The Corporate Bylaws
of HOPE FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
A Missouri Non-Profit Corporation
Revised on: January 1, 2016
Preamble Statement Of Faith
Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22 Psalm 90:2 Matthew 28:19 I Peter 1:2 II Corinthians 13:14
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is infinitely perfect and externally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:27 Psalm 8:3-6 Isaiah 53:6a Romans 3:23 Isaiah 59:1-2
Mankind was created in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. He is the supreme object of God's creation. Although mankind has tremendous potential for good, we are marred by disobedience toward God called "sin." This disobedience separates us from God.
John 3:16 I John 2:25 & 5:11-13 Romans 6:23 Revelation 20:15
Mankind was created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God, through forgiveness and salvation found only in Jesus Christ. Hell does not exist for eternity. The lake of fire exists for eternity, to where Hell is cast in at the Great White Throne Judgement. This is the eternal dwelling place for those separated from God.
Matthew 1:22-23 Isaiah 9:6 John 1:1-5 & 14:10-30 Hebrews 4:14-15 I Corinthians 15:3-4 Romans 1:3-4 Acts 1:9-11 I Timothy 6:14-15 Titus 2:13
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven and reigns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The Holy Spirit
II Corinthians 3:17 John 16:7-13 & 14:16-17 Acts 1:8 I Corinthians 2:12 & 3:16 Ephesians 1:13 Galatians 5:25 Ephesians 5:18
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make us aware of our need for Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells each believer at the moment of salvation, and continues to empower the believer with spiritual gifts, as He desires. All spiritual gifts listed in the New Testament continue to this day, as God so chooses. Any form or manifestation of a spiritual gift is not required for salvation.
Priesthood of the Believer
1 Peter 2:9 Revelation 1:6
Every Christian has direct access to God through Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, the sole mediator between God and human beings. However, the priesthood of all believers is exercised within a committed community of fellow believers - priests who share a like precious faith. The priesthood of all believers should not be reduced to modern individualism, not used as a cover for theological relativism. It is a spiritual standing which leads to ministry, service, and a coherent witness in the world for which Christ died.
Romans 6:23 Ephesians 2:8-9 John 14:6 & 1:12 Titus 3:5 Galatians 3:26 Romans 5:1
Salvation is a gift from God to mankind. People can never make up for their sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness can mankind be saved from eternal separation from God. Eternal life with God begins the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.
John 10:29 II Timothy 1:12 Hebrews 7:25 & 10:10-14 I Peter 1:3-5
Because God gives eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the believer. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.
II Timothy 3:16-17 II Peter 1:20-21 II Timothy 1:13 Psalm 119:105,160 & 12:6
The Bible is God's Word to all mankind. Human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit, wrote it. It is the supreme source of truth for the followers of Jesus Christ. We believe it is inspired by God, it is truth, never changes, and without error.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, 5:10 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 Revelation 14:14-16
We believe in the personal premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
Hope Fellowship Church understands Scripture to teach that only professing believers qualify for Baptism. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ, (Matthew 28:18-20) fulfilled by individuals who have submitted themselves to His Lordship, and profess to be born again.
Baptism only symbolizes the spiritual cleansing through divine forgiveness and the newness of life believers experience by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. Baptism follows the salvation experience. Baptism does not save an individual nor does baptism initiate any type of forgiveness. Any Baptism prior to the salvation of the individual is not recognized as biblical baptism.
Baptism provides an opportunity for believers to make a formal profession of their faith before the church. As a biblical rite of initiation into the body of Christ, the Baptism of a believer is considered a prerequisite for becoming a member of the church. Hope Fellowship’s position is that Baptism by immersion paints the truest picture of dying to sin and arising to Christ and new life.
Communion Jesus' Last Supper, the Passover meal He shared with His disciples on the night before He was crucified, is the Biblical foundation for the Communion meal (Luke 22:19–20). Communion is "the believer's meal," a sacrament intended for Jesus' followers, by which they acknowledge and remember His work on the cross—the ultimate sacrifice made on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins. Hope Fellowship extends an "open" invitation to the Communion table, meaning the invitation to receive Communion during a service is open to any follower of Christ, regardless of membership at Hope Fellowship. Anyone who has accepted His forgiveness and surrendered their lives to Him is invited to share the Communion table. We believe we have the freedom to partake of the Lord’s Supper, without being bound by a particular tradition or teaching on the frequency or infrequency. It is our desire to celebrate this unique ordinance with value and grace.
The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of immeasurable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139).
Marriage, Gender and Sexuality
We believe that God creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis.1:26-27.)
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis. 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Hope Fellowship, and to provide a biblical role model to the Hope Fellowship’s attendees and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Hope Fellowship in any capacity, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality and will not participate in the officiating of a same sex marriage. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and turn from their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.) We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Hope Fellowship.
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
This Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Hope Fellowship’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Elder Board is Hope Fellowship’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning
The principle office for the transaction of the business of the corporation, herein referred to as the Church is fixed and located at 19459 State Hwy. 413, Branson West MO 65737. The Board of Elders, herein referred to as the Board or Elders may at any time or from time to time, change the location of the principle office from one location to another. The Board of Elders may at any time establish branch or subordinate offices at any place or places where the corporation is qualified to do business.
