Constitution and Bylaws of
Spirit Chapel, Corporation
WHEREAS, it is the express purpose of God our Heavenly Father to call out of the world a saved people who shall contribute to the Body of Christ, built and established on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone.
WHEREAS, the members of the Body of Christ are enjoined to assemble themselves together for worship, fellowship, counsel, and instruction in the Word of God and the work of the ministry and for the exercise of those spiritual gifts and offices provided for in the New Testament, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED: That we recognize ourselves as a body of Christian believers working together for the common purpose of spreading the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that under the laws of the State of Enter State Here we may exercise all the rights and privileges granted to religious bodies.
ARTICLE I – NAME AND AFFILIATION
The name of this corporation shall be Spirit Chapel – a non-denominational church.
Spirit Chapel is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of any denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in world missions and otherwise, Spirit Chapel may voluntarily affiliate with any Christian Churches and ministries of like precious faith.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The purpose of this corporation shall be:
- To establish and maintain a place of worship of Almighty God, our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, through the Holy Spirit and for the promotion of close Christian fellowship and Education. (Ephesians 2:21-22; Psalms 107:3; Acts 2:42, 46, 47; Hebrews 10:25).
- To provide an opportunity to discover new ways to experience God through a passionate heart, holy soul, creative minds and persistent strength. (Psalm 119:34; Romans 10:9-10; Deuteronomy 6:5; Romans 12:2; Philippians 4:7; Philippians 4:13.)
- To spread the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ to all persons as stated in Romans 1:16-17
- To create departments as may be necessary in order to establish places of worship, to spread the Gospel, (including but not limited to educational, recreational, community, and social services) (Acts 6:l-7).
- To have the right to own, hold in trust, use, possess, sell, convey, mortgage, lease or dispose of such property, real or chattel, as may be needed for the prosecution of its work. (1 Corinthians 16:1-4)
- To license ministers of the Gospel and be their covering (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Ephesians 4:12; Acts 13:3; Hebrew 13:17).
ARTICLE III – TENETS OF FAITH
The human phraseology employed in this statement is not inspired nor contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full Gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all the truth in the Bible, only that it covers orthodox fundamental matters.
A. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe that the Bible, containing Old and New Testaments is God’s written revelation to man. The sixty six (66) books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) (1 Corinthians 2:7 14; 2 Peter 1:20- 21; 2 Timothy 3:16). Word of God It cannot be added to, subtracted from or superseded in any regard. The Bible is the source of all doctrine, instruction, correction and reproof. It contains all that is needed for guidance in godliness and practical Christian conduct.
It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it (1 Corinthians 2:7-15; John 16:12-15; 1 John 2:20)
B. THE ONE TRUE GOD – TRINITY.
We believe there is but one living and true God, everlasting; of infinite holiness, love, grace, mercy, goodness, wisdom and power (Isaiah 40:28; 1 Samuel 2:2; 1 John 4:8;). Thus He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent (Jeremiah 23:24; 1 John 3:20; Revelation 19:6). Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible (Mark 12:29; Isaiah 45:22, John 15:26; Matthew 28:19; Revelation 4:11; John 1:3; Hebrew 1:1-3; Deuteronomy 32:4). The biblical revelation testifies that there is only one God and that He is eternally existent in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- God the Father God the Father is the creator and sustainer of all things, and He created the universe in love. He created man in His own image for fellowship and called man back to Himself through Christ after the rebellion and fall of man.
- The Son Jesus Christ is eternally God. He was together with the Father and the Holy Spirit from the beginning, and through Him all things were made. For man’s redemption, He left heaven and became incarnate by the Holy Spirit through the virgin Mary; henceforth, He is forever one Christ with two natures—God and man—in one person.
- The Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who was active in the Old Testament and given to the Church in fullness at Pentecost. He empowers the saints for service and witness, cleanses man from the old nature and conforms us to the image of Christ.
C. THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice. Our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate. (Luke 1:35; John 1:1,2,14; Acts 1:9,10; Romans 3:24,25; 8:34; Ephesians 1:17; Hebrews 7:25; 9:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
D. THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of the Virgin Mary. Christ is both the Son of God and God the Son (Matthew 1:18-25).
E. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who empowers, guides, teaches, bears witness to, and helps the believer. It is the privilege and duty of all believers to be filled with the Spirit. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14)
F. ANGELS AND DEMONS
We believe in the personal existence of unseen spirits in the world who contend for the souls of men, some furthering and others, under Satan, opposing the purposes of God. (Colossians 1:16; I Peter 5:8; Hebrews 1:7; II Corinthians 11:14; Revelations 12:9-12)
G. THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall. He is the open and declared enemy of God and man. His powers are supernaturally great, but strictly limited by the permissive will of God, who overrules all his wicked devices for good. Satan was defeated and judged at the cross and therefore his final doom is certain and shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire. We as believers are able to resist and overcome him only in the armor of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Jesus Christ. (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Ephesians 6:12-18; Revelation 12:11; 20:10)
We believe in the Genesis account of Creation and believe that man came directly by the Creation of God, and not by evolution. We believe that God through Moses sought to convey the idea of the 24-hour day period in Creation. (Genesis 1 and 2; Exodus 20:8-11; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-3, 10)
I. MAN: HIS FALL AND REDEMPTION
We believe, man was created good and upright, for God said, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” Man, by voluntary transgression, fell, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Genesis 1:26-31; Genesis 3:17; Romans 5:12-21).
J. THE SALVATION OF MAN
- Conditions of Salvation
We believe, that salvation is a free gift of God, based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and is offered to all who believe it. Salvation is brought about by personal repentance, belief in the Lord Jesus (justification) and personal acceptance of Him into one’s life as Lord and Savior (regeneration). The new life in Christ includes the privileges of adoption and inheritance in the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. It is secure in the eternal, unchanging commitment of God who does not lie and is forever the same. Salvation should produce an active lifestyle of loving obedience and service to Jesus Christ our Savior (Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:36, 11:25-26)
- Evidences of Salvation
The inward evidence to the believer of his/her salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Ro. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is an active lifestyle of loving obedience and service to Jesus Christ our Savior (1 Thessalonians 4:7; 2 Timothy 1:9).
K. THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe Christ’s death on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of the whole world, but its benefits are only applicable to those who receive Jesus as personal Savior. Healing—body, soul and spirit—and all of God’s provisions for His saints, are provided for in the atonement. (1 Peter 2:24, 3:18; 1 John 2:2)
L. BAPTISM IN WATER
We believe the ordinance of baptism by burial with Christ should be observed (as commanded in the Scriptures) by all that have repented of their sins and in their hearts have believed in Christ as their Savior and Lord. In doing so, they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they have also been released to walk with Him in newness of life (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:4).
Water baptism also gives the believer the opportunity to openly testify to others of his born-again experience. It serves as an outward sign and testimony of an inward grace. The believer has been crucified with Christ, buried with Him and raised together with Him to walk in newness of life (Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:4)
M. THE LORD’S SUPPER (COMMUNION)
We believe the Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements, bread and fruit of the vine, is the symbol expressing our sharing in a memorial to His suffering and death, and a prophecy of His second coming, and is enjoined to all believers “until He comes” (John 6:48,51,53-57; Luke 22:19,20; 2 Peter. 1:4; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
N. THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER
We believe all believers should ardently expect and earnestly seek the Promise of the Father, which is the baptism in the Holy Spirit. With it comes the infilling of power for life and service, and the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31). This experience may be distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the New Birth (Acts 2:38, 10:44-46, 11:14-16, 15:7-9).
O. SANCTIFICATION PROCESS
We believe by the power of the Holy Spirit we strive to obey the command, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Sanctification is the will of God for all believers, and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to God’s Word (Hebrew 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24; 1 John 2:6).
P. THE CHURCH
We believe the church is the holy Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her great commission. The purpose of the church is to Reach Out, Reach Up, and Reach In. Reach Out: to minister to others in the community and in the world, that they may come to know the Love of Jesus through the love expressed by us. Reach Up: In corporate worship, we worship our God, and present an environment where believers can come together and experience the communion with God that is brought about through worship. Reach In: The church is responsible for the care of the members of the church. This includes things such as education and discipline as well as praying for healing, and ministering to their needs where possible. It is essential to the life of the Church that scriptural patterns of discipline are practiced and that oversight for Church discipline, individual and corporate, is exercised by the leadership of the Church. Each believer is an integral part of the church, and their names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (I Thessalonians 2:4).
