Our Constitution and Bylaws
Onoway Baptist Church
(December 2, 2018)
Article 1 Name and Affiliation
1.1 The name of this church is Onoway Baptist Church (hereinafter referred to as the church), 5036-48 Ave., Onoway, AB, Canada, T0E 1V0.
Article 2 Charitable Purpose
2.1 The purpose for which the church is organized is the advancement of religion.
Article 3 Beliefs and Practices
3.1 In continuity with affiliate organizations, the church has adopted the Statement of Beliefs of the NAB Conference as approved by conference delegates at the NAB Triennial Conference in 1982 and revised by the delegates to the NAB Triennial Conference in 2009 (Appendix #1).
3.2 In further continuity with affiliate organizations, the church has adopted the NAB Affirmation of Marriage as adopted by conference delegates at the NAB Triennial Conference in 2012 (Appendix #2).
Article 4 Membership
4.1 Membership Qualifications
4.1.1 Any individual who has received Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord, who has been baptized by immersion as a believer, who agrees with, affirms and supports the Statement of Beliefs in Appendix #1 and the Affirmation of Christian Marriage in Appendix #2, and who desires to actively participate in and support the mission and ministries of the church may become a member of Onoway Baptist Church.
4.2 Membership Procedure
Any person who meets the qualifications of membership (as listed in 4.1) and who desires to become a member of the church will be asked to complete the current procedure for becoming a member, as designated by the board of the church. This procedure shall include:
4.2.1 Membership course as defined in policy;
4.2.2 Recommendation by the pastor;
4.2.3 Meeting and prayer with at least two members of the board;
4.2.4 Testimony before the church
4.2.5 Approval by the membership of the church.
4.3 Membership Termination
Except in the case of death, all requests or recommendations for termination of membership shall be considered by the pastor, who, after proper inquiry, shall refer them to the board for decision. Members being considered for membership termination will be notified in writing by the board at least two weeks prior to a decision to allow for any representations to be made to the board.
There are five recognized means of termination of membership.
4.3.1 Release to another evangelical church that is known to adhere to the Bible as its rule for faith and practice.
4.3.2 Release upon the member’s request.
4.3.3 Dismissal in the event a member demonstrates a lifestyle contrary to the Statement of Beliefs and Practices and/or the Membership Covenant (Appendix #3), and when the efforts of the board at correction and restoration have been refused, as defined in policy.
4.3.4 Erasure because of persistent absence from the church without valid reasons, as defined in policy.
Article 5 Governance
The Leadership Board and the Pastoral staff function as partners dedicated to achieving a common vision, each having distinct roles and responsibilities within the church. The Leadership Board and Pastoral staff shall operate under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the authority of Scripture and the direction of the Holy Spirit, holding themselves accountable to the authority of the membership.
5.1 Authority and Responsibility
5.1.1 While the membership is the final authority of the church, the authority for governance is entrusted to the board by way of approval by the church. The process for selection and approval of board members is defined in policy.
5.1.2 The board shall be responsible for the leadership of the church, defining (beliefs, values), directing (mission, vision, strategy), enabling (training, teaching, encouraging, supporting) and monitoring spiritual health (evaluation). A document outlining the Mission, Vision, Values and Purpose of the Church will be found in Appendix #4.
5.1.3 The board shall protect the church from errant teachings, from divisive or destructive behaviours, and from influences that would move the Congregation in a direction contrary to the church’s defined beliefs, values, mission and vision.
5.1.4 The board shall be responsible for creating, publishing, editing, and maintaining policy documents as indicated in this document, and according to the perceived needs of the church. Such policy documents, and all approved changes to them, shall be made available to church members. Policy changes require only board approval.
5.1.5 The senior pastor shall be a non-voting member of the board.
5.2.1 The board shall normally be composed of the senior pastor and a minimum of four (4) and maximum of six (6) individuals appointed by the church.
5.2.2 Increasing or decreasing the number of approved board members shall be at the discretion of the board, based on the perceived needs of the church.
5.3.1 Board members shall be affirmed by the church according to the procedures defined in policy.
5.3.2 Any member of the church shall be eligible for appointment according to the qualifications for leadership as defined in policy.
5.4.1 Officers of the board will be: chair, treasurer and secretary.
5.4.2 The board will select its officers at the first meeting after appointment.
5.4.3 Roles and responsibilities of the board are defined in policy.
5.5 Terms of Office
5.5.1 Board members (other than pastoral staff) shall be appointed for a two-year renewable term, and shall normally not serve for a consecutive period in excess of six (6) years. Board members shall normally be encouraged to take a sabbatical time from the board to rest, reflect, refresh and seek the Lord’s direction.
5.5.2 Following six (6) years of consecutive service as a board member and after one year absence, past board members shall be eligible for appointment once again.
5.5.3 The church may waive this limitation in respect of any specific individual so that the individual may continue to serve for such longer period as may be specified in the resolution.
5.6.1 The board shall normally meet monthly according to a mutually agreed schedule. The board shall meet a minimum of four (4) times per year.
5.6.2 The board may meet at extraordinary times as the need arises.
5.6.3 The quorum of the board shall be simple majority.
5.7 Resignation or Removal
5.7.1 A board member may resign from the position by giving written notice to the board.
5.7.2 A board member may be asked to resign from the position should the other board members determine that he or she no longer meets the qualifications for leadership as defined in policy.
5.7.3 Removal of a board member requires unanimous consent of the remaining board members.
5.7.4 Removal or resignation can happen at any time.
5.7.5 The board may add a new member to their number to replace a member who resigns or is removed, as defined by policy.
