First Baptist Church Mission Statement
We are called and blessed to be the body of Christ.
We are empowered to grow spiritually, to worship, to study, to serve and to fellowship.
We are to be a blessing by inviting others through the gospel message to do the same.
A Vision for “Practicing Our Faith”
First Baptist Church of Columbus strives to be a healthy, multi-generational faith community that is characterized by vibrant worship opportunities, missional ministry expression, a discipleship driven focus, faith lived in covenant community.
First Baptist Church is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA and the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky.
PREAMBLE: On the basis of our belief, the following covenant is a statement of our pledge of intent regarding faithfulness, witnessing, and relationships.
Having been led, as we believe, by the spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and, having been baptized in obedience to Christ’s command as a public profession of our faith in him.
We do now, in the presence of God, Angels, and this fellowship, sincerely and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ. We personally pledge, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church on knowledge, holiness, and caring; To promote its growth and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, disciplines, and doctrines; to faithfully be present, and to be dedicated in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior. To contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also pledge to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith, to see the salvation of our family and acquaintances; To seek to walk correctly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our commitments, and be Christian examples in our behavior.
We pledge to refrain from the promotion and use of those things which harm the body or defile the mind.
We further pledge 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 in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the teachings of our Savior, to secure it without delay.
Upon leaving this fellowship, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other Church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
We Are American Baptists
An Expression of Christian Faith Representative of American Baptists adopted by the General Board, American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A., November 2005
American Baptists worship the triune God of the Bible, who is eternally one God in three persons. This one, true God is most clearly revealed to us in the incarnate Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
American Baptists proclaim the Good News of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, knowing that salvation (forgiveness of sins, release from guilt and condemnation, reconciliation with God) and eternal life are granted in grace to all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. This Gospel is the central message of the Bible.
American Baptists believe that the Bible, composed of the Old and New Testaments, is the divinely inspired Word of God, the final written authority and trustworthy for faith and practice. It is to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of the Holy Spirit within the community of faith. The primary purpose of the Bible is to point to Jesus Christ, the living Lord of the Church.
Although Baptists have produced numerous confessions to express our common understandings of Christian faith, we hold the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as our final authority. We accept no humanly devised confession or creed as binding.
American Baptists affirm that God is sovereign over all and that this sovereignty is expressed and realized through Jesus Christ. Therefore, we affirm the Lordship of Christ over the world and the church. We joyously confess that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. We are called in loyalty to Jesus Christ to proclaim the power of the Holy Spirit, the Good News of God’s reconciling grace, and to declare the saving power of the Gospel to every human being and to every human institution. We celebrate Christ’s charge to “make disciples of all nations” and to bear witness to God’s redeeming reign in human affairs.
American Baptists are summoned to this mission in common with all Christians. With the whole body of Christ, we also believe that God has been revealed in Jesus Christ as in no other, and that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:18). We anticipate the day when every creature and all creation, on earth and beyond, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11).
God has given this particular community of believers called Baptists a distinctive history and experience. As we share in common with Christians everywhere, so Baptists everywhere celebrate a common heritage.
With Baptist brothers and sisters around the world, we believe:
• That the Bible is the final authority and trustworthy for faith and practice. It is to be interpreted responsibly under the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit within the community of faith;
• That the Church is a gathered fellowship of regenerated believers, a sign of the coming universal reign of God;
• That the freedom to respond to the Lordship of Christ in all circumstances is fundamental to the Christian gospel and to human dignity; and witness to Christ is the ongoing task of every Christian and of every church.
• Within the larger Baptist family, American Baptists emphasize convictions which direct our special task and ministry.
We affirm that God through Jesus Christ calls us to be:
A Redeemed People who claim a personal relationship to God through Jesus Christ;
• who follow the Lord in believer’s baptism;
• who gather as a believer’s church;
• who share in the meal of the kingdom known as the Lord’s Supper;
• who honor the priesthood of all believers; and
• who live their faith as visible saints.
A Biblical People
• who affirm the centrality of Scripture in our lives;
• who pursue the study of God’s inspired Word as a mandate for faith and practice; and
• who seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the understanding of Scripture, while respecting the common interpretation of Scripture within the community of believers.
• who submit to the teaching of Scripture that God’s design for sexual intimacy places it within the context of marriage between one man and one woman, and acknowledge that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Biblical teaching.
