Church Constitution

Church Constitution …
Hoosick Falls Community Alliance Alliance Church
PREAMBLE
The New Testament teaches that the local church is the visible organized expression of the Body
of Christ. The people of God are to live and serve in obedience to the Word of God and under the
Lordship of Jesus Christ.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance operates on the presupposition that the congregation finds
broader meaning and outreach in fulfilling its biblical responsibilities within the life and witness
of the denomination.
This constitution has three objectives:
1. Set out in general an outline of organization and administration for this church.
2. Define the relationship of this church to the district of which it is an integral part.
3. Relate this church to the denominational framework through which the worldwide work
of The Christian and Missionary Alliance is carried out.
The Uniform Constitution for Accredited Churches has been framed and adopted by the General
Council, the denomination’s highest legislative body. The accredited churches of The Christian
and Missionary Alliance have participated in this process through their authorized delegates.
This church can, in accordance with this constitution and in a manner that is consistent with the
Bylaws of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, formulate its Bylaws so as to carry out its
ministry appropriately and efficiently.
This church is an integral part of the district and worldwide fellowship, and is united in
governance, fellowship, and service in order to promote unity of faith in the fullness of Jesus
Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, Coming King and to facilitate the spread of the gospel at
home and abroad under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
ARTICLE I – NAME
The official name under which this church is incorporated or organized is the Hoosick Falls
Community Alliance Church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
ARTICLE II – RELATIONSHIP
This church is connected with and subordinate to its parent religious organization, The Christian
and Missionary Alliance, a Colorado nonprofit corporation. In consideration of the mutual
benefits generated and derived from this relationship, and understanding that The Christian and
Missionary Alliance is relying hereon in agreeing to initiate or continue such relationship, this
church agrees to be subject to and abide by the terms and conditions of Article XV hereof
relating to the reversion of property of accredited churches.
ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP
Qualifications for membership shall consist of:
 Confession of faith in Jesus Christ and evidence of regeneration.
 Belief in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; in the verbal inspiration of the Holy
Scriptures as originally given; in the vicarious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ; in the
eternal salvation of all who believe in Him and eternal punishment of all who reject Him.
 Acceptance of the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and
Coming King.
 Full sympathy with the principles and objectives of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance and cooperation by systematic support of its work.
 Such other qualifications for membership as may be stated in the Bylaws.
ARTICLE IV – ORDINANCES
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are recognized as the two ordinances of the church.
Believer’s Baptism by immersion is taught and practiced as the scriptural mode. The pastor or
other elders shall oversee baptism. They shall provide the instruction about baptism and shall
administer Baptisms themselves or choose other spiritually respected people to do these
ministries.
The Lord’s Supper is administered regularly. The pastor or other elders shall oversee
Communion. They shall provide the instruction about Communion and shall administer the
Communion themselves or choose other spiritually respected people to do these ministries.
ARTICLE V – GOVERNMENT
There shall be an annual meeting of the members of this church to be held at a time specified in
the Bylaws at which time the members shall receive reports of departments including audited
reports of the treasurers, and shall elect church officers, other members of the governance
authority as specified in the local church Bylaws, elders, deacons and, where required, trustees.
The governance authority as specified in the local church Bylaws shall conduct the affairs of the
church between annual meetings and shall be amenable to the membership and the district
superintendent as constitutionally defined. Other meetings of the members may be called by
proper notice to the membership as specified in the Bylaws. On general church matters in which
no legal questions are involved, it is understood that all members in good and regular standing
who have reached the age of sixteen [16] years are entitled to vote, but in matters involving titles
of property or legal procedure the laws of the state determine the age at which members are
eligible to vote.
ARTICLE VI – THE CHURCH GOVERNANCE AUTHORITY
Each local church shall structure its governance authority in accordance with the governing
documents of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the definition of elder authority, the
Bylaws of the district, and the laws of the state in which the church is located. The members of
the governance authority shall satisfy the scriptural standards for church leadership and shall be
members of this church.
