Articles of Incorporation, Chater, & Bylaws
ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION OF THE
GREATER BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH
OF BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
GREATER BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH
OF BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Personally came and appeared the several persons whose names are subscribed who declare that, availing themselves of the provisions of the laws of this State relative to the formation and organization of Non-Profit Corporation, and particularly of the R.S. 12:201-265 incl., they have united to for and do, by these presents, form and organize themselves as well as all other persons who may hereafter join or become associated with them or their successors, into a Non-Profit Corporation for the objects and purposes and under the covenants, stipulations and agreements.
The object and purposes of this corporation are hereby declared to be: To establish and maintain a place or places of public worship and to conduct religious worship and expound and teach the Gospel and Scriptures of almighty God as reflected by the Holy Bible and in such manner to aid and assist in the evangelization of the Word in the Christian Faith.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles this organization shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on (1) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501©(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or (2) by a corporation contributions to which are deductible under Section 170©(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The name and title of this corporation shall be: GREATER BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH, and under said corporate name, it shall have succession and enjoy existence for a period of ninety-nine (99) years from and after the date of the Act, during which time it, generally, shall have powers, rights, privileges, capacities, and immunities which Non-Profit Corporations are authorized, and may hereafter be authorized to possess under the Constitution and Laws of this State, and particularly under Title 12m sec 110 et seg. Louisiana Revised Statues.
The domicile of this corporation shall be East Baton Rouge Parish, State of Louisiana, and the locator and post office address of its office shall be 955 East Polk Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70802.
This corporation under the leadership of the Pastor and Trustees Ministry has the power and authority to contract, sue, and be sued in its corporate name, to make and use a corporation seal, with such devise as may be hereafter determined upon, the same to break, alter or amend as may be deemed proper; to make and establish such rules and regulations of the affairs of said corporation; to change, alter or amend the same at pleasure, to borrow money, make notes, bonds or other obligations; and to hold, lease, receive, purchase, convey, and transfer, as well as mortgage and hypothecate, under its corporate name, both real and personal property.
The membership of this corporation shall be identical with the membership of said religious congregations and additional members may be received from time to time in any manner in which said religious congregation shall see fit to receive members.
The Pastor is hereby authorized and empowered to do and perform all executive acts of this corporation as outlined in Article III Section 1 or Article IV Section 1.
Legal services of process shall be made upon Legal Representative, Sonceree Smith Clark, 5665 South Leighton Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70806, and the Pastor, Michael D. Mallet, 1529 Kenilworth Parkway, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
All the corporate powers of this corporation as outlined in Article IX shall be vested in and exercised by the Trustees Ministry, consisting of the Deacon Ministry, the Church Treasurer, Church Secretary, and five (5) members of the said congregation. The five general members of the Trustees Ministry shall be elected for a three year term by a majority vote of the said congregation at its regular business meeting held in February and presented to the church body during March for approval.
Said Trustees Ministry shall have charge of the business and financial affairs thereof. They must execute legal papers in the name of the church when a purchase, transfer, or sale has been ordered by the authority of the said church. They are custodians of the church papers and titles, but can only exercise the powers vested in them by vote of the church. They shall serve until their successors have been elected and qualified in the manner herein provided.
The principal duties of the Deacons consist in administering the temporal affairs of the church; these include the relief of the poor, the support of public worship, the care of the Church property, and the proper provisions for the due administration of the ordinances.
In the exercise of their duties the Deacon Ministry shall be governed by a majority vote. The Deacons shall execute their duties with the approval of the Pastor.
Candidates for the Trustees Ministry shall be nominated in compliance with Article VII Section 3.D.
Vacancies in the membership of the Trustees Ministry, by removal, resignation or death, shall be filled by a majority vote of the members of said religious congregation at a business meeting called for that purpose, notice of which said meeting shall be given verbally from the pulpit at all Sunday religious services for one Sunday preceding the holding of said meeting.
