98 McAlpine Road, Wychwood, Johannesburg

Our Constitution

BNA: We are a self-governing fellowship of autonomous Baptist churches sharing a common faith that co-operate in ministry

    1. NAME

The name of the ASSOCIATION shall be: THE BAPTIST NORTHERN ASSOCIATION (formerly the Transvaal Baptist Association).


In this Constitution and By-Laws of the Association unless inconsistent with the context, all words and expressions indicating the masculine gender shall also include the feminine gender, and the following words and terms shall have the meanings hereafter assigned to them.

AREA CO-ORDINATOR/S shall mean the full time officer/s appointed by the ASSOCIATION to facilitate and co-ordinate the work of the ASSOCIATION.

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES shall mean part time/voluntary officers appointed by the REGION to facilitate and coordinate the work of the ASSOCIATION.

ASSEMBLY shall mean the Annual General Meeting of the body constituted under Clause 9.4.

ASSOCIATION shall mean The Baptist Northern Association.

CHURCH shall mean a constituted gathered community of Protestant believers which accepts the supreme and final authority of the Lord Jesus Christ in all matters of faith and practice as revealed in the Holy Scripture, observes the two ordinances of Believers Baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper, and affirms its adherence to the Declaration of Principle and the Statement of Baptist Principles as set forth in Clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of this Constitution.

DELEGATE shall mean a member of a MEMBER CHURCH appointed as an accredited representative by the said Church in terms of the ASSOCIATION’S Constitution and By-Laws and who has been officially registered as such.

EXECUTIVE shall mean the committee constituted under Clause 10.

FELLOWSHIP shall mean a gathered community of Protestant Believers meeting together for worship, recognised by the ASSOCIATION, but who have not as yet constituted as a CHURCH.

GOOD STANDING shall mean that all obligations to the Association have been fully met.

MEMBER CHURCH shall mean a church in membership with the Baptist Northern Association.

MEMBERS’ MEETING shall mean meetings of the ASSOCIATION as defined in Clause 9 of this Constitution.

MINISTRIES COMMITTEES shall mean the Committees appointed by the ASSOCIATION to perform specific ministries.

OFFICERS OF THE ASSOCIATION shall mean the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer and Area Co-ordinator/s, all of whom are required to be baptised believers in membership with a MEMBER CHURCH and who have been appointed in terms of the By-Laws.

REGION/S shall mean each of the four provinces, namely, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North-West Province.

UNION shall mean the Baptist Union of Southern Africa.

      1. Composition of Membership

The ASSOCIATION shall comprise:

        1. All existing CHURCHES named in the schedule attached hereto
        2. Such CHURCHES as shall in future be admitted, in terms of the Constitution and By-Laws, to membership by vote of the ASSOCIATION at the Annual General Meeting, after receiving a recommendation from the EXECUTIVE.
      1. Termination of Membership
        1. Any MEMBER CHURCH whose membership fees are in arrears for more than one year may, after due warning has been given to the said MEMBER CHURCH, be removed from membership by the EXECUTIVE.
        2. The ASSOCIATION shall have the power to remove from Membership any MEMBER CHURCH which by a seventy–five percent (75%) majority vote of the Annual General Meeting is deemed to have ceased to qualify as a member.
      2. Fellowship Status

The following shall hold Fellowship Status:

        1. All existing FELLOWSHIPS named in the schedule attached hereto.
        2. All such FELLOWSHIPS sponsored directly by the ASSOCIATION or a MEMBER CHURCH which shall, in future, be admitted to Fellowship status in terms of this Constitution and By-laws.

The basis of the ASSOCIATION is:


As adopted at the Baptist Northern Association Assembly held in Johannesburg June 2015


As adopted at the Baptist Northern Association Assembly held in Johannesburg June 2015


Recognising the autonomy of the local CHURCHES and FELLOWSHIPS and therefore their voluntary participation in the projects and functions which the ASSOCIATION shall agree to pursue, the ASSOCIATION shall seek:

      1. to promote and to provide opportunities for Christian fellowship, and to promote unity and brotherly love among the CHURCHES, the pastors and all the Baptists in the area (Fellowship in Christ).
      2. to provide the opportunity and possibility for the CHURCHES, pastors and people to perform together ministries and services which they would not easily be able to do alone (Fellowship in ministry).
      3. to seek to provide resources to assist the CHURCHES, the pastors and the members to serve the Lord more effectively (Fellowship in material possessions).
      4. to provide care, guidance, challenge and vision to the CHURCHES, pastors and members (Fellowship in care and vision).
      5. to seek to establish, assist and nurture Baptist churches and fellowships in the area (Fellowship in church planting).
      6. to encourage evangelistic outreach and missionary activity among CHURCHES, FELLOWSHIPS and individual Baptists and thus to advance the Kingdom of God in the ASSOCIATION’S area and further afield (Fellowship in missions and evangelism).
      7. to assume such functions and responsibilities on behalf of the UNION as may be mutually agreed upon (Fellowship with other Baptists).
      8. to disseminate Baptist Principles and to advocate religious liberty for all.

The ASSOCIATION shall be a separate juristic body capable of owning property and of being sued in its own name, and capable of perpetual succession.

      1. To assume such functions and responsibilities as are agreed upon by the ASSOCIATION.
      2. To be available for counsel, assistance or mediation, and if called upon, to help settle disputes in which any MEMBER CHURCH or FELLOWSHIP is involved.
      3. For the better implementation of its objects to establish, encourage and administer the work of appropriate MINISTRIES COMMITTEES and to make available or to use the facilities offered by the UNION where applicable.
      4. To receive funds from CHURCHES, persons and organisations by way of fees, donations, bequests, dividends, interest or other means, and to disburse or invest such funds as may be directed by the ASSOCIATION.
      5. To borrow money with or without security for the purposes of the ASSOCIATION, to pass mortgage or other bonds for registration with the authorities and to guarantee the performance of contracts by MEMBER CHURCHES, in such manner and at such times and on such conditions as the EXECUTIVE may recommend.
      6. To lend money and negotiate loans, to give any guarantees for the payment of money or for the performance of any obligation or undertaking of the ASSOCIATION. To receive, purchase, hold, hypothecate, sell, donate, lease, exchange and partition movable and immovable property.
      7. To appoint staff to and to dismiss them from such positions as are approved by the ASSOCIATION for the execution of the various functions.
      8. To create such Administrative and Ministry Committee Staff posts as are agreed upon by the ASSOCIATION.
      9. To raise the finances necessary for the various ministries.
      10. To promote the ASSOCIATION’S budgets and the UNION’S needs.
      11. To enter into any agreements with the UNION with regard to financial and other matters.
      12. To arrange meetings for spiritual encouragement, conference and business.
      13. To publish and promote literature as considered necessary.
      14. To supervise and co-ordinate the work of the MINISTRY COMMITTEES.
      15. To make or amend such By-Laws as it may deem necessary for the proper administration of its business.
      16. To do all such other things and to perform all such other acts as may be needful for the fulfilment of its objects.

The ASSOCIATION shall function through its MEMBERS MEETINGS in terms of this Constitution and By-Laws.

The EXECUTIVE shall do and act as specifically instructed by the MEMBERS MEETINGS and in accordance with the Constitution of the ASSOCIATION.

      1. Persons Eligible to attend and vote at MEMBERS MEETING

Each MEMBER CHURCH shall be entitled to appoint two DELEGATES for the first one hundred members or part thereof and one DELEGATE for each additional one hundred members or part thereof up to a maximum of four DELEGATES per CHURCH.

      1. Persons having the right to attend MEMBERS MEETINGS

The following persons shall have the right to attend the MEMBERS MEETINGS, and with the consent of the Chairman, participate in discussion but without the right to vote:

        1. Past Chairmen, resident in the ASSOCIATION’S area and in active membership with a MEMBER CHURCH.
        2. One representative from each of the recognised FELLOWSHIPS.
        3. Those persons on the Ministry Lists of the UNION, living in the ASSOCIATION’S area.
        4. EXECUTIVE members who are not appointed as DELEGATES under 11.1
        5. The AREA CO-ORDINATOR/S or other employees of the ASSOCIATION.
      1. Frequency of MEMBERS MEETINGS

MEMBERS MEETINGS shall be held at least once every four months. The EXECUTIVE may at any time call an extraordinary MEMBERS MEETING.

      1. The ASSEMBLY (The Annual General Meeting )

This shall coincide with the MEMBERS MEETING held in the second quarter of each calendar year.