Q. CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that the Scriptures portray the life of the saint in this world to be one of balance between what is available to us as Christians and what we can accept according to our faith and maturity. Hence, God’s provision for His children is total, and the promises are final and forever. The shortcomings of the individual and of the Church are because of the still progressing recreation in Christ — we believe that the Christian life is a journey and a process. Salvation is immediate, but sanctification takes time. The Christian life is filled with trials, tests and warfare against a spiritual enemy. For those abiding in Christ until their deaths or His return, the promises of eternal blessing in the presence of God are assured. To remain faithful through all circumstances of life requires dependence upon the Holy Spirit and a willingness to die to personal desires (Romans 12:2; James 1:19-20; Colossians 3:5-10; Romans 12:1; Galatians 4:1-6)
R. THE MINISTRY OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS
We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts and that the New Testament gifts are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today. (John 15:7; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12; 1 John 5:14-15)
S. DIVINE HEALING
We believe deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement of Christ and is the privilege of all believers according to God’s will (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:18; John 5:14).
T. THE BLESSED HOPE
We believe the resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation, together with those who are alive and remain unto the Lord, is imminent and is the blessed hope of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Romans 6:23; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
U. THE MILLENNIAL REIGN OF JESUS
We believe the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, the salvation of national Israel, gentiles adopted into God’s Kingdom and the millennial reign of Christ on the earth are Scriptural promises and our hope (2 Thessalonians 1:7; Revelation 19:1-16, 20:1-7; Romans 11:25).
V. JUDGMENT: HEAVEN AND HELL
We affirm the bodily, personal, second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the saints, and the final judgment. The final judgment will determine the eternal status of both the saints and the unbelievers, determined by their relationship to Jesus Christ. We firmly believe that the judgment resides in the authority of God alone, and will never permit any of our members to condemn or judge those we meet (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 20:1-15)
W. THE SOULS OF UNBELIVERS
We believe that the souls of unbelievers – whosoever is not found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 19:20, 20:10-15).
X. THE NEW HEAVENS AND NEW EARTH
We believe that following the Great White Throne Judgment the heavens and earth will be renovated by fire and a new heaven and new earth brought into existence where all believers shall abide and reign forever. (2 Peter 3:10-12; Revelation 21:1-22)
ARTICLE IV – ORDINANCES
The Word of God teaches two ordinances given to us by the life and instruction of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- WATER BAPTISM
The first, baptism, is the outward sign of what God has already done in the individual’s life and is a testimony to all that the person now belongs to Jesus. It is identification with Jesus and is affected in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Because of this, we do not practice infant baptism, since the participant must be aware of the significance of the act. The ordinance of water baptism (Matthew 28:19) shall be administered by all established places of worship to all those who have repented of their sins and who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls (Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12).
The word baptism is derived from the Greek word “baptizo” which means to plunge, dip, submerge, immerse. Therefore we practice baptism by immersion as an identification of the believer with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The old life is past and the believer signifies in emerging from the water that he has newness of life because of saving faith in Christ (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:1-6; 1 Peter 3:21). Therefore we practice baptism by immersion as an identification of the believer with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The old life is past and the believer signifies in emerging from the water that he has newness of life because of saving faith in Christ (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Acts 2:41-42; Romans 6:1-6; 1 Peter 3:21).
- THE LORD’S SUPPER
The Lord’s Supper is a commemoration of the death of the Lord and is done in remembrance of Him until He comes again; it is a sign of our participation in Him. Both sacraments are restricted to those who are exemplifying a Christian life – though not restricted to those who are actual members of our church (1 Corinthians 11:17-34)
ARTICLE V – MEMBERSHIP
A. MEMBERSHIP PROCESS
Membership in Spirit Chapel is open to anyone who gives evidence of his/her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, who voluntarily subscribes to the Statement of Fundamental Truths and who agrees to be governed by the constitution and bylaws of this church as herein set forth.
Spirit Chapel is a fellowship of believers participating in the labors of the Holy Spirit in this community. Any person interested in becoming a member of the congregation of the church shall submit a signed application, in a form approved by the board of directors, to the secretary of the church. This shall be followed by a meeting with the Senior Pastor or Directors of Ministries, who will verify the applicant’s adherence to the ways of Christian life, as well as defining the expectations of members who are part of Spirit Chapel. Each application shall be considered by the Directors of Ministries at its regular meeting or at any special meeting of the Directors of Ministries, and either approved, disapproved or tabled. Applicants who are so approved shall become active members of the congregation of the church.
Spirit Chapel subscribes to a nonvoting membership. In any growing congregation, there will be people at all stages of spiritual growth and maturity. For that reason, it is not proper to submit the affairs of the church to a democratic vote, for the purpose of the church is not to do the will of the majority, but the will of God.
Any disputes that arise over the interpretation of these bylaws shall be deferred to the highest authority of this church. In this case it would be the pastor, with the advice of the board of directors.
Spirit Chapel claims authority to make all decisions with respect to membership without regulation by federal, state or local authorities, as substantiated by case law. In Watson v. Jones, the Supreme Court ruled that
“Whenever the questions of discipline, or of faith, of ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law have been decided by the highest church judicatory to which the matter has been carried, the legal tribunals must accept such decisions as final, and as binding on them . . .”
Additionally, it was ruled by the Supreme Court in Jones v. Wolf, 443 U.S. 595 (1979) that to suspend or exclude from the Lord’s Supper those found delinquent, are matters concerning membership and are solely under the control of the church, and that a member may have membership revoked if the pastor and/or church board of directors deem it necessary so long as the church follows its own rules in doing so. This right and power cannot go under review by the IRS or judicial courts.
All new members shall have all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of a member of the Church.
B. QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
This church shall be composed of individuals, hereafter called MEMBERS, who meet the following requirements:
- They publicly and truthfully confess that they have accepted Jesus Christ as both savior and Lord of their lives
- They agree that Spirit Chapel is the local body through which they will serve and worship God.
- They agree to serve with their time, talent and finances.
- They agree to abide by its constitution and by-laws.
- They have either previously been, or are willing to accept believers baptism.
- The person has to be at least 14 years old.
At the creation of Spirit Chapel the founders were the original members of the church.
C. THE STANDARDS OF MEMBERSHIP
The standard of membership of this church shall be:
- Evidence of a genuine experience of regeneration (new birth) (John 1:12-14; John 3:3-8; I Peter 1:23-25)
- Evidence of a consistent Christian life (Romans 6:4, 8:1-4, 13:13-14; Ephesians 4:l-2,15,17-32; 5:1,2,15; I John 1:6,7)
- Baptism in water by immersion (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 10:47-48; Romans 6:3-l2; Colossians 2:1l-l2)
- Full subscription to the tenets of faith as set forth in the bylaws adopted by the church
- Willingness to contribute regularly to the support of the church according to his or her ability through tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:l0; Matthew 23:23; Hebrews 7:4-5)
- Support of the church with regular attendance at services (Hebrews 10:25).
D. PROHIBITED CONDUCT OF MEMBERS
Any member or those who are in covenant fellowship with the church, found guilty of any of the following offenses shall be subject to removal from the church membership:
- In any way sowing discord among the brethren, including but not limited to rumor mongering, tale bearing and bearing false witnesses (Proverbs 6:16-l9; I Corinthians 1: 10, 12:25; Galatians 5:20-21; Ephesians 4:2-3).
- Propagating of doctrines and practices contrary to the Statements of Fundamental Truths which causes discord, dissension and division in the church (Romans 1:21-32; Galatians 1:8-9; Titus 3:9-l1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6).
- Living any kind of sexually immoral lifestyle (Romans 1:21-32; I Corinthians 5:1-5,9-13; Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 5:1-12; I Thessalonians 4:1-7).
- Persisting in believing or propagating some pernicious, false, contrary doctrine (Romans 16:17-l8; I Timothy 4:1; II Timothy 4:3-4; Titus 3:10-11; II Peter 2:1-3).
- Involvement in any form of occult practices (Deuteronomy 18:9-l 4; Acts 19:18-l 9; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 21:8).
- Being involved with the sinful worldly habits, vices, amusements, such as abusing alcoholic beverages (Proverbs 23:29-32; I Corinthians 6:19), abusing narcotics, illegal drugs or controlled substances including marijuana (Romans 6:12-l 6; Galatians 5: 1), participating in oath bound secret societies (Hosea 10:4; Matthew 5:34-37), promoting attitudes, values or conduct contrary to God’s Word (Luke 11:34-36; I Thessalonians 4:7).
- Publicly wearing apparel which is indecent or blatantly sexually provocative (I Timothy 2:9-l0, 4:11-12).
