Baptist Mission Center
Friday, February 23, 2018

Central La. Baptist Association Constitution and Bylaws

STATEMENT OF NOTARY
 
 
State Of Louisiana
Parish Of Rapides
 
Be it known and remembered, that of this the _________________________[date], before me, ____________________________[name], a Notary Public duly commissioned and qualified in and for the State and Parish aforesaid, personally came and appeared the several subscribing incorporators, appearing herein pursuant to a resolution of the messengers of the churches constituent of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, a certified copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof as if copied herein in extenso, who, being on their oaths first duly sworn have deposed and said that they have and do hereby constitute themselves and all persons who are or may hereafter become associated with them, a body corporate, under the non-profit corporation laws of the State of Louisiana under the following Constitution and By-Laws which they adopt as their charter.
 

ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
AND CONSTITUTION
AND BY-LAWS
OF THE
CENTRAL LOUISIANA BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
 
CONSTITUTION
 
Article I–Name
The Association shall be called the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Article II–Bounds
The Association shall embrace all Southern Baptist Churches now in cooperation with it and such other churches as may hereafter be admitted to the body. These churches shall be in full cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention and/or the Louisiana Baptist State Convention.
 
Article III–Objects
Section 1:
The object of Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be to assist the churches in fulfilling their purposes through missions, Christian education, and stewardship.
 
Section 2:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall under no circumstances attempt to exercise any legislative or ecclesiastical authority over or to interfere with the right and autonomy of churches entering into a cooperative agreement with the Association. The Central Louisiana Baptist Association recognizes each cooperative church as being independent and sovereign in all matters. The basis of operation in the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall stem solely from the voluntary cooperation of the churches constituting the organization by election of messengers to the Annual Meeting of the Association and upon those messengers being recognized as credible at the Annual Meeting. The Central Louisiana Baptist Association may, however, provide advisory counsel upon invitation from any of the member churches.
 
Section 3:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association may acquire property both personal and real. The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall have the power to sell issue evidences of debtor encumber any acquired property both personal and real to secure the same.
 
Section 4:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall request from the churches within the bounds of this Association cooperation insuring the purpose and mission of this Association is accomplished.
 
Article IV–Associational Structure
Section 1:
The officers of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be the Moderator, the Vice-Moderator, the Secretary/Clerk, and the Treasurer. These individuals are charged by the Association to comprise the Administrative Leadership Team and to fulfill their responsibilities to the Association as presented within this document.
 
Section 2:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall have an Executive Board to receive reports and recommendations from the Administrative Leadership Team and conduct the business of the Association between the Annual Meetings of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The Executive Board shall meet quarterly. The Executive Board of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall consist of the Senior Pastor or his representative and one additional church member from each of the churches having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Association.
 
Section 3:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall have a Administrative Leadership Team consisting of a Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Secretary, Treasurer, and any other individual needed to carry out the responsibilities of the Administrative Leadership Team. The Moderator, and the Vice-Moderator, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by the messengers recognized and seated at the Annual Meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The other members of the Administrative Leadership Team shall be selected by the Moderator. The Administrative Leadership Team shall receive reports and recommendations from various active groups and ministry teams within the Association and conduct the business of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association between the Annual Meetings and the meetings of the Executive Board of the Association.
 
Article V–Association’s Relationship With The Churches
Section 1:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall enter into a cooperative agreement with the churches having expressed a will to be a part of the mission and ministry of the Association and having completed the necessary paperwork to be submitted to the Administrative Leadership Team. The Administrative Leadership Team shall investigate the petition or petitions to the Association with a report of findings presented to the Central Louisiana Baptist Association Executive Board. The Central Louisiana Baptist Association Executive Board shall report their findings to the messengers recognized and seated at the Annual Meeting and make any recommendations based on said findings. The final authority rests with the decision of the messengers comprising the Annual Meeting as to whether any church petitioning to enter into a cooperative agreement is permitted or disallowed. The percentage of messengers present and voting to approve a petition of cooperative agreement with the Association shall be set at a simple majority.
 
Section 2:
The membership of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be comprised of those messengers elected from the churches having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Association after the messengers have been recognized and seated by the Association at the Annual Meeting. The term of service for the members of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall continue until a successive set of messengers are elected from the churches having entered into a cooperative agreement, and having been recognized and seated by the Association at the Annual Meeting. As members of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, the messengers have no voice to speak for the Association outside of the properly entered session of the Annual Meeting nor do the messengers have any power to act on behalf of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association outside of the properly entered session of the Annual Meeting.
 
Section 3:
A church shall be considered a cooperative agreement church when: Baptist Doctrine and polity as outlined in the Associational Manual is being followed; continual participation in the varied ministries, missions, and other activities of the Association; practicing regular financial contributions to the Association; and submiting the Annual Church Profile Report through the Louisiana Baptist Convention.  
 
