Central Baptist Church Pretoria

Central Baptist Church Pretoria
One church on two campuses

Constitution

The name of the Church shall be "The Central Baptist Church, Pretoria". Hereinafter referred to as "The Church".

  1. To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ - The Head of the Church.
  2. To proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures and to encourage and support the Proclamation of the Gospel - in accordance with Matthew 28:18-20, to the ends of the earth.
  3. To provide instruction and fellowship for believers, seeking to build them up in the measure and stature of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

The Church recognises the Lord Jesus Christ as its Supreme Head and undertakes to manage its affairs according to New Testament teaching.

The Church shall remain affiliated to the Baptist Union of South Africa as a constituent member, but shall be independent of its control save as is hereinafter provided.

  1. That the Holy Scriptures, comprising the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, are the complete and final written record of God's revelation to man and are in their entirety the very word of God. They are powerful, with their own inherent authority and are the final rule and authority in all matters of faith and conduct. The Holy Scriptures were written by men who were supernaturally moved by the Holy Spirit in such a way that their human writing was divinely inspired. This inspiration of the Holy Scriptures extends equally to all parts; the thoughts and ideas are expressed in words which are themselves inspired. The Holy Scriptures are wholly reliable, trustworthy and true, without error. They have been, and will be, preserved by the Holy Spirit throughout all ages.

    (Amended Baptist Union Statement passed by the 1990 Assembly.)
  2. In One God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  3. That Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary and is true God and true man.
  4. That God created man in His own image, that man sinned and thereby incurred the penalty of death, physical and spiritual, that all human beings inherit a sinful nature which issues (in the case of those who reach moral responsibility) in actual transgression involving personal guilt.
  5. That the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, a substitutionary sacrifice, according to the Scriptures, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.
  6. In the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus, His ascension into heaven and His present life as our High Priest and Advocate.
  7. In the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  8. That all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.
  9. In the resurrection both of the just and the unjust, the eternal blessedness of the redeemed and the eternal banishment of those who have rejected the offer of salvation.
  10. That the one true Church is the whole company of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit; that the local Church on earth should take its character from this conception of the Church spiritual and therefore that the new birth and personal confession of Christ are essentials of Church membership.
  11. That the Lord Jesus Christ appointed two ordinances - Baptism and the Lord's Supper - to be observed as acts of obedience and as perpetual witnesses to the cardinal facts of the Christian faith; that Baptism is the immersion of the believer in water as a confession of identification with Christ in burial and resurrection and that the Lord's Supper is the partaking of bread and wine as symbolical of the Saviour's broken body and shed blood, in remembrance of His sacrificial death till He come.
  12. That God has ordained marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore we believe in a heterosexual relationship between a natural man and a natural woman within the confines of lawful matrimony. Adherence to this stated principle of sexual behaviour is an inherent requirement for membership with the Central Baptist Church of Pretoria.

    (Baptist Union Statement of Belief passed by the 1924 Assembly).

The Membership shall consist of:

  1. Those persons whose names are on the Church register at the date of the adoption of this Constitution;
  2. those persons who have given evidence of their personal salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, have confessed that faith by Believer's Baptism and have been accepted by the Church according to Clause 7;
  3. those persons who have been accepted on transfer to this Church from some other Baptist Church and have complied with the conditions of Clause 7.
  1. Any person desirous of joining the Church shall complete the Application Form prescribed by the Council, confirming in writing therein that he/she accepts the Church Constitution in its entirety and undertakes to abide thereby
  2. Any person desirous of transferring from another Baptist Church shall, in addition to completing the application form referred to in 7.1, request that a letter of transfer be applied for from such church.
  3. The Council may, in its discretion, require any applicant to be interviewed by at least two of the Pastors and Elders who shall submit a report to the Council. All applications shall be perused by the Pastors and Elders before recommendations are made to the Council.
  4. The Council shall decide on all applications and report the names of those accepted to the next General Meeting.
  5. The Council shall, at its discretion, place those members who no longer reside in the geographic area of Pretoria but who wish to maintain their membership at Central, on a separate membership roll. These persons shall enjoy the full rights of Church membership but shall not be included in the total membership for the purpose of calculating the quorum at a General Meeting.
  6. The Council shall have the right to terminate the membership of members who have not attended the Church for more than one (1) year and if, after a notice period of three (3) months and if at all possible, at least one personal visit, such members fail to notify the Church Secretary of their desire to continue in membership of the Church.
  1. Under the Divine Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, the final authority and responsibility in all matters touching the life and service of the Church rests with the membership.
  2. Every member is expected to attend General Meetings, unless prevented by some reasonable cause, and to exercise his/her franchise for the welfare of the whole church in the spirit of prayer and love.
  3. Members are expected to tender apologies for non-attendance.
  4. Members shall be expected to support the ministry and maintain the unity and the fellowship of the Church, especially by prayer, attendance at the Services whenever possible, engaging in some definite work in connection with the church, and conscientious giving as God's provision enables. It is the special privilege and duty of members to seek to win others to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to introduce strangers to the Church.
  1. In the unhappy event of any allegation of unworthy conduct or erroneous belief being brought against any member, the Council shall make careful enquiry.
    1. If it thereafter deems such a course necessary, the Council shall report its findings to a General Meeting for appropriate action.
    2. The suspension or expulsion of any member shall only be resorted to after all efforts at restoration prove unsuccessful.
  2. Private offences shall be dealt with according to the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ as given in Matthew 18:15-17

The Church shall transact its business through the medium of an Council as hereinafter defined, who shall act as generally or specially directed by the Church in General meetings assembled, or in accordance with Regulations framed by the Church in General meeting and who shall be accountable to the Church for the proper carrying out of all matters delegated to it, and for the proper administration of all church funds.

  1. The Church business year shall end at the end of February and the Annual General Meeting shall be held as soon thereafter as practicable and not later than 31 May.
  2. At such Annual General Meeting reports and audited financial statements shall be submitted by the Secretary and Treasurer respectively.
  3. Reports shall also be submitted by all ministries of the Church including all Campuses.
  4. Campus Meetings will be held at least twice a year.
  5. Ordinary General Meetings may be held as often as the Council decides, but at least once a year.
  6. Special General Meetings may be convened at any time by the Council.
  7. The Council shall convene within one month, a Special General Meeting upon written request signed by at least ten members entitled to vote, such request setting out the reason/s.
  1. Notice of Annual General Meeting and of Special General Meeting shall be intimated at all services at all Campuses on the two successive Sundays immediately preceding the day appointed for the Meeting, by means of a written or printed notice.
  2. Notice of any Ordinary General Meeting shall be intimated at all services at all Campuses on the Sunday immediately preceding the day appointed for the Meeting.
  3. Notice of Campus Meetings shall be intimated at the relevant Campus at all services on the Sunday immediately preceding the day appointed for the Meeting.
  1. No business shall be transacted at any General Meeting unless a quorum of members entitled to vote is present at the time when the Meeting proceeds to business. Fifteen percent (15%) of the total membership shall be a quorum for all General Meetings.
  2. The membership register must reflect the membership at a given Campus.
  3. Each member will be required to identify the Campus/Campuses at which they will be affiliated.
  1. Only members who have attained the age of eighteen (18) years shall be entitled to vote.
  2. Save as elsewhere required in this Constitution, all matters shall be decided by the majority vote of those present.
  3. Voting shall be by show of hands unless:
    1. A ballot is a mandatory requirement elsewhere in this Constitution;
    2. One member requests a ballot;
    3. A ballot is considered necessary by the Chairman.

Elders shall be responsible to God and to the Church for the general spiritual oversight and pastoring of the Church. There shall be both Called Elders (Pastors) who are employed by the Church, and Appointed Elders who assist in an honorary capacity. The calling and appointment of Elders shall be as follows:

  1. Called Elders:

    The choice and appointment of a Called Elder (Pastor) is vested in the membership of the Church. When an appointment becomes necessary the procedure shall be as follows:

    1. A Special General Meeting shall appoint four Church members to serve with the Council as a Call Committee. The size of the Call Committee shall be restricted to a maximum of twelve (12) members, eight (8) of whom shall be nominated by the Council.
    2. The Committee shall recommend only one name to any Special General meeting.
    3. Any invitation shall be contingent upon the following:
      1. At least two-thirds of the members present vote in favour by ballot.
      2. The prospective Pastor shall be a male person, shall have been baptised by immersion and shall accept in writing the Church Constitution.
      3. The Pastor shall become a member of the Church upon assuming the Pastorate.
      4. Any engagement between the Church and the Pastor shall be terminable by three (3) months notice on either side, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon.
      5. A Senior Pastor shall be appointed when more than one Pastor is called to minister in the Church and together with the Council shall delegate responsibility to the other Pastor/Pastors.
  2. Appointed Elders

    The Appointed Elders, together with the Pastor/s, will be responsible for the general spiritual oversight of the Church. The Church may, from time to time appoint to the office of Appointed Elder such persons recognised as gifted by the Holy Spirit for such office.

    1. The Council shall, by a two-thirds majority, recommend to the Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting such male persons, over the age of 21 years, as elders who have been Church members for not less than the preceding six (6) months at the date of the Meeting at which elections may take place, as it considers desirable for appointment to the office of elder. The name/s of such nominees shall be intimated at both services on the two (2) Sundays preceding the aforesaid Meeting.
    2. The appointment of each recommended candidate shall be by ballot, and each must receive two-thirds of the votes of the members present.
    3. The office of Appointed Elder shall be tenable for a period of three (3) years on a rotation basis and such person on vacating office may be eligible for nomination and re-election.
    4. The Council shall recommend to the Church the number of Appointed Elders to be elected to the office, which number shall not be less than two (2).
    5. The Council will recommend to the Church the number of Elders to be appointed at a designated Campus; not less than two (2) but shall be in proportion to the number of members and the existing needs.
    6. The Elders shall meet at least 6 (six) times per year.

Deacons shall assist the Council in all matters pertaining to the ministry at a Campus.

  1. A Campus may, at its Campus General Meeting elect Deacons to the Campus ministry team any member attending that said Campus who has attained the age of twenty-one (21) years and who has been a member for not less than the preceding six (6) months at the date of the Meeting at which elections may take place.
  2. The Council shall recommend to the Campus members’ General Meeting the number of Deacons to be elected to the Campus ministry team, which number shall not be less than four (4).
  3. The position of Deacon shall be tenable for a period of three (3) years, but such person on vacating office shall be eligible for nomination and re-election.
  4. Nominations for the position of Deacon shall be submitted to the Church Secretary in writing, duly signed by nominee, proposer and seconder, at least fourteen (14) days preceding the day appointed for the Meeting at which the election is to take place and the names of such nominees shall be intimated at all services at the applicable Campus on the two (2) Sundays preceding the aforesaid Meeting.
  5. Voting shall be by ballot.
  6. Only nominees receiving more than half the votes of members present shall be declared elected to fill any vacancies.
  7. The election of Deacons shall be linked to specific ministry responsibilities.
  8. The campus ministry team will elect a Council representative from amongst the elected Deacons at the said campus.
  9. The campus ministry team will elect a chairman from the members of the ministry team.
  1. The Called Elders (Pastors), Appointed Elders and Campus Deacon representatives along with the Church Officers (Treasurer and Secretary) shall constitute the Council of the Church, who shall transact the business of the Church, administer its funds, and carry out its directions as provided in Clause 10.
  2. The Pastor, or in the event of there being more than one, the Senior Pastor, shall be ex-officio Chairman of all Meetings of the Church or of the Council, except when his own position is under consideration. In the absence of the Pastor, the Assistant Pastor or any one of the Council present may be elected by the Meeting to act as Chairman. Whenever the votes are equally divided the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
  3. No business shall be transacted at any Council Meeting unless a quorum of members of the Council is present at the time when the Meeting proceeds to business. Fifty percent (50%) of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.
  4. The Council shall meet to conduct the business of the Church at least four (4) times during each calendar year.
  5. The Church shall elect Deacons to fill the positions of Treasurer and Secretary to serve on the Council.
  1. All Campuses must be approved by the members of the Central Baptist Church at an AGM or a Special General Meeting.
  2. A Campus is a congregation made up of members of the Central Baptist Church meeting at a determined place.
  3. Elected Deacons and designated Elders at a given Campus shall constitute the Campus ministry team.
  4. The Campus ministry team shall meet at least four (4) times a year.
  5. The Council shall designate Elders to serve on the Campus ministry team.
  1. The leaders of all ministries shall be church members.
  2. Each ministry of the Church shall appoint its own committee.
  3. In addition the Family Bible Hour shall appoint its own teachers.
  4. The leader of each ministry shall be approved by the Council and such appointment shall be ratified at a General Meeting.
  5. The Senior Pastor and/or his nominee shall be ex officio a member of all Ministry Committees.
  6. Each ministry shall manage its own affairs through and in accordance with the Regulations referred to in Clause 20.
  7. The Church Council shall identify those ministries deemed to be common to all Campuses as well as those specific to a given Campus.

