Proposed  BY-LAW


norwood baptist church 



Article I


Statement of Faith


The statement of faith for the Norwood Baptist Church is the Southern Baptist Baptist Faith and

Message, latest edition, as approved by the church membership.



Article II


Admission of Members


Section 1

By Baptism - Applicants for baptism, upon profession of faith, and successful completion of counseling with the Pastor, may be approved at any regular service at which they present themselves. It is expected that approved applicants will be baptized by immersion at the earliest practical time alter their approval. Applicants are NOT enrolled as members of the church until after their baptism.

Section 2 

By Letter - Applicants for membership by letter from a Southern Baptist church are received generally upon request. Applicants are not enrolled as members of the church until their letter has been received. It is expected that those applicants shall have been at some time baptized into the membership of a Southern Baptist church. In case this expectation has not been fulfilled or the letter fails to come in a reasonable time, the applicant shall be notified; and the Pastor shall make are commendation to the Deacons as to what action shall be taken. The Deacons are authorized to receive the applicant by baptism or statement.

Section 3

By Statement - When letter from another Southern Baptist church cannot be obtained because of loss of records or similarly unavoidable circumstances, applicants are received upon their own statement affirming their faith, baptism, and church membership; or, when coming from another faith, applicants are received who submitted to baptism by immersion upon the profession of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord as a testimony of the death, burial, and resurrection


Section 4 

By Restoration - When former members of a Southern Baptist church who have been dismissed for reasons of church discipline seek restoration, they are expected to make an explanation to the Pastor and/or Deacons (if without a pastor) of their salvation experience and their repentance from the sin leading to their dismissal. If the Pastor and/or Deacons (if without pastor) considers their experience to indicate a lack of the new birth experience preceding their baptism, they are received for baptism. Otherwise, they are received by restoration of their former membership.



Article III


Termination of Membership


The policy of this church shall be to remove the names of members from the church membership roll only in the following manner:


Section 1         

By Death - Upon the death of a member of this church, the deceased’s name shall be taken from the church membership roll by the Clerk.


Section 2         

By Letter - A letter certifying membership in good standing for any member of the church shall be granted to any Southern Baptist church and order upon proper request for such letter from said church. In no case shall such letter be granted in blank and given to the individual.  It shall be the policy of this church not to issue such letters to churches who are unaffiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention but to write a courtesy letter giving date of profession of faith and baptism, if requested.  On each such letter granted, the Clerk may write in a space provided the extent of the member’s activity in our program After the letter has been sent, the Clerk shall remove the member’s name from the church membership roll.


Section 3         

Without Request for Church Letter - When satisfactory evidence is received that a member has joined another church or is actively participating in another church which has not requested their church letter, the member’s name may be removed from the church membership roll unless the Pastor and/or Deacons shall deem otherwise upon request of the member.


Section 4         

By Church Discipline - If a member commits such sin, that when publicly known, would bring dishonor upon the name of the Lord and hinder the testimony or work of the church, then the Pastor and Deacons shall insure that the steps of Matthew 18:15-17 are followed. After receiving a report from the Pastor and/or Deacons, that the steps of Matthew 18:15-17 have been followed and that the member in sin refuses to repent, the church may vote to remove the member from the membership roll of the church, other members shall use their associations and contacts with the former member only as an opportunity to encourage the former member to repent of the sin that led to their dismissal from the membership of the church. (1 Cor. 5:9-13)


Article IV


Church Leadership and Employees


Section 1

It shall be the policy of this church to elect members of this church to the several offices of the church, its committees, and its organizations. The election of all church officers shall be held at regular or called business meetings, as vacancies occur, after the hearing of the recommendation of the appropriate nominating body. Nominations from the floor shall be in order unless specifically excluded in other provisions of these By-Laws.

