Effective Date: July 15th, 2015
Article I – Name
The name of the church shall be The Port Royal Baptist Church, 707 Pinckney Boulevard, near Ribaut Road at Naval Hospital, Port Royal, South Carolina 29935.
Article II – Autonomy
This church is subject to control of no other civil or ecclesiastical body. However, we recognize the benefits of mutual cooperation which are common among Baptist churches, associations, and conventions. As much as is practical, this body agrees to cooperate with and support the Savannah River Baptist Association, the South Carolina Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Article III – Vision / Purpose
The people of Port Royal Baptist Church have adopted two statements that will provide direction and definition to all worship, fellowship, education, evangelism, discipleship, missions, and benevolent ministries, both at home and abroad.
(a) Vision Statement: “The sun will never set on the kingdom ministry of Port Royal Baptist Church. (b) Purpose Statement: “We exist to connect people to Christ, Community, and their Calling.”
Article IV– Statement of Faith
While the Bible shall be the supreme and final authority, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 shall serve as the church’s statement of faith.
Article V – Church Covenant
Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith—having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We determine by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to be faithful in its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; and 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 throughout all nations.
We determine to maintain personal and family devotions; to teach our children to fear of the Lord; to seek the salvation of our loved ones and acquaintances; to be honest and faithful in our business; to walk daily in a manner that honors the Lord Jesus Christ and to avoid participation in activities that would bring reproach to His name; to be zealous in our love and service to the Lord; to discern our spiritual gifts and employ them in this local church. We further determine to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to be courteous in speech; to be slow to take offense; and to quickly seek reconciliation in the event of an offense. We moreover determine that when we move from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
Article VI – Membership
Section 1. Qualifications
The membership of Port Royal Baptist Church shall consist of those individuals who have made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, have been scripturally baptized by immersion, and are in agreement with the church covenant.
Section 2. Reception
A time of invitation will be given during regularly scheduled services for persons to confess Jesus Christ as Savior and for persons to unite with this church. Membership in the church may be attained by a majority of the membership present and voting in any of its regular meetings. One may become a member of this church in the following ways:
(a) By scriptural baptism -immersion- after profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
(b) By transfer of letter from another Southern Baptist church.
(c) By statement of personal faith and scriptural baptism in a church of another denomination not of like faith.
(d) By restoration after having been dropped or dismissed from the membership of this church.
(e) By statement of Christian experience indicating previous compliance with either (a) or (b).
Section 3. Termination
Membership in this church may be terminated in one the following ways:
(a) By letter of transfer to another Southern Baptist church.
(b) By removal when joining a church not of like faith.
(c) By dismissal through church discipline following the biblical model set forth in Matthew 18:15-20, 21-35.
(d) By death.
(e) Individuals whose names have been removed from the rolls of the church may be restored upon their request and by an affirmative vote of the membership present and voting at a scheduled service, provided they have met the requirements outlined in Article V, Section 1 above.
Section 4. Right and Responsibilities
(a) Each member in good standing shall have the right to a voice and vote in all church matters.
(b) Each member shall have the right and privilege to fully participate in the life and work of this church.
(c) Each member has the right to worship in an atmosphere that is free of disruption. Any action that would interfere with a member’s right to worship will not be allowed. The Pastor and Deacons are available to settle any matter that may lead to disruption of a worship service or any other scheduled meeting.
Article VII – Officers
Church Staff and Officers:
The following shall be considered as the Church Staff and Officers: Staff: Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Minister of Religious Education, Minister of Music, Minister of Youth, Custodian, Turnkey, Church Secretary, Church Organist, and Church Pianist. Officers: Deacons, Trustees, Clerk, Assistant Clerk, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Director of Sunday School, Director of Discipleship Training, Director of Woman’s Missionary Union, Director of Men’s Ministries, Director of Outreach, Praise Group Director, Children’s Church Director, and Church Librarian.
