Bylaws Of New City Church, Inc.
These Bylaws (hereafter “Bylaws”) govern the affairs of New City Church, Inc., a Georgia Domestic 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (hereafter the “Church”). The Church is incorporated and organized under the laws and guidelines of the State of Georgia as provided under Title 14 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code, O.C.G.A. Section 14-3-101, et sec (hereafter the “Code”)
ARTICLE I – CORPORATE NAME AND OFFICES
1.0 Name of Corporation
The name of the corporation is New City Church, Inc.
1.1 Principal Office and Mailing Address
The principal office of the Church is located at 533 Cherry Street, Macon, Georgia, Bibb County. The mailing address for the Church is 533 Cherry Street, Macon, Georgia 31201.
1.2 Change of Address
The designation of the county or state of the Church's principal office may be changed by amendment of these Bylaws. The Board of Directors (hereafter “Movement Elders”) may change the principal office from one location to another within the named county, and such changes of address shall not be deemed, nor require, an amendment of these Bylaws.
1.3 Other Offices
The Church may also have offices at such other places, within or without its state of incorporation, where it is qualified to do business, as its business and activities may require, and as the Movement Elders may, from time to time, designate.
ARTICLE II - PURPOSES
2.1 IRC Section 501(c)(3) Purposes
The Church is organized exclusively for one or more of the purposes as specified in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
2.2 Specific Objective and Purposes
The specific objective of the Church shall be:
(1) “The Mission of New City Church is to help others live in light of the Gospel.”
(2) New City Church will provide regular opportunities for worship that will include praying, preaching, singing, teaching, counseling, fellowshipping and observing communion and baptism.
The purposes for which the Church is organized are:
(1) To engage in such religious, educational, charitable, and benevolent activities as are permitted to be carried on by a Church exempt from federal income tax under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
(2) To accept donations and contributions, either in trust or otherwise, for all the foregoing purposes.
(3) To do any and all other things necessary or incident to the above and foregoing purposes and powers, including all of the rights, powers and authority incident to general domestic non-profit corporations organized under the laws of the State of Georgia.
2.3 One Church, Multiple Congregations
New City Church will exist as One Church (Article I Section 1.0) in multiple congregations apart from some dissolution in a manner consistent with these Bylaws (Article XIII Section 13.3). New City Church will remain One Church unified in goal, mission and values while existing in multiple congregations that are as diverse in some ways as the contexts in which they reside. The Elders of each congregation will work together in a spirit of mutual submission in a manner consistent with these Bylaws.
ARTICLE III - MEMBERS AND REGULAR PARTICIPANTS
3.1 Non-Voting Members
The Church will not have members for State law purposes, but shall have non-voting members that are admitted to membership as set out herein. New City Church members shall be called Partners and membership shall be called Partnership.
3.2 Voting Partners
Partners will be added to the roles of membership upon signing a Partnership covenant to become a part of the fellowship and by completing such other requirements as determined by the Council of Elders. Partners will be entitled to vote in all matters pertaining to their congregation as determined by these Bylaws.
3.3 Partner Discipline
New City Church will practice church discipline in accordance with the instructions of the Bible under the leadership of the Mission Elders of each local congregation (Matthew 18). Partners of the Church are not guaranteed confidentiality regarding issues of church discipline and understand that in submitting themselves to the authority of the Church, issues of a sensitive or personal nature may become known to others. This includes, but is not limited to, notification of the authorities if a crime has been committed and/or if a real threat of someone being endangered exists (Romans 13:1–7), as well as other violations of scripture that may not result in physical danger. A Partner of the Church may be removed by the Council of Elders. Church discipline will be overseen at the congregation level by the Mission Elders.
3.4 Suspension of Participation in Church Activities
Separate and apart from the process of Church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the Mission Elders of a local congregation, a Partner, non-partner regular participant in Church activities, or other individual, may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon Church premises or off premises Church functions for such a period of time as is deemed necessary by the Mission Elders. Such required absence may, but need not be, concurrent with Church discipline of that person.
3.5 Partner Removal and Termination of Partnership
Partnership in the congregation of New City Church may be terminated in the following ways:
(1) By transfer: The policy of the Church will be to issue letters of transfer only upon the request of the church with which the Partner desires to unite.