- Repeated offenses of civil laws that are not consistent with the Word of God (Ecclesiastes 8:2-4; Romans 13:1-7; I Peter 2:13-l7).
E. TERMINATION AND DISMISSAL OF MEMBERSHIP
Members shall be removed from the Church roll for the following reasons:
- the request of the member
- the transfer of membership to another church
- termination of membership by the Directors of Ministries.
The Directors of Ministries may terminate a person’s Church membership when, in the opinion of Directors of Ministries, the member’s life and conduct is in violation of Section D: Prohibitive Conduct of Members. Before a person’s Membership is terminated by the Directors of Ministries, reasonable effort shall be made to address the areas of concern with the member, and allow the member to correct the behavior.
ARTICLE VI – FINANCE
The church shall be financed by the freewill offerings of the members, friends and visitors of the church, by contributions from people wishing to support established places of worship and by fundraisers that are recognized by the Senior Pastor and the Directors of Ministries (1 Chronicles 29:6-9; 2 Chronicles. 24:10; 31:10).
ARTICLE VII – GOVERNMENT
- There shall be a Senior Pastor.
- There shall be a Secretary.
- There shall be a Treasurer.
- Other officers shall be added as needed.
B. DIRECTORS OF MINISTRIES
The everyday governance and responsibilities of Spirit Chapel and its affairs will fall under the authority of the Directors of Ministries. The Directors of Ministries shall be considered the Executive Pastoral Staff chosen by the Senior Pastor.
ARTICLE VIII – ORDINATION
By virtue of his call and being chief steward of this church, Mark Grice, the founder of Spirit Chapel is automatically ordained as minister of the gospel. All other candidates for licensing or ordination must be approved by the current Senior Pastor and shall have demonstrated their willingness and ability to undertake the responsibilities of the Full Gospel ministry. No minister shall be licensed or ordained until he shall have been engaged in the active work of the ministry, has exhibited a teachable spirit, and has been interviewed and examined by the pastoral staff of Spirit Chapel. Credentials shall be valid only when sealed by the church Seal, and shall be renewed annually.
ARTICLE IX – MEETINGS
A. CHURCH MEETINGS
In any established place of worship, the appointed pastor will be responsible for regular church services.
The corporation year shall coincide with the calendar year beginning on January l, and running through December 31. There are at least four meeting that shall be held through the year and more if needed.
The Senior Pastor will call the official board meeting to discuss the direction of the corporation. The Senior Pastor shall set dates and times for board meetings. Boards meetings must have a minimum of two-thirds of the officers (including the Senior Pastor) present for an official board meeting to exist.
Regular or special meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at the Church’s registered office in Pennsylvania if the notice thereof does not specify the location of the meeting. A regular or special meeting may be held at any place consented to in writing or email by all of the Board of Directors Members. Any meeting, regular or special, may be held by conference telephone or similar communication equipment, as long as all Board of Directors Members participating in the meeting agrees. All Board of Directors Members shall be deemed to be present in person at a meeting conducted in accordance with the foregoing sentence.
The Secretary shall keep an accurate account of the minutes that were discussed at any board meeting. Each Board of Directors meeting shall begin with the reading of the previous meetings minutes for discussion by the board and approval. Upon approval by the majority of the Board of Directors including the Senior Pastor, the minutes shall be adopted, and all policy and procedure in them will continue to be enforced.
ARTICLE X – QUORUM
Two-thirds (2/3) of the Board of Directors members (including the senior pastor) at an official board meeting constitutes a quorum. The Senior Pastor is the only one who can call an official board meeting by notifying the board members verbally or in writing with 72 hours notice.
ARTICLE XI – DEFINITIONS
Officers: The officers of the church are also the Board of Directors.
Directors of Ministries: The Directors of Ministries also function as elders.
ARTICLE XIII – AMENDMENTS
Amendments to this constitution may be made by a 75 percent vote of the official board, including the Senior Pastor’s approval.
Spirit Chapel, Inc
ARTICLE I – ORDER
For the purpose of conducting business, the Senior Pastor shall, in an orderly manner, preside over all of the affairs of the corporation.
