Our church bi-laws are in the process of being approved by the elder board. Here is a temporary look at what they are approving:
Harvest Bible Chapel of Cambridge, Inc.
ARTICLE I. PURPOSES
Harvest Bible Chapel of Cambridge, Inc. (the “Church”) shall have such purposes as are now
or may hereafter be set forth in the Articles of Incorporation and shall be stated more specifically
to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the following means:
Harvest Bible Chapel of Cambridge, Inc. (referred to below as Corporation) is organized and
operated exclusively for religious purposes in accord with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal
Revenue law and referred to herein as the “Code”). More specifically, its purpose is to be a
church and to glorify God through the conduct of public worship, Bible studies, and related
religious education and Christian fellowship services designed to communicate the Gospel of
ARTICLE II. FOUR PILLARS
At the outset of Harvest Bible Chapel, four pillars were established as the biblical priorities for
this ministry. A fuller statement is available upon request.
1. Believing in the power of prayer.
(Jeremiah 33:3; Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16)
2. Proclaiming the authority of God’s Word without apology.
(II Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 4:12)
3. Boldly sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
(Matthew 9:36-38; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 6:19-20)
4. Lifting high the name of Jesus Christ in worship.
(Mark 12:30; John 4:23-24; John 12:32)
ARTICLE III. DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
SECTION A. THE SCRIPTURES
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament as verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing. We believe the 66 books of the Old Testament and New Testament are God’s completed and sufficient revelation for the total well being of mankind.
SECTION B. GOD
We believe in the only true God (John 17:3), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
(Matthew 28:19-20). He created all things (Revelation 4:11) and upholds all things by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). In Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He (Deuteronomy 32:4) and He shall judge the world (Psalm 9:8).
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the
Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, having precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfection’s, and worthy of precisely the same homage, confidence, and obedience (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 29:19-20; Acts 4:3-4).
SECTION C. JESUS CHRIST
We believe in the total deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe He is the manifestation of God in the flesh. We believe He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. We believe Him to be true God and true man (John 1:1, 14, 18; John 14:8, 9; I Timothy 3:16).
SECTION D. HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ during this age. He convicts us of sin and regenerates the sinner upon believing on Christ, baptizing the believer into one body of which Christ is the head. He indwells, guides, instructs, fills, comforts, and empowers the believer for godly living and service through individually bestowed spiritual gifts. While the Scriptures do not teach that certain gifts have ceased, it does seem to indicate that their usage would vary according to the need that each gift is designed to meet. Harvest Bible Chapel does not encourage the use of the ‘sign gifts’. Instead we choose to emphasize the more excellent way of love and zeal for the more edifying gifts (John 16:8; 13:15; Titus 3:5; Ephesians 1:22; 4:11-12; Romans 8:9-17; 12:4-8; I Corinthians 3:16; 12:4-5, 11-13, 19; Galatians 5:25; Hebrews 4:1-4; II Corinthians 12:12). A fuller statement of the Church’s position on the charismatic movement is available upon request.
SECTION E. MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners; not only by constraint, but by choice and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. We believe that without exception every man is totally depraved and needs a Savior (Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 1:18, 32).
SECTION F. SALVATION
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that all who by faith receive Him as their personal Savior are justified on the basis of His blood shed on Calvary. They are born again of the Holy Spirit and thereby become eternally secure as children of God. We believe the Holy Spirit baptizes a person who believes into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation (Romans 8:37-39; II Corinthians 5:21; I Corinthians 12:13).
SECTION G. HEAVEN AND HELL
We believe in the “blessed hope”: the personal, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus
Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1
Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians
5:1; Revelation 2:7) the lost are raised to eternal torment in hell in conscious separation from
God. (Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation
SECTION H. RESURRECTION
We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord Jesus Christ, His ascension into heaven, and His present life for us as High Priest and Advocate (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25, 26).
SECTION I. RETURN OF CHRIST
We believe in “that blessed hope”, the personal, premillennial, and imminent return of our
Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer
(I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
SECTION J. BAPTISM AND COMMUNION
We believe that Christian baptism is a public declaration of and identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection signified by immersion in water.
The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration by believers of Christ’s death until He comes and should be preceded by a careful self-examination (Acts 4:13; Romans 6:3-6; I Corinthians11:20-29).
