FOSA By-Laws

September 17, 2018

 

Below is a copy of the the FOSA By-Laws.  Please take a minute to look them over before Sunday September 23 since we will vote of them that day.

 

BYLAWS


THE FELLOWSHIP OF SAN ANTONIO

 

Contents


PREAMBLE    2
ARTICLE I    2
NAME & PURPOSE    2
SECTION 1—NAME    2
SECTION 2—PURPOSE    2
SECTION 3—MISSION    2
ARTICLE II    2
CHURCH GOVERNMENT & DOCTRINE    2
SECTION 1—GOVERNMENT    2
SECTION 2—DOCTRINE    3
ARTICLE III    3
MEMBERSHIP    3
SECTION 1—MEMBERS    3
SECTION 2—APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP    4
SECTION 3—TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP    4
ARTICLE IV    4
CHURCH OFFICERS, STAFF & COMMITTEES    4
SECTION 1—CHURCH OFFICERS    4
SECTION 2—CHURCH COMMITTEES    7
SECTION 3—COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION & GOVERNANCE    13
ARTICLE V    14
CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS    14
ARTICLE VI    14
SERVICES & MEETINGS    14
SECTION 1—REGULAR.    14
SECTION 2—SPECIAL.    14
SECTION 3—BUSINESS MEETINGS.    14
SECTION 4—QUORUM    15
ARTICLE VII    15
AMENDMENTS    15
ARTICLE VIII    15
OPERATION & DISSOLUTION    15

 
 
PREAMBLE

For the more certain preservation and security of the principles of our faith and to the end that this body may be governed in an orderly manner and for the purpose of preserving the liberties inherent in each individual member of The Fellowship of San Antonio (the “Church”) and the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relation to other churches, we do declare and establish these Bylaws.

 

ARTICLE I


NAME & PURPOSE


SECTION 1—NAME
The name of the Church shall be THE FELLOWSHIP OF SAN ANTONIO.


SECTION 2—PURPOSE
The Church is formed to support public worship and to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through such ministries as may be determined by the Church.


SECTION 3—MISSION
The Fellowship of San Antonio is a loving, inclusive fellowship sharing God’s Grace through Christ. 

 

ARTICLE II

 

CHURCH GOVERNMENT & DOCTRINE 

 

SECTION 1—GOVERNMENT
This sovereign Church, The Fellowship of San Antonio, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ retains unto itself the exclusive right to the temporal life of this Church. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this Church and the condition of such membership. This Church is a democracy with its authority vested in its members as set forth herein. The Church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body but enjoys mutual counsel and cooperation with other churches.  

 

SECTION 2—DOCTRINE
The following statements are accepted as common ground of faith:
1)    The Bible is God’s word to everyone and the only sufficient authority as the rule of doctrine and practice.
2)    God is the ruler of all; Christ is the Head of the Church, ruling through the Holy Spirit.
3)    We believe the conversion experience through faith in Christ is a prerequisite for church membership.
4)    We believe immersion in water answers Christ’s command to baptize and that such immersion symbolizes the heart of the gospel message—death, burial and resurrection.
5)    We believe in the two New Testament ordinances, Baptism and The Lord’s Supper, and we believe both are symbolic in nature, reflecting the great truths of following Christ.
6)    We believe in the freedom of the individual conscience.
7)    We believe in the total independence and separation of Church and State.
8)    We believe Christian cooperation is not dependent upon organizational unification.  We believe we are united as brothers and sisters in Christ with all others who are children of God by faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ.  
9)    We believe in the priesthood of the believer.
10)    We believe in the competency of the soul.

 

ARTICLE III

 

MEMBERSHIP

 

SECTION 1—MEMBERS
Members may be received at any regular service in any one of the following ways:

1)    By public profession of faith and for baptism.
2)    By letter or promise of letter from a church of compatible faith.
3)    By statement of faith, baptism and previous church membership in a church of compatible faith when, for any reason, a church letter cannot be obtained.  The term “of compatible faith” is defined as ascribing to the doctrines laid down in these Bylaws.  
4)    By restoration.  After fellowship has been withdrawn from a member, he/she may be restored to membership when proper acknowledgments are made with evidence of sincere repentance.  

 

SECTION 2—APPLICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP
Candidates for membership may be received upon application for membership. 

 

SECTION 3—TERMINATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Membership shall terminate upon any one of the following conditions:
1)    Upon notice of the death of a member, the name shall be removed from the roll.
2)    Upon notice of joining another church, letters of membership will be granted to churches upon request of such church on behalf of a member of this Church or upon request of the member.
3)    If a member requests to be released from membership in this Church, the request shall be referred to the Pastor and membership committee.  If their efforts to secure continuance in fellowship fail, such request shall be granted and membership terminated.  
4)    Upon satisfactory evidence a member has united with a church of another denomination, notice will be given at a regular business meeting and the name shall be dropped from the roll.

 

ARTICLE IV

 

CHURCH OFFICERS, STAFF & COMMITTEES

All who serve as officers of the Church and all those who serve on church committees shall be members of this Church.

 

SECTION 1—CHURCH OFFICERS
The officers of this Church shall be the Pastor, Ministerial Staff, Deacons, Elders, Clerk and Trustees.

 

1)    PASTOR
The Pastor is responsible for leading the Church to function as a New Testament Church and shall occupy an unfettered pulpit.  The Pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations and the church staff to perform their tasks.
The Pastor is leader of pastoral ministries in the Church and shall be an ex-officio member of all church committees and groups.  As such, the Pastor works with the Deacons and church staff to: (1) lead the Church in the achievement of its mission, (2) proclaim the Gospel to believers and unbelievers, (3) and, care for the members of the Church and other individuals in the community.
A pastor shall be chosen and called by the Church whenever a vacancy occurs. The Pastor Selection Committee shall seek out a suitable pastor, (in accordance with Article IV, Section 2) of these Bylaws. The election of a pastor shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least a two-week public notice has been given.

The Pastor shall serve until the relationship is terminated by the Pastor’s relinquishment or the declaration of the Church. (See Section 2.11) The election of a pastor shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which at least a two week public notice. The Pastor may relinquish the office of Pastor by giving written notice of resignation to the Church at least two weeks in advance.  

The Church may declare the office of Pastor to be vacant and the Pastor’s employment terminated.  Such action shall take place at a meeting called two weeks in advance for that purpose, with only that one item of business on the agenda.   The meeting must be called upon the recommendation of a majority of the Personnel Committee. The members present at the called meeting shall designate the moderator for this meeting by majority vote and that person shall be someone other than the Pastor.  The vote to declare the office vacant shall be by written secret ballot.  The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting shall be necessary to declare the office vacant and the Pastor’s employment thereby terminated.  The termination shall be immediate.

 

2)    MINISTERIAL STAFF
The Ministerial Staff shall be called and employed as the Church determines the need for such offices according to personnel policies and procedures adopted by the Church.    A job description shall be written when the need for a staff member is determined.  Vacancies shall be filled and new employees added upon recommendation of the Pastor and Personnel Committee. 
 
3)    DEACONS/ELDERS
Deacons of the Church shall be ordained to provide leadership and service to the fellowship of the Church.  They shall guard the unity of spirit within the Church and shall recommend establishment of policies concerning the interests of the Church and its ministries, in accordance with the will of the Church. Every Deacon of the Church is expected to seek out and occupy a chosen place of service within the church program in addition to performing services as a deacon.  All Deacons shall actively support, with time and finances, the work of the Lord through the various ministries of the Church.  All Deacons are expected to attend all business meetings of the Church. All Deacons are expected to attend church worship services and perform assigned duties. 

The Church shall elect the number of Deacons desired by the Church from time to time.  Only those persons who meet the scriptural qualifications set forth in Acts 6:1-6 and 
I Timothy 3:8-13 and who have been members of the Church for at least one year shall be elected.  During the nomination process and prior to a church vote, the nominees shall be interviewed by the Deacon Nominating Committee and recommended to the Pastor and the Deacon Officers with these having final approval for nomination. Elections shall be by written secret ballot which requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the church members present and voting at a regular business meeting.  Once elected, Deacons shall serve faithfully.  A deacon may no longer serve if he/she becomes inactive or requests to separate from the office of Deacon. The Deacons may consider the fitness of a Deacon to continue service to the Church and may request that a Deacon be separated from the Deacon Body, upon a majority vote by the Deacons present at a meeting of the Deacons with advance notice being given to the Deacon so voted upon.

The officers of the Deacons will be chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary. They shall be nominated annually by the Elders and elected each year by the Deacon body.  In accordance with the New Testament, Deacons are to be servants of the Church.  The ministry of the Deacons is to serve with the Pastor and carry out God’s work in the Church and community by helping members of the church and community. 

The office of Elder may be conferred by the Church as a mark of appreciation for long, unselfish and exemplary service in the work of the Lord through this Church. The Deacon Nominating Committee will meet with the nominees to ensure that they are in concurrence and then present them to the Church as new Elders. 

 

4)    SECRETARY/CLERK
The Church shall annually elect a Secretary/Clerk whose duty it shall be to keep an official record of all proceedings of the Church in business meetings with such assistance from staff members as may be needed; to keep and make available at business meetings copies of Bylaws, all policies and any other rules adopted by the Church; and, to be familiar with methods and practices used in the church office to maintain a correct register of church members.

 

5)    TRUSTEES
The Church shall annually elect at least one but not more than four Trustees.  They shall elect one of the Trustees to serve as a chairperson.  The Trustees shall hold title to all church property and shall act for the Church in legal matters, but they shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property without a vote of the church membership authorizing such action.

 

SECTION 2—CHURCH COMMITTEES
The following committees shall serve at the discretion of the Church as needed in its ministry:


1)     NOMINATING COMMITTEE
There shall be a Nominating Committee of three or more members, of which at least one is a Deacon, appointed by the Pastor, Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Deacons acting as a committee.  The appointments shall be approved by the Deacons.  It shall be the duty of this Nominating Committee to nominate candidates for all committees, ministry teams and chairpersons.


2)    MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE
This committee will only be activated as needed. There shall be a committee of five members, to include the Pastor and the Deacon Officers. It There shall be a committee of five members, at least two of whom shall be Deacons. It shall be the duty of this committee to investigate and report to the Church on any question regarding admission or dismissal of members. The report shall be made within 30 days from the time the report is submitted to the committee.

 

3)    PERSONNEL COMMITTEE
There shall be a Personnel Committee of at least five members who have been members of this Church for at least one year.  This committee shall be nominated, appointed and elected to operate under the following provisions:

 

A.    At least two members of the Personnel Committee shall have served on the Personnel Committee elected in the preceding year unless the committee members of the preceding year are unable to serve or decline to serve another term.  Members may serve no longer than three (3) consecutive years before rotating off.  Approximately one third (1/3) of the committee should rotate off each year.


B.    The chairperson of the Personnel Committee shall have previously served a full term of one year on the Personnel Committee.  No one shall serve as chairperson of the Personnel Committee more than two consecutive terms.  The chairperson is requested to remain on the committee for one (1) year after serving as chairman.  In order to fulfill this request, the chairman may be on the committee for four (4) consecutive years.


C.    All personnel matters shall be referred to this committee.  This committee, elected annually by the Church at the recommendation of the Nominating Committee and serving until their successors are elected, shall assist the Church in matters related to employed personnel administration.  At least two members of the Personnel Committee shall have served on the Personnel Committee elected in the preceding year unless the committee members of the preceding year are unable to serve or decline to serve another term.  Their work includes such areas as determining staff needs, employment services, benefits, salaries, job descriptions and hiring and terminating staff.


D.    This committee shall write and maintain a handbook of personnel policies and procedures.  A copy of this handbook must be given to each new employee at the time of employment.  The employee must be required to sign a written statement attesting to the fact they have received a copy of the handbook, have read it and agree to the terms therein.  This statement must be retained in the employee’s personnel file.


4)    BUSINESS COMMITTEE
There shall be a Business Committee of five members who have been members of this Church for at least one year.  This committee shall be nominated and elected annually and operated under the following provisions:


A.    At least two members of the Business Committee shall have served on the Business Committee elected in the preceding year unless the committee members of the preceding year are unable to serve or decline to serve another term.  Members may serve no longer than three (3) consecutive years before rotating off.  Approximately one third (1/3) of the committee should rotate off each year.


B.    The Business Committee, by majority vote, may appoint a Treasurer to administer such policies, procedures and requirements for the financial operations of the Church.


C.    The chairperson of the Business Committee shall have previously served a full term of one year on the Business Committee.  No one shall serve as chairperson of the Business Committee more than two consecutive terms.  The chairperson is requested to serve as a regular committee member for one (1) year after serving as chairman.  In order to fulfill this request, the chairman may be on the committee for four (4) consecutive years.


D.    Authority to sign all checks for this Church shall be vested only in the Business Administrator, the chairperson of the Business Committee, the church Treasurer and two other persons elected by majority vote of the Business Committee.