Section 4: The Central Louisiana Baptist Association reserves the right to withdraw or to withhold fellowship from any church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Association once that church has ceased to meet the requirements of the cooperative agreement as stated in the Associational Manual. The Administrative Leadership Team shall investigate any reports of such conduct and make a report of findings presented to the Central Louisiana Baptist Association Executive Board. The Central Louisiana Baptist Association Executive Board shall report the findings to messengers recognized and seated at the Annual Meeting and make any recommendations based on said findings. The final authority rests with the decision of the messengers comprising the Annual Meeting. Should a recommendation be brought to the floor of the Annual Meeting to disallow the cooperative agreement with said church, the percentage of messengers needed to approve is sixty-six percent (66%).
 
Section 5:
Should any church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association fail to participate in at least one Associational activity for two consecutive years, the Administrative Leadership Team of the Association shall review their standing with a report submitted to the Association during the Annual Meeting. This report shall include an action plan to involve the cooperative church in an Associational activity.
 
Section 6:
Should any church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association fail to participate in at least one Associational activity for three (3) consecutive years, a report from the Administrative Leadership Team shall be presented to the recognized and seated messengers of the Annual Meeting giving notification of said church no longer being in cooperative agreement with the Association. Any subsequent action by the messengers present and voting at the Annual Meeting will be binding. Should the notification of removal of said church be accepted by the messengers comprising the Annual Meeting, a written notice advising of the action taken will be mailed to the church’s leadership.
 
Section 7:
Should any church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association fail to contribute financially to the Association for two (2) consecutive years, the Administrative Leadership Team of the Association shall review their standing with a report submitted to the Association during the Annual Meeting. This report shall include an action plan to guide the cooperative church into making financial contributions.
 
Section 8:
Should any church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association fail to contribute financially for three (3) consecutive years , a report from the Administrative Leadership Team shall be presented to the recognized and seated messengers of the Annual Meeting giving notification of said church no longer being in cooperative agreement with the Association. Any subsequent action by the messengers present and voting at the Annual Meeting will be binding. Should the notification of removal of said church from the cooperative agreement with the Association be accepted by the messengers comprising the Annual Meeting, a written notice advising of the action taken will be mailed to the church’s leadership.
 
Section 9:
Should any church having entered into a cooperative agreement fail to submit an Annual Church Profile Report as required by the Central Louisiana Baptist Association for two (2) consecutive years, the Administrative Leadership Team shall review their standing with a report submitted to the Association during the Annual Meeting. This report shall include an action plan to secure an Annual Church Profile Report from the cooperative church.
 
Section 10:
Should any church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association fail to submit an Annual Church Profile Report as required by the Central Louisiana Baptist Association for three (3) consecutive years, a report from the Administrative Leadership Team shall be presented to the recognized and seated messengers of the Annual Meeting giving notification of said church no longer being in cooperative agreement with the Association. Any subsequent action by the messengers present and voting at the Annual Meeting will be binding. Should the notification of removal of said church from the cooperative agreement with the Association be accepted by the messengers of the Annual Meeting, a written notice advising of the action taken will be mailed to the church’s leadership.
 
Section 11:
At the Annual Meeting or at any special called meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, each church having entered into a cooperative agreement shall be entitled to five (5) messengers plus one (1) additional messenger for every twenty-five (25) resident members of each individual church as reported on the most recent Annual Church Profile Report with no church having more than fifteen (15) messengers.
 
Article VI–Conducting Business
The current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall be the guide in matters pertaining to the conducting of business sessions of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association including but not limited to the Administrative Leadership Team, the Executive Board, and the Annual Meeting. Majority vote shall be the main form of polity unless otherwise stated within this Constitution.
 
Article VII–Relationships
Section 1:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association may maintain fellowship with the Southern Baptist Convention, the Louisiana Baptist Convention, and any other Christian Entity being of like mind and spirit. This fellowship relationship is one of cooperation with neither the Southern Baptist Convention, the Louisiana Baptist Convention, nor any other entity having any expressed authority over the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Section 2:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be affilated with the Baptist Mission Center. This relationship shall be one of cooperation with the Baptist Mission Center. The Baptist Mission Center shall have no expressed authority over the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. 
 
Article VIII–Amending Constitution
This Constitution may be amended upon recommendation of the Administrative Leadership Team and/or the Executive Board at an Annual Meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. Written notice of the proposed amendment shall be been made available to the cooperative churches at least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Association and the proposed amendment shall be posted on the Central Louisiana Baptist Association web site. The proposed amendment will be submitted in writing and read to the body assembled after the accrediting of the messengers to the Annual Meeting. The proposed amendment shall be voted upon during the general business session of the Annual Meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The number of messengers present and voting to the Annual Meeting needed to approve the proposed amendment shall be set at seventy-five (75%) percent. Should position titles and/or program ministry names in Southern Baptist and/or Louisiana Baptist Life change, these changes will be made, if needed, in an edited version of the Constitution with the edited version of the Constitution being filed in due time with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
 
Article IX–Disillusion
Upon a vote sixty-six percent (66%) of the churches having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association at an Annual Meeting or a special called meeting of the Association to dissolve the Central Louisiana Baptist Association, all property, personal and real, as well as all funds being held by the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be transferred in a reasonable time period to the Louisiana Baptist Convention for the purpose of distribution and/or use. The method for disillusion and the transfer of all property as listed above will follow the guidelines as established by the legal requirements at the time of disillusionment.
 

