Providence Reformed Baptist Church of Central Texas
Article One – Name
The Congregation shall be known as “Providence Reformed Baptist Church of Central Texas.”
Article Two – Purpose
The Church is formed to advance the Kingdom of God in obedience to the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ as found in the Holy Scriptures by glorifying God in all we do (1 Corinthians 10:31), loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), worshipping God alone (Luke 4:8; Revelation 22:9), making disciples of all people (Matthew 28:19-20), equipping believers in Jesus Christ for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 8:29), and preaching and teaching the Word of God (Romans 1:16-17; Mark 16:15).
Article Three – Statement of Faith
The Statement of Faith of this Church consists of The First London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1646, and The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689, as amended by Charles H. Spurgeon, supported by Spurgeon’s Puritan Catechism.
Article Four – Membership
Section 1 – Active Membership
Active membership in Providence Reformed Baptist Church of Central Texas shall be open to all persons who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Section 2 – Voting Privileges
Membership in this Church shall not vest in any member any proprietary rights in the Church but shall only entitle the member to vote at the meeting of members on those matters submitted to the Church membership by the Board of Elders. Voting privileges are restricted to members who have passed their twelfth (12) birthday. Membership shall not be assignable inter vivo by any member nor shall membership vest to any personal representative, heir, or devisee.
Section 3 – Application for Membership
All requests for membership shall be made to the Pastor, an Elder, or a Deacon. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Statement of Faith. A Pastor, Elder, or Deacon shall meet with the applicant following receipt of the application. Each applicant shall testify publicly before the Elders at a regularly held meeting for prospective members in order to give a clear testimony of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Section 4 – Denial of Membership
If, upon review of an application for membership or after meeting with a prospective member, the Board of Elders determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of the fruits of regeneration, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Board shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
Section 5 – Admission of Applicants
Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service designated by the Pastor and the Board of Elders, at which service such applicant shall publicly affirm their faith in Jesus Christ and be publicly acknowledged as members by the Church.
Section 6 – Responsibility of Members
Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of all the church body and shall submit to the loving rule of the Elders.
Section 7 – Discipline of Members
The purpose of Church Discipline is to affect a return to a Biblical standard of behavior and doctrine in a member who errs (Galatians 6:1), to maintain purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6-7), and to deter sin (1 Timothy 5:20) in order to reflect the glory of God and His holy character (John 15:8; 1 Peter 2:12).
In accordance with the Scriptures and our Church Covenant, each member has promised “to watch over one another and not sin against one another, so far as God shall reveal it to us, or to any of us, and to stir up one another to love and good works; to warn, rebuke, and admonish one another with meekness, according to the will of God as recorded in His Word,” and also “to bear with one another’s weaknesses, failings, and infirmities, with much tenderness and love, not publicly revealing these things to anyone outside the Church, or any within, except doing so according to Christ’s rule and the order of the Gospel provided in that case.” Therefore, when there is a breach of the peace and fellowship between members of the church on account of sin, we will obey the rule of Christ through His Word to restore “the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3) by means of the processes of Church Discipline.
For Private Sins
In the event that a private sin (not open or in public view, but private and/or personal) is committed by one member against another, the following steps shall be followed:
Step 1 – “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” (Matt. 18:15). The member who was sinned against is to go to the member who sinned and reprove them in private, seeking repentance in order to forgive them and thereby be reconciled with them.
Step 2 – “If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (Matt. 18:15) The member who sinned is to obey the Lord and heed his conscience by repenting and being reconciled to God and to anyone else he has sinned against (1 John 1:9; Matthew 5:23-24; James 5:16).
Step 3 – “If he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established’” (Matt. 18:16). If the sinning member does not repent, he is to be reproved a second time with one or two witnesses who may confirm both his response and the spirit in which he has been rebuked.
Step 4 – “If he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church” (Matt. 18:17). At this point the matter shall be shared publicly with the church so that the church may appeal to the sinning member to repent and be reconciled.
Step 5 – “If he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector” (Matt. 17). If he will not listen to the church, then the church is to remove him from membership and from all fellowship (1 Cor. 5:12-13). They are to be treated as unregenerate and outside the Body of Christ.
