Cedar Valley Baptist Church
ADOPTED ON -JANUARY 22, 2017
INDEX TO THE BY-LAWS
Cedar Valley Baptist Church
1905 FM 969, Elgin Texas 78621
Article I Church Membership p. 4
Article II. Church Officers p. 5
Article III Church Committees p. 11
Article IV Church Program Organizations p. 15
Article V Church Council p. 17
Article VI Church Ordinances p. 18
Article VII Church Meetings p. 19
Article VIII Church Finances p. 20
Article IX Amendments p. 20
Article X Dissolution p. 21
Church History p. 22
Key Events by date p. 23
Pastors who have led at CVBC p. 23
Introduction p. 25
- Biblical/Historical Background of a Deacon p. 25
- Biblical/Practical Qualifications of a Deacon p. 26
III. Selection of a Deacon p. 27
- Service of a Deacon p. 29
- Relationships of a Deacon p. 29
- Responsibilities of a Deacon p. 31
VII. Deacon Meetings p. 32
VIII Ordination of a Deacon p. 32
Conclusion p. 33
ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER
QUICK GUIDE p. 34-38
CEDAR VALLEY BAPTIST CHURCH –BY-LAWS
Article I. Church Membership
Section 1. General: Cedar Valley Baptist Church (CVBC) is a sovereign and democratic Baptist church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the exclusive right of self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church and the conditions of such membership as viewed through the CVBC Constitution.
Section 2. Candidacy: Any person may offer himself as a candidate for membership in this church. All such candidates shall be presented to the church at any regular church service for membership in any of the following ways:
(1) By profession of faith and for baptism according to the policies of this church along with documented support of the CVBC Constitution.
(2) By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church and a statement from the candidate of a prior conversion experience and baptism by a Baptist church along with documented support of the CVBC Constitution.
(3) By restoration upon a statement of a prior conversion experience and baptism by a Baptist church when no church letter is obtainable along with documented support of the CVBC Constitution.
Section 3. New Member Orientation: New members of this church are expected to participate in the church’s new member orientation.
Section 4. Rights of Members:
(1) Every member of the church is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present.
(2) Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by the membership as a candidate for elective office(s) in the church.
(3) Every member of the church may participate in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church.
Section 5. Termination of membership: Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
(1) Death of the member,
(2) Transfer to another Baptist church
(3) Exclusion by action of this church, or
(4) Removal upon request by a church of another denomination or proof of such membership.
Section 6. Discipline: It shall be the practice of this church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, other members of the staff, and deacons are available for counsel and /or guidance. The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concern for redemption rather than punishment. .
Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, the pastor and the deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accord with Matthew 18:15-17. If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a member, a two-thirds vote of the active members present is required; and the church may proceed to declare the person to be no longer in the membership of the church. All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance. Active member is defined as one that attends Sunday School and/or worship services and whose name is on the official membership roll of CVBC.
The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person, and by a 2/3 vote of the active members of the church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation. This would be done at a business meeting where there was at least a two week notice before the vote. See active member definition above in bold print.
Article II. Church Officers
All who serve as officers of the church shall be members of this church.
Section 1. Church Officers are: The Pastor, Ministerial Staff, Deacons, Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, and Trustees
(1) Pastor: The pastor is responsible for leading the church to function as a New Testament church. The pastor will _ lead the congregation, the organizations, and the church staff to perform their tasks. The pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the church. As such he works with the deacons and church staff to:
(a) Lead the church in the achievement of its mission,
(b) Proclaim the gospel to believers and unbelievers, and,
(c) Care for the church’s members and other persons in the community.
A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. The election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least two week’s public notice has been given.
A pastor search committee shall be proposed by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church to seek out a suitable pastor, and its recommendation will constitute a nomination. A job description shall be written by the Personnel Committee in cooperation with the search committee. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one candidate at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot, an affirmative vote of three fourths of the active members present being necessary for a choice. The pastor thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the church’s request. He shall preside at meetings of this church, and if so designated, will serve as moderator in all business meetings in keeping with the rules of order authorized in these bylaws.
The pastor may relinquish the office of pastor by giving at least two weeks’ notice to the church at the time of resignation.
The church may declare the office of pastor to be vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least two weeks’ public notice has been given. The meeting may be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the personnel committee and the deacons or by written petition signed by not less than one fourth of the active church members. The moderator for this meeting shall be designated by the active members present by majority vote, and he/she shall be someone other than the pastor. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of two thirds of the active members present being necessary to declare the office vacant. Except in instances of gross misconduct by the pastor so excluded from the office, the church will compensate the pastor with not less than one twelfth nor more than one half of his total annual compensation based upon a recommendation from the Finance Committee in conjunction with the Personnel Committee.
(2) Ministerial Staff: The ministerial staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices. A job description shall be written by the Personnel Committee when the need for a staff member is determined. Those staff members of whom the church requires evidence of a personal call of God to minister shall be recommended to the church by a search committee proposed by the Nominating Committee and elected by the church for the purpose of seeking out such staff member(s). The search committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one candidate at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot; an affirmative vote of three fourths of the active members present being necessary for a choice. Resignation of any ministerial staff member should be proceeded by at least two weeks’ notice to the church.