A Worshiping People
• who gather regularly to praise God;
• who receive nourishment by communion with the Risen Christ;
• who share an open and public confession of faith; and
• who believe that personal devotion brings vitality to corporate celebration.
A Mission People
• who strive to fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples;
• who invite persons to receive salvation and follow Christ;
• who engage in educational, social, and health ministries;
• who seek justice for all persons; and
• who provide prayer and financial support to sustain a worldwide mission outreach.
An Interdependent People
• who affirm the Church’s unity as given in Jesus Christ;
• who gladly embody in our practice the ministry of the whole people of God;
• who recognize God’s gifts for ministry and honor all offices of pastoral ministry;
• who live and work together “in association”; and
• who bring the free church tradition to cooperative and ecumenical Christianity.
A Caring People
• who care for the needy, the weak, and the oppressed;
• who care for the earth and for all its creatures.
An Inclusive People
• who, gifted by a variety of backgrounds, find unity in diversity and diversity in unity;
• who embrace a pluralism of race, ethnicity, and gender; and
• who acknowledge that there are individual differences of conviction and theology.
A Contemporary People
• who have a remembrance for the past and a vision for the future;
• who are committed to religious liberty and to the separation of church and state;
• who call our present world to make Jesus Christ Lord of all life; and
• who trust the Holy Spirit for insight and power to live in the present age.
We further believe
• That God has called us forth to such an hour as this;
• That we live with a realizable hope;
• That all things are held together in Christ;
• That all creation will find its ultimate fulfillment in God;
• That we shall see the One whose we are; and
• That Jesus shall reign for ever and ever.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
January 13, 2015
ARTICLE I – NAME AND AFFILIATION
This church is affiliated in world-wide missions and social work with other Baptist churches through the Flat Rock Baptist Association, the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky, and the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A. Its government shall be vested in the body which composes its membership.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. It shall seek to attain this end through the public worship of God, the preaching of the Gospel, consistent Christian living by its members, personal and corporate evangelism, missionary endeavor and Christian education.
ARTICLE III – FAITH AND COVENANT
This church accepts the New Testament as an all-sufficient basis of doctrine and practice. As a summary of principles for Christian conduct among its members, it adopts the following church covenant commonly accepted by Baptist churches:
PREAMBLE: On the basis of our belief, the following covenant is a statement of our pledge of intent regarding faithfulness, witnessing, and relationships.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and, having been baptized in obedience to Christ’s command as a public profession of our faith in Him,
We do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this fellowship, sincerely and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ. We personally pledge, 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 caring;
To promote its growth and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to faithfully be present, and to be dedicated in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior;
To contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also pledge to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the Christian faith; to seek the salvation of our family and acquaintances;
To seek to walk correctly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our commitments, and be Christian examples in our behavior. We pledge to refrain from the promotion and use of those things which harm the body or defile the mind.
We further pledge 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 in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the teachings of our Savior
to secure it without delay.
Upon leaving this fellowship, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 – Reception of Members
- By Baptism Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and giving evidence of a change of heart, and adopting the views of faith and practice held by this church may, upon baptism by immersion, be received into its membership.
- By Letter Members of other churches holding the same faith and order may be received into the fellowship of the church by letters of transfer, dismission and recommendation from their respective churches.
- By Experience Those who have been members of other Christian churches and/or denominations and have been baptized, may be received by giving satisfactory evidence of a change of heart, Christian conduct, and scriptural faith.
- All applicants for admission to the church by profession of faith, letter, experience, or restoration shall be counseled by the Senior Pastor and/or Associate Pastor, who shall recommend favorable action to the church at any regular business meeting.
Section 2 – Dismissal of Members
- By Death
- By Letter Any member in good standing who desires a letter of dismission and recommendation to any other church may receive it upon request. The name of the church to which membership is requested shall be named in the request and the letter shall be sent to the pastor or clerk of that church.
Section 3 – General Duties of Members
- Every church member owes supreme allegiance to Christ and should strive to please and honor Him in all things. Each member of this church is an ambassador for Christ and, therefore, should represent Him by following His precepts and living consistently before the world.
- Every member should be regular in attendance at services of the church, seeking God’s will for his/her life, participating to the best of his/her ability in whatever parts or duties may be assigned. Each should support the church and its leaders in conducting worshipful and devotional services and in planning and executing an intelligent, progressive and vitalized program of instruction and evangelization. Members should support the church financially according to their means and ability, giving unto the Lord as the Lord has provided; at least the tithe is recommended.