The ultimate goal in church discipline is restoration of a sinning believer to fellowship. The individuals and the churches must not act in the place of the Holy Spirit by demanding restoration, but must humbly obey the Scriptures for the sake of proving their love for Christ (1 John 5:3) and their love for the one caught in sin (1 John 4:7-11; Matthew 22:39). The Spirit of God calls the sinner to repentance and grants it in the presence of godly sorrow (John 16:5-15; 2 Tim. 2:25-26).
Those who are called on to rebuke a sinning believer are “to restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal. 6:1).
If at any step including after removing him from fellowship and membership, the sinning member repents, then we are to restore him, “forgive and comfort him” (2 Cor. 2:7), and “reaffirm your love for him” (2 Cor. 2:8). Church discipline is to be applied to all members of the Body of Christ without bias or partiality (1 Tim. 5:19-21; Gal. 2:11).
For Public Sins
In the event that any member of the church commits an open or public sin, including but not limited to: teaching doctrinal heresy, sexual immorality, adultery, homosexuality, greed, stealing, idolatry, being a reviler, drunkard, extortioner, lying before or against the church, or causing division within the congregation, etc. (1 Cor. 15:12; 2 Tim. 2:17-18; Gal. 1:6-9; 2 John 1:7-10; 1 Cor. 5:1, 9-13; 6:9-10; Rom. 16:17; Acts 5:1-11), then that member shall be publicly rebuked and upon failing to heed the warning and repent, shall be shunned by the church, fellowship and membership being withdrawn, their unfruitful works being exposed in obedience to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 5:11, 13; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:6-12; 1 Tim. 5:21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 3:10-11).
In matters of Private or Public Sins, there shall be no appeal to any court from the decision of the church. It is understood that this process will continue to conclusion whether the erring member leaves the Church or otherwise seeks to withdraw from membership to avoid discipline. If said member, after dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance and the fruits of regeneration, and requests reinstatement, he or she shall be publicly restored to membership (2 Cor. 2:5-11).
Section 8 – Termination of Membership
The Church shall recognize the termination of a person’s membership following his or her death, and may do so after he or she has voluntarily resigned or joined with another evangelical church. Membership may also be terminated as an act of exclusion for those who are habitually absent from the stated meetings of the Church without just cause, or by an act of excommunication through Church Discipline as specified in Article Four, Section 7 of these Bylaws.
Section 9 – Worship Meetings
Worship services shall be held each Lord’s Day, and may be held throughout the week as the Church determines.
Section 10 – Member Meetings
A regular annual meeting of the church members shall be held at the principle office of the church in January of each year. At such regular meeting, the members shall consider reports of the affairs of the Church, and transact such business as the Elders determine shall be brought before the meeting, including but not limited to affirmation of the appointments made by the Elders of those who shall serve as Elders for the ensuing year and the election of those qualified for the offices of Deacons and Deaconesses.
Section 11 – Special Meetings
Special meetings of the members may be called at any time by order of the Pastor, the Board of Elders, or by written request submitted to the Board of Elders by ten percent (10%) of the voting membership.
Section 12 – Notice of Meetings
Notice of regular meetings shall be given from the pulpit by the Pastor for two successive Sundays prior to the meeting. In addition thereto, notice shall be published in the regular church bulletin for two successive Sundays prior to such meeting. Notice of special meetings shall be given from the pulpit at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting and shall also be published in the regular church bulletin on the Sunday immediately preceding the meeting.
Section 13 – Quorum
At all meetings of the members, whether regular or special, the members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 14 – Voting Rights
Only persons whose names stand on the membership records of the church on the day of any meeting of the church members, and who are twelve (12) years of over shall be entitled to vote at such a meeting.
Article Five – Elders
Section 1 – Board of Elders
Lay Elders along with the Senior Pastor and Associate Pastors shall compose the Board of Elders. The authorized number of Elders for the Church shall not be less than one (1) or more than twenty (20) until changed by amendment of the Articles of Incorporation or by amendment to these Bylaws. The Board of Elders shall elect from their number a Vice-Chairman and Secretary/Treasurer annually.
