Weatherly Heights Baptist Church
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
An Inclusive, Discovering Fellowship
Constitution & Bylaws
We declare and establish this constitution for the purposes of the edification, promotion, and preservation of our faith and in order to provide for the orderly governing of the church. This constitution is structured to assist this body in the accomplishment of its mission and commitment while concurrently preserving the cherished rights of the individual members and the sovereignty of the church in its relationship with other churches. We acknowledge that this constitution is an instrument designed to further the purposes of the church, and we mutually pledge our allegiance, dedication, and faithful support.
II. NAME AND LOCATION
This church shall be called the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church located at 1306 Cannstatt Drive in the city of Huntsville, county of Madison, state of Alabama.
III. PURPOSES AND OBJECTIVES
Viewing ourselves as one part of the Body of Christ and our task as that of continuing the preaching, teaching, and healing ministry of Jesus, we, the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, declare our PURPOSES to be: to exalt and celebrate in worship and in life the lordship of Jesus Christ and the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; to seek to lead all people into an authentic relationship with Christ, characterized by integrity, trust, and obedience, so that their decisions, lifestyles, and relationships reflect their commitment to Him; to nurture believers in faith toward maturity in discipleship and love by enabling them to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and to become more conformed to His image; to equip members through worship, nurture, and fellowship for lives of service, ministry, and witness; and to serve as a corporate instrument of God's redemptive love.
In accord with our purposes, our OBJECTIVES are as follows:
WORSHIP—to provide regular opportunities and various forms of corporate worship for the proclamation of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments (ordinances) and to deepen our awareness of who God is and who we are as the people of God.
NURTURE—to provide various means of Christian education, personal growth, and spiritual nurture through study of the biblical revelation, development of a devotional lifestyle, reflection upon the application of the Christian faith, and instruction in daily life and Christian living; to lead each person to discover and accept his or her God-bestowed gifts and talents; and to equip and enable all to develop and utilize their abilities and capacities in ministry, service, and witness.
FELLOWSHIP—to be a loving, caring, and redeeming fellowship characterized by acceptance, forgiveness, openness, honesty, and trust in which all persons can share their lives in their joys and sorrows and by which each is sustained, supported, strengthened, and encouraged and to offer special care and ministries for persons in crisis, be their needs physical, emotional, psychological, mental, and/or spiritual.
MINISTRY—to provide all persons opportunities for ministry both within and beyond the fellowship and to equip and encourage each to find a means of service; to bear a Christian witness by providing ministries which meet defined needs within the community and which improve the quality of community life; to be a prophetic, compassionate witness by serving as a strong moral influence and as an instrument of healing and reconciliation in the community; and to share resources with ministries beyond the scope of the immediate community of the congregation.
EVANGELISM—to engage in various forms of evangelism and witness so as to share with others the life which is found in Christ to enable them to commit themselves to His love and service and to share resources with local, state, national, and world-wide missionary efforts.
Our purposes and objectives demonstrate that the mission of the church involves both the corporate body and the individual members. The community's primary task is to nurture, equip, send, and sustain persons as they respond to God's call to service and witness. The individuals are to minister and evangelize as they live, work, play, and relate in the world. The members render their testimony as they live out their faith in their families, vocations, activities, and relationships, and the fellowship bears its testimony through the quality and character of its internal life. The church “gathers” as a corporate body to prepare for its task and then “scatters”as the individual members go to witness and serve. The “journey inward” leads to the “journey outward,” for the church “comes” in order to “go.”
IV. STATEMENT OF FAITH
We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and the basis for our beliefs and practices. We commend The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963 as a useful tool in interpreting the Scriptures, and our understanding of the biblical message is in essential accord with that statement.
Having experienced God’s grace, acceptance, forgiveness, redemption, and call to discipleship and being united in the faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, revealed in history, disclosed in the Scriptures, and experienced in human life through the Holy Spirit, we do solemnly and joyfully covenant with God and one another:
to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the head of the church and as the pattern for life and all of its relationships;
to live together in love as He commanded;
to express our oneness in Christ so that our differences do not divide us but rather increase our understanding, broaden our perspectives, and strengthen our love;
to bear one another’s burdens and share one another’s joys;
to pray for one another, encourage one another, and counsel and admonish one another as the occasion may require;
to participate in the regular assemblies of the church for worship, nurture, and fellowship in order to celebrate God's glory, remember His grace, and be strengthened for our mission;
to give ourselves to prayer, the study of God's Word, and other means of devotion that we may better discern God's will and activity in the world;
to be faithful stewards of our time, influence, talents, and possessions, offering ourselves and our resources for the support of the church and its ministries and of God's work in the world;
to establish and maintain a Christian atmosphere in our homes, and if we are blessed with children, to teach and nurture them in the faith;
to live an exemplary moral life worthy of our calling, bringing our faith to bear in all our personal and corporate involvement including our vocation, relationships, decisions, and activities;
to minister to human need, recognizing the infinite worth of every person and having a concern for the whole person; and
to seek to share our faith as opportunities arise and, with God's help, so live that others, seeing the joy of Christian living, may also seek to know Jesus Christ as Lord.
VI. ADMINISTRATION OF CHURCH AFFAIRS: POLITY AND RELATIONSHIPS
The government of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church shall be vested in the body of believers who compose it. Persons duly received by the members shall constitute the membership. Unless otherwise specified by church action, all internal groups created and empowered by the church shall report to, and be accountable only to, the church.
The Weatherly Heights Baptist Church shall be subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches. In so far as is practical, the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church shall cooperate with and support the Madison Baptist Association, the Alabama State Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The congregation may choose to affiliate with other Baptist and/or ecumenical groups.
The officers of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church shall be the pastor and other officers as provided for in the bylaws of the church. The pastor shall be responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church and for leading the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks.
The church sitting and acting in a duly called and held business meeting shall be the final authority in all of its affairs.
VII. BUSINESS MEETINGS
The business of the church shall be conducted at business meetings. Business meetings to consider specified items may be called by the pastor, the Deacons Council, the Church Council, a church committee, or a petition signed by twenty-five active members.
