Church By-Laws

By-Laws of Colonial Hills Baptist Church

Article I: Church Membership

Section A: The Membership
The membership of Colonial Hills Baptist Church, Tyler, Texas, referred to herein as “the church”, will consist of all persons whose names appear on the Church Membership Roll.

Section B: New Membership
The church accepts people for membership in the following ways:
1. After a public profession of faith in Christ as personal savior, and upon baptism by immersion in water; or
2. Upon receipt of a church letter of dismissal and recommendation from some other Baptist church of like faith and order; or
3. By statement that they have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ as personal savior and have subsequently been baptized by immersion in water.
Individuals requesting membership will be presented to the congregation at a regular service and final approval confirmed through a simple majority vote of the voting members present at the next regular business meeting of the church.

Section C: Termination of Membership
Membership may be terminated only in the following manner:
1. Upon death of a member; or
2. Upon issuance of a church letter of dismissal and recommendation for membership in some other Baptist church; or
3. Upon a member’s joining a church of another faith; or
4. Upon a member’s request that his/her membership be terminated; or
5. Upon withdrawal of fellowship by the church from a member as provided by Holy Scriptures. The Senior Pastor and Deacons will exercise church discipline according to Matthew 18:15-17 and Titus 3:10-11.

Section D: Restoration of Membership
In all cases of church discipline, restoration to fellowship with God and His people is the goal. Should the time come when a genuine change of heart is clearly evidenced, the individual whose membership was terminated by church discipline may request membership again and full fellowship will be restored.

Section E: Membership Records
All membership records shall be filed for future reference in the church office.

Section F: Voting Rights of Membership
Only members of the church are entitled to vote. Every member shall have the opportunity to vote on matters that effect the church (e.g., the annual budget of the church, the election of church officers, the disposition of all church assets, the merger or dissolution of the church, the acquisition of real property and related indebtedness, amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and the Constitution and By-Laws of the church, the affirmation of Associate Pastors, and the calling or removal of the Senior Pastor). Voting by proxy is prohibited.

Section G: Non-members
Christian non-members who attend Colonial Hills Baptist Church may enjoy all the privileges of membership with the exception of voting or holding leadership positions.

Article II: Church Officers

Section A: Senior Pastor Role
The Senior Pastor is the shepherd who feeds, tends and leads the flock. He has the oversight and superintendence of all the interests of the church, and of all departments of its work, both spiritual and temporal. While he does not lord it over the membership, needlessly interfere, nor assume dictatorial authority over deacons, trustees, Sunday School workers or others in service, he does have the privilege and duty to hold watchful supervision overall. The Senior Pastor teaches and preaches the Word of God to the church. He will administer or cause to be administered the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and will moderate or appoint someone to moderate church conferences.
The church will add staff to help shoulder these burdens as seems financially feasible and needful so that the Senior Pastor can adequately prepare to preach and teach the gospel. Any associate or assistant pastor serves the church under the supervision of the Senior Pastor.

Using the qualifications set forth in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9), the Senior Pastor is to be a man of:
1. High moral character
a. Above reproach—an example to follow
b. Husband of but one wife—loving husband living in a pure marriage relationship
c. Temperate and vigilant—not given to excess in any area
d. Prudent—sober, sensible and sound of mind.
e. Respectable—having a well-ordered life
f. Service-oriented
g. Self-controlled—temperate
h. Just—giving men their due
i. Devout—performing his duty toward God
j. Free from the love of money
2. Solid family life
a. Children under control
b. House ruled well
3. Good interpersonal skills
a. Not addicted to wine
b. Not belligerent
c. Gentle and not contentious towards others
d. Hospitable
e. Lover of what is good—desiring the best in every relationship
f. Good reputation among outsiders
4. Spiritual maturity
a. Not a novice
b. Able to teach

Section B: Deacon and Deacon Body

A Deacon is a servant and advisor to the church and its leadership, and is a missionary to the community as a carrier of salt and light in his daily walk. As a collective, referred to herein as the “Deacon Body”, their ministry shall be based on the model set forth in Scripture (Matthew 5:13-14; Acts 6:16; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).

