Articles of Incorporation
Berean Baptist Church
Pella, Iowa

Know all men by these presents:
      That we, the undersigned, for the purpose of organizing a corporation not for pecuniary profit in accordance with Chapter 504 of the 1962 Code of Iowa do hereby adopt the following Articles of Incorporation.

Article I
Name of Corporation
The name of this corporation shall be Berean Baptist Church of Pella, Iowa, and its principal place of business shall be Pella, Marion County, Iowa.

Article II
Corporate Life
      This corporation shall have an existence of fifty years, unless sooner dissolved, and shall have the right to renew its existence.

Article III
Purposes and Objectives
The purpose of this organization shall be to:
A. Provide a spiritual fellowship among New Testament believers in our community (Pella, Iowa) by maintaining an independent Baptist church.
B. Provide a place of worship and prayer with faithful recognition of the New Testament doctrines and ordinances.
C.  Provide a center of training for the whole family in Bible knowledge and Bible doctrine.
D. Give training and incentive to a program of continuous witnessing and Bible doctrine.
E. Teach and give examples of stewardship in time and money.
F. Proclaim the salvation message at home and abroad as commanded by our Lord in Matthew 28:19-20, through fundamental missions who adhere to our doctrinal position.
G. Proclaim the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27), and earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints (Jude 3-4). 
H.  To maintain an autonomous, sovereign Baptist church which is democratically governed by and with the consent of its members, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and recognizing Christ as its head. The polity of practices for this local church are to be patterned after the churches of the New Testament.

Article IV
Management of Corporate Business
      The business of this corporation shall be managed and conducted by a Board of Trustees {Deacons}, all of whom shall be male members of the corporation in good standing. Five trustees shall be elected for the first one hundred members of the corporation and one for each additional twenty-five members thereof. The trustees shall be elected by the members of  the corporation in good standing in the annual meeting and shall hold office for a term of two years starting the January 1 following their election. Any elective member of the Board of Trustees who shall fail to maintain his status as a member of the corporation in good standing shall cease to be a trustee. His position as trustee shall then become vacant.
      When a vacancy occurs, the advisory board shall submit a candidate for unexpired terms to the congregation for election. In the event an unexpired term of six (6) months or less, the vacancy can be filled at the discretion of the Pastor and the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees shall have the full power and authority to conduct all the business affairs of the corporation including, but not limited to: the power to buy and sell property, borrow money and pledge the assets of this corporation as security thereof. The Board of Trustees also has the power to do every act which may be deemed suitable and proper for the administration of the affairs of this corporation, it order to carry out the purposes and objectives thereof except that of calling a Pastor, purchase, sale or mortgage of real estate, voting on questions of affiliation with other groups. The expenditure of any sum in excess of $500.00 shall first be approved by a majority of the members present at a regular or special meeting of the members of the corporation at which a quorum is present. At such a meeting of the members, a quorum shall be 25% of all resident active voting members, except in calling or dismissing a Pastor; in which case 50% of all active voting members shall constitute a quorum.  Two-thirds of the votes cast will decide the issue. All members eighteen years of age and older and in good standing shall be qualified to vote.

Article V
      The officers of the corporation shall be a chairman, a clerk and a treasurer, all of whom shall be elected at the annual meeting of the members. In addition thereto, the Board of Trustees shall elect a secretary of the Board of Trustees at the first meeting after the annual meeting of the members. The chairman and the secretary of the Board of Trustees must be members of the Board of Trustees. The minister of the church shall act as moderator of all church meetings, including meetings of the Board of Trustees, except in the absence of a minister when the chairman shall act as moderator. All instruments to be signed on behalf of the corporation, including instruments affecting real estate, shall be signed by the chairman and the secretary of the Board of Trustees.

Article VI
A. The Annual Meeting
      The annual meeting of the members shall be held in the church sanctuary on the third Wednesday night of December, for the purpose of the election of officers and the approval of the  budget for the coming year.

B. Quarterly Business Meetings
      Quarterly business meetings will be held the third Wednesday of April, July, October and January unless the day of the meeting is changed by the vote of the church because of an unforeseen conflict.

C. Absentee Ballots:
        Absentee ballots must be obtained from the pastor or secretary of the board of deacons. A record of the number of absentee ballots shall be kept by the secretary of the Board of Deacons. Absentee ballots must be received by the Church Clerk prior to the voting at the annual business meeting. Absentee ballots shall be issued at the discretion of the pastor and the Board of Deacons.

