How We Worship

Our By-Laws

Table of Contents

  1. Article 1—Introductory Statement
    1. Section 1—Mission
    2. Section 2—Polity
  2. Article 2—Membership
    1. Section 1—General Membership Principles
    2. Section 2—Candidacy
    3. Section 3—Transition
    4. Section 4—Categories of Membership
    5. Section 5—Voting Rights of Active Full Members
    6. Section 6—Termination of Membership
    7. Section 7—Church Discipline and Restoration
  3. Article 3—Church Meetings
    1. Section 1—Regular Church Worship and Bible Study Meetings
    2. Section 2—Church Business
    3. Section 3—Church Fiscal Year
    4. Section 4—Business Meetings
    5. Section 5—Special Business Meetings
    6. Section 6—Moderator
    7. Section 7—Quorum to Conduct Business
    8. Section 8—Voting on Real Property Transactions
  4. Article 4—Board of Directors/Ministry Coordinating Team
    1. Section 1—General Powers
    2. Section 2—Specific Powers
    3. Section 3—Ministry Coordinating Team Elections
    4. Section 4—Vacancies on the Board
    5. Section 5—Resignation and Removal
    6. Section 6—Transactions with Interested Parties
    7. Section 7—Conflicts of Interest Policy
    8. Section 8—No Compensation for Directors
    9. Section 9—Meetings/Quorum of Board
    10. Section 10—Action without Meeting
    11. Section 11—Manner of Acting
    12. Section 12—Participation by Conference Telephone
    13. Section 13—Ministry Coordinating Team Committees
  5. Article 5—Church Officers and Corporate Staff
    1. Section 1—The Officers of the Church
    2. Section 2—Pastor
    3. Section 3—Deacons
    4. Section 4—Other Church Officers
  6. Article 6—Body Life Teams
    1. Section 1—Church Development of Team Ministries
    2. Section 2—Regulations Governing Body Life Teams
  7. Article 7—The Church Financial Policy
    1. Section 1—Financial Plan
    2. Section 2—Budget
    3. Section 3—Accounting Procedures
    4. Section 4—Fiscal Year
    5. Section 5—Checks
    6. Section 6—Contracts
    7. Section 7—Partnerships, Joint Ventures, LLC’s and Auxiliary Corps.
    8. Section 8—Purchase or sale of property and borrowing
    9. Section 9—Gifts and contributions
    10. Section 10—Annual Review and Compensation
    11. Section 11—Designated Contributions
    12. Section 12—Benevolence Fund
    13. Section 13—Budget and Strategic Plan
    14. Section 14—Fund Raising:
  8. Article 8—Biblical Dispute Resolution
  9. Article 9—Church Policy and Operation Manual
    1. Section 1—Development of Church Policy and Operation Manual
    2. Section 2—Compilation and Maintenance of the Manual
  10. Article 10—Ordinances
    1. Section 1—Baptism
    2. Section 2—Lord’s Supper
  11. Article 11—Church Planting
  12. Article 12—Amendments and Restudy of the Bylaws

Article 1—Introductory Statement

Section 1—Mission:

The New Testament Baptist church is a body of believers. The desire of this church is to fulfill the great commission process and for the members to behave toward each other with Christian virtue, equipping the saints and fulfilling the picture of Ephesians 2. Though business should be handled in a business-like manner, the overall goal is to build a structure that puts our time into fulfilling our mission rather than focusing on process. This requires trust to be extended along with responsibility.

Section 2—Polity:

Hanover Baptist Church declares itself to be a Baptist church and therefore will conduct itself according to a congregational government model. The authority for all its officials shall arise from the congregation and shall be accountable to the same. Those elected serve for the interests of the church body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since the church exists to fulfill its commission of evangelism and discipleship ( Matthew 28) the officers will always keep in mind that their greatest obligation is to humbly disciple believers within the local church. This means that they need to strive to be duplicatable. Duplication makes disciples and on the church level starts new churches.

Article 2—Membership

Section 1—General Membership Principles:

This is an autonomous Baptist church under the sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this church. Membership contains certain biblical principles:

  1. (a) The Scriptural admonition to “not forsake the assembling of yourselves together” from Hebrews 10, as well as other texts such as Ephesians 4 and 5 on church body life, require active participation in church events.
  2. (b) The Baptist distinctive of “saved church membership” is a fundamental, distinguishing characteristic of any church which desires to declare itself Baptist and desires to adhere to the doctrines put forth in the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.
  3. (c) The church constitution, covenant, and by-laws define a commitment to Christian culture best fulfilled through regular attendance to all church functions, services, observations of the ordinances, and identifiers.

Section 2—Candidacy:

Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in this church. Subsequent to an interview with the pastor and deacons—or if the church is without a pastor, the deacons—all such candidates shall be presented to the church at any Sunday morning worship service for membership in either of the following ways:

  1. (a) By public profession of faith recounting his/her conversion experience and testimony of the believer’s baptism by immersion.
  2. (b) By restoration.

The candidate shall sign the membership covenant to manifest his/her acceptance of membership and will be voted into membership by a simple majority vote of the active membership

Section 3—Transition:

All present active members of the unincorporated entity known as the Hanover Baptist Church shall, upon incorporation and agreeing to be bound by the constitution, covenant, and by-laws of the new church corporation, become active members of this church. No member of this church, nor any officer, nor any member of the Ministry Coordinating Team shall by virtue of such membership, office or position, incur or be subject to personal liability to any extent for any indebtedness, obligations, acts or omissions of this corporation.

Section 4—Categories of Membership:

The church roll shall be divided as follows:

  1. (a) Active Membership:
    1. i. Full Member: All persons who are received into membership of the church and remain active as determined by the pastor and deacons will have full rights, responsibilities, and privileges of membership. Full members may be eligible to hold office, may have voice and vote in church business meetings, and may be granted a letter of introduction to a sister church of like faith and practice. Any full member unable to attend due to work assignment (including military deployments), medical condition, or educational pursuits shall be considered an active member while the above-mentioned exceptions exist.
    2. ii. Associate Member: Recognizing the obligation of all believers to join a local church and also recognizing the fact that most young people are still maturing in their understanding of Baptist doctrine, practice and the business of the local church, and that their faithfulness is dependent upon their parental support, Hanover Baptist Church has established this membership category to accommodate young believers. Associate membership is available to young people through the age of 18. To become an associate member, the candidate shall meet with the pastor, interview with the pastor and deacons (their parent or parents may be present), give public testimony during a Sunday morning service, be baptized by immersion and voted into associate membership by the active members of the church. An associate member may not vote or hold office in the church but may teach under the supervision of an adult teacher, may be involved in all other life of the church, and will be subject to its discipline. Should the associate member desire to become an active member of Hanover Baptist Church he/she will need to attend membership class with the pastor, signify his/her acceptance of the church governing documents by signing the church covenant, be interviewed by the pastor and deacons, and be voted into active membership by the church. If an associate member indicates no desire to fulfill the requirements for active membership upon reaching his/her 18th birthday and does not fulfill the requirements by his/her 19th birthday, the associate member’s name will be removed from the membership role and will cease being a member of Hanover Baptist Church.
    3. iii. Watchcare Member: Should a believer not wish to sever active membership status in his/her home church for reasons acceptable to the pastor and deacons of Hanover Baptist Church, he/she may enter into watchcare membership. Upon receipt of a letter from the home church (the church must be of like faith and practice) of intact active membership in good standing, the candidate will be invited by the pastor to attend membership classes, signify his/her agreement with the governing documents of the church by signing the church covenant, interview with the pastor and deacons, give testimony of conversion and baptism during a Sunday morning service and be voted watchcare membership by the active membership of Hanover Baptist Church. Watchcare membership entitles one to enter into all the life of the church, being subject to its discipline, but does not allow one to hold office in the church or vote. Watchcare membership shall cease upon the member’s permanent return home or at a time acceptable to the pastor and deacons.
  2. (b) Inactive Membership: Members who by their own choice evidence no interest in the church by attendance or communication for two consecutive months or longer shall be classified as inactive members. The deacons shall take appropriate steps to seek to restore them to active fellowship. After an additional two-month period, if no interest in restoration is shown, the deacons shall instruct the clerk to remove them from the membership roll of the church. People whose names are on the inactive list are not to be counted as members on any official report of our membership, and accordingly they are not entitled to voice or vote in any business meeting of the church or its affairs, hold office, or be entitled to a regular letter of dismissal. An inactive member may be restored to active membership by recommendation of the pastor and deacons and by vote of the congregation.

Section 5—Voting Rights of Active Full Members:

Active full members, 18 years of age and above, who are not under church discipline, or on the inactive role, have equal rights of voting and expression in the decisions of this church. Members on the meeting date who are otherwise eligible to vote are entitled to vote at the meeting. Voting by proxy is prohibited. All votes shall be successful if by simple majority unless provided otherwise herein. Every active full member shall have the right to vote on the following matters:

  1. (a) Annual budget of the church and any change in the budget during the year.
  2. (b) Election of the deacons, officers and other leaders as designated below.
  3. (c) Disposition of all or substantially all of the church’s assets.
  4. (d) Merger or dissolution of the church.
  5. (e) Acquisition or sale of real property and related indebtedness.
  6. (f) Call or removal of the senior pastor, leadership, membership and disciplinary matters.
  7. (g) Amendments to the articles of incorporation, constitution or by-laws of the church.
  8. (h) Mission efforts.
  9. (i) Associational affiliations.
  10. (j) Any other major event or decision as designated by the Ministry Coordinating Team.

Section 6—Termination of Membership:

Membership shall be terminated in the following ways:

  1. (a) By death.
  2. (b) Upon request for a transfer of letter to another church of like faith and practice.
  3. (c) Exclusion by action initiated through the deacons and the pastor of this church following Biblical church discipline guidelines ( Matthew 18:15–17, 1 Corinthians 5, Proverbs 25:8–10) outlined below.
  4. (d) By specific request or continuing inactive status of the former church member.

Section 7—Church Discipline and Restoration:

It shall be the practice of this church to pursue every reasonable measure for peace and reconciliation. Should one member sin ( Proverbs 6:16–19) against another member or the Body of members (the Church), the aggrieved members shall follow in a tender spirit the rules given by our Lord and Savior in Matthew 18:15–17, 1 Corinthians 5:9–11, and 1 Thessalonians 5:12–14. The pastors, board, deacons and members are available for counsel and guidance to the aggrieved members. The purposes of such discipline should be for

  1. (a) The repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined. ( Proverbs 15:5 and 29:15, 1 Corinthians 4:14, Ephesians 6:4, 1 Timothy 3:4–5, Hebrews 12:1–11, Psalm 119:115 and 141:5, Proverbs 17:10, 25:12 and 27:5, Ecclesiastes 7:5, Matthew 7:26–27 and 18:15–17, Luke 17:3, Acts 2:40, 1 Corinthians 5:5, Galatians 6:1–5, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 and 3:14—15, 1 Timothy 1:20, Titus 1:13–14, James 1:22).
  2. (b) The instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them. ( Proverbs 13:20, Romans 15:14, 1 Corinthians 5:11 and 15:33, Colossians 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (note—this is written to the whole church, not just to leaders), 1 Timothy 5:20, Titus 1:11, Hebrews  10:24–25).
  3. (c) The purity of the church as a whole. ( 1 Corinthians 5:6–7, 2 Corinthians 13:10, Ephesians 5:27, 2 John 1:10, Jude 1:24, Revelation 21:2).
  4. (d) The good of our corporate witness to non-Christians ( Proverbs 28:7, Matthew 5:13–16, John 3:35, Acts 5:1–14, Ephesians 5:11, 1 Timothy 3:7, 2 Peter 2:2, 1 John 3:10).
  5. (e) Supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character ( Deuteronomy 5:11, 1 Kings 11:2, 2 Chronicles 19:2, Ezra 6:21, Nehemiah 9:2, Isaiah 52:11, Ezekiel 36:20, Matthew 5:16, John 15:8, 18:17 and 25, Romans 2:24 and 15:5–6, 2 Corinthians 6:14 and 7:1, Ephesians 1:4 and 5:27, 1 Peter 2:12).

Procedures shall be in harmony with Matthew 18:15–17 and Galatians 6:1 as is appropriate. The senior pastor and deacons or their designees will initially handle differences that cannot be resolved. The church will look to the senior pastor and deacons or their designees for the effective functioning and discipline of its members according to this church discipline and restoration policy. Only after good faith efforts by the deacons to bring about repentance and reconciliation have proven futile, shall the accused member be subjected to further church discipline.

If, after good faith efforts by the deacons to resolve the differences and notification of the charges and hearing date and time before the deacons or their designees with reasonable notice given, the deacons or their designees determine by three quarters (3/4) majority vote that the sin pattern of essential moral and/or biblical failure (defined below) occurred, then it is serous enough for termination and if the member will still not repent then, the member subject to termination will be notified in writing of the decision prior to his membership being terminated. If the church member is disciplined by termination of membership, it will be announced to the members to carry out the Biblical admonitions to bring about repentance and restoration of the disciplined member and the membership in question shall be terminated by simple majority vote of the active members.

While not an exhaustive list, examples of essential moral failure include adultery, embezzlement, inappropriate sexual contact, pornography, lying, deceiving etc. Accusations of this nature require hard evidence, not suspicion or opinion. Things that do not qualify as moral failures are things such as misunderstandings, mistakes, poor judgment, overstatements, miscommunication, showing emotion, verbal missteps and forgetfulness.