The Deacon Body shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary annually, and other officers as deemed necessary.

The Deacon Body is to:
1. Minister to the church as directed by the Chairman. Though not limited to widows and the needy, these are a priority.
2. Administer the Deacon Benevolence Fund to support financial needs of widows and other persons identified by the Deacon Body.
3. Visit the sick, lost or bereaved in conjunction with the outreach program of the church or Sunday School.
4. Serve the Lord’s Supper to the membership and to shut-ins.
5. Serve as advisors and counselors to the Senior Pastor, staff and Ministry Teams.
6. Make recommendations to the church both as advisors to the Senior Pastor and staff and on matters that may arise in the Ministry Teams or within the Deacon Body itself.
7. Identify, examine and recommend to the church, men to serve as Deacons.
8. Supply the pulpit in the unscheduled absence of the Senior Pastor or in the absence of a pulpit committee.

Qualifications, Eligibility and the Selection Process
The qualifications for Deacon shall be based on Scripture:
1. Candidates shall be men full of the Holy Spirit and faith. (Acts 6:1-6)
2. Candidates shall be men well respected, sincere, not given to much wine, not pursuing dishonest gain, men tested in service, of good reputation, men who if married are husbands of one wife and men who manage their households well. (1 Timothy 3:8-13)

The following are eligible for consideration for membership in the Deacon Body:
1. Non-ordained adult male members in good standing of the church.
2. Previously ordained Deacons (including those from churches of like faith) who have been members of the church for at least nine months.

The process of selection to the Deacon Body shall be as follows:
1. The Deacon Body will ask the church to nominate men for consideration.
2. The Deacon Body will form a committee for the purpose of examining the nominee and his wife.
3. The Senior Pastor and the Chairman will submit the examined candidates to the church for a vote of confirmation.
4. The Senior Pastor and the Chairman shall supervise the ordination of new Deacons.

Deacon Fellowship
The fellowship includes all ordained men who are members in good standing of the church. An active Deacon who elects to be removed from active service remains a part of the fellowship.

Those in the fellowship may:
1. Serve as needed during times of special needs.
2. Participate in ordination services.
3. Attend deacon social activities.
4. Petition the Deacon Body for membership, be recommended to the church by the Deacon Body and approved by the church for service.

Those in the fellowship can not:
1. Vote as a member of the Deacon Body
2. Serve as a member of a deacon committee

Section C: Trustees
The Nominating Ministry Team will recommend and the church shall affirm three to six members to serve as Trustees. Trustees serve as legal representatives of the church with rotations as deemed necessary. They are vested with full power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer church property as directed by the church at a regular conference meeting or a special conference meeting called for that purpose. A minimum of two Trustees shall act in behalf of the church or sign documents when signatures are required.

Section D: Church Clerk
The Nominating Ministry Team will recommend and the church shall affirm a person as its clerical officer. The Church Clerk will keep an accurate record of the proceedings of each business meeting of the church. The Church Clerk shall be responsible for preparation of the Annual Church Profile to the Smith County Baptist Association, or any successor agency or other denominational agency with which such letter should be filed. The Church Clerk will be responsible for maintaining the membership roll and for sending or requesting Letters of Recommendation for church membership. All church records are church property and shall be filed at the church.

Article III: Ministry Teams

Section A: Ministry Team Council
The Nominating Ministry Team will recommend and the church shall affirm not less than five church members to serve on the Ministry Team Council. The purpose of the Ministry Team Council is to provide structure for developing and using God-given gifts of the church for the cause of Christ in the ministries of Colonial Hills Baptist Church. The Ministry Team Council shall work closely with the staff and will give updates as needed to the Deacon Body.

