Corvallis Community Church
Constitution & By-Laws
Revised January 19, 2016
We, the members of the Corvallis Community Church, Corvallis, Ravalli County, Montana, consistent with the Charter granted by the state of Montana, do ordain and establish the following Constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves and rescind all previous action contrary thereto.
Article I: NAME
The name of this church shall be called the Corvallis Community Church of Corvallis, Montana.
Article II: PURPOSE
The purpose of this church shall be to worship the triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; to fellowship together as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ; and to preach the Gospel of Christ at home and abroad.
Article III: AFFILIATIONS
This church shall at all times hereafter be and remain undenominational and unaffiliated with any denomination in church government and discipline. All those uniting with this church may retain their individual denominational identity.
Article IV: DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
We believe that the Bible is the Word of God consisting of sixty-six (66) books of the Old and New Testaments, is verbally inspired of God, and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary and is true God and true Man, and as such He lived a sinless life.
We believe that man was created in the image of God and that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death but also that spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and in case of those who reach moral responsibility become sinners in thought, word, and deed.
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood and righteousness.
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, and in His ascension into heaven, and in His present life there for us, as high priest and advocate and the only mediator between God and man.
We believe in the personal and bodily return of our lord Jesus Christ to set up His kingdom upon the earth, to reign in righteousness and justice.
We believe that salvation is by grace through faith, and that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become children of God, and that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers.
We believe there are two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are divinely enjoined upon all Christians, without merit in themselves they provide an expression of faith regarding the believer’s identification and fellowship with Christ.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost.
Article V: COVENANT
Before this congregation I publicly confess my faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation. I therefore promise in dependence upon the Grace of God which helpeth our infirmities, to attend diligently as possible upon the public worship of God in this church, to sanctify the Lord’s Day, to be faithful in private devotion and to strive in all things to honor my Lord and Savior by a walk and conversation in keeping with the Gospel of Christ.
I do hereby pledge sincerely and unreservedly to devote myself to the Lord to be his forever.
I will endeavor to support and sustain the honor and worship of God in this church in contributing to its support, according as the Lord hath given unto me, and to preserve the good name of this church by a consistent walk as the Lord shall give me grace, so that no reproach shall be brought upon the name of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ of His Holy Word.
Article VI: MEMBERSHIP
Eligibility – Any person, who has accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, gives assurance of his desire to live a consistent Christian life and subscribes to the Doctrinal Statement and Covenant of this church, shall be eligible for membership.
Application and Admission – Persons desiring church membership shall make application to the Pastor or Elders. Such application for membership shall then be referred to the Elders who shall make diligent inquiry into the spiritual fitness of the applicant for membership in Corvallis Community Church. Upon the unanimous agreement of the Elders such persons shall be received into the membership of the church and notice of this decision will be communicated at a worship service and the right hand of fellowship extended.
Letters of Transfer – Letters of release or transfer to other churches may be granted by the Pastor or Elders when application is made, and a report of such action shall be made at the next regular congregational meeting.
Inactive Membership – Persons who have not attended the services of this church and have shown no interest in the ministry of this church for a period of one year shall be placed on an inactive membership roll. An inactive member shall have no right of vote in church proceedings until action has been taken by the Elders to place his name back on the active membership roll.
Discipline of Members – Discipline is designed as a means of grace, not of destruction; as a working of love, not of hate (1 Thessalonians 3:14, 15). The purpose of church discipline is:
1) To promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Matthew 18:15-17; 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; Galatians 6:1)
2) To glorify God by maintaining the purity of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 5:1-8)
3) To edify believers by deterring sin ( 1 Timothy 5:20).
If the conduct of a member or regular attendee is such that it causes the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to be damaged or damages the witness of this church in the community; the Elders shall exercise such disciplining measures according to God’s Word to restore the individual to fellowship or remove them from the membership and/or fellowship.
Removal from Membership – A person who fails to adhere to this Constitution in precept and practice may be removed from membership by the unanimous vote of the Elders after diligent effort has been made to restore him to fellowship. Any removal from membership shall be reported to the congregation at the next regular congregational meeting.
Appeals – Any appeal in case of removal from membership may be made to the Elders.
Article VII: OFFICERS
The elected officers of this church shall be the Pastor, Elders, and Deacons.
