THE CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS 

of Faith Community Fellowship 

1303 9th St SW, Massillon, OH 44647

 

Adopted 11/30/2014
Baptism By Law changed 5/15/2016
Strategy Statement added 5/21/2017
 
 

Strategy Statement

“Make disciples by providing opportunities to encounter God, promoting the pursuit of spiritual growth, and serving Massillon and beyond with the love of Christ.”

 

CONSTITUTION

 

PREAMBLE

This Constitution is to be a guide to members of Faith Community Fellowship in carrying out the purpose and ministry of the Church; namely, proclaiming the Word of God, administering the sacraments, advancing Christ’s Kingdom, maintaining a public place for worship and Christian education , so that youth and adults may know, grow in and serve Jesus Christ.

 

NAME

This Church shall be known as Faith Community Fellowship, Massillon, Stark County, Ohio.  The word “church” as referred to in this Constitution shall refer to Faith community Fellowship.  The word “Church” shall refer to the universal Body of Christ.

 

PURPOSE

Faith Community Fellowship is a nonprofit corporation granted by the Ohio Nonprofit Corporation law or any successor legislation.

 

DOCTRINE

Faith Community Fellowship confesses as its only head, Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.  All who share in this confession are brothers and sisters in Christ.

The beliefs and doctrine of Faith Community Fellowship are further spelled out in its Statement of Faith.  Where doctrinal standards suggest differences in interpretation, the conscience and understanding of the Pastor(s) along with the Elders shall have the final word as they are directed by the Holy Spirit and in harmony with the Word of God.

 

STATEMENT OF FAITH

We believe in . . . .

 

THE BIBLE

We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the only inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God written.

 

THE TRINITY

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

 

JESUS CHRIST

We believe in the deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His substitutionary and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

 

SINFUL NATURE OF HUMANITY

We believe that humanity is lost and sinful and renewal by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for salvation.

 

SALVATION

We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit, and thereby become children of God, and heirs of eternal life.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by Whose indwelling power and fullness the Christian is enabled to live a godly life in this present evil world.

 

RESURRECTION AND FINAL JUDGEMENT

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life, and they that are lost unto eternal punishment.

 

SPIRITUAL UNITY

“We believe that the love of Christ binds all believers together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:14

 

In fellowship with Christians throughout history we accept the Apostles Creed as an affirmation of our faith.

 

THE APOSTLES CREED

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ His only Son, our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into Hades; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

 

*MARRIAGE

We believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, the union of one man and one woman, and in the Biblical mandate of chastity in singleness.

 

MISSION STATEMENT

To know, grow in and serve Jesus Christ

 

Throughout this Constitution and By-Laws any mention of one gender includes the other gender. 

 

MEMBERSHIP

A member receives full privileges and responsibilities through baptism, profession of faith and affirmation of the Faith Community Fellowship Statement of Faith.

Members are to regularly attend worship, participate in the Lord’s Supper and shall have a voice and vote in Congregational meetings.

All members 18 and over, when present, have full voting privileges.

 

WORSHIP

The Pastors shall have freedom of pulpit and altar with respect to form and content of worship and administration of the Sacraments, as long as these are in harmony with the spirit and doctrinal values of our Statement of Faith and meet with the approval of a majority of the Leadership Team.

 

THE LEADERSHIP TEAM

The Leadership Team shall be composed of the Pastor(s) and Elders (no less than 8 and no more than 12) of the church.  It shall have accountability over all the aspects of the church to the congregation.  It shall exercise discipline in the church.  It shall provide the elements of the Lord’s Supper and aid in their distribution when requested by the Pastor(s).  It shall accept members into the church when stipulated requirements have been met.  It shall issue transfers to members of good standing to other Christian Churches when requested.

50% of Elders of The Leadership Team shall constitute a quorum for meetings. (See Appendix A)

 

ELDERS

Elders are ordained to their office to assist and support the Pastor(s) in the general government of the church. They form, with the Pastor(s)  The Leadership Team for the spiritual supervision of the church, which is committed to their care.  They are to be advisors and counselors of the Pastor(s).  They are to go before the church in the way of Christian example and take an active interest in its spiritual welfare.  Elders shall abide by the Church Covenant                                                      

 

*TERMS OF OFFICE OF ELDERS

Elders will be asked to commit to at least three (3) years.   In April of each year, if there is no Biblical reason submitted to the Lead Pastor for an Elder’s ineligibility to serve, they will be presented to the congregation at the Annual Congregational meeting for another year of service.

 

*DEACONS

Deacons are those members of the church who serve on each Elder’s team.  They are appointed and approved by The Leadership Team.  The Deacons are to go before the church in the way of Christian example.  They shall abide by the Church Covenant.

