elders and members of the congregation stand ready and available to assist any member as the need arises. Counseling and guidance are some of the services that will be provided to any person desiring such assistance. Any such disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted in a spirit of Christian love, kindness, and forbearance.
Process of Discipline
- In all cases of a divisive attitude, personal difficulty between members of the church, or immoral behavior, the parties involved shall endeavor to bring about reconciliation in the manner laid down by our Savior and recorded in Matthew 5:23-24 and 18:15-17.
- In every instance of sin or offense, the members involved will endeavor to reconcile with one another as quickly as possible. The first step in discipline is going to a brother or sister, one-on-one, in order to clarify what has happened and seek gospel reconciliation. When the sin involves a person of the opposite sex it is recommended to take one’s spouse or an elder in order to avoid all appearances of evil or misconduct.
- If the members refuse to acknowledge the offense or seek forgiveness, the elders need to be contacted in order to help determine the next step. Should the investigation result in favor of the accused, the elders shall make no report to the church. If, however, the elders determine it is necessary to continue with church discipline, then the member will be contacted and the matter will be discussed with at least one elder and the two members involved in the offense. Should the member refuse to meet, the elders can take the next step and tell the matter to the church. Should the member repent and reconcile, then no further disciplinary action will be necessary. Continued discipleship, encouragement, and counselling must be considered.
- In every case in which a member is charged with an offense that would subject he or she to expulsion, the elders shall invite such a one to meet them and hear the charges and offer such explanations and evidences as may be desired. If afterwards the elders determine by three quarters (3/4) majority vote that the sin pattern of essential moral and/or biblical failure occurred the elders will then prayerfully plead with the member to repent. If the member repents no further action will be taken.
- If the member will still not repent then the member subject to termination will be notified in writing and the elders will call a special meeting of the membership. The matter will be told to the church and it will be recommended that the church carry out the biblical admonitions to bring about repentance and restoration of the disciplined member.
- If the member chooses to remain in sin after the special meeting of the membership and if the finding is that the welfare of the church will best be served by the exclusion of the member the church shall take such action based on a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at a congregational meeting scheduled for this purpose.
- Process of Restoration
- If church membership has been terminated due to church discipline the affected individual may be reinstated as a member of Mambrino Baptist Church when he or she has presented evidence of repentance and reformation and has demonstrated that such repentance and reformation has occurred for a period determined by the elders of the church. Reinstatement will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all voting members present at a congregational meeting scheduled for the purpose of reinstatement.
- If an officer or staff member of the church is determined to have failed in his/her responsibility to the congregation or has failed to maintain the qualification of the office or staff position he/she holds, then the congregation is to follow the above guidelines as it implements its responsibility of church discipline.
- Termination of Membership
The hope of the congregation is that no member will be removed, however if such a condition does arise then membership in Mambrino Baptist Church may be terminated for any of the following reasons:
- Letter of recommendation, transferred upon request, to another church of like faith
- Request for membership termination by the specific individual, unless under church discipline
- Dismissal of a member by church discipline action.
- Inactivity with this church. Any member who is consistently absent from the gatherings of the church, or who otherwise demonstrates a lack of commitment to keeping the church covenant shall be contacted by the elders and requested to re-evaluate his/her commitment to the church. Any member who fails to respond to the efforts of the elders to renew his/her covenant commitment to the church, or who fails to respond to correspondence directed to him at his last known address, shall be removed from the roll of membership. Those providentially hindered due to health or temporary career reasons are excluded.
- Any member moving from the area shall be released from membership after a period of four months unless extenuating circumstances have kept the member from joining a local church. The elders will make every effort to recommend a faithful church for the member to join.
- Two leadership offices of the church
According to the New Testament, we recognize the offices of elder or pastor and deacon.
- Office of Elder, Overseer, or Pastor
The terms elder, overseer, and pastor are used interchangeably. While the elders serve in various ways according to gifting and availability, they share equally in the authority of the office. While giving equal honor to all the elders, some of the elders may receive financial support.
The elders shall be comprised of those men who desire the office, are called and gifted by God for the office, and are set apart by the church for the office. Elders must meet the qualifications for the office set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Each must also be a giving and serving member of the church with proven ability to teach and make disciples (1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 4:2).
