Our bylaws & Governance
GREATER ST. MATTHEW CHURCH
LIFE CHANGING MINISTRIES INC.
The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis of Faith. WE ADHERE TO GOD'S TEACHINGS ON THE COVENANT OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, THE SANCTITY OF LIFE FROM CONCEPTION TO NATURAL DEATH, AND PRACTICES OF PERSONAL SEXUAL PURITY. We bond ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ committed to sharing the good news of salvation with humankind.
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Author and Creator of all things. The Old Testament reveals God in diverse manners by manifesting his nature, character, and dominions. The Gospels in the New Testament give us knowledge of God the "Father" or "My Father," showing the relationship of God to Jesus as Father, or representing Him as the Father in the Godhead, and Jesus himself that Son (St. John 15:8, 14:20). Jesus also gives God the distinction of "Fatherhood" to all believers when he explains God in the light of "Your Father in Heaven" (St. Matthew 6:8).
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Second person in the Godhead of the Trinity or Triune Godhead. We believe that Jesus was eternal in his person and nature as the Son of God who was with God at the beginning of creation (St. John 1:1). According to the Scripture, we believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin called Mary (St. Matthew 1:18), thus giving rise to our fundamental belief in the Virgin Birth and all the miraculous events surrounding the phenomenon (St. Matthew 1:18-25). We believe that Jesus Christ became the "suffering servant" to man; this suffering servant came seeking to redeem man from sin and reconcile him back to God, his Father (Romans 5:10). We believe that Jesus Christ is standing now as a mediator between God and man (I Timothy 2:5).
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son, is of the same substance, equal to power and glory, and is together with the Father and the Son, to be believed in, obeyed, and worshipped. The Holy Ghost is bestowed upon the believer to equip and empower the believer. He teaches and guides one into all truth (John 16:13; Acts 1:8, 8:39).
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Ghost's Baptism is essential in our Christian walk, and the presence of God's Spirit should exemplify the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; Acts 10:46, 19:1-6). We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Ghost to be saved (Acts 19:1-6; John 3:5). When one receives a baptismal Holy Ghost experience, we believe one will speak with a tongue unknown to oneself according to the sovereign will of Christ. To be filled with the Spirit means to be Spirit lead, as Paul expressed in Ephesians 5:18-19. Since the charismatic demonstrations were necessary to help the early Church to be victorious in implementing the command of Christ, we believe that a Holy Ghost experience is accessible to all believers.
Salvation deals with applying the work of redemption to the sinner with his restoration to divine favor and communion with God. This redemptive operation of the Holy Ghost upon sinners is brought about by repentance toward God and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, which brings Conversion, Faith, justification, Regeneration, sanctification, and the Holy Ghost's Baptism. Repentance is the work of God, which results in a change of mind concerning man's relationship with God. (St. Matthew 3:1-2, 4:17; Acts 20:21). Faith is a certain conviction wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit as to the truth of the Gospel and a heart trust in the promises of God in Christ (Romans 1:17, 3:28; St. Matthew 9:22; Acts 26:18). Conversion is that act of God whereby He causes the regenerated sinner, in his conscious life, to turn to Him in repentance and Faith (II Kings 5:15; II Chronicles 33:12-13; St. Luke 19:8, 9; Acts 8:30). Regeneration is that act of God by which the principle of the new life is implanted in man, and the governing disposition of the soul is made holy. The first religious exercise of this new disposition is secured. Sanctification is the gracious and continuous operation of the Holy Ghost. He delivers the justified sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God, and enables him to perform good works (Romans 6:4;5:6; Colossians 2:12; 3:1).
THE ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
It is admitted that Christ must have instituted it for an ordinance to be valid. When we speak of the Church's ordinances, we are speaking of those created by Christ, in which sensible signs, the grace of God in Christ, and the benefits of the covenant of grace are represented, sealed, and applied to believers. These, in turn, express their Faith and allegiance to God. Greater St. Matthew Church, Life Changing Ministries Inc., recognizes three ordinances instituted by Christ, binding upon the church practice.
A. THE LORD'S SUPPER (HOLY COMMUNION)
The Lord's Supper symbolizes the Lord's death and suffering for His people's benefit and in place. It also indicates the believer's participation in the crucified Christ. It represents the death of Christ as the object of Faith that unites the believers to Christ and the effect of this function as the giving of life, strength, and joy to the soul. The communicant by Faith enters a unique spiritual union of his soul with the glorified Christ.
