Sharon Baptist Church
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Meeting you at the cross.

Church By-Laws


This body shall be known as the Sharon Baptist Church, Inc., located in Hoschton, Georgia. Sharon Baptist Church, Inc. is an affiliate of the Mulberry Baptist Association, Georgia Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. The word “Church” as used herein shall mean Sharon Baptist Church, Inc.
The purpose of this church is to:
EVANGELIZE:     Share the Good News of Jesus with others.
EQUIP:                   Teach the Bible in preparation for the challenges of today.
ENCOURAGE:       Love and Care for one another in practical ways.
EXALT:                   Glorify God and respond in obedience to His leadership. 
The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, immutable, and inerrant Word of God and is the basis for any statement of faith. This Church subscribes to the doctrine of “The Baptist Faith and Message”, as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000.
Because we seek to live under the authority of the Holy Bible, we believe the word “marriage” means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word “spouse” refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife. (Matt. 19:4-6 NKJV, 1982)
As a member of Sharon Baptist Church, having made profession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and been scripturally baptized, I do covenant before God as I am enabled by His Holy Spirit to:
  •  Live my life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every area.
  •  Accept the Word of God as my authority for faith and every day living.
  • Submit myself to be equipped for service by the Church leadership, the Holy Spirit, and the teachings of the Word of God.
  • Maintain the unity of the body by acting in love toward other members and finding my place of service within this part of the Body of Christ.
A new Constitution and By-Laws may be adopted or this Constitution and By-Laws may be amended or repealed by the affirmative vote of a three-fourths (3/4) majority of votes cast at a meeting called for such purpose. The Church membership shall be given two weeks advance notice of the time of such meeting. Further, a copy of the proposed changes shall be made available to members at two consecutive weeks of Sunday morning worship services in advance of the meeting.

Article I. Church Membership
Section 1. General
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self-government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of this Church.
Membership in this Church shall consist of all persons who have met the requirements of membership as provided in Article I, Section 2, been approved by the congregation, and are listed on the membership roll.
Section 2. Candidacy
Any person wishing to become a member in this Church may offer themselves as a candidate for church membership at any regular service in the following ways: 
(1)    By profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and scriptural baptism,
(2)    By promise of a letter of recommendation from another Baptist Church of like faith and practice, or
(3)     By statement of prior conversion experience and scriptural baptism, or
(4)     For scriptural baptism from another denomination, or
(5)     By restoration as provided in Article I, Section 6.
A three-fourths vote of those Church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership. Those offering themselves for membership shall be enrolled in a small group Bible Study/Sunday School.
Section 3. Responsibilities of Members
In order to be a responsible member of Sharon Baptist Church, one should:
(1)    Be in basic agreement with the Church’s statement of faith and purpose
(2)    Discover, develop and deploy their spiritual gifts in the ministries of the Church.
(3)    Be diligent to live according to the statements of the Church Covenant.
(4)    Be faithful in attendance to worship services and Bible study.
(5)    Become a student of the Word of God and of prayer.
(6)    Make a commitment to personal evangelism and discipleship.
(7)    Encourage scriptural stewardship of time, talents, and tithes and offerings.
Section 4. Voting Rights of Members
Only active members of the Church are entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the Church in conference. An inactive member is defined as a member whose predominant attendance is at another church, or a member who has not attended the Church in six months. Members who are homebound due to medical reasons or age are honored exceptions. Members must be present to vote. Any questions of eligibility will be referred to the Church Clerk.
Section 5. Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways;
(1)   By death
(2)   By dismissal to another Baptist Church.
(3)   By disciplinary action of this Church as provided in Article I, Section 6.
(4)   By joining with a church of another denomination.
Note:    Letters of dismissal shall be granted only to other churches of like faith and order and not individual members requesting termination of membership.
Section 6. Discipline
(1)   It shall be the basic purpose of Sharon Baptist Church to emphasize to its members that every reasonable measure will be taken to assist any troubled member. The pastor, other members of the Church staff and deacons are available for counsel and guidance. Reconciliation rather than punishment should be the guideline, which governs the attitude of one member toward another.
