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Statement of Faith

 

The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis of our beliefs. This Church subscribes to the “Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. We band ourselves together as a body of believers in Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the Gospel of salvation to lost mankind. We hold that the ordinances of this Church are believer’s baptism by immersion and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. We believe the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. Marriages outside of these parameters will not be performed by church ministers or on church property.

 

 

Church Covenant

 

A. Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
B. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to provide for the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.
C. We also strive to maintain family and personal devotions (Mark 1:35); to biblically educate our children; to seek salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk vigilantly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our demeanor; to seek to follow the guidance set forth by Jesus in the gospels for leaders and families; and to be passionate in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.
D. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian 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..

 

 

 

AMENDED AND RESTATED CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS OF
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CASTROVILLE

 

PREAMBLE

 

We declare and establish this Constitution and Bylaws to preserve and secure the principles of our Christian faith and to govern First Baptist Church of Castroville (the “Church”) in an orderly manner. This Constitution and Bylaws will preserve the liberties of each individual member of this church and the freedom of action of this Church in relation to other churches.

 

ARTICLE I. NAME
This body shall be called FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CASTROVILLE, and shall reside at the corner of Alsace Avenue and U.S. Highway 90 West; 1408 Alsace Avenue, Castroville, Texas 78009.

 

ARTICLE II. NON-PROFIT STATUS

 

The Church is organized and shall be operated exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended, unless any law shall be repressive in scope and/or nature, that it is our duty to democratically oppose it on the basis of the right of free exercise of religious beliefs and peaceable assembly. The Church is formed for any lawful purpose or purposes under the laws of the State of Texas, including any purpose described by Section 2.002 of the Texas Business Organizations Code.

 

ARTICLE III. PURPOSE

 

First Baptist Church of Castroville’s mission is to connect with Christ and to connect with each other. This church’s ministry focuses on outreach to those in our community who need a Savior.

 

ARTICLE IV. STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis of our beliefs. This Church subscribes to the “Baptist Faith and Message” as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 1963. We band ourselves together as a body of believers in Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the Gospel of salvation to lost mankind. We hold that the ordinances of this Church are believer’s baptism by immersion and partaking of the Lord’s Supper. We believe the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. Marriages outside of these parameters will not be performed by church ministers or on church property.

 

ARTICLE V. CHURCH COVENANT

 

A. Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

 

B. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to provide for the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

 

C. We also strive to maintain family and personal devotions (Mark 1:35); to biblically educate our children; to seek salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk vigilantly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our demeanor; to seek to follow the guidance set forth by Jesus in the gospels for leaders and families; and to be passionate in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.

 

D. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian 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.

 

ARTICLE VI. POLITY AND RELATIONSHIPS

 

A. The government of this Church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. Persons duly received by the church shall constitute the membership. This Church is subject to the control of no other body, but recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist churches and recognizes majority rule, as each member exercises his or her right to vote on the Church’s business. No member or group of members within the church shall be given the governing power over the church. Only by majority rule, in accordance with biblical principles, can policies be made or issues decided. When the will of the majority has been expressed, it is incumbent upon the minority to gracefully yield.

 

B. The Church recognizes that it has complete freedom from regulation by government so long as its members abide by the law of the land, and provided said law is not repressive to that unalienable right, as guaranteed in our national constitution; believing that if any law shall be repressive in scope and/or nature, that it is our duty to democratically oppose it on the basis of the right of free exercise of religious beliefs and peaceable assembly.

 

C. We recognize a person’s individual liberty to worship or abstain from worship as his or her conscience dictates, free from coercion of doctrines and commandments of individuals contrary to or not contained in God’s Holy Word.

 

D. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the associations and state conventions affiliated with the Texas Baptists and the local Baptist association.

 

E. The church has the authority at its discretion to certify, license, ordain or commission any individual for the purpose of full-time or part-time service of preaching the gospel or communicating the gospel locally or on mission fields.

 

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CASTROVILLE

 

BYLAWS

 

ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP

 

Section A – General
First Baptist Church of Castroville (the “Church”), a body of believers who primarily gather at 1408 Alsace Avenue in Castroville, Texas, is self-governing, subject to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This Church shall be composed of professed believers in Jesus Christ who have been baptized under the authority of the Holy Scriptures by immersion. (Romans 6:1-9)

 

Section B – Qualifications for Membership
New members shall be received during a regular business meeting after completing the New Members’ Class, if they meet one of the following conditions:

 

1. By committing one’s life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and following this commitment in being baptized by immersion by this Church.