B. FEET WASHING
Feet Washing is practiced and recognized as an ordinance in our Church because Christ, by His example, showed that humility characterized greatness in the Kingdom of God. That service, rendered to others, showed that humility, motivated by love, exists. These services are held after the Lord's Supper; however, their regularity is left to the Pastor's discretion.
C. WATER BAPTISM
We believe that Water Baptism is necessary as instructed by Christ in St. John 3:5, "UNLESS MAN BE BORN AGAIN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT."
However, we do not believe that water baptism alone is a means of salvation but is an outward demonstration that one has already had a conversion experience and has accepted Christ as his personal Savior. As Pentecostals, we practice immersion because immersion corresponds more closely to the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord (Colossians 2:12). It also symbolizes Regeneration and purification more than any other mode. Therefore, we practice immersion as our mode of Baptism. We believe that we should use the Baptismal Formula given us by Christ for all "…IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND THE HOLY GHOST." (St. Matthew 28:19)
I. We Believe
- The Scriptures are accurate, authoritative, and sufficient (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
- There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:4:-6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
- The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit. The Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 3: 13-17; Matthew 28: 17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
- Along with all humanity (Christ excluded), I am a sinner by birth and action (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21, 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3).
- The deserved penalty for sin is physical and spiritual death (Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:19, Romans 5:12; 6:23, James 1:14-15).
- Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin, and is both fully God and fully human (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).
- Jesus Christ died as my substitute to pay the penalty for my sin (John 1:29; 10:1-18, Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18).
- Jesus Christ rose from the dead (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34).
- Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and will one day physically return (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7).
- There will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Those who trust in Jesus Christ alone will be raised to eternal reward. Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be submitted to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24-15).
- Only by trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can I be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy (John 3:18, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2: 5-6).
II. Statement of Biblical Authority
At the center of Christian faith and practice stands the belief that God has spoken to the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, which is accurately and authoritatively revealed in the Christian Bible ("the Bible," "Scripture," or "the Scriptures"). The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and sufficient Word of God and is thus the ultimate authority for life, Faith, and morals. Though the various theological statements of the Church reflect succinct summaries of biblical boundaries, it is the Bible itself to which we are in ultimate submission.
Members have the responsibility and opportunity to engage the Ministerial Team and Church staff on areas of theological disagreement. However, membership implies that the Leadership Team shall function as the interpretive authority on biblical meaning and application for Church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline.
III. Statement of Basic Beliefs
The above Statement of Basic Belief represents the core beliefs of the Church from a biblical and historical perspective. While Church Members are not required to fully understand or articulate all aspects of the Statement of Basic Belief, the explicit rejection of any part of it disqualifies one from membership of Greater St. Matthew Church Life Changing Ministries Inc. Revisions to the Statement of Basic Belief to align to Scripture more clearly shall be at the sole discretion of the Leadership Team, with the understanding that such changes will be communicated to the Members of the Church.
IV. Statement on Marriage and Sexuality
The Biblical position is that marriage involves the union of one Man and one Woman in permanent sacred fidelity. Though various cultures and customs have evolving definitions of marriage, God alone has the ultimate authority to prescribe and describe the marital relationship (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-9, Mark 10:1-12).
Furthermore, sexual intimacy is only adequately exercised and pursued within the confines of this marital relationship. Sexual immorality, defined as any sexual activity outside the boundaries of the sacred marital relationship between one Man and one Woman, is clearly and expressly prohibited by the Lord (Matthew 15:19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4).
Since the body is a creation of God, the Church holds sexual orientation to be biologically determined, and associated gender norms are to be observed as appropriate to biblical standards. Consequently, the Church regards all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, fornication, gay behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or even lustful intent toward such, as sinful and unsatisfying. Moreover, the Church also regards as sinful the intention or desire to alter one's biological sex to different-sex surgically. Disagreement with one's biological sex only leads to spiritual confusion and emotional chaos (Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
To preserve the function and integrity of the Church as the local Body of Christ and to provide a biblical example to the Church Members and the community, all persons employed by the Church in any capacity or united to the Church in membership must abide by and agree to this, "Statement on Marriage and Sexuality "and conduct themselves accordingly.
Though the sinful sexual expression is egregious (as is all sin), the Gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-7).