(2)   Should some serious condition exist which would cause a member to become a liability to the general welfare of the Church, every reasonable measure will be taken by the pastor and by the deacons to resolve the problem in accordance with Matthew 18: 15-35, I Corinthians 5:1-13, II Corinthians 2:1-11. A spirit of Christian kindness and forbearance shall pervade all such proceedings. If it is determined that the welfare of the church will best be served by the exclusion of the member, the Church may take this action by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a meeting called for this purpose; and the Church may proceed to declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of the Church.
(3)   Any person whose membership has been terminated for any condition, which has made it necessary for the Church to exclude him, may upon his request be restored to membership by a vote of the church upon evidence of his repentance and reformation.

Section 1. Pastor
Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and give pastoral care to the congregation and the community.
  1. He is the spiritual leader and under-shepherd of the congregation.
  2. Provides administrative leadership for the total church program
  3. Serves as chairman of the Church Leadership Council or delegates to other staff members from time to time.
  4. Proclaims the gospel and leads the church in proclaiming the gospel to the church and the community.
  5. Leads the deacons, staff, and the church in a caring ministry for the persons in the church and community.
  6. Joins with the deacons in providing spiritual leadership to the congregation.
  7. Leads or delegates the leadership of the congregational services: plans, coordinates, and evaluates congregational services.
  8. Leadall worship services, or arrange for someone else to perform this function.
  9. Recommend and advise on the selection of all staff members and in determining their duties.
  10. Give supervision to other members of the church staff.
  11. Plan and provide leadership in the observance of the church ordinances.
  12. Conduct funeral services and wedding ceremonies, as he is able, and sharing or delegating to others on the staff responsibilities in this area.
  13. Serve as an advisor to the church committees in performing their assignments.
  14. Counsel with and assist in the training of deacons for their responsibilities.
  15. Serve as a moderator of the church.
  16. Visit the sick, homebound, and hospitalized.
A pastor shall be chosen and called by the Church whenever a vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose of which two week's notice to the church shall have been given. Upon the resignation of the pastor, a list of possible perspective members of the Pulpit Team will be presented to the Nominating Team by a secret ballot from the church. Then the Nominating Team shall select a Pulpit Team to be approved by the Church to seek out a pastor, and its recommendation will constitute a nomination.
The pastor search team will be organized as following:
1-99                      Sunday School Average – 3 members
100 – 200             Sunday School Average – 5 members
200 -                     Sunday School Average – 7 members
 The team shall bring to the consideration of the Church only one name at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot with an affirmative vote of eighty-five percent (85%) of those members present being necessary for a call. The pastor, thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the Church's dismissal action as provided herein.
The pastor shall give at least fourweeks notice at the time of resignation before terminating his responsibilities as pastor. The church may grant a shorter notice based upon circumstances.
The Church may declare the office of pastor vacant. Such action shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which the membership has been given two week's written notice. The Deacon Fellowship and the Trustee’s may call the meeting upon recommendation. The vice-moderator shall preside at the meeting. The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by secret ballot. A quorum of at least 51% of the Church membership eligible to vote as provided in Article 1, Section 4, must be present in order to declare the office of the pastor vacant. An affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present shall be necessary to declare the office vacant. If the membership votes the office vacant, the termination of pastoral duties shall be effective immediately upon publication of the results of the vote. Compensation shall continue for sixty days after written notice is given to the pastor at which time termination shall be complete. If the affirmative does not prevail, the same question cannot be presented to the Church until the lapse of at least three (3) months from the date of the vote.
Any written agreements entered into between the Church and pastor shall be honored by the Church regardless of the nature of the termination of the relationship.
Section 2. Deacon Ministry Fellowship
In accordance with the meaning of the work and the practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the Church. The task of the deacon is to serve with the pastor and staff in performing pastoral ministry tasks; proclaim the gospel to unbelievers; care for Church members and other persons in the community; lead the Church to achieve its mission.
