Westgate Memorial Baptist Church
Constitution and By-Laws
For the preservation and security of the principles of our Baptist faith, and to the end that this
local church may be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the accepted tenants of the
Southern Baptist denomination, and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each
individual member of this church and the freedom of action of this local church with respect to its
relation to other churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this constitution.
NAME AND AFFILIATION
Section 1. The name of this Southern Baptist Church is Westgate Memorial Baptist Church
Corporation of Beaumont, Texas, chartered by the State of Texas under the Texas Corporation Act.
The abbreviated name is Westgate Memorial Baptist Church.
Section 2. This church shall, through the Cooperative Program, cooperate with the Golden Triangle
Baptist Association, the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and the Southern Baptist Convention
as a means of advancing the work of the Kingdom of God.
ARTICLES OF FAITH
The supreme authority for the doctrine and conduct of this church shall be the Holy Bible.
Many of the articles of faith are summarized in the Baptist Faith and Message adopted by the
Southern Baptist Convention in 1963 and reaffirmed in 1970. Refer to a copy of Baptist Faith and
Message for details.
1. Qualifications: The membership of this church shall consist of such scripturally baptized
persons as (a) have confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, or (b) come on promise
of letter from a sister church, or (c) by statement of faith. The deacons shall be responsible for
confirming these membership qualifications. New members will be presented to the church at
the next regularly scheduled business meeting following their baptism or other method of
request for membership.
2. Duties: Members are expected, first of all, to be faithful in all the duties essential to the
Christian life; to attend regularly the services of this church, to give regularly for its support and
its causes, and to share in its organized work.
3. Rights: Resident members may act and vote in the transaction of the church.
(A) Any member in good and regular standing who desires a letter of dismission and
recommendation is entitled to receive it upon the request of another church. In case of
removal to another community, they shall promptly make such a request.
(B) If a member so request, his name will be removed from the roll of Westgate Memorial
(C) Should a member become an offense to the church and its good name by reason of
immoral or unchristian conduct, after due notice and hearing, and after faithful efforts
have been made to bring such member to repentance and amendment, the church may
terminate his membership in accordance with the procedure set forth in Section 5 of this
(A) Should any differences arise between members, the aggrieved member shall follow, in
a tender spirit, the rules given by our Lord in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew.
(B) Any request for involuntary termination of another member based on gross breach of
Christian conduct or public scandal shall first be considered by the deacons who shall
endeavor to remove the offense; if such effort fails, they shall report the case to the
church, along with their recommendations.
(C) If the church votes to entertain a complaint, which must be made in writing, it shall
appoint a reasonable time and place of hearing and notify the person in question
thereof, furnishing him with a copy of the charges.
(D) At such hearing the accused member may call to his aid any member of the church as
counsel. If he shall not present himself at the time appointed, or give satisfactory
reasons for his neglect to do so, the church may proceed in his absence.
(E) All such proceedings shall be pervaded by a spirit of Christian kindness and
forbearance, but should an adverse decision be reached, the church may proceed to
admonish or declare the offender to be no longer in the membership of this church.
(F) In case of grave difficulty, the church will be ready, if requested to ask the advice of an
acceptable counsel from neighboring churches.
6. Restoration: Any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be
restored by vote of the church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation.
1. General Nomination:
(A) At a Church Meeting the pastor and chairman of the deacons shall recommend to the
church the need for new deacons. A letter will be sent to all church members over
signatures of the pastor and chairman of the deacons: Re-stating the need for new
deacons, stating the scriptural qualifications for the office (I Timothy 3:8-13; Acts 6:2-3);
stating the local qualification of six (6) months membership in Westgate Memorial;
requesting nominations by a certain deadline and; making it plain that those nominated
need not be already ordained deacons.
(B) Nominations will be by means of a printed form, one copy of which will be enclosed with
every letter, and additional copies of which will be freely available from the church
office. This printed form will include space for: the name of the nominee, the signature
of the nominator, and the signature of the nominee, attesting that he is willing to serve if
(C) The current deacons will investigate the list of nominees, conducting personal
interviews if considered necessary.