While not an exhaustive list, examples of essential biblical failure include gross doctrinal perversion and espousing teachings contradicting the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. This must be reserved for doctrinal issues that would directly contradict the Bible or the theological beliefs outlined in our constitution. Areas that do not qualify as an essential biblical failure are things such as philosophy of ministry, areas of Scripture that are open to interpretation among Baptists, and personal convictions.

Members dismissed by the church shall be restored to full membership privileges by the church according to the spirit of 2 Corinthians 2:7 and 8 when their conduct is judged by the senior pastor and the deacons to be in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, church covenant and biblical repentance. Pastors and deacons will communicate such restoration to the church in a timely manner. The membership in question will be restored upon simple majority vote of the active members.

Rights of the Accused:

  1. (a) Any member has the right to be heard in his own defense before the deacons, and before the congregation if the matter comes before the congregation. In any matter coming before the congregation, the accused will be given a bill of particulars at least one week prior to the meeting. If an accused member desires, he may request the assistance of another member of the congregation in his defense.
  2. (b) If a member, having erred, voluntarily confesses to the church and manifests repentance, no further proceedings will be considered against him in the matter unless some manner of tangible restoration is deemed necessary by the pastor and the deacons. An occasion of a member making a confession to the church should be regarded as a special business meeting of the church.

Article 3—Church Meetings

Section 1—Regular Church Worship and Bible Study Meetings:

The church shall meet on Sunday for Bible School, morning worship and an evening Bible study as often as practical. It shall also meet for a mid-week prayer meeting. Additional Bible studies desiring to be recognized by the church may be established after consultation with the deacons. The deacons will determine their recommendation and all studies will be given over to the education coordinator.

Section 2—Church Business:

Church business may be conducted at any stated meeting of the church according to the following guidelines and Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised) shall govern the conducting of business at all church business meetings. It shall be the duty of the moderator to conduct the meeting in such a way that the exercise of church business is accomplished with an attitude of worship to the Lord Jesus Christ, to call out of order any conduct or speech that contradicts general Christian decorum or fruit of the Spirit, and to seek to move the business of the church forward in obedience to the Word of God.

Section 3—Church Fiscal Year:

Hanover Baptist Church will conduct its business concurrent with the calendar year.

Section 4—Business Meetings:

  1. (a) The church annual meeting shall be held on the second Sunday evening of the month of November. The annual meeting shall be for the purpose of worship to the Lord in thanksgiving for previous year’s reports, and anticipation of partnership with God as the church adopts a budget for the new year, elects officers and establishes ministry priorities. Quorum for the annual meeting shall be 30% of active members. Any mid-year business is to be conducted at a special called business meeting when one is deemed necessary. Dissemination of information by the church clerk, treasurer, or any other sub-committee shall be made available and posted for the congregation quarterly.
  2. (b) Quarterly business meetings may be held in February, May, and August. They will be for the purpose of keeping the body informed concerning the business of the church.
  3. (c) Special business meetings may be called by the Ministry Coordinating Team. Special business meetings shall be for the purpose of addressing matters of significance, such as replacement of elected positions, sale or purchase of property, response to ministry needs.
  4. (d) Routine business meetings may by called by the pastor at any regular meetings of the church body. The purpose of such meetings shall be to consider matters of a regular nature such as reception of new members.
  5. (e) At the annual meeting held in November, the nominating committee shall present officers and committee members and the Ministry Coordinating Team shall present the church budget.

Section 5—Special Business Meetings:

Special Business Meetings of the church may be called from the pulpit by the senior pastor, or upon the request of the Ministry Coordinating Team, or upon written request of any ten members with a minimum of one week’s notice given to the membership. Object of called meeting must be clearly stated and no business shall be transacted other than the announced business.

Section 6—Moderator:

It shall be customary for the senior pastor to moderate business meetings of the church, unless the item of business relates to his removal from office. In the event of the absence of the pastor, or this constitution/bylaws prohibits him from moderating, the chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team shall be moderator of the meeting. In the absence of the chairman one of the remaining deacons shall serve as moderator.

Section 7—Quorum to Conduct Business:

At all business meetings, an attendance of 10%, unless otherwise stated, of active members shall be required before official business may be presented and acted upon. If quorum is not met at that meeting, then another meeting shall be called, with proper notice given. At the second meeting, requirements for quorum are satisfied by any number of active members present. All decisions of the members shall be made by majority vote of those active members present and voting, except where otherwise specified in these by-laws.

Section 8—Voting on Real Property Transactions:

All matters pertaining to the purchase, sale or mortgaging of church property shall be voted on only by members in good standing and require three quarters (3/4) vote of approval by all members voting and present at any duly called meeting for that purpose.

Article 4—Board of Directors/Ministry Coordinating Team

Section 1—General Powers:

The corporate powers of the church shall be exercised by or under the authority of the Ministry Coordinating Team (referred to as the Board of Directors in the articles of incorporation). The Ministry Coordinating Team shall consist of the Pastors and Deacons, the Finance and Budget Chairperson (Treasurer), Building and Grounds Chairperson, Education Chairperson, Koinonia Chairperson, Missions Chairperson, Outreach Chairperson, and Clerk. At the very least the Ministry Coordinating Team will consist of pastor, deacons, clerk and treasurer, seeking to fulfill the coordinating needs of the church until such time as adequate personnel are available and elected to fill the roles listed above. The Ministry Coordinating Team may suggest additional areas of church life as the church grows by God’s grace.

The Ministry Coordinating Team shall exercise, conduct and control all powers, business and property of the church for the purposes of overseeing the legal, business, financial and administrative affairs of the church with consensus agreement. If, in the course of the decision-making processes, the Ministry Coordinating Team cannot unanimously agree, then the decisions will be made by majority vote of the Ministry Coordinating Team members present and voting at that meeting, the senior pastor, who shall be recognized as the final authority to humbly oversee ( 1 Timothy 3:1–7, 1 Peter 5:1–4 ) the affairs of the Church, will be the tie breaking vote if that case ever arises. The duties of the Ministry Coordinating Team members are to lead the church in its stated purpose and objectives; initiate and coordinate activities to discover church and community needs; formulate and recommend to the church a plan of work for one to three years; review and coordinate activities of the church programs and services; nominate and/or approve candidates for all church and Sunday School offices and committees.

