By Laws of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Grand Island, NY
These Bylaws are subject to arbitration pursuant to The rules of the Institute for Christian Conciliation
The name by which this organization shall be known in law shall be “Bible Presbyterian Church of Grand Island, N.Y.” referred to herein as “the church.”
The Constitution of the Bible Presbyterian Church, which is subordinate to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, consists of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) and Larger and Shorter Catechisms (LC & SC), the Form of Government (FOG)and the Book of Discipline (BOD). Whenever possible, these Bylaws shall be interpreted so as to be consistent with the Constitution; should any bylaw be found to contradict a provision of the Constitution, the Constitution shall control.
Organization and Incorporation
The church shall be organized as a not for profit corporation under the laws of the State of New York.
Purpose and Limitations
The purposes of the church are:
To bring glory and honor to the Triune God by promoting true worship, mutual edification, and gospel witness. (FOG 3:3)
b. To preach the whole Bible as the Word of God and to stand for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
c. To operate exclusively for religious, charitable, and educational purposes within the classification of legal charities; and no part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of any individual; and no substantial part of the activities of the organization, or any receipt of its funds, shall be utilized for any other purpose except those purposes mentioned above;
d. To handle affairs pertaining to property and other temporal matters as required by the civil authorities
e. The church shall not have or issue shares of stock, and no dividends shall be paid. No part of the income or assets of the church shall be distributed to any member or officer without full consideration. The church is prohibited from lending money to guarantee the obligation of a member or officer of the church. No member or officer of the church has any vested right, interest or privilege in or to the assets, property, functions, or activities of the church. The church may contract in due course, for reasonable consideration, with its members or officers without violating this provision.
Location of Office
The registered office of the church shall be located within the state of New York at the address of the church’s registered agent. The Board of Directors or a majority of the members may change the registered agent and the address of the registered office from time to time, upon filing the appropriate statement with the Secretary of State.
The membership shall consist of all communicant members and covenant children, all of whom have the privilege of pastoral oversight, instruction, and government by the church (FOG VII:6; BOD 1:2). Communicant members are those who have been baptized, have made a credible profession of faith in Christ, and have been received into membership as provided in section 6.b. Covenant children (non-communicant members) are the baptized children of communicant members.
A person may be received into membership by a letter of transfer from another church of like faith and practice approved by the Session, by reaffirmation of faith, or by confession of faith. In order to be received into membership, a person must complete the membership course, submit a Membership Application, sign a Membership Commitment, and be accepted by the Session.
All communicant members who are at least eighteen years old and in good standing in the church shall be voting members. (“Good standing” means that a member is not presently under the censure of suspension or deposition.) Any voting member in attendance at a duly called meeting shall be entitled to one vote on matters brought before the congregation. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
Members may be removed from membership at their own request by informing the Session of their intention to withdraw and their reasons. If a member requests to withdraw because of specific problems or disappointments with the church, the Session shall attempt to resolve those matters so that the member may remain in the church and enjoy greater fruitfulness and personal spiritual growth. If the Session is unable to resolve those matters, it shall offer to assist the member in locating a church of like faith and practice that can respond more effectively to his gifts and needs. If it appears to the Session that a member has requested removal merely to avoid church discipline, that request shall not be given effect until the disciplinary process has been properly concluded (see Matt. 18:12-20; Bylaw §16; Guidelines on Church Discipline).
Members may also be removed from membership by order of the Session when they: persistently, over an extended period of time, and without adequate reason absent themselves from the stated services of the church; unite with a church of another denomination; cannot be found for a period greater than two years; or are removed by excommunication for persistent impenitence. Covenant children may be removed from membership with their parents or when they reject the covenantal responsibility of submission to home or church and neglect the ongoing exhortation of the Session to profess faith in Christ (Bylaws §16).
A complete roll of the church membership shall be maintained by the Clerk of Session.
Ruling Elders and Deacons
Ruling elders and deacons must be male voting members. In order to be eligible for election, a man shall have been a member in good standing in the church for at least one year, shall have received appropriate training under the direction or with the approval of the Session, and shall have served the church in functions requiring responsible leadership. They shall be elected at the annual meeting.