The church may vote to vacate such positions upon recommendation of a majority of the personnel committee and the deacons or by written petition signed by not less than one fourth of the active church members. Such termination shall be immediate and the church will compensate, except in cases ·of gross misconduct, the staff member with not less than l/12th nor more than ½ of his/her total annual compensation based upon a recommendation from the Finance Committee in conjunction with the Personnel Committee. The compensation shall be rendered in not more than thirty (30) days.
(a) Currently CVBC has the following ministerial positions other than the senior Pastor: (1) Youth Minister
(3) Deacons: All matters relating to the qualifications, duties, selection, and classifications of a Deacon is contained in the CVBC Deacon handbook which is attached to these By-Laws in Appendix 1.
(4) Moderator: The pastor shall serve as moderator, the church’s presiding officer in all instances of church business unless otherwise indicated. In the absence of the moderator, the chairman of deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both, the clerk shall call the church to order and preside for the election of an acting moderator for only that meeting.
(5) Clerk: Shall serve as the recording clerk at regular and special business meetings and work with the Pastor, Moderator and other staff members to ensure accurate records are kept of the church history, member changes, ministries and finances. The clerk is elected annually when the Nominating Committee makes recommendations to fill committee positions. This is a non-compensated position.
(a) Church Records – The Clerk shall ensure that all associated records and CVBC history shall be kept at the church office. Make requested records available for observation at the church office during posted hours to any member or officers of the church. Shall prepare and file the Annual Church Profile in a timely manner. All records are to have a monthly electronic backup which must be stored in a fire-proof cabinet in the church office.
(b) Church Membership – Provide for the enrollment of new church members requesting membership. Ensure all letters of request for new members from the church where they have indicated an active membership are processed along with processing all letters of transfer of records to other churches in a timely manner. Keep accurate and current written and electronic registries of names of members, dates of admissions, baptisms, transfer of letters and deaths. An updated and current membership roll shall be presented to the Church Council for review at its July meeting. Notifies the appropriate staff members (Pastor, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Sunday School Director and Church Council) of changes to the membership roll, Sunday school roll and financial record keeping.
(c) Church Business Meetings – Responsible for recording, processing and maintaining accurate written records of the all business transactions, comments and motions made in the meetings. Provide for proper notice of all meetings to the membership in the church bulletin. Previous business meeting(s) minutes are prepared and distributed to all members in attendance prior to the meeting. Corrections to the minutes made in the subsequent meeting are accepted and noted for the official records of the church. All transfers of membership requests from other churches are presented to the church. Ensure that copies of the minutes are available to members in a designated location the week after the business meeting. Also ensure notice of the availability of the minutes is announced in the church bulletin or Newsletter. In the event the regularly elected clerk is unable to attend the CVBC Business meetings, the clerk should arrange for someone to stand in their stead as clerk for the meeting(s).
(6) Treasurer: The treasurer must be bonded and such bond to be paid for by the church. The church shall elect annually a church treasurer as its financial officer. This is done annually when the Nominating Committee makes recommendations to fill committee positions. The treasurer has the responsibility for overseeing the financial reporting services of the church and maintaining the business integrity of the church. Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to the following tasks: Sign checks as needed written by the Financial Secretary, Trustees. Write checks that have been authorized by the Finance Committee in emergencies i.e. to pay visiting speakers or singers, benevolence. Oversees and facilitates monthly and/or yearly itemized reports of receipts and disbursements. Be knowledgeable of receipts and disbursements should questions or incidents occur. Oversees records and accounting of all receipts and disbursements. Ensures that the financial secretary maintains a copy of each treasurer’s report at the church. Presents suggestions for the records and accounting practices to the Finance Committee. Keeps Pastor, Deacons and Finance Committee up to date on the condition of the finances of CVBC. Monitors and ensures all accounts are paid on time and within budget requirements
Cooperates with and supplies reports and records that shall be reviewed annually by a third party with the scope of the review determined by the Finance Committee. Upon rendering the annual review at the end of each fiscal year and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent records of the church. The treasurer position shall be considered a service to CVBC and shall receive no pay for this service
(7) Trustees: The church shall elect three or more trustees to serve as legal officers for the church. This is done annually when the Nominating Committee makes recommendations to fill committee positions. They shall hold in trust the church property. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any church property. When the signatures of trustees are required, they shall sign legal documents involving the sale, mortgage, purchase, or rental of property, or other legal documents related to church-approved matters.
Trustees shall serve on a rotation basis, with one new trustee being elected every three years.
Trustees have three commonly recognized duties to the organization they serve: the duty of care, the duty of loyalty, and the duty of obedience. The duty of care concerns the trustee’s competence in performing directorial functions and typically require him/her to use the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances. The duty of loyalty requires the trustee’s faithful pursuit of the interests of the organization he/she serves rather than the financial or other interests of the trustee or of another person or organization. The duty of obedience requires that a director act with fidelity within the bounds of the law to the organization’s mission as expressed in its Constitution and By-Laws.
Each of these duties is a duty to CVBC only and may be enforced by CVBC or by someone acting on its behalf whose legal right to enforce such duties derives from CVBC’s right to do so. It is important to remember that the breach of these duties may give rise to liability on the part of the director. The Trustees must follow the will of the church. If a trustee fails to perform duties as directed, they may be removed by a 2/3 vote of the active members present at a regular or special called business meeting.
