CONSTITUTION OF THE HADLEY COMMUNITY CHURCH
In brief, Hadley Community Church can be described as biblical, fundamental, premillennial, dispensational, moderately calvanistic and thoroughly evangelistic.
The Constitution of “Hadley Community Church” of Hadley Michigan.
Drawn up and adopted on the 23rd day of August, 1979. Was revised
02/31/1991 and again on 07/28/2004.
ARTICLE I NAME
The name of this association shall be “Hadley Community Church.”
ARTICLE II OBJECT
Its object will be to promote the worship of God by the preaching of the Word of God and the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, at home and abroad. Trusting as a result, sinners will, come to Christ for salvation from sin and the brethren will be built up in faith.
ARTICLE III DOCTRINE
Its doctrine shall be taken from the pages of the Word of God (the Bible) and all rules of faith and practice shall originate from the New Testament, further explained in our Statement of Faith.
ARTICLE IV ASSOCIATION
Hadley Community Church, Hadley, Michigan is an independent and autonomous body affiliated with the Independent Fundamental Churches of America (I.F.C.A.); however, at the discretion of the Board of Deacons it may participate in activities with other churches or organizations of like doctrine forthe promotion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as long as by doing so there will be no infringement upon the independence and autonomy of this church.
Article V MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: Present Members
Paragraph A: Membership
All whose names appear on the rolls of the church are to be members of the church. Members are to be defined as “active” or “inactive”.
1. Active Members
Active membership shall consist of such Christians as have been received in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and who are up—to—date on church issues. No minimum age shall be set for membership.
2. Inactive Members
Inactive Membership shall consist of those who have been absent from the worship services of the church for a period of three (3) months without giving satisfactory reason for such absence or those who have come under disciplinary action of the church.
3. Membership Committee
The Membership Committee shall meet quarterly to review the Membership Lists.
There shall be an annual evaluation of the “Active” and “Inactive” lists by the Membership Committee and those who do not conform to the requirements of “Active” shall be moved to the “Inactive” Membership List subsequent to contact with the member by the Membership Committee.
It shall be the duty of the Membership Committee to list in the Annual Report all changes made to the Membership Lists.
4. Closed Memberships
Names will be removed from the rolls of the church for the following reasons: transfer of membership to another church; personal request; death; or failure to respond to the annual “Membership status” form letter.
Paragraph B: Eligibility for Membership
1. All those professing faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior are eligible for membership in our church providing they agree with the Statement of Faith.
2. It shall be required that the Pastor and Associate Pastor become members of the church.
Paragraph C: Two Ways a Person May Join this Church
1. Profession of Faith followed by believer’s baptism.
2. By letter of transfer from churches of similar faith; this letter is to be requested from their former church.
Paragraph D: Candidates Appearing for Church Membership
Candidates for Church Membership, including those transferring by letter, shall appear personally before the Pastor and Membership Committee for examination and approval. At this time the Constitution of the church shall be explained and a testimony of their faith in Christ as Savior shall be given. Agreement with the Constitution and a profession of faith shall make them eligible for membership. Applicants who have been approved for reception into the membership shall be recommended to the church by announcement from the pulpit or in the bulletin the following Sunday. If no valid objections are received by the Membership Committee, the right hand of fellowship shall be extended to them at the following Sunday morning service. Their membership shall then be in force.
Paragraph E: Voting
1. Legal voting age on all church matters is 18.
2. Only active members of the church can vote.
3. No voting by absentee ballot shall be allowed
4. When voting by ballot the term “vote” shall be defined as a ballot marked “yes” or “no”.
Section 2: Dismissal of Members
Paragraph A: Church Letters
Any member wishing to unite with another church should request that church to ask for a letter of transfer.
Paragraph B: Discipline of Members
The matter of discipline of the membership shall be in the hands of the Board of Deacons assisted by the Pastor according to the teaching of the New Testament, but, in cases of exclusion from membership, final action must be taken by the church. No member shall be expelled until every effort has been made including, if physically possible, personal visits to reclaim him/her for Christ and the Church.
ARTICLE VI ORDINANCES
Section 1: Baptism
Those professing saving faith in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, shall, by the Pastor be baptized, by immersion, in accordance with scriptural teaching.