 Section 2

Qualifications for Church Leaders - Only those members will be considered eligible for election to any office in the church or to any position of leadership in its organizations or committees who:

A. Have a good report both within and from without the church.

B. Attend regularly the services of the church

C. Have an understanding and are supportive of the doctrine and statement of faith of the Norwood Baptist Church.

D. Show willingness to cooperate with all the officers of the church in the fulfilling of its ministries.

E. Regularly and systematically support the financial program of the church.

F. Have a commitment to the church covenant.

G. Have been a member of Norwood Baptist Church for at least one year.


Section 3

Officers of the church

A. The officers of the church shall be as follows: Pastor, Ministerial Staff, Deacons, Trustees, Clerk, and Treasu​rer.

B. The Pastor

1.  The Pastor is the under-shepherd of the church and as such owes his chief duty to the Chief Shepherd of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ to lead the church as the local body of Christ to fulfill insofar as is possible the Great Commission as expressed in Matthew 28:19-20. As the under-shepherd, the Pastor has both the authority and the responsibility of giving leadership to every ministry, organization and program of the church. Upon a vacancy in the Pastorate, the following shall take place as soon as possible.

a. The Nominating Committee shall recommend to the church the establishment of a Pulpit Committee as a special committee and the guidelines for its operation.

b.  Nominations for the Pulpit Committee shall be received from the floor.

c.  The Deacons with leadership from its chairman, shall assume the responsibility for filling the pulpit and seeing the other areas of Pastoral responsibility are maintained until such time as the church shall call a Pastor.

d.  The Finance Committee shall recommend to the church such alterations in the church budget as to provide the necessary funds for any of the above purposes and to maintain the ongoing ministries of the church in the absence of the Pastor.

e.  The Pulpit Committee shall, under the leadership of the Lord, search for a Pastor until such time as a man is brought before the church and receives a 90% majority call from the church. The call may only be extended in a meeting called for that purpose after the membership has been given at least one week’s notice.

f.  Upon a recommendation by the Deacons to dismiss the Pastor or upon receipt by the chairman of Deacons of a petition to dismiss the Pastor signed by 10% of the resident membership, a business meeting shall be called. The membership shall be notified in writing at least one week in advance of the business meeting and its purpose. The Chairman of the Deacons shall preside at this meeting. The office of Pastor shall be declared vacant upon a majority vote at the called business meetings.

2. The duties of the Pastor:

a.  Shall be to give leadership to the total church ministry and program as the under-shepherd. 

b.  To preach the gospel to the lost and to proclaim the whole counsel of God from the Scriptures to the saved.

c.  To equip the saints for the work of the ministry.

d.  To shepherd the flock of God.

e.  To supervise the officers, staff, and personnel of the church subject to the Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, and church policy.

C. Ministerial Staff

1. Each ministerial staff member shall be called to give leadership to specific areas of ministry and programs of the church under the authority and leadership of the Pastor. Upon a vacancy in a position in the ministerial staff, the Nominating Committee shall call a special business meeting for the purpose of electing a search committee to fill the position. The membership shall be notified of the meeting at least one week in advance. A call shall be extended upon a 90% approval of those present and voting.

2.  Ministerial Staff members may be dismissed in the following ways:

a.  The Pastor shall have the authority to immediately dismiss any ministerial staff member with the approval of the Personnel Committee because of immorality where the evidence of such is clear and well substantiated. The staff member may appeal the decision to the active fellowship of Deacons by delivering to the chairman of the Deacons a request for such an appeal in writing within three (3) days of his notice of dismissal. Upon such an appeal, the Fellowship of Deacons shall make the final decision to retain or dismiss the staff member.

b.  Upon a recommendation by the Pastor and Personnel Committee to dismiss a Ministerial Staff Member or upon receipt by the chairman of the Deacons of a petition to dismiss the Ministerial Start Member signed by 10% of the resident membership, a business meeting shall be called. The membership of the church shall be notified one week in advance of the business meeting of the purpose of the business meeting. The Ministerial Staff Member shall be terminated upon a majority vote at the called business meeting.

D.  Deacons

  1. The Fellowship of Deacons shall function as servants of the church by:

a.  Serving as counsel to the Pastor and to the church organizations and committees in major recommendations being brought to the church for consideration.

b.  Maintaining  a biblically-based  ministry to widows and orphans.

c.  Fulfilling other roles of service as assigned in these by-laws or church policies.

2.  The active Deacon Fellowship will serve as a screening committee for the purpose of screening and presenting Deacon Candidates to the church membership for approval. A unanimous vote of the Pastor and Deacons shall be required for the presentation of a Deacon Candidate to the church membership. The percentage of majority vote shall be determined by the Deacon Fellowship.  

