Constitution and Bylaws
Pendleton Street Baptist Church
Greenville, South Carolina
For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith; to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted tenets of the Baptist denomination; for the purpose of sustaining the liberties inherent in each of its individual members; and for protecting the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relations to other churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this Constitution.
ARTICLE I – Name
The name of this body is PENDLETON STREET BAPTIST CHURCH of Greenville, South Carolina.
ARTICLE II – Purpose
The purpose of this church is to proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the principles of the New Testament. To carry out that purpose, the church shall provide its members with opportunities for regular public worship, for Christian fellowship, for Bible study and instruction in doctrines, and for uniting and coordinating their efforts in evangelism, missions, and benevolence.
ARTICLE III – Policy, Doctrine, and Practice
The government of this church is independent, congregational in form, and vested in the body of believers that compose it. The church is not subject to the control of any other ecclesiastical entity, although it does recognize and support the obligation and privilege of mutual counsel and cooperation with other Baptist churches.
This church accepts and recognizes the Holy Scriptures as the sole source of authority in all matters of faith and doctrine.
Every member of this church accepts the obligations of the Church Covenant as printed herewith:
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 and this assembly most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in wisdom, holiness, and comfort; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to promote its growth and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances doctrines and discipline; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, benevolence, and the spread of the gospel at home and abroad.
We further engage to maintain family and private devotions; to educate our children in the Christian religion; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from drunkenness and sexual immorality.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian 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 engage 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.
ARTICLE IV – Publication
This Constitution shall be published as part of the Resident Membership Directory whenever the directory is published.
ARTICLE I – Membership
Section 1. Qualifications: The membership of this church shall consist only of regenerated persons who have been baptized by immersion under the authority of this church or another church of like faith and order, and who subscribe to its covenant.
The membership reserves the right to determine who shall be members off this church and the conditions of membership.
An individual may request admission to its membership, (1) by making public confession of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and becoming a candidate for baptism; (2) by letter of transferal from another church of like faith and order; (3) by statement of past affiliation with another church of like faith and order. Request for membership may be made by an individual at any public worship service of the church and shall be granted by majority vote of members then in attendance.
Section 2. Duties: Members are expected to be faithful in all duties essential to Christian life, attend diligently the services of the church, give regularly for its support and its causes, and share in its organized work.
Section 3. Rights: All members shall have the right to participate in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper; to vote on any matter brought before the church in conference (a member must be present to vote); and to be eligible for consideration as a candidate for any elective office for which he or she is qualified.
Section 4. Personal Grievances: In the event a private grievance arises between or among members of this church, the course prescribed in for dealing with such situations is to be followed.
Section 5. Termination of Membership: The continuance of membership in this church shall be subject to the following principles and usages of Baptist churches:
(1)Any member who desires a letter of membership to another church of like faith and order is entitled to have it sent to such church upon request of that church.
(2)Membership may be terminated upon written request of the member or proof of membership in a church of another denomination.
(3)The church may terminate an individual’s membership in accordance with its dismissal and restoration policy as provided in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
ARTICLE II – Church Officers
The ordained scriptural officers shall be the Pastor and Deacons and they shall assume responsibility for the spiritual oversight of the membership.
Section 1. The Pastor: The pastor is responsible to the church to equip the members for their service. He shall proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ by word and deed, engage in pastoral care, and provide visionary, transforming leadership in worship and in the affairs and ministries of the church. He shall serve as the chief administrator of the church staff. It is preferred that the Pastor be a graduate of a Southern Baptist seminary. He shall be called for an indefinite period of service until termination in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws.
Section 2. The Deacons: In faithfulness to the New Testament model, the church shall select from its membership leaders to work in partnership with the pastor and other church staff in providing pastoral care to the members; to minister by leading the church members to engage in practical discipleship; to model a personal commitment to Christ and to His Church; and to perform such administrative tasks as might be assigned by the church. The qualifications, number of deacons, term of service, and manner of selection shall be in accordance with these bylaws. The particular duties of the deacons shall be set forth in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
(1)Qualifications: All persons considered for nomination for service as a deacon are to be considered in light of the New Testament passages in ; Titus, and . A person considered shall be twenty-one years of age or older, may not be an employee of the church, nor an ordained minister. A person who has previously served an elected term as a deacon at Pendleton Street Baptist Church must not have served in the two preceding calendar years prior to the new term of service. Deacons shall be ordained prior to beginning a term of service.
