By-Laws, Policies & Accountability
CONFERENCE OF SOUTHERN BAPTIST EVANGELISTS
ARTICLE I – NAME
The name of this organization shall be: “Southern Baptist Evangelists, Inc., DBA Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.” The common reference to the organization shall be “Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists” or “SBC Evangelists.” “SBC” references our relationship with the Southern Baptist Convention.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of the “Conference” shall be to share the Gospel with as many persons as possible. In order to accomplish this, it shall:
1. Promote fellowship among its members.
2. Provide inspiration and information to assist its members to more effectively fulfill the ministry to which they are called.
3. Provide a means of expressing its convictions and positions to the Southern Baptist Convention, and to the world.
4. Provide opportunities for the evangelists to be a source of inspiration to the pastors, ministers, and laymen of the Southern Baptist Convention.
5. Act as a teaching instrument to share with, and to encourage the convention and pastors to recognize the scriptural gift and ministry of the evangelist, according to Eph. 4:11-12, as a partner in fulfilling the Great Commission.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Membership shall be available to all Southern Baptist Evangelists who:
- Are members in good standing of a Southern Baptist Church which is in friendly cooperation and affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Notify, in writing, the Secretary-Treasurer or designated officer of their desire to join this organization.
- Complete the Membership Application, Parts One and Two
- Indicate Evangelist Status requested, based on the following:
- Vocational Evangelist: Available on a full-time basis for focused ministry to various churches and other areas of evangelism activity missionary and otherwise. The evangelist is responsible to determine to what extent they can do other areas of ministry and still maintain their focus, agenda, and title of “Full-Time Vocational Evangelist.”
- Bi-Vocational Evangelist: A working interest and involvement in the “work of an Evangelist” while also doing other task both religious and secular and being paid for same and having responsibilities that would prohibit full-time effort toward the work of evangelism. The Bi-Vocational member shall have no voting rights. Election as a Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists officer is forfeited but a Presidential appointment in any other capacity is allowed. Membership fees shall be $25.00 less than the Vocational Evangelist rate.
- Evangelist Emeritus: A present or former member of Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists who has served Southern Baptist faithfully for many years and wishes to have fellowship with Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists and privileges when he reaches the point of withdrawing from the role of an active Vocational Evangelist. The Evangelist Emeritus member shall have full voting rights but election as an officer is forfeited. A Presidential appointment in any other capacity is allowed. Annual membership fees are waived for anyone given the status of Evangelist Emeritus. Each application would be evaluated by the officers individually, but, several factors would be considered:
- Years of service as an evangelist; years of membership with COSBE; References; Age.
- Honorary Member: Because of his commitment and support of the work of the Evangelist and the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists organization, the COSBE officers shall confer on behalf of the membership the status of Honorary Member. No membership fees or voting privileges are associated with this membership.
- Pay the membership dues and maintain future annual dues. Members elected to the Hall of Faith are not required to pay dues and still retain full membership.
- Are approved by membership at the annual business meeting or by the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IV – OFFICERS
- Officers shall be nominated from the floor, and elected by a simple majority of those voting.
- In the event that no nominee receives a majority, a run-off will be held between those who receive the largest number of votes of those whose total votes are 50% or more.
- This procedure will be repeated until one of the nominees receives a majority.
- The officers shall consist of: President, Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Recording Secretary, Music Director, Assistant Music Director, Pastor Advisor, and Parliamentarian.
- The officers shall serve as the Executive Committee between sessions.
- As far as is practicable, the nominee for President should have served as Vice-President at some time in the past. If there is more than one Vice-President who has not served as President, then the current President or someone appointed will devise a way to get each person on the path to serve as President at some point in the near future. If there are none or if no one wishes to serve as President, then a candidate may be nominated for President who has not yet served as a Vice-President in the past.
ARTICLE V – ANNUAL MEETINGS
The annual meeting of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists shall be held in the city of and during the week of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.
ARTICLE VI - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- The Executive Committee shall conduct any necessary business which may arise between annual meetings, as well as that assigned to it by the Conference. It shall give a report of all its activities at the annual business meeting.
- The Executive Committee shall be comprised of all elected officers.
- The President of COSBE shall be the Chairman of the Committee.
ARTICLE VII – PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY
- Robert’s Rules of Order (latest revised edition) shall be recognized as the standard authority to guide the “Conference” on questions of parliamentary law and custom.
- Those members in attendance and voting shall constitute a Quorum for the transaction of business at the annual meeting.
- The minutes of the meeting shall indicate a Quorum was present.
ARTICLE VIII – AMENDMENTS
These By-Laws may be amended by a two-thirds vote at the annual meeting provided:
- Committee-sponsored amendments are announced at the preceding meeting of the Conference, or submitted in writing to all members with voting privileges at least two months in advance of the annual meeting in which they are to be considered.
