westmont constitution and by-laws


Constitution and Bylaws of Westmont Baptist Church
This Constitution and By-laws, revised as of November 12, 2014, supersedes all other
previously adopted Constitutions and By-laws of Westmont Baptist Church.

 

Preamble:
We declare and establish this constitution for the preservation and security of the
principles of our faith, and so that this body may be governed in an orderly manner. This
constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual member of this church and the freedom
of action of this body in its relation to other churches of the same faith.

 

Article I – Name:
This body shall be known as the Westmont Baptist Church located at 115 Jeffrey Drive in
Upper Yoder Township, Johnstown, Cambria County, Pennsylvania.

 

Article II – Objectives
To be a dynamic spiritual organism empowered by the Holy Spirit to communicate the
Good News of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ with as many people as possible in our
church, community, and throughout the world, which is the mission of this church.
To be a worshiping fellowship, experiencing an awareness of God, recognizing His
person, and responding in obedience to His leadership.
To experience an increasingly meaningful fellowship with God and fellow believers.
To help people experience a growing knowledge of God and man.
To be a church that ministers unselfishly to persons in the church, community, and world
in Jesus’ name.
To be a church whose purpose is to be Christ-like in our daily living by emphasizing total
commitment of life, personality, and possessions to the lordship of Christ.
To support foreign, state, and local missions.

 

Article III - Statement of Faith:
Being members of the Southern Baptist Convention (hereinafter “SBC”), we subscribe to
the doctrinal statement of “The Baptist Faith and Message 2000” as adopted by the SBC on June
14, 2000. The purpose of this body shall be to sustain our continuing, vital relationship with God
through Jesus Christ. Accordingly, we band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in
Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation with lost mankind. The
ordinances of the church are baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Holy Bible is the inspired word of God and sole basis
for this Statement of Faith and the Holy Scriptures alone shall be recognized as the only
infallible authority in determining faith and practice. For purposes of church doctrine, practice,
policy, and discipline, the church’s Pastor and Deacons shall be the church’s final interpretative
authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

 

Article IV - Church Covenant:
Having been led by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and
on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit, we the members of Westmont Baptist Church do now, in the presence of
God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one
body in Christ.


We affirm that the purpose of our church is to glorify God in worship and service and to
be God’s missionary, bearing witness to His redeeming grace in Jesus Christ. We resolve,
therefore, by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to serve together in Christian love, to strive for the
spiritual growth of our church, to actively participate in its worship and ordinances, to uphold its
discipline and doctrines, to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the expenses of the church and
its ministries, and toward the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.
We shall strive to always be aware that by our word and action we are a living witness for
Jesus Christ, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our
conduct and speech. We shall regard our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit and accordingly
shall abstain from any practices detrimental to our witness or to our mental, physical or spiritual
health (examples might include: sexual licentiousness or the consumption or sale of alcohol or
non-medicinal drugs).

 

We commit our lives and destinies to Christ, giving Him priority in all the affairs of life,
and seeking to bring every phase of our lives under the Lordship of Christ. Accordingly, we
covenant together to maintain family and personal devotions, to educate and guide our children
toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and to pursue the salvation of our family and
acquaintances.

 

We commit to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember one another in
prayer, to aid one another in times of sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy and
courtesy, to avoid all gossip and backbiting, to be slow to take offense, but always ready for
reconciliation, being mindful of the command of our Savior to secure it without delay, striving to
display the fruits of the Spirit.

 

Should we move from this place, we recognize the importance of seeking out a body of
like believers where we may continue to carry out the spirit of this covenant, the principles of
God’s Word, and worship the Lord.

Article V – Polity:
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose the
membership. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and
sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation, which are common among Southern
Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the
Conemaugh Valley Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist State Convention of Pennsylvania/South Jersey affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
All ministries and committees of the church shall be under church control, with all
officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church at quarterly business
meetings.

