BMA OF TEXAS

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

 
ARTICLE I—NAME
The name of the Association of churches shall be the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas, Inc.

ARTICLE II—LEGAL IDENTITY
The Baptist Missionary Association of Texas, Inc. is a registered corporation in the state of Texas, hereafter known as “the Association,” and is a non-profit organization in accordance with Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

ARTICLE III—MISSION
Section 1. The Association shall endeavor to unify the work of the churches as they fulfill the Great Commission in their local communities, the state of Texas, and ultimately, the world.

Section 2. To accomplish this, we will plant new churches and provide resources to assist cooperating churches in developing their ministries of family and child care, evangelism, discipleship, and Christian education. Through these ministries we anticipate God’s blessings in the salvation of the lost, the strengthening of the family, and the spiritual, numerical, and financial growth of the churches.

ARTICLE IV—MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. The members of the Association shall be Baptist churches that choose to unite with the Association by means of messengers to carry out the mission expressed in Article III of this Constitution.

Section 2. Each church seeking fellowship in the Association shall present a petitionary letter stating that, in regular conference, she has approved the Constitution and Doctrinal Statement of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas. The messengers of the petitioning church will be seated when approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the messengers present and voting in that session.

Section 3. Each church may elect three (3) messengers from her membership as representatives to the annual meeting, and shall certify those messengers in writing.

Section 4. Should it become necessary to challenge a church for her right to sit in the Association, the procedure shall be as follows:

A. A church shall present in writing the constitutional and/or doctrinal reason for the challenge.

B. The president shall appoint a committee of three to investigate the charges and report its findings to the assembled messengers.

C. The messengers of the challenged church will be seated if approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the messengers present and voting.

Section 5. Membership in the Association can be terminated in the following manner:

A. By a church notifying the president of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas in writing, stating that they have voted to terminate membership in a regular conference.

B. By the Association withdrawing fellowship from any church which may be found to be out of harmony with the Constitution and By-Laws of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas, Inc. and/or Doctrinal Statement.

The procedure shall be as follows:
1. A church shall present in writing the reason for the challenge.
2. The president shall appoint a committee of three (3) to investigate the charges and report its finding to the assembled messengers at a subsequent session.
3. Should the committee recommend withdrawal, a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote shall be required for approval.

ARTICLE V—PRINCIPLES
Section 1. The Association shall be governed by divine truth as set forth in Holy Scripture in all matters of doctrine and practice.

Section 2. The Association shall recognize freedom of speech as the right of each messenger and shall follow commonly accepted rules of order in all her discussions.

Section 3. The Association shall respect the autonomy of each individual church.

ARTICLE VI—OFFICERS
Section 1. General Guidelines

A. The officers of the Association shall be a president, a first vice-president, a second vice-president, and two recording clerks.

B. The Association shall elect all officers at each annual meeting. Nominees for all offices must be a member of a church affiliated with the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.

C. Newly-elected officers shall assume their duties at the end of the annual meeting in which they are elected.

D. A majority vote of the messengers shall decide all elections.

Section 2. Presiding Officers

A. Presiding officers shall hold their office no more than two consecutive years.

B. Duties of the president: The president shall preside over the deliberations of the Association, chair the Executive Committee, chair the Administrative Committee, plan the agenda, and make arrangements for and provide advance publicity for the annual meeting.

C. The first vice-president shall succeed to the office of president if the president leaves office before another is elected. The second vice-president shall succeed to the office of first vice-president if the first vice president leaves office before another is elected. The vice-presidents shall assist the president in the duties of his office as requested by the president.

Section 3. Clerks

A. The recording clerks shall record the proceedings of each session, and shall print and distribute to the churches the minutes of each meeting.

B. The recording clerks shall appoint annually the Registration Committee.

ARTICLE VII—DEPARTMENT DIRECTORS
Section 1. Department directors are as follows:

A. The Association shall elect annually a director of missions, a business manager of the Loan Association, an editor of the Baptist Progress, and a president of the Texas Baptist Home for Children.

B. Since Jacksonville College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities, the board of trustees elected by the Association has the responsibility of electing the officers of the college.

Section 2. Executive Director

The director of missions shall serve as the executive director of the Association. His duties shall be the following:

A. To coordinate quarterly meetings of the directors for the purpose of developing a unified vision, planning and promotion of all departments, with the goal of building the work of the churches of the Association.

B. To regularly communicate the vision, purposes, and plans of the departments with the churches through the Baptist Progress, personal visits, and other means.

C. To assist the officers of the Association in planning the annual meetings of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.

D. To administer the Association Expense Fund and give an annual account of the income and disbursements.

E. Should the director of missions become unable to perform the duties of the executive director, the president of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas shall fill this position until the director of missions is able to resume these responsibilities or a successor is elected.

ARTICLE VIII—FUNDS
Section 1. The BMA of Texas Departments are funded by voluntary contributions according to the needs and appeal of the departments. Funds from property income by sale of property or donation will be dispersed by the association or its designated department trustees.

Section 2. The Association or its Executive Committee shall authorize all distribution of funds according to the expressed preference of the donor, provided such preference does not violate this Constitution. Undesignated contributions shall be divided to each department according to the percent of need from the churches.

Section 3. The Association will receive annually a United Thanksgiving Offering to be divided among the departments as directed by the Administrative Committee.

Section 4. An Association Expense Fund shall provide for any expense not directly related to a specific department. This fund shall also provide for the following:

A. The expenses of the Nominating Committee, the Administrative Committee, and other committees that shall be appointed or elected by the Association for specific purposes.

