Baptist Convention of Iowa
In these constitution and bylaws, the male pronoun is used uniformly for convenience. However, the use of the male pronoun shall not be construed to exclude women from service unless such is clearly delineated in this constitution and bylaws.
ARTICLE I, NAME
The name of this body is Baptist Convention of Iowa (“Convention”).
ARTICLE II, PURPOSE
It shall be the purpose of this Convention to offer an Agency of Cooperation for the churches and missions, to promote the preaching of the gospel in Iowa and throughout the world, to support ministerial and Christian education, to organize and promote all phases of work fostered by this Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention, and to aid any benevolent or moral movements it may deem promotive of God’s kingdom.
ARTICLE III, AUTHORITY
- The Convention shall have ultimate control of any institutions that have been, or may be, acquired by or originated in this body.
- The Convention shall choose for each institution a board of trustees, in number according to the charter of each institution, and fix their terms of service, reserving the right to change the terms of service of such trustees and to remove from office any and all of them at will. Boards of trustees and other agencies shall in everything be subject to the control of this Convention.
- The Convention reserves the right, as plainly implied in the first section of this article, to effect a change in the charter of any of its institutions. Any institution which desires to amend its charter shall publish the proposed amendment in the official publication of the Convention at least ninety days prior to the date of the annual meeting of the Convention. Any proposed amendment shall be presented in the Annual Book of Reports.
- Trustees shall make such annual and special reports of their expenditures and of the state of their respective institutions as this Convention may require.
- No trustee shall be paid a salary, fee, or commission by the institution he serves as trustee for his service as a trustee. Any situations in which a trustee may receive direct or indirect compensation for services unrelated to their service as a trustee shall be disclosed before participating in such matters. Trustees may participate with the members’ approval or they must recuse themselves during votes upon the matter.
- While independent and sovereign in its own affairs, this Convention recognizes the autonomy of churches and associations and disclaims all right of exercising authority over any church, association or any other Baptist institution not under the management of this Convention.
ARTICLE IV, MEMBERSHIP
- The Convention shall consist of messengers who are members of Baptist Churches and Missions cooperating with the Convention and selected on a financial basis. A cooperating church shall be defined as one participating in and contributing to the causes of the Baptist Convention of Iowa, i.e., cooperative program and missions giving. Each messenger shall be a member of the church which elects him/her.
- Two messengers shall be allowed from each cooperating church or mission.
- One additional messenger shall be allowed from each cooperating church or mission for any part of the first five hundred dollars contributed to the work of the Convention, one additional messenger for the next five hundred dollars above the first five hundred dollars contributed to the work of the Convention, and one additional messenger for each five hundred dollars contributed to the work of the Convention above the first one thousand
- The messengers shall be elected and certified by the churches to the Convention with no church having more than ten messengers.
- The previous year’s giving to the Baptist Convention of Iowa (cooperative program and/or state missions offering) shall be used to determine the number of messengers from any one church.
ARTICLE V, OFFICERS
- The officers of the Convention shall be a president, a first vice president, a second vice president, a secretary, and a treasurer.
- All officers except the treasurer shall be elected at each annual meeting of the Convention, the president during the first session and the vice presidents in the same session or a subsequent session. Their term of office shall begin at the close of that annual convention.
- The executive director-treasurer elected by the Executive Board of the Convention shall serve as the treasurer of the Convention.
- The term of the office for the president is limited to two years, and he shall not be eligible for re-election until as much as one year has elapsed from the time his successor is named.
- No employee of the Convention, its several institutions, agencies, or programs of work receiving compensation from the Convention’s budget, shall be eligible to serve as president, first vice president, or second vice president.
- Officers of the Convention, officers and members of boards of trustees, and members of committees of the Convention shall hold membership in a church affiliated with and in cooperation with the Baptist Convention of Iowa.
ARTICLE VI, DUTIES OF OFFICERS
- The president shall preside at all meetings of the Convention and serve as chairman of the executive board while presiding at meetings, maintaining order, and deciding all points of order except those appealed to the body. It shall be the president’s privilege to speak as any other person, provided one of the vice presidents has been called to the chair. The president shall serve as ex-officio member of all committees, except when the president chooses to ask one of the vice presidents to serve.
- The first vice president shall act in full capacity of the president when the president is unable to fulfill the responsibilities, the office is vacant, or the president chooses to invite the vice president to serve.
- The second vice president shall be available to preside when called upon by the president. The second vice president shall act in full capacity of the first vice president when the first vice president is unable to fulfill the responsibilities or the office is vacant.
- The secretary shall record all proceedings of the Convention in session, and the Executive Board in its meetings. The secretary keeps a file of the minutes in a fireproof protection. This file constitutes the authentic record of the Convention.
- The executive director-treasurer, elected by the executive board of the Convention, shall serve as treasurer of the Convention.
a. The treasurer shall receive and disburse the general and designated funds of the Convention as authorized by the Convention in session.
b. The treasurer shall have charge of invested and trust funds, invest and disburse the same, and collect and disburse interest thereon, subject in both cases to instructions of the Convention or of its administrative committee and the executive board.
c. The treasurer shall make an annual report to the executive board for its approval and to the Convention for its approval of all receipts, disbursements, expenses, and investments.
d. The treasurer’s books shall be audited/reviewed by a certified public accountant. A statement by the auditor/accountant concerning the audit/review and the Convention’s business will be published in the minutes.