Section 2: Lord’s Supper
The Lord’s Supper (Communion) shall be served to the assembled church by the Pastor on the first Sunday morning of each quarter. The observance of the Communion Service for the remaining two months of the quarter shall be at the discretion of the Pastor and Board of Deacons. Since it is the Lord’s Table, none who are His are barred, but the Pastor shall frequently state the scriptural order and shall explain the meaning of the ordinance.
ARTICLE VII OFFICERS AND BOARD
Section 1: Officers
All the officers of the church except the Pastor and Deacons, shall have been a member of the church for a period of at least one year before being placed in nomination. Their term of office shall begin the first Sunday following the Annual Meeting. Retiring officers shall hold office until the term of the newly elected begin. Other minor offices may be created from time to time as may be deemed necessary by the Pastor and either Board. No person shall hold more than two major offices at one time.
Section 2: Pastor
Paragraph A: Choosing a Pastor
The Pastor of this church shall be chosen by vote for an indeterminate time.
Paragraph B: Procedure for Calling a Pastor
The Board of Deacons will appoint a Pulpit Committee consisting of not less than one member from each Board and not less than two members at large. This committee will be responsible for (1) opening the church file with various fundamental colleges, and (2) screening, listening to, interviewing and calling possible candidates. The method of calling a Pastor will be: (1) a possible candidate is called to fill the pulpit allowing the congregation to listen and the Pastor to fill without either having further obligation. (2) If the people reflect a positive reaction, the committee then issues a formal call. The candidate then either does or does not respond. (3) If the candidate does respond to the call, he returns to fill the pulpit a second Sunday. A vote is taken the Sunday after the prospective Pastor candidates. (4) Only active regular voting members may vote. (5) The candidate will not be called without an 85% positive vote of voting members present.
(6) The candidate has the right to accept or reject the call. Before the candidate is presented to be voted upon, the Committee must secure his permission and present to the church at the time of voting, a signed statement by the proposed candidate signifying his unreserved acceptance of the Constitution and Statement of Faith.
Paragraph C: Pastor’s Duties
The Pastor shall be directly responsible to the Board of Deacons and have general oversight of the spiritual life of the church, regular services and ministration of the ordinances of the church. He shall faithfully preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ as set forth in the scriptures. He shall be an ex—officio member of all Boards and committees. He will be expected to faithfully visit the sick, to seek in Christian love the restoration of any member who has fallen into sinful conduct and to visit each church family. His spiritual qualifications should be according to that set forth in I Timothy, 3. Additional duties are set forth in the posted position description as prescribed by the Board of Deacons and reviewed yearly.
Paragraph D: Intention to Discontinue as Pastor
The Pastor shall give the church a notice (in writing) not to exceed sixty (60) days and not less than thirty (30) days of his intention to discontinue as Pastor with remuneration and services continued through this period unless otherwise mutually agreed to by the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.
Paragraph E: Vote of Confidence from the Board of Deacons
The Board may call for a vote of confidence among themselves for the Pastor at any regular meeting. All Board members must be present for this vote. If indicated by the majority of the Board, the Pastor must call for a vote of confidence from the church at which time a 2/3 majority of the active regular voting members present must be in favor of retaining the Pastor. Should a negative vote result, the Pastor must present a letter of resignation to the Board within 10 calendar days. If one is not forthcoming in 20 calendar days, the Board must demand it. If at any time the Statement of Faith is discredited by the Pastor, the Board will be expected to ask for his immediate resignation. The church properties must be vacated within 60 days of the negative vote or date of resignation.
Section 3: Associate Pastor
Paragraph A: Choosing an Associate Pastor
The Associate Pastor of this church shall be chosen by vote for an indeterminate time.
Paragraph B: Procedure for Calling an Associate Pastor
The Board of Deacons will be responsible for (1) opening the church file with various fundamental colleges, and (2) screening, listening to, interviewing and calling possible candidates. The method of calling an Associate Pastor will be (1) the Board of Deacons and the Pastor will select a possible candidate to be presented to the congregation. (2) if the people reflect a positive reaction, the Deacons then issue a formal call. The candidate then either does or does not respond. (3) Only active regular voting members may vote. (4) The candidate will not be called without an 85% positive vote of voting members present. (5) The candidate has the right to accept or reject the call. Before the candidate is presented to be voted upon, the Committee must secure his permission and present to the church at the time of voting, a signed statement by the proposed candidate signifying his unreserved acceptance of the Constitution and Statement of Faith.
