First Baptist Church Sayre, Oklahoma

Background Check Information

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I have been told more than once in my life that a church is not a business. However, it must be upright, circumspect and business-like in the way that it acts in the community and marketplace. As a church we minister to people, meet needs, share the Gospel, worship, and educate believers to walk in God’s way. As a “business” we must carry insurance, pay our utilities, license our vehicles and abide by the laws that are applicable to us. Recently our insurance carrier helped us to evaluate our properties and practices with the idea of reducing areas of vulnerability. It was a thoughtful and helpful act by them to provide for both our benefit in reduced premiums and theirs in reduced claims. The most impactful change is the need to implement background checks.

Our insurance provider suggested that we need to do background checks on all of our volunteers, especially those who work with children and youth. Background checks are not uncommon in the workplace, but occasionally they meet with some resistance in the church. After all, do we not exist for the purpose of reaching broken people and might not this reveal some hidden issues in people’s lives? The answer is yes! While acting like the church we must reach to broken people who may have some issues in their background. As a business we must do all we can do to provide and protect the very people we are reaching. The two goals are not exclusive but mutually supportive. If something is revealed in a background check, it gives us as a church the chance to minister redemptively with an individual while still providing the measure of protection for our people that not only do we expect but also the insurance company expects as well.
This idea is not new to us.  Already our association requires it of Children's Camp Workers and Falls Creek requires it of those who lead and volunteer during Youth Camps as well. 
  1. As our nominating committee contacts individuals, they will ask them to fill out the background check form and return it to the church office. 
  2. At this point we will fill out the information online and submit it to Praesidium, Inc., the organization that handles the background check for Falls Creek and Children's Camp. 
  3. They will do a basic criminal background check only! Even though the form we fill out includes some verbiage related to credit checks, THEY WILL ONLY DO A BASIC BACKGROUND CHECK!
  4. We will keep the results on file here and proceed with enlistment.

What Happens if something shows up?:

If something shows up in the results of the background check, a team of deacons will make a contact with that individual and let them know. They will then meet with that individual to confidentially verify the facts.  Based upon that visit, that individual will be directed to places of service in our congregation appropriate to their gifts and those limitations discovered during the background check. 

For example: 

  1. If an individual was found to have had a theft conviction in their past, we would not enlist them into a position where they would be handling money and be tempted to steal. 
  2. If an individual was found to have a child abuse conviction, we would not enlist them to a position where they come in working contact with children or youth. 

In every situation we would recognize that God can change people, but we would do all we could do to reduce temptation where they had already failed once.  Having a record does not eliminate a person from service, but it may have an impact on where that individual is encouraged to serve.



Sayre First Baptist Church • Sayre, Ok • 580-928-5518  © 2018