The senior pastor shall be chairman or, at his request, the governance authority shall elect an
elder as chairman. An elder shall also be elected as vice chairman. Meetings shall be held for
prayer and business, and abbreviated minutes shall be reported to the church as the church may
decide. Special meetings may be called by the chairman or shall be called upon written request
of one-half of the governance authority membership. All officers, committees, and organizations,
except the Nominating Committee, are amenable to the collective oversight of the elders.
ARTICLE VII – OFFICERS
The officers shall be members of this church and shall satisfy the scriptural standards for church
leadership. They shall consist of the following who, with the exception of the senior pastor, shall
be elected at the annual meeting of the church: senior pastor, secretary, treasurer, assistant
treasurer, missionary treasurer, and such other officers as may be designated in the church
Bylaws or in the state law.
The offices of treasurer and missionary treasurer may be filled by the same person.
ARTICLE VIII – PASTORAL STAFF
The governance authority shall not give consideration to any candidate for the pastoral staff
without the approval of the district superintendent. Pastoral staff members shall be called by the
governance authority and appointed by the district superintendent after conference with the
governance authority. The district superintendent shall suggest to the governance authority the
names of such workers as in his judgment have proper qualifications for pastoral staff. Upon
appointment by the district superintendent, a pastoral staff member and spouse become members
of this church. Pastoral staff include all those whose position calls for licensing as an “official
worker,” as defined in the General Regulations in the Manual of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance.
Any member of the pastoral staff may resign from this church by giving due notice of this
intention to the district superintendent and the governance authority. The governance authority
may in conjunction with the district superintendent ask for the resignation of any member of the
pastoral staff. Before such action is taken, the governance authority and that member shall follow
the guidelines as prescribed by the district superintendent. The district superintendent with the
approval of the District Executive Committee shall have the authority to remove or transfer a
member of the pastoral staff when the governance authority is in disagreement or whenever
circumstances make such removal or transfer advisable.
ARTICLE IX – DUTIES OF CHURCH OFFICERS
Section 1. Senior Pastor. The senior pastor shall have oversight of this church. He shall be
chairman of the governance authority except as he may choose to proceed according to the
provisions in Article VI. He shall preside at all regular or special meetings of the church
membership. He is a member ex officio of all church committees and organizations. When the
membership has no pastor, the chairman or vice chairman of the governance authority shall have
oversight of the church in conjunction with the district superintendent. The senior pastor shall be
the president of this church where such office is required by law.
Section 2. Secretary. The secretary shall keep the minutes of membership meetings and conduct
the correspondence of this church as directed by the governance authority. The secretary shall
attend and keep minutes of other meetings as specified in the local church Bylaws.
Section 3. Treasurer. The treasurer shall receive all monies of this church except monies given in
freewill offerings toward the pastor’s support and those offering referred to in Article X – Section
2, and missionary monies when there is not a missionary treasurer. The treasurer shall be
responsible for the payment of all bills on the order of the governance authority as specified in
the local church Bylaws, keeping proper book records of all transactions and filing canceled
vouchers and receipts for payments made. The governance authority shall determine where funds
of the church shall be kept. No offerings shall be solicited from the membership except upon
approval of the governance authority.
Section 4. Missionary Treasurer. When required by local church Bylaws, the missionary
treasurer shall account for all missionary monies and oversee the forwarding of the same to the
treasurer of The Christian and Missionary Alliance on or before the 10th of the following month.
Section 5. Assistant Treasurer. The assistant treasurer shall, with another person or persons
appointed by governance authority, be responsible to count all monies except freewill offerings
given toward the support of a pastor, and keep a separate record of all receipts. The assistant
treasurer may be empowered by the Bylaws to issue receipts to the donors.
ARTICLE X – COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS
Section 1. Elders. The elders shall be male members of this church and shall be elected as
specified in the church Bylaws. With authority from Christ the Chief Shepherd and confirmed by
the church membership, the pastor and the other elders are the highest level of servant leadership
in the local church. As undershepherds, elders shall serve with the senior pastor to oversee the
local church and its ministries to accomplish Christ’s mission. They shall be the Committee on
Discipline in accordance with the Uniform Policy on Discipline, Restoration, and Appeal of The
Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Section 2. Deacons. The deacons shall be members of this church and shall be appointed or
elected as specified in the local church Bylaws. The deacons shall have charge of those
ministries and charities of the church as specified in the Bylaws, receive offerings for such
purposes and dispense the same and make monthly reports as directed. Where there are no
deacons the governance authority shall assume responsibility for their ministries until such are
elected or appointed.