3. Deacon Candidates shall be selected from the male membership of the church.

4. Men of the church shall be eligible after they have been a member of the church for at least one year.

5.  The qualifications of the Deacons shall be set forth in Scripture with particular emphasis given to Acts 6:3 and 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The Deacons and Pastor shall jointly recommend to the church a “Statement of Deacon Qualification: which shall be the policy of the church upon adoption regarding whether any particular individual is qualified to serve as a Deacon.

6.  A written policy of“Procedures for Deacon Election” shall be jointly established by the Fellowship of the Deacons and the Pastor. It shall provide for the timely and orderly implementation of the appropriate sections of these by-laws and the “Statement of Deacon Qualification.”

7.  One the recommendation of the Deacons, the church my call a special Deacon election should the number of vacancies during a year create difficulty in fulfilling the work of the Fellowship of Deacons.

E.  Trustees/Directors

1.  The board of Trustees/Directors shall serve as the proper legal authority through which the church shall act in the exercise of its powers as a non-profit corporation.

2.  Trustees/Directors shall have a life term They shall be elected according to the Articles of Incorporation.

3.  The Trustees/Directors shall exercise their legal authority only after being duly instructed by the church membership.

F.  Clerk

1.  The Clerk shall report to the Pastor, is approved by the Personnel Committee, and is elected by the church membership to perform these duties. The Clerk shall keep a careful and correct record of all the official acts of the church and perform all duties pertaining to the church membership roll.

G.  Treasurer

1.  The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining a correct record of all financial transactions and for providing a monthly financial report to the Deacons and the church membership. The Treasurer shall be elected according to the Articles of Incorporation.

2.  The Treasurer is authorized to disburse funds only as set forth in the Financial Policy Manual of the church or as otherwise authorized by the church membership.

3.  An audit shall be made of the Treasurer’s books by or as directed by the Deacons.

4.  The Finance Committee may recommend to the church the election of Assistant Treasurers as signatories of the church accounts. They shall work under the authority of the Treasure and in accordance with the instructions of the Finance Committee and the church membership.

  Section 4

The church may hire other employees to assist the Pastor and ministerial staff in the various areas of ministry. These employees shall be hired after nomination and approval of the church membership, and may be dismissed at will by the Pastor and Deacons with the approval of the Personnel Committee.






Section 1

The organizations of the church shall be Sunday School, Discipleship Training, Church Music, Women’s Missionary Union, and Brotherhood.

 Section 2

The purposes of the Sunday School shall be:

A. To reach people for salvation, Bible study, and church membership

B.  To teach the truths of the Bible.

C.  To minister to persons in need.

D.  To support the total work of the church.


 Section 3

The purposes of Discipleship Training shall be:

A.  To develop disciples of Jesus Christ.

B.  To equip and train church members for Christian ministry.

C.  To teach Christian theology, doctrine, ethics, history, policy, and living.

D.  To support the total work of the church.


 Section 4

The purposes of the Church Music shall be:

A.  To lead the church in using music to worship and praise God.

B.  To equip and train church members to use their voice and musical abilities in worship, praise, and service to the Lord.

C.  To use music to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

D.  To support the total work of the church.


Section 5

The purposes of the Woman’s Missionary Union shall be to do the following among the women, girls, and preschoolers in the church:

A.  To engage in mission action and personal witnessing.

B.  To teach missions and foster spiritual development toward a missions lifestyle.

C.  To pray for, give to, and encourage support of mission enterprises and missionaries.

D.  To support the total work of the church.



Section 6

The purposes of the Brotherhood shall be to do the following among the men and boys in the church:

A.  To engage in mission action and personal witnessing.

B.  To teach missions and foster spiritual development toward a missions lifestyle.

C.  To pray for, give to, and encourage support of mission enterprises and missionaries.

D.  To support the total work of the church.


Section 7

The lay leadership of each church organization shall be elected annually to those offices after being nominated by the Nominating Committee.