 

2. Transfer of Letter from a sister Baptist Church.

 

3. By Statement of Faith or Request stating that one is a professed believer in Jesus Christ who has been baptized under the authority of the Holy Scriptures by immersion. Those coming by Statement would be referred to the Pastor or his designated representative.

 

4. Watchcare membership is available for believers who desire to be affiliated with this church but do not desire to apply for membership or do not meet membership requirements. They shall have rights and responsibilities of members, may serve in the church, and will be cared for as if they were members. They will not be permitted to vote in church matters or serve as committee chairpersons.

 

Section C – Members’ Duties

 

1. To continue to walk in Christ. (Colossians 2:6-7)

 

2. Follow leadership with a discerning spirit derived from regular scripture study, prayer, and meditation upon the Word. (Hebrews 13:17 and Philippians 2:14)

 

3. Be at peace with others. (Ephesians 4:1-3 and Philippians 2:14)

 

4. Be an encouragement to others. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

5. Serve and help others. (Philippians 2:2-11)

 

6. Bear one’s load in ministry and spiritual growth. (Galatians 6:5 and Ephesians 4:12-13)

 

7. Encourage regular attendance at worship services and meetings. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

 

8. Accept responsibility for the financial support of the Church. (Malachi 3:10)

 

9. Earnestly desire and put to God’s use one’s spiritual gifts. (I Corinthians 12:4-7)

 

10. Participate in the decisions of the Church. (Acts 15)

 

Section D – Termination of Membership

 

1. The termination of Church membership shall be subject to the principles and practices of Baptist Churches and especially as follows:

 

a) Upon request from a member in good standing for the purpose of becoming a member of any other Baptist Church, a letter of recommendation may be granted but not until a formal request is received from the Church to which one is applying for membership.

 

b) Upon request from a member in good standing, one may be released from the Covenant obligation to this Church, but only after sincere endeavors have been made to secure the continuance in fellowship with this Church.

 

c) By virtue of the fact that a member may unite with a Church of another denomination, membership from this Church shall be terminated and member’s name shall be removed from the Church roll at the request of said member.

 

d) If by reason of non-repentant immoral conduct defined by Scripture, said membership may be terminated, but only after due notice and hearing before the Pastor and Deacons. The accused member has the right to request audience before the Church body; and after faithful efforts have failed to bring the accused member to repentance, membership may be terminated.

 

e) Termination of a member shall require a majority vote of attending members at a special called business meeting. Proper and good faith efforts shall be made to attain as many members as possible for the called meeting. The Moderator shall certify that an appropriate number of members are present for a valid determination of the will of the Church Body.

 

f) Upon notice of a death of a member, the Church Clerk will have authority to drop said member from membership records.

 

ARTICLE II – CHURCH MEETINGS

 

Section A – Worship Meetings

 

1. A minimal schedule of meetings shall be Sunday and Wednesday meetings for the purpose of Sunday school, worship, and conducting business. Regular Worship services shall be held Sunday morning and Wednesday evening.

 

2. Special Worship services and meetings may be held as recommended by the Pastor or Church Council. In the event the Pastor is unavailable or the office of Pastor is vacant, these meetings may be recommended by the Interim Pastor, Associate Pastor, or Chairman of the Deacons, whichever is applicable.

 

3. Fellowship and/or recreational events may be scheduled by Committee Chairpersons, Ministry Team Leaders, and the ministerial staff. Any events scheduled shall be coordinated with the Church calendar.

 

4. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed, under the direction of the Pastor or Associate Pastor and assisted by the Deacons, at least once each quarter and on special occasions.

 

5. Baptismal services shall be conducted as the need arises.

 

Section B – Business Meeting

 

1. Regular called business meetings will be held monthly on a day of the week determined by the Church body, as directed by the Pastor, Associate Pastor, or Chairman of the Deacons.

 

2. Church Council will meet prior to the business meeting.

 

3. The Pastor, or other duly appointed member(s) as may be necessary, may call special meetings as requested by Church members, ordained officers, other officers or administrative personnel. Notice of such special called meetings must be given during at least two consecutive services preceding a special called meeting. Other communication methods also should be used, such as email, social media and the website. Proper and good faith efforts shall be made to attain as many members as possible at special called meetings to accurately reflect the will of the Church Body.

