October 2014

INTRODUCTION

The final authority for the practices and policies of Redeemer Fellowship is the Bible, specifically the New Testament epistles, which were written to instruct the Church as to its conduct under the headship of Christ. The Bible is the unique and sacred document, against which we evaluate all we do and decide. The following By-Laws shall never take its place.

Since the Holy Scriptures are ultimately binding on this church as providing a unique and absolute authority for the conduct of its affairs, the following By-Laws are to be open for review so that they may be amended 1) when any of them is seen to conflict with God’s Word in any way, 2) when it appears that any of them are hindering the fulfilment of the stated principles of this, Christ’s Church.

ARTICLE 1: NAME AND LOCATION

The name of this church shall be Redeemer Fellowship. The church is resident in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. For the rest of this document Redeemer Fellowship will be referred to as “this church” or “the church”.

ARTICLE 2: PURPOSE

This church is constituted for exclusively religious purposes. The purpose of the church is threefold:

To worship God.
To edify one another toward Christ-like maturity, which involves equipping the saints for fruitful ministry through teaching and discipleship in the context of a loving community of believers.
To witness to the lost in fulfilment of Mat. 28:19-20 by sharing the gospel and by supporting and sending missionaries.

Recognising the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible, this church is committed to the following commission:

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20)

ARTICLE 3: STATEMENT OF FAITH

The church subscribes to the teachings set out in its official publication entitled: “Statement of Faith”. This doctrinal statement for all purposes forms an integral part of this constitution as if it were repeated verbatim in this constitution.

The “Statement of Faith” may not be amended, added to, subtracted from or repealed in any manner except by unanimous consensus of the elders who must however do so in consultation with the members of the church.

ARTICLE 4: LEGAL STATUS

This church is a voluntary association with full legal personality, with perpetual succession and the power to hold property in its own name, distinct from its members and capable of being sued and suing in its own name.

ARTICLE 5: MEMBERSHIP

Section 1. Eligibility for Membership

Active membership in the church shall be open to all persons who:

  1. Make a credible confession of Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
  2. Have signified this confession through water baptism subsequent to their confession of faith.
  3. Show evidence of having new life in Christ.
  4. Do not belong to or join any fraternal or organisation whose beliefs are in conflict with the Statement of Faith.

Section 2. Application for Membership

All requests for church membership must be made to a member of the elders completing the following steps:

  1. Complete the church membership class, or an equivalent approved by the elders.
  2. Read and be in agreement with the Statement of Faith.
  3. Read and be in agreement with the Membership Agreement.
  4. Submit a completed application form to the elders.

After this the applicant shall meet with an elder for a personal interview.

Those who do not totally agree with the Statement of Faith may pursue membership by submitting a brief written explanation of their specific disagreement. The elders will then meet the prospective member to determine:

  1. The significance of the disagreement.
  2. The attitude in which it is held.
  3. The potential effect on the welfare of the church.

The elders will then do one of the following:

  1. Recommend for membership.
  2. Establish a three to six month consultation period to clarify the issue before a decision is made.
  3. Not recommend for membership because of significant doctrinal disagreement.

Section 3. Denial of Membership

If upon review of the person’s application and a personal interview, the elders determine that the applicant does not have a credible testimony of confessing Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Saviour, or that there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, membership shall be denied.

Section 4. Induction of Members

After the unanimous recommendation by the elders, applicants admitted to membership shall present themselves at a worship service designated by the elders for the purpose of inducting them as members by publicly affirming the Membership Agreement and for the public acknowledgement by the church of their membership.

Section 5. Responsibilities of Members

Each member will be responsible:

  1. To protect the unity of the church through loving others, refusing to gossip and submitting to the elders.
  2. To share the responsibility of the church through prayer and evangelism.
  3. To serve the ministry of the church through developing a servant’s heart and using one’s gift(s) and talents to serve in the church.
  4. To support the testimony of the church through faithful attendance, godly living, and regular giving.

Section 6. Voting Privileges

Membership in this church shall entitle the member to vote at meetings of the members on those matters submitted to the church membership by the elders. Voting in this case shall be carried out by secret ballot. Voting privileges are restricted to those members who have passed their eighteenth birthday.

