BY LAWS OF THE:
Maple Hill Church of Christ
January 16, 2005
Whereas we, being a body of people of like precious faith, individually believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s Only Begotten Son and the power of His resurrection; believing the Bible to be God’s Infallible Word and the revelation of His will to man, and accepting it as our only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and believing that Christian fellowship, and mutual edification, in and through, the form and body of local churches is God’s ordained order for His people as is revealed in His Word; and that those of each local church are enjoined to assemble themselves together for worship, fellowship, edification, and instruction in the Word of God, forsaking not the assembling of themselves together; and that the local church is charged by the Word of God to “live as children of light” , “love one another” and “be raised to walk in newness of life,” further, believing that God has called us to “keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;”
Therefore, we have accepted the Bible as a Statement of Fundamental Truths and have adopted the New Testament as our only rule of faith and practice, and to that end we do herein state these By-Laws which are intended in no means to be inconsistent with any Biblical instruction nor any patterns or Biblical examples of leadership, organization, ministry, worship, or service.
ARTICLE I – NAME AND PRINCIPLE OFFICE
The corporate name of this church shall be the Maple Hill Church of Christ, but may also be referred to hereinafter as “Maple Hill”, “the Church” or “the congregation”.
Its principal office, “the church building,” is located at 102 Maple Hill Road, Lebanon, TN 37087.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSES
SECTION 1 To Glorify God – To establish and maintain a fellowship/brotherhood, place of Christian education and Christian worship (John 4:23), work (Mark 13:34), and fellowship (l John 1:3), for all people irrespective of race, social position or worldly possessions. (James 2:1-9; Acts 10:34; Heb. 10:25) (While there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus, we do understand that God has established different roles for men and women in the public assembly and corporate worship of the Lord’s Church. These roles have been recorded by the Apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I Cor. 14:34, 35, “Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church” I Tim 3: 9-15). It will remain our intention to follow that direction of the New Testament to the best of our ability, when scheduling and planning corporate worship services.
SECTION 2 Mutual Edification, Spiritual Growth, Equipping the Saints – To provide a program in order that believers in Christ may be:
trained/equipped for the work of the ministry,
built up as a collective group,
united in like precious faith.
matured in the knowledge of the Son of God Himself,
transformed into a closer character likeness to Jesus,
instructed in righteousness and doctrinal belief, and increased in Christian zeal.
SECTION 3 To Seek and Save the Lost – To pursue with missionary zeal the evangelization of all people both at home and abroad (Luke 14:21-23; Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15) through the simple presentation of the Word of God (1 Cor. 1:21).
SECTION 4 To establish and maintain such organization as may be found in the Bible by example, command or necessary inference, or as may be expedient but not contrary to the New Testament, and needed for the propagation of the Gospel and the work and service of this Church.
SECTION5 To have the right to own, hold in trust, use, sell, convey, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of such property, real or chattel, as may be needed for the accomplishment of its aforementioned purpose and work.
ARTICLE III – STATEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS
This church shall accept the Holy Scriptures as the revealed will of God, and the New Testament as the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, any unintentional appearances of this document to the contrary notwithstanding.
SECTION I-The Scriptures Inspired.
We believe and accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit; the only and perfect order of our faith and manner of living, superior to conscience and reason; to which nothing can be added or taken away, the Gospel of which is the power of God unto Salvation to believers. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; Rom. 1:16)
SECTION 2- The One True God
We believe there is only one living and true God, eternal, with unlimited power, Creator of all things who is revealed in the Bible; and in the one God, the Bible describes three distinct persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 4:4-6; Matt. 28:19; 1 John 5:7, 1 John 4:2, 1 Cor. 12:4-6)
SECTION 3- The Savior
We believe that the historical, Biblical, Jesus Christ was God made flesh, born of the Virgin Mary; and that He reigns as the only Savior having suffered death in reality as a propitiation for the actual sins of repenting mankind. (John 1:14; Lk. 1:27-35; 1 Peter 3:18)
We believe in the real and actual existence of a devil who seeks the control of mankind through obvious and devious ways, against which the Christian must daily fortify himself while on this earth; although Satan and his hosts are finally destined for eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. (Isa. 14:12; 2 Peter 2:4; Eph. 6:11-18; Dan. 10:12,13; 1 Pet. 5:8,9; 2 Cor. 11:14; James 4:7; Matt. 25:41)
SECTION 5- Man, His Fall
We believe Man was created and is born good and upright, for God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” But man, by voluntary transgression, falls, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Gen. 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Rom.5:12-21)
SECTION 6- The Salvation of Man
Conditions of Salvation – We believe that Salvation is in the Person, Jesus Christ, alone and that the New Birth, without which man “cannot enter the kingdom of God,” is experienced through “repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, confession of His name as God’s Son and Baptism in Water” (John 3:16; 1 John 5:11; John 3:5; Acts 20:21; John 1:12,13)
The Evidence of Salvation – We believe the Outward Evidence to other Christians is a life exemplifying the Fruit of the Spirit but the Outward Evidence to the world at large is the love we have for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
SECTION 7- Baptism in Water
Conditions – We believe Biblical baptism to be the seal of entering a new covenant, not only symbolic as a burial into Christ, but also instrumental as the moment God has chosen to impart saving grace, in response to our faith and because of His love; and that baptism must be entered into by all who have repented of their sins and truly believe in Christ as the only Savior who died for their sins and the one Lord who lives to sustain them. Having been baptized in water for the remission of one’s sins will be one key test of full fellowship with, and membership in, this congregation.
