ByLaws

THE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF SANTA ROSA BEACH 

BYLAWS

  ARTICLE I: NAME

The Community Church of Santa Rosa Beach, Inc. is the legal name of this church located at 3524 US Highway 98 West, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida  32459.  For business purposes and daily usage it shall be known by the traditional name “The Community Church”. Herein afterward “Community Church” is used in this document meaning The Community Church.

 

ARTICLE II: PURPOSE AND FAITH

The Purpose of Community Church is to foster and encourage fellowship in the person and gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to spread the message of salvation to all.

 

ARTICLE III: MISSION STATEMENT and STATEMENT OF FAITH

Section 1: Mission Statement

Community Church – A body of Christian believers dedicated to bringing individuals into fellowship with God and serving a world in need.

Section 2: Statement of Faith

  • We believe in one God, eternally in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and that our salvation is based on the life, death and resurrection of the Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Grounded in God’s word, the Bible, we commit our minds to the knowledge of God, our hearts to compassion for all God’s children, and our lives to serving God.
  • We believe in baptism by water as an outward expression of the inward change brought about when we accept Christ as our Savior.
  • We practice open communion: All are invited to and welcome at God’s table.

 

ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: Membership in Community Church shall be open to those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, desire to walk in His fellowship, agree to abide by the government of the Community Church, its Statement of Faith, and who wish to live in peace with their neighbors.

Section 2: Associate Membership is open to persons who accept the requirements for membership and desire to participate in the activities of this Church while maintaining primary membership in another Christian church. Associate members shall be granted all rights, privileges and duties as regular members except to hold office.

Section 3: Admission to membership is through presentation to the Board of Deacons and the congregation by transfer of letter from another Christian Church, restatement of faith, or acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ as personal savior.  Membership will cease upon written request, receipt of a letter of transfer of membership to another church, or death.


ARTICLE V: GOVERNMENT

Government of this Community Church is vested in the Membership and shall be exercised through a Board of Deacons, elected by and acting for the Membership, as defined by these BYLAWS.

Community Church may cooperate with other churches or denominations in matters of mutual concern, but shall remain independent of, union with, or control by, any other group or denomination.

ARTICLE VI: BOARD OF DEACONS

Section 1:  Qualifications and eligibility to serve as a Deacon:  Consistent with the New Testament instructions, Deacons are to be servants of the Congregation. To be nominated to serve on the Board of Deacons, a person shall be an active member who is at least twenty-one years of age and has been a member of Community Church for more than six months. He or She shall have the qualities of spiritual leadership and good moral character, consistent with the qualifications found in the New Testament, and demonstrated through their actions, including regular attendance at worship services, support of other activities of the Community Church and dedicated financial stewardship.

Section 2The Board and Term of Service:  The Board shall consist of nine (9) Deacons elected by the membership for three-year terms at a Congregational Business meeting. A normal term of service will begin on January 1st of the New Year. These terms shall be staggered so that three people are nominated each year in order to provide revolving membership of the body.   Chairmanship of the Board of Deacons shall be by election of the Board, with the objective that the office will be rotated annually.  A Deacon may serve no more than two consecutive terms, after which a lapse of one year is required before a person may be re-elected to another term as a Deacon, except when a Deacon has served an unexpired term of less than one-half of a regular three year term, in which case the requirement for the lapse of one year is waived.

Section 3: Responsibilities: The Board shall be the governing body of Community Church and deal with matters concerning the physical, moral and spiritual welfare of its members and those who come within its influence. It shall be responsible for the physical properties, for determining the use of the facilities by other groups in the community, and shall assist the Pastor in administering the ordinances, sacraments and in performing any other pastoral ministries as requested by the Ministry Staff. In the absence of the Pastor, it shall be in charge of administering such ordinances and sacraments.  The foregoing will normally be accomplished by Deacon assignments to Chair the standing committees of Community Church such as, but not limited to, missions, worship, Christian education, buildings and grounds, personnel administration, finance, family ministries, fellowship and any others deemed necessary.

Section 4: Nominations and Elections: The Chairman shall appoint a Nominating Team at the September Board meeting. The Nominating Team shall consist of one Deacon and two members of the congregation at large and the Senior Pastor serving ex-officio. On the last Sunday in September the Chairman of the Board shall, announce that the opportunity to nominate Deacons for the following year will be open to the Congregation from October 1st through 31st.  Any Member or Associate Member may nominate as many persons as they desire to fill Deacon vacancies.  These nominations, with the agreement of the nominee(s), shall be in writing and signed by the member who submits the nomination.

Each nominee will go through a careful examination/interviewing process to insure that he/she is eligible to serve as specified in Article VI,  Section  1 of the Community Church Bylaws and that  they meet the qualifications as outlined in Acts 6 and 1 Timothy 3.  Emphasis will be placed on the use of time, talents, finances, support of services, ministries of the Church and gifts in ministering to persons as required by Deacons.  A personal interview with the Pastor(s) will be conducted provided the Pastor did not participate in the Nominating Team’s interview.

Upon completion of the interview and careful examination process, the slate of qualified nominees will be presented to the Board of Deacons for ratification and subsequent presentation to the Church Membership for vote by secret, written ballot no later than the second Sunday in December.  If the ballot has more nominees than available vacancies, the membership will be directed to vote only for the number of vacancies available.  The nominees receiving the most votes shall be elected.