2. Special Nomination: When, in the judgment of the pastor and the deacons, there is a need for
one or more new deacons, but there is not a need for a general nomination, the pastor and the
deacons may make a special nomination of one or more nominees for new deacons. Any such
nominees shall meet the scriptural qualifications stated herein, shall have been previously
ordained, and a member of Westgate Memorial for at least one (1) year. At the regular church
business meeting prior to the meeting at which the election is to be held, the pastor and the
chairman of the deacons shall announce the special nomination, the names of the nominees,
and that an election concerning such nominees will be had at the next regular church business
(A) A final list of nominees will be published in the weekly newsletter, the Sunday “Bulletin”
and on the principal notice board. This will be done at least thirty (30) days before the
church business meeting at which the election is to be held.
(B) Voting at the church meeting will be by secret ballot, with election being by a majority of
those voting. Active resident members may vote for as many nominees as they feel are
qualified. This method of election does not ensure any given number of elected
deacons: at the limits, all or none could be elected.
(C) Those elected who are already ordained shall be welcomed in to office at the next
Sunday morning service. Those elected who are not already ordained shall be set aside
for thirty (30) days pending an Ordination Council and a formal Ordination service.
4. His qualifications shall be those outlined in I Timothy 3. His term of office shall be at the
pleasure of the church. His duties shall be (a) To be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit
within the church in the bonds of peace. (b) To attend the regular meetings of the deacons. (c)
In counsel with the pastor, and by such methods as the Holy Spirit may direct in accordance
with the New Testament teachings, they are to have oversight of the discipline of the church, in
administering which they are to be guided always by the principles set forth in Matthew 18:15-
17; I Corinthians 5:9-13; and I Thes. 5:12-14. The deacons shall be free to call upon any
member of the church to aid in disciplinary action.
5. They shall govern themselves in such matters as choosing their own officers and time of
meetings. They are to keep always in mind that they are servants of the church and have no
authority, of whatever kind, of their own, only that which is delegated to them by the church.
All church officers shall be members in good standing and nominated by the Nominating
Committee and elected annually by the church except wherein otherwise provided.
The officers of this church shall be as follows:
1. Moderator : The moderator shall preside at all Business Meetings. In the absence of the
moderator, the chairman of the deacons shall preside; in the absence of both, the clerk shall
call the church to order and a moderator pro tem shall be elected. The moderator shall
interpret the By-Laws if any ambiguity is found or dispute arises over the meaning. The
moderator shall not serve more than two consecutive terms.
2. Clerk : The clerk is responsible for the official records of the church, except as otherwise herein
provided. He shall keep a register of the names of members, with dates of admission,
dismission, or death, together with a record of baptisms. He shall also notify all officers,
members of committees and delegates of their election or appointment. He shall issue letters
of dismission voted by the church, preserve on file all communications and written official
reports, and give legal notice of all meetings where such notice is necessary, as indicated in
these By-Laws. The clerk shall consider it a part of his responsibility to promote loyalty and
efficiency in church life. The church secretary shall serve as his assistant.
3. Treasurer : On a monthly basis the treasurer shall review the financial transactions of the
church, and after being satisfied that the transactions have been properly accounted for shall
present to the church during the monthly business meeting, a financial report detailing the
results of these transactions, including the ending balance of cash and all other budget items.
The treasurer may render an audit at any time deemed necessary by the Stewardship
Committee, and upon approval by the Stewardship Committee and its acceptance by the
church, the same shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and
preserve it as a part of the permanent records of the church.
Unless otherwise stated herein, all standing committees shall be nominated by the Committee on
Committees and elected by the church annually. All special committees are to be nominated by the
Committee on Committees and elected by the church as needed. The Committee on Committees
shall be nominated by the Deacons and elected by the church annually. All committees shall consist
of at least three (3) members.
1. Committee on Trustees shall hold in trust the property of the church, but shall have no power
to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any (a) real property or (b) personal property or
services valued in excess of $1,500.00, not to incur any obligation in excess of $1,500.00
without specific vote of the church authorizing such action. The signature of the Trustees on
any instrument will be binding on the church membership and will constitute prima facie
evidence of proper procedural authorization.