Section 2 – Qualifications
Each member of the Board of Elders must be an active member of this Church who is in substantial agreement with the Statement of Faith and possess the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He shall be:
A. Blameless as a steward of God, above reproach and disrepute.
B. The husband of one wife; that is, a one-woman man (this does not refer to
marital status but to purity as a single man or faithfulness as a married man).
C. Temperate, vigilant and serious minded.
D. Sober minded, self (Spirit) controlled, curbing one’s desire and impulses.
E. Of good behavior, well arranged and seemly in conduct.
F. Hospitable, a “lover of strangers”, generous.
G. Able to teach, a skillful teacher of God’s Word.
H. Not given to wine, one who does not abuse and is not addicted to alcohol.
I. Not violent, not a “bruiser” given to fights.
J. Not greedy for money.
K. Gentle, reserved and reasonably fair.
L. Not quarrelsome, contentious, or looking for trouble.
M. Not covetous or controlled by the desire for possessions.
N. One who rules his own house well, managing his family according to Biblical principles and standards.
O. Not a novice, not a new convert but mature in the faith.
P. Having a good testimony among those outside, having an upstanding reputation even to those outside the church.
Q. Not self willed, self pleasing or arrogant.
R. Not quick tempered prone to angry outbursts or hot headed.
S. A lover of what is good.
T. Just and upright.
U. Holy, devout, and pleasing to God.
V. Self-controlled, disciplined.
W. Holding fast the faithful Word, believing and being convinced of the truth of God’s Word and offering the truth to others.
Section 3 – Scriptural Terms for Elders
Several different terms are used in the Scriptures to refer to man serving in the role of an Elder. These terms help define the role and duties of Elders within the Church.
A. Overseer (Greek: Episkopas) – translated “bishop” in most Bibles, means “overseer, guardian, decision maker, or manager” (1 Peter 2:25; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-2; Acts 20:28).
B. Elder (Greek: Presbuteros) – translated “elders” it means “one who is older” or “mature” (Acts 14:23, 20:17; 1 Peter 1:1, 5:1-2).
C. Pastor (Greek: Poimen) – translated “pastor”, the word means “shepherd, one who cares for, protects, and leads” (Hebrews 13:20-21; 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 5:17; Titus 1:6-9; Ephesians 4:11).
These terms describe one man in one office, that of an elder. The term elder refers to who the man is (his identity as mature in the faith), the term overseer refers to what he does (his job description), and the term pastor refers to his heart as he does the job (his character as a shepherd of God’s people).
Section 4 – Powers
Subject to the limitations of Holy Scripture, the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws, and of pertinent restrictions on the Non-Profit Corporation Act of Texas, all the activities and affairs of the Church shall be exercised by or under the direction of the Board of Elders, who are responsible for shepherding and having oversight of the congregation. Without prejudice to such general powers, but subject to the same limitations, it is hereby expressly declared that the Board of Elders shall have the following powers in addition to the other powers enumerated in these Bylaws:
A. To select and remove all the officers, agents, pastors, staff, and employees of the Church, prescribe such duties for them consistent with Scripture, law, or with these Bylaws, fix the terms of their offices and their compensation.
B. To make such disbursements from the funds and properties of the Church as they are required to fulfill the purposes of the Church as are more fully set out in the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws, to generally conduct, manage, and control the activities and affairs of the Church and to make such rules and regulations consistent with the Holy Scriptures, law, the Articles of Incorporation, and with these Bylaws, as they deem best.
C. To adopt, make and use a corporate seal, and to alter the form of such seal from time to time as they deem best.
D. To establish policies and practices for the Church consistent with the purposes of the Church, including amending these Bylaws as needed.
E. To assist the Senior Pastor in the administration of the Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
F. To carry on a business and apply any such profit that results from that business activity in which may legally engage.
Section 5 – Pastors
The Senior Pastor shall be an Elder and shall serve as the Chairman of the Board of Elders. He shall arrange for and conduct all public and regular services of the Church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the Church.
The Associate Pastors shall be Elders and shall assist the Senior Pastor in the performance of his duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of pastor, or as set forth and assigned by the Board of Elders and the Church.