The duties and responsibilities of the Council are as follows:
1. Outline general ministry duties and responsibilities of Ministry Teams and Task Forces.
2. Evaluate and discern the needs of the church and form Ministry Teams or Task Forces when necessary.
3. Form any Ministry Team or short-term Task Force upon request of the church or staff.
4. Enlist workers to serve on Ministry Teams.
5. Bring Ministry Team recommendations to the church for discussion and vote.
6. Provide oversight and support to ministry teams.

Section B: Ministry Team

A Ministry Team is a group of members responsible for performing any and all duties necessary to oversee a specific ministry area of the church. The team will keep the church informed of its work and, when necessary, will seek instruction from the church body. Ministry Teams will function within the framework of authority and duties assigned them by the church and will be subject to the general information for ministry teams.

Reasons for Ministry Teams
1. Provides responsible ministry to every area of the church.
2. Involves as many members as possible in the ministry of the church.
3. Promotes Christian growth and development.

Number of Teams
The number of teams needed will be dependent on the specific opportunities for ministries as they arise.

Team Composition
1. Teams will be composed of three to nine members, unless otherwise needed.
2. Senior Pastor and/or church staff will serve as ex officio members.
3. Ministry Team Leaders will work with the Ministry Team Council to establish a practical, staggered rotation schedule and will reevaluate annually the needs of the team composition.
4. Team vacancies will be filled by the church upon recommendations by the Ministry Team Council.

1. A team member shall be a church member who has an understanding of the team’s responsibilities and is willing to assume those responsibilities.
2. Team members must have a desire to see the ministries of the church accomplished in a harmonious and advantageous manner.

Duties of Team Leaders
1. Ensure all members are contacted regarding dates and times of meetings.
2. Prepare agenda for each meeting.
3. Direct each meeting and clarifies any duties or procedures.
4. Make recommendations to the church body as necessary.
5. Be diligent in communication to assigned church staff member and to the church body.
6. Ensure that all team members share in the ministry duties and decisions.

Organization and Procedures
1. Ministry Team Council will present to the church for approval the terms and members who will be serving on each Team.
2. Individual teams will delegate responsibilities and establish officers based on need.
3. Teams will meet on a regular basis (e.g., monthly or quarterly) as needed, and must have a quorum (50%) to decide on the recommendations.
4. The team should discuss with the Senior Pastor and/or Associate Pastor any team recommendation to be presented to the church. Upon Senior Pastor approval/agreement, the team will give the recommendations to the church secretary for presentation at the next business meeting.
5. The team should follow church policies when purchasing material and supplies needed to perform its duties.

Team Duties
Ministry Team duties and responsibilities can be found in the church office.

Article IV: Pastor Search Procedure

Section A: Senior Pastor
A pastor will be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. A Pastor Search Committee will be elected by the church to seek out a suitable Senior Pastor and its recommendations will constitute a nomination.

Search Committee
The Pastor Search Committee shall be elected by the church in a business session especially called for such purpose. The committee shall consist of seven church members. A husband and wife cannot serve on the committee at the same time. The active Deacons will present a list of seven or more church members who have consented to serve on the Search Committee. The church will be given the opportunity to nominate persons along with those who have been presented by the Deacons. Each church member may vote for only one candidate. The deacon body shall count the votes. The seven members receiving the most votes will form the Search Committee. In the event that any of these are unable or unwilling to serve, the remaining candidate(s), in order of those receiving the most votes will be asked to serve and so on until the committee of seven is formed. The Pastor Search Committee shall elect its own chairperson.

Pulpit Supply
The Deacons shall be responsible for pulpit supply until an interim pastor has been named and accepted the call.

Interim Pastor
The Deacons shall be responsible for locating and recommending an Interim Pastor for approval by the church at a business meeting. The Interim Pastor shall serve in pastoral duties only until a new Senior Pastor has accepted the position. The Interim Pastor cannot be a staff member and cannot be considered for a call to pastorate while he is serving as an interim.