E.    All acts by the Business Committee to institute emergency controls or amend the church budget must be passed by a vote of no less than three-fifths of the Business Committee membership.


F.    A majority of the Business Committee shall constitute a quorum for any meeting and all actions of the committee, not otherwise set forth herein, shall be by a majority vote of those present and voting, including the chairperson. 


G.    This committee shall be responsible for constructing a written Financial Policy for the fiscal operation of the Church.  This policy must be approved by a majority vote of church members in a regular business meeting.  The church members in like manner must approve any amendments to this policy.


H.    The Business Committee, working in conjunction with the Pastor, Deacons and the representatives of the various church organizations affected by the budget and assisted by the Business Administrator, shall be responsible for the preparation of the annual church budget.  The annual budget must be prepared in accordance with the provisions of the written Financial Policy and generally accepted accounting principles.

 

5)    LEGAL COMMITTEE
A legal committee shall be nominated and elected each year.  It shall be made up of 
licensed attorneys in active practice or retirement.  It serves as a source of advice and 
counsel to staff and lay leadership on legal issues regarding business operations, 
programs and ministries.

 

6)    PROPERTY COMMITTEE
There shall be a Property Committee of at least five members who have been members of
 this Church for at least one year. This committee shall be nominated, elected and 
operated under the following provisions.


A.    At least two members of the Property Committee shall have served on the Property Committee elected in the preceding year unless the committee members of the preceding year are unable to serve or decline to serve another term. Members may serve no longer than three (3) consecutive years before rotating off. Approximately one third (1/3) of the committee should rotate off each year.


B.    The chairperson of the Property Committee shall have previously served a full term of one year on the Property Committee. No one shall serve as chairperson of the Property Committee more than two consecutive terms. The chairperson is requested to revert to regular committee member status for one (1) year after serving as chairperson. In order to fulfill the request, the chairman may be on the committee for four (4) consecutive years.


C.    All matters concerning the upkeep, improvement, maintenance, repair and development of buildings, structures, equipment, infrastructure or grounds shall be referred to this committee. This committee, elected annually by the church at the recommendation of the Nominating Committee and serving until their successors are elected, shall assist the Church in matters related to the areas noted in the preceding sentence.

 

7)    CHURCH PROGRAMS COMMITTEE
There shall be a Church Programs Committee of at least five members who have been members of this Church for at least one year. This committee shall be nominated, elected and operated under the following provisions


A.    At least two members of the Church Programs Committee shall have served on the Church Programs Committee elected in the preceding year unless the committee members of the preceding year are unable to serve or decline to serve another term.  Members may serve no longer than three (3) consecutive years before rotating off.  Approximately one third (1/3) of the committee should rotate off each year.


B.    The chairperson of the Church Programs Committee shall have previously served a full term of one year on the Church Programs Committee.  No one shall serve as chairperson of the Church Programs Committee more than two consecutive terms.  The chairperson is requested to roll into the body for one (1) year after serving as chairman.  In order to fulfill this request, the chairman may be on the committee for four (4) consecutive years.


C.    All matters concerning the education, curriculum syllabi and material to the Church in the course of carrying out the Mission and Purpose thereof shall be referred to this committee. This committee, elected annually by the Church at the recommendation of the Nominating Committee and serving until their successors are elected, shall assist the Church in matters related to the areas noted in the preceding sentence. employment services, benefits, salaries, job descriptions and hiring and terminating staff.

 

8)    LEADERSHIP COUNCIL
The Leadership Council is composed of the Chairperson of Deacons and the Chairpersons of the Business, Personnel, Property, Church Programs and Legal Committees. This council will be called into session at the request of the Pastor or the Chairman of the Deacons or any Committee Chairperson on the Council.


A.    Chairperson of the Council shall be elected by simple majority vote of the members of the council. 


B.    This council shall serve as a coordinating body and a central point of communication and information to aid in the coordinating of the activities, efforts and recommendation of the other committees.


C.    This Council shall have no binding authority.


D.    Committee members shall serve on the Council during their terms as chairpersons of their respective committees.

 

9)    OTHER DECISION-MAKING COMMITTEES
Other Committees may come into existence as needs of the Church may arise.


A.    Members of other decision-making committees shall serve for no more than three (3) consecutive years.


B.    The Chairperson shall not be required to have previously served a full term of one (1) year on the committee. No one may serve as chairperson for more than two (2) consecutive terms. The chairperson is requested to serve as a regular committee member for one (1) year after serving as chairman. In order to fulfill this request, the chairman may be on the committee for four (4) consecutive years.