Pastors shall be selected by the Board of Elders and confirmed by the members of the Church at its annual meeting or at a special business meeting, and such confirmation shall be by unanimous vote of the Board of Elders and a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the members. He shall remain in office an indefinite period of time subject to the following reservations: the Board of Elders reserve the right to dismiss a Pastor upon giving him one month’s written notice of its intention to dismiss. This right may only be used by the Board of Elders in the event that a Pastor is physically incapacitated or spiritually disqualified to remain in his office.
A Pastor must give one month’s written notice if he intends to resign. The time limit of a Pastor’s resignation or dismissal is subject to lesser time if both the Pastor and the Board of Elders by mutual agreement provide otherwise.
Section 6 – Lay Elders
Recommendations to fill the office of Lay Elder shall be requested once a year from all church members. The Board of Elders shall review all nominations and determine each nominee’s qualifications. The Board shall then approve, disapprove, or amend the list of nominees. The Secretary shall publicly post the nominees approved by the Board at least three (3) weeks prior to the annual meeting of the Church. At this meeting, the slate of nominees shall be presented to the members to affirm the decision of the Elders. If the slate of nominees is affirmed the newly elected Elders shall assume office immediately. Each Lay Elder shall serve until the next annual meeting.
Section 7 – Vacancies
Any Elder may resign effective upon giving written notice to the Senior Pastor or Secretary of the Board of Elders, unless the notice shall specify a later time for the effectiveness of such resignation. If the resignation is to take effect at some future time, a successor may be selected before that time at a special meeting according to Article Five, Section 6.
A vacancy or vacancies in the Board of Elders shall be deemed to exist in case of death, resignation, or removal of any Elder, or if the need exists and the specified limit is not exceeded.
No reduction of the authorized number of elders shall have the effect of removing any Elder prior to the expiration of the Elder’s term in office.
Section 8 – Removal of Lay Elders
Any Lay Elder may be removed from office if he becomes physically incapacitated, spiritually disqualified, or his inability to serve is established in the minds of the remainder of the Board of Elders.
Section 9 – Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board of Elders shall be held without call or notice once a month on the day designated by the Board at its previous meeting. Regular meetings shall be open to church members.
Special meetings of the Board of Elders may be called at any time by order of the Senior Pastor, Vice-Chairman, or Secretary of the Board, or by quorum of the members of the Board. Special meetings of the Board shall be held upon a twenty-four (24) hour notice given personally by telephone, email, or other similar means of communication. Any such notice shall be addressed or delivered to each Elder or at such Elder’s address as it is shown upon the records of the Church or as it may have been given to the Church by the Elder for such purpose of notice.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in these Bylaws, any meeting (whether regular or special) of the Board of Elders may be held at any place within or without the State of Texas.
Members of the Board of Elders may participate in a meeting through the use of a conference call by telephone or similar communication equipment, so long as all members participating in such meeting can hear one another.
A majority of Elders present, whether or not a quorum is present may adjourn any Elder’s meeting to another time and place. Notice of the time and place of holding an adjourned meeting need not be given to absent Elders if the time and place be fixed at the meeting adjourned, except if the meeting is adjourned for more than forty-eight (48) hours.
Section 10 – Quorum
Unless otherwise provided herein, a majority of Elders in office shall constitute a quorum. Whenever the matter to be considered concerns calling a Pastor or staff member, dismissing a Pastor or staff member, or buying or selling real estate, a quorum shall consist of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board. Except as the Articles of Incorporation, these Bylaws, or the Texas Non-Profit Corporation Act may provide, the act or decision done or made by the Elders present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Elders.
Section 11 – Action without Meeting
Any action requiring or permitted to be taken by the Board may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board shall individually or collectively consent in writing to a duly prepared resolution to such action. Such consent or consents shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote of the Board and shall be documented by attaching the signed resolution with the minutes of proceedings of the Board.
Section 12 – Rights of Inspection
Every Elder shall have the absolute right at any reasonable time to inspect and copy all books, records, and documents of every kind and to inspect the physical properties of the Church of which such person is an Elder, for a purpose reasonably related to such person’s interest as an Elder.