Section 2—Specific Powers:

Other than the general powers outlined above, the primary, specific functions of the Ministry Coordinating Team shall be:

  1. (a) To recommend to the congregation suggested objectives, church goals and annual budgets and any major changes.
  2. (b) To review and coordinate program plans recommended by church officers, organizations, teams and committees.
  3. (c) To recommend to the congregation the use of leadership, calendar time, and other resources according to priorities to avoid conflicts in the use of church facilities.
  4. (d) To evaluate program achievements, terms of church goals and objectives.
  5. (e) To nominate candidates for all church offices.
  6. (f) To oversee legal, business, financial and administrative affairs of the church and propose budgets and budget adjustments.
  7. (g) To evaluate program achievements and report regularly to the church. To act as a pulpit committee in the absence of the pastor.
  8. (h) Other powers and duties assigned by the church membership and needed for the orderly administration of the church.

Section 3—Ministry Coordinating Team Elections:

The Ministry Coordinating Team shall nominate with the recommendation of the senior pastor, and the church shall elect at its annual meeting, those chairpersons and others who will serve on the Ministry Coordination Team. Those eligible to be considered for office on the Ministry Coordinating Team will be active members in good standing. In keeping with the spirit of this constitution and by-laws they will exhibit a Christian testimony in all their conduct worthy of a disciple maker. Though they are not held to the letter of the biblical passages listing qualifications required of pastors and deacons, their deportment and general spiritual growth will always trend toward those virtues required of pastors and deacons. The highest quality of Christian conduct will be mutually encouraged by fellow board members and, in fact, expected from fellow board members. Anyone elected to a position on the Ministry Coordinating Team will ever keep in mind that the role he/she plays is one of humble servant-leadership ( 1 Peter 5:4 ), never a “Diotrephes” ( 3 John 1:9–11 ). The Ministry Coordinating Team is in no way to be construed by those serving on, or those being served by, the Ministry Coordinating Team as a place of political power.

Only after one year of church membership will anyone be considered for election to a chairperson/coordinator position. Terms of service for all offices, with the exception of pastors and deacons, shall be one year for each position with eligibility to be reelected for no more than six consecutive terms, Following one year of sabbatical, an individual will be eligible for election to six more consecutive one-year terms. Those who will be considered for service will be members who are seeking to live to the best of their ability in conformity to the church covenant. The Ministry Coordinating Team will vet candidates for openings and their names posted one week prior to the annual meeting.

The Ministry Coordinating Team may create a Nominating Team consisting of the pastor, the chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team and one to three other members of the Ministry Coordinating Team. These persons will then nominate candidates for the Ministry Coordinating Team. These nominations are to be presented to the church at the annual business meeting in November. The Nominating Committee shall serve for one year and shall be elected by the Ministry Coordinating Team. The authorized number of Ministry Coordinating Team members shall be such number as may from time to time be authorized by the Ministry Coordinating Team and approved by the church members provided that such number shall not be less than three (3) with the majority being unpaid and not related to paid staff. The Ministry Coordinating Team shall annually elect from its members a chairman (male) to facilitate the meetings and the clerk or its designees shall record the minutes of the Ministry Coordinating Team meetings.

Section 4—Vacancies on the Board:

A vacancy on the Ministry Coordinating Team because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification or any other cause shall be filled by election by majority of the Ministry Coordinating Team for the remainder of the term.

Section 5—Resignation and Removal:

Any Ministry Coordinating Team member may at any time deliver a written notice of intent to resign to the senior pastor, which shall be effective upon acceptance by the Ministry Coordinating Team. Other than the senior pastor whose removal is provided below, any Ministry Coordinating Team officer may be removed at any time with or without cause when, in the sole judgment and discretion of the Ministry Coordinating Team, when it is so recommended by a three quarters (3/4) majority of the Ministry Coordinating Team and then determined by a majority vote of the members at a duly called meeting that such member should no longer serve on the Ministry Coordinating Team.

Section 6—Transactions with Interested Parties:

A contract or other transaction between the Church and one or more of its Ministry Coordinating Team members, deacons, or family members thereof (hereinafter “Interested Party”), or between the church and any other entity, of which one or more of the church or its board members, deacons, are also Interested Parties, or in which entity is an Interested Party has a financial interest—shall be voidable at the sole election of the church unless all of the following provisions are satisfied:

  1. (a) The church entered into the transaction for its own benefit.
  2. (b) The transaction was fair and reasonable as to the church, or was in furtherance of its tax-exempt purposes at the time the church entered into the transaction.
  3. (c) Prior to consummating the transaction, or any part, the board authorized or approved the transaction, in good faith, by a vote of a majority of the Ministry Coordinating Team officers then in office, without counting the vote of the Interested Party or Parties, and with knowledge of the material facts concerning the transaction and the Interested Parties’ interest in the transaction.
  4. (d) Prior to authorizing or approving the transaction, the Ministry Coordinating Team, in good faith, determined after reasonable investigation and consideration, that either the church could not have obtained a more advantageous arrangement, with reasonable effort under the circumstances, or the transaction was in furtherance of the church’s tax-exempt purposes.

Interested Parties may not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum at a meeting of the Ministry Coordinating Team (or a committee thereof) that authorizes, approves, or ratifies such contract or transaction. Notwithstanding the above, no loan shall be made by the church to any of its Ministry Coordinating Team members, deacons, or members.

Section 7—Conflicts of Interest Policy:

The Board/Ministry Coordinating Team shall adopt a Conflicts of Interest Policy that will provide for full disclosure of materially conflicting interests by board members, deacons, officers or employees. This policy shall permit the Ministry Coordinating Team to determine whether the contemplated transaction may be authorized as just, fair and reasonable to the church.

Section 8—No Compensation for Directors:

No salary or compensation shall be paid to any member of the Ministry Coordinating Team in his/her capacity as member of the Board of Directors, but nothing herein shall be construed to preclude any Ministry Coordinating Team Member from serving the Church in any other capacity and receiving reasonable compensation. Moreover, the Ministry Coordinating Team member may receive reasonable reimbursement for travel and other approved expenses upon request and written documentation

Section 9—Meetings/Quorum of Board:

The Ministry Coordinating Team may meet quarterly or as often as necessary. One third (1/3) of voting officers present at the beginning of a meeting shall constitute a quorum for purposes of transacting business at a meeting. Every action taken or decision made by a majority of the Ministry Coordinating Team shall be deemed to be the act of the Ministry Coordinating Team.

Section 10—Action without Meeting:

Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Ministry Coordinating Team officers may be taken without a meeting, if all of the officers, individually, or collectively, consent in writing to the action. Such action by written consent shall have the same force and effect as the unanimous vote of the Ministry Coordinating Team members. Such written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Ministry Coordinating Team.

Section 11—Manner of Acting:

Except as otherwise provided in these by-laws, the act of the majority of the Ministry Coordinating Team present at a meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Ministry Coordinating Team.