The membership of this congregation shall have the power to amend the articles of incorporation and bylaws from time to time by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all members present at any business meeting called for the purpose, notice of which shall be given verbally from the pulpit at all Sunday religious services at the usual place of meeting for one Sunday, preceding the holding of said meeting.
This corporation may be dissolved by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of said religious congregation at a business meeting called for the purpose, notice of which shall be given verbally from the pulpit at all Sunday religious services at the usual place of meeting for four (4) consecutive Sundays, and in addition by posting said notice on the front door of the regular place of worship during said period.
BYLAWS OF THE
GREATER BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH
OF BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
GREATER BEULAH BAPTIST CHURCH
OF BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Recognizing the democratic nature of the Baptist Faith and practice and the fundamental right of every Baptist Church to self-government, we affirm the right of each individual to seek Christian truth under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The church accepts the Scriptures of the Holy Bible as sufficient basis of doctrine and practice. As a summary of principles for Christian conduct among the members, it adopts the Church Covenant as contained in the “Appendix”. We adopt the following Charter and By-Laws to protect the freedom, exemplified in the life teaching of JESUS CHRIST, the Head of the Church, and as a guide in conducting our business and maintaining our Fellowship.
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of the church shall be the Greater Beulah Baptist Church. The Greater Beulah Baptist Church was established November, 1929, in Baton Rouge, LA (East Baton Rouge Parish). The congregation is incorporated in its own name, not for profit, under the laws of the State of Louisiana and in the Constitution of the United States of America.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of the Greater Beulah Baptist Church shall be the advancement of the Kingdom of God through preaching the gospel at home and around the world; to win lost souls to faith in Jesus Christ; to train and teach the believer; to maintain fellowship; to exalt the Christian standard of living according to the Holy Scripture and under the leadership of the Pastor, as he is led by God, our Divine Lord and Master; to cooperate in promoting the Christian brotherhood/sisterhood in extending the Kingdom of God.
ARTICLE III – GOVERNMENT
The government of the Greater Beulah Baptist Church shall be vested in the body which comprises its membership. It is an autonomous ecclesiastical body; however, it may maintain affiliation and cooperation with the Fourth District Missionary Baptist Association; Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention; the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Incorporated and any of the local affiliations; district, state or national associations institutes, or conventions that would be of Baptist origin and focus necessary for Christian education and missionary outreach programs. All issues regarding the church and its governance, shall be brought to the Pastor first, after which said issues shall be discussed with the Deacon Ministry. If it is determined that the issue merits discussion/vote of the congregation, said discussion/vote shall be brought to the congregation as outlined in this document.
SECTION 1. OFFICERS
- Pastor (Ex-Officio President)
- Vice-President (Chairman of Deacon Ministry)
- Chairman of Trustee Ministry
SECTION 2. MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
- The membership shall consist of persons who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, give evidence of Christian experience, and who having been baptized by immersion, enter into the spirit of the Covenant of this Church.
- New members are mandated to attend the New Members Course conducted by the Pastor or Pastor’s designee.
SECTION 3. METHODS OF RECEIVING MEMBERS
- BAPTISM – A person who confesses Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, who agrees with the faith and practices of Baptist doctrine as outlined in the Greater Beulah Baptist Church Member’s Handbook, and who is baptized by immersion, may be received in the fellowship of this church.
- LETTER – A person who has been baptized by immersion and agrees with the faith and practices of Baptist doctrine as outlined in the Greater Beulah Baptist Church Member’s Handbook, may be received by a letter of recommendation from another Baptist church.
- CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE – A person who has been a baptized member of this or another church, but for sufficient reason cannot secure a letter of dismissal or recommendation from another church and who agrees with the faith and practices of Baptist doctrine as outlined in the Greater Beulah Baptist Church Member’s Handbook, may be received upon statement of Christian experience or restored to this fellowship.
SECTION 3.1. WATCH-CARE
A person under Watch-Care is defined as a person who is in the community for a limited period. They may request to be granted temporary membership, but do not have voting rights.