Section 3. Deaconesses. Deaconesses shall be members of this church and shall be appointed or
elected as specified in the Bylaws. The deaconesses shall have charge of those ministries as
specified in the Bylaws. Where there are no deaconesses the governance authority shall assume
responsibility for their ministries until such are elected or appointed.
Section 4. Trustees. The trustees shall be members of this church and may be appointed or
elected as specified in the local church Bylaws. Trustees shall have charge of those ministries
and duties as specified in the Bylaws or the laws of the state in which the church is located.
Where there are no trustees, the governance authority shall assume responsibility for their
ministries and duties until such are elected or appointed.
Section 5. Missions Committee. A Missions Committee shall be appointed by the governance
authority as specified in the local church Bylaws. The purpose of the Missions Committee is to
assist the pastor in administering the year-round missions program, planning and promoting the
annual missions conference, recruiting candidates, and promoting the financial and prayer
support of the worldwide ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
Section 6. Sunday School. Each church shall have a Sunday school or a comparable
disciplemaking ministry. The mission of disciplemaking ministries is to bring people to a saving
knowledge of Christ, teach biblical principles emphasizing missions and the centrality of Christ
as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer and Coming King, and equip people for evangelism and Christian
service.
Section 7. Disciplemaking Ministry Council. A Disciplemaking Ministry Council shall be
appointed as specified in the local church Bylaws. The Council shall oversee the disciplemaking
ministries for children, youth, and adults.
Section 8. Alliance Women – in Missions and Prayer. Local church Alliance Women may be
established. They shall be organized according to the Alliance Women’s Local Constitution as
contained in the Manual of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. The mission of Alliance
Women is to support and pray for Alliance missionaries and their ministries.
Section 9. Alliance Men. Local church Alliance Men may be established. They shall be
organized according to the Alliance Men’s Local Constitution as contained in the Manual of The
Christian and Missionary Alliance. The mission of Alliance Men is to bring men to Christ and
engage in ministries that are consistent with the objectives of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance.
Section 10. Alliance Youth Group. An Alliance Youth Group may be organized according to the
Alliance Youth Group Constitution as contained in the Manual of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance. The mission of Alliance Youth Group is to bring youth to Christ, build up youth in
Christ, and send youth out for Christ.
Section 11. Youth Council. A Youth Council may be appointed by the governance authority or
Disciplemaking Ministry Council as specified in the church Bylaws and approved by governance
authority. The Youth Council shall evaluate, initiate, and coordinate the activities of all youth
ministries sponsored by the church. It shall be responsible to the governance authority through
the Disciplemaking Ministry Council. If there is no Disciplemaking Ministry Council, it shall
report and be directly responsible to the governance authority through the pastor.
ARTICLE XI – MISSIONS CONFERENCE
A missions conference shall be held annually for the promotion and support of the worldwide
work of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
ARTICLE XII – PROPERTY AND RECORDS
Section 1. Property. This church may acquire, own, dispose of, improve, encumber, and convey
property, real and personal, for church purposes, in conformity with the laws of the state where
the property is situated.
Real property may be purchased, sold, conveyed, exchanged, mortgaged, or encumbered only by
order of the membership through the governance authority in consultation with the district
superintendent. In states where trustees are required, the order of the congregation shall proceed
through them.
Section 2. Records. The official records of all officers of the church and all its departments are
the property of the church. In the event of the death or resignation of the incumbent or upon the
election of his successor, the current records of the office shall be passed on to the newly elected
officer. All records other than current shall be kept in a secure repository selected by the
governance authority.
Section 3. Audit. All financial records shall be examined annually or at more frequent intervals
on order of the governance authority. At least three persons, none of whom is a financial officer
or church staff member, shall be appointed by the governance authority to conduct the
examination. They shall follow procedures set forth in the current edition of the Manual for
Alliance Church Treasurers (and Pastors) The governance authority shall authorize actions to
conform with additional audit standards that may be required by the jurisdiction in which the
church is located.
ARTICLE XIII – NOMINATING COMMITTEE
A Nominating Committee shall consist of the senior pastor, two elected by but not necessarily
from the governance authority, and two elected by the membership at least one month prior to
the annual meeting. Members of the Nominating Committee shall be members of this church and
shall be elected by ballot at a regular or special meeting of the governance authority or
membership meeting, respectively. The governance authority and the congregation shall elect by
ballot from among at least four nominees respectively.
ARTICLE XIV – ELECTIONS
In consideration of elections the Nominating Committee shall present at least one name for each
office to be filled. Other nominations may be made from the membership. The officers shall be
elected by ballot at the annual meeting. Where only one name is presented the ballot may be
waived by unanimous vote.
ARTICLE XV – REVERSION OF PROPERTY
Recognizing the purposes of the members of this congregation to support both the doctrines and
the mission of The Christian and Missionary Alliance through the contributions of their tithes,
offerings, and special gifts, and to ensure that the future use of such assets and real property as
this church may from time to time acquire shall not be diverted from this purpose, this church
adopts the following property protection clause.
1. Property Reversions. Any of the following shall constitute a “reversionary event”: (a) the
decision or action of this church to disaffiliate or otherwise separate itself from The Christian
and Missionary Alliance without the prior written approval of such decision or action by the
District Executive Committee (or its equivalent) of the district in which this church is located, or
(b) the failure for any reason of this church to be subject to or abide by any of the purposes,
usage’s, doctrines, or teachings of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, or (c) the failure for
any reason of this church to qualify as an “accredited church” of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance (as such term is defined in the Bylaws of The Christian and Missionary Alliance), or (d)
the termination of this church’s existence for any reason.
2. Determination of Reversionary Event. The determination of whether a reversionary event has
occurred shall be considered and decided by the District Executive Committee (or its equivalent)
of the district of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in which this church is located in
accordance with procedures established from time to time by the Board of Managers of The
Christian and Missionary Alliance. The decision of such District Executive Committee (or its
equivalent) shall be final and binding on The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the district of
The Christian and Missionary Alliance in which this church is located, and this church and may
not be challenged by any party in the absence of fraud, collusion, or arbitrariness.
3. Consequences of Reversionary Event. Upon the occurrence of a reversionary event as
determined in accordance with 2. above, legal title to all real and personal property (tangible and
intangible), appurtenances, fixtures, and effects of whatever type then owned, held or used by
this church, without regard to how or from whom acquired shall, upon the demand of the district
of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in which this church is located, revert to and become
the property of such district of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. During the period of time
between the occurrence of the reversionary event and the complete and final transfer of legal title
to the district of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in which the church is located, this
church shall hold such property in trust for such district to be used exclusively to further the
purposes, usages, doctrines, and teachings of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
4. Waiver of Certain Reversionary Events. In the event of a reversionary event attributable to
differences in doctrine between this church and The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the
reversionary process set forth above may be waived upon the approval of (a) at least two thirds
of the active, attending members of this church, (b) the District Executive Committee or its
equivalent) of the district of The Christian and Missionary Alliance in which this church is
located, and (c) the Division of Church Ministries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance.
ARTICLE XVI – BYLAWS
Local Bylaws not in conflict with the provisions of the constitution or the laws of the state may
be adopted by a duly called meeting of the church. A copy of such Bylaws shall be filed with the
district superintendent.
ARTICLE XVII – AMENDMENTS
This Constitution may be amended only by the General Council of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast.
ARTICLE XVIII – CONFORMANCE WITH APPLICABLE
LAW
In cases where any provision of this constitution may not conform to state laws, the district
concerned shall be authorized to make such adjustments as necessary in counsel with the vice
president for the Division of National Church Ministries of The Christian and Missionary
Alliance so as to conform to such laws.