 

*PASTORS

The Pastor(s) of Faith Community Fellowship are to be elected by paper ballot by the members of the church.  The conclusion of the Pastor(s) service to Faith Community Fellowship will be announced with three (3) months’ notice either by letter from him to The Leadership Team, or by the congregation to him following a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the congregation.  When a pastoral vacancy occurs in the church, a Pastoral Search Team will be appointed by The Leadership Team.  This team shall oversee the search and review process of prospective candidates.  The Pastoral Search Team shall recommend one (1) candidate to the Leadership Team to be presented by it to the church for election.  If 80% of the votes cast by members present at the Congregational meeting favor the candidate, the Leadership Team shall issue him a call to the pastorate, together with a record of the vote cast.  Upon acceptance of the call and arrival at Faith Community Fellowship, a service of installation shall be arranged.  The church shall pay his moving expenses.  Pastor(s) shall abide by the Church Covenant.

 

DEFINITION OF TERM “PASTOR” AND “LICENSED MINISTER”

The term “Pastor” as used in this Constitution and By-Laws is to be interpreted to mean: A person who has been officially ordained to the office of the Christian Ministry and who has been elected to serve the local church in the pastoral office.  The Pastor is accountable to the Congregation.  The Leadership Team will act on behalf of the Congregation in monitoring and evaluating pastoral duties.

The term “Licensed Minister” as used in this Constitution and by-Laws is interpreted to mean: A lay person who is authorized by The Leadership Team to administer the sacraments of baptism , to perform marriages, and to administer the Lord’s Supper on behalf of Faith Community Fellowship.

The status and accountability of all other church staff shall be determined by The Leadership Team unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution and By-Laws, or within their specific call agreements or job descriptions

 

*CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS

The Leadership Team shall provide for Congregational meetings as are necessary according to the By-Laws, but a Congregational meeting shall be held at least annually.

 

QUORUMS

There will be no quorums for Congregational meetings Congregational meetings will proceed with the members in attendance.  The acceptable vote will be 80% of voting members present at the congregational meeting.

 

PROPERTY

The property of the church, both real and personal  and all monies, legacies, and an adequate insurance program, shall be under the care of The Leadership Team.  They shall hold these as a sacred trust for the Church and keep the Church building and all other buildings and properties belonging to the church in proper repair and adapted for uses approved by The Leadership Team.  The purchasing and selling of property, the borrowing of money which encumbers the property of the church, the remodeling of buildings and the erection of new buildings shall conform to State law and shall be authorized by an 80% vote of the Members present at a duly called Congregational meeting.

 

DISSOLUTION OF THE CORPORATION.

In the event that The Leadership Team and the Congregation, by an 80% vote of members present at a duly called meeting, agree on the dissolution of the corporation, the following action shall be:                                                                                                                 Property and assets are to be dispersed to non-profit entities as directed by a majority vote of The Leadership Team.  It is not required that both property and assets go to the same non-profit agency.

 

 

AMENDMENTS

Amendments to this Constitution may be made by an 80% vote of the Members present at a duly called Congregational Meeting.  Such Amendments shall be presented in writing to the Congregation at least four (4) weeks before the meeting.

 

BY-LAWS

 

CHURCH  COVENANT

  • Spend daily time in prayer and Bible study with God
  • Participate in a small group or Bible study
  • Pray for at least one unchurched person
  • Tithe
  • Regular Worship attendance
  • Partake in the Lord’s Supper

 

AFFILIATION

Faith Community Fellowship is an independent and self-governing body, free from the authority of any denomination, association or Church conference

 

MEMBERS ENCOURAGEMENTS: 

Members are encouraged to follow the Church Covenant.

 

REQUIREMENTS:

A member’s lack of recorded worship attendance will prompt a contact from The Leadership Team.  Attempts will be made to encourage a return to the church.    After a year of no recorded attendance or no satisfactory reason for their absence, the member has given evidence that they no longer wish to be a member of the church and their name will be removed from membership. The intent is always to encourage full restoration to Christ’s family of believers.
 

PREPARATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

All young people and adults shall be given proper instruction in the basic doctrines of the faith and the Church Covenant and will have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

 

OPEN COMMUNION

The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper shall be open to all believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Communion will be offered at least six (6) times per year.  It is strongly suggested that children be Confirmed before participating in Communion, however, they may take Communion if the parent knows that the child understands the full significance of Communion and has professed Jesus as Lord and Savior.

 

BAPTISM

Water baptism, either by immersion or sprinkling, is acceptable  Infant dedication is acceptable at Faith Community Fellowship.  Parent(s) having their child dedicated must be members of Faith Community Fellowship.  There are occasions that parent(s) not living in this area may desire having their child dedicated at Faith Community Fellowship, but they must be an active member of a Church.  A letter would be sent to their pastor telling of the dedication.  Pastors have the discretion in individual circumstances or situations. 