Section 7. Discipline of Members

The threefold purpose of church discipline is 1) to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), 2) to edify believers by deterring them from sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and 3) to promote the spiritual welfare 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 who err in doctrine, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the elders, shall be lovingly subjected to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. Discipline may also apply to all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church. Cases requiring discipline will be dealt with in accordance with the procedures laid down in Matthew 18 and 1Corinthians 5:

  1. Private admonition. Any member of the church who is aware of the sin of a brother or sister in the church is responsible to reprove that person in private, seeking their repentance and restoration.
  2. Admonition with one or two witnesses. If the person in sin does not repent then the same person is to go to him or her with one or two witnesses preferably at least one of them being an elder. They are to confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur and to seek their repentance and restoration.
  3. Public declaration. After a time of the brother or sister not repenting then the elders are to tell the matter to the church at a regularly scheduled worship service, which may include non-members so that the church may seek his or her repentance and restoration. This is only to take place after the elders have determined after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18, 1Timothy 5:19, and Titus 3:10, 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.
  4. Public dismissal (excommunication). After a time of the brother or sister not repenting then the elders will publicly dismiss the person from the fellowship and/or membership of the church at a regularly scheduled worship service, which will result in their refused access to any church meeting or event.

If the erring individual repents of their sin after the public declaration or public dismissal and demonstrates biblical repentance then notice to that effect will be given at a worship service and the person will be restored to the fellowship and membership of the church. Such repentance must be demonstrated through biblical confession and changed attitudes and changed behaviour over a period agreed upon by the elders.

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 paragraph, 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.

Section 8. Termination of Membership

Removal of membership will be by:

  1. Death
  2. Withdrawal at the request of the member because of uniting with another church
  3. Absenteeism
  4. Discipline

Active members who relocate to another church can request a letter of recommendation from the elders.

Members who have been absent from the services of the church for three months will be automatically dropped from membership, after reasonable attempt has been made by the elders to make contact and in addition ascertain the reasons for the absence and effect restoration.

Infrequent attendance at services for reasons other than illness and vacations, etc., shall prompt an informal inquiry by the elders as to the sincerity of the member’s commitment to the health and welfare of the church. Where such infrequent attendance is determined to be the result of a sinful violation of Hebrews 10:24-25 then loving restoration (discipline) will be attempted by the elders. Where such an attempt is not successful, termination of membership may be effected by the unanimous agreement of the elders.

Section 9. Regular meetings

A regular annual meeting of the church members shall be held within six months of the end of the financial year. The purpose of the regular annual meeting shall be for the presentation of the annual financial report. The members shall consider reports on the affairs of the church and any other business that the elders bring before the meeting.

It is recommended that the church meet as many times in the year as is deemed necessary by the elders.

Section 10. Special Meetings

Special meetings of the members may be called at any time by the elders.

Section 11. Purpose of the Meetings

The purpose of congregational meetings is understood in light of the congregation’s relation to the elders.

  1. The purpose of meetings is not to initiate and pursue discussion of new plans or direction for the church. Such suggestions should be submitted to the elders for future consideration.
  2. The purpose of meetings is for the elders to share information with the congregation and to help ascertain congregational consensus or affirmation concerning the proposals and plans presented by the elders. The elders submit proposals already discussed in detail and agreed upon by them. The elders will therefore, support them as that which they believe is in the best interest of the church. The input and insight of the congregation will be considered both at the meeting and over a two or three week period before a decision will be made. Concerns must be given in person, not by an anonymous note. If the response of the congregation is not one of consensus, the recommendation will be tabled. Eighty percent of the church membership will normally be considered sufficient to move forward. On occasion, a higher percentage may be sought before proceeding, if so determined by the elders. Voting is restricted to members who are older than eighteen years, who are not under church discipline, and are faithfully attending services and committed to the ministry.

Section 12. Notice of Meetings

Notice of regular meetings shall be given from the pulpit and published in the church bulletin for two successive Sundays prior to the meeting.

Notice of special meetings shall be given from the pulpit at least seven days prior to the meeting. It shall also be published in the church bulletin the Sunday before the meeting. The time and place of both regular and special meetings shall be determined by the elders.

Section 13. Quorum

At all meetings of the members, whether regular or special, three members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

ARTICLE 6: ELDERS

The office of elder is the same as pastor and overseer or bishop according to the interchangeability of the terms (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7; 1Peter 5:2). When the constitution refers to elders it is referring to the men who are also called pastors or overseers or bishops.