Section 12—Participation by Conference Telephone:

Members of the Ministry Coordinating Team or of any committee thereof may participate in a meeting of such board or committee by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment whereby all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at such meeting. When such a meeting is conducted by means of a conference telephone or similar communications equipment, a written record shall be made of the action taken at such meeting, noting participation of those who were present by means of such communications equipment.

Section 13—Ministry Coordinating Team Committees:

The Ministry Coordinating Team, by majority vote of all Ministry Coordinating Team members in office, may appoint two or more persons from among its number to serve as special committees, such as the Ministry Coordinating Team may determine are necessary, which shall have such powers and duties as shall from time to time be prescribed by the board. Except as otherwise provided by law, the articles of incorporation, these by-laws, or by a resolution of the Mission Coordinating Team, each committee may not exercise the authority of the Mission Coordinating Team.

Article 5—Church Officers and Corporate Staff

Section 1—The Officers of the Church:

The church shall have two biblical offices: pastor and deacon, and four church officers: president, treasurer, secretary (clerk) and chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team. Their qualifications for office are put forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 2. The treasurer and secretary (clerk) may be godly women exempted from the biblical gender qualification.

Section 2—Pastor:

The pastor shall serve an indefinite term. His task is defined by the biblical terms of bishop, elder, pastor and shepherd. He will give himself to the ministry of the Word and prayer ( Acts 6) and direct his labors such that he will be equipping the saints to do the work of the ministry ( Ephesians 4). His authority rests upon 1 Peter 5 as he lives a life of example and rightfully divides the Word of Truth ( 2 Timothy 2). A pastor will be extended a call based upon a three-quarters (3/4) vote of the active membership of the church. He may only be dismissed by the same margin. The pastor shall act as moderator of business meetings of the church. He is a member the Ministry Coordinating Team and all body life teams.

  1. (a) Qualification and Selection: The Pastor shall be nominated by the Ministry Coordinating Team acting as a Pulpit Committee. The Ministry Coordinating Team shall organize and proceed prayerfully to look for a pastor, quite literally following 1 Timothy 3:1–7, Titus 1:6–9, and 1 Peter 5:1–4 as qualifiers both for the man and for his family (additionally, all that is required of deacon character qualifications shall also be required of any pastor since they serve as examples for the flock), whom they can, and will, unanimously recommend to the church. One candidate is to be presented at a time. The election of the pastor shall be by three-quarters (3/4) of the active members present at the announced meeting by private ballot or by voting sign as the church desires, after two weeks announced notice of such meeting to the members.
  2. (b) Duties: The pastor shall seek to perform the duties of that office ( Acts 6:1–4, Ephesians 4:11–12, 1 Peter 5:2–3, 2 Timothy 4:1–2) with all fidelity, to preach on the Lord’s Day, to manage the church as its president directing day to day affairs of the church, to conduct the prayer service of the church, to administer the ordinances as commanded in the New Testament, to visit the sick, bereaved, and the lost, to make himself available as counselor, to examine all candidates for baptism as to their conversion experience, to instruct all new members as to their duties and privileges of membership, and perform other duties as usually pertain to that office. He shall perform marriages to couples after counseling them to insure a lasting marriage. He shall be an ex-officio member of all committees. He shall be granted audience by all committees for the purpose of expressing his views. He will act as moderator at the business meetings of the church, unless excluded by these by-laws.
  3. (c) Tenure: His pastorate shall be for an indefinite period of time or until the relationship is terminated by mutual consent. Should the pastor or the church desire to terminate his term of said office, the party desiring such change shall give the other at least thirty (30) but no more than sixty (60) days notice of such intention. The pastor and his family will vacate the parsonage by the end of the sixty (60) days, following which the church may vote another limited arrangement acceptable to the active members. Upon the death of a pastor, the congregation will give special consideration to accommodate the pastor’s widow/family after soliciting counsel from sister churches and the State Association of Churches.
  4. (d) Dismissal: All actions to dismiss must be initiated by the deacons. If they decide by majority action to bring the question of dismissal before the congregation, the pastor will, at the request of the deacons; call a special meeting of the church to consider the matter. If a petition from the members signed by at least twenty percent (20%) of the voting members is presented to the deacons, the chairman of the deacons will ask the pastor to call a congregational meeting to consider the matter ( 1 Timothy 5:19–20). (Secret meetings are prohibited.) Should the church desire to dismiss the pastor, the dismissal shall be by three-quarters (3/4) private vote, or by voting signs as the church desires, of the active membership present at the business meeting called after two consecutive Sunday morning service announced notices of such meeting to the active members. In the case of dismissal by vote of the congregation, the pastor will be paid one (1) month’s salary in advance, plus any paid vacation due, as of the date set by the congregation for termination of his responsibilities. Such advance payment need not be a lump sum. Such payment may be adjusted by three-quarters (3/4) vote of the eligible members present in the meeting wherein dismissal is voted. His termination of office and termination of duties to that office shall be effective immediately upon the determination of the church vote. The pastor and his family will vacate the parsonage by the end of sixty (60) days from the date of dismissal by action of the active members of the church.

Section 3—Deacons:

His task is defined by the biblical terms of deacon and minister. He will give himself to the task of serving the interests of the body of the church in concert with the pastor. His authority rests upon his example and his faithfulness to the Bible ( 1 Timothy 3:8–13, Romans 12, Acts 6:1–5). The deacons will meet monthly with the pastor and take an active part in assisting his ministry

  1. (a) Selection: The deacons shall be members of the church, selected by the pastor and active deacons and approved by the active church members according to the New Testament qualification of deacons found in 1 Timothy 3:8–13 who have proved themselves in the matter of church membership and are well grounded in New Testament, Baptist polity.
  2. (b) Tenure: Deacons will be elected for two-year terms of active service and will serve on the Ministry Coordinating Team. Deacons are servants who assist the pastor in overseeing the church, and do not give orders to the church, but receive instructions from the church. The deacons should be organized to assist the pastors in the work of ministry and membership, respond to needs which arise among the church membership, supervise church care of its widows and orphans ( Acts 6:1–7, 1 Timothy 5:3–16, James 1:27), and, in light of their high standard of spiritual qualifiers, prayerfully lead the church in matters of discipline of church members. The deacons shall be active members of the church and be able to participate in the affairs of the church. They shall annually elect a chairman from their number who shall serve as chairman of the deacons and of the Ministry Coordinating Team.
    1. i. General: each deacon should be willing to serve in such capacity and be fully conscious of the divine purpose of the work of a deacon.
    2. ii. Moral: “grave” “truthful” “right in regard to strong drink” “Good stewards.”
    3. iii. Doctrinal: they should know and understand the teaching of the Gospel, wholeheartedly embrace the doctrinal statement of the church, and be amenable to the distinctive Baptist principles.
    4. iv. Marital: They must not be divorced nor married to a divorcee. They will lead their family well and be a “one woman man.”
  3. (d) Duties:
    1. i. Be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit of the church.
    2. ii. Serve as advisors to the pastor(s), and serve the needs of the ministry in such a way as to aid the pastors and enable them to give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word as per Acts 6:4.
    3. iii. The spiritual health of the church shall be a general matter of concern for the deacons. The deacons shall be responsible for the maintenance of Scriptural discipline within the church and its membership in accordance with Matthew 18:15–17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9–13. Deacons shall be free to call upon any member of the church to aid in the spiritual life of the church and that member.
  4. (e) Dismissal: Should the church desire to terminate a deacon’s role, the termination shall be three-quarters (3/4) private vote or by voting signs as the church desires of the active membership present at the announced meeting after two weeks announced notice of such meeting to the active members.