Search Procedures
The Committee shall bring to consideration of the church only one candidate at a time. The compensation and other benefits shall be those agreed upon by the incoming pastor and the Pastor Search Committee with concurrence of the Personnel and Budget/Finance Ministry Teams. Any expense for which the ministry team expects reimbursement needs advance approval by the Budget/Finance Ministry Team.

Vote to Call
The Pastor Search Committee shall unanimously recommend a qualified man to pastor the church. After careful examination of his character, family life, ministry, and doctrine they shall bring him in view of a call. The prospective pastor will come to the church in view of a call and shall preach a sermon on a designated Sunday morning. The church will vote on a call in the evening service of the same Sunday. Vote in view of a call should be made at a special called church conference with a least one week written notification to all church members. Election shall be by a secret ballot (yes to call, no to not call). An affirmative vote of three-fourths (3/4) of those members present and voting shall be necessary to extend a call. If the church does not extend the call or if the person called by the church declines, the Pastor Search Committee shall begin the process anew. The called person shall be given a reasonable time to accept or decline.

Section B: Associate Pastors
The Senior Pastor shall have the authority to select and recommend to the Personnel Ministry Team other ministerial staff to the church. The prospective Associate Pastor will meet with the Deacons and members from the appropriate Ministry Team(s). Scheduling of preaching, singing, testimonies or events will be at the discretion of the Senior Pastor. The church will affirm the call.

Article V: Removal of a Pastor

Section A: Removal of Senior Pastor
The Deacons shall have the authority to call a church conference for the purpose of removal of the Senior Pastor. One-week notice of the meeting shall be given. The Senior Pastor may be removed with a majority vote.

Section B: Removal of Associate Pastor
Removal of an Associate Pastor will be at the discretion of the Senior Pastor and Personnel Ministry Team.

Article VI: Church Conference

Section A: Quarterly Church Conferences
A church conference shall be held during the first month of each quarter at any regularly scheduled worship service. It shall review the financial statements from the previous quarter, changes in church membership, reports from ministry teams and recommendations from the deacons or ministry teams.

Section B: Annual Stewardship Conference
An annual stewardship conference shall be held in the last quarter of each year at any regularly scheduled worship service. The purpose of this meeting shall be to adopt the budget for the new church year.

Section C: Called Church Conference
As the need arises, the Senior Pastor and/or deacons may call a special church conference during any regularly scheduled worship service to deal with stated matters of church business.

Section D: Notice Requirement
Notice of a church conference shall include the date, time, and location of this meeting and all subjects to be introduced and discussed. The notice will be given in the worship folder or by announcement in the Sunday Worship Service at least two weeks prior to a quarterly conference or consideration of amendments to the By-Laws, or at least one week prior to a special called conference.

Section E: Moderator
The Senior Pastor or his designee shall be moderator of any church conference. If the Senior Pastor is unable to designate a moderator or there is no pastor, the Chairman of Deacons will be moderator.

Section F: Quorum
The number of members present for any church conference (business meeting) will be considered a quorum.

Article VII: Financial Management

Section A: General Information
Tithes and Offerings
The church is to be supported with tithes and offerings. Each person should give “as God has prospered him,” as directed in 1 Corinthians 16:2.

Designated Gifts
All designated gifts accepted by the church should be for the ministries and programs supported by the church.

The church will provide financial statements and other pertinent reports to the membership on a regular basis, but no less than quarterly.

There will be an outside audit at least every two years.
Financial Records

Financial records and staff salary information will be available in the church office to church members on request.

Section B: Budget/Finance

Ministry Team Selection
The Budget/Finance Ministry Team will be recommended by the Ministry Team Council and approved at the annual church conference. It will consist of a minimum of six church members. The Chairman of Deacons and the Church Administrator will serve as ex officio members. Ministry Team members shall serve on a rotational basis and may rotate off after three years of service.

