Constitution & Bylaws

Of the Thousand Islands Baptist Association

Article 1 - Name

The name of this association shall be the Thousand Island Baptist Association Incorporation.

Article 2 - Object

Section 1 – Composition and Representation

This association shall be composed of messengers from cooperating Baptist churches. The annual session shall be composed of messengers elected by the churches. Each church shall be entitled to seven (7) messengers. Any church having more than one hundred (100) members shall be entitled to one (1) additional messenger for each fifty (50) members over one hundred, provided that no church shall have more than fifteen (15) messengers. The association has no power as a legislative body. It disclaims all power in making laws under any pretext for the churches of the association. It does, however, reserve to itself the right to make any law, rule, regulation, or standard that applies to its own government and livelihood; so long as those laws, rules, regulations, and standard adhere strictly to all constitutional guidelines.

Section 2 – Reception of Churches

  1. Any church wishing to affiliate with the association must be a constituted, local church and shall make written application to the committee on petitionary letters at least three (3) months prior to the annual session of the association. This committee shall meet with the church as soon as possible after the application to ascertain the attitude of the church as to its doctrine and practices held by the Southern Baptist Churches.
  2. No church shall be recommended for affiliation with the association that does not express a willingness to cooperate in the work of promoting the association.
  3. The church under consideration shall be under watchcare for a period of one (1) year before final action on the request for admission into the association; however, on recommendation of the committee on petitionary letters the period may be extended for one (1) year or more years.
  4. The committee on petitionary letters shall present its report on the first day of the annual session of the association and all the churches shall be received by a two-thirds majority vote of the messengers present.
  5. No church shall be considered for membership if they do not actively and financially support the cooperative program of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Section 4 – Annual Reports

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the churches to correspond with the body by letter and messenger promptly each year, giving in their changes in membership, financial statistics, names and addresses of the officers of the church and other information.
  2. When any church fails to make a report for two (2) consecutive years, the executive committee shall make efforts to ascertain the problem and seek reconciliation and based upon their findings, the clerk of the association shall be directed to send written notice that the church has been dropped from the list of cooperating churches.

Article 3 - Membership

Section 1 – Composition and Representation

This association shall be composed of messengers from cooperating Baptist churches. The annual session shall be composed of messengers elected by the churches. Each church shall be entitled to seven (7) messengers. Any church having more than one hundred (100) members shall be entitled to one (1) additional messenger for each fifty (50) members over one hundred, provided that no church shall have more than fifteen (15) messengers. The association has no power as a legislative body. It disclaims all power in making laws under any pretext for the churches of the association. It does, however, reserve to itself the right to make any law, rule, regulation, or standard that applies to its own government and livelihood; so long as those laws, rules, regulations, and standard adhere strictly to all constitutional guidelines.

Section 2 – Reception of Churches

  1. Any church wishing to affiliate with the association must be a constituted, local church and shall make written application to the committee on petitionary letters at least three (3) months prior to the annual session of the association. This committee shall meet with the church as soon as possible after the application to ascertain the attitude of the church as to its doctrine and practices held by the Southern Baptist Churches.
  2. No church shall be recommended for affiliation with the association that does not express a willingness to cooperate in the work of promoting the association.
  3. The church under consideration shall be under watchcare for a period of one (1) year before final action on the request for admission into the association; however, on recommendation of the committee on petitionary letters the period may be extended for one (1) year or more years.
  4. The committee on petitionary letters shall present its report on the first day of the annual session of the association and all the churches shall be received by a two-thirds majority vote of the messengers present.
  5. No church shall be considered for membership if they do not actively and financially support the cooperative program of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Section 4 – Annual Reports

  1. It shall be the responsibility of the churches to correspond with the body by letter and messenger promptly each year, giving in their changes in membership, financial statistics, names and addresses of the officers of the church and other information.

When any church fails to make a report for two (2) consecutive years, the executive committee shall make efforts to ascertain the problem and seek reconciliation and based upon their findings, the clerk of the association shall be directed to send written notice that the church has been dropped from the list of cooperating churches.

Article 4 - Officers

Section 1 – General Officers

The general officers of the association shall be a Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, and the Chairman of Trustees.

