"Proclaiming Good News of Great Joy for All People"
The Constitution and By-Laws of The Freedom Fellowship Church
This document is the constitution
and by-laws of "The Freedom Fellowship Church," a non-denominational
body of followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.The purpose of this church is to be a local
gathering of individuals who seek to please and worship God by assembling
together to serve Him, and grow in their faith and understanding of Him.
It is our common belief that this
purpose may be accomplished only by absolute dependence on the infallible word
of God as recorded in the Bible, and only with the help and leadership of His
Holy Spirit.It is also our belief that
the church belongs to God, and that His son Jesus is its head, and as members
of it we submit to the Lordship, realizing we are heirs to his everlasting
Since in all things we seek to
please Him, we see fit to have a number of by-laws, listed below whereby we may
conduct ourselves in a decent and orderly manner when gathered together in his
ARTICLE IDOCTRINAL STATEMENT
We believe in one living and
true God, who is the Creator and Preserver of all things, infinite in being and
perfection, existing eternally in the three Persons of the Trinity: Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that all Scripture is
inspired by God and is therefore to be received as his written Word,
trustworthy and true in all that it teaches, the only infallible authority for
Christian faith and life.All Scripture
must be understood according to its nature, context and purpose, in humble and
reverent obedience to God, who, by his Spirit, speaks through it.
We believe that human beings are
created in the image of God for fellowship with God; that through rebellion
against the Creator they fell from a sinless state into a state of sin, death
and estrangement from God; that the entire human race is born into this state
of sin and death, sinful by nature and by choice, and, apart from grace,
incapable of returning to God.
We believe that Jesus Christ is
truly God and truly human, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin
Mary; that he lived a life of perfect obedience to God; that he died in the
place of sinners who deserve that death, bearing the full punishment for their
sins in order to reconcile them to God; that he rose bodily from the grave;
that he ascended into heaven where he intercedes for his people and rules as
Lord of all creation; and that he will return to the earth, personally and
visibly, to consummate his sovereign rule and work of redemption.
We believe that the Holy Spirit,
through the proclamation of the gospel, brings about spiritual birth,
repentance from sin, confession of the Lordship of Christ, holiness, and the
assurance of salvation; that he intercedes for believers in accordance with the
will of God; and that he leads believers into all truth and empowers them for
godly living and witness to the risen Christ.
We believe that salvation is by
grace, through faith alone.We believe
that the Church is a spiritual fellowship, created by the Spirit and the Word
of God, with the risen Christ as its Lord; that the sacraments or sacred
ordinances of the Church are baptism and the Lord's Supper; and that the Church
is called by Christ to worship and serve God through the preaching of the
gospel, the discipling of all nations, and obedience to the full counsel of
We believe in the resurrection
of the dead at the end of this age, the final judgment of all people, the
entrance of the righteous into eternal life in the presence of God, and the
condemnation of the wicked to eternal death. ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP
Section AThis church shall be composed of
individuals, hereafter called MEMBERS, who meet the following requirements:
1. They publicly and truthfully confess that they have
accepted Jesus Christ as both savior and Lord of their lives.
2. They agree that the FreedomFellowshipChurch is the local body
through which they will serve and worship God.
3. They agree to serve with their time, talent and finances.
4. They agree to abide by its constitution and by-laws.
5. They have either previously been, or are willing to accept
6. They sign a roll which attests to their agreement with the
above requirements having been met.
Section B.Members shall have the following privileges
1. Attendance at church meetings and functions.
2. A vote in all business brought before a meeting of the
3. The aid, comfort, support, and prayers of the church in the
a. Spiritual growth
b. Physical needs
c. Financial needs
4. The right to bring items of business before the church.
Section C. Members
are subject to removal from the roll for the reasons below. Before recommending
removal from membership, the elders shall have followed guidelines for church
discipline established in the 18th Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.
Upon recommendation by the elders, removal shall require a two-thirds majority
1. Gross immorality - Extreme disregard for the manner in
which the scriptures say we should behave as Christians.
2. Membership in another church.
3. Advocating or teaching doctrines which are in direct, major
conflict with the teachings of scripture.
4. Absence of six months or longer from church attendance.
(This stipulation may be waived upon request if the member is physically
impaired from attending.)
There shall be certain
individuals elected by the body to fill positions of leadership and service.
These individuals shall be considered the officers of the church, and as such
shall have certain duties and responsibilities as listed below. It is required
that all officers be members in good standing as defined in Article II. In
accordance with 1 Timothy 2:12, the offices of Pastor and Elder shall be
restricted to men.Officers shall be
elected by a two-thirds majority vote. Their tenure shall be subject to an
annual review by the membership.However,
any officer may be removed from office any time upon a two-thirds majority vote
by the members. These offices and their responsibilities are as follows:
1. Responsible for leading the worship services and meetings
of the church.
