We declare and establish this constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith and to govern the body in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual church member and the freedom of action of this body in relation to other churches.
This body shall be known as the Lake Placid Baptist Church of Lake Placid, NY.
The mission of our church is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
The objectives of our church are derived from four main passages of Scripture: Matthew 22:37-40, Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8 and Acts 2:42-47. A full explanation of our objectives may be found in the Operations Manual. The objectives are:
• Glorify God, through worship services and walking with Jesus daily
• Connect with God, with other believers, and with the community
• Serve in Jesus name
V. STATEMENT OF BASIC BELIEFS
We affirm the Holy Bible as the inspired Word of God and the basis for our beliefs. This church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000. We voluntarily band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ, personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
VI. CHURCH COVENANT
Believing that God has led each of us to join together with this church family, we affirm our commitments to the Lord and each other as described in our church covenant, which is located in the Operations Manual.
VII. POLITY AND RELATIONSHIPS
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. All internal groups created and empowered by the church shall report to and be accountable only to the church, unless otherwise specified by the church action. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation that are common among Baptist churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate and support the Adirondack Baptist Association, the Baptist Convention of New York, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
VIII. OPERATIONS MANUAL
The purpose of the Operations Manual is to provide in one place the policies and procedures of Lake Placid Baptist Church. The Operations Manual, working together with the Constitution and By-Laws, clearly explains what God has called us to do and how He has called us to do it.
I. CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: General
This 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 right to determine who shall be members of this church and conditions of such membership.
Section 2: Candidacy
The membership of this church shall be composed of persons who have publicly professed their faith in Christ, who have been baptized by immersion, who have completed the Discovering Lake Placid Membership class, and who have been received by vote of the church,
OR, a member of another Baptist church of like faith and order may be received by vote of the church upon receipt of a letter of transfer from that church and the completion of the Discovering Lake Placid Membership class,
OR, one who gives a statement of his/her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who has been baptized by immersion, who has completed the Discovering Lake Placid Membership class, and who has been received by vote of the church.
Section 3: Rights of Members
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 or provision has been made for absentee balloting.
Every member of the church is eligible for consideration by membership as candidates for elective offices in the church.
Section 4: Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:
• Death of the member
• Dismissal to another Baptist church
• Exclusion by action of this church
• Erasure upon request or proof of membership in a church of another denomination
Section 5: 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, elders, church staff, and deacons are available for counsel and 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 causes a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the church, the pastor, elders and deacons will take every reasonable measure to resolve the problem in accord with Matthew 18. If it becomes necessary for the church to take action to exclude a member, a two-thirds vote of the 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.
The church may restore to membership any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person, and by a vote of the church, upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation.
II. CHURCH ORDINANCES
Section 1: Baptism
This church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith, who professes him publicly, and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord. Baptism shall be by immersion in water. The believer submits to the ordinance of baptism as an act of obedience to his Lord, but the ordinance is not a part of, nor essential to, his salvation. The pastor, or whomever the church shall authorize, shall administer the baptism. Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship of the church. A person who professes Christ and is not baptized after a reasonable length of time shall be counseled by the pastor, elders, staff and/or deacons. If negative interest is ascertained on the part of the candidate, he shall be deleted from those awaiting baptism.
Section 2: The Lord’s Supper
The church shall observe the Lord’s Supper monthly unless otherwise scheduled by the church. The pastor, elders and deacons shall administer the Lord’s Supper.
III. CHURCH OFFICERS
All who serve as officers of the church and those who serve in ministry as leaders shall be members of this church.
Section 1: Church Officers
The officers of this church shall be pastor, elders, the church staff, ministry leaders, a moderator, a clerk, a treasurer and trustees. They will serve together as the Leadership Team. Complete job descriptions for these officers may be found in the Operations Manual.
• Pastor. In general, the duties of the pastor shall be fivefold: as preacher, to proclaim the gospel; as overseer, to superintend the work of the church; as pastor, to shepherd the flock; as elder, to give counsel, wisdom and prayer; and as minister, to serve the people of the church and the community for Christ’s sake.
• A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a special business meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one week’s notice shall have been given in a Sunday worship service.
• A pastor search team shall be nominated by the Leadership Team and elected by the church to seek out a suitable pastor. It shall consist of the Leadership Team and additional members as recommended by the Leadership Team. Only one member of a family shall serve on the pastor search team. The pastor search team shall meet on an ongoing, timely basis.
• The call of a pastor shall be by secret ballot. An affirmative vote of three-fourths of those members present casting ballots shall be required to call a pastor. A pastor, thus called, shall serve until the relationship is terminated upon his resignation, or by the church’s request. The pastor shall give a minimum of two (2) weeks notice at the time of his resignation before terminating his responsibilities as pastor. If termination is by the choice of the church, it shall be by two-thirds vote of those members present and voting, and with at least two (2) weeks notice to the pastor whose salary shall be continued for thirty days beyond the date of termination. Advanced notice of such proposed action shall be given to the resident membership at least two (2) weeks prior to church action. Action shall be taken at a regular business meeting.
