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About Us > Constitution

Constitution

Constitution of the DelawareBaptist Association

Article I - Name

This Association shall be called the Delaware Baptist Association (hereafter referred to as “this Association” in this document).
 

Article II - Purpose

Section 1 General. The purpose of the Delaware Baptist Association is to provide the means for cooperating churches to fulfill Christ's Great Commission.

Section 2 Cooperation. This Association shall strive to effect a close cooperation with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCMD) and the Southern Baptist Convention (S.B.C.) with which bodies this Association declares itself to be in friendly cooperation.

Section 3 Authority. This Association does not have any ecclesiastical authority to limit the autonomy of the local congregation.

Article III - Incorporation

Section 1 Legal Authority. The Delaware Baptist Association shall be incorporated and comply with all regulations and ordinances pertaining to the General Corporation Law of Delaware.

Section 2 Incorporators. The incorporators shall be the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and Director of Missions, who serve as the administrative officers for the corporation and as trustees for this Association.

Section 3 Duties. The administrative officers shall transact all legal matters, with the approval of the messengers attending the annual meetings and they shall hold all legal documents for this Association.

Section 4 Meetings. The incorporators, or their successors, shall meet within one month prior to the annual meeting of this Association and at such times, as it may be necessary, to transact legal matters for this Association.

Article IV - Membership

Section 1 General. An affiliated church shall be one supporting the S.B.C. program, the doctrines, policies, and finances of this Association. The New Testament shall be accepted as the sole guide in matters of doctrine and practice. The "Baptist Faith and Message" (1963 or 2000), shall be used as a guide for interpretation, however it is not intended to be used as a creed.

Section 2 New Members. Churches desiring to become members of this Association will present their written application for membership to the Director of Missions of this Association for presentation to the Leadership Team (Article VI, Section 1). Fellowship with a church shall be extended by a 3/4 vote of the messengers at this Association’s annual meeting.

A Southern Baptist sponsored (by a local affiliated church and/or Association) and Southern Baptist churches transferring into the Delaware Baptist Association from another Baptist Association shall present a letter of recommendation from the sponsoring church or Director of Missions.

B Non-sponsored new church starts and/or an unaffiliated church requesting membership will come under the watch-care of this Association through the Leadership Team for the purpose of determining eligibility. They will present a letter requesting membership along with their Articles of Faith, Constitution and Bylaws, and a statement of church policy. Watch-care will take no less than six months and no more than one year.

Section 3 Association Dissolving Fellowship with Churches. This Association may dissolve affiliation with any church which fails to cooperate with this Association as defined in Section 1 of this Article or which fails to be represented by messengers or letter for more than two annual meetings. Before fellowship is withdrawn, the Leadership Team shall attempt to meet with the church involved to reconcile differences and report its findings at the next annual meeting. Fellowship with a church within this Association shall be withdrawn by a 3/4 vote of the messengers at an annual meeting.

Section 4 Churches Dissolving Fellowship with Association. There shall be full recognition of the independence of the local church, which may, at its pleasure, withdraw from membership in this Association. In order for this Association to consider membership withdrawal, a request, in writing, must be received from the clerk of said church. The request for withdrawal will be referred to the Leadership Team for examination and recommendations to this Association for final action. Fellowship with a church within this Association shall be withdrawn by a 3/4 vote of the messengers at the annual meeting.

Section 5 Messengers. Churches composing this Association shall be represented at the annual meeting or special meetings as follows: Every member church shall be entitled to two messengers for the first twenty members or fraction thereof, and one additional messenger for every additional thirty members; however no church shall have more than fifteen messengers. The pastor of each member church is automatically a messenger of this Association and therefore is not to be included in the above.

Article V - Meetings

Section 1. The time and place for holding the meetings of this Association shall be decided by a vote of this Association at the preceding annual meeting. Should it not be expedient to meet at the place chosen by this Association, the Leadership Team shall select a new place of meeting and give due notice thereof to all the churches.