 

4. At a regular Business Meeting prior to the annual meeting of the local association, the annual Church report shall be presented. The number of messengers, as specified by the local association, shall be elected to attend and represent the congregation at the associational annual meeting.

 

5. The Order of Meetings in the Church’s Administrative Manual shall be the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure, except as said rules may contradict authority of Holy Scripture.

 

6. The attending members of any business meeting, regular or special, shall constitute a quorum provided that proper notice has been given.

 

7. The Pastor shall be the Moderator at all business and special called meetings except in his absence, the Associate Pastor or Chairman of the Deacons shall serve. In the absence of an acting Moderator, the Church Clerk shall call the meeting to order, and a Moderator Pro tem shall be elected from the attending members.

 

Section C – Church Year

 

The Church Year for service of all teachers, officers, committee members, and ministry team leaders shall be from January 1 through December 31. However, the Church Year for the Church Clerk’s Membership Records shall follow the associational year (October 1-September 30).

 

Section D – Fiscal Year

 

The Fiscal Year of the church begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.

 

ARTICLE III – FISCAL MATTERS

 

The finances of the Church shall be supported by the Church membership and other contributors who cheerfully and regularly support the ministry and expenses of the Church. The financial records will be subject to an independent financial review at least once every three years. This could be done by a review committee of church members or an external reviewer.

 

Money shall be stored safely under lock and key until it is taken to the bank. After services or events when money is collected, two people must accompany the money to where it is stored. Those permitted to access the safe are listed in the Administrative Manual.

 

ARTICLE IV – CHURCH MINISTRY

 

The spiritual well-being, ministry, and oversight of the Church shall be placed in the hands of the Pastor. The Pastor shall be responsible for guiding the Church to function as a New Testament Church, and encouraging the congregation, organizations, and Church officers in performing their tasks. The tasks of the Church, as directed by the Pastor, shall be to achieve its mission of proclaiming the Gospel to believers and unbelievers, and to care for the Church members and other persons in the community being served.

 

ARTICLE V – ORDAINED OFFICERS

 

Every ordained officer in this Article shall behave in a manner of Christian conduct that is consistent with the Church’s Statement of Faith in Article IV of the Church Constitution and any standards of conduct more particularly described in the Church personnel policy and Administrative Manual.

 

Section A – Pastor

 

1. Selection

 

a) A Pastor shall be chosen and called by the Church whenever a vacancy occurs. A Pastor Search Committee (PSC) shall be elected by the Church for the purpose of seeking out a suitable Pastor. The committee’s recommendation shall serve as a nomination; however, any member has the privilege to offer nominations other than that made by the PSC. The PSC shall bring one nominee at a time before the Church for the purpose of a vote.

 

b) The election shall be by secret ballot. On the Sunday morning that the candidate preaches in view of a call, there shall be a special called business meeting immediately after the morning worship service, and a vote shall be taken to determine the wishes of the Church body. This process is for a timely notification of the election decision. An affirmative vote by an 85 percent majority of the members present shall be necessary for election. The Pastor, as elected, shall serve until the Lord leads him elsewhere, or until his services may be otherwise terminated.

 

c) Termination of a Pastor shall require a majority vote of attending members at a special called business meeting. The Pastor shall be ineligible to act as moderator during the called meeting. The Chairman of the Deacons shall moderate the meeting or designate an appropriate moderator. Proper and good faith efforts shall be made to attain as many members as possible at the called meeting. The Deacons shall certify that an appropriate number of members are present for a valid determination of the will of the Church Body.

 

d) During such time as the church is without an elected pastor, the following procedure shall be followed:

 

i. The Deacons shall be responsible for obtaining pulpit supply (person to fulfill the preaching ministry of the church).

 

ii. The Deacons may offer in nomination to the church a person to be named to the position of Interim Pastor.

 

2. Duties

 

a) The Pastor will lead the congregation in the Church ministry according to Article IV.

 

b) The Pastor shall serve as the business meeting moderator.

 

c) The Pastor shall serve as an ex-officio member of all committees.

 

Section B – Associate Pastor

 

1. Selection

 

a) The office of Associate Pastor may be filled as the need of the congregation dictates.

 

b) The seeking of, election and/or termination of the Associate Pastor shall be by the same method as prescribed for the office of Pastor. In the case of a vote for termination, the Associate Pastor shall be ineligible to act as moderator during that called meeting.