The congregation shall be given advance notice of the business meeting and of the subject matter to be discussed on at least two different dates prior to the day action is to be taken on any matter. Notification may take the form of the Sunday bulletin, the church newsletter, a special mailout, a telephone calling of the congregation, etc. One notice, however, must be through the church newsletter or a special mailout using the church newsletter mailing list for the resident membership.
The latest revised edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the standard guide for conducting business meetings. Any exceptions shall be specified in church-adopted policies and procedures.
The standard means of voting shall be by uplifted hand. Exceptions shall be specified in church-adopted policies and procedures. Unless otherwise specified, a majority vote of the members who are present and voting shall pass or defeat any matter under consideration.
A quorum for the business meeting shall be composed of the active members present at the meeting.
Business meetings shall be conducted in a spirit of prayer and love. All members are encouraged to participate and to share their opinions and viewpoints. Differences of opinion should be publicly stated and discussed, and members should seek the mind of Christ. Believing that it is both a privilege and a responsibility to help determine the church’s programs and ministries, all members are encouraged to keep informed about church business and to share both insights and convictions under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The motto for business meetings is: “In essentials, unity; in nonessentials, freedom; in all things, love.”
The Weatherly Heights Baptist Church shall be a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The members retain the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of the church. The members reserve the exclusive right to determine who shall be a member of the church and the conditions for membership.
Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in the church. All candidates for membership shall be presented to the church at any church service in any of the following ways: by profession of faith and request for baptism; by promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church; or by statement of previous Christian experience and meaningful baptism.
Baptism by immersion shall be the church’s practice. We believe this to be the New Testament mode which best portrays the meaning of baptism—death to old life and resurrection to new life. However, at the discretion of the pastor and/or the deacons, an exception may be made in hardship cases involving advanced age, health problems, or other circumstances.
Recognizing the diversity of baptismal practices among Christian churches and believing that baptism is intended to reflect the unity of the people of God rather than their division, we shall receive candidates for membership from other denominations who were baptized in other ways in the following manner. We shall explain our belief in believer’s baptism by immersion and the biblical foundation for this practice. We shall make clear that our primary concern is for the reality of the candidate’s experience of salvation and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If the candidate affirms that he or she has already made a faith response and has been baptized to symbolize his or her identification with the Christian faith and the whole church as the Body of Christ, no further baptism by immersion shall be required. If the candidate believes that baptism by immersion would be a meaningful experience with integrity, we shall gladly administer it. This policy is intended to lead to a deeper appreciation of the historic and present meaning of baptism in the life of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church and to enable us better to take seriously the relationship of Baptists to the wider community of Christians.
IX. GUIDE SESSIONS
Adults who present themselves as candidates for membership in the church are expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation program, Guidance Understanding Insight Discovery Evaluation (GUIDE). GUIDE sessions are designed to acquaint persons with the history, faith, practice, programs, ministries, and dreams of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church. Upon completion of GUIDE and with their expressed desire, candidates become members and are welcomed at the next Receiving and Caring Service. Children and youth may complete an alternative new member course provided by the church staff.
X. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership may be terminated in the following ways: by death; by grant of a letter of recommendation to another Baptist church; by recognition that a person has terminated his or her membership by joining a church of another denomination; by written request by a member that his or her name be removed from the roll of membership; or by exclusion by action of the church.
The intent of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church shall be to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, professional staff members, and the deacons are available for counsel and guidance. Redemption rather than punishment shall be the guideline which governs the attitude of one member toward another.
Should a condition exist to cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, every reasonable measure shall be taken by the pastor and deacons to resolve the problem. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. However, finding that the welfare of the church shall best be served by the exclusion of a member, the church may take this action by an affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the members who are present and voting at a business meeting called for that purpose. The church may proceed to declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the church.
Any person whose membership has been terminated by church action may be restored to membership upon his or her request with evidence of repentance and reformation by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members who are present and voting in a business meeting.
XI. CHURCH YEAR
The church year shall extend from the first Sunday after Labor Day for a period of twelve months. The fiscal year of the church shall be the calendar year.
The bylaws of the church may be adopted by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members who are present and voting in a business meeting. The bylaws may be amended or rescinded as provided in the bylaws.
Changes in the constitution may be made at any two consecutive church business meetings called for that purpose. However, each amendment must be presented in writing at the first business meeting and a copy of each proposed amendment furnished to each member present at the first meeting and to each member requesting a copy at the church office. Amendments to the constitution shall require the affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the members who are present and voting.
(Amended August 29, 2007)
PASTOR—The pastor shall serve as the spiritual leader of the church and shall help lead the congregation, organizations, and church staff to perform their tasks. The pastor shall be an ex officio member of all organizations and committees. The pastor shall be responsible for leading the church to determine its mission and to move toward accomplishing that mission. Principal duties of the pastor shall be to proclaim the gospel in the church and community; conduct worship services on stated and special occasions; administer the ordinances; minister to the members of the church and community and lead the church members to do the same; direct the preaching ministry of the church; arrange for pulpit supply and for persons to assist in special services; conduct wedding ceremonies and funeral services; work closely with the deacons in their training and in the performance of their tasks; and supervise the professional staff.
A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy in the pastorate occurs. A Pastor Search Committee to seek a suitable pastor shall be elected by the church. The Pastor Search Committee shall consist of seven members—three male members and three female members elected from the church membership and the high school Youth Council president. The six elected members shall be chosen as follows. On a preannounced Sunday, members of the congregation shall nominate up to six persons. The names of the six men and the six women receiving the highest number of votes and agreeing to serve, if elected, shall constitute the election ballot. The three men and the three women receiving the highest number of votes on the Sunday designated for the election shall serve on the Pastor Search Committee. In case of any tie, a run-off election shall be held the following Sunday. The Pastor Search Committee shall elect its own chairperson.
All current professional staff members shall be consulted by the Pastor Search Committee in order to keep staff members informed and to promote harmonious relationships.
The Pastor Search Committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one candidate at a time. The recommendation of the committee shall constitute a nomination. The election shall take place at a business meeting called for that purpose with a minimum of one week’s published notice of the meeting given. An affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the members who are present and voting shall be necessary to issue the call. The pastor thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated either by the pastor or by the church.
The pastor may terminate his or her employment upon thirty days’ written notice. The church may terminate the employment of the pastor by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members who are present and voting at a business meeting called for that purpose. The pastor terminated by the church shall have his or her salary continued beyond the date of termination for a period of time equal to one week for each full year of service as pastor with a minimum of three months.