The deacons shall serve for the term of five years and may serve unlimited consecutive terms. This Deacon Fellowship should consist of the minimum of seven (7) and the maximum of twelve (12). The Fellowship of Deacons should present a list of names to be voted on by the church by secret ballot in the July business meeting. The number of deacons to be elected each year (up to a maximum of 12) shall be determined by the fellowship in accordance with the needs of the church. 
A Deacon must:
1. Be born again of the Spirit of God and willing to give and live his Christian                                                                         testimony before the Church membership and the world.
2.   Believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God, and subscribes to Sharon Baptist Church’s the Articles of Faith.
3.   Believe that it is every Christian's responsibility to be a personal soul winner and to lead the Church in outreach visitation.
4.   Believe that it is the obligation of every Christian to obey the Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:19-20.
5.   Believe in and practice tithing as a minimum expression of our love for God through the Church.
6.   Not have any serious domestic troubles and not have been divorced. He must know how to rule his own home well before becoming a leader in his Church according to I Timothy   3:8-13.
7.   Know, along with his wife, how to hold their tongues against spreading gossip or      talking critically about others.
8.   Not to be involved in gambling.
9.   Handle his own business affairs in a way that is above reproach, possessing a good name among the people of his community.
10. Abstain totally from the use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage. A deacon should neither sell, nor be involved in the sales of alcoholic beverages. He should neither serve nor allow alcoholic beverages to be served in his home.
11. Try to put down murmuring and complaining as he would smother a fire, facing them frankly, dealing with them fairly and stand loyally with the majority of the Church in their decisions.
12. Be willing to serve when service is needed, to the best of his ability. He should be willing to work at an assigned task conscientiously, and if he is unable to carry out the assignment, will so indicate and resign the responsibility. He will resign from the Deacon Fellowship if he cannot or will not carry out his responsibilities as an elected deacon.
13. Attend the services of his Church, supporting them with his good will, presence, prayers and contributions.
14. Keep the observance of the Lord's Day above reproach.
15. Be an active male member of Sharon Baptist church, and be at least twenty-one years of age.
16. Has been an active member of Sharon Baptist Church for at least one year.
17. Have a teachable spirit to learn and apply the Scriptures to his life.
Section 1. Baptism
A person who receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by personal faith who professes Him publicly at any worship service; and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord, shall be received for baptism.
1.      Baptism shall be by immersion in water.
2.      Baptism shall be administered by the pastor or whomever the church shall authorize.
3.      Baptism shall be administered as an act of worship.
Section 2. The Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the Church, through partaking of the bread and fruit of the vine, commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and anticipate His second coming.
(1)   The Lord's Supper shall be observed at least quarterly, preferably the first Sunday of the quarter, or as otherwise scheduled.
(2)   The Lord's Supper shall be observed in the Sunday morning or any other service deemed appropriate.
(3)   The pastor and deacons shall be responsible for the administration of the Lord's Supper.
(4)   The deacons shall be responsible for the physical preparations of the Lord's Supper.
The Church shall maintain an operation manual providing position descriptions for all officers, teams, and staff members. It shall include all policies, practices, and procedures not specifically covered in the Constitution and Bylaws, but deemed necessary to assure the effectiveness of day-to-day operations. Except that, in the event the wording or provisions of such documents are deemed inconsistent with the Constitution and Bylaws, such inconsistencies shall be of no effect and shall be corrected immediately upon discovery.
The Church Council will continually evaluate the Operations Manual and present any additions, deletions and other revisions to the Operations Manual to the Church for approval. 
The Operations Manual may be amended by majority of votes cast at a meeting called for such purpose. The Church membership shall be given two weeks advance notice of the time of such meeting.
1.      Eachmember leading any activity has the responsibility of seeing that all doors are locked; all equipment turned off and all lights turned out, alarm set following the activity.
2.      Any unusual occurrence, breakage or equipment failure should be reported to the property and grounds team immediately.