 

BYLAWS SECTION:
 

Article I. Membership:
Westmont Baptist Church is an autonomous and democratic Southern Baptist Church
under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership of this church shall be composed of
individuals who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and affirm the tenets of the church
covenant, confession of faith, and church constitution, and who offer evidence, by their
confession and conduct, that they are living in accord with their affirmations and this church’s
constitution and by-laws, and are actively pursuing and continuing in a vital fellowship with the
Lord Jesus Christ. The membership retains into itself the right of exclusive self-government in
all phases of the spirit and temporal life of this church. Additionally, the membership of this
church shall have final authority in all matters of church governance consistent with the church
constitution and by-laws. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall
be members of this church and the conditions of such membership. Voting privileges are
extended to those members, ages eighteen (18) and over only. Any person reaching the age of
eighteen (18), who has previously been received as a non-voting member under the age of
eighteen (18), should re-affirm his or her commitment of membership to the pastor and church to
obtain voting privileges.

 

A. Candidacy:
Candidates may be received by a decisive vote at the next business meeting upon
recommendation of the deacons and/or evangelism ministry team member and/or pastor.
Candidates may be received for membership in the following ways:
1. Any new believer may present himself/herself as a candidate for
membership in this church, having expressed a public profession of faith
followed by baptism.
2. By letter from any other Southern Baptist Church showing them to be in
good standing.
3. By satisfactory statement of experience of the new birth and having been
scripturally baptized by immersion in agreement with the policies of the
church.
4. By restoration, if an individual who was removed from rolls by
disciplinary action of the church demonstrates repentance and renewed
commitment. Such individuals under this provision shall however be
exempt for one (1) year from serving in church offices/committees and of
voting privileges. (Gal.6:1, Matt 18:15-17 church discipline)
5. Reinstatement of a candidate seeking restoration of membership by recommitting
to the unity of the body. The candidate will be presented at a
quarterly business meeting upon recommendation of the pastor and
deacons, which then must be confirmed by a three-quarters (¾) majority
vote at the next quarterly business meeting within three (3) months. Upon
reinstatement, the member will be exempt from official church
responsibilities for a period of one (1) year.

 

B. New Member Orientation:
New members of this church are expected to participate in the church’s new member
orientation which is usually taught by the pastor.

 

C. Termination of Membership:
Membership shall be terminated in one of the following ways:
1. By transfer of letter: a letter of transfer may be granted to another church
of like faith and order. (The letter of transfer shall not be granted directly
to an individual.)
2. Upon the death of a member, the name of the deceased member shall be
erased from the church roll.
3. By exclusion: should a member become an offense to the name of Christ
or to the church and to its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian
conduct, the church may terminate his/her membership by a decisive vote
after faithful efforts have been made to bring the member to repentance
and reconciliation.
4. Removal for non-attendance: A member may be removed from
membership upon becoming affiliated with another church, of like faith or
otherwise, or after a prolonged period of non-attendance of one (1) year or
more as established by the annual re-commitment service.

D. Member 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, Deacons, and other
members of the church staff are available for counsel and guidance.
The attitude of members toward one another shall be guided by a concerns for
redemption rather than punishment.
Should some serious condition exist which is causing a member to become a liability to
the general welfare and harmony of this church, the Pastor and Deacons will undertake
all reasonable measures to resolve the problem in accordance with the principles found in
Matthew 18: 15-17. If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a
member, a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at any meeting called for such
purpose is required and the church may thereafter proceed to declare the person to no
longer be a member in the church. All such proceedings, however, shall be wholly
bathed in prayer, exhibit a spirit of Christian kindness and patience, and follow the
biblical guidelines found in Matthew 18: 15-17; Romans 12:18; 1 Corinthians 5: 4-5; 2
Corinthians 2: 6-7; Galatians 6:1; and 1 Timothy 5: 19-20.
Consistent with Sections A(4) through A(5) of this Article, the church may at any time
restore to membership any person previously excluded upon request of such excluded
person and by vote of the church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance.

 

Article II. Church Officers:
All church officers shall be members of the church. (Any form of active campaigning is
discouraged.) The officers of this church shall be as follows:

 

A. Pastor:
The Pastor is the under-shepherd of the congregation, Christ Himself
being the Shepherd. The Pastor shall provide spiritual guidance to the body, all
organizations of the church, and the church staff as they perform their tasks. He
is charged by God to preach the Word. The Pastor shall meet all Scriptural
requirements contained within the Holy Bible, including but not limited to the
mandates of 1 Timothy 3:1-7.

