- RELATIONSHIP OF CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
- ADMISSION TO MEMBERSHIP OF THE ASSOCIATION
- that the CHURCH is autonomous and as such is free to manage its own affairs in terms of its own adopted constitution.
- that the Statement of belief, Declaration of Principle and the Statement of Baptist Principles of the CHURCH are in accord with the statements of the ASSOCIATION.
- that the government of the CHURCH conforms to Baptist Principles and is acceptable to the ASSOCIATION.
- that the CHURCH is meeting in an area where there is no other Baptist witness, or if there is another Baptist witness in the area, that the area warrants the establishment of a further CHURCH.
- That the CHURCH is numerically strong enough to maintain a viable Baptist CHURCH.
- that the CHURCH desires and is likely to play a full part in the local ASSOCIATION and UNION activities.
- that in the present membership there are leaders who are experienced in Baptist Churchmanship and principles of Baptist church administration.
- The applying CHURCH shall submit the following documentation to the Secretary of the ASSOCIATION at least three months prior to the ASSEMBLY:
- A completed Application for Membership form.
- Statistics of average church attendance over the last twelve months.
- Two copies of its Constitution.
- Income and Expenditure Statements and a Balance sheet for its last completed financial year.
- A letter of recommendation from a MEMBER CHURCH commenting on the above criteria.
- A sub-committee appointed by the EXECUTIVE shall process the application, and if possible visit the applicant CHURCH. The sub-committee shall make their recommendation with comments to the EXECUTIVE.
- When the EXECUTIVE is satisfied that the applicant CHURCH conforms to the criteria laid down, the application shall be recommended to a MEMBERS MEETING for final acceptance.
- RECOGNITION OF FELLOWSHIPS
- CRITERIA FOR THE RECOGNITION OF FELLOWSHIPS
- the FELLOWSHIP is meeting in an area where there is no other Baptist witness, or if there is another Baptist witness in the area, that the area warrants the establishment of a further Baptist witness
- the FELLOWSHIP meets on a regular basis
- the FELLOWSHIP attends ASSOCIATION functions and contributes to the ASSOCIATION’S budget
- the FELLOWSHIP has the potential and aim of becoming a member church.
- The FELLOWSHIP shall submit a completed application form, supply the information required and if possible submit a letter of recommendation from a MEMBER CHURCH at least three months prior to the MEMBERS MEETING to the Secretary of the ASSOCIATION.
- A sub-committee, appointed by the EXECUTIVE shall consider the Application and make recommendations with comments to the EXECUTIVE.
- When the EXECUTIVE is satisfied that the FELLOWSHIP meets the criteria which has been laid down the application for recognition shall be recommended to a MEMBERS’ MEETING for acceptance.
- MEMBERS’ MEETINGS
- The ASSOCIATION shall meet at least once every four months, possibly in different locations, with a common shared agenda. The EXECUTIVE may, at any time, call a special MEMBERS’ MEETING giving adequate (at least two full weeks) notice of such meeting in writing to all member churches. Meetings shall be notified in writing by means of SMS / Email/Postal or any other means deemed “adequate”.
- The MEMBERS’ MEETINGS shall review the ongoing work of the ASSOCIATION, the appointed staff and the MINISTRY COMMITTEES.
- The MEMBERS’ MEETINGS shall also provide opportunity for fellowship, mutual encouragement, challenge and motivation.
- In the case of an emergency arising between ASSEMBLIES the ASSOCIATION at a MEMBERS’ MEETING may perform all such acts, handle such matters, sign and execute such deeds and documents, as it may deem necessary, in the interests of the ASSOCIATION.
Any resolution passed pursuant to the powers hereby vested in the MEMBERS MEETING shall be deemed to be a resolution of the ASSEMBLY. Any action thus taken shall be reported to the next ASSEMBLY.
- NOTICE OF MEETINGS
- Notice of the ASSEMBLY of the ASSOCIATION shall be sent to MEMBER CHURCHES at least 60 days prior to the date of meeting.
