BYLAWSHmong Community Alliance Church of Fresno
HMONG COMMUNITY ALLIANCE CHURCH OF THE CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE 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 document constitutes the Bylaws for Hmong Community Alliance Church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (the “Church”). These Bylaws shall govern the nonprofit corporation or association through which the Church operates legally. As used herein, the term “Church” shall refer to such legal entity. The Church is an integral part of the district, national, and worldwide fellowship of The Christian and Missionary Alliance 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, and Coming King, and to facilitate the spread of the gospel at home and abroad under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Church is organized and shall be operated exclusively as a member church of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, a church denomination which operates legally as a Colorado nonprofit corporation (the “C&MA”). Accordingly, the Church shall operate under the sole ecclesiastical authority of, and be subject to the usages, doctrines and teachings of, the C&MA as set forth in The Manual of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, as such manual may be amended from time to time by the C&MA (the “Manual”).
This Preamble and Part 1 (General Bylaws) shall apply at all times.
Part 2 (Developing Church Bylaws) shall apply at any time in which the Church is not an Accredited Church.
Part 3 (Accredited Church Bylaws) shall apply at any time in which the Church is an Accredited Church.
PART 1: GENERAL BYLAWS ARTICLE I ECCLESIASTICALAUTHORITY
The ecclesiastical authority of the C&MA shall be exercised through the district of the C&MA having jurisdiction over the Church, as such district may be determined from time to time by the C&MA (the “District”). Without limiting the foregoing, the District shall at all times have the responsibility to determine the status of the Church as either a “Developing Church” or an 2 “Accredited Church” in accordance with and subject to the requirements of the Manual.
ARTICLE II MEMBERSHIP
Section 2.1. Members. The Church shall have an Ecclesiastical Member and General Members. Subject to the rights granted to the Ecclesiastical Member in these bylaws, the qualifications, rights, and manner of admission for the General Members shall be set forth in these bylaws.
Section 2.2. Ecclesiastical Member. The District shall be the Ecclesiastical Member of the Church. The voting rights of the Ecclesiastical Member and the ecclesiastical authority of the District may be exercised by such person or committee as the bylaws, constitution or other governing instrument of the District may prescribe or, in the absence of such provision, as the executive committee of the District may determine.
Section 2.3. General Members. The Committee on Membership shall approve an individual as a General Member upon a determination that the individual satisfies the following:
• 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 the eternal punishment of all who reject Him.
• Acceptance of the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King as defined in relevant C&MA materials.
• Full sympathy with the mission and core values of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and cooperation by systematic support of its work.
• A personal commitment to this fellowship which shall be demonstrated by such outward signs as regular attendance at its functions, regular giving of tithes and offerings in support of the local program as well as C&MA Missions, availability for local ministry assignments, and maintaining unity through the practice of speaking well of the Church and its leaders as well as that of settling differences quickly in the spirit of Matthew 5:23– 24 and 6:14–15.
• Agreement to abide by the Uniform Policy on Discipline, Restoration, and Appeal of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (see Manual).
Section 2.4. Removal. General Members may be removed from membership by the Committee on Membership under one or more of the following circumstances:
• Submission of a written letter of resignation to the elders of the Church.
• Failure to meet the qualifications of membership as stated above as determined by the governance authority (in consultation with the Committee on Membership, if any).
• Disciplinary action taken under the Uniform Policy on Discipline, Restoration and Appeal of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. An appeal of decisions made to remove a person from membership for reasons of qualification or 3 a disciplinary action may be submitted to the district superintendent within 30 days of the action.
ARTICLE III ORDINANCES
Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are recognized as the two ordinances of the Church. Believers’ 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 the 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 IV BIBLICAL CHARACTER AND STANDARDS
Section 4.1. Exercise and Expression of the Church’s Biblical Beliefs. As described in the Preamble, the Church is a Christian community of faith that exists to exercise and express its biblical beliefs within the broader community of the C&MA. These beliefs are grounded in a shared understanding of Holy Scripture including those beliefs and standards specifically addressed in the Manual. The Church exercises and expresses its biblical beliefs and standards in the following ways: A. As a Community. The Church understands that the local church is the visible organized expression of the Body of Christ and that the local church finds broader meaning and outreach in fulfilling its biblical responsibilities within the life and witness of the denomination. In addition, those who participate in the life of the Church, including the Church’s members and employees, are following the biblical command to live out their faith in community and association with other believers. Accordingly, the Church community is itself an exercise and expression of the Church’s biblical beliefs and standards. B. Through its Activities. The Church believes that all Church activities, including the responsibilities of every Church member and employee, should be rendered in service to God as a form of worship. Therefore, the Church as a community of faith exercises and expresses its biblical beliefs and standards in every activity, action, and responsibility.
Section 4.2. Standards for Church Activities and Facilities. The Church shall engage in activities and use its facilities solely to exercise and express the biblical beliefs of the Church and the C&MA and to further the mission of both. In furtherance of this mission, the Church may provide services or goods to, and may allow use of its facilities by, other groups and persons who are not members of the Church. But no Church activity, nor any use of Church facilities by another group or person, may be conducted or permitted if the Church determines that such activity or use expresses a message of support by the Church for any view contrary to the biblical beliefs of the Church and the C&MA. The determination as to whether any particular activity or use of Church facilities is not permitted requires both spiritual discernment and an understanding 4 of C&MA beliefs and standards which are applied to each particular circumstance. Such determination shall be made in conformance with this discernment and these beliefs and standards in the sole discretion of the spiritual leaders of the Church designated by either the governance authority of the Church or the senior pastor and elders. With respect to uses by other groups or persons, the Church may consider without limitation both the content of the proposed activities and whether the group or person is generally perceived as advocating views contrary to the biblical beliefs of the Church and the C&MA.
ARTICLE V OTHER GENERAL BYLAWS
Section 5.1. Governance Authority. Subject to these Bylaws, the governance authority of the Church shall with respect to the Church have the corporate authority of the board of directors (or trustees) under applicable nonprofit corporation law.
Section 5.2. District Support. The Church shall from inception give to the District budget in accordance with the established formula as established in the District bylaws or else beginning with one percent and increasing 1 percent each following calendar year up to the full percentage unless as otherwise determined by the District.
Section 5.3. Severability. The invalidity of any provision of these Bylaws shall not affect the other provisions hereof, and in such event these Bylaws shall be construed in all respects as if such invalid provision were omitted.
ARTICLE VI AMENDMENTS
Section 6.1. Constitution. The Uniform Constitution for Accredited Churches (the “Constitution”) may be amended only in accordance with the applicable provisions set forth in the Manual. The Constitution as amended from time to time shall take priority over any inconsistent provision in the Preamble and Parts 1 and 3 of these Bylaws at any time in which this Church is an Accredited Church. Upon any amendment of the Constitution, the Ecclesiastical Member shall be deemed to have made the same amendment to these Bylaws.
Section 6.2. Policy. The Policy for the Governance of a Developing Church (the “Policy”) may be amended only by the C&MA. The Policy as amended from time to time shall take priority over any inconsistent provision in the Preamble and Parts 1 and 2 of these Bylaws at any time in which this Church is a Developing Church. Upon any amendment of the Policy, the Ecclesiastical Member shall be deemed to have made the same amendment to these Bylaws.
Section 6.3. Preamble and General Bylaws. The Preamble and Part 1 of these Bylaws may be amended only by the Ecclesiastical Member, provided that no such amendment may be inconsistent with any provision of the Manual applicable to member churches of the C&MA or with any provision of the Policy.
Section 6.4. Developing Church Bylaws. Part 2 of these Bylaws (Developing Church Bylaws), 5 other than the Policy, may be amended only by the Ecclesiastical Member, provided that no such amendment may be inconsistent with any provision of the Manual applicable to developing churches of the C&MA or with any provision of the Policy.
Section 6.5. Accredited Church Bylaws. Part 3 of these Bylaws (Accredited Church Bylaws), other than the Constitution, may be amended by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at any official business meeting of the General Members, provided that no such amendment may be inconsistent with any provision of the Manual (including the Constitution) applicable to accredited churches of the C&MA. A copy of any amendments to Part 3 shall be provided to the Ecclesiastical Member. In addition, the Ecclesiastical Member may amend Part 3, but only to incorporate amendments to the Constitution pursuant to Section 5.1.
PART 3: ACCREDITED CHURCH BYLAWS
When this Church is an Accredited Church, the Preamble, Part 1 and this Part 3 (Accredited Church Bylaws) shall include and are subject to the Uniform Constitution for Accredited Churches of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (the “Constitution”), which document as amended from time to time in accordance with the Manual is incorporated herein by this reference. The Constitution has been framed and adopted by the General Council, the denomination’s highest governing body. The accredited churches of The Christian and Missionary Alliance have participated in this process through their authorized delegates. The Church, in accordance with the Constitution and in a manner that is consistent with the Bylaws of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, has formulated these bylaws so as to carry out its ministry appropriately and efficiently.
ARTICLE I MEMBER VOTING RIGHTS
Section 1.1. Ecclesiastical Member. The Ecclesiastical Member shall not have the right to vote for elected members of the governance authority.
Section 1.2. General Members. General Members shall have the authority to elect and remove all members of the governance authority of the Church, except for senior pastor, in accordance with the Constitution.
ARTICLE II MEMBERMEETINGS
Section 2.1. Meetings. On general Church matters in which no legal questions are involved, it is understood that all General Members in good and regular standing who have reached the age of 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.
Section 2.2. Annual Meeting. 6 a. The Annual Meeting shall be held on the first Sunday of November of each year. The actual time and location shall be determined by the governance authority. The governance authority also shall have the authority to change this in a given year when necessary. b. Annual Reports are to be submitted by the Pastor(s), governance authority through the secretary, treasurer, Audit Committee chairman, and others deemed necessary by the members. The members shall give the governance authority direction to determine the method of reporting. c. Those elected at the Annual Meeting shall be the elders, secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer, and any other members of the governance authority (except for the Senior Pastor) as determined in these bylaws. All other positions shall be determined by the governance authority, who shall appoint persons to those positions. This authorization does not apply to other positions that may become necessary and require election by constitutional authority.
Section 2.3. Special Church Meetings. All special business meetings of the members shall be held in accordance with state law. At a minimum such meetings shall be called at least two Sundays prior to the meeting and notice of same shall be publically announced either orally or in writing for two consecutive weeks.
Section 2.4. Authority. Roberts Rules of Order shall govern all matters of Church business unless the governance authority adopts the use of another form of rules of order for governing matters.
Section 2.5. Quorum. A quorum of any properly called church business meeting shall consist of those members who are present.
ARTICLE III GOVERNANCEAUTHORITY
Section 3.1. General. The governance authority shall conduct the affairs of the Church between annual meetings and shall be amenable to the membership and the district superintendent as constitutionally defined. The Church governance structure, as provided for in Section 3.2, is in accordance with the governing documents of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the responsibilities of elders as defined in the Manual, the bylaws of the district, and the laws of the state. The members of the governance authority shall satisfy the scriptural standards for church leadership and shall be members of the Church. The senior pastor shall be chairman or, at his request, the governance authority shall elect an elder as chairman. An elder also shall 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 by 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.
Section 3.2. Governance Structure. The governance authority of the Church shall be known as the Governing Board. The number serving as the Governing Board shall be at least five, including the senior pastor. The Governing Board shall consist of the senior pastor and the following: Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and one or more members at large. At least two or more of the above positions are to be filled by an elder in order for there to be a majority of elders. The qualifications for elders are set out in 1 Timothy 3:1–13 and Titus 1:6–9. Other members of the Governing Board are expected to maintain a lifestyle in keeping with the spirit and intent of these same references. Further, each must be an active member of the Church. The duties of leaders are set forth in the Constitution, these bylaws, and position descriptions adopted by the Governing Board. A quorum for the legal conduct of business shall be two-thirds of the board membership.
Section 3.3. Removal. In consultation with the district superintendent and the senior pastor, any officer or auxiliary official, except licensed pastoral staff, of the Church, whether elected at the Church annual meeting or appointed by the governance authority, or any individual member of the governance authority, may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the governance authority and the approval of the district superintendent if, in the judgment of the governance authority, the best interests of the Church will be served thereby.
ARTICLE IV OFFICERS
The officers shall be members of the 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 and such other officers as may be required by state law.
ARTICLE V PASTORALSTAFF
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. 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 shall be members of the Church. Pastoral staff include all those whose position calls for licensing as an “official worker,” as defined in the Manual. Any member of the pastoral staff may resign from the 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 8 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 VI DUTIES OF CHURCH OFFICERS
Section 6.1. Senior Pastor. The senior pastor shall have oversight of the Church. He shall be chairman of the governance authority except as he may choose to proceed according to the provisions in Article 3. 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 the Church where such office is required by law.
Section 6.2. Secretary. The secretary shall keep the minutes of membership meetings and conduct the correspondence of the Church as directed by the governance authority. The secretary shall attend and keep minutes of other meetings including the governance authority meetings.
Section 6.3. Treasurer. The treasurer shall be responsible to oversee the receipt of all monies of the Church and shall be responsible to ensure the payment of all bills on the order of the governance authority, the keeping of proper book records of all transactions, and the filing of 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 6.4. Missionary Treasurer. 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 tenth of the following month.
Section 6.5. Assistant Treasurer. The assistant treasurer shall, with another person or through two other persons appointed by the governance authority, be responsible to ensure all monies are counted and to keep a separate record of all receipts. The assistant treasurer shall be empowered to issue receipts to the donors.
ARTICLE VII COMMITTEES AND ORGANIZATIONS
Section 7.1. Elders. The Church shall have one elder elected at the annual meeting of the membership. The call of Christ the Chief Shepherd to men to serve as elders is both discerned and confirmed by the Church membership. Elders shall therefore be male members of the Church. The pastor and the other elders are the highest level of servant leadership in the Church. As undershepherds, elders shall serve with the senior pastor to oversee both the temporal and spiritual affairs of the local church in order to accomplish Christ’s mission. They shall constitute the 9 Committee on Membership. They shall be the Committee on Discipline in accordance with the Manual. All officers, committees, and organizations except the Nominating Committee are amenable to the collective oversight of the elders through the governance authority.
Section 7.2 Deacons. The Church shall have at least two deacons appointed by the governance authority. The deacons shall be members of the Church. The deacons shall have charge of those ministries and charities of the Church as determined by the governance authority, 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 7.3. Deaconesses. The Church shall have at least two deaconesses appointed by the governance authority. Deaconesses shall be members of the Church and shall be appointed or elected as specified in the local church bylaws. The deaconesses shall have charge of those ministries as determined by the governance authority. Where there are no deaconesses, the governance authority shall assume responsibility for their ministries until such are elected or appointed.
Section 7.4. Trustees. If required by law, the Church shall have three trustees appointed by the governance authority. The trustees shall be members of the Church and may be appointed or elected as specified in the local church bylaws. Trustees shall have charge of those ministries and duties as determined by the governance authority, or the laws of the state in which the Church is located. Where there are no trustees, the governance authority shall assume responsibility for those ministries and duties until such are elected or appointed.
Section 7.5. Great Commission Women. A Great Commission Women ministry may be established in the local church. They shall be organized according to the Great Commission Women’s policies.
Section 7.6. C&MA Men’s Ministry. A C&MA Men’s Ministry may be established in the local church.
Section 7.7. Committees and Organizations. Additional committees and organizations may be established by the governance authority as the need arises unless otherwise specifically provided for in these bylaws. Such committees and organizations shall not have authority to act on behalf of the Church, except to the extent expressly provided for by action of the governance authority. ARTICLE VIII MISSIONS The Church shall participate in the worldwide missions and church planting ministries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the support of the Great Commission Fund. The governance authority shall specify the means by which it purposes to mobilize members’ involvement, including prayer, and recruitment of men and women for vocational ministry both at home and abroad. A Missions Conference or congregation-wide event for missions mobilization shall be held each year. Great Commission Fund gifts shall each month be forwarded to the 10 Treasurer of The Christian and Missionary Alliance at the National Office.
ARTICLE IX DISCIPLEMAKINGMINISTRIES
A major ministry of the Church is making disciples of Jesus Christ. The disciplemaking process includes evangelism, building up believers, equipping workers, and multiplying leaders, among adults, youth, and children. The purpose 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. A Director of Disciplemaking Ministries may be appointed to oversee the disciplemaking ministries of the Church. He/she may serve as a member of the pastoral staff and be amenable directly to the senior pastor. An advisory team will be elected (or appointed) to assist the director in giving leadership to the congregation’s disciplemaking ministries to children, youth and adults.
ARTICLE X PROPERTY AND RECORDS
Section 10.1. Property. The 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 membership shall proceed through them.
Section 10.2. Records. The official records of all offices of the Church and all its departments are the property of the Church. Copies of the official records shall be given to the District upon request. In the event of the death or resignation of an incumbent officer, or upon the appointment of a successor, the records shall be passed on to the newly-appointed officer. All records other than current shall be kept in a secure repository selected by the Church governance authority.
Section 10.3. Audit. All financial records shall be examined annually or at more frequent intervals on order of the Church governance authority. At least three persons, none of whom is a financial officer or a 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 Finance 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 XI NOMINATINGCOMMITTEE
A Nominating Committee shall consist of the senior pastor, two members from the Church 12 membership, selected by, but not necessarily from the governance authority, and two elected from the Church membership in a manner stipulated by the local church bylaws, at least one month prior to the annual meeting.
ARTICLE XII NOMINATIONS/ELECTIONS
Section 12.1. Nominations. In consideration of elections, the Nominating Committee shall present at least one name for each office to be filled. Other nominations may be made by the membership as stipulated in the church bylaws. Any active member of the membership may nominate any person for an elected position according to the following: a. The member wishing to place the name in nomination will submit the name to the Nominating Committee in writing within the timeframe posted by the Nominating Committee. b. The Nominating Committee will satisfy itself that the person to be nominated meets the criteria of the Constitution and Bylaws for holding elected office. c. The Nominating Committee may consider the person to be nominated as their nominee if so desired. The Nominating Committee may also elect NOT to consider the person as their nominee. d. Once the Nominating Committee has completed its work and rendered its report, an Official Ballot will be prepared for use at the Annual Meeting. The Official Ballot will contain the names as presented for each position by the Nominating Committee. Further, those names presented by the membership that meet the required criteria will also be placed on the Official Ballot. However, they will be identified by an asterisk (*) and an appropriate footnote explanation that they have been nominated by the membership. e. There will be no nominations received from the floor during the election process.
Section 12.2. Elections. 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.
Section 12.3. General Council Lay Delegates. In accordance with the Amended and Restated Constitution and Bylaws of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, an accredited church may send two lay delegates to represent the Church during the biennial General Council of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Should the Church have 150 or more in voting membership (as reported in the most recent annual report of the church), the Church may send an additional delegate for each additional 100 voting members or fraction thereof. Lay delegates shall be appointed and certified in the following manner: Senior Pastor/Chairman.
Section 12.4. District Conference Lay Delegates. In accordance with the Uniform Constitution 13 for Districts of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, an accredited church shall be entitled to send two lay delegates to represent the Church during the District Conference. Should the Church have 150 or more in voting membership (as reported in the most recent annual report of the church), the Church may send an additional delegate for each additional 100 voting members or fraction thereof. Lay delegates shall be appointed and certified in the following manner: Senior Pastor /Chairman.
ARTICLE XIII REVERSION OF PROPERTY
All of the corporation’s real and personal property shall be subject to the applicable property reversion provisions in the Manual.
ARTICLE XVI CHURCH-SPECIFIC ACCREDITED CHURCH BYLAWS
The Church may adopt and amend additional church-specific accredited church bylaws pursuant to the Constitution by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast at any official business meeting of the General Members, provided that such additional bylaws are consistent with any provision of the Manual (including the Constitution) applicable to accredited churches of the C&MA and with these Bylaws. A copy of any additional church-specific accredited church bylaws shall be provided to the Ecclesiastical Member.