BY-LAWS
 
Article I–Officers
Section 1
Any elected officer of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association must be an active member of a church having entered into a cooperative agreement with the Association. The cooperative church shall be in good standing as presented in the Constitution of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Section 2
The Moderator shall be elected to the position as presented in the Constitution of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The Moderator of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall preside over all meetings of the Association and over the Administrative Leadership Team. The Moderator shall be an ex-officio member of all Teams, groups, and committees constructed insuring the Association’s purpose and mission are carried out. No Moderator shall succeed himself/herself more than two (2) terms. Should an individual become Moderator due to the existing Moderator relinquishing the position, that individual shall serve the remainder of the current term with the time served not counting toward the two (2) term limit.
 
Section 3
The Vice Moderator shall be elected to the position as presented in the Constitution of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The Vice Moderator of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall preside over meetings in the absence of the Moderator or by request of the Moderator. The Vice Moderator shall render assistance to the Moderator as requested by the Moderator. No Vice Moderator shall succeed himself/herself more than two (2) terms. The Vice Moderator shall be the Moderator-elect at the close of the two terms served by the Moderator. Should an individual become Vice Moderator due to the existing Vice Moderator relinquishing the position, that individual shall serve the remainder of the current term with the time served not counting toward the two (2) term limit.   The Vice Moderator shall be a member of the Administrative Leadership Team of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Section 4
The Treasurer of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be selected to the position as presented in the Constitution of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. This individual shall receive and keep a strict account of all Associational funds received and spent. This individual shall make a monthly report to the Administrative Leadership Team, the Executive Board, and to the recognized and seated messengers at the Annual Meeting of the financial standing of the Association. No funds shall be diverted from the cause for which they have been designated. Budget allocations may be changed by the messengers of the CenLa Association at the Annual Meeting or by the Executive Board in proper session. The Treasurer shall be a member of the Administrative Leadership Team of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. 
 
Section 5
The Secretary/Clerk of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be selected to the position as presented in the Constitution of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. This individual shall send out notices of any and all meetings of the Association. Accurate minutes of the Annual Meeting, the Executive Board meetings, and the meetings of the Administrative Leadership Team shall be recorded and maintained by this individual. The Secretary/Clerk shall be the custodian of the Corporate Seal and of any and all legal papers pretaining to the CenLa Baptist Assocation. The Secretary/Clerk shall be a member of the Administrative Leadership Team of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Section 6
The election of the officers of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall take place at the Annual Meeting of the Association with the recognized and seated messengers present and voting approving by a simple majority approval. The officers shall take office immediately following the adjournment of the Annual Meeting. The Moderator and Vice Moderator shall be elected by the messengers comprising the Annual Meeting from recommendation brought to the Annual Meeting from the appropriate committee or team. The Treasurer and the Secretary/Clerk shall be elected by the messengers comprising the Annual Meeting of the Association upon recommendation from the Moderator representing the Administrative Leadership Team.
 
Article II–Administrative Leadership Team
Section 1:
The Administrative Leadership Team of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be composed of the Moderator, the Vice Moderator, the Treasurer, and Secretary/Clerk as elected officers of the Association. The Director of Missions shall also be a member of the Administrative Leadership Team. Other individuals comprising the Administrative Leadership Team may be but not limited to the chairpersons of all ministry teams, groups, and/or committees, as well as, any individual under the employment of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Section 2:
The Administrative Leadership Team shall act on behalf of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association between the Annual Meetings and the sessions of the Executive Board of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The Administrative Leadership Team shall bring reports to the Central Louisiana Baptist Association Executive Board at each session of the convening of the Executive Board. The Administrative Leadership Team shall bring reports to the Central Louisiana Baptist Association as part of the Executive Board’s report to the Central Louisiana Baptist Association at the Annual Meeting of the Association.
 
Article III–Ministry Teams
Section 1:
To accomplish the purpose and to fulfill the mission of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association Ministry Teams shall be established and listed in the Associational Manual. Ministry Teams may be established or disolved by the Administrative Leadership Team, the Executive Board, and/or the Association in the Annual Meeting. 
 
Section 2:
The individuals selected to lead these Ministry Teams shall be elected by the messengers at the Annual Meeting of the Association upon recommendation from the Administrative Leadership Team, from the Executive Board, and/or from the floor of the Annual Meeting. During the time between the Annual Meeting of the Association, the Administrative Leadership Team and/or the Executive Board may enlist and elect Ministry Team Leaders. With the establishment of a Ministry Team for a special purpose, the individual selected to serve on the Ministry Team may be selected by the Administrative Leadership Team, the Executive Board, and/or the messengers at the Annual Meeting of the Association. Should a vacancy occur on a Ministry Team between sessions of the Executive Board or the Annual Meeting of the Association, the Administrative Leadership Team shall enlist an individual to serve.
 