(2) By removal: A Partner’s name may be dropped from the partnership roll of this Church upon written request of such Partner, providing that the Partner is not involved in a Church discipline situation with the elders. See also, item (5) below.
(3) By inactivity: If the Elders determine that a partner has been inactive through lack of attendance or interest in the Church ministry over a period of six months or more, the Partner will be contacted by the Elders and encouraged to fulfill his/her commitment of partnership. Should the Partner
indicate a preference to not renew commitment, the Partner’s name will be dropped from the partnership roll of the Church.
(4) By death of the Partner.
(5) By exclusion through Church discipline: As defined in New City Church’s discipline statement provided during the Partnership Process, a Partner who is involved in the church discipline process is not eligible to initiate removal until the disciplinary situation is resolved.
ARTICLE IV – CHURCH LEADERSHIP
4.1 Movement Elders
Movement Elders will consist of the Lead Pastors of each local congregation and other men needed to best accomplish the mission of New City Church. Movement Elders who are not Lead Pastors will be appointed from among the Mission Elders of the local congregations at the request of the existing Movement Elders and will be approved by the Mission Elders. Movement Elders will meet the qualifications stated in the Bylaws and be appointed in a manner consistent with these Bylaws. The Movement Elders shall be the Trustees of the Church for Georgia state law purposes.
4.2 Mission Elders
Mission Elders will serve each local congregation in a manner consistent with these bylaws. Mission Elders will be appointed and approved by each local congregation in a manner consistent with these Bylaws.
4.3 Council of Elders
The Council of Elders is made up of both Mission Elders and Movement Elders.
4.4 Qualifications of Elders
All Elders of the Church must be fully committed and fully involved partners in the life of the Church. Eldership is limited to those equipped by God to function in that role as compared against the following Biblical standards: Male (1 Timothy 2:11-15; 1 Corinthians 11:3-16), Biblically and Theologically Competent and Correct (Titus 1:9-11), Respected by God’s People (1 Timothy 3:4-7), Responsible and Professional in Habit and Lifestyle (Titus 1:5-9), Gifted with Elder-like Gifts, Servant and Shepherding Oriented (Hebrews 13:17; James 5:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4), Emotionally and Spiritually Mature (Titus 1:5-8; 1 Timothy 3:1-3), Relationally Pure (1 Timothy 3:4-7), and Flexible Life Station (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). While we respect the value of allowing for theological diversity within the Church, we recognize the importance of maintaining the theological unity and integrity of the Church’s leadership. To that extent, all Elders and staff at the Church must demonstrate agreement with the Church’s Doctrinal Statement, as determined by the Council of Elders.
4.5 Duties of Elders
Movement and Mission Elders have, under the Lordship of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the following duties among others:
(1) It shall be the duty of the Elders to exercise oversight over the Church, shepherding the flock without lording it over them (1 Peter 5:2), to guard the purity of doctrine, and to establish and interpret policy consistent with these bylaws. The Elders shall act for the Church in the reception, discipline, and dismissal of partners in accordance with these bylaws. They shall minister in the teaching of the Word, counseling the needy, comforting the afflicted, and visiting the sick;
(2) to manage, govern and direct the affairs of the Church subject to the Certificate of Incorporation and these bylaws;
(3) to make such rules and regulations as shall be necessary for the protection of the property of the Church and for the preservation of good order in the conduct of its affairs;
(4) to keep an official record of corporate proceedings which shall be open to inspection by all
(5) to make or approve such appointments as are provided in the Articles of Incorporation and these bylaws.
Movement Elders are charged with protecting and promoting the mission, vision, and doctrine of New City Church by giving direction to the Church as a whole.
Mission Elders will lead, shepherd, and care for each local congregation.
There may be matters concerning the Church which the local Mission Elders, at their discretion, will seek the approval of the Partnership of the local congregation.
4.6 Initial Appointment of Elders
The first appointment of any Elders of a local Congregation of New City Church shall occur under the discretion and leadership of the Lead Pastor who serves as an Elder until resignation or removal occurs in accordance with these Bylaws. Once Elders are recommended by the Lead Pastor to the Partners, the appointment of these local Elders will occur in accordance with these Bylaws.