(2)Number of Deacons: The number of deacons elected for a specific term of service shall be a sufficient number to carry out the duties of deacons as provided in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
(3)Term of Service: The maximum term of elected service (for a given term) shall be three (3) years. The elected service of a deacon who has filled an un-expired term may be extended to a maximum of three years. Elected service is on a calendar year basis.
(4)Manner of Selection: Candidates for Deacon shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and presented to the church for approval as described in Article VI, Section 3 (2) b.
Section 3. The General Church Officers shall be elected to provide leadership in the corporate responsibilities of the church and shall include the Church Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Treasurer, and Assistant Treasurer. The particular duties of the general church officers shall be set forth in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
(1)Manner of Selection: All general church officers shall be nominated by the Ministry Placement Team. Nominations shall be presented to the church and voted on by secret ballot at a church conference on or before the third Sunday in August. Members shall have the right to present additional nominees at the time of the report of the Ministry Placement Team. Such nominations shall require the prior consent of the nominee.
(2)Terms of Service: Elected service is on a calendar year basis.
Section 4. The Legal Officers of the Church Corporation shall be the Pastor and the President, the Chairman of Deacons as Vice-President, the Church Clerk as Secretary, and the Church Treasurer as Treasurer. They shall perform and maintain a fiduciary responsibility to the church in all legal, financial, and executive matters.
The Legal Officers of the church will execute all legal documents relative to contracts, church property, and other business matters.
ARTICLE III – Church Meetings
Section 1. Worship: Worship services shall be held on Sunday morning and at other times as appropriate. There shall be regular mid-week services. Except as may be made necessary by inclement weather or other emergencies, changes shall be approved by the Administrative Council and published in advance in the church newsletter. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper shall be at the discretion of the pastor, but not less than quarterly.
Section 2. Business: Except as may be specified in the Constitution and Bylaws, business meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the most current issue of Robert’s Rules of Order. The Pastor shall serve as Moderator for all business meetings of the church. In the absence of the pastor, or when the church is without a pastor, the Chairman of Deacons shall serve as Moderator. Should both of these be absent, the Church Clerk, or Church Treasurer, in that order, may serve as Moderator.
(1)Annual Meeting: The meeting held on or before the third Sunday in August to elect general church officers shall be considered to be the annual meeting of Pendleton Street Baptist Church. Notice of the date of such meeting shall be rad at the morning worship service on the Sunday immediately preceding the date of such meeting.
(2)Church Conference: A church conference shall be held during the mid-week worship service on the third Wednesday in January, April, July, and October. Reports shall be presented by the general church officers. Church program organizations, committees and task forces, deacons, and staff shall be given the opportunity to make reports and interpretive presentations. Unless restricted by other provisions of these bylaws, the church may act on any item of business that is properly presented.
(3)Special Meetings: The Moderator may call a special business meeting upon the request of the deacons, a committee, a ministry team, a task force, or the written request of at least fifteen (15) members. The call for such a meeting must clearly state the particular purpose for the called meeting and shall be read at a worship service on the Sunday immediately preceding the date for the meeting.
(4)Notification: With reference to items requiring action by the church membership at the Annual Meeting, Church Conferences, and Special Meetings, the congregation will be notified as follows:
a.The membership of the church shall be informed in an appropriate manner such as through the church bulletin, handouts, mail, church newsletter, announcement from the pulpit, etc. of any issue, recommendation, or motion requiring action by the church. Such notice must be given at a minimum seven (7) days prior to the date of any anticipated vote by the congregation.
b.Following notification as in paragraph (a), the moderator shall inform the church of the issue(s) pending before the congregation during the morning worship service the Sunday following such notification. The church will be advised of the discussion date and time (normally the following Wednesday evening). The moderator shall also inform the church of the date and time when the issue(s) will be acted upon (normally the Sunday following discussion).
c.Voting shall be by a voice vote or showing of hands at the discretion of the moderator except as follows. Voting shall be by secret ballot for elections, actions regarding church staff, and similar sensitive situations. Written ballots, clearly stating the issue(s) to be acted upon by the church shall be printed, distributed, collected, and tabulated by the Election Committee with the results given to the church moderator for advisement to the congregation.