The additional church officers shall be as follows: President (who shall be the senior pastor), clerk, treasurer, chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team, and any other officers that the church may elect in order to carry out the programs of the church such that areas of church body life as detailed in Article 4, Section 1 and Article 6, Section 1 of these by-laws are carried out.

Section 4—Other Church Officers:

Church Officers shall be elected as noted below.

  1. (a) President: office filled by the senior pastor.
  2. (b) Clerk: The clerk shall be a member of the church and shall be elected annually after nomination by the Ministry Coordinating Team Nominating Committee. The clerk shall perform the following duties:
    1. i. Keep an accurate record of all the proceedings of the church.
    2. ii. Keep an accurate register of names of the members, with date of joining.
    3. iii. Record minutes of all business meetings of the church.
    4. iv. In lieu of the moderator, be instructed by the church to notify the congregation of a called business meeting.
    5. v. Issue letter of dismissal voted by the church.
    6. vi. Notify promptly any church from which a new member is received of their admission to the church.
    7. vii. Preserve and file all communication and written official reports.
    8. viii. Attend all business meetings of the church.
    9. ix. Keep separate from regular entries a copy of the covenant, constitution and by-laws of the church and of all changes or additions thereto, and perform all other duties usually pertaining to the office of the church clerk.
    10. x. Arrange for minutes to be recorded if personally unable to attend any business meeting.
    11. xi. All records and correspondence kept by the clerk shall be considered property of the church.
  3. (c) Treasurer: The treasurer shall be a member of the church and elected annually after nomination by the Ministry Coordinating Team Nominating Committee and may be re-elected annually.
    1. i. By virtue of his/her office, the treasurer shall serve as a chairperson of the Budget and Finance Team.
    2. ii. The treasurer shall receive, preserve and pay out, upon properly signed invoices, according to the church financial plan.
    3. iii. The treasurer shall keep an accurate record of all deposits.
    4. iv. The treasurer shall present to the church at all regular business meetings a written report of all receipts and disbursement for the preceding quarter. A copy of this report is to be made available at least two weeks prior to the business meeting.
    5. v. The treasurer shall prepare and present to the church an annual written report of all financial proceedings.
    6. vi. All books, records and accounts kept by the treasurer shall be considered property of the church.
    7. vii. The accounts shall be made available to the Audit Team for audit once per quarter. The audit team shall be two members elected by the church at the annual meeting.
  4. (d) Chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team: The chairman of the deacons shall be the chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team. As chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team he will prepare the agenda, facilitate the meetings and serve in any other capacity that the board would need him to serve and advise.

Upon the resignation or removal of the senior pastor, the chairman will organize the Ministry Coordinating Team into a pulpit committee with the purpose of assisting the church in identifying a man for pastor, extending a call to him, and facilitating his settling in to the duties of the ministry. The chairman will equitably divide responsibilities to individuals on the Ministry Coordinating Team and will set sufficient meetings to move the search ahead as the Lord allows:

  1. (a) The clerk will oversee all official records and communications (such as follow-up with references) from the church as well as assuring that candidates for the office of pastor have signed the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, covenant, constitution and by-laws.
  2. (b) The treasurer will be tasked with the payment and recording of honoraria and expenses.
  3. (c) One member shall be responsible to arrange for speaker(s) to fill the pulpit in the absence of a candidate.
  4. (d) One member shall be responsible for all official phone contacts.
  5. (e) Two members will do the research, visits, and assemble questionnaires and any official forms utilized by the church.
  6. (f) The chairman will take the lead in a non-biased manner in all informational and candidate question and answer meetings. The chairman may lean heavily on the state convention staff for advice and identification of men available for the pastorate. While the pastoral search is proceeding the chairman will oversee the church prayer meeting assuring that the majority of the time is spent in prayer for the Lord’s direction.

The Ministry Coordinating Team in its pulpit committee mode shall present one candidate to the church at a time for consideration to extend a call to the pastorate. They must be able to assure the church that he is in doctrinal agreement with the church and its covenant and that he has passed all background check instruments that seem good to the Ministry Coordinating Team to perform. The Ministry Coordinating Team may send representatives to a candidate’s present church to observe when it is practical. Congregational update opportunities may be held bi-monthly or as often as necessary.

Article 6—Body Life Teams

Section 1—Church Development of Team Ministries:

The Ministry Coordinating Team shall act in various capacities depending upon the needs of the church. Its primary responsibility shall be the coordination of the efforts of the church and involve as many members of the church body as possible in the life and ministry of the church. Each body life team they develop will be filled by volunteers recruited by a member of the Ministry Coordinating Team responsible for his/her particular area of service.

Each individual Ministry Coordinating Team officer shall be responsible to create and coordinate teams for his/her unique area of church life, close out teams he/she believes are no longer necessary, and enable duplicative ministry within the church. Each team developed will be a body life team in areas of ministry, as noted below:

  1. (a) Membership: One deacon shall lead a team of church members who will help him maintain an accurate role of Hanover Baptist Church membership detailing archival membership roles as well as active/inactive (functioning) membership roles and give updates to the church clerk.
  2. (b) Care Ministry: One deacon shall lead teams of church members who will help formulate and implement membership caring plans.
  3. (c) Budget and Finance: One financial coordinator, the Treasurer for the Church, shall lead teams of church members to assist him/her in financial accountability, proposing budgets, stewardship goals, counting, auditing and meeting the financial obligations of the church.
  4. (d) Buildings and Grounds: One physical plant coordinator will lead teams of individuals adept at property maintenance and upkeep.
  5. (e) Education: One education coordinator shall coordinate the teaching efforts of the church such as Bible studies, Vacation Bible School, ladies’ ministries, and youth ministries.
  6. (f) Fellowship: One koinonia coordinator shall lead teams of members who organize special programs and fellowships within the church and care for the church kitchen.
  7. (g) Missions: One missions coordinator will lead teams of members burdened to further the purposes of mission fulfillment by Hanover Baptist Church both at home and abroad.
  8. (h) Outreach: One evangelistic outreach coordinator will lead teams of members with the desire to reach our local mission field, as well as advertising teams for various events.

