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CONSTITUTION

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FAMILY COMMUNITY CHURCH

A California Non profit Religious Corporation


PREAMBLE

Resting our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, as it is revealed in the Bible, the Word of God, and believing in the teachings and practices of the Christian Faith and in those great distinctive principles for which they stand, namely:

1.     The preeminence of Christ as our Divine Savior, Lord, and Master;

2.     THE SUPREME AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE AND ITS SUFFICIENCY AS OUR ONLY RULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICE;

3.     The right of private interpretation and the competency of the individual soul in direct approach to God;

4.     A regenerate Church Membership;

5.     The symbolic ordinances of believers' baptism by immersion and the Lord's  Supper in obedience to the command of Christ;

6.     The complete independence of the local Church and its interdependence in associated fellowship with other Christian Churches;

7.     The solemn obligation of majority rule, guaranteeing equal rights to all and special privilege to none;

8.     The spiritual unity of all believers;

9.     A worldwide program of missionary and evangelistic fervor in obedience  to the final command of Jesus;

WE, THEREFORE, band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ and adopt for our church body, plan of worship, and services, the following articles:

ARTICLE I

CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe by the spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort, to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of, and use of, intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.

We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's word.


ARTICLE II

NAME AND ADDRESS

This organization shall be known as Family Community Church of Fresno, California.

The principal address shall be Family Community Church, 2434 E. Nees Avenue, Fresno, California, 93720.

 

ARTICLE III
PURPOSE

Our comprehensive purpose is to honor our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, by carrying out His commandment to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Specifically, we believe God has called us to focus on Central/North Fresno and the surrounding areas. To accomplish this, Family Community Church will be an "equipping church" where every person can be developed to his or her full potential for ministry. This development will come through:

A.    Teaching biblical principles that are relevant to life;

B.     Engaging in inspired, biblical worship;

C.     Promoting vital and supportive fellowship among the Church body; and

D.    Creating opportunities for outreach into the community in service and evangelism.

OUR MISSION

Family Community Church is a body of baptized believers who share a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Our mission as a redeemed body in Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is to grow toward Christian maturity through worshipping, proclaiming the gospel, witnessing, nurturing, educating, and ministering to the whole world so that God's purpose may be achieved.

CONFESSION OF FAITH

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

A.   We believe in God the Father, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe who in wisdom and love planned the redemption of humanity and accomplished it  through His Son, Jesus Christ, and who alone is our means of salvation.

B.    We believe in Jesus Christ, truly God and truly human, who was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a perfect life, was crucified for our sins, arose from the dead and was exalted to the right hand of God.

C.    We believe in the Holy Spirit who affects redemption in the lives of those who believe in Christ. The Holy Spirit convicts, guides, teaches, rebukes, indwells, empowers, comforts, intercedes, and unites believers into one body, for the glorification of Christ.

D.    We believe in the original sinful state of man.

E.    We believe salvation is effected through the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

ARTICLE IV
INDEPENDENT COOPERATION

It is the intention of this Church to cooperate with all Christian churches of like faith.

 

ARTICLE V
MEMBERSHIP

SECTION 1. QUALIFICATIONS: Any person may become a member of this Church by:

A.      Confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and baptism by immersion.

B.       By letter from some other Christian Church of like faith and   order.

C.      Upon statement of Christian experience, if previously baptized by immersion.

D.      By restoration.

SECTION 2.  DUTIES OF MEMBERS: In order that persons applying for Church membership may be informed as to the duties of members, they shall have the Church Covenant presented to them by the Pastor, deacons, or Pastor’s designee, and shall subscribe to it, both in letter and in spirit.  Members will strive to keep their covenant obligations.

SECTION 3.  TRANSFER OF MEMBERS:

A.    Letters of transfer, for the purpose of uniting with some other Christian church of like faith and order, shall be granted to members in good standing upon their request.

B.    Any member in good standing desiring to unite with another church, may upon request, be granted a certificate of  Christian standing and church fellowship.

C.    Any member having been granted either a letter, or a certificate of Christian standing, shall remain a member of Family Community Church until he or she notifies the Church that he or she has joined another Church or has been absent for a period of one year.