Section 2. PASTOR:
The Pastor should preferably be a graduate of a Baptist Theological Seminary and shall be called for an indefinite period. He may be called upon the unanimous recommendation of the Pulpit Committee and a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting. The Pastor shall faithfully perform the following duties of that office: preach on the Lord’s Day, administer the New Testament Ordinances, conduct the midweek prayer service, visit the members of the church, act as moderator at church business meetings except when he deems it necessary to vacate the chair, and perform such other duties as usually pertain to that office or as set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws. The pastorate may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal. Such dismissal, when recommended by three-fourths of the Deacons, shall require at least three-fourths of the votes at a regular or special church business meeting. Notice of the time and object of the meeting shall be given by the Chairman of Deacons or Clerk of Deacons at the worship services or in the church bulletin of the two Sundays prior to the date action is to be taken. Upon resignation or dismissal at least thirty days notice shall be given of termination of relationship unless otherwise mutually agreed upon by the church and Pastor seeking the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
Section 3. ASSISTANT PASTOR:
An Assistant Pastor, preferably a graduate of a Baptist Theological Seminary, may be called upon the recommendation of a committee elected by the church and a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting. Such Assistant Pastor when engaged shall perform such duties as may be directed by the Pastor and the Deacons. The Assistant Pastor may be dismissed upon the recommendation of the Pastor and a three-fourths majority of the Deacons, if such action is ratified by a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting of the church. Dismissal and/or notice of termination will be the same as for the Pastor.
Section 4. MINISTER OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION:
A Minister of Religious Education may be called upon the recommendation of a committee elected by the church and a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting. Such a person shall be a Baptist, specially trained in Baptist religious education, and shall devote his full time to the administration of his office as may be directed by the Pastor and Deacons. The Minister of Religious Education may be dismissed upon the recommendation of the Pastor and a three-fourths majority of the Deacons, if such action is ratified by a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting of the church. Dismissal and/or notice of termination will be the same as for the Pastor.
Section 5. MINISTER OF MUSIC:
A Minister of Music may be called upon the recommendation of a committee elected by the church and three-fourths majority of votes cast at a regular or special business meeting. Such a person shall be a Baptist and shall be adequately trained in church music. He or she shall have the responsibility of leading and training the church in a complete program of church music. The Minister of Music may be dismissed upon the recommendation of the Pastor and a three-fourths majority of the Deacons, if such action is ratified by a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting of the church. Dismissal and/or notice of termination will be the same as for the Pastor.
Section 6. MINISTER OF YOUTH:
A Minister of Youth may be called upon the recommendation of a committee elected by the church and a three-fourths majority of votes cast a regular or special business meeting. Such a person shall be a Baptist and shall be adequately trained in youth-oriented services. He or she shall have the responsibility of leading and training the youth in a complete program. The Minister of Youth may be dismissed upon the recommendation of the Pastor and a three-fourths majority of the Deacons, if such action is ratified by a three-fourths majority of the votes cast at a regular or special business meeting of the church. Dismissal and/or notice of termination will be the same as for the Pastor.
Section 7. CHURCH SECRETARY:
The Church Secretary shall be selected by the Personnel Committee for an indefinite time and shall care for all official church correspondence and such other duties as may be assigned by the Pastor and/or the Personnel Committee.
Section 8. CHURCH ORGANIST/PIANIST:
The church organist/pianist shall be selected by the Personnel Committee for an indefinite time. The organist/pianist shall select, prepare, and play music for Sunday Worship Services. This will include preludes, postludes, offertories, organ/piano interludes, and music for baptismal and communion services. The organist/pianist shall also prepare and play music for special worship services and funerals held in our church; serve as accompanist for chancel choir, including regular weekly rehearsals and services, and special services in which this choir sings; serve as accompanist for soloists and ensembles, providing the organist/pianist has had sufficient advanced notice and opportunity for rehearsal with same; and work with and be directed by the Minister of Music in promoting and maintaining a high level of musicianship through the music ministry and in maintaining a spirit of reverence and worship in all services.
Section 9. CUSTODIAN:
The Custodian shall be selected by the Personnel Committee for an indefinite period of time and shall be responsible for the care and maintenance of the buildings and grounds and shall work with the Property Maintenance Committee.
Section 10. TURNKEY:
The turnkey shall be selected by the Personnel Committee for an indefinite period of time and shall be responsible for unlocking the buildings in time for regularly scheduled services and meetings and for securing/locking the buildings after these services end.
Section 11. DEACONS:
The Deacon Council shall consist of duly elected faithful members of this church who demonstrate the New Testament qualifications for deacons and who have proved themselves to be earnest workers in Christ’s kingdom. They shall be pastoral assistants and advisors to the Pastor, and with him shall give pastoral leadership to the church. They shall maintain the essential Baptist character of this church. The number of deacons and term of office, their ministry, qualifications, and the method of nominating and electing deacons are contained in the “Guidelines for Deacon Nomination and Election,” included in the church’s Policies and Procedures Manual. In the event the church should desire to honor one of its members by naming him a Lifetime Deacon, such recommendation may be made by the Deacon Council to the church at a regular or special business meeting. Life Deacons will not be counted when establishing a quorum. [Art. VI. Sec. 11. Deacons, as amended May 16, 2007]
Section 12. OTHER OFFICERS:
The duties and terms of the other officers of the church shall be set forth in the By-Laws.
