161 East Harper Avenue, Maryville, TN 865-984-0116
Constitution and By-LawsOur Constitution and By-Laws will provide more information on how our church is structured and how we relate to the governing authorities that have been placed over us.
I. Article I – Name
The name of this part of the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be Grace Community Church of East Tennessee
II. Article II – Purpose
A. Statement of Purpose
To be a part of the family of God that brings glory and pleasure to our Heavenly Father through obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
B. Objectives to Accomplish our Purpose
- Worship – To promote, encourage, and strive after worship of God our Father and His son our Lord Jesus Christ with all or our heart, soul, mind and strength.
- Teaching – To teach and preach the whole council of God as revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures: that the pride of man might be humbled and the grace of God in salvation might be exalted to the praise of His glory, and that genuine holiness in heart and life might be promoted.
- Discipleship – To nurture those entrusted to our care that we may each attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature that belongs to the fullness of Christ.
- Holiness – To pursue holiness in our personal lives, in our families, in this part of the Lord’s body, trusting the Holy Spirit to conform us to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ
- Service – To reach out to our body, our community, our nation, and the world in acts of service that will demonstrate the love of Christ, and to promote this service in such a way that all members have the opportunity to serve Christ according to their measure of giftedness.
- Evangelism – To share the unsearchable riches of our Lord Jesus Christ individually, in our community, in our nation, and in the world.
- Submission – To subject ourselves to such spiritual authority that may be placed by the Holy Spirit over us and to submit to one another in the fear of Christ.
- Prayer – To commit ourselves to prayer, both personal and corporate, trusting the Holy Spirit to intercede for us and to guide us into all truth. Personal, family, and corporate
III. Statement of Faith
The Holy Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God in the original manuscripts. They are the revelation of God’s will for man, being the divine and final authority for all Christian knowledge and obedience in the faith.
The doctrine of Grace Community Church is according to the Statement of Faith which is a modification of the “Abstract of Principles” found in “Systematic Theology” by James Boyce (see the document containing the full Statement of Faith).
IV. Leadership and Organization
Under the authority of Jesus Christ and the Word of God, The Council of Elders, the Deacons and the Congregation work together to see that the church accomplishes the work to which God has called her. The governance of the church is undertaken through the selection of a Council of Elders who exercise final authority according to the mandates of 1 Peter 5:1-3. This involves a commitment to communication with the congregation and mutual accountability. In light of this accountability, the vote of the membership of this Church at a properly called meeting, as provided in the statement on Church Government below, shall be required to effect the following actions:
At the Elders discretion a vote of affirmation will be solicited for the annual budget or for large non-budgeted expenditures.
- Approve any transactions regarding real property.
- Adopt, amend, or repeal the Constitution or By-Laws of this church.
- Approve the call of Vocational Pastors and Ministers.
B. Offices of the Church
The offices of the Church shall be Elder and Deacon. The purpose of the officers of the Church is to lovingly govern, care for, and equip the membership to do the work of the ministry.
C. Function of Elders
The leadership of the Church shall be vested in the Council of Elders who are responsible for governing the Church, teaching the Word and shepherding the flock of God in this Church. The Elders shall be equal in authority but may be specialized in function.
D. Function of Deacons
Deacons shall assist the Council of Elders by performing services of advice, benevolence, administration, and implementation.
V. Church Government
A. General Statement
- Officers – The Officers of the Church shall be a Council of Elders and the Deacons. All officers of the Church shall be members of the Church in good and regular standing. The Council of Elders shall be composed of men, the Deacons shall also be men. Except as provided for in (2) below, the Council of Elders is the only governing body and Deacons are the only additional officers provided for in this document.
- Ministries and Appointees – The Council of Elders has the authority to create ministries and positions to which it may delegate any specified aspect of its responsibility. The Council of Elders has the authority to dissolve any ministry or position which it created. The Council of Elders also has the authority to appoint Elders, Deacons or other members of the Church to serve as members of such ministries and to act as its agents in such positions. Individual Deacons may nominate candidates for any ministry or position, with appointment by the Council of Elders. The Council of Elders may delegate to the individual Deacons the authority to appoint Deacons or other members of the Church to serve as members of such ministries and as agents of the Council of Elders in such positions. Every ministry shall have a chairperson, responsible for the overall operation of the ministry who shall be appointed by the Council of Elders. The Council of Elders may delegate the responsibility for selecting the chairperson to an individual Deacon or to the ministry.
