Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf

The By-Laws Name Goals Memberships Officers Executive Messengers Convention Parliamentian Committees Meeting Amendments Officers Messengers Duties Committees Duties Order of Bus. Mtg Disagreements Offerings Amendments Dissolution
Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf (VBCD)
Constitution and By-Laws

Adopted and Amended on June 17, 2017
Robert Rhoads, President
Ross Gilson, 3rd Vice President

The Constitution and By-Laws of the
Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf (VBCD)

The Constitution
This nonprofit organization shall be known as the Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf (hereafter referred to as VBCD).
The goals of this conference shall be to encourage:

   a) To work together and maintain fellowship with all Southern Baptist Churches with deaf ministries.
   b) To search better ways to share the Lord Jesus.
   c) To advance the Kingdom of God within the church communities.
   d) To understand our role as Christians.
   e) To disciple leaders with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
   f) Affiliations:
      1) To be affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), and the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV).
      2) VBCD will cooperate to the fullest extent possible with all agencies of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Southern Baptist Conference of the Deaf (SBCD) and the Association of Southern Baptist Interpreters of the Deaf (ASBID).
   g) To accept the Holy Scriptures as all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.
   h) To concur with the Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the SBC in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1963.
   i) To elect its own officers and committees and to arrange for its own meetings.
   j) To work with interpreters for the deaf, and its elected leader.

The officers and committees shall do the work of the VBCD at the direction of the VBCD President and executive board. Advisors are members of the VBCD and shall be selected by the President, approved by the VBCD board. One of the responsibilities of the executive board shall include arranging for the VBCD conference and Mini-VBCD conference(s).
Membership shall be open to:
   a) Any deaf, hard of hearing or hearing people who are members of their home Southern Baptist churches that are affiliated with Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV), the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
   b) Any preachers, pastors, laymen, chaplains, and interpreters who are involved in the deaf ministries in their home church affiliated with the BGAV or SBCV and SBC.
   c) The membership of VBCD is made up of any registered member of a Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) or Southern Baptist Conservatives of (SBCV) church. VBCD members are to be given authority by the Pastor, or the Deacon Chairperson of the Church to be appointed Messengers.
   d) A member of VBCD may voice, make motions, and vote. A non-member may voice his/her opinion and share his/her experience, however he/she shall not be allowed to make a motion and vote.

There shall be no fees charged to join the VBCD, membership dues shall not be permitted. VBCD will collect program fee to help pay for expenses of the VBCD conference. Contributions: a person or an organization wishing to make contribution shall be gratefully acknowledged and all such monies shall go to the VBCD’s treasury.
   a) All officers of VBCD shall be deaf members, except the Second Vice President, who shall be a hearing interpreter and one (1) advisor who will assist the secretary in taking minutes at executive committee meetings and business meeting at the VBCD conference.
   b) The officers are expected to be Christians of sound character, recognized ability and mature experience.
   c) The following officers of VBCD are:
       1. President
       2. First Vice President
       3. Second Vice President
       4. Third Vice President
       5. Secretary
       6. Treasurer
       7. Senior Advisor
       8. Junior Advisor
   d) These officers shall constitute an Executive Committee.
   The President shall call for the Executive Committee’s meeting at any time whenever he/she deems it necessary. Date, time and place for the meeting shall be mutually agreed by all the officers.
   Messengers to VBCD shall be deaf/hard of hearing/hearing people who are active members and leaders of a local BGAV or SBCV church. Messengers shall be elected by their churches and approved by their Pastors, or Church Appointed Authority, to be messengers. Messengers shall vote in the VBCD business meeting. All other Christians attending are welcome to fellowship and may register as "Visitors".
   A site for the next convention, or VBCD conference, shall be decided by the members of VBCD at each business meeting.
   The President of the Conference shall appoint and have at his disposal two people who shall serve as Parliamentarian for the Conference. These parliamentarians shall have knowledge of American Sign Language, as well as knowledge of Roberts Rules of Order.
   The President will approve the members of these committees at the beginning of his or her term. These committees shall be:
   1. Nominating
   2. Credentials
   3. Auditing
   4. History

The President may appoint other committees as needed.
   The regular meeting of the conference shall be held for a two-year term at the time and location determined by the Executive Board. A business meeting shall be held during the VBCD conference. The Officers and Advisors of VBCD shall meet as needed to conduct the business of the VBCD. They will plan and put into action these plans for the VBCD conference every other year and mini-VBCD conference for the years in between. The mini-VBCD conference will held once or twice a year depending on Executive Board's discretion. One will be held in the spring and the other in the fall.
   The Constitution and By-Laws may be amended by two/thirds vote of the messengers present at the regular business meeting held during the VBCD convention. Any proposed amendment to the Constitution and By-Laws must be given in writing to 3rd Vice-President sixty (60) days before the VBCD business meeting. Recommended amendments will be published in the official "Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf" web site at least 30 days prior to the VBCD business meeting.