Furthermore, there is a difference between temptation and unrepented sin. Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet He never sinned. Members, employees, volunteers, and attendees of the Church wrestling with all manner of sexual temptation will find a Church ready to point them to Jesus and join with them to fight for their obedience to Christ. Jesus called the weary and heavy-laden to Himself. As a Church desiring to follow Christ fully, the Church will be a safe place for people fighting sexual temptations of all kinds. The Church will provide love, care, and direction (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Church's Statement on Marriage and Sexuality does not provide grounds for bigotry, bullying, or hate, as we fully believe that everyone must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity, regardless of their lifestyle. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are repudiated as sinful and are not following the Scriptures or the doctrines of the Church.
This gives explicitly the Board of Directors - Leadership Team the right and authority to prohibit acts or omissions, including but not limited to
(a) permitting any Church assets or property, whether real property, personal property, intangible property, or any property or acquisition of any kind that is subject to the direction or control of the Church, to be used in any manner that would be or, in the sole determination of the Board of Directors - Leadership Team, could be perceived by any person to be inconsistent with this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality; and
(b) permitting any Church facilities to be used by any person, organization, corporation, or group that would or might use such facilities to convey, intentionally or by implication, what might be perceived as a favorable impression about any definition of marriage other than that contained in this section.
The Church's Statement on Marriage and Sexuality is based upon God's will for human life as conveyed to us through the Scriptures, upon which this Church has been founded and anchored, and this 9.3 shall not be subject to change through a popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of Members or the general public; the influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.
V. Organization Name
The name of this corporation is Greater St. Matthew Church Life Changing Ministries Inc. This corporation will be further referred to in these Bylaws as the "Church" and may be referred to in these Bylaws and may do business as "Life Changers" and such other names as determined.
VI. Organizational Term
The term in which the corporation is to exist is perpetual.
VII. Mission Statement
We exist to love God, love people, and make followers of Jesus Christ.
VIII. Principal Office
The principal office for business transactions of the Church is 2705 Marquette Blvd. South Bend, IN 46628 South Bend, Indiana. This office is in St. Joseph County. The Leadership Team shall have full power and authority to change the principal office from one location to another. The Church Secretary shall record any change in the location of the central office.
IX. Other Offices
The Leadership Team of the Church shall have power and authority to establish other offices, campuses, sites, and locations at any place or places where the Church is qualified under applicable law to conduct ministry.
X. Nonprofit Status
The Church is a nonprofit corporation under the laws of Indiana and is organized under the Indiana Business Organization Code, as amended (the "Code"). Federal tax exemption is granted under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).
XI. Organization Purpose
1. Minister the Word of God.
2. Conduct regular religious worship services through various forms of ministries.
3. Promote and encourage cooperation with other organizations ministering within the community through the organization's ministries.
4. Spread the Word of the Gospel by ministering to all through seminars, radio, television, and other forms of mass media.
5. Conduct a local and international church by the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit per all the provisions as outlined in the Bible.
6. Maintain local church and missionary facilities.
7. Conduct a school for ministers and leaders.
8. License and ordain qualified individuals, including graduates of religious schools.
9. To have the right to own, hold in trust, use, possess, sell, convey, mortgage, lease or dispose of such property, real or chattel, as may be needed to prosecute its work.
10. Greater St. Matthew Church Life Changing Ministries, Inc. is not organized, nor shall it operate, for financial gain or profit, and it does not predict the distribution of revenues, profits, or dividends to its members and is organized solely for nonprofit purposes. The property, assets, profits, and net income of this Church are dedicated to charitable, educational, and religious purposes. On the dissolution of this Church, its assets remaining after payment or provision or payment of all debts and liabilities of this Church shall be distributed to a nonprofit fund, foundation, or corporation that is organized and operated for charitable, educational, ecclesiastical, or religious purposes and that has established its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
The Church is organized and shall be operated exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue. Notwithstanding, the primary Church objectives also include the limited participation of the Church in any other activities, including taxable activities, but only to the extent the activities would be permitted by a tax-exempt organization. More particularly, but without limitation, the purposes of this Church are:
(a) to promote the Christian religion by any appropriate form of expression, within any available medium, and in any location, through the Church's combined or separate formation, of a Church, ministry, charity, school, or philanthropic institution, without limitation;
(b) to ordain, employ and discharge ordained ministers of the Gospel, and others, to conduct and carry-on divine services at the place of worship of the Church and elsewhere;
(c) to collect and disburse all necessary funds for the maintenance of the said Church and the accomplishment of its purpose within the State of Indiana and elsewhere;
(d) to make distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and
(e) to promote, encourage, and foster any other similar religious, charitable and educational activities; to accept, hold, invest, reinvest and administer any gifts, legacies, bequests, funds, and property of any sort or nature, and to use, expend, or donate the income or principal thereof for, and to devote the same to, the purposes above of the Church; and to do all lawful acts and things which may be necessary, useful, suitable, or proper for the furtherance of accomplishment of the purposes of this Church; provided, however, no action may be performed which would violate Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as it now exists or as it may hereafter be amended.