Ruling elders, individually and jointly with the pastor, are to lead the church in the service of Christ. They are to watch diligently over the people committed to their charge to prevent corruption of doctrine or morals. Evils that they cannot correct by private admonition they should bring to the notice of the Session. They should visit the people, especially the sick, instruct the ignorant, comfort the mourning, and nourish and guard the children of the covenant. They should pray with and for the people. They should care for and seek to help the pastor in his labors.(FOG VI; XII:1)
Deacons shall show forth the compassion of Christ in a manifold ministry of mercy toward the saints and strangers on behalf of the church (see FOG VII). As delegated and directed by the Session, they shall minister to the temporal needs of members and friends, manage the Deacons’ Fund, and see to the care and maintenance of church property. This board shall make a quarterly report of its activities, including its disbursements, to the Session (see FOG. XI:3). They shall be elected at the annual meeting.
Any voting member may propose to the Session nominations for the offices of elders and deacons. The Session shall certify those nominees whom, upon examination, it judges to possess the necessary qualifications for office. An elder or deacon who had been previously certified but who resigned from or was divested of the office must be re-certified. At least one Lord’s Day preceding the date appointed for the election the Session shall announce to the church the names of those it has certified. Election shall be from those certified. Voting on the election of elders and deacons shall be done by secret ballot, and each vote shall be cast either in favor of or against the election of each candidate, and those candidates receiving the vote of a majority in favor of their election shall be deemed elected. Elders and deacons shall be elected for three-year terms of service (see FOG. XII:7). If an elder or deacon is elected at a meeting other than the annual congregational meeting, his regular term shall expire at the time of the second annual congregational meeting following his election.
An elder or deacon may be divested of his office by church discipline for an offense in doctrine or life (see BOD 12:7). He may also be divested if his services are not edifying to the congregation; such divestiture may occur only upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the congregation (see FOG XII: 5,6). An elder or deacon also may resign from his office for reason of age, infirmity or incapacity (see FOG. VII: 5).
Election of the Pastor shall follow FOG XIV.
b. It is the charge of the pastor to feed and tend the flock as Christ’s minister and with the other elders to lead them in all the service of Christ. It is his task to conduct the public worship of God; to pray for and with Christ’s flock as the mouth of the people unto God; to feed the flock by the public reading and preaching of the Word of God, according to which he is to teach, convince, reprove, exhort, comfort, and evangelize, expounding and applying the truth of Scripture with ministerial authority, as a diligent workman approved by God; to administer the sacraments; to bless the people from God; to shepherd the flock and minister the Word according to the particular needs of groups, families, and individuals in the congregation, catechizing by teaching plainly the first principles of the oracles of God to the baptized youth and to adults who are yet babes in Christ, visiting in the home of people, instructing and counseling individuals, and training them to be faithful servants of Christ; to minister to the poor, the sick, the afflicted, and the dying; and to make known the gospel to the lost (see FOG V).
If the church desires to be relieved of its pastor, it may, through a duly called congregational meeting, ask him to resign. If the pastor agrees to do so, the presbytery shall be requested to dissolve the pastoral relationship as of a mutually agreeable date. If the pastor is not willing to resign, the church may petition the presbytery to dissolve the pastoral relationship and may send representatives to the meeting to support the request. The presbytery may grant the request, but only after giving the pastor opportunity to present his reasons for not concurring, or it may urge the congregation to reconsider its action (see FOG §XXIV:2). The decision of the presbytery shall be final and binding, except when that decision is appealed to the General Synod (see FOG §XIV:5).
Session (Board of Directors)
The Session is the governing body (Board of Directors) of the church ( FOG VIII: 6) and consists of its pastor, its ruling elders, and its duly-called and ordained full-time ministers.
The Session shall be comprised of from one to nine ruling elders, for a membership of 100. Thereafter, an additional three elders may be elected for each 100 members.
The Session shall have the power and authority to make rules and regulations not inconsistent with the laws of the State of New York, the Constitution, and these Bylaws, as they govern church affairs . The Session shall manage the business affairs of the corporation, oversee all matters concerning the conduct of public worship, and concert the best measures for promoting the spiritual growth and evangelistic witness of the congregation. It shall receive, dismiss, and exercise discipline over the members of the church, supervise the activities of the Board of Deacons and all other organizations of the congregation, and have final authority over the use of the church property (see FOG VII:6; XI: 3).
The Pastor of the congregation shall always be moderator of the Session; except when, for prudential reasons, it may appear advisable that some other minister should be invited to preside; in which case the Pastor may, with the concurrence of the Session, may invite such minister of this Church as then may see meet to preside in that case. The same expedient may be adopted in the case of the sickness or absence of the Pastor(see FOG VIII:3). The Session shall choose its own Clerk annually from among its members.