4.7 Lead Pastor
The Lead Pastor of each congregation shall function as the first among equals at that local congregation and as a Movement Elder. Lead Pastors shall have the primary responsibility to teach, equip, and help care for the overall direction of the Mission Elders and their families as well as the Congregation. In addition, they shall perform such duties as are incumbent on such officer, including making certain that all orders and resolutions of the Mission Elders are carried into effect. The Lead Pastors shall have the necessary authority and responsibility to operate the congregations of New City Church in all its activities and departments subject only to the policies adopted and the orders issued by the Movement and Mission Elders in accordance with these Bylaws.
4.8 Appointment of Elders
Elder appointment will be held as Elder Candidates are assessed and trained in a manner deemed appropriate by those currently serving as Elders. Lead Pastors will oversee this process in the congregation they are entrusted to lead. Other Movement or Mission Elders will be involved in this process as needed. When the Mission Elders affirm the candidates for the open term, the list will be shared with the Movement Elders. After an affirmation from the Movement Elders, the list will be issued in writing to the Partnership of the local congregation of New City Church in which they will serve. Partners of that congregation will be given an opportunity to respond to the recommendation in writing. Any substantiated concerns will be investigated by the appropriate Mission Elders. Appointment will follow this affirmation.
4.9 Salaried and Non-salaried Elders
The Council of Elders will seek to maintain a balance of men who are salaried and non-salaried on the Council of Elders. Both will meet the same qualifications as established in these Bylaws.
4.10 Term of Elders
Elders will serve a lifetime term. An Elder can be removed at any time by an affirmative unanimous decision of the rest of the Council or may resign from eldership.
4.11 Resignation or Removal of Elders
Any Elder may resign from the Office of Elder by written notification to the Lead Pastor of his congregation. Any Elder may be removed from office by the Mission Elders of the local congregations for valid cause. A written notice of the proposed removal of an Elder shall be given to such Elder by the Lead
Pastor at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting in which any action to effect such removal is to be taken to insure that the Elder is given a reasonable opportunity of defense. Such removal shall take place only upon and after the affirmative unanimous vote of the Mission Elders present at such meeting. The Elder whose removal is sought shall not be entitled to vote upon such action. Upon removal, the congregation will be informed.
4.12 Office of Deacon
Deacons may be appointed as needed in order to serve the administrative and organizational needs of the Church. Deacons will be partners of the Church who meet the qualifications for the Office of Deacon as set forth in the Bible (Acts 6 and 1 Timothy 3). Deacons will serve under the leadership of the Elders. Deacons may be male or female.
4.13 Appointment of Deacons
Deacon appointment will be held as needed to accommodate the Church’s service requirements. The congregation, including the Council of Elders, and other Deacons, would recommend Deacon Candidates. Deacon Candidates will be assessed and trained prior to appointment in a manner deemed appropriate by the Elders. When the Counsel of Elders affirms the candidates, the list will be issued in writing to the Partners of New City Church. Partners will be given an opportunity (not less than two weeks) to respond to the recommendation in writing. The Elders will investigate any substantiated concerns. Appointment by the Mission Elders will follow this affirmation.
4.14 Deacon Terms
Deacons would serve for one (1) year with potential for renewal if the task to which they are appointed continues to be needed.
4.15 Deacon Resignation or Removal
Any Deacon may resign by written notification to the Mission Elders of the local congregation. Any Deacon may be removed from office by the Mission Elders for valid cause. A written notice of the proposed removal of a Deacon shall be given to such Deacon by the Elders at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting in which any action to effect such removal is to be taken to insure that the Deacon is given a reasonable opportunity of defense. Such removal shall take place only upon and after the affirmative unanimous vote of the Mission Elders present at such meeting in accordance with these Bylaws. Upon removal, the congregation will be informed.
Movement and Mission Elders shall hold meetings ad hoc. Any meeting of the Elders may be held at the call of the Lead Pastor of that local congregation, subject to giving adequate notice to all involved Elders.
Unless notice is waived in writing, meetings of the Elders shall be held upon not less than three full days notice to be given in person, by mail, by electronic mail or by telephone. Attendance of an Elder at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting except where such Elder attends the meeting for the express purposes of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened. The business to be transacted at, or the purposes of any meeting of the Council of Elders shall be specified in the notice or waiver of notice at such meeting.
