Stellenbosch Baptist Constitution.

NAME

The Church shall be known as the Stellenbosch Baptist Church, (hereinafter referred to as the Church).

  1. BAPTIST UNION OF SOUTHERN AFRICA

The Church shall seek and maintain membership with the Baptist Union of Southern Africa but shall be independent of any control by it save as hereinafter provided.  Having become a member the Church shall remain in membership unless the membership shall resolve otherwise by a 90% (ninety per cent) vote of members present at a properly constituted meeting of members.

  1. CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND OBJECTIVES

3.1       The Church recognises Jesus Christ as its supreme Head and undertakes to manage its affairs according to New Testament teaching, believing that as the Body of Christ it is equipped by His Spirit to act, decide and direct as set out in Article 7.

The Church will carry out its objects in a non-profit manner with an altruistic intent.

3.2       The object of the Church shall be

3.2.1    To glorify the Lord Jesus, the Head of the Church.

3.2.2    To proclaim the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures and to encourage and support the proclamation of that Gospel (in accordance with Matthew 28:18-20) to the ends of the earth.

3.2.3    To provide instruction and fellowship for believers, seeking to build them up to the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13)

3.3       Method of Functioning

3.3.1    The Church shall exist as a legal entity in its own right, separate from its members.

3.3.2    The Church shall continue to exist even when its membership changes and there are different office-bearers.

  1. STATEMENT OF BELIEF AND PRINCIPLES

4.1       The Church believes:

4.1.1    In the Scriptures of the Old and New testaments in their original writings as fully inspired of God and accepts them as the final authority for faith and life.

4.1.2    In one God eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

4.1.3    That Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.

4.1.4  That God created man in His own image; that man sinned and thereby incurred the penalty of death, physical and spiritual; and that all human beings inherit a sinful nature, which issues (in the case of those who have reached moral responsibility) in actual transgression involving personal guilt.

4.1.5    That the Lord Jesus 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.

4.1.6    In the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life as our High Priest and Advocate.

4.1.7    In the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

4.1.8    In the personality of the Holy Spirit, His regenerating work, and abiding presence in the true believer.

4.1.9    That all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God.

4.1.10  That all Christians are called to a life of holiness, devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and service for Him.

4.1.11  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.

4.1.12  That God created man and woman to complement each other and be fruitful and has ordained the only form of marriage as a heterosexual relationship between a natural man and a natural woman who are lawfully married to each other.

4.2       The Church further believes in the following distinctive Baptist principles:

4.2.1    That the one true Church is the whole company of those who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, been redeemed by Him and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, and 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 the essentials of church membership.

4.2.2    That the Lord Jesus Christ appointed two ordinances – Baptism and the Lord’s supper to be observed as acts of obedience and as perpetual witness 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 the bread and the cup as symbolical of the Saviour’s broken body and shed blood, in remembrance of His sacrificial death till His return.

4.2.3    The principle of CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT, namely, that a constituted church meeting is, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the highest court of authority for the local church; and that each individual member has the inalienable right and responsibility to participate fully in the life and government of the church, including the appointment of its leaders.  It is fully autonomous and remains so notwithstanding responsibilities it may accept by voluntary association.

4.2.4    The PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS, by which we understand that each Christian has direct access to God through Christ our High Priest, and shares with Him in His work of reconciliation.  This involves intercession, worship, faithful service and bearing witness to Jesus Christ, even to the end of the earth.

4.2.5    The principle of RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, namely, that no individual should be coerced either by the State or by any secular, ecclesiastical or religious group in matters of faith.  The right of private conscience is to be respected.  For each believer this means the right to interpret the Scriptures responsibly and to act in the light of his conscience.

4.2.6    The principle of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE is that, in the providence of God, the two differ in their respective natures and functions.  The Church is not to be identified with the State nor is it, in its faith or practice, to be directed or controlled by the State.  The State is responsible for administering justice, ensuring an orderly community, and promoting the welfare of its citizens.  The Church is responsible for preaching the Gospel and for demonstrating and making known God’s will and care for all mankind.

