The Bylaws of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship
For the purpose of establishing and maintaining a home for the Saints to worship God; to provide for Christian fellowship for those of like faith, irrespective of social position or worldly possessions; for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ both in home and foreign lands. This fellowship shall be governed by the following:
KNOW ALL MEN & WOMEN BY THESE PRESENT:
That, we, the undersigned have this day voluntarily associated ourselves together for the purpose of forming a corporation under the Laws of the State of Ohio, and we hereby certify:
The name of the corporate church shall be The Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship.
The purposes of this corporation are:
- To establish a Christian Church with a School of the Prophets and with missionary, literature, educational, and all other resources it may deem useful to propagate and practice the full Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and for its service to the community.
- To earnestly seek and promote the unity of the Saints in the Scriptural manner of Godly love, respect, and faithful voluntary cooperation, with liberty. To that end it shall associate and cooperate freely with other churches and with church organizations.
- To act as Trustee under any trust incidental to the principal objects of the corporation and to receive, hold, administer and expend funds and property subject to such trust.
- To enter into, make, perform and carry out contracts of every kind for any lawful purpose, without limit as to amount and with any person, firm, association or corporation; to draw, make, accept, endorse, discount, issue and execute promissory notes, warrants and other negotiable or transferable interests.
- To take, purchase or otherwise acquire, own, hold, occupy, use and enjoy, manage, improve, develop, grant, sell, exchange, let, devise, and otherwise dispose of real estate, buildings; and improvements without limit as to the amount thereof and wheresoever the same may be situated. To contract, enter into agreements and obligations with any person, firm, corporation or association, or any Federal, State or other government for the erection, construction, alteration, repair, renewal, equipment, improvement, development, use, enjoyment, leasing, management or control of any buildings, improvements or structures of any kind wherever the same may be situated.
- To purchase or otherwise acquire, own, hold, use and enjoy, sell, assign and transfer, exchange or otherwise dispose of personal property of every kind and description without limit as to the amount thereof and wheresoever the same may be situated.
- To borrow and loan money and give and receive evidence of indebtedness and security thereof; to draw, make accept, endorse, execute, and issue promissory notes, warrants, and other debentures of the corporation, or otherwise to make guarantees of every kind and secure any or all obligations of the corporation by mortgage, trust deed or otherwise.
- To do all other acts necessary or expedient for the administration of the affairs and attainment of the purposes of the corporation and to have and exercise all the powers now or hereafter conferred by the Laws of the State of Ohio, upon non-profit corporations.
This corporation is organized pursuant to the General Non-Profit Corporation Law of the State of Ohio; the property of this corporation is irrevocably dedicated to religious and charitable purposes, and upon liquidation, dissolution, or abandonment, shall not inure to the benefit of any private person except a fund, foundation, or corporation organized and operated for religious or charitable purposes and as designated in Article XI of these Bylaws.
- A) The ordinance of Baptism by immersion in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost as commanded in the Scriptures, shall be administered to all those who have believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls and who give clear evidence of their fruit (Matthew 28:19, Colossians 2:12, 3 Nephi 5:21-27 RAV/11:21-27 OPV).
- B) The ordinance of Baptism of Fire, by the Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost as commanded in the Scriptures, shall be administered to all those who have believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls after baptism by immersion as described in the Scriptures (Moroni 2).
- C) The ordinance of the Lord’s Supper shall be observed regularly as a part of public worship, as commanded by the Lord; and as described in the Scriptures (Luke 22:19, 20; I Corinthians 11:23-26, Moroni 4-5).
- D) Those entering the ministry shall be washed clean and endowed, as were Adam and Eve. (Book of Remembrance 10-20).
- E) Infants and small children may be dedicated to the Lord in the Church of Christ upon the request of the parents or guardians (Mark 10:13-16; Luke 18:15, 16).
- F) The ministration of laying on of hands accompanied with the anointing with oil, for the healing of the sick, shall be granted as a request is made and the need may require (Mark 16:18; James 5:14).
Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship shall be eligible to all who give evidence to their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who voluntarily hold to the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. When a person chooses to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship and involve themselves, they are automatically considered a member (Ephesians 4:16).
A member is one who attends regularly, serves at and contributes financially to the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship and can answer the following question in the affirmative:
- Do you desire to come into the fold of God, and to be called a member of His Fellowship?
- Have you confessed your sins to the Lord, and repented of them?
- Are you obedient to the laws of the land?
- Are you willing to bear another’s burdens, that they may be lightened?
- Are you willing to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort?
- Are you willing to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that you may be in, even until death, that you may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that you may have eternal life?
- Are you willing to continue in obedience to the Laws of God and Jesus Christ as you understand them?
Membership, ordinances, callings, and fellowship are open to all, regardless of race, gender orientation, sexual orientation, or marital status.
The officers of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship shall consist of two co-Presidents called the First Elder and the Elect Lady, and a Secretary called the Second Elder; the three consisting a First Presidency. Any of these three may act treasurer by unanimous consent of the First Presidency.
The First Elder and Elect Lady shall be considered the Presidents of the Corporation. These may add a council of no more than seven (7) other persons. There shall not be less than five (5) and no more than nine (9) officers at any time. These shall act as a board of directors (called the Council of Elders) that shall handle the business of the Church of Christ and therefore should be business minded. They should attend to the spiritual side of all business as well. These should lay hold of the vision given them and see it is implemented, being active members of the Church of Christ.
FIRST ELDER and ELECT LADY (CO-PRESIDENTS)
SECTION 1. TERM OF OFFICE:
The First Elder and the Elect Lady are the Presidents of the Corporation. They are also a High Priest and a High Priestess respectively holding the offices of President in the Brotherhood of Christ and the Sisterhood of Christ, respectively. They shall hold this office until death, until they resign, or until they are removed by common consent by the Council of Elders and a majority of the Assembly of Saints. They are given the office by revelation from God and a vote of common consent by the Assembly of Saints, no less than once per year.
SECTION 2. VACANCY WITHIN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY:
The vacancy shall be filled by the appointment of a new First Elder or Elect Lady by the revelation from God to the departing member of the First Presidency or the Council of Elders when the departing president is not available to do so. In some cases, a Search Committee may be selected who will search for candidates and submit them to the departing member of the presidency and/or Council of Elders for final approval. In most cases, when possible, it is best to follow the examples set forth in scripture of the person called by God (First Elder, Elect Lady, or other member of the Council of Elders) to pass the mantle on to the one God has chosen and shown them (Joshua 1, 1 Kings 19:19-21, 2 Kings 2:1-14), imparting the anointing and call of God to one who has already proven themselves to be faithful (2 Timothy 2:2, Luke 16:12).
SECTION 3. DUTIES OF THE FIRST ELDER AND ELECT LADY:
The First Elder and Elect Lady shall be considered the spiritual overseer of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship and shall direct all the Fellowship activities. They shall preside over all business meetings of the Church of Christ and shall be the ex-officio members of all committees and departments.
SECTION 4. SUPPORT OF THE FIRST ELDER AND ELECT LADY:
The First Elder and Elect Lady shall be supported according to their needs, either by free-will offerings or by a stated allowance as shall be decided upon by the Council of Elders in its regular business sessions.
The Second Elder is the Secretary of the Corporation and shall be appointed by the First Elder and Elect Lady and ratified first by the Council of Elders before taking office and second by common consent from the Assembly of Saints within one year of the appointment. A secretary or administrative assistant may be utilized in the day-to-day record keeping and/or accounts receivable and payable, as is necessary.
COUNCIL OF ELDERS
The Council of Elders shall be appointed by the First Presidency. They shall include the First Elder and Elect Lady as co-presidents (2), and as councilors the co-presidents of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles (2), the co-presidents of the Quorum of Seventy (2), The Church Patriarch (1) and Church Matriarch (1), and one (1) other person to represent the General Assembly of Saints.
There shall not be less than five (5) and no more than nine (9) including the two (2) members of the First Presidency. They are to be called upon to fill the pulpit, to pray for the sick, visit newcomers, shut-ins, absentees, hospital visitation, and all other duties meeting the needs of the Church of Christ. They shall also, along with the First Presidency, seek God’s direction for the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship, and support the First Presidency in the vision given them by God, in the Church of Christ’s present and future ministry. Members of the Council of Elders shall remain so until they resign or are deemed unfit.
MEETINGS OF THE OFFICERS AND THE COUNCIL OF ELDERS
a. The Council will set a schedule for regular meetings at it first meeting. The first meeting and special meetings may be called by the Presidents with thirty (30) days written notice provided by e-mail or the USPS. A special meeting may be called by a majority of the members of the Council by providing notification of the date in writing as required for other special meetings.
b. A quorum for a meeting of the Council of Elders shall consist of two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of Council.
c. All decisions shall be made by a majority vote of the members present.
d. The Council of Elders may agree to additional rules for the conduct of its meetings.
There may be boards of Deacons, Teachers, Priests and Priestesses, and Elders, High Priests and High Priestesses, Bishops, Evangelists, Patriarchs and Matriarchs, of Fifty, of Seventy, of Apostles, and any other boards as may be decided as needed and appointed by the authority of the First Presidency.
VACANCY OF OFFICES
The First Presidency shall have the authority to declare any office vacant. Grounds for such action shall be:
a. Expired time limit of the role/calling (where applicable).
b. God calling someone new to the role.
c. Failure to cooperate with the Fellowship’s program and ministry.
d. Unscriptural conduct.
e. Doctrinal departure from the tenets of faith.
f. For any good and sufficient cause (Mosiah 11:129-141 RAV, 26:22-32 OPV).
Any incumbent whose office is declared vacant shall have opportunity for a fair and impartial hearing before meeting of the Council of Elders. The Council’s decision shall be considered final and the incumbent may have no further recourse.
Meetings for Worship
Meetings for public worship may be held on each Sabbath (Saturday) or the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and during the week as may be provided for under the direction of the First Presidency, or elected leaders online or within homes or temples of synagogues or congregations.
Worship services may be organized as the Spirit direct and should include but not necessarily be limited to:
a. An invitation to worship, including a passage of scripture
b. And opening hymn
c. And opening prayer
d. Announcements, as necessary
e. Opportunity for offerings from members
f. The Sacrament of Communion no less than once per calendar month
g. The Sacrament of Baptism (or re-Baptism) no less than once per calendar year
h. Time for mediation
i. Messages on the written Word and/or testimonies from the Saints
j. A prayer or reading for the promotion of peace and/or unity
k. Sending forth of the Saints
l. A closing Hymn
m. A closing prayer
Section 1. Annual business meeting:
There shall be an Annual Business Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship. This business meeting shall be held at the most, quarterly, at the least at the end of the fiscal year. This meeting shall be conducted online or within a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship. New Officers, Elders and Deacons, etc. shall be installed and all reports shall be read at Conference to be held on or around April Six (6) of each year.
Section 2. Special business meetings:
Special business meetings of the members may be called by the First Presidency or by written petition of three-fourths (3/4) of the legal membership.
Section 3. Notice of business meetings:
Written notice of the date and place of the Annual Business Meeting and of any special business meetings shall be sent by email or regular mail to all members at least ten (10) days and not more than thirty days prior to such meeting. In addition, the First Elder and/or Elect Lady shall announce such meeting at the worship services of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting.
Section 4. Quorum:
No special or regular business meetings of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship may be conducted unless one-half (1/2) or more of the members of the Council of Elders are present to constitute a quorum.
Section 5. Order of Business:
The regular order of business for the Annual Business Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship shall be as follows:
- Reading of previous minutes
- Report of the treasurer
- Report of committees
- Unfinished business
- Installation of officers
- New business
This order of business may be altered or suspended at any meeting by a majority vote of the members present. The usual parliamentary rules as laid down in “Robert’s Rules of Order” shall govern all debates when not in conflict with this Constitution.
Finances for the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship shall be handled as follows:
- All funds needed for the maintenance of the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship shall be provided by voluntary contributions, tithes and offerings. Every member shall decide before God what he or she can cheerfully give to the support of the Lord’s work at home and in the foreign field (Mosiah 2:28-45 RAV, 4:16-27 OPV; Malachi 3:10, 3 Nephi 11:13 RAV, 24:10 OPV; I Corinthians 16:1-2; Romans 12:8).
- All offerings shall be counted by at least two members.
- Deposits must be made by the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship promptly in a local bank in its own account.
- There will be no co-mingling of Fellowship funds with those of any person or any other organization.
- Annual reports of revenues and expenditures will be compiled and furnished to the officers and made available online to the membership.
- Checks will require the signatures of two officers to be valid.
- The treasurer must be a member of the Council of Elders. However, a secretary or administrative assistant may be utilized in the day-to-day record keeping.
- Financial records, without exception, are to be kept in the Fellowship office, identified as such by the Presidents or the Council.
- The Council of Elders shall act as overseer of all financial activities.
ARTICLE X: DEPARTMENTS AND COMMITTEES
The Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship may provide for the establishment of a School of the Prophets Department, Sunday School, young people’s work, relief committees, home and foreign missionary committees, and any other departments or committees as the needs of the work may require. These committees and departments shall be subordinate to the Fellowship and shall contribute to the harmony and development of the whole. They shall be under the general supervision of the Council of Elders. The First Elder and Elect Lady shall be an ex-official member of all committees or departments and shall determine when the need for such committees and departments must be organized.
ARTICLE XI: ORGANIZATION
Said organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious and educational purposes, including the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
ARTICLE XII: CONDUCT OF ORGANIZATION
This organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious and educational purposes, including the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inter to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause above.
No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the conduct of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, nor by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
ARTICLE XIII: DISSOLUTION
Upon the dissolution of the organization, assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Court of common pleas of the county in which the principal office of the organization is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said Court shall determine.
ARTICLE XIV: AMENDMENT
These By-Laws may be amended or changed by a two thirds (2/3) vote of the Council of Elders at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided written notice of such proposed change(s) shall have been made e-mail or sent by USPS at least ten(10) days before the meeting.