5.8.1 The board may, at its own discretion, to the maximum extent permitted by insurance coverage, indemnify a member of the board or an officer, or a former member of the board or an officer, or a person who acts or has acted at the request of the board, against expenses necessarily incurred by him/her in connection with the defense or settlement of any action, suit or proceeding in which he/she was made a party by reason of having been a board member or officer of the board or acting at the direction of the board. Such reimbursement is available if he/she acted honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the board; and, in the case of a criminal or administrative action or proceeding that is enforced by a monetary penalty, he/she had reasonable grounds for believing that his/her conduct was lawful.
Article 6 Pastoral and Support Staff
The individual who is primarily responsible for the implementation of the vision, for the oversight of the ministries, for the training of leaders, for the leadership of the staff, and for the teaching and proclamation of the Word of God shall be designated as the senior pastor.
The pastor shall meet the qualifications of an elder as found in Scripture, shall be appropriately trained, and shall evidence spiritual gifts and calling in keeping with the beliefs, values, mission and strategic vision of the church.
In the event of a pastoral vacancy, or a need determined by the board, the board shall be responsible to conduct a search for candidates to fill the position. Once the board has selected a suitable candidate, that person shall be presented to the membership for mutual examination and for affirmation by a two-thirds (2/3) majority at a duly called Church Meeting (See: 8.1 below). The Pastoral search procedure is defined in policy.
6.3 Term of Office
The pastor shall serve indefinitely according to the following conditions:
6.3.1 The relationship may be terminated upon sixty (60) days written notice by either party or by mutual consent. The pastor may be asked by the board to resign should they determine that the pastor is disqualified in some way as defined in policy.
6.3.2 An involuntary removal of a pastor may only occur with a two-thirds (2/3) majority consent of the membership at a duly called Church Meeting (see: 8.1 below).
6.3.3 Other ministry staff shall be hired, as deemed necessary by the board, in conjunction with the senior pastor.
6.4 Pastoral/Ministry Staff
6.4.1 Hiring of any pastoral/ministry staff who will serve a minimum of half time shall be according to the process used for hiring a senior pastor.
6.4.2 Hiring of pastoral/ministry staff who will serve less than half time shall be at the discretion of the pastor as approved by the board.
Article 7 Finance and Property
The church will appoint teams to oversee the finances and physical properties of the church.
Members of the Finance or Property Teams are appointed annually. There is no maximum or minimum number required for either team. Team size is entirely dependent upon the needs of the ministry. The procedure for appointment is found in policy.
7.2 Term of Office
Team members are eligible for an unlimited number of terms.
Each team shall appoint its own chair or leader annually.
7.4.1 The responsibilities of the Finance Team and the Property Team are defined in policy.
7.4.2 It is the responsibility of each team to function in harmony with the leadership given by the senior pastor and the board.
7.4.3 It is the responsibility of each team to engage in ministry that is consistent with the beliefs, values and mission of the church.
Article 8 Organizational Matters
8.1 Church Meetings
8.1.1 Regular church meetings should take place at least two (2) times a year (May and November) on a date designated by the board. The focus of May’s meeting shall be a review of the previous year’s financial statements and ministry reports, the appointment of board members, and approval of ministry leaders. The focus of November’s meeting shall be ministry year-end reports (including objectives for the next ministry year), and the approval of the budget for the upcoming calendar year.
8.1.2 Special meetings may be called as necessary by the board.
8.1.3 All church meetings shall be announced in writing at least fourteen (14) consecutive days prior to the meeting.
8.1.4 Except as otherwise stated, quorum for all Church Meetings shall be 25% of active membership. Active membership is defined in policy.
8.1.5 Voting by proxy is prohibited.
8.1.6 Unless stated otherwise by the board, non-members may be present at Church Meetings, but cannot vote. They will be given opportunity to speak to agenda items according to the guidelines established at the time of the meeting.
Any decision on the following requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of a quorum for approval:
8.2.1 final approval of annual budgets or subsequent changes to it;
8.2.2 affirmation of board members;
8.2.3 final hiring and dismissal of pastoral staff;
8.2.4 amending the church Constitution;
8.2.5 purchase of property or sale of church real estate;
8.2.6 authorizing the securing of any financial debt;
8.2.7 establishment of an extension, mission or satellite of the church.
The church’s fiscal year shall be January 1 to December 31.
Article 9 Records and Reports
In keeping with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act the following records and reports will be maintained and made available to church members:
9.1 Financial records and reports that are in accordance with generally accepted accounting practices and procedures.
9.2 Written minutes of Church Meetings and board meetings.
9.3 A record of the members of the church.
Article 10 Amendments to the Constitution
11.0 The board will review the Constitution, including its appendices, biennially and present any recommended revisions for membership approval at a duly called Church Meeting.
12.0 Revisions to the Constitution may also be proposed by the membership, as follows:
12.0.1 Any member may propose an amendment through a written request to the board.
22.0.1 The board will review the proposed amendment and comment on it.
32.0.1 Proposed amendment(s) will be included on the agenda of the next Church Meeting
42.0.1 Approval will be by a two-thirds majority vote (See 8.2 above).
52.0.1 Any amended article will take effect immediately upon approval by the membership.
Article 11 Dissolution
11.1 In the event Onoway Baptist Church votes to dissolve or ceases to function as a church, the net assets of the church are automatically conveyed to the North American Baptist, Inc., (Canada,) and the Alberta Baptist Association, in equal portions. No assets may be distributed to members.
11.2 A vote on dissolution must be preceded by at least two weeks notice and can only occur at a duly called Church Meeting. The quorum for such a meeting will be 50% of the active members, with a two-thirds majority vote required for approval.