By-Laws
East Clarksburg Baptist Church

ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.  Active Membership  
                  Inactive Members
                  Inactive membership

Section 2.  Admission of Members
                a. By Baptism
                b. By Letter
                c. By Christian Experience
                d.  By Restoration

Section 3. Hand of Fellowship

Section 4. Dismissal of Members
               a. By Death
               b. By Letter
               c. By Exclusion
               d. By Erasure
               e. By Request

ARTICLE II - PASTOR

Section 1. Calling of the Pastor
Section 2. The Duties of the Pastor
Section 3. Other Functions of the Pastor
Section 4. Other Servants of the Church
Section 5. Relationship terminated by the Pastor

ARTICLE III - OFFICERS/BOARD

Section 1. All Officers
Section 2. The Clerk
Section 3. The Treasurer
Section 4. The Board of Trustees
Section 5. The Board of Deacons
               Deaconesses
Section 6. The Church School Superintendent
Section 7. The Church Counsel

ARTICLE IV COMMITTEES/DELEGATES

Section 1. The Search Committee
Section 2. The Nominating Committee
Section 3. Other Committees
Section 4. Delegates

ARTICLE V - DOCTRINAL MATTERS

ARTICLE VI - AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS

ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS (to the By-Laws only)

ARTICLE I - NAME

The name of this Church shall be the East Clarksburg Baptist Church of Clarksburg, West Virginia

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ARTICLE II - PURPOSE

The purpose of this church is to give visible form in this community to that faith and fellowship of which God has called His people. We also acknowledge ourselves to be a local manifestation of the universal church in and through which Jesus Christ continues to minister to the world by His Holy Spirit. We shall seek to fulfill this calling through corporate worship services, a program of Christian nurture by which our members may be built up in their faith and love, the proclamation of the Gospel by word and deed, and through ministering to human need in the name of Christ.

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ARTICLE III - MEMBERSHIP

The congregation shall consist of persons meeting the requirements set forth in the By-Laws, a body of professing and baptized believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, covenanting together to fulfill the purposes of Christ for His Church. Such covenant as the church may wish shall be drawn up, adopted, and revised from time to time as an expression fo our understanding of the Scriptures, our sole authority for faith and practice.

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ARTICLE IV - POLITY

Recognizing Jesus Christ as the only head of the church, this congregation shall seek to ascertain and obey the will of our Lord in all matters of faith and practice. Authority to reach decisions for governing the affairs of this church being given to us by Christ, we hold that such authority and responsibility is vested in the active membership of the congregation.

Rules governing the conduct of congregational business are set forth in the By-Laws attending this constitution.

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ARTICLE V - AFFILIATIONS

In carrying out the wider ministry for which Christ has made his Church responsible, we shall adhere to and be a member of the Union Baptist Association, the West Virginia Baptist Convention, and the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. This church shall not withdraw from any of these bodies except by a duly adopted amendment to the constitution of this church, and then only after consultation has been by the boards of deacons and trustees of this church with the moderator of the Association and Executive Minister of the Convention or his designate.

The church shall also be in cooperation with the larger Christian fellowship through local and other councils of churches as the congregation deems appropriate.

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ARTICLE VI - AMENDMENTS

This constitution may be amended by a 3/4 vote of the active members of the church present and voting at a duly called meeting for such purpose, provided that such a proposed amendment is read upon the occasion of no less than two regular business meetings of the church.

This constitution shall replace all prior constitutions adopted.

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CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations. We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children; 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 the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and, mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay. We moreover 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.

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WHAT BAPTISTS STAND FOR

BAPTISTS stand for the Bible, with particular emphasis on the New Testament. It is their law, their creed, and their final authority in all matters relating to faith and practice.

BAPTISTS stand for regeneration, or "the birth from above", as a basis of church membership.

BAPTISTS stand for believer's baptism - the immersion of the believer in obedience to Christ's command, as a symbol of the death to the old life and the resurrection to the new.

BAPTISTS stand for the separation of Church and State and for the largest measure of civil and religious liberty.

BAPTISTS stand for education, evangelism, and worldwide missionary endeavor.

