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  • Phone: (614) 844-4477
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  • Mailing Address: 6200 Linworth Road, Worthington, OH 43085

 

 

Constitution & Bylaws

Linworth Baptist Church Constitution and Bylaws

ARTICLE I - Name

The name of this church is Linworth Baptist Church (“LBC”).

ARTICLE II - Authority

There is one eternal and true living God.  All mankind is made in his image, created for himself and his glory. Mankind, however, sinned against God, and as a result, all persons are separated from God, justly deserving condemnation in hell forever. Yet, in his mercy and lovingkindness, God sent his son Jesus Christ to save sinners. Jesus Christ was perfectly obedient to God’s will, died on the cross, and defeated sin and death by rising from the dead three days later. Those who confess their sin and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord are forgiven of all their sin and have a restored relationship with God. By the help of the Holy Spirit, believers in Jesus Christ continue to grow in their relationship with God and conformity to his Word. (Genesis 1:1, 27-28, 3:2; Romans 6:23; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 2:8-10)

The church of Jesus Christ consists of every person who has faithfully believed in him. A local church is a congregation of faithful believers in Jesus Christ who covenant together for the sound preaching of God’s Word, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. The true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Jesus Christ to all people. (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 2:37-41; Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) 

Based on these truths, LBC is a local church of baptized believers, associated by a covenant of faith that observes the ordinances of Jesus Christ, is governed by New Testament doctrine, and exercises the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in a local church by the Word of God. LBC exercises its biblical right of self-government under the authority of Jesus Christ. Although it is appropriate for local churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and in the furtherance of the good news of Jesus Christ, in matters of membership, policy, government, discipline, and benevolence, LBC shall make its own decisions subject solely to God’s Word. (Acts 2:41-42; 1 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11-12; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Timothy 3:1-15; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23-24)

ARTICLE III - Membership

Section 1 - Reception into Membership

  1. Any person who professes faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and agrees with LBC’s Covenant of Faith, Declaration of Faith, and Constitution and Bylaws is eligible for membership, if that person has been baptized as a believer.
  2. If a person is eligible for membership, the Leadership Board (see Article IV) shall receive that person into membership upon receiving the applicant’s statement of Christian experience, in the form required by the Leadership Board. The applicant also shall provide a statement explaining his or her desire to become a member.

Section 2 – Expectations and Privileges of Membership

  1. Members are expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church, consistent with God’s leading and the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God.
  2. Any member in good standing who is at least 18 years old is eligible to speak and vote at LBC’s member meetings. Under Christ, LBC is governed by its members. Therefore, it is the privilege and responsibility of members to attend member meetings and vote on the election of officers and other matters that may be submitted to a vote.

Section 3 – Removal from Membership

  1. A member may resign his or her membership at any time. A resigning member in good standing may request a letter of transfer for the purpose of uniting with another church of like faith and order.  Such a letter may be granted with the approval of the Leadership Board.  Any member who resigns shall be removed from the membership roll.
  2. Any member who is living in habitual sin, guilty of a flagrant violation of Christian conduct, or promotes doctrinal error shall be subject to church discipline under the pattern set forth in the New Testament (Matthew 18:15-17, Romans 16:17-18, 1 Corinthians 5:11-13). The aim of such discipline is restoration (Galatians 6:1), but an unrepentant member shall be removed from membership and may be dismissed from the church.
  3. The Leadership Board shall regularly report to the congregation any changes in the membership roll.

ARTICLE IV – Officers

Section 1 – Leadership Board

  1. The biblical offices in the church are elders and deacons. A board of elders and deacons (“Leadership Board”) shall minister to the needs of the LBC congregation, aid in carrying out church ordinances and ministries, and assume general supervision of LBC’s property and finances. 
  2. Before assuming the office of elder or deacon, a person must be a member of LBC.
  3. In order to meet the requirements of civil law, the members of the Leadership Board shall act as Trustees. To the fullest extent permitted by law, LBC shall indemnify members of the Leadership Board, including former board members, against legal fees, expenses, judgments, fines, settlements, and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred in connection with the defense of any claim, action, suit, or proceeding arising out of the member’s service on the Leadership Board. This right to indemnification shall not extend to amounts incurred as a result of a board member’s own willful misconduct, bad faith, or breach of fiduciary duty.
  4. The Leadership Board shall serve as the pulpit committee for selecting a new pastor.

