Big Lake Baptist Association
Saturday, July 13, 2024
United in Him, One for Him! 1 Peter 3:8

Constitution and Bylaws of the Big Lake Baptist Association

Constitution and Bylaws

of the

Big Lake Baptist Association


Article I—Name

This organization shall be known as "The Big Lake Baptist Association, Inc." hereinafter shall be referred to as the Association.


Article II—Affiliations

The Association is voluntarily affiliated with the Florida Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. The Association shall neither support nor affiliate with the World Council of Churches, National Council of Churches, nor any other group whose purposes, programs, and involvements would tend to weaken our position as Southern Baptists on principles set forth in the Holy Scriptures for a functioning New Testament Church.


Article III—Purpose

The purpose of the Association shall be to proclaim the Gospel and extend the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the following manner:

1.      To provide a means of cooperation of the member churches in the areas of mission, evangelism, church planting, prayer, religious education, music, fellowship, benevolence, ad other areas of ministry in keeping with the spirit and command of Matthew 28:18-20.


2.      To promote harmony and fellowship among the churches and to encourage unity in faith as set for in  The Baptist Faith and Message (2000).


3.      To assist churches in developing and maintaining effective programs and organizations that will enhance the church members' spiritual growth and technical skills.


4.      To act as a service channel and information between the churches and the Southern Baptist Convention.


Article IV—Membership

Section 1. The Association shall be composed of a group of cooperating Southern Baptist churches in the Lake Okeechobee area, sympathetic with its purposes and work.

Section 2. According to its rules and methods, each church shall elect and certify its messengers to the Annual and Semi-Annual meetings of the Association according to the total membership numbers the church recorded using the most recent Annual Church Profile, recorded by the Florida Baptist Convention. Each member church having one hundred members or less shall be entitled to five (5) messengers and one (1) additional messenger for each additional one hundred (100) members, or a major fraction thereof. No church shall be entitled to more than ten (10) messengers.

Section 3. Application of churches for membership in the Association shall be considered in three ways:

(A) Churches that were missions under sponsorship by member churches shall petition the Administrative Team no less than sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting in September. They must have constituted by July 1 of the year they petition the Association.


(B)  Churches not under sponsorship by member churches shall petition the Administrative Team no less than sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting in September. They must have constituted by March 1 of the year they petition the Association.


(C) Churches that were members of the association in the past but by choice removed themselves from membership rolls shall petition the           administration team no less than sixty (60) days prior to the annual meeting in September.  


In all cases, the petitioning church must present to the Administrative Team:

i.                    A copy of their Constitution and By-Laws


ii.                  A copy of their Articles of Faith, which must substantially agree with The Baptist Faith and Message (2000), and other evidence of sound doctrine.


iii.                Tangible evidence of its desire to cooperate with other churches of the Association by attendance at meetings and conferences as able. Furthermore, financial cooperation with the Association shall be viewed as evidence of the desire to cooperate.


iv.                Any other information requested by the Administrative Team for clarification.


The Administrative Team shall examine the prospective church's application and report its recommendation to the Association during the first session of the Annual Meeting in September. Upon the Administrative Team's recommendation, the new church may be received into membership by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of all qualified messengers. The Associational Missions Strategist, on behalf of the Association, shall extend the right hand of fellowship to the newly received church. In the case of returning churches, the administration team may grant provisional acceptance, conditional on final approval during the annual meeting.   


Section 4. Membership in the Association is completely voluntary on the part of member Baptist churches. Membership may be withdrawn by action of a church. The church is asked to notify the Association in writing of its decision to withdraw and their reasons. The association, through its Administrative Team, shall seek to reclaim or reconcile any such church.

Section 5. In its report to the Annual Meeting of the Association, the Administrative Team will consider any church which, during the preceding twelve (12) months, has not met the basic membership policies (Articles lll, Section 1) and may bring recommendations concerning that church's continuation in the Association. A two-thirds (2/3) vote at the Annual Meeting is required for expulsion. 

Section 6. Any member church may be disfellowshipped from members in the Association upon recommendation of the Administrative Team by a two-thirds (2/3) voted of the duly qualified messengers at the September Annual Meeting when such church shall have been found unorthodox in faith or practice. The Administrative Team shall have made an extensive effort to correct and restore the church before recommending disfellowshipping.


Article V—Limitation

The Association shall have no ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the church. It shall not interfere with the constitution or government of any church. The local church's autonomy is preserved within the workings of the Association.


Article VI—Administrative Team

Section 1. The Administrative Team will function as the Board of Directors.

Section 2. The Administrative Team shall include the team leaders from the following teams (or additional team leaders if the need arises):

a.       The Associational Moderator and/or Vice-Moderator

b.      The Pastoral Care Team

c.       The Missions Engagement Team

d.      Pastors' Wife Support

e.       The Equipping and Education Team

f.       The Church Planting Team

Section 3. The Associational Missions Strategist will sit on the Team as the Executive Director. The Associational Administrative Secretary will sit on the Team as the Recording Secretary. All meetings of the Administrative Team will be conducted by the Association's Moderator or their designee.

Section 4. Meetings of the Administrative Team shall be held regularly to discuss the ongoing ministries of each Team and guide the work of the Association. They shall plan, review, and give financial oversight to the Association. They shall report their work and efforts at the Annual and Semi-Annual meetings. The Association Missions Strategist will guide the ongoing daily operations of the Association.

Section 5. The Administrative Team shall oversee all Associational business during the interim between Annual Meetings. The Team shall implement and define the duties and relations of all personnel of the Association and name such additional committees as are required during the year to perform the Association's work adequately.


Article VII—Meetings

Section 1. The Association shall meet annually at such time and place as determined at the preceding Annual Meeting. This meeting is to be held in September of each year. The purpose of the Annual Meeting is to report on the various activities of the past year, proposals and expectations for the coming year, fellowship, and the electing of Association officers and Administrative Team members for the coming year.

Section 2. The messengers to the Annual Meeting will elect a Moderator to conduct the Annual Meeting for the following year. The Administrative Team will provide parliamentarian direction to the Annual Meeting.

Section 3. Should the Association be unable to meet as announced, the Administrative Team shall have the authority to cancel or reschedule the meeting. Such changes are permissible provided written notice starting such a change is communicated to each church and mission at least fifteen (15) days before the meeting.

Section 4. The Administrative Team shall have the authority to call special meetings other than the scheduled meetings, provided written notice stating the time, place, and purpose of such a special meeting is communicated to each church and mission at least fifteen (15) days before the meeting.

Section 5. Robert's Rules of Order (current edition) shall be the standard authority to decide all parliamentary questions before the Association.


Article VIII—Amendments

The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at any Annual Meeting of the Association by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the messengers present and voting in favor of the amendment provided said proposed amendment has been presented to the Administrative Team at least their (30) days before the Annual Meeting of the Association.




Drafted by Rev. Phil Nason, Vice-Moderator
July 26, 2022