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WHAT BAPTISTS BELIEVE

BAPTISTS believe in one God, the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit - three persons, yet but one God, Whose name is Jehovah.

BAPTISTS believe in the deity and the humanity of Jesus Christ, who is none other than God the Son manifest in the flesh, and in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells forever.

BAPTISTS believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Head of the church; that all believers are equally priests unto God; that ordination, while it recognizes position, bestows no power; that the local Church is independent and sovereign.

BAPTISTS believe that all men are sinners needing a Savior; that salvation is only and altogether through simple faith in Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, - faith always accompanied by works qualified for repentance, and that without such faith there can be no salvation here or hereafter.

BAPTISTS believe in unbroken conscious existence after death determined by life before death; in the personal coming of Christ to judge the world; in the resurrection of the body which, for those who die in the Lord, shall be like Christ's glorious body; in the eternal zeal of the saved and the eternal woe of the lost.

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BY-LAWS

EAST CLARKSBURG BAPTIST CHURCH

ARTICLE I - MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Active Membership - Active members are those who regularly participate in the services and work of the Church, or who maintain regular contact with the Church, and are entitled to vote on matters of Church business when they are present.

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Inactive Members - Inactive members are defined as those who have not participated in the services and/or work of the Church for a period of six months or more, without valid reason.

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Inactive membership - an inactive member should not hold office in the church or vote. A member may return to active membership by regular attendance after a period of six months or more.

The Clerk and the Board of Deacons are charged with determining the active and inactive membership lists prior to the Annual Business Meeting each year.

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Section 2. Admission of Members - Persons may be received into membership by any of the following methods, subject in each case to the recommendation of the Board of Deacons and the vote of the Church:

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By Baptism - Any person professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and giving evidence of having otherwise accepted the principles of the Covenant of this church and upon baptism by immersion, be received into membership.

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By Letter - A person who is in substantial accord with the doctrines and practice of this fellowship of this church may be received for membership by letter of commendation from another Baptist church.

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By Christian Experience - A member of another church who has been baptized by immersion, and is in accord with the doctrines and practice of this fellowship, and cannot for sufficient reason present a letter from that previous church, may be received upon their statement of Christian experience.

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By Restoration - Any person who has lost his/her membership for any reason may be restored to membership upon the favorable recommendation of the Board of Deacons and the vote of the Church.

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Section 3. Hand of Fellowship - All persons are to be extended the hand of fellowship into the Church, regardless of the method of admission, before they are recorded members.

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Section 4. Dismissal of Members - Persons may be dismissed from membership by any of the following ways:

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By Death - The name is thus no longer counted on the records of the Church as a member.

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By Letter - Any member in good standing may receive a letter of dismissal and recommendation to another church, by vote of this Church, when the other church requests such in writing.

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By Exclusion - Should any member become an offense to the Church and its good name by reason of un-Christian conduct (including verified immorality, the preferring of false charges against the Pastor or members), or the persistent breach of his/her covenant vows (including teaching or practice of false doctrine, or malicious gossip, excessive anger, etc., Ephesians 4: 22-32), the Church may terminate the membership. Such action, however, shall be taken only after faithful efforts have been made to bring about repentance and amendment. Members may be excluded when it is so recommended by the Deacons and approved by a 3/4 majority of the active members voting. Vote shall be a secret ballot.

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By Erasure - Members known to be attending elsewhere regularly or those who have moved from the area may be erased as members upon such recommendation and vote, after the facts have been determined and proper notification of intent given to such persons.

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By Request - Any member may request to be dropped from membership and such request will be honored by vote of the Church.

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ARTICLE II - PASTOR

Section 1. Calling of the Pastor - A suitable person is to be called as Pastor by a 3/4 affirmative, ballot vote of the active members of the Church present and voting at a meeting duly called for that purpose, and that person continues as Pastor so long as both parties are agreed. No one may be placed in nomination for Pastor who has not been approved by a Search Committee duly elected by a vote of the membership. The Search Committee shall not place in nomination more than one candidate for Pastor at one time.

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Section 2. The Duties of the Pastor - The particular duties of the Pastor are to preach the Gospel, administer the Ordinances, oversee the activities of the Church, exercise watch care over the members of the congregation, and perform such services to members of the Church as may be appropriate.