Paragraph C: Associate Pastor’s Duties
The Associate Pastor shall be directly responsible to the (1) Pastor and (2) the Board of Deacons. He shall have general oversight of the spiritual life of the youth. His spiritual qualifications should be according to that set forth in I Timothy, 3. Additional duties are set forth in the posted position description as prescribed by the Board of Deacons and reviewed yearly.
Paragraph D: Intention to Discontinue as Associate Pastor
The Associate Pastor shall give the church a notice (in writing) not to exceed sixty (60) days and not less than thirty (30) days of his intention to discontinue as Associate Pastor with remuneration and services continued through this period unless otherwise mutually agreed to by the Associate Pastor and the Board of Deacons.
Paragraph E: Vote of Confidence from the Board of Deacons
The Board may call for a vote of confidence among themselves for the Associate Pastor at any regular meeting. All Board members must be present for this vote. Should a negative vote result, the Associate Pastor must present a letter of resignation to the Board within 10 calendar days. If one is not forthcoming in 20 calendar days, the Board must demand it.
If at any time the Statement of Faith is discredited by the Associate Pastor, the Board will be expected to ask for his immediate resignation. The church properties must be vacated within 60 days of the negative vote or date of resignation, whichever is first.
Section 4: Church Boards
Paragraph A: Qualifications
Members of the Board of Deacons must be active male members of this church for a period of three (3) years. All other board members must be active members for a period of one year. The qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5—9 as applicable to each office shall be required of all members of the Boards.
Paragraph B: Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons shall be formed of at least three active members of the church to be increased on the ratio of one (1) deacon for every fifteen (15) active church member families. They shall hold office for a period of three years and must have a recess prior to being re—elected. Initially there shall be one Deacon elected for one year, one Deacon elected for two years and one Deacon elected for three years. Thereafter, one shall be elected at each annual business meeting to replace the expiring term. A Chairman and Secretary shall be elected from the Board at the first meeting following the Annual Meeting. Vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Board of Deacons to finish un-expired terms. Deacons shall be responsible, along with the Pastor, for the spiritual oversight of the church, calling closed meetings when necessary. The Board of Deacons shall function for the Pastor in emergencies and when the Church has no Pastor. They shall be responsible for the filling of the Pulpit in the absence of a candidate. The Board of Deacons will meet with the Pastor monthly. Meeting dates shall be posted in the Church Bulletin. The Deacons shall appoint two women to serve with the Board of Deacons and the Pastor as the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall call on prospective members and review candidates for membership.
The Board of Deacons shall appoint one Deacon to serve on the Christian Education Committee, Missions, and others as needed. The Deacons shall be responsible for appointing a nominating committee which shall consist of five members selected as follows: A member of the Board of Deacons, a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Christian Education Committee and two women at large. The Board of Deacons shall meet with the Board of Trustees on a quarterly basis.
1. Dismissal of Board of Deacons
To maintain an active and efficient Board the following rules shall apply: If a Board member misses two consecutive regular meetings he shall be placed on probation. If he misses the third consecutive regular meeting, he shall lose the seat on the Board and the Board shall fill the office until the term expires.
Paragraph C: Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees shall be formed of five active members of the church and they shall meet on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m., or as posted. They shall hold office for a period of three years and must have a recess prior to being re-elected. Initially, there shall be one trustee elected for a one-year term, two Trustees elected for a two-year term, and two Trustees elected for a three-year term. The number to be elected at each annual business meeting shall be determined by the number of terms expiring. Vacancies shall be filled by appointment by the Board to finish un-expired terms. This Board shall have the power to decide upon business, spending no more than $3,000 on a single item without a majority vote of approval by the church. The Board shall submit to the Budget Committee their proposed fiscal budget for salaried personnel.
Board of Trustee Officers
At the first meeting of the Board after the Annual Meeting, the following offices shall be elected from its membership:
President, and Vice-president. The President and Vice-President shall act as Church Trustees for the purpose of signing legal documents.
1. Duties of the President
The President shall preside at all meetings of the church and Board and shall appoint with Board approval the necessary committees and other personnel for the operation of the church. Committees appointed by the President, with Board approval, are: auditing, budget, missions, church — parsonage overseer, and others as needed.
