Emmanuel Baptist Church was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio. The Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State, June 18, 1947, and recorded in Volume 527, page 328, of the Records of Incorporation.
In the event that this church should make a decision to dissolve, provision shall be made by vote of the church, previous to the dissolution of the corporation, to assign all of the assets to one or more independent Baptist non-profit corporations, such as churches, schools, missions, or associations. None of the assets shall be given to any individual.
PURPOSE The purpose for which said corporation is formed is to provide a place of worship for its members, conducting the same according to the rules, regulations, customs and practices of a New Testament church; promoting the cause of the Christian religion and interests of said church; receiving, holding and disbursing gifts, bequests, and funds arising from other sources; owning and maintaining suitable real estate and buildings; doing any and all things necessary or incident thereof.
ARTICLE I - NAME The name of this organization shall be the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Xenia, Ohio.
ARTICLE II - AFFILIATION This church shall be affiliated with the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches for fellowship only. If at any time the church shall deem it advisable to withdraw its membership from the above named associations, it shall be accomplished by a two-thirds vote of all members present and voting at any annual business meeting of the Church or a special meeting called for this purpose.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP Section A Membership candidates are received into the membership of the church by profession of faith and evidence of believer's baptism by immersion. Each candidate will be given a copy of the Church Covenant, Constitution and Articles of Faith. Candidates will proceed through a three-step membership process.
1. Interview with two or more Elders giving testimony of profession of faith and completing the written membership application form. Elders participating in the interview will, if appropriate, present the candidate to the Council of Elders for recommendation to the Church
2. The Council of Elders will vote on the recommendation of the interviewing Elders. If approved unanimously by the Council, the recommendation to approve the candidate’s application for membership will be presented to the Church.
3. Candidates are to give written or verbal testimony of faith in Jesus Christ before the church body. Candidates' names shall be printed in the bulletin at least one week before presentation for membership.
Candidates for membership may be presented at any worship service of the church or at any regular business meeting, provided a quorum is present. Candidates must be accepted by unanimous vote of those eligible voters present. Any negative vote shall suspend the process and the reason given for such a vote will be considered by the Council of Elders. If, in their judgment the reason or reasons are not sufficient to deny membership, the Elders shall resubmit the candidate to the Church to be received by a unanimous vote.
Section B Any member of the Emmanuel Baptist Church who fails to attend at least one of the regular services of the Church in any given quarter, unless such absence is due to causes which are deemed appropriate by the Council of Elders, or who fails to give assent to the Articles of Faith in their entirety or who privately or publicly promotes dissension and division in the church shall forfeit his or her right to membership in the Church as determined by the Council of Elders consistent with Article III, Section C.
Section C If any disciplinary action is deemed necessary by the action or conduct of any member or members of the church, such action shall be taken in accordance with the rules and regulations clearly defined in the New Testament. (Matthew 18:15-17; I Corinthians 5:1-8 and /or elsewhere in the Epistles.)
1. The Council of Elders shall handle all matters of discipline in the church.
2. In case of personal differences between members of the church, the Council of Elders shall recommend that the parties endeavor to settle their differences in the manner laid down by our Savior in Matthew 18:15, 16, in the spirit of Galatians 6:1.
3. Where charges are made by one member against another, charges must be in writing to the Council of Elders. If the Elders deem further action is necessary, the accused shall be notified personally, or by registered letter of the nature of the charges and shall be summoned to appear before the Council of Elders to make answer to the charges. At least five days notice of such a meeting shall be given to the party involved. If the accused does not appear in response to the summons (unless a satisfactory reason is given for such non-appearance) the Council of Elders shall recommend to the Church the exclusion of such a member. If the accused appears before the Council of Elders, there shall be a full and fair hearing of the case. The Council of Elders is empowered to acquit the accused. If a majority of the Elders present vote that the accused is guilty of the charge preferred, after attempts of reconciliation, they shall recommend to the Church that the accused be excluded from the membership of the Church. The Church must either approve the recommendation or hear the case for itself.
4. Anyone against whom charges have been made and in whose case the Council of Elders has recommended exclusion or other discipline, may appeal to the church for a hearing of the case before the Church. The Church will then decide whether to hear the case or whether it will act without such hearing upon the recommendation of the Council of Elders.
5. An important purpose of this section is to give full protection to any member who may be accused and at the same time protect the Church from interruptions of its regular business and spiritual activities as a result of disciplinary matters, the detailed hearing of which might be wasteful of the time of the Church, harmful to the young, or discouraging to the membership.
