Constitution and By-Laws of
Sand Creek Community Church
Adopted September 26, 1951
and subsequently amended
Article I Object, etc.
Article II Legal Age
Article III Membership
1. Who; How
2. Need not leave old church
3. Group membership
4. Termination; death; revision of Church roll
Article IV Government
2. Annual Congregational Meeting
3. Special Congregational Meeting
4. Reports given - by whom
5. Officers required - terms of service
7. Election of chairman of board, etc.; who takes his place when absent
8. Quorum - Final Authority
9. a. Church Council consists of; choosing chairman
b. Member representation
d. Extra Fund
e. Building Fund
f. Nominating Committee
g. Meeting time and place
i. Order of Business
Article V Church Officers' Duties
2. Recording and Corresponding Secretary
a. Budget - order funds spent by treasurer through Secretary
b. Pledge Campaign
c. Surplus Funds
d. Engage Pastor
Article VI Holy Communion - When?
Article VII Disapproval by a member
Article VIII Amendments
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Constitution and By-Laws of
Sand Creek Community Church
Adopted September 26, 1951
and subsequently amended
Preamble: Believing that the work of the Kingdom would be enhanced by the putting aside of denominational differences and uniting our forces in one organic body, we, the people of the community of Sand Creek, adopt the following Constitution and By-laws and such Amendments as may be added from time to time, and constitute ourselves the Sand Creek Community Church of Sand Creek, Michigan.
Article I - Object, purpose and guiding principles of this Church.
1. To provide a common place of worship for Christians of all denominations.
2. To maintain worship of God, who is love and right and truth.
3. To proclaim the practice of the Gospel of Christ.
4. To develop in man a healthy consciousness of his duty and relationship to God and his fellowman.
5. To inspire man with a love for truth, a passion for righteousness, and enthusiasm for service.
6. To promote a closer bond of Christian fellowship among all the people of the community.
7. To unite the Christian efforts and forces of our community.
8. To make possible the maintenance of a resident pastor, who can assume the leadership of the Church and serve the community unhampered by denominational differences, and who can be encouraged by the support of a united community.
9. To enable our community to bring health and joy to our little children, instruction and high ideals to our youth, inspiration and encouragement to our men and women in the midst of life, comfort to the unfortunate and aged, and to enable us all to work together more effectively for a better world here and more intelligent faith in a good world hereafter.
10. To be ever loyal to God and devoted to the highest good of mankind.
Article II - Legal business of Church, such as titles, deeds, or property holdings, etc. shall be confined to the members of the Sand Creek Community Church who are 21 years of age or older.
Article III Membership
1. All persons who are in sympathy with the character and purpose of this Church are cordially welcome to its fellowship and may be received into membership at any age and by any form of baptism; or by letter of certificate from, or by statement concerning membership in any other Church, regardless of its doctrine and practice.
2. Members of this Church shall not be required to sever their relations with, or renounce any part of the religious beliefs of the Church from which they came.
3. Group membership. Any church group in the community desiring to continue its organization life or its affiliation with its denomination and at the same time join with us, may do so in the same manner and under the same conditions as single individual members.
4. Termination of Membership. Certificates of good standing, or transfers to other Churches, or letters of dismissal will be granted upon request of the members themselves. Death terminates membership and the Recording Secretary shall record date of death in the Church membership record book. The Church Roll shall be revised annually by a committee chosen by the Church Council, including the Recording Secretary and Pastor, and a report of same made at the annual congregational meeting.
Article IV Government
1. The government of this Church shall be within its membership who have reached the age of 14 years and shall be administered by the Board of Trustees, Board of Deacons, and the Church Council.
2. There shall be an annual congregational meeting called, by the president, (or in case he is absent, by the person designated to take his place, see Article IV, #7), sometime during the last week in September for receiving annual reports, election of officers, accepting of the annual church budget and transaction of other business pertinent to the Church. The time of this meeting shall be announced in Church and Sunday School on the Sunday preceding the meeting.
3. Special congregational meetings may be called by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Pastor, or on request of two legal members of the Church. The time and purpose of this meeting shall be announced in Church and Sunday School on the Sunday preceding the meeting. No business shall be transacted at a special meeting except that for which the meeting was called.
4. Reports covering the year's work shall be given at the annual congregational meeting by the following: Pastor, Recording and Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, each member of the Board of Trustees, the Supt. of Sunday School, Sec. Treas. of Sunday School, President of the Young Peoples Organization (or employed director), President of the Ladies' Aid Society, Senior Deacon (who is the retiring deacon), and heads of all other departments of Church work.
5. Church Officers. There shall be a Board of 3 Trustees, and a Board of 3 Deacons (each serving for a term of 3 years, one Trustee and one Deacon shall retire each year), also a Recording and Corresponding Secretary, and a Treasurer. Trustees and Deacons shall be limited to two continuous terms of 3 years each and at least one year shall elapse between second and third term.
6. Election of Church Officers shall be by ballot at the annual congregational meeting and by only members who are 14 years old or older. Officers to be elected are as follows: one trustee for 3 years, one deacon for 3 years, a Recording and Corresponding Secretary (who is also the Secretary of the Church Council) for one year, and a Treasurer for one year.
7. Following the election, the Board of Trustees shall meet and elect one of their group as their chairman (who also becomes president of the congregational meetings). In the absence of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, his place shall be taken by the one, of the remaining two Trustees, whose term expires first. If this number two Trustee is absent, then the Jr. Trustee (last elected) will act.
8. Ten members of the Church, one of whom must be a member of the Board of Trustees, shall constitute a quorum for any legally called congregational meeting. The Congregational Meeting shall have final authority over any controversial actions taken by the Board of Trustees, Board of Deacons, Church Council, any Church Committee, any Department of the Church, or any other controversial issue whatsoever.
9. a. Church Council shall consist of the Pastor, and all elected and appointed officers of the Church, the Superintendent of Sunday School, and the president of all other departments, or closely affiliated organizations, of the Church. At the first Council Meeting, after the annual congregational meeting, the Council shall elect their own chairman (the person need not be a member of the Council but must be a legal member of the Church). The Council is empowered to fill vacancies or new positions until the next annual congregational meeting, Any Church member present may vote on Church business.
b. Church Council is the representative of the Church membership in all business or other activities of the Church except in cases where the membership represent themselves at congregational meetings.
c. Church Council duties are: To discuss all phases of church life and give aid, counsel, and advice to all church officers, committees, and appointees; to plan all activities and programs, and act as general promoter of church welfare; to receive reports from any council member on their activities, observation and ideas, etc; to invite outside aid, advice, and inspiration in church matters. Other duties are to give the Board of Trustees suggestions regarding the budget, i. e. needed expenditures and suggestions where expenses could be cut or eliminated; to keep community interest in mind and do whatever possible in bringing God's Kingdom to earth; and
d. To plan (and carry out) ways and means of raising extra funds for the church treasury (funds beyond the Trustees' Budget for emergencies and extra needs. These "extra funds" may, in case of dire necessity, be used to supplement the Trustees' Budget, but for the good of the Church this should not happen often); and
e. The Church Council may create a Building Fund if need arises (these funds must be kept separate from the Church treasury and used only for purposes for which they were raised); and
f. The Council shall be the nominating committee and prepare a list of nominees at the council meeting previous to the congregational meeting to which they are to be presented, or the Council Chairman may (if the Council agrees) appoint a committee to do the work as stated above. Nominations may be made from the floor at the congregational meeting and shall be called for by the president.
g. The Council shall meet once a month (except June, July & August) at a date, time and place convenient to a majority of the council members, which shall be decided at a Council meeting. Summer meetings may be called by any two members of the council, with the meeting being announced the preceding Sunday.
h. Five members constitute a Council quorum. One deacon and one trustee shall be included in that number.
i. Order of Business (suggested):
2. Roll Call.
3. Reading of Minutes of Last Meeting.
5. Committee Reports.
7. Unfinished Business.
8. New Business.
9. Good of the Community.
Article V Duties of Church Officers
1. Pastor (full-time) shall have general supervision of the Church program and be advisor to every department. He is the servant of the community, directing the Church in developing the religious life of the community, guiding it in its cooperation with all other institutions serving the community, and setting its program to meet outstanding needs not met by others. He shall consider every family and every individual in the community as a member of the "Community Family" and seek to serve them through the Church program. He shall give notice of one monthly, to one of the Board of Trustees, of termination of his services.
2. Recording and Corresponding Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of the monthly council meetings, and the congregational meetings; keep a record of church attendance each Sunday and any special church service; record the amounts paid in each Sunday (via envelope) to the credit of the payee's account (organize a card filing system for this purpose if none is on hand); send statements at end of year for tax purposes; write orders, directed by the Board of Trustees for all monies paid out by the Treasurer.
3. Treasurer of the Church shall perform the duties ordinarily belonging to that office, such as: keeping careful record of monies received and disbursed; paying out upon the Trustees' or congregational meeting authorization via written order form Secretary; making detailed monthly reports of church finances to the Council, and a similar report covering 12 months, to the annual congregational meeting.
4. Board of Deacons shall be custodians of the communion service; assist the Pastor in the communion service; receive the offering, count it, and put it in the hands of the Treasurer, get receipt from the Treasurer, turn empty envelopes and receipt over to Secretary to be recorded; act as an advisory council to the Pastor, and in every way stimulate the spiritual work of the Church; audit the Treasurer's and (Recording and Corresponding) Secretary's books, prepare a financial statement of them and present same to the annual congregational meeting; assist the Secretary in counting the attendance of each Sunday and any special church services. If the Senior Deacon cannot attend any service, he shall check with the Junior Deacons. If none of the three Deacons can attend, the Senior Deacon shall get at least one substitute.
5. Board of Trustees shall hold in trust all church property and administrate same for the highest interest of the community and in harmony with the state laws. They shall represent the Church in all matters of titles, deeds, sales of church property, and other duties as are naturally incumbent upon the custodian of church property (including repairs, improvements, purchases, cleaning, painting, heating, janitor service, etc.)
a. They shall determine the annual budget, submit same to the annual congregational meeting for consideration (i.e. to be accepted, rejected or changed, and provide for its collection and authorize its disbursements through the Church Treasurer, via a written order from the Secretary). In determining the budget, they shall ask for suggestions from the Council and congregation.
b. In providing for the collection of funds, they shall place dated envelopes (Corresponding Secretary shall order same) in the hands of persons for their weekly contribution. The name and amount of any contribution shall be held in strict confidence.
c. They shall strive to build up a surplus to use as emergency and sinking fund to take care of large outlays of cash,which are inevitable from time to time.
d. They shall engage and contract with a Pastor and any other paid workers. The contract with the Pastor shall include: the salary based on the budget after consulting the treasurer, amount of notice and severance pay given if his services are terminated, and a morals clause. Regardless of the amount of notice given, the Pastor may be removed from the pulpit by a unanimous vote of the Trustees and Deacons, but only for deliberately pursuing a course of conduct which is adverse to Biblical principles and practices, after having been warned of the consequences of their actions or beliefs.
Article VI - Holy Communion shall be celebrated on the first Sunday of each quarter of the year or upon special occasions as designated by the Council.
Article VII - Disapproval.
If any member disapproves of anything the Council does, or of anything the Boards or Officers do, or of Church or Sunday School activities, or of anything whatsoever, a congregational meeting may be called in the manner provided by this constitution.
Article VIII - Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws may be made by a two-thirds majority vote of the qualified voters present at any regular or special congregational meeting legally called, provided the proposed amendments have been announced with the calling of the special meeting (proposed amendments need not be previously announced when they are to be considered at the Annual Congregational Meeting).