Article VIII – Church Organization
The functions of the church shall be performed through the following groups.
(a) Deacons, Trustees, and Committees:
Associational Missions Representative
Church Nominating Committee
Building and Grounds Committee
Lord’s Supper Committee
Pastor’s Supply Committee*
Woman’s Missionary Union
The membership, terms of office, and duties of the above groups, unless provided for in the constitution, shall be as prescribed in the By-Laws.
The meetings of the church shall be as follows:
(a) Worship: Services shall be held each Lord’s Day, both morning and evening. The Lord’s Supper shall be observed at least once a quarter.
(b) Prayer Service: There shall be a regular midweek Prayer Service.
(c) Business Meeting: There shall be a regular quarterly business meeting following a brief prayer service on the third Wednesday in the first month of each quarter. For compelling reason, the time of the quarterly business meeting may be rescheduled by the Moderator. All church organizations shall submit a regular written report quarterly. All matters requiring a time interval before a vote is taken shall be referred by the Moderator, without debate, to the proper committee. The recommendation of this committee shall be given when the matter comes for final action. [Art. VII. Sec. 3 (c) as amended on Feb. 20, 2008.]
(d) Annual Business Meeting: The October business meeting shall be the annual business meeting. At this meeting, the annual reports of the Treasurer, Auditors, Committees, and Church Organizations shall be given.
(e) Special Business Meetings: Special Business Meetings of the church may be called at any time by the Pastor or at the request of the Deacons, provided the hour named is the time for a regular service of the church.
(f) Quorum: The members present at any regular or special business meeting shall constitute a quorum. There must be a majority of Deacons or a majority of any committee present to constitute a quorum of said Deacons or committee.
(g) Authority: The Authority in all parliamentary questions shall be Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised).
(h) Election: The election of the general Church Officers and other officers of the church organizations shall be held at the August business meeting or at other regular or special business meetings of the church. Nominees for the various offices shall be presented by the nominating committee at that time and the elections shall proceed along the lines prescribed by the Moderator. If more than two are nominated for the same office and no one receives a majority of votes, a second ballot between the two receiving the highest number of votes will be used to decide the election. The Moderator shall declare elected all persons receiving a majority of all votes cast for any office. Officers shall be elected for the term of office as prescribed in the Constitution and By-Laws. The persons elected to the office shall assume their respective office as of September the First. Elections to fill any vacancies that may occur may be held in the same manner as the regular nomination and election may be at a monthly business meeting, upon recommendation of the proper committee.
Article IX – Conventions, Revivals, Vacations, Sick Leave
Section 1. Conventions:
The Port Royal Baptist Church shall afford the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Minister of Religious Education, Minister of Music, and Minister of Youth the opportunity to attend the State and National Conventions, when the Pastor and Finance Committee deem it feasible and with the approval of the church.
Section 2. Revivals:
(a) The Port Royal Baptist Church may conduct two regular revivals yearly–one in the Spring and one in the Fall. Special revivals may be conducted by the recommendation of the Pastor and/or Deacons with the approval of both.
(b) The Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Minister of Religious Education, Minister of Music, and Minister of Youth shall be allowed to be away for two one-week revivals during the church year if the following criteria are met:
(1) Person requesting must have been at the Port Royal Baptist Church one calendar year.
(2) The two weeks must not be consecutive.
(3) Two Sundays will not be included in one week of revival.
Section 3. Vacations:
(a) The Port Royal Baptist Church shall provide the following paid vacations for the Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Minister of Religious Education, Minister of Music, Minister of Youth, and other employees, based upon church vocation experience.
(1) 6 months to 1 year: 1 work week
(2) 1 year to 5 years: 2 work weeks
(3) 6 years to 10 years: 3 work weeks
(4) 11 years and over: 4 work weeks
(b) No two members shall be on vacation at the same time except in case of an emergency.
Section 4. Sick Leave:
The Pastor, Assistant Pastor, Minister of Religious Education, Minister of Music, Minister of Youth, and other employees shall have one day of sick leave per month, accumulating month by month, and carried from year to year as accumulative sick leave. Accumulative sick leave will be forfeited without pay upon termination of employment.