- Notice of other MEMBERS MEETINGS shall be sent to MEMBER CHURCHES at least 30 days prior to the date of meeting.
- Failure of any MEMBER CHURCH to receive notice will not invalidate the proceedings.
- APPOINTMENT OF DELEGATES TO MEMBERS MEETINGS
- The Secretary shall recommend to MEMBER CHURCHES that the appointment of DELEGATES be made for a period of twelve months commencing with the ASSEMBLY.
- All DELEGATES to the ASSEMBLY shall register, on the forms provided for that purpose, by the Secretary. DELEGATES shall submit the forms together with registration fees before the date set annually by the EXECUTIVE.
- CONDUCT OF BUSINESS AT MEMBERS’ MEETINGS
- The Chairman of the ASSOCIATION shall enter upon his office at the opening session of the ASSEMBLY and shall thereafter preside at all sessions thereof. In the event of his failing to take the chair the Vice Chairman shall do so, failing which, a Chairperson shall be elected by the ASSEMBLY. The Chairperson shall have a deliberative vote only.
- Unless otherwise herein provided, voting on all matters shall be by show of hands subject to the right of any ten members to demand a ballot.
- Matters for discussion shall be announced on the Agenda sent with the Notice of the Meeting to all MEMBER CHURCHES.
- Notices of motion shall be submitted to the Secretary of the ASSOCIATION in writing, signed by the proposer and seconder, at least thirty days prior to the MEMBERS MEETING. Proposals contained in these notices, together with any proposals then available from the EXECUTIVE, shall be sent to MEMBER CHURCHES at least 21 days prior to the MEMBERS’ MEETING.
- Notwithstanding the above, the EXECUTIVE shall have full right at any time to bring a proposal to a MEMBERS’ MEETING.
- A motion for which due notice, as required in 8.3 above, has not been given may be considered upon the unanimous permission of the MEMBERS’ MEETING. If however, the matter introduced without the notice of motion is deemed by the MEMBERS’ MEETING to be a major matter, no vote shall be taken.
- Any matter brought forward without prior notice (either by Notice of motion or in the Announcement of the meeting) shall require a seventy–five percent (75%) vote of the DELEGATES present and voting in order to carry the motion. If the motion is lost the matter may be carried forward to a subsequent meeting when, provided that the matter is placed on the Agenda for that meeting, the matter may be decided by a simple majority.
- The ASSEMBLY or any MEMBERS’ MEETING may, in order to facilitate specific business, appoint Committees to deal therewith. The Conveners and quorum of committees shall be fixed by the relevant meeting. Each Committee shall elect its own Chairperson and minutes of business shall be recorded and upon a majority vote of the MEMBERS’ MEETING be made available for use in that or other Meeting. Reports of each Committee shall be submitted in writing and be signed by the Chairperson of the Committee.
- The ASSEMBLY shall be held in the second quarter of the ASSOCIATION year.
- Resolutions of the ASSEMBLY and of MEMBERS’ MEETINGS shall be executed by the EXECUTIVE unless the Meeting directs otherwise.
- THE APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS AND ELECTED MEMBERS TO THE EXECUTIVE
- Nominations for Secretary and Treasurer shall be called for from both CHURCHES and REGIONS, to be elected at the ASSEMBLY. Voting shall take place according to point 10 of the By-Laws.
- REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES/S to the EXECUTIVE shall be nominated from within each REGION.
- Where a REGION does not nominate its REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE/S these may be appointed by the EXECUTIVE. Failure to nominate a representative by a region will be regarded as the REGION giving the right to the EXECUTIVE for such appointment.
- The names of the REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES will be brought to the ASSEMBLY for ratification. Voting shall take place according to point 10 of the By-Laws.
- The EXECUTIVE shall nominate, vote on and appoint from its own number a Chairman and Vice-Chairman. The Vice-Chairman shall assume the responsibilities of the Chairman in the absence of a Chairman.
- The names of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall presented to the first MEMBERS MEETING after the ASSEMBLY for ratification. Voting shall take place according to point 10 of the By-Laws.