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Section 3. Other Functions of the Pastor - The Pastor shall also serve as the Moderator of the Church in its various business meetings, and shall be included in all boards and committees of the Church. When the Pastor is prevented from being present at a business meeting of the Church, when there is no Pastor, or when the Pastor wishes to relinquish the chair in order to speak to an issue, the chairman of the Board of Deacons, or the Church Clerk (in that order) will serve as the temporary, or acting moderator.

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Section 4. Other Servants of the Church - As other persons within the congregation feel led to preach the Gospel, the congregation, upon the recommendation of the Pastor and Board of Deacons may license them to preach provided they have been members in good standing for no less than one year, and that license is subject to annual review. The Church will, in consultation with the Association Committee on Ordination, assist persons who give clear evidence of a call to pastoral ministry to seek ordination. The Church shall bestow a position of honor to retired pastors who are members of the Church which will not infringe upon the work of the called Pastor.

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Section 5. Relationship terminated by the Pastor - The Pastor shall present a resignation 30 days prior to the effective date, or when terminated by the Church, the Church shall give the Pastor 60 days prior to the effective date, unless unusual circumstances and mutual agreement by the Pastor necessitate other-wise. In any event, the Church will vote to accept such termination. When such acceptance is effected, a Search Committee of five (5) persons representing one member from the Deacons, one from the Trustees, one from the American Baptist Women, one from the Youth and one from the Church-at-Large shall be formed at a Special Business Meeting. This committee shall appoint one of its members to be its chairperson. This person shall promptly seek the assistance of the Area Minister.

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ARTICLE III - OFFICERS/BOARD

Section 1. All Officers and chairpersons of the boards of the Church shall first be active members of the Church in good standing for a period of no less than one year before their election to an office. The election of officers shall take place at the Annual Business Meeting. Resignations from office are to be submitted in writing, read by the Clerk, and acted upon at a regular business meeting.

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Section 2. The Clerk - A Clerk shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting and may be re-elected. The Clerk shall keep a complete record of all transactions of all business meetings of the Church. This record of transactions shall be read at the next succeeding, regular business meeting. The Clerk shall maintain a record of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of members, with the dates and manner of admission and dismissal, date of baptism, and a list of suspended or erased members names. The Clerk shall issue letters of dismissal, request letters of commendation from other churches for persons wishing to become members of the Church, preserve on file all communications and written reports, give notice of all meetings required by these By-Laws, and see that names of the Trustees of the Church are duly recorded at the County Courthouse. The Clerk shall be responsible for the preparation of requested denominational reports. The Clerk is responsible for the general correspondence of the church, and such other duties related to the office as may be required by the church. When a successor is elected, the Clerk shall immediately deliver to the new Clerk all books and records for which he/she has been responsible. In the absence of the Clerk, the Assistant Clerk will assume the duties of Clerk.

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Section 3. The Treasurer - The Treasurer shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting, and may be re-elected. The Treasurer shall be custodian of all funds of the Church and the Church School, and keep those funds in the name of the Church in a bank or banks designated by the Church, and make reports to the Church at all Business Meetings. The Treasurer shall pay from the funds of the Church all obligations of the Church promptly, and when unable to do so shall report such to the Moderator and the Trustees at once. The Treasurer shall assist the Trustees in forming the annual budget as directed by the Church. All individual records of giving by members of the Church shall be kept confidential by the Pastor and the Treasurer. As protection to the good name of the Treasurer, the Church shall appoint an auditing committee of three persons to audit the books and report at such times as the Church may request, but especially at the Annual Business Meeting. In the absence of the Treasurer, the Assistant Treasurer will assume the duties of Treasurer.

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Section 4. The Board of Trustees - In accordance with the laws of the State of West Virginia, there shall be a minimum of five (5) Trustees. They shall be elected at the Annual Business Meeting. They shall, at a meeting of the Board to be held within one month of their election, elect one of their members to serve that year as Chairman of the Board. It shall be the duty of the Board of Trustees to hold in trust all properties, historical records, capital funds, and bequests of or to the Church; care for the upkeep, insurance, needed alterations and repairs of the Church properties; to regulate the use of the properties for all functions other than the regularly scheduled activities of the Church. The board is to seek the will of the Church on all new or unusual expenditures in excess of $500.00. They shall meet prior to regular business meetings (at least) at the Church property to consider all matters pertinent to their responsibilities and shall submit a written report of their activities to the Church for the previous year at the Annual Business Meeting.