Trustee liability occurs in three distinctly different situations. First, they may be liable for breaching the duties of care, loyalty, or obedience on behalf of CVBC if, as a result of the breach, the church has been injured. These fiduciary duties may be enforced only by CVBC or someone acting on its behalf. Second, those dealing with CVBC may suffer some personal or financial injury and may, in addition to or instead of seeking relief from CVBC exclusively, seek to hold trustees responsible individually. These suits instituted by those outside the organization are generally referred to as “third‑party actions.”
Third, trustees may be personally subject to the requirements of particular statues, the violation of which will subject them to liability in actions brought by governmental authorities.
Article III. Church Committees
The current committees of the church are (in alphabetical order): Advertising/Promotion, Building Use, Building and Grounds, Constitution/By-Laws, Finance, Flower, Kitchen/Hostess, Nominating, Personnel, Tellers, and Ushers.
Other regular and special committees may be added or dropped by the amendment procedure prescribed within these bylaws. All church committee members shall be recommended by the church Nominating Committee and elected by the church (by September of each year) unless otherwise specified within these bylaws. Committee members shall serve on a three-year rotation basis with one third to be elected each year. An exception to the rotation requirement may be granted to committees that depend heavily on institutional history to maintain continuity of knowledge i.e. Personnel and Finance Committees. Unless the church is under emergency conditions, a committee member may serve on no more than three (3) committees concurrently.
Committees shall consist of an odd number of members determined by the Nominating Committee.
The church is under no obligation to staff each committee ·unless it is deemed necessary by the church members.
The Chair Person of each committee is a member of the Church Council and responsible for attending Council meetings and reporting committee activities.
Vacancies in committee membership may be filled by the Nominating Committee when notified by the respective Committee Chair.
All committees are to meet at least annually in October of each year to elect officers, welcome new members, review service descriptions, select frequency of meetings and plan to fulfill the responsibilities of their respective committees.
A quorum for all committees consists of the members present at a scheduled meeting.
(1) Advertising Promotion: (+Pastor) The purpose of this committee is to inform the general public and potential members about CVBC, its worship services, ministries, programs, outreach activities and other opportunities of service. This will be done through the website, social media, newspapers, billboards, mail outs and other tactical means. This committee is responsible for maintaining the CVBC website too.
(2) Building Use: This committee has the responsibility for renting church facilities and is also responsible for developing and maintaining a written Building Use Policy. Due to the fluid nature of this policy it is merely referenced here to indicate its existence. Copies can be obtained from the church office or any of the committee members.
(3) Building and Grounds: Responsible for all maintenance as related to buildings and grounds. Scheduling of work to be performed by maintenance workers, all contractors as to guidelines of contract of work to be performed. Schedules work days as needed throughout the year for buildings, grounds and the 16 acre property. Works with other church members to address maintenance and or repair needs. Works with CVBC staff as to safety and security needs. Oversees the purchase of computers, office equipment, fixtures, lawn equipment, etc. Oversees the cleaning staff person to ensure that the internal cleanliness of the church and associated buildings is acceptable. Continue maintaining the CVBC property and acreage in ways that benefit the church. Ensures continuing tax deferment of 16 acres.
(4) Constitution and By-Laws: (+ Pastor and Ch. Of Deacons) Develops and updates the CVBC Constitution and Bylaws until a new one is adopted by CVBC. After adoption the committee annually reviews the constitution and bylaws and updates as needed and as changing legal situations demand it. All amendments whether proposed at a business meeting or suggested by a church member will be reviewed and evaluated by this committee before formal consideration by the church body.
(5) Finance: (+ treasurer) this committee develops and recommends an over-all stewardship development plan, a unified church budget, and budget subscription plans. It advises and recommends in the administration of the gifts of church members and others, using sound principles of financial management. It works with the treasurer and financial secretary in the preparation and presentation to the church of required reports regarding the financial affairs of the church. The finance committee, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive annual budget, indicating by line items the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses. The annual budget process begins in July with final adoption of the budget considered by the church in September. Offering envelopes will be provided for members’ use.
The Finance Committee performs monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews of the church finances. The committee provides a quarterly finance status report to the church body during the quarterly CVBC business meeting. The status report shows a summary of all budgeted and non-budgeted expenses as well as the current remaining budget balances for all departments, committees and personnel. The Finance Committee is responsible for the collections of all requested budgets for the church for the upcoming year. The committee organizes the budget requests and develops a recommended CVBC annual budget for the upcoming year. This budget is based upon the historic finances and projected finances of the church as well as the history and projected operating expenses. This committee is responsible for developing the scope of an annual review and selecting a third party firm to provide for the review of the church’s financial accounts and records.
(6) Flower: Purpose is to place flowers on pulpit and in foyer seasonally. For holidays or special occasions, decorations to correspond accordingly. Members may request to place live flowers on pulpit in memory or to honor a loved one. Seasonal flowers and holiday decorations are in inventory and are to be changed at beginning of each season. Responsible for promoting and coordinating the “Flowering the Cross” at Easter. Fall/Thanksgiving décor to be placed at beginning of September—1) pulpit, 2) foyer 3) fellowship room 4) Sunday school hallways. Week of Thanksgiving, remove and decorate for Christmas. Holiday decorations to be removed before first service of the New Year.