- OFFICERS of the EXECUTIVE shall serve for a period of one year, but may be eligible for nomination for re-election for further one-year consecutive periods.
- The ASSEMBLY shall appoint annually an Honorary Auditor to examine the Accounts and to provide an audited statement.
- Any unfilled position in the EXECUTIVE may be filled by the EXECUTIVE between ASSEMBLIES.
- THE APPOINTMENT OF REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES
- The objects of the REGION are the objects of the ASSOCIATION as stipulated under point 7 of the Constitution.
- Each REGION shall appoint its own OFFICERS, and present the names of its REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES to the EXECUTIVE 60 days prior to the ASSEMBLY so that these names may be presented to the CHURCHES in the notice of the ASSEMBLY, 30 days prior to the ASSEMBLY.
- OFFICERS of the REGION shall serve for a period of one year.
- The number of REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES to the EXECUTIVE are appointed as per point 12.1 of the Constitution.
- Each REGION shall comprise representatives of fraternals, which in turn may nominate REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES for each REGION.
- EXECUTIVE MEETINGS
- MEMBERS MEETINGS
- NO QUORUM PRESENT
- For the election of officers, elected members on the EXECUTIVE and staff and for decisions on all other matters, unless otherwise required by the Constitution or By-Laws, a majority of the votes cast shall be required.
- Voting shall normally be by show of hands. Voting for persons to an office shall be by ballot.
- On the request of at least ten (10) members at a MEMBERS’ MEETING or at least four(4) at an EXECUTIVE meeting the voting shall be by ballot.
- Add wording of 9.2.0 here. In the event of the first ballot being inconclusive.
- EXECUTIVE MEETINGS
- The Chairman of the ASSOCIATION shall chair all EXECUTIVE meetings and shall have a deliberative vote only. In the event of the Chairman failing to take the chair the Vice-Chairman shall do so, failing which, a Chairperson shall be elected by the EXECUTIVE.
- Any member who fails to attend two consecutive meetings, without reasons deemed satisfactory by the EXECUTIVE, shall forfeit membership of the EXECUTIVE.
- On the requisition of at least 50% of the EXECUTIVE the Secretary shall summon an EXECUTIVE meeting by notice setting forth the business to be transacted.
- DUTIES AND POWERS OF THE EXECUTIVE
- Prepare the business and arrange the agenda of the MEMBERS’ MEETINGS.
- Prepare and present to the ASSEMBLY audited financial statements.
- Investigate and prepare recommendations for the consideration of the MEMBERS’ MEETINGS, such plans and projects as shall further the attainment of the objects of the ASSOCIATION.
- Take such initial steps for the formation of CHURCHES as it may deem necessary.
- Take such steps, as the ASSOCIATION may deem necessary for the better fulfilment of its objects as defined in the Constitution.
- Have the right, in order to facilitate specific business, to appoint Committees to deal therewith.
The Conveners and quorum of such Committees shall be fixed by the EXECUTIVE. Each Committee shall elect its own Chairperson ( if not appointed by the EXECUTIVE). Minutes of business shall be recorded and upon a majority vote of the EXECUTIVE be available for use in the EXECUTIVE. Reports of such Committee shall be submitted in writing and signed by the Chairperson.
- Shall meet prior to each MEMBERS’ meeting and at such other times as it may deem necessary in order to carry out tasks entrusted to it by the ASSOCIATION.
- Appoint arbitrators or advisers for the settlement of differences submitted by the MEMBERS.
- The ASSOCIATION shall raise its funds for the execution of its work by CHURCH contributions, collections at public meetings, membership fees, donations, legacies and by any other means decided upon by the ASSOCIATION.
- It is desired and expected that, in addition to membership fees, every MEMBER CHURCH and FELLOWSHIP will contribute voluntarily regular sums towards the general revenue of the ASSOCIATION. It is further expected that they will notify the Treasurer before the commencement of the New Financial Year the amount which they are willing to contribute during the ensuing year.
