Constitution and By-Laws
Article I - Name
The name of this organization shall be: The Baptist Bible Fellowship International, (a duly incorporated body in the State of Missouri, U.S.A.)
Article II - Purpose
The purpose of this Fellowship shall be: to obey in letter and spirit the commission given by our Lord in Matthew 28: 18-20,
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, l am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.''
Article III - Affiliation
Affiliation with the Baptist Bible Fellowship International is open to any Baptist pastor of a supporting Baptist church believing in and adhering to the Word of God, on the basis of the Articles of Faith appended hereto. A supporting Baptist church is one that financially supports our missions or colleges.
Article IV - Meetings
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International shall meet annually, beginning on the fourth Monday of September, for the transaction of business. The place of this meeting shall be fixed by the Directors in charge of Procedures of the Fellowship. Other meetings may be called by the President as the need arises, 30 days advance notification of such business sessions to be published in the Baptist Bible Tribune. Missionaries may be approved at any National Fellowship meeting. Any Fellowship pastor may attend any meeting of a committee, agency, or subsidiary of the Fellowship. Any pastor shall have the inalienable right to appeal to the National Fellowship.
Article V - Voting Rights
Each church shall have one vote. Recognizing that this is a fellowship of pastors, this vote shall be cast by the pastor, or in his absence, by his authorized alternate.
Article VI - Officers
Section 1. Any elected officer of this fellowship shall be a pastor of a supporting church.
Section 2. The officers of the Fellowship shall be pastors serving as President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Directors, one from each state elected by State Fellowships, who shall represent the highest executive authority.
Section 2a. The President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected biennially. These officers constitute the Executive Committee. The Directors will serve as the nominating committee and will present nominations at the National Fellowship by May. The ballot shall be approved in the May business meeting and made available to any pastor in attendance and qualified according to Article III (“Affiliation”) of these bylaws. Voting pastors will identify themselves on the ballot and voting will begin immediately upon distribution of the ballots. Qualified pastors not in attendance may obtain a ballot from the BBFI Mission Office. Those ballots must be submitted to the BBFI Mission Office before July 1st of the year of the election. The Executive Committee shall oversee the counting of the ballots and release the results within one week after the votes are tallied.If a run-off election is necessary, it shall be held at the national meeting with qualified voters participating. No officer can succeed himself by election to the same office for more than one term. In the event of a vacancy in the Executive Committee, the Executive Committee shall appoint a qualified candidate, to be ratified by the National Directors, to fulfill the unexpired term.
Section 2b. A National Director shall be elected by each State Fellowship. The Executive Committee shall make recommendations to the National Directors for the positions of Director of Missions, Director of Education, Director of Evangelism and Home Missions, Editor of the Baptist Bible Tribune, and the General Manager of Publications. The National Directors shall appoint individuals to these positions to serve an indefinite term, and such appointments are to be ratified by the Fellowship. The President of each Fellowship College must be ratified by the Fellowship in conjunction with appointment by that college’s Board of Trustees. These administrators are charged with the responsibility to maintain persons in their employ whose belief and behavior are consistent with our Articles of Faith. The National Directors shall divide themselves into necessary subcommittees for the development of policies and procedures as they relate to individual subcommittees responsibilities and oversight.
1. The National Directors in charge of Missions. The First Vice President presides over the Missions Committee. The Missions Committee is responsible for all aspects of the BBFI mission program.
a. The Missions Committee shall be responsible for developing, drafting, publishing, and revision the BBFI Missions Policy. The BBFI Missions Policy must be approved by the National Directors. All BBFI missions work must conform to the published BBFI Missions Policy. This committee shall arbitrate any issues that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both missions committeemen and missionaries or candidates.
b. The Executive Committee shall recommend candidates for the Missions Director, a full-time, paid employee of the BBFI, to the National Directors. The National Directors shall appoint the Missions Director, who must be ratified by the Fellowship at a National Meeting. The Missions Director shall report directly to the Missions Committee.
c. The Missions Director and this committee shall nominate the Mission Field committeemen for their election by all National Directors. The Mission Field Committee will serve for a period of three years, and the election shall be conducted so that one-third of the group shall be elected annually. Details of the election, organization, and operation of missions representatives shall be included in the Missions Policy. The Director of Missions shall be the Chairman of the Mission Field committeemen.
2. The Education Committee
a. The Second Vice President presides over the Education Committee.
b. Statement of Purpose
The Education Committee shall be tasked to develop and communicate the role of Education in the fulfillment of the purpose
and mission of the BBFI. Specifically, the committee shall be tasked with the following responsibilities:
1) The Education Committee shall be responsible for developing, drafting, publishing, and revising the BBFI Education Policy. This committee shall be tasked to present all policies of the BBFI Education Policy to the National Directors for approval.
2) The Education Committee shall be tasked to monitor compliance to the prerequisites of the partner agreement of participating schools.
3) The Education Committee shall be tasked to represent schools in a partner or affiliate relationship with the BBFI to the churches and entities of the BBFI.
C. Relationship of the BBFI to Educational Institution
The BBFI shall recognize collegiate institutions through two defined
a. Partner institutions - shall be defined as schools which have an articulated agreement with the BBFI that acknowledges the following elements:
1) A mutual interest in fulfilling the stated mission of the BBFI.
2) A historic relationship due to point of origin and investment in the initial development of the Partner Institution.
3) A common community of interest in the BBFI movement which produces a substantial pool of prospective students, a strong commitment to capital investment, and a stated commitment to support the ongoing development of excellence in the teaching and presentation of the degree programs of the school.
b. Affiliate institutions - shall be defined as schools which have a stated commitment to the purpose and mission of the BBFI, but do not have a historic relationship with the BBFI, did not originate through the efforts of the early leaders of the BBFI, and may or may not reside within the legal jurisdiction of the United States. The relationship of an affiliate school with the BBFI shall be governed by the most current edition of the approved standing policies of the Education Committee entitled, BAPTIST BIBLE FELLOWSHIP EDUCATION POLICY, at the time of application for affiliate status.
D. Statement of Prerequisites for Establishing an Articulated Relationship with the BBFI
As a stipulation of the articulation agreement establishing a partner institutions relationship with the BBFI, the institution shall confirm to the education committee of the BBFI, the following statements to be true on an annual basis.
a. The BBFI and the respective institution shall both commit to mutually interact for the purpose of fulfilling their mutual goal of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
b. The partner institution agrees to maintain compliance with the Articles of Faith ratified in their respective bylaws and further acknowledges that the ratified Articles of Faith for each respective school is in complete agreement with the Articles of Faith held by the BBFI.
The institution maintains compliance with their respective bylaws by electing trustees who reflect the core constituency found in the BBFI. It further agrees to inform the Education Committee of the election of all trustees in an annual report the Education committee.
3. National Directors responsible for Evangelism and Home Missions. The Third Vice President presides over the Evangelism and Home Missions Committee. The Evangelism and Home Missions Committee is responsible for all aspects of BBFI work in evangelism and missions within the United States.
a. The Evangelism and Home Missions Committee shall be responsible for developing, drafting, publishing, and revision the BBFI Home Missions Policy. The BBFI Home Missions Policy must be approved by the National Directors.
b. The Executive Committee shall recommend candidates to the National Directors for Evangelism Director, a full-time, paid employee of the BBFI. The National Directors shall appoint the Evangelism Director, who must be ratified by the Fellowship at a National Meeting. The Evangelism Director shall report directly to the Evangelism and Home Missions Committee.
4. The Chairman of the Missions Committee, the Education Committee, and the Committee of Evangelism and Home Missions, at the Chairman’s request, will appoint two (2) approved furlough missionaries to serve on his committee in an advisory capacity.
Section 3. The President shall preside at all business meetings of the Fellowship and shall act for the Fellowship according to delegated power given him by the Fellowship. He and the Vice-President shall be considered ex-officio members of all committees, agencies, and subsidiaries of the Fellowship.
The First Vice-President shall act for the President on all necessary occasions and shall assist him whenever possible.
The Secretary shall keep all records and minutes in behalf of the Fellowship.
The Treasurer shall keep a record and shall provide the Executive Committee and National Directors with an annual audit. All funds received by the Treasurer shall be disbursed as designated by the donor, or if undesignated, as instructed by the Executive Committee. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to maintain the integrity of all accounts.
The National Directors shall be at the call of the President. The President and the First Vice-President of the Fellowship shall serve as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the National Directors. The President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and National Directors shall meet twice a year and report to the Fellowship annually.
Section 4. An annual audit of all receipts and disbursements of Fellowship agencies shall be made available to the National Directors.
Section 5. No person shall hold at one time more than one elective or appointive office set forth by this Constitution. This shall include officers of Fellowship-owned and approved colleges, such as President, Vice-President(s), Trustees, or any other office of the colleges.
Section 6. National Directors shall be elected to serve a three-year term. Election shall be conducted so that one-third of the group shall be elected annually. No National Director, or alternate Director, shall represent a state in which he does not actively fellowship. Each Director shall be certified to the BBFI by authorization from his State Fellowship.
Section 7. All College Trustees shall be elected to serve a three-year term. Election shall be conducted so that one third of the group shall be elected annually.
Section 8. If for any reason a National Director is unable to serve his unexpired term, it shall be immediately filled by the State Fellowship.
Section 9. The Executive Committee shall appoint an Editorial Board of Review for the Baptist Bible Tribune to serve for a term of three years, and such appointment is to be ratified by the National Directors.
Article VII - Subsidiaries and Properties of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International
Section 1. The subsidiaries of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International shall operate independently of and yet in cooperation with each other. Each shall operate under duly designated authority from the Fellowship, but within the framework of this Constitution.
Section 2. All properties of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International including all foreign properties that may be acquired by it later shall be legally registered in the name of and duly owned by the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, to conform to all legal requirements of the locality in which they are situated. The Secretary is responsible for keeping record of all properties owned by the BBFI and its subsidiaries.
Article VIII - Constitutional Amendments
This Constitution shall supersede any other document pertaining to any branch or institution of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, and no document pertaining to any institution or branch of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International shall set forth any rights, privileges or powers that are in conflict with those set forth in this Constitution and By-Laws. This Constitution and By-Laws may be amended at the annual meeting of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, providing the proposed amendment has been read at a previous National meeting.
Article IX - Relationship to Churches
All New Testament Churches are autonomous and self governing; therefore, no article in this Constitution or By-Laws shall ever be interpreted in any way as to infringe upon or jeopardize the absolute sovereignty of any local church. The property rights, the missionary policies, and the practical procedures for autonomous, self-governing churches shall never be endangered in any way by the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, its agencies or subsidiaries.