As future needs arise there may be the development of additional deacons and Ministry Coordinating Team leaders, which will expand the number of body life teams possible.

Section 2—Regulations Governing Body Life Teams:

  1. (a) Body life teams will remain in place as long as the Ministry Coordinating Team deems them useful.
  2. (b) Ministry Coordinating Team coordinators/chairpersons are members of their attendant body life teams, and have the right and responsibility to recruit their own suitable team members to accomplish their task area, preferably from the membership of the church unless qualified members do not exist.
  3. (c) Body life teams shall meet as often as they deem necessary.
  4. (d) Body life teams are accountable to their Ministry Coordinating Team chairperson/coordinator and the senior pastor, who shall serve as an ex-officio member of each body life team. The chairperson is accountable to the Ministry Coordinating Team, who is accountable to the church members.
  5. (e) Body life teams are not decision-making teams; they are disciple-making teams.

Article 7—The Church Financial Policy

Section 1—Financial Plan:

The treasurer, with the aid of the Ministry Coordinating Team, shall prepare and submit to the church for approval an inclusive budget, indicating by items the amount needed and sought for all expenses. Offering envelopes will be provided for the members’ use. It is understood that membership in this church involves financial obligation to support the church and its causes with regular, proportionate gifts and offerings.

Section 2—Budget:

  1. (a) General Funds: The church budget will be crafted in such a way that the mission fulfillment of the church is plainly identifiable. The goal of the budget is to provide a tool for the church to direct its affairs in a corporate fashion. The church will maintain giving records for those who give by utilizing checks. Other special considerations must be worked out on a case-by-case basis. The general fund, deacons’ benevolence fund, and occasional mission funds will be the only regular funds. Body life teams will be designated budgetary authority through the annual church budget or by church action in a business meeting.
  2. (b) Special Funds: There may be occasional purposes for the collection of special project funds. They may only be established through deacon recommendation. The deacons shall identify an appropriate Body life team to act as trustee for the fund for its duration. The establishment of the fund will require a majority church vote at any meeting of the church. Collected special funds will be accurately dispersed as quickly as possible.

Section 3—Accounting Procedures:

All funds received for any and all purposes shall be given to the treasurer. The treasurer shall oversee receipts, disbursements and maintenance of church records. The treasurer shall be responsible for signing checks (though there shall be one deacon authorized to also be a signatory in case of emergency). The treasurer shall make a report to the church at each quarterly business meeting. A system of accounting that will adequately provide for the handling of all funds shall be the responsibility of the treasurer.

Section 4—Fiscal Year:

As previously noted, the church fiscal year shall run concurrently with the calendar year, which begins on January 1st and ends on December 31.

Section 5—Checks:

All checks or demands for money in notes of the church shall be signed by such officer(s) or such other person or persons as the Ministry Coordinating Team may from time to time designate.

Section 6—Contracts:

The president and the chairman of the Ministry Coordinating Team may sign all contracts, but the Ministry Coordinating Team may approve in writing any other officer, agent or agents of the church, in addition to the officers so authorized by these by-laws, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of or on behalf of the church. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized, no officer, agent, or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the church to any contract or any engagement or to pledge its credit or to render it liable for any purpose or in any amount. A competent attorney should review all contracts.

Section 7—Partnerships, Joint Ventures, LLC’s and Auxiliary Corporations:

The Ministry Coordinating Team, with approval of the church membership, may authorize in writing any officer(s), or agent(s) of the church to enter into any partnerships or joint ventures or create auxiliary corporations or limited liability companies that the Ministry Coordinating Team determines will advance the religious purposes and goals of the members as described herein and not violate the church’s tax exempt status.

Section 8—Purchase or sale of property and borrowing:

Neither officers nor agents of the church may purchase or sell real or personal property on behalf of the church unless authorized by the Ministry Coordinating Team, and in cases of real property, the members according to these by-laws. The Ministry Coordinating Team and a majority of the members must approve any borrowing of money.

Section 9—Gifts and contributions:

The Ministry Coordinating Team may accept on behalf of the church any contribution, gift, bequest or devise for the general purpose or for any special purpose of the church. These gifts are to be considered and treated precisely as gifts, keeping in mind that the church and its buildings are to be used as tools for the maintenance of a ministry, not a museum. The Ministry Coordinating Team will approve any endowment for the general purpose or for any special purpose of the church.

Section 10—Annual Review and Compensation:

The Ministry Coordinating Team shall conduct an annual review including a review of compensation of the pastor(s) and shall oversee annual reviews of all other staff with all increases in compensation being reported to the church for their approval. The Ministry Coordinating Team shall bring to the members specific recommendations in regard to the proposed changes in the calls of pastors, which must be approved by the members as outlined in these by-laws. There shall also be an annual financial review and/ or audit as recommended by the Audit Team and approved by the Ministry Coordinating Team but there shall be an audit at least every five years by an outside auditor.

Section 11—Designated Contributions:

The church may accept any designated contribution, gift, bequest or devise provided it is consistent with the church’s

  1. (a) Mission and spiritual priorities as determined from time to time by the Ministry Coordinating Team.
  2. (b) Budget process and fiscal restrictions.
  3. (c) Full ownership and control of the funds or assets, and tax-exempt purposes as set forth in the constitution.

As so limited, donor designated contributions will be accepted for special funds, purposes or uses, and such designations will generally be honored, but do not have to be so honored at the full discretion of the church. The church shall reserve all rights, title and interests in and to the control of such contributions as well as full discretion as to the ultimate expenditure or distribution thereof in connection with any special fund, purpose or use.

When the church is unable to honor a designation, the church may

  1. (a) Use these funds for any other special purpose or general use.
  2. (b) Contact the donor to change his or her designation.
  3. (c) Return the contribution to the donor, all of which is in full discretion of the church.

Section 12—Benevolence Fund:

Consistent with biblical teaching to share with those in need, the church will establish a benevolence fund to meet material and financial needs of its members and others. The fund shall be known as the Deacon’s Benevolence Fund and shall be dispersed at the discretion of the deacons under a policy which sets forth the fund’s purpose, procedures for administration and objective criteria for selection of recipients for financial assistance. Special offerings will be customarily collected at the conclusion of communion services exclusively for the Deacon’s Benevolence Fund. The deacons will be only accountable to themselves and the Lord Jesus Christ as to the disbursements of the benevolence fund due to the desire for privacy usually associated with the communication of the needs to which the deacons will apply the monies. The deacons will disperse these funds with a consciousness of the responsibilities identified in the Article 5, Section 3, Item b of these by-laws.