2. Committees on the Administration of the Ordinances
(A) The Baptism Committee shall consist of two (2) deacons and their wives. This
committee shall make all necessary arrangements for and assist in the ordinance of
(B) The Lord’s Supper Committee shall consist of two (2) deacons and their wives for the
preparation of the Lord’s Supper.
3. Nominating Committee shall be elected at least three (3) months prior to the annual election of
officers. This committee shall nominate the moderator, clerk, treasurer, and the directors and
workers in the various programs offered by the church.
4. Committee on Committees shall nominate all committees other than the Committee on
Committees, which shall be nominated by the Deacons.
5. Personnel Committee shall recommend employment and dismissal of all paid personnel
including the nursery coordinator (s), Mother’s Day Out coordinator (s), and other non-
ministerial staff employed pursuant to Article VII Section 5, and shall develop job descriptions
and salary recommendations for such personnel. The committee shall maintain a personnel
manual for all church personnel, pursuant to Article VII Section 6.
6. Stewardship Committee with the church treasurer an ex-officio member, shall be charged with
the financial policy of the church, with drawing and presenting the annual budget for adoption
by the church, and for leading the church in constant stewardship emphasis.
7. Building & Grounds Committee is charged with the repair and upkeep of the church property
8. Library Committee with the librarian as chairman, shall have general oversight of the church
9. Youth Committee shall assist the Minister of Youth to plan and coordinate the youth program
of the church.
10.Hospitality Committee shall make arrangements for all church-wide socials and for flowers and
meals to families of the church with deaths in their immediate family.
11.Preschool Committee shall oversee the operation of the nursery program and the Mother’s
Day Out program, including curriculum and personnel matters, including supervision and
recommendation for hiring and dismissal of workers.
12.Constitution and Contracts Committee shall decide constitutional questions and shall be
responsible for reviewing, drafting, and/or proposing amendments pursuant to Article X. The
committee shall have the responsibility of reviewing all proposed written contracts or
transactions in which the church would buy, sell, lease, or transfer (a) real property or (b)
personal property or services valued in excess of $1,500.00, or in which the church would
incur any obligation in excess of $1,500.00. The committee shall follow the procedures of
Article IV Section 3 regarding such proposed transactions.
13.Teller Committee is to count and deposit the money received by the bank.
14.Recreation Committee shall plan and coordinate church-wide recreation and oversee use of
the Activities Building.
15.Music and Audio Committee shall assist the Minister of Music to plan and coordinate the music
program and sound recording of the church.
16.History Committee shall document the history and major events of the church
17.Benevolence Committee is charged with determining the need and providing assistance to
church members in need of financial assistance.
18.Publicity Committee is charged with publicizing the activities and events of the church.
19.Education Committee shall assist the Minister of Education to plan and coordinate the
education programs of the church.
20.Administration Committee shall assist the Church Administrator in maintaining a Church Policy
Manual, and in matters relating to the general operating budget. The committee shall oversee safety, and shall have authority to allow or refuse the use of church property by outside groups.
21.Usher Committee shall care for the seating and comfort of the congregation and visitors,
prevention of interruptions and distractions, and similar needed services.
1. Pastor: The pastor shall be in charge of the spiritual welfare and oversight of the church. All
ministerial staff shall be under the supervision of the pastor. A pastor shall be chosen and
called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. A pulpit committee shall be elected by the
church to seek out a suitable pastor, and their recommendation will constitute a nomination.
The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church only one man at a time. His
election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least one (1) week’s
public notice shall be given. Election shall be by secret ballot, an affirmative vote of at least
75% of those voting being necessary for a call. The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the
relationship is terminated by mutual consent. Should there be cause for termination by the
church a special Business Meeting shall be called with at least one (1) week’s public notice. An
affirmative vote by a majority of those active resident members voting shall be required for
termination. Termination shall be with at least thirty (30) days notice.
2. Ministerial Staff: The Ministerial Staff shall be chosen and called by the church as needed. A
search committee shall be elected by the church, and in consultation with the pastor shall
search for, nominate, and recommend a suitable minister, with a general description of duties
to be performed by such minister. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the church
only one person at a time. Election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose of
which at least one (1) week’s public notice shall be given. Election shall be by secret ballot, an
affirmative vote of at least 75% of those present being necessary for a call. The Ministerial
Staff member thus elected shall serve until the relationship is terminated by mutual consent.