(7) Kitchen / Hostess: Coordinates all fellowships, funerals, parties any food prep. Buy and or organize members to bring food. Keep kitchen stocked with paper products etc. Clean Ice machine. Keep kitchen clean in order.
(8) Nominating: (5 members appointed by the Pastor) This committee coordinates the staffing of all church leadership positions filled by volunteer workers, unless otherwise specified herein. Persons considered for any such positions shall first be approved by the nominating committee before they are approached for recruitment. The nominating committee shall present to the church for election, usually in September, all who accept the invitation to serve.
(9) Personnel: This Committee develops and updates all paid staff job descriptions. Posts job vacancies, screens applicants and performs interviews as necessary for all non-ministerial staff positions. Performs annual evaluation of the CVBC Senior Pastor and makes annual pastoral salary recommendations to the Finance Committee. Ensures all service descriptions for committees and church officers are up to date. Develops and updates CVBC Personnel Policy Handbook annually. Assists the Pastor with all adverse personnel actions. Works with the Pastor to determine staffing needs, assists with employee issues, reviews and recommends salaries, benefits and other compensation for all full time, part time and temporary employees.
Performs background checks on the following individuals prior to employment or volunteering: all paid staff, all volunteers that work with children from ages infant to 17 years old –includes VBS. Background checks are renewed every 3 years.
(10) Tellers: Responsible for counting, securing and depositing all funds collected at church services, at church supported activities and/or mailed to the church. Ensure there is a bank bag in Sunday School office to put the weekly Sunday School offering in and ensure the key in is in the bag lock so it can be locked. Retrieve bank bag given to the Sunday School office so it can be counted with the morning offering. Responsible for making bank deposits at the bank selected by the church.
(11) Ushers: Duties include ensuring bulletins are in the foyer before every service and that there are at least four ushers are available at every AM service. Three ushers are assigned to handle visitor package and prepare visitor folders. Four ushers are assigned to collect the tithes and offerings which are given to the Tellers for counting. One usher is in the foyer every AM service by 9:30 AM to direct visitors to proper classes and all ushers are to greet everyone with a smile and handshake.
Ushers are responsible for intercepting persons attempting to open carry weapons at CVBC. The ushers are to ask them to not carry their weapon openly in church or in any CVBC building by politely asking them to either return the weapon to their vehicle or conceal it on their person. Ushers do not have authority to disarm or restrict any CHL person from attending services.
Article IV. Church Program Organizations
The church shall maintain programs of Bible teaching, church member training, new member orientation, music education, training, and performance. All organizations related to the church programs shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church, and all program activities subject to church coordination and approval. The church shall provide the human resources, the physical resources, and the financial resources for the appropriate advancement of these programs.
The Programs/outreach ministries of CVBC are: Sunday School, Childrens Ministry (includes Childrens Church, AWANA and VBS), Music, and WinGS (Women in God’s Service), Men’s Fellowship and Youth.
(1) Sunday School (SS): This shall be the basic organization for the Bible teaching program. Its tasks shall be to teach the Biblical revelation, reach persons for Christ and church membership.
The Sunday School shall be organized by departments and/or classes as appropriate for all ages, and shall be conducted under the direction of the Sunday School director or co-directors elected by the church. The SS provides scriptural based teaching for the ongoing education of church members regarding the work of the church and denomination.
(2) Childrens Ministry (Not part of SS Program): Umbrella organization supported by the Childrens Ministry Committee to coordinate and oversee the Childrens Church, AWANAS and Vacation Bible School programs.
- Childrens Church: Divided into three age groups held during the morning worship service:
- Infants and Toddlers (provide safety and child care as well as age-appropriate Bible truths being taught through play, reading, simple crafts, and music.
- Pre-schoolers (provide safety child care as well as age-appropriate Bible truths being taught along with character-building skills using play, God’s Word, crafts, music and educational materials.
- School-ages (Kindergarten-5th grade) providing a fun and loving environment giving children the opportunity to hear God’s word and learn how to apply it to their daily lives through hands on experiences engaging all five sensory. This age group engages in the Worship Service several times a year with presentations. Holidays are observed in this age group where the children will attend the Service with their parents. (Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas).
- AWANA: (Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed) This is a program that introduces children to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and train them to serve Jesus. Cedar Valley offers this to children age four through the sixth grade.
- Vacation Bible School: This is a summer focus, open to the community, usually consisting of a multi-day program of religious education. VBS is viewed as a mission opportunity to reach as many young people as possible. A meal is provided and hands on experiences through Bible stories, music, arts, crafts, skits, and games allows them to learn who God is, His amazing love for them and how to receive eternal life with God. This program generally caters toward Pre-K through 8th grade but also engages our Youth as helpers.
(3) Music : The Music Director is responsible for planning of events such as concerts, cantatas, and special programs involving the music ministry, reviews and procures music in all forms for church use, and accesses equipment needs of the church such as sound, instrumental, and computers (tech equipment) used in conjunction with the music program. In addition, supervises the use of all music related equipment and material. If capable, the Director should secure and provide training for individuals to operate the sound system.
(4) WinGS – This is a service minded ladies group of all ages who seek to follow the leading of the Lord with projects and Bible Study throughout the year. They normally meet at least once a month and it is open to all ladies of the church and their guests.