B. Vocational Pastors and Ministers
- Definition – Vocational Pastors are the ordained Elders of the church, who in response to God’s call, have devoted their vocational lives to the ministry of the Word and prayer in the service of the church of Christ. Vocational Ministers are the non-ordained ministers of the church who, in response to God’s call, serve the church of Christ as their primary vocation. Both Vocational Pastors and Vocational Ministers are supported financially by the church in return for their vocational labors.
- Duties – In addition to the duties of their office as described in Sections 4 and 5 below, Vocational Pastors and Ministers shall perform the duties determined by the Council of Elders. The duties shall be in writing at the time of the call to service. The church’s call of a Vocational Pastor is a call to the Eldership of the church. Therefore Vocational Pastors shall be members of the Council of Elders and have all the Biblical qualifications of an Elder. Vocational Ministers are not necessarily called to the Eldership, but as assisting partners in the ministry. Vocational Ministers may, when appropriate, be called by the church to the Council of Elders or to the office of Deacon.
- Vocational Call by the Church – The members shall call Vocational Pastors and Ministers (1) upon recommendation of the Council of Elders and (2) by at least a two-thirds majority of those members voting at the meeting with at least thirty percent (30%) of the membership of the Church present. Oral notice of any such meeting, stating its object, shall be given from the pulpit on the next two successive Sundays preceding the meeting.
C. Non-Vocational Officers
- Duties – Non-vocational Elders and Deacons shall have the duties of their offices as described below.
- Calling – The Council of Elders shall recognize, interview, investigate and appoint candidates for non-vocational Elder and Deacon. The Council may provide for individual members of the Church either to nominate candidates or to present themselves to the Council as candidates for office and for the Council’s further investigation.The Council of Elders shall publish for the congregation a ballot of candidates for calling as Elders or Deacons at least three weeks prior to appointing those candidates to office. It is the responsibility of the congregation to evaluate the candidates according to the qualifications of Elders and Deacons as found in Titus 1:6-10 and 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and they are encouraged to contact the elders if concerns arise. After this three week period, and after all received input has been acted on by the Council of Elders, the candidates for Elder or Deacon may be approved at any regular or special meeting of the Council of Elders. The new officers will then be presented to the church.
- Terms of Service – Non-vocational Elders and Deacons shall be called according to the procedures described in section 2 above and shall serve as long as they maintain biblical qualification for this office.
D. Termination of any Office
- Resignation – An officer may resign his office at any time if he finds he is no longer able and willing to discharge the duties of the office.
- Grievance from Congregation – Where a grievance exists against any officer either due to his preaching or teaching contrary to the beliefs of the Church as set forth in the Statement of Faith or to alleged conduct on his part in violation of specific Scriptural principles, such grievance may be brought before the Council of Elders by any two members in good standing, following the procedures laid out in Matthew 18 and 1 Timothy 5:19 (see Church Discipline section). The Council of Elders must then determine if the grievance will result in removal according to the guidelines in section 3 below.
- Removal by Council of Elders – Any Elder may be removed from office at any regular or special meeting of the Council if he is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated or spiritually unqualified (according to pertinent Scripture, including 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9), after thorough corroborating investigation by the Elders (or a duly appointed Committee of the Council, per Article V, Section 2 of these Bylaws, at the sole discretion of the Council), in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19. When an Elder is removed because of sin that is deemed sufficient to disqualify him from shepherding, and if he refuses to repent from that sin, the removal shall be accompanied by a public rebuke, and notice shall be made before the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly-scheduled worship service as prescribed in 1 Timothy 5:20.
- Restoration – An officer who has been removed from office through disciplinary action, yet remains within the church, may be eligible for office under the following conditions:
- A waiting period as determined by the Council of Elders
- True repentance has been clearly demonstrated
- The above process for the calling of an Elder or Deacon is followed if and when it is determined that he again meets the qualifications for office
E. Council of Elders
- Composition, Term, and Calling – The Council of Elders shall be composed of men, both Non-vocational Elders and Vocational Elders. The Council of Elders shall be composed of at least three members, with the number of Elders at any time determined by the needs of the ministry and by the call and qualification of men in the church. The number of Vocation Elders on the Council may not exceed fifty percent.. Each Elder shall be called by the Council of Elders to serve as long as they remain Biblically qualified for the office.