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Section 5. The Board of Deacons - There shall be a Board of Deacons consisting if possible of seven (7) active members. They may serve on a Board so long as they are qualified to do so. When a Deacon can no longer regularly participate in the services of the Church, and the meetings and work of the Board by reason of failing health or by disqualification, the Church shall fill the position on the Board. The Church may honor a Deacon who has served well, as Deacon Emeritus.

New members to the Board may be elected by a 3/4 affirmative vote of those present and voting at the Annual Business Meeting, as needed. New Board members have all privileges except to vote on matters pertaining to themselves, and to act as Chairman of the Board. No one shall be elected for the office of Deacon who does not submit to ordination.

The Board of Deacons shall meet in January and elect one of their members to serve as its chairperson.

It shall be the duty of the Deacons to care for the spiritual life of the individual members of the Church, assist the Pastor in the administering of the Ordinances, interview and recommend to the Church all candidates for baptism and church membership, conduct all disciplinary measures instituted against delinquent or disorderly members, arrange for pulpit supplies in the absence of the Pastor or when there is no Pastor, be responsible for the spiritual training of new members, visit those who are in need in the name of the Church, and act with the Pastor as an evangelism committee. They shall also serve the interests of both the Pastor and the Church as a pastoral relations committee that there might be the fullest accord between the Pastor and people.

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Deaconesses - There shall be three (3) Deaconesses selected from the adult membership with one (1) Deaconess rotating off yearly. They shall assist the candidates for baptism and care for the preparation of the Lord's Supper. They shall welcome strangers and inquire after those who absent themselves from the services of the Church. They shall assist the Pastor as the need arises. They shall be elected at the annual business meeting for a period of three (3) years.

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Section 6. The Church School Superintendent - The Church shall annually elect Church School Superintendent, who will conduct the devotional services of the Sunday School. The Superintendent is charged with seeking the continuing growth of the Church's school in accordance with the stipulations of the Church Counsel/Board of Christian Education.

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Section 7. The Church Counsel

a. This Board will consist, of three people plus the Pastor and the Superintendent. The Board will be responsible for the:

1. Recruitment and maintenance of teachers from the Sunday School, and adult advisors for youth work, from the active membership of the Church;

2. Selection of all teaching and leadership materials for the Sunday School, youth work, Vacation Bible School and any other special educational ministries of the Church. The adult classes will elect their own teachers.

b. The Board shall submit a written report of its efforts in behalf of the Church at the Annual Business Meeting, and the newly constituted Board will meet within a month of the Annual meeting to select its Chairperson.

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ARTICLE IV COMMITTEES/DELEGATES

Section 1. The Search Committee - When activated, this Committee shall prayerfully seek a candidate to recommend to the Church for Pastor; a person upon whom all members of the committee substantially agree; presenting to the Church for its consideration only one candidate at a time.

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Section 2. The Nominating Committee - This committee shall consist of five (5) members. There shall be one from the Board of Deacons, one from the Board of Trustees, one from the Church School, one from the American Baptist Women and one from the membership at large. Each board or association shall elect its committee member from within its own group. The member-at-large shall be appointed by the Pastor. The Committee shall be appointed in October. It shall report on two separate Sundays prior to the election in December.

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Section 3. Other Committees - The Church may appoint, from time to time, other committees for specific tasks and specific periods of time, as will advance the welfare, growth, or ministries of the Church, as needed.

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Section 4. Delegates - The Church shall appoint delegates to represent the Church at functions of organizations with which the Church is affiliated, as possible. Such delegates are not only to represent the Church, but are to be given opportunity to report on matters of importance to the Church at one of the services of the Church or at the next regular business meeting.

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ARTICLE V - DOCTRINAL MATTERS

This church receives the Bible as an all-sufficient basis of doctrine and practice adherent to the doctrine of the New Testament for Christian conduct among its members. It adopts the Church covenant commonly accepted by Baptist churches.