 

10) MINISTRY TEAMS 
The membership of all Ministry Teams shall be reviewed by the Nominating Committee each year. 


11) PASTOR SELECTION COMMITTEE
The Pastor Selection Committee, when needed, shall be elected by the Church membership and shall, when called to do so, seek the proper individual to serve the Church as Pastor. The committee shall be composed of seven to nine members and led by the Holy Spirit in seeking out the proper individual to lead this Church in its God-given ministry. The church must approve each nominee by  a two thirds  affirmative vote of the members present. 

 

The recommendation of the Pastor Selection Committee will constitute a nomination for  Pastor. Any church member has the privilege of making another nomination for Pastor. The committee is required to thoroughly investigate the personal, educational and moral background of every individual whose name is submitted for consideration.  This investigation must be independent of information provided by the individual under consideration. The individual recommended by the Pastoral Selection Committee must be scheduled to preach to the church membership at least one time before any vote is scheduled by the church membership.  The election of a pastor shall require an affirmative vote of three-fourths of the membership present and voting at a business meeting announced at least two weeks prior to the election date.  Vote must be by written secret ballot or a show of hands.

 

SECTION 3—COMMITTEE ORGANIZATION & GOVERNANCE
After the committees and the chairpersons of said committees are elected by the Church, the committees may elect such other officers of the committees as they may deem appropriate.  A majority of each committee shall constitute a quorum for any meeting and all actions of a committee, not otherwise set forth herein, shall be by majority vote of those present and voting, including the chairperson.  Committee members shall receive actual verbal or written notice of meetings prior to any meeting of a committee.  Committee meetings shall be called by the chairperson or by a majority of the committee members. Committee members shall receive verbal or written notice of meetings prior to any meeting of a committee. Committee meetings shall be called by the chairperson or by a majority of the committee members.


ARTICLE V


CHURCH ORGANIZATIONS

All organizations of the Church and all officers being selected by the Church and reporting regularly to the Church shall be under church control.  The Pastor is ex-officio head of all organizations with leadership recognized in each of them.

  
ARTICLE VI


SERVICES & MEETINGS
    
SECTION 1—REGULAR. 
Regular worship services shall be conducted.  These services and meetings shall be under the direction of the Pastor.

 

SECTION 2—SPECIAL.
Special evangelistic meetings, seminars, study courses and any other special meeting shall be held as needed.

 

SECTION 3—BUSINESS MEETINGS.
1)    Regular business meetings shall be held for the transaction of any and all business.
2)    Special meetings for the transaction of business of an emergency nature may be called by the Pastor or Deacons by giving at least a two-day notice of the time, place and purpose of the meeting, with the time being computed by excluding the date of notice and the day of the meeting.  This notice shall be given at regular worship services.  No business except that for which the meeting was called may be transacted.
3)    The rules contained in Robert’s Rules of Order Revised shall govern business procedures in all cases when they are applicable and where they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws.


SECTION 4—QUORUM
A quorum shall consist of those church members who attend any regular or special business meeting.

 

ARTICLE VII


AMENDMENTS

Changes in these Bylaws may be made at any business meeting of the Church provided each amendment shall have been presented in writing at a previous business meeting and copies of the proposed amendment shall have been furnished to each member present at the earlier meeting or upon request.  Amendments to the Bylaws shall be adopted by receiving the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the church members present and voting at a business meeting.

 

ARTICLE VIII


OPERATION & DISSOLUTION

This Church is organized and operated primarily for the purpose of engaging in religious worship or promoting the spiritual development or well being of individuals.  It is to be operated in a way that does not result in the accrual of distributable profits, realization of private gain resulting from payment of compensation in excess of a reasonable allowance for salaries or other compensation for services rendered or realization of any other form of private gain.
This Church pledges its assets for use in performing the religious functions of the organization.  It directs that, on discontinuance of the Church by dissolution or otherwise, the assets are to be transferred to a charitable, educational, religious or other similar organization that is defined  in Title 26, United States Code, that is qualified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.


The undersigned, being the duly elected and qualified Secretary of the Corporation, hereby certifies the foregoing Bylaws of the Corporation were duly adopted by the Corporation on this
  16th day of  May, 2018


________________________________
Signature, Secretary/ Church Clerk

Carlene Havel_____________________
Printed Name


 

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