 

CHURCH DISCIPLINE

The purpose of discipline is for building up the body of Christ, not destroying it, for redeeming, not for punishing.  Discipline must be exercised in love and gentleness for the good of all to promote healing.  Failure to discipline greatly hinders the testimony of the local church.

This process would be directed toward members overtly displaying sinful behavior.  The Leadership Team will administer the discipline process.

 

*ELDERS NOMINATION AND APPOINTMENT

  • Elders shall have been members of Faith Community Fellowship for at least two (2) years and shall have reached the age of eighteen.
  • In January of each year, Elders presently serving will decide whether or not to remain in their position on the Leadership Team at the start of the fiscal year (July).
  • In February of each year, the members of FCF will be invited to submit names to be considered as Elders.
  • In March of each year, the Leadership Team will take under advisement, the list of candidates and prayerfully discern those persons who are best suited for open positions/ministries.
  • In April of each year, the names of all Elders for the coming year will be published. Members of the church will have 30 days to submit to the Lead Pastor, any Biblical reason written and signed, whether any of those person(s) would be ineligible.
  • In May, at the annual Congregational meeting, the Leadership Team will present the Elders for the coming year to the members of the church.

 

INSTALLATION AND ORDINATION

Elders shall be installed into the office to which they have been elected at a Sunday morning worship service in June.  Those who have not been previously ordained by the laying on of hands shall be so ordained at the time of their installation

 

*FILLING MID-TERM VACANCIES

The Leadership Team will appoint persons to fill any vacancies until the annual procedure for appointing Elders is begun, keeping the number of Elders at no less than 8 and no more than 12.

 

OFFICERS AND DUTIES TREASURER:

The Treasurer shall be hired/appointed by the Leadership Team and shall have charge of all monies.  He shall pay all monitored by the Finance Team.  He shall report monthly to the Leadership Team and annually to the Congregation.  He shall be properly bonded.

 

FINANCIAL SECRETARY:

The Financial Secretary shall be appointed by the Leadership Team and shall be responsible for the counting and depositing of all monies received for current, benevolent, memorial, and other funds, unless otherwise provided for by the action of The Leadership Team.  He shall be properly bonded.

 

OTHER TEAMS AND COMMITTEES

The Leadership Team shall appoint any special teams that are necessary to carry out the mission and vision of the church.  The Leadership Team will approve the members of each Team.

 

*DUTIES AND RIGHTS OF THE PASTORS

The Pastor(s) shall abide by the Pastoral Call Agreement and Job Description.

The Lead Pastor is a part of The Leadership Team and ex-officio of all other teams called by The Leadership Team.  Other Pastors may be added to The Leadership Team, at the Team’s discretion.  No Pastor or licensed minister shall perform any ministries in the church without the consent of the Lead Pastor and/or The Leadership Team.

 

*CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS

 Written notice of the annual Congregational Meeting shall be given no less than 4 weeks before the meeting.  The annual Congregational meeting shall take place during the month of May for the following purposes: to give ministry reports, to introduce and commission The Leadership Team and Deacons and to present ministry plans for the coming year.  The budget will also be presented for approval.

 

Special Congregational meetings shall be called by the Leadership Team, the Pastor(s) or at least 25% of the total membership to consider special and pertinent matters on which the members of the church should take action or about which they are to be informed.  Written notice shall be given not less than 14 days before the meeting. 

 

Written notice for all meetings may be given through the church bulletin, the church newsletter, direct mailing to Faith Community Fellowship members or by e-mail.

 

*FINANCIAL POLICY

The financial policy of the church shall be mainly on the basis of stewardship giving.  Any projects for the purpose of raising money for Faith Community Fellowship by any organization of the church, must have the consent of The Leadership Team.  The finances of the church shall be administered by the budget system.  The Finance Team shall prepare a budget for operating expenses and benevolent ministries of the church.

 

The budget shall be reviewed and approved by The Leadership Team and then presented to the Congregation for approval at its annual Congregational meeting. 

 

The Leadership Team may authorize expenditure of money beyond the budget up to the amount equal to 5% of the current year general budgeted amount.  Any amount above 5% of the current fiscal year general budgeted amount shall have the approval of the Congregation.

 

CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Any conflict within the church shall be taken to The Leadership Team.  The issue will be discussed and hopefully resolved through that group.  If, over time, they come to an impasse on the issue, they may consider outside resources to mediate the situation.  Biblically, legal counsel should be discouraged.

 

AMENDMENTS

Amendments to By-Laws may be made by a majority vote of the members present at a duly called congregational meeting.  Such Amendments shall be presented in writing to the Congregation at least 4 weeks before the meeting.