Section 13—Budget and Strategic Plan:

There shall be an annual members’ meeting at which an annual budget and annual strategic plan are approved by a simple majority vote of the membership at that meeting, no more than three months prior and no less than three months after the start of the fiscal year as defined above. Proxies will not be considered.

Section 14—Fund Raising:

No monies shall be raised by the church or an auxiliary organization except by freewill giving.

Article 8—Biblical Dispute Resolution

Any claim or dispute arising between or among church members, pastors or staff shall be settled by mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, a division of Peacemaker® Ministries (complete text of the rules is available at

The claim or dispute may be resolved by the Ministry Coordinating Team (or a duly appointed committee from the Ministry Coordinating Team) under the Christian Conciliation Rules and Procedures. All contractors, vendors and staff of the church should be asked to sign policies or contracts with the Christian dispute resolution clause in it. Christian mediation should be attempted, but if it does not resolve the dispute, then legally binding Christian arbitration shall be employed by the Ministry Coordinating Team (or their appointed committee) in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation. A decision shall be reached after prayerful consideration, in a spirit of humility, with each arbitrator seeking that which most glorifies God and regarding one another before himself.

Judgment upon an arbitration decision may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction. Jurisdiction and venue shall be the county and state where the church is located and Virginia law will apply to the dispute. Members, pastors, staff or third party vendors/contractors shall understand that these methods shall be the sole remedy for any controversy or claim arising against the church and expressly waive their right to file a lawsuit in any civil court against one another or the church for such disputes, except to enforce an arbitration decision. In that case, any court having competent jurisdiction, in conformity with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, may enter judgment upon an arbitration award. Notwithstanding this above provision, to protect the church and its members and under its risk policy procedures, we are required to maintain liability insurance. Therefore, this conflict provision is conditioned upon agreement by the church’s insurers that, in light of the particular facts and circumstances surrounding the disputed matter, this provision, and the process it establishes will not diminish any insurance coverage maintained by the church.

Article 9—Church Policy and Operation Manual

Section 1—Development of Church Policy and Operation Manual:

The church Ministry Coordinating Team or their designees shall oversee the development of a church policy and operation manual. This manual shall include all church policies, procedures, job descriptions and organization charts depicting lines of responsibility in the administration of the church. The manual shall be kept in the church office and made available for use by any member of the church. The Ministry Coordinating Team or their designees shall review the manual at least annually, with the authority to recommend changes for the church to consider and vote on.

Section 2—Compilation and Maintenance of the Manual:

The Ministry Coordinating Team and any of its designees shall be responsible for compiling and maintaining a policies and procedures manual for the day-to-day administrative functions of the church not covered in the constitution and by-laws. Subjects covered may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. (a) Personnel policies, teaching qualifications, and procedures not covered in the by-laws.
  2. (b) Church property policies and procedures.
  3. (c) Church discipline policies and procedures.
  4. (d) Christian conciliation and dispute resolution policies and procedures.
  5. (e) Child protection policies and procedures.
  6. (f) Home fellowship and team leader manuals.
  7. (g) Other policies and procedures as needed.

Article 10—Ordinances

Section 1—Baptism:

Those professing saving faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior shall by the pastor or some person authorized by the church, be immersed in water in accordance with the Scriptural teaching. Immersion shall be a prerequisite to church membership. This church recognizes only the “Believer’s Baptism” as valid.

Section 2—Lord’s Supper:

The Lord’s Supper (Communion) shall be served to the assembled church by the pastor (or someone designated by the church) and the deacons, on the first Sunday evening of each month and/or at the discretion of the pastor and deacons. Since it is the Lord’s table, none who are His shall be barred, but the pastor shall frequently state the Scriptural order, which places baptism as a prerequisite to Communion, and shall explain the meaning of the ordinances.

Article 11—Church Planting

It shall be the prayer and purpose of this church to assist in planting churches. This will be accomplished generally by its formal association with Baptist organizations planting churches and specifically by direct involvement by becoming a mother church to a church plant.

Any organization for planting churches that will receive funds from Hanover Baptist will sign the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. Monies will be raised through free-will offerings or by direction of the annual church budget. The organizations that will be assisted in this way will assure that they will be accountable to the local church and the monies will be used to start Baptist churches.

As opportunities arise through the providence of God for Hanover Baptist to become a mother church it shall endeavor to do all within its power to seek to duplicate itself by assisting in organizing a New Testament, Baptist church. Until the church plant is declared duly constituted and released by Hanover Baptist in a formal business meeting called for that purpose, it shall operate under the supervision of the membership and constitution/by-laws of Hanover Baptist Church. The purpose of the supervision is not to manage, intrude, and enforce Hanover’s will upon the new church start, rather it is to support, encourage, provide structure, and to assist in matters of finance and discipline should the need arise. The church planter will be called as a church planting pastor of Hanover Baptist. The core group of Hanover Baptist members assisting in starting the church plant will retain their active membership status in Hanover for the duration of their involvement in the new church plant while it is in the daughter church status. All additional individuals joining the new church plant as active members of the new church plant will be joining Hanover as watchcare members in covenantal relationship with Hanover Baptist Church. The new church plant will be accountable to Hanover Baptist Church and its members and obligated to submit to Hanover’s leadership. Hanover Baptist reserves the right to dissolve its organic ties with the church plant at any time for reasons sufficient to itself after giving no less than three month notice to the church planter.

When the church plant is deemed by Hanover Baptist to be “mature” with its own constitution and by-laws satisfactory to Hanover Baptist, and ready to be instituted, it shall notify Hanover Baptist of its desire to become independent. Hanover will approve the arrangement for a recognition council of ordained Baptist men of like faith and practice, able to sign the Hanover Baptist Church doctrinal statement (Baptist Faith and Message 2000), to be convened for the purpose of examining the documents and pertinent practices of the church plant. It shall make recommendations to Hanover Baptist Church and the new church plant based upon its findings. If the council declares itself satisfied that the new church plant is a duly constituted Baptist church then they will recommend to Hanover Baptist Church to release the church planter from his obligations as a member of Hanover’s staff and the church plant from the mother/daughter relationship. The new church will stand on its own as a sister church.

Article 12—Amendments and Restudy of the Bylaws

Upon recommendation of the Mission Coordinating Team, these by-laws may be amended at any quarterly business meeting of the church by (2/3) of the members present and voting. Any proposed amendment must be submitted in writing at the previous quarterly business meeting and published and posted two weeks immediately prior to the meeting at which it is to be voted upon. The constitution and by-laws of the church are to be restudied and rewritten, if necessary, by a committee elected by the church at least every ten (10) years.

I, the undersigned Clerk of Hanover Baptist Church do hereby certify that the above Constitution and By-laws were adopted on __________ by the members at a duly called meeting and that this Constitution and By-laws are current and in operation as of that time.