B. The cost of printing the minutes of the Association and the salaries for the clerks.

C. The liability of the Association for the cost of facilities to be used in an annual meeting and shall not exceed a total of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00).

D. Any other expense that may accrue to the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.

E. The Administrative Committee shall present a budget for the Association Expense Fund. Revenue for this budget shall be derived through designated offerings.

F. In the event the Association Expense Fund is insufficient to meet the expenses incurred, the balance needed shall be paid by equally assessing each department of the Association.

ARTICLE IX—BOARDS AND COMMITTEES
Section 1. The Association shall establish any other boards or committees that are necessary to carrying out its objectives

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall carry out the objectives of the Association between annual meetings.

A. Each church may choose one member to represent her on the Executive Committee. If the representative of a church ceases to qualify during the year, the church may certify another representative to the Executive Committee.

B. The officers of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas shall be members and officers of the Executive Committee.

C. The Executive Committee shall (1) approve or disapprove the recommendation of a trustee body concerning the filling of a department director vacancy; (2) approve or disapprove any major changes in the budget of a department; (3) fill vacancies on any trustee board; (4) care for other associational business that occurs between annual meetings and create any committees necessary to accomplish its objectives.

D. The directors of the five departments of the Association shall serve as trustees to act in behalf of the Executive Committee. Any three of the department directors may sign necessary legal documents in the name of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.

E. The Executive Committee shall meet subject to the call of the chair.

F. The Executive Committee shall report to the churches by means of the Baptist Progress, and its report shall be printed with the minutes of the Association.

Section 3. Administrative Committee.

A. A standing committee composed of the president, first vice-president, and second vice-president of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas, nine members elected from the floor, the director of each department, and one trustee from each department shall serve as an Administrative Committee. Administrative Committee members elected from the floor may not be a member of any other standing committee.

B. Members elected from the floor will serve for a three (3) year term with the elections staggered so the terms of three (3) members expire each year. These members may be re-elected once, not to exceed six consecutive years.

C. This committee shall (1) serve in an advisory capacity to the department directors; (2) coordinate the work of the department directors in areas of dual responsibility and endeavor; (3) plan and participate in the program of the regular and special sessions of the Association; (4) plan, promote, and publicize the goals and ministries of the Association; (5) present annually recommendations of salary and benefits for the Association elected directors of each department; (6) present nominees to the association to serve on the Nominating Committee. The director of each department of the Association shall receive a salary longevity raise of $100.00 per year for each year of service, counting from the first year and paid after the third year of service. The recommendations for salary and benefits shall be presented to the various trustee boards no later than six (6) weeks before the Association convenes.

Section 4. The Nominating Committee recommends personnel to serve on boards and standing committees designated by the Association.

A. The Nominating Committee is a standing committee of five (5) members nominated by the Administrative Committee with additional nominations being allowed from the floor. Each member will serve a three (3) year term elected on a staggered basis. Members serve a maximum of two terms in succession.

B. The Nominating Committee shall meet at least twice during the year. The first meeting will be called by the president of the Association no later than March 1 to organize the committee and to collect and process names, including those suggested by the department directors and the churches. A list of prospective nominees shall be sent to the directors of the appropriate departments for review by May 1.

C. The department directors shall have until July 1 to respond to the nominating committee. The completed list of nominees shall be sent to the editor of Baptist Progress no later than September 1.

Section 5. The Boards of Trustees

The boards of trustees shall direct the work of each department of the Association according to the will of the churches. The Association, in annual meeting, shall elect members to the boards of trustees and committees according to the individual constitutions and by-laws.

Section 6. Regulations of Boards and Committees

A. A person may be a member of only one standing committee or board at a time. A person may be elected on a staggered basis for one four year term, with re-election for one four year term, not to exceed a total of eight consecutive years with the exclusion of the Administrative Committee, (See Section 3, Letter B), and the Nominating Committee (See Section 4, Letter A).

B. The clerk of each committee or board shall furnish to the recording clerks within thirty days of the close of each annual associational meeting the name, address, phone number, and status (layperson or pastor) of each member of their committee. The chairman and clerk of each committee shall be identified. The recording clerks shall include this information in each annual minute book.

C. Any member of a board or committee who misses two consecutive meetings of that board or committee, without a valid reason, will be replaced at the next meeting of the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas.

ARTICLE X—MEETINGS
Section 1. The Association shall meet annually in the area of Dallas, Tyler, Waco, and Lufkin, in that rotating order.

Section 2. The Executive Committee may call a special meeting of the Association when necessary.

Section 3. The officers of the Association seek the cooperation of the pastors of the local association(s) where the meeting is held.

ARTICLE XI—REPORTS AND AUDITS
Section 1. Each department, committee, and organization of the Association shall make an annual report in written form and provide copies for the messengers at each annual meeting.

Section 2. A certified public accountant shall audit annually the records of each department. This audit shall be printed in the minutes of the Association.

Section 3. Committees and organizations of the Association that handle funds shall submit a financial statement in standard accounting form to be printed in the minutes.

ARTICLE XII—SUPERSESSION
This Constitution shall supersede the constitution or by-laws of any department, agency, or organization in the Association, except where charter requirements intervene.

ARTICLE XIII—AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution must be presented in printed form to the messenger body. The proposed amendment will be discussed at that time and voted on without discussion in the subsequent session. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote is required for the. amendment to pass.

Section 2. Proposed amendments to the Doctrinal Statement must be presented in printed form to the messenger body. The proposed amendment will be discussed at that time and voted on without discussion in the subsequent session. A two-thirds (2/3) majority vote is required for the amendment to pass.