- Amendments from the floor are announced at annual meetings and acted upon at the next.
Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists Policies
- All monies will be received by the Secretary-Treasurer and deposited in an account styled "Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists."
- Funds shall be disbursed on the single signature of either the Secretary-Treasurer or the President only for the following expenditures listed in order of priority.
- Printing, telephone, mailing, and all other reasonable related expense.
- Publicity materials as determined by the Executive Committee.
- Exhibit at the Southern Baptist Convention.
- Annual meeting, publicity, ticketing and reservations.
- Other expenditure necessary to carry out the purpose of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.
- The President and Music Director shall choose all program personalities from individuals who are dues-paying members of the COSBE family.
- No expenses or honorariums shall be paid to any program personalities, unless necessary.
COUNCIL OF ACCOUNTABILITY
- The purpose of the Council of Accountability is for the restoration, not destruction of, one’s ministry. It is the intent of the Council of Accountability to serve as an official voice for COSBE by expecting all members of COSBE to maintain the standards set forth in the Statement of Affirmations. This holds us accountable to Christ, ourselves, and our peers.
- This council will be put into place to serve as a voice for all members of COSBE. It has been designed to serve as a platform for any Southern Baptist Evangelist who has a legitimate grievance against any person, church, or secular organization which seeks to bring harm, dishonor, or injury to his ministry; to address any issues which bring into question the integrity of any Southern Baptist evangelist and/or his ministry due to unethical conduct or moral impropriety, and, if necessary, take appropriate measures to resolve such issues. Appropriate measures may take the form of:
- Written correspondence.
- Personal interviews with the council and the parties involved.
- Censorship by the council.
- Most drastic, removal of membership from COSBE.
- The officers of the Council of Accountability shall consist of three elected officials who are members of COSBE. At least one-third shall be elected by popular vote of the members of COSBE at its annual business session to serve a three-year term. One new member is to be elected every year to stay on for three years. Every year one of the three members will rotate off, after serving 3 years. In the case of members who retire or resign from the Council of Accountability a member of COSBE will be elected to fill in for the number of years left on the retiring person’s term.
- Evangelists with at least ten years of experience in vocational evangelism are preferred for the Council. Also serving with the elected Council will be the President of COSBE, and the Pastor Advisor of COSBE.
- The Samaritan’s Fund has been established to help members of Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists in times of crisis. All monies are sent to the financial department of the Southern Baptist Foundation, invested by the financial department and distributed by the officers of Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists. Only a portion of the interest accumulated may be distributed so as not to deplete the entire fund. Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelist Officers shall have discretion in the use of the fund to assist with needs of individuals and Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.
- Any member of Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists may request assistance by writing the President of Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists and explaining the need. The officers shall prayerfully consider the request. Financial assistance will be immediate. Amount of fund and disbursements should be included in the financial report at the annual meeting of Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.
Changes in Policies may be moved and approved by a two-thirds majority vote at any annual meeting of the conference. Previous notice is not required.
The duties of the officers shall be:
- Plans and presides over conference programs and meetings.
- Determines, in conference with the Vice-President, the place and time of the meeting and program in the Southern Baptist Convention city.
- Serves as Chairman of the COSBE Executive Committee.
- Appoints all other committees as deemed necessary.
- Makes financial decisions within the framework of financial policies.
- Is responsible for communication of information and news to conference members, State Executive Directors, State Evangelism Directors, President of the Pastor’s Conference, SBC Life and other entities.
- Pro-actively serves as spokesman to the media on behalf of the Conference.
- Receives evangelists’ requests for financial aid from Samaritan’s Fund.
- Assumes the office and responsibilities of President upon the death, resignation, or any other circumstances rendering the President incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.
- Assists the President with any and all business pertaining to COSBE and events.
- Enlists members to staff the exhibit booth at the SBC Annual Meeting.
- Enlists ushers to take the offering and to hand out programs at Annual Worship Service.
- Is in charge of promotions and placing posters for Annual Worship Service in downtown hotel lobbies.
- Receives, handles, and disburses all monies in accordance with financial policies.
- Prepares financial report for the annual business meeting.
- Makes books available for audit at the request of the Executive Committee.
- Maintains list of members who are in good standing and have voting privileges.
- Sends letter or email no later than August 31st to each COSBE member listing those who are current with their dues, and requesting others to pay their dues.
- Sends follow-up letter or email by April 1 to those who are still not current.
D. Recording Secretary
- Shall assume office and responsibility of Secretary-Treasurer upon the Secretary-Treasurer’s death or resignation or circumstances rendering him incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.
- Records all business at meetings, and prepares minutes.
- Assists the Secretary-Treasurer with duties as called upon.