Section 13 – Decision by the Board
Decisions shall be reached after prayerful consideration by unanimous vote in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself.
Section 14 – Fees and Compensation
Elders as such shall not receive any stated or fixed salary for their services; however, nothing herein contained shall be construed to preclude any Elder from serving the Church in any other capacity and receiving compensation.
Any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from the Church shall not have a say in determining the nature or amount of said compensation.
Article Six – Deacons and Deaconesses
Section 1 – Deacons
The Deacons shall consist of members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and shall be elected at the annual meeting for a term of one (1) year. The Deacons shall assist the Elders in the shepherding of the saints, assist the Pastors at the Lord’s Supper and Baptism services, aid in the general spiritual care of the Church, and perform other duties of service as assigned by the Board of Elders. A Deacon shall be a man of dignity, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not fond of sordid gain, holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, first tested and found beyond reproach.
Section 2 – Deaconesses
The Deaconesses shall consist of members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:11 and shall be elected at the annual meeting for a term of one (1) year. They shall prepare the elements for the Lord’s Supper, assist the Pastors at Baptismal services, and in the general spiritual care of the Church, and shall assist in the care of the sick and needy. A Deaconess shall be diligent, not a malicious gossip, temperate, and faithful in all things.
Section 3 – Nomination and Selection
The nomination and selection of Deacons and Deaconesses shall be done in the same manner as for Lay Elders, as set forth in Article 5, Section 6 of these Bylaws, except they shall be elected at the annual meeting by the congregation.
In the event any of the above mentioned offices becomes vacant during the period between annual elections, the Board of Elders may fill such vacancy for the unexpired term.
Section 4 – Other Councils and Committees
To promote efficient handling of Church matters, the Board of Elders may appoint various councils and committees from within the membership of the Church. All councils and committees shall exist for the period specified by the Board of Elders.
These councils and committees shall perform tasks solely in accordance with the duties and with the powers specifically delegated by the Board. The general function of councils and committees are:
A. To bring considered recommendations to the Board of Elders concerning ministries.
B. To provide a wider base of counsel to the Elders having oversight of a specific ministry.
Article Seven – Ordination, Licensing, and Commissioning
Section 1 – Ordination
Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Board of Elders of a man’s call to the ministry, preparation as a shepherd, and qualifications to serve. Ordination shall be conferred by authority of the Church upon the candidate for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
Section 2 – Licensing
The license is issued by the Board of Elders and is given in recognition of a man’s call to that ministry. Its aim is to allow a man to perform ecclesiastical duties and functions of the Church. Licenses will be evaluated and issued on an annual basis.
Section 3 – Commissioning
When the local church certification is required for ministry where ordination would be unnecessary or inappropriate, a person is commissioned by the Board of elders to minister. This authorization continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect.
Article Eight – Settlement of Disputes
In any dispute arising between church members pertaining to any matters in spiritual teaching or practices, church finances, or title to property purchased with church contributions, the dispute shall be resolved by the Board of Elders of the Church. A decision shall be reached after prayerful consideration in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself.
Article Nine – Receipt, Investment, and Disbursement of Funds
Section 1 – Receipts
The Church shall receive all monies or other properties transferred to it for the purposes for which the Church was formed (as shown in the Articles of Incorporation and Constitution). However, nothing contained herein shall require the Board of Elders to accept or receive any money or property of any kind if it shall determine in its discretion that receipt of such money or property is contrary to the expressed purposes of the Church as shown by said Articles.
Section 2 – Disbursements
The Church shall hold, manage, and disburse any funds or properties received by it from any source in a manner that is consistent with the expressed purposes of this Church.
Section 3 – Cash Operation
The Church shall operate on a cash basis only and may not incur debt for any reason. To do so would render the Church servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7) and the Church cannot serve anyone but Christ (Luke 16:13).
Article Ten – Dissolution
Upon dissolution of the Church, the Board of Elders shall cause the assets herein to be distributed to another church, churches, or ministries with similar purposes to those identified in Article 2 of these Bylaws and the Articles of Incorporation, as amended.