Section 3:
The duties and responsibilities of each of the Ministry Teams shall be as their names indicates in keeping with the promotion of a program of the Southern Baptist or the Louisiana Baptist Conventions, as instructed by the messengers attending the Annual Meeting of the Association, as instructed by the Executive Board, or as instructed by the Administrative Leadership Team.
 
Article IV–Baptist Mission Center
Section1:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be affilated with the Baptist Mission Center. This relationship shall be one of cooperation with the Baptist Mission Center.
 
Section 2:
The Director of Missions for the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be housed in the Baptist Mission Center. The Trustees of the Baptist Mission Center employ the Director of Missions with the Central Louisiana Baptist Association contributing to the salary and benefit package of the Director of Missions. The Job Description for the Director of Missions shall be under the direction of the Trustees of the Baptist Mission Center.
 
Section 3:
It shall be stated that the Central Louisiana Baptist Association desires for the Director of Missions to take a leadership role within the ministry and mission of the Association. He shall cooperate with the officers of the Association and the Associational Ministry Teams by sharing vision, by sharing responsibility, and by sharing purpose.   
 
Section 4:
The recognized and seated messengers of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall elect members to the Board of Trustees of the Baptist Mission Center at the Annual Meeting. The Trustees shall be elected for a term as prescribed by the By-Laws of the Baptist Mission Center. The responsibilities of the Trustees will be set by the By-Laws of the Baptist Mission Center. Should a Trustee leave the Board of Trustees prior to fulfilling the designated term, it shall be the responsibility of the Administrative Leadership Team to recommend a replacement to the Executive Committee for their deliberation and action.
 
Section 5:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall make regular financial contributions to the upkeep and the daily operations of the Baptist Mission Center.
 
Article V–Budget Process
Section 1:
A proposed annual budget for the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be developed by the proper committee and/or any other designated leadership group of the Association in cooperation with the Associational Treasurer. The proposed annual budget shall be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Association through a recommendation of the Associational Treasurer with a simple majority of recognized and seated messengers to approve. 
 
Section 2:
Changes in the budget allocations as approved by the recognized and seated messengers comprising the Annual Meeting of the Association shall be brought to the Executive Board in session upon recommendation from the Administrative Leadership Team. A special called meeting of the Association may be issued should the Executive Board and/or the Administrative Leadership Team approve such a meeting of the Association. Should funds exceed the approved budget, the Administrative Leadership Team may opt to pass excess funds to the varied Ministry Teams. Salaries of individuals employed by the Central Louisiana Baptist Association may be adjusted by a vote of the messengers present at the Annual Meeting of the Association or at a Special Called Meeting of the Association.
 
Section 3:
The Treasurer of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be instructed to develop and maintain a financial reserve account for the Association equaling to three months of the budgeted requirements.
 
Section 4:
Designated Funds held by the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be administered by the
Administrative Leadership Team in compliance to the description of the designated account.
 
Article VI–Meetings Of The Association
Section 1:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall meet annually for worship, transaction of business, election of officers, and celebration of the work of member churches. The date of the Annual Meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be within the Month of October. The date, the time, and the place of the Annual Meeting shall be selected by the Administrative Leadership Team.
 
Section 2:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association may be called into a Special Called Meeting.  A group of duly elected messengers representing no less then twelve (12) churches in good standing as cooperative churches of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association or the Executive Board approving by vote in proper session shall present a written request for a Special Called Associational Meeting to the Administrative Leadership Team. The responsibility for setting the date, the time, and the place for the Special Called Associational Meeting shall be placed upon the Administrative Leadership Team with the meeting being held as soon as possible.
 
Section 3:
The Executive Board of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall meet at least once a quarter during the months of January, April, July, and October. The date, time, and place of this meeting shall be determined by the Administrative Leadership Team with due notice being sent to all member churches and the meeting date, time, and location being placed on the Central Louisiana Baptist Association calendar and web site.  
 
Section 4:
The Administrative Leadership Team of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall meet monthly at a date, time, and place selected at the previous month’s meeting and the meeting date, time, and location being placed on the Central Louisiana Baptist Association calendar and web site.
 
Section 5:
A quorum for all meetings of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall be established as those members or messengers of cooperating churches present and voting.
 
Article VI–Fiscal Year
The Fiscal Year for the CenLa Baptist Assocation shall run from January 1 through December 31.
 
Article VII–Amending By-Laws
These By-Laws may be amended upon recommendation of the Administrative Leadership Team and/or the Executive Board at an Annual Meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. Written notice of the proposed amendment shall be been made available to the cooperative churches at least sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Meeting of the Association and the proposed amendment shall be posted on the Central Louisiana Baptist Association web site. The proposed amendment will be submitted in writing and read to the body assembled after the accrediting of the messengers to the Annual Meeting. The proposed amendment shall be voted upon during the general business session of the Annual Meeting of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association. The number of messengers present and voting to the Annual Meeting needed to approve the proposed amendment shall be set at sixty-six (66%) percent. Should position titles and/or program ministry names in Southern Baptist and/or Louisiana Baptist Life change, these changes will be made, if needed, in an edited version of the Constitution with the edited version of the Constitution being filed in due time with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
 
 
 
Central Louisiana Baptist Association
 
Associational Manual
 
Trustees:
Representation upon the Baptist Mission Center Board of Trustees shall follow the guidelines set forth in the Constitution and By Laws of the Baptist Mission Center which currently allows for four (4) Trustees representing the Central Louisiana Baptist Association.
 