E. Music Director
- Plans and directs the musical portion of all programs and meetings in cooperation with the President.
F. Assistant Music Director
- Assists the music director as requested.
- Assumes the office of the Music Director upon the death, resignation, or other circumstance rendering the Music Director incapable of fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.
G. Pastor Advisor
- Serves as the spiritual advisor to the Conference.
- Serves as ex-officio member of the Executive Committee without voting privileges.
- Advises the President and members on parliamentary matters during business meetings.
I. Evangelists' Hall of Faith Overseer
J. Term of Office
- The term of office shall be for one year.
- No person may serve more than two consecutive terms with the exception of the Secretary-Treasurer.
- Initial membership shall be effective through the annual meeting of the Conference.
- Membership may be maintained by the payment of annual dues, determined by the Conference, and received by the Secretary-Treasurer’s office by September 30th of each calendar year.
- Membership shall be effective for one calendar year from the conclusion of the COSBE business meeting at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting.
- Only those who are current with their membership dues shall have voting privileges.
- A group may join as one member, and shall have one vote.
EVANGELISTS’ HALL OF FAITH
Artifacts of the Evangelists’ Hall of Faith are owned by COSBE, and are entrusted to the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention for display. The Historical Commission in Nashville, Tennessee maintains the Exhibit.
- At the 2014 SBC Evangelists' business meeting, the body established the position of Hall of Faith overseer.
- Evangelists’ Hall of Faith Overseer Job Description
- Oversee the nomination and election of Hall of Faith inductees as described in the COSBE approved EHOF Election Process.
- Oversee the distribution of information related to Election process in a timely manner.
- Work with the staff of the SBC Executive Committee to maintain all EHOF displays and archives.
- Ensure that all awards, plaques and resolutions that are to be presented at the induction ceremony are prepared and available when needed.
- In conjunction with the COSBE Officers, oversee the planning, preparation and budget for the EHOF Induction ceremony.
- Oversee the formal invitation process for the Evangelists' Hall of Faith (EHOF) Induction ceremony, with a focus on inviting:
- SBC Evangelists Membership
- Hall of Faith Inductees for the upcoming ceremony
- SBC Executive Committee and the Executive Committee Staff
- SBC Seminary Presidents and Evangelism Professors
- SBC State Directors of Evangelism
- Serve as the primary liaison between COSBE and the SBC Executive Committee and the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives.
- All decisions of a legal or financial matter related to the EHOF or directly involving COSBE funds, policies or procedures must be made in conjunction with and the approval of the COSBE President and Vice-President.
- Work with the COSBE leadership to develop appropriate publicity for the EHOF and all events related to the EHOF.
- The EHOF Overseer will serve the membership of COSBE under the authority of the COSBE Executive Committee (Officers) and will answer directly to the COSBE President. In addition, he/she will serve as an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee without voting privileges. There are no term limits affixed to this position.
- The Overseer position may be vacated by the COSBE Executive Committee with a simple majority vote of the full Executive Committee with a thirty day notice the Overseer and the Executive Committee of an impending vote. Replacement of this position shall be by recommendation of the COSBE Executive Committee and approval of the membership at any annual business meeting.
Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists
Articles of Accountability
1. We, the members of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE), do hereby, before the Lord and each other, affirm the following statements concerning our accountability as Vocational Evangelists.
2. We confess Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as Lord and Savior and declare our obedience to the Great Commission, our willingness to advance its purpose and our availability to fulfill its meaning.
3. We align ourselves with the doctrinal position of the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message and reaffirm our belief that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God.
4. We assert the call of the Vocational Evangelist is an authentic New Testament call; thereby, we approach our vocation with the same degree of preparation and integrity as is demanded of other Christian vocational skills.
5. We are accountable to the local church where we are members by participating in its programs and supporting it with our time and tithes. We will strive to conduct our ministries so as to build up the local body of believers by proclaiming the great doctrines of the scriptures.
6. We acknowledge that conviction of sin is a work of the Holy Spirit and we will extend the invitation with integrity and without coercion or manipulation.
7. Our priorities are: First, to a disciplined devotional life, ensuring our personal spiritual development; Second, to our families, demonstrating our commitment as companions and parents; Third, to those with whom we minister giving evidence of the creditability of our message.
8. As servants of God, we confirm our duty to live morally clean, pure, holy lives. What we proclaim in public, we are obligated to practice in private.
9. We declare to be faithful and responsible under God in the reporting of all our finances and statistics.
10. We need and desire to be filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit in order that we may be thoroughly prepared and thoroughly empowered.
11. We seek to promote evangelism with integrity through every segment of our ministries and, in so doing; we expect the same standards from those with whom we serve.
Revised and Approved: 6/9/2018 SBC Evangelists' Business Meeting, Dallas, Texas