Article Eleven – Other Provisions
Other provisions necessary for the Church according to the Non-Profit Corporation of Texas Act are contained in Article 11.
Section 1 – Officers
The officers of the Corporation shall be Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary/Treasurer. The Corporation may also have, at the discretion of the Board of Elders, other officers as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Section.
The officers of the Church, except the Chairman and any Subordinate Officers as described in this Section, shall be chosen annually by, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Board of Elders. Accordingly, each officer shall hold his office until he shall resign, be removed, or otherwise become disqualified to serve, or until his successor shall be elected.
Subordinate Officers may be appointed by the Board of Elders as the business of the Corporation may require, each of whom shall hold office for such period, have such authority, and perform such duties as are provided in the Bylaws or as the Board of Elders may from time to time determine.
Any officer, with the exception of the Chairman, may be removed with or without cause, by the remainder of the Board of Elders at any time, at any regular or special meeting of the Board, or by any officer upon whom such power of removal may be conferred by the Board of Elders.
Any officer may resign at any time without prejudice to the rights of the Corporation under any contract to which the officer is a party, by giving written notice to the Board of Elders, or to the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, or to the Secretary/Treasurer of the Corporation. Any such resignation shall take effect at the date of the receipt of such notice or at any later time specified therein; and, unless otherwise specified herein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.
A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or any other cause shall be filled in the manner prescribed in the Bylaws for regular election or appointments to such office, provided that such vacancies shall be filled as they occur and not on an annual basis.
In the case of absence or inability to act of any officer of the Corporation and of any person herein authorized to act in his place, the Board of Elders may from time to time delegate the powers and duties of such officer to any other officer or other person whom the Board may select.
The Chairman shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and shall have general supervision, direction, and control of the activities and officers of the Corporation. He shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Elders. He shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees and shall have such powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Elders of the Bylaws.
The Vice-Chairman shall perform all the duties of the Chairman in the absence or disability of the Chairman, and when so acting shall have all the powers of, and be subject to all the restrictions upon, the Chairman. The Vice-Chairman shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as from time to time may be prescribed for him by the Board of Elders or the Bylaws.
The Secretary/Treasurer, as Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes at the principal office or such other place as the Board of Elders may order, of all meetings of the members, the Board, and its committees, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized, the notice thereto given, the names of those present at the meetings, and the proceedings thereof.
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office in the State of Texas, the original and a copy of the Corporation’s Articles and Bylaws, as amended to date. The Secretary shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the Board and any committees thereof required by these Bylaws or by law to be given, shall keep the seal of the Corporation in safe custody, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board.
The Secretary shall keep, or case to be kept at the principal office of the Corporation, a correct membership register, or a duplicate membership register, showing the names of the members and their addresses.
The Secretary/Treasurer as Treasurer shall keep or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the Corporation. The books shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by any Elder.
The Treasurer shall deposit all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the Corporation with such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Elders. He shall disburse the funds of the Corporation as may be ordered by the Board of Elders, shall render to the Chairman and the Elders, whenever they request it, an account of all his transactions and of the financial condition of the Corporation, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Elders/ He shall make the financial reports at each regular Board meeting and at the annual meeting of members.
Section 2 – Endorsements of Documents
The Board of Elders, except as in the Bylaws otherwise provided, may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of and on the behalf of the Corporation. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized by the Board of Elders, no officer, agent, or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the Corporation by any contract or agreement, or to pledge its credit, or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount.
Subject to the provisions of applicable law, any contract, conveyance, or other instrument in writing and any assignment or endorsement thereof executed or entered into between this Corporation and any other person, when signed jointly by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Secretary/Treasurer of this Corporation shall be valid and binding on this Corporation in the absence of actual knowledge on the part of the other person that signing officers had no authority to execute the same.
The Chairman or any other officer or officers authorized by the Board are each authorized to vote, represent, and exercise on behalf of the Corporation all rights incident to any and all shares of any other Corporation or Corporations standing in the name of the Corporation. The authority herein granted may be exercised either by such officer in person or by any other person authorized to do so in proxy or power of attorney duly executed by said officer.