The Session shall have final authority for affairs pertaining to property and other temporal matters as required by New York State and or federal laws governing not-for-profit corporations. In particular, the Session shall be responsible for the acquisition and disposition of church property, which includes the management of its financial resources. Neither the Session nor its delegates shall have the power to buy, sell, mortgage, pledge or in any manner encumber any church property worth more than $2500, nor to incur any indebtedness exceeding the sum of $2500, unless first authorized to do so at a congregational meeting, through the adoption of the annual budget , use of designated funds or by special action of the congregation.
The Session shall elect annually from its number three trustees on the first Friday in May.
The Trustees shall annually elect from their own number a president, secretary and treasurer.
The Trustees shall advise the session on all temporal matters.
The Trustees shall execute issues relating to the temporal affairs of the church at the direction of the Session.
Other members of the Session, though not members are not to be excluded from attendance at or discussion in meetings of the Board of Trustees.
The Bookkeeper of the Church and financial secretaries
1 shall be elected annually by the congregation from among its members and shall serve at the direction of the Board of Trustees.
The Bookkeeper shall:
(1) have charge and custody of and be responsible for all funds and securities of the church;
(2) receive and give receipts for moneys due and payable to the church from any source, and deposit all moneys in the church’s name in banks, trust companies, or other depositories that the Session shall select;
(3) submit the books and records to a Certified Public Accountant or other accountant as directed by the Session; and
(4) in general perform all of the duties incident to the office of treasurer and any other duties that the moderator, Session or Trustees may assign to the bookkeeper.
The Pastor has power to convene the session when he may judge it requisite; and he shall always convene them when requested to do so by any two ruling elders (FOG VIII:7).
If there are more than nine ruling elders, the pastor and at least 1/3 of the ruling elders shall constitute a quorum. If there are three to nine ruling elders, the pastor and two ruling elders shall constitute a quorum. If there are less than 3 three ruling elders, the pastor and one ruling elder constitute a quorum.
When the church is without a pastor, the Session shall request the presbytery to appoint a minister, normally of the same presbytery, to meet with them, or shall itself invite such a minister; he shall have the right to vote, and to be elected to moderate the meeting. When it is impractical without great inconvenience for a minister to attend, those present may conduct business, but the grounds for the call of such a meeting shall be reviewed at the next meeting at which a minister is present When the church is without a pastor and is to hold a meeting without a pastor present and there are more than nine ruling elders, five shall constitute a quorum; if there are five to nine ruling elders, three shall constitute a quorum; if there are less than five ruling elders, two shall constitute a quorum. If there is only one ruling elder, he does not constitute a session, yet he should take spiritual oversight of the church, should grant letters of dismission, and should report to the presbytery any matter needing the action of the church court (FOG. VIII:2).
The act of a majority present at a Session meeting at which a quorum is present (when the vote is taken) shall be the act of the Session. A pastor or elder shall be deemed to have approved of an action taken if he is present at a meeting of the Session unless: (1) he objects at the beginning of the meeting (or promptly upon arrival) to holding it or transacting business at the meeting; or (2) his dissent or abstention from the action taken is entered in the minutes of the meeting; or (3) he did not approve the action and he delivers written notice of dissent or abstention to the presiding officer of the meeting before its adjournment or immediately after adjournment of the meeting.
If at any time there are less than three persons on the Session, the congregation may elect from the Board of Deacons and, if necessary, from among the voting members, individuals who will temporarily serve as directors of the church for the purpose of carrying out any required corporate business. The terms of such temporary directors shall expire when sufficient elders have been elected and ordained to bring the number of the Session to three or more. If the Session shall cease to exist or become so small as to prevent it from working effectively, presbytery shall provide for the election and ordination of elders from within the congregation, or, with the consent of the congregation, may appoint ruling elders or ministers, or both, normally from within the same presbytery, to be an acting Session or to augment the existing Session temporarily.
The Session may meet by means of a conference telephone call or similar communications equipment, provided all persons entitled to participate in the meeting received proper notice of the telephone meeting, and provided all persons participating in the meeting can hear each other at the same time. A member participating in a conference telephone meeting is deemed present in person at the meeting. The moderator of the meeting may establish reasonable rules as to conducting business at any meeting by phone.
