By Henry Moore
LOCAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT OF THE FIRST UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH of Salinas, California
In order to establish our work on a more efficient and permanent basis, we, the members of the local assembly at Salinas, California, affirm our belief that God’s people should be scrupulously set in order, that it is needful for them to be efficiently organized to successfully carry on the gospel work and properly handle their business affairs.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. The main purpose of this constitution is to provide rules to govern the assembly, according to the scriptures, so that we may advance in the will of God. (Titus 1:5; I Cor. 12:28).
SECTION 1, THE NAME:
The Name of this assembly shall be known as: THE FIRST UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH of Salinas, Calif.
SECTION 2, THE PURPOSE
1. To establish and maintain a place of worship.
2. To unite a people of like faith in the bonds of brotherly love and fellowship. (Heb. 13:1)
3. To meet together to truly worship God in spirit and in truth and to receive spiritual teaching. (John 4:24, Eph. 4:11-15)
4. To point the lost to the way of life by publishing at home and abroad the true plan of salvation, exhorting believers to be filled with the Holy Ghost. (John 1:29; Luke 11:13; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:38,39)
5. To provide rules of Christian conduct, based upon the word of God. (Titus 2)
SECTION 1, ELIGIBILITY:
1. Anyone believing and accepting the Apostolic Doctrine of the Oneness of the Godhead, having thoroughly repented, been baptized in Jesus Name, received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:4, 38; Galatians 2:8,9) and manifesting a consistent Christian life according to Gal. 5:22,23 is eligible to become a member.
(a) To be accepted into full membership, one must be sixteen (16) years of age or older, unless married.
2. Associate Membership
(a) Anyone believing and accepting the Apostolic Doctrine of the oneness of the Godhead, having thoroughly repented, been baptized in Jesus Name and earnestly seeking the Holy Ghost and living a consistent Christian life, is eligible to become a member (associate). They shall have all the privileges of the church except voting in the business affairs of the church, or holding office.
(b) Ages twelve (12) through seventeen (17) must have their applications signed by at least one of their parents or guardian’s.
SECTION 2, OBLIGATIONS:
As a member of this assembly, each one must accept the following obligations in the fear of God.
1. To cleanse one’s self from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Cor. 7:1). (Tobacco, Drugs and Alcoholic beverages in any form is considered filthy).
2. To conduct one’s self everywhere as becometh a Christian. (Matt. 5:16)
(a) They must refrain from using make-up at all times.
(b) They must wear their hair as taught in I Cor. 11:14,15.
3. To endeavor to manifest a spirit of brotherly love and fellowship toward all of God’s people. (I Tim. 4:2; I Thess. 5:22; Rom. 14:21; Matt. 5:16)
4. To forsake not attending services, as the manner of some is. (Heb. 10:25)
(a) Any member failing to attend services after a period of two months without proper reason, or failing to manifest a reasonable amount of interest may be automatically suspended, and their name dropped from the membership roll unless signs of true repentance are presented.
5. Every member shall be required to support the Pastor and the work of the assembly with their prayers and financial aid (tithes and offerings) as God prospers. (Mal. 3:10; I Cor. 16:2)
6. To maintain family and secret devotion whenever permissible. (Matt. 6:5,6)
7. To avoid all ungodly and worldly amusements (all amusements and recreations are not harmful), that one may be blameless and harmless amidst an evil generation and thus bring no reproach on the name of Jesus. (James 4:4; I John 2:15,16)
8. To abide by the by-laws of the assembly, to respect and obey the pastor. (Titus 2:1-8)
9. Any member teaching, or advancing any doctrine or theory publicly or privately contrary to the Pastor or church board may be automatically suspended and their name dropped from the church roll unless said member truly repents and makes public confessions of their sin. (Titus 2:1; I Tim. 4:6; Rom. 16:17,18; and I Tim. 1:10,11)
SECTION 3, ADMISSION TO THE ASSEMBLY:
1. Anyone who is eligible and accepts the foregoing obligations may become a member of the assembly by completing the application, with his (or her) name and address, and receiving the right hand of fellowship from the church.
2. No person being a member of another church of our faith in good standing shall be received as a member into this assembly without a letter of recommendation from former assembly of which they were a member.
3. No person desiring to withdraw their membership shall be refused a letter of recommendation unless proven guilty of misconduct by confession or conviction.
4. Anyone believing in and accepting the Apostolic Doctrine as defined in these by-laws, is eligible to membership in this Corporation, but this Corporation reserves the right to reject or refuse membership to anyone.
SECTION 4, CHURCH DISCIPLINE:
1. Any member failing or refusing after the first and second admonitions to keep the obligations and abide by the rules of the assembly may be automatically suspended (II Thess. 3:6), or dealt with according to the following methods.
(a) If any member of this church be overtaken in a fault, he or she shall be dealt with according to Gal. 6:1; I John 5:16,17; and James 5:19,20.
(b) Any grievance arising between individual members of the assembly shall be dealt with according to Matt. 18:15-18. Should the accused be found guilty by the church, he may be disfellowshipped from the assembly and his name dropped from the membership roll unless he truly repents and makes public confession.
(c) A member, having fallen into sin and desiring to return, repent, make confession and be restored, may do so, being put on probation by the pastor for a time to prove his sincerity.
(d) No member shall discuss or cause to be discussed the repented sins of another member. Should one be found guilty of such he shall be sharply reproved and dealt with as the pastor deems best.
SECTION 1, NAMES OF THE OFFICERS:
The officers of the church shall be as follows: A Pastor, who is also the president, as assistant pastor when such is needed, deacons or members of a church board, at least three and not more than seven (the member of each board shall be left to the discretion of the pastor) and a Secretary-Treasurer.
SECTION 2, ELIGIBILITY:
1. Pastor: Must have a recommendation from the District Supt. of the United Pentecostal Church, Western District.
2. Others who hold office must have been members in good standing at least six months, having been working in full co-operation with the Pastor. They must be twenty-one years of age unless married.
SECTION 3, PASTOR:
1. The pastor shall be chosen by the church board, whose decision shall be endorsed by the church.
2. In case of misconduct (a proven sin) same must be reported to the church board (and/or) the District Presbyter, Western District, United Pentecostal Church, who shall take action as he deems best.
(a) The Pastor shall have the oversight of the church until said pastor of the church and congregation jointly agree to change. The pastor desiring to leave may give the church board thirty day’s notice. By mutual agreement the time may be changed.
(b) After the pastor duly notifies the church that he desires to change pastorates, there shall be no changes made in the by-laws, membership roll, or officers.
3. The support shall be as follows:
(a) He shall receive seventy-five (75%) of the tithes and offerings designated for him, with a minimum of $50.00 per week. The other twenty-five (25%) will remain in the church treasury.
4. The duties of the pastor shall be as follows:
(a) To preach and teach the word of God as God gives him the ability.
(b) To visit and pray for the sick when called for and able.
(c) To encourage the weak.
(d) To reprove and warn the unruly.
(e) To give advice as needed, and be ready to every good work. (I Thess. 5:14; II Tim. 4:1,2)
5. The Pastor’s authority shall be as follows:
(a) He shall have the oversight and superintendence of all interests of the church and of all departments of it’s work, both spiritual and temporal, not as Lord over God’s heritage, but as feeder of the flock of God, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind (I Peter 5:2,3), inasmuch as he is responsible for the guardianship and watch-care of all who are committed to his trust.
(b) He shall be consulted in regard to all business of any importance pertaining to the spiritual, moral, and material affairs of the church.
(c) The Pastor (with the church board) shall have authority to make decisions as to the distribution of church money. All church monies expended by any officer or committee shall be under the delegated authority and approval of the pastor.
(d) He shall call for and preside over business and church board meetings.
(e) He shall be president of the church and of the board.
SECTION 4, ASSISTANT PASTOR
1. The assistant pastor shall be appointed by the pastor and endorsed by the church for a term of one year, or until his successor fills the vacancy.
(a) Financial support shall be determined by the church board and with the approval of the church membership.
2. His duty shall be to assist the pastor in all matters as directed by the pastor.
SECTION 5, DIRECTOR OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION:
1. The director of Christian education shall be appointed by the pastor and endorsed by the church for a term of one year, or until his successor fills the vacancy.
2. The duties of the Director of Christian education shall be those prescribed by the pastor in counsel with the church board.
3. Financial support for this officer shall be determined by the membership of the church.
SECTION 6, THE CHURCH BOARD:
1. The deacons or members of the church board shall be appointed by the pastor and endorsed by the church for a term of one year, or until their successors fill the vacancy.
2. They, together with the pastor, shall care for the business affairs of the assembly, submitting all major transactions, including the sale of any property and the borrowing of any money, to the assembly for it’s approval or disapproval.
3. In case of a vacancy in the pastorate, the church board may call a business meeting to choose a pastor or transact other necessary business. (Acts 6:2,3; Rom. 12:11)
SECTION 7, THE TRUSTEES:
1. The Board of Trustees shall be elected by a majority vote of the assembly for the term of one year or until their successors are elected.
SECTION 8, SECRETARY-TREASURER:
1. The secretary/treasurer may be one or two persons and shall be appointed by the pastor and endorsed by the church for a term of one year or until his successors fill the vacancy.
2. The duties of the secretary shall be:
(a) To take minutes and to preserve records of business proceedings and other papers belonging to the assembly.
3. The duties of the treasurer shall be:
(a) To receive and care for all funds belonging to the assembly, and make all disbursements.
(b) To keep an accurate record of all such transactions.
(c) To hold the books open for inspection by members of the assembly.
4. The treasurer shall, in the company of at least one other member in good standing, count all offerings and tithes. The amount shall be certified by the initials of those making the account.
5. The treasurer shall release no money except by check, expect in cases where such cannot be done.
6. The assembly may call for monthly, quarterly, or annual reports from the treasurer, and may audit the books once each year, or at anytime the pastor deems best.
SECTION 9, DISMISSAL OF OFFICERS:
Any officer manifesting a lack of interest, failing to attend services for a reasonable amount of time or failing to abide by the qualification of the office he holds must be removed by the pastor.
SECTION 10, SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT
1. The Sunday School Superintendent shall be appointed by the pastor and endorsed by the church for a term of one year or until his successor is chosen.
SECTION 11, YOUNG PEOPLE’S PRESIDENT:
1. The Young People’s president shall be appointed by the pastor and endorsed by the church for a term expiring when the next Young People’s president is appointed and endorsed by the church.
(a) He, (or she) must carry a full membership card and be in good standing with the church.
(b) He, together with the pastor, shall select a qualified secretary/treasurer (one or two persons). Said selection shall be ratified by the young people (13 to 35 years of age inclusive) who are members of the local young people’s group.
1. The regular business meetings of the assembly shall be held annually during the month of January on a convenient night.
2. Ten members constitutes a quorum to act at any called or regular business meeting.
3. Voting on all matters must be done by secret ballot.
4. A business meeting of the church must be announced publicly in at least (3) three services, the first announcement being (10) ten days prior to the meeting date.
5. A three fourths (3/4) vote of the members present at any business session shall be the deciding factor.
6. In case of an emergency or special occasion a business meeting may be called at once by the pastor with the approval of the church board.
(The above material was published by the First United Pentecostal Church, Salinas, CA.)
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