SECTION 4.  MEMBERS WHO DISREGARD THEIR COVENANT OBLIGATIONS:  It shall be the duty of the Board of Deacons and the Deacons' wives to seek to reclaim those members who disregard their covenant obligations, under Matthew 18.  Likewise, it shall be the duty of the Pastor to seek to reclaim those members of the Board of Deacons and Deacons' wives who disregard their covenant obligations.

SECTION 5. NONRESIDENT MEMBERS:

A.   Members upon leaving the Family Community Church shall, without delay, furnish the Pastor with their new mailing address, as well as the name and address of the nearest Christian church of like faith and order.

B.    Members moving to a community where there is a Christian church of like faith and order, shall, without unnecessary delay, transfer their membership to the nearest Christian church of like faith and order.

C.    The names of members who have disregarded their covenant obligations in respect to transfer of their membership upon leaving and have not communicated with the church for a period of one (1) year, may be deleted from the membership roll by vote of the Church.

SECTION 6. VOTING MEMBERS: In order to vote on matters of business in the church, a member shall be at least 18 years of age, and in good standing  with the Church.

 

ARTICLE VI

OFFICIAL ROSTER

SECTION 1.  The official rooster of this church shall consist of a Pastor, who also serves as the Moderator of the Church, members of the  Board of Deacons  and Board of Trustees, Deacons' wives, General Treasurer; Executive Director of Ministry, Director of Christian Education, Superintendent of Sunday School, Church Administrator, and Church Secretary. The Chairman of the Board of Deacons shall serve as Vice Moderator.

SECTION 2. The Pastor may appoint Associate Pastors to serve under his direction.

SECTION 3. The Pastor shall be a believer in, and a preacher of the Gospel and of the basic doctrines of faith as held by the Christian faith.

SECTION 4.  All officers shall be members of this Church in good standing and all officers shall be appointed by the Pastor for a period of one (1) year, or until their successors are appointed, except Board of Trustees, who shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years. All officers shall assume office at the beginning of the calendar year of the Church. The calendar year shall be January I through December 31.

SECTION 5.  Any officer who, for a period of three months, shall fail to faithfully perform the duties pertaining to his/her office, except for an approved absence, will automatically be vacated from said office. The Church has power, for good and sufficient cause, to remove from office any officer or committee member. The Pastor may remove or appoint officers at his discretion.

SECTION 6.  Resignations of officers shall be in writing to the Church, and be effective on the date specified in the resignation.

 

ARTICLE VII

DUTIES OF OFFICIALS

SECTION 1.  DUTIES OF THE PASTOR: The Pastor shall preach the Gospel, administer the church ordinances, watch over the membership, promote the spiritual interests of the Church, and organize and develop its strength for the best possible service. He shall, unless otherwise provided by the Church, be the Moderator of the Church and He shall be ex-officio chairman of all boards, departments and committees of the Church.

SECTION 2.  DUTIES OF THE MODERATOR: The Moderator shall preside over all Business Meetings of the Church, and over  the meetings of the Advisory Board.

SECTION 3.  DUTIES OF THE BOARD OF DEACONS: The Board of Deacons shall assist the Pastor in his work, provide the pulpit supply, and sit on the Advisory Board and, in his absence, lead the prayer meeting. The members shall cooperate with the Pastor and the Deacons' wives in member visitation, in the care of the sick, needy or distressed members of the Church, disburse benevolent funds, and assist in the preparation of the observance of the ordinances of the Church. They shall assist in promoting the evangelistic program of the Church. The Board of Deacons shall assist the Board of Trustees in securing funds required to finance the budget adopted by the Church.

SECTION 4.  DUTIES OF THE VICE MODERATOR: The Vice Moderator shall preside over all Business Meetings of the Church, and over the meetings of the Advisory Board in the absence of the Moderator, and on such other occasions as the Pastor may request.