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ARTICLE VI - AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS

The Church may authorize the formation of any auxiliary organizations according to the patterns of American Baptist Women, American Baptist Men, the Baptist Youth Fellowship, etc., to fulfill the needs of the church family for fellowship and service. In no case, however, may these organizations conflict with the doctrinal beliefs, the Constitution of this Church, or its attendant By-Laws and Rules of Procedure.

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ARTICLE VII - AMENDMENTS (to the By-Laws only)

These By-Laws may be amended by a 3/4 vote of the active members of the Church present and voting at a duly called meeting for such purposes, provided that such a proposed amendment is read upon the occasion at a prior regular business meeting and the two immediately prior Sunday morning services at the Church.

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RULES OF PROCEDURE - EAST CLARKSBURG BAPTIST CHURCH

ARTICLE I - SERVICES OF THE CHURCH

Section 1. Public Services

Services of Worship shall be held each Lord's Day at 10:45 a.m.

The Church's School shall be held each Lord's Day at 9:30 a.m.

Regular Prayer and/or Bible Study shall be held each Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Other services may be conducted from time to time as recommended by the Board of Deacons.

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Section 2. The Observance of the Ordinances

The Lord's Supper (Communion) will be observed in conjunction with the morning service of worship on the first Sunday each month and at such times as recommended by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons. Participation in this ordinance is reserved to believers. (It may be conducted by an ordained Deacon in the absence of a Pastor.)

Services of Baptism will be conducted when upon the recommendation of candidates to the Church by the Board of Deacons and the Pastor authorizes them.

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ARTICLE II - BUSINESS MEETINGS

Section 1. The Annual Business Meeting shall be held on the second Sunday of December each year, for the purpose of receiving written reports of the Clerk, the Treasurer, the Pastor, the Boards, the Church School, Committees, and those of any auxiliary organizations; the election of officers; the transaction of necessary business; Christian fellowship; and the discussion of issues vital to the life and witness of the Church in the community and world. This is held in conjunction of the regular December meeting.

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Section 2. Regular Business Meetings shall be held on the second Sunday bi-monthly.

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Section 3. Special Business Meetings may be called at any time by the Pastor, Clerk, or acting Moderator, provided notice of and the intentions of such meetings are given at least at a prior Sunday service. Exceptions to this rule are as follows:

1. The Church may act upon the reception or dismissal of members by letter to other churches, at the conclusion of any regular service, without advance notice.

2. In the case of a dire emergency, as in destruction to the church building, the Trustees may call for a special business meeting of the active membership as soon as necessary.

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ARTICLE III - RULES OF ORDER

Section 1. Voting Privileges - All active members of the Church have the privilege of voting when present upon all matters, except that members under the age of 16 will not vote upon the dissolution of church assets or properties or the incurrence of a large financial obligation to the Church.

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Section 2. The Quorum necessary for the transaction of Church business shall be 3/4 of active members present.

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Section 3. A simple majority, affirmative vote is required to transact any business of the Church, except specifically stipulated in the Constitution and By-Laws of this Church.

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Section 4. The latest available edition of Roberts Rules of Order will be used as a guide in all matter of parliamentary procedure where such is not in conflict with the Constitution and By-Laws of this Church.

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ARTICLE IV - AMENDMENTS

These Rules of Procedure may be amended by the majority vote of the active membership present and voting at a duly called meeting for that purpose, provided notice is given at no less than two prior Sunday morning services.

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Respectfully submitted,

COMMITTEE: Jack Whitney (Chairman),  Margaret Hickman, Iris Wickenhofer, Vada Hickman

Approved and Adopted Wednesday, December 18, 1992 at the Regular Business Meeting

 

Updated with help of members by COMMITTEE: Mercedez Beavers, Jane Bragg, John Bragg, Vada Hickman, Joan Hollandsworth, Peggy Snyder, Pastor Frank Taylor

Approved and Adopted Sunday, March 11, 2007 at Special Business Meeting

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Copyright 2010, East Clarksburg Baptist Church, Clarksburg, West Virginia.