Administration – We believe a single full body immersion of believing adults in water should be administered in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy (Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47, 48; Rom. 6:4)
SECTION 8-The Lord’s Supper
We believe the Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements bread and the fruit of the vine, the symbols of the body and blood of our Lord, should be observed weekly by believers as a memorial of His suffering and death, as a witness to the unity of all obedient believers in Christ, and as a statement of our belief in His Second Coming. (I Cor. 11:20; Matt. 26:16-29; I Cor. 10:16, 17)
SECTION 9-The Church
We believe the true church of Christ is both a universal and local body of Christians which consists exclusively of those persons, who by reason of Faith in Jesus as God’s Son, Confession of his name before men, Baptism in water and the resultant New Birth and infusion of God’s Grace, are “In Christ Jesus”.
ARTICLE IV ORGANIZATION
SECTION 1 Membership
Acceptance – Believers who are immersed at Maple Hill, as described in SECTION 9, above, shall be accepted as what is commonly, and hereinafter known as “Members of Maple Hill”, Other believers, having been immersed for the remission of their sins at another congregation, may be received into full work and fellowship of this church after meeting with, and acceptance by the elders, then being announced in the assembly by appropriate church leadership. The Church does not, however, have “Members” within the meaning of the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act.
Discipline – Members of Maple Hill failing to observe the basic principles of Christian faith and conduct as found in the Bible, may have fellowship withdrawn from them when, in the sole opinion and discretion of the church elders, such failure is of sufficient severity as to reflect badly upon Christ and the church. This withdrawal of fellowship will be put into effect by a public announcement made by the church elders to that effect. Such continuing and un-repented of failures in Christian Conduct include, but are not limited to, adultery, fornication, incest, homosexuality, pedophilia, bigamy, failure to support one’s family, public drunkenness, drug trafficking and use, illegal conduct, causing dissentions and factions among the members, and such like. Upon repentance, demonstration of a changed life, and public confession, fellowship with the congregation may be restored by the elders of this congregation. James 5:19-20 (1 Cor 5:9,11, “I wrote to you not to associate with immoral people. … But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person; or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one. “1 Cor. 5:4-5 (“In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”)
Members of Maple Hill absenting themselves from the regular assemblies of the church for a sustained period of time and for unexplained reasons, may be dropped from the record of members of the congregation when in the sole opinion and discretion of the elders such action is deemed appropriate.
SECTION 2. Ministers and Staff – A minister or Staff Person may be hired or dismissed by the elders of this congregation or by such group or committee appointed or assembled by the elders for that specific purpose. Ministers shall be deemed employees-at-will under Tennessee law. The appointment or hiring of a Minister shall not by itself create any employment contract rights.
SECTION 3. Elders – (Overseers, Shepherds, Bishops) -.
General Powers. A plurality of elders/shepherds shall always be available to, attend to the spiritual welfare of the flock, justly provide such oversight as shall be
needed, serve the needs, build up the body, and direct the affairs of the congregation.
Current Elders and Term of Service. The current elders of this congregation are: Carlin Brooks, Bob Chaffin, Mike Flanagan, Kai Grissim, Trice Sampson and Joe Widick. Each elder shall hold that position indefinitely, until they choose to resign, are unable to serve, or are removed by unanimous agreement of the other then serving elders.