PROFESSIONAL STAFF—The church shall call professional staff members as needed. Professional staff includes positions such as education minister, music minister, youth minister, etc. A job description for each professional staff position shall be developed in the search process and shall be reviewed annually by the Personnel Committee.
All professional staff members shall be ex officio members of all organizations and standing committees.
Whenever the church authorizes filling a new or vacated professional staff position, a Staff Search Committee shall be elected and assigned the responsibility for all activities leading to the presentation to the church of a candidate and his or her recommended compensation. This shall include identification and evaluation of prospects, discussions with serious candidates, and mutual agreement with the person to be recommended to the church. The pastor must approve any professional staff candidate to be recommended to the church.
The Staff Search Committee shall consist of five voting members who shall include the Personnel Committee chairperson, the committee chairperson and/or organizational director with primary responsibility for the area in which professional leadership is being sought, and the high school Youth Council president if the professional staff member being sought is to be responsible for the youth program. The pastor and all current full-time professional staff members shall serve as ex officio members. The Church Council shall determine which committee chairperson and/or organization director has primary responsibility for the area in which a professional staff member is being sought. If the professional staff position to be filled covers two areas of responsibility with each having a committee chairperson and/or organizational director, both persons shall be members. The Church Council shall be responsible either for recommending to the church any remaining positions on the Staff Search Committee or for determining the means by which the positions are recommended to the church.
The Staff Search Committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one candidate at a time. The recommendation of the committee shall constitute a nomination. The election shall take place at a business meeting called for that purpose with a minimum of one week’s published notice of the meeting given. An affirmative vote of at least three-fourths of the members who are present and voting shall be necessary to issue the call. The professional staff member thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated either by the professional staff member or by the church.
A professional staff member may terminate his or her employment upon thirty days’ written notice. The church may terminate the employment of a professional staff member by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members present and voting in a business meeting called for that purpose. A professional staff member terminated by the church shall have his or her salary continued beyond the date of termination for a period of time equal to one week for each full year of service as a professional staff member with a minimum of two months.
SUPPORTIVE STAFF—The church shall employ supportive staff as needed. Supportive staff includes positions such as organist, pianist, secretary, etc. A job description for each supportive staff position shall be developed whenever a supportive staff member is employed and shall be reviewed annually by the Personnel Committee.
Secretaries shall be employed by the Personnel Committee on the recommendation of the pastor and/or the professional staff. Organists and pianists shall be employed by the congregation upon the recommendation of a Search Committee elected by the church for that purpose. The Search Committee shall consist of the music minister, the Music Committee chairperson, the Personnel Committee chairperson, and two other persons recommended to the church by the Church Council. Any candidate for a supportive staff position must be approved by the pastor or the professional staff person to whom he or she will report.
OTHER STAFF—The church shall employ other staff as needed. Other staff includes positions such as custodial employees. A job description for each other staff position shall be developed whenever an other staff member is employed and shall be reviewed annually by the Personnel Committee.
Other staff shall be employed by the Personnel Committee on the recommendation of the appropriate supervisors.
DEACONS—Deacons are to assist the ministers in the spiritual care and growth of the church fellowship and in ministry to the community. They shall provide individual and collective counsel and encouragement to the ministers in the fulfillment of their duties; assist in the worship services of the church, particularly the administration of the ordinances; and lead an exemplary Christian life, thus furnishing inspiration and support to the total church program. They shall maintain close contact with each church family through the Family Ministry Plan in order to discover needs, interpret the programs of the church, encourage participation, and strengthen the fellowship. They are to be attentive to any person whose active participation in the programs and activities of the church declines; to administer the Family Ministry Fund; to be fully informed of church policies, programs, activities, etc.; and to offer counsel to church committees, organizations, or individuals as requested. They shall assist in building and maintaining Christian fellowship in the church and work for the increase of genuine love among the fellowship.
Deacons must be at least eighteen years of age and have been members of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church for a minimum of one year. They also should fulfill the requirements for deacons outlined in Acts 6:1-8 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. These include being filled with the Spirit of God; having proven qualities of Christian integrity, character, and maturity in personal and family life; and exhibiting faithful stewardship and loyalty to the church in its total life and work.
Deacons shall be elected for a standard two-year term and after serving a two-year term shall be eligible for reelection only after the lapse of at least one full year. Deacons also shall serve on a rotating basis. Each year the term of office of one-half the deacons shall expire, and an election shall be held to fill the vacancies. Whenever a vacancy occurs by a current deacon’s death, removal, or incapacity to serve, the church may elect a replacement to fill the unexpired term or may wait until the next regular deacon election as recommended by the Deacons Council. A deacon who is elected to fill an unexpired term and who serves for one year or less shall be eligible for reelection in the next regular deacon election; however, a deacon who is elected to fill an unexpired term and who serves for more than one year shall be eligible for reelection only after the lapse of at least one full year.
There shall be approximately one deacon for every fifteen resident church families. When the number of families per deacon ministry group exceeds fifteen, the number of deacons shall be increased as required at the next regular deacon election by one or more additional increments of two. To maintain the normal rotation after the number of deacons has been increased, one deacon shall be elected for a two-year term, and one for a one-year term in each added increment. A deacon who is elected for and serves a one-year term shall be eligible for reelection at the next regular deacon election.
Nominations shall include the name of the nominee. Members can nominate up to the number of positions to be filled. A committee composed of deacons rotating off the council will compile the nomination ballots. A letter from the pastor and/or chairman of the deacons will be sent to all that receive a nomination advising them of the nomination and that their family deacon will be contacting them. The family deacon will contact each of his/her family members nominated. The deacon will tell them about upcoming orientation and ask if they would consider a nomination. An orientation session will be held to enable the potential nominees to learn more about what is required of a deacon. A makeup session will be held for those not able to attend the initial session. The potential nominee who has not served as a deacon at Weatherly Heights Baptist Church must attend an orientation session. In unusual circumstances a special session may be held if a potential nominee cannot attend one of the scheduled sessions. After the orientation session, the family deacon will again contact the potential nominee and ask if their name may be included on the ballot.