XII. Powers and Restrictions
As provided in these Bylaws to conduct the above-stated purposes, the Church shall have the powers outlined as it exists or may be amended. Moreover, the Church shall have implicit abilities essential to perform specific duties. The authorities of the Church to promote the purposes set out above are limited and restricted in the following manner:
No substantial part of the Church's activities shall be propaganda or attempt to influence legislation. The Church shall not participate in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provisions of the Certificate of Formation or these Bylaws, the Church shall not execute any other activities not permitted to be continued by
(i) a corporation exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws, or
(ii) a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, or corresponding provisions of any subsequent federal tax laws.
The Church shall not accept any gift or grant if the gift or grant contains primary conditions which would restrict or violate any of the Church's religious, charitable, or educational purposes or if the gift or grant would require serving a private as opposed to the public interest.
XIII. Prohibited Activities
This Church is prohibited from engaging in activities that violate its Statement of Faith and written doctrines. This Church is also forbidden from condoning, promoting, or allowing any of its assets to be used for activities that violate its Statement of Faith and written doctrines.
XIV. Policy and Procedures
To establish an efficient leadership infrastructure, the Lead Pastor Charles L. King III COO shall be responsible for clearly articulating a policy and procedures document in concise and straightforward language. The purpose of this document is to create a consistent and logical framework that empowers staff and volunteers to participate in the decision-making processes that reflect the Church's vision.
This Church shall diligently watch to keep private all records concerning polity, doctrine, counseling, and information on individuals in fellowship with this Church. This Church must not disclose documents that may compromise information about a member's attendance, membership status, giving, and counseling records.
XVI. Church Government and Officers
We believe the church government outlined in the New Testament is based on a plurality of Elders known as the Leadership Team. Therefore, no less than three (3) Elders shall constitute Biblical leadership. Greater St. Matthew Church Life Changing Ministries, Inc. comprises a spiritual and legal body. Because of this, the Leadership Team acts as the spiritual leaders of the congregation and serves as the Board of Directors of the Corporation. As such, they also function as the Trustees in all significant financial and business matters of the Church. Apostle Charles L. King II CEO, Lead Pastor Charles L. King III COO, and Senior Associate Pastor Archie Shurn Board President are the Board of Directors. The Lead Pastor is responsible for developing and communicating the vision, overseeing the day-to-day ministry of the Church, and general care for the congregation. The Apostle and Overseer will protect the Church through counsel, prayer, and, if required, the discipline of the Lead Pastor. Senior Associate Pastor Archie Shurn will preside over all board and public church meetings. Pastor Shurn's responsibility is to the congregants to hear and be a liaison for the members to the Board of Directors - Leadership Team. The parishioners will influence the spiritual tone, strength, and direction of the Church. The Lead Pastor, in consultation with the collective Board of Directors, may authorize any officer or officers, agents, or agents of the corporation, in addition to the officers so authorized by these Bylaws, to enter any contract or to 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 as seen fit.
XVII. Election and Term of Office
The Leadership Team - Board of Directors shall hold office until they resign or are removed or are otherwise disqualified from serving, or until their successor shall be elected and qualified, whichever occurs first.
XVIII. Removal and Resignation
Any officer may be removed, either with or without cause, by the Board of Directors - Leadership Team at any time. Any officer may resign by giving written notice to the Board of Directors - Leadership Team or the corporation's President. Any such resignation shall take effect at the date of receipt of such information or any later date specified therein, and, unless otherwise specified therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. The above provisions of this section shall be superseded by any conflicting terms of a contract that has been approved or ratified by the Board of Directors - Leadership Team relating to the employment of any corporate officer.