- It shall be the duty of absent members to send to the treasurer of the church a contribution for church expenses at least once a year, and as far as possible to send offerings for missions, according to the plan adopted by the church.
- Resident members who, without satisfactory reasons, absent themselves from the services of the church for a period of six months, after being notified, shall be placed on the inactive roll of the church.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
Section 1 – Personnel
The officers shall be:
- Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, Minister of Music
- Chairperson of the Church Council, Vice Chairperson
- Chairpersons of the 6 Ministry Areas– Worship, Missions, Evangelism, Christian Education, Church Family, and Stewardship
- Church Clerk, Membership Clerk
- Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer
- Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary
For legal purposes, the officers of the church shall be the Chairperson, the Treasurer, and the Church Clerk.
Section 2 – Terms of office
- The terms of office for the Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Minister of Music shall be continuous; however, the contract between the church and the Senior Pastor, the Associate Pastor, and the Minister of Music may be terminated by either party giving thirty (30) days’ notice of their intentions.
- All other church officers shall be elected for a period of one year but may succeed themselves twice for a maximum of three years.
- An officer having served three consecutive terms cannot be re-elected to the same office until at least one year has elapsed.
- If any vacancy occurs in any elected office, it shall be filled by the appointment of the Church Council. The only exception is a vacancy among the directors of the Foundation. Such a vacancy is to be filled by the majority vote of the remaining directors in accordance with the Foundation By-Laws.
- 5. All officers shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualified.
Section 3 – Election of Officers
- At a special business meeting prior to December 31, an election shall be held for the purpose of determining the officers, as named in Article V, Section 1, for the ensuing calendar year. In all elections, nominations may be made from the floor and none of the provisions here providing for nominations by committee shall be construed so as to prevent nominations from the floor; but such nominations must be made in compliance with the requirements established herein for the nominating committee.
- The Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Minister of Music shall be called by three-fourths [3/4] of all votes cast by secret ballot. The election of other officers shall be held, with a majority of all votes cast necessary for election.
- A search committee recommendation to fill a called* staff position shall come before the church at a special or regular business meeting, notice of such meeting and the purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays before the business meeting.
Section 4 – Duties of Officers
- The SENIOR PASTOR shall be an ex-officio member of the Church Council and all ministry areas, teams and committees. The Senior Pastor may call any leadership group together for the transaction of business, and may call the church together in special business meetings. The Senior Pastor shall devote time and energies to the interest of this church and receive such compensation as may be fixed by vote of the church.
- The ASSOCIATE PASTOR shall share the pastoral responsibility of the church with the understanding that his/her primary responsibility shall be to the people involved in the Christian education and youth programs. This minister shall serve with the Christian Education Ministry Area in an advisory capacity. He/she shall coordinate all plans and programs with the Senior Pastor, and when the pastoral office becomes vacant, the Associate Pastor shall assume additional pastoral duties as directed by the Church Council until the position is filled. This pastor shall be an ex-officio member of the Church Council and all Ministry Areas, teams and committees. He/she shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by vote of the church.
- The MINISTER OF MUSIC will work in cooperation with the church staff to integrate the music program into the overall ministry of the church. This minister shall serve with the Worship Ministry Area in an advisory capacity and will work with its teams to guide the development of the music program. This minister shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the vote of the church. This minister is an ex-officio member of the Church Council and the Worship Ministry Area.
- A “called” staff position/member shall be defined as staff who has received a call to serve from the congregation.
- The CHAIRPERSON OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL shall prepare an agenda and preside at all business meetings of the church and chair the Church Council.
- The VICE CHAIRPERSON OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL shall serve in the absence of the Chairperson in any of his/her responsibilities. The Vice Chairperson of the Church Council shall also chair the Nominating Committee and the Staff Relations Committee.
- The TREASURER and ASSISTANT TREASURER shall be bonded by the church in an amount and with the sureties approved by the Stewardship Ministry Area.
The Treasurer shall deposit all funds of the church. He/she shall make disbursements on approval by the appropriate committee/team chairperson, finance team chairperson, or chairperson of the Stewardship Ministry Area, in accordance with the duly approved church budget, or by special appropriations made by the Stewardship Ministry Area.
The Treasurer shall make a written report at each regular meeting of the church and Church Council and for meetings of the Stewardship Ministry Area.
The Treasurer shall keep a complete record of all special gifts and designated accounts and shall make a written report at the regular quarterly and annual meetings of the church.