The election ballot will be composed of all nominees that have completed the training session, if required, and are willing to serve. Members will vote for up to the number of deacons to be elected from the election ballot. The nominees receiving the most votes will be elected. The ballots shall be turned in by the close of the evening service on the day of the nomination or election.
Absentee ballots for either the nomination or the election shall be made available through the church office.
The Deacons Council chairperson shall supervise the election. He or she shall appoint a committee of deacons rotating off the Deacons Council to administer the voting process, tally the results, and notify those elected. In case of a tie, a run-off election shall be held on the following Sunday.
Newly elected deacons shall begin service on the Deacons Council on the first Sunday of the new church year. Ordination services, when required, shall be scheduled by the ministers as soon after the election as possible.
All church officers must be members of the church. In addition to the pastor, the officers are:
CLERK—The Nominating Committee shall nominate and the church shall elect from among its members a clerk and an assistant clerk. The clerk and the assistant clerk shall serve one-year terms but may succeed themselves. The clerk shall keep an accurate and complete record of the business transacted by the church in its business meetings and, when appropriate, inform the proper person or committee of any action taken. The clerk shall keep a register of members’ names, dates of admission, dismissal, or death, and records of baptism. The clerk shall issue letters of recommendation when members join other churches and preserve on file all communication and written official reports.
The assistant clerk shall assist the clerk and act when the clerk is unavailable.
MODERATOR—The pastor shall serve as the church moderator and shall preside at all business meetings. The assistant moderator shall be the Deacons Council chairperson and shall serve as moderator in the absence of the pastor. The assistant moderator shall be the chief officer of the church in the event of the resignation, dismissal, retirement, or disability of the pastor.
In the event that no appropriate presiding officer shall be present, the clerk shall call the church to order and an acting moderator shall be elected to preside at the business meeting.
TREASURER—The Nominating Committee shall nominate and the church shall elect from among its members a treasurer and assistant treasurer(s). The treasurer and the assistant treasurer(s) shall serve one-year terms but may succeed themselves. The treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the church and shall pay all salaries, bills, and other items as authorized by proper authority. The treasurer shall have access to all financial records of the church at all times and shall see that the financial statement is presented to the Stewardship Committee, the staff members, the committee chairpersons, organizational leaders, etc., and the church at-large in its Wednesday evening session. The treasurer shall cooperate with the Stewardship Committee, which shall oversee the work of the treasurer.
The assistant treasurer(s) shall assist the treasurer and act when the treasurer is unavailable, and shall have access to all financial records the church at all times.
TRUSTEES—The Nominating Committee shall nominate and the church shall elect from among its members trustees who shall serve on a rotating basis as provided for in Section V of the bylaws. The trustees shall advise and represent the church in all legal transactions pertaining to real property and in any consequence arising against the church as an organizational entity. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, the trustees shall negotiate and execute contracts, ensuring the adequacy and legality of instruments such as bonds, insurance, deeds, mortgages, etc., and shall maintain up-to-date files of all legal transactions, including, but not limited to, deeds, bonds, contracts, and insurance policies. The trustees also shall provide safekeeping of legal documents, make maintenance recommendations to the Maintenance Committee as required, review annually real property requirements for the purpose of forecasting property and building modifications or additions, and accept and dispose of requests for use of church facilities by organizations outside the church.
CHURCH COUNCIL—The Church Council shall lead in planning, coordinating, conducting, and evaluating the ministries and programs of the church. It shall review the entire ministry and program of the church, coordinate the master calendar, schedule the use of the facilities, assist the trustees in disposing of outside requests to use the facilities, and recommend to the church the nominees for the Nominating Committee.
Regular members of the Church Council shall be the pastor, who shall serve as chairperson, all professional staff members, the preschool, children’s, youth, and adult division coordinators, the Deacons Council chairperson, the Sunday School director, the Missions Committee chairperson, the Kindergarten Committee chairperson, the Long-Range Planning Committee chairperson, the Stewardship Committee chairperson, and three members at-large nominated by the Nominating Committee. All members, including the pastor and the professional staff members, shall be voting members.
DEACONS COUNCIL—The Deacons Council shall provide spiritual leadership for the church and shall assist the ministers in determining the direction of the church. They also shall maintain close contact with all members through the Family Ministry Plan and provide counsel to individuals, committees, and organizations as requested.
Members of the Deacons Council shall be the duly elected deacons, the pastor, and all professional staff members. The deacons shall be voting members. The pastor and the professional staff members shall be nonvoting members. A chairperson shall be chosen by the council members from among the deacons who have served on the council for at least one year. The chairperson shall be elected for a one-year term but may be reelected if he or she is eligible to remain on the council. The Deacons Council chairperson shall serve on the Church Council.
SUNDAY SCHOOL COUNCIL—The Sunday School Council shall help plan, coordinate, and supervise the overall work of the Sunday School. Responsibilities shall include promoting the Sunday School program; determining the need for new classes, space, supplies, and finances; recruiting, training, and supporting teachers and workers; evaluating and selecting curriculum; developing and coordinating effective inreach and outreach efforts within the classes; and evaluating the total Sunday School program to make recommendations for improvements.
Members of the Sunday School Council shall be the age division Sunday School directors, the Sunday School director, the education minister and other officers as determined by the Sunday School Council. In the event that a Sunday School age division director is open, the age division coordinator will serve as director until the position is filled. All members, including the education minister, shall be voting members.
Each age division Sunday School director shall be an ex-officio member of the appropriate age division committee for communication between the Sunday School Council and the committee.
YOUTH COUNCIL—In conjunction with the Youth Committee, the Youth Council shall represent the youth opinions and goals regarding the youth program, help organize and coordinate any special projects involving the youth, and publicize and promote all phases of the total youth program.
The Youth Council will be nominated to the youth group at large by a Youth Nominating Committee. This Nominating Committee will consist of the Youth Committee chair, a minister, and the outgoing Youth Council chair. The Youth Nominating Committee will present a slate of representatives for Youth Council for approval by the youth group at the beginning of each school year.
The Youth Council will consist of one representative from each of the grades. A chair will be selected from among those representatives by the Youth Nominating Committee. The chair will not serve 2 consecutive terms. The grade representatives will serve for one year and are eligible for successive years. If a grade(s) does not have active students in the youth group from which to choose, an at large member(s) will be nominated from the other grades.