Unless otherwise required by context, the general provisions, rules, and definitions contained in the general provisions of the Texas Non-Profit Corporations Act shall govern the construction of these Bylaws.
Whenever an amendment or new Bylaw is adopted, it shall be copied in the book of minutes with the original Bylaws, in the appropriate place. If any Bylaw is repealed, the fact of repeal with the date of the meeting at which the repeal was enacted or written assent was filed shall be stated in said book.
Section 3 – Records and Reports
The Corporation shall maintain adequate and correct records, books, and accounts of its business and properties. All such records, accounts, and books shall be kept at its principal place of business in the State of Texas, as fixed by the Board of Elders from time to time.
Every Elder shall have the absolute right at any reasonable time to inspect all books, records, documents of every kind, and the physical properties of the Corporation, and also of its subsidiary organizations, if any.
Section 4 – Miscellaneous Provisions
All checks, drafts, demands for money, and any other financial document of the Corporation and all written contracts of the Corporation shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents, as the Board of Elders may from time to time by resolution designate.
Section 5 – Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended and new or additional Bylaws may be made from time to time at any time by the Board of Elders in the exercise of the power granted to said Board of Elders in these Bylaws.
Article Twelve – Gender and Marriage
Section 1 – Gender
From the beginning God has created man in His image, immutably male or female.
Section 2 – Defining Marriage
In keeping with our constitution and our confession, we believe Scriptures define marriage as a covenantal union between one man and one woman. This means that marriage is the only legitimate and acceptable sexual relationship. We deny that the state has the authority to impose a definition of marriage that is in direct violation to the teaching of Scripture including, but not limited to, so-called same- sex marriage, polygamy, polyamory, incest, bestiality, or cohabitation.
Section 3 – Weddings
We reserve the right to host and perform wedding ceremonies only for those who are members of our church and/or willing to submit to the policies of the church as they relate to marriage.
Article Thirteen – Religious Exemption to Mandatory Medical Procedures
Section 1 – Religious Principles
Standing in the ancient Christian tradition, committed to the doctrinal standards of Particular and Reformed Baptist churches and the supremacy of the Holy Scriptures, we affirm our religion’s principles of liberty of conscience (LBCF, 1689, Chapter 21), honoring and preserving human life from conception to natural death, as well as the sovereignty of individuals and families in medical and healthcare decision-making.
Section 2 – Liberty of Conscience and Preserving Life
We state our unequivocal support for the right of refusal of mandatory medical procedures, whether ordered by a branch of civil government, an employer, or any other institution to which an individual is subject or dependent – in the event that an individual sincerely believes his or her life, health, wellbeing, or morality is potentially threatened by such procedures or products, or in the event that a parent has the same concern for his or her child.
Section 3 – Individual and Family Sovereignty Regarding Medical Procedures or Products
We affirm that our Christian religion protects the liberty of individuals and families to refuse any medical procedure or product on the basis of sincerely held concerns for known or unknown side effects, experimental or emergency uses, potential involvement in fetal cell lines whether in development or testing, or medical and/or political corruption or coercion.
We defend the rights and responsibilities of our members to research these issues in consultation with their medical providers in order to make responsible medical decisions for themselves, including refusing vaccination or gene therapies on religious grounds.
Section 4 – Religious Exemptions
We hereby call upon all governments, schools, employers, and other institutions to respect these deeply held religious convictions by upholding this religious liberty and/or providing religious exemptions as requested.
These Bylaws were adopted October 19, 1997.
Amended on November 25, 2001, Article Three. The Statement of Faith was updated.
Amended on October 1, 2006, church name changed, replaced previous version of Bylaws with current version.
Amended on January 6, 2008, Article Five, Section 1, minimum number of Elders reduced from two to one, to be in effect until a second Elder is appointed by the Church. The maximum number of elders reduced from fifty to twenty.
Amended on June 28, 2015, to add Article Twelve – Gender and Marriage.
Amended on August 29, 2021, to add Article Thirteen – Religious Exemption to Mandatory Medical Procedures.
Amended on January 30, 2022, to expand Article Four, Section 7, on Church Discipline, in order to be more aligned with Scripture.