SMYRNA BIBLE CHAPEL CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
Article I – Membership
Section 1. Members - This church is comprised of persons who profess a personal faith and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, actively follow the Lord Jesus Christ in discipleship, and are in agreement with the Statement of Faith of Smyrna Bible Chapel. Any person who is a professed believer indicates by their regular attendance that they accept the privileges of local church affiliation and are, whether attending virtually or in-person, members of the Smyrna Bible Chapel congregation. “Regular attendance” is defined in these bylaws as attending Smyrna Bible Chapel Bible study and/or worship service a minimum of four times per month. This commitment is shown through the prayerful support of the work of the ministry, the exercise of one's spiritual gifts within the body, and the acceptance of this church’s Statement of Faith.
Section 2. Voting Rights of Members - Every member of the church, age 16 years and above, is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present at the time of the vote, either virtually or in-person. Proxy voting is prohibited. For election of offices, votes will be written if attending in-person, electronic/text if attending via conference call/virtual. Attendance is mandatory to cast your vote regardless of setting. For church business, including voting on amendments to these bylaws, votes will be cast verbally from both in-person and conference call/virtual attendance in a “yes” or “no” fashion. Attendance is mandatory to cast your vote regardless of setting.
Section 3. Rights of Members - Every member of the church, 16 years old and above, is entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the church in conference, provided the member is present, whether virtually/online/phone conference or in-person. Every member of the church, virtual and in-person, is eligible for consideration by the membership as candidates for the elective offices in the church. Every member of the church, virtual and in-person, may participate in the ordinances of the church as administered by the church.
Section 4. Termination of Membership - Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: exclusion by action of this church.
Article II – Church Staff and Officers
All church officers and staff, excluding nonelected staff, must be members of the church. The officers of this church shall be as follows:
Section 1. Pastor – Emmit Green, founding Pastor of Smyrna Bible Chapel.
Section 2. Deacons - Deacons fitting the Biblical characteristics of 1 Timothy 3:8-12 and Titus will be recommended by the Pastor after prayerful discernment and extensive examination. The individual will be called with a 75 percent vote by the congregation membership, both virtual and online, as per voting rights in Article I, Section 2, of this church’s Bylaws. Further delineation of Deacon duties, obligations, and term limits to be further discussed as the church evaluates, plans, organizes, and implements such positions.
Section 3. Church Clerk – The church shall evaluate, plan, organize, and implement such position as the church deems necessary.
Section 4. Treasurer – A third party account manager will be utilized by Smyrna Bible Chapel. The church account manager has the overall responsibility for transacting the financial business of this church, including collecting all tithes and offerings, paying this church’s bills as directed, forwarding all special collections to the appropriate agency, keeping good financial records, and providing reports upon request and for every meeting of the church. The church shall evaluate, plan, organize, and implement an Assistant Treasurer from the congregation as the church deems necessary to account for in-person donations/tithes.
Article III – Church Conflict
Section 1. All possible attempts will be made to handle any member and/or ministerial staff conflict Biblically, utilizing Matthew 18:15-17 as the basis: (1) Go to the offender first and speak of repentance. If they refuse to listen, (2) take one or two witnesses with you. If they continue to refuse repentance, (3) it will be brought to the church membership for vote of removal. Proper notice of this vote will be made known to members of the congregation at least two (2) weeks in advance of the vote.
Article IV – Church Meetings
Section 1. Worship Services - The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, virtually and in-person, and Wednesday evening, virtually and in-person, for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and for the worship of almighty God. These meetings will be open to everyone and shall be conducted under the direction of the pastor.
Section 2. Special Services - All church meetings which are essential to the promotion of the objectives of the church shall be placed on the church calendar, published over the text notification service at least once prior to the meeting being held, and announced at all services on the Sunday and Wednesday prior to the special service being held.
Section 3. Regular Business Meetings - Regular business meetings shall be held quarterly, with the date being determined and announced by the Pastor a minimum of one week prior. Agenda and notes from each meeting will be made available to all members.
Section 4. Special Business Meetings - A specially called business meeting may be held to consider matters of a significant nature. Notice of the subject, date, time, and location for the specially called business meeting will be announced by the Pastor at least one week before the meeting and announced at all services on the Sunday and Wednesday prior to the special business meeting.
Section 5. Quorum - A quorum consists of those members who attend the business meeting (either virtually or in-person), provided it is a regular meeting or one that has been properly called.
Article V – Ordinances
Section 1. Baptism – Baptism is a symbolic act of obedience. Any person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord shall be received for Baptism. (1) Baptism shall be by immersion in water (alternative methods available for the physically limited). (2) Baptism will be administered by the Pastor after personal discussion and discernment. (3) Arrangements will be made for Baptism where congregant is located/exercises membership remotely.
Section 2. The Lord’s Supper – The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the elements representing Christ’s body and blood, commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His return. (1) The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at least once per month, preferably on the first Sunday of the month.
Article VI – Ministries / Program Organizations
Section 1. The church shall evaluate, plan, organize, and implement such ministries as the church deems necessary.
Article VII – Committees
Section 1. The church shall evaluate, plan, organize, and implement such committees as the church deems necessary. Committees will be filled on a volunteer basis with church members, either in-person or virtual.
Article VIII – Amendments
Section 1. Any of these articles may be amended at the recommendation of the Pastor and/or congregation during a regularly scheduled meeting, or by special meeting when appropriate notice is given. Any motion to amend or change these articles must have been proposed at least one week prior to a vote, must have the approval of the elders, and must pass with a minimum of 75% approval from the congregation.
Section 2. These articles should be reviewed every five years.