- Membership fees shall from time to time be fixed by the ASSOCIATION at the ASSEMBLY. Accounts for membership fees shall be sent to CHURCHES annually.
- The ASSOCIATION shall administer its funds through its EXECUTIVE.
- The Treasurer shall present a financial report to each EXECUTIVE meeting and to each MEMBERS’ MEETING. He shall present to the ASSEMBLY an audited statement of accounts and a balance sheet.
- The financial year of the ASSOCIATION shall coincide with the calendar year.
- All membership fees shall become payable at the commencement of the financial year.
- All DELEGATES to the ASSEMBLY shall pay a registration fee as determined by the EXECUTIVE. Such payments shall accompany the registration forms required under By-Law 7.2.
- The Annual Budget shall be accepted by the MEMBERS’ meeting immediately preceding the new financial year.
- To assist the Treasurer and EXECUTIVE in preparing the proposed budget each MINISTRY COMMITTEE shall present a proposed annual budget for its ministry at least six months prior to the commencement of the financial year.
- MINISTRY COMMITTEES
- The OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION shall ex-officio be members of each MINISTRY committee.
- The ASSOCIATION shall appoint at its ASSEMBLY as many other persons as it feels necessary for the proper functioning of the Committee. Each MINISTRY COMMITTEE may nominate to the ASSEMBLY persons to serve on the committee. Should a vacancy occur in the membership the Committee may fill the vacancy. The new member shall hold office until the next ASSEMBLY.
- TERMS OF REFERENCE
- Each committee shall meet as often as necessary for the efficient implementation of its objectives.
- Minutes shall be kept of all meetings and copies of minutes shall be sent to all Committee members and to the Secretary of the ASSOCIATION.
- Each MINISTRY COMMITTEE shall present a proposed annual budget to the ASSOCIATION Treasurer.
- No committee may raise funds or commit the funds of the ASSOCIATION without prior permission from the EXECUTIVE.
- be responsible to the ASSOCIATION through its MEMBERS’ MEETINGS and EXECUTIVE.
- where possible, work through and together with the corresponding department within the UNION, where such committee exists.
- avoid, where possible, duplicating the work being done by other committees of the ASSOCIATION.
- survey and investigate needs, set priorities and plan strategies.
- after approval of the project, by a MEMBER’S MEETING on the recommendation of the EXECUTIVE, undertake and develop the project within the parameters laid down by the MEMBER’S MEETING.
- report to each meeting of the EXECUTIVE, to each MEMBER’S MEETING and to the ASSEMBLY.
- CREATION OF NEW POSTS
- Recommendations for the creation of new posts shall be made by the EXECUTIVE to a MEMBER’S MEETING. Such recommendations shall include a full position guide, the financial implications and a clear motivation for the appointment. The recommendation should carry the approval of the appropriate MINISTRY COMMITTEE, if applicable.
- A post may be created only when a seventy–five percent (75%) vote has been obtained.
- APPOINTMENT TO POSTS
- AREA CO-ORDINATORS shall be appointed in accordance with Clause 18 of the By-Laws.
- Nominations for the filling of other vacant posts shall be brought to a MEMBER’S MEETING by the EXECUTIVE, after consultation with the appropriate committee, where applicable.
- A MEMBER’S MEETING shall make the appointment by a majority vote of those present and eligible to vote.
- TERMS OF APPOINTMENT
- Staff members shall be appointed for a period of three years. The position guide and the appointment shall be re-evaluated at the end of the three year period. The same incumbent may be re-appointed for a further three year period.
- Any engagement between the ASSOCIATION and staff shall be terminable by three months’ notice on either side, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.
- The terms of service shall be negotiated between the appointee and the EXECUTIVE and shall be set out in the Letter of Appointment.
- The Appointee shall subscribe fully to the Declaration of Principle, the Statement of Faith, the Statement on Baptist Principles and Objects of the ASSOCIATION as set out in the Constitution.
- In the event of a member of staff behaving in a manner, considered by the ASSOCIATION, to be prejudicial to its good name or interests the ASSOCIATION shall have the right of dismissal without notice.