(5) Men’s Fellowship: The Fellowship is a weekly gathering of the men of CVBC at a predetermined location. Its purpose is to pray for the church and its members and others that are mentioned and to get to know the brethren through sharing information and fellowship. Programs are delivered by one of the members on a rotating basis while volunteers take care of organizing the meetings. Collections are regularly taken and the Fellowship donates funds to deserving and worthy causes by a vote of the members present.
(6) Youth Program Committee: Assists the Youth Minister in planning and executing activities that encourage the growth of the youth ministry and outreach of the youth at Cedar Valley.
Article V. Church Council
The Church Council shall serve the church by leading in planning, coordinating, conducting, and evaluating the ministries and programs of the church and its organizations. It is the place where church leaders, officers, ministerial staff, program leaders and committee chairs meet quarterly to share information and keep the lines of communication open.
The primary functions of the Church Council shall be to formally consider and recommend to the church, suggested objectives and church goals, ministry programs and program plans recommended by church officers, organizations, and committees and to evaluate achievements in terms of church objectives and goals. The Council also develops and maintains a 6-month calendar.
Regular (voting) members of the Church Council shall be:
- Pastor, (Presiding Officer)
- Ministerial Staff
- Program Organization Directors
- Deacon Chair
- Church officers
- Committee Chairs
* Meetings are open to all members of CVBC.
All matters agreed upon by the council which call for action not already approved shall be referred to a CVBC business meeting for approval or disapproval.
Article VI. Church Ordinances
(1) Baptism: This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes Him publicly at any worship service of this church, who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, and who desires membership in this church.
(a) Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
(b) The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer baptism.
(c) Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship during any worship service of the church.
(d) A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor and/or staff or deacons. If negative interest is ascertained he/she shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism.
(2) Lord’s Supper: The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper quarterly, the first Sunday of the quarter, unless otherwise scheduled by the church. The pastor and the deacons shall administer the Lord’s Supper.
Article VII. Church Meetings
(1) Worship Services: The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening for the worship of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, instructions, and evangelism shall be among the ingredients of these services. The pastor shall direct the services for all the church members and for all others who may choose to attend. Evening services may be cancelled by advance vote of the church when deemed appropriate for families to spend time together – especially during holidays. Evening services may also be modified to accommodate special programs i.e. small group meetings.
(2) Special Services: Revival services and other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.
(3) Regular Business Meetings: The church shall hold regular business meetings quarterly on fourth Sunday of the months of January, April, July and October unless otherwise scheduled by the church.
(4) Special Business Meetings: The church may conduct called business meetings to consider matters of special nature and significance. A one week notice must be given for the special called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impractical. The notice shall include the subject, the date, and the time and place; and it must be given in such a manner that all resident active members have opportunity to know of the meeting. Some meetings require a two week notice — see Section II related to the pastor and Article IX related to amendments.
(5) Quorum: A quorum consists of those active members who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
(6) Parliamentary Rules: At the end of the By-Laws is a simplified “Cheat Sheet” summary of the most frequently used motions, points and proposals found in Robert’s Rules of Order. In lieu of this document if further clarification is needed, Robert’s Rules of Order Revised by General Henry M. Robert, 1915 version, Public Domain is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.
Article VIII. Church Finances
(1) Budget: It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular, proportionate gifts.
(2) Accounting Procedures: All funds received for any and all purposes shall pass through the hands of the church treasurer, or financial secretary, and be properly recorded on the books of the church. Those who have responsibility that involves actual handling of funds shall be bonded, the church paying the bond. (See Article II, (6), regarding the church treasurer). A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the finance committee. The Finance Committee is responsible for developing the scope of an annual review and selecting a third party firm to provide for the review of the church’s financial accounts and records.
(3) Financial Secretary: The church employs a part time financial secretary who is bonded and reports to the pastor. This employee must have advanced financial and accounting skills and works closely with the pastor, finance committee and the treasurer. A job description for this position is maintained by the Personnel Committee who also fills vacancies in this position.
(4) Fiscal year: The church fiscal year shall run concurrently with the church year which begins on October 1 and ends on September 30.
Article IX. Amendments
All proposed amendments to both the Constitution and By-Laws of CVBC must be taken to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee for prior consideration. Any proposed amendment taken directly to a business meeting not having been previously considered by the Constitution and By-Laws Committee is null and void. The only committee having authority to propose changes or amendments to the CVBC Constitution and By-Laws is the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. A two week notice is required for a meeting to consider an amendment and a 2/3 vote of the active members present is required for adoption.
Article X. Dissolution
- Upon dissolution of the corporation (CVBC), the Trustees shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the corporation exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable education, religious, or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United Sates Internal Revenue law), as the Trustees shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be distributed to the Austin Baptist Association in Austin, Texas, providing it is at such time an organization exempt from taxes under Internal revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)for one or more purposes that are exempt under the Texas franchise Tax.
- In the event the foregoing entity does not qualify as an organization exempt from taxes under Internal Revenue code 501(c)(3), then upon dissolution, all of the corporation’s assets shall be distributed to the Baptist General Convention of Texas, providing it is at such time an organization exempt from taxes under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)for one or more purposes that are exempt under the Texas franchise tax.