XIX. Advisory Board
The Advisory Board grants access to professionals' insight from external advisors. Therefore, no less than three (3) professionals shall constitute an Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will develop our business practices and assesses our strategic analysis through expertise and networks. The Advisory Board provides business advice. This Board will comprise, at the minimum, a President, Treasurer, and Secretary that will advise the Board of Directors on business matters. This Board will be deemed our working Board forming special committees and organizing the business side of our ministry. The Advisory Board engages the community, solicits funds, and ensures the financial efficacy and practices of the Church. Unlike the Leadership Team - Board of Directors, the Advisory Board does not have the authority to vote on all corporate matters. In a split vote amongst the Leadership Team - Board of Directors, the Advisory Board is called upon for a special advisory vote of 51%. In the case of a split decision amid the Leadership Team, the Advisory Board will collectively cast a vote of support or nonsupport to guide corporate decisions. In removing or resigning a member of the Board of Directors - Leadership Team, the collective Advisory Board can fill a vacancy until a new Board member is elected. The Advisory Board's primary focus is to review, direct, and support the financial health of the Church. The Chief Financial Officer will be granted a seat on this Board during their tenure. The Certified Professional Accountant will be notified of the meetings and can attend without voting privilege. The CPA can advise and submit best practice guidance to the Advisory Board.
XX. Parishioner Voting
To be a voting parishioner, you must be at least eighteen years of age and an active participating member of the Church. An active member means a regular finical contributor and attendance at least 50% yearly. The members of the Church can be called upon to vote on matters that have not been approved by the Leadership Team or the Advisory Board. If these two Boards do not arrive at a 51% decision, the Church members will vote on such matters as needed. This vote will be announced for two weeks and requires at least 51% approval to authorize a passing vote.
XXI. Organizational Structure
Apostle - Overseer Charles L. King II CEO, Lead Pastor Charles L. King III COO, and Senior Associate Pastor Archie Shurn Board President operate as the corporation's Board of Directors. The Board of Directors - Leadership Team, must have a unanimous vote to approve matters, and the Board of Directors will oversee the ministry with a focus on spiritual health. The Board of Directors - Leadership Team, will schedule meetings and solicit the assistance of the Advisory Board on matters exceeding $9,999.00. If the Board does not reach a unanimous vote, the Advisory Board will vote on issues disputed. If the Leadership Team and the Advisory Board cannot agree, the parishioners will be alerted for a congregational vote concerning business matters requiring 51% approval from all in attendance.
After a Sunday Morning service via anonymous ballots, all parishioner voting requests will be announced two weeks before the vote.
XXII. Board Vacancies
If a Board member cannot complete a term because of death, sickness, resignation, or removal, a replacement member will be elected to complete the period at the next Annual Meeting. In the instance of the removal or resignation of a member of the Board of Directors, the collective Advisory Board can preside for the removed party until a new Board member is elected.
XXIII. Installation of a New Lead Pastor
If the Lead Pastor dies while serving, a new Lead Pastor shall be selected through the following process. The Apostle-Overseer shall nominate a new Lead Pastor (in the event of death), and the Interim Lead Pastor shall serve for one year as the Interim Leader. After serving for one year as the Interim Leader, if their trial terms are satisfactory, the Apostle-Overseer will confirm the leader and appoint them to the ministry's official Lead Pastor role. If the Lead Pastor and the Apostle-Overseer are deceased, The Associate Pastor will appoint a confirmation committee of three leaders to select an Interim Lead Pastor to serve a one-year term. Upon the completion of the interim period, the confirmation committee, if acceptable, will confirm the Interim Pastor to the role of Lead Pastor. The Associate Pastor will ordain and publicly confirm the Interim Pastor in an official dedication service.
XXIV. Worship Services
The Church shall meet each Sunday morning for worship service and Empowerment Classes. The Church shall meet each Wednesday for bible study and bible classes.
XXV. Church Business Meetings
The Leadership Team will call for Church business meetings or special meetings as needed. It is typical to schedule the annual business meeting quarterly, and the meeting will be announced to the Church at least two weeks in advance.
The Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its affairs, independent of denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other Churches to fulfill its purposes, the Church may voluntarily affiliate with other Churches and conventions based on the guidance of the members and the Leadership Team.