SECTION 5.  DUTIES OF THE DEACONS WIVES: The Deacons' wives shall assist the Pastor in developing the spiritual life of the women and girls of the Church for the best possible Christian service. They shall cooperate with the Pastor and the Board of Deacons in visiting members, and in the care of sick, needy, or distressed members; disburse benevolent funds, and assist in the preparation for observance of the ordinances of the Church. They shall assist in promoting the evangelistic program of the Church.

SECTION 6. DUTIES OF THE TRUSTEES: The Board of Trustees shall take all necessary measures for the protection, management and upkeep of  the properties of the Church. Any bills over $2,500 must first be authorized by the Church membership with the exception of standard salary and utility items and emergency repairs where the delay for a vote would be costly.

A.       After specific authorization by the Church, the Board of Trustees shall have power to buy, sell, borrow, execute deeds of trust, mortgage, sign notes and other evidences of indebtedness, or exercise any of the powers of the church.

B.       The Board of Trustees shall designate the bank where the funds of the Church shall be deposited. The Board of Trustees shall, when so instructed by the Church, secure the services of a caretaker, at such salary as is authorized by the Church. The Board of Trustees may perform such other duties as directed by the Church and/or by law.

C.       The Board of Trustees, with the assistance of the Board of Deacons, shall secure the necessary funds to meet all expenses within the budget, as adopted, to maintain and advance the work of the Church. It shall, at least one (1) month before the end of the calendar year, present to the Advisory Board for its consideration, and to the Church for its action, an itemized budget of Church expenses and quota for its missionary giving.

D.      The Board shall, through the Church Administrator, keep an itemized record of the Church, with the exception of the contributions through the offering envelopes or otherwise, and shall count all monies and arrange for deposit of same in the bank to the credit of the respective accounts. The Board shall prepare such weekly statements of monies received and deposited as may be necessary. The Board shall present its records to be audited at the close of the calendar year, or more often if so requested by the Church.

E.        All trustees shall be bonded and are responsible for signing all checks for the church.

SECTION 7.  DUTIES OF THE CHURCH SECRETARY: The Church Secretary shall keep accurate minutes of the business proceedings of the church, including the reception and transfer of members, maintain a complete roll of the members of the church and their addresses, issue letters of transfer and certificates of Christian standing as authorized by the Church, conduct all official correspondence, preserve and properly file all letters, reports, and other documents in his/her possession.  It shall also be the duty of the Church Secretary to issue to each single member or  family a copy of this constitution.

SECTION 8.  DUTIES OF THE CHURCH ADMINISTRATOR: The Church Administrator is to assist the pastor in providing administrative leadership and development of the business affairs of the Church in accordance with the entire Church mission and vision. This involves giving direction to the office staff and church volunteers. The Church Administrator shall keep an account of each member, showing pledges made and contributions received for each fund. He or she shall provide each member with offering envelopes and render quarterly statements to each. He or she shall deliver immediately to his successor all books and records in his/her possession.

SECTION 9.  DUTIES OF THE GENERAL TREASURER: The General Treasurer shall be bonded and shall be the custodian of all moneys contributed for the general expenses of the church. All disbursements shall be authorized by the Church, and payment of all bills shall be by check after having been approved by the Board of Trustees. The General Treasurer shall also be the custodian of all moneys contributed for missionary and other benevolent purposes. All disbursements shall be authorized by the Church or as otherwise provided, paid by check at such times as the Church may stipulate. The General Treasurer shall present, in writing, to the Church at its quarterly and Annual Business Meetings, or more often if so requested, an itemized statement of receipts and disbursements, and the financial statement showing the actual financial condition of the Church, in accordance with general accounting practice. He shall present his books to be audited at the close of the calendar year, or more often if so requested by the Church. He shall deliver immediately to his successor all books and records pertaining to his office.

All checks must be signed by any two (2) of the bonded Trustees.

SECTION 10.  DUTIES OF THE DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: Under the direction of the Pastor, the Director of Christian Education shall  direct the educational work of the Church. He/she shall be Chairperson of the Board of Christian.

SECTION 11. DUTIES OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL CHURCH SUPERINTENDENT: Under the general direction of the Pastor and in cooperation with the Board of Christian Education, the superintendent of  the Church Sunday School shall have general supervision of the Sunday School.