 

Pastor Responsibilities:
1. The Pastor shall provide spiritual guidance to the work and ministries
of the church. He shall teach the Scriptures, conduct services of
worship and prayer, visit the sick, perform marriages, conduct
funerals, comfort the troubled, provide a reasonable amount of
personal counseling, and maintain regular office hours at the church.
2. The Pastor shall counsel with the deacons concerning the spiritual
guidance and temporal well being of the membership and in
cooperation with them shall labor to lead the congregation into greater
spiritual maturity.
3. The Pastor shall preside at all meetings of the church, except as herein
after provided, and shall be considered an ex officio member of all
organizations and committees.
4. The Pastor shall exercise primary leadership in the securing of pulpit
supplies, speakers for revivals and other approved meetings in
consultation with the deacons.
5. The Pastor shall have the option of attending the Southern Baptist
Convention, state convention, and other Southern Baptist meetings or
conferences and shall attend same as a messenger of the church and at
the expense of the church as finances permit. Such attendance will not
count against the Pastor’s personal vacation time.
6. As a responsibility to his own physical and spiritual well being, the
pastor is urged to take off at least one (1) day each week from routine
church duties. The number of weeks allowed for the Pastor’s vacation
will be considered by the Compensation Committee, and voted upon
by the congregation. He will be extended the privilege of accepting
three (3) outside speaking engagements per year.

 

Call of Pastor:
The pastor shall be elected by the church by an indefinite call
whenever a vacancy occurs. Upon vacancy of the position, a pulpit
committee shall be elected by the church to seek out a suitable pastor.
Any member of the church may suggest names for them to consider
according to the policies of the church. The pulpit committee’s
recommendations shall constitute a nomination. The pulpit committee
shall present only one man at a time to the church for consideration. With
the church having been notified at least one (1) week in advance, the
prospective pastor should bring a message and then be voted on by the
church no sooner than the following Wednesday night. An affirmative
three-fourths (3/4) majority of the eligible members present and voting
shall constitute a call.

 

The deacons shall share responsibility for recommending matters
concerning salary, vacation, revivals, etc. by sending at least two (2)
representatives to the compensation committee.

Termination of Relationship:
1. The Pastor shall service indefinitely until the relationship is
terminated by mutual consent. At least a thirty-day (30-day) notice
shall be given by either party for termination of relationship by
mutual consent.
2. The church may at any time dismiss the pastor from all his duties
provided he is found guilty of conduct unbecoming a minister of
the gospel of Jesus Christ, or for heresy in preaching, or for
generally being a detriment to the well-being of the church, or for
dishonoring the church’s good name, or for bringing the name of
Christ into disrepute. Recommendations for such action shall
follow this procedure:
a. The action is brought before the deacons and investigated.
In all such instances, the pastor shall be notified and
provide opportunity to defend and / or answer for himself.
If charges are a legitimate concern, the deacons will bring
their findings before the congregation.
b. No sooner than two (2) weeks after the findings are
presented, an affirmative vote of the majority present in a
called business meeting shall constitute a termination.

 

B. Deacons:
1. Number – The church shall elect a minimum of four (4) Deacons and add
one (1) when needed and feasible to keep the ratio of no less than one
Deacon for each ten (10) families and to serve the needs of the church.

 

2. Election – Deacons shall be elected at regular business meetings of the
church by secret ballot affirmed by a three-quarters (¾) majority vote.
a. The candidates should be recommended to the church by the
Deacon Body and Pastor.
b. The nominees will then be presented to the church for election.
The Deacons shall be elected for a three-year (3-year) term.
c. After serving a three–year (3-year) term, the deacon will go to
inactive status for 1 (one) year, or until presented for reelection.
(There is no obligation to constitute as a Deacon a brother who
comes from another church where he has served as a Deacon.)

3. Eligibility - Scriptural requirements- A Deacon shall be committed to the requirements
as stipulated in Acts 6:1-3, and also the requirements set forth in I
Timothy 3:8-13 and Titus I 1:6-9. A Deacon shall be expected to tithe into
the local church budget. He shall be active in activities of the church
except where he is providentially hindered or where he is hindered by his
lawful vocation through which he earns his livelihood.

 

A Deacon will be active in the visitation program of the church. A Deacon
shall accept and care for the oversight of a designated segment of the
church. This segment is to include an equal number of the church families
through which he shall minister as a Deacon. It shall be his responsibility
to keep in contact with those families through personal visits and phone
visits, and to have the general oversight of their spiritual care. It shall be
the responsibility of all deacons to give assistance and encouragement to
the pastor and to promote harmony among the membership.