The Clerk of Session shall be the secretary of the church and shall in good faith: (1) create and maintain the minutes of the proceedings of the members and of the Session; (2) provide that all notices are served in accordance with these bylaws or as required by law; (3) be custodian of the church and corporate records; (4) subscribe the minutes of all meetings of the members and of the Session; (5) when requested or required, authenticate any records of the church; (6) keep a current register of the post office address of each member; and (7) in general perform all duties incident to the office of secretary and any other duties that the moderator or the Session may assign to the secretary.
The Board of Directors may establish such committees as it deems necessary for the work of the church.
Board of Deacons
The Board of Deacons shall oversee the ministry of mercy in the church and shall collect and disperse funds for the relief of the needy. Other forms of service for the church may also be committed to the deacons. The moderator of the Board of Deacons shall be the Pastor. The other officers shall be chosen from the membership of the board annually (see FOG. XII:3).
An annual meeting of the church shall be held each year on the first Friday of May at a place to be determined by the Session, within the State of New York. At the annual meeting, the voting members shall elect ruling elders and deacons, adopt an annual budget, and transact any other business as may come before the meeting.
Special meetings of the church shall be called at a date and location to be determined by the Pastor or the Session whenever the Pastor or the Session deems it to be in the best interests of the church or when requested in writing to do so by one-fourth (1/4) of the voting members of the church in good standing.
The date, time, and location of all congregational meetings must be announced orally or in the church bulletin at least two (2) Sundays prior to the time set for the meeting, or by letter mailed at least ten days prior to the meeting. The purpose of such a meeting must be stated at least 15 days in advance of the meeting. If the voting members adjourn any congregational meeting to a different date, time, or place, notice of a new date, time, and place need not be given if the new date, time, and place is announced before adjournment. A member entitled to a notice may waive notice of the meeting, by a writing signed by the member. The member must send the notice of waiver to the church (either before or after the date and time stated in the notice) for inclusion in the minutes or filing with the church records.
The purpose of a meeting shall be announced in advance if it involves: a proposed amendment to the bylaws or articles of incorporation; the election or removal of officers; the calling or removal of the pastor; the dissolution of the church; or a question regarding the church’s denominational affiliation. When a meeting is called for the transaction of specific matters of business, no business shall be conducted except that which is stated in the notice.
A member’s attendance at a meeting: waives the member’s right to object to lack of notice or defective notice of the meeting, unless the member at the beginning of the meeting objects to holding the meeting or transacting business at the meeting; and, waives the member’s right to object to consideration of a particular matter at the meeting that is not within the purpose or purposes described in the meeting notice, unless the member objects to considering the matter when it is presented.
Ten percent of the voting members shall constitute a quorum at congregational meetings. A majority vote of those in attendance, a quorum being present, is sufficient to decide any matter. (Cf. section 20, Amendments to Bylaws, for special requirements).
The moderator and the clerk of the Session shall serve as moderator and clerk respectively in congregational meetings.
Voting members shall consist only of those who are communicant members of the congregation in good and regular standing, and who are at least eighteen years of age. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted.
The Session shall keep the following records: (1) minutes of its meetings, including a record of the administration of the sacraments and changes in the membership of the congregation ( FOG VIII:8); (2) rolls of the members in the congregation (both communicant and covenant children), with the dates of their reception (see FOG VIII:9); (3) minutes of the meetings of the congregation;(4) resolutions adopted by the Session; (5) Budgets and appropriate accounting records; (6) its articles or restated articles of incorporation and all amendments to them currently in effect; and (7) its bylaws or restated bylaws and all amendments to them currently in effect.
The clerk shall grant extracts of the minutes whenever properly required. A member shall be entitled to an extract provided the Session finds that the member has a proper purpose and is acting in good faith. The Session may limit access to any records that contain confidential information about a particular person or persons.
All Christians struggle with sin and the effect it has on our lives and our relationships (see Rom. 3:23; 7:7-25). Whenever a Christian is unable to overcome sinful attitudes or behaviors through private efforts, God commands that he should seek assistance from other members, and especially from the pastor and elders, who have the responsibility of providing pastoral counseling and oversight (see Rom. 15:14; Gal. 6:1-2; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 3:16-4:2; Heb. 10:24-25; 13:17; James 5:16). Therefore, this church encourages and enjoins its members to make confession to and seek counsel from each other and especially from our pastoral counselors.
