As you may know, we will discuss changes to our Constitution and Bylaws in our June 12 business meeting.  For your review, the proposed rewrite of these documents is below.  For more information, contact Brother Scott at 205.260.5273.

Southcrest Baptist Church Constitution and Bylaws (Proposed)


I. Name
This body shall be known as the Southcrest Baptist Church located at 4317 South Shades Crest Road, Bessemer, Alabama 35022.

II. Purpose
Southcrest Baptist Church exists to glorify God as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, making disciples within our community and among the nations in the power of the Holy Spirit.

III. Statement of Basic Beliefs
We affirm that the Bible is the inspired word of God and the basis for our beliefs. The church doctrinal statement is The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000.

IV. Polity and Relationships
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. Persons duly received by the members constitute the membership. The organizations of the church are accountable only to the church unless otherwise specified by church action. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body but is in friendly cooperation with the Shelby Baptist Association, the Alabama Baptist State Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

V. Dissolution
Should this body ever be dissolved, the trustees of the church, after satisfying any outstanding debts, will transfer ownership of all property and assets to either the Shelby Baptist Association, the Alabama Baptist State Convention, or a like-minded congregation that will continue to minister at this location.

VI. Amendments
Any change to the constitution must be considered by the church in conference and must receive an affirmative vote from four-fifths of all members in good standing. Each vote on an amendment to the constitution must be submitted by signed ballot or other verifiable means, either in person, via representative, or through the postal service, prior to the deadline set for voting.


I. Church Membership

Section 1. General
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership of the church retains the exclusive right of self-government. The membership reserves the right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership. Additions to and deletions from the membership will be reflected in the minutes of the church in conference.

Section 2.
Candidacy Persons seeking church membership will be interviewed by the pastor and presented to the church at a church business conference. Members may be admitted (1) by profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this church, (2) by promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church, or (3) upon a statement of prior conversion experience and baptism in a like-minded church. Dissent as to any candidate will be referred to the pastor for investigation and recommendation. A threefourths vote of those church members present is required to elect candidates to membership.

Section 3. Rights of Members
Every member of the church in good standing who is 18 years of age or older is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present or provision has been made for absentee balloting. Only members in good standing may bring items for consideration to the church in conference.

Section 4. Termination of Membership
Membership is terminated by death of the member, transfer of membership to another church, or removal by a two-thirds vote of the church in conference.

Section 5. Discipline
The discipline of any church member will follow the pattern of Matthew 18:15-17. Members who persist in sinful behavior detrimental to the mission and good order of the church, after discrete, diligent, and gracious efforts to bring about repentance and restoration, may be removed from membership by church action. Members under discipline are considered to be not in good standing and must be restored by vote of the church in conference.

II. Church Leadership and Organization

Section 1. Church Officers and Organizations
Officers of the church and those who serve within the organizations of the church must be church members in good standing. The church will maintain standing committees to manage church finances, church property, and church personnel. These committees will comply with all specific guidance provided by the church in conference. Beyond its standing committees, the church will elect such officers, committees, and ministry leaders as it deems necessary. All church officers, committee members, and leaders will be elected or affirmed by vote of the church in conference prior to the beginning of each church year. Officers, committees, and ministry leaders may be added, removed, or changed by the church in conference at any point during the church year. Approved organizational leaders, along with church staff and officers, constitute the church council and will meet regularly to coordinate the ministerial and administrative programs of the church.

Section 2. Ministerial Staff
The church will call a pastor who meets the criteria found in scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). The pastor will oversee all aspects of congregational life and ministry. In addition to the pastor, the church will call such ministerial staff members as it deems necessary. These staff members will be recommended by a committee designated by the church and must be approved by the church in conference. Candidates must have favorable background checks to be considered. Ministerial staff members may be removed by recommendation of the church personnel committee and a three-fourths vote of the church in conference.

Section 3. Support Staff
The church will hire such support staff as it deems necessary. The personnel committee will interview and hire support staff as directed by the church in conference. Candidates must have favorable background checks to be considered. Support staff will report to the pastor and may be dismissed by the personnel committee.

Section 4.
Deacons The church will elect deacons who meet the scriptural criteria found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The deacons will support the ministries of the church and seek to meet the needs of families within the congregation.

Section 5. Trustees
The church will elect trustees to serve as legal officers for the church and to hold in trust the church property. Trustees will be authorized to sign legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or lease of property, along with other legal documents, but only with specific approval for each action by the church in conference.

III. Church Ordinances

Section 1. Baptism
The church will receive for baptism any person who professes faith in Christ for salvation. Baptism will be by immersion in water. The pastor will counsel with candidates to determine that baptism is appropriate and consistent with the teaching of the church.

Section 2. The Lord’s Supper
The church will observe the Lord’s Supper regularly. The table is open to church members who have professed faith in Christ alone for salvation and have followed him in baptism. Those in attendance from other traditions who have professed faith in Christ alone for salvation are also welcome to partake.

IV. Church Meetings

Section 1. Worship and Discipleship
The church will meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God and the nurturing of the faith of those gathered.

Section 2. Business Meetings
The church will hold quarterly business meetings. When the meetings are convened, the church is considered to be “in conference” and may receive reports or make decisions by vote. The date and time of all business meetings will be publicized at least one week in advance. Such meetings may be convened by the elected moderator, the pastor, the chairman of deacons, or a church trustee.

Section 3. Special Business Meetings
The church may conduct called business meetings as needed. A one-week notice must be given for the specially called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. The notice must be given in such a manner that all resident members have opportunity to know of the meeting.

Section 4. Quorum
The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called. Section 5. Parliamentary Rules Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, is the authority for parliamentary procedure for all business meetings of the church. A modified parliamentary procedure is allowed with the consent of those in attendance.

V. Church Finances

Section 1. Budget
The finance committee, in consultation with other leaders, will prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget prior to the beginning of each church year.

Section 2. Accounting Procedures
All funds received by the church will be properly recorded and processed. Those responsible for the receiving and disbursing of funds will be duly elected by the church in conference. The finance committee and any other financial officers designated by the church (e.g. the church treasurer) will be responsible for maintaining a system of financial accounting and reporting.

Section 3. Fiscal Year
The church fiscal year is concurrent with the church year which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.

VI. Church Operating Procedures

Standard practices, operating procedures, and guidelines for ministries, activities, and use of facilities will be developed by officers and organizations as needed. Such guidelines will be submitted to the church in conference for approval and made available to the congregation in writing through the church office.

VII. Amendments

Changes to the bylaws may be made at any business meeting of the church provided each amendment has been presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment have been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting. Amendments to the bylaws may be made by a three-fourths vote of the members present.