Article I. Name
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
Article II. Purpose
Section 1. The GARBC exists to glorify God by assisting churches in biblical and dynamic disciple-making as an association of autonomous, Bible-centered, Christ-exalting, gospel-proclaiming Baptist churches. Based on our commitment to doctrinal purity, we collaborate with likeminded ministries that share our beliefs and our passion for making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Section 2. The acquisition or disposition of any properties necessary to implement the provisions of Section 1 of this Article shall be authorized by (1) a majority vote of messengers present and voting at any annual meeting, or (2) by a mail referendum majority vote of the fellowshipping churches, when a decision relating to property cannot await an annual meeting of the Association.
Article III. Meetings
A meeting of the Association shall be held annually for the transaction of business, the election of officers and the conducting of a Bible and Missionary Conference at a date and place to be fixed by the Council.
Article IV. Fellowship and Voting Privileges
Section 1. Procedures for approval of churches desiring to fellowship with the GARBC. Any Baptist church on the North American continent, the United States and her territorial possessions which is not in fellowship or cooperation with any local, state or national convention, association or group which permits the presence of liberals, liberalism (modernists or apostates), and which church subscribes to the Constitution and Articles of Faith of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches contained in the current Church Directory, and which desires to fellowship with the GARBC, shall:
(a) Make application to the Home Office of the GARBC in writing. This request should be made by the church clerk and contain the date of the meeting of the church in which this action to seek fellowship took place.
(b) Shall have had a Recognition Council of Regular Baptist pastors and messengers for the purpose of examining the Constitution and Bylaws of the church to determine if it is a properly constituted and functioning Baptist church.
(c) Upon the recommendation of the Council of Eighteen at the annual meeting of the GARBC, and a majority vote of the Association, the church shall be received into fellowship. (Note the word “fellowship,” not “membership.” A Baptist church cannot be a member of anything outside of itself. It can declare itself in fellowship with any body of Baptists on earth, but cannot be a member.)
Section 2. Each church shall be entitled to a maximum of six voting messengers from its membership to be sent to the annual meeting, two of whom shall be empowered to sit on the Elections Committee, but each church is urged to send as many nonvoting messengers as possible. Each year every voting messenger shall subscribe to the Constitution and Articles of Faith of the Association, prior to taking his seat in the annual meeting.
Section 3. No salaried servant of the Association shall be entitled to vote.
Article V. Cessation of Fellowship
Section 1. Any fellowshipping church may withdraw from the Association at any time and for any reason sufficient to itself. Christian ethics would suggest that reason for such withdrawal should be filed with the Association, but such action is not mandatory. In conformity with the historic Baptist position, the property rights of such a church can in nowise be legally prejudiced or endangered by such withdrawal.
Section 2. Any fellowshipping church which is publicly known to be no longer in agreement with the Constitution and Articles of Faith of the Association, and has not voluntarily withdrawn itself from the Association, may, upon satisfactory evidence of disagreement being presented by the Council, and upon its recommendation, be removed from the rolls by majority vote of the Association.
Section 3. Any fellowshipping church which for a period of three years has failed to send an annual report or messenger to the Association meeting or in no other way has evidenced continued interest in the Association may be dropped from the rolls at the discretion of the Association on recommendation of the Council.
Article VI. Officers and Their Election
Section 1. The officers of the Association shall consist of a Council of Eighteen men (members of fellowshipping churches). Six men shall be elected annually for a period of three years.
All nominees for the Council of Eighteen shall subscribe in writing to the Constitution and Articles of Faith of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.
A Council member who ceases to be a member of a fellowshipping church shall immediately cease to be a member of the Council of Eighteen, his successor being the next highest nominee in the previous election.
At any one time there must be serving on the Council of Eighteen not fewer than fourteen men who are pastors of Regular Baptist Churches.
Also any Councilman completing two consecutive terms of three years shall be ineligible for election for at least one year.
Section 2. The Council shall meet at the annual conference immediately after its election and shall appoint individuals to care for the various matters relative to the work of the Association, such as a treasurer, a secretary, and such committees as are appropriate to the ministry of the Association. The Council may appoint regional representatives.
Section 3. The Council shall appoint one of its members as Chairman of the Council, and he, or someone appointed by him, shall moderate the public meetings of the Association.
Section 4. The Council shall be elected in the following manner. Each church in fellowship with the Association shall meet in business session and nominate as many names for the Council as it may desire. These names shall be sent to the secretary of the Association at least six weeks in advance of the annual meeting. The secretary shall make proper tabulation of all lists, and the twelve highest names shall be considered the nominees, except that not fewer than ten men who are pastors of Regular Baptist Churches shall be nominees. Each church in fellowship with the Association shall designate any two of its messengers to serve on the committee of election. At an announced time during the annual conference, at the call of the secretary, the committee shall meet, at which time the list of twelve nominees shall be presented to it and each member shall cast a ballot for not more than six. The six highest shall be elected to the Council for a three-year term, except that at any one time there must be serving on the Council of Eighteen not fewer than fourteen men who are pastors of Regular Baptist Churches.
Section 5. All new members of the Council shall be presented at the closing session of the annual conference and shall assume their Council duties as of that session.
Section 6. It shall be the duty of the Council to make recommendations to the Association for the furtherance of its work, and to implement and put into operation all actions and policies of the Association. The Council shall be authorized to secure the services of such administrative and office personnel as shall be required to carry on the work of the Association, except for the National Representative. He shall be recommended by the Council and approved by a two-thirds majority vote of the messengers present and voting at any annual meeting of the Association. All salaries shall be determined by the Council. Its authority is that which is committed to it by the Association, and any of the actions of the Council or of any salaried servant of the Association may be called up for review by the Association at any annual meeting.
Article VII. Amendments
This Constitution may be amended at any annual meeting of the Association by a two-thirds vote of the messengers present, and voting, provided the proposed amendment shall have been presented in writing at the previous annual meeting of the Association.