- In the event the foregoing entity does not qualify as an organization exempt from taxes under Internal Revenue code 501(c)(3), then upon dissolution, all of the corporation’s assets shall be distributed to the Southern Baptist Convention, providing it is at such time an organization exempt from taxes under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) for one or more purposes that are exempt under the Texas franchise tax.
CVBC CHURCH HISTORY
The minutes of the Austin Baptist Association from 1941 listed a Cedar Valley Baptist Church that was located in the same general area as the current church. The church was in existence from at least 1910 to 1944 and was described as a one room frame building that would seat 300 people.
This information was not known to Buster Swope, chairman of the Missions Committee or Rev. G.W. Turner, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Elgin in 1986. Those two men had a dream and desire to extend the Word of the Lord to an area that was not particularly being reached by either Elgin or Bastrop. The current location of CVBC was selected because of the potential that was present for growth.
After several weeks of negotiations with Joseph A. Jackson that included several Coffee’s and lunches at Elgin’s City Café, the current property was purchased in September of 1986 by the First Baptist Church of Elgin.
The property contained a building known as Cedar Valley Church of Christ that had not been used for services for several years. The original intent was to have the building moved from the property at the expense of the Texas Embassy Living Museum but lack of funds prevented this from occurring. Later the idea was developed to restore the building for church services. However this plan was halted by and untimely fire that destroyed the old structure.
The Deacons at first Baptist secured and erected a tent and on September 30, 1988 the first meeting of a three day Deacon led revival was held on the grounds.
On October 8, 1988 the First Baptist Church voted to authorize the Mission Committee to rent and place a temporary building on the property. Services began in October with an early average of 4-6 people present. On November 9, 1988 the first Baptist Church of Elgin officially approved the establishment of a mission at the intersection of F.M 969 and F.M. 1704 to be named Cedar Valley Baptist Mission Church.
Subsequent key events occurring at CVBC since that time are:
- January 1989 – application was made for assistance from the state Missions Board and the Austin Baptist Association. A portable building donated by Joe and June Allen was placed on the property. Approval to build the first Sanctuary (now the Fellowship Hall) at an estimated cost of $50,000.
- February 1989 – The church voted to use a vacant house on Joe and June Allen’s property until the sanctuary is complete.
- March 1989 – Full Sunday School and Church Services are started.
- May 1989 – Ground breaking ceremonies are held.
- June 1989 – A loan from Coupland Bank was approved and an invitation was extended to the Texas Baptist Men Retired Builders to construct the building.
- July-September 1989 – Sanctuary built and work continued on the Fellowship Hall.
- October 1989 – First services are held in the new sanctuary.
- February 1990 – Dedication Day for the Sanctuary and the Fellowship Hall.
- March 1992 — The church sets August 16, 1992 as the date to organize into and independent church known as Cedar Valley Baptist Church (CVBC).
- August 16, 1992 – Organizational Ceremony and adoption of a constitution.
The following Pastors have led the mission and the organized church:
- Karl Richart — Oct. 1988 to October 1989
- Hylon Vickers – Oct. 1989 to May 1990
- Curtis Ray – August 1990 to September 1991
- Hylon Vickers – Oct. 1991 to Feb. 1993
- Leroy Wilson – Interim from Feb to July 1993 and full time from July to July 1995
- Jeff Wilson – called to be the Associate Pastor June 2009
- Paul Stephens – July 1995 to May 2011
- Jeff Wilson — Called to be the interim Pastor May 2011 to May 2012
- Dr. Logan Cummings called to be the interim from May 2012 to July 2012
- B.J. McAlpin – called to be pastor August 2012 to Feb. 2014
- Dr. Logan Cummings called to be interim pastor from March 2014 to June 2015
- Steve Ponder called to be pastor June 28, 2015
This handbook is dedicated to helping you as a deacon to serve faithfully and effectively. It is designed to acquaint you with the Biblical materials related to the office of deacon and the particulars of the deacon ministry of Cedar Valley Baptist Church.
The church has elected you to the honorable position of a deacon because your life has exhibited the characteristics of faithfulness and loyalty both to the Lord and His church. A deacon must remember, however, that Jesus said, “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11).
Three passages in the New Testament are commonly cited concerning the office of deacon: Acts 6:1-7, Philippians 1:1 and I Timothy 3:8-12. The word for deacon in the New Testament originally described a servant who “stirred up dust while waiting on tables”. As a deacon, your major attention will be given to serving God under the leadership of the pastor and deacon officers in the practical ministry of the church.
- The Biblical/Historical Background of a Deacon
Acts 6:1-7 is the passage often cited for the beginning of the office of deacon in the early Christian church. Though the seven who were elected were not specifically called “deacons” in the technical sense, they nonetheless functioned as deacons. The office of deacon probably grew out of this experience.
Without belaboring all of the details of the Acts 6 passage, let’s look at the purpose for which these men were selected. One reason they were chosen was to solve a problem that arose among the church fellowship. They were called upon to preserve the harmony of the church. Another reason was to free the apostles to give full attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word (verse four).
The position of deacon in Acts 6 is an elected one. A deacon should certainly feel led to serve in that position; however, the initiation of the commitment rests in the hands of the local church. It is not a position to which one appoints oneself.
- Biblical / Practical Qualifications of a Deacon
(The Biblical qualifications for a deacon are found in Act 6 and I Timothy 3:8-13.)
