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Dover Baptist Association

A Resource Network for Baptists Since 1783

Dover Baptist Association Constitution

(Revised October 23, 2022)


1.01 This Association shall be called the Dover Baptist Association.

1.02 This Association shall not exercise disciplinary or ecclesiastical power, except the right of dismissal, over the member churches, but may give advice on all questions of policy, practice and doctrine.

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2.01 Any regularly constituted Baptist Church that contributes to this Association may submit its request for membership and may be received as outlined below.

2.02 ADMISSION. A Baptist church desiring admission to the Association shall submit a request through the Minister/Church Relations Committee. Admission is contingent upon adherence to Biblical doctrine and Christian practice as understood by the member churches and the desire to support the Associational program. The association shall maintain a procedure by which churches may apply and be accepted.

2.03 TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP. At all times, Dover Association recognizes and honors the autonomy of the local church which follows the leadership of our risen Lord.

Any church which makes known its desire to withdraw from the fellowship of Dover Association may do so by written notice from the church. The notice must be signed by those duly authorized by the church to so commit the church and should include a copy of the minutes of the meeting in which the church voted to withdraw.

Any member church which deliberately departs from Biblical doctrine and Christian practice as understood by the member churches, without taking steps to correct such departure, may be deprived of membership by action of the Association. Upon presentation of evidence of such departure to the Executive Committee, a special committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee whose primary duty shall be to encourage and lead said church back into full cooperation with the beliefs and practices of the member churches. At least one year of work by the committee must elapse before a final recommendation may be brought to the Executive Committee and subsequently to a regular meeting of the Association. Two thirds of the members present must approve the recommendation for dismissal.

2.04 A member church is expected to make a financial contribution to the work of the Association as part of its Christian practice.

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The Dover Baptist Association is a family of churches working together and assisting one another in our unique setting to carry out the full scope of the Great Commission. In fulfilling this task we will provide organization and resources to help meet needs of the churches and promote the work of Christ in missions, evangelism, worship, education, ministry, and fellowship.

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4.01 Each member church shall be entitled to send two messengers to annual, semi-annual, and special called associational meetings. A church that contributes at least $400 to the General Fund during the Association’s previous fiscal year shall be entitled to have three (3) messengers. An additional messenger is added for each additional $400 contribution to the General Fund up to a maximum of seven (7) messengers for any church.

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The officers of the Association shall be Moderator, Vice Moderator, Clerk, and Executive Director of Missions (hereinafter referred to as Director of Missions), and other non-clerical Association staff. Officers may vote in all Association meetings. The association shall maintain a list of the duties of these officers. Officers shall be chosen from members of contributing churches. Upon election, the Director of Missions is expected to join a contributing church.

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6.01 MEMBERSHIP. Members shall be three representatives elected from each member church, the officers of the Association, committee chairpersons, and council directors. Only members of the Executive Committee may vote.

6.02 PURPOSE. It shall conduct all business for the Association between regular meetings.

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7.01 NAMES. The committees shall be referred to as “the ____ Committee,” (i.e. Communications, Constitution, Finance, Minister/Church Relations, Nominations, Personnel, Program, and Properties). These shall be referred to as Standing Committees. The moderator may appoint special committees or task groups as needed (e.g., an anniversary committee, project committee, etc.).

7.02 Each committee chairperson shall come from a contributing member church.

7.03 GENERAL PROVISIONS. Each Standing Committee shall consist of up to five members to be elected on an annual basis. Each committee shall be permitted to use volunteers provided that only regular committee members within each committee shall be eligible to vote.

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The Association shall elect at least three and no more than five trustees who shall each serve until such time as a successor is elected by the Association and shall be qualified by the Circuit Court of Hanover County. Trustees shall be chosen from members of contributing churches. The Association may act to remove or replace a trustee at any time. The trustees shall be subject to the directions of the association in all transactions. They shall hold legal title to properties of the Association and shall sell or encumber the same only upon instruction of the Association or the Executive Committee.

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The Executive Committee shall have the authority to implement changes in the organizational structure of the Association as needed. Any change must have the approval of at least two-thirds of the members present.

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Proposed amendments shall come to the Executive Committee. In consultation with the Constitution Committee, the Executive Committee shall vote on such proposed amendment(s). Proposed amendments shall be mailed to the Executive Committee at least 14 days prior to the Executive Committee meeting where such changes will be voted upon. If the Executive committee approves the proposed amendment(s), the amendment(s) shall be presented to the Association. A vote of two-thirds majority of messengers present at any annual or semi-annual meeting of the Association shall be required for adoption.

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