 

ARTICLE VIII

CALLING A PASTOR

SECTION 1.   When it is necessary to call a pastor, the Church shall select a Representative Pulpit Committee. The Church and the Pulpit Committee shall go into a season of prayer. It shall be the duty of this committee to take the necessary steps to secure a pastor. The Committee shall investigate the merits of every man under consideration in regard to his personal character, ministerial record, preaching ability, and education in determining his fitness for the pastorate. When a suitable man is found, the Committee shall recommend him to the Church for consideration.

SECTION 2.  The vote to call a pastor shall be held at a regularly called business meeting.  Notice of such meeting and its purpose shall be read from the pulpit on two (2) successive Sundays.  A quorum for the purpose of the calling a pastor shall be one-third of the membership in good standing. A vote of two-thirds of the quorum present shall be necessary to extend a call.

  Only one (1) pastoral candidate at a time shall be presented to the Church for consideration. The vote shall be open voting.

SECTION 3.  The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite period of time. The salary shall be fixed at the time of the call; and, may be changed by vote of the Church at any regular Business Meeting, provided that such changes have been considered by the Advisory Board. The salary shall be paid in weekly installments. The Pastor shall be entitled to annual vacation of two (2) weeks with full salary. The Pastor shall be entitled to benefits as recommended by the Board of Trustees and approved by the Church.

SECTION 4.  TERMINATION OF A PASTOR: The terms of office may be ended upon ninety (90) days notification on the part of either the Pastor or of the Church. Termination of the Pastor shall be voted on at a regularly called business meeting, notice of such meeting and its purpose having been read from the pulpit on two (2) successive Sundays. A vote of three-fourths of the members present, and qualified to vote, provided there be present and voting, one hundred (100) members, shall make valid termination of said office.

 

ARTICLE  IX

APPOINTMENTS/ELECTIONS/VOTING

SECTION 1. TIME: The Appointments/Election of Officials shall be held annually In December.

SECTION 2.  QUORUM: Twenty (20) members in good standing and qualified to vote, shall constitute a quorum. A majority of such members present, voting, at any regular business session shall be sufficient to decide any question presented, unless provided by this constitution.

SECTION 3. QUALIFICATIONS OF VOTERS:  Only members in good standing who are 18 years old or older are eligible to vote on any matter pertaining to the purchase, sale, or mortgaging of property.

SECTION 4.  PROCEDURE: If the Church is without a pastor to make Appointments, then  at least two (2) weeks before the election of Standing Committee Officers, it shall be announced by the Church Secretary or from the pulpit, the time for the election of Standing Committee Officers. This shall be an open election with names placed in nomination by the members and carried by the Moderator (standing or regular motion carried). Unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, no voting by proxy or ballot shall be allowed.

SECTION 5.  VACANCIES:  If the church is without a pastor to make appointments or fill vacancies, such vacancies, may be filled for the unexpired term at any business meeting by election. Should the church desire, the nominating committee can select a slate of nominees to present to the Church to vote on.

ARTICLE X

ADVISORY BOARD

Section 1.   The Advisory Board shall consist of the chairman of the Board of Deacons, the chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Staff Directors of the Church Ministries, Chairpersons of the Committees, the Executive Director of Ministries, and the Church Administrator.

Section 2.   The duties of this Board shall be purely advisory. The Board  and the Deacon Board shall consider all matters of importance.  If the church is without a pastor to make appointments, the Advisory Board shall present to the Church, at least thirty (30) days before the Quarterly Business Meeting or no later than thirty (30) days after the Annual Meeting of the Church, appoint, subject to ratification by the Church, the Standing Committees.

Section 3.      Regular meetings of Advisory Board shall be held quarterly. The Pastor, or the Church Secretary, upon request of a quorum of the members of the Advisory Board, may call special meetings at any time.

 

ARTICLE XI

STANDING COMMITTEES

SECTION 1. COMMITTEES: The following named committees, and any others that may be deemed necessary by the Church, shall constitute the standing committees:  Nominating Committee, and Auditing Committee.

SECTION 2.  DUTIES OF COMMITTEES:

A.     The Nominating Committee:

           i.      If the church is without a pastor to make appointments, the Nominating Committee  (at the request of the Church) shall prepare a list of names from the membership of the Church of those qualified to fill various positions.

          ii.      It shall interview each nominee proposed, and ascertain his or her willingness to serve.

         iii.     The Committee shall nominate one (1) or more persons for each office to be filled, and report the names to the Church at least one (1) week before the election is to be held.

        iv.     This Constitution provides for the nomination of Church Committee members from the floor during the Church Business Meeting held to elect Church Officers.

B.     The Auditing Committee:

The Auditing Committee shall be responsible for the audit of all financial records of the Church at least once a year, and shall make a report in writing to the Church, not later than thirty (30) days after the Annual Meeting.

 

ARTICLE XII

MEETINGS

SECTION 1.  DEVOTIONAL MEETINGS:

A.    The Church shall meet regularly each Lord’s Day for worship and the preaching of the Gospel.

B.    The Church shall meet for the observance of the Lord's Supper on the first Lord's Day of the month, or at such other times as the Church may decide.

C.    The Church shall meet at least once each week for prayer, testimony, and fellowship.

D.    The Church shall meet each Lord's Day for Christian instruction (for study and teaching of the Bible) and at such other times as the Church may decide.

SECTION 2. BUSINESS MEETINGS

A.   THE ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING: Shall be held each year on the fourth (4th) Thursday in January for the purpose of receiving  the annual reports of individual officers, boards, and committees of the Church, and auxiliary organizations, and the transaction of such other business as is proper to come before  this meeting.

B.    THE QUARTERLY BUSINESS MEETING: Shall be held on the last Thursday in the months of: January, April, July and October.

C.    SPECIAL BUSINESS MEETINGS: May be called at any time by the Pastor, or by the Vice Moderator, or upon written request of a quorum of the members of the Church. Notice of such meetings, and the object for which it is called, shall be given from the pulpit at least two (2) weeks in advance of the date of the meeting.

 

ARTICLE XIII

AUXILIARY ORGANIZATIONS

SECTION 1. The Officers and Directors of all adult and youth auxiliary  organizations and ministries, shall be members in good standing of this  Church or of a Church of like faith.         

SECTION 2. The bylaws of auxiliary organizations and ministries shall be drawn so as not to conflict with the constitution of this Church.

SECTION 3. Meetings of auxiliary organizations and ministries may be held at such times as will not conflict with meetings of the Church, and shall be under the guidance of the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.

SECTION 4. This Church  shall hold four (4) permanent board seats on  the NorthPointe Leadership Academy, a California Nonprofit Religious Corporation. The four seats shall be filled by (1) the Pastor (2) the Chairman of Deacon Board, (3) the Chairman of Trustee Board and (4) the Director of Christian Education.                      

In addition, the Church shall hold permanent board seats, the number of which shall be determined upon incorporation, in the following auxiliary organizations, a Bible College and a World Mission Center.

 

ARTICLE XIV

CHURCH YEAR

The fiscal year of the Church shall begin on the first day of January and close on the last day of December.                                                              

 

ARTICLE XV

AMENDMENTS

This constitution may be amended at any regular or Called Business Meeting of the Church. A quorum for the purpose of amending the Constitution shall be one-third of the membership in good standing. A vote of two-thirds of the quorum present shall be necessary to amend the Constitution. Notice of such amendment, stating the proposed changes, shall have been given from the pulpit on two successive Sundays

 

ARTICLE XVI

RULES OF ORDE R

The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the business proceedings of this Church in all cases where such proceedings are not consistent with the constitution.

 

ARTICLE XVII

The Church shall provide a copy and an explanation of this Constitution to each new member uniting with this Church.

The Church will be responsible for sending the Pastor, and Directors of each ministry or their designated delegate to various seminars and conferences.

 

ARTICLE XVIII

DEFINITIONS

"Members in good standing," is defined as a Family Community Church member not under Church discipline (see Matthew 18).




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