Other members will include a representative from the Youth Committee and a minister. All members including the minister, shall be voting members.
Only active church members shall serve on committees. An exception may be made when a nonmember salaried employee of the church serves on a committee in an ex officio capacity. In such cases, the nonmember salaried employee shall be a nonvoting member. Committees may ask persons outside their membership to serve in an advisory capacity.
The pastor and all professional staff members shall be nonvoting ex officio members of all standing committees. With the previously stated exception of nonmember salaried employees and certain other exceptions specified in the committee descriptions, all other ex officio members shall have voting privileges on the committees on which they serve.
Committee members shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church. The standard term of service on a committee shall be three years. The Nominating Committee may recommend an additional year of service for a committee member when the Nominating Committee deems it necessary. Persons who serve more than one year on a committee shall be eligible for reelection to the same committee only after the lapse of at least one full year. Persons who serve one year or less on a committee shall be eligible for reelection to the same committee. With the three-year rotation at least one-third of the committee members shall be replaced each year. Ushers, tellers, Special Task Committee members, and certain other committee members as specified in the committee descriptions shall be exempt from these requirements.
Committee chairpersons shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church. Chairpersons shall be elected for a one-year term, although a chairperson may be reelected if he or she is eligible to remain on the committee. As a general guideline, the chairperson shall be elected from members who have served at least one year on the committee. When this is not possible or when there are extenuating circumstances, an exception may be made.
Reporting committees shall submit two written reports during the church year. The first report, which shall be due at the beginning of the church year, shall outline the committee goals and objectives for the year. The second report, which shall be due near the end of the church year, shall summarize the committee activities and accomplishments and give suggestions for the next year’s committee. The written reports shall be submitted to the church office for distribution.
All reporting committees also shall present two oral reports to the congregation during the church year. These oral reports shall be scheduled and coordinated by the Church Council.
A Special Task Force Committee may be appointed by the pastor, the Church Council, the Deacons Council, and/or the committees of the church to assist them in the performance of their duties. Members of special committees shall not rotate but shall remain on the committee until their task is completed.
The standing committees of the church are as follows:
The ADULT COMMITTEE shall coordinate a comprehensive Christian education program for adults involving all educational components of the church, evaluate the policies and objectives of the adult program, and make recommendations to the Church Council to improve the program’s effectiveness. Any resulting recommendations to the church shall come from the Church Council. The Adult Committee also shall plan and administer a comprehensive training program for adult workers and plan and administer adult retreats and seminars.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson, who shall serve as the adult division coordinator and shall serve on the Church Council, and five members at-large. The Minister of Spiritual Formation and the adult Sunday School director shall serve as ex officio members.
The AUDIO-VISUAL COMMITTEE shall promote the use of audio-visual aids by church organizations; assist church organizations and members in the use of audio-visual equipment; learn proper operation of equipment and maintain its proper working order; maintain and implement a policy on reservation and loan of equipment; purchase audio-visual equipment; record special services, guest speakers, teachers, conference leaders, etc.; and organize, train, supervise, and coordinate the activities of an operating crew for the sanctuary sound system.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large.
The DENOMINATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE shall stay abreast of denominational matters and keep the church informed of developments of special significance; see that the congregation gives regular attention to Baptist heritage, faith and polity; encourage lay involvement in appropriate denominational relationships; recommend any modification of denominational relationships; and make recommendations regarding financial support of denominational relationships.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large.
In the event of a disaster requiring a church-wide response, the church will establish a DISASTER RELIEF COMMITTEE that shall provide material, physical, financial, spiritual, and emotional support to churches and/or persons suffering from widespread disaster; develop and coordinate a comprehensive disaster response plan and building use plan in the event of a disaster; be aware of disasters on a local, state, and international level, and, in coordination with the pastor, initiate appropriate responses; maintain a skill and equipment roster of the church; coordinate with Helping Hands Committee for a source of members with skills to respond to in event of a disaster. Since emergency response must be quick to be most effective, coordination must occur with the pastor or appropriate staff member. Additionally they will coordinate/work with all committee chairs to implement the disaster response plan in the most efficient manner.
The committee selected by the staff with inputs from the Helping Hands Coordinator and Church Council shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large and will dissolve when the response is completed.
The FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN COMMITTEE shall develop, coordinate, budget for and maintain a comprehensive program for the spiritual formation of families with children from birth through 6th grade, involving educational components of the church, evaluating policies and objectives of the families with children and children’s programming. Any resulting recommendations to the Church Council shall come from the Church Council.
The committee shall consist of nine members—a chairperson and eight members at-large. The Minister to Families with Children, Children’s Sunday School Director, Children’s Church Coordinator, Assistant Children’s Church Coordinator. Nursery Coordinator and Assistant Nursery Coordinator shall serve as ex officio members.
The FLOWER COMMITTEE shall coordinate the securing, placing, and disposing of all floral decorations in the sanctuary and in other parts of the building as the church directs with the exception of those specifically delegated to the Special Decorations Committee; maintain a flower calendar to permit church members to supply flowers for memorial and special recognition occasions and place recognition notices in the church bulletin as acknowledgments; coordinate with the church office the notation in the bulletin when a death occurs in an immediate church family and memorial flowers are placed in the sanctuary by the church; maintain a written record of flower expenditures; and oversee the storage and inventory of flower containers and materials used in arrangements.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large.
The FURNISHINGS COMMITTEE shall oversee the acquisition of all furniture and fixtures inside all church-owned facilities; provide counsel to assist in the selection of furnishings and fixtures purchased as special gifts by groups, classes, or individuals to ensure harmony throughout the church facilities; and conduct an inventory at least once each year of all furniture, fixtures, and equipment used in all church facilities and provide a copy of each inventory to the church office and to the appropriate committee chairperson.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large.
The open membership HELPING HANDS Committee is a self-contained standing committee that shall provide a mechanism for compassionate witness by serving individuals that are physically or financially challenged and are in need of assistance with emergency minor home repairs. This non-reporting and non-budgeted committee will entertain all requests transmitted to the coordinator who will then facilitate the assistance. Members donate their time and experience to facilitate the accomplishment of these repairs while the recipient is required to pay for the materials. If the repair is too complex for the committee members the request will be referred to reputable technicians. The coordinator will also consult with the trustees when needed to avoid any implied legal obligations or responsibilities that may obligate the church.