2. Duties of the Vice-President
The Vice-President shall, in the absence of the President, assume the duties of the President.
3. Dismissal of Board of Trustee Members
To maintain an active and efficient Board, the following rules shall apply: If a Board member misses two regular consecutive meetings in a row the member shall be placed on probation. If the member misses the third consecutive regular meeting, the member shall lose the seat on the Board and the Board shall fill the vacated office until the term expires.
Section 5: Treasurer
The Treasurer shall have charge of finances of the church and shall furnish a statement to the Board of Trustees on the financial condition of the church at their monthly meetings. They shall be published in the bulletin once a quarter. The Treasurer shall disperse to the Missions Secretary—Treasurer monies earmarked or otherwise provided for in the Constitution for missions. The Treasurer shall be an elected official of the church, elected for a period of three (3) years at the Annual Meeting. The position of Treasurer has no vote on the Board. The Treasurer is expected to attend all regular Board of Trustee meetings.
Section 6: Secretary
The Secretary shall keep a correct and permanent record of all the business meetings of the Church, take charge of all Church records, maintain a register of members in which shall be noted such changes as may occur. It is also the secretary’s duty to keep a complete record in a book provided for that purpose, of all memberships, baptisms, marriages, deaths, etc. The Secretary shall enter upon the records of the Church current events in the life of the Church that are likely to be of historical value, making the Church records a true and complete history of the Church. All letters and other communications to the Church shall be presented to the Church Secretary who shall present them to the Board of Trustees. The Board shall act upon them according to their discretion.
The Secretary shall be an elected official of the Church, elected for a period of three (3) years at the Annual Meeting. The position of Secretary has no vote on the Board. The Secretary is expected to attend all regular Board of Trustees meetings. General duties include (1) posting of monthly Board of Trustees’ Minutes, (2) typing of official church business, (3) typing of letters to visitors, (4) typing of Quarterly Reports, (5) typing of Annual Reports, and (6) typing of the Weekly Bulletin. Clerical duties, with the exception of recording all church meetings, may be delegated by the secretary.
Section 7: Other Offices
Paragraph A: Financial Secretary
The Financial Secretary shall be appointed yearly by the Board of Trustees to assist the Treasurer in each service in the counting of monies.
Paragraph B: Communion Stewards
There shall be two members elected annually to prepare the Communion Table for the Communion Service.
Paragraph C: Memorial Chairperson
There shall be one person elected annually to send remembrances to those of our fellowship. Memorials shall be sent in case of the death of a member of the immediate family of all church members and active non—members unless otherwise requested by the family; cards to be sent in case of death to other than immediate family members; immediate family to be defined as spouse, children, mother, father, sister, or brother.
Paragraph D: Missions Secretary—Treasurer
The Missions Secretary—Treasurer shall be elected by the church at its Annual Meeting; the term of office shall be for three years. The Missions Secretary—Treasurer will be responsible for the dividing of the missions money as the church prescribes and shall submit a quarterly report to appear in the bulletin. The Missions Secretary—Treasurer shall also be responsible for (1) keeping an updated bulletin board, (2) publication of current missionary communications in the bulletin, (3) quarterly correspondence with each supported missionary, and (4) presenting to the Budget Committee from the Missionary Committee their proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.
Paragraph E: Head Usher
The Head Usher shall be elected annually and will be responsible for carrying out the duties referred to in the Head Usher Job Description. Major duties include securing communion stewards and ushers, and recording attendance at church services.
Paragraph F: Ladies Fellowship Service Organization
Two officers of the Ladies Fellowship shall be elected to be responsible for planning and coordinating the activities and events such as funeral dinners, nursery, etc. of the Ladies Fellowship. Initially, there shall be one officer elected for one year and one for two years. Thereafter, one shall be elected at each annual business meeting to replace the expiring term. They shall form committees to handle these activities. Vacancies may be filled by appointment by the Ladies Fellowship committee heads and remaining officer with the approval of the Board of Trustees to finish un-expired terms. The officers or their representative shall meet with the Trustees on a quarterly basis.