The Treasurer shall be an ex-officio member of the Stewardship Ministry Area.
- The ASSISTANT TREASURER will assist the Treasurer and in his/her absence serve as the Treasurer in all matters except as otherwise provided in this Constitution. He/she shall become familiar with the duties of the Treasurer in order that he/she may become qualified to serve in this capacity.
- The FINANCIAL SECRETARY and ASSISTANT FINANCIAL SECRETARY shall receive, count, and keep an accurate record of all monies contributed for church and benevolent purposes and place same in the hands of the Treasurer.
The Financial Secretary shall be bonded by the church in an amount and with the sureties approved by the Stewardship Ministry Area.
The Financial Secretary shall be an ex-officio member of the Stewardship Ministry Area.
9.The ASSISTANT FINANCIAL SECRETARY will assist the Financial Secretary and in his/her absence serve as the Financial Secretary in all matters except as otherwise provided in this constitution. He/she shall become familiar with the duties of the Financial Secretary in order that he/she may become qualified for either.
- The CHURCH CLERK shall keep full and correct records of all proceedings of the church business meetings and all Church Council meetings. He/she shall preserve all documents, papers and letters which come into his/her hands in his/her official capacity and shall deliver the same, together with all records kept by him/her as above required, to the church when his/her term of office expires.
The Church Clerk shall prepare the statistical report and church letter to the Flat Rock Baptist Association, subject to the approval of the church.
- The MEMBERSHIP CLERK shall have the regular duty to maintain the church membership register under the direction of the Church Council and via input from the pastors. A written report of additions and losses along with general membership statistics is to be provided for the Church Council as required and for quarterly meetings of the church.
ARTICLE VI – THE CHURCH COUNCIL
Section 1 Purpose of the Church Council
The Church Council, serving at the pleasure of the congregation and under its authority, shall be responsible for the management of the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church. This body shall be the policy-making body and shall meet monthly in order to transact the business of the church. The Church Council shall also govern the operations of the church according to the Constitution.
The Church Council shall serve in an advisory capacity to called staff members.
Section 2 Composition of the Church Council
The Church Council shall consist of the Chairperson, Treasurer, Church Clerk, Vice Chairperson, Assistant Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Assistant Financial Secretary, Membership Clerk and chairpersons of each of the Ministry Areas. The Senior Pastor, the Associate Pastor and the Minister of Music are ex-officio members.
Section 3 Duties of the Church Council
The Church Council shall initiate, develop and approve the policies and procedures for the effective operations of the church. The Church Council shall transact most of the business of the church through Ministry Areas and Committees. The Church Council shall be charged with the staffing of the Ministry Areas including the selection and appointment of members and their replacements. They shall also provide the administrative direction and oversight of various standing committees needed to fulfill the obligations of the Church Council.
The Church Council may not buy real estate, sell, mortgage, or in anyway encumber the real estate of the church, except as directed by a vote of at least two-thirds [2/3] of the members present at a special meeting called for such purpose of which at least ten  days previous notice shall be given.
The Church Council shall not contract any indebtedness, except as directed by a majority vote at any regular or special meeting of the church. The Church Council may also designate which officers may transact business, including opening and closing of accounts.
Duties of the Church Council shall also include: the functional review and modification of the Constitution, presentation of an annual operating and capital budgets to the congregation, determination of changes required within the ministry areas, and appointment of special committees to specifically address needs or issues.
ARTICLE VII – MINISTRY AREAS
Section 1 Purpose of the Ministry Areas
The work of the church will be carried out through various teams organized under one of six Ministry Areas.
Section 2 Composition of the Ministry Areas
Each Ministry Area shall be comprised of the elected chairperson and the appointed leader for each of the teams which make up the Ministry Area. Team leaders may not serve in more than two Ministry Areas at the same time.
Section 3 Authority of the Ministry Areas
The responsibilities, duties, and written job descriptions of each Ministry Area shall be established in conjunction with the Church Council. Accountability for each Ministry Area shall reside with the Church Council.
Section 4 Responsibilities and Duties of the Respective Ministry Areas
- Worship Ministry. The Worship Ministry shall organize teams for worship planning, music ministry, greeting and ushering, flowers and decorations, communion, baptism services, audio-visual , and drama ministry.
- Evangelism Ministry. The Evangelism Ministry shall organize teams for outreach, communications, visitor follow-up, and decision counseling.