The committee shall consist of a chairperson and a list of volunteers that have agreed to be used in this ministry. The nominating committee will obtain the list of volunteers only for publishing in the church directory.
The HOSTESS COMMITTEE shall supervise the care and storage of all church hostess equipment such as tablecloths, punch bowls and ladles, candleholders, and permanent church decorations; work with the ministers in making arrangements for all visiting dignitaries and their families, including any motel accommodations, transportation, and meals that are provided; and plan refreshments as necessary for seminars, receptions, or church emphasis programs. Wednesday Night Supper (WNS) coordinator position will have the responsibility of organizing supper teams and determine their rotating schedule. The WNS coordinator will also be responsible for setting policy and procedures for how these teams will be staffed and use of the kitchen facilities.
The committee shall consist of six members—the church hostess, who shall serve as chairperson and who shall be a non-rotating member, the Wednesday Night Supper Coordinator who shall be a non-rotating member, and four members at-large. The Special Decorations Committee chairperson shall serve as an ex officio member.
The INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE shall be responsible for developing an integrated, effective information sharing system. They shall make recommendations concerning computer software and hardware, the telephone system, the web page, and other means of electronic communication. They shall also secure appropriate maintenance contracts for equipment.
The committee shall consist of four members—a chairperson and three members at-large.
The KOINONIA COMMITTEE shall develop a church-wide list of persons willing to be called on to prepare food for; formulate and maintain guidelines by which the committee carries out its responsibilities; keep a list of persons called on for food preparation and of those receiving meals.
The committee shall consist of members—a chairperson and members at-large.
The LANDSCAPING AND GROUNDS COMMITTEE shall plan and arrange for appropriate short-term and long-term landscaping of the grounds of the church’s real property; supervise the selection, purchase, delivery, planting, cultivation, etc. of grass, shrubs, trees, flowers, etc. for beautifying the church grounds; supervise the care and maintenance of the church grounds, coordinating any activities required of the custodial staff with the Maintenance Committee; inventory and maintain all church-owned landscaping equipment; and acquire and maintain playground equipment.
The committee shall consist of nine members—a chairperson and eight members at-large.
The LIBRARY SERVICES COMMITTEE shall promote the use of the library through bulletin boards, church newsletters, etc.; select materials for use in the library; solicit and screen recommendations from individuals and church organizations; process all materials in the library; formulate and maintain effective procedures for the circulation of materials in the library; inform organizations of available new materials; evaluate donations and decide if they shall be used in the library collection; and continuously reevaluate and update the collection.
The committee shall consist of six members—the librarian, who shall serve as chairperson, the assistant librarian, and four members at-large. The librarian and the assistant librarian shall be nonrotating members.
The LONG-RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE shall assist the ministers in researching and keeping current information about projected and actual growth, developments, and changes in the congregation and the community which may affect the church’s programs and ministries; channel this information to the appropriate groups and committees; and recommend priorities to the appropriate groups and committees based on current and potential needs and resources in keeping with the objectives and goals of the church.
The committee shall consist of nine members—a chairperson, who shall serve on the Church Council, and eight members at-large.
The MAINTENANCE COMMITTEE shall identify maintenance requirements and initiate required corrective actions; ensure that the church is clean and presentable for all planned services and activities; exercise direct supervision over the custodial staff and ensure that their duties are performed satisfactorily; identify the need for and recommend the purchase of custodial equipment; make monthly maintenance inspections of buildings and equipment; and make trade-off analyses between volunteer maintenance and paid maintenance labor, giving first consideration to the effect on the church’s ability to carry out its functions and activities. If repairs cannot be performed in a timely manner by the Maintenance Committee, work shall be contracted.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large.
The MEMORIAL GIFTS COMMITTEE, in consultation with the Deacons Council and the Stewardship Committee, shall establish various memorial funds. The committee also shall inform the congregation and other interested persons about these funds; receive memorial gifts and see that the gifts are recorded and acknowledged both to the family and to the donor; and oversee the expenditures of designated memorial gifts and inform both the donor and the congregation of expenditures.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large.
The MISSIONS COMMITTEE shall plan and conduct appropriate church-wide missions education and enrichment; coordinate and promote enrichment within and among the missions education groups—Mission Friends, Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, Youth Bible Study, and adult missions groups, i.e., Children’s Home, Night Bible Study, Women on Mission, Nursing Home, Senior Citizens’ Satellite Group, and missions book studies; enlist workers for the missions education groups and submit nominees to the Nominating Committee; coordinate budget requirements and order and distribute educational materials and equipment for the missions education groups; maintain church-wide awareness of local, home, and foreign missions needs and events through announcements, publications, speakers, book studies, banquets, special periodic emphasis announcements in the church newsletter, and oral reports; ensure all committee-sponsored programs are included in the church calendar; seek out and coordinate local, national, and international missions action projects which can be assisted or sponsored by the church through providing material goods, personal services, and/or finances; develop and conduct church-sponsored missions action projects; and enlist church members to carry out projects such as special home construction, refugee activities, international ministries, Meals-on-Wheels, etc. In addition, the committee shall handle all matters related to hosting furloughing missionaries.
The committee shall consist of nine members--a chairperson, who shall serve on the Church Council, and eight members at-large. The HAP Representative shall serve as an ex officio member.
The MUSIC COMMITTEE shall plan, promote, coordinate, and evaluate the music program; encourage maximum participation in congregational singing, the graded choir programs, and the use of instruments; assist the Nominating Committee in identifying and recruiting personnel in the music ministry of the church; assist the Personnel Committee in planning for music ministry staff; serve as a sounding board to facilitate communication between the church staff, the choirs, and the congregation in the realm of music; assist the Furnishings Committee in maintaining a complete inventory of all musical instruments and other properties pertaining to the music ministry; and budget for and maintain all musical instruments, robes, hymnals, music, and supplies.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large. The adult choir president, the youth choir president, the children’s choir coordinator, the pianist, the organist, and the music minister shall serve as ex officio members.