2. Responsible for the spiritual health and development of the
3. Is the chief administrative officer.
4. Has the authority and responsibility for the teaching of
scripture to the body.
5. Has the right of approval for any guests invited to
minister to the church.
6. The church may elect to pay the pastor a salary.
7. The pastor is to serve as one of the elders.
1. Responsible for the spiritual leadership and health of the
2. Charged with the administration of these by-laws and church
3. Shall recommend to the church changes to these by-laws as
4. Shall be open to receive from any member a recommendation
or opinion as to the operation and health of the body.These recommendations shall be shared among
the elders and considered for action.
5. Shall be standing members of the Finance, Nominating, and Benevolence
- Shall be listed with the county to satisfy the legal property requirements of
the local government, holding title to the church property.
1. Shall be responsible for the careful deposit and withdrawal
of church funds from a banking institution, in accordance with the budget.
2. Shall verify and record all offerings and donations, and
document all expenditures.
3. Shall strive to be a good steward of the church's funds,
keeping an accurate count and protecting from loss.
4. Shall make available quarterly and annual financial
statements, listing income and expenditure totals.
5. Shall be a member of the Finance and Benevolence
6. Shall be subject to an annual audit.
E. TELLERS - Shall
count and record all offerings and convey them to the Treasurer.
1. Shall send birthday cards to each member.
2. Shall send appropriate condolences to members or the
families of members, in the event of death or tragedy.
3. Shall send get well card to members with lengthy illness or
4. Shall send whatever correspondence the body directs.
G. RECORDING SECRETARY.
1. Shall keep a record of all business concluded by the
2. Provide notices of records of body transactions as required
3. Shall keep the membership roll accurate, with current names
and addresses of members.
be installed by church vote as necessary to perform works of service,
ministering to the membership, and residents of the surrounding community.
Deacons shall assist the Pastor and Elders in responding to benevolence
requests and administering the benevolence portion of the budget.
1. Shall be responsible for all
matters relating to the operation of a Sunday School
report to the elders concerning his activities.
review and order literature for the school.
be responsible for the selection of teachers.
be responsible for the nursery and children's church.
other officers, the Sunday School Superintendent shall be selected by the
elders and pastor without requiring a vote by the congregation, and will serve
a term of indefinite length, subject to the elders’ discretion.
ARTICLE IV MEETINGS
This church shall have regular
meetings where it will seek to worship and serve God. In order to function as a
local body of Christ, the church will have certain set services and practices
as listed below:
A. SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
1. This meeting shall be held
each Sunday.It shall be a time for
worship, fellowship, prayer, and the teaching of scripture.The pastor shall be the leader of this
service. Also, any business of the church may be conducted at this meeting.
2. Business conducted shall be
according to parliamentary procedure as outlined in "Roberts Rules of
3. The pastor may set the time
during the meeting at which business may be conducted.
4. The pastor or his designate,
shall moderate all business, with the exception of business pertaining to his
office.In the event of this, he will be
asked to leave during the proceedings and an elder will moderate.
5. Any member may bring any item
of business before the body at this meeting.
6. A quorum, consisting of
two-thirds of current members, shall be required to be present for a vote to be
7. All votes shall be decided by
a simple majority of those members present, with the exception of those
mentioned in these by-laws as requiring a two-thirds majority. (i.e. removal
from membership, removal from office ... etc.).
B. ANNUAL BUSINESS
The church shall have an annual
meeting at which time it shall review its finances, budget, tenure of officers
and general business matters. This meeting will be held the third Sunday of
October, after the regular Sunday service.
C. SUNDAY SCHOOL
The church shall provide a
Sunday School for the increase of Bible knowledge of its members and their
children.This school shall be financed
through the budget.
D. WEDNESDAY NIGHT BIBLE
The church shall have a meeting
each Wednesday night, led by the pastor or his designate, for the purpose of
edifying the body through prayer and the study of the scriptures.
The body may elect to have
whatever additional meetings, special fellowships, trips or meals as it sees
The church may authorize standing committees, listed
below, to accomplish the will of the body or to oversee specific tasks.In addition, the church may from time to time
appoint temporary committees, to the same end. In the event that standing
committees become insufficiently staffed, the Elders shall be responsible for
carrying out their functions and may enlist the assistance of the Deacons to
this end. Members and non-members alike may serve on committees at the
discretion of the Elders and committee chair; however only members may vote on
items of business.
Tenure on standing committees
shall be indefinite, and the church may add or delete members as the need
arises.Standing committees and their
duties are as follows:
A. FINANCE COMMITTEE
1. Shall plan an annual budget
for review and approval by church vote.