The Church Board shall consist of Pastor, Elders, and Deacons.
The Church Board shall serve as trustees of the corporation as required by the Charter granted by the state of Montana and the law of the state.
Article VIII: THE CHURCH BOARD
Section 1 – The Pastor
1) When it is the desire of the congregation to elect a Pastor, the congregation, assembled at a duly constituted meeting, shall first appoint a committee on the recommendation of a Pastor. This committee shall consist of the Elders, Deacons, and three (3) members elected from the congregation.
2) It shall be the duty of this committee to select a candidate for the office of Pastor. Only one candidate shall be considered by the congregation at a time and in no case shall the name of more than one candidate be voted upon at a congregational meeting called for the purpose of electing a Pastor.
3) When it is the desire of the committee to recommend a candidate to the congregation they shall call a congregational meeting specifically for the purpose of electing a Pastor.
4) At the congregational meeting the Chairman of the Church Board shall preside. The congregation at this meeting shall first determine by majority vote if the way is clear for the election of a Pastor. If the way is clear then they shall proceed to vote on the recommended candidate. If the candidate receives an affirmative 2/3 vote at this meeting, a written invitation shall be prepared and extended to him.
5) The Pastor shall be called for an indefinite time.
6) Dismissal of the Pastor would require a 2/3 majority vote at a congregational meeting initiated by the Church Board for that specific purpose.
7) Both dismissal and resignation of the pastor will require thirty (30) days notice or a lesser time by mutual agreement, and all salary and benefits will continue during that period.
8) An Assistant Pastor may be selected by the Church Board upon the recommendation of the Pastor, with this selection to be ratified by 2/3 of the members present at a regular or special congregational meeting.
9) Dismissal or resignation of the Assistant Pastor will require thirty (30) days notice or a lesser time by mutual agreement, and all salary and benefits will continue during that period.
10) Dismissal of the Pastor or Assistant Pastor may be immediate in the case of extreme ethical or moral misconduct. Salary and benefits may cease at this time.
Section 2 – The Elders
1) The Elders shall consist of those men who are members of the church, who meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and who are elected by the congregation at its annual meeting. They must be elected by a 2/3 vote.
2) There shall be no less than four (4) Elders.
3) The Elders may confer the title of Elder Emeritus on those members of the Elders who have served in that office for many years.
4) Vacancies among the Elders shall be filled by the appointment of the Church Board of a man worthy of the office and such appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term. Such appointment shall be affirmed by the congregation at its next regular or special meeting by a majority of those members present.
5) Term of office shall be two (2) years. At no time shall all the Elders be up for affirmation in one year. The terms for the Elders shall be staggered with each Elder serving until the end of his term unless he is found to be spiritually unqualified or no longer desires the office.
6) No man shall be elected to the office of Elder having been a member of the church less than 12 months.
Section 3 – The Deacons
1) The Deacons shall consist of those men who are members of the church, who meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:8-12, and who are elected by the congregation at its annual meeting. They must be elected by a 2/3 vote.
2) There shall be no less than three (3) Deacons.
3) Term of office is two (2) years. At no time shall all the Deacons be up for affirmation in one year. The terms for Deacons shall be staggered with each Deacon serving until the end of his term unless he is found to be spiritually unqualified or no longer desires the office.
4) No man shall be elected to the office of Deacon having been a member of the church less than 12 months.
5) Vacancies among the Deacons shall be filled by the appointment of the Church Board of a man worthy of the office and such appointment shall be for the remainder of the unexpired term. Such appointment shall be affirmed by the congregation at its next regular or special meeting by a majority vote of those members present.
6) No person shall serve as an Elder and Deacon at the same time.
Article IX: DUTIES OF THE CHURCH BOARD
Section 1 – Pastoral Office
1) According to the Scriptures the Pastor shall give himself to prayer, the study and ministry of the word, observances of the ordinances, the Pastoral oversight of the church including its spiritual administration and organization. He shall conduct weekly meetings for the purpose of worship, teaching and equipping of each believer for the work of the ministry.
2) He shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, boards, and organizations of the Corvallis Community Church. He shall also serve as an Elder.
Section 2 – Duties of Elders and Deacons
1) The entire administrative government and devotional services of the church, management and control of the church property, including the granting of permission to persons and organizations the use of church buildings shall be committed to the Elders and Deacons; subject nevertheless, to the delegation of powers as set forth.