(5)Quorum: Thirty-five (35) members of the church shall constitute a quorum for all duly constituted meetings of the church.
ARTICLE IV – Church Program Organizations
The church shall maintain programs designed to lead people to spiritual maturity. The programs shall include new member orientation, Bible teaching, discipleship training, missions education, equipping for ministry, evangelism, and music. All organizations related to church programs and activities shall be under church authority. Program leaders will be approved by the church, and will report to the church on their activities.
ARTICLE V – Church Staff
The church staff shall consist of persons employed through the call process and persons employed through the hiring process. Under the call process, the Staff Resources Committee or a special committee formed by the church searches out and recommends a candidate who is called through a positive vote by the congregation. Under the hiring process, support staff members are employed by the Staff Resources Committee without congregational action. Job descriptions shall be developed in the employment process and shall be updated as necessary by the Staff Resources Committee.
Section 1. Employment Process:
(1)Call: It shall be the common practice to use the call process for the employment of the pastor, other ministerial/program staff, and such other staff positions as may be directed by the church.
Whenever the pastorate becomes vacant:
1.Employment of Supply and Interim Pastors: The deacons shall appoint a committee to (a) seek out a person or persons to temporarily supply the pulpit and (b) seek out a person to serve as interim pastor. The committee shall make its recommendation for the interim pastor to the deacons and, upon approval of majority of the deacons, the deacons shall present the recommendation to the church.
2.Employment of Pastor: The Ministry Placement Team shall select and recommend to the church a pastor search committee. The committee shall consist of at least five members but no more than nine. Upon election and commissioning by the church the pastor search committee shall:
a. Develop and present to the church a pastor profile and an outline of the procedures to be followed by the pastor search committee.
b. In a joint meeting with the Staff Resources Committee, review the guidelines to ensure compliance with existing laws in the employment process.
c. Present the nominee to the church. Election shall be by secret ballot and an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the congregation present and voting shall be necessary for approval.
The Pastor thus called shall serve until his relationship with the church is terminated by death, resignation, retirement, or dismissal.
b.Ministerial/Program Staff: In the event that a vacancy occurs or a new staff position is created and approved for the Ministerial/Program Staff other than the Pastor, the Staff Resources Committee shall review the requirements of the position with the Pastor (or Interim Pastor if the pastorate is vacant) and make recommendations to the church within two quarterly business meetings concerning the position. If, after the report of the Staff Resources Committee, the church desires to fill the position:
1.The Staff Resources Committee, in consultation with the Pastor or Interim Pastor, may secure a person to fill the position on an interim basis.
2.The Staff Resources Committee, in consultation with the Pastor or Interim Pastor, shall select and recommend to the church a nominee to fill the position. Election shall be by secret ballot and an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the congregation present and voting shall be necessary for approval.
(2)Hiring: The Staff Resources Committee shall be responsible for the employment of support staff members and shall report their employment in the church newsletter. When an existing position becomes vacant, the Staff Resources Committee shall consult with the Pastor, the position supervisor, and the committee or program ministry responsible for the staff member’s ministry (if applicable) to determine if the position should be filled. If the position is to be filled the Staff Resources shall provide directions for the hiring process. The Staff Resources Committee shall ensure compliance with existing laws in the employment process.
(3)New Position: Recommendation for the creation of a new position shall be referred to the Staff Resources Committee for the preparation of a recommendation to the church. The creation of a new position shall require the approval of the church by majority vote.
Section 2. Staff Development: The church shall have an intentional and regular effort to assist members of the church staff in their professional, persona, and spiritual growth. These efforts shall seek to clarify expectation for individual staff members, to promote two-way communication between employees and supervisors, to encourage staff members to conduct self-assessments and to voice ways in which their performance can be facilitated within the church. Written reports shall be filed in the permanent records of the employee and shall be available to assist the Staff Resources Committee in its assigned duties. Unresolved issues, if any, for persons employed through the hiring process shall be passed from the supervisor to the pastor to the Staff Resources Committee. Unresolved issues for called staff positions shall be passed from the supervisor to the pastor to the Staff Resources Committee to the chairman of the deacons. Unresolved issues submitted to the deacons shall be addressed in a manner similar to that prescribed in Section 3 Termination of Employment.