Section 1. Powers

All the affairs of this church shall be exercised by or under the direction of the elders who are responsible to teach and give oversight to the congregation. The oversight and responsibilities of elders shall include:

  1. The purpose and general direction of the church. The elders have the responsibility to oversee, guard and preserve the general purpose, direction and development of the church body according to the Word of God. To accomplish this they have responsibility for the teaching of Scripture and training by word and by example. They are to make disbursements from the funds and properties of the church as required to fulfil the purposes of the church.
  2. The policies of the church. They have the responsibilities of being and causing others to be good stewards of God’s resources, both of money and of time. This entails the following further responsibilities:
    1. Approving the annual budget and safeguarding the collection and distribution of funds through appropriate financial policies and controls.
    2. Establishing and causing to be developed and maintained the appropriate committees and policies to enhance stewardship and organisation in the church.
  3. The personnel of the church. Elders also have the responsibility to oversee the personnel and leadership development of the church. This includes the following:
    1. Approving the appointment of all officers and major ministry leaders including elders, deacons and other key ministry positions.
    2. By approving the selection and hiring of pastoral, office and other church staff, prescribe appropriate duties for them, fix the terms of their office or appointment and the amount of their compensation.
  4. The purity of the church. Elders are also responsible for preserving the purity of the church. They maintain and cause to be maintained church discipline according to the principles and purpose of the Word of God.
  5. The personal oversight of specific ministries in the church. It is also the responsibility of each elder to personally oversee at least one area of ministry in the church. He is to have direct involvement and oversight of that area and is responsible to do the following:
  6. Shepherd and teach ministry leaders in that area so that they may in turn shepherd and teach others.
    1. Enforce and cause to be enforced approved policies and procedures.
    2. Recommend to the board of elders appropriate ministry leaders, policy and/or procedural changes to enhance that area of ministry.
    3. Mediate interpersonal relationship problems.
    4. Represent that area of ministry needs before the elder board.
    5. To carry on a business and apply any such profit that results from the business activity in which it may legally engage for the purpose of the church as defined in Article Two.
  7. The elders do not have the power to incur debt. If in extraordinary circumstances the elders believe that limited debt is necessary to fulfil the purposes of this church as set forth in this constitution, they shall call a special meeting of the members to detail the amount and purpose of the debt. Unanimous approval by the elders and a three-fourths majority vote of the members at this special meeting shall be necessary for the church to incur debt in any instance.

Section 2. Number of Elders

The authorised number of Elders shall be as many as are necessary for the good governance of the church that adequately ministers to and represents the needs of the church. It is preferable to have a minimum of three if there are mature qualified men.

Section 3. Qualifications

  1. Only men may be selected for the office of elder and must be in full support of this constitution and in complete agreement with the church’s statement of faith.
  2. His godliness and maturity must be clearly demonstrated. The qualifications of an elder are listed in 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. There are twenty specific marks of character that are to be consistently demonstrated before a man is to be considered for the position of elder.
  3. His ability to shepherd and teach, his love and devotion to God’s people and his desire and ability to lead God’s people should be obvious to the congregation by his work of ministry prior to formal recognition and calling.
  4. He must wholeheartedly subscribe to the specific information concerning principles and policies in the Elder’s Manual.

Section 4. Recognition of Elders

The church is to recognise the men who the Holy Spirit has made overseers (Acts 20:28). The recognition process includes the following:

  1. Elders recognise the need for leadership. Elders are responsible to oversee the church so they play a leading role in the raising up of new elders.
  2. The congregation is taught the responsibilities of elders and its role in the recognition process. The congregation is taught what constitutes qualified leaders. It must be clearly perceived that the man has godly character, does the work of shepherding and has the church’s confidence. Ultimately the congregation will give consensus and confirmation of who the Holy Spirit has raised up as elders.
  3. The process is saturated with prayer. The elders and congregation are to have special days of prayer for the selection of elders to help preserve a spirit of unity in the body.
  4. The elders invite qualified nominees to serve the flock as elders. The invitation will be given to those whom they judge have met the specific qualifications for the office. After much discussion, prayer and consideration, and only after coming to unanimous agreement, the elders will extend the invitation and proceed toward the goal of public recognition 
(1Timothy 5:22).
  5. The prospective elder will be interviewed, examined and trained. The interview and examination of the candidate is in four key areas:
    1. A personal interview is made with the candidate and his wife. This is to answer any questions they have and to give them a clear picture of the responsibilities and duties that go with eldership. It is also done in consideration of the fact that an elder’s wife will be called upon to make many special sacrifices that many wives are not able or willing to make. The support and encouragement of the wife is absolutely essential.
    2. A written doctrinal examination is given to the prospective elder. An elder must be able to wholeheartedly support the doctrinal statement of the church. A clear, unified voice must be heard from the elders in all areas.
    3. The prospective elder is given a copy of the church’s elder’s manual that represents its philosophy of the church. He is required to meet for a number of weeks to go over the manual and discuss it.
    4. There is a meeting in which the elders, deacons and other recognised ministry leaders meet with the prospective elder for an opportunity for questions. The prospective elder is asked to respond to any and all questions regarding his doctrinal position, his philosophy of ministry and his qualifications to serve as an elder.
  6. The congregation is informed of the candidate(s) for eldership. The next step is the public announcement of the candidate(s). The prospective elder is presented to the church who are asked to join prayerfully in consideration of the appointment and express their support or reservations. Over a period of several weeks, members are given opportunity to show cause as to why any candidate should not be set apart to eldership. Any reservations must be communicated in person and in writing, not by means of an anonymous note.
  7. Confirmation is given by congregational consensus. If the response of the congregation is positive with the consensus approaching total agreement, the elders will consider it a commitment from the Holy Spirit and proceed to ordination. If a consensus of at least eighty percent is not evident, the candidate will be removed from consideration.
  8. Public ordination is granted to serve the flock. The last step is to follow the biblical pattern of ordination where the approved elder is set aside for ministry by the laying on of hands 
(Acts 6:6; 13:3; 14:23; 1Timothy 5:22). This is an act of identification and blessing. This public act confirms the appointment and invests a man with authority to serve as elder.

Section 5. Term and Termination of Office

The elders shall serve for an indefinite term. Termination of an elder’s normal term of office may occur for three reasons:

  1. His office may be terminated when general church discipline is brought according to biblical principles. However, no accusation is to be taken seriously unless there are two or three witnesses with clear evidence of sin (1Timothy 5:19). If, however, an elder is confronted in keeping with the principles of Matthew 18:15-18 and he continues in sin, he is to be rebuked by the other elders before the whole assembly, so that others may fear (1Timothy 5:20).
  2. An elder’s office may also be terminated for failure to continue to display the qualifications required in 1Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. When an elder ceases to meet those qualifications, he shall be asked by the elders to step aside for a time so that he may get his life in order in that area. Such a request from the other elders shall be made only when they are in unanimous agreement.
  3. An elder may also desire to be relieved from office either temporarily or permanently if he feels unable to serve for any reason. The process of his possible reinstatement at a later time will be determined by the elders in relation to the attendant circumstances.

Section 6. Evaluation

Related to an elder’s term of office is the need for evaluation and accountability. Recognising the importance of the office and the temptations and rigours that accompany it, the elders see to hold each other accountable. The objective is to see that the office is fulfilled in a manner consistent with the New Testament standard. In addition to ongoing accountability, a yearly evaluation of each elder is made. The key areas of character, desire and effective ministry involvement are evaluated. This is to help determine if the elder should continue to serve.

Section 7. Their Rule and Relation to the Congregation

  1. Elder rule recognises that the pastors (shepherds) are to lead the sheep, not the sheep the shepherds. The congregation, therefore, is to submit to the elders (Hebrews 13:17). When godly elders minister diligently, effectively and consistently, they deserve the congregation’s love, respect and obedience (1Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1Timothy 5:17). The congregation will not fight them but follow them in unity and harmony.
  2. Elder rule recognises the necessity of the unified support and following of the congregation. The elder’s role is to discern Christ’s direction for the flock. If the elders are truly following Christ’s direction it will be affirmed by the unified support of the congregation. Therefore, in major decisions affecting the entire church, the consensus of the congregation is sought. The areas of major decision specifically are 1) the purchase of property and real estate, 2) the hiring of full time pastoral staff, 3) the annual budget, and 4) the recognition of church offices. In such cases, the matter will be presented at a congregational meeting. After discussion and questions, a period of two to three weeks will be given for input, feed back and the expression of reservations and questions. The elders will not proceed unless the church membership will be considered a clear consensus to move forward with unity.

Section 8. Meetings

Notice of regular and special meetings of the elders shall be given one weeks notice so that all may arrange to attend. Meetings will be called by the chairman or by written request signed by one-third of the elders. All matters before the elders will be determined by the prayerful agreement of the elders present.

Special meetings can be held at any time if all the members of the elders have been personally contacted and not less than two-thirds can attend.

Section 9. Minutes

A designated member of the elders shall keep or cause to be kept a book of minutes. These minutes shall include the time and place of elders meetings, the names of those present and the proceedings of the meeting.

Section 10. Financial Reports

The elders will elect a treasurer shall keep or cause to be kept adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of this church. He or she will deposit all funds and valuables in the name of this church with such depositories as may be designated by the elders. He or she shall disburse funds of this church as ordered or empowered by the elders. He or she shall render to the chairman or the elders whenever they request it an account of all his transactions and of the financial condition of this church. He shall make financial reports at each regular elders' meeting and at the annual meeting of the church members. The church financial records shall be audited each year by a professional auditor appointed by the elders.

Section 11. Financial Policy

The church will operate its financial activities according to the document entitled "Financial Policy” of Redeemer Fellowship. This policy is open to inspection by any person who so requests. The Financial Policy shall be reviewed annually by the elders and amended if necessary.

Section 12. Other Staff

The church, at the discretion of the elders, may hire employees and workers to help carry out the purposes of the church. The services of employees of the church may, subject to the terms of their employment contracts, be terminated at the discretion of the elders.

Section 13. Quorum

A majority of the elders currently serving shall constitute a quorum except as otherwise provided in this constitution. A majority of the elders present at a meeting (whether a quorum or not) may adjourn any meeting.

Whenever the matter to be considered affects the whole church such as calling or dismissing a pastor, or buying or selling real estate, a quorum shall consist of not less than three-quarters of the members of the elders. The decision will then be taken to the members for consensus.

Section 14. Action Without Meeting

Any action required or permitted by the Elders may be taken without a meeting if all members of the elders consent in writing to a resolution to such action, provided that the resolution is subsequently minuted and signed by all members of the elders at the first meeting of the Elders following the adoption of the resolution.

Section 15. Right of Inspection

Every Elder shall have the right at any reasonable time to inspect and copy all books, records and documents of this church. Elders also have the right to inspect the physical properties of this church.

Section 16. Decisions of the Elders

Decisions shall be reached after prayerful consideration by unanimous vote in a spirit of humility, each member regarding the others before himself.

Section 17. Equality and Diversity Among Elders

Two things are recognised in the functioning of the elders as a governing council:

  1. Decisional equality. The standing and authority of each elder is equal in the decision making process. The vote of each man is of equal weight and must be considered before proceeding.
  2. Functional diversity. This recognises the presence of the differing gifts and abilities of each elder. The arrangement of their ministries and roles in the church and their function on the board reflect their individual gifts. The elders recognise these differing roles and demonstrate it by their mutual submission to one another. For example, although the pastor-teacher has the same standing and authority as the rest of the elders, he is recognised by them and the rest of the congregation as being the primary, God-ordained instrument of vision and direction for the church. The other functions of elders are also recognised accordingly.

Section 18. Paid Elders

A person called to be a pastor at the church shall automatically be considered a member. All pastors by definition are elders. Those paid by the church to help the pastors do ministry shall be called Pastoral Assistants.

Section 19. In the Event of a Single Elder

In the event of there being only one elder such as when the church is yet to be established, the pastor-teacher shall appoint a council of men to advise him and consult with on matters pertaining to the good governance of the church and comply with Section 16.

Section 20. Fiduciary Responsibility

According to the Income Tax Act, 1962, no less than three unconnected persons must accept fiduciary responsibility for the church. Preferably, these are to be elders.

ARTICLE 7: DEACONS

Section 1. Number

The number of deacons at the church shall be as many as deemed necessary by the elders.

Section 2. Qualifications

They must be members who fully support this constitution and are in complete agreement with the doctrinal statement. They must also be spiritually qualified men demonstrating the minimum character qualifications specified in 1Timothy 3:8-13. They must have godly reputations, be filled with the Spirit and with wisdom (Acts 6:1-3). They also must be men of high character with their families in order and already actively serving and helping in the church before they will be considered for office (1Timothy 3:13).