Section 2 – Duties of General Officers

  1. Moderator—it shall be the duty of the moderator to server as moderator of the association, to be chairman of the program committee, and to be a member of the executive committee. The moderator shall serve as chairman of the executive committee and preside over its meetings. The term of the moderator shall not exceed two (2) consecutive terms of one (1) year each. He shall appoint the nominating committee.
  2. Vice-Moderator—it shall be the duty of the vice-moderator to serve as moderator in the event the moderator is absent from the meeting or has vacated the office. The term for the vice-moderator shall be one (1) year; he shall not serve more than two (2) consecutive terms. In the event the vice-moderator should succeed to the office of the moderator, the executive committee shall elect a vice-moderator.
  3. Clerk—it shall be the duties of the clerk to:
    1. Prepare a copy of annual reports and to arrange for the printing of the same.
    2. Distribute annual reports to the cooperating churches of the association.
    3. Preserve a complete file of annuals and reports.
    4. Furnish churches with blank letter forms for making reports to the association.
    5. Receive invitations for place of next meeting which he/she shall transfer to the executive committee, giving the date, time, and place.
    6. Appoint his/her assistant.
    7. Serve as secretary to the executive committee. The clerk shall be compensated for his/her services as provided in the annual budget of the association. In the event he/she is unable to fulfill his/her duties, the executive committee shall elect a clerk.
  4. Treasurer—the treasurer shall be responsible for the accounting of receipts, expenditures, and safe-keeping of all associational funds. He/she is to be allowed the privilege of an annual audit by an audit committee, to be appointed by the moderator at the annual session. He is to make such reports to the executive committee or association when called for. In the event he is not able to fulfill his duties, the executive committee is to elect a treasurer.

Section 3—Election of General Officers

  1. All general officers are to be elected at the annual session. Nominations may come from the nominating committee or from the floor of the session. A simple majority of the messengers present is necessary for election.
  2. All general officers will be installed at the closing of the annual session of the association.

Article 5 - Trustees

Section 1—Election

The trustees shall be three (3) in number; one being elected for a three (3) year term, one being elected for a two (2) year term, and one being elected for a one (1) year term. A trustee shall not succeed himself in a consecutive term. One trustee shall be elected for a three (3) year term each year after the first year of the association existence. In the event a trustee cannot fulfill his duties, the executive committee shall elect a trustee to fulfill the unexpired term.

Section 2—Duties

They shall sign all legal documents for the executive committee, shall inspect all associational property at least once each year for repairs and re-evaluation, shall check all deeds and official papers of the association, and report to the executive committee as soon as possible after the beginning of the associational year. They shall be nominated by the nominating committee. They shall elect their own chairman from their ranks. The chairman of the trustees shall be a member of the executive committee’s administrative committee. They shall not make any contracts or expend any funds without the approval of the executive committee or unless the order of the full association in the annual session authorizes them to do so.

Article 6 - Church Program Directors

The church program directors shall be: Sunday school director, disciple training director, WMU director, brotherhood director, music director, and other directors of the church related programs as are necessary to continue the ongoing work of the association. These directors shall be nominated by the nominating committee. They shall be the chairman of the associated executive committee sub-committees

Article 7 - Committees

For the purpose of carrying on the work of the association, the following committees shall be chosen at the annual session. They shall be nominated by the nominating committee or mandate of the committee structure.

Section 1—Nominating Committee

The moderator shall appoint this committee, who will nominate for approval of the executive committee at the April meeting of the executive committee the following associational officers:  Sunday school director, discipleship training director, brotherhood director, WMU director, music director. These department directors shall serve indefinitely, subject to annual evaluation, and if deemed advisable, a new director shall be nominated by the nominating committee. This committee shall nominate one (1) trustee each year for a three (3) year term. This shall be a standing committee which shall fill vacancies of leadership whenever they occur. This committee shall function as a committee on committees. This committee shall name those who will serve on the committees herein provided for in the constitution, except the calendar, the executive, and the program committees.

Section 2—Executive Committee

The executive committee shall consist of the pastors of the churches of this association and one (1) lay person elected by each church, the church program directors, youth director, and chairman of the long-range planning committee.

  1. The executive committee shall have supervision of all associational work between annual sessions of the association.
  2. At any regular meeting of the committee, business shall be transacted by those present.
  3. At a special called meeting, one more than one-half the total members of the executive committee must be present to transact business.
  4. The moderator shall be chairman of the executive committee.
  5. Executive committee meetings shall be called at least once each quarter. It may be called together at any time by its chairman. A report of the meetings of this committee shall be rendered to each participating church immediately after each meeting.

The executive committee shall divide itself into the following operating committees:

  1. Evangelism Committee—chaired by the evangelism director. This committee shall plan and guide the work of the association as it relates to the promotion of evangelism among the member churches and special projects that are to be conducted by the association. This committee shall consist of one (1) member appointed from each cooperating church.
  2. Missions Committee—chaired by the missions director. This committee shall be responsible for the education, promotion, and planning of all mission work of the association. It shall be the responsibility of this committee to set the special associational mission offering goal, promote the offering program, and prepare materials to be used for the associational week of prayer. It shall act on all applications for mission pastoral aid and see that all areas of mission action are discovered and met. This committee shall consist of one (1) member from each cooperating church.