Form Of Cooperative Agreement:
The Central Louisiana Baptist Association shall maintain a document to be used in the process of admitting petitioning churches as cooperative chuches to the Association and for criteria to be used in the process of censuring cooperative churches due to practices and beliefs within the local church. The document is Appendix 1 of the Associational Manual.
 
Associational Ministry Teams:
The current Associational Ministry Teams shall be as follows:
1) Mission Emphasis Team: This team will be responsible for the development, motivation, teaching, and enlisting of members from the cooperating churches of the Association for the purpose to include but not be limited to local, state, and world mission trips.
2) Evangelism Team: This team will be responsible for the development, motivation, teaching, and enlisting of members from the cooperating churches of the Association for programs of evangelism and outreach within each member church.
3) Stewardship Team: This team will be responsible for developng a program to support the member churches in their stewardship through tithes and offerings through the member church, monetary gifts to the work of the Association, and gifts through the Cooperative Program.
4) Doctrinal Study Team: This team will be responsible for developing a program to assist the member churches in the study of the Biblical Doctrines that impact the life of the church. This team will also insure that instruction on the yearly studies as presented by the Louisiana Baptist Convention and/or the Southern Baptist Convention will be made available to the member churches.
5) Leadership Development Team: The responsibility of this team is to provide programs, seminars, conferences, etc. for the development of leadership in every program area in the life of the member church.
6) Communication Team: The responsibility of this team is to work with the Moderator and the other members of the Associational Leadership Team to insure that proper communication is carried out between the Association and the member churches.
APPENDIX 1 Of The Associational Manual:
 
FORM OF COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT 
 
Please answer the following questions. Please give your answers in the briefest form possible. Should you need additional space, please use blank paper and attach it to this questionnaire.
 
CHURCH NAME _______________________ PASTOR __________________
 
PHYSICAL CHURCH ADDRESS ___________________ CITY _____________
 
ZIP _________ MAILING CHURCH ADDRESS _________ CITY ___________
 
ZIP _________ CHURCH PHONE ____________ PASTOR PHONE _________
 

1.    Give a brief history of the establishment of your church:        
 
 
2.    Outline the process of the calling of a person to be the senior pastor of your church:      
 
3.    Give a brief explanation of why your church wishes to be a part of the Central Louisiana Baptist Association: 
 
 
4.    List the names of any other groups with which your church is associated and the purpose of these associations: 
 
 
5.    List the date when your church incorporated with the State of Louisiana:  
 
 
6.    Outline and describe the type of governance organization and process that your church utilizes and follows: 
 
 
7.    List by position title who is the final authority in your church in deciding major issues:   
 
 
8.    List ways an individual can become a member of your church:       
 
9.    Would you please give a brief description of the view of missions that your church holds:        
 
    
     10. List the major teaching-training ministries of your church:
 
 
11. List the ordinances your church recognizes and incorporates into the life of the church:
 
 
12. Describe the style of corporate worship your church uses:
 
 
13. Listed below are seven (7) core values that Central Louisiana Baptist Association recognizes as being important in the life of a church. Give a brief statement as to the beliefs your church currently holds in relationship to these core values:
a.    God is creator and sustainer of all life.   
 
b.    God has revealed Himself as a Triune God.      
 
c.    Rebellious mankind is lost and sinful.   
 
d.    Jesus Christ is the only Saviour. 
 
e.    The Bible is God’s Word.   
 
f.     The Holy spirit conducts God’s work in the world today.         
 
g.    God created and sustains the church.    
 
     14. Have you read and agree to the statements in the document entitled “Statement of Theological Beliefs and Associational Criteria”? _ yes __ no
 
15. Have you read and agree to the statements in the document entitled “Baptist Distinctive”? _ yes __ no
 
     16. Place your signature (S) on the first line followed by your printed name (P) on the line below the signature and place the date in the appropriate area.
 
PASTOR:
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
DATE ___________
 
CHURCH LEADERS:
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
(S) ________________________________________
 
(P) ________________________________________
 
 
STATEMENT OF THEOLOGICAL BELIEF
AND ASSOCIATIONAL CRITERIA
 
Central Louisiana Baptist Association
 
Theological Beliefs:
      We hold to the deep Spiritual truths as found in Holy Scriptures as listed below.
 
GOD THE FATHER:     
      The Bible does not seek to prove God’s existence. It declares Him (Gen. 1:1). God is one Person (Deut. 6:4) declaring His existence in three manifestations as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
      As being the Creator of all things and all life, God is soveriegn. He rules His universe with no equal (Ps. 10:16; Jer. 10:10).   God will do as He wills, yet His will always is in accord with His nature which involves the attributes of truth, holiness, righteousness, and love.
 
