Constitution and Bylaws

 

 

CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

EVANGEL ASSEMBLY OF GOD

725 ASHLAND AVENUE

P.O. BOX 64

GLENOLDEN, PA 19036 ADOPTED APRIL 14TH, 1955

AMENDED MAY 22ND, 1996

AMENDED, APRIL 6, 2003

AMENDED APRIL 12, 2015

 CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

For the purpose of establishing and maintaining a place for the worship of Almighty God, our Heavenly Father; to provide for Christian fellowship for those of like faith, where the Holy Spirit shall be honored according to our distinctive testimony; to assume our share of responsibility and the privilege of propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ by all available means both at home and in the foreign lands; this body does hereby recognize itself as a local assembly in fellowship with and a part of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and adopt the following articles or church order and submit ourselves to be governed by them.

ARTICLE I – Name

The name of this organization shall be Evangel Assembly of God.

Affiliation:

While maintaining its inherent rights to sovereignty of its own affairs, this assembly shall voluntarily enter into full cooperative fellowship with assemblies of like precious faith associated in the Pennsylvania-Delaware District Council, and the General Council of the Assemblies of God, with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri; and share in the privileges and assume the responsibilities enjoined by that affiliation.

ARTICLE II – Objectives

The objectives of this organization are:

First: To carry on Gospel Work by practical means among all classes of people, both at home and abroad (Luke 14:21-23; Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15).

Second: To promote a belief in the entire Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16; Luke 24:27,44) and by preaching (Tit. 1:3) and witnessing (Acts 1:8; 26:16-22) to the full Gospel of Christ (1 Thes. 5:23; Eph. 3:14-19) to secure the salvation of sinners (Matt. 1:21) and the edification of believers (Eph. 4:12).

Third: To provide a place of Christian worship (John 4:23), word (Mark 13:34), and fellowship (1 John 1:3), for all classes of people irrespective of social position or worldly possessions (Jas. 2:1-9; Acts 10:34; Heb. 10:25).

ARTICLE III – Tenets of Faith

STATEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS AS DECLARED BY

THE GENERAL COUNCIL ASSEMBLIES OF GOD

These are nonnegotiable tenets of faith that all Assemblies of God churches adhere to. This list is derived from the official Statement of Fundamental Truths. Click links below to see the complete original statement with scriptures.

  1. WE BELIEVE…The Scriptures are Inspired by God and declare His design and plan for mankind.
  2. WE BELIEVE…There is only One True God–revealed in three persons…Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (commonly known as the Trinity).
  3. WE BELIEVE…In the Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. As God’s son Jesus was both human and divine.
  4. WE BELIEVE…though originally good, Man Willingly Fell to Sin–ushering evil and death, both physical and spiritual, into the world.
  5. WE BELIEVE…Every Person Can Have Restored Fellowship with God Through ‘Salvation’(trusting Christ, through faith and repentance, to be our personal Savior). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  6. WE BELIEVE…and practice two ordinances—(1)Water Baptism by Immersion after repenting of one’s sins and receiving Christ’s gift of salvation, and (2) Holy Communion(the Lord’s Supper) as a symbolic remembrance of Christ’s suffering and death for our salvation.
  7. WE BELIEVE…the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a Special Experience Following Salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service, just as it did in New Testament times. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  8. WE BELIEVE…The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is ‘Speaking in Tongues,’ as experienced on the Day of Pentecost and referenced throughout Acts and the Epistles.
  9. WE BELIEVE…Sanctification Initially Occurs at Salvation and is not only a declaration that a believer is holy, but also a progressive lifelong process of separating from evil as believers continually draw closer to God and become more Christlike.
  10. WE BELIEVE…The Church has a Mission to seek and save all who are lost in sinWe believe ‘the Church’ is the Body of Christ and consists of the people who, throughout time, have accepted God’s offer of redemption (regardless of religious denomination) through the sacrificial death of His son Jesus Christ.
  11. WE BELIEVE…A Divinely Called and Scripturally Ordained Leadership Ministry Serves the Church. The Bible teaches that each of us under leadership must commit ourselves to reach others for Christ, to worship Him with other believers, to build up or edify the body of believers–the Church and to Meet human need with ministries of love and compassion.
  12. WE BELIEVE…Divine Healing of the Sick is a Privilege for Christians Today and is provided for in Christ’s atonement (His sacrificial death on the cross for our sins). [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  13. WE BELIEVE…in The Blessed Hope—When Jesus Raptures His Church Prior to His Return to Earth (the second coming). At this future moment in time all believers who have died will rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air, and Christians who are alive will be caught up with them, to be with the Lord forever. [1 of 4 cardinal doctrines of the AG]
  14. WE BELIEVE…in The Millennial Reign of Christ when Jesus returns with His saints at His second coming and begins His benevolent rule over earth for 1,000 years. This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel and the establishment of universal peace.
  15. WE BELIEVE…A Final Judgment Will Take Place for those who have rejected Christ. They will be judged for their sin and consigned to eternal punishment in a punishing lake of fire.
  16. WE BELIEVE…and look forward to the perfect New Heavens and a New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him. We will live and dwell with Him there forever following His millennial reign on Earth. ‘And so shall we forever be with the Lord!’

BY LAWS

ARTICLE 1. Members

Standard of Membership:

Evidence of genuine regeneration experience (new birth). (Jn 1:12,13; 3:3-8; 1 Pe 1:18-25). Evidence of a consistent Christian life (Ro. 6:4; 8:1-4; Eph. 4:17-32; 5:1,2,15; 1 Jn 1:6,7).

(a)        Members are expected to fully subscribe to the Tenets of Faith as set forth in Article III hereof.

(b)        Members are expected, as a part of their religious duty, to observe scriptural methods of giving cheerfully and regularly of their tithes and offerings, as unto the Lord. (Mal.3:10; 1Cor. 16:1,2; Acts 20:35; Psalm 76:11; 1 Cor. 8:7; Ex. 23:15; Prov. 11:24,25; 1 Chron. 29:9-14; Rom. 12:8; Prov. 19:17).

Application for Membership:

After three (3) months of faithful attendance, persons desiring to become members shall make application to the Pastor and the Official Board of the Church, who in turn shall select a group from their membership to carefully question each applicant as to his/her beliefs, profession of faith, and relationship to the church before approving for membership. Those wishing to work with minors under age 18 must first attend faithfully for six (6) months after obtaining membership.

Reception:

(a) Having received the recommendation of the Pastor and the Official Board, new members shall be received into the Assembly publicly at any of the regular Sunday services at the discretion of the Pastor.

(b) Persons who transfer membership from another evangelical church shall meet the requirements of three (3) months faithful attendance and will be questioned as to their belief, profession of faith, and relationship to the church before approving them for membership.

Active:

(a) All persons having been received into membership of the Church shall be considered as active members as long as they continue to subscribe to and embrace the Standard of Membership under Article IV and show interest in the Church by regular attendance at the meetings and a spirit of cooperation toward the Pastor and officers of the Church.

(b) All persons having met the scriptural Standards for Membership, whose names appear on the Active Church Membership Roll, shall constitute the legal voting membership of the congregation, except as hereinafter provided.

Inactive:

Members who shall, without good cause, absent themselves from the church attendance for a period of three (3) consecutive months, shall become inactive members and shall lose their voting privilege and the privilege of the floor at church business meetings. An inactive member who shall, without good cause, absent himself/herself from church attendance for a period of three (3) consecutive months will be removed from the membership.

Associate:

Members who are actively engaged in the Lord’s Work (such as Ministers, Evangelists, Missionaries, etc.), either at home or abroad, shall be considered associate members.

Congregation: All members of all classes of the church:

  1. Only active members who are at least 18 years of age shall be entitled to vote at business meetings of the congregation.
  2. The Privilege of the floor shall be granted to all active-voting members in good standing, at all business meetings of the congregation, for the presentation of matters pertaining to the conduct and progress of the Church, in accordance with scriptural conduct & parliamentary order. The chair may open the floor to others in attendance at the meeting.
  3. It shall be the privilege of any Active-Voting member to propose profitable suggestions of amendments to the Articles of Church order by presenting the same in writing to the Official Board who, after prayerful consideration will, upon approval, submit such suggestions or amendments to the congregation for action, or, upon disapproval, return the same to the proposer, to be presented by him or her on the floor if he/she so desires.
  4. It shall be the privilege of any one-third (1/3) of the Active Members to request, in writing to the Pastor and the Official Board, a financial statement of the current financial status of the church to be presented at a regular or special business meeting. In the event of evidence of improper handling or record keeping of funds or of a gross discrepancy, the congregation may call for a financial review of the books. The results of such a review shall be presented within eight (8) weeks after the review is complete and published, at an official business meeting.
  5. Any member who has a complaint, grievance or objection to any action or decision of the Official Board, shall communicate the specific complaint, grievance or objection, in writing, directly with the Official Board. An appeal shall be made to the congregation only in the event a satisfactory understanding cannot be reached.

ARTICLE 2. Meetings

Meetings for public worship shall be held on Sundays, and at such other times during the week as will enhance the spiritual growth of the Church.

The Annual Vision Meeting of the Congregation shall be held on a date selected by the Official Board for the election of officers, the review of the work of the year, and other current business. Three weeks notice shall be provided to the congregation.

Special Business Meetings of the Congregation may be called at any time by the Pastor, or upon the written request of one-third (1/3) of the Active-Voting Membership of the church. This request shall be submitted in writing, stating the purpose for the requested meeting, to the Pastor and the Official Board. In the event that the church is without a Pastor, the Official Board shall receive such request and may preside over the meeting or ask for the assistance of a Sectional or District Official to preside over the meeting.

Quorum. At all duly announced business meetings of the Congregation, forty percent (40%) of the Active-Voting Membership of the Church shall constitute a quorum.

The Pastor shall act as Chairman at all business meetings, except when motions are made pertaining to him. In the event of a motion or discussion concerning the discipline or removal of the Pastor, a Sectional or District Officer shall be required to preside over the meeting. In the Pastor’s absence, a member of the Official Board shall act as chairman.

Notice. Public announcement, including announcement by bulletin, bulletin board, insert, overhead transparency, letter, pulpit announcement or any combination of the above, on two separate Sundays, within thirty (30) days of each other, shall constitute good and sufficient notice of all classes of meetings. Such meetings are not to be held more than thirty (30) days after the last notice. The purpose of a special meeting shall be included in the notice.

ARTICLE 3 Fiscal Year.

The financial fiscal year of the Church shall be the calendar year.

ARTICLE 4. The Officers

The Officers of the Congregation, all of whom shall be Active Members shall be as follows:

The Pastor, who shall be considered as the spiritual overseer of the Congregation, and together with the Board, shall direct the spiritual activities of the Congregation (Eph 4:11, Jer. 3:15). He or she shall act as Chairman of all business meetings of the Congregation and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees or departments and President of the Corporation.

He shall be elected by the Congregation at a business meeting by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Active Members present.

The Official Board, consisting of no more than eight Deacons shall assist the Pastor in the direction of the spiritual activities of the church. They shall be vested with the corporate and property rights of the Congregation according to the legal statutes, and shall have charge of the property and temporal affairs of the Congregation generally, shall receive and shall order the disbursements of the revenues of the Congregation. They shall hold all deeds and muniments of title and property belonging to the Congregation. All offerings shall be turned over to at least two members of the Official Board who shall count, record and sign for the same. The qualifications and ministry description for the members of the Official Board shall be posted during the nominating process.

The Deacons shall be elected to a three-year term by a majority of the active-voting membership present at a duly called Business Meeting.

A Deacon will record and distribute an accurate record of the proceedings of all business meetings of the Congregation and the Official Board, of the members of the Congregation and attend to such other duties as properly belong to the office; and preserve all books and records entrusted to him or her. The Secretary shall be elected by the Official Board from among its members.

A Treasurer shall receive all of the offerings of the Congregation. The treasurer, or a member of the Board, shall deposit all funds in a bank or other authorized financial vehicle in the name of the assembly. The Treasurer shall oversee all disbursements according to the financial policy adopted by the Official Board and oversee an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements and shall render written financial reports to the Congregation at the Annual Vision Meeting. The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Official Board from among Evangel members and need not be a member of the Board. A financial assistant to the Treasurer may be appointed by the Official Board.

The Official Board shall be chaired by the Pastor and shall not include more than one member of an immediate family.

Vacancies: In the case of vacancies or extended absence by a member of the Official Board, a successor or an interim replacement may be appointed by the Pastor and Official Board. This person would serve until the next Annual Vision/Business Meeting.

ARTICLE 5. Elections

All elections for officers, with the exception of the Pastor, shall be held at the Annual Vision Meeting, except in the case of vacancies, and the person or persons receiving the highest number of votes shall be considered elected to their respective offices. Elections for vacancies may be held at a periodic or special business meeting. Officers shall hold office until their successors are elected.

ARTICLE 6. Committees

Committees may be appointed by the Pastor and the Official Board as may be needed for proper supervision of various lines of Christian work in connection with the Congregation, not otherwise provided for.

ARTICLE 7. Organizations

Organizations formed within the Congregation shall first have the approval of the Pastor and the Official Board, and shall be under their general supervision. Such organizations shall elect their own officers, who shall be active members of the Congregation, and enact rules for their government consistent with this Constitution and By-Laws.

ARTICLE 8. Property Rights

  1. All real property shall be taken, held, sold, transferred, or conveyed in the corporate name of the Congregation.
  2. No real property of the Congregation shall be sold, leased, mortgaged, or otherwise alienated unless the same shall have been authorized by at least two-thirds majority of the members present and entitled to vote. (See Article V- Quorum.)

ARTICLE 9. Church Revenue

The revenue of the Church shall be derived from the tithes and voluntary contributions which the members are expected to give as part of their religious duty, and from voluntary contributions of friends of the work (Phil. 4:19; Mal. 3:10; I Cor. 16:1,2; II Cor. 9:6.7). No pews or sittings shall be rented (James 2:1,5). No fair, festival, or secular entertainments of any kind to which admission is charged shall be held in any part of the Church, or elsewhere. Limited fundraising by individual Evangel groups (Youth, Royal Rangers etc) must be approved in advance by the Board. Such funds may only be used for the ministry that raised the funds or be donated to a Board-approved charitable work.

ARTICLE 10. Discipline

As written in Matt 18:15-17, in the case of difficulties between members or non-member attendees, the order of procedure shall be as follows:

  • The disputing parties should first attempt to resolve their differences.
  • If either party is not willing to resolve, that party should find 2-3 witnesses to support his/her position.
  • If the other party refuses to listen to the witnesses, the dispute should be brought to church leadership.

All complaints shall be made to the Pastor and the Official Board who shall hear and weigh them, keeping a permanent written record of such hearings and decisions. Any aggrieved member may appeal  the decision of the Pastor and the Official Board to the Congregation at any periodic or special business meeting. The Pastor shall make the final decision in the cases of discipline.

Dismissal: Any member of the Congregation will be dismissed for any of the following causes:

  1. If absent from the Church services continuously for six months without reasonable cause    (Heb. 10:24,25).
  2. If living a sinful life and refusing to change (2 These. 3:6,10, Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-7; I Cor. 5:11-13).
  3. If known to promulgate doctrines inconsistent with commonly accepted teaching of the General Council of the Assemblies of God and of the Tenets of Faith of this Church. (Jude 3:4; II Tim. 1:13; I Tim. 6:3-5; Rom. 16-17).
  4. If engaged in the disruption of fellowship by sowing discord among the brethren; persisting in gossip; and in general creating trouble (James 3:2-12; Prov. 6:19; Rom. 2:1-3). Suspension: Any member who shall be under charges shall be temporarily suspended from active voting membership pending investigation and final decision in such case.

ARTICLE 11. Amendments

The foregoing Articles may be altered or amended. Amendments to the Constitution shall require a three-fourths vote of the members present and entitled to vote (see Article 2 -Quorum) at any regular or special business meeting. Amendments to the By-Laws shall require a majority vote of the active-voting members present and entitled to vote (see Article 2 – Quorum) at any regular or special business meeting, provided the proposed amendment has been read at two public notices from the pulpit not more than three weeks in advance of the meeting.

Standing Resolutions

Any resolution or motion made at any business meeting relating to the future action or policy of the Congregation may be made a Standing Resolution and included with others in permanent form for reference, provided the same is presented in writing in proper form and designated a Standing Resolution, and receives a two-thirds majority vote of members present and entitled to vote. Such resolutions may be amended, suspended or rescinded by a two-thirds majority vote at any business meeting (See Article 2 -Quorum).

ARTICLE 12. Order of Business

  1. Devotional
  2. Reading of minutes of previous meeting
  3. Report of Treasurer
  4. Election of Officers
  5. Report of Committees
  6. Report of Special Committees
  7. Unfinished business
  8. New Business

ARTICLE 13. Dissolution

In the event that this Assembly ceases to function as a church body, then the said property, real or personal, shall revert to the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Inc., with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri. The General Council at Springfield shall forthwith have full authority to use or dispose of the property at its discretion. In the event of the sale of the property by the General Council at Springfield the proceeds derived shall be used by the said General Council in furtherance of the gospel of Christ.

ARTICLE 14. Parliamentary Procedure

The Roberts Revised Rules of Parliamentary Procedure, Seventy- fifth Anniversary edition, shall govern all business meetings of all bodies of this Assembly.

ARTICLE 15. Corporate Seal

The corporate seal of this non-profit corporation shall be round, and should contain thereupon Norwood Assembly of God, Norwood, Del. Co., Pa. Incorporated 1955.

 

STANDING RESOLUTION

Whereas, We know that God has so definitely led us thus far in the establishing and carrying on of this, His work; and

Whereas, He has so graciously supplied our every need; and

Whereas, We believe that He will ever continue to do so; and

Whereas, We also know how naturally human it is for us to so easily forget God’s many blessings and benefits; therefore, be it

Resolved, That it be mandatory that either the Pastor himself read, or that he designate the secretary or some other responsible person to read, the “Origin of the Norwood Assembly of God” at each annual business meeting of the congregation, and/or at each anniversary service of the Church, and at any such other occasion that he, in his judgment, would deem appropriate.

 

Adopted Jan. 16, 1956