4.3       Any changes within the church structure or organisation which is in conflict directly or indirectly with one or more of the stated beliefs and principles in clauses 3.1 and 3.2 will be invalid unless approved by at least 90% of the members present and entitled to vote at a duly constituted Special Church meeting of which at least three months’ notice has been given.

  1. MEMBERSHIP

The membership shall consist of:

5.1       Those baptised believers who covenant together to form foundation members of the Church.

5.2      Those who, desiring membership, have given evidence of their personal salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, have confessed that faith by baptism (immersion), and have been accepted by the church according to clause 6.

5.3       Notwithstanding the condition concerning Baptism in 4.2, the Church may accept an application who is unable to be baptised for medical reasons on condition that the applicant publicly declares acceptance of the definition of the ordinance of Baptism.

  1. ADMISSION OF MEMBERS

Every application shall be decided upon by the Church membership.

6.1   Application for membership shall be made in the first instance to the Eldership on the prescribed form. The Elders shall cause careful enquiry to be made regarding the applicant’s qualification for membership.

6.2   If the Eldership is satisfied that an applicant for Church membership is a professing Christian and deserving of Church Membership, the Church Secretary shall cause the name of such applicant to be published in the Church Announcements or Church Bulletin for three (3) consecutive weeks inviting church members to indicate in writing why such applicant should not be admitted as a member of the Church.

6.3  In the event of application by transfer, the Eldership shall request a letter of transfer from the applicants Church of prior membership for consideration by the Church membership.

6.4   Any written objection in regard to an application for church membership shall be submitted to the church secretary within seven (7) days after the date of the last publication of an applicant’s name in the Church Announcements or Church Bulletin (as stated in 6.2), and such written objection shall be treated as confidential.

6.5   If any such written objection is received by the Church Secretary, the church shall consider the application at a duly constituted General meeting and shall, on the affirmative vote of at least 75% of the members present and eligible to vote, accept the application.

6.6   If no written objection is received by the Church Secretary, the Church shall be deemed to have accept the applicant as a member of the Church.

6.7    No membership applications will be considered during the months of June-July and December-January.

  1. PRIVILEGES AND OBLIGATIONS OF MEMBERSHIP

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 rest with the whole membership.

Therefore, every member shall be entitled and expected, to attend business meetings, unless prevented by some reasonable cause, and to exercise his or her vote for the welfare of the whole community in the spirit of prayer and love.

Members shall be expected to support the ministry and maintain 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 witness for Christ and seek to win others for the Lord, and to introduce strangers to the Church.

  1. TRANSFER OF MEMBERS AND RESIGNATION

8.1       Any member in good standing who desires to join another Baptist Church shall be given a letter of transfer upon application by the Church concerned.

8.2       Any member in good standing who desires to join a Protestant Church of some other persuasion than the Baptist church, shall be given a letter of introduction and commendation upon application by the Church concerned.

The Elders are empowered to complete and despatch letters of transfer and introduction of commendation per 7.1 and 7.2 above, and withhold same should circumstances warrant, but shall report thereon at the next General Meeting of Members.

8,3       A member may resign in writing at any time.

(Removal of members from the membership role : See 14)

  1. CHURCH OFFICERS AND THEIR APPOINTMENT

9.1       Pastor/s

The choice and appointment of a Pastor (or Pastors) is vested in the membership of the Church.  When it is necessary or desirable to appoint a Pastor, a General Meeting of Members duly convened shall appoint a Call Committee comprising:

9.1.1    Nominated Church members not serving on the Diaconate.

9.1.2    The Executive (excluding the Pastor who has resigned, retired, or been removed from office, unless 75% of the members present vote to the contrary).

The Call Committee so constituted shall make enquiries and give prayerful consideration to suitably qualified and/or experienced prospects.  When satisfied, a recommendation, comprising one name, shall be placed before a General Meeting of Members, specially convened for that purpose.  No Call shall be sent forward unless  75% of the members present vote in favour. All voting shall be done by ballot only. Any Call shall be conditional upon the prospective Pastor being a baptised believer (by immersion), meeting the criteria for one of the ministerial lists of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa, and on his acceptance in writing, of the Church Trust Deed and Constitution, (and where applicable its By-Laws) copies of which shall accompany the Call Letter.

Any engagement between the Church and a Pastor shall be terminable by three months’ notice on either side, or a lesser period mutually agreed upon.

The Pastor shall become a member of the Church as soon as convenient after his appointment.

Elders

In addition to the Pastor (Pastors), the church shall appoint from its membership between 2 and 5 suitably gifted members, 25 years or older, who satisfy the requirement for the office of elder/overseer as detailed in Paul’s letter to Timothy and Titus.

The choice and appointment of Elders is vested in the membership of the church.  When it is desirable to appoint an Elder or Elders, any General Meeting of Members may appoint a Call Committee comprising:

9.2.1    Nominated Church members not serving on the Diaconate.

9.2.2    The Diaconate (including the Pastor/s and any existing Elders).

The Call Committee so constituted shall consider all nominations as may have been made and be free to extend their investigations as necessary.  The committee shall be obliged to enquire into the qualities and qualifications for Elders as given in the New Testament and the suitability of the prospects relative thereto.  After prayerful consideration a separate recommendation shall be placed before a General Meeting of Members for each vacancy or office by the Call Committee.  If no prospect meets the Scriptural requirements no name may be proposed, and the Committee shall not be obliged to divulge, except if requested privately, to the person/s so rejected, the reasons for rejection.  All recommendations placed before a General Meeting of Members shall be considered individually, without comparison and with those nominated absent, and shall be voted upon by BALLOT.  No Call shall be extended unless at least 75% of the members present vote in favour. 

An Elder’s continued service to the Church in this capacity shall be subject to his call being reaffirmed every three years.  This process shall include review by the Diaconate (including other Elders) with power to co-opt, discussions with the Elder concerned, recommendation to the General Meeting, and voting as described above.

Where a person is replaced, that person shall serve under the new incumbent for one month to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. Elders may not serve for more than three terms, followed by a one year sabbatical before being eligible again.

Elders and the pastor shall be entitled to attend all committee meetings in order to give counsel.

Eldership shall also be terminated if church membership is discontinued, or upon resignation in writing, or removal by resolution of a General Meeting of members duly convened, gaining 75% of the votes of members present.

9.3    Deacons

9.3.1    In addition to the Church Administrator, the Church may, from its membership, elect deacons, who, at the time of election, will be over 21 years of age and in membership not less than six months

9.3.2    The number of deacons shall be six deacons for a membership of up to forty and thereafter one extra deacon for every fifteen members accepted, the limit being ten deacons for the first one hundred members.  After that one additional deacon may be elected for every fifty members in excess of one hundred.  The election shall be by ballot and needs the approval of 75% of the members present.  The deacons shall meet the terms of New Testament requirements.  Deacons shall complete their term of office even though membership numbers may decline during that period.

9.3.3    The Deacons shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of Members and shall hold office for two years. Retiring deacons shall be eligible for re-election to a second consecutive term of office. Deacons may not serve for more than 2 terms, followed by a one year sabbatical before being eligible again.  Interim vacancies may be filled by the Diaconate co-opting suitable church members. Members so appointed shall attend meetings of the Executive without the power to vote. Co-opted members of the Diaconate will serve until the following Annual General Meeting when the vacancy will be filled in the manner prescribed above.

9.3.4    Every member of the church shall be entitled to submit as many separate written nomination/s for Deacons as there are vacancies, provided that such nominations are signed by the nominee, and that said nomination forms or letters are lodged with the Church Administrator at least seven days before the date of the meeting at which the election is to take place.

9.3.5    The names of the retiring Deacons shall be continuously displayed on the Church notice board from at least two Sundays before the Annual General Meeting of Members, until nomination day has passed.

9.3.6    The names of all those nominated in terms of clause 9.3.4 above shall be continuously displayed on the Church notice board the two Sundays before the General Meeting of Members at which election is to take place, until the commencement of said General Meeting.

9.3.7    Office Bearers

At its first meeting after the Annual General Meeting, the Executive shall appoint from its own number a Treasurer.

In the event where the church has not appointed a Church Administrator, the executive shall also appoint from its own number a Secretary.

All appointments to be confirmed at the next General Meeting.

A deacon can be removed from its tasks if church membership is discontinued, or upon resignation in writing, or removal by resolution of a General Meeting of members duly convened, gaining 75% of the votes of members present.

9.4       Church Administrator.

9.4.1    The Church Administrator is to assist the pastor in providing administrative leadership and development of the business affairs of the Church in accordance with the entire Church mission and vision. This involves giving direction to the office staff and church volunteers.

9.4.2    Appointment

The choice and appointment of the Church Administrator is vested in the membership of the Church. When an appointment is necessary, the Executive shall make enquiries and give prayerful consideration to suitably qualified and experienced prospects.

Candidates are required to have suitable skills and gifts to perform the task required as the administrator.

When satisfied, a recommendation, comprising one name, shall be placed before a General Meeting of Members, specially convened for that purpose. The recommendation placed before the General Meeting shall be prayerfully considered by the membership and shall be voted on by Ballot and requires the approval of 75% of the members present.

Once appointed, the candidate will be employed by the church and the executive will supply the candidate with a Contract and Job Description.

If the newly appointed candidate is not a member of Stellenbosch Baptist Church, the administrator shall become a member of the Church as soon as convenient after his/her appointment.

9.4.3    Roles and Responsibilities

The church Administrator shall report to the Pastor. The administrator is to provide a report at deacon’s meetings, as well as the Quarterly and Annual Church meetings, providing information regarding membership movement and key administrative issues relating to the churches vision.

The daily responsibilities of the Administrator shall be outlined in the Job Description.

9.4.4    Termination of Employment

Any engagement between the Church and the Administrator shall be terminable by one month on either side or a lesser period mutually agreed upon.

If possible, the administrator shall provide training for the incoming candidate to ensure the smooth transition of tasks.

9.5       Departments

The appointed leaders of all departments shall be Church members.

The leader appointed by each department shall be approved by the Elders and ratified at a General Meeting.

Each department shall appoint its own committee.

All department leaders are to submit a written report to the Elders as and when requested.

9.6       Other Office Bearers

Other offices may be created by the Members in a General Meeting, for specific purpose for such periods as may be required.

9.7       Chairperson

9.7.1    The Executive shall be entitled to appoint a Chairperson, who may be the Pastor, of meetings of the Executive and the Church for periods or occasions as it may see fit.  The Chairperson shall vacate the chair when his/her own position is under discussion.

9.7.2    In the absence of the appointed Chairperson, a Chairperson shall be elected from the Executive.  If, at a General Meeting, no member of the Executive is willing to accept nomination, the meeting shall elect a Chairperson, being a Church member, from those present.

9.7.3    The Chairperson shall be entitled to both a deliberative and a casting vote.  He may also postpone deliberations on any matter which he considers the meeting is not representative enough to attain an objective decision.

  1. CHURCH DIACONATE / EXECUTIVE

10.1     The Pastor, Elders and the Deacons shall constitute the Executive body of the Church.

10.2     A quorum of the executive shall be made up of 50% of the Executive.

10.3     The Church shall function through the medium of the Executive, which shall conduct the business affairs, meeting as often as necessary. The Diaconate shall meet once a month.

10.4     The Executive shall be accountable to the Members in General Meetings for the proper performance of their responsibilities.

10.5     Proper minutes of all decisions of the Church and the Executive shall be secure and maintained and be accessible to members

11. ACCOUNTING

11.1     Proper Banking accounts and books of account, sufficient to control and record income and expenditure and capital items, shall be maintained.

11.2     The Church financial year shall be 1st March to the end of February.

11.3     All Church accounts shall be subject to audit as appointed by members.

  1. GENERAL MEETINGS OF MEMBERS

12.1     The Annual General Meeting of Members shall be held as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year and may be adjourned for as short a period as is practicable if business is not completed.

12.2     Financial statements, duly audited, shall be submitted by the Treasurer.  The Pastor, the Church Secretary and all departments of the Church shall report on their activities for the past year, their plans for the present year, and give some indication of future aims.

12.3     Election of Deacons, in terms of 9.3 hereof, shall take place.

12.4     General Meetings of Members, including the Annual General Meeting shall be held in each calendar quarter, unless for some unavoidable circumstance the Executive is forced to recommend the postponement or bringing forward of a meeting.