 

Any Deacon, who ceases to fulfill these requirements, will be reviewed by
Deacons and Pastor. The Deacons shall elect their officers and shall be
organized to assist the pastor and for the consideration of problems related
to their work.

 

4. Responsibilities - Deacons are to be servants of the church. Their task is to serve with the
Pastor in performing the pastoral ministry tasks of:
a. leading the church in the achievement of its mission;
b. proclaiming the gospel to believers and unbelievers; and
c. caring for members of the church and other persons in need
throughout the community.

 

C. Trustees:
At least three (3) trustees shall be elected annually by the church to serve a
one-year term. The trustees shall act as the legal representatives of the
church. They shall have the legal responsibility for the church property,
physical plant, contract, deeds, legal papers, insurance, etc. They shall
have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property
without a specific vote of the church, authorizing each action.

D. Moderator:
The moderator shall be the Pastor. The Chairman of the Deacons shall act
as vice-moderator. At any meeting when the agenda deals with Pastoral
concerns, the Pastor shall remove himself as moderator.

 

Article III. Salaried Staff (Church Staff):
The church shall call or employ such staff members as the church shall need. A job
description shall be written when a need for staff members is determined.

 

A. Financial Secretary: candidates for the position of Financial Secretary shall be
recommended to the congregation by the Pastor and the Finance Team and
approved by the congregation.
The Financial Secretary will be responsible for the disbursement of funds upon
proper authorization. The Finance Team will generate a full job description.
The Finance Secretary will also be the clerk for the official meetings of the church
in conference and shall keep suitable record of all actions of the church. He/she is
responsible for keeping a register of the names of members, with dates of
admission, dismissal, or death, together with a record of baptisms. He/she shall
issue letters of dismissal voted by the church and preserve on file all meetings
where such notice is necessary, as indicated by the by-laws. All church records
are church property and should be filed in the church office.

 

B. Custodians: custodians shall be recommended to the church by the Building and
Grounds Team.

 

Article IV. General Teams:
All church team members shall be selected by the Nominating Team unless
otherwise indicated in the description below. All elected officers and Team chairmen must
be church members in good standing with the church.

 

A. Money Counters Team:
The money counters shall receive all monies and make timely deposits of
offerings.

 

B. Church Greeter/Ushers Team:
The Nominating Team shall name two (2) greeters/ushers who will then recruit help
as needed. The greeters/ushers are to greet people as they enter and leave the church, seat
people at the proper time, and provide bulletins and/or other materials at the time
of seating. The greeters/ushers will be attentive to the needs of the congregation and the
Pastor. The greeters/ushers shall receive the offering in the regular service.
Page 10 of 13

 

C. Music Team:
The Music Team shall be responsible, under the leadership of the minister of
music, when one is procured, for special music, scheduling, seeing to the upkeep
of all the instruments, approving music orders, and formulating a music budget.
Chairman or director shall be elected. Ordering of materials must be approved by
the director.

 

D. Nominating Team:
The Nominating Team shall consist of the Pastor and at least three (3)
members from the congregation, one being elected chairman, with the Pastor
excluding himself from the nomination of the Compensation Team. The
team shall meet to seek God’s leadership in the nomination of persons
herein prescribed. The person nominated shall be contacted in person and asked to
prayerfully consider fulfilling the position. The Nominating Team will
present those who feel led to accept. The Nominating Team shall recommend
a ballot and an election shall be held at the third (3rd) Quarter Business Meeting.
Term of the teams will run from January 1 thru December 31 of each year.

 

E. Fellowship & Activities Team:
The Fellowship & Activities Team will be recommended by the Nominating
Team. They will be responsible for the scheduling, booking and planning of
all church wide activities. They shall also have general supervision of the kitchen
and all appliances therein.