- Missions Ministry. The Missions Ministry shall organize teams for missions finance, missions education, local missions, and ABW ministries.
- Christian Education Ministry. The Christian Education Ministry shall organize teams for Sunday School, children, youth, adult, and learning resource.
- Church Family Ministry. The Church Family Ministry shall organize teams for spiritual growth, health, funeral dinners, church hostess, prayer chain, stamped-with-love, new members monitoring, leadership development, fellowship and recreation.
- Stewardship Ministry. The Stewardship Ministry shall organize teams for stewardship education and promotion, church property management, and finance. The Stewardship Ministry is also responsible for the preparation of the annual budget.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
Section 1 – Staff Relations Committee
- Staff Relations Committee shall consist of three (3) members
appointed by the Church Council. They shall serve for one year but may succeed themselves twice for a maximum of three years. The Church Council shall designate the chair of the committee.
- Responsibilities and Duties. The Staff Relations Committee shall monitor and assist staff/congregation relations to evaluate annually the work of both called* and hired church staff. They shall communicate the results of their annual evaluation to the Church Council and to the staff and then propose a salary package to the Finance Team of the Stewardship Ministry Area.
- Procedures for Terminating Staff.
- Called* Church Staff. Any person or ministry team may initiate the process for
termination of a called* staff member by submitting a signed written statement to the
Staff Relations Committee.
Upon receipt of such statement, the Staff Relations Committee must notify the
following within 48 hours [the content of the statement is to be shared]:
-the affected called staff member
-the chairpersons of the 6 Ministry Areas
-the chairperson of the Church Council
The Staff Relations Committee will investigate the circumstances of the statement
through discussions with the eight people named above, the Church Council, the initiator(s) of
the statement, and others as required. Upon completion of the investigation, the Staff
Relations Committee will meet to develop a recommendation to be reviewed with the Church
Council. The called staff member will be notified of the recommendation within 48 hours.
If the recommendation is for termination, the affected called staff member will have 10 days
upon receiving notification of the Staff Relations Committee’s recommendation to submit a
written appeal to the Chairperson of the Church Council The Chairperson will convene the
Church Council to consider the appeal.
Following the discussion of any appeal or at the conclusion of the 10 days following notification,
the Church Council will subsequently vote whether or not to recommend action to the
congregation. A quorum [3/4 of Council members] must be present; the decision to recommend
termination to the congregation must be passed by three-fourths [3/4] of those present.
The vote will be taken by secret ballot. If the vote is not to recommend to the congregation, the
Staff Relations Committee will review the decision with the complainant and the
called staff member.
If the decision of the Church Council is to recommend action to the congregation, the
congregation will receive notification of a special meeting two Sundays prior. After presentation
of the recommendation and discussion, the vote to terminate the called staff member will
require three-fourths [3/4] of the voting members present. Voting will be by secret ballot.
If the congregational vote is for termination, it becomes effective on the day of the vote with a
minimum of 30 days severance pay plus accrued vacation. Maximum severance benefits will
be determined jointly by the Church Council and Finance Ministry Team.
From receipt of the statement by the Staff Relations Committee to the date of a congregational
meeting, no more than three months should elapse.
- Hired Church Staff. In the event a ministry area recommends termination of any hired staff,
the Staff Relations Committee will review and act on the recommendation.
*Church staff who have received a call to serve from the congregation.
Section 2 – Nominating Committee
- Composition. The Nominating Committee shall consist of three to six (3-6) members appointed by the Church Council. They shall serve for one year and cannot succeed themselves. The committee shall be chaired by the Vice Chairperson of the Church Council.
- Responsibilities and Duties. The Nominating Committee shall have the following responsibilities:
- Prepare the slate of nominees for the annual election at a special called business meeting prior to December 31 meeting of the church. All deliberations of the nominating committee shall be private and confidential.
- Nominate candidates to fill any vacated office during the year within four weeks upon occurrence of the vacancy.
- Interview all nominees for election to determine qualifications and acceptance of position responsibilities. No nomination shall be presented to the church for action unless and until the committee has contacted the proposed nominee and ascertained that he/she is ready, willing and able to serve, if elected.
- Submit the list of nominees to the church for consideration at least two Sundays prior to the special called business meeting.
