Constitution of Desert Pines Baptist Association

(As adopted October 18, 2003)

Article I – Name

The name of this cooperative body shall be call the Desert Pines Baptist Association, hereby referred to as the "Association."

Article II – Purpose

Section 1.

The mission of the Association is that we exist to assist churches in fulfilling their God-given purpose.

Section 2.

The Vision of the Association is that we envision a partnership of healthy, cooperating churches birthing new ministries, supporting continuing ministries, and sharing the love of Christ with one another and the world.

Article III – Membership

Section 1.

This Association shall be comprised of Baptist Churches and their Missions who are in sympathy with the principles and purposes of this Constitution and desire to cooperate with the Association.

Section 2.

Any church desiring fellowship in this Association must:

  1. Present its petitionary letter to the Associational Missionary and/or Moderator at any time during the year. This request will then be referred to the Credentials Committee. This Committee of no less than three (3) and no more than five (5) will be appointed, as needed, by the Administrative Team. The Associational Missionary and Moderator shall serve as ex officio members of this committee.
  2. The Credential Committee will then meet with the petitioning church and after considering the facts will follow one of the following courses:
    1. Place the church desiring fellowship in Desert Pines Baptist Association on "watch care" status for one year. This includes representation on the Associational Strategy Team with the exception of voting rights.
    2. Notify the petitioning church that, in the opinion of the Credentials Committee, it does not at this time meet the requirements of the Association for admittance into its fellowship and state the reason(s) for that opinion.
    3. Allow the chuch desiring fellowship in Desert Pines Baptist Association to immediately come into the fellowship of the Association after a two-thirds vote of the Associational Messengers at the Annual Session, at the Semi-Annual Session or at a Special Called Session of the Association.

NOTE: During this year of "watch care," the Credential Committee will evaluate the petitioning church in matters pertaining to doctrinal integrity, manner of its organization, cooperation, unity with sister churches in the Association, and all other pertinent areas of importance. The petitioning church may begin its year of "watch care" at whatever time designated by the Credentials Committee. Churches petitioning the Association for membership are required to have their own Constitution, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation. It is also strongly suggested the petitioning church include in its Constitution and Bylaws a dissolution or reversal clause insuring that if at any time the church ceases to be a Southern Baptist Church, all assets will revert back to the Association and/or State Convention.
If a petitioning church has originated out of "disharmony" with another church in the Association, the Credentials Committee will, with the leadership from both churches, try to determine if they will work together in unity. If no basis for unity can be found, the petitioning church will not be recommended at that time. The Credentials Committee may also suggest conditions to be agreed upon by both churches to bring about reconciliation. After one year of "watch care," at either the Annual or Semi-Annual Associational Meeting, if the Credentials Committee has declared itself in favor of accepting the petitioning church into fellowship, upon its recommendation, properly seconded, the Moderator will put the question to a vote. If the vote is at least two-thirds in favor, the petitioning church will be given the right hand of fellowship, and their pastor and representatives given full rights as members of the Association and the Associational Strategy Team. If the petitioning church does not agree with the Credentials Committee ruling that it is not ready for admission into the Association, the Association can hear the appeal of the church at whatever time it is desirous to do so.

Section 3.

Mission churches who have been under the sponsorship of a mother church may apply for membership as a church if the mother church has voted to release them and they have been constituted as a church, with their necessary documents such as Constitution and Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, tax ID number, basic policy and procedure manual. It is strongly recommended that the Mission Church also have a written reversal clause or written Article of Dissolution in their Constitution. At the Annual Session, the Semi-Annual Session, or a Special Called Session the Mission Church can be voted into the Association with the approval of the sponsoring/mother church and two-thirds vote of the messengers.

Article IV – Authority

Section 1.

This Association shall have full authority for carrying out its work, but such authority shall never, under any circumstances, give the Association, or any officer thereof, the right to impose its will on any cooperating church. The Association, its staff, officers, and elected leaders shall never attempt to alter the historical and Biblical autonomy of the local cooperating church. Each local church agrees to cooperate with the Association, but they are literally independent, having full power to carry out the work of God's Kingdom under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Section 2.

Any member church or mission of a sponsoring church holding to a heretical doctrine or practice shall upon creditable evidence be excluded from membership and participation in the rights and privileges of this Association by a two-thirds vote of the messengers at the Annual Session, Semi-Annual Session or a Special Called Session of the Association.

Article V – Visitors

All visitors shall be accorded the privilege of speaking on any pertinent matter at Associational Strategy Team Meetings and Associational Meetings, but at the discretion of the Moderator. Visitors will not have the privilege of introducing motions, or voting on any question.

Article VI – Organization

Section 1.

Associational Strategy Team: The basic organization of this Association utilizes an Associational Strategy Team. This team is empowered to oversee the work of the Association and conduct necessary business on behalf of the churches of the Association. All churches, including mission churches shall have equal representation on this team.
The Associational Strategy Team will be made up of the pastor and two representatives from each church, all of whom have full voting rights on this team. In addition, the Associational Strategy Team members will be assigned to one of our strategy areas. This will give them first-hand knowledge and experience and will allow those actually involved in the work of the Association to make decisions together. Our pastors serve in a particular strategy area as well.