 

2. Duties

 

a) The Associate Pastor shall be an aid to the Pastor.

 

b) The Associate Pastor supports the Pastor in the fulfilling of his duties.

 

c) The Associate Pastor will perform the Pastor’s duties during his absence or upon the Pastor’s request.

 

Section C – Other Ministerial Positions

 

1. Selection

 

a) All ministerial positions, full-time and part-time, shall be recommended to the church by a Search Committee in accordance with the Church Administrative Manual. If the position is part-time and later becomes full-time, the minister in that position who was selected by a Search Committee can be the first person considered and hired for the full-time position, with the approval of the Senior Pastor and Deacons.

 

b) The termination of other ministerial positions shall be by recommendation of the Senior Pastor and the Deacons and approved by the Church Body in a Business Meeting.

 

Section D – Deacons

 

1. Purpose

 

a) The office of Deacon shall be an autonomous entity responsible for the well-being of the Church Body. It is established for the purpose of assisting all ministerial offices.

 

b) The Deacons shall assist in the ministry of the Church in shepherding and caring for the congregation and the community.

 

2. Qualifications

 

a) A Deacon shall have been a member in good standing of this Church for a period of at least one year.

 

b) Scriptural qualifications as set forth in Acts 6:3 and I Timothy 3:8-13 shall identify a Deacon.

 

3. Nomination and Election

 

a) The Church should seek to elect one Deacon for at least every 15 families within the membership and additional Deacons as the needs of the congregation dictate. Ordination of additional Deacons, as the need arises, shall be under the guidance of the Pastor and existing ordained Deacons.

 

b) The congregation will recommend Deacon candidates to the current Deacons by secret ballot during a Sunday morning worship service. The Pastor and Deacons shall compile a list of all eligible candidates and inquire of those listed as to their willingness to serve. All eligible candidates shall be interviewed by the Pastor and Deacons as to their qualifications and an explanation shall be given of the duties expected of them.

 

c) With guidance from the Pastor, the Deacons shall screen the selected candidates and present them to the Church for a vote. Voting shall be by secret ballot. The nominees on the ballot receiving a three-quarters majority vote shall be elected.

 

d) At the beginning of the Church Year, the Deacons must elect a chairman from among its members. The newly elected chairman must have also been an active Deacon for at least one year.

 

4. Ordination and Service

 

a) The ordination of a Deacon shall be for life.

 

b) An ordained Deacon from another Baptist church may be activated after one year of First Baptist Church of Castroville membership and upon the recommendation of the Deacons, Senior Pastor, and approval by the Church.

 

c) A Deacon who is in good standing with the Church and unable to serve may be designated as a Deacon Emeritus.

 

d) Removal from active Deacon status by the Church shall require a majority vote of attending members at a special called business meeting. Proper and good faith efforts shall be made to attain as many members as possible at said meeting. With the exception of the Deacon in question, the Deacons shall certify that an appropriate number of members are present for a valid determination.

 

e) The Deacon in question shall be ineligible from moderating a meeting held for a vote for that Deacon’s removal.

 

5. Duties

 

a) The duties of a Deacon may vary as the needs and nature of the congregation may vary.

 

b) The duties shall be defined by the Church Administrative Manual.

 

ARTICLE VI – ADDITIONAL OFFICERS

 

Every additional officer in this Article shall behave in a manner of Christian conduct that is consistent with the Church’s Statement of Faith in Article IV of the Church Constitution and any standards of conduct more particularly described in the Church personnel policy and Administrative Manual.

 

Section A – Selection

 

1. Nominations for Church Clerk, Treasurer, Trustees and other officers shall be by a Nominating Committee as described in the Church Administrative Manual or from the floor during business meetings.

 

2. The term of office for Church Clerk and other officers and committee members shall be for three years or to fill an unexpired term, unless otherwise provided for in the Administrative Manual. Elections shall take place at the annual business meeting of this Church.

 

3. All elections for the above named positions in Section A shall be by simple majority unless otherwise provided for in the Church Administrative Manual.

 

4. If the Treasurer is a volunteer, the person must be nominated as in Section A, Paragraph 1, and follow the duties in Section B, Paragraph 2. If the Treasurer is an employee, the duties will be in the job description.

 

Section B – Duties

 

1. Church Clerk

 

a) Maintain a record of the proceedings of each business meeting.

 

b) Read the minutes of the business meetings as directed.

 

c) Call to order business meeting for the purpose of electing a Moderator Pro tem.

