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CONSTITUTION OF THE
ARTICLE I:† Name
This organization shall be known as the Texas State Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.
ARTICLE II:† Purpose
The purpose of this organization shall be to enlist the cooperation of all Free Will Baptists in sending the gospel of Jesus Christ to all quarters, both near and far, in winning the lost through the preaching of the gospel, and in teaching and training those who are saved to be holier and more efficient members of the body of Christ, thus advancing the interests of the kingdom of God.
This association shall produce literature, and establish and maintain such educational and benevolent institutions as needed to accomplish its purpose.
ARTICLE III:† Membership
Section 1:† This
association shall be composed of the district associations and the churches of
Section 2:† This association shall have as its articles of faith and practices the statements set forth in the corresponding sections of Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.† In addition to the articles of faith and practices recorded in the Treatise, this association shall declare the following as further statements of our faith and practices:
A.† We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24; Rom. 7:2; I Cor. 7:10; Eph. 5:22-23).† The joining of one man and one woman shall be the only form of marriage recognized by this association.
B.† We believe that the Bible forbids any intimate sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman and that all forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of Godís gift of sex.† Individuals who are employees, officers, board members, and members of this association shall not participate in any of these activities.† Engaging in any of these activities and/or becoming pregnant as a result of consensual intercourse outside of the marriage relationship shall result in termination of employment by the association or holding office or board membership in the association, and shall be grounds for termination of membership in the association (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; I Cor. 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
Section 3:† All regularly ordained ministers and deacons and their wives and members of the General Board who are members in good standing of a local church belonging to this association are standing members of the association.
Section 4:† Any and all references to church or churches in this constitution and by-laws shall also refer to mission or missions.
ARTICLE IV:† Representation
Section 1:† Each district association shall be entitled to one delegate for each hundred members or fractional part thereof.
Section 2:† Each church shall be entitled to two delegates regardless of the number of its membership.
Section 3:† It shall be required of all district associations that they represent themselves by delegates and communicate by letter their standing, prospects, and statistics at each annual convention of this association.† Any district association belonging to this association which shall fail to report for two successive sessions may be dismissed from the association by a two-thirds vote of the members present in a regularly constituted session.
Section 4:† It is strongly urged that all churches belonging to this association communicate by letter, naming their delegates.†
Section 5:† Elected delegates to the state association shall be retained as standing delegates for special called meetings.
ARTICLE V:† Finances and Statistics
Section 1: The letter of each district association shall be accompanied by the state and national registration fee for each church or mission which is a member of that district. The amount of the state registration fee for each church shall be equal to the amount of the national association registration fee for each church.
Section 2: The letter of each church or mission shall be accompanied by a delegate fee with the amount to be established at such time the State Association determines a delegate fee is necessary.
ARTICLE VI:† Discipline
Section 1:† The Executive Board of this association shall investigate any question of discipline, doctrine or practice that may come before it from any of the bodies comprising this association and recommend proper action through the General Board to the association.
Section 2:† In the event of any question of discipline, doctrine or practice on the part of an associate association, delegates of that association or church shall not be seated until such error or erroneous views have been corrected.
Section 3:† The state association cannot discipline a local church, churches or members of a local church except to discipline the district of which they are members.† The association does not have the right to refuse to seat ministers or churches against whom charges are pending.
Section 4:† This association reserves the right to withdraw fellowship from any member district until such time as this association is satisfied that discipline, doctrine and practices are in conformity with the doctrine and practices of the association, but in no case shall the association assume authority to reverse the decisions or abrogate the autonomy of local churches or district associations.
ARTICLE VII:† Date and Location of the Annual Convention
Section 1:† This association shall convene once each calendar year between the months of May and August.† The Executive Board shall determine the time and place of this meeting.† The Executive Board has the right to change the time or place of this meeting if the need or an emergency arises.
Section 2:† Each district shall have the privilege of entertaining the state association according to the length of time since it last entertained it, according to the orderly revolving list of all the districts.† Any new association becoming a member of the state association shall automatically be placed at the bottom of the list.† If the district next in turn to entertain this association does not desire to exercise its privilege, it may voluntarily forfeit its privilege until the next regular turn to entertain.
ARTICLE VIII:† Officers
Section 1:† The officers of this state association shall consist of moderator, assistant moderator, clerk, and assistant clerk.
Section 2:† These officers shall be elected at each regular annual session of the association except the clerk, who shall be elected every two years.
Section 3:† The officers shall be elected on the last day of the state meeting.
ARTICLE IX:† Duties of Officers
Section 1:† The moderator shall preside over all sessions of the state association, the Executive Board and the General Board.† He shall work to promote the general welfare of the association.† The moderator shall appoint committees as provided in this constitution, and other committees as become necessary, which shall hold office until their assigned work is completed.† He shall appoint delegates to the Free Will Baptist national convention.
Section 2:† The assistant moderator shall serve in all capacities of the moderator in his absence or upon the request of the moderator.
Section 3:† The clerk shall make a legible, complete, and accurate record of all proceedings of the association and prepare a manuscript of the same for printing of the minutes.† He shall make and keep on file minutes of all regular and called sessions of the association, the Executive Board, and the General Board.† He shall proofread any minutes recorded by himself prior to relinquishing this responsibility to any duly elected successor.† The clerk shall mail two (2) copies of the printed minutes to each church not represented in person at the state convention.† In addition, he shall mail copies of the minutes to the historical collections of each Free Will Baptist college and to the Free Will Baptist Historical Commission.
Section 4:† The assistant clerk shall work with the clerk in every capacity when called upon to do so by the clerk or moderator.
ARTICLE X:† Standing Boards and Elected Positions
Section 1:† The standing boards of the state association shall include the Executive Board, General Board, Missions/Church Extension Board and the Christian Education Board.
Section 2: †Unless provided for elsewhere, all standing boards shall be composed of five (5) members each, who shall be elected to serve for terms of three (3) years.† Each board shall elect a chairman and clerk-treasurer to act for one year and be elected at the close of each annual state convention.
The board members shall be elected at the time of the adoption of their board report.
Section 3:† It shall be the duty of all boards to receive, disburse and account for all monies allocated to them from the state, or provided from any other source.† Each board shall keep a record of all meetings, all activities, and all work done under its jurisdiction and shall make a full and complete report in writing to the annual convention of the state association.† No board shall purchase or sell any real estate property without the approval of the state association, or except by approval of the Executive Board.
When a board member absents himself from a board meeting without providential reasons, his membership shall be automatically terminated from the board. The remaining members of said board shall elect someone to fill the vacancy until the next state meeting, and shall notify the Executive Board of such action.
Section 4:† The Executive Board shall consist of the moderator, assistant moderator, clerk, assistant clerk, and one member at-large.† It shall act on behalf of the association when not in session and shall have the power to receive funds, to report and superintend such work for the state as may seem best and the means at hand may warrant in order to fulfill the plans and undertakings of the state association.†
The Executive Board shall hire a competent and qualified person to edit The Texas Challenge, which shall be published to inform, challenge, encourage, and instruct.† The salary shall be commensurate with the task and the associationís ability to pay.
The Executive Board shall hire a competent and qualified person to serve as state treasurer, who will receive, hold, and disburse all monies made available by the state association to the various boards, offices, ministries, colleges, childrenís homes, and national departments as directed by the state association.† The treasurer shall annually present a complete and independently audited financial statement to the state association of all monies received and disbursed to each board, ministry, college, national board, or other recipient.† The salary shall be commensurate with the task and the associationís ability to pay.
The Executive Board shall initiate ideas and programs for the growth, development, and success of the state association, and produce motivational and promotional materials related to these approved programs.† It shall conduct and/or provide for seminars, workshops, retreats, and conferences which hold promise of being helpful to achieving the associationís ministry goals.
It shall be the duty of the Executive Board to meet at the All Boards Meeting to plan the sessions of the upcoming state convention.
The moderator and clerk of said Executive Board shall sign all deeds, bonds, notes, etc., and any other papers by which the state association is to become legally responsible.
The Executive Board shall have the power to call the association into conference by notifying each associate district association at least ten (10) days prior to conference.† Such notification shall consist of a registered letter sent to the moderator and clerk of each association.
Minutes of all meetings are to be recorded and reported to the association in the next regular convention, and the report of the Executive Board shall be printed in the minutes of the association.
Section 5:† The General Board shall consist of the Executive Board, each duly elected district association moderator and one member from each associate district association, and the chairman of each state standing board.† The moderator shall moderate all meetings of the board.
It shall be the duty of the General Board to meet prior to the state convention to hear reports of the standing boards and to recommend their reports and proposed budgets to the state association for adoption, provided such reports and proposed budgets are acceptable.† All recommendations of the Executive Board shall be presented to the state association through the General Board.† The General Board shall also hear reports of auxiliary organizations such as the Texas Women Active for Christ (TWAC) and the Masterís Men.
Section 6:† The
Missions/Church Extension Board shall promote an active home and foreign
missions program in and for the state of
Section 7:† The Christian Education Board shall promote all phases of Christian education through the Sunday School, Church Training Service, workshops, institutes, retreats, seminars, and Free Will Baptist related colleges.
Section 8:† The state association shall elect trustees, in a number stipulated by the Board of Trustees of Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, to represent the association on the board of said college for a term of three years.† The trustees shall present yearly reports to the association.
ARTICLE XI:† Committees
Section 1:† The moderator shall announce the appointment of a Resolutions Committee, a Credentials Committee, and a Nominating Committee during the first business session of the first day of each annual convention.
Section 2:† The Nominating Committee shall present nominations for the standing boards and the state officers, but the association shall in no wise prevent members from making nominations from the floor.
Section 3:† The Credentials Committee shall examine all letters from local churches and district associations to make sure they are in order, with all fees paid, and recommend to the association that their delegates be seated.
ARTICLE XII: †Conditions of Employment
We believe that the Bible forbids any intimate sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman and that all forms of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of Godís gift of sex.† Any employee of this association engaging in any of these activities and/or becoming pregnant as a result of consensual intercourse outside of the marriage relationship shall be terminated from employment.† No one known to be engaged in such activity shall be considered for employment by this association (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1; I Cor. 6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4).
ARTICLE XIII:† Alterations and Amendments
This constitution may be altered or amended at any regular session of the association by a two-thirds vote of all members present and voting provided the proposed alteration or amendment has been read before the body and has been placed on the table one day in advance of the time the vote is to be taken. Written copies must be provided to the voting membership at the time the amendment is tabled.
Section 1:† The moderator or assistant moderator, or in their absence the senior minister in years, shall call the association into conference, and if a quorum is known to be present, the body may proceed with business according to an adopted program.
Section 2:† Each meeting of each session shall be opened by reading a portion of the Bible and praying and shall be closed with prayer.
Section 3:† All persons declared by the Credentials Committee to be eligible to represent in the association are hereby made and constituted members of this body and are authorized to act in all respects according to the provisions of the constitution and by-laws under which this association is governed.
Section 4:† Delegates from corresponding bodies and brethren invited to be seated in the association shall be entitled to all privileges of the association except voting.
Section 5:† No person shall speak more than twice on the same question nor over ten minutes at the time without special permission of the association; neither shall anyone be permitted to speak without first facing and addressing the chair by the appellation, "Brother Moderator," and shall not proceed with discussion or statement until recognized by the chair.
Section 6:† The business of the association shall be governed by good parliamentary regulations at all times.
Section 7:† No person shall be allowed to nominate more than one member of any office, board, or committee provided the person nominated be elected.† No person shall hold more than one office in the state at any one time.
Section 8:† This association shall sit with open doors except when it shall go into a committee of the whole.
Section 9:† By a two-thirds vote of all members present and voting, a ruling of the moderator may be overruled.
Section 10:† These by-laws may be amended at any regular session of the association by a majority vote of the body provided the proposed amendment has been read before the body and placed on the table one day in advance of the time the vote is to be taken.
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