12.5     Special General Meetings shall be convened as required in this Constitution or on the initiative of the Executive or upon written request of at least 10 members (stating the purpose), and within one month of such request.

Notice of a Special General Meeting shall be issued/distributed to all members at least fourteen days prior to the meeting, clearly specifying the matters to be submitted for consideration.

12.6     The quorum at a General Meeting of members shall be 30% of the number of members residing in the Stellenbosch magisterial district at the time of the meeting. Members residing outside this area but who are present at a meeting are to be included in the count.

12.7     Every matter of Church business shall be decided by a simple majority of votes cast at a properly convened General Meeting of Members, unless otherwise stipulated herein, subject to the following conditions: –

12.7.1  Voting shall normally be by show of hands and a declaration of result by the Chairman shall be conclusive, unless a Ballot is called for before the result is declared.

12.7.2  A Ballot may be demanded by any member present prior to voting by show of hands, or prior to declaration by the Chairman of the results.

12.7.3  Matters brought for discussion without due notice may be deferred to a future meeting if so requested by 50% of those attending and entitled to vote.

12.8     Notice of General Meeting of Members shall be given as follows:

12.8.1  Notice of a General Meeting of Members to consider the Calling of a Pastor, or the purchase, sale or mortgaging of immovable property or an alteration of this Constitution shall be made available to members in writing from the morning service three Sundays prior to the meeting taking place.

12.8.2  All other Notice of General Meetings of Members shall be given at all services on the Sunday immediately prior to the proposed meeting.  Only general indication of business need be given.

  1. METHODS OF FINANCING

The Church shall be supported by:-

13.1     Voluntary contributions of members of the Church and congregation by means of offerings at the services, by monthly or other contributions to Church funds, by donations, legacies, by offerings of members and friends on Thanksgiving days, and/or by any other method decided by members of the Church, provided this is not in conflict with the spirit and teaching of the New Testament.

13.2     Interest on surplus funds invested in Church or Mission projects or in recognised Commercial Institutions.

13.3     The funds of the Church will be used solely for the objects for which it was established or shall be invested with a financial institution as defined in section 1 of the Financial Services Board Act, 1990 (Act No. 97 of 1990) or in any financial instrument of a company contemplated in paragraph (a) of the definition of a ‘listed company’.

13.4     The Church’s income and property may not be distributed to its members or office-bearers, except as reasonable compensation for services rendered, benevolent needs or any cause agreed on by the church membership. No remuneration will be paid to any employee, office bearer, member or other person which is excessive, having regard to what is generally considered reasonable in the sector and in relation to the service rendered and has not and will not economically benefit any person in a manner which is not consistent with its objects.

13.5     Members or office-bearers have no rights in the property or other assets of the Church solely by virtue of their being members or office-bearers.

13.6     The Church’s accounting records and reports must be ready and handed to the Director of Non-profit Organisations, in as far as is possible, within six months of the financial year end.  The Church will submit the required returns by the South African Revenue Service together with the relevant supporting documents.

13.7     To comply with the requirements of the South African Revenue Service for Tax Exemption, at least 85% of the Church’s activities, measured either in cost or time spent, will be carried out for the benefit of persons in the Republic.

  1. CHURCH DISCIPLINE

14.1     If any member is absent from services of the Church and/or neglects to comply with any of the privileges and obligations of membership for a prolonged period without apparent good reason, the Elders shall make enquiry.  Should no satisfactory response result; the Elders may submit a recommendation to a General Meeting.

14.2     In the unhappy event of any allegation of unworthy conduct or erroneous belief against any member, the Elders shall, if careful enquiry makes such a course necessary, consult with the member with the aim of restoring him/her into the fellowship of the church.

14.3     If the process as defined in 14.2 is unsuccessful, the Elders shall report to a General Meeting for appropriate action.

14.4     The suspension or expulsion of any member shall be resorted to only if all efforts at restoration prove unsuccessful.

14.5     In purely personal matters, members shall be expected to act in accordance with the Lord’s injunction in Matthew 18:15 – 17.

14.6     The business of the Church is confidential, and all members are expected to maintain the confidence entrusted to them in the spirit of James 3.

15. BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

The Church shall observe, in their New Testament simplicity, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, as enjoined upon His followers by the Lord Jesus Christ.

15.1     Baptism:          In addition to those desiring to join the Church in accordance with Article 5.2 the Pastor shall be free to baptise by immersion any believer who desires thus to confess the Lord Jesus.

15.2     Communion:   The Lord’s Supper shall – as far as possible – be observed on Sundays at least once a month.  Participation at the Lord’s Table shall be open to all who love the Lord Jesus and accept Him as the Son of God and their Saviour.

  1. AFFILIATION WITH BAPTIST CHURCH BODIES:

16.1     The Church shall apply for affiliation or membership of the Baptist Union and other appropriate Association/s and may by resolution of ninety percent of its members in General meeting withdraw from any such body except in the case of withdrawal from the Baptist Union clause 19 hereunder will take effect.

16.2     The Church recognises its responsibility to contribute to the support, financial and otherwise, of such bodies, within the limits of its capacity.

  1. MOVABLE AND IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

17.1     The Church shall be entitled to acquire movable and immovable property of whatever kind and shall have full powers to deal therewith in any manner, such as mortgage, pledge or alienation by sale, donation or otherwise, and shall be empowered to borrow money with or without security.  The Trustees, for the time being, of the Church, shall be the Executive of the Church.

17.2     The Trustees shall hold the property in trust for the Church and all immovable property shall be registered in the name of the Stellenbosch Baptist Church.

17.3     Except as provided in section 19 below, in relation to property referred to in 16.1 above it shall not be competent for the Trustees to dispose or commit or lease immovable property, to mortgage, hypothecate or otherwise alienate in any manner whatever, any immovable property unless authorised or empowered to do so by a 75% majority of those present at a Church meeting specially convened for that purpose.

  1. INDEMNITY

The Trustees, Secretary, Treasurer and all Officers of the Church shall be fully indemnified against all actions, costs, charges, losses, damages and expenses which they or any of them shall or may incur in the execution of their duty, except such as they shall incur by their own neglect or wrongful act.

  1. REVISION OF CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

This Constitution and its By-laws may be amended, at a General Meeting of the Church duly convened for the purpose, and circularised (see Clause 11) provided three months’ notice of motion has been given at a previous Church meeting.  No change shall be made unless at least 75% of the members present at such meeting vote in favour of the suggested alteration either in its original form or with such amendments as the meeting itself may make.

The statement of Belief and Principles contained in Clauses 3.1 and 3.2 is an entrenched provision and may not be revoked or amended save on a 90% majority vote of members present and entitled to vote at a duly constituted special church meeting of which at least three months’ notice has been given.

  1. DISSOLUTION

20.1     The dissolution of the Church may be affected by a 75% majority vote of members present at a Special General Meeting.

20.2     In the event of 20.1, such meeting shall thereupon authorise the Executive to take the necessary steps to wind up the affairs of the Church, and in particular to transfer the immovable property in due and proper form to the Baptist Union (See 20.3)

20.3     In the event of the Church at any time ceasing to exist, all acquired property or rights to property at such time shall ipso facto vest in and become the property of the Baptist Union which shall hold, administer or deal with it in such manner as the said Union through its Executive Committee may deem best fitted.

20.4     The Church shall be deemed to have ceased to exist-

20.4.1              when dissolution shall have been resolved in accordance with 20.1;

20.4.2              or when public worship shall have been discontinued for a consecutive period of six calendar months;

20.4.3              or when the number of members whose names and full addresses are known, has dropped to below 10.

  1. INTERPRETATION

The interpretation of this Constitution shall be determined by the Executive.  Should such an interpretation be queried, the matter may be raised with due notice by a member at a properly convened General Meeting of Members whose decision thereon shall be final, except in the case of dissolution when interpretation shall be determined by the Executive of the Baptist Union of South Africa.

  1. RESOLUTION OF DIFFERENCES / AREAS OF CONCERN

22.1     In the unhappy event of serious disputation or anxious concern

  • As between a group or groups of members and the remaining membership, or
  • As between the Pastor/s and the whole membership or a group or groups within that membership, or
  • As between a Pastor/s and his/their Executive, or
  • As between the Executive and the membership, or
  • As between Pastor and Pastor

which in the opinion of any one of the disputants abovementioned is impinging on the effective ministry of the Church or is seriously threatening its unity, it shall be the right and privilege of any such Pastor or of any four members of the Executive Committee or of any ten Church members to call for a special meeting of the Executive Committee with a view to resolving the differences.

At such a meeting, three persons who are not members of the Church, and have been nominated by the Executive of the local territorial association from the ranks of the Baptist denomination, and who are acceptable to the Church, shall be present.  It is suggested that the Area Coordinator and the Confidential Consultant could be included.  One of the three persons nominated by the local territorial association Executive shall chair such meetings.

22.2     It shall be the obligation of the disputants and of the church membership as a whole to afford the Church Executive and the three Association representatives when so invoked, every reasonable opportunity to assist in bringing about a God honouring solution.  The Association representatives may, if they so elect, submit a written report with appropriate recommendations.

22.3     In the unlikely event of these deliberations still not resulting in any satisfactory resolution of the differences or the areas of concern the assistance of the Baptist Union of Southern Africa shall be sought.  It shall likewise be the obligation of the disputants and of the church membership as a whole to afford the Baptist Union (including its Executive and/or its Officers) when so invoked, the same opportunity as is envisaged in 22.2 above.  The Baptist Union representatives, like those of the Association, may also if they so elect submit a written report with appropriate recommendations.

22.4     Should the local Territorial Association acting through its Executive or alternatively should the Baptist Union acting either through its Executive or through its Officers seek of its own volition and on its own initiative to assist in the circumstances of disputation envisaged in 22.1 above, but in the absence of formal request, the church shall give due and proper consideration to such an approach.

ADOPTED at the Inaugural meeting of the Stellenbosch Baptist Church by 18 Foundation Members on 4 March 1977 in the home of Prof and Mrs N C Broekmann, 5 Kommandeur Avenue, Stellenbosch, and subsequently amended.

Adopted:         4 March 1977

Amended:       20 May 1981

24 August 1988

28 February 1990

27 August 1996

9 May 2000

13 August 2002

11 April 2006

19 February 2014

23 November 2016

26 May 2021

                                    Amendment to suit Section 30 of the Income Tax Act.

  1. The sole principal object of the public benefit organisation is to carry on one or more public benefit activities as defined in section 30(1) of the Income Tax Act (the Act), in a non-profit manner and with and an altruistic or philanthropic intent.
  2. No activity will directly or indirectly promote the economic self-interest of any fiduciary or employee of the organisation otherwise than by way of reasonable remuneration.
  • The funds of the public benefit organisation will be used solely for the objects for which it was established.
  1. At least three persons who accepts fiduciary responsibility for the public benefit organisation, will not be connected in relation to each other, and no single person directly or indirectly controls the decision-making powers relating to such organisation.
  2. No funds will be distributed to any person (other than in the course of undertaking any public benefit activity.)
  3. On dissolution of the public benefit organisation, the remaining assets must be transferred to-

.     Any public benefit organisation, which has been approved in terms of section 30 of the   Act.

.     Any institution, board or body which is exempt from the payment of income tax in           terms of section 10(1) (cA)(i) of the Act, which has as its sole or principal object the         carrying on of any public activity; or

.     Any department of state or administration in nation or provincial or local sphere of         government of the Republic, Contemplated in section 10(1)(a) or (b) of the Act.

  • A copy of all amendments to the constitution, trust deed, memorandum and articles of association, or other written instrument under which the public benefit organisation was established, will be submitted to the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service.
  • The public benefit organisation will not be a party to, or does not knowingly permit, or not knowingly permitted, itself to be used as part of any transaction, operation or scheme of which the sole or main purpose is the reduction, postponement or avoidance of liability for any tax, duty or levy which, but such transaction, operation or scheme, would have been or would have become payable by any person under this Act or any other Act administered by the Commissioner;
  1. No remuneration will be paid to any employee, office bearer, member or other person which is excessive, having regard to what is generally considered reasonable in the sector and in relation to the service rendered and has not and will not economically benefit any person in a manner which is not consistent with its objects.
  2. No resources will be used, directly or indirectly, to support advance or oppose any party.


Back to Membership


Church Constitution


Apply Here