Section 2.

Messengers: Each member church is entitled to three messengers, with one additional messenger for every 25 members or a major fraction thereof above 25, provided no church be entitled to no more than 12 messengers. The messengers from these churches will:

  • at the Annual Meeting approve the Annual Budget of the Association, as well as the annual calendar.
  • at the Annual Meeting and Semi-Annual Meeting approve the new Strategy Team members.

Note: No Property (land or buildings) that belongs to the Association may be sold without a two-thirds vote of the messengers attending the Annual Meeting, the Semi-Annual Meeting or a Special Called Meeting of the Association. All churches and missions in the Association shall be notified ten (10) days in advance of such pending action.

Section 3.

Administrative Team: The Administrative Team will be one of the strategy sub-groups within the Associational Strategy Team. It is empowered to co-ordinate the day-to-day work of the Association, working along side the Missionary and staff.
This team will address such matters as budgeting, calendaring, policies and procedures, personnel issues and shall prepare recommendations in these areas for approval by the Associational Strategy Team. The Administrative Team is empowered to conduct business for the Association during interim periods. However, all major decisions must be approved by our Associational Strategy Team. In some cases the Associational Strategy Team may refer a major decision to the messengers of the Association.
The Administrative Team may appoint standing committees or task forces as needed, provided that members are in good standing and active in their local church.
The Administrative Team shall appoint a Nominating Committee for the purpose of electing the Associational Moderator, Vice-Moderator, Treasurer, and Clerk. These Nominations for the "Officers of the Association" should already be serving on the Associational Strategy Team. These Nominations shall be brought to the Associational Team for approval, and then brought to the Annual Meeting of the Association where they shall be voted on.

Section 4.

Associational Officers: The "Officers of the Association" for legal purposes will be comprised of the Moderator, Vice Moderator, Treasurer, Clerk, and two (2) additional representatives from the Administrative Team, The Administrative Team itself will appoint the two additional representatives to serve as "Officers of the Association."

Section 5.

Election: Each year nomination forms are to be sent to our pastors and churches. These forms are an opportunity for our churches to confirm their present Associational Strategy Team Members, as well as nominations for vacant positions on the Associational Strategy Team.
Nominations may also be received from our Associational Missionary and Associational Strategy Team Members. All nominations shall be reviewed by the Associational Strategy Team and then brought to the Annual Meeting or the Semi-Annual Meeting for recommendation. All team members and assignments will then be confirmed by a simple majority vote. Members are allowed to serve indefinite terms of at least three (3) years duration.
It shall be the intent of the Association, whenever possible, to utilize team members who are already serving in a related position in their local church and who feel called to multiply their ministry through their Association in one of the designated strategy areas. The Associational Missionary and/or Moderator shall be an ex officio member of all ministry teams, committees and task forces.

Section 6.

Qualifications: To promote good communication and accountability, each Associational Strategy Team member shall:

  • Be in good standing and acive in their local church.
  • Be required to attend at least three (3) Associational meetings or events a year including the fall and spring Associational Strategy Team Meetings.

Article VII – Meetings

Section 1.

The Associational Strategy Team shall meet twice annually and additional times as determined by the team.
The Association shall meet twice annually and additional times determined by the Associational Strategic Team. If there is a need for a Special Called Meeting of the whole Association the Associational Strategic Team must notify the churches ten (10) days in advance before said meeting is to take place. This is done verbally and in writing and stating the purpose of the meeting.

Article VIII – Amendments

Section 1.

This Constitution and Bylaws may be amended at the Annual or Semi-Annual meeting by a two-thirds vote of those present.

Section 2.

Any proposed amendment(s) to the Constitution must be presented to the Associational Strategy Team members and the Associational Churches in writing, ten (10) days prior to the Annual or Semi-Annual meeting. The Associational Strategy Team will study the proposed amendment(s) for whatever impact their adoption would have on the work of the Association.

Article IX – Cooperation

Section 1.

Reports: Each cooperating church in the Association shall make an annual report of its activities to the Association in the form of the Annual Church Profile. Any church that fails to send a report to the Association for three (3) consecutive years shall be considered to have withdrawn from the Association, and its name shall be dropped from the roster of cooperating churches.

Section 2.

Relationships: The Desert Pines Baptist Association affirms its proper place of authority as outlined under Article IV. The Association shall never under any circumstances attempt to impose its will on any cooperating church nor compromise the autonomy of any local church.
Should a church cease to be a "cooperating church" as defined in Bylaw 8 or should it cease to promote harmony and fellowship with its sister churches, the Association shall make every effort to restore such church to fellowship. The Administrative Team shall appoint a task force of no less than three (3) and no more than five (5) to address these concerns. The Associational Strategy Team will consider the report and recommendations of this task force and make what it considers a proper recommendation to the entire Association.

Approved and adopted this 18th day of October, 2003 at the Annual Meeting of the Association.

s/ Diane Veronie, Associational Clerk

s/ Cecil Rogers, Associational Moderator