Should there be cause for termination by the church a special Business Meeting shall be called
with at least one (1) week’s public notice. An affirmative vote by a majority of those active
resident members voting shall be required for termination. Termination shall be with at least
thirty (30) days notice.
3. Nursery Coordinator (s):
(A) The nursery coordinator (s) shall have general supervision over the paid and volunteer
personnel and shall coordinate all nursery activity of the church. Each coordinator shall
be an ex-officio member of the Preschool Committee. There may be more than one
nursery coordinator, and the position may be consolidated with the position of Mother’s
Day Out coordinator.
(B) Nursery workers may be employed by the church administrator (or in his absence, the
Preschool Committee) only upon recommendation by the Nursery Coordinator(s).
Although day-to-day supervision of such nursery workers shall be by the Nursery
Coordinator(s), a nursery worker may be dismissed only with the consent of the church
administrator (or in his absence, the Preschool Committee).
4. Mother’s Day Out Coordinator(s):
(A) The Mother’s Day Out Coordinator(s) shall have general supervision over the Mother’s
Day Out Program, including personnel. Each coordinator shall be an ex-officio member
of the Preschool Committee. There may be more than one Mother’s Day Out
Coordinator, and the position may be consolidated with the position of nursery
(B) Mother’s Day Out workers may be employed by the church administrator (or in his
absence, the Preschool Committee) only upon recommendation by the Mother’s Day
Out Coordinator(s). Although day-to-day supervision of such Mother’s Day Out workers
shall be by the Mother’s Day Out Coordinator(s), a Mother’s Day Out worker may be
dismissed only with the consent of the church administrator (or in his absence, the
5. Other Staff: All other staff whether full-time, part-time, permanent, or temporary, may be
employed by the church administrator (or in his absence, the church) upon recommendation of
the Personnel Committee. All such staff shall be supervised by the church administrator (or in
his absence, the pastor) who shall also be responsible for the dismissal of such personnel.
6. Personnel Manual: The Personnel Committee shall maintain a personnel manual, containing
the job descriptions, supervisory structure, procedures and other relevant personnel
information for all church staff. The job description of the pastor shall be as set forth in this
constitution. The job description for any ministerial staff member shall be as determined by the
church upon recommendation of the search committee nominating such minister, but may be
altered by the church upon recommendation of the pastor or Personnel Committee. The job
descriptions for nursery and Mother’s Day Out workers shall be determined by the Preschool
Committee, and shall be submitted to the personnel committee for inclusion in the Personnel
7. Interim Staff: In the event of a vacancy in any ministerial staff position, the deacons shall
nominate an Interim Committee, consisting of six members, including at least one
representative from each of the following committees: Personnel, Stewardship, Nominating,
Committee on Committees. The Interim Committee, with the assistance of the outgoing
minister and the pastor, shall nominate a suitable interim who is not, and cannot be considered
as a candidate for the full-time ministerial position. Church members may not be selected as
interim pastor. The Interim Committee shall make a salary recommendation to the Stewardship
Committee for its consideration and advice, and thereafter, shall present the interim candidate,
with salary recommendation, to the membership for approval at any regular or called business
1. Annual Budget : The pastor and ministerial staff shall compile a suggested annual budget to
the Stewardship Committee, which shall review the suggested budget, and after making
any revisions which are deemed necessary shall present same to the church for approval.
2. Special Offerings :
(A) Missions: The church shall participate in a World Mission Offering. The offering shall be
divided as follows: 60% for World Missions, 29% for Home Missions, 9% for State
Missions and 2% for Associational Missions, unless altered by the sponsoring
organization and approved by the church. This offering shall be promoted in December of
each year. Offering goals shall be submitted by the sponsoring organization to be voted
on by the church.
(B) Revival Offerings: All Love Offerings for revivals received in envelopes stated as such,
shall be disbursed, on the basis of 60% for Evangelist and 40% for Music Evangelist,
unless altered by the Stewardship Committee. The plate offering shall be used to take
care of incidental expenses, including nursery workers and musicians. In the event the
Love Offering does not come up to what the church feels it should be, the church may
supplement these offerings. The revival offering will be taken every night of the revival.