4.18 Waiver of Notice
Whenever any notice whatsoever is required to be given under the provisions of the Code or under the provisions of these Bylaws, a waiver thereof in writing, signed by the person or persons entitled to such notice, whether before or after the meeting with respect to which such notice would otherwise be
required, and filed with the Lead Pastor or the Secretary, shall be deemed equivalent to giving such notice.
4.19 Quorum and Majority Vote
A quorum at all meetings of either type of elders shall consist of 100% of the whole body of Elders if there are five (5) or fewer Elders and two-thirds (2/3) of the whole body of Elders if there are more than five (5) Elders. In order for the Elders to act, the quorum must be reached and a three-fourths (¾) majority vote must be recorded except where stipulated otherwise by these Bylaws.
4.20 Budget Process
The Mission Elders are responsible for the budget at their local congregation. Mission Elders will submit those budgets to the Movement Elders for affirmation and then with the local congregation in a manner consistent with these Bylaws.
4.21 Mutual Submission
The Movement and Mission Elders of New City will remain in mutual submission to one another in all matters related to the leadership of New City Church. Any decisions made by Movement Elders that affect the goals, doctrine, mission and values of New City Church will be approved by the Mission Elders of each congregation in a manner consistent with these Bylaws.
4.22 Statement of Biblical Authority
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. At New City Church, we believe that the Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God, speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, the Elders of New City Church are the Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application as it applies to the functions of New City Church.
ARTICLE V - ORDINANCES
The Church recognizes two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The church shall receive for baptism any person who has received Jesus Christ as Savior by personal faith and who indicates a commitment to follow Christ as Lord. Baptism shall be by total immersion in water. The Elders, or whomever the Elders authorize, shall administer baptism. Baptismal services shall be scheduled at the discretion of the Elders.
5.3 The Lord’s Supper
The Church shall observe the Lord’s Supper in keeping with the commands of the Bible at such times as the Elders deem appropriate. Participation in the Lord’s Supper will not be limited to New City Church Partners but shall be open to anyone professing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
ARTICLE VI – AFFILIATION
The Church 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, this Church voluntarily affiliates with the Acts 29 Network and the Southern Baptist
Convention. The Movement Elders will make recommendations to the Mission Elders yearly about our continued involvement in these groups in a manner consistent with these Bylaws.
Article VII – PARTNERSHIP MEETINGS
The Church shall hold regular meetings for worship, ministry, discipleship, evangelism, and fellowship. Meetings shall be held at the principal office of the Church or at such other place or places within or outside the state of Georgia as may be designated from time to time by the Elders.
7.2 Yearly Partnership Meeting
At the annual Partnership meeting, the Mission Elders will lead in such a way that each local congregation can remember the vision, the Partnership Covenant, our Church leadership, and the importance to pray without ceasing. These meetings will be scheduled at the discretion of the Elders. Partners will be informed in a manner consistent with Article VII, Section 7.3.
7.3 Called Partnership Meeting
These meetings will be for the purpose of communication to the congregation on major financial decisions or matters of comparable importance. Whenever Partners are required or permitted to take any action at a meeting, notice shall be given to Partners no less than two weeks prior to a meeting specifying the general nature of the meeting. Notification of Partnership meetings shall be given in any of the following manners which shall be deemed to be a reasonable method of calling a Membership meeting:
(1) Distribution of written material to the congregation in attendance at a Sunday service.
(2) Announcement of the meeting in the Church newsletter.
(3) Oral announcement to the congregation at a Sunday service.
(4) Delivery by United States mail or electronic mail to each partner.
ARTICLE VIII - OFFICERS
The officers of the Church shall be a Secretary, a Treasurer, and such other officers as the Council of Elders may deem necessary.
The officers of the Church shall be elected by a vote of the Council of Elders in accordance with these Bylaws during the third quarter of the year, and shall serve terms of one (2) years, or until their successors are duly elected and qualified.
8.3 Removal of Officers
Any officer may be removed from office by the Council of Elders with or without cause. A written notice of proposed removal of any officer shall be given to such officer by the Secretary at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting at which any action to effect such removal is to be taken to insure that the officer is given a reasonable opportunity of defense. The officer shall have the opportunity to answer the charges in the presence of his or her accusers, but shall not be present during the discussion and vote on his or her removal. Such removal shall take place only upon and after an affirmative vote of the Elders present at such meeting in accordance with Article IV, Section 4.19.