- The president, first vice president, second vice president, and secretary shall constitute the executive officers of the Executive Board and shall have all the powers formerly entrusted to trustees. However, nothing in this Constitution shall be deemed to require said executive officers to be held to the same legal standard as a trustee to the extent that such legal standards exceed those that would be applicable to a corporate officer.
ARTICLE VII, THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
At the annual meeting, the Convention shall nominate and elect an Executive Board of the Baptist Convention of Iowa.
- Regular members shall be chosen from each region (as region is defined in the bylaws).
- The regular members shall be elected for a term of three years and may be re-elected for a second three-year term. After a lapse of one year, he/she may serve again if elected.
- An effort shall be made to ensure balance between pastors and laity, and between male and female; however, the primary consideration for selection of Executive Board members shall be their expertise to serve effectively.
- When vacancies occur between annual meetings of the Convention, the vacancy will be filled by the region’s elected alternate. If the alternate is unable to serve, recommendations from the Executive Board will be accepted.
- All members of the Board shall be members in good standing of Baptist churches which cooperate with the Convention in its programs of work and the Cooperative Program.
- Nominees shall hold membership in a BCI affiliated church within a region for at least one year before being eligible to serve on the Convention’s Executive Board. Persons moving from a region to another shall vacate their position on the Board. c
- Members of the Executive Board may be removed in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation, Article IX.
ARTICLE VIII, DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
- The Executive Board shall be the executive, administrative, and promotional agency of the Convention and shall act under the instructions of the Convention acting in its own capacity as a body through its Administrative Committee.
- The Executive Board shall recommend to the Convention both a proposed goal or objective for raising funds, and a proposed distribution. The Board shall promote all missionary, educational, and benevolent causes of the Convention, and receive and disburse all funds according to the annual budget adopted by the Convention.
- The Executive Board shall have authority to act, as a body or through its Administrative Committee, in all matters committed to it by the Convention and in matters which may arise between Convention sessions.
- With the exception of the state office building, the Executive Board shall have authority to purchase, sell, or lease property and to incur indebtedness necessary for the operation of the Convention. The state office building shall not be sold or leased without the approval of the messengers in an annual or called meeting.
- It shall be the specific duty of each member of the Board to promote the Convention’s program in his/her respective area of the state.
- A majority of the Board shall constitute a quorum after every member has been notified sufficiently in advance.
- The Executive Board shall serve as the budget and audit committee for the Convention, and shall meet with the executive director-treasurer to prepare the budget which is to be approved by the board in its September meeting. The Board shall present this budget to the Convention in its annual session.
- The Executive Board shall serve as the resolutions committee of the Convention while the Convention is in session.
ARTICLE IX, THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE
- The president, first vice president, second vice president, secretary, and executive director-treasurer shall serve as the Convention’s Administrative Committee. Additionally, the Executive Board shall elect three of its members to serve on the Administrative Committee as well. Ad hoc committees may be changed, added, or deleted at the discretion of the Executive Board.
- The president of the Convention shall serve as president of the administrative committee and the secretary of the Convention shall serve as secretary of the administrative committee.
- Members of the administrative committee shall not receive compensation from the Convention budget, nor may members of their immediate families. Any situations in which a member may receive direct or indirect compensation from the Convention for services unrelated to their service as a member, shall be disclosed before participating in such matters. Members of the committee may participate with the other committee members’ approval or they must recuse themselves during votes upon the matter
ARTICLE X, DUTIES OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE
- The Administrative Committee shall act under the authority of the Executive Board and/or the Convention in any matter committed to it by the Board or by the Convention.
- The Committee shall act on any emergency administrative matter and its action shall carry the authority of the Convention, subject to review by the Executive Board.
- The Committee shall not involve the Board or Convention in financial obligations, or project any major plans or work not authorized by the Board or the Convention.
- A majority of the Committee shall constitute a quorum after every member has been notified sufficiently in advance.
- The Administrative Committee shall serve as the budget and audit committee for the Convention, and shall meet with the executive director-treasurer to prepare the budget which is to be presented to the Executive Board in its September meeting. The Board shall present this budget to the Convention in its annual session.
- The Administrative Committee shall serve as the resolutions committee of the Convention while the Convention is in session.
ARTICLE XI, ALTERATIONS
- Any alterations to the Constitution may be made by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, when the vote is taken without regard to the total enrollment at any annual meeting of the Convention, provided that:
a. Any proposed amendments must be either submitted in writing to the Convention one year before being voted on, or recommended by the executive board. In either case they must be published in the official publication of the Convention at least ninety days prior to the date of the annual meeting of the Convention.
b. Any proposed amendment shall be presented in the Annual Book of Reports and read during the first session of the Convention.
c. An amendment shall only become effective upon approval by the messengers at two successive annual meetings of the Convention.