SECTION K. THE CHURCH
Upon accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, all believers have therefore become part of His body, the church. There is one church universal, composed of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The Scriptures command believers to gather together to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of the ordinances (baptism and communion), fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and outreach to the world in fulfillment of the command of Christ to make disciples of all believers (Ephesians 5:23; Romans 12:1; Acts 2:42-46; I Corinthians 14:26; Matthew 28:18-20).
Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command there is the local expression of the church – under the watch-care of elders and other supportive leadership. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying
Christ (Ephesians 4:16).
SECTION L. MISSIONS STATEMENT
Realizing that the cause of Christ extends beyond any one local fellowship, we commit ourselves to an ongoing ministry of extending the call of Christ to make disciples around the world. To this end the elders of this church have committed to partner with Harvest Bible Fellowship for the purpose of church planting. Our giving to HBF is our commitment to missions.
SECTION M. CHRISTIAN LIVING (CONCERNING CONDUCT)
The Bible teaches that all believers are saints, set apart unto God and are thus responsible to live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord (Romans 21:1-2; I Peter 1:14-19; II Timothy 2:19; Titus 2) lest the Word of God be blasphemed (I Timothy 6:1;
Titus 2:5). As Christians we should obey the Word of our Lord, seek the things which are above, walk as He walked, and accept as our responsibility the duty and privilege of bearing the Gospel to a lost world (I John 2:3; Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 5:23; Matthew 29:19-20). A victorious and fruitful Christian life is possible only for those who have presented themselves wholly to
Christ and walk by the power of the Holy Spirit, which all believers are called to do (Romans12:1,2; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6, 7).
“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1
“Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
“Be not drunk with wine…but be filled with the Spirit.” Ephesians 5:18
ARTICLE IV. MEMBERSHIP
SECTION A. NATURE OF MEMBERSHIP
The New Testament clearly indicates that groups of people who were followers of the
Lord Jesus Christ identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body.
In order to implement the principles of accountability and commitment to the local body of Christ, as defined in the New Testament and practiced in the early churches, Harvest Bible
Chapel recognizes the need for formal membership. Membership at Harvest Bible Chapel is for all who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and have visibly demonstrated that commitment through believer’s baptism.
Members are not members as that term is described in the law in that they have no voting rights related to the governance of the church. The Church is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Elders.
SECTION B. MEMBERSHIP COMMITMENT
The effectiveness of joining together will be determined by the level of the commitment we make. In a society where so few make commitments and fewer still keep them, Harvest Bible Chapel is seeking a group of people who are determined to know the joy Christ intended for His body, the church. To this end members of Harvest Bible Chapel must be willing to live in submission to the doctrinal statement. Further, they must be willing to abide by the entire membership commitment.
1. I have, by faith, become a follower of Jesus Christ and I have been baptized as a visible way of demonstrating that commitment.
2. I will, with God’s help, seek to maintain my consistent disciplines of prayer, Bible study, and evangelism.
3. I will neither criticize nor listen to criticism concerning any member(s) of this body and will, when personally offended, speak directly and lovingly with those involved.
4. I will financially support the ministries of the Chapel by faithfully giving back to the
Lord a biblical portion of my increase.
SECTION C. QUALIFICATIONS, ADMISSION AND REMOVAL
The Board of Elders will establish the qualifications and administer the procedure for admission of Members to the Church. The Board of Elders may suspend, or remove, any Member for cause after conducting an appropriate hearing on the matter. The procedure is as follows.
1. Prospective members need to attend Membership at Harvest. These classes are a clear and concise overview of who Christ is, how a person becomes a Christian, and how to meaningfully connect with the church.
2. Upon completion of the class any person professing personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior who has expressed that commitment visibly by being baptized, or are willing to do be baptized at the next available service, should indicate their desire for membership on the Peak Performance 100 response card. The card will be turned into the church office for further review and follow up.
3. The prospective members name will then be placed in the bulletin for a period of two weeks. During this period members will be encouraged to clear up any relational or other difficulties which could hinder ministry among us. This is done in the spirit of Matthew 18:15-17 so that both the candidate and the Harvest family will benefit.
4. At the end of the two week period those who remain as candidates will be welcomed into membership on the next Sunday set aside for that purpose.
