Constitution and By-Laws
Article I - Name
The name of this organization shall be: The Baptist Bible Fellowship International (“Fellowship” or “BBFI”) which is 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 spoke 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 a BBFI missionary or a BBFI entity.
Article IV - Meetings
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International shall meet annually in September for the transaction of business. The meeting shall be called by the Board of Directors who shall set the date, time and place of this meeting. Other meetings of the Fellowship may be called by the President as the need arises, with 30 days advance notification of any such meeting to be published in the Baptist Bible Tribune.
Article V - Voting Rights
A. Each church shall have one vote for those matters submitted to the Fellowship by the Board of Directors. Recognizing that this is a fellowship of pastors, this vote shall be cast by the senior pastor of each church, or in his absence, by his authorized delegate.
B. 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 partner and affiliate colleges, such as President, Vice President(s), Trustees, or any other office of the colleges.
Article VI - Officers
The business and affairs of the Fellowship shall be managed by a Board of Directors, also referred to herein as the Executive Committee, of up to nine (9) in number, but no fewer than (5) in number. All elected officers shall serve as Board of Director members. The Board shall exercise all of the powers of the Fellowship except those that are conferred upon affiliated members. A majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum, and the act of a majority of the Executive Committee at a duly called meeting at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the Board of Directors. All regular and special meetings of the Executive Committee (Board of Directors) shall be held at such times and places as may be designated by the Board. Notice of all Board of Director Meetings must be delivered to each Board member at least fourteen (14) days in advance of any such meeting.
B. List of Officers
The elected officers of the Fellowship shall be: President, Vice-President of Missions, Vice-President of Education, Vice-President of Church Planting, Secretary and Treasurer, and such other officers as may be determined by the Board of Directors from time to time. The Vice-President of Missions shall also serve as First Vice President. The immediate past-President of the Fellowship shall serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee and shall have a right to vote on matters brought to the Board of Directors only in the event of a tie. Each officer shall hold office until the first meeting of the Executive Committee following the next succeeding biennial national meeting of the Fellowship or until his or her successor shall have been elected and qualified. Any Fellowship pastor may attend a committee, agency or subsidiary of the Fellowship and shall have the inalienable right to appeal to the Fellowship.
Each officer may serve a two-year term, and may be re-elected one time after which he may not hold the same office for two years. A vacancy in any office shall be filled by the Executive Committee for the unexpired portion of the term.
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 and those inherent in the position. The President and the First 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 the President whenever possible. The Secretary shall keep all records and minutes on behalf of the Fellowship and the Executive Committee. The Treasurer shall maintain a record of all financial matters of the Fellowship and shall provide the Executive Committee and State Representatives 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 officers shall be elected by ballot by the Fellowship members entitled to vote. Any elected officer of the Fellowship shall be a pastor of an affiliated and supporting Baptist church. The officers shall be elected at the biennial national meeting of the Fellowship. If the election of officers shall not be held at such meeting, such election shall be held as soon thereafter as conveniently possible. If there is no objection, balloting may be dispensed for that particular election and voting may be conducted in any other proper manner. Officers shall be elected by a plurality of the votes cast. Drawing by lot shall resolve any tie votes.
Article VII - Directors
A. The Executive Committee shall recommend a Mission Director, Church Planting Director and Communication Director for indefinite terms of service and these recommendations shall be approved by the State Representatives and the Fellowship.
B. Should it be necessary, the Executive Committee shall be responsible for dismissal of the Mission Director, Church Planting Director, or Communication Director.
C. Concurrently, the responsible sub-committee is tasked with providing a recommendation to approve/disapprove the Executive Committee decision. They will then submit their recommendation to the State Representatives. The State Representatives may vacate the recommendation/decision of the Executive Committee with a two-thirds vote.
Article VIII - Committees
A. Executive Committee Selection
The State Representatives of the Fellowship will serve as the nominating committee for the slate of candidates for election to the Executive Committee and will present nominations at the National Fellowship Meeting in May. The ballot shall be approved in the May business meeting and made available to any pastor in attendance who is qualified according to Article III (“Affiliation”) of these By-Laws. 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 preparation and counting of the ballots.
1. A State Representative shall be elected by each State Fellowship or shall be appointed as an interim for not more than sixty days by the Executive Committee if a State Fellowship does not elect a State Representative to ensure participation by that state at a national meeting. In the event that the Executive Committee makes the appointment of a State Representative, such State Representative shall be a pastor from that state.
2. No State Representative shall represent a state in which he does not actively fellowship. Each State Representative shall be certified to the BBFI by authorization from his State Fellowship.
3. If for any reason a State Representative is unable to serve his unexpired term, it shall be immediately filled by the State Fellowship or as otherwise provided herein.
The State Representatives shall be divided into necessary subcommittees for the development of policies and procedures as they relate to individual subcommittees responsibilities and oversight including missions, education, church planting and any other subcommittees deemed advisable by the Executive Committee.
D. The Mission Committee
1. The First Vice President presides over the Mission Committee. The Mission Committee is responsible for all aspects of the BBFI mission program.
2. The Mission Committee shall be responsible for developing, drafting, publishing, and revising the BBFI Mission Policy. The BBFI Mission Policy must be approved by the State Representatives. All BBFI mission work must conform to the published BBFI Mission Policy. This committee shall arbitrate any issues that cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of both the mission field committee and missionaries or candidates.
3. The Mission Director shall advise and appraise the Mission Committee on all aspects of mission operations.
4. The Mission Director and this committee shall nominate the Mission Field Committee members for their election by all State Representatives. The Mission Field Committee will serve for a period of three (3) 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 mission field committee shall be included in the Mission Policy. The Mission Director shall be the director of the Mission Field Committee. Missionaries may be approved at any National Fellowship meeting.
E. The Education Committee
1. The Second Vice President presides over the Education Committee.
2. 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:
a. 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.
b. The Education Committee shall be tasked to monitor compliance to the prerequisites of the partner agreement of participating schools.
c. 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.
3. Relationship of the BBFI to Educational Institutions
The BBFI shall recognize collegiate institutions through two defined relationships.
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.
4. 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.
c. 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.
F. The Church Planting Committee
1. The Third Vice President presides over the Committee for Church Planting. The Committee is responsible for all aspects of BBFI church planting within the United States.
2. The Committee shall be responsible for developing, drafting, publishing, and revising the BBFI Church Planting Policy. The BBFI Church Planting Policy must be approved by the State Representatives.
3. The Church Planting Director shall advise and appraise the Church Planting Committee on all aspects of Church Planting operations.
4. The Chairman of the Mission Committee, the Education Committee, and the Church Planting Committee, at the Chairman’s request, will appoint two (2) approved furlough missionaries to serve on this committee in an advisory capacity.
G. The Communication Committee
1. The Executive Committee shall function as the communications committee and oversee all operations of the communication office.
2. The Executive Committee, in conjunction with the Communication Director, shall appoint an Editorial Board of Review for the Baptist Bible Tribune to serve for a term of three (3) years, and such appointment is to be affirmed by the State Representatives.
Article IX - Subsidiaries and Properties of the BBFI
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. An annual audit or review of all receipts and disbursements of Fellowship agencies shall be made available to the State Representatives.
Article X - 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 an 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 XI - 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.
Article XII - Dissolution
In the event that an institution or entity governed by the BBFI should cease operations, all assets should be transferred to other organizations of like faith and practice, as defined by our Articles of Faith.