ARTICLE II- FINANCES
The funds for the maintenance of the church shall be provided for by the freewill offerings of members, friends and visitors of the church, established places of worship and by recognized fund-raisers. All offerings are subject to approval by the Directors of Ministries as provided in the Holy Scriptures. If approved, an offering shall be passed on to the treasurer for deposit in the corporation’s treasury.
Budgeted items shall include but not be limited to the following:
- Enhancements to the property
- Insurance on the property
- Expenses for church activities
- Benevolences and Gifts
- Miscellaneous expenses (i.e. postage, fees, etc.)
An internal audit shall be completed by the treasurer and other board appointed person. This audit of all financial records shall be made after the close of the calendar year, prior to the end of February.
C. RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR INCOME AND EXPENDITURE
- The church shall maintain accounts at a financial institution for the depositing and withdrawal of funds. These accounts shall be administered by the treasurer.
- Funds may be withdrawn either as authorized by the budget, or as detailed in Section D, below, exceptions to budgetary process.
- All funds collected in the form of tithes and offerings shall be counted first by the appointed members of the church. Their totals shall be recorded in a ledger. The treasurer shall verify these sums and deposit them into the body’s accounts in a timely manner.
- All deposits to and withdraws from the regular corporation treasury shall be done by treasurer under the supervision of Senior Pastor. In the event that the Treasurer is unable for a period of time to make deposits or withdrawals, he/she may (in written form) authorize the Senior Pastor to make deposits or withdrawals from the corporation’s treasury. In such a case, the Board of Directors/President shall receive a copy of the written notice. The notice shall state the dates for which the Senior Pastor/President can make withdrawals, not to exceed two weeks.
- All funds shall be deposited, and no expenses or gifts may be paid directly with cash from tithes and offerings. All expenditures shall be made by withdrawal from a body account, so as to maintain a record of all transactions. Deposit shall be done in order to aid the record keeping by members for tax purposes, the Treasurer shall maintain a strict accounting of the total annual contribution of each member.
- The Treasurer shall make a conscientious effort to maintain church accounts at the least expense, while seeking a high rate of interest.
- The church accounts and financial records shall be audited annually. An internal audit shall be completed by the Treasurer and one of the appointed Board of Directors member. This audit of all financial records shall be made after the close of the calendar year, prior to the end of February
- The Treasurer shall provide to the church quarterly and annual summaries of income and expenditure.
- All withdrawals from these accounts shall be by check, or shall be accompanied by receipts.
D. EXCEPTIONS TO BUDGETARY PROCESS
- Occasionally the church may authorize unbudgeted expenditure of funds. Such authorization shall require a vote of the Board Directors members for expenditure of over $500. Authorized for expenditure of over $2,00 shall require a two-thirds majority vote.
- The church may from time to time receive freewill offerings for an individual or organization. These funds will be deposited into church accounts and a check given to the individual or organization in the same amount.
- The Treasurer may, at the authorization of the elders, withdraw an amount not to exceed $500 in order to meet an extraordinary expense. The maximum that may be withdrawn in a fiscal year using this exception shall be $2,000.
The Senior Pastor shall be given a regular and reasonable salary after church will get 50 members on a membership roll. The salary has to be determined by agreement of the Board of Directors. His salary shall be reviewed each year during the last meeting of the calendar year.
The salaries of all other officers and employees shall be determined by the Board of Directors and the Senior Pastor.
ARTICLE III – PROPERTY RIGHTS
All property, real or chattel, shall be taken, held, sold, transferred or conveyed in the corporation’s name.
No real or chattel property of the corporation shall be sold, leased, mortgaged, or otherwise alienated without authorization of the Senior Pastor.
The Senior Pastor of the corporation shall certify in such conveyances, leases, or mortgages.
In the event that the corporation ceases to exist, all assets of Spirit Chapel shall, at the discretion of the Board of Directors, be given to organizations that are exempt as described in section 501(c)(3) and/or 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The organization must be of similar purpose and also apply ARTICLE III, PARAGRAPHS A, B and J of the constitution as essential tenets of the Christian faith.
ARTICLE IV – GOVERNMENT AND OFFICIAL FUNCTIONS
A. SENIOR PASTOR
- Qualifications: The Senior Pastor shall have been saved at least five years and shall have wisdom in handling the corporation’s affairs. He shall be of sound doctrine and good judgment. He must also cooperate with and listen to the sound advice given by the officers. For scriptural qualifications for a pastor see 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 2 Timothy 2:24; Titus 1:5-9 and Acts 6:4.