- AREA CO-ORDINATOR
- The EXECUTIVE shall research the needs of the ASSOCIATION. They shall invite comments and suggestions from the MEMBER CHURCHES. They shall bring recommendations to a MEMBERS’ MEETING concerning the type of person needed in the Association at the time.
- The MEMBERS’ MEETING shall elect four persons to a search and nominating Committee.
The EXECUTIVE shall appoint a further four persons to that committee. The committee shall appoint its own chairman from among the persons so appointed.
- The search Committee shall invite comments and nominations from the EXECUTIVE and from MEMBER CHURCHES. They shall have the right to initiate other nominations.
- The Committee shall bring a suitable name to a MEMBERS’ MEETING. The name shall be advised to the Churches at least 21 (twenty-one ) days prior to the meeting at which the matter is to be discussed.
- The invitation shall be issued only if a seventy–five percent (75%) majority vote is obtained. The appointment shall be made by the ASSOCIATION.
- responsibilities and duties
- be responsible to the ASSOCIATION through the EXECUTIVE.
- seek to maintain strong liaison with the churches and FELLOWSHIPS and seek to nurture their spiritual health and growth.
- seek to build and maintain strong and meaningful relationships with the REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES.
- seek to assist the REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES to develop and implement visions and ministries which have been accepted and to encourage training and fellowship in the REGIONS.
- when requested to do so, act as a confidential consultant or mediator in local church affairs.
- seek to encourage the CHURCHES and Fellowships to be actively involved in their fraternals, in ASSOCIATION and UNION activities.
- seek to be a pastor to the pastors, caring for and nurturing them, through the REGIONS and structures. He should be available to counsel with manse families.
- maintain contact with the MINISTRY COMMITTEES. This does not necessarily mean that he must attend all meetings of the committees but that he receive minutes and be informed of all projects and programmes. He shall not serve as Chairman or Secretary of any of the Committees.
- maintain close contact with all ASSOCIATION staff.
- be subject to the Executive and work closely with the Executive, seeking to carry out the decisions of the EXECUTIVE, in order to facilitate the objects of the ASSOCIATION as stipulated in the Constitution under point 5.”
- supervise the work of the staff of the ASSOCIATION, in consultation with the relevant MINISTRY COMMITTEE, if applicable.
- appoint and dismiss office staff in consultation with the EXECUTIVE.
- supervise the activities of the office staff.
- accept responsibilities outside the ASSOCIATION only after having received the permission of the EXECUTIVE.
- CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTANT
The Confidential Consultant is appointed by the ASSEMBLY.
The Confidential Consultant shall be available to CHURCHES, FELLOWSHIPS, MINISTRY COMMITTEES, pastors and staff members for consultation and arbitration in any disputes or problems.
- ASSOCIATION REPRESENTATION ON THE UNION EXECUTIVE
- The number of representatives shall be determined by the UNION from time to time.
- The representatives shall be elected, from EXECUTIVE members, by the ASSEMBLY for a period of two years and shall be eligible for re-election for a further period of two years.
Thereafter a period of two years must elapse before such person becomes eligible for election again.
- In the event of a representative resigning or leaving the territorial area the EXECUTIVE shall appoint another EXECUTIVE member to serve until the next ASSEMBLY.
- In the event of a representative, who has served only one year on the UNION Executive, not being re-appointed to the EXECUTIVE the ASSEMBLY shall appoint another EXECUTIVE member to serve for two years.
- ASSOCIATION YEAR
The ASSOCIATION year shall end on 31 December. All reports presented to the ASSEMBLY shall cover the twelve months terminating on that date.
- All office bearers shall be indemnified by the ASSOCIATION against losses, expenditure or debts suffered by reason of the execution of their duties provided that such losses, expenditure or debt are not due to their own dishonesty, wilful act or default.
- Office bearers or members of the ASSOCIATION shall not be responsible for the action, negligence, default or loss which the ASSOCIATION may suffer in any way whatsoever, unless such action, negligence, default or loss occurred as a direct result of their dishonesty, wilful act or default.