2) The Elders shall be authorized to receive, dismiss, and transfer members and deal with and have final authority over all matters concerning doctrine, church discipline, and teaching ministries of the church.
3) The Elders and Deacons shall:
a. Oversee the regular and special worship services of the church including the administration of the Lord’s Supper
b. Supervise the church finances
c. Oversee all activity of mission organizations and missionaries who receive support from the church in any way
d. Have authority and direction over all present and future auxiliary organizations of the church
e. Maintain and manage all church property and equipment
f. Direct the outreach ministries of the church including visitation and care of the needy and sick
Section 3 – Removal of Church Board Members
If for the cause of Christ and edification of the Church it would appear necessary or expedient to remove a member of the Church Board, the matter shall be referred to the Elders who will deal with it in accordance with the Word of God.
Section 4 – Church Board Meetings
1) The Church Board shall meet monthly to discuss the management of the church and other matters pertinent to the advancement of Corvallis Community Church.
2) The Church Board shall select from among its members a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
3) A majority of the members of the Church Board shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business.
Article X: AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended at any regular or special meeting for this purpose, provided two weeks written notice has been given to the members which notice shall state the proposed amendment and provided the congregation approves the amendment at the said meeting by a 2/3 vote of those present; provided nevertheless, that Article III, IV and Article V hereof shall at no time be amendable.
Article XI: DISSOLUTION
No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director, officer of the Corporation or any private individual, and no donor, member, director, officer of the Corporation, or any individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the Corporation assets. Upon dissolution, any assets of the Corporation must be distributed to Dallas Theological Seminary, whose address is now 3909 Swiss Ave., Dallas, Texas 75204, if it then exists and is exempt from federal income tax. If not, then distribution is to be to BCM International Inc., 237 Fairfield Ave., Upper Darby PA 19082, if it then exists and is exempt from federal income tax; otherwise to one or more organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.
Amended January 19, 2016
Article I: FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of this organization shall be from January 1st through December 31st.
Article II: MEETINGS
The annual meeting of the members shall be held in January of each year on a date determined by the Church Board to elect members to the Church Board and to elect a Sunday School Superintendent, and to receive report of the Treasurer, the Church Board, Sunday School Superintendent, and other organizations of the church; and for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it. Only members of the church who have attained the age of eighteen (18) and upwards shall be eligible to vote at any of the meetings.
Thirty-five percent of the membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Special meetings may be called at any time by the Church Board and shall always be called by the Church Board when it is requested to do so in writing signed by thirty-five percent of the membership of the church for purposes not herein otherwise provided for.
Notice of all meetings shall be given from the pulpit on the two (2) Lord’s Days immediately preceding the meeting or printed in the church calendar on the two (2) preceding Lord’s Days.
The following order of business shall be observed at the annual meeting. This order of business may be interspersed with singing and other exercises, and may be varied as the business of the meeting may require and to make the proceedings interesting.
1) The Church Board shall appoint the Chairman of the annual meeting and he shall call it to order.
2) The Church Board shall appoint the secretary of the annual meeting.
4) Reading of minutes of last annual meeting
5) Reports: (Treasurer, Pastor, Church Board, Sunday School, and other affiliated organizations)
6) Nominations and elections
7) Old Business
8) New Business
Article III, NOMINATING
A nominating committee of five (5) persons shall be appointed by the Church Board. This committee shall consist of the Pastor, one Elder, one Deacon, and two members from the membership at large.
The nominating committee’s purpose shall be to determine the spiritual qualifications of nominees for the offices of Elder and Deacon. They will make a recommendation to the Church Board of those qualified to serve in the office to which they are being nominated.
Nominations for Elder and Deacon may be made by the congregation to the nominating committee at least two months prior to the annual meeting. No nominations will be made from the floor as it is impossible to determine qualifications on such short notice.
The Church Board shall make the list of nominees known at least two weeks prior to the annual meeting. The congregation has the responsibility to review the list. If there are concerns regarding the qualifications of any nominee, they should be directed to the Pastor and/or the Elders.
Nominees will be affirmed by written ballot at the annual meeting.
Article IV, AMENDMENTS
These by-laws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the members present at any meeting called for the purpose, provided two (2) weeks written notice of the proposed amendment is first given the members.