Article Vi




 Section 1

The church shall have two types of committees: standing committees and special committees. A standing committee shall be a committee whose work is ongoing and whose membership rotates. A special committee is a committee whose work is of limited duration and whose membership remains the same except for replacements do to vacancies throughout the term of its existence.

  Section 2

The standing committees of the church shall be as follows: Finance Committee, Nominating Committee, and Personnel Committee.

  Section 3

The Finance Committee shall recommend to the church the adoption of a unified budget. The Finance Committee shall also recommend to the church guidelines which shall govern the collecting, handling, and disbursing of all funds of the church. The Finance Committee shall recommend to the church such changes to the guidelines as it deems appropriate. The person appointed by the finance committee, in the presence of a Deacon shall count the tithes and offerings and deposit such tithes and offerings into the bank.

  Section 4

The Nominating Committee shall nominate members for positions as provided by the By-Laws. The Nominating Committee shall begin work at least four (4) months prior to when the new church year begins.


Section 5

The Personnel Committee shall be responsible for recommending to the membership of the church for adoption the staff job descriptions, the job description for each of the church employees, and contain the guidelines by which all employees operate in relationship to each other and to the church at large. The Personnel Committee shall recommend to the church such changes to the staff job descriptions as it deems appropriate.


Section 6

Special committees shall be formed, organized, and operated according to the Nominating Committee.


Section 7

The Pastor shall be an ex-officio member of every committee of the church The staff member assigned by the Pastor to work with a committee shall be an ex- officio member of that committee. The body of Deacons shall serve as consultants to any committee that so desires.




Article VII


Business Meetings of the Membership


Section 1

The church shall have one regular business meeting at its registered office on the 3rd Sunday evening, unless scheduled differently by vote of the membership or by the Pastor. The Pastor may change the 3rd Sunday selected for a business meeting as long as announcement is made in writing, or from the pulpit, or from the Phone Tree three days before the new date of the scheduled business meeting.  

Section 2

A special business meeting may be called by the Pastor, or the Deacons, or by vote of the membership, provided the membership received public notice (in writing, or from the pulpit, or from the Phone Tree) of the date, time, and place of the meeting. At least two (2) announcements must be made, one being at a regular meeting of the church (Sunday - A.M. or P.M.- or Wednesday).

 Section 3

Order of Business:

A.  The Pastor shall preside at all business meetings in the church. In the event of his absence, the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Deacons shall preside.

B.  The presiding officer shall decide all questions of order, subject to an appeal to the membership

C.  All business meetings shall be opened with prayer.

D.  The minutes of the preceding business meeting(s), regular or called, shall be presented and approved or corrected.

E.  Reports shall be presented.

F.  Unfinished business shall be considered.

G.  Items of new business shall be considered.



Section 4

Rules of Procedure - the rules contained in “Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised”, latest edition, shall govern all business meetings in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation or these By-Laws or the special rules of order following:

A.  All resolutions presented for action, upon motion and second, shall be open for discussion. A resolution      containing two or more distinct propositions shall, upon request, be divided, and the parts voted on separately.

B. Any motion properly made and seconded shall be open for discussion and, following discussion, shall be put to a   vote unless withdrawn by the mover or otherwise disposed of in a parliamentary way.

C. All persons speaking in the meeting shall rise and address the moderator.

D. No member shall speak more than twice on any one subject until all others shall have had an opportunity of   expressing their views, except by special consent of the church.

E. Members having occasion to speak shall do so in a spirit of proper Christian courtesy.



Article VIII


Church Policies


Section 1

The church establishes the following order of procedure among its documents of governance which shall establish the policies and procedures of the church and its ministries:

A. The Articles of Incorporation.

B. By-Laws

Section 2

Whenever policies are being established, the policy of lower precedence must harmonize with those of higher precedence. Should two policies conflict, the higher precedence shall govern. All policies shall be subject to the will of the membership.


Section 3

A proposed church policy shall be presented to the Deacons and their report concerning such policy shall be given to the church prior to consideration of adoption. The proposed policy and the date and time of consideration shall be printed and disbursed among the membership at least one week prior to consideration of the adoption of the policy.


Section 4

The Church Clerk shall keep a current copy of the Articles of Incorporation, Church Covenant, By-Laws, and adopted policies. The Clerk shall keep and index of primary topics of interest so that all policies concerning a specific topic may be easily referenced. The information in these records shall be available to any member of the church upon request and copies of any portion or all of these documents shall be made available upon request to any member of the church.



Article IX


Financial Support



Section 1

The church shall adopt a unified budget annually. The unified budget shall include an estimate of income and proposed expenditures for the fiscal year to be paid from tithes and un-designated offerings. The budget may be amended in part, or as a whole, by the church membership at any time upon the recommendation of the Finance Committee and Deacons.

 Section 2

All funds designated for a specific purpose shall be disbursed as designated.

  Section 3

All funds collected by the church or its ministries shall go into the treasury of the church and shall be disbursed as herein provided. These funds shall be held in such accounts as deemed appropriate by the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee shall authorize the signatories of each account.

  Section 4

The church shall have no assessment plan nor compulsory method of Christian giving. The church shall encourage its members to be obedient to the teaching of Malachi 3:10, 1 Corinthians 16:2, and other passages commanding stewardship, tithing, and proportional giving of offerings.



Article X


Worship Services



The time and place of all worship services shall be planned by the Deacons and Pastor and submitted to the church for approval.



Article XI




Any mission of the church shall be subject to the By-Laws of this church.


Article XII


Effective Date


These By-Laws shall become effective upon adoption by the membership of the church.



Article XIII




The members of this corporation shall have the power to make, amend, and repeal by-laws to govern this corporation by a TWO-THIRDS VOTE of the members present and voting at any properly called business meeting of the membership, provided the proposals to make, amend, or repeal the by-laws have been presented to the membership in writing at a previous properly called business meeting of the membership at least seven days prior to the meeting in which the vote is taken.



Article XIV


Amendments to the Articles of Incorporation


The corporation may make, amend, and repeal its Articles of Incorporation by a TWO-THIRDS VOTE of the members present and voting at any properly called business meeting of the membership, provided the proposals to amend the Articles of Incorporation have been presented in writing to the membership at a previous properly called business meeting of the membership at least seven days prior to the meeting in which the vote is taken.


Article XV


Distribution of Assets on Dissolution


Should this corporation ever be dissolved, or should its existence terminate, all the assets of the corporation shall be distributed only to organizations exempt from income tax under the provisions of Section 501 (C) (3) under the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or to the Federal government or to the state or local government for a public purpose. No part of the assets of the association shall ever be distributed to or used for the benefit of any member, trustee, or officer of the association, or any private individuals or corporations.  (Recommended by the Constitution and By-Law Committee of the Norwood Baptist Church of Norwood, Louisiana and the Board of Directors and Incorporators as listed in the Articles of Incorporation.)





Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and 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 do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.  


We commit, therefore, by the leadership of the Holy Spirit to promote the development and spiritual growth of the church: 


to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and its mission; 


to sustain its worship, ordinances, ministry, and doctrines; 


to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the needy, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.  


We also commit to maintain our church, personal and family lives in accordance with the principles of the Bible, the inerrant Word of God: 


to so educate our children; 


to seek the salvation of the lost; 


to walk circumspectly in the world; 


to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagement, and exemplary in our conduct; 


to speak the truth in love, resolving difficulties with fellow Christians according to the teaching of Matthew 18:15-17


to keep our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit, abstaining from the sale and use of alcoholic beverages, illicit drugs and other harmful substances; 


to be zealous in our efforts to advance of the Savior.  


We further commit to support biblical values in our society and our government including but not limited to the following: 


to uphold the sanctity of human life; we believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being.  Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, or for birth or population control. Abortions for the physical or mental well-being of the mother are the only acceptable abortions. (Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139: 14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49: 1, 5;  Jeremiah 1:5; 20: 15-18; Luke 1:44) 


to oppose the acceptance of homosexuality; we believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Genesis 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4) We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:2; I Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 5:22-23)


to oppose all forms of gambling;


to oppose pornography; 


to affirm God’s love and our love for all sinners while hating all sin.  


We further commit to watch over one another in brotherly love;


to minister to each other’s needs; 


to remember each other in prayer; 


to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech;


to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay. 


We moreover commit that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.