We believe that the Bible provides thorough guidance and instruction for faith and life. Therefore, our counseling shall be based on scriptural principles rather than those of secular psychology or psychiatry. Neither the pastoral nor the lay counselors of this church are trained or licensed as psychotherapists or mental health professionals, nor should they be expected to follow the methods of such specialists.
Although some members of the church work in professional fields outside the church, when serving as pastoral or lay counselors within the church they do not provide the same kind of professional advice and services that they do when they are hired in their professional capacities. Therefore, members who have significant legal, financial, medical or other technical questions should seek advice from independent professionals. Our pastoral and lay counselors shall be available to cooperate with such advisors and help members to consider their advice in the light of relevant scriptural principles.
The Bible teaches that Christians should carefully guard any personal and private information that others reveal to them. Protecting confidences is a sign of Christian love and respect (see Matt. 7:12). It also discourages harmful gossip (Prov. 16:28; 26:20), invites confession (see Prov. 11:13; 28:13; James 5:16), and encourages people to seek needed counseling (see Prov. 20:19; Rom. 15:14). Since these goals are essential to the ministry of the gospel and the work of this church, all members are expected to refrain from gossip and to respect the confidences of others. In particular, our pastor and elders shall carefully protect all information that they receive through pastoral counseling, subject to the following guidelines.
Although confidentiality is to be respected as much as possible, there are times when it is appropriate to reveal certain information to others. In particular, when the pastors and elders of this church believe it is biblically necessary, they may disclose confidential information to appropriate people in the following circumstances:
When a pastor or elder is uncertain of how to counsel a person about a particular problem and needs to seek advice from other pastors or elders in this church or, if the person attends another church, from the pastors or elders of that church (see Prov. 11:14; 13:10; 15:22; 19:20; 20:18; Matt. 18:15-17).
When the person who disclosed the information or any other person is in imminent danger of serious harm unless others intervene (see Prov. 24:11-12).
When a person refuses to repent of sin and it becomes necessary to institute disciplinary proceedings (see Matt. 18:15-20 and Bylaw §16) or seek the assistance of individuals or agencies outside this church (see, e.g., Rom 13:1-5).
This church is committed to resolving in a biblical manner all disputes that may arise within our body. This commitment is based on God’s command that Christians should strive earnestly to live at peace with one another (see Matt. 5:9; John 17:20-23; Rom. 12:18; and Eph. 4:1-3) and that when disputes arise, Christians should resolve them according to the principles set forth in Holy Scripture (see Prov. 19:11; Matt. 5:23-25; 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 6:1-8; Gal. 6:1). We believe that these commands and principles are obligatory on all Christians and absolutely essential for the well-being and work of the church. Therefore, any and all disputes in this church shall be resolved according to biblical principles, as provided in these bylaws.
When a member of this church has a conflict with, or is concerned about the behavior of another member, he shall attempt to resolve the matter as follows. (1) The offended or concerned person shall prayerfully examine himself and take responsibility for his contribution to a problem (Matt. 7:3-5), and he shall prayerfully seek to discern whether the offense is so serious that it cannot be overlooked (Prov. 19:11; see also Prov. 12:16; 15:18; 17:14; 20:3; Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:13; 1 Pet. 4:8). (2) If the offense is too serious to overlook, the offended or concerned person shall go, repeatedly if necessary, and talk to the offender in an effort to resolve the matter personally and privately, having first confessed his own wrongdoing (Matt. 18:15). (3) If the offender will not listen and if the problem is too serious to overlook, the offended or concerned person shall return with one or two other people who will attempt to help the parties resolve their differences (Matt. 18:16); these other people may be members or officers of the church, other respected Christians in the community, or trained mediators or arbitrators (conciliators) from a Christian conciliation ministry. At the request of either party to the dispute, the church shall make every effort to assist the parties in resolving their differences and being reconciled.
Conflicts involving doctrine or church discipline shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth in the Bylaws on Church Discipline and in the Book of Discipline. If any party to such a dispute is dissatisfied with a decision reached by an official judicatory (court or ruling body) of this church, he or she may appeal that decision to our presbytery or general synod as allowed in the Book of Discipline.
Employment disputes shall be resolved according to the procedures set forth in the Employee Policy Manual of this church.
If a dispute arises within the church or between a member and the church and cannot be resolved through the internal procedures described above, it shall be resolved as follows:
The dispute shall be submitted to mediation and, if necessary, legally binding arbitration in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, and judgment upon an arbitration award may be entered in