If, after completing the interview/careful examination process there are not a sufficient number of nominees, the nominations will be reopened.

Section 5:  Deacon Vacancies:  Any Vacant positions that occur during the year shall be filled at the discretion of the Board.  Due consideration will be given to the time remaining in the vacated term and the ability to conduct the nomination and election in a timely manner.

Section 6: Replacement of Deacons: If at any time the Board shall find that a Deacon is failing or refusing to function properly, they shall declare the position vacant and report such action to the next Congregational Business Meeting.

Section 7:  Meetings: All meetings will be open except when an executive session is deemed necessary by the Chairperson, Senior Pastor or any three Deacons to deal with such matters as personnel issues, legal matters and other very sensitive issues.

Regular meetings of the Board shall generally be monthly, with due notice to the congregation.

Special Board meetings may be called by the Chairman, Pastor, Vice Chairman in absence of the Chairman, or any three Deacons, with as much notice as possible, to deal with matters specifically stated in the call. When notice cannot be given, the business transacted shall be reported at the next regular meeting. Five Deacons shall constitute a quorum for transacting business.

ARTICLE VII: OFFICERS 

Section 1: Officers: Officers of Community church shall be the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of the Board of Deacons and such other officers as authorized and selected by the Board. The Chairman will preside at all meetings of the Board and Congregational Business meetings. The Vice Chairman will preside in the absence of the Chairman.  The Board may select its recording Secretary from among the Deacons currently serving. The Secretary and Treasurer need not be members of the Board of Deacons.

Section 2: Secretary: The Secretary is responsible to the Board and shall oversee the keeping of current records of Members, Associate Members, and inactive members; deaths, marriages, and baptisms; record and preserve the minutes of all meetings, and all reports submitted by various boards and committees; serve as Community Church correspondent; and preserve letters and records of importance.

Section 3:  Treasurer:  The Treasurer is responsible to the Board and shall oversee the receipt of all monies and be responsible for the financial records of the Church; make expenditures, consulting when advisable with the Board, and keeping accurate records of the same; preserve cancelled checks, receipts, invoices, and other documents; and give a financial accounting at each business meeting. The Board may authorize the approval and expenditure of funds by the Chairman of the Board, the Vice-Chairman or the Treasurer, up to a stated maximum level, without need to obtain Board approval on individual expenditures. The Treasurer shall oversee the records and maintaining of all pledge records and issue quarterly pledge summaries.

There shall be an audit or financial review of the books and records of Community Church at the close of each calendar year and a report made to the membership at a business meeting.


ARTICLE VIII: PASTOR

Section 1Senior Pastor.  The Senior Pastor serves Community Church and Community Church only, shall provide leadership and direction, and shall have jurisdiction over liturgy and order of worship, and counsel with the Board as deemed necessary.  In the Senior Pastor’s absence, the Board shall be responsible for the supply of the pulpit.

Section 2.  Calling a Pastor(s).  When the Community Church has occasion to select a new pastor, the Chairman of the Board of Deacons shall, in coordination with the Board, appoint a Pastoral Search Committee, composed of both Deacons and Members, to seek candidates, and when narrowed to two or three, present the candidates to the full Board of Deacons for their approval to proceed with contractual negotiations. Once the Board has selected the primary candidate, the Pastoral Search Committee shall present the selected candidate to the membership for approval of a call. Approval to call a particular candidate is granted through secret ballot by two-thirds majority of Members and Associate Members in attendance at a Congregational Business meeting. Approval shall constitute authority for the Board of Deacons to call such candidate and complete a satisfactory contractual arrangement.

Section 3:  Additional Pastors.  Additional Pastors may be called from time to time and serve on the ministerial staff at the will of the Board and under the direction of the Senior Pastor.  The process of calling additional pastors shall be the same procedure used to call the Senior Pastor and all guidelines apply equally.

Section 4. Pastor/Congregation Relationship: If at any time relations between a Pastor and the congregation are unsatisfactory, the Board shall counsel with the Pastor to remedy such unsatisfactory relations. If, after diligent and prayerful effort, such relations cannot be changed, the Board shall take further action as may be required.

 

ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS AND REVISIONS

These Bylaws may be amended or revised by a two-thirds vote of the members present in any Congregational Business Meeting, provided such intention has been announced to the Membership two weeks in advance. The changes are prospective in application and shall become effective immediately upon adoption.  These Bylaws shall be reviewed and updated every four years.

ARTICLE X: CONGREGATIONAL BUSINESS MEETINGS

At least three Congregational Business Meetings shall be held each year, at a time and place to be determined by the Board and shall be announced to the Membership at least one week in advance.

Special meetings may be called by the Chairman of the Board with the consent of the Board. The date and purpose of a called meeting shall be announced at least one week in advance at a church service. Twenty-five members, including at least five Deacons, shall constitute a quorum for transaction of business at any such meeting.

ARTICLE XI: PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern meetings of the Church in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these BYLAWS or any special rules of order, which may be adopted.

Approved by the Board of Deacons on July 18, 2011.

Approved by the Congregation on August 21, 2011.