 

F. Finance Team:
The Finance Team shall consist of members presented by the nominating
team. They shall be charged with the responsibility of presenting a proposed
budget by the third (3rd) Quarter Business Meeting, and financial reports at all
quarterly scheduled business meetings.In the case that a motion is made which
involves an expenditure exceeding Five Hundred Dollars and Zero Cents
($500.00) for any item not included in the budget, that motion shall be referred to
the finance team for study after which they shall bring a recommendation to
the church. Their recommendation shall not exclude the motion. The motion must
be voted on at the next business meeting, but their recommendation will be made
prior to the final vote regarding the motion under study. In emergency situations,
the finance team and trustees have the authority to spend whatever is
needed. Persons who handle church funds or any negotiable stock or bonds or
valuables are to be bonded, the cost of which the church is to pay. This does not
include counters, only those which handle money or valuables alone.
The financial records of the church will be examined annually, by a panel selected
by the Finance Team. Care must be taken in selection of panel members to
avoid a conflict of interest. The examination shall include record of offerings and
receipts, expenditures, insurance, financial reports, and bank statements and
holdings. All designated funds will be included in the audit. The audit team will
provide a report on the audit to church membership, by the first quarter business
meeting of the following year.

 

G. Nursery Team:
They shall be presented by the nominating team. They are to recruit nursery
workers & formulate an appropriate schedule. They will also be in charge of all
equipment necessary for the proper care of nursery-aged children.

 

H. Missions Team:
The Missions Team seeks to discover possibilities for local mission projects,
shares findings with church program organizations, and serves the church in
establishing and coordinating such mission projects as are approved by the
church. The Missions Team shall receive reports from and act as liaison with
the pastor of any church type missions operated by our church. This will
reactivate as needed.

 

I. Compensation Team:
(Ad Hoc, as directed by the Finance Team)
Shall consist of two representatives from the deacon ministry team, two members of the
finance team, and at least two (2) other members of the congregation
recommended by the nominating team. Compensation committee members
shall be responsible for the reviewing and recommending matters concerning
salary packages for each staff member. The recommendations shall be presented
to the congregation to be voted upon at a business meeting.

 

J. Church Council:  (Ad Hoc = Church Leadership Team)
Develop as needed

 

K. Building and Grounds Team:
Should consist of four (4) people. The Team shall be charged with the
inspection of all church property. The Team should discover mechanical and
structural faults before they become acute. The Team will have the
responsibility to perform reasonable minor repairs, organize work days etc.

Article V. Church Meetings:


A. Worship Services:
The church will meet regularly each Sunday morning and evening, and
Wednesday evening for preaching, instruction, and evangelism.

 

B. Regular Business Meeting:
Regular business meetings shall be held quarterly on a designated night.

 

C. Special Business Meeting:
A special business meeting of the church may be called at any time by:
1. The Pastor.
2. The request of two (2) or more active Deacons.
3. The chairperson of any standing committee listed within Article IV
of these Bylaws.
4. The request of one tenth (1/10) or more of the total membership of
the church in writing.
A notice of all specially called meeting of the church shall be given by
announcement one (1) week or more prior to the meeting, unless urgency renders
such notice impractical.

 

D. Special Services:
Revival services and any other church function or meeting which is essential to
the promotion of the objectives of the church may be scheduled as needed.

 

E. Quorum:
1 . Business Meeting-The quorum consists of those members who
attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting and one
that has been properly called. One tenth (1/10) of voting members
shall constitute a quorum.
2. Quorum for a committee shall consist of three quarters (3/4) of the
committee members, provided it is a stated meeting and one that
has been properly called.

 

F. Parliamentary Rules:
Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall be the authority for all parliamentary rules
of procedure for all regular and special business and committee meetings of the
church.

 

Article VI. Statement on Marriage:
This church and its membership believe that the term “marriage” has only one (1)
exclusive meaning and that is a marriage sanctioned by God which joins one (1) man and one (1)
woman in a single, exclusive union as delineated in the Holy Scriptures. We believe that God
intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each
other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in
outside of a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman.
Additionally, we believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery,
fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, or any attempt to change one’s
sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex, is sinful and offensive to God.
Moreover, we believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of this church as
the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the
community, it is imperative that all persons employed by this church in any capacity, or who
serve as volunteers in any capacity, should abide by, affirm, and agree to this statement on
marriage and conduct themselves in strict accordance with same.
We furthermore believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess
and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
Lastly, we believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness,
respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed towards any person are
to be repudiated and are not in accord with the Holy Scriptures nor the doctrines of the church.

 

Article VII. Amendments:
Changes in this constitution and bylaws may be made at any regular business meeting of
the church, provided such Amendments shall have been presented in writing at a previous church
meeting, and copies of the proposed amendment be furnished to each member present.
Amendments to the constitution shall be by two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members of the church
present; amendments to the bylaws shall have concurrence of a majority of the members present
and voting.