• Elders. God has placed within our church men to serve as elders. These are men who meet the biblical qualifications for serving as an elder, who feel called to serve as an elder, and who are willing to serve in this capacity. The lead elder for our church is our pastor. The elders are accountable to one another and the church body. The Bible uses three terms to describe the same group of leaders in the church: elder, shepherd and overseer. The elders at Lake Placid Baptist Church will serve in these roles, in accordance with the job description in the Operations Manual.
• Church staff. The church staff shall be called and employed as the church determines the need for such offices. A job description shall be written when the need for a staff member is determined. Job descriptions will be placed in the Operations Manual.
• Ministry Leaders (Deacons). God has placed within our church men and women to serve as ministry leaders. These are individuals who meet the biblical qualifications for serving as a deacon, who feel called to serve as a ministry leader, and who are willing to serve in this capacity. The ministry leaders are accountable to one another, to the elders, and to the church body. The Bible uses many terms to describe the function of deacons. The most common terms used are: serve, minister, help and administrate. The ministry leaders at Lake Placid Baptist Church will serve in these roles, in accordance with the job description in the Operations Manual.
• Moderator. The pastor shall serve as the moderator of all business meetings. In the absence of the moderator, the elders shall appoint a moderator for that meeting.
• Clerk. The church shall elect annually a clerk as its clerical officer to keep minutes of all business and special business meetings of the church, and perform any other administrative duties as required by ministries of the church.
• Treasurer. The church shall elect annually a church treasurer as its financial officer. The church treasurer will be responsible for all financial transactions and records of the church. The treasurer will work together with the Finance Team to fulfill the ministry goals of the church. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of the receipts and disbursements..
• Assistant Treasurer. An assistant treasurer will be appointed by the Leadership Team. The person will assist the treasurer in performing necessary financial duties.
• Trustees. The church shall elect three or more trustees to serve as legal officers of the church. They will serve on a rotating basis to meet requirements of New York State law. They will serve for one (1) year, two (2) years, and three (3) years, with each year a new trustee being elected by the church. They shall hold in trust the church property. Upon a specific vote of the church authorizing each action, they have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any church property.
IV. CHURCH MINISTRIES
The church will develop ministries to fulfill the God-given objectives of the church, as stated in Article IV of the church constitution. The church will select leaders to meet ministry needs, as needed, to work with the Elders & Ministry Leaders. The Operations Manual contains a complete listing of the Ministry Teams.
V. CHURCH MEETINGS
Section 1: Worship Services
The church shall meet regularly each Sunday and Wednesday for the worship of Almighty God. Prayer, praise, preaching, instruction and evangelism shall be among the elements of these services.
Section 2: Special Services
Revival services and any other church meetings essential to the advancement of the church’s objectives shall be placed on the church calendar.
Section 3: Regular Business Meetings
The church shall hold quarterly business meetings at a designated time.
Section 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 specially 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 members have opportunity to know of the meeting.
Voting Procedures – On matters of critical importance to the church (i.e., removal of the pastor, etc.) the parents of members below the age of 18 are charged with explaining the issue to their children.
Section 5: Quorum
The quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
Section 6: Parliamentary Procedure
Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised is the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church.
VI. CHURCH FINANCES
Section 1: Finance Team
The Finance Team shall be comprised of three-four people: the Church Treasurer, one of the Trustees, and one of the Elders. The Assistant Treasurer may or may not serve on the Finance Team. At the fall business meeting, it shall be determined who will serve on the Finance Team for the upcoming year.
Section 2: Budget
The Finance Team, in consultation with the church officers, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all local and other expenses. This budget shall be presented to the church for approval at the fall business meeting.
Section 3: Fiscal Year
The church fiscal year shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31 of each year.
Section 4: Administration of Church Ministry Resources
Pastor/Moderator – coordinates and communicates with appropriate individuals
• Finance Team – presents annual budget, and oversees budget items
• Treasurer – serves on Finance Team, maintains financial records, prints and signs checks to be signed
• Ministry Assistant-order materials requested for ministry purposes, be responsible for keeping a suitable record of all official actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided. The ministry assistant shall be responsible for keeping a register of names of members, with dates of admission, dismissal, death, or erasure, together with a record of baptisms. The ministry assistant shall issue letters of dismissal voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official reports, and give required notice of all meetings where notice is necessary.
• Elders – oversee expenditures of “New Ministries” line item in budget
• Ministry Leaders – make recommendations on expenditures to finance team or elders, submit expenditures to treasurer
• Trustees – legal representatives of the church
Section 1: Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws
Changes in the constitution and by-laws may be made at any business meeting of the church provided each amendment was presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment was furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting. Amendments to the constitution shall be by two-thirds vote of the church members present. Amendments to the by-laws shall have a concurrence of a majority of the members present and voting.
Section 2: Amendments to the Operations Manual
Changes in the Operations Manual may be made at any regular business meeting of the church. Amendments to the Operations Manual shall have a concurrence of a majority of the members present and voting.