Section 3. Their Recognition

The nominating committee for the deacons will be composed of two elders, including the pastor-teacher and two present deacons (appointed by the elders). At least five weeks prior to a called business meeting, the membership shall be informed by the elders that nominations are open for deacons. Any member of the congregation may submit the name of another member by signing and completing the evaluation form for a deacon and submitting it to one of the elders (Acts 6:3, 5). The nominating committee shall review each nominee on the basis of his meeting the biblical qualifications and on the basis of specific needs. Then, by unanimous consent of all the elders, the person will be recognised as a candidate for deacon. The remainder of the procedure will follow the basic steps outlined above for the recognition of an elder. When any questions have been dealt with, and with the unanimous recommendation of the elders, the candidate may then be presented to the congregation for recognition as a deacon (Acts 6:6).

Section 4. Responsibilities and Relation to Elders

Deacons are godly men who aid the elders in serving the flock. They relieve elders of duties and tasks that would take them away from the ministry of prayer and the Word (Acts 6:1-4). They do not share in the oversight of the congregation with the elders, but have authority delegated to them by the elders to oversee specific tasks and functions in the church.

Section 5. Tenure

The newly affirmed deacons shall assume their office immediately. The term of office shall be as long as their task is needed as well as their desire and qualifications to serve are intact. The termination of office and evaluation is the same as that for elders.

Section 6. Other Councils and Committees

To promote efficient handling of church matters, the elders may appoint various councils and committees from within its membership, the church staff and from the church at large. These councils and committees shall perform tasks solely in accordance with the duties and with powers specifically delegated by the elders. The general functions of councils and committees shall be:

  1. To bring considered recommendations to the Elders on a designated issue.
  2. To provide a wider base of counsel for Elders overseeing a specific ministry.

ARTICLE 8: PASTOR-TEACHER

Section 1. Election

The pastor-teacher shall be selected by the elders and that selection shall be affirmed by the members of this church either at its annual meeting or a special meeting. He shall remain in office for an indefinite period of time, subject to the following reservations:

  1. The elders reserve the right to dismiss the pastor-teacher upon giving him three month’s written notice of their intention to dismiss him.
  2. The pastor-teacher must give three month’s written notice if he intends to resign.
  3. The pastor-teacher’s resignation or dismissal is subject to a lesser time if both the pastor-teacher and the elders by mutual agreement provide otherwise.

Section 2. Duties

The pastor-teacher who by definition is an elder shall be responsible to the other elders. He shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church, especially through his studying and teaching ministry.

ARTICLE 9: SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES

In any dispute arising between church members, pastors, or staff pertaining to spiritual teaching or practices, church finances, or title to property purchased with church contributions, the dispute shall be resolved by the elders. A decision shall be reached after prayerful consideration in a spirit of humility, with each elder regarding the others before himself.

ARTICLE 10: OTHER PROVISIONS

Section 1. Endorsement of Documents, Contracts

The elders may authorise any officer or agent to enter into any contract in the name of and on behalf of the church. Unless so authorised by the elders, no officer, agent or employee shall have any power or authority to bind the church by any contract or agreement, or to pledge its credit, or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount.

Subject to the provisions of applicable law, any note, mortgage, evidence of indebtedness, contract, conveyance, or other instrument in writing and any assignment or endorsement thereof executed or entered into between this church and any other person, when signed jointly by the elders.

Section 2. Amendments

Amendments to this constitution may be made after an unanimous recommendation of the elders and an affirmative consensus of the congregation. Notice of any proposed amendments must be made at least four weeks prior to the date of their intended adoption. During that period, any member with concern or evidence that the contemplated change is not God’s will may make this known to the elders in writing. Objections to the amendment will then be discussed openly at the meeting of the congregation for adoption.

Amendments duly made to the constitution are to be submitted in writing to the Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service.Constitution

Section 3. Record of Amendments

Whenever this constitution is amended or a new section or article is included, it shall be copied in the book of minutes with the original constitution. If any section or article is repealed, the fact of its repeal with the date of the meeting at which the repeal was enacted or written assent was filed shall be stated in the book of minutes.

ARTICLE 11: DISSOLUTION

In the event of the dissolution of this church, the elders or the current membership of the church shall cause the assets of the church to be distributed under the following conditions:

  1. All debts and liabilities of the church are to be paid.
  2. All remaining assets shall be distributed to a similar PBO incorporated or established in the Republic which has also been approved by the Commissioner as a PBO with purposes similar to this church as defined in this constitution.
  3. Under no condition shall any part of the assets of this church accrue to the benefit of any private person.

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