JESUS CHRIST...GOD THE SON:
      Jesus is the Messiah or the Christ. He was God incarnate which means that God in Christ Jesus revealed Himself to man in a flesh and blood body (1 Tim. 3:16). Jesus’ life upon the earth was a revelation of God to man. Jesus’ death on the cross was not for Himself but for others. His death on the cross was not due to any wrong He had done nor was He a martyr to a cause. Jesus’ death was a substitution by accomplishing for man what man could not do for himself. As a sinner, mankind is under the condemnation of God’s law due to the inability of satisfying the demands of that law. So Jesus Christ through His death satisfied the demands of God’s law (Matt. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; Jn. 1:21). The vicarious death of Jesus Christ places upon all persons a responsibility. We must receive that which Christ has done in our stead through faith or His substutionary death will avail us nothing.
      The grave could not hold the Son of God. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave and appeared to His disciples (Lk. 24:31ff.; Jn. 20:19ff.). The bodily resurrection of Jesus authenticates His deity (Matt. 12:40; Rom. 1:4); justifies the believer (Rom. 4:25); and authenticates the truth of the Good News (1 Cor. 15:12-14).
 
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT:
      The Holy Spirit of God has been present within the world from the time of creation as found in the Old Testament (Gen. 1:2; Ps. 51:11; 104:28-30). The work of the Holy Spirit is more prominently set forth in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit was present in the incarnation (Matt. 1:18), at Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:16), and throughout Jesus’ ministry (Lk. 4:14-21). In the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit directed the spread of the Gospel throughout the known world. Today, the Holy Spirit of God continues to direct the spread of the Gospel. He is active in the life of people by convicting the lost of their sin calling them into a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In the child of God, the Holy Spirit indwells the Christian leading them to grow into the likeness of Christ and into a life of service and ministry.
 
THE BIBLE:
      The Bible has much to say about itself. Below are four truths about the Word of God necessary to understand the place of the Bible in Baptist life.
      First, the Bible is divine in its origin. Many centuries passed as the Bible was put together. Numerous authors were used of God to pen His Word. The divine words of Holy Scripture did not have its origin in the will of man, but through men speaking from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet. 1:21).
      The second truth found in Hebrews 4:12 is that the Bible is “living and active”. The Scriptures are “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16). This living Word gives life. The Bible delivers what it promises while it promises to give leadership as God’s people are obedient to its truths. The Bible is to be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths (Ps. 119:105) while at the same time being a source of correction and discipline (Prov. 6:23). As the living active Word of God, the Bible guides God’s people into real, abundant life as the Holy Spirit interacts with our spirits (2 Cor. 3:6).
      The third truth is that God’s Word is indestructible. Peter wrote that flesh is grass and passes away, “but the word of the Lord stands forever” (1 Pet. 1:25). God’s Holy Word is powerful, and it will endure to the end of the age (Matt. 24:35).
      The convicting power of God’s Word is the fourth truth revealed about the Bible. Hebrews 4:12 records that the Bible “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”. The Word of God peers into the inner most part of our lives, observes, judges, and determines what is proper and what is not.
      The Bible has behind it a sense of authority and finality. What God speaks is His Word, and the Bible is the written record of the words God has spoken and the actions God has brought about throughout all of history.
 
MAN:
      The Scriptures proclaim that man is the crowning glory of God’s creation. The Bible teaches that man is a direct creation of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Man is created in God’s image possessing a rational, moral, and emotional nature. Man is endowed with free will, thus making mankind responsible before God for his choices (Gen. 3:9ff.).
      In his original state, man was created free from sin and inclined toward a proper relationship with his Creator (Gen. 3:2-3). Yet man’s free will made him capable of sin. It was exercising his free will that man fell from his sinless state (Gen. 3:6). Thus man became depraved in his nature and inclined toward sin (Jn. 8:44). Depravity means that all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). In this sinful, depraved state, mankind is lost from God (Lk. 19:10).
      As man is lost from God, Scripture reveals that God is seeking all mankind (1 Jn. 4:10). Even the worst of men is of infinite value in God’s sight (Matt. 16:26). God in Christ Jesus has opened the way whereby all men may become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:19, 21; Rom. 8:15-17). This transformation is accomplished by placing their trust in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of the world.
      Even as God seeks out mankind with a desire that all come to be saved and to a knowledge of the truth in Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:4), it must be understood that all mankind has sinned coming short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). Scripture teaches that the penality of sin is death, both physical (Gen. 2:17; 3:3, 23-24; Rom. 5:14) and spiritual (Rom. 6:23). Yet it is also taught in the Bible that Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy both the power and the penalty of sin (1 Jn. 3:8; Rom. 8;1-2).
 
