ARTICLE I: Name
This organization shall be known as the Cheshire Baptist Church
of Cheshire, Ohio.
ARTICLE II: Purpose
The purpose of this church shall be the advancement of the
kingdom of Jesus Christ. It shall seek to attain this end through
the public worship of God, the preaching of the Gospel,
consistent Christian living by its members, personal evangelism,
missionary endeavor and Christian education.
ARTICLE III: Independent Baptist Church
This church shall be known as an Independent Baptist Church that
is self-governing. This church is subject to the control of our
Lord Jesus Christ and no other ecclesiastical body. This church
recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual conviction, counsel, and cooperation with other fundamental churches. It encourages fellowship with those organizations that consistently uphold the truth of God’s Word and the spirit of this constitution and by-laws. Such cooperation with churches of like faith and practice shall in no wise sanction any undue influence or jurisdiction over this local assembly. (This amendment was passed January 2, 2007)
ARTICLE IV: Membership
Section 1. Qualifications
Any person may become a member of this Church by a vote
of the Church. The vote shall be made by the show of hands.
(a) Upon confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord,
followed by public baptism by immersion.
(1) In the event that a person who desires to become a
Member of this Church is unable to be baptized by
immersion because of a physical handicap, such a person
may forgo the ordinance of baptism. The Board of
Deacons must be convinced of the inability of such a
person to be baptized by immersion. They then may
determine that this special provision in our constitution is
applicable to the needs of the specific applicant being
After a recommendation by the Board of Deacons that
such a person be considered for membership in our
Church through this special provision of our constitution,
the Church shall vote, following the same procedure use
in receiving any candidate for membership.
(b) Transfer by letter from some other Church of like
faith and order (and baptism by immersion if not
experienced by former Church).
Section 2. Informed Membership
In order that persons applying for Church membership may be
Informed as to the constitution of the Church, they shall have
the constitution presented to them by the Pastor or Board of
Section 3. Dismissal of Members
Any member in good standing who desires a letter of dismissal and recommendation to any other church is entitled to receive it. Upon request of the receiving church or transferring member, it shall be granted by a vote of the Church.
Section 4. Members Who Disregard Bible Guidelines for the
Christian Lifestyle (see 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10)
If two or three active members are willing to witness before the Board of Deacon-Deaconesses that an active member is guilty of a non-Christian lifestyle (i.e. fornicators, idol worshippers, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, slanders, drunkards, robbers, etc.), such member will be approached in the following manner:
(a) At least one witness and at least two Deacon-Deaconesses
will be chosen by their Board to approach the offending
member, privately, with the accusation; and, if possible,
“restore such as one in the spirit of meekness” (Galatians
6:1). If he repents and stops the offense, the matter will be
considered as settled.
(b) If the offending member refuses to repent, the matter will be
brought before the Church by the Board of Deacons at a
regular or specially called business meeting. If a quorum of
the members is present, and a two-thirds majority votes that
the member is worthy of dismissal, the Church clerk will be
instructed to write a letter of dismissal from the Church
membership roll. (Matthew 18:17).
Section 5. Inactive Members
(a) The names of members, inactive for a period of one year
will be placed on the inactive list.
ARTICLE V: Officers
Section 1. The officers of this Church shall be a Pastor; a Board of Deacons of at least four members; a Board of Deaconesses of at least three members; a Board of Trustees of at least four members; a General Treasurer; a Board of Christian Education of six members, including the Superintendent of the Sunday Church School; a Moderator, and an Assistant Moderator.
Section 2. The Pastor shall be a believer in, and a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the basic doctrines of faith as held by the Baptist denomination. (This amendment was passed January 2, 2007)
Section 3. All officers shall be members of this Church in good standing and shall, with the exception of the Pastor, be elected by voting members at the annual election of officers, for a period three years, or until their successors are elected.
Deacons of the Cheshire Baptist Church who have proven themselves before the membership may become continuous deacons. Instead of the Church nomination committee, the nominations for deacons and continuous deacons will be made by the Deacon Board. However, the Church membership may also submit names of prospective candidates to the Deacon Board. Nominations for deacons and continuous deacons will require a two-thirds vote of the Deacon Board. These nominations will then be elected by a majority vote of the Church membership. In addition to the existing dismissal procedure in the Church constitution, deacons and continuous deacons can also be removed from office by a two-thirds vote of the Deacon Board. (This amendment was passed January 2, 2007)
All officers shall be informed as to the duties pertaining to their respective offices. Each Board shall, unless otherwise provided in this constitution, elect its own chairman; meet regularly at a stated time, or at least once a month.