- Acts 6:3 – A deacon must have a reputation for honesty, integrity and character.
- Acts 6:3 – He shall have given evidence of being spiritually motivated. Full of the Holy Spirit.
- Acts 6:3 – He shall have demonstrated mature judgment. Full of wisdom.
- I Timothy 3:8 – A deacon must be serious minded about serious business.
- I Timothy 3:8 – He must not be double-tongued, that is saying one thing to one group and the opposite to another.
- I Timothy 3:8 – He will not be indulging in much wine.
- I Timothy 3:9 – He must not be greedy for money.
- I Timothy 3:10 – A deacon must keep his faith in Christ, which unsaved men do not understand, in the atmosphere of clean living.
- I Timothy 3:10 – He must have proven himself through a period of faithful service and Christian living.
- I Timothy 3:10 – He must commit himself to do his best to serve humbly and well when elected.
- I Timothy 3:12 – He must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his wife well.
- I Timothy 3:11 – A deacon’s wife must be serious minded about serious business.
- I Timothy 3:11 – His wife must know and practice the discretion of silence. Not gossip. Emotionally mature.
- I Timothy 3:11 – His wife must be faithful to all things involved in the Christian profession and service.
The practical duties unique to Cedar Valley Baptist Church are the following:
- Loyal support of the pastor and staff.
- Faithful attendance at the services of the church.
- Encouragement of and participation in the organizations of the church Sunday School, Music, Church Training, Outreach, etc.
- “A consistent commitment to stewardship shall be attested by the Deacon’s example of tithing to the Church.” (for the Church Constitution)
- Personal evangelism among the lost and visitation of the sick, shut-ins and indifferent of the membership.
- Regular attendance at the meetings of the deacons.
- Assistance with new member assimilation.
- Participation in “Deacon led” ministries (Prayer Room, Hospital Visitation, Security, Lord’s Supper, etc.)
- Cedar Valley Baptist Church recognizes three categories of Deacons:
Active Deacon is a deacon who is active in all phases of Deacon Ministry.
Inactive Deacon is a deacon who has a situation in which he feels will not let him successfully fulfill his duties, but feels that he would like to return to active deacon status when his situation allows.
Deacon Emeritus is an honor to be bestowed upon a deacon who has served Cedar Valley Baptist Church faithfully for many years, but for reasons of health or another situation cannot continue to actively serve as a deacon.
III. Selection of a Deacon
The number of new deacons needed shall be determined by the deacon body. Candidates must have been members of this church for a minimum of one year. The following provision shall serve as guidelines for nominations for election:
- Over a period of three or four Sundays during late spring, a “Deacon Candidate Ballot” will be distributed and collected during church services. Deacon qualifications will be publicized and or included on the back of the ballot.
- The Pastor and Deacon Officers will meet with candidates who are selected by the church and outline Biblical qualifications for becoming a Deacon. The Deacon Questionnaire will be given to the candidates at this time.
- A “Deacon Questionnaire” must be filled out and returned to the Pastor’s office for one’s name to be considered for election and service.
- A Deacon Confirmation Committee will be made up of the past three active Deacon Chairmen in the church, plus two appointees of the current Chairman (appointees will not be deacon officers.) The appointees will have been ratified by a majority vote of a quorum of the Deacon body present at a regular meeting of the deacons. The chairman of the committee will be the past Deacon Chairman whose term was earliest. The Deacon Confirmation Committee will review the questionnaires and meet with each candidate personally.
- After the candidates have met with the Confirmation Committee and have agreed to serve, their names will be published. Any church member with an objection to a candidate may do so in writing to the Pastor. The Pastor will meet with the candidate privately to review the objection. If necessary, the Pastor will reconvene the Deacon Confirmation Committee to review the objection.
- The candidates who are confirmed by the committee and complete orientation will be submitted to the Deacon body for consideration. Candidates who are qualified to serve and who have not been previously ordained as deacons will be presented to the church for ordination.
- If an individual has previously served as deacon in another church and desires to actively serve at Cedar Valley Baptist Church, he must:
1) Be a member for at least one year
2) Notify the Pastor and the Deacon Officers of his desire for active Deacon Ministry
3) Meet with the Pastor and the Deacon Officers
4) Be approved by two thirds (2/3) majority of a quorum (50% of active deacons) present at a regular meeting of the deacons. The individual may attend regular meetings of the deacons, but will not have a voting privilege until the process for active service has been completed.
Service of a Deacon
- A deacon shall remain in active status as long as he annually indicates his desire and commitment to serve, is regular in attendance at the deacons’ meetings and participates in the ministries of the deacon body. If a deacon is absent form six (6) consecutive deacons’ meetings without acceptable explanation, he will be declared inactive; and, a replacement will be sought.
- There are some instances when a deacon feels it is necessary for him to become inactive for a period of time. As long as his inactive service does not exceed two (2) consecutive years, he will be given opportunity to reactivate himself at the appropriate time.
- If a deacon exceeds two consecutive years of inactive service, he may be declared active again after notifying the deacon officers of his desire, meets with the Pastor and deacon officers for an updated orientation, and is approved by two thirds (2/3) majority vote of the quorum present at a regular meeting of the deacons.
