CSBC Governance regarding Membership and Committee Responsibilities:
Article III. Section 5 – Bylaws of California Southern Baptist Convention
The Committee on Resolutions, Credentials and Membership shall be composed of nine (9) members, one elected from each region. It shall be responsible for initiating, reviewing, commenting on, and recommending Convention action on all resolutions. It shall be responsible for accreditation of Messengers to the Convention. It shall recommend action to the Convention concerning disputes as to status of Messengers. Throughout the year, the committee shall confer to make decisions regarding membership status of churches wishing to affiliate with the Convention, recommending actions to the Executive Board or Convention.
Article II. Purpose – California Southern Baptist Convention Constitution
Section 1. This Convention serves our culturally diverse congregations as we fulfill The Great Commandment and The Great Commission.
Section 2. This Convention is an independent Baptist group and shall achieve its objectives through such means as the Convention alone determines.
Section 3. This Convention shall have no ecclesiastical authority whatsoever, and shall never assume to write creeds or to exercise judicial or legislative control over the churches.
Section 4. The Convention recognized the Southern Baptist Convention as the primary instrument used by Baptists to further the cause of Christ on a worldwide basis. The Convention pledges its loyalty and support to the purposes served by the Southern Baptist Convention and recognizes that there exists a spirit of cooperation between this Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention for the fulfillment of those purposes.
Article III. Membership – California Southern Baptist Convention Constitution
Section 1. This Convention shall be composed of Messengers who are members in good standing of Baptist churches cooperating with the Convention and who have been elected and certified by those churches.
Section 2. As an independent Baptist Group, the Convention reserves the right to determine what constitutes a cooperating Baptist church. Churches shall be considered cooperating which are in sympathy with the purpose of this Convention, having contributed financially to the work of the Convention through the Cooperative Program during the 12 months previous to the month of the annual meeting, and who are in agreement with The Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention. The Convention shall be the final judge of the qualifications of its members.
Section 3. The Cooperative Program is defined as undesignated, unrestricted financial gifts through the state convention for world missions.
Procedure for Churches Applying for Membership to California Southern Baptist Convention
1. A church shall send a letter to the Business Services Team Leader of the Convention, expressing interest in affiliating as a member church of the California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC).
2. The Business Services Team Leader shall inform the Committee on Resolutions, Credentials and Membership of the church’s interest and forwards to the church the Application for Affiliation and this procedure. At least two members of the committee will be assigned to process each application. Other Convention and Association representatives may be present also.
3. A church shall have been constituted and meeting for at least six (6) months prior to the annual meeting of CSBC to be eligible for affiliation in that fiscal year. (Exceptions can be reviewed by the Committee on a case by case basis.)
4. The Application to Affiliate will collect the following information and documents to be submitted to the Committee on Resolutions, Credentials and Membership in writing prior to the meeting:
- Full and correct name of church.
- Full and correct address of the church. (Mailing address and Meeting address)
- Date the church was constituted.
- A copy of the church constitution and by-laws.
- A description of how new members are received into membership. (if not included in item d)
- A Statement of Faith (if not included in item d)
- A brief history of the church.
- A statement of the mission and ministry of the church.
- A copy of the current church budget.
- A description of the church’s current involvement and/or future involvement in supporting the Cooperative Program for World Missions.
- Minutes or Resolution from duly called church meeting reflecting:
a. Church members have voted to cooperate and affiliate with the CSBC.
b. The church is in sympathy with the purposes of the Convention.
c. The church agrees with the Baptist Faith and Message as consistent with its doctrinal beliefs.
d. The church will faithfully support world mission causes by a regular contribution to the Cooperative Program.
e. The church is willing to provide an Annual Church Profile (ACP) to the Convention.
- A letter of recommendation from sponsoring church or affiliated association. A letter of explanation if not provided.
5. The Chairman of the Committee shall schedule a time for an informal meeting with members of the applying church, if appropriate. The committee’s preference is that at least two members from the church attend the meeting (Pastor and/or elected church leader). The purpose of the meeting will be to review the church’s doctrine, polity, purpose and ministry plans to affirm the church is in agreement with the doctrines, purpose and mission of the Convention.
6. The Committee shall make a recommendation for approval regarding membership at the next scheduled meeting of the CSBC Executive Board or annual meeting of Messengers.
7. The Church shall be notified of its membership status within two weeks of action on the Committee recommendation by the CSBC Executive Board or Messengers.
- Membership Application
- Sample Association Declaration of Affiliation
- Sample Church Resolution of CSBC Affiliation
Please return the completed application and supporting attachments to:
J Stephen Pearson
California Southern Baptist Convention
678 E. Shaw Avenue
Fresno CA 93710-7704
Find congregations engaged in the membership process.