By-Laws for the
Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf (VBCD)

The By-Laws
   The officers of VBCD shall be members (Messengers) of BGAV and SBCV churches who have attended the conference a minimum of two consecutive years, of strong Christian character, known ability and experience. Messengers can be elected officers of VBCD during the second year they attend. The serve as follows:

President two (2) years (odd year)
1st Vice-President/program two (2) years (odd year)
2nd Vice-President/interpreter two (2) years (odd year)
3rd Vice-President/constitution & bylaw two (2) years (odd year)
Secretary two (2) years (odd year)
Treasurer Unlimited term two (2) year terms (odd year)
Advisor two (2) years (odd year)
Advisor/asst. secretary (hearing) two (2) years (even year)
The officers will not serve more than four (4) straight years (2 terms) in the same office. The Secretary and Advisor/Assistant Secretary shall serve alternate two year terms. The 1st vice–president shall become president automatically if the president is unable to serve his/her complete term. The Treasurer will hold the position for a two (2) year term, but can be re-elected for succeeding terms by the messengers of the appropriate Conference.

The Officers shall serve as members of the Executive Board. Advisors are former officers who will serve as consultants to the Executive Board.

The duties of the Executive Board are to:

   1. Plan the business meeting programs of the VBCD and the mini-VBCD Conference(s).
   2. Prepare future plans (2 years ahead) in selecting the conference pastor and conference theme.
   3. Discuss and resolve referrals and disagreements from the business meeting.
   4. Plan the budget of VBCD, then present the budget to the messengers for a vote at the business meeting.
   5. Review motions that affect the Constitution and By-Laws in writing from the messengers by E-mail within sixty (60) days before the business meeting.
   6. Motions to be considered by the Messengers will be placed on the Virginia Baptist Conference for the Deaf Website at least thirty (30) days before the VBCD conference.
   7. Review and prepare motions filed for presentation to the Messengers at the business meeting.
   8. Prepare copies of the motions to be given to all Messengers at the conference.
   9. Present at the VBCD business meeting, all motions for constitutional amendments or new business for a vote of the Messengers.

Elections shall be held at the VBCD business meeting. Names submitted for consideration to the Messengers at the business meeting must be approved by the Nominating Committee. Names can also be submitted by Messengers with a nominating form and mailed to the nominating committee 30 days prior to the business meeting. Nominees must give a written reply of their decision to the Nominating Committee 10 days before the business meeting. If there are no nominees within 30 days prior to the business meeting, the President shall fill vacant positions. Further, should a vacancy occur during the year and before the regular meeting of the VBCD, the President may appoint someone to fill the vacancy until the next regular meeting. In the event there are no nominees for the Office of President, or Vice-President, upon acceptance and passage of the motion from the floor, the current officers may continue for a successive term. Then the President may appoint other officers as stipulated by the Constitution and By-Laws.
To be an official VBCD messenger and vote in the business meeting, you must be:
   1. A registered member of a Southern Baptist Church in the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) or the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV) and a member in good standing of the church’s deaf ministry/congregation/mission.
   2. Recommended as a Messenger by your Pastor or Church Appointed Authority.
   1. Presides over regular and called business meetings.
   2. Calls special meeting as needed.
   3. Is an ex officio member of all committees.
   4. Work with deaf ministries in Virginia to find out how many deaf people are attending, etc. and reports the findings to VBCD.
   5. Coordinates planning for and is responsible for the VBCD convention meeting and mini-VBCD conference with help of chosen committees.
   6. Travels and speaks to deaf groups at their deaf ministries and encourages them to be active in VBCD.
   7. Shall appoint two (2) parliamentarians who shall follow Robert’s Rule of Order during the business meeting.
   8. Shall appoint any member to fill a vacancy until the next regular meeting.