3.      No equipment shall be taken from the premises without appropriate approval and signed out from the church office and approved by the property and grounds team. 
4.      All use of the facilities must be scheduled ahead of time and properly recorded on the church calendar along with the name, phone number of the person who will be in charge of the event. The church secretary will make all entries.
5.      The fellowship hall is to be kept locked at all times when not in use.           
6.      All garbage and disposable items must be properly picked up and disposed of properly.
7.      The leader of each group using the facilities and equipment should remind everyone sharing in the event that each of us has a shared responsibility of keeping the facilities looking neat and clean and caring for the equipment. EXAMPLE: LEAVE THE KITCHEN CLEAN! SUCH AS WASHING THE DISHES YOU HAVE USED INCLUDING SILVERWARE AND UTENSILS AND PUTTING THEM IN THEIR PROPER PLACES.
8.       The care in turning off unnecessary lights and locking all doors should also be constantly stressed to groups using the facilities.
9.       Issues not covered by these guidelines and that are not common sense must be      brought to the attention of the Property and Grounds Team.
10.  No food or drink is allowed in the sanctuary.
11.   No smoking is allowed in any part of the building.
12.  Polyethylene film MUST be placed on the carpet under all candles (in area large enough to catch all drops of wax. This includes drip less candles since our air conditioning and heating can cause them to drip also).
13. There is a charge for the use of the sanctuary and fellowship hall (See Chart Below):
                                                      Active Members*                   Inactive &   
           A. SANCTUARY                                DONATION                                          $250.00
                B.   FELLOWSHIP HALL DONATION                                          $250.00
                C.   SANCTUARY/
                FELLOWSHIP HALL                  DONATION                                          $350.00
                D. SOUND ROOM TECH DONATION                                          $30.00 PER HOUR
                E. SECURITY DEPOSIT                          -0-                                                   $500.00                                
·         Active Member as described in By-Laws.
·         A Sharon Baptist Church technician will operate the sound room only.
·         Sound room fee will be paid to the technician.
·         A member of the property and grounds team or and appointed representative will be present at all non church member activities and compensated out of fees charged for the use of the facilities.
·         The use of the church facility will be at the discretion of the property and grounds team and the pastor.
·          Pastor may waive this charge if situation warrants such a brief ceremony that is attended only by the principles and witnesses—in which case there would be no custodial needs before or following the ceremony.
·         Sunday weddings cannot be scheduled after 4 PM. Sanctuary must be cleared for evening worship at 6 PM. Florists and caterers are not allowed in buildings before 12:30 P M on Sundays.
·         Any modifications to be made to the church facility must be approved by the property and grounds team.
·         Flowers and greenery may be placed in front of or behind the choir rail. Please DO NOT use thumb tacks or scotch tape anywhere in the church.
·         NO RICE or BIRDSEED shall be used in any part of the buildings.
·         Alcoholic beverages are prohibited on church property.
·         The church secretary will make appropriate reservations on the church calendar.
·         One-half of fees must accompany reservation form (church office) and the balance of fee should be paid one month before the activity.


A valid licensed driver shall always operate the Church vans/buses. Eligible drivers must be 25 years of age or older, and a member of Sharon Baptist Church of Hoschton, Inc. who has been cleared by the Property and Grounds Team. A copy of the driver’s license must be in the insurance file located in the church office and on file with the insurance company.
Reservations to use van/bus are to be made in advance, and it will be on the first come first serve basis.
Van/buses shall not be loaned out to anyone except to another church only in cases of extreme emergency.
Van/buses are to be used for church activities only.
Whenever a trip is planned for the children, the child will bring an authorized note from his/her parent or legal guardian giving permission for the trip and also releasing the church from liability in case of accident. These forms will be located in the church office. 
Any questions or problems concerning the van/bus should be directed to the Property and Grounds Team.
If you wish to be recognized as an eligible driver, please see the chairman of the Property and Grounds Team. He will familiarize you with the van/bus and have your name added to the insurance list of drivers.