D. Annual Reports:
      The annual reports will be distributed for approval at the fourth quarterly business meeting, which is to be held the third Wednesday of January.

E. Special Meetings:
      Special meetings of the membership may be called by the pastor and trustees, or trustees alone in case of a vacant pulpit, whenever necessary. Notice of the annual meeting and special meetings shall be given by announcing said meetings from the pulpit on the two preceding Sundays. The purpose of such meetings is to be stated from the written record of the Clerk. At all meetings of the members a quorum of members shall be present before business can be transacted.

F. Church Business:
      The Board of Trustees shall handle and consider suggestions, recommendations and grievances upon the part of any member or organization affiliated with the Church. All matters of business brought before the congregation, spiritual or temporal, must come as a recommendation from the Board of Trustees {Deacons}.

Article VII
      By-laws for the management and government of this corporation shall be adopted by the members of the corporation and may be amended by the members of said corporation, but said by-laws and amendments thereto must be approved by a two-thirds vote of the members present at such meeting. Changes shall be announced and posted two weeks prior to such meeting.

Article VIII
Private Property Exempt
      The private property of the members of this corporation shall not be liable for corporate debts.

Article IX
Amendment of the Preamble, Church Covenant, Articles of Faith and Articles of Incorporation
   The Preamble, Church Covenant, Articles of Faith and Articles of Incorporation, except Article VIII, may be amended by two-thirds vote of the resident voting members present at any regular or special meeting of the members. Amendments may be made only after recommendations for such has been submitted by the Deacon Board in writing to the church two Sundays prior to said voting.

Article I
Section I.
      After the closing of the church charter, any person giving evidence of change of heart, and holding the views of faith and practice of this church, may upon baptism by immersion, be received into the membership after being interviewed by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, and received by vote of the church.
A. Members from other churches holding the same faith may be received by letter of recommendation and dismissal from their respective churches, after being interviewed by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons, and recommended by them and received by vote of the church.
B.  Persons coming from other denominations, who have been scripturally baptized or being baptized by this church may upon the recommendation of the Deacons and a vote of the church be received into the membership.
C.  No one is to be taken into the membership, who is a member of any organization, secret or otherwise, which teaches good works as the means of obtaining eternal life.

Section II
      The Board of Deacons and Pastor shall constitute the Disciplinary Committee before whom all matters of disciplinary nature shall be brought. In case of personal differences it is to be dealt with in accordance with Matthew 18:15-17. If any member in good standing prefers charges in writing against another member that she or he had violated the Covenant or Constitution, the accused shall be notified by the Pastor and at least one deacon or in the absence of a Pastor by two deacons. He or she must appear before the Disciplinary Committee at their request. Should the Committee find the accused guilty of said charge, he or she shall be given opportunity to make restitution to the one wronged, whether an individual or the church. Refusal to do so shall make mandatory the Disciplinary Committee’s recommendation to the church for action. The accused shall have the right to present his side of the case if he or she so desires, but it must precede the vote of the church. A vote of two-thirds of the voting members present shall serve as notice that the accused is dropped from the membership of the church. If there is evidence of change of heart in the future, he or she may meet with the Pastor and Deacons, and upon their recommendation be considered for church membership. Before the committee or church acts for dismissal the following scriptures are to be read aloud and used as guidance in determining God’s will in the matter.

  • Galatians 6:1, I Corinthians 11:31, Matthew 18:15-17, Hebrews 12:5-6, II Thessalonians 3:6-15.

In the event that the Pastor or a Deacon requires discipline it shall be done in the same manner as with any other member.

Section III
1.  By letter of recommendation and dismissal to another Baptist church of like faith and practice.
2.  Upon request with statement of good standing, if for some reason it is impossible to unite with a Baptist church true to the Word in faith and practice, in moving to another place.
3.  By expulsion as a result of discipline {Article 1, Section III}.
4.  By death.
5.  Any member of this church not having communicated with this church at least once every six months thus signifying his desire to remain a member in good standing, shall be placed on an inactive list by the Pastor and Deacons. They shall notify him of this action.
6.  All persons who fail to comply with the above statement {#5} of this section, shall upon recommendation of the Deacons and vote of the church, be dropped from the membership roll and notified of such action by the Clerk in writing, at the last known address. It shall be the duty of the Pastor and Deacons to visit those in the Pella area, who may be on the broken fellowship list.
7.  Members on the inactive list shall not have the right to vote.