SECTION D. CHURCH DISCIPLINE
Harvest Bible Chapel of Cambridge, Inc. is a body of Christian believers who hold certain beliefs and standards in common. On occasion, Members of the Church may conduct themselves in a manner contrary to the Statement of Faith and unworthy of membership at the Church. It will be a high priority for the Church to restore such persons into conformity with the fellowship as outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. However, because of God’s holy nature and the believers’ high calling, Scripture teaches and commands personal and ecclesiastical separation from religious apostasy (II John 7-11; Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10), from all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices, and associations (I John 2:15-17; James 4:4; II Timothy 3:1-5), and from professing believers living in willful disobedience to the Word of God (II Thessalonians 2:15; 3:6, 14, 15; I Corinthians 5). This does not include separation from unbelievers who need the Word of God to penetrate their world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“…note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned and avoid them.” Romans 16:17
“… that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.” II Thessalonians 3:6
“And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep
company with him that he may be ashamed.” II Thessalonians 3:14
Should the need for Biblical discipline arise, any such authority will be entrusted to the Board of Elders; they will have the authority to place individual(s) under church discipline (including suspension of membership if necessary). Any Member who is absent for all services of the Church without giving a satisfactory reason for a period of one year may be removed from the roll of membership by the Board of Elders.
SECTION E. RESIGNATION OF MEMBERS
Any Member may resign by filing a written resignation with the Board of Elders.
SECTION F. MEETINGS OF MEMBERS
There will be no regular meetings of Members for governance purposes, as members do not have a role in the governance of the Church.
ARTICLE V. CHURCH GOVERNMENT
SECTION A. TWO CHURCH OFFICES
The biblical teaching on the subject of two church offices, Elders and Deacons, is found in I Timothy 3:1-16 and Titus 1:5-9. Though there are three terms used for the offices of the church, i.e. bishop, elder, and deacon, a careful analysis of these terms indicates that bishop and elder are used interchangeably, with the bishop simply being the ‘ruling’ or leading elder. The pastors of the church have the spiritual authority of the elders. However, with the exception of the Senior Pastor, they will serve on the board only as needed and at the request of the elders.
SECTION B. WOMEN IN MINISTRY
Harvest Bible Chapel affirms the God-ordained and significant role that women should play in establishing and leading the local church. Every leadership opportunity is open to women except those that are excluded by Scripture. The Scriptures clearly state that men are to serve in the office of Elder and that women are not to serve in church positions in which they exercise authority over men or in which they teach doctrine to men (I Timothy 2:12; I Timothy 3:1-2; Titus 1:6-9). We do not see this as an issue of equality, for men and women are equal under God. The Bible is clear that men and women do not have the same roles. Qualified women should serve in any leadership position that is not forbidden in the Scriptures.
ARTICLE VI. BOARD OF ELDERS
Section A. General Powers
The business, legal, and spiritual matters of the Church will be managed by its Board of Elders. All decisions affecting the overall doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church will be the responsibility of the Board of Elders. “Elders” in these bylaws are synonymous with “directors.” The functions and responsibilities of the Board of Elders will consist of, but not be limited to, the following.
The Scriptures are clear that the elder’s responsibility is the spiritual oversight of the congregation. The elder’s responsibility can be broken down into three main areas:
1. Ensuring that the doctrine of the church remains purely biblical; the Board of Elders will settle all doctrinal issues in the church.
2. Ensuring that the direction of the church remains consistent with the statement of purpose and the four pillars statement as outlined in the Constitution.
3. Administering in love and humility the biblical process of church discipline as outlined in Matthew 18:15-20 and Galatians 6:1-4.
SECTION A. STRUCTURE
The Scriptures teach that a plurality of elders governed individual New Testament churches (Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5; Philippians 1:1). The Scripture does not mention any congregations featuring a stand-alone pastor and leader. A plurality of godly elders, exercising their individual giftedness, squares with the Scripture’s teaching that wisdom is found in a multitude of godly counselors (Proverbs 11:4; Proverbs 12:15; Proverbs 15:22; Proverbs19:20; Proverbs 24:6.). This truth does not eliminate the possibility and likelihood that one or more elders will stand out from the others as more public in their ministries or more influential in their workings on the Elder Board. All elders will have equal authority, but not necessarily equal influence.