- The elders shall, first and foremost, devote their time to prayer and the ministry of the Word by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine and practice, and by shepherding God’s flock. (Acts 6:2, 4)
- The elders shall take particular responsibility to examine and instruct prospective members and recommend to the congregation those who fulfill the expectations for membership. (Titus 1:9)
- The elders must examine and recommend to the congregation all prospective candidates for offices and ministerial/administrative positions. (Acts 6:2-6; Titus 1:9-11)
- The elders shall examine and discern the need for and recommend to the congregation the creation and dissolution of all teams.
- The elders shall oversee the work of the deacons and appointed teams and agents of the church. (Acts 6:5)
- The elders shall administer/oversee the ordinances of baptism and communion.
- The elders shall gently but firmly admonish and correct those in error, aiding and overseeing the process of church discipline as necessary. (Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1; Titus 1:9-11)
- The elders shall coordinate and promote the ministries of the church, ensuring a balance between edification of the saints and evangelizing the lost, being mindful of the Kingdom’s work both locally and globally. (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Timothy 4:5)
- The elders shall ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation are properly qualified and scripturally sound. (1 Thess. 3:9, 5:22; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:9-11; James 3:1)
- The elders shall ensure that all song leaders, as well as all songs sung in our services, are God-honoring and edifying to the body. (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:9-11)
- The elders shall appoint the Moderator for all Members’ Meetings.
- The elders shall be responsible for the proper staffing and supervision of that staff. (See Personnel Handbook)
- The elders shall pray for the sick upon request and visit the congregation. (James 1:27, 5:14)
- The elders shall communicate to the congregation on a regular basis, at least quarterly, concerning the activities and concerns of the elders.
- The elders shall establish policies and practices for the church consistent with her purposes.
- The elders and deacons will meet together at least quarterly for the purpose of prayer.
The elders are responsible for identifying, training, and presenting prospective elders to the congregation. Input from the congregation is encouraged by submitting an explanation of the perceived fitness of the candidate for the office of elder. Prospective elders must be presented at the members’ meeting prior to being voted upon. A two-thirds vote of those members present and voting is required to approve an elder. Installation to office will involve a time of corporate prayer by the church for that elder and his work.
Any two members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders and, if need be, to the congregation. 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. Any of the elders may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church.
Elders will serve indefinitely according to personal life circumstances, the needs of the church, and the will of the congregation. It is understood that unpaid elders may have prolonged seasons of life when work, family, or physical circumstances prohibit them from fulfilling their duties. When this occurs, the church will be notified that the man will no longer fill the office. Reinstatement to the office will come by request of the acting elders at any regular members’ meeting then approved by majority vote of the congregation in the following members’ meeting.
Deacons must satisfy the qualifications for the office of deacon set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
- The deacons shall work for the unity of the body and support the elders. (Acts 6:1-7)
- The deacons shall aid the elders in the visitation needs of the congregation. (Acts 6:2-3)
- The deacons shall administer the Benevolence Fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise provide aid in times of crises or distress. (Acts 6:1)
- The deacons shall coordinate the greeting and welcoming ministries of the church.
- The deacons shall assist with baptisms and the Lord’s Supper
- The deacons shall assist at fellowship gatherings of the church
- The deacons shall oversee the gathering of tithes and offerings.
- The deacons shall oversee the buildings and grounds.
- The deacons shall meet together with the elders at least quarterly for the purpose of prayer.
The deacons, according to the congregationally approved budget and with the agreement of the elders, may establish paid or unpaid positions to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in the church.
As needs arise, the congregation can present prospective deacons to the elders for nomination. Nominations need to be given with an explanation of the qualifications of the nominee. Upon testing and approval by the elders, deacons will be installed after a two-thirds vote of the congregation. Installation to office will involve a time of corporate prayer by the church for that deacon and his work.
Any two members with reason to believe that a deacon should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders and, if need be, to the congregation. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18:15–17. Any of the deacons may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church.
Deacons will serve indefinitely according to personal life circumstances, the needs of the church, and the will of the congregation.
Support staff is made up of individuals who are employed by Mambrino Baptist Church in the administration and maintenance of Mambrino Baptist Church. Support staff help the elders and deacons with the preparation and implementation of the various ministries of the church.