Vacancies in the offices of the Church by reason of death, resignation or otherwise, shall be filled by election of the Council of Elders as soon as is reasonably possible. Until such time, a Council of Elders member may be appointed by a majority of the remaining Elders to serve in such vacancy.
The Secretary shall record or cause to be recorded in a minute book of the Church the minutes of all meetings of the Council of Elders and all votes taken at such meetings. The Secretary shall have charge of the official records and seal of the Church, and he/she shall perform such other duties as are incident to the office of Secretary and as may be assigned by the Council of Elders or their designee under whose supervision he/she shall be.
The Treasurer shall be the general custodian of all funds and other valuable effects belonging to the Church and shall deposit the same or cause the same to be deposited in the name and to the credit of the Church with such depository or depositories as the Council of Elders may from time to time designate. The Treasurer shall have the responsibility for the safekeeping of the funds and securities of the Church and shall keep or cause to be kept full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books of accounts and other accounting records of the Church. The Treasurer shall disburse, or permit to be disbursed, the funds of the Church in such a manner as may be ordered or authorized only by the Council of Elders and shall render to the officers of the Church and the Council of Elders on an annual basis or whenever deemed necessary, an account of all his transactions as Treasurer and of the financial status and affairs of the Church in accordance with these Bylaws. The Treasurer shall have the general duties, powers and responsibilities of a Treasurer of a Church and shall perform such other duties and have such other responsibilities and authority as may be assigned to him from time to time by the Council of Elders.
ARTICLE IX – PERSONNEL AND OFFICES
9.1 Employment of Personnel
All personnel employed by the Church shall report to and be subject to the supervision of the Lead Pastor, or such individuals and supervisors as the Lead Pastor deems appropriate to the proper and effective organization of the Church, such supervisors ultimately being under the care and authority of the Lead Pastor. A candidate for employment will be considered only after he/she has agreed to the New City Church doctrinal statement and these Bylaws of the Church. All employees will be expected to maintain behavioral and spiritual practices in keeping with the Scriptures and teachings of New City Church as noted in these Bylaws and as reviewed regularly with the supervisor.
The offices of the Church shall be located at such place or places as the Council of Elders may from time to time determine.
ARTICLE X – TEAMS
The Council of Elders may appoint Teams as needed to accomplish various ministry needs. These Teams will organize themselves in a productive manner to accomplish the goal of the Team. These Teams will receive oversight from the Mission Elders in their local congregation or those they designate. Volunteers and staff, particularly those who work with children and security details, will be subject to background and reference checks prior to being assigned to this work. As a matter of practice, and to ensure the safety of those entrusted to the church’s care, workers are not allowed to be alone with children.
ARTICLE XI – INDEMNIFICATION OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS
11.1 General Policy
The policy of the church shall be to indemnify to the maximum extent permitted by the General Statutes of Georgia any one or more of the directors, officers, employees, and/or agents or the Church, and also any one or more of the former directors, officers, employees, and/or agents of the Church, and also any persons who serve or have served at the request of the church as directors, officers, partners, trustees, employees or agents of another foreign or domestic church, partnership, joint venture, trust or other enterprise, against judgments, penalties, settlements and other liabilities incurred by them in connection with any pending, threatened or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, investigative or administrative ( hereafter "proceeding") and against reasonable costs and expenses (including attorneys' fees) in connection with any proceeding, where such liabilities and litigation expenses were incurred incident to the good faith performance of their duties as an elder, officer, employee, or agent of the Church.
11.2 Use of Corporate Funds
The Church may advance expenses in connection with any proceeding to any such person in accordance with applicable law. The use of funds of the Church for indemnification or for the purchase and maintenance of insurance for the benefit of the persons designated in Article XI Section 11.1 shall be deemed a proper expense of the Church.
ARTICLE XII – GENERAL PROVISIONS
The following seal, if any, shall be adopted as the official seal of the Church:
12.2 Waiver of Notice
An Elder or other person entitled to receive a notice required to be given under the provisions of these bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation or by applicable law, may waive such notice by signing a written waiver, whether before or after the date and time stated in the notice. The waiver shall be filed with the minutes or corporate records. An Elder’s attendance at or participation in a meeting waives any required notice to that Elder of the meeting unless the Elder, at the beginning of the meeting (or promptly upon arrival), objects to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting and does not thereafter vote for or assent to action taken at the meeting.
All checks, drafts or orders for the payment of money shall be signed by the officer or officers or other individuals that the Board of Elders may from time to time designate.
No loans shall be contracted on behalf of the Church and no evidence of indebtedness shall be issued in its name unless authorized by a resolution of the whole Council of Elders (Movement and Mission) of the Church.
12.5 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Church shall be the period ending on December 31st of each calendar year.
ARTICLE XIII - DISSOLUTION
We would pray that God in his grace would preserve the Church from this end. However, if such a time were to come where the Church needed to be dissolved, the Church shall be dissolved by a unanimous vote of the Council of Elders (Movement and Missional) followed by the approval of the Partners in accordance with these Bylaws.
13.2 Dissolution of New City Church
Upon the dissolution of the Church, the Council of Elders shall, after paying or making provision for the payments of all of the liabilities of the Church, dispose of all the assets of the church exclusively for the purpose of the Church in such manner, or to such organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, religious or scientific purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), as the Council of Elders shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the District Court of Bibb County in which the principal office of the Church is then located, exclusively for such purposes or such organization or organizations as said Court shall determine which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
13.3 Departure of a Congregation of New City Church
In the event that New City Church should no longer exist as One Church in multiple locations because of an amicable decision that the Gospel will be better served in the area through the dissolution of this agreement, the following provisions are stated as a guide for the Elders tasked with leading this movement.
(1) Any and all monies collected by New City Church through gifts and offerings will be divided in a manner consistent with the financial tracking of the expenses of each local congregation. In other words, the money given by a congregation and the money spent by the congregation will be used to determine which congregation gets what.
(2) Any and all property purchased by New City Church will be dispersed to the various congregations. If any debt remains with the property, the local congregation will assume the debt in total.
(3) The US Federal Tax ID number, legal name, and all other matters related to legal dealings will remain with the Founding Congregation.
In the event that New City Church should no longer exist as One Church in multiple locations because of theological or moral departure from what the Bible requires of church leaders, the remaining qualified Elders from all congregations will determine the best path to take in reference to financial dealings.
ARTICLE XIV - MISCELLANEOUS
14.1 Organizations Within the Church
No organization shall be formed within or considered to be a part of the Church activities before the sponsors have submitted their plans to the Council of Elders for their approval and sanction. The various organizations and ministries within the Church are to remain in close contact with the Council of Elders, or a chosen representative. No organization shall be permitted to function under the name of the
Church whose chairman or supervisor is not a Partner of the Church.
Methods of fund-raising by any and all organizations operating as part of the Church shall be subject to the approval of the Council of Elders.
In case of a division of the Church (from which we pray God by His mercy to preserve us), the dispute shall be submitted to Peacemaker Ministries for binding arbitration.
ARTICLE XV - SPECIFIC STATEMENTS OF BELIEF
15.1 Statement of Biblical Belief Regarding Marriage and Sexuality
We believe and affirm that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: a single, exclusive, covenantal union between one man and one woman, for life, sanctioned by God as delineated in Scripture. We believe and affirm that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We believe and affirm from the teaching of Scripture that any other form of sexual conduct, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexuality, gender reassignment, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, polygamy, or pornography is sinful and offensive to God. We believe and affirm that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the Church as the local body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Church Partners and the community, it is imperative that all Church Partners, those employed by the Church, or those who serve as volunteers in any capacity, shall abide by and agree to this Statement of Biblical Belief Regarding Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly by the Grace of God.
ARTICLE XVI – AMENDMENTS
The Council of Elders shall make any amendments to the Bylaws. Amendments may be made at any meeting of the Council of Elders provided that each amendment shall have been presented at a previous regular or scheduled meeting of Elders and copies of the proposed amendment shall be furnished to each person present. The proposed amendment must pass by a vote of the Elders in accordance with Article IV Section 4.19. The church Partners shall be notified of any amendments in accordance with those methods described in Article VII Section 7.3.