Maintenance Fee beyond any Funeral Home Expense:
A plot shall be reserved through the Cemetery Team for immediate family with the limit of four plots. Copan has to be in place within 90 days of reservation of the plot.
Fifteen Hundred dollars ($1500.00) for non-members
Five Hundred dollars ($500.00) for inactive members (By-Laws: Article I. Section 4)
One Hundred dollars ($100.00) for members
This fee may be paid to the funeral home or the church prior digging.
Any benevolent needs or other actions will be determined by the Team.
The moderator shall be the pastor. In the absence of the pastor, the chairman of deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both, the clerk shall call the Church to order and an acting moderator shall be elected.
The Church-elected clerk shall keep in a suitable manner, a record of all the actions of the church. He or she shall issue letters of dismissal and recommendation voted by the church. He or she shall keep accurate records of admissions, dismissals, deaths, and total membership.
It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive, preserve, and pay out, upon receipt of vouchers, approved and signed by authorized personnel, moneys, things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. The treasurer shall make a written report of the conditions of finance at each monthly conference of the church.   The treasurer shall make available such records as deemed necessary by the Stewardship team to provide for an annual certified audit. 
Financial Secretary
It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to receive and audit all bills presented to the church for payment, print checks for the Treasurer for the payment of all bills and salaries, keeping accurate records.
Three trustees, one-third of who shall be elected annually to serve for three years, and, until their successors shall be appointed, will hold in trust the property of the Church. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property without a specific vote of the Church authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgaging, or purchase of rental of property or other legal documents where the signatures of trustees are required. The trustees will serve as the officers of the Corporation.
Should a Trustee be unable to complete the term of office, a successor will be elected to serve the remainder of the term. Should the remaining term be less than one year, the successor will be eligible for election for an additional term of office. Should the remaining term be greater than one year, the successor my not be elected to a successive term.
Only one active deacon may serve as a trustee.
1. The Nominating Team
The Pastor and Deacon Fellowship shall recommend a Nominating Team to the church and must be elected by a two-thirds (2/3) vote. The Nominating Team shall consist of not less than 4 members with no more than one active deacon.
  • All existing or new teams and Church officers shall be nominated by the Nominating Team and elected by the church to serve a period of one year. The Nominating Team shall specify the number of members for each team.
  • Teams are responsible for electing their officers and establishing operating guidelines. All teams shall be responsible to the church. All teams shall be accountable, when requested, at the monthly conference.
  • The Pastor shall be an ex-officio member of all teams
2. The Stewardship Team shall prepare and submit an annual budget to the church for adoption. They shall maintain close supervision over expenditures to see that the budget is followed and make recommendations for additional appropriations if and when necessary. The team, in consultation with the pastor, shall approve payment for bills of a reasonable amount not authorized in the budget. This team is responsible for setting up any designated accounts.
3.  The Property and Ground Team
The Property and Grounds Team shall be responsible for all properties belonging to the church and shall care for their proper maintenance and upkeep. This team shall include at least one member of the custodial personnel.
They shall supervise the purchase of all supplies and materials necessary for proper heating, air-conditioning, cleaning, and appearance of the building and grounds. The Team shall maintain a regular inspection schedule of all church properties; supervise or delegate supervision of maintenanceand building repairs. This team shall supervise the custodial personnel.
4.  The Cemetery Team
This team will be responsible for all policies and procedures, and plans of the cemetery. They are responsible for appearance and maintenance of the cemetery.
5.  The Flower Team
To see that flowers are sent at the time of a church member’s death or a church member’s immediate family (husband, wife, child, mother, father, step-mother or step-father). This team is responsible for maintaining flowers in the church.
6.  The Hostess Team
Their duty shall be to work with the Pastor and/or other committees to see that someone is responsible for the social functions (revival, homecoming, fellowships, etc.) of the church. This committee shall be responsible for any church wide fellowships, and shall assist the pastor with any functions he may plan, such as the Pastor’s Conference, etc. They shall enlist members to assist in the setting up and the cleaning up for these fellowships.