THE PRIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS:
      The priesthood of the believer means that every Christian is a priest before God. The privileges of the priesthood of the believer is that every Christian may come into the presence of God with no need of a mediator other than Christ (1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 4:16). Every believer can pray directly to God in Jesus’ name (Jn. 14:13-14). Sins can be confessed directly to God (1 Jn. 1:9), and the Holy Scriptures can be interpreted as one is guided by the Holy Spirit of God (Jn. 16:12-15). The responsibilities of the priesthood of the believer involve every believer’s duty to witness to God’s saving work in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17-20). A priest stands between God and man to bring about reconciliation. God’s people are called to be a priestly people, a holy nation to all peoples declaring the praises of Him Who called them out of the darkness into His wonderful light (1 Pet. 25-10).
 
NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH:
      The emphasis in the New Testament concerning the church is that of a local democratic assembly acting under the Lordship of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:15ff.; 2:41-43ff.; 6:1ff.; 11:1-8; 13:1ff.; 14:27). Baptist believe the local New Testament church to be autonomous meaning “self-ruled”. Church and individual decisions are made under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:2; 16:6ff.). As the members of the body of Christ, each believer is to fulfill his function in cooperating with other believers (Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 12-13). The New Testament gives examples of local churches cooperating in matters of common interest without compromise of beliefs.
      In its state of autonomy, the local church is made up of baptized believers who are united to observe the ordinances, exercise spiritual discipline, and carry out the Great Commission (Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:18:20). Two ordinances are practiced within the Baptist Church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The ordinance of baptism is made up of two parts. The method of baptism is immersion in water, and the meaning of baptism is a symbolic death, burial, and resurrection. The second ordinance of the Lord’s Supper has a symbolic meaning. The bread and the fruit of the vine are symbols of the broken body and spilled blood of Jesus. The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance that is repeated as it continually observes as a remembrance of that which the Lord Jesus did for our salvation (1 Cor. 11:24-26) until He comes again.
 
SALVATION:
      The word “salvation” in the New Testament is used in the sense of rescuing from danger or destruction (Matt. 8:25; Acts 27:20). Its greatest use refers to making one a partaker of the spiritual salvation offered by Christ (Matt. 19:25; Jn. 3:17). Salvation in this sense has a threefold meaning as used in the New Testament. Instantaneous salvation refers to redemption from sin (Acts 2:21; Rom. 10:10). This spiritual experience occurs immediately upon one’s believing in Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior. It is regeneration or the new birth (Jn. 3:3-7). This new birth comes by grace through faith apart from works (Eph. 2:8-10). Thus in receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior, one becomes a child of God (Jn. 1:12), a condition which is complete with no possibility of losing. Progressive salvation refers to the Christian’s growth in grace, knowledge, and service unto the Lord Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18; Phil. 2:12). Ultimate salvation is the final culmination of the redemptive process or the total benefits and blessings of the realization of heaven (Rom. 13:11; Heb. 9:28).
 
LAST THINGS:
      Baptists believe that the Lord Jesus will come again. Jesus, Himself, taught that His return is assured (Matt. 16:27; 24:44). The time of Christ’s return is not revealed (Matt. 24:36). Yet when conditions are right He will return (Matt. 24:28). This return will be outward, visible, and personal (Acts 1:11). While God’s people await the return of their Lord, they are to be watching, working, and waiting with a constant expectancy (Matt. 24:44).
      It is also believed that a final judgment will take place with Christ as the Judge (Matt. 19:2-8; 25:31-46; Rev. 3:21; 20:11-12). Every person must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and every person will account for things done in the body whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). Today Christ is the Savior. At that time, He will be the Judge. His judgment will be one of love. To the saved, judgment will be that of a love received. To the lost, this judgment will be that of a love rejected.
      Eternal or everlasting life have been beliefs held by Baptists due to the Bible proclaiming such truths. Heaven is a place (Jn. 14:2) with no location given in the Bible. Yet, it is the place where God and Christ are reigning. It is a place of glory due to the “unclean” not being present (Rev. 21:27). Hell is also a place of eternal destiny as found in the Bible. Jesus depicted hell as a gruesome place. Hell is also called the second death or the eternal separation of lost souls from God. While the location is not given, the Bible describes hell as a place where there will be eternal torment (Matt. 25:46).
 
What Baptist Believe; Hobbs, Herschel H.; Broadman Press; Nashville, Tennessee; 1964.
The Doctrines Baptists Believe; Edgemon, Roy T.; Convention Press; Nashville, Tennessee; 1988.
 
BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES
 
Note: The first three doctrines below, to which Baptists give great emphasis, cannot be properly called “Baptist Distinctives”. They are the doctrines of the “authority of scripture”, “the trinity” and “salvation by faith alone”. These doctrines are held by several other communions which descended from the Protestant Reformation; ca. Missouri Synod Lutheran, Wesleyan Methodist, Dutch Reformed, Evangelical Free Church, et al. As such, they are essential to evangelical, Christian faith, but not distinctive to Baptists alone.