Relationships of a Deacon
Certainly the deacon’s primary relationship is to his Lord. Without that vertical relationship being what it ought to be, the horizontal relationships will be distorted. A deacon should be more concerned about his walk with God than anything. Next in importance is the deacon’s knowledge and understanding of his role in relation to his family, pastor, church committees and the church membership at large.
The New Testament mentions a deacon’s responsibility in relation to his wife and children; therefore, the church feels that a deacon should give his family first priority in his devotion, care and ministry.
Relation to the Pastor
- A deacon should serve under the leadership and spiritual direction of the pastor and be loyal to his pastor in prayer support, encouragement and fellowship.
- Cedar Valley Baptist Church looks to the pastor for giving overall leadership and administration to the church and its ministry. The church therefore expects the deacons to respect the office of pastor and to welcome the unique opportunity to learn from and serve with the pastor. As a deacon functions in the practical ministry of the church, the pastor is freed to give attention to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
Relation to Committees
The deacon body gives counsel to, but does not have control of, all committee actions. Nowhere in the New Testament is there even a hint that the deacon body is to function as a board of directors or as administrators of the church’s business affairs. Deacons are servants first and last. Out of courtesy, committees report to the deacon body concerning actions or recommendations for information and feedback. The deacon body may indicate support or give counsel, but not instruct committees as to what they can or cannot propose to the church for official action.
Relationship to the Church Membership at Large
The deacons are to be active in ministry to the church family; and, to promote peace, harmony and a spirit of cooperation and unity among the membership. The primary relationship of the deacons to the church is as follows:
- Deacons are to be problem solvers and preservers of church harmony. Robert Naylor, former President of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, in his book The Baptist Deacon, wrote concerning the deacon’s responsibility to preserve harmony in the church: “When a man becomes a deacon, he loses the privilege, if such exists, of participating in a church row. A member of the ranks may claim that often-abused privilege, ‘speaking his mind’. When a man becomes a deacon–selected and called by the Holy Spirit, chosen by the church, dedicated by personal choice–he forfeits the right to promote in any fashion, a division in the life of the church. The one inescapable duty of the deacon in the New Testament was the protection of the church fellowship. When things arise that are divisive, it is time for a deacon who believes the Book to stand up and say “We cannot do it this way in this church. We must have harmony and peace if we are to follow Christ.” That could make the difference between a great, fruitful church and ineffective, dried-up one.”
Every deacon carries two imaginary buckets: one of water and one of gasoline. He determines in many situations whether he will help put out the fires of disharmony or if he will fuel the problem.
Deacons are to be active in ministry that will enable the pastor to feed the flock faithfully and to be able to spend the necessary time in prayer for God’s direction and inspiration in leading the church.
Responsibilities of a Deacon
In accordance with the meaning of the word of the New Testament, deacons are to recognize their roles as ministering servants of the church. They are to be members of this church whose character and qualifications shall be as specified in I Timothy 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-6 and Titus 1:6-9.
The deacon body shall serve under the leadership of the pastor and assist him in performing duties in order to free him for the ministry of the Word. The deacons will support and work with the pastor as follows:
- To lead the church in achievement of its mission
- To minister the gospel to believers and unbelievers
- To care for the church’s members and others in the community
- To have “a consistent commitment to stewardship shall be attested by the Deacon’s example of tithing to the Church.” (From the Church Constitution).
- To demonstrate Christ-like consecration, loyalty, prayer support and faithfulness to the local church program
- To visit the sick, needy and indifferent of the church
- To encourage and strengthen new converts and the spiritually weak
- To attend deacons’ meetings regularly
- To be available with his wife at worship services for assisting the pastor in receiving new members. (Training sessions will be offered to acquaint everyone with the procedures to follow.)
- To be available to assist with assignments for contacting guests from Sunday
VII. Deacon Meetings
The meetings of the deacon body shall be restricted to active deacons of this church, those classified as “Deacon Emeritus”, the pastor and ministerial staff, unless otherwise requested by the deacon body. Regular meetings will be determined by the Deacon Officers in consultation with the Pastor. Meetings of the deacon body will be scheduled no less than once a quarter.
VIII. Ordination of a Deacon
The ordination of a deacon is designed to be a meaningful time of commissioning to faithful service. In I Timothy 3:20 states that a man first be “tested” before serving as a deacon. It is customary before ordination for a man to submit to a time of questioning concerning the following subjects.
- What is your view of the Bible? (II Timothy 3:16, II Peter 1:20)
- Do you believe in the security of the believer? Cite supportive Scriptures references (Ephesians 2:8, John 3:16, I John 5:11-13)
- What is the mission of the church? (Evangelism – Matthew 28:19-20 and Ministry – Ephesians 4:12-13).
- What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit? (Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:22-25)
- Do you believe in spiritual warfare? Cite a scripture reference for guidance (Ephesians 6:10-18)
- Are you faithful in your stewardship by tithing to Cedar Valley Baptist Church?
- Would you share your personal testimony?
- Is your wife in full support of your service as a deacon?
- Have you read together the qualifications of a deacon’s wife, found in I Timothy 3:11?
The office of a deacon demands a high level of commitment, a mature knowledge of the faith and dedication to fellowship and service. I Timothy 3:13 summarizes it best, “For those who have served well as Deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” May your service as deacon be one of the richest and most rewarding of your walk with the Lord!