3. Gifts to the Church :
(A) The church may, and should, refuse any gift that is not in the best interest of the church or
the Lord’s mission.
(B) Undesignated gifts to the church will be treated as budget offering.
(C) Designated gifts shall be reserved for the designated purpose unless released by the
giver to be used otherwise.
4. Financial Records : All funds for any and all purposes, shall be properly recorded on the
books of the church. The books, records, and accounts shall be considered the property of
the church, and shall be open for inspection, at all reasonable times, by any church
MEETINGS AND PROCEDURES
1. Worship :
(A) Public services shall be held on the Lord’s Day and on some regular evening of each
(B) The Lord’s Supper shall be celebrated on the fifth Sunday of a month, or at such other
time as the church may determine.
(C) Additional worship services may be held at the request of the pastor or church.
2. Business Meetings :
(A) The regular business meeting of the church shall be monthly after a Sunday evening
(B) When requested by the deacons, trustees, a standing committee, or by written
application of ten (10) active resident members, special business meetings, the
particular object of the meeting being clearly stated in the notice, shall be announced
from the pulpit.
(C) Five percent of the active resident membership shall constitute a quorum except for call
of a pastor. The quorum then shall be twenty five (25) percent of the active resident
membership. All business and transactions of the church shall be approved on a
majority vote except wherein otherwise provided.
(D) All votes concerning personnel hiring and disciplinary action shall be by secret ballot.
(E) All business meetings shall be governed in conduct of business by the most current
edition of Robert’s Rules of Order: except that this Constitution and By-Laws will control
where not consistent with Robert’s Rules of Order.
(F) No motion will be put to the vote at any business meeting unless notice of the motion is
given as follows: The church secretary shall set and maintain a deadline for receiving
notice of motions. Prior to the deadline, the proponent of any motion shall provide the
church secretary with the substance of the motion in wording that is substantially similar
to the motion to be made at the meeting. Each month, the secretary shall compile and
print a list of all such motions for distribution to the members no later than the morning
worship service on the date of the business meeting.
3. Procedures :
(A) Sale or Mortgage of Property, Merger, Consolidation, or Dissolution, or Relocation: The
church membership shall be given at least twenty (20) days notice of such action by
regular mail, or in regular church publication, to the last known address of each resident
church member, and by announcement of the same from the pulpit at a regular Sunday
worship service. The vote will be taken in a specially called business meeting at which
the recommendation of the Contract Committee shall be made known. An affirmative
vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the active resident membership voting is required for action.
(B) Transactions involving obligations, personal property, or services valued in excess of
$1,500.00 require review by the Contracts Committee which shall make its
recommendation known at regular or called business meeting in which any such
transactions is proposed. All such transactions shall require majority vote of the
4. Weddings and Receptions : Wedding and reception rules will be those in effect as approved by
the church, after review and recommendation by the Wedding and Decoration Committee.
5. Hospitality : Upon death in the immediate family of a resident church member. The church shall
provide the noon meal on the day of the funeral except in the event that more than one church
is involved. The church will then enter into agreement with the other churches. The church
hostess will be charged with this responsibility. Flowers shall be sent to families of deceased
church members. The Hospitality Committee will be charged with these responsibilities.
6. Publications and Announcements : The church shall publish a church newsletter and Sunday
ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS
1. The adoption of this Constitution and By-Laws will constitute acknowledgment on the part of
the church membership of their assent to the provisions hereof, and by so adopting them
and/or requesting membership of said church expressly waive all provisions and remedies at
law or in equity to the contrary.
2. This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the active resident
members present and voting at a meeting specially called for that purpose, the proposed
amendment being inserted in the call, provided that the proposed amendment has first been
submitted to the Constitution and By-Laws Committee for study and recommendation. No
amendment shall be passed without having been sent to the Constitution and By-Laws
Committee for study, wording, or recommendation. The Committee shall then present their
recommendation to the church for action in the manner heretofore prescribed.
Ammended: 1/91, 6/14/92, 10/25/93, 4/30/95, 7/21/96, 10/20/96