Article I Membership
Section A. Requirements and Procedures
- Any person professing heart faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and holding views of faith and practice in conformity with the Articles of faith of The Evangelical Free Church may be received into this membership. The secretary shall notify the church from which a new member has been received.
- All applications for membership shall be made through the Board or Pastor and shall thereafter be acted upon at any regular meeting of the church.
- All persons applying for membership will, at the discretion of the Board be required to attend a new members class to be instructed in the church Covenant, Constitution, By-laws, and Manual.
- Action of the church upon an application for membership may be postponed until the next meeting at the request of any member of this church, who shall state his reason to the Elders of the Board who shall take appropriate action.
Section B. Responsibilities of Members
- Members shall strive to follow the Biblical principles of faith and practice.
- Any member who feels dissatisfaction with the general procedure of the church life shall mention it to the Pastor or Elders. Such matters should not be voiced among the membership, keeping in mind the Scriptural injunction of Romans 14:19 “Follow after the things which make for peace.”
Section C. Rights of Members
- All members shall have equal rights, except those under eighteen (18) years of age shall not be allowed to vote.
Section D. Removal of Members
- Letters of dismissal, for the purpose of uniting with some other Evangelical Church shall be granted only to members in good standing, as requested from it. The request having been considered by the Board and approved by the Church members.
- If any member of the church be opposed to the Bible teachings as accepted by this church, and uses his or her influence contrary to the best interests of the congregation, or be found walking disorderly, he or she may be excluded from Church membership. All such cases shall be investigated by the Elders and Pastor, who shall give such members, due hearing, insuring that the steps in Matthew 18:15-18 shall always be strictly followed to secure reconciliation and forgiveness, if possible. In such cases, the action of the Elders shall be final, unless the member elects in writing to appeal the decision to the membership. When such an appeal is made, a majority vote, by ballot, of all members present at a meeting called for that purpose should be necessary for such exclusion.
- The names of members whose whereabouts remain unknown for a period of one year, or who have willfully neglected their attendance and obligations for that length of time, shall be dropped from the church membership roll by a majority vote at any business meeting. The Elders shall give special consideration to this list during the year and make every effort to restore them to fellowship with our Lord and our Church.
Article II Officers
Section A. Elections and Terms of Service
The Board and Deaconesses shall be elected by the church by secret ballot for one, two or three year terms. One third of the total number shall be elected at each Annual Business Meeting.
They shall be ineligible for reelection until six months after completion of two consecutive Three (3) year terms. In case of a vacancy, a new board member may be appointed by the Board to fill that vacancy until the next Annual Business Meeting.
Section B. Titles and Numbers
The scriptural officers of this church shall be Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses, whose number shall be determined by the number of qualified individuals available not to exceed twelve (12) in number for the first 200 members and not to exceed two (2) additional Elders, Deacons, and Deaconesses for each 100 members over 200.
Section C. Discipline of Officers
Should it become necessary to remove any officer from his or her office, after it has been determined through investigation that he or she has failed to maintain the high conduct fitting his or her office, has deviated from the articles of Faith of this church, or church covenant to the extent that it is detrimental to the church.
The Board shall present such recommendation to the church at any business meeting of the congregation.
Any elected officer who voluntarily absents himself or herself from three (3) consecutive board meetings without due cause shall be declared delinquent. The Board may declare that office vacant.
Article III Pastors
Section A. Pastor Search Committee
The Board shall appoint the Pastor Search Committee upon vacancy in that office. This committee shall have full responsibility in finding a new pastor suitable for the church. The committee’s procedure for this task is written in detail in the Church Manual.
Section B. Selection of Senior, Associate and Assistant Pastors
- They must be licensed or ordained ministers with the Evangelical Free Church of America or be Pastor’s who have fully accepted The Evangelical Free Church Articles of Faith.
- They must conform to the qualifications for the office set forth in I Timothy 3:1-17.
- They shall be called to their positions upon recommendation of the Board by a three-fourths (3/4) majority of the eligible voting members present at a business meeting fully called for this purpose. Voting shall be by secret ballot.
- They shall be called for an indefinite period of time.
- Their remuneration shall be fixed by the church at the time of the call, upon recommendation of the Board and may be changed at any regular business meeting of the church thereafter, in like manner.
- They shall be entitled to an annual vacation period, the date and length thereof to be agreed upon by the Board and the respective Pastor.
Section C. Senior Pastor’s Responsibilities
- He shall perform all the scriptural duties of his office. This includes to preach the Word, administer the ordinances, tenderly watch over the membership and spiritual interest of the church and organize and develop its membership for the best possible ministry.
- He shall be a voting member of the Board and ex-officio member allowed to vote and give guidance to staff members and committees.
- He may delegate responsibility and assign or supervise the work of all associate or assistant Pastors serving the church.
Section D. Termination of Pastors
- Three months written notice shall be given by either party desiring to terminate the ministerial relationship. A shorter time may be made should both the Board and Pastor mutually agree.
- The Board shall present a recommendation to the church to terminate a pastoral relationship if, after thorough investigation, it is determined that a Pastor has failed to maintain the high conduct fitting his office, has deviated from the Articles of Faith or Church Covenant, or has failed to maintain the qualifications of his office to the extent that it is detrimental to the church. The Board shall present such recommendation in writing to the church two (2) weeks prior to and subsequent to the calling of a special business meeting of the congregation for the purpose of considering termination of a Pastor.
Article IV Meetings
Section A. Worship Services
- Regular worship services, the Lord’s Supper and Baptismal services shall be conducted at a time, place and manner determined by the Pastor with the assistance of the Board and congregation.
- Special meetings, such as Evangelistic and Missions Services or Home Bible studies, may be held at any time. They shall be planned and supervised by the Pastor and Elders.
Section B. Business Meetings
- All the business of the church shall be conducted at scheduled or specially called business meetings.
- All voting shall be by voice unless otherwise specified or requested from the floor of the meeting by a duly passed motion. All elections shall be by secret ballot.
- The Annual Business Meeting of the church shall be held on a Sunday in January on a date and at a time set by the Board.
- Special business meetings may be called at any time by the Pastor or the Chairman of the Board providing notice has been given from the pulpit at a preceding Sunday Worship Service and or in the church publication of the preceding week.
- The Pastor or Chairman of the Board may call a business meeting at any regular worship service without prior notice for the purpose of receiving new members and the granting of a letter of dismissal to another church.
- Forty percent (40%) of the voting members shall constitute a quorum.
- The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, current edition shall govern in all cases to which they are applicable, and in which they are not inconsistent with these by-laws.
Article V Auxiliary Organizations
Section A. Auxiliary Organizations
- These organizations may be needed and should be formed to fully develop the church program. They shall present for approval any proposed constitution, by-laws, or affiliation with other organizations to the Board, to whom they are accountable.
- All officers of auxiliary organizations of the church must be members of the church.
- All auxiliary organizations shall present a written report of their activities and financial receipts and disbursements to the Board, who shall have them, printed and presented at the Annual Meeting of the church.
Section B. Appointed Committees
- The Board shall create all committees as needed and shall appoint church members as the chairman of each of the Christian Education, Church Life, Missions and Music committees.
- The Elder’s with the Pastor shall maintain close supervision of all committees and shall require written reports from the same.
- The duties of each committee and the term of office of each member shall end at the Annual Business Meeting of the church. At the discretion of the Board, the committee Directors may be reappointed and duties reassigned for another one (1) year term.