The NOMINATING COMMITTEE shall review the qualifications of all potential candidates and nominate the following: church officers (except the pastor and moderator), church organizational leaders, Sunday School directors, teachers and workers, and committee chairpersons and members. The committee shall distribute the church leadership according to priority needs; ensure the maximum participation of the membership; survey the membership for members’ preference of service; and recommend to the church nominees to fill any vacancies that occur.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson, who, except in unusual circumstances, shall be selected from the previous year’s Nominating Committee, and five members at-large. The chairperson and the members shall be nominated by the Church Council and elected by the church for a one-year term
The PERSONNEL COMMITTEE shall develop and recommend salaries and benefits for all church employees; interview and employ supportive staff on the recommendation of the pastor, the appropriate professional staff member, or a Search Committee; interview and employ other staff on the recommendation of the appropriate supervisor(s); evaluate staff positions required to support the ministries and operation of the church and develop appropriate recommendations for church action; support any elected committee involved in personnel acquisition to assist in the proper communication of church policies and procedures to candidates and in development of compensation and benefit packages; prepare job descriptions/duties as required to facilitate supervision and promote adequate visibility; develop personnel policies and procedures and make recommendations to the church as required for their implementation; monitor job performance through appropriate channels and respond to recommendations for change; and conduct performance reviews at the end of the first ninety days of employment and semi-annually thereafter. Semi-annual reviews shall be scheduled to support the church’s budget activities. The Personnel Committee also shall recruit interim or supply ministers and establish compensation policies whenever a vacancy occurs in the pastorate or a professional staff position. The hiring of an interim minister requires church approval.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large.
The PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE shall publicize the events, activities, and special emphases of the church through appropriate media and evaluate appropriate media to reach specific audiences.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large.
The RECEIVING AND BAPTISMAL COMMITTEE shall assist baptismal candidates prior and and following baptism; arrange for filling and emptying the baptistery at appropriate times; arrange for maintenance of the dressing rooms after each use; arrange of cleaning and storing of baptismal robes, towels, and handkerchiefs; maintain an inventory of equipment and supplies; purchase additional items as needed; establish and maintain current records of new candidate members and assign each to a membership sponsor; enlist church members as membership sponsors and assist these sponsors in carrying out their responsibilities; plan, staff, review, and evaluate the GUIDE program; apprise the church leadership and the nominating committee of special interests and qualifications new members possess, regarding potential areas of service; and introduce new members to the congregation using individual/family photos, the Weathervane, and other means the committee finds appropriate.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large. An equal number of men and women shall serve on the committee each year.
The RECREATION COMMITTEE shall conduct surveys as needed within the church membership/teams to determine recreational needs and potentials; survey recreational facilities outside the church and arrange for church groups to use them as needed; coordinate and budget for church sponsored team activities, and any other sports activity developed in the future; provide recreational facility and/or equipment support for dramatic productions; oversee the scheduling of recreational activities held in the Lighthouse; develop and maintain church-approved policies for use of the Lighthouse and review policies annually; make setup arrangements for church Lighthouse recreational activities; and acquire, inventory, and maintain recreational equipment.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson and two members at-large. The chairperson of the Social and Anniversary Committee shall serve as ex officio member.
THE SENIOR ADULT COMMITTEE shall plan, coordinate, evaluate, and maintain a comprehensive program that will involve all senior adults and make recommendations to the Church Council to improve the program’s effectiveness. A yearly survey will be conducted to determine senior adult needs.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large. The Minister of Spiritual Formation shall serve as an ex officio member.
The SOCIAL AND ANNIVERSARY COMMITTEE shall organize and promote annual celebrations recognizing the establishment of the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church as a mission (October) and as a church (June); organize and promote other church-wide socials, with the exception of the deacon family suppers and the missions banquets; and oversee the setup and cleanup operations for the above events.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large. Couples and/or individuals may be chosen as members.
The SPECIAL DECORATIONS COMMITTEE shall decorate the sanctuary during Advent, on Easter Sunday, for the community Thanksgiving service when held in our church facilities, and for other such special times as requested by the ministers; secure and place in the sanctuary decorations such as flowers, the Chrismon tree, the poinsettia tree, and Easter lilies during the four Sundays of Advent and on Easter Sunday; maintain and keep in a healthy and attractive state all decorations placed in the sanctuary during these times; remove promptly and properly dispose of or store all decorations placed in the sanctuary during these times; oversee the storage of all reusable items used for decorating during these times, and maintain a written record of decorating expenses.
The committee shall consist of three members—a chairperson, who shall also serve as an ex officio member of the Hostess Committee, and two members at-large. The chairperson and the members are nonrotating members.
The STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE shall develop means of educating the congregation as to biblical stewardship; increase missions understanding through sharing information concerning the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Global Missions Program, associational missions, and special offerings; discover ways to plan and support church ministries through budget development, promotion, and commitment; prepare and recommend to the church the annual budget based on analyzed inputs from various organizations and committees; evaluate the church’s record of giving and its potential for giving; monitor expenditures and assist organizations and committees to operate within the limits of the approved budget; supervise all church expenditures; and maintain a requisition system for proper approval and confirmation of all expenditures. A requisition must be approved by the appropriate staff member, committee chairperson, organizational leader, etc. operating within his or her budget before any funds are disbursed. The Stewardship Committee also shall establish an adequate accounting system for appropriate reports to the church, for personal stewardship accounts, and for a record of the receipt and disbursement of all funds. The committee shall oversee the treasurer and shall assist the treasurer in providing for any audit of the books and accounts of the church.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large. The treasurer, the assistant treasurer, and the Personnel Committee chairperson shall serve as ex officio members.
The TELLER COMMITTEE shall establish and maintain procedures to ensure the proper handling and accounting of receipts; arrange an orderly schedule whereby members of the committee are designated to perform the teller function every Sunday and any other time that contributions are handled; maintain supplies needed for teller duties; and provide the financial secretary with the necessary records for posting church members’ contributions.
The committee shall consist of an appropriate number of members/substitutes determined by the chairperson and the church staff.
The TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE shall promote the use of church transportation equipment by church organizations; obtain or assist church organizations in obtaining, scheduling, and implementing transportation as needed; receive usage fees when appropriate according to established policies; learn the proper operation of equipment and maintain equipment in proper working order; coordinate and schedule the use of church-owned transportation equipment; obtain transportation for guest speakers, lecturers, special ministries, etc.; provide a cadre of properly qualified operators of church transportation equipment; identify the need for and recommend the purchase of transportation equipment; purchase transportation equipment; and establish and implement policies governing the use of church transportation equipment.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large
The TRUSTEES COMMITTEE shall advise and represent the church in all legal transactions pertaining to real property and in any consequence arising against the church as an organizational entity. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, the Trustees Committee shall negotiate and execute contracts, ensuring the adequacy and legality of instruments such as bonds, insurance, deeds, mortgages, etc., and shall maintain up-to-date files of all legal transactions including, but not limited to, deeds, bonds, contracts, and insurance policies. The Trustees Committee also shall provide safekeeping of legal documents; make maintenance recommendations to the Maintenance Committee when required; review annually real property requirements for the purpose of forecasting property and building modifications or additions; and accept and dispose of requests for use of church facilities by organizations outside the church.
The committee shall consist of six members—a chairperson and five members at-large.
The USHER COMMITTEE shall greet worshippers and assist in seating the congregation, attempting to make all visitors feel warmly welcome; provide adequate seating facilities and hymnals for the congregation well in advance of the church service time; collect the offering during the worship service; distribute bulletins and visitor information cards; maintain the proper adjustment of lighting, heating, or air conditioning during the worship service; collect discarded bulletins and other papers immediately following the worship service; and administer the Christmas Lovefeast.
The committee shall consist of an appropriate number of members/substitutes determined by the chairperson and the church staff. Additionally a vice-chairperson will be identified.
The WEDDING COMMITTEE shall ensure that the couple to be married has received a copy of the church’s wedding policies; explain the policies to the wedding party; and acquaint the wedding party with the church facilities and with the wedding accessories that the church provides—candelabras, floor coverings, etc. If the wedding agreements given to the florist, caterer, photographer, and videographer have not been signed and returned to the church office, the Wedding Committee shall contact these parties to ensure that these parties have read and understood church policies concerning their participation in the wedding and have agreed by their signed consent to abide by those policies. The Wedding Committee shall make arrangements for the church custodian, another church member, or a church official to be present at all wedding rehearsals and weddings. This person shall arrive prior to the wedding and stay through the reception, if the reception is held in a church facility; unlock all necessary doors; turn on all necessary lights, heaters, or air conditioners; assist the wedding party; and make certain all wedding policies are observed. After the wedding, this person shall make certain that all wedding accessories have been returned in good condition to their proper locations and that the facilities have not been damaged or abused in any way; lock all doors and turn off all lights, heaters, or air conditioners; and, in the event of damage, contact the wedding party and any responsible commercial or private party to arrange for repair or replacement of the damaged items or facilities. The Wedding Committee also shall maintain an inventory of wedding equipment and supplies.
The committee shall consist of six members—the wedding coordinator, who shall serve as chairperson and shall be a nonrotating member, and five members at-large.
The YOUTH COMMITTEE shall coordinate a comprehensive Christian education program for youth which involves all educational components of the church; evaluate the policies and objectives of the youth program and make recommendations to the Church Council to improve the program’s effectiveness. Any resulting recommendations to the church shall come from the Church Council. The Youth Committee also shall plan and administer a comprehensive training program for youth workers; plan and administer a broadly based program in the areas of missions, spiritual growth, and fellowship; identify and coordinate resources needed for various youth activities, such as facilities, transportation, equipment, leadership, and schedules; make recommendations to the Church Council regarding the employment of staff personnel to administer the youth program as needed and coordinate these recommendations with the Children’s Committee; make preliminary plans for youth camp, i.e., place, date, transportation, cost per person, and general format of program; plan and coordinate youth retreats; and coordinate the activities of the Youth Council. One member of the Youth Committee shall serve as sponsor for the Youth Council.
The committee shall consist of nine members—a chairperson, who shall serve as the youth division coordinator and shall serve on the Church Council, and eight members at-large. The middle school Youth Council president, the high school Youth Council president, and the youth minister and the youth Sunday School director shall serve as ex officio members.
The church fiscal year shall be the calendar year.
It is understood that membership in the Weatherly Heights Baptist Church involves the financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular proportionate gifts.
The Stewardship Committee shall have the responsibility for preparing a unified budget to recommend to the congregation for approval. Prior to the preparation of a proposed budget, the Stewardship Committee shall send budget request forms to all staff members, committee chairpersons, organizational leaders, etc. who request budget inputs or have responsibility for budgetary accounts. When these are returned, the Stewardship Committee shall prepare a proposed budget from the budget requests, considering giving history, giving potential, anticipated receipts, and other factors that may affect giving in a particular year, and church objectives, goals, and priorities. If the Stewardship Committee recommends changes to the requested budget in any account, the appropriate staff member, committee chairperson, organizational leader, etc. shall be notified and the reasons for the recommended changes explained.
The proposed budget shall be reviewed by the Deacons Council at its regular November meeting. While the approval of the deacons is not required, their advice is valued and requested. The proposed budget then shall be mailed to the congregation for study and review. On a preannounced Wednesday evening, the proposed budget, along with explanatory notes about the various accounts, shall be considered by the congregation in a business meeting. Motions to amend the proposed budget are in order at this meeting. The following Sunday the proposed budget, reflecting any amendments made at the business meeting, shall be presented to the congregation without further discussion for a vote of support of the budget.
In emergency situations the Stewardship Committee shall be authorized to approve expenditures which deviate from the approved budget in amounts up to $500. Any expenditure which exceeds $500 and deviates from the approved budget shall require church approval.
During the summer months the Stewardship Committee shall conduct for the congregation a midyear review based on actual receipts and expenditures, new requests, unused funds, etc. This may be merely a report to the congregation, or recommendations for action may be presented.
All funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the hands of the church treasurer and be properly recorded on the books of the church. Disbursements from a budget account must be approved by the staff member, committee chairperson, organizational leader, etc. responsible for that account unless specific written instructions are provided to allow another person to sign the disbursement form. Expenditures shall be planned in advance to allow time for the requests to be processed and checks written.
Changes in the bylaws may be made at any church business meeting called for that purpose provided that each amendment has been presented in writing at an earlier business meeting and a copy of each proposed amendment has been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting and to each member requesting a copy at the church office. Amendments to the bylaws shall require the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of the members who are present and voting.