This Corporation is organized for exclusively religious purposes. This includes, but is not limited to charitable purposes common to a pastoral church ministry as defined by Scripture. The purpose of the Church is to Glorify God by sharing the truth of Scripture to those in our communities and the world around us. In addition, to serve as an instrument through which people may be witnesses unto our Lord Jesus Christ.
The objectives of this corporation shall be to proclaim the good news of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ by using any suitable method or media, which includes, but is not comforting and any other activity directed for Christian purposes.
Assisting and furthering the task of providing Biblical Scripture to the community and other groups through the Holy Scriptures and other printed material by offering Bible studies, church services, or any other public gatherings and by providing speakers and other instructional and educational programs, which may be deemed necessary in effecting the above purposes.
Establishing new programs of outreach and ministry, and the strengthening of existing programs and organizations which have a similar purpose and dedication to presenting Christ as Savior.
Being obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ's command to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".
Serving as an instrument through which people may be witnesses unto our Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, and unto all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.
Doing only that which glorifies the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
To engage in spiritual work and services based upon the authority of the Holy Bible.
Section 1. Corporate Members
This corporation shall have no members. Any action which would otherwise require approval by a majority of all members shall only require approval of the Board of Elders. All rights which would otherwise vest in the members shall vest in the Board of Elders.
Section 2. Members of the Fellowship
Nothing contained in Section 1 of this Article shall be construed to limit the right of the Corporation to refer to persons associated with the Corporation as ‘members’ even though such persons are not corporate members, and no such reference in or outside of these Bylaws shall constitute anyone being a member, within the meaning of Article IV, Section 1. Member is the term designated for the purposes and ministry within the fellowship. All rights and intent of membership within the fellowship shall not conflict with the operations of the Corporation.
Government/Board Of Elders
Section 1. The Headship of Christ.
The government of this corporation shall be focused on seeking and maintaining the Lordship and direction of Jesus Christ over the ministry and of any other activity in which the corporation is engaged. All those in authority shall continually seek His mind and will, through His Spirit and the Word of God in all actions and decisions.
Section 2. Overseeing the Affairs of the Church/Corporation.
The Board of Elders, (hereby referred to as the Board, Board of Elders or the Elders, when used in the plural refers to the Board of Elders) headed by the Chairman of the Board, shall be the governing body of the corporation. The Chairman of the Board shall be the Senior Pastor and the primary Bible teacher for the church/corporation. Subject to the provisions of the Missouri General Corporation Law and its related non-profit provisions and any limitations in the Articles of Incorporation and these Bylaws, the business and affairs of the corporation shall be managed and all corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the direction of the Board of Elders.
Section 3. Nomination, Selection and Tenure of the Office of Elder
Elders will be nominated by the Chairman of the Board or any Elder Board Member and ratified by a unanimous vote of the Board of Elders. An Elder, with the exception of the Senior Pastor/Chairman of the Board, is elected for a one (1) year term. Each year four weeks prior to the annual Church Meeting (the third Sunday of February following the morning Worship Service), all the Elders names shall be presented to the congregation in written form. The Elders names shall be presented to the congregation to affirm the decision of the Board of Elders. Affirmation shall be done through the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-17. If anyone within the congregation knows of any reason why a man presented should not be an Elder, they should go to him in private to attempt to resolve the reason. If that reason cannot be resolved, the Elder must inform the Elder Board of the issue and attempt to resolve this issue prior to the meeting. If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Board of Elders the individuals name shall be removed from the list of names. The name shall be represented to the congregation at another time if a satisfactory reconciliation is achieved. Each Elder shall serve until the next annual meeting and their continued affirmation. The term of the Senior Pastor/Chairman of the Board will be perpetual and will continue until his resignation, death, or his removal as Senior Pastor, according to Article VII, Section VI.
Section 4. Qualifications
Each member of the Board of Elders must be an active participant and member of Hope Fellowship Church and possess the qualification described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He shall be:
Section 5. The Powers and Affairs of the Church/Corporation
Subject to limitations of the Articles and these Bylaws, the activities and affairs of the Church are to be conducted and all corporate powers are to be exercised by or under the direction of the Board. The Board may delegate the management of the activities of the Church to any person or persons; provided that the activities and affairs of the Church will be managed and all corporate powers will be exercised under the ultimate direction of the Board of Elders. Without prejudice to such general powers, but subject to the same limitations, it is hereby expressly declared that the Board of Elders will have the following powers in addition to the other powers enumerated in these Bylaws:
(a) To select and remove all the other officers, agents and employees of the Corporation, prescribe powers and duties for them as may not be inconsistent with the Scriptures, the law, the Articles or these Bylaws, fix their compensation and require from them commitment for faithful service.
(b) To conduct, manage and control the affairs and activities of the Corporation and to make such rules and regulations therefore not inconsistent with the Scriptures, the law, the Articles or these Bylaws, as they may deem best.
(c) To adopt, make and use a corporate seal and to alter the form of such seal from time to time, as they may deem best.