SECTION 4. DUTIES OF MEMBERS
Church members are expected to be faithful in all spiritual duties essential to Christian life, attend regularly the services of this church, and share in the organized work of the Church. Church members are strongly encouraged to contribute their talents in the promotion of church work and advancement of the Kingdom of God and contribute through their consistent tithes, pledges, and offerings.
SECTION 5. TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
- DEATH – When a member of the church expires, the name of that person shall be removed from the active membership roll and recorded in the permanent record.
- LETTER – Any member in good standing, who desires a letter of termination or recommendation to any other church, may receive it upon request.
- NO CONTACT – Any member who has made no contact or communication with the church by taking Holy Communion and giving financial support within three months with no notice, shall be removed from the active membership roll and placed on the inactive membership roll. Both the member and the church have an obligation to make every effort to keep in such contact. The Pastor or a Deacon will make every effort to contact individuals after two months of no contact.
ARTICLE IV – PASTORATE
SECTION 1. THE PASTOR
- The Pastor shall be an ordained Baptist minister called to an indefinite term of office.
- The Pastor shall be evaluated on an annual basis by a committee of members made up of one representative from each of the church’s ministries and one general church member.
- The Pastor shall be the spiritual leader, administrator, and official representative of the church. The Pastor shall preach the Gospel, administer the ordinances, visit the sick-and-shut-in, and be in charge of the spiritual welfare of the congregation and the stated services of the public worship. The Pastor shall serve as ex-officio member of all ministries, committees, and other organizations of the church. The Pastor shall have voting privileges.
SECTION 2. PASTOR’S SALARY AND FRINGE BENEFITS
The Pastor’s salary and fringe benefits shall be fixed by the church membership and may be adjusted by a two-thirds vote of the membership present at any regular or scheduled business meeting, provided that such an adjustment is in line with the church budget as determined by the Deacon and Trustee Ministries. A quorum of the active membership must be present before any vote may take place.
- The Pastor’s salary shall be paid in monthly installments.
- The Pastor shall be given an annual vacation with provisions as follows:
1. After he has completed one year of service – two weeks vacation.
2. After he has completed four years of service – three weeks vacation.
3. After he has completed six years of service – four weeks vacation.
SECTION 3. TERMS OF OFFICE
- Pastor’s term of office may be ended immediately upon written or verbal notice from the Pastor. A letter of confirmation from the church shall follow within five days.
SECTION 4. WHEN THE PULPIT IS VACANT
- When it is necessary to call a Pastor, the church shall select a Pulpit Search Committee. The committee shall consist of a representative from each ministry of the church. The chairman of the Deacon Ministry shall call the meeting and the Pulpit Search Committee will select a chairperson.
- It shall be the duty of this committee to search for and finally recommend a candidate(s) to the church. The committee shall investigate all candidates, prayerfully and carefully screening each, as they make personal contacts, determining their ability to preach and Pastor, give due consideration to their education, Pastoral experience, and their personal character and reputation. The committee shall be assured that the candidates’ credentials are verified before they are presented. A two-thirds majority vote of the committee is needed to accept/approve a Pastor.
- When a suitable candidate(s) is selected, he will meet with the chairman of the trustees ministry, the chairman of the Deacon ministry, and the chairperson of the Pulpit Search Committee or designee, to discuss financial arrangements. When an agreement has been reached, the candidate(s) shall be presented to the church where a two-thirds majority vote of the present membership is needed to accept/approve the Pastor. Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall be given to the church on two consecutive Sundays prior to the call meeting. The vote shall not be conducted by secret ballot.
SECTION 5. INTERIM PASTORS
- It is at the discretion of the Pulpit Search Committee to select an Interim Pastor.
- The Interim Pastor may apply for the permanent Pastor position.
- All final decisions regarding church operations will be made by the Deacon Ministry until a permanent Pastor is selected.
SECTION 6. TERMINATION OF SERVICES
- The church may terminate the services of the Pastor by a two-thirds majority vote of members present at a regularly scheduled or specially called business meeting provided the church membership has been duly notified on at least two successive Sundays in advance. The stated purpose of declaring the pulpit vacant must be specifically stated in each notice. The vote shall not be conducted by secret ballot.
- The church may terminate the services of the Pastor, if found guilty either by a Court of Law in the United States or as the result of a hearing conducted by the Deacon Ministry of any of the following:
- Conviction of a felony
- Immoral conduct
- Any other act that may disgrace the name of the church
- Should the church declare the pulpit vacant, the Pastor shall immediately cease and desist the performance of all Pastoral duties and responsibilities. The Pastor must surrender all church property without delay and vacate the church offices within five days from the date of the vote terminating his services.
- The church shall pay the departing Pastor an amount equal to no more than the average monthly salary for that month. No other allowances will be paid for during this period.
SECTION 7. ASSISTANT PASTOR
- In the event that the church considers it necessary to have an Assistant Pastor, the Pastor is given authority to recommend such an assistant or associate, subject to the consent and approval of the church body in the same manner for the calling of the Pastor. The Assistant Pastor shall have the same qualifications as the Pastor.
- In the event that an Assistant Pastor is selected, he/she shall have the following duties:
- All the duties outlined for the Pastor in the absence of the Pastor.
- He/She shall administer to the sick and shut-ins in cooperation with the Pastor.
- He/She shall have any other related duties regarded as assigned by the Pastor.
- Compensation of the Assistant Pastor shall be in an amount recommended by the Deacon and Trustees Ministries and approved by the church at a regular business meeting or at a properly called meeting.
ARTICLE VII – CHURCH OFFICERS
SECTION 1. DEACON MINISTRY
- There shall be a Deacon Ministry who shall be ordained in accordance with the Holy Bible (Acts 6:1-8 and Timothy 3:8-13).
- This office shall be filled upon a recommendation that is made by the Pastor to the Deacon Ministry for presentation to the church during a regular business meeting.
- Any member of the Deacon Ministry who feels that a candidate is not suited for the office of Deacon shall apprise the Pastor of any legitimate charge or charges at a regular Deacon Ministry meeting. The charge or charges must be stated in writing, presenting evidence that is clear, concise, and convincing; after which, the Pastor will make the final decision as to whether the person will remain a candidate.
- An eligible brother will be placed in the Deacon Ministry for rigorous training and preparation. Upon recommendation of the Deacons and acceptance by the church he shall be ordained.
- Deacons shall hold office as long as they shall faithfully discharge their duties. (refer to Article VIII of the Articles of Incorporation)
- Any Deacon who fails to faithfully perform the duties of a Deacon shall be subject to dismissal from the Deacon Ministry except when illness or employment is a hindrance. The church may for a good and sufficient cause remove a Deacon from active office.
- The Deacon Ministry shall recommend annually a Chairman and Secretary to the church body for approval. The ministry shall meet each month.
- Special meetings of the Deacon Ministry may be called by the Chairman and upon approval of the Pastor. A majority of the members of the ministry shall constitute a quorum.
- The Deacon Ministry shall in every way assist the Pastor in his work, cooperate with him in promoting Christian instructions, minister to the church membership, and assist in administering the ordinances.
- Deacon Ministry members shall visit the sick members, care for the sick, needy and distressed members, and use the Mission Funds as needed with the approval of the Chairman and Pastor.
- The Deacon Ministry shall make a written report at each monthly meeting of matters in its charge.
SECTION 2. DEACONESS MINISTRY
- There shall be a Deaconess Ministry comprised of sisters who are members who have been recommended by the Pastor and approved by the church body.
- The Deaconesses shall cooperate with the Pastor and the Deacon Ministry in visiting the members, in caring for the sick, the needy and distressed of the church and in the preparation and observance of the Lord’s Supper and the care of the pulpit.
- The Deaconess Ministry shall elect a Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. The ministry shall meet regularly and report all activities to the Deacon Ministry.
- Deaconesses shall hold office as long as they shall faithfully discharge their duties.
- Any Deaconess who fails to faithfully perform the duties of a Deaconess shall be subject to dismissal from the Deaconess Ministry except when illness or employment is a hindrance. The church may for a good and sufficient cause remove a Deaconess from active office.