Article X – Definition of Marriage
Section 1. We believe in the sanctity of the marital union as described in Scripture:
(a) God created the first marriage as a sacred covenant relationship between one man and one woman, as husband and wife, for the purposes of procreation, companionship, and dominion over creation, in keeping with the covenant relationship God himself established with his own creation (Genesis 2:15-24; Romans 1:16-32).
(b) Jesus blessed a marriage celebration between a man and a woman with his presence and his first public miracle, thereby affirming the traditional definition of marriage as a cornerstone of every culture and community (John 2:1-11).
(c) Society historically has embraced this traditional definition of marriage, shunning all other unions as unnatural, inappropriate, and has advocated the family unit of husband and wife and their children as the chief building block of society (Leviticus 18:22- 30; Psalm 127:3-5; Romans 1:16-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-2; Hebrews 13:4).
(d) Marriage between a husband and wife was intended to portray the marriage of Jesus Christ (bridegroom) to His Church (bride). The joining as one flesh on the physical level has a spiritual parallel in the special and intimate relationship Christ shares with His people. (Genesis 2:15-24, Matthew 19:6, Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:22-23, 2 Corinthians 11:2, and Revelation 19:7).
We adhere to the doctrinal statements of our denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention, as stated in Article XVIII entitled The Family of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, that marriage is to be defined biblically and theologically in God’s own terms rather than man-made terms. ; and further that this church intentionally adheres to the highest standards for marriage, namely biblical standards. We believe that the term marriage has only one meaning and that is marriage sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single and exclusive union and that all other legal definitions and court actions are secondary to the biblical mandate.
We affirm that all marriage ceremonies performed in the name of this church and any related celebrations or activities allowed in its facilities shall be for unions that meet the standards named in this church constitution, and further, that church ministers and staff engage only in marriage ceremonies in keeping with this church’s adopted biblical and theological definition of marriage. Church ministers and staff shall not be expected to conduct marriage ceremonies which are not in keeping with this church’s adopted biblical and theological definition of marriage. Finally, any member of the clergy officiating marriage ceremonies on church premises, whether or not employed by the church, shall affirm their agreement with the church’s policy regarding marriage ceremonies set forth above in this section and shall conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the church’s approved position on marriage.
Article XI – Church Socials, Weddings, Receptions, Concerts
Section 1. Church Socials, Weddings, Receptions:
(a) Church groups may use the Family Life Center and/or the Fellowship Hall at any time for socials and fellowships after obtaining permission from the Church Office; the only requirement is to clean and remove all trash before leaving. The leader of each group will be responsible for the cleaning of the building used.
(b) Weddings for church members may be performed in the Sanctuary at no charge except for a love offering to the Pastor and other participants. Weddings for non-church members may be performed in the Sanctuary for a fee as established by the Finance Committee. This fee is to be exclusive of the love offering received by the Pastor and other participants. All wedding ceremonies, receptions, and other related activities shall not be in violation of Article IX, Definition of Marriage.
(c) Receptions for church members may be held in the Fellowship Hall or Family Life Center. All facilities used must be cleaned, trash must be removed, and furniture must be replaced at least one hour prior to any service.
(d) Any non-church functions or functions sponsored by non-church members are to be approved by the staff and the Chairman of the Deacons. All such functions must be placed on the Church calendar at least two weeks prior to the event. Non-church members are to be specifically informed that no alcoholic beverages are permitted. All facilities must be cleaned, trash must be removed, and furniture must be replaced at least one hour prior to any service. A fee in the amount determined by the Finance Committee will be charged.
(e) No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the premises.
(f) No food or drinks are permitted in the sanctuary.
Section 2: Concerts:
Concerts may be held at the Port Royal Baptist Church provided the person or persons giving the concert understand that the only reimbursement is the Love Offering at the time of said concert.
Article XII – Voting
All matters coming before the Church at a regular or special business meeting shall be determined by a majority vote unless otherwise specified in the Church Constitution and/or By-Laws.
Any financial decision involving expenditures in excess of five (5) percent of the current operating church budget shall require a three-fourths vote of the members present and voting at a regular or special business meeting, provided the proposed expenditure shall have been offered in writing at a regular or special business meeting one month previously and published in the church bulletin or announced from the pulpit at the church services two successive weeks prior to such vote.
Article XIII – Amendments
This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a three-fourths vote of the members present and voting at a regular or special business meeting, provided the amendment shall have been offered in writing at a regular or special business meeting one month prior, and the purpose of the business meeting shall have been published in the church bulletin for two weeks, or announced from the pulpit at the church services two successive weeks prior to such vote. Such amendments shall be carefully studied by the proper committee and their recommendation in regard to such amendment given when it is presented for a vote.