(1)Pastor: Staff development for the pastor shall be the responsibility of the Staff Resources Committee, which for this purpose shall include representation from the deacons as appointed by the chairman of the deacons. There shall be an annual review of the pastor’s job description and goals and objectives mutually established by the pastor and the Staff Resources Committee.
(2)Ministerial/Program Staff: Staff development for Ministerial/Program Staff shall be the responsibility of the pastor. The particular procedures shall be developed by the Staff Resources Committee working with the pastor and the staff employee and shall include an annual review of the staff employee’s job description and goals and objectives mutually established with the staff employee.
(3)Hired Church Staff: Staff development for hired church staff shall be the responsibility of the staff member delegated with supervisory responsibility and shall be reported to the pastor. The particular procedures shall be developed by the Staff Resources Committee.
Section3. Termination of Employment: A member of the church staff is employed until his or her service is terminated by death, resignation, retirement, or dismissal. Resignations, retirement, and dismissal fr persons employed through the hiring process shall be handled in accordance with personnel policies approved by the church. Dismissal of persons employed through the call process must be approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting in a conference called for that purpose and shall be addressed in accordance with the procedures adopted by the church. Procedures regarding termination of employment shall be included in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
ARTICLE VI – Church Committees
Committees shall be responsible to the congregation and shall make periodic reports concerning the work that has been assigned to the committee. The pastor shall have the privileges of advisory membership (voice but not vote) on all committees and may, by notification to the chairperson of a committee, extend the privilege of advisory membership to other members of the called staff. Except for the particular duties assigned by these bylaws, the authorities and duties of church committees shall be those outlined in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
Section 1. Standing Church Committees shall be appointed to assist the church in planning it programs, managing its resources, and governing its life and work.
Section 2. Special Committees may be appointed by the pastor or by the church for a specific purpose and dissolved upon completion of the assigned task.
Section 3. Nominating Committee
(1)Manner of Selection: At the annual church conference on or before the first Sunday in June the church shall elect from its membership a seven-member Nominating Committee. Any member, eighteen (18) years of age or older may be elected provided, however, members of the church staff, persons currently serving on the Ministry Placement Team, deacons currently serving an elected term of service, and those who are serving on the current Nominating Committee shall not be eligible. The election shall be by secret ballot and each person present and voting shall be permitted to nominate up to seven persons. Those persons receiving the most votes and who are willing to serve shall constitute the Nominating Committee and shall serve until such time as the next Nominating Committee is elected. The Elections Committee shall count the ballots and report the results to the membership. As soon as practical, the Chairman of the Elections Committee shall convene the Nominating Committee, instructing the Nominating Committee concerning its duties, and assist the Committee in organizing for its work.
(2)Duties: The Nominating Committee shall have the following duties:
a.Nominations to Ministry Placement Team: On the second Sunday morning in July, the committee shall present the nominees to fill vacancies on the Ministry Placement Team and vote shall be by secret ballot on the third Sunday in July. Any member shall have the privilege of nominating, with the nominee’s prior consent, from the floor a candidate for this committee. A vote of the majority of those present and voting shall be necessary for election. In case of two or more candidates for the same position, the one receiving the most votes shall be elected.
b.Nominations for Deacons:
1.Consult with the pastor and chairman of deacons to determine the number of deacons to be elected and choose from the membership as many persons as there are deacons to be elected;
2.Present the nominees to the church in conference no later than the worship service on the second Sunday in September. Members shall have the right of nominating from the floor following the report of the Nominating Committee. Such nominees must have given their consent before being nominated. In the event nominations shall have been made from the floor, all nominees shall be listed on the ballot in alphabetical order. Nominees in number equal to the number of deacons to be elected who receive the most votes shall be elected. Election of deacons shall be by secret ballot on the third Sunday in September.
3.Assist the pastor and those elected as deacons for the first time in the ordination process.
4.In the event of one or more vacancies after the election of deacons, and prior to the election of a successor committee, choose as many persons as there are vacancies to be filled and present the nominee(s) to the church in conference for election following the procedures for election of deacons.