   1. Presides over meetings in the absence of the President.
   2. Works closely with the President.
   3. Responsible for all the duties of the President in the absence of the President.
   4. Shall serve as Chairperson of the Program Planning Committee with three (3) members of VBCD to be on the committee; also he shall meet with the Program Planning Committee to prepare for the next VBCD convention.
   5. Appoints and works with the VBCD KIDS and JR. VBCD along with the Directors.
   1. Plans and leads workshops and fellowships for all Jr. High School and High School students.
   2. Meets with the 1st Vice-President for his approval on workshops and Programs so there won't be any conflict with other groups.
   1. Plans activities for children during all VBCD workshops, and Business meetings.
   2. Contacts Vice President for rules for the children.
   3. Organizes interesting programs, including songs, Bible Study, games, and/or outside activities (weather permitting).

There are to be 2 groups of children when possible,
   1. Nursery and Preschool; ages up to 5 years old.
   2. First (1) grade to Sixth (6) grades, ages 6 – 12 years old.

If an emergency or problem with a child arises, the committee should find and contact the child's parent(s). If a child is sick, the VBCD KIDS Director has the right to refuse to accept the child in the program. It is the parent's responsibility to take their children to the VBCD KIDS location and pick them up at the VBCD KIDS location in a timely manner.

   1. Shall be one of the regular interpreters for the Deaf.
   2. Shall serve as Chairperson of the Program Planning Committee for the interpreters with the aid of three (3) interpreters. They may have a meeting at anytime and anywhere in the state of Virginia on their mutual agreement.
   3. Shall assist on the Program Planning for the interpreters and their program schedule shall be added to the VBCD conventional program.
   4. Shall cooperate with the First Vice President in making arrangements with the schedule for the next convention
   5. Schedules interpreters to interpret for the deaf if a hearing person is to speak and for voice interpreting for a deaf speaker.
   6. Schedules Interpreter workshops, with RID CEUs available, at Mini-VBCD conference(s) and other workshops.
   7. Before the conferences begin, (if interpreters are needed) will check on lighting and sound devices needed for interpreters so that people will not have difficulty communicating during VBCD and Mini-VBCD conference(s).

   1. Serves with the Credentials committee. Responsible for collecting the Messenger Registration forms. Reports the results of registration to the Credentials committee.
   2. Presides over the Constitution and By-Laws Committee. Responsible for studying the Constitution and By-Laws. Reviews amendments and recommends changes in the Constitution and By-Laws at the VBCD business meeting.
   3. Shall appoint two (2) members of VBCD to the committee. The Committee shall study the originally written Constitution and By-Laws are fully revised, they shall be read to the member of the VBCD for their final approval during the convention. Then he/she shall publish the constitution and By-Laws and then distribute copies thereof to all the deaf Southern Baptist who are on the list of the deaf ministries in the state of Virginia.

   1. Records the minutes of the VBCD business meetings and the officer’s business meetings.
   2. Keeps a permanent record of all meetings and VBCD officers’ business meetings. Gives copies of the minutes to the VBCD officers within two weeks after the meeting.
   3. Responsible for having the VBCD business meeting minutes available to the VBCD newsletter editor within two months after the VBCD meeting for publication in the Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf Newsletter.
   4. Works closely with the 3rd Vice-President in compiling and certifying the Roll Call list for VBCD business meetings.
   5. Works closely with the President.

   1. Shall be signer on VBCD bank documents.
   2. Receives all funds and bank documents belonging to VBCD.
   3. Pays bills as approved by the President.
   4. Keeps records of all transactions.
   5. Prepares documents for auditing.
   6. Writes a Financial report for the VBCD Executive Board.
   7. Makes copies of financial reports for the VBCD business meeting.
   8. Gets the registration forms and fees. Sends the forms to the 3rd Vice-President.
   9. Works closely with the President.
   10. Selects Ushers to greet people and collect offerings during the worship.

   1. Give advice and leadership to the VBCD in accordance to the Constitution and By-Laws.
   2. Assists the Secretary in recording minutes of VBCD business meeting and VBCD officer’s business meetings.
   3. Assists the Secretary when needed.
   4. Works closely with the Secretary and the President.