The Senior Pastor will work in cooperation with the Elder Board Chairman to ensure healthy ministry development and strong accountability. Agenda items for the elder meetings must be submitted to the Elder Board Chairman prior to the elders’ meeting. An elders’ meeting may not be held without a majority of the elders present and the entirety of the elders informed.
The Elder Board Chairman will be selected by consensus decision of the Board of Elders with no fixed term and may not be one of the pastors. The Elder Board will consist of the Chairman, the Senior Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons Board and additional elders, who will assume responsibility as agreeable and necessary.
SECTION B. NUMBER AND TENURE
The number of Elders serving on the Board of Elders is to be a minimum of three (3) and may vary from time to time up to fifteen (15) by resolution of the Board of Elders without amendment of these bylaws. In no case will the number of Elders serving on the Board of Elders be less than three. The term of office for Board of Elders members is to be consistent with the fiscal year of the Church.
When the need arises for additional elders, a nominee will be recommended by the existing Board of Elders. In keeping with the clear biblical injunctions regarding authority structures within the church only men will be considered for the office of elder. An in-depth interview will ensue to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified. The congregation will then be reminded of the biblical requirement for elders and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration.
The Board of Elders is to be composed of the following appointed persons:
1. The Harvest Bible Chapel Senior Pastor automatically serves as an Elder for as long as he remains employed by the Church and, because of his public presence and responsibility before the congregation, may be considered “first among equals” as a member of the Elder Board.
2. Although Scripture indicates no fixed terms for Elders, we ask Elders to serve on the Board for a three-year commitment. At the end of three years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow Elders. During the review, both the individual and the other Elders will evaluate his continued service on the Board of Elders, again considering the biblical qualifications, as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service on the Board of Elders may be discontinued by his own decision or by a consensus decision of the other elders. A person leaving the Board of Elders would not preclude his service as a future Elder, subject to the regular selection process.
3. Shorter commitments may be requested of some Board members in order that approximately one-half of the Board’s commitments expire each year to help preserve community among those actively serving on the Board. Notwithstanding the length of commitment, each actively serving Elder will continue serving until his successor has been appointed and is actively serving.
4. The Secretary and Treasurer will serve for a commitment of one year and may be renewed for any number of successive years. Either of these positions may be held concurrently by another officer or Elder if necessary.
All Elders, except those temporarily appointed to fill vacancies or to expand the Board of Elders, are to be elected by the Board of Elders at its annual meeting of the members. The commitments for newly elected officers will begin on January 1 of the fiscal year for which they are elected.
SECTION C. QUALIFICATIONS
Qualifications for the office of an Elder include that each person must be (Titus 1:6-9):
1. Above reproach
2. Able to teach
3. Husband to one wife
4. Not addicted to wine
6. Not antagonistic
10. Free from the love of money
12. Manages own household well
13. Not a new convert
SECTION D. RESIGNATION AND REMOVAL
Any member of the Board of Elders may only resign prior to the expiration of their term if they move away from the area or are incapacitated. Such resignation, which may or may not be made contingent on formal acceptance, is to take effect on the date of receipt or at any later time specified therein.
In order to remove a member serving as an Elder, the Board of Elders will first conduct a reasonable inquiry and hearing concerning the cause of removal. Persons under consideration for removal may not be counted for purpose of establishing quorum nor have any vote in such proceedings. A consensus of the Board of Elders not under consideration for removal will constitute the removal of said Elder.
SECTION E. VACANCIES
Any vacancy occurring in the Board of Elders to be filled by reason of any increase in the number of Board of Elders members or resignation or termination of a Board of Elders member is to be filled by the Board of Elders as soon as practical. An Elder will be so elected to fill a vacancy only until the next annual meeting of the Board of Elders.
SECTION F. COMPENSATION
Elders will not receive any stated salaries for their services on the Board of Elders, but by resolution of the Board of Elders expenses of attendance, if any, may be allowed for each regular or special meeting of the Board of Elders. Nothing herein contained will be construed to preclude any Elder serving the Church in any other capacity and receiving reasonable compensation for that service. This Section will not preclude the Pastors receiving compensation as pastors, which will be determined by the remaining Elders.
ARTICLE VII. MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF ELDERS
SECTION A. ANNUAL MEETING
An annual meeting of the Board of Elders is to be held in December of each year, or at such other time and place as may be designated by the Chairman or Secretary of the Board in accordance with the notice provisions herein, for the transaction of such business as may come before the meeting.