7.  The Publicity Team
Their duty shall be to work with the Pastor in the planning and preparation of suitable publicity for the church. They are responsible to give publicity to every cause in the total Church program. This team is responsible for the marquee, website, outreach materials, and any other type of advertising for the church. 

1. Church Council
The primary functions of the Church Council shall be recommended to the congregation suggested Church goals and objectives; review and coordinate program plans recommended by the Church staff, Church officers, organizations, and teams; approve the Church calendar; evaluate programs achievements in terms of Church goals and objectives; communicate the above to the membership; evaluate the Operations Manual, and make certain that the Constitution and Bylaws are followed.
The Church Council will meet regularly.The following shall be members of the Church Council: The pastor or designated other Church staff member, Chairman of the Deacon Fellowship, Sunday School Director, Stewardship Team Leader, Men’s Ministry, WMU Director Youth Director and Choir Director. Other members may be added by election of the Church Council. Any Team Leader may attend a church Council meeting at any time. The pastor or his designated representative will serve as the Chairman of the Church Council.
2. Ushers
The duties of the Ushers shall be to warmly greet worshipers, receive and secure the offerings, and to be attentive to the needs of the congregation and the Pastor. The Nominating Team, as well as a Head Usher who is to lead the Ushers shall choose the Ushers. The number shall be set at whatever is appropriate for the needs of our church. 
3. Sunday School Director
The Sunday School director should lead the organization of the Sunday School program as the Bible-teaching ministry and evangelistic outreach of the church. He or she should counselthe Nominating team on securing Sunday School teachers and leaders to be elected by the church. The director is to see that literature and teaching aids are ordered for each class. The promotion of Sunday School should be a priority of the School Director. He or she should lead training for School Sunday teachers through the church, the association or state convention. The director with the assistance of the Pastor will facilitatebackground checks on the appropriate teachers.
4. Sunday School Teacher
The church should elect Sunday School teachers for all appropriate ages. They should commit to study, remain faithful to their class in attendance, and encourageoutreach for their class. It is the responsibility of the teacher to make sure a teacher is secured for their class in their absence. All teachers leading classes teenagers and under should under go a background check. 
5. Children’s Workers
Background checks will be done on everyone working with Sharon Baptist Church children from birth through high school. Persons working with Sharon Baptist Church children must be involved at Sharon Baptist Church for a minimum of 6 months before working with children. Youth working with children will have a background check upon their 18th birthday. New staff members and their immediate family are exempt from this 6 month period, but must have background Committee approval.
Absence from the church for at least 6 months will require a new background check if a request is made to the Background Committee by any church employee or church member.
Background checks are to be destroyed by the committee every 3 years, and a new one will be completed for every children’s worker. 
1. Worship Services
The Church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning, Sunday Evening, and Wednesday evening for preaching, instruction, evangelism, and for the worship of Almighty God. Any other church meetings, which will be essential in the promotion of the objectives of the Church, shall be placed on the Church calendar. These meetings will be open for the entire membership of the Church and for all people and shall be conducted under the direction of the pastor.
2. Regular Business Meetings
Regular business meetings shall be conducted onceeach month.
3. Special Business Meetings
A business meeting other than those regularly scheduled may be called to consider matters of significant nature. The Church Council or pastor will determine when such meetings are justified and when they will be held. A two-week notice of the subject, date, time and location must be given for the specially called business meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impracticable.
4. Quorum
The quorum consists of those who attended the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.The only exceptions would be in the event:
  1. Action was being proposed to declare the office of pastor vacant as provided in Article 2, Section l; or,
  2. Proposed non-budgeted expenditures and budget modifications greater than $2,000.00 are to be considered. In this case, a quorum shall be not less than ten percent (10%) of the total membership eligible for voting as provided in Article 1, Section IV.
 5. Parliamentary Rules
Roberts' Rules of Order, Revised, isthe authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the Church. The Moderator shall select a Parliamentarian.
 6. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin on January 1 and end December 31 of the same calendar year.