Section 2 – Elders

  1. An elder shall satisfy the qualifications for the office of elder in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. He must be in harmony with the doctrine and philosophy of LBC, give evidence of possessing the gift of pastor-teacher, and have a good reputation in the ministry of the Word 
  2. Any pastor of LBC shall serve as an elder so long as he remains employed in good standing by LBC. A pastor serving as an elder is referred to as a “vocational elder.” 
  3. In addition to any pastors serving as elders, at least three men shall serve as elders. These men are referred to as “lay elders.” 
  4. Vocational elders shall not constitute more than 25 percent of the Leadership Board.
  5. Nominations for lay elders shall be solicited from the members approximately two months prior to the annual member meeting. Each member may nominate a number of men equal to the number of vacancies to be filled.
  6. Upon receiving nominations, the Leadership Board shall form an ad hoc committee consisting of LBC members to select from the persons nominated a number of candidates equal to the number of vacancies to be filled. Subject to the approval of the Leadership Board, the committee shall determine the candidates to be presented to the congregation for approval.  If sufficient nominees are not available from the nominating process, the ad hoc committee shall complete the election ballot, subject to the Leadership Board’s approval.
  7. The members shall vote on the candidates by paper ballot at the annual member meeting. Each member may vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies to be filled. Any candidate who receives a number of affirmative votes that is at least 75% of the number of ballots cast shall be elected as a lay elder.
  8. The term of a lay elder shall be three years. A lay elder may be elected to two consecutive terms, after which one year must intervene before he is eligible for reelection.
  9. An elder may voluntarily resign.
  10. Any lay elder who becomes an offense to the church and its testimony by engaging in heretical teaching or immoral conduct may be suspended immediately by a two-thirds vote of the Leadership Board. In the event of such a suspension, the matter shall be presented to the members at a duly called member meeting.  The lay elder shall be removed from office upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at the meeting. If a majority of the members present at the meeting does not affirmatively vote to terminate the lay elder, any suspension shall expire.
  11. If there is a vacancy of an unexpired term of a lay elder, the nomination and election process provided in this section may be used, and a candidate may be elected to fill the vacancy at any member meeting. Any lay elder so elected shall complete the unexpired term. 
  12. An elder shall not simultaneously hold the office of deacon.

Section 3 – Deacons

  1. A deacon shall satisfy the qualifications for the office of deacon in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. He must be in harmony with the doctrine and philosophy of LBC and have a good reputation in the ministry of the Word.
  2. The deacons shall consist of at least nine men.
  3. Nominations for deacons shall be solicited from the members approximately two months prior to the annual member meeting. Each member may nominate a number of men equal to the number of vacancies to be filled.
  4. Upon receiving nominations, the Leadership Board shall form an ad hoc committee consisting of LBC members to select from the persons nominated a number of candidates equal to the number of vacancies to be filled. Subject to the approval of the Leadership Board, the committee shall determine the candidates to be presented to the congregation for approval.  If sufficient nominees are not available from the nominating process, the ad hoc committee shall complete the election ballot, subject to the Leadership Board’s approval.
  5. The members shall vote on the candidates by paper ballot at the annual member meeting. Each member may vote for as many candidates as there are vacancies to be filled. Any candidate who receives a number of affirmative votes that is at least 75% of the number of ballots cast shall be elected as a deacon.
  6. The term of a deacon shall be three years. Approximately one-third of the deacons shall be elected each year for a three-year term.  A deacon may be elected to two consecutive terms, after which one year must intervene before he is eligible for reelection.
  7. A deacon may voluntarily resign.
  8. Any deacon who becomes an offense to the church and its testimony by engaging in heretical teaching or immoral conduct may be suspended immediately by two-thirds vote of the Leadership Board. In the event of such a suspension, the matter shall be presented to the members at a duly called member meeting.  The deacon shall be removed from office upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at the meeting.  If a majority of the members present at the meeting does not affirmatively vote to terminate the deacon, any suspension shall expire.
  9. If there is a vacancy of an unexpired term of a deacon, the nomination and election process provided in this section may be used, and a candidate may be elected to fill the vacancy at any member meeting. Any deacon so elected shall complete the unexpired term.
  10. A deacon shall not simultaneously hold the office of elder.