Section 4. Ministry Placement Team shall consist of six (6) members, each serving a three-year term. Members shall be nominated by the Nominating Committee and elected in accordance with the provisions of Section 3(2)(a) of this Article VI. Except as may be provided for in these bylaws, the committee shall:
(1)Select and present to the church nominees for:
a.General church officers as set forth in Article II and
b.Directors of church program organizations as set forth in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
(2)Except as set forth in these bylaws, determine vacancies to be filled on standing church committees and select and present nominees to fill vacancies on church standing committees.
Section 5. Elections Committee. Deacons who are completing their term of service shall serve as the Elections Committee and shall oversee any election requiring a secret ballot. A chairman shall be appointed by the Chairman of Deacons. The committee, or its chairman, shall convene special committees and the Nominating Committee and assist in organizing the committee for its work. In the event there are five or less deacons completing their term of service, the chairman of deacons may appoint other active deacons as needed to serve on the Elections Committee.
At least two weeks prior to the election of the Nominating Committee which takes place on or before the first week in June, the Elections Committee shall make available to the church membership a directory or listing of the names of all members. The information contained therein shall represent the then current membership of the church, with reasonable allowance for the time in preparation and distribution of such directory or listing. The names of all ordained ministers in the membership, the names of all paid staff members, names of current members of the Ministry Placement Team, and names of all deacons, including names of those who have not been out of office for two years, shall be contained in the directory or listing.
ARTICLE VII – Church and Fiscal Years
The church year shall begin on the first day of September and run through the thirtieth of the following August. The fiscal year of the church shall run concurrently with the calendar year.
ARTICLE VIII – Administrative Council
The Administrative Council shall be composed of the chairs of the Finance, Property, and staff Resources Committees, along with the Legal Officers of the Church Corporations: Pastor (President), Deacon Chair (Vice President), Church Clerk (Secretary), and Church Treasurer (Treasurer). It shall meet monthly and at the call of the chairperson.
The Administrative Council will assist the Pastor in the administrative oversight of the church and perform and maintain a fiduciary responsibility to the church in all legal, financial, and executive matters.
The particular duties of the Administrative Council shall be set forth in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
ARTICLE IX – Messengers
Messengers shall be elected to attend sessions of the Greenville Baptist Association, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, the Southern Baptist Convention and such other denominational meetings as the church may determine. The number of such messengers shall be determined by the regulations of the entity for which the messengers are selected. The Messengers shall make a report to the church of the proceedings of the meetings they attended.
The pastor by virtue of his office shall be considered to be an appointed messenger to all denominational meetings and shall recommend other messengers from among those who plant to attend. Such recommendations are to be confirmed by a majority of members present and voting when the church is called into conference to act thereon.
ARTICLE X – Publication of Bylaws
These bylaws shall be published as part of the Resident Membership Directory whenever the directory is published.
ARTICLE XI – Manual of Policies and Procedures
A Manual of Policies and Procedures shall be maintained which will include those policies and procedures deemed essential to proper administration of the church. It shall be kept in the church office and made available for use there by any member of the church. Any church member or church organization may initiate suggested changes in the manual.
Addition, revision, or deletion of church policies and procedures requires: (1) the recommendation of the church officer or organization to whose areas of assignment the policy relates, (2) discussion and approval by the Administrative Council, and (3) approval by the church if the Administrative Council deems it necessary.
ARTICLE XII – Miscellaneous
No entertainment for which a fixed admission fee is charged shall be allowed in any church facility without prior consent of the church, neither shall the church nor any organization thereof conduct on the property any sale or entertainment for the purpose of raising money without the prior consent of the Administrative Council.
ARTICLE XIII – Amendments
This Constitution and its accompanying Bylaws may be amended by two-thirds of the members present and voting at any regular business meeting or conference of the church, or at a meeting called for that purpose; provided, the quorum requirements of Article III (of these bylaws) have been met; and provided, further, that in all instances the text of the proposed amendment and statement of the date and place for the meeting to act thereon shall have been communicated to the membership at least fifteen days prior to the date of such meeting. This communication may be by an announcement from the pulpit, by letter to the membership or by publication in the church newsletter.