SECTION 3. TRUSTEES MINISTRY
- The character of a Trustee shall be above reproach. He/She shall be honest in all dealings of good judgement, possess ability and experience in execution of the duties assigned to the ministry.
- The Trustees Ministry shall be responsible for the acquisition, maintenance, and administration of repairs, replacement, sale, and construction of all church property. The ministry shall be responsible for affixing signatures and execution of all legal documents pertaining to deeds, stock, bank notes, mortgages, savings, checking, and special accounts upon authorization of the church. The ministry shall be custodian of titles, property, stocks, bonds, cash, and other church assets. The ministry shall receive hold over/or disburse all negotiable assets, legacies, and special gifts, which are the property of the church upon approval of the church body. Further, the ministry shall submit detailed reports of receipts and expenditures on funds, mortgages, and real estate annually at the Church Business Meeting.
- All matters pertaining to the purchase, sale, loans, or mortgaging of property of the church shall be voted on by the church body. At least three bids shall be submitted wherever applicable, before approval will be considered by the church body.
- The Trustees Ministry shall consist of the Deacon Ministry and five person nominated by either the Pastor or a Deacon, and will be duly elected by the church. The church Treasurer and the church Secretary shall be members of the Trustees Ministry.
- Those Trustees who are not the Pastor, members of the Deacon Ministry, the Treasurer, or the Secretary shall be elected for a three year term. Trustees shall be eligible to return to their office for an additional three year term as long as they faithfully discharge the duties of the office. Any trustee who fails to perform the duties of his/her office without good and sufficient reasons, automatically vacates the office.
- All trustees serve at the will of the Pastor. If at any time the Pastor determines that an individual is not fulfilling his/her responsibilities, he may be removed as a Trustee regardless of his/her position on any other ministry. As the need arises to add or replace a member to the Trustees Ministry, the same may be done by the Pastor and Trustees Ministry, subject to approval of the church body at a regular or called church meeting.
- Officers of the Trustees Ministry shall consist of a chairperson and vice-chairperson. The church Secretary shall act as the recording secretary for the Trustees Ministry.
- The Trustees Ministry shall maintain and provide the membership with regular reports of the Church’s finances on an annual basis and prepare an annual church budget for approval by the church body.
- Review the budget quarterly to discern that each department is operating within its budget and develop a more realistic subsequent budget.
SECTION 4. TREASURER
- The treasurer shall have custody of the funds of the church and shall make deposits in the bank(s) selected by the Trustee Ministry as soon as possible.
- The treasurer/Trustees Ministry shall have custody of the securities, investments, title papers, and other valuable documents of the church. Originals of such documents are to be maintained in a safe deposit box of the financial institution where the church’s deposits are kept, with copies in the church’s office. All insurance policies or annuities on which the church pays the premium shall be placed in the safe deposit box with copies in the Church’s office.
- The Pastor, Treasurer, Secretary, and the Chairperson of the Trustee Ministry shall have access to the keys of any and all safe deposit boxes held by the church. The key should be maintained in the church office, and should be signed out and back in from the church office.
- The treasurer shall submit to the Pastor, Deacons, Trustees and members information regarding the status of the treasury upon request.
- The Treasurer, Chairman of the Trustee Ministry, Secretary, Pastor, and one other member of the Trustee Ministry shall serve as signatory on church’s bank accounts and securities.
SECTION 5. SECRETARY
The duties of the Secretary shall be to:
- Record and maintain the minutes of all church meetings. The minutes shall be read for approval at each subsequent church meeting.
- Record and maintain the names and addresses of members, with dates and manner of admission and/or termination.
- Provide each member with a letter of membership to be signed by the Pastor.
- Issue letters of termination of membership upon request of a member to be signed by the Pastor.
- Preserve on file all communications and written reports relevant to the duties of various departments.
- Give legal notice of all meetings where such is required by this document.
- Shall keep a summary of the financial standing of the church and report such to the Trustee Ministry monthly.
- Prepare all Church Resolutions to be signed by the Pastor.