6. With respect to the above, it is specifically directed that the Council of Elders, in safe-guarding the purity and peace of the Church, shall move with special promptness in the case of anyone who is obstructing the work or disturbing the peace of the Church by slander, falsehood, unseemly gossip, conspiracy or other unfair and unchristian methods. It is recognized that a Baptist church must be a democracy in which the majority rule. It is further recognized that while any person has right of private opinion on all questions, and the right to appeal in any constitutional and proper manner, that person shall not have the right of engaging in secret or open propaganda or of deliberately disturbing the peace or interrupting the work of the Church or bringing it into disrepute before the public in their effort to discourage the faithful and injure the cause and mission of the Church. It is understood that this clause shall not be used as an excuse for unnecessary severity in minor matters. The Council of Elders shall always use kindness, consideration, and Christian love in determining the cases for discipline and the method of procedure in such cases.
ARTICLE IV - AUTHORITY AND VOTING POWER Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, the membership of the Church is the final authority within this local church. Congregational authority is primarily exercised through the election of officers to govern the Church (Article V); however, the Church shall approve all member candidates (Article III, Section A) and the vote of the membership of this Church at a properly called meeting shall be required to effect the following actions: 1. Remove members from the Church;
2. Elect officers of the Church; 3. Discipline members by dismissing them and discipline officers by removing them from office; 4. Approve annual budgets of the Church and authorize any unbudgeted expenditure of $1000 of the funds of the Church;
5. Accept, reject, or otherwise dispose of any matter submitted to the membership of the Church by the Council of Elders, or raised by motion at a business meeting;
6. Adopt, amend, or repeal the Constitution or By-Laws of this Church; 7. Approve the job description of salary of Vocational Elders, Vocational Ministry Directors, and other church employees.
8. Sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property
All members of the Church, eighteen years old and over who have attended not less than eight worship services in the past quarter; who have not been involved in Article III, Section C above; and who are supporting the Church, shall be eligible to vote in all business meetings during the quarter. Ballots shall not be distributed or votes counted for members not qualifying according to this paragraph. Members are responsible before God to conform to the standard.
ARTICLE V - OFFICERS The officers of the Church shall consist of a Council of Elders and a Board of Deacons. The Church Clerk shall be appointed from the Council of Elders and the Church Treasurer shall be appointed from the Deacon Board.
ARTICLE VI – QUALIFICATIONS, RESPONSIBILITIES AND MANNER OF ELECTION OF OFFICERS Section A - Council of Elders 1. Qualifications: Elders and nominees for Elder shall be men qualified for the office as specified in the Bible. Relevant texts include I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9 and I Peter 5:1-4.
2. Quantity: The number of Elders at any time will be determined by the call and qualification of men in the Church and the needs of the congregation. It is expected that there shall normally be a minimum of four lay Elders and one full-time vocational Elder, and that the number of Elders will increase in response to the gifting of the membership and the shepherding needs of the Church.
3. Responsibilities: The Elders are responsible for governing the Church, teaching the Word, tending the flock of God, and supporting the Great Commandment and Great Commission activities of the local church (Matt 22:34-40 & 28:16-20). The Elders will serve as Trustees of the material property of the Church and oversee the necessary repairs and alterations to the property. Elders shall also:
a. Examine membership candidates and acquaint them with the Church Covenant, Constitution and Doctrinal Statement; b. Oversee the process of Church discipline; c. Examine prospective candidates for office; d. Schedule business meetings; e. Oversee the work of the Deacons, appointed Church agents and employees, and ministries; f. Conduct worship services; g. Administer the ordinances of the Gospel; h. Equip the congregation of the Church for the work of the ministry; i. Teach the whole counsel of God both formally and informally; j. Correct error; k. Oversee, coordinate and promote the ministries of the Church; l. Appoint Church Clerk and Church Treasurer annually; m. Mobilize the Church for world mission; n. Generate and monitor the annual budget; o. Lead the process of strategic, long-term planning; p. Lead the search for vocational elders.
An Elder may request a Leave of Absence from the Council for a time period up to one year without having to resign. This request must be presented to and approved by the Council of Elders. Salary and benefits for Vocational Elders may be maintained at the recommendation of the Council of Elders and the approval of the membership at a properly called business meeting (Article VII). During the Leave of Absence the Elder is not considered a voting member of the Council of Elders. Reinstatement to the Council of Elders will occur at the request of the Elder on Leave of Absence.