Section 3 – Auditing Committee
- Composition. The Auditing Committee shall consist of three (3) members appointed by the Church Council who are neither members of the Church Council nor the Stewardship Ministry Area. An audit shall be conducted every 1 to 3 years, at the discretion of the Church Council, and upon the change of the Treasurers. At least one member should be familiar with bookkeeping or accounting principles. To promote continuity of procedure, at least two members should be retained from the previous year’s committee if possible. The committee shall be chaired by the Vice Chairperson of the Church Council.
- Responsibilities and Duties. The Auditing Committee shall be responsible for the
- Conduct a general audit of the financial books and records of the church when directed by the Church Council.
- Perform a special investigation of any financial books or records of the church or any phase of the accounting procedure upon authorization of the church or the Church Council, or when deemed appropriate by the members of the Auditing Committee.
Section 4 – The Ministerial Search Committee
At the earliest time after it is firmly established that a called staff position will be vacated, the Church Council shall appoint a capable member of the church to serve as chairperson of the Ministerial Search Committee. The chairperson of each of the Ministry Areas shall be immediately notified and asked to serve, or designate a member of their respective organizations to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee. At-large members may be added at the discretion of the committee with the approval of the Church Council. This committee shall take the necessary steps to fill the vacant called staff position in full consultation with the State Office of the American Baptist Churches.
It shall investigate the merits of each person under consideration in regard to his/her personal character, education, ministerial record, and preaching ability, in determining his/her fitness for the position being filled. When a suitable person is found, the committee shall recommend the candidate to the church for consideration. Only one candidate shall be presented at one time.
Section 5 – Additional Committees
The church may, at any time, entrust special work, including fund raising, not already provided for to such committees as it may appoint or authorize.
ARTICLE IX – FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH FOUNDATION
The First Baptist Church Foundation is a separate tax-exempt organization within the church and is certified by the State of Indiana for incorporation as a non-profit. Duties of the directors of the Foundation and instructions regarding meetings are detailed in the By-Laws of the Foundation as prescribed by law. The board of directors is made of five individuals that serve three year terms.
ARTICLE X – MEETINGS OF THE CHURCH
Section 1 – Transaction of Business
The church shall convene for business during the first month of each quarter, as set by the Church Council. For routine business items, the members present shall constitute a quorum. For special purposes, such as approval of a budget, slate of officers, borrowing money, and matters regarding called staff, a quorum shall be deemed to be Fifty (50) members. When not otherwise provided for herein, all parliamentary procedures shall be governed by Robert’s Rules of Order.
At the time a vote is taken, only those bodily present may vote. Voting by proxy will not be permitted.
The agenda for a regular quarterly meeting shall consist of the following elements:
- Minutes of the last business meeting
- Acknowledgement of the reception and dismissal of members
- Reports of officers, ministry areas, committees and organizations only as needed
- Treasurer’s report
- Unfinished business – Reports of special committees
- New business
Section 2 – Annual Meeting
At the Annual Business Meeting, held in January, as set by the Church Council, all professional staff, ministry area chairpersons, other officers, committees and organizations of the church shall furnish an annual report in writing.
At this annual meeting the proposed annual budget shall be presented for adoption.
Section 3 – Special Meetings
The Senior Pastor or Church Council Chairperson may call a special meeting for matters demanding the action of the church which could not be properly postponed until the next regular business meeting provided that notice of the meeting be given from the pulpit on the Sunday previous, unless provided for elsewhere in this constitution. Fifty  members shall constitute a quorum.
Section 4 – Regular Meetings
The church shall meet regularly for the public worship of God each Sunday, and upon such other days as may be scheduled by the Church Council.
Section 5 – The Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper shall be observed on the first Sunday of each month, unless otherwise specified by the Church Council.
ARTICLE XI – RULES OF DISCIPLINE
The Senior Pastor and Church Council shall constitute a Board of Discipline to investigate, correct and compromise all complaints and offenses coming to their attention, and they shall be authorized to summon members before them for such purposes. All such proceedings shall be strictly private and confidential.
The New Testament shall be taken as a guide in all matters of church discipline. [See Matthew 18:15-18]
ARTICLE XII – REPRESENTATION IN DENOMINATIONAL MEETINGS
Messengers shall be appointed each year to represent the church in the Flat Rock Baptist Association, the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky, and the American Baptist Churches, U.S.A., as provided in the by-laws of these organizations.
ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended at any regular business meeting of the church by a vote of three-fourths [3/4] of the members present, provided that at least two weeks’ notice shall have been given at a regular worship service of the church.