      1. Quorum

A quorum for a MEMBERS MEETING shall be twenty percent (20%) of the MEMBER CHURCHES.

      1. Membership

The membership of the EXECUTIVE shall comprise:

        1. The OFFICERS of the ASSOCIATION
        2. REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES from each of the REGIONS, proportional to the number of MEMBER CHURCHES in each province, a minimum of one and a maximum of four members per REGION, to a maximum of eight.
        3. Such other members, not exceeding two in number, as may be co-opted by vote of three-fourths of the EXECUTIVE members present at the meeting dealing therewith. Such co-option shall extend to the next Annual General Meeting of the ASSOCIATION. Such co-option powers may be used to ensure that the EXECUTIVE represents the total constituency of the ASSOCIATION.
      1. Right to attend EXECUTIVE meetings

The following persons shall have the right to attend the EXECUTIVE meetings, and with the consent of the Chairman, to participate in discussion but without the right to vote:

        1. One person appointed by each MINISTRY COMMITTEE.
        2. Confidential Consultant.
      1. Qualifications for service on the EXECUTIVE

Each member of the EXECUTIVE shall be a baptised believer in membership with a MEMBER CHURCH or FELLOWSHIP.

      1. Meetings of the EXECUTIVE

The EXECUTIVE 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.

      1. Quorum

The Quorum for an EXECUTIVE meeting shall be seventy–five percent (75%) of the membership.

      1. Powers

The EXECUTIVE shall carry out its functions as generally and specifically directed by the ASSOCIATION.

      1. Removal of Members

A member of the EXECUTIVE may be removed by a 90% vote of those present at an EXECUTIVE meeting.

      1. The ASSOCIATION shall appoint at its ASSEMBLY such MINISTRY COMMITTEES as it may deem expedient.
      2. The MINISTRY COMMITTEES shall carry out their functions in accordance with Terms of Reference approved by the ASSOCIATION and as generally and specifically directed by the EXECUTIVE.
      3. Such MINISTRY COMMITTEES shall act within the scope of their Terms of Reference as approved by the ASSOCIATION.
      4. The OFFICERS shall, ex-officio, be members of each MINISTRY COMMITTEE.
      1. All immovable property of the ASSOCIATION shall be registered in the name of the Trustees of the ASSOCIATION.
      2. The Trustees of the ASSOCIATION shall be the Trustees for the time being of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa.
      3. A register of all immovable property shall be maintained by the EXECUTIVE.

The Secretary of the ASSOCIATION, or his Deputy, is authorised to issue under his signature any certified copies of, or extracts from the Constitution and By-Laws of the ASSOCIATION, or of minutes of MEMBERS MEETINGS or of the EXECUTIVE, to which full faith and credence shall be given.

    1. The ASSOCIATION shall remain in membership with the UNION and may act on its behalf when requested to do so.
    2. The EXECUTIVE shall appoint its Representative/s to serve on the Executive of the UNION for such period as the ASSOCIATION may decide.
    3. The EXECUTIVE is empowered to fill any vacancy in its representation on the Executive of the UNION for any unexpired period of office or to appoint an alternate Representative if a regular Representative is unable to attend.
    1. Alterations to the Constitution shall only be made at the ASSEMBLY. Six months notice in writing shall be given to the Secretary of any proposed alteration. Alterations shall be effected by a two-thirds majority of those present.
    2. Notice of proposed amendments shall be given to MEMBER CHURCHES and members of the EXECUTIVE at least 60 days prior to the ASSEMBLY.
    1. The dissolution of the ASSOCIATION may be effected by the two-thirds majority vote of members present at a MEMBERS MEETING.
    2. In the event of such dissolution, the EXECUTIVE is hereby empowered to take the necessary steps to wind up the affairs of the ASSOCIATION, and in particular to transfer the immovable property and other assets in due and proper form to the Baptist Union of Southern Africa.
    3. In the event of the EXECUTIVE not being in operation, the ASSOCIATION shall appoint and authorise any other person or persons to comply with the requirements of 16.2.
    4. In the event of the ASSOCIATION at any time ceasing to exist, all acquired funds, assets, property or rights to property at such time shall ipso facto vest in and become the property at the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, which shall hold, administer or deal with it in such manner as the said Union through its executive Committee may deem best fitted to secure the objects in Clause 5.