Article II
      – See Article V of Articles of Incorporation for legal officers and duties, spiritual officers and duties.

Section I.
A. Pastor:
      1. The Pastor:
           The Pastor must be a main in full accord with the Church’s statement of faith and constitution and proved by his own statement and past association, either in school or fellowship with those who hold dear the exhortation “that we should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints” Jude 3,4. The term of office is to be as long as it is evident that it is for the best interest of the church.

      2. Pulpit Committee:
The Board of Deacons is to act as the Pulpit committee in securing a candidate. He shall be called at a regular or special meeting. Corporate Business, Article IV. Only one candidate is to be considered at a time. Upon his assuming the duties of Pastor, both he and his wife are to become members of this church. His duties shall be to see to the spiritual oversight of the flock of God, visit the sick, the unsaved, the church families, administer the ordinances, etc. 

     3. Termination:
Should it occur that a considerable number of the membership believe the ministry of the Pastor is completed, the Board of Deacons shall meet with the Pastor. After careful consideration of the spiritual aspect, and self examination, it shall then be the duty of the Board of Deacons to make known the recommendation of the same and the feeling of the Pastor on the matter to the church. If the church votes to ask for his resignation, the term of office shall terminate in 60 days. However, the Board of Deacons shall have the authority to terminate the pastorate at any time during the 60 days if they feel it is for the best interest of the church. In such case, the full two months salary shall be allowed.

     4. Pastor’s salary, etc.
The church financial policy shall set forth clearly and definitely in writing the financial agreements between the church and the pastor, including the matters of salary, housing, allowances, vacation, etc. This policy shall be reviewed at least once each year by a meeting of the advisory board and pastor, and shall be presented to the church for re-adoption or revision.

B. Deacons:
       The Board of Deacons {Trustees} shall be elected according to Article IV. It shall be the duty of the Deacons to actively engage in the spiritual advancement of this church, to uphold the Pastor in prayer, to visit the sick and to be an example to others in fulfilling the office of spiritual leadership. The Chairman of the Deacons {Trustees} shall not hold either the office of Treasurer or clerk while acting as Chairman. In the absence of Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacon Board shall have the authority to appoint a temporary chairman, if the need should arise. The Deacons shall help in the serving of the Lord’s Table and in the spiritual ministry of the church. The qualifications for deacons shall be found in I Timothy 3:8-13. A record of all business meetings held by the Deacons {Trustees} shall have minutes of such meetings.

Deacons Wives:
            The Deacons’ wives are to meet the spiritual qualifications found in I Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:5. They are upon request of Pastor and Deacons to prepare the Lord’s Table. They are to see that the communion service is cleaned and cared for after the service, to visit the sick and assist in the spiritual ministry of their husbands. They are to help the young girls and ladies at baptismal services.

C. Treasurer:
            The treasurer shall give a written record to the church at the quarterly and annual meetings. Monthly reports will be given to the Pastor and Deacons. All offerings are to be counted by the treasurer and one other approved by the {Trustees} or a {Trustee} and one other. A duplicate record is to be filled out and signed by those counting the offering. One record is to be kept in the church and one kept by the treasurer. All payments over $1 are to be made by check. Records are to be kept on sheets or in books approved by trustees.

D. Clerk:
            The clerk shall keep a record of all minutes of business meetings, an up to date record of members, and carry on such correspondence as may be deemed necessary by the Deacon {Trustee} Board. The clerk shall submit a written summary of the church year at the annual meeting, and such other reports or written notices as may be deemed necessary by the Deacons {Trustees}.

Auxiliary Officers and Duties
Section I.
Sunday School Superintendent:
            The Sunday School Superintendent shall be a man elected by the church at the annual business meeting of the church. His duties shall be to oversee the Sunday School and perform all duties associated with this office. He along with the Pastor shall recommend an assistant and Sunday School teachers to the Board of Deacons for approval. The Sunday School shall be considered a part of the church and not a separate organization. Its financial needs are to be met from the church treasury. Sunday School material is not to be changed without the approval of the Sunday School superintendent, Pastor and Board of Deacons.
            1. Sunday School teachers must be members of the church. They are to be appointed by the Sunday School Superintendent, Pastor and Deacons.
            2.  Substitute teachers need not be members of the church, but must meet the approval of the Sunday School Superintendent, Pastor and Deacons.