Leave of Absence: A Deacon may request a Leave of Absence from the Board for a time period up to one year without having to resign. This request must be presented to and approved by the Deacon Board. Reinstatement to the Deacon Board will occur at the request of the Deacon on Leave of Absence.
Section C - Church Clerk
The Council of Elders shall appoint an Elder annually to serve as Church Clerk. It shall be the duty of the Church Clerk to keep the records of the Church business meetings, to take minutes of the meetings and present them when called for. A record of baptisms, memberships, dismissals, and accessions shall be kept along with whatever other statistical records the Church may desire to preserve. The Church Clerk shall be the duly appointed statutory agent of the Church.
Section D - Church Treasurer
The Council of Elders shall appoint a Deacon to serve as Church Treasurer. The Deacons shall deposit to the account of the treasury of the Church all money received by the Church each week. It shall be the duty of the Church Treasurer to authorize payments of all bills and salaries and to reconcile bank balances monthly. A financial report shall be made monthly to the Council of Elders and quarterly to the Church.
ARTICLE VII - MINISTRIES
Section A - Ministries
The Council of Elders has the authority to establish the ministries of the Church, and appoint Ministry Directors and ministry teams for these ministries. The Council of Elders has the authority to delegate any specified aspect of the ministry to the Ministry Director. The Council of Elders has the authority to dissolve any ministry which it created. Every ministry shall have a Ministry Director, responsible for the overall operation of the ministry, who shall be appointed by the Council of Elders. Each Ministry Director shall be a member in good standing of the Church. Both men and women may serve as Ministry Directors.
Section B - Ministry Directors
1. Ministry Directors may be either men or women. The number of Ministry Directors at any time will be determined by the Council of Elders.
2. Qualifications. Ministry Directors shall exemplify the character qualities and lifestyle outlined in Romans 12:1-15:13.
3. Responsibilities. The fundamental responsibility of Ministry Director is to oversee the ministry areas assigned by the Council of Elders.
Any additional ministerial staff shall be appointed or hired by the Elders with congregational approval. The Elders shall execute dismissals and report them to the Church.
ARTICLE VIII - BUSINESS MEETINGS
A “properly called business meeting” is defined as any business meeting of the Church for which the agenda has been properly announced at least 10 days in advance of the meeting; the membership is notified by appropriate means and an announcement is given in the Sunday morning service.
All business meetings of the Church shall be opened with scripture reading and prayer. The Annual Business Meeting of the Church will be held the first Wednesday after the first Sunday in January, unless rescheduled by the Council of Elders for a later date in January. Printed financial statements of the Church shall be made available to the congregation at a quarterly meeting held for that purpose in April, July, and October unless rescheduled by the Council of Elders.
The agenda for all business meetings will be set forth by the Council of Elders. Any member in good standing may submit to the Council of Elders in writing, at least three calendar weeks prior to the meeting, any item to be considered for inclusion in the agenda of said business meeting.
Any member whose agenda item is rejected by the Council of Elders may appeal within two weeks to the Church through the Council of Elders for a hearing of the matter before the Church. Such appeal to the Church will occur within three months following the date of the above submission of the request in writing. The Church will then decide whether to hear the matter or whether it will act without such hearing based upon the recommendation of the Council of Elders
The purpose of paragraphs two and three of Article VIII is to give members and the Council of Elders a wise and reasonable mechanism to resolve issues in a spirit of reconciliation and accountability. God has placed the Council of Elders as servant-leaders to facilitate the needs of individuals as well as to protect the body from wrong or evil or divisive intrusion. I Thessalonians 5:12-15.
ARTICLE IX - FINANCIAL RECORD REVIEW
It shall be the duty of the Council of Elders to arrange for an annual financial record review by an appropriate external financial agent and to report at the first quarterly business meeting following the review.
ARTICLE X - AMENDMENT OR DISSOLUTION
This Constitution may be amended by a 75% majority vote of all voting members present at any regular or called business meeting of the congregation, providing there shall be a quorum of 40% of the voting members (refer to Article IV) of the Church at said meeting.
ARTICLE XI - QUORUM
A quorum for conducting a business meeting of the Church shall be 30% of the voting membership (Article IV) of the Church.
ARTICLE XII - ADOPTION
This Constitution shall become effective immediately upon adoption by the Church.
ARTICLE XIII - COPY
A copy of this Constitution along with the Doctrinal Statement and Church Covenant shall be made available to each member of the Church.