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CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

PREAMBLE

We the members of Redwood Valley Community Church, which is always to be an independent, self-governing, non-denominational, Bible Church, in order to continue in a larger endeavor, and remaining true to the doctrine and principles under which this Church was formed as a Sunday School, do hereby adopt this Constitution and By-laws.

 

ARTICLE I -- NAME AND HISTORY

This organization is named the Redwood Valley Community Church: and is incorporated as a religious nonprofit organization under the laws of the State of California. Corporation #260431. Incorporation date: February 15, 1952. Church serviced in Redwood Valley go back to the year 1860. For 65 years, Sunday School and Church Services were conducted in several places and conducted by many different people with regular pastors having served since 1948. The original sanctuary, now housing Sunday School classrooms, was in use in 1918. The present sanctuary was completed in 1974, with the first service being held on Easter Sunday of that year.

 

ARTICLE II -- OBJECTIVE

This single objective of this church is to glorify God through public worship service, through teaching God's Word to edify this church, through unity of fellowship to strengthen Christian love and deepen spiritual life in this church, through aggressive personal evangelism to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and through missions to cooperate in fulfilling the great commission from our Lord. The doctrinal basis of this congregation is God's Word, the Bible. A brief synopsis of the essential Christian doctrine necessary to the unity of our fellowship is affixed herein, entitled Articles of Biblical Faith, adopted October 31, 1982. (See Addendum.)

 

ARTICLE III – MEMBERSHIP

 

SECTION 1: QUALIFICATIONS

A. This church shall be composed of members who profess to be saved by grace through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and have been baptized upon confession of their faith. All baptisms performed by this church shall be by immersion.

B. All members shall be expected to adhere to the Church Covenant, Constitution and By-laws, and Articles of Biblical Faith. (See Addendum.)

C. Any member failing to attend the services of this church for a period of six (6) months or is absent for missionary service, college, military service or any other areas as defined by the Board, shall have his/her name placed on the inactive membership list. The Board must attempt to communicate with all such members before this action is taken. They will be given the option of remaining on the inactive list, having their membership transferred or being removed from the membership rolls. Any person whose name has been placed on the inactive membership list, who renews their relationship with the church, will be restored to active membership by vote of the Board.

 

SECTION 2: TRANSFER

A. Members may be received by letter from churches of like doctrine, providing all qualifications of Article III, section 1, paragraph A and B are met.

B. A member desiring to unite with a church of like doctrine, upon recommendation of the Board, may be granted a letter of transfer.

 

SECTION 3: CHURCH DISCIPLINE

All matters of discipline shall be submitted to the Board for appropriate action according to the Scriptures. No action shall be taken by the Board until the member has been confronted according to Matthew 18:15-17 and given opportunity to appear at the Board Meeting where the matter is to be considered. The following Scriptures shall be considered in all matters of discipline: Romans 16:17, Matthew 18:15-17, 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 1 Timothy 5:20, 2 Timothy 4:2, Titus 3:10, Galatians 6:1-2.

 

ARTICLE IV – ORGANIZATION

 

SECTION 1: THE CONGREGATION

Church members at duly called business meetings shall be the final governing body of the church. The Constitution and By-laws shall express the basic will of the congregation regarding their church organization and function.

 

SECTION 2: THE PASTOR-TEACHER

A. The Pastor-Teacher shall be called by the congregation at a duly called business meeting, and by a vote of 80% of those present and voting. He shall be a regular ordained minister, called of God, who is well trained for this position as spiritual leader of the church. His term of service shall be open. His duties are to faithfully preach the Word of God, to administer the ordinances, to minister to the sick and shut-ins, to exercise Christian care and watchfulness over members of the church, faithfully admonishing and entreating them as occasion may require, and perform the duties generally recognized as incumbent upon the pastoral office.

B. His resignation, or recall by the congregation, shall require a thirty day (30 day) notice; in writing, unless a lesser time is mutually agreed upon with the Board. All resignations are binding and automatically accepted. As Pastor-Teacher he is an Elder and, as such, a member of the Board and a member, ex-officio of all committees. Other duties shall be mutually set by the Pastor-Teacher and the Board.

 

SECTION 3: PASTORAL STAFF

Pastoral staff, (assistant/associate pastors) shall work under the supervision of the Pastor-Teacher. The selecting and calling of assistant/associate pastor is subject to the approval of the Board and the congregation. The assistant/associate pastor shall be called for a one-year (1 year) probationary period by a vote of 80% of those present and voting. At the end of his first year, the Board shall review his ministry and make their recommendation to the congregation.

 

SECTION 4: ELDERS

A. Elders shall be male members, duly elected, to govern the congregation in business, and along with the Pastor-Teacher, oversee the Congregation in spiritual matters. All Elders shall be:

1) Blameless (above reproach) as a steward of God (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)

2) Husband of one wife (1Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)

3) Temperate (1 Timothy 3:2)

4) Sober minded (prudent) (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)

5) Of good behavior (respectable) (1 Timothy 3:2)

6) Given to hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)

7) Able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)

8) Not given to wine (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)

9) Not violent (pugnacious) (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)

10) Gentle, Peaceable (1 Timothy 3:3)

11) Not quick tempered (Titus 1:7)

12) Not covetous (not a lover of money); (not greedy of false gain) (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)

13) Rules well his own house; (his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion) (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6)

14) Not a novice (not a new convert) (1 Timothy 3:6)

15) Has a good reputation with outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7)

16) Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)

17) A lover of good (Titus 1:8)

18) Just (Titus 1:8)

19) Holy (devout) (Titus 1:8)

20) Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)

B. They shall be examples in prayerfulness and stewardship in the church. Those elected to the Board must be 21 years of age or older and must have been a member of the church for at least one year.

C. They shall be called by the Congregation at a duly called meeting by a vote of seventy-five percent (3/4) of those present and voting. Their term of service shall not exceed three (3) years. No elder may serve more than two (2) consecutive terms without being off the Board for a minimum of one (1) year. Each Elder shall be required to maintain seventy-five percent (75%) attendance average at meetings of the Board.

D. Elder duties:

1) Filling the pulpit in the absence of the Pastor-Teacher.

2) To provide for the discipline of erring members when such is deemed necessary, while striving for reconciliation.

3) To have two or more Board members visit each prospective member regarding personal salvation and baptism prior to action by the Board on their membership application.

 

SECTION 5: COMMITTEES

The Constitution and By-laws shall establish the procedure for all regular church committees. The Board may appoint special committees as needed.

 

SECTION 6: NON-PASTORAL STAFF

The Board shall have the right to hire or terminate such personnel as it deems necessary to accomplish the work of this church.

 

ARTICLE V -- CHURCH BOARD

 

The Board is the governing body of this church and shall be composed of all duly elected elders, and the Pastor-Teacher. They shall hold regular meetings at least monthly, such being called by the chairman. A quorum of two-thirds (2/3) is required for official Board meetings. All decisions made by the Board shall be reached after prayerful consideration by unanimous vote in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself, (Philippians 2:3-4). Notification of all regular and special meetings require reasonably thorough effort to contact all members. Meetings are open to all active members of the congregation, except when dealing with personnel matters.

 

SECTION 1: BOARD DUTIES

Specific duties of the Board shall be as follows:

A. To elect a chairman and vice chairman.

B. The legal officers of the corporation to transact all legal requirements of civil government.

C. To recommend policies and practices for the church.

D. To hear and consider all reports and recommendations submitted by the Pastor-Teacher, committees and staff.

E. To assist the Pastor-Teacher in the administration of all ordinances.

F. To exercise general oversight of financial matters of the church.

G. To exercise general oversight of church property.

H. Evaluate all staff and elders annually.

 

SECTION 2: CHAIRMAN

The chairman shall be elected by the Board in January, and his term of office shall be for one year. He shall preside at all Board meetings which are to be conducted according to scriptural principles such as set forth in Philippians 2:2-8. The chairman shall, in absence of the Pastor-Teacher be responsible for the leadership of the church service.

 

SECTION 3: SPECIAL ELECTIONS

A special election meeting may be called by the Board to replace any elder/elders when deemed necessary.

 

ARTICLE VI – COMMITTEES

 

SECTION 1: PURPOSE

A. All committees are established to perform duties, as defined by the Board, for the purpose of fulfilling the ongoing ministry of this church.

B. All committee members must be members of the church.

C. Committee Chairmen shall be appointed by the Board annually in January and their term of office shall be one (1) year. The Board shall consider approval of all committee members and sub-committee members upon recommendation of the chairman.

D. Each committee shall prepare a yearly budget and the chairman shall present it to the Board not less than forty-five (45) days prior to the Congregational Business Meeting in December.

 

SECTION 2: FINANCIAL COMMITTEE

A. The purpose of this committee is to oversee the financial and legal matters of the church.

B. Written financial reports to the Board shall be required monthly, quarterly, and annually.

C. An annual church budget shall be presented to the Board for approval.

D. Meetings shall be called by the chairman, as needed, with a majority required as a quorum.

E. Annual budget shall be presented to the congregation for action at a meeting called during the month of December.

 

SECTION 3: AUDIT COMMITTEE

A. Three (3) members of the congregation (not members of the Business Committee) shall be appointed by the Board to audit all church financial records. Audit will be conducted annually after the end of the fiscal year and before June 1st.

B. The audit report shall be made to the Board by the July Board Meeting, and the findings presented to the congregation at the next scheduled business meeting.

C. Special audits of any extent or kind may be directed by the Board.

 

SECTION 4: ELECTION COMMITTEE

A. This committee shall consist of two (2) Elders, and three (3) members of the congregation, as appointed by the Board in September. No member shall serve two (2) consecutive years, unless a too small number of Elders elected prevents it.

B. Committee meetings will begin in October. Candidates will be presented to the Elders at the November meeting for personal examination and approval according to the Scriptures, prior to their names being submitted to the church. Approved candidates will be submitted to the congregation no later than thirty (30) days prior to the election for prayerful consideration.

C. This committee shall also function for special elections that are called by the Board.

 

SECTION 5: PULPIT COMMITTEE

A. When it becomes necessary to call a pastor-teacher, the chairman of the Board shall immediately call a Board meeting to organize a Pulpit Committee.

B. The Pulpit Committee shall be made up of six (6) members appointed by the Board with no more than fifty (50) percent representation by Board Members.

 

ARTICLE VII – PROCEDURES

 

SECTION 1: CONGREGATIONAL BUSINESS MEETINGS

A. A church business year shall be from January 1st through December 31st.

B. The presiding officer of congregational business meetings shall be the Chairman of the Board, or his designee. He shall be responsible for preparing the agenda, notifying the members of the date, time, and place of the meetings.

C. The Annual Election meeting shall be held on a day selected by the Board prior to the end of the fiscal year. Only those names submitted by the Election Committee and approved by the Board shall be considered; and no nominations from the floor shall be allowed.

D. A meeting of the congregation may be called by the Board, or by petition of one-fourth (1/4) of the voting members of the congregation. All voting members must be notified not less than three (3) days before the meeting; or, for any emergency meeting, a twenty-four (24) hour notice with reasonably thorough effort to contact every member will suffice.

 

SECTION 2: FINANCES

A. Expenses incurred on behalf of this church, within the approved budget, only need the consent of the immediate committee chairman. Any expense beyond the approved budget must have prior approval of the board.

B. Any single expenditure exceeding $5000.00, not approved as part of the annual budget, shall be subject to the review and approval of the congregation by a two-thirds (2/3) vote.

C. Only the congregation may act to buy, sell, mortgage, or otherwise encumber the real property of the church. Such action will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members at a duly called meeting.

 

SECTION 3: ANNUAL REPORT

An Annual Report will be presented to the Congregation at the annual congregational meeting. The purpose of the report is to share annual progress of the church. A current statement of membership and an annual financial statement shall be included.

 

SECTION 4: RECALL

Any officer elected, appointed or called by the congregation may be recalled from office by a fifty one percent (51%) majority vote of those present and voting at a duly called business meeting with three (3) day notice of intent to recall.

 

SECTION 5: RULES

A. The rules governing all parliamentary procedure in carrying out the business of this congregation shall be the text entitled Robert's Rules of Order.

B. No action may be taken at a business meeting of the congregation with less than forty percent (40%) of the voting members present.

C. Voting may be done by all church members sixteen (16) years of age and older.

D. Election shall be by secret ballot with the results announced but the count held in confidence.

ARTICLE VIII – DISSOLUTION

 

A. In the event that this corporation be dissolved, all assets after all obligations and liabilities of the corporation have been paid, satisfied, discharged, or adequate provision made therefore, shall be distributed to the American Missionary Fellowship (AMF).

B. In the event that American Missionary Fellowship (AMF) is not in existence at the time this corporation is dissolved, all assets after all liabilities of the corporation have been paid, satisfied, discharged or adequate provision made therefore, shall be distributed to a non-profit, evangelical Protestant religious corporation which has the same status in regard to federal income tax as this corporation has.

 

ARTICLE IX – AMENDMENTS

 

This Constitution and By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the voting members present at a regular business meeting, after a thirty (30) day notice has been given, and the proposed amendment posted for that length of time.

 

ARTICLE X -- LICENSURE AND ORDINATION

 

It shall be within the power of this church to license and ordain those whom God has called and prepared for His service and ministry. Upon approval the candidate shall be given the proper credentials for licensure or ordination. These credentials may be revoked if the person departs from the doctrine of this church or is guilty of flagrant sin.

 

SECTION 1: LICENSURE

Any member of this church or any person recommended by another group of like faith who gives evidence of being called of God to minister the gospel of Jesus Christ may be granted a license by the Board of Elders to preach and perform ministerial duties.

 

SECTION 2: ORDINATION

Any male member of this church or any person recommended by another group of like faith may be given full ordination. He will be given a thorough examination by a Council composed of the Board of Elders and no less than five ordained ministers. His examination will include his call to ministry, Scriptural qualifications, training, doctrinal belief, and ministerial expertise. The ordination will be public upon the recommendation of the council and final approval by the Board of Elders.

 

(Constitution as Amended December 9, 2007)

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