Section 2. This Association shall hold an annual meeting for the purpose of electing officers for the new year and for dealing with other such matters as may demand attention. The business of this Association shall be transacted at the annual meeting.

Section 3. The Leadership Team may convene a special meeting of this Association provided at least one week notice of the time, place, and purpose of said meeting is given to all the churches.
Article VI - Officers

Section 1 General. The officers of this Association shall be a Moderator, a Vice-Moderator, a Treasurer, and an Assistant Treasurer. No person shall be elected to as an officer until he/she has been a member of a cooperating church for one year. The Treasurer shall make reports to the Leadership Team at its regular meetings, and to this Association at the annual meetings. No person shall be elected to serve concurrently in more than one office as described in this article.

Section 2 Election. The Director of Missions shall nominate those vacancies, with input from this Associational staff and present members of the Leadership Team, at this Association’s annual meeting for a Moderator (one year term), a Vice-Moderator (one year term), a Treasurer, an Assistant Treasurer and four At-Large Members (three year terms). The nominees will be elected by the member’s presents at the annual meeting. Normally, the Vice-Moderator assumes the duties of the Moderator the succeeding year.

Section 3 Duties. The duties of the officers shall include:

A. Moderator:

  1. Presides at meetings of this Association and Leadership Team.
  2. Serves as ex-officio member of all ad hoc committees.
  3. Serves on the Leadership Team and as an incorporator of this Association
  4. Appoints such temporary committees as are approved by this Association and/or the Leadership Team.

B. Vice-Moderator:

  1. Assists the Moderator in the work as required.
  2. Assumes the duties of the Moderator in the Moderator's absence.
  3. Serves on the Leadership Team.

C. Treasurer:

  1. Keeps all W-4's and W-2's current.
  2. Figures monthly and quarterly payroll taxes and complete all necessary forms.
  3. Serves on the Leadership Team.

D. Assistant Treasurer:

  1. Assists the Treasurer in the work as required.
  2. Assumes the duties of the Treasurer when the Treasurer is absent or resigns.
  3. Serves on the Leadership Team.

E. At-Larger Member:

  1. Serves as area representative for members of this Association.
  2. Serves on the Leadership Team.
     

Article VII - Teams and Committees

Section 1 Leadership Team.

A. Composition. The Leadership Team shall be composed of the Director of Missions, the Treasurer, the Church Planting Missionary, the Campus Ministry Director, the Ministry Evangelism/Family Life Director, the Moderator, the Vice-Moderator, the Assistant Treasurer, and four At-Large Members. Each member shall have voting privileges.

B. Duties: The Leadership Team will act as an emergency action committee on urgent matters on behalf of this Association between annual meetings. It shall also oversee the daily administrative functions of this Association regarding finances, ministries, and programming in accordance with this Association’s Constitution and Bylaws, personnel policies, budget, and other directives and policies enacted or approved at annual meetings. The Team shall also appoint ad-hoc committees in accordance with Section 2 Ad-Hoc Committees to this Article. It shall have the authority to call a special meeting of this Association.

C. Meetings. The Leadership Team shall meet quarterly or at the request of the Director of Missions or the Moderator. A 2/3 representation of the members, electronically or physically present, shall constitute a quorum. No proxy votes are permitted.

Section 2. Ad-Hoc Committees.

A. Composition: An Ad-Hoc Committee, sufficient to carry on specific work of this Association and to execute the spirit of this constitution, shall be appointed by the Director of Missions or Moderator followed by the approval of the Leadership Team, as the need may arise. Possible Ad-Hoc Committees could be but not limited to personnel, credentials, mission development, programs, and/or constitution.
Article VIII - Associational Staff

Section 1. Director of Missions.