The Budget/Finance Ministry Team has the fiduciary responsibility for the management of the financial assets of the church. Such responsibilities include the following:
1. Early in the year, acquaint all team members with the financial conditions of the church and review overall stewardship program.
2. Review monthly financial statements and balance sheet of the church. Make recommended changes as needed. Review new requests and budget adjustments.
3. Assure custodianship and accountability of all funds from collection to expenditure. Monitor procedures used by the Teller/Counter Ministry Team in their counting contributions and making deposits.
4. Work with the Church Administrator to evaluate and effect the best financial transactions for the church.
5. Meet with the Church Administrator to review all payment documentation and double sign all checks.
6. Work with the Church Administrator to receive budget requests from each ministry in September. Coordinate requests from each area and balance the needs in the framework of a total church budget.
7. Work with the Personnel Ministry Team to establish and offer an appropriate compensation package for the Senior Pastor, Associate Pastors, staff, and church employees.

Budget Approval Process
The Budget/Finance Ministry Team develops a proposed budget and reviews that budget with the pastoral staff and Deacon Body. Prior to a budget vote, the proposed budget will be distributed to the membership. The Team will hold open-door meetings to give the membership opportunities for input, questions or clarification on any financial matter. The membership is encouraged to use this opportunity to gain a full understanding of the proposed budget. At least one week’s notification will be given before the budget vote without further discussion at the annual stewardship conference.

Section C: Memorial Funds
1. All undesignated memorial funds shall go into the General Fund of the church.
2. All approved designated memorial funds shall be applied to the appropriate ministry.

Section D: Trust Funds
All trust funds accepted by the church will be administered according to the directions given to the church by the donor.

Article VIII: Special Use of the Building

Section A: General
The church considers requests for the use of its facilities when such use will contribute to the honoring of God’s work. Compensation may be requested for any additional operational expenses or for damage to church properties.

Section B: Weddings
The use of the facilities for weddings must be in accordance with the wedding policies furnished by the church to the bride. Wedding policies shall be reviewed and revised each year by the Property and Grounds Ministry Team.

Section C: Other Use
Other use of church facilities and equipment must be in accordance with the policies established by the Property and Grounds Ministry Team. These policies are available in the church office.

Article IX: Security Policy

Section A: Children’s Security Policy
The Colonial Hills Children’s Security policy was created to protect the children of our church. Copies of the policy are available in the church office.

Section B: Confidentiality Statement
From time to time and as necessary Colonial Hills Baptist Church may record certain information about its members including but not limited to: address, phone number, e mail address, marital status, social security number, credit card number, etc. It is the church’s intention and desire to protect and keep confidential such information. We strive, therefore, to keep records and lists containing personal information out of sight and under lock and key. Discretion will be exercised as to when and to whom access to such information will be made available.

Section C: Security
The church recommends that no one bring any type of gun on any property owned or operated by the church, the only exception being military and law enforcement officers.

Article X: Amendments

Section A: Constitution and By-Laws Review Team
The Ministry Team Council shall appoint a Constitution and By-Laws Review Team at least once every three years. The team shall consist of not less than five members that represent a diverse cross section of the church membership. The team members should be mature Christians who are knowledgeable of church functions. This team shall perform a complete review of the Constitution and By Laws and recommend amendments as needed.

Section B: Open Door Meetings
Proposed amendments will be distributed to the membership. The Constitution and By Laws Review Team will hold open door meetings to give the membership opportunities for input, questions or clarification on the proposed amendments.

Section C: Approval
Recommended amendments shall be presented to the church membership for a vote at a called church conference. The By-Laws can be amended by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present and voting. A minimum of two weeks’ notice must be given before the church conference to vote on the proposed amendments.

Article XI: Parliamentary Procedure

All questions of procedure not addressed in these By-Laws shall be determined according to Robert’s Rules of Order.