- SUBMISSION OF DIFFERENCES AND DISPUTES
- It is desired and expected that member churches of the ASSOCIATION shall submit all such differences, which tend to create divisions, to the EXECUTIVE for arbitration and shall abide by the award therein subject to a right of appeal to the next MEMBERS’ MEETING.
- All MEMBER CHURCHES, FELLOWSHIPS, MINISTRY COMMITTEES, staff and other workers of the ASSOCIATION shall undertake not to resort to the Courts of Law in cases of dispute between themselves or with the ASSOCIATION.
- The services of the Confidential Consultant or the AREA CO-ORDINATOR/S or other persons should be used to settle disputes.
- PUBLIC STATEMENTS
- No OFFICER, AREA CO-ORDINATOR, EXECUTIVE member, MEMBER CHURCH, FELLOWSHIP or pastor may make public statements on behalf of the ASSOCIATION.
- Only the Chairman or Secretary, after consultation with the OFFICERS, are authorised to make such statements on behalf of the ASSOCIATION.
- Such statements do not necessarily express the views of the MEMBER CHURCHES.
- ALTERATION OF BY-LAWS
Amendments to these By-Laws shall be effected by resolution of a MEMBERS’ MEETING in pursuance of a notice of motion submitted to all MEMBER CHURCHES, in writing, at least one month prior to the said MEMBERS’ MEETING.
To alter a By-Law a majority vote of those present and eligible to vote is needed.
- AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- 25 February 2013 A fully constituted Members Meeting held at Baptist House brought changes to Clause 18.2.10. This clause was changed to read as follows: be subject to the Executive and work closely with the Executive, seeking to carry out the decisions of the EXECUTIVE, in order to facilitate the objects of the ASSOCIATION as stipulated in the Constitution under Clause 5.
- 6 June 2015 At an Annual General Meeting held at Baptist House changes were made to the Statement of Faith, Baptist Principles, Constitution and By-Laws.
The definitions which apply to the Constitution shall apply mutatis mutandis to these By-Laws.
Where applicable, the By-laws shall be read with the Constitution and shall not be inconsistent therewith. In the event of any inconsistency, the text of the Constitution shall take precedence over that of the By-Laws.
The following criteria and procedures shall be followed by the EXECUTIVE when receiving and considering applications from any CHURCH for membership of the ASSOCIATION, with a view to recommending acceptance by a MEMBERS MEETING.
The EXECUTIVE shall satisfy itself:
A Baptist Fellowship which wishes to have links with the ASSOCIATION may apply for FELLOWSHIP status.
The EXECUTIVE shall satisfy itself that
The procedure to be followed in recognising a FELLOWSHIP is:
A QUORUM shall consist of at least fifty percent (50%) of the members.
A QUORUM at MEMBERS’ MEETINGS shall consist of representatives from at least twenty (20)% of the members of the ASSOCIATION. In the event of a meeting taking place in different locations, the quorum shall be determined by the total number of representatives present at the different venues.
In the event of there not bring a QUORUM present at any meeting, the meeting shall be postponed for a period of at least three weeks. All concerned shall be informed, in writing, of the date and place of the postponed meeting.
The meeting then convened shall be held whether there is a QUORUM present or not. The decisions then taken shall be binding.
Without derogation from the Executive powers conferred by the Constitution, the EXECUTIVE shall:
Specialized ministries of the ASSOCIATION shall be promoted through and operated by such MINISTRY COMMITTEES as the ASSOCIATION shall appoint, from time to time.
Each Committee shall appoint a Chairperson and Secretary and if necessary a Treasurer from among its own members.
Each committee shall work according to Terms of Reference accepted by the ASSOCIATION.
Each MINISTRY COMMITTEE shall:
The following provisions shall apply to all staff members, including AREA CO-ORDINATOR/S.
In the event of the need to appoint an AREA CO-ORDINATOR the following procedure shall be followed:
The AREA CO-ORDINATOR/S shall: