By-Laws

ARTICLE I

MEMBERSHIP

Section 1.

ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP: Active Membership in the Grace Community Church of Long Beach shall be open to all persons who confess Christ as Savior, who make Him Lord of their lives and who have been baptized.

Section 2.

VOTING PRIVILEGES: Voting privileges shall be restricted to active members who have passed their sixteenth (16) birthday.

Section 3.

APPLICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP: All requests for membership shall be made to a Pastor, an Elder, or a Deacon. Upon making such request, the person shall be given an application for membership, along with a copy of the Statement of Faith. A Pastor, Elder, or Deacon shall meet with the applicant following receipt of the application. Each applicant shall subscribe to the Statement of Faith and testify publicly before the Board of Elders at a special meeting for prospective members and complete a course of instruction presented in a membership orientation seminar.

Section 4.

ADMISSION OF APPLICANTS: Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service designated by the Pastor and Board of Elders at which service such applicants shall be publicly received and given the Right Hand of Fellowship.

Section 5.

DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS: Members of this church who shall err in doctrine or conduct shall be subject to dismissal. However, it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring member's heresy or misconduct to warn and to correct such erring member. If said erring member does not heed this warning, then the warning member shall again go to the erring member accompanied by one or two witnesses to warn and correct such erring member. If said erring member still refuses to heed this warning, it shall be brought to the attention of the Elders. If said erring member refuses to heed the warning and correction of the Elders, he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the church, and removed from the roll.

Section 6.

REMOVAL FROM ROLL: In addition to the removal provisions of section 5, members of this church who shall willfully, without plausible reason or excuse, absent themselves from the services of this church for a period of one (1) year shall be removable at the discretion of the Board of Elders.

Section 7.

DISMISSION: Letters of dismission to other churches may be given to those who request such letters and who have either changed their residence or who desire to attend another church.

ARTICLE II

BOARD OF ELDERS

Section 1.

ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE: The governing body of this corporation shall be known as the Board of Elders, and it shall consist of not less than three (3) nor more than nine (9) members, elected at the annual business meeting for the term of one (1) year. Said members shall be subject to nomination for re-election for another year by a majority vote of the Board of Elders. Membership shall be limited to five (5) consecutive years; however, in cases of special need, the Board may authorize a longer term. Throughout his tenure, the Pastor/Teacher shall be a permanent member of the Board of Elders. All pastors, officers, councils, committees, and staff, shall be responsible to this Board.

Section 2.

QUALIFICATIONS: Each member of the Board of Elders must be an active member of this church and possess the qualifications described in I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.

 

a.

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

 

b.

Husband of one wife (a one-woman man). I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6,7

 

c.

Temperate (sober, vigilant). I Tim. 3:2

 

d.

Sober minded (prudent). I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8

 

e.

Of good behavior (orderly, respectable). I Tim. 3:2

 

f.

Given to hospitality. I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8

 

g.

Apt to teach (able to teach). I Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:9 (he can exhort believers and refute false teaching).

 

h.

Not given to wine. I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7

 

i.

Not violent (pugnacious). I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7

 

j.

Patient, (moderate, forbearing, gentle). I Tim. 3:3

 

k.

Not a brawler (uncontentious). I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7, (not soon angry or quick tempered).

 

l.

Not covetous, (not a lover of money). I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7, (not greedy of base gain).

 

m.

Rules well his own house. I Tim. 3:4; Titus 1:6 (his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God).

 

n.

Not a novice, (not a new convert). I Tim. 3:6

 

o.

Has a good report or reputation with outsiders. I Tim. 3:7

 

p.

Not self-willed. Titus 1:7

 

q.

A lover of good, (men and things). Titus 1:7

 

r.

Just, (fair). Titus 1:7

 

s.

Holy, (devout). Titus 1:7

 

t.

Self-controlled. Titus 1:7

Section 3.

DUTIES: The Elders are responsible for shepherding and having oversight over the flock. Specific duties of this board shall be as follows:

 

a.

To elect a chairman, vice chairman, secretary and treasurer.

 

b.

To establish policies and determine practices for the church.

 

c.

To hear and consider all reports and recommendations submitted by pastors, councils, committees and staff.

 

d.

To assist the Pastor/Teacher in the administration of ordinances.

 

e.

To appoint and remove such pastors and staff as may be deemed appropriate.

 

f.

To exercise general oversight of financial matters of the church, and provide for an annual audit of each group.

 

g.

To exercise general oversight over church property.

 

h.

To acquire or dispose of all real or personal property of any kind.

 

i.

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

Section 4.

OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF ELDERS:

 

a.

Chairman: The Chairman shall preside at all Board meetings which are to be conducted according to scriptural principles set forth in Phil. 2:2-8 and Robert's Parliamentary Rules of Order. The Chairman shall, in the absence of the Pastor(s), be responsible for the leadership of the church service.

 

b.

Vice-Chairman: The Vice-Chairman shall assume all of the above enumerated duties of the Chairman in the absence of the latter.

 

c.

Secretary: The Secretary shall keep the minutes of all meetings of the Board of Elders and shall attach to said minutes all official correspondence relating to the Board. He shall be charged with the duty of giving proper notice to the congregation of annual and special meetings.

 

d.

Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for all monies collected by the church, and he shall make financial reports each month to the Board. The Treasurer shall make a financial report at each annual business meeting. Proper records and books concerning incoming and outgoing funds shall be kept and such records and books shall be available for auditing or inspection at any reasonable time by the Board of Elders.

Section 5.

MEETING AND QUORUM:

 

a.

The Board of Elders shall conduct regular meetings once a month and special meetings at such other times as called for by the Pastor/Teacher or Chairman of the Board. A majority of the Board membership shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of conducting church business, with the following exceptions:

 

 

-

Whenever the business of the Board of Elders concerns calling or dismissing a Pastor, and buying or selling real estate, a quorum shall consist of not less than two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board.

 

b.

Regular meeting dates of the Board of Elders shall be determined at the first Elders' meeting of each year.

Section 6.

DECISIONS OF THE BOARD OF ELDERS:

 

a.

All decisions (with the exception as stated in Article II Section 1) shall be reached after prayerful consideration by unanimous vote in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself.

 

b.

Any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from Grace Community Church shall not be in a position to determine the nature or amount of said compensation.

ARTICLE III

OTHER COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES

Section 1.

COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES: To enable efficient handling of Board matters, the Board may appoint various Councils and Committees from within its membership, the staff shall perform tasks solely in accordance with the duties and with powers specifically delegated by the Board. The general function of Councils and Committees are:

 

a.

to bring considered recommendations to the Board concerning ministries.

 

b.

to provide a wider base of council to the Elders having the oversight of specific ministries.

Section 2.

DEACONS: The Deacons shall consist of members of this church possessing the qualities described in I Timothy 3:8-13 whose appointment by the Board of Elders shall be confirmed at the annual business meeting for a term of one (1) year. The Deacons shall assist the Elders in the shepherding of the saints and in the general spiritual care of the church.

Section 3.

DEACONESSES: The Deaconesses shall consist of members of this church possessing the qualities described in I Timothy 3:11 whose appointment by the Board of Elders shall be confirmed at the annual business meeting for a term of one (1) year.

Section 4.

USHERS: The Ushers shall consist of members whose appointment by the Board of Elders shall be for a term of one (1) year. They shall act as the church ushers, greeters at the doors, receive offerings, and assist the Pastor in the services in such matters he deems necessary. They shall also be responsible for the safety and security of all church property during the services.

Section 5.

CHAIRMEN OF ALL COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES: They shall be appointed by the Board of Elders.

Section 6.

ALL COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES shall exist for the period specified by the Board of Elders.

ARTICLE IV

MEETINGS

Section 1.

ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING: The annual business meeting of the church shall be held the third week of the month of January in each year. Notice of the time and place of the meeting, as determined by the Board of elders, shall be given from the pulpit by the Pastor for two successive Sundays prior to the meeting. In addition thereto, notice shall be published in the regular church bulletin two successive Sundays prior to such meeting.

Section 2.

SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETINGS:

 

a.

Special business meetings may be called by the Pastor or by the Chairman of the Board of Elders or by the Board of Elders.

 

b.

Notice of such meetings shall be given from the pulpit by the Pastor at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting and shall also be published in the regular church bulletin on the Sunday immediately preceding the meeting. The notice shall specify the date, time and place and the general nature of the business to be transacted. Under circumstances requiring immediate action by the church, the seven (7) day notice provision may be waived upon consensus of the Board of Elders.

Section 3.

QUORUM: All members present at an annual business meeting or special meeting shall constitute a quorum.

ARTICLE V

ELECTIONS

Section 1.

TIME: The election of the Board of Elders and appointment-confirmation of the Deacons, Deaconesses and Ushers of this church enumerated in Articles II and III of these By-Laws shall be at the annual business meeting.

Section 2.

MODE: All elections shall be by standing affirmation. No voting by proxy shall be permitted.

Section 3.

NOMINATIONS: The Board of Elders shall appoint a Nominating Committee, and designate its chairman. Nominations shall be submitted by the congregation to the Committee. The Committee shall review all nominations and determine each nominee's qualifications. A proposed slate of nominees shall be submitted to the Board of Elders for their consideration and review. Members of the Nominating Committee may be nominees. The Secretary of the Board of Elders shall publicly post the list of nominees for each office in alphabetical order at least three (3) weeks prior to the annual meeting. After the list has been posted and not less than seven (7) days before the annual meeting, any member may submit any additional nominations to the Board of Elders for their consideration.

Section 4.

INTERIM VACANCIES: In the event that any of the offices becomes vacant during the interim between annual business meetings, the Board of Elders shall have the authority to fill such vacancy for the unexpired term. The Board of Elders shall further have the authority to fill vacancies which may exist on its own Board.

ARTICLE VI

THE PASTOR/TEACHER

Section 1.

CONFIRMATION: The Pastor/Teacher shall be selected by the Board and confirmed by the members of the church at its annual or at a special business meeting, and such confirmation shall be a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast. He shall remain in office for an indefinite period of time subject to the following reservations: The Elders reserve the right to dismiss the Pastor/Teacher upon giving him three months' written notice of its intention to dismiss. The Pastor/Teacher must give three months' notice if he intends to resign. The time limit of a Pastor/Teacher's resignation or dismissal is subject to a lesser time if both the Pastor/Teacher and the church by mutual agreement provide otherwise.

Section 2.

DUTIES: The Pastor Teacher shall be an ex officio member of all councils and committees and he shall be responsible to the Board of Elders. The Pastor/Teacher shall arrange for and conduct all public and regular services of the church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church.

Section 3.

PENSION: The Board of Elders shall appoint a pension review committee annually, consisting of three or more members, and their findings and recommendations shall be presented annually to the Board of Elders.

ARTICLE VII

AMENDMENTS

 

Amendments to these By-Laws may be adopted by a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the members present and voting at any annual or special business meeting. Notice of the proposed amendment by the Elders shall first be given to the membership of the church in the following manner: The Pastor shall announce the proposed amendment from the pulpit in the regular Sunday morning service for two successive Sundays prior to the date of said meeting. In addition thereto, notice of same shall be published in the regular church bulletin for two successive Sundays prior to the date of said meeting.

Section 1:

(Added July 28, 1996) Anytime there are less than 5 active members on the Elder Board, a 2/3 approval vote of those members present at the special business meeting is required to dismiss an existing Pastor for cause or to borrow money using the church building as collateral.

ARTICLE VIII

MARRIAGE

 

The Bible is clear, God’s creation of marriage was for one man and one woman (Genesis 2:18-24). At Grace Community Church we therefore recognize as biblical marriages only those between a man and a woman.