B. Advisory Board:
            1.  The Pastor, Deacons, Church Clerk, Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, and Ladies Missionary Group Chairman shall constitute the Advisory Board.
            2.  It shall be the duty of the Board to meet about three weeks before the annual election of officers the time to be set by the Deacons. They are to make recommendations for the vacant offices for the coming year. Whenever possible two nominations shall be made for each vacancy in an office.
            3.  Nominations by other members:  Church members may hand in nominations prior to the Advisory Board meeting, when they select nominees for vacant offices. All nominees shall be contacted and approved as to their qualifications and desire to serve.
            4.  It shall be the duty of the board to submit a proposed budget for the coming church year at the annual meeting.

C. Auditing Committee:
            The Auditing Committee shall be two trustees selected by the trustee board. They shall audit the books by January 31, following the closing of the previous church year on December 31.

D. Ladies Missionary Group:
            The Ladies Missionary Group shall be a part of the church. The Ladies Missionary committee shall consist of the Pastor’s wife and leaders elected by the group. All leaders are to be members of the church. It shall be the purpose of the Ladies Missionary Group to meet for Bible Study and prayer, to visit and try to interest others in the ministry of the church, to study and acquaint the members with our GARBC approved agencies and boards, and their needs and aims.

E. Social Committee:
            The Social Committee shall consist of chairman and three ladies. Their terms shall be staggered so that who shall be elected every year at the annual business meeting and serve for two years. It shall be the duty of this committee to supervise the preparation and serving of meals or refreshments at request of Pastor and Deacons. For the first year four ladies shall be elected. Two will serve for one year and two will serve for two years. The first two names drawn from the elected four shall be those who will serve for one year.

F. Flower Committee:
            The Flower Committee shall consist of a chairman and three others.Their terms shall be staggered so that two shall be elected every year at the annual meeting and serve for two years. The duties of this committee shall be to arrange flowers for the church, and to see that flowers are sent to the sick, and for funerals. A guide shall be supplied by the Deacons. For the first year four shall be elected and the same procedure followed as for the Social Committee.

G. Ushers:
            A chairman shall be selected by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons. The chairman with the Pastor and Deacons shall appoint ushers as needed to provide for the services.

H. Pianist and Organist:
            These are to be approved by the Pastor and Deacons. Organists and pianists are to be scheduled for services as needed by the music committee.

I. Music Committee:
            The chairman is to be a Deacon selected from the Board, who along with the Pastor and choir director and two other persons appointed by the Deacons (one is to be a pianist or an organist) shall comprise the Music Committee. They are to make such recommendations as they believe necessary to the Deacon Board; regarding instruments, and special music used in services.

J. Auxiliary Groups:
            Such groups as young peoples group, ladies Missionary Group, Men’s Group, or any group that may be organized as an auxiliary to the church shall be subject to the Pastor and Deacons as their spiritual leaders, and must have their consent and approval to organize and operate.

Article III
By Laws                              Finances                       Ordination

Section I
            The Constitution and By-Laws are to be in the hands of the Clerk present at each church meeting.

Section II
            Tithes and offerings are to be the only means of raising money for the support of this church and its various ministries. This is to be construed to mean that bake sales, church suppers for profit, rummage sales, or any other means not found in the Scriptures are to be avoided.

Section III
            When in the judgment of the Deacon Board and upon the vote of the church, one of its members (men only) is called to the office of Pastor or Missionary, it shall be within the power of the church to call an ordination council to examine the candidate as to his fitness, and spiritual qualification to fulfill such an office. The recommendation of the council shall not be binding, but for the best interest of all it shall be prayerfully considered.

Those who cannot be ordained:
            1. One who is addicted to the use of liquor, tobacco or drugs in any form.
            2. One who has been divorced or proven guilty of immorality following salvation.
            3. One who cannot fulfill the spiritual qualifications of I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.

Article IV

Section I
            All records of the Berean Baptist Church and its Auxiliary groups are and remain the property of the church. They are to be available to the Pastor and Deacons at any and all times at their request.

Section II
            In the event of the dissolvement of this local church, the assets and the property are to go to another fundamental organization designed by the vote of the church at the time of its ceasing to exist as a church. The organization, which is to receive such assets and property, must be exempt under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

Approved– July 15, 1964
Revised– December 21, 1977
Revised – April 22, 2015
Revised – January 20, 2016