Section 3—Education Committee

Co-chaired by the associational Sunday school director and the associational disciple training director. This committee shall be responsible for planning, training, and implementing the program of Christian education among the member churches.

Section 4—Administrative Committee

Chaired by the moderator and which consists of the vice-moderator, the clerk, the treasurer, the chairman of the trustees, and the directors of: the education committee, evangelism committee, and the missions committee. This committee shall be responsible to work with the director of missions in giving general supervision to all associational work. It shall serve as an advisory council to the director of missions. It shall have the responsibility for initiating the budget and policy recommendations to the executive committee. It may meet as often as is necessary to accomplish its business and may be called together by its chairman or the director of missions.

  1. The committee directors of education; evangelism; and missions; will be responsible to represent those committees assigned as follows.
    1. The education director will represent youth, Sunday school, disciple training, and music committees.
    2. The evangelism director will represent the long range planning committee and any youth/children’s camp activities.
    3. The missions director will represent WMU and Baptist Men.

Section 5—Calendar Committee

Shall be composed of church program directors, general officers of the association, the director of associational missions, and the treasurer. They shall prepare a calendar of activities for approval on or before the executive committee’s last meeting preceding the annual session of the association.

Section 6—Program Committee

Shall by elected at the annual session. Nominations shall come from the floor of the session. This committee shall plan the program of the annual session including the place, date, time, and speaker. The director of missions shall serve ex-officio on this committee.

Section 7—Youth Committee

An associational youth director shall be nominated by the nominating committee. The committee shall consist of six (6) persons. They shall develop and promote youth programs at the associational level, the youth speaker tournament, and youth bible drill competition. The chairman shall be a member of the executive committee.

Section 8 –Long Range Planning Committee

Shall make recommendations concerning the long-range needs of the associational program.

Section 9—Committee on Petitionary Letters

Shall be nominated by the nominating Committee whenever there is a need. This committee shall be a standing committee for the remainder of the associational year. Their duties are described in Article 3 Section 2, “Reception of Churches.”

Article 8 - Sessions

The association shall meet on Saturday of the third week of October for its annual session. Special sessions may be called by the executive committee, or the director of associational missions, or by the request of five (5) or more member churches after a thirty (30) day written notice to all cooperation churches.

Article 9 - Sessions

While this association shall be wholly advisory and shall never assume any ecclesiastical authority over the churches, yet it reserves the right to withdraw fellowship from any church which departs from the teachings of the New Testament as set forth in the articles of faith of this association.

This action shall be taken by the association on recommendation of the administrative committee after the committee has made a study of the charges against the church and it becomes apparent that the church does not intend to correct the situation. This action shall be by two thirds majority vote of the messengers present at an annual session.

When any church fails to make a report for two consecutive years, the administrative committee shall make efforts to ascertain the problem and seek reconciliation. In the event of non-compliance, the administrative committee shall report their findings to the annual session for possible dismissal.

Article 10 - Parliamentary Authority

“Robert’s Rules of Order” shall be the parliamentary authority for the association and the executive committee. All questions shall be determined by majority vote. A qualified parliamentarian shall be appointed by the moderator with the consent of the churches to sit as advisor to parliamentary procedure during all associational meetings including the meetings of the executive committee.

Article 11 - Amendments

This constitution may be amended only at the annual session by a majority vote of the messengers present and voting at the time, provided that notice of the proposed change has been given in writing to the cooperating churches of the association thirty (3) days before its meeting.

Bylaws

  1. The by-laws may be amended only at the annual session by a majority vote of the messengers present and voting at the time, provided that notice of the proposed change has been given in writing to the cooperating churches of the association thirty (30) days in advance of its meeting.
  2. The associational year shall begin 1 October and end 30 September of the following calendar year. Each church will be charged with the responsibility of forwarding the church letter to the associational clerk not later than fifteen (15) days following the end of the associational year. Should any church fail to comply with the deadline, the clerk may, at his/her discretion, not include the information contained in the church letter in his/her report to the association.
  3. The sessions of the association shall be opened and closed with prayer.
  4. Visiting brethren and fraternal messengers from other Baptist bodies may be invited to seats with us during annual sessions and by leave of the moderator, may enter into discussion but shall have no vote.
  5. Each member when he speaks in debate or has any communication to make to the body, shall address the moderator and when he has finished, shall sit down. No member shall speak more than twice in any simple debate on the same subject without the permission of the moderator.
  6. When a member shall be called to order, he shall sit down until the moderator determines if he is in order. An appeal may be made from the decision of the moderator in this, or in any other case.
  7. When the moderator wishes to be heard on any question, he may vacate the chair b y appointing some member to fill the chair during a particular debate. The moderator shall reassume the chair upon completion of the question.

Articles of Faith

The articles of faith of the association shall be those adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in a tract entitled “The Baptist Faith and Message.”