 

d) Receive and issue letters of recommendation for Church membership.

 

e) Maintain accurate and up-to-date membership roll and files.

 

2. Treasurer

 

a) Pay out of the appropriate funds, items provided for in the Church budget and as approved otherwise.

 

b) Reconcile the monthly bank statement before the following month’s business meeting.

 

c) Maintain a set of books substantiated by receipts and invoices.

 

d) Prepare a summary of receipts and disbursements for business meeting presentations.

 

e) Serve as a member of the Finance Committee.

 

f) Prepare and maintain all individual giving records of congregants.

 

g) Prepare and distribute Contribution Statements at a minimum of once a year by Jan. 31.

 

3. Trustees

 

a) Have no authority individually or as a group to make decisions that have not already been approved by the Church.

 

b) Shall serve five-year staggered terms.

 

c) Shall consist of a minimum of four and no more than five members.

 

d) Hold the Church Property in trust.

 

e) Buy, sell, trade, mortgage, rent, lease, or transfer property for the Church, but only as authorized by the Church. A minimum of two trustees’ signatures are required to complete a business transaction.

 

f) Affix their signatures to legal documents for the purpose as stated above or to other legal documents as may otherwise be necessary.

 

4. Committees and Organizations

 

a) The ministry of the Church rests heavily upon the devotion, skill, experience, maturity, zeal, and cooperative nature of official committees and service organizations.

 

b) The Committees and Organizations may be named, elected and/or activated as needed by the Church membership and shall be described in the Church Administrative Manual.

 

5. Church Council

 

a) Church Council shall be the administrative body of the church. It acts as an advisory board to coordinate activities of the committees, organizations and ministries, but does not have the authority to override decisions made by the church body or make decisions that only the church body has the authority to make. All members of Church Council must be church members to have voting privileges.

 

b) Members are the Pastor, all ministerial staff members, Church Clerk, Treasurer, Sunday School Director, Chairman of the Deacons, and chairperson of each standing committee as identified in the Administrative Manual. If the Chairperson cannot attend, a representative of the committee may attend.

 

ARTICLE VII – ADMINISTRATIVE MANUAL

 

A. There shall be formulated a Church Administrative Manual for the purpose of detailing the functions of offices, committees, and organizations not specified in the Bylaws.

 

B. Church policy and procedure may be added and/or updated by Church Council review and approved by Church vote.

 

C. This Manual shall be for the purpose of description and reference information to help insure that the functions and ministry of the Church may operate as smoothly as possible, without duplication of effort, crossed purposes, and interference between different serving and administrative entities.

 

D. This Manual may be subject to view, review, update, clarification, and revision according to the wishes of the membership being served.

 

E. The Manual shall be made available at all times for inspection by each member of this Church and for the membership’s benefit.

 

F. A committee shall be elected to formulate and/or revise the Manual according to the approval of the Church.

 

ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS

 

A. Changes in this Constitution and Bylaws may be made at any regular business meeting of the church, provided such amendment shall have been presented in writing at least one monthly business meeting prior and copies of the proposed amendment be furnished to each member present.

 

B. These bylaws may be altered or amended according to a three-fourths majority affirmative vote by the attending members at a special called meeting for that purpose.

 

ARTICLE IX – CHURCH PROPERTY

 

The Church property serves to further the Church’s religious mission in accordance with the Statement of Faith and the Church Administrative Manual. Specifically, the property conveyed by Corrected General Warranty Deed #26985 in Vol. 62, page 646, Medina County Deed Records, is to be used by a church in good standing with the San Antonio Baptist Association and the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Under the deed restrictions, in the event that the property ceases, “…to be used for church purposes by a church which is a member in good standing of the San Antonio Baptist Association with which it is affiliated and the Baptist General Convention of Texas, such property shall revert to SAN ANTONIO BAPTIST ASSOCIATION, its successors or assigns…”.

 

ARTICLE X – DISSOLUTION

 

Upon discontinuance of this Church by dissolution or otherwise, any assets lawfully available for distribution are to be transferred to one or more organizations qualifying as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, by a majority of members attending at a special called business meeting.

 

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The previous Constitution and Bylaws were adopted in a Business Meeting on June 16, 2004.

 

These Amended and Restated Constitution and Bylaws, adopted on November 6, 2016, supersede and take the place of any previous Constitution and Bylaws of First Baptist Church of Castroville.

 

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