According to the congregationally approved budget, the elders and deacons of Mambrino Baptist Church will be responsible for the hiring and dismissal of all support staff.
The elders and deacons will maintain a personnel policy manual with appropriate job descriptions and employment information. Creation of, and updates to, the policy manual will be approved by majority vote of the elders and deacons.
Ministry assistants are generally, but not necessarily, unpaid volunteers who are chosen to assist the elders and deacons as they fulfill their responsibilities.
All ministry assistants will be presented annually to the congregation by the elders or deacons for approval by majority vote.
The Church Clerk is responsible for recording the meeting minutes at all members’ meetings, and reporting said minutes at the next members’ meeting. The Church Clerk will maintain a current register of the names of Church members, the dates of membership admission, the dismissal of membership, the death of members, and the records of baptism.
The Church Clerk will issue the following: transfer of membership letters to another church and dismissal of membership letters that the church has approved. When an individual seeks membership with Mambrino Baptist Church the Church Clerk will secure all necessary information and ensure that the information is accurately recorded. The church clerk will also prepare and submit the church’s annual report to the local association.
The congregation may elect assistant clerks to assist the Church Clerk in his/her responsibilities
The Church Treasurer is responsible for receiving, preserving, and distributing all monies, properties, or any other materials received by the church after the receipt of appropriate vouchers or receipts and such dispersal of funds and/or other material that have been authorized. The treasurer or his/her designated representative shall report to the church at each members’ meeting, for the purpose of conducting church business, the receipts and disbursements since the previous meeting. The Church Treasurer may have an adequate number of assistant clerks, elected by the congregation, to ensure that the church’s financial obligations are administered in a timely manner.
The Directors, under the general direction of the church, serve as the legal representatives for the church in all church transactions that involve the purchase, sale, mortgage or rental of church property. They have the authority to sign all documents relating to the purchase, sale, mortgage or rental of church property after approval of such transactions have been approved by the church in a regular congregational meeting. They are to serve as custodians of the church papers and property.
- Guidelines for Committees
All committees of Mambrino Baptist Church are to be comprised of members of Mambrino Baptist Church that have been elected at a regular or special-called congregational meeting. All the following committees should be comprised of the appropriate number of members necessary to conduct its business. Committees shall not include more than one (1) member from the same family in the church, unless special permission is granted from the congregation. There should be no less than one member rotated off and one new member added each year.
The position of committee chairperson should be elected at the beginning of each new committee year. This does not preclude the same chairperson serving on successive years. The chairperson of the particular committee is responsible for scheduling all meetings and presiding as moderator during its meetings.
All church committees and organizations are responsible to the elders, deacons and congregation for carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
- Budget and Personnel Committee:
This committee is made up of the church treasurer, one or more elders appointed by the elders, one or more deacons appointed by the deacons, and such other members, if any, as may be appointed by the church treasurer. This committee is responsible for establishing the financial budgets of the church. The proposed budget shall be presented to the congregation at least one month prior to the beginning of the new church financial year. These budgets include the overall church budget and the budgets of church positions, committees, and programs. This committee will work with the Church Treasurer in maintaining the status of all budgets of the church. A report to the congregation on the status of all budgets of the church shall be given at the quarterly members’ meetings.
This committee is also responsible for reviewing periodically the performance of the paid staff of Mambrino Baptist Church and in all cases at least once per year. Salary adjustments and bonuses will come by recommendation of this committee.
- Legal Matters
This church’s bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the church members present at any regular congregational meeting of the church. Any proposed amendment to the church’s bylaws must be presented to the congregation at least thirty (30) days prior to the date set for voting on said amendment. The proposed amendment(s) are to be posted at the church for a minimum of seven (7) days prior to being acted upon by the congregation.
- Members’ Right to Inspect Books and Records
A member, on written demand stating the purpose of the demand, is entitled to examine and copy at the member’s expense, in person or by agent, accountant, or attorney, at a reasonable time and for a proper purpose, the books and records of the corporation relevant to that purpose.
Two (2) identical and complete official copies of the Mambrino Baptist Church Bylaws along with any future amendments to either or both documents shall be kept at all times. One of the official copies is to be kept in the church’s safe, safety deposit box, or another safe location while the other official copy is to be kept by the church’s clerk.