San Juan Baptist Association

Amended October 10, 2013

Constitution & By-Laws

 

Composition and Purpose

Article 1               Name and Nature of the Association

Section 1       Name

                        The official title of the body shall be the San Juan Baptist Association of New Mexico.

Section 2       Nature

                        This body is and always shall remain only and solely a medium through which Baptist churches may work harmoniously in cooperation with each other, promoting the work and objects set forth in this Constitution.  The Association shall not have and shall never attempt to exercise authority over any sovereignty of the churches, but shall cheerfully recognize the absolute independence of the churches, yet claim the power to deny seats to or withdraw fellowship from churches unorthodox in faith, unchristian in character or leadership, or uncooperative in practice.

Article 2               Mission, Vision, and Core Values of the Association

Section 1       Mission

                        The mission of the Association shall be to facilitate its member churches serving Jesus Christ together, pursuing the spiritual transformation of San Juan County and surrounding areas.

Section 2       Vision

                        The Association sees a day when (1) every church is led by healthy, spiritually transformed leaders, (2) every church is a healthy, spiritually transformed church, (3) every person in our region is given the opportunity to respond to the good news about Jesus, (4) we effectively cooperate across denominational lines, where our cause is common, to expand the Kingdom of God, and (5) all of our communities are healthy, spiritually transformed communities, reflecting the character of Jesus Christ.

Section 3       Core Values

                        1. We value the church-driven model of associational ministry.

                        2. We value the spiritual transformation of our community.

Section 4       Philosophical Premise

                        We believe that the churches of the San Juan Baptist Association must take extraordinary steps in unity to resource and partner with each other to accomplish the Great Commission rather than to look to the association office for the answers and resources. The original associational principle was and is to join together to do what no church can do by itself.

Article 3               Statement of Faith and Belief & Denominational Affiliation

Section 1       Doctrinal Statement

                        The Association utilizes the Statement of the Baptist Faith and Message (2000 revision), based upon the Holy Bible, as the statement of its faith and belief.

 

Section 2       Affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention

                        The Association shall remain affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. In the case that the Association chooses to disassociate from the Southern Baptist Convention, its assets shall immediately transfer to ownership by the Baptist Foundation of New Mexico.

Article 4               Membership of the Association

Section 1       Composition

                        The Association shall be composed of Baptist Churches cooperating with the Baptist Convention of New Mexico and with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Section 2       Representation at Annual Meeting

                        At the annual meeting of the Association, each church shall be entitled to six (6) messengers and one (1) additional messenger for every twenty-five (25) members above fifty (50). No church shall be allowed more than eight (8) messengers. The Association shall not seat any messengers from churches currently under watchcare or censure.

Section 3       Procedure for Petitioning to Become a Member Church

                        Churches may petition the Executive Board of the Association to become a member church and may be received by the Association upon evidence of their agreeing in faith and practice with the principles of the Word of God and with the Association’s statement of faith, as interpreted by this body.

                        A church wishing to become a member church of the Association shall follow the steps below.

                        1.     A petitioning church shall make written request, accompanied by their constitution and by-laws, to the Executive Board Council for a thorough study of their faith and practice. The Council shall assist the petitioning church and report to the Executive Board with a recommendation to grant or deny watchcare status to the petitioning church. Watchcare status means that the petitioning church may participate in all Association activities, except that they shall have no vote during Executive Board meetings or in any Annual Meeting.

                        2.     The Executive Board shall, at their next meeting, consider the recommendation of the Executive Board Council.

                        3.     Once the Executive Board approves a recommendation to grant watchcare status, the petitioning church shall participate in Association activities in a watchcare status for six months.

                        4.     Upon conclusion of the watchcare status, the Executive Board shall examine the petitioning church’s participation in the Association and grant or deny the petition to become a member church. The petitioning church shall be presented at the next Annual Meeting to be voted upon. The petitioning church shall be accepted into full membership upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote during the Annual Meeting.

Section 4       Procedure for Disciplinary Action against Member Churches

                        The Association shall have the right to withdraw from and disown any member church which may seriously depart from the faith as interpreted and practiced by the member churches. But it shall always respect the independence of the churches and shall have no authority over member church’s decisions and activities.

                        When a member church is alleged to have seriously departed from the faith and practices embraced by the Association, the following procedure shall be followed.

                        1.     The Vice-Moderator shall ask the Executive Board Council to determine the facts that pertain to the matter in question. When the facts are ascertained, the Executive Board Council shall then apprise the leadership of the church in question of its finding, with a view toward effecting remedial steps in practice and procedure on the part of the church.

                        2.     Should this effort fail, the Executive Board Council shall then make its report to the Executive Board, which will in turn make recommendations to the next Annual Meeting. The church in question shall be given the privilege to explain its actions before the Executive Board. If the Executive Board votes to recommend exclusion, the member church shall remain under censure until the next annual meeting. Censure means that the church may still participate in Association activities, but may not exercise a vote on any Board, the Annual Meeting, or other meetings of the Association, nor may it have church members active as officers or leaders among association groups and ministries.

                        3.     Should exclusion be necessary, it shall be by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the messengers present at the Annual Meeting.

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