All officers shall assume office at the beginning of the fiscal year of the Church.
Section 4. Absences
(a) Any officer who misses three meetings in one year,
unexcused, shall fail to faithfully perform the duties
pertaining to his office. Absences must be excused by the
chairman of the committee before the meeting. The clerk of
the Church shall inform such officers of their dismissal by
(b) The Church has the power, for good and sufficient cause, to
remove from office any officer or committeeman when such
cause is brought to the Church’s attention by the chairman or
acting chairman. Such action shall be through secret ballot
at a Church business meeting.
Section 5. Resignation of Officers
Resignation of officers should be in writing to the Church and be effective on the date specified in the resignation.
Section 6. Vacancies
Vacancies occurring during the year may be filled for the unexpired term at any business meeting. The Nomination Committee shall present to the Church nominees for the vacancies to be filled. The person who fills this vacancy is then able to run for the same office at the end of the term.
Section 7 Succession
A full term officer cannot succeed himself.
If the nominating committee cannot find an individual to fulfill a term of the church boards, it would be permissible for a board member to succeed himself for a period of one year. (This amendment was passed January 2, 1985.)
ARTICLE VI: Duties of Officers
Section 1. Duties of the Pastor
The Pastor shall preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, administer the ordinances, watch over his membership, promote the spiritual interests of the Church, organize and develop its strength for the best possible service. He shall be Director of Christian Education. He shall be a member of all Boards and Committees of the Church and its auxiliary organizations.
The Pastor shall have the final decision over the choice of all pulpit speakers.
Section 2. Duties of the Board of Deacon
The Board of Deacons shall, in every way, assist the Pastor in his work. It shall cooperate with him in providing the pulpit supply and the leaders of the prayer meeting in his absence. It shall cooperate with the Pastor and the Board of Deaconesses in visiting the members, and in the care of the sick, needy, and distressed members of the Church; and in the preparation for the observance of the ordinances of the Church. It shall assist the Board of Trustees in securing the funds required to finance the budget adopted by the Church.
Section 3. Duties of the Board of Deaconesses
The Board of Deaconesses shall assist the Pastor in developing the spiritual life of the women and girls of the Church for the best possible Christian service. It shall cooperate with the Pastor and the Board of Deacons in the visiting of the members, and in the care of the sick, needy, and distressed members of the Church; and in the preparation of the observations of the ordinances of the Church.
Section 4. Duties of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall hold in trust all property belonging to the Church and the corporation, and shall take all necessary measures for its protection, management, and up-keep. It shall designate the bank where the funds of the Church shall be deposited. All bills authorized by the Church shall be approved by the Board before payment is made. It shall secure the funds required to finance the budget adopted by the Church. It shall, when so instructed by the Church, secure the services of a caretaker at such salary as is authorized by the Church, and secure from him acceptable service. It shall perform such other duties as are imposed upon it by the Church and the State.
Section 5. Duties of the Board of Education
Duties of the Board of Education shall unify, supervise, and promote all educational interests of the Sunday School Church, Vacation Church School, Young People’s groups, all other groups and classes operating in the field of Christian education. It shall appoint all Sunday Church School and Vacation Church School officers, all teachers, advisors, counselors, club leaders, and all other needed workers. It shall promote study classes for the training of workers in the field of Christian education, personal evangelism, missions, and such other classes as the Church may request. It shall supervise the grading of the Sunday Church School, encourage regularity of attendance, the follow-up of absentees, prompt visitation of the homes of newcomers, and recommend ways and means of building up the school.
Section 6. Duties of the Clerk
The Clerk shall keep accurate minutes of the business proceedings of the Church, including the reception and dismissal of the members; keep a complete roll of the members of the Church and their addresses; issue letters of dismissal as authorized by the Church; conduct all official correspondence; preserve and properly file all letters, reports, and other documents pertaining to his office; assist in preparing the denominational reports, and any others that may be required. He shall deliver immediately to his successor, all books, files, records, and other documents in his possession.
Section 7. Duties of the General Treasurer
The General Treasurer shall be the custodian of all money contributed
for the general expenses of the Church. All disbursements shall be authorized by the Church, and payment of all bills shall be by check, after having been approved by the Board of Trustees. The Treasurer shall present to the Church at its quarterly and annual business meetings, or more often if requested, an itemized report of receipts and disbursements, showing the actual financial condition of the Church. He shall deliver immediately to his successor all books and records pertaining to his office.