2. Shall review the financial
condition of the church on a minimum of a quarterly basis to insure fiscal
soundness.Their findings shall be
reported to the church.
3. Make recommendations to the
church concerning any modifications to the budget.
4. Shall oversee the activities
of the treasurer.
B. BENEVOLENCE COMMITTEE
1. Evaluate requests for financial assistance and make
recommendations to the church concerning action to be taken.
2. When proposing a request for financial aid for a member or
individual closely associated with the body, every effort shall be made to keep
confidential the identity of the proposed recipient.However, all amounts of aid shall be reported
to the church.
3. When proposing a request for financial aid to an individual
or group outside of the church, the identity of the recipient and the nature of
the request shall be made known to the church.
4. Due to the necessity for confidentiality, this committee
shall be comprised of the elders and treasurer only.
C. NOMINATING COMMITTEE
1. Shall be composed of the elders and any additional members
the church deems necessary.
2. Shall review and recommend to the church, nominees for the
offices.However, the church may, at any
time, receive nominations from any member at a church meeting.
D. BUILDING AND GROUNDS
1. Shall review and make recommendations concerning
maintenance and enhancements to the church property.
2. Shall meet at least quarterly to assess the needs of the
3. Shall supervise the day-to-day maintenance (general upkeep
and cleanliness) of the property.
4. Shall be responsible for oversight of construction and
E. MISSIONS COMMITTEE
The Missions Committee will be
responsible for carrying out the following tasks:
1. Planning strategy for the most effective means of
financial, as well as prayer support, for missionaries.
2. Along with the Elders, will be responsible for recommending
which missionaries they feel our Church should support.Such recommendations would then be presented
before the Church for a vote.
3. Publicizing missions work to keep the needs and progress of
missions before the Church (i.e. progress reports, bulletin board, etc.).
4. Organizing regular correspondence with missionaries.
5. Organizing short-term missions projects.
6. Assist the Pastor in scheduling missionary speakers,
SECTION A BUDGETARY
1. The Finance Committee shall annually prepare a budget which
to the best of their ability reflects the true income and expenditure of the
church.This budget must be approved by
a two-thirds majority vote.
2. Budgeted items shall include but not be limited to the following:
c. Enhancements to the property
d. Insurance on the property
e. Expenses for church activities
f. Sunday School expenses
g. Benevolences and Gifts
h. Pastor's salary
j. Miscellaneous expenses (i.e.
postage, fees, etc.)
SECTION B RULES AND
PROCEDURES FOR INCOME AND EXPENDITURE
1. The church shall maintain account(s) at a financial
institution for the depositing and withdrawal of funds.These account(s) shall be administered by the
2. Funds may be withdrawn either as authorized by the budget,
or as detailed in Section C, below, exceptions to budgetary process.
3. All funds collected in the form of tithes and offerings
shall be counted first by the tellers of the church.Their totals shall be recorded in a
ledger.The treasurer shall verify these
sums and deposit them into the body's accounts in a timely manner.
4. All funds shall be deposited, and no expenses or gifts may
be paid directly with cash from tithes and offerings.All expenditures shall be made by withdrawal
from a body account, so as to maintain a record of all transactions.
5. In order to aid the record keeping by members for tax
purposes, the treasurer shall maintain a strict accounting of the total annual
contribution of each member who submits their offering using a numbered
6. The treasurer shall make a conscientious effort to maintain
church accounts at the least expense, while seeking a high rate of interest.
7. The church accounts and financial records shall be audited
8. The treasurer shall provide to the church quarterly and
annual summaries of income and expenditure.
9. All withdrawals from these accounts shall be by check, or
shall be accompanied by signed receipts.
SECTION C EXCEPTIONS TO
1. Occasionally the church may authorize unbudgeted
expenditure of funds.Such authorization
shall require a vote for expenditure of up to $500.Authorized for expenditure of over $2,00
shall require a two-thirds majority vote.
2. The church may from time to time receive freewill offerings
for an individual or organization.These
funds will be deposited into church accounts and a check given to the
individual or organization in the same amount.
3. The treasurer may, at the authorization of the elders, withdraw
an amount not to exceed $500 in order to meet an extraordinary expense. The
maximum that may be withdrawn in a fiscal year using this exception shall be
This document shall be the
source of regulations concerning the procedures and practices of this church.
SECTION BThe church may make amendments to this
document by a two-thirds majority vote.
1. Such amendments shall carry the same authority as the
2. For consideration as an amendment, a member must present a
written copy of the proposed amendment to the elders. The elders will then
present it for a vote at the next meeting where a quorum is present.
This document supercedes and
replaces all rules procedures, and enactments which occurred prior to its
ratification and adoption by this church.
A copy of this document and its
amendments shall be available for reference by members at all meetings.