- Prepare, distribute, and file copies of Certificates of Baptism to be signed by the Pastor.
- Maintain the records of all funerals, marriages, and baby dedications.
- Serve as a member to the Trustees Ministry until a successor is elected.
- Produce weekly church bulletins and provide ample copies of the Church Covenant.
- Develop and maintain a list of all contributors.
- Keep a record of all funds collected in the name of the church.
- Provide a report of the funds collected every month to the Trustees Ministry.
- Maintain all records of tithes, pledges, and contributions of individual members and non-members in the church office.
- Distribute to individual members their records of pledges and contributions upon request.
- Upon completion of his/her term of office or when otherwise ordered by the church, the secretary shall deliver immediately to the successor all books and records for which he or she has been responsible.
- Copies of all records shall be kept in the church’s office on the computer and shall be backed up on an external hard drive.
SECTION 6. COMPENSATION FOR SERVICE
The Secretary shall be given a salary which will be recommended by the Pastor to the Trustees Ministry for approval.
SECTION 7. CHURCH RECORDS
A copy of all church records and reports shall be maintained in the church building and all officers shall deliver immediately to his/her successor all records and inventory pertaining to said office.
ARTICLE VIII CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Christian Education programs will include the following (non-exclusive list):
- Sunday Bible Study
- Vacation Bible School (Youth and Adults)
- Weekly Bible Study
- New Members Classes
- Baptist Church Leadership Classes
- Discipleship Classes
- Pre-Marriage and Marriage Counseling
ARTICLE IX – MISSION FUNDS
These funds are to be used to assist the needy and distressed. Recipients’ names must be held in strict confidence, except when a donation is made to a member of the church upon the death in the immediate family (i.e., mother, father, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents, and legal guardian).
The funds shall be distributed by checks and/or vouchers to specific companies on behalf of the person, upon approval of the committee which will consist of the Pastor and Trustees.
The committee shall report the number and type of requests, the disposition, and financial status of the Mission Fund at the annual Church Business meeting. Funds are to be distributed at the discretion of the committee.
ARTICLE X – MEETINGS
SECTION 1. WORSHIP SERVICE
- Worship shall be held on each Sunday.
SECTION 2. COMMUNION SERVICE
- The Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated on the second Sunday of each month and at such times as the church selects.
SECTION 3. BUSINESS MEETINGS
- Annual business meetings shall be held on the last Wednesday in the month of February. Additional business meetings shall be held as needed.
SECTION 4. SPECIAL MEETINGS
- Special meetings of any church auxiliary or ministry may be called by the Pastor or the Pastor’s designee.
- Notices of such meetings and the reason for calling them shall be given on the Sunday preceding the date of the meeting, if possible.
- At any regular meeting of worship, the church may, without notice, act upon emergency measures. Regular business shall not be transacted at a special meeting.
ARTICLE XI – ELECTION
- The annual election of ministry officers shall be held in January and presented to the church body during the annual business meeting for approval. Installation of officers shall be held the first Sunday in March and the duly installed officers shall assume their duties immediately.
- All annual elections shall be a secret ballot, unless otherwise approved by the members in attendance. A simple majority of the votes cast being necessary for the election of an officer.
- It shall be the privilege of any member, qualified to vote, to place in nomination the name of any eligible member for office.
- Any member of the church, eighteen years and older, who is certified by the church Secretary as a member in good standing, is qualified to vote. Voting by proxy shall be permitted if witnessed by two officers.
- Office vacancies during the year may be filled by election for the unexpired terms at any regular ministry meeting.
ARTICLE XII – CHURCH FISCAL YEAR
The church annual fiscal year shall be from January 1 to December 31.
ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENTS
The church charter and bylaws may be amended at a regular or called meeting of the church by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the membership present at any regular or scheduled business meeting. Before such a vote can be taken, written notice of the proposed amendment shall be published and/or announced from the pulpit two weeks in advance.
The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the business proceedings of this church in all cases where they are not in conflict with the charter of the Greater Beulah Baptist Church.