XXVII. Members Defined
The membership of this Church shall consist of those identified as members of the Church before adopting these bylaws and any persons who become members in the future.
XXVIII. New Members
Any person may become a member of this Church in any of the following ways:
(1) By confession of Faith in Jesus Christ and Baptism by immersion; or
(2) By transfer of membership and reaffirmation of Faith;
All new members who have not been baptized by immersion shall be encouraged by the Minister, Deacons, and Elders to be baptized by immersion unless physically unable to undergo immersion. It is the policy and belief of this Church that Baptism by immersion is the Lord's command for all believers.
XXX. Rights of Members
Each member of the Church, as defined herein, shall be entitled to vote at all elections and on all questions submitted to the Church at business meetings, provided the member is present.
XXXI. Termination of Membership
The termination of a person's membership after moving out of the area, joining another church, or otherwise not attending the Church. According to Biblical principles in our belief statements, membership may also be terminated as an act of church discipline.
XXXII. Voting by Members
The Members of the Church shall vote on the matters of
(d) merger or dissolution of the Church;
(e) any proposed change to these Bylaws that would reduce, revoke, or otherwise diminish a right granted to the Members in the then-current Bylaws; and
(f) other actions deemed significant and extraordinary by the Leadership Team - Board of Directors. For votes on measures considered essential and exceptional, not required by the Bylaws but voluntarily initiated by The Leadership Team according to this section, such votes may, in the sole discretion of the Leadership Team - Board of Directors, be restricted to a subset of Church Members, e.g., those Members affiliated with the Church.
The time, place, and nature of upcoming votes will be communicated to the Church two weeks in advance, and Church Members shall have an opportunity to submit questions, comments, and concerns, which The Leadership Team - Board of Directors will consider on a case-by-case basis. Voting shall take place after the public worship services or a special business meeting, which may be convened in person or held using a suitable electronic communications system, including but not limited to conference telephone, videoconferencing technology, or the Internet; or by mail, facsimile transmission, or electronic message; or by any combination of these methods. A simple majority, defined as a result greater than 50% when the number of affirmative votes is divided by the number of votes cast, shall constitute a passing vote. Voting results shall be communicated to Church Members not later than thirty (30) days following.
Every reasonable measure shall be taken to assist any troubled member in a spirit of redemption rather than punishment. Every attempt to restore such members per Matthew 18:15-17 will be considered.
If through some severe condition, a member becomes a liability to the general welfare of the Church, and if the problem cannot be resolved through counseling, the Leadership Team may exclude the member as a last resort.
Any person whose membership has been terminated for any reason may be restored to membership upon the vote of the Church. If termination was disciplinary, the person should give evidence of repentance and reformation.
To be considered for the office of a Deacon, one-year church membership is required, or less if the member has previously served as a Deacon at another church immediately before uniting with the Church as a member. Lead Pastor Charles L. King III shall appoint Deacons. The Deacons shall advise and be ready to assist the Elders in any service that shall support and promote the ministry of the Word, in new and existing ministries of the Church, and care for the members of the Church. Their responsibilities may include the following:
1. administering a benevolent fund to assist the poor, needy, and otherwise providing aid in times of crisis or distress;
2. the greeting and welcoming ministries of the Church;
3. assisting in administering the ordinances of the Gospel;
4. assisting at worship and fellowship gatherings of the Church;
5. caring for the physical needs of the Church;
6. caring for and maintaining the church property and facilities; or
7. administering specific business affairs of the Church that pertain to its material assets.
XXXV. Deacons in Training
Senior Associate Pastor Archie Shurn may appoint Associate Deacons if necessary or desirable.
XXXVI. Duties of Deacons
The Deacons shall cooperate with the Elders in promoting the growth and welfare of the Church, assist during worship services, serve the Lord's Supper, and receive tithes and offerings. It is the duty of a Deacon and Deacon in Training to attend Business Meetings.
The Elders' duties include but are not limited to the following: Promotion of the growth and welfare of the Church; spiritual oversight to members; and leadership by setting a good example. The Elders are the Spiritual Leaders of the Church. An Elder must attend all Business Meetings - Apostle Charles L. King II will appoint Elders.
XXXVIII. Elders and Ministers Meetings
Regular meetings of the Ministerial Staff shall be held every third Sunday at the primary location, 2705 Marquette Blvd., South Bend, IN 46628. If the Leadership Team - Board of Directors can hear the participants, any meeting may be held by conference telephone or similar communication equipment. All members participating remotely shall be deemed present at such meetings.