   1. Give advice and leadership to the VBCD in accordance to the Constitution and By-Laws.
   2. Assists the Secretary when needed.
   3. Works closely with the Secretary and the President.
   4. Shall appoint two (2) of the members to the Nominating Committee.
   A majority of each committee shall be deaf with the exception of the Interpreting Committee. The President will appoint the members of these committees at the beginning of his or her term in office. The members of each committee shall remain active throughout the President’s term of either two or four years.
   1. Program Planning Committee shall meet to prepare a schedule for the next convention. They may meet at anytime and anywhere in the state of Virginia by mutual agreement.
      a. The Program Planning Committee shall be authorized to propose a date for the next convention.
      b. If the members should protest over the date chosen by the Program Planning committee, they may hand or mail to the President giving reasons in the best interest of the VBCD’s welfare. Then the President shall call for the Officers’ meeting together with the Program Planning Committee to act change of the date.
   2. Program Planning Committee for interpreters may schedule separate meetings. Second Vice President will coordinate with First Vice President on overall planning. The Committee will provide programs for interpreters at the VBCD convention.

NOMINATING (2 members):
   1. Responsible for submitting names of Messengers willing to serve as an officer of VBCD. Makes sure the Messenger accepts the nomination and is willing to serve.
   2. Reports to the VBCD messengers during the Business meeting the names of nominees who have accepted the nominations. Each Nominee must be present during meeting before voting is held.
   3. Responsible for making sure that all nominees are of good Christian character, with known ability and experience for the office.
   4. Works closely with the President.

CREDENTIALS (2 members):
   1. Gets the messenger registration forms from the 3rd Vice-President.
   2. Reviews the forms for accuracy and completeness.
   3. Approves each messenger as a voting member of the VBCD business meeting as described in Article II of the By-Laws.
   4. Reads and approves applications of anyone desiring membership in VBCD.

AUDITING (3 members):
   1. Checks all VBCD financial records.
   2. Checks the Treasurer’s report prior to the VBCD business meeting.
   3. Responsible for explaining how the audit was conducted and what was audited.
   4. Advises the Messengers at the VBCD business meeting that they are satisfied that the financial records are in order.

HISTORY (2 members):
   1. Collects and keeps all material related to the Virginia Baptist Conference of the Deaf.
   2. Collects and keeps VBCD's papers, programs, advertisements, and other important information.
   3. Gives a brief summary about VBCD or Deaf Ministries in Virginia each year informing messengers of VBCD history.
   4. Publishes a History book if requested to do so.

CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS (2 members):
   1. Studies the constitution and by-laws for needed updating. Makes recommendations to be voted on at next VBCD business meeting.
   2. Studies and demonstrates understanding of parliamentarian procedures as expressed in Robert’s Rules of Order.
   3. Sees that copies are given to the Messengers at each VBCD business meeting if there are changes.
   4. Keeps a list of qualified messengers who may act as Parliamentarians during the VBCD business meeting and reports this information to the Executive Board.
   1. The VBCD shall recognize Roberts Rule of Order as the guide to conducting the VBCD business meeting except where the constitution shall state differently.
   2. On business of the convention, one- fourth (25%) of all members of the VBCD registered during each conference shall constitute a quorum.
   3. Business shall be conducted by at least a majority of the messengers voting at the business meeting.
   4. The order of the business meeting will be as follows:
      a. Short Devotion and Prayer
      b. Call to order
      c. Roll Call of
         1. Messengers
         2. Visitors
         3. Interpreters
      d. Officers' Reports
         1. Secretary's minutes of the last meeting
         2. Treasurer's financial report
         3. President's report
         4. State Consultant’s report (should there be a State Consultant)
      e. Committee Reports
      f. Old Business (Business left over from last meeting)
      g. New Business (Motions, amendments, goals, budget, resolution, by-laws, and any other new business).
      h. Voting of New Officers presented by the Nominating Committee.
      i. Adjournments and Prayer
   5. INSTALLATION OF NEW OFFICERS or upon the re-election of officers will be at conclusion of the Sunday Morning Worship Service.
   In case of any business that cannot be settled at the VBCD business meeting, the President may refer any problems to the VBCD Executive officers.
   1. Offerings will be taken up during every worship service.
   2. Deaf Ministries in local churches can give or fund parts or all of VBCD or mini - VBCD conference(s).
   3. All offerings will be given to the VBCD Treasurer for the VBCD budget.
   The By-Laws may be amended by a vote of at least two/thirds (2/3) of the messengers present at the regular business meeting. Any amendments must be given to the 3rd Vice-President in writing 60 days before VBCD business meeting.
   1. Should the VBCD Officers and Messengers vote to dissolve the VBCD, all properties will be sold. All monies realized from VBCD will then be deposited and kept in escrow under the direction of the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
   2. All above-mentioned monies and interest collected in this escrow account will be held for three (3) years. If within three (3) years, the VBCD is not re-established all said funds would then be turned over to the Virginia Baptist Deaf Mission Churches.

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