Section 8. Duties of the Moderator and/or Assistant Moderator
The duties of the Moderator shall be to conduct all annual, quarterly, and specially called Church Business Meetings.
ARTICLE VII: Calling a Pastor
Section 1. When it is necessary to call a Pastor, the Church shall select a representative Pulpit Committee of five members. It shall be the duty of this committee to take necessary steps to secure a Pastor. The committee shall investigate the merits of every man under consideration in regard to his personal character, education, ministerial record, and preaching ability, in determining his fitness for said Pastorate. When a suitable man if found, the committee shall recommend him to the Church for consideration.
Section 2. The call of the Pastor shall come before the Church at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. A vote of the majority of the members present, and qualified to vote, provided there be present and voting members, shall be necessary to extend a call.
Only one candidate shall be presented to the Church at one time.
The vote shall be written ballot or showing of hands.
Section 3. The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite period of time; the salary shall be fixed at the time of the call; and may be changed by vote of the Church at any regular business meeting, provided that such change has been considered by the Board of Trustees.
The salary shall be paid in 24 installments. The Pastor shall be entitled to an annual vacation of two weeks with full salary.
Section 4. Termination of Pastorate
The term of office may be ended upon thirty days notification on the part of the Pastor or of the Church. Termination of the office shall be voted at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two successive Sundays. A vote of majority of members present, and qualified to vote, provided there be present and voting twenty members, shall make valid termination of said office.
ARTICLE VIII: Elections
Section 1. Time
The annual election of officers shall be held on the first Tuesday of January at a regular business meeting.
Section 2. Quorum
Fifteen members in good standing, qualified votes, shall constitute a quorum; a majority of such members present, and voting, at any regular or specially called business meeting shall be sufficient to decide any question presented, unless otherwise provided by the constitution.
Section 3. Qualification of Voters
All matters pertaining to the purchase, sale or mortgaging of property shall be voted on only by members in good standing, and who are of legal age. On all other matters, members in good standing and fifteen years of ages or older, are entitled to vote.
Section 4. Procedure
The Nomination Committee shall present to the Church the names of one or more persons for each office to be filled at the first regular business meeting. Upon presentation of said report, it shall be the privilege of any members present, qualified to vote, to place in nomination the name of any eligible persons for any office, not so nominated. Such nomination shall be placed on the slate of candidates. All elections shall be by written ballot or show of hands, a majority of the ballots cast being necessary for the election of any officer, unless otherwise provided in this constitution. No voting by proxy shall be allowed.
ARTICLE IX: Standing Committee
Section 1. Committees
The following named committees, and any other that may be deemed necessary by the Church, shall constitute the standing committees: Nominating and Music.
Section 2. Duties of the Nominative Committee
The Nominating Committee shall prepare a list of names from the Membership of the Church of those qualified to fill the various offices. It shall interview each nominee proposed and ascertain his or her willingness to serve, in case of election. The committee shall nominate one or more persons for each office to be filled, and report the names to the Church at the first regular business meeting of the year.
ARTICLE X; Meetings
Section 1. Devotional Meetings
(a) The Church shall meet regularly each Lord’s Day for
worship and the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
(b) The Church shall meet for the observance of the Lord’s
Supper upon the first Sunday of each quarter, or at such
other time as the Board of Deacons and Deaconesses may
(c) The Church shall meet at least once each week for prayer,
testimony, and conference.
(d) The Church shall meet each Lord’s Day for Christian
instruction (the study and teaching of the Bible) and at such
other times as the Church may decide.
Section 2. Business Meetings
(a) The Annual Election of officers shall be held yearly.
(b) The Annual Business Meeting shall be held on the first
Tuesday in January for the purpose of electing officers,
boards, and committees of the Church and its auxiliary
organizations, and the transactions of such business as is
proper to come before this meeting.
(c) The Quarterly Business Meetings shall be on the first
Tuesday of the quarter at 7:00 p.m. (Amended 8/26/07)
(d) Special Business Meetings may be called at any time by the
Pastor, Clerk, or Moderator. Notice of such meeting, and the
object for which it was called, shall be given from the pulpit
at least one week in advance of the date of the meeting.
ARTICLE XI; Amendments to the Constitution
In order to amend the constitution, the proposed changes must be voted on by a quorum consisting of 15 members in good standing. An affirmative vote by a majority of members present is necessary. Notification of such a vote must be announced in Church on two consecutive Sundays before the vote.