SECTION B. REGULAR MEETING
The Board of Elders shall meet not less than monthly.
SECTION C. SPECIAL MEETINGS
Special meetings of the Board of Elders may be called by or at the request of the Chairman or any three of the Elders. The person or persons authorized to call special meetings of the Board of Elders may determine the location of the special meeting called by them.
SECTION D. NOTICE
Notice of any meeting of the Board of Elders is to be delivered not less than five (5) days nor more than sixty (60) days prior to the date of the scheduled meeting. The attendance of a Board of Elders member at any meeting will constitute a waiver of notice of such meeting except where a Board member attends a meeting for the expressed purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convenient. Neither the business to be transacted nor the purpose of any regular or special meeting of the Board of Elders, need be specified in the notice or waiver of such meeting unless specifically required by law or by these bylaws.
Whenever under the provisions of these Bylaws notice is required to be given to any Elder or other officer, such notice may be given in writing, by mail, by depositing the same in the post office or letter box, addressed to such director or officer, at such address as appears on the books of the Corporation or by electronic means such as electronic mail or facsimile transmittal. Such notice shall be deemed to be given at the time when it is mailed or transmitted. Any notice required by these Bylaws may be waived in writing by the person entitled to receive such notice.
SECTION E. QUORUM
A majority of the Board of Elders will constitute a quorum for the transaction of the business at any meeting of the Board of Elders provided that if less than half of the Board of Elders are present at the said meeting, a majority of the Board of Elders members present may adjourn the meeting to another time without further notice.
SECTION F. MANNER OF ACTING
The Book of Acts reveals that the authority for the direction of the affairs of the church was vested in the elders. The elders are responsible to be sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and to discern on behalf of the congregation the Holy Spirit’s direction. It is the intent of the Board of Elders to employ the method of Consensus as the most appropriate decision-making model. Consensus means either unanimity among the board members or a general–although not necessarily uniform–agreement after all present board members have had a fair and reasonable opportunity to be heard. Consensus will have been achieved if most board members are in agreement and the board members in the minority are willing to support the view of the majority. Consensus requires that each and all elders publicly support the decision of the entire Elder Board.
When the Elders believe an issue is sufficiently significant to require congregational input, the elders will present the pertinent information to the congregation. The congregation will have opportunity to give input to the elders. It is the responsibility of the elders to discern the direction of the Holy Spirit through the truth of the Scriptures, prayer, an understanding of the pertinent issues at hand and input from the congregation.
SECTION G. TELEPHONE MEETING
Any meeting of the Board members may be conducted in simultaneous multiple locations if the various locations are effectively connected by telephone conference call lines. In the event any meeting will be so held the results of any vote taken will be reduced to writing and signed by all members present regardless of their position taken in any particular vote.
SECTION H. INFORMAL ACTION BY ELDERS
Any action required by law to be taken at a meeting of the members of the Board of Elders, may be taken without a meeting if a consent in writing, setting forth the action so taken, is to be signed by all of the members entitled to vote with respect to the subject matter thereof.
SECTION I. CHURCH COUNCIL
At the discretion of the Board of Elders, a Church Council meeting may be called to provide input to the Board of Elders. The Church Council consists of the three divisions of church leadership: the pastoral staff, which is responsible for the day to day operation of the church; the Deacons, who direct the financial, benevolent, ordinance, and facility operations of the church; and the Elders, who oversee the doctrine, direction, and discipline of the church. The Elders may also include, when needed, small group coaches and/or leaders or other key ministry leaders who are not on staff in a Church Council meeting. All are to be under the authority of, and in submission to, the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE VIII. PASTORS
SECTION A. SELECTION
All members of the pastoral staff will be chosen by the Board of Elders. The Senior
Pastor will automatically be a member of the Board of Elders. The elders may nominate
additional member(s) of the pastoral staff to serve on the Board of Elders.
SECTION B. TERM
All pastoral staff members will serve at will for an indefinite period of time. The Senior Pastor is responsible and accountable in the performance of his duties to the Board of Elders. All other staff members are responsible to the Board of Elders through the Senior Pastor. A staff member may only be dismissed by a consensus decision of the Board of Elders.
SECTION C. DUTIES
The responsibility of the Senior Pastor will be to faithfully preach God’s Word and model the priority of discipleship within the church. He will give oversight and direction to all ministry staff and work with the Board of Elders in carrying out the overall vision of Harvest Bible Chapel.
SECTION D. QUALIFICATIONS
The qualifications are equivalent to the biblical qualifications of an Elder.
SECTION E. ADDITIONAL PASTORAL STAFF
Ministry descriptions for the remaining pastoral staff will be established by the Board of Elders in keeping with the giftedness of the individual and agreed upon at the time of hiring.
ARTICLE IX. COMMITTEES
SECTION A. STANDING AND SPECIAL COMMITTEES
The Board of Elders will have power to appoint committees or councils for the purpose of conducting certain aspects of the corporate business not otherwise delegated. If any committee of the Board will have authority in excess of merely advising the Board of Elders, then that committee will have two or
more Elders, a majority of its membership will be Elders, and all committee or council members will serve at the pleasure of the Board. Members of the committees may be any person deemed to be qualified by the Board who has actively demonstrated a willingness to work toward the goals of the Church. The term of office for committee or council members will be one year unless otherwise specifically designated in the resolution appointing the committee.
SECTION B. COMMITTEE MEETINGS
Meeting of a committee may be called by the Chairman of the Board, the chairperson of the committee, or a majority of the committee’s members. Notice of the time and place of any meeting of a committee is to be given at least three (3) days prior to the meeting.
SECTION C. RESIGNATION AND REMOVAL
Any member of a committee may resign at any time by giving written notice to the chairperson of the committee or to the Secretary of the Church. Such resignation, which may or may not be made contingent on formal acceptance, is to take effect on the date of receipt or at any later time specified therein. Any member of a committee may be removed at any time by resolution adopted by a consensus of the Board of Elders.
SECTION D. QUORUM
Unless otherwise provided in the resolution of the Board designating a committee, the act of a majority of any committee will be the act of the committee. All committee members, including the Chairman of the Board of Elders, are to be notified in advance of all meetings of the committee.
SECTION E. RULES
Each committee may adopt rules for its own government not inconsistent with these bylaws or with rules adopted by the Board.
ARTICLE X. OFFICERS
SECTION A. OFFICERS
The officers of the Church are of the Chairman, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer will be appointed by the Board of Elders. Such other officers and assistant officers, agents and assistant agents as may be deemed necessary may be elected or appointed by the Board of Elders. Any two (2) or more offices may be held by the same person, except that the offices of Chairman or Secretary may not be held by the same person concurrently.
SECTION B. CHAIRMAN
The Chairman will be the principal officer of the Church, and, subject to the control of the Board, will preside at all meetings of the Elders as Chairman of the Board. The Chairman will chair all Board of Elders meetings, unless otherwise stipulated by the consensus of the Board of Elders. The Chairman may sign, with the Secretary or any other officer of the Church authorized by the Board, such documents and deeds of the Church as necessary or appropriate including, but not limited to, mortgages, bonds, contracts, or other instruments which the Board has authorized to be executed, except in cases where the signing and execution thereof will be expressly delegated by the Board or by these bylaws to some other
officer or agent of the Church, or will be required by law to be otherwise signed or executed, and, in general, will discharge all duties incident to the office of Chairman and such other duties as may be assigned by the Board from.
SECTION C. SECRETARY
The Secretary will have the following responsibilities: (a) be responsible for the keeping of the minutes of the Board and Committee meetings in one or more books provided for that purpose; (b) see that all notices are duly given in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws or as required by law; (c) be custodian of the corporate records; and (d) in general, discharge all duties incident to the office of Secretary and such other duties as from time to time may be assigned by the Chairman or by the Board. The Secretary will be chosen annually by the Board of Elders for a one-year commitment.
SECTION D. TREASURER
The Treasurer will have the following responsibilities: (a) monitor the financial books of the Church; (b) keep regular books of account; c) render to the Board of Elders from time to time as may be required, an account of the financial condition of the Church; and (d) in general, discharge all duties incident to the office of Treasurer, and such other duties as may be assigned by the Chairman or by the Board.
SECTION E. COMPENSATION
Officers will not receive any stated salaries for their services as officers, but by resolution of the Board of Elders expenses of attendance, if any, may be allowed for each regular or special meeting of the Board, provided that nothing herein contained is to be construed to preclude any Officers serving the corporation in any other capacity and receiving compensation for that service.
SECTION F. VACANCIES
Any vacancies occurring in any office to be filled by reason of any increase in the number of Board members or resignation or termination are to be filled by the Board of Elders as soon as practical. Any member so elected to fill a vacancy will be elected for the unexpired commitment of their predecessor in office.
SECTION G. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
In case of the absence of any officer of the Church, or for any other reason that it may deem sufficient, the Board of Elders may, by consensus, either delegate the powers of duties of such officer to any Elder or employee of the Church, for the time being, or may eliminate some or all of such powers or duties of such officer.
SECTION H. ELECTION AND TENURE
The Board of Elders will appoint officers of Treasurer and Secretary annually at its annual meeting. Each officer will hold office until the first of the following to occur: until their successor has been duly elected and will have qualified; or until death, incapacity, or if he moves out of the area; or until removal in the manner hereinafter provided.
SECTION I. REMOVAL
Any officer or agent may be removed by the Board of Elders whenever, in its judgment, the best interest of the Church is to be served thereby, but such removal will be without prejudice to the contract rights, if any, of the person so removed. Election or appointment of an officer or agent will not in itself create contract rights.
SECTION J. QUALIFICATIONS
The Chairman and Secretary must an Elder. The Treasurer must be either an Elder or a Deacon of the Church and meet the qualifications specified in these bylaws for the position of Elder or Deacon.
ARTICLE XI. DEACONS
SECTION A. DEACONS (Or FINANCE TEAM)
The Bible teaches that Deacons “lead by serving” (Acts 6). The Deacons serve under the authority of the Board of Elders in various capacities within the church.
SECTION B. SELECTION
When the need arises for deacons, the Board of Elders will recommend a nominee. Following an independent interview to determine if the nominee is biblically qualified, the congregation will be reminded of the biblical requirements for deacons and given 30 days to speak personally with the nominee if they are aware of any disqualifying characteristics. If the matter remains unresolved, the nominee or church member should approach the Board of Elders and request that their name be withdrawn from consideration. During the review, both the individual and the other deacons will evaluate his continued service as a Deacon, again considering the biblical qualifications as well as any personal factors that might affect his service. An individual’s service as a Deacon may be discontinued by his own decision or by the consensus decision of the Board of Elders. Upon their request, the Elders will have the opportunity to participate in the review process. A person leaving the Board of Deacons would not preclude his service as a future Deacon, subject to the regular selection process.
SECTION C. TERM
Since Scripture indicates no fixed term for deacons, no specific term of office is recommended. Instead, each Deacon, upon appointment, will be asked for a three-year commitment of active service. At the end of three years the commitment will be reviewed, along with a possible recommitment and reaffirmation by fellow Deacons.
SECTION D. DUTIES
The Board of Deacons, working under the authority of the Elders, will be responsible for the oversight of all financial, benevolent, ordinance, and facility operations of the church.
SECTION E. STRUCTURE
The Board of Deacons will consist of a chairman, who will be a member of the Board of Elders. The Treasurer will be the deacon in charge of finances. The remainder of the deacons will assume responsibilities as agreeable and as needed.
SECTION F. MEETINGS OF DEACONS
All meetings of the Deacons will be convened by their designated Chairman. Minutes of each meeting will be maintained by a Recorder who is to be appointed by the Chairman. Meetings will be conducted under the same rules of notice, quorum and action as prescribed for by the Board of Elders.
SECTION G. QUALIFICATIONS FOR DEACONS
The deacons are to be “able and proved as servants” and should demonstrate the following qualifications (I Timothy 3:8-12):
1. Individual of dignity
2. Above reproach
3. Not double tongued
4. First tested as servants
5. Not addicted to wine
6. Spouses must be faithful
9. Not fond of sordid gain
10. Holding to the mystery of faith with a clear conscience
11. Husband of one wife
12. Manages household well
In addition, all Deacons must be Active Members of the Church. Change of membership status for any Deacon member will automatically remove such person from participation as a
SECTION A. RESIGNATION AND REMOVAL
Deacon may resign during his two-year commitment of active service only if he moves out of the area or becomes incapacitated and unable to perform his duties. Written notice of a move specifying the effective date of the resignation may be given to the Chairman of the Deacon Board or to the Secretary of the Church. A Deacon may be removed at any time by resolution adopted by a consensus of the Board of Deacons or the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE XII. FINANCIAL POLICIES
SECTION A. FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of the Church is to begin on the first day of January each year.
SECTION B. SALE OF ASSETS
A sale, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or other disposition of property or assets of the Church may be made by the Board upon such terms and conditions and for such considerations, which may consist in whole or in part of the money or property, real or personal, as may be authorized by the Board of Elders.
SECTION C. CONTRACTS
The Board may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents, to enter into any contracts or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Church, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances.
SECTION D. SEAL
The Church shall not maintain a corporate seal.
ARTICLE XIII. INDEMNIFICATION
SECTION A. INDEMNIFICATION OF OFFICERS, ELDERS, AND AGENTS.
The Church shall indemnify its elders, officers and agents to the full extent as provided by law.
ARTICLE XIV. MISCELLANEOUS
SECTION A. CORPORATE OFFICE
Harvest Bible Chapel of Cambridge, Inc. (the Church) shall maintain a registered agent and a registered office within the State of Ohio. The Church may have other offices within or without the state and need not be identical with the office of the registered agent in the State of Ohio. The address of the registered office and registered agent may be changed from time to time by the Board of Elders.
SECTION B. USE OF HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL CAMBRIDGE
Harvest Bible Chapel is a registered service mark of Harvest Bible Chapel Elders Council (also known as Harvest Bible Fellowship) and the service mark is used by this Church as a part of its church name by permission. If this Church ceases to be formally associated with Harvest Bible Fellowship, or at the request of Harvest Bible Fellowship, we shall immediately cease using “Harvest Bible Chapel” or any confusingly similar name and we shall promptly file the required amended corporation documents with the appropriate state authority in order to change the corporate name. Any new name shall be different enough to prevent any confusion with any other Harvest Bible Chapel or with the Harvest Bible Fellowship.
SECTION C. MARRIAGE POLICY
Here at Harvest Bible Chapel we believe that marriage is a sacred oath taken before God to join two people together in a biblical manner. Furthermore, we take the opportunity to marry a couple in biblical, holy matrimony, very seriously. As Pastors and Elders we are committed to be in keeping with what God has established as a biblical practice for a couple to be married, and will always defer all our decisions on marriage back to the Word of God.
To be married in the eyes of the Lord, and in a biblical manner, is to embrace the biblical method and teachings of marriage from the Bible. We believe that the vows made before God are vows kept to God and that our pledge is a pledge of devotion first to God and then to each other. We believe that marriage is for a lifetime. We believe that what God has joined together, no one should separate. We believe that marriage should have Christ Jesus as its foundation and that those married at Harvest Bible Chapel will continue to seek Him as first place in their married life together.
Therefore, the Elders and Pastors of Harvest Bible Chapel will gladly recognized and agree to marry any couple who:
are faithful, active members of Harvest Bible Chapel, or faithful attenders of Harvest Bible Chapels weekly worship service
have completed a minimum of four (4) counseling sessions with a staff member of Harvest, (either by the Sr. Pastor, Elder, or any other staff member licensed to marry a couple in the state of Ohio.)
are in complete agreement with the churches bi-laws and doctrinal statement.
are not currently living together.
who are confessed followers of Jesus Christ.
Lastly, those who are looking to use the facilities of Harvest Bible Chapel must also agree to the Doctrines and Bi-Laws of the Church and must be approved by the Elder Board of Harvest Bible Chapel.
SECTION D: AMENDMENTS
The Articles of Incorporation and these bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed and new articles and bylaws may be adopted by a consensus of the Elders present at any regular meeting or any special meeting of the Elders called for that purpose. Notice of the proposed amendment (including the suggested text of the change) shall be given in writing to all board members at least 20 days before the meeting at which the vote thereon is to be taken, and shall identify the persons proposing the amendment.
SECTION E. DISSOLUTION
Upon dissolution of the corporation, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the Corporation, distribute all assets, both real and personal, to an organization or organizations organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes as shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization or organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code, and shall use said assets exclusively for the purposes of the corporation in such manner, or as the Board of Directors shall determine. Any such assets not so disposed of shall be disposed of by the appropriate court of law located in the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, exclusively for such purposes or to such organization or organizations, as said court shall determine, which are organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes.