The Constitution and By-Laws

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



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.  
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.  
Faith Community Fellowship is a nonprofit corporation granted by the Ohio Nonprofit Corporation law or any successor legislation.  
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 . . . .  
We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the only inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God written.  
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  
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.  
We believe that humanity is lost and sinful and renewal by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential for 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.    
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.  
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.  
“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.  
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.  
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.   
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.  
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 Elders and Deacons.  
Elders are ordained to their office to assist and support the Pastor(s) in the general government of the church. Elders are there 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.      
*Acts 6:4 “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.
*Core Requirements: 
– Comfortable ministering the Word
– Prayer
– Comfortable dealing with conflict
– Godly character and wisdom (1 Timothy 3:2-12, Titus 1:6-9)
– Trustworthy 
– Leads their family biblically
– Established believer – active member of at least 2 years


*Core Responsibilities: 
– Visionary, strategy, direction
– Teaching (Sunday morning, small groups, 1-1)
– Praying
– Protecting
– Handling issues of conflict  
– Specific to issues of conflict with members or regular attenders, Elders will only deal with named individuals. Peacemaking calls us to work though issues to create solutions not just complain. So, we will work though any issues of conflict or concern with those who are willing to come forward in person only. We will meet with people on a one on one basis, as a married couple or in small groups (2 elders with 2 or 3 people at most). Pertinent deacons will be part of this process as needed. The Elders are the ones to take the lead in handling issues of conflict and concerns. 
– Member care and follow-up
– The Elders will hire based on input from a search team led by Deacons and/or Elders, as appropriate for the                            position. Hiring decisions require unanimous Elder agreement. 
– The Elders will fire based on input from Deacons and supervisors. Firing decisions require unanimous Elder                        agreement.
* No less than 3 and up to 5 Elders on the team not including the Pastor. 
Elders and Deacons 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 or Deacon’s ineligibility to serve, they will be presented to the congregation at the Annual Congregational meeting for another year of service.  
The Deacons are to go before the church in the way of Christian example. They shall abide by the Church Covenant. 
*Acts 6:2-3 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.” 3 ” Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”
*Core Requirements: 
– Comfortable dealing with conflict
– Godly character and wisdom (1 Timothy 3:2-12, Titus 1:6-9)
– Trustworthy 
– Leads their family biblically
– Established believer – active member of at least 2 years

Event Deacon: At the minimum 2 deacons will be responsible for handling all the know, grow, and serve events.  They will also specify who is handling certain responsibilities so it is clear who the person to go to is.  Some are listed below. If needed, a 3rd deacon can assist with the events. 

  • approving, assisting with the events, post event form, other pertinent paperwork
  • plan events with their respective teams in accord with our mission verbs
  • recruit, schedule ushers
  • greeters (First Touch Team)
  • one needs to meet or connect with the Mission team (missions we support financially)

Communication Deacon

             one of their responsibilities will be communicate with the office and staff

             – take notes at the Deacon’s meeting

             – get a list of things that need done from the office/ staff

             – recruit, schedule intercessors

             – supervise the Children’s Ministry Staff

Finance Deacon

  • report out monthly at the Deacon’s meeting the finances of the church
  • meet with the Finance team
  • with the Finance team, prepare the budget for each year
  • supervises the Treasurer

Facilities Deacon

  • responsible for the up-keep of the church building interior and exterior which includes: mowing, snow plowing, security, ADT, lights, furnace, carpet cleaning to name a few.  Some of these responsibilities include calling to negotiate contracts 
  • supervises the custodian
  • oversees the security officer
  • plan a Fall and Spring clean up day for the church

Youth and Family Deacon

  • meet with the Youth Minister
  • meet with the Teen Adult Team and schedule meetings for this team
  • report out at the Deacon meeting what is going on in the Youth ministry

IT (Information Tech) Deacon

            handling the tech/computer needs of the church

  • up to 8 deacons on the team (with teams to support – ex. Finance deacon with finance team, Youth and Family Team, Facilities team, etc…)
  • There is flexibility with redefining or creating new positions as needed and led.  Some positions need to remain while others can be removed. 

*Elder and Deacons meetings

The Deacons and Elders will meet on the same night monthly.  They will have separate meetings.  Once the Deacon meeting is completed, at least 2 Deacons (or more) will come over to the Elder meeting to report out in summary things the Deacons discussed from their meeting and seek input on anything desired.  The Elders will share as well and take any questions the Deacons may have for them.  The Deacons do not stay for the rest of the Elder’s meeting. 

The Elders and Deacons will meet together two to three times a year.

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 Elders, 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 Elders.  This team shall oversee the search and review process of prospective candidates.  The Pastoral Search Team shall recommend one (1) candidate to the Elders 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 Elders 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.


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 Elders 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 Elders 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 Elders and Deacons unless otherwise provided for in this Constitution and By-Laws, or within their specific call agreements or job descriptions.

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.
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.  
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 Elders and Deacons. 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 Elders and Deacons.  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.  
 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 Elders and Deacons.  It is not required that both property and assets go to the same non-profit agency.    
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.  




  • 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
Faith Community Fellowship is an independent and self-governing body, free from the authority of any denomination, association or Church conference  
Members are encouraged to follow the Church Covenant.  

A member’s lack of recorded worship attendance will prompt a contact from the Lead Pastor or the Elders.  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.

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.  
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.  

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.


Understand the Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs by the supernatural power of God at the moment of conversion.

(I Corinthians 12:13), resulting in His gracious indwelling (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19) The filling of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing command (Romans 8:14, Galatians 5:16,25; Ephesians 5:18) The infallible outcome of the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is His fruit and our obedience (Galatians 5:22-23; I Peter 1:2) The varied outcome of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is His gifting and our ministry (Corinthians 12:7, 11, 27-31; see also Acts 4:32-35)

If someone would have a word in a tongue then that word would need to be interpreted and brought before the Elders for discernment before it is spoken in the congregation at large.  If someone would have a word of prophecy, the same process would be followed.  That word would need to be brought before the Elders for their discernment before the word is spoken in the congregation at large.  This is how we interpret the commands from 1 Corinthians 14 to do things decently, in order and for the edification of the body.  This process is essential in the exercising of these particular gifts within the body of Christ.

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 and Deacons 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 and Deacons 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 and Deacons.
  • In March of each year, the Elders and Deacons 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 and Deacons 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 Elders and Deacons will be ordained and presented for the coming year to the members of the church. 


If there is a clear biblical reason to remove an Elder or Deacon, the Pastor and another Elder or Deacon is to remove the person immediately.

If it is not a clear biblical issue the process will be as follows:

    • a general, informal conversation from an Elder or Deacon as to the concern
    • if the problem continues to occur and is not rectified after the first meeting, the Pastor and an Elder will talk to the Deacon or Elder
    • If nothing changes after this conversation, there needs to be a unanimous decision by the Elders to remove the person
    • All Elders and Deacons will be informed of the decision.
  • The goal in these situations is always reconciliation and restoration (peacemaking).


Elders and Deacons will appoint persons to fill any vacancies until the annual procedure for appointing Elders and Deacons is begun.



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


The Financial Secretary shall be appointed by the Deacons 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 Deacons. He shall be properly bonded.


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


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

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


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 Elders 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 Elders and Deacons, 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.


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 Elders and Deacons.  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 Elders and Deacons and then presented to the Congregation for approval at its annual Congregational meeting. 

The Elders and Deacons 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.


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.


Core Values

1.Love God and others
2.Belief in the Trinity
3.Bible is the inspired Word of God, without error
5.Passion for witnessing to others
6.Gifts of the Holy Spirit
9. Peacemaking