(d) To borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purposes of the Church, and to cause to be executed and delivered therefore, in the corporate name, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, deeds of trust, mortgages, hypothecations (pledges) or other evidences of debt and securities therefore.
(e) The Elders shall assist the Senior Pastor in fulfilling the vision and scope of the ministry as given by Jesus Christ. They shall see to it that all policies are executed as set forth by the Board of Elders.
(f) To conduct, manage, and review the affairs and business of the corporation through resolutions directed to and executed by the Board of Elders and to make rules and regulations not inconsistent with the Scriptures, the law, the Articles of Incorporation, or the Bylaws.
Section 6. Number of Elders
The Board of Elders shall consist of a maximum of eleven (11), and a minimum of four (4) members until the number of Elders is changed by amendment of these Bylaws. The Board shall have the following officers: Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. No person may hold more than one office.
Section 7. Vacancies.
Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws or by applicable law, a vacancy or vacancies in the Board will be deemed to exist in case of the death, resignation, or removal of any Elder or if the authorized number of Elders is increased. The Board may declare vacant the office of an Elder (other than the Senior Pastor) according to Article 5, Section 15 of these Bylaws.
Section 8. Quorum
Two thirds of the Elders must be present to conduct business. The Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Elders must be present at each regular meeting or the Elders must reschedule the regular meeting. The present Elders at any meeting must be of one mind and heart in matters related to the Church and Corporation. They must be unanimous in their votes, unless otherwise stated in the By Laws. Emergency situations shall be handled by the available Elders as needed.
Section 9. Place and Time of Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board of Elders may be held at any place, as designated by the Chairman of the Board no less than monthly and or at any time designated by the Board.
Section 10. Special Meetings
The Chairman of the Board may call meetings of the Elders for any purpose or purposes at any time. Members of the Board of Elders may participate in a meeting through the use of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, as long as all members participating in such meetings can hear one another. Polling and requesting input for matters related to the Church and Corporation, can be done by telephone or e-mail by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman or Secretary of the Board, and does not constitute a special meeting. Such participation shall or can be considered as their personal presence at a meeting.
Section 11. Agendas
Each Elder shall be given an Agenda at least one week prior to any regular meeting. Items can be added by each Elder present at the meeting and discussed. Any Elder desiring time to pray or reflect upon the item may have the needed time to do so.
Section 12. Adjournment
A majority of the Elders present, whether or not a quorum is present, may adjourn any Elder’s meeting to another time and place. Notice of the time and place of holding an adjourned meeting need not be given to absent Elders if the time and place be fixed at the meeting adjourned, except as provided in the next sentence. If the meeting is adjourned for more than 24 hours, notice of any adjournment to another time or place will be given prior to the time of the adjourned meeting to the Elders who were not present at the time of the adjournment.
Section 13. Transactions of the Board
Except as otherwise provided in the Articles of Incorporation, in these Bylaws or by law, every act or decision done or made by the Elders present at a meeting duly held at which a quorum is present shall be the act of the whole Board of Elders.
Section 14. Action Without Meeting
Any action required or permitted by the Board of Elders may be taken without a meeting, if all members of the Board of Elders individually or collectively consent in writing, through email or another electronic form, to such action. Such written consent or consents shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board of Elders. Such action by written consent shall have the same force and effect as the unanimous vote of such Elders.
Section 15. Removal and Resignation
Any Elder may be removed from office at any regular or special meeting of the Board if he is found to be or declared of unsound mind by a final order of court, or convicted of a felony, or been found by a final order or judgment of any court to have breached any duty arising under applicable law, physically or mentally incapacitated or spiritually unqualified (according to pertinent Scriptures, including 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-). After thorough corroborating investigation by the Elders and or an appointed committee of the Board, in accordance with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including, but not limited to Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19. When an Elder is removed because of sin that is deemed sufficient to disqualify him from shepherding, and if he refuses to repent from that sin, the removal shall be accompanied by a public rebuke, and notice shall be made before the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service as prescribed in 1 Timothy 5:20.
Section 16. Fees and Compensation
The Elders shall receive no compensation for their services as Elders. This subsection shall not be construed to preclude any Elder from serving the corporation in any other capacity as an officer, agent, employee, consultant, or otherwise, and receiving compensation for those services. Elders may receive reimbursement for expenses as may be fixed or determined by the Board.
Section 17. Insurance
The Board will carry Elder’s Liability and Errors & Omission insurance policies to protect their activities as Elders.
Section 18. Rights of Inspection
Every Elder has the absolute right at any reasonable time to inspect the financial records, and documents related to the operation of the Corporation and to inspect the physical properties of the Church. Elders shall not have access to inspect the personal notes or counseling notes of any staff member or volunteer. The approval of any action for which the Missouri Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law requires approval of the Board.
Section 19. Committees
The Board may appoint one or more committees and delegate to such committees any of the authority of the Board except with respect to:
a. The approval of any action for which the Missouri Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law requires approval of the Board.
b. The compensation of staff members and the Senior Pastor.
c. The fixing of compensation of the Elders for expenses on the Board or on any committee.
d. The amendment or repeal of Bylaws or the adoption of new Bylaws.
e. The amendment or repeal of any resolution of the Board, which by its express terms is not so amendable or repealable.
f. The appointment of other committees.
Any committee must be created, and the members thereof appointed, by resolution adopted by the Board. The Board may appoint, in the same manner, alternate members of any committee to replace any absent member at any meeting of such committee. When any committee is created, the Board will develop a Charter for that committee describing the purpose, responsibilities, functions and limitations of that committee.
The Board will have the power to prescribe the manner in which proceedings of any such committee will be conducted. In the absence of any such prescription, a committee will have the power to prescribe the manner in which its proceedings will be conducted. Unless the Board or the committee otherwise provides, the regular and special meetings and other actions of any committee will be governed by the provisions of this Article V applicable to meetings and actions of the Board. Minutes will be kept of each meeting of each committee.
Section 20. Conflict of Interest
The policy set forth in this statement is applicable to all Elders, Deacons, Officers and Staff (hereinafter covered persons) of Hope Fellowship. A conflict of interest can arise whenever a covered person; (a) has existing or potential financial or other interests which impair or might reasonably appear to impair such covered person’s independent, unbiased judgment in the discharge of his or her responsibilities to the Church; (b) such covered person is aware that a member of his or her family or any organization in which such covered person (or a member of his or her family) is an officer, director, employee, member, partner, Trustee, or controlling stockholder, has such existing or potential financial or other interests; or (c) such a covered person or a member of his or her family may receive a material benefit from knowledge of information which is confidential to the Church. It is difficult to define what might be considered a potential conflict, but at least the following should be so considered:
1. Official relationship with banks with which the Church does business;
2. Official relationship with investment brokers with which the Church does
3. Official relationship with suppliers of goods or services to the Church;
4. Official relationship with insurance agents or carriers doing business with the Church;
5. Covered person or a family member is either receiving financial support from the Church (e.g., campus ministers) or is serving on the board or in the employ of an organization the Church supports;
6. Family relationships with employees of the Church.
At all times, covered persons shall exercise particular care that no detriment to the interests of the Church (or even an appearance of such detriment) may result from a conflict between those interests and any personal interests which the covered person may have.
If one of the covered persons believes that he or she may have a conflict of interest with
respect to any transaction or decision, he or she shall promptly and fully disclose the potential conflict to the Board of Elders, or if the covered person is an Elder, to the
chairman of the Board of Elders.
For purposes of the duty to disclose, members of the family of the covered person include
the spouse, child and parent. Covered persons are however encouraged to disclose a situation or transaction between the Church and a family member other than spouse, child or parent, that may constitute an apparent or real conflict of interest for the covered person. No Elder or Board member shall vote on any matter, under consideration at a Board or committee meeting, in which such Board member has a conflict of interest. Board members shall abstain from participating in the discussion of that matter at the earliest practicable time. The minutes of such meeting shall reflect that a disclosure was made and that the Board member having a conflict of interest abstained from participating. Any Board members who are uncertain whether they have a conflict of interest in any matter may and should request the Board or committee to determine whether a conflict of interest exists, and the Board or committee shall resolve the question by a majority vote.
Persons covered by this policy that are not Board members should refrain from participating at the earliest possible or appropriate point in discussions on any matter under consideration by the relevant board in which such covered person has a conflict of interest. Any covered persons, not members of the board, who are uncertain whether they have a conflict of interest in any matter may request an Elder to submit the question to the Board or a committee, to determine whether a conflict of interest exists, and the Board or committee shall resolve the question by a majority vote.
All covered persons shall agree to answer any questions the Elder Board or any committee might have about a conflict of interest. All information concerning actual or potential conflicts of interest under this policy shall be held in confidence unless the best interests of the Church dictate otherwise.
(Revised to be included in Article V)
Senior Pastor Responsibilities
Section 1. Chairman
The Senior Pastor shall be the Chairman of the Board of the corporation. The Senior Pastor shall have provided general supervision and overall direction of the ministry along with oversight of all the affairs of the corporation. The Senior Pastor shall be accountable to the Board of Elders in all the affairs of the Church.
Section 2. Ministry
The Senior Pastor shall minister unto the Lord in regular personal worship and praise. He shall give himself to the ministry of the Word and prayer (Acts 6:4) and seek to walk in a manner worthy of his calling before the Lord in his personal life. He shall seek the mind of Christ.
The Pastor shall be the Senior Pastor-Teacher of the church and he shall give time to the study of the Word and shall teach the Scriptures to others by precept and example. His aim shall be to teach the Word of God, including conducting Bible studies, worshiping and sharing the message and good news of Jesus Christ, using personal evangelism, preaching, comforting, and any other activity directed for Christian purpose. He shall primarily evangelize and assist others in seeking and finding the Lord and any other ministry associated with such purpose. He shall be involved in the building of leadership within the church, (Ephesians 4:1-16). He shall be ordained and licensed by Hope Fellowship.
In matters of marrying people, the Senior Pastor shall recognize the principles of God rather than the principles of society. The Senior Pastor shall have the right of refusal to marry anyone. Any marriage the Senior Pastor has chosen to perform must adhere to Biblical principles and the Bylaws and Statement of Faith of the Corporation.
In all matters and activities, the Senior Pastor shall guard the ministry against the attack of the enemy (Acts 20:28).
Section 3. Corporate Duties
The Senior Pastor shall be the Chairman of the Board of Elders. He shall direct and oversee the business of the church on a daily basis and give leadership to the officers and employees, if any.
Section 4. Qualifications
The Senior Pastor shall be generally qualified, according to the qualifications for a ruling elder. (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9). The Senior Pastor shall demonstrate the ability to accurately handle the Word of God and to refute error and false teaching. He shall adhere to an Orthodox form of Biblical theology, holding to the Divine inspiration and inerrancy of God’s Word. He must be Christ centered, Spirit filled and willing to serve a nondenominational ministry without promoting denominational interests. He must agree with and adhere to the doctrinal statement of Hope Fellowship and these Bylaws.
Section 5. Compensation
The Elders shall specify the Senior Pastor’s initial compensation, if any, at the time of his election. The corporation may provide an adequate salary, other insurances, expense allowance, housing allowance, conference funds, vacation time, continued education, pension, and other special funds as needed for his ministry and the care of his family. The Elders shall be responsibility for all costs associated with sending the Senior Pastor to out-of-town conferences or conventions determined and approved by the Elders. The Senior Pastor’s salary shall be reviewed on an annual basis by the Elder Board and adjusted as appropriate.
Section 6. Termination and Removal
For the purpose of potential termination of the Senior Pastor all requests and or accusations from any party concerning the removal of the Chairman of the Board/Senior Pastor shall require at least two (2) witnesses who must (a) substantiate the ground(s) for removal and (b) testify of facts, not hearsay, surrounding such accusations. (1 Timothy 5:19-20) If there is incriminating evidence, then a vote is required from the Board of Elders for removal. Grounds for termination and removal shall be related primarily to moral, financial, physical and mental incapacity or other spiritual integrity issues as outlined in 1 Timothy and Titus. The Board shall prayerfully and objectively weigh all accusations, issues, and testimonies concerning the charges against the Senior Pastor and if sufficient charges and evidence exist that lead them to decide that the Senior Pastor be removed or terminated, it shall take effect immediately.
Section 1. Ministries
The Elders shall minister unto the Lord in regular personal worship and praise. They shall give themselves to the ministry of the Word and Prayer (Acts 6:4) and seek to walk uprightly before the Lord in each of their personal lives. They shall seek the mind of Christ in all church and personal matters.
Section 2. General Responsibilities
Elders shall assist the Senior Pastor in the fulfilling the purposes of this corporation and church.
Section 3. Specific Duties
The office of Treasurer, as Chief Financial Officer of the Church, shall be primarily responsible to maintain the financial integrity and legal compliance of the corporation. He will keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct books and records of accounts of the transactions of the corporation, including accounts of its assets, liabilities, receipts, and disbursements. The books of account shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by any Elder. The Treasurer shall deposit or cause to be deposited all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the corporation with such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Elders. He shall oversee any disbursement of the funds of the corporation and shall render to the Senior Pastor and Elders, whenever they request it, an account of all his transactions as Treasurer and of the financial condition of the corporation. He shall have other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Elders or the Bylaws.
The Secretary shall be primarily responsible to assure that all corporate records are maintained, available and up-to-date. He will keep a full and complete record of all the proceedings of the Board of Elders and shall keep the seal of the corporation and affix it to such papers as may be required in the regular course of business. The Secretary will keep or cause to be kept, at the principal office or such other place as the Board may order, the Corporate Record Book, a book of minutes of all meetings of the Board, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized, the notice thereof given, the names of those present at Board and committee meetings, and the proceedings thereof. The Secretary will keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office in the State of Missouri the original or a copy of the Church’s Articles, Constitution, and Bylaws, as amended to date.
In the absence or disability of the Senior Pastor, the Vice Chairman shall temporarily assume all the corporate duties of the Senior Pastor. Otherwise, he will perform specific duties as designated by the Senior Pastor and serve as second in command of the corporation.
Any organization, group, or club whose membership is primarily for a activity aligned with and specifically in furtherance of the purposes, goals and ministry of this corporation shall be considered an auxiliary of this corporation if so determined by the Board of Elders of this corporation. In such event, such auxiliary organization shall be subject to the Constitution and Bylaws of the corporation. As an auxiliary organization it shall exist only in cooperation with the Senior Pastor and Board of Elders.
Amendment Of Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended, adopted or repealed by a unanimous vote and written order of the Board of Elders.
Annual Accounting Period
The annual accounting period for this corporation shall begin on the first day of January and shall end on the last day of December.
Checks And Drafts
All checks and drafts, or other orders for payment of money issued in the name of the corporation shall be paid out on checks of the corporation signed by two (2) signatories pre-appointed by the Board of Elders. Regular and non-regular payments can or shall be made online in conjunction with State banking procedures and with the direction and oversight of the Elders.
Maintenance And Inspection Of Other
The accounting books and records and minutes of proceedings of the Board of Elders shall be kept at such place or places designated by the Board of Elders, or, in the absence of such designation, at the principal executive office of the corporation. The minutes shall be kept in written form and the accounting books and records shall be open to inspection upon the written demand to such person or party to whom access to such records must be made available under Missouri law or federal law, at any reasonable time during usual business hours.
Section 1. Insurance
The Corporation shall purchase and maintain liability insurance on behalf of the Board of Elders, Pastors, Staff, those entering into the membership and volunteers, while serving in a designated capacity of the Church. Insurance will be purchased for the purpose of protecting such persons from covered loss resulting in liability asserted against the above individuals in connection with their activities on behalf of the Corporation. Insurance limits shall supersede and dictate dollar amounts. Provision of such insurance to said individuals shall be determined by liability and The Board of Elders.
Section 2. Indemnification Requests
Should any of the individuals mentioned in Section 1. Insurance, incur any liability as a result of their affiliation with or service to the Corporation that is not covered by the Corporation’s insurance policy, and should such liability result in any out-of-pocket cost to such individual, then such individual may request indemnification from the Corporation. The granting of full or partial indemnification shall be at the discretion of the Board of Elders as set forth in Article XIV, Section 3.
Section 3. Indemnification Decisions
In relation to any indemnification request that is made pursuant to Section 2 herein, if such request is made by an individual who is not currently serving on the Board of Elders, then the indemnification decision (whether to indemnify the requesting individual, and the dollar amount of such indemnification), will be made by the Board of Elders. Legal counsel can be sought in the decision process. Such decisions of the Board of Elders will be final. If the indemnification request is being made by a person who is currently serving on the Board of Elders, the indemnification decision (whether to indemnify the requesting party, and the dollar amount of such indemnification), will be made by the remaining disinterested members of the Board of Elders. A decision on the indemnification request by a majority vote of the disinterested members of the Board of Elders will be final.
Section 4. Liability
The Board of Elders has all rights and privileges to seek legal counsel prior to the approval of an indemnification if they deem it necessary or advantageous to the process and the corporation.
Section 1. Ministry
The Deacons shall carry on various ministries within the body to meet the physical needs and spiritual needs of the church under the direction and encouragement of the Pastor, Pastoral staff, and Elders. The Deacons shall discuss with the Pastor, Pastoral staff, and Elders regarding the needs that arise in the body. They shall pray for any in the Church for whom they are caring and shall serve the Church by exercising hospitality, love, and care.
Section 2. Qualifications/Appointment/Removal
1 Timothy 3:8-10
8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
10 And let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.
Those who serve well as Deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus (I Timothy 3:13). The qualifications of the office of Deacon shall be the same as stated in Acts 6:3. is elected for a one (1) year term. Each year four weeks prior to the annual Church Meeting (the third Sunday of February following the morning Worship Service), all the Deacons names shall be presented to the congregation in written form. The Deacons names shall be presented to the congregation to affirm the decision of the Board of Elders. Affirmation shall be done through the guidelines of Matthew 18:15-17. If anyone within the congregation knows of any reason why a man presented should not be a Deacon, they should go to him in private to attempt to resolve the reason. If that reason cannot be resolved, the Deacon must inform the Elder Board of the issue and attempt to resolve this issue prior to the meeting. If the issue is not resolved to the satisfaction of the Board of Elders the individual’s name shall be removed from the list of names. The name shall be presented to the congregation at another time if a satisfactory reconciliation is achieved. Each Deacon shall serve until the next annual meeting and their continued affirmation. A man will serve as a Deacon in the discretion of the Pastor, Board of Elders, or until such time as his moral conduct, physical or mental capacity is deemed inappropriate for office or until they no longer fulfill the duties of a Deacon. The removal of a Deacon will be done by the Pastor with the vote of the Board of Elders. Deacons responsibilities shall be that of a servant to the Church Body. Deacons do not hold a position of authority within the Church or Corporation. Their responsibilities shall be defined by the Board of Elders and the Senior Pastor.
Section 1. Purpose of the Fellowship
The congregation of Christian believers who have applied for membership and have been
duly accepted shall constitute a spiritual body, united for the spiritual purposes set forth
in Article II of these Bylaws.
Section 2. Active Membership
Active membership in Hope Fellowship shall be open to all persons who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and who have been baptized. Attendance and completion of the Membership Class shall be required prior to membership being granted. If attendance is a hardship then applicant must view the Membership Class on a DVD and answer the questions provided.
Section 3. Voting Privileges
Membership in the fellowship of Hope Fellowship shall not vest in any member any proprietary right in the Corporation. Voting privileges do not exist in the Membership.
Section 4. Application for Membership
All requests for membership shall be made to an Elder or Pastor. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Statement of Faith and a copy of the Bylaws, any pertinent material for the evaluation of membership. An Elder or an assigned committee shall meet with the applicant following receipt of the application. Each applicant shall assent to the Statement of Faith, subscribe to the Bylaws and sign both. Any questions about or disagreements with the Statement of Faith or Bylaws must be indicated on the membership application. A duly appointed Committee of the Board of Elders will evaluate these questions or disagreements to determine whether the request for membership shall be approved. Membership shall be approved by the Board of Elders.
Section 5. Denial of Membership
If, upon review of an application for membership and having met with a prospective member, the Board of Elders determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, or there is evidence of a ungodly lifestyle, or disagreements and an unwillingness to sign and agree to the Statement of Faith and Bylaws, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Board of Elders shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
Section 6. Duties of Membership
On becoming a member of Hope Fellowship, in addition to the agreement with the Statement of Faith and upholding the Bylaws. Each member further agrees to love, honor, and esteem one another. Not forsaking the gathering together in regular attendance for worship and fellowship. To pray for the leadership; to recognize their authority in spiritual affairs of the church; to cherish a brotherly love for all members of the church. To support the church in prayer, tithes, offerings and with other financial support as the Lord enables; and in accordance with Biblical commands. To demonstrate by their lifestyle the beliefs and practices of the church. Members agree to submit to the authority of God’s Word and the authority within Hope Fellowship.
Section 7. Admission of Applicants
Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service designated by the Senior Pastor and the Board of Elders, at which service such applicants shall publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as members.
Section 8. Privileges of Membership
This congregation of Hope Fellowship functions as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ and the direction and guidance of the Board of Elders and the Senior Pastor. Determinations of the internal affairs of this church are ecclesiastical matters and shall be determined exclusively by the church’s own rules and procedures. The Elder Board and the Senior Pastor shall oversee and/or conduct all aspects of this church polity.
Members of Hope Fellowship are expected to serve in a ministry related to Hope Fellowship and it’s purposes. Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts, talents and abilities for the mutual benefit of all the church body (Ephesians 4:12-13).
Membership in Hope Fellowship does not afford the members with any property, contractual, or civil rights based on principles of democratic government. Although the general public is invited to all of the church’s worship services, the church property remains private property. The Elders have the authority to suspend or revoke the right of any person, including a member, to enter or remain on church property. If, after being notified of such a suspension or revocation, the person enters or remains on church property, the person may, in the discretion of the Elders and or Senior Pastor, be treated as a trespasser.
A member may inspect or copy the prepared monthly financial statements of the church and the minutes of the proceedings of church Elder Board meetings, provided they have made a written request to the church and the church has received the written request at least five business days before the requested inspection date. This does not include private or personal elements or discussions of the Elder Board meetings. Members are invited to attend the regular monthly meeting of the Board of Elders. Members shall not be allowed to attend the closed secession of the Board of Elders Meetings, unless they are personally involved in the discussion.
A member may not, under any circumstances, inspect or copy outside of their own record relating to individual contributions to the church, the list of names and addresses of the church members for the purpose of solicitation, or the accounting books and financial records of the church.
A member shall not use the church property in any way to solicit, sell or raise funds for a purpose outside of a purpose designated by the Board of Elders or Senior Pastor. All fund raising must have prior approval of the Board of Elders or Senior Pastor.
Section 9. Church Discipline
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1Timothy 5:20) and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).
Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Board of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. Before such dismissal however (1) it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or misconduct to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then (2) the warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, while being accompanied by one or two individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. The first and second warnings may occur with no specified time interval. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then (3) it shall be brought to the attention of the Board of Elders. If the Board of Elders determines - after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19 - that there is corroborating evidence that the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Elders shall inform the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to the effect may be given at a regularly scheduled worship service. If, however, the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then (4) he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the fellowship and /or membership of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance and requests reinstatement before the Board of Elders then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Elders in the exercise of their discretion may proceed directly to the third stage of church discipline, (i.e. the informing of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance) or to the fourth state of church discipline, (i.e. the dismissal from the fellowship and/or membership of the church) when one or more of the following have occurred.
A. Where the transgression and the refusal to repent have been public, i.e. openly and to the offense of the whole church. (1 Corinthians 5:1-5);
B. Where the disciplined party has taught or otherwise disseminated doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the Elders, then chosen to disregard the direction and reproof of the Elders. (Romans 16:17);
C. Where the disciplined party has been warned twice to cease from factious and divisive conduct and has chosen to disregard that warning (Titus 3:10-11).
Section 10. Appeals
The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth states of church discipline. Members who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign and/or remove their membership from this church. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.
Section 11. Removal from Premises
Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Elders, a member, non-member regular attender, or other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon church premises for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of others on church premises, such required absence may, but need not, be concurrent with church discipline of that person.
Section 12. Removal of Membership
Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Elders, the names of any members who have not attended a worship service, or participated at Hope Fellowship for a period of six months or longer may be removed from the membership rolls. those unable to attend due to sickness or a determined hardship, work related, will be taken under special consideration.
Section 13. Statement on Mediation
Participants of the church agree to submit any legal dispute with the church for mediation before a mutually agreed-upon mediator, or if none can be agreed upon, one selected by Peacemaker Ministries. Lawsuits between believers, or threats of lawsuits between believers, are a matter of grave concern for the church, are contrary to biblical and church teaching, and mediation is an effort to resolve disputes in a biblical fashion. (1 Corinthians 6: 1-7.)
Mediation will be governed by the Rules of Procedure for Christian Conciliation of the Institute for Christian Conciliation (ICC Rules), unless modified as stipulated by the parties. (Visit: http://www. peacemaker.net/site/c.nuIWL7MOJtE/b.5335917/k.D8A2/Rules_of_Procedure.htm to access the ICC Rules.) In particular, subject to the more detailed provisions of the ICC Rules, mediator(s) will attempt to assist us in reaching a voluntary settlement of any disputes through mediation.
The confidentiality of the mediation process will be protected and these matters will not be discussed with people who do not have a necessary interest in them. If settlement can be agreed upon, the conciliators may, at their discretion, issue an advisory opinion. Neither the opinion, nor any communications exchanged in the mediation process, will be admissible for any purpose in any subsequent legal proceeding.
Ordination, Licensing, and Commissioning
Section 1. Pastor/Elder Ordination
Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Board of Elders of a man’s call to the ministry, preparation as a shepherd, and qualification to serve. Ordination shall be conferred by Hope Fellowship Church while the individual is a pastor in good standing, and associated with Hope Fellowship Church.
Hope Fellowship ordains a man for the service as an Elder, with the limitations on the Ordination to the office of Elder only. Elder Ordination does not allow nor recognize the ordination for the purpose of marriage and any other use outside of the position of Elder within Hope Fellowship Church.
Section 2. Licensing
The license is issued by the Board of Elders, its aim is to allow a man to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions such as marriages within the Church. Licenses will be evaluated, issued and renewed each year, at the discretion of the Elders. Licenses are only issued to those attending and participating in the ministries at Hope Fellowship Church.
Section 3. Ministers
Ministers refers to the unanimous recognition by the Board of Elders of a man’s or women’s call to the ministry, preparation as a shepherd, and qualification to serve. Ministers shall be conferred by the Board of Elders while the individual is a member in good standing, and associated with Hope Fellowship Church. Ministers do not have the licensing to perform marriages nor are they ordained.
Section 4. Commissioning
When Hope Fellowship’s certification is required for ministry, where ordination would be unnecessary or inappropriate, a person is commissioned by the Board of Elders to minister. This authorization continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect and as long as the person maintains the qualification for ministry.
Section 5. Marriages
Church Pastors, Ministers, Staff and individuals ordained by the Board of Elders shall not use their title, position, ordination or licensing in a way that contradicts or undermines the teachings of the Holy Bible, the Statement of Faith and Bylaws of Hope Fellowship Church, including but not limited to, officiation over or solemnizing weddings or ceremonies joining more than two people or two people of the same sex.
Section 1. Permitted Uses of Facilities
Neither property nor facilities owned or controlled by Hope Fellowship Church (or used with permission obtained by the Church) shall be used or permitted to be used for any activity or speech that is contrary to any stated or implied doctrine or religious belief or practice of the Church.
Section 2. Facilities Usage Form
Any and all request for facility usage shall be first requested and applied for using the Facilities Use Form obtained from the Office of Hope Fellowship Church. Approval must first be obtained by the Senior Pastor or the Board of Elders or an approved individual assigned to the task by the Board of Elders.
Section 3. Stated Facility Use
All property and facilities owned by Hope Fellowship shall not be used by any person or persons in any way to solicit, sell or raise funds for a purpose outside of a purpose designated by the Board of Elders or Senior Pastor. All fund raising or sales of products or materials must have prior approval of the Board of Elders or Senior Pastor.
Employment with the Church
Except as a vendor or independent contractor, in order to be eligible for employment at Hope Fellowship Church, the applicant or prospective employee shall be an active participant of the Church in good standing. A purpose of the Church is to teach and instill biblical values in those attending the Church. Because every employee of the Church is a representative of the Church, and is hired for that purpose, in order to be eligible for employment at the Church, the applicant shall not be actively engaged in unrepentant sin and shall not be perceived to undermine or contradict, through his or her actions, behaviors, or speech, the tenants of the Bible or of the doctrine of the Church. As a religious organization it is permitted and reserves the right to prefer employees or prospective employees on the basis of religion. All employees must agree with and sign the Membership agreement.
Execution of Documents
Subject to the provisions, empowerments and limitations of these Bylaws, the Board of Elders may authorize by a vote any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contract or execute any instrument in the name of, and on behalf of the corporation and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized, no officer, agent, or other person shall have any power or authority to bind the corporation by any contract or engagement or to pledge its credit or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount.
Construction and Definitions
Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions, rules of construction and definitions contained in the Missouri General Nonprofit Corporation Law shall govern the construction of these Bylaws. Without limiting the generality of this provision, the singular number includes the plural, the plural number includes the singular, the use of "he" or "his" shall include both genders and the term "person" and "party" includes both a corporation and a natural person.
Rules of Order
As a Church that is spiritual by creation and nature, the Bible, as the Word of God, shall supersede the Bylaws of Hope Fellowship, which shall supersede the rules contained in Roberts Rules of Order, in being the general guide to govern all business including that of the Board meetings of the corporation.
CERTIFICATE OF SECRETARY
I hereby certify that the above and foregoing Bylaws are a true and correct copy of the Bylaws of the corporation as of ______September 22______, 2015
Dr. Bruce Edwards
Chairman of the Board