 
1.    THE FULL AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE (2 Timothy 3:16-17)      
a.    “All scripture” refers to the whole of holy writ. The Bible is God’s Word written. It is not “just a book”. When Paul wrote these words the OT was the only holy writ existing. NT writers came later and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ was led by the Spirit to declare the NT books equal to the OT in divine authority.         
 
2.    THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY   
a.    The oneness of God” (Deuteronomy 6:4; Exodus 3:13-15; James 2:19). These passages, and many others that could be mentioned, declare the unequivocal monotheistic faith of Israel and the early church. From then until now, Bible believers have stood rock solid on the doctrine of one God. All other so-called gods are held to be patently false.       
b.    Deity of Three:         
1.    Of God the Father: (1 Corinthians 8:4-6) He is our creator, our Father in heaven.      
2.    Of Jesus the Son of God: (Philippians 2:2-6). Note especially verse six, which speaks of Jesus being in the form (morphe) of God; a term emphasizing identical substance as opposed to the word (schema) which denotes similar shape or design. Both Greek words are translated “form” in English. In this same regard Hebrews 1:1-3 speaks of Jesus possessing the “exact representation” of divine being.         
3.    Of the Holy Spirit: (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17). In the Acts passage notice that lying to the Holy Spirit and lying to God are equated, implying the equal status of both. In the Corinthian passage believers are said to be the temple of God in one sentence and the temple of the Holy Spirit in the next. Thus God and the Holy Spirit are referred to in interchangeable terms.                  
c.    Three-in-Oneness: (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 1:21-22; II Corinthians 13:14). In all these passages all three aspects of the triune God are linked so Closely together that it would be a mistranslation to try to separate them. Thus, scripture admits of no other understanding than our God Is one and reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, identical in substance and in person, but three in number.   
 
3.    THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION BY FAITH ALONE (Romans 1:16-17; Ephesians 2:8-10, and many others)     
a.    Both passages insist that faith is the vehicle through which saving grace enters into our lives and becomes part of us.
b.    Both passes insist that human works have nothing to do with our salvation and so we conclude that by works no one can be saved. There are no sacraments by which grace is conveyed to us; it only comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.   
 
4.    THE AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH (Matthew 16:18-19)         
a.    Jesus builds “His Church”. It is His to govern and operate.   
b.    The NT knows no other body organism, besides the church, which bears the authority of Jesus.           
c.    The church answers only to Jesus.        
d.    Local congregations, where they exist, must be considered as “the whole church in microcosm”. In each local congregation, the full authority of Jesus is present, thus, the “autonomy of the local church”.        
 
5.    THE PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS (1 Peter 2:5-9)         
a.    Jesus builds each believer into a “royal priesthood”, a “holy priesthood”. Church members, who have been saved by Christ, are thereby “priests” unto God, responsible for serving God’s people with those gifts God has given. Each member shares the authority of the church as “fellow priests”. This means every member shares in the interpretation and execution of God’s instructions. 
b.    Pastors have no more authority than any other member of the church. Decision making in the church belongs to all members alike. NO one’s vote counts any more than anyone else’s       
 
6.    THE SOUL COMPETENCY OF EVERY BELIEVER (1 John 2:27)        
a.    If each church is autonomous and each believer authorized to share in the decision making of the congregation, it follows that each believer will be enabled to be competent to fulfill his priestly functions. The Holy Spirit’s special anointing for each believer becomes the church’s authoritative “teacher” of doctrines.         
b.    Some believers may be more advanced by age and experience in mastery of the doctrines of the faith, but each believer has within himself the capacity to grow under the Holy Spirit’s tutelage to a level of competency to lead the church.         
 
7.    BELIEVER’S BAPTISM (Acts 2:41-42)         
a.    Those “who received the word” were baptized. Baptism which precedes the reception of the word is unauthorized.      
b.    Believer’s baptism is the only baptism warranted by the NT. Believer’s baptism comprehends any and all baptism in the NT, such as water baptism, baptism of the Spirit, etc.          
c.    Immersion is the preferred method of baptism because of the symbolic nature of the ordinance. Immersion precisely teaches the dynamics of dying (going down under the water) and rising again (coming up out of the water), which is the essence of the salvation experience in which a believer dies to self and sin and is raised to a new kind of life in Jesus.     
 
8.    WORLD EVANELISM AND MISSIONS (Matthew 28:19-20)        
a.    Jesus commissions His followers to take the gospel to the whole world. Gospel spreading is the work of the whole church – every believer, for the whole world – every race and ethnic group, until Jesus comes again.  
b.    Evangelism and missions must focus on disciple making, not just baptism and intial conversion. “All the things Jesus taught” must be taught to new believers before their discipling is complete.           
 
9.            Voluntary cooperation (Ephesians 4:1-16)        
a.    Growing out of the local church, the doctrine of voluntary cooperation marks all Baptist work. NT churches networked with each other for mutual financial help, doctrinal clarity, evangelistic thrust and inter-church motivation and effectiveness. Baptist churches follow the pattern.      
b.    No church is required to cooperate with any other Baptist body.       
c.       Through voluntary cooperation, Baptist churches pool their resources in order to make impact on the whole world.