- oversee the ministry of the church and shepherd the flock;
- – responsible for leading the worship services and meetings of the church;
- – responsible for the spiritual health and development of the church;
- – has the authority and responsibility for the teaching of scripture to the body;
- – has to give himself to prayer and the personal study of the Bible;
- – responsible for administrating the ordinances;
- – has the right of approval for any guests invited to minister to the church;
- – the Senior Pastor is to serve as one of the Directors of Ministries.
3. Manner of Appointment: In the event that the corporation needs a new Senior Pastor due to sudden death or resignation, the Board of Directors and the Directors of Ministries has to exhaust all possible leads on the current pastoral staff, to secure and review qualified candidates, and if no suitable candidate is found, will then begin interviewing candidates from outside the ministry. The new Senior Pastor will be determined by a three-fourths vote of the Board of Directors and Directors of Ministries. As long as the current Senior Pastor is in good standing with the church he will oversee this process. Once accepted, the call to the senior pastor is indefinite. The Senior Pastor will serve as the chief overseer of the church as well as the chairman of the Board of Directors. The termination of the Senior Pastor’s services may be effected at any time by his resignation. The Senior Pastor will give a notice of thirty days before his resignation, or a shorter period of time if it is mutually agreed upon between him and the board of directors. Termination may also be administered by the Board of Directors if A) there is indisputable proof of an egregious moral indiscretion and B) there is a unanimous vote among the Directors of Ministry and the Board of Directors. (In case of a vote to remove the Senior Pastor, the Pastor must abstain from the vote.) If Apostolistic Elders have been established as an accountability measure, the Senior Pastor’s removal will also require a unanimous vote from the Apostolistic Elders as well.
4. Term of Office: The term of the Senior Pastor’s office shall be for an indefinite period of time as provided by the Holy Scriptures.
B. EXECUTIVE PASTOR
- Qualifications: The Executive Pastor shall have been saved at least five years and shall have wisdom in handling the corporation’s affairs if the Senior Pastor is out carrying on the work of the ministry. He shall be of sound doctrine and good judgment. He will serve as Chief Advisor to the Senior Pastor.
- he will serve as the executive pastor of the corporation.
- he shall serve on the board.
- he shall carry out the responsibilities that the Senior Pastor delegates to him
3. Manner of Appointment: The Senior Pastor shall nominate and the board of directors shall confirm the Executive Pastor to office.
4. Term of Office: The office of the Executive Pastor shall be for an indefinite period of time; he is subject to dismissal if he violates the constitution and bylaws of Spirit Chapel. He may also be removed by a two thirds vote of the Board of Directors if it is deemed in their opinion that the Executive Pastor is not executing his duties effectively.
- Qualifications: the Secretary shall be a spiritually minded person and of sound judgment. He/she must be capable of recording the minutes of meetings, and of doing all of the correspondence necessary in the conducting of official corporation business.
- by virtue of his/her office, the Secretary shall keep a true and accurate record of all meetings, including business meetings of the corporation.
- he/she shall perform clerical duties, and shall be the custodian of all legal documents.
3. Manner of Appointment: The Senior Pastor shall nominate and the Board of Directors shall confirm the Secretary to office.
4. Term of Office: The term of office shall be for an indefinite period of time; he/she (Secretary) is subject to dismissal if he/she violates the constitution and bylaws of Spirit Chapel. He/she may also be removed by a two thirds vote of the Board of Directors if it is deemed in their opinion that the secretary is not executing their duties effectively.
- Qualifications: the Treasurer shall be a spiritually minded person, and of sound judgment. He/she shall be capable of doing the accounting required to maintain the corporation books.
- by virtue of his/her office, the Treasurer shall keep, in a business-like manner, an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements of monies committed to his/her trust, and shall make reports to be presented during the official board meetings.
- He/she shall deposit and make withdrawals in a manner prescribed in Article II of the bylaws.
3. Manner of Appointment: The Senior Pastor shall nominate and the Board of Directors shall confirm the treasurer to office.
4. Term of Office: The term of office shall be for an indefinite period of time; he/she (Treasurer) is subject to dismissal if he/she violates the constitution and bylaws of Spirit Chapel. He/she may also be removed by a two thirds vote of the Board of Directors if it is deemed in their opinion that the Treasurer is not executing the duties effectively.
E. OTHER EMPLOYEES
Employees may be hired from time to time in order to carry out the work of the ministry. The Senior Pastor must approve an employee. An employee is hired for an indefinite period of time and may be dismissed at any time by the Senior Pastor.
ARTICLE V – OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Anything that has not been discussed in this constitution and bylaws shall be discussed and decided upon at an official board meeting.
ARTICLE VI – MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL
A. CLASSES OF MINISTERS
This church shall have four classes of ministers. Each class of minister will have distinct rights and privileges; they are listed below:
- Commissioned Minister: This recognition is automatically given to all believers and members of this church. They are not authorized to perform any sacerdotal services, but primarily assist others in the Body of Christ. Individuals in this category may include, but are not limited to: teachers, worship leaders, instructors, hospital and jail visitation, ministerial assistance, and lay persons.
- Chaplain: This recognition is for ministers of the gospel that are called by God and recognized by the senior pastor to minister primarily in prisons, hospitals and government agencies.
- Licensed Minister: This recognition is given by the senior pastor of this church. This recognition is for those who are somewhat seasoned in the ministry, but need further experience. Many of these are individuals that have been working in their chosen vocation, but for some reason or another have never entered full-time ministry, or have only been in full-time ministry for less than three (3) years. Such persons are authorized to perform all sacerdotal services. However, this person is not in charge of a congregation. Limited authority is granted to run the affairs of the church.
- Ordained Minister: This recognition is given by the senior pastor to those persons who have an “established” or “proven” ministry. Ordained ministers are authorized to perform all functions of the Christian ministry and sacerdotal services, and must be capable of doing so. He or she must be capable, as determined by the senior pastor, to take charge of a congregation.
B. SENIOR PASTOR’S AUTHORITY
The senior pastor of this church shall have the authority to decide who, how or if a person will be licensed by this church to hold any of the four classes mentioned above (Matthew 16:13-19).
The senior pastor of this church shall by virtue of his office automatically be recognized as an ordained minister.
ARTICLE VII – HOMOSEXUALITY
This church is categorically opposed to a homosexual lifestyle as being an accepted alternative lifestyle. Additionally, this church holds that a homosexual lifestyle is contrary to God’s will and purpose for humanity. The Bible instructs that it is a sin that leads to death. Moreover, this church is instructed to love those living such lifestyles, while abhorring their sin. 1 Corinthians 6:9 states: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders.” Leviticus 20:13 says, “The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have committed a detestable act and are guilty of a capital offense.”
A. HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE
Neither Spirit Chapel, nor any minister ordained by Spirit Chapel shall perform any marriage between homosexual partners. Because the minister’s ordination is based upon their faithful commitment to Spirit Chapel’s religious beliefs, participating in any ceremony condoning a homosexual union will instantly revoke their ordination, which removes their authority to perform such marriage. Also, Spirit Chapel shall not lease, nor make available, any place used for such a wedding ceremony or reception. It will neither condone nor recognize such marriages, even if the state passes laws that provide for recognition of such unions.
B. MEMBERS AND HOMOSEXUALITY
Members of the church are forbidden to practice such sin. Any member found to be in such sin shall be treated according to article V, section D (PROHIBITED CONDUCT OF MEMBERS) of the constitution.
ARTICLE VIII – PRIVACY
Spirit Chapel shall diligently watch to keep private all records concerning polity, doctrine, counseling and information on membership. This church must not disclose any records that may compromise information about a member’s attendance, membership status, giving and counseling records. Additionally, no request shall ever be released to any government authority without due process and a valid subpoena delivered by the proper government agency.
ARTICLE IX – CLERGY PENITENT PRIVILEGE
The senior pastor must follow the rules set forth below:
When a member asks to meet with a minister, the minister must ask the following questions before proceeding:
- Are you seeking to communicate with me in my capacity as a minister, in confidence, while acting in my spiritual capacity as a spiritual adviser?
- Do you intend the communication to be confidential?
Additionally, the minister must make the member aware that in order for clergy –penitent privilege to apply, all other parties must leave the room before the session may begin.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
Amendments to the bylaws may be made by a 75 percent vote of the Board of Directors, including the senior pastor’s approval.
These bylaws adopted on this day make null and void all prior addendums and these bylaws supersede and replace all previous bylaws voted on prior to this day.