The Church may at a General Meeting frame and enact such Regulations as it may deem necessary for administering the funds or managing the affairs of the Church. Such regulations shall not be inconsistent with provisions of the Constitution.

  1. The Church shall be supported by voluntary giving.
  2. The method of direct voluntary giving shall be decided upon by the Council.

The Church shall have power to buy, sell, donate, let or hire, exchange, transfer, receive by way of donation or otherwise, movable and immovable property and to invest its funds in Government or Municipal stock, mortgage bonds, or on fixed deposit or otherwise, in Banks, Post Offices, Financial Institutions or approved organisations, and shall further have power to borrow money with or without security in such manner as the Church shall think fit, negotiate loans from Bankers or others by overdraft or otherwise and by passing mortgage and notarial bonds for registration with the proper authorities, and to open and operate upon banking accounts, and to make, draw, accept, discount, execute and issue promissory notes, bills of exchange and other negotiable and transferable instruments to guarantee the performance of contracts by any person or duly constituted Church having objectives wholly or partly similar to the objectives of this Church and to enter into guarantee or suretyships of every description.

  1. All immovable property acquired by the Church in any manner shall be registered in the name of the trustees for the time being of the Church.
  2. The Trustees of the Church shall be the Secretary, the Treasurer and two (2) Deacons nominated by the Council.
  1. All acquisitions of immovable property in any manner shall require the approval of a General Meeting, due notice having been given of the proposed transaction.
  2. Any proposal to sell, donate, exchange, mortgage, hypothecate or otherwise alienate or encumber any immovable property shall have the prior approval of a Special General Meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of the members present.

The proceeds derived from the sale or other disposal of any property of the Church shall be applied and devoted in such manner as the Church may deem best to secure the furtherance of the objectives of the Church (Clause 2).

  1. The Church may at any time be dissolved by a two-thirds majority vote of members present at a Special General Meeting.
  2. In the event of such resolution being passed such Meeting shall thereupon authorise the Council or such members thereof as may still hold office, or in default of any such members, any other person or persons to take the necessary steps to wind up the affairs of the Church, and in particular to transfer the property of the Church in due and proper form to the Baptist Union of South Africa (see 26.3).
  3. In the event of the Church at any time ceasing to exist, all property which may have vested in or been acquired by it at such time shall ipso facto vest in and become the property of the Baptist Union of South Africa, which shall hold and administer it or deal with it in such manner as the Union may deem best to secure the furtherance of the objectives of the Church (Clause 2), preferably in the area of the dissolved Church.
  4. The Church shall be deemed to have ceased to exist:
    1. When dissolution shall have been resolved in accordance with 26.1.
    2. When members shall have been totally dispersed so that the Public Worship of God shall have been discontinued for a period of six (6) calendar months without a Council.

The Trustees and all officers of the Church shall be fully indemnified against all actions, cost, charges, losses, damages and expenses which they or any of them shall or may incur in the execution of their duties, except such as they shall incur by their own wrongful action done intentionally or with gross negligence.

  1. Any proposed change to this constitution may be submitted by way of a notice of motion to any General Meeting.
  2. Such notice of motion shall be circularised to all members for consideration at a Special General Meeting convened not less than three (3) months after the General Meeting referred to in 28.1.
  3. Proposed changes to this Constitution shall be effected by a two-thirds majority vote of members present at a Special General Meeting.

This Constitution, approved at a Special General Meeting held on 25th May 2014 supersedes all previous constitutions and Trust Deeds.