XXXIX. Ministerial Duties
The Minister of the Church shall perform the duties which pertain to the office. The Minister shall lead the worship service each Sunday morning and other worship services as the Church establishes.
XL. Ministerial Selection
Pastor Charles L. King III shall appoint the Minister as provided herein.
XLI. Ministerial Term
The ministry term shall be indefinite and terminated by either party.
XLII. Ministry Committee Members
Each committee must have at least three members.
XLIII. Meetings of Committees
Each committee shall meet as often as necessary, but only after all members have been notified. At the first committee meeting, the committee shall elect a Chairperson.
XLIV. Use of Outside Experts
The Greater St. Matthew Church Life Changing Ministries Inc. will use outside experts to review our policies, procedures, and financial records. We will use a CPA, a Lawyer, and a Tax Preparer to ensure our efficacy. We will appoint an Advisory Board of professionals to offer advice, guidance, and practical instructions as we expand the ministry.
We believe believers are to be generous in their giving and that all giving should be done cheerfully and sacrificially as the Lord leads them to give (2 Corinthians 8, 9).
We will be stewards of the Lord's funds by establishing these guidelines. The New Testament also gives us numerous instructions regarding the treatment of those doing ministry: Romans 12:4-8; I Corinthians 12: 28-29; I Timothy 5:17-18. The Church should set an example by supporting staff members who assist our communities.
These guidelines are designed to respond to our unique ministry position: Apostle and Overseer, Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, Executive Pastor, Youth Pastor, Music Director, and Worship Pastor. These ministry occupations are unique to the size of the congregation and vary in terms of time commitment, education, experience, and responsibility. The guidelines are based upon employing persons on a full-time and part-time basis. The relevance of an individual's compensation rate should consider the above factors and the relative relationship. The compensation of the Leadership Team - the Chief Financial Officer CFO approves the Board of Directors, and the Leadership Team supports all other compensation structures.
The Leadership Team may accept on behalf of the Church any contribution, gift, bequest, or device for the general purposes or any particular purpose of the Church, including, but not limited to, donations of money, annuity arrangements, securities, and other tangible and intangible private property, real property, and interest therein. These funds will be deposited and used for the work of the ministry.
All funds of the Church shall be deposited to the credit of the Church in banks, trust companies, or other depositories that the Leadership Team selects.
XLIX. Ownership and Distribution of Property
The Church shall hold, own, and enjoy its own personal and real property, without any right of reversion to another entity, except as provided in these Bylaws.
L. Required Books and Records
The Church shall keep correct and complete books and records of account.
LI. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin on the first day of January and end on the thirty-first day of December each year.
LII. Annual Meeting
The annual meeting shall be held during the last month of the fiscal year of the Church to review the budget and other business. Notice of this meeting shall be announced from the pulpit on the two successive Sundays preceding the meeting. If an annual budget has not been approved by the commencement of the fiscal year, the most recently approved budget shall be used until a new yearly budget is approved. A written Annual Report shall be prepared by the Chief Financial Officer or a Certified Public Accountant, including reports on ministries of the Church, the annual budget, and the budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
LIII. Independent Financial Audit
The Church will engage an independent Certified Public Accountant to conduct an annual audit, per the auditing standards accepted in the United States of America, of the financial records of the Church. The auditor will express an opinion on the financial statements presented according to accounting principles accepted in the United States of America. These financial statements include, but not be limited to, an account of financial condition, a notice of activity, and a view of cash flows and disclosures.
LIV. Finance Team
The Finance Team shall be responsible for the following:
1) To approve and recommend to the Leadership Team, after receiving staff input, a proposed budget in the annual meeting
2) To review the Church's financial standing throughout the year
3) In conjunction with the Leadership Team, accept and approve items outside the expected budget
4) To recommend to the Leadership Team major non-budget expenditures (i.e., building, land acquisitions, etc.)
5) To recommend to the Leadership Team any action needed in the financial areas
Without a vote, the Chief Financial Officer CFO is an ex-officio member of the Finance Team.
It is understood that membership involves financial obligations to support the Church and its causes with regular and proportionate giving. Each member shall be encouraged in scriptural giving (2 Corinthians 8-9). Special offerings may be sought by the Church, or by any of its organizations, with the approval of the Leadership Team. Contributions may be designated for purposes, programs, or projects of the Church.
LVI. Financial Planning and Approval of Expenses
Financial planning for the ministries of the church membership shall be conducted through the annual budget and recommended to the Leadership Team. Any expenditure that exceeds $100.00 and any spending from the mission's fund exceeds $100.00 shall require approval by the Leadership Team, the Chief Financial Officer CFO, or both as deemed necessary.
LVII. Dissolution and Mergers
"Dissolution" means the complete disbanding of the Church so that it no longer functions as a congregation or corporate entity. Upon the dissolution of the Church, its property shall be applied and distributed as follows:
(1) all liabilities and obligations of the Church shall be paid and discharged, or adequate provision shall be made, therefore;
(2) assets held by the Church upon condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which situation occurs because of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred, or conveyed following such requirements;
(3) assets received and not held upon a condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance because of the dissolution shall be transferred or conveyed to one or more domestic corporations, societies, or organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), and are engaged in activities substantially similar to those of the Church; this distribution shall be done according to a plan adopted by The Leadership Team by a passing vote as defined in these Bylaws; and
(4) any assets not otherwise disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of the competent authority of the county in which the principal office of the Church is then located, for such purposes and to such organizations as said court shall determine, provided such organizations agree with the Church's Articles of Faith and necessary form of government.
In the event of a merger of the Church with another Church, the net assets of the Church shall be contributed to the surviving entity.
LVIII. Limitation of Liability
The Leadership Team of the Church shall not, as such, be liable for monetary damages for any action taken, or any failure to take any action, as a Board member, except liability for any of the following:
1) The amount of a financial benefit that the Board member received to which he is not entitled
2) Intentional infliction of harm on the Church
3) A willful violation of criminal law; or
4) Damages incurred in the case of a Board member who votes for or assents to distribution in violation of the law of the State of Indiana or the Articles of Incorporation of the Church, as amended
The Church shall indemnify any Board member or officer who is successful, on the merits or otherwise, in defense of any proceeding to which he was or is a party because he is a Board member of the Church against reasonable expenses that he incurs in connection with the proceeding. The Church may further indemnify any Board member or officer to the extent that the laws of the State of Indiana permit if
(a) he conducted himself in good Faith; he reasonably believed, in the case of conduct in his official capacity, that his behavior was in the best interests of the Church; and, in all other cases, that his conduct was at least not opposed to the best interests in the Church; and, in the case of a criminal proceeding, he had no reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful; or
(b) he engaged in conduct for which broader indemnification has been made permissible or obligatory under the Articles of Incorporation. The Church may obligate itself in advance of the act or omission of a Board member or officer, giving rise to a proceeding to provide indemnification or advance funds to pay for or reimburse expenses.
The Board shall have the sole discretion to determine whether amounts for which a Board member or officer seeks indemnification were adequately incurred and whether such Board member or officer acted in good faith and in a matter he reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the Church, and whether, concerning any criminal action or proceeding, he had no reasonable grounds for believing that such act was unlawful. The Board shall determine by a unanimous vote of a quorum consisting of Board members who were not parties to such action, suit, or proceeding.
The preceding rights of indemnification shall not be deemed to limit the powers of the Church to indemnify under applicable law.
The Church shall have power to and shall purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a Board member, officer, employee, or agent of the Church or is or was serving at the request of the Church as a Board member, officer employee or agent against any liability asserted against such person and incurred by such person in any such capacity, or arising out of such person's status as such, whether or not the Church would have the power to indemnify such person against such liability under applicable law.
LXI. Miscellaneous Bylaws
1) All Church officers and staff team members who hold any church property shall hand the property over to their successor at the close of their term of office. This includes all books, records, funds, or other church items in their possession.
2) Upon request, a copy of these bylaws shall be given to each person who unites with the Church and completes the membership process.
3) A unanimous vote of those present may amend this constitution at any Board Meeting. The Board will provide a two (2) week notice of such proposed amendment from the pulpit and post it in the church lobby.
Irrespective of any amendment to this constitution, it shall not affect the existing term of office of any officer, team member, or board member in office at the time of the amendment.
This constitution and bylaws shall be effective as soon as possible after adoption by the Leadership Team – Board of Directors and communicated to the Church.