ARTICLE VIII CHRISTIAN EDUCATION COMMITTEE
The Christian Education Committee shall be the official board of the Sunday School. This committee shall consist of the Sunday School Superintendent (chairman of this committee), Assistant Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Secretary—Treasurer, and one Deacon. They shall be responsible for the general supervision of the Sunday School, Junior Church, all Christian Education of the Church and, in the absence of an Associate Pastor, the Christian Youth Fellowship (C.Y.F.). They shall appoint Sunday School teachers, choose the Sunday School materials, determine the time, personnel, and the materials for Daily Vacation Bible School and other special programs including Children’s Day, Rally Day and Christmas Program.
ARTICLE IX FINANCING
Section 1: Fiscal Year
The fiscal year shall begin on January l and shall end on December 31.
Section 2: Raising Money
No money shall be raised by the church or her auxiliary organizations except by free will giving, the exception being for youth projects with the permission of the Board of Trustees.
Section 3: Financial Obligations
No financial obligation shall be placed on the church, such as mortgage notes or outstanding bills in any form, unless approved by the Board of Trustees. Concerning any mortgage, two-thirds of the legal active voting members of the church present must approve of such expenditure at an official meeting.
Section 4: Missions
It shall be the policy of this church to set aside a tenth of its loose offering to be given to the Missions Secretary-Treasurer to be divided as per budget.
Section 5: Dissolution Clause
No part of the net earnings of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director or officer of the corporation or to any private individual, and no donor, member director, officer of the corporation or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporation assets. Upon dissolution, any assets of the corporation must be distributed to one or more organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.
ARTICLE X AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS
Section 1: Other Organizations
Other organizations such as women groups, mission societies, men’s fellowships, and clubs within the framework of the church shall be under the clauses of this Constitution and hold to this Church’s policies.
Section 2: Officers and Teachers
All major officers of the auxiliary organizations and all regular teachers in the Sunday School must be members of the church, in good standing. Non—members must be given special permission by the Board of Deacons.
ARTICLE XI COMMITTEES
The Board of Deacons or Board of Trustees may appoint committees to maintain and organize business not otherwise prescribed in this Constitution.
ARTICLE XII BUSINESS MEETINGS
Section 1: Annual Business Meetings
There shall be an annual business meeting of the church within 45 days of the close of the previous fiscal year to elect officers prescribed in this Constitution and to carry out the end—of—the—year business and the beginning of the new year’s business. Annual reports of various organizations shall be presented at this meeting. All reports for the preceding fiscal year shall be in writing. The order of the Annual Meeting, presided over by the President of the Board of Trustees, is as follows:
1. Reading and approval of minutes of previous Annual Meeting.
2. Church Secretary’s Report.
3. Church Treasurer’s Report.
4. Election of: Board of Deacons, Board of Trustees, Church Treasurer, Church Secretary, Communion Stewards, Memorial Chairperson, Missions Secretary—Treasurer, Head Usher, Sunday School Superintendent, Assistant Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School Secretary—Treasurer and Ladies Fellowship Officers.
5. Report of Sunday School Superintendent.
6. Reports of Standing Committees.
7. Reports of Departments of Church.
8. Report of Pastor.
9. Report of Associate Pastor.
10. Board of Deacons’ Report.
11. Report of the Membership Committee.
12. Board of Trustees’ Report.
13. Unfinished Business.
14. New Business.
Section 2: Elections
At least two weeks before the election, the nominating committee shall present to the church the names of one or more persons for each office to be filled. Upon presentation of said report it shall be the privilege of any member qualified to vote to place in nomination the name of any eligible person for any office, with his/her consent. No nominations shall be made from the floor at the time of the election. All elections shall be by written ballot, a majority of the ballots cast being necessary for the election of any officer.
Section 3: Special Business Meetings
These may be called at any time, except on Sunday, provided public notice be given of the same for two Lord’s Days preceding, except for the calling or dismissing of a Pastor. In this case Article VII, Section 2, Paragraph B and D shall be followed. The exception to the above is Article XIII amending the Constitution.
Section 4: Order of Meetings
In the conducting of business meetings, Robert’s Rules of Order (revised) shall govern all cases which apply. In exceptions, a majority vote shall establish the rule.
ARTICLE XIII AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution may be amended by two-thirds of the active members present at any annual business meeting or at a called business meeting, provided that notice of proposed amendment shall have been given from the pulpit for the two Sundays prior to the meeting at which action is desired.
Revised: 02/31/1991 printed: 2004