BY-LAWS of Cornerstone Church of the Assemblies of God As amended on March 19, 2017
Article 1. Duties of Officers
- Lead (Senior) Pastor: The Lead Pastor shall be the spiritual overseer of the Assembly and shall direct all of its activities. He shall be the President of the corporation and shall act as Chairman of all the business meetings of the Assembly and of the Board of Deacons. He shall arrange for all Annual Business Meetings, Special Business Meetings, conventions and revival campaigns. No person shall be invited to speak or preach in the Assembly without his approval.
- Staff Pastors: The staff pastors shall serve at the discretion of the lead pastor and are chosen by him and ratified by the Church Board of Deacons. Their responsibilities will include: assist in carrying out the ministry of the church; leading various ministries of the church; provide leadership and development to the people in their ministry; recruit volunteers as necessary for the proper functioning of the ministries they oversee; meet regularly with their ministry leaders to pray and to discuss upcoming events, challenges, solutions and praise reports; evaluate existing programs to determine their effectiveness and make recommendations accordingly; participate in weekly staff meetings and all leadership development meetings; participate in training opportunities yearly, or as presented; regularly updating their skill set; preach, teach, and/or lead services in the absence of the Lead Pastor; pray for the lead Pastor, other staff members, volunteer workers, members and the church as a whole; maintain a consistent spiritual life and be a model for others to follow.
- Church Board of Deacons: The Board of Deacons is selected to serve the Church. The Board of Deacons shall carry on all matters of church government and business administration. The deacons shall be spiritual advisers to the Lead Pastor. They shall be responsible for the following:
- reviewing new membership applications,
- reviewing the membership annually,
- assisting the Lead Pastor in disciplining members,
- assisting the Lead Pastor in water baptisms, and
- assisting the Lead Pastor in serving communion.
It shall be the duty of the Board of Deacons to see that the Lead Pastor and any other employees of the church are properly remunerated, taking into consideration the cost of living and the Assembly’s financial ability. The Board of Deacons may be convened at any time by the Lead Pastor for the transaction of church business. A majority of the Board of Deacons shall have the right to ask the Lead Pastor to convene a Board meeting. A majority of the membership of the Board of Deacons shall constitute a quorum, providing that all members have been duly notified of the meeting.
- Board Secretary: The Board Secretary shall keep the minutes of the Board meetings, the Annual Business Meeting and any other Special Business Meeting of the Assembly.
- Treasurer: The Treasurer or designated person or persons is to deposit all funds in the church bank account on the next banking day. Disbursements of funds are to be made as authorized by the Lead Pastor and the Board of Deacons. All duties of the Treasurer shall be executed under the guidance of the Lead Pastor and subject to the authority of the Board of Deacons.
- Elders: Elders are selected by the Lead Pastor and ratified by the Board of Deacons. They serve at the Lead Pastor’s discretion. They assist the Lead Pastor in giving strong spiritual leadership and pastoral care. They shall be responsible for the following:
- assisting the Lead Pastor in praying for the sick.
Article 2. Selections, Vacancies & Qualifications
Section 1. Selection of Officers
- Lead Pastor: The Lead Pastor may be elected to serve for a specific term at his first election or he may be elected for an indefinite period. The Board of Deacons shall nominate him after consultation with the district officials regarding available candidates. Only one name shall be voted upon at a time. Election shall be by secret ballot at the Annual Business Meeting or at a Special Business Meeting called for that purpose. A two-thirds (2/3) majority of all active members present shall be required to constitute an election.
- Church Board of Deacons: The seven Deacons of the Church Board shall be selected according to the process described in Section 2. They shall be nominated by the nominating committee, and shall serve for a term of three years, two being selected each consecutive year. After a three-year term is completed, each member will be off the Board of Deacons for one year before consideration for another term.
- Board Secretary: The Board Secretary shall be selected according to the process described in Section 2. He or she shall be nominated by the nominating committee and shall be selected for a three-year term at the Annual Business Meeting.
- Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be selected according to the process described in Section 2. He or she shall be nominated by the nominating committee and shall be selected for a three-year term at the Annual Business Meeting.
Section 2. Nominating and Selecting
- Nominating: The Lead Pastor and the Board of Deacons shall appoint a nominating committee at least six weeks before the Annual Business Meeting. This committee shall consist of five members, with the Lead Pastor serving as Chairman, two Board members and two non-Board members who are members of the church.
The duties of the nominating committee are to receive, select and submit nominations for such vacancies as may exist because a term of office will expire. The committee nominations are to be posted two (2) Sundays before the Annual Business Meeting.
- Selecting: Following prayer by the active membership of the Assembly, all selections of Deacons, Board Secretary and Treasurer shall be made according to the process described in Acts 1:23-26 and 1 Chronicles 24:5. For each selection, the names of the persons nominated for consideration by the nominating committee shall be assembled and concealed. One name shall be drawn, indicating the selection of the officer. We believe that God “knows the hearts of all,” and will direct the selection of the nominee.
Section 3. Vacancies of Officers
- Lead Pastor: In the event the Lead Pastor has serious charges preferred against him or his ministry has ceased to be effective, and no provision has been made for the termination of his ministry, responsibility is vested in the Board of Deacons to ask for the resignation of the Lead Pastor at any of its regular Board meetings. If such resignation is refused, the senior pastorate shall not be considered vacant until the action of the Board of Deacons has been sustained by a majority vote of the active membership present at a meeting called for that purpose, such meeting to be presided over by a district officer. When a vacancy in the senior pastorate shall occur, provision for filling the pulpit and other such duties shall be arranged by the Board of Deacons until the Lead Pastor shall be chosen as prescribed in Section 1. In the case of the Lead Pastor’s removal from office, a report of such action shall be made to the Southern New England District Council office.
- Other Officers: Any officer may be removed by a majority of the Board of Deacons at any regular or special Board meeting. Grounds for such action shall be:
- Unscriptural conduct
- Doctrinal departure from the Statement of Fundamental Truths
- Incompetence in office
- Any good and sufficient cause
Any incumbent under charges shall have the opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing of his case before the Assembly if he so desires. In addition, vacancies may arise due to other circumstances, such as the death or resignation of an officer. The Board of Deacons is empowered to fill by appointment any vacancy until the next annual selection of officers.
Section 4. Qualifications of Officers
- Lead Pastor: The Lead Pastor must hold valid credentials with The General Council of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri.
- Church Board of Deacons: A person’s life and character must pass certain criteria before qualifying to serve as a Deacon. The Scriptures dictate the qualifications in the principles shown in Acts 6 and I Timothy.
A Board Member:
- Must have been a lay member of an Assembly of God congregation for at least one year.
- Must be an honest individual of good reputation.
- Must be in a spiritual ministry, filled with the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4 and continuing to be filled (Ephesians 5:18).
- Is required to make decisions in practical and temporal matters, as well as give support to the Lead Pastor in spiritual matters. Therefore, sound direction and wise counsel require wisdom.
- Must be steadfast and serious.
- Must be honest and dependable.
- Must be temperate and not dependent on physical stimulants.
- Must be a faithful steward in tithing, generous and not motivated by money.
- Must be proper in doctrine, fully subscribing to the Statement of Fundamental Truths of the Assemblies of God.
- Must be a mature believer.
- Must have only one spouse.
- Must maintain a Christian home.
- A Board member’s spouse must be an example of the Christian life.
3. Other Officers: All selected church officers shall be marked by spiritual maturity, proven leadership ability, faithfulness in all things and a life that is exemplary of our standards of membership.
Article 3. Departments
Section 1. Departments
The Board of Deacons shall have the authority to institute departments as may be necessary from time to time. Leaders of those departments shall be appointed by the Lead Pastor and ratified by the Board of Deacons.
Section 2. Responsibility
All departments shall be responsible to the Lead Pastor and the Board of Deacons, and shall present reports at the Annual Business Meeting.
Article 4. Membership
Section 1. The Standards of Membership
- Evidence of a genuine experience in regeneration (new birth) (John 1:12; I Peter 1:18-25)
- Evidence of a consistent Christian life (Romans 6:4; 8:1-4; 13:13,14; Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:1, 2,15; I John 1:6,7)
- Fully subscribing to the Statement of Fundamental Truths and rules as set forth in the CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS adopted by this Assembly
- Willingness to contribute regularly through tithes and offerings for the support of the Assembly according to his or her ability
- At least 18 years of age
- Completion of all membership classes or their equivalent as determined by the Board of Deacons
- Baptism in water by immersion as a testimony of salvation
- Signing and abiding by the Membership Commitment Statement, which lists the responsibilities of church membership
Section 2. Membership
Membership shall be classified as follows:
- Active Membership: All those who meet the scriptural standards for membership whose names appeared on the original membership roll of the Assembly at the time the Assembly was first organized, together with those whose names shall be added from time to time, who regularly attend the Assembly, take part in the services, live consistent Christian lives and agree with our Pentecostal testimony.
These shall constitute the voting membership of the Assembly. When voting, measures shall be taken to ensure that only active members participate in the voting.
- Inactive Membership: Enrolled members who shall absent themselves from the regular services of the Assembly for a period of three consecutive months or more, who cease to contribute of their means to its support, who may be out of harmony with its teachings or its ministries, or who shall be under charges for misconduct, shall be considered as inactive members and shall lose their voting privileges until they are restored to fellowship, their standing to be settled by direct, definite action of the Assembly through the Board of Deacons.
- Waiver of Legal Action Rights: Membership in the church shall be granted upon the condition that suspension or withdrawal of membership shall not give that individual cause for legal action against the Lead Pastor or any member taking part in the suspension or withdrawal proceedings. Acceptance of a membership in this local church shall be evidence of a waiver by the member of all rights of action, causes of action and all claims and demands against this local church or any member or officer of the General Council of the Assemblies of God by virtue of suspension proceedings and withdrawal of membership in this local church.
Section 3. Reception of Members
- Persons desiring to become active members of the Assembly shall make the fact known to the Lead Pastor, who shall counsel the applicant according to the standards of membership.
- The Lead Pastor shall present the names of those who apply for membership and who have his recommendation to the Board of Deacons. All persons who have been approved by the Board of Deacons shall be publicly welcomed into the local fellowship at an appropriate service.
Section 4. Discipline of Members and Revision of Roster
- Members of the Assembly who shall willfully absent themselves from the regular services for a period of three consecutive months, or who shall be under charges shall be suspended from active membership pending an investigation and final decision.
- Unscriptural conduct or doctrinal departure from the Statement of Fundamental Truths held by this Assembly shall be considered sufficient grounds upon which any person may be removed from membership (Romans 16:17,18; I Corinthians 5:11; Galatians 1:8,9; Titus 3:1-15).
- The Lead Pastor and the Board of Deacons shall be authorized to revise the membership roll of the Assembly annually or whenever necessary and to remove from the list of active members all names of those who have become deceased during the year, together with the names of those who have withdrawn from the fellowship, or those whose lives have become inconsistent with the standards and teachings of the Assembly.
- If a name is removed, the one whose name is removed shall be notified of the action of the Lead Pastor and Board of Deacons by the Board Secretary.
Article 5. Order of Business
Annual Business Meetings and Special Business Meetings shall be conducted in the Spirit of Christ and in brotherly counsel. The regular order of business for the Annual Business Meeting shall consist of the following:
- Report of the Lead Pastor
- Reading of the previous minutes by the Board Secretary
- Financial report by the Treasurer
- Reports of all departments
- Unfinished business
- Selection of officers
- New business
The order of business may be dispensed with by a majority vote.
Article 6. Amendments
These BY LAWS may be amended at any Annual Business Meeting or Special Business Meeting of the Assembly by a majority vote of the active membership present, providing the proposed amendment has been announced publicly on the two (2) Sundays prior to the date of the meeting by the Lead Pastor or the Board Secretary.