- Qualifications – Elders and nominees for Elder shall be qualified for the office as specified in the Bible. Relevant texts include I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9 and I Peter 5:1-4. He shall be:
- Blameless as a steward of God; above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
- Husband of one wife; a one-woman man (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
- Temperate, sober, vigilant (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Sober-minded, prudent (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
- Of good behavior; orderly, respectable (1 Timothy 3:2)
- Given to hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
- Apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
- Not given to wine (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- Not violent; not pugnacious (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
- Patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)
- Not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick-tempered (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
- Not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
- Rules well his own house; his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:7)
- Not a novice; not a new convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
- Has a good report or reputation with outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7)
- Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)
- A lover of good men and things (Titus 1:8)
- Just, fair (Titus 1:8)
- Holy, devout (Titus 1:8)
- Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)
- Eager in his service (1 Peter 5:2)
- Not “lording it over” the flock (1 Peter 5:3)
- Elder Distinctives – Elders are also required to be in agreement with the Grace Community Church Elder Distinctives. The Elder Distinctives shall only be amended by a recommendation of the Council of Elders to the church, following the same procedure to amend the By-Laws.
- Responsibilities – The fundamental responsibility of the Elders is to devote themselves to prayer and the Word. The Elders are responsible for governing the Church, teaching the Word and shepherding the flock of God in this Church.The responsibilities of the Elders shall include: examining prospective members and acquainting them with the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant, overseeing the process of Church discipline, examining prospective candidates for office, scheduling and providing a moderator for business meetings, providing for reporting and recording of official Church business, overseeing the work of the Deacons and appointed church agents and ministries, conducting worship services, administering the ordinances of the Gospel, equipping the membership of the Church for the work of the ministry, teaching the whole counsel of God both formally and informally, correcting error, overseeing, coordinating and promoting the ministries of the Church, and mobilizing the Church for world mission.
- Organization – The Council of Elders shall organize itself however it determines to be best to achieve the mission of the Church. The Elders shall be equal in authority but may be specialized in function. The Elders must meet at least once per month. Meetings of the Elders may be held at any location and may be conducted by means of electronic communication through which the Elders may simultaneously hear each other. Unless the Council provides otherwise, meetings of the Council may be held immediately upon notice. A quorum for meetings of the Elders is defined as at least one-half of the Non-vocational Elders plus at least one-half of the Vocational Elders, except for matters on which only Non-vocational Elders are entitled to vote in which case a majority of the Non-vocational Elders shall constitute a quorum. The Council shall annually select its Chairman and Vice-Chairman from among its Non-vocational Elders.
- Decision making – Decisions shall be reached after prayerful consideration by unanimous vote in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself. If, after a specified period of time, one member of the council holds a dissenting view from the other members, he will be asked to graciously yield to the decision of the other Council members.
- Composition, Term, and Calling – The Deacons shall be men. The number of Deacons shall be determined by the needs of the ministry and by the call and qualification of men in the church. Each Deacon shall be called by the Council of Elders as described in Section C above and shall serve for as long as they remain biblically qualified for the office.
- Qualifications – Deacons and nominees for Deacon shall be qualified for the office as specified in the Bible. Relevant texts include I Timothy 3:8-12. These qualifications are the same as those for elders except that a deacon need not be gifted to teach. There must also be a period of testing as prescribed by the Council of Elders.
- Responsibilities – The Deacons shall advise and be ready to assist the Elders in any service that shall support and promote the ministry of the Word, new and existing ministries of the Church, and the care for the members of the congregation. Their responsibilities may include:
- Administering a fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise providing aid in times of crisis or distress;
- The greeting and welcoming ministries of the church;
- Assisting in administering the ordinances of the Gospel;
- Assisting at fellowship gatherings of the church;
- Caring for and maintaining the Church properties;
- Administering the business affairs of the Church that pertain to its material assets.
G. Licensing, Ordination, and Commissioning
- Ordination – Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Council of Elders of a man’s call to the ministry, preparation as a shepherd, and qualification to serve. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the elder.
- Licensing – The license is issued by the Council of Elders and is given in recognition of a man’s call to that ministry. Its aim is to allow a man to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions of the church. Licenses are issued for life, so long as a man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
- Commissioning – When local-church certification is required for ministry where ordination would be unnecessary or inappropriate, as in the case of deacons, a person is commissioned by the Council of Elders to minister. This authorization continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect and as long as the person maintains the qualifications for ministry.
- Procedure – In the matter of licensing or ordaining any person to the Gospel Ministry, the church shall follow, as far as possible, the following process
- A period of testing as determined and defined by the Council of Elders
- A public commissioning service which includes prayer and the laying on of hands by the current members of the Council of Elders
Those who teach at GCC must be members in good standing who consent in writing to submit to and be bound by the Constitution, Statement of Faith, Elder Distinctives, and leadership of GCC. All teachers must be approved by the Elder Council or its designee. Visitors must agree not to teach against the doctrinal statement
VII. Church Membership
A. Active Membership
Persons desiring to unite with this church by profession of a personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord shall be examined as to their Christian faith and experience by at least two members of the Council of Elders or a duly appointed committee. Membership requirements are:
- Believer’s Baptism
- Completion of the membership class
- Submission to the GCC Statement of Faith and Constitution
B. Denial of Membership
If, upon review of an application for membership, after meeting with a prospective member, or after a concern raised by a member (as designated in section C below) the Council of Elders determines that the applicant does not credibly confess Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, or that there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, membership shall be denied. The decision made by the Council shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
C. Admission of Applicants
Applicants admitted to membership shall, if possible, present themselves at a worship service, or business meeting, or meeting designated by the Council of Elders, at which service such applicants shall proclaim their testimony. After this public testimony the names of the applicants shall be published in the bulletin for at least two weeks, during which time members are encouraged to bring any concerns they may have to the attention of a member of the Council of Elders. If, after this period, there are no unresolved concerns, then the applicants will be asked to publicly commit to upholding the covenant of Grace Community Church and be acknowledged as members.
D. Responsibilities of Members
The members of the church shall be responsible for faithful support of the body of Christ, the church (2 Cor 9:6-15, Heb 10:24-25), for submission to leadership (Heb 13:17, 1 Pet 5:5) and for the exercise of their spiritual gifts in support and encouragement of one another (Gal 6:2, Col 3:12-17).
E. Voting Privileges
Membership in this church shall not vest in any member any proprietary rights in the Corporation, but shall only entitle the member to vote at a meeting of the members on those matters that the Council of Elders chooses to submit to the church membership for affirmation. In such cases, voting privileges are restricted to members who are in good standing, who are not under any disciplinary action, and who have passed their eighteenth (18) birthday. Membership shall not be assignable inter vivos by any member nor shall membership vest to any personal representative, heir, or devisee.
F. Inactive members
A member shall be declared inactive if for at least six months they have failed to regularly attend services of this church and have not, after having been contacted, given satisfactory explanation of such absence. Inactive members shall have no right to hold church office. Inactive members may be dropped from the membership at the discretion of the Council of Elders.
G. Termination of membership
Membership may be terminated for the following reasons
- Voluntary termination at the request of any member in good standing. No member may withdraw his/her membership during the process of church discipline of that member as set forth in Article IX.
- Involuntary termination as a result of church discipline as described in Article IX or due to being inactive according to section F above.
A. Business meetings
Notice shall be given during the worship service on at least two consecutive Sunday morning services prior to the business meeting. Business meetings shall be called for member input. A business meeting shall be called to review any item for which the members of the church must vote as designated in Article IV, Section A.
The privilege to vote is restricted to active members of this church 18 years of age and older. The Council of Elders shall determine the method of voting. Unless stated otherwise in this Constitution, a two thirds majority is required for the adoption of any resolution or motion or any item designated under Article V for congregational approval.
IX. Church Discipline
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to
- Glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6).
- Edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20).
- Promote the spiritual welfare and restoration of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).
Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who substantially, consistently, err in major point of doctrine, or who unrepentantly, engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Council of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. General Procedure:
- Step One – It shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or unrepentant sin to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration.
- Step Two – If the erring individual does not heed this warning, the warning member shall again go to then the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but accompanied by one or two individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. The first and second warnings may occur with no specified time interval.
- Step Three – If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then it shall be brought to the attention of the Council of Elders, if the elders determine—after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19—that there is corroborating evidence that the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Elders shall inform the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regularly scheduled worship service.
- Step Four – If, however, the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the fellowship and/or membership of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service.
- Restoration – If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Council of Elders then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership.
- Ministry responsibilities – Protection of the flock as well as each individual will always be carefully considered by the Elders. Removal of the believer subject to church discipline from ministry responsibilities will be by the decision of the Elders, and will always be necessary whenever a public confrontation is required. After restoration of fellowship for this believer, time to restore trust and credibility (1 Tim 3:7) with opportunities to serve and to be proven (1 Timothy 5:22-25) will be provided before resumption of ministry responsibilities.
C. Special Procedure
Notwithstanding the discussion in Section C, the elders in the exercise of their discretion may proceed directly to the third stage of church discipline, (i.e. the informing of the church and the congregation thereof at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance) or to the fourth stage of church discipline, (i.e. the dismissal from the fellowship and/or membership of the church) when one or more of the following have occurred:
- Public offense – Where the transgression and the refusal to repent have been public, i.e. openly and to the offense of the whole Church (1 Cor. 5:1-5).
- False doctrine – Where the disciplined party has taught or otherwise disseminated doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the elders, then chosen to disregard the direction and reproof of the elders (Romans 16:17).
- Factious conduct – Where the disciplined party has been warned twice to cease from factious and divisive conduct and has chosen to disregard that warning (Titus 3:10-11).
D. Response to Discipline
The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.
E. Restriction from premises
Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the elders (or a duly constituted subcommittee thereof), a member, non-member regular attender, or other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon church premises for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of others on church premises. Such required absence may, but need not, be concurrent with church discipline of that person.
F. Removal from membership
Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the elders (or a duly constituted subcommittee thereof), the names of any members who have not attended a worship service, Sunday School class session or Fellowship meeting at Grace Community Church for a period of six months or longer may be removed from the membership roll.
X. Corporate Membership
The corporation shall have no members as that term is used in the Tennessee Non-Profit Corporation Act.
XI. Corporate Board of Directors (Elders)
The affairs of the corporation shall be managed by its Board of Directors which shall be identical with the Council of Elders and shall be referred to as the Council of Elders hereinafter. Elders need not reside in Tennessee.
B. Number, Tenure, and Qualifications
The number of Elders shall be no less than three (3). In the event the Council of Elders falls below the number three (3) the remaining Elders are authorized to appoint such men from the active Deacons to temporarily serve with the Elders until qualified men are approved as Elders. The duration of the terms of service of the Council of Elders shall be as set forth in Article V above.
Meetings of the Council of Elders may be called by or at the request of the Chairman of the Council of Elders or the majority of the Elder Council. The place and time of the meeting shall be specified in the notice of such meeting.
Notice of any meeting of the Council of Elders shall be given at least one day prior thereto by oral or written notice to each Elder. Regular meetings shall be held without notice to any Elder at the time and place for such regular meeting as is from time to time designated by the Council of Elders.
E. Manner of Acting
The unanimous act of the Elders present at a meeting in which a quorum is participating by either personal presence or electronic medium shall be the act of the Council of Elders, unless the act of a greater numbers is required by law or by these bylaws. Two thirds of the members of the Council of Elders shall constitute a quorum.
Any vacancy occurring in the Council of Elders and any Eldership to be filled by reason of an increase of the Council of Elders shall be filled according to the provisions of Article V above.
Non-Pastoral Staff Elders shall not receive any stated salaries for their services.
H. Informal Action by Elders
Any action required by law to be taken at a meeting of the Elders may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing setting for the action so taken is signed by all the Elders.
Elders may be removed by the Council of Elders in accordance with the stipulations of Article V above.
XII. Officers of the Corporation
The officers of the Corporation shall be a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Corporation may also have, at the discretion of the Council of Elders, other officers as are deemed necessary and to have the authority and person the duties described, from time to time, by the Council of Elders.
B. Election and Term of Office
The officers of the corporation shall be elected annually by the Council of Elders at a regular meeting of the Council of Elders. Provided, however, that the duration and terms of the officers as may be elected by the Council of Elders shall be for one year. Provided, further, that all incumbent officers shall be deemed to have been re-elected to successive terms of similar duration in the absence of an election appropriately held. New offices may be created and filled at any meeting of the Council of Elders.
Any officer elected or appointed by the council of elders may be removed by the Council of Elders whenever in its judgment the best interests of the corporation would be served hereby, but such removal shall be without prejudice to the contractual rights, if any, of the officer so removed.
A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, disqualification or otherwise, may be filled by the Elders for the unexpired portion of the term.
The Chairman shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and shall, subject to the control of the Council of Elders, have general supervision, direction, and control of the activities and officers of the Corporation. He shall preside at all meetings of the Council of Elders, which are to be conducted according to the scriptural principles such as set forth in Philippians 2:2-8. He shall be an ex officio member of all the standing committees, if any, and shall have powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Council of Elders or the Bylaws.
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes at the principal office or such other place as the Council of Elders may order, of all meetings of the members, the Council and its committees, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized, the notice thereof given, the names of those present at the meetings, the Council and committees’ meetings, and the proceedings thereof.
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office in the State of Tennessee the original and a copy of the Corporation’s Articles and Bylaws, as amended to date. The Secretary shall give, or cause to be given, notice of all meetings of the Council and any committees thereof required by these Bylaws or by law to be given, shall keep the seal of the Corporation in safe custody, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Council.
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept at the principal office of the Corporation, a church membership register, or a duplicated membership register, showing the names of the members and their addresses.
The Treasurer shall ensure the stewardship of the physical and financial resources of the Corporation, “taking precaution that no one should discredit us in our administration…for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Corinthians 8:20-21). He shall select “men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (Acts 6:3) to implement and accomplish this responsibility.
The Treasurer shall keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the Corporation or his agent or attorney.
The Treasurer shall deposit, or cause to be deposited, all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the Corporation with such depositories as may be designated by the Council of Elders. He shall disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the Corporation as may be ordered by the Council of Elders, shall render, or cause to be rendered, to the Chairman and the Elders, whenever they request it, an account of all the transactions and of the financial condition of the Corporation, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Council of Elders. He shall make, or cause to be made, the financial reports at each regular Council meeting and at the annual meeting of members.
The Council of Elders, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Elders in office, may designate and appoint one or more committees, each of which shall consist of two or more Elders, which committees, to the extent provided in said resolution shall have and exercise the authority of the Council of Elders in the management of the corporation. However, no such committee shall have the authority of the Council of Elders in reference to amending, altering, or repealing the bylaws; electing, appointing or removing any member of any such committee or any Elder or officer of the corporation; amending the articles of incorporation; adopting a plan of merger or adopting a plan of consolidation with another corporation; authorizing the voluntary dissolution of the corporation or revoking proceedings therefore; adopting a plan for the distribution of the assets of the corporation; or amending, altering, or repealing any resolution of the Council of Elders which by its terms provides that it shall not be amended, altered, or repealed by such committee and the delegation thereto of authority shall not operate to relieve the Council of Elders, or any individual Elder of any responsibility imposed on it or him by law.
XIV. Contracts, Checks, Deposits, and Funds
The Council of Elders may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents of the corporation, in addition to the officers so authorized by these bylaws, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the corporation. Such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
B. Checks and Drafts
All checks, drafts, or orders for the payment of money, notes, or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the corporation shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents of the corporation and in such manner as shall from time to time be determined by the Council of Elders. In the absence of such determination by the Council of Elders, such instruments shall be signed by the Treasurer.
All funds of the corporation shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of the corporation in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Council of Elders may select.
The Council of Elders may accept on behalf of the corporation any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for the general purposes or for any special purpose of the corporation.
XV. Books and Records
The corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of account and shall also keep minutes of the proceedings of its Council of Elders and committees having any of the authority of the Council of Elders, and shall keep at the registered or principal office a record giving the names and addresses of the elders. All books and records of the corporation may be inspected by any elder or his agent or attorney for any proper purpose at any reasonable time.