A. Selection: When a vacancy occurs, the Moderator will appoint a search committee to work with the General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in seeking a successor. A suitable candidate shall be recommended to the Leadership Team for hiring subject to the approval of this Association at large, the General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

B. Duties: The duties of the Director of Missions shall include:

Gives leadership and direction to the programs of mission work and church extension in this Association.
Gives leadership, encouragement, and assistance as needed to the total Associational program of the Delaware Baptist Association.
Performs other duties as outlined in this Association approved job description.
Serves on the Leadership Team and as an incorporator of this Association.

Section 2. Administrative Assistant.

A. Selection: The Director of Missions shall hire the Administrative Assistant with the approval of the Ad-Hoc Personnel Committee.

B. Duties: The Administrative Assistant is responsible to the Director of Missions in all administrative matters related to the work of this Association with specific duties as specified in the "Administrative Assistant Job Description" approved by the Ad-Hoc Personnel Committee. The Administrative Assistant shall also:

Keep minutes of the annual meetings and Leadership Team.
Prepares and distribute copies of this Association minutes annually in sufficient quantity for member churches.
Seeks to preserve the records of this Association for historical purposes.
Performs other duties as outlined in this Association approved job description.
Serves on the Leadership Team and as an incorporator of this Association.

Section 3. Director of Campus Ministries.

A. Selection: When a vacancy occurs, the Director of Missions along with the Campus Ministry Council will work with the General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in seeking a successor. A suitable candidate shall be recommended to the Leadership Team for hiring subject to the approval of the General Mission Board of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, and the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

B. Duties: The duties of the Director of Campus Ministry shall include:

  1. Develop and coordinate such campus activities and programs so as to reach students for Christ and facilitate an atmosphere for Christian Growth, fellowship, and personal involvement in ministry.
  2. Perform other duties as outlined in this Association approved job description
  3. Serve on the Leadership Team

Section 4 Church Planter Missionary

A. Selection: When a vacancy occurs the Director of Missions will appoint a search team to work with the Church Planting Director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware and the North American Mission Board in seeking a successor. A candidate shall be recommended to the Leadership Team subject to the approval of this Association at large, the General Mission Board of Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, and North American Mission Board.

B. Duties: The duties of the Church Planter Missionary shall include:

  1. Supervises, mentors, and helps resource church planters called to the Delaware Baptist Association.
  2. Oversees the enlistment, training, and organization of this Association’s church planting network.
  3. Works with this Association to develop a church planting strategy.

Section 5 Ministry Evangelism and Family Life Director

A. Selection: When a vacancy occurs the Director of Missions will appoint a search team to work with the Ministry Evangelism Director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, the North American Mission Board, and Executive Director of Baptist Family and Children’s Services in seeking a successor. A candidate shall be recommended to the Leadership Team subject to the approval of this Association at large, the General Mission Board of Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, and North American Mission Board.

B. Duties: The duties of the Ministry Evangelism and Family Director shall include:

  1. Give oversight to current associational ministry evangelism work and facilitate the process of developing new ministry evangelism opportunities within the Association.
  2. Assist Delaware Baptist Association churches in discovering ministry evangelism opportunities and developing strategy for effective ministry evangelism
  3. Facilitate the development of an associational strategy for family ministry and serve as consultant to Delaware Baptist Association churches in the area of family ministry.
  4. Develop and implement a strategy for networking Delaware Baptist Association churches with Baptist Family and Children’s Services

Article IX- Rules of Order

The most recent edition of "Robert's Rules of Order" shall be the guide for all deliberative meetings unless otherwise provided for.

Article X - Amendments

Amendments may be made to the Constitution by the concurrence of two-thirds (2/3) of the messengers present at any annual meeting, provided two thirds of the churches are represented, and at least one month has elapsed since the proposed amendments have been presented to this Association leadership and pastors in writing. If a proposed amendment is amended at an annual meeting it may be voted on at that annual meeting.

Providing the Means of Cooperating Churches to Fullfil Christ's Great Commission.