- Any alterations to the bylaws may be made by a simple majority vote of the members present, when the vote is taken without regard to the total enrollment at any annual meeting of the Convention, provided that:
a. Any proposed amendments must be either submitted in writing to the Convention one year before being voted on, or recommended by the executive board. In either case, they must be published in the official publication of the Convention at least ninety days prior to the date of the annual meeting of the Convention.
b. Any proposed amendment shall be presented in the Annual Book of Reports and read during the first session of the Convention.
Baptist Convention of Iowa
Bylaw I – EXECUTIVE BOARD
- The executive board of the Baptist Convention of Iowa shall consist of 20 FIVE (5) regular members (one from each region) plus the president, first vice-president, second vice-president, and secretary.
- Four regular members shall be chosen from each region.
- The state shall be divided into five regions: four regions consisting of counties in the four geographic quadrants of the state, and the fifth being comprised of counties in proximity to Des Moines. All regions will be specifically defined within the Operations Manual. Composition of the regions cannot be changed without executive board approval.
- One third shall be elected each year to serve a three-year term. However, only six members will be elected every third year.
Bylaw II – DISBURSEMENTS
- All cooperative program receipts to the Convention shall be disbursed according to percentages or amounts approved by the Convention in its annual budget.
- Special gifts shall be applied according to the instructions of the donors, in keeping with charitable contribution laws and the guidelines of the executive board and agency trustees.
- Undesignated gifts may be applied as the Convention wills.
- The treasurer(s) of the Convention funds and institutions shall be bonded for faithful performance of duty. These bond(s) are to be approved by the administrative committee of the executive board.
Bylaw III – MEETINGS
- The Convention shall choose its meeting times and place.
- The administrative committee of the executive board, when sufficient emergency arises as to time or place, may change the annual meeting either as to time or place or both.
- Special meetings of the Convention shall be called by the president upon approval of the administrative committee executive board. Those present, after at least a thirty-day notice has been presented by the president, shall constitute a quorum.
- The Convention shall use the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order to guide its parliamentary procedures. A parliamentarian may be appointed by the president of the Convention.
Bylaw IV – CONVENTION COMMITTEES
- Nominating Committee:
a. Purpose: This committee shall serve to nominate members of those committees and boards specifically related to the Convention and a historian. These committees shall include a credentials committee, program committee, nominating committee, and other continuing committees created by the Convention.
b. Functions: Nominations for members on these committees and boards, including a stipulation of which member shall be chair, shall be presented at the last session of the annual meeting of the Convention. After opportunity for nominations from the floor, these committees shall be elected by the Convention and shall serve from the conclusion of that Convention meeting. The primary consideration of these committees shall be that those persons being nominated shall have special abilities or expertise that equips them to serve effectively in the area of their specified committee. An effort shall be made to see that there is geographical representation, as well as a balance between ministers and lay persons, and between male and female. Such concern for balance, however, shall not override concern for electing persons with skills to serve on the various committees (Article VII, Executive Board).
c. Composition and Selection: This committee shall be composed of six members serving on a rotating basis, with two elected annually for three years.
- Credentials Committee Purpose:
a. This committee shall serve as the registration committee for the Convention’s annual meeting.
b. Function: As the Convention’s registration committee during the annual meeting of the convention, this committee shall organize necessary procedures to effect the orderly certifying and seating of messengers.
All questions of registration of messengers shall be referred to this committee. This committee shall make reports to the Convention as to the numbers of messengers and guests registered.
- Composition and Selection: There shall be six members of this committee on a rotating basis, with members elected annually for three years.
- Program Committee:
a. Purpose: This committee shall plan and recommend the program for the annual meeting of the Convention.
b. Function: This committee shall plan the next annual program sufficiently far in advance that provisional programs can be publicized to the constituency not less than one month before the scheduled meeting of that Convention. This committee shall recommend to the Convention the date and place of meeting for the next two years. Previously published dates and places shall be used except when special reasons for changing are noted and approved by the Convention or the executive board.
c. Composition and Selection: This committee shall be composed of five members elected to serve one year.
- Baptist Foundation Committee:
a. Purpose: It shall be the purpose of this committee to serve the Baptist Convention of Iowa by receiving assets to be held and invested for the purpose for which they are received, i.e., scholarships, loan funds, mission funds.
b. Function: This committee shall receive and invest assets with the executive director-treasurer serving as chief executive officer working with the committee to serve Baptists in Iowa and the causes of Christ.
c. Composition and Selection: This committee shall be composed of six members serving on a rotating basis with two being elected annually for a three year term. A member shall serve no more than two three year terms until the lapse of at least one year. The members shall be nominated to the Convention by the nominating committee.
a. Purpose: The historian shall be responsible for accumulating, indexing, and communicating information about our history to our constituency.
b. Function: The historian shall bring to the attention of the Convention occasions when anniversaries or special events need to be commemorated. The historian shall be responsible for updating the digests of the history of the Baptist Convention of Iowa.
c. Selection: The historian shall be elected for a three-year term and can be re-elected.