Section 4 – Senior Pastor

  1. The Senior Pastor of LBC shall manifest godly character set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. He must be in harmony with the doctrine and philosophy of LBC, give evidence of possessing the gift of pastor-teacher, and have a good reputation in the ministry of the Word.
  2. The Senior Pastor shall serve in the office of elder and oversee the spiritual life and program of LBC. It will be his duty to preach at the services of the church and to be moderator at member meetings. He shall oversee the ordinances of the church and fulfill all other duties set forth in the New Testament relating to pastors.
  3. The Senior Pastor shall be chosen by approval of the members in a duly called member meeting by the affirmative vote of not less than 75% of the ballots cast.
  4. The Senior Pastor may resign upon giving 30 days’ notice.
  5. LBC may terminate the Senior Pastor by a majority vote of the members present at a duly called member meeting. Except as provided in Article IV, Section 4, clause 6, if a majority of the members present at a duly called member meeting votes to terminate the Senior Pastor, he may continue in his employment for up to 30 days after the termination vote.
  6. If the Senior Pastor becomes an offense to the church and its testimony by engaging in heretical teaching or immoral conduct, he may be suspended immediately by two-thirds vote of the Leadership Board. In the event of such a suspension, the matter shall be presented to the members at a duly called member meeting.  If a majority of the members present at the meeting affirmatively votes to terminate the Senior Pastor based on his heretical teaching or immoral conduct, the termination shall take immediate effect.  If a majority of the members present at the meeting does not affirmatively vote to terminate the Senior Pastor, his suspension shall expire.

Section 5 – Additional Pastors

Any additional pastors shall satisfy the qualifications for the office of elder in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9 and be called and dismissed in the same manner as the Senior Pastor. All pastors shall serve in the office of elder and exemplify godly character, be in harmony with the doctrine and philosophy of the church, and give evidence of spiritual gifts appropriate for their specific areas of ministry. They shall work under the direction of the Senior Pastor.

Section 6 - Appointments and Committees

  1. The Senior Pastor shall serve as Chairman of the Leadership Board and shall be an ex-officio member of all church committees and boards.
  2. The Leadership Board shall annually select from among its members a Vice-Chairman to serve in the absence of the Senior Pastor and a Secretary and Assistant Secretary to keep records for the Leadership Board. The Leadership Board also shall annually appoint individuals and committees as necessary. The Leadership Board shall maintain current descriptions for each position and committee, specifying the duties and authority of each. 
  3. Any person appointed by LBC to serve as a committee chair, ministry leader, head teacher, or officer of any auxiliary organization shall be a member in good standing and approved by the Leadership Board. 

ARTICLE V - Meetings

Section 1 - Regular Meetings

LBC will meet for public worship each Sunday. In addition, there will be times set aside for prayer and Bible study during the week. LBC will observe the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month, except on special occasions when it may be changed by the Senior Pastor. Baptismal services will be arranged whenever there are candidates.

Section 2 - Member Meetings

  1. An annual member meeting shall be held on a date to be determined by the Leadership Board.
  2. Special member meetings may be called by the Senior Pastor or the Leadership Board. When possible, advanced notice of any special member meeting shall be given at the preceding regular Sunday meeting. 

ARTICLE VI - Finances

  1. Funds for operating expenses shall be raised in public services by receiving the offerings of God’s people. Special solicitation of funds may be approved by the Leadership Board. 
  2. At the annual member meeting, the Leadership Board shall present for the approval of the members an annual budget for the operation of the church.

ARTICLE VII - Amendments

This Constitution may be amended at any member meeting by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members present.  The proposed amendments shall be presented or made available at a regular service for at least two Sundays preceding said member meeting.

Revised October 10, 2021