Appointment of Elders and Qualifications. Any additional or replacement elders which shall be deemed beneficial or necessary, in the sole discretion of the then serving elders, shall be duly appointed by unanimous agreement of the then existing elders, using the qualifications set forward in the New Testament. (i.e. one who desires the work, blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous, one who rules well his own house, having his children in submission, having believing children, not a novice, having a good testimony among those who are outside the church. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1: 5-9).
In the event that, at some future time, due to some unforeseen circumstance no elders shall be extant, by majority vote the congregation will nominate not less than five nor more than seven men faithful in attendance and generally accepted as serving in a leadership role for the congregation to serve as an Eldership Search Committee. The Eldership Search Committee will nominate a plurality of men with shepherding qualities and likewise meeting the specific qualifications found in the New Testament as cited in the paragraph above, and such men will be considered by the congregation for a period of not less than two weeks. If no Biblical reasons are advanced to the Eldership Search Committee after the two week period as to why such individuals are ineligible to serve, and if such individuals are willing to serve, such men will be deemed to be appointed to be elders provided that a simple majority of the congregation assembled in a Special Meeting agrees together to follow the leadership of these men. Members of the Eldership Search Committee shall not be excluded from nomination to serve as Elders.
Chairman of the Elders Each elder shall in turn serve as Chairman of the Elders for a period determined by the agreement of the elders (currently three months) with next in line for service being determined by alphabetical order of last name, or by such manner as shall be unanimously agreed by the then serving elders.
Regular Meetings of the Elders. Regular Meetings of the elders shall be held as shall be determined by the Chairman. Regular Meetings shall normally be held at the principal offices of the church. Special meetings may be called by any elder as issues present themselves but votes on issues which would reasonably be considered contentious or of extraordinary importance shall be dealt with only in Regular Meetings. A simple majority of the Elders shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at any regularly scheduled and announced meeting, provided that a reasonable effort has been made to contact each elder not present for the purpose of polling all elders on any issue under consideration which might be considered contentious or of extraordinary importance by any elder present at the meeting.
The act of the majority of the elders in attendance or polled at any Regular Meeting where a quorum is present or contacted, shall be the act of the Elders and shall be supported by all elders as a decision of the “Eldership.”
Loans No loans shall be contracted for on behalf of Maple Hill and no evidences of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless it is authorized by a two-thirds majority vote of the elders.
Delegation to Committees. The Elders may establish and delegate certain of their responsibilities, as the Elders shall determine in their sole discretion, to committees.
SECTION 4_ Deacons – These men are recognized as special servants of the church whose qualifications are clearly set forth in the Scriptures in 1 Timothy 3: 8-.13. They shall be appointed to serve, or dismissed from service, by unanimous agreement of the elders of this congregation, who shall consider the work at hand and those men scripturally qualified to fulfill the role of Deacon.
SECTION 5. Trustees – Such trustees as are deemed by the elders as necessary to sign legal documents or to hold or protect valuable assets for the church shall be appointed by the elders for that purpose or may be dismissed by the elders from such service.
SECTION 6. Treasurer. The Church shall have an individual or individuals designated as or performing the duties of the treasurer, who shall:
Have charge and custody of, and be responsible for, all funds and securities of the Church.
Receive and give receipts for monies due and payable to the Church from any source whatsoever, and deposit all such monies in the name of the Church in banks, trust companies or other depositaries used by the Church
In general, perform all duties incidental to the offices of Treasurer and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned to them by the Elders.
Collectively these individuals shall be known as “The Finance Committee”
SECTION 7. Checks, Drafts, Etc. All checks, drafts or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of Maple Hill
shall be signed by such representative of the Church as set forth in SECTION 6, above, or in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by the Elders.
SECTION 8. Board of Directors – The existing elders (listed by name above under “Elders”) shall serve as an initial board of directors for this church. In the case of new elders, their term of service on the Board of Directors shall usually begin with their term of service as an elder of this congregation, but additional directors shall only be added to the board upon their acceptance by the existing board of directors, as shall be recorded in minutes of a Board of Directors Meeting. If a man ceases to serve as an elder of this congregation for any reason,
(e.g. resigning/dismissed/deceased) that man will be immediately and automatically dropped from the Board of Directors. Such a dropped individual may be recorded by minutes of a Board of Directors Meeting, but such recording is not required to finalize such an individual being dropped from the Board.
The required offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the corporation shall be filled by and within the then existing group of elders to the extent possible and these positions shall be rotated within the group of men serving as elders on a schedule, as shall be determined by the elders.
SECTION 9. Officers – The term of office shall be three years or until a resignation forces an earlier change, The previous limitation notwithstanding, the terms of office shall continue until such time as a meeting of the Board of Directors shall document a change.
303 Valley View Circle Lebanon, TN 37087
323 Valley View Circle Lebanon, TN 37087
1704 Cherokee Dr. Lebanon, TN 37087
1008 Hickory Court Lebanon, TN 37087
ARTICLE V – ACCEPTED PRACTICES OF THIS CONGREGATION
Baptism for the remission of sins by Immersion in Water (Matt.28:19), shall be administered to all those who have repented of their sins, and who believe and confess the Son-ship and Lordship of Jesus Christ, and such full body immersion of believing adults shall become one test of full fellowship by this congregation. (Rom. 6:4-5)
The Lord’s Supper shall be weekly observed, as enjoined in the Scriptures. (Lk. 22:19,20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26, Acts 20:7)
Prayer for the sick – The sick should be prayed for regularly, and upon the request of the sick, or members of their family, prayer shall be coupled with the anointing with oil and laying of hands by the elders,. (Mk. 16:18; James 5:14)
Sealing of Marriage between an eligible man and an eligible woman. Eligibility for marriage at the Maple Hill facility or by an Elder or Minister of Maple Hill shall be determined by meeting both legal requirements and the requirements of the Holy The determination of the elders concerning meeting, or not meeting, the requirements of the Holy Scriptures shall be binding and without recourse.
Burial/Memorial services for the dead with a celebration of life.
Worship in a manner exemplified in the New Testament to include: the singing of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual songs (With the heart involvement of the worshiper and without the use of instrumental music), Prayer, Preaching/teaching from God’s Word, Partaking of the Lord’s Supper, Giving or laying by in store from the monetary means as each member has been prospered. (While instrumental music, either recorded or live, is never to be used as an avenue of worship in any assembly of this church, whether in whole or in part, this restriction does not preclude the use of instruments in weddings, or the use of instruments in secular programs, when used for entertainment value, even if such programs are held within the church’s buildings; neither is recorded instrumental music, which may be incidental to any instructional video recordings precluded, provided such instrumental music is not deemed by the elders to be offered to God as an avenue of worship nor offensive to a significant number of other congregants. Other uses of instruments, live or recorded, shall be viewed by the then-current elders on a case-by-case basis, and if it is determined by those elders that such uses of instruments are not for the purpose of being offered to God as worship, and that such uses do not present a stumbling block to Maple Hill members, the then-current elders may approve the use of such instruments, but are under no obligation to do so.
ARTICLE VI- ADDITIONS OR REVISIONS
Revisions, deletions or additions to these By-Laws shall require the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors of this corporation.
ARTICLE VIII. FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of Maple Hill Church of Christ shall begin on the first day of January and end on the 3 1st day of December in each year.
ARTICLE IX WAIVER OF NOTICE
Whenever any notice is required to be given to any Member, Elder, Minister, or other individual under the provisions of these By-Laws, Under the provisions of the Articles of Incorporation, or under the provisions of the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act, a waiver thereof in writing signed by the person or persons entitled to such notice,
whether before or after the time stated therein, shall be deemed equivalent to the giving of such notice.
ARTICLE X DISSOLUTION
In the event of dissolution of the Maple Hill Church of Christ, any remaining assets shall be distributed to another Church of Christ or to an Affiliated School or Orphan Care Facility. In no event shall any assets be transferred to any individual or any for-profit Organization, Corporation, Partnership or Business. Any remaining elders and/or trustees shall oversee the transfer of such remaining assets in accordance with these By- Laws. The above statement notwithstanding, any and all residual assets of the Corporation will be turned over to one or more organizations which themselves are exempt organizations described in Section 501© and 170© of the Internal Revenue Code or to the federal, state or local government for exclusive public purposes.
ARTICLE XI REQUIRED ANNUAL MEETING OF THE CORPORATION
The Required Annual Meeting of the Corporation, apart from regularly scheduled services, shall be called by the elders at a time and date designated. Barring any other designation, the place of meeting shall be 102 Maple Hill Road, Lebanon, TN 37087. In the event the elders feel the congregation should vote on a matter of concern to Maple Hill, all persons designated as “Members” on the church data base will be entitled to vote. A majority of the members will not be required to be in attendance at the Annual Meeting called by the Elders for any action taken to be deemed to be the action of the corporation (congregation), however a simple majority of the Elders must be in attendance for any action taken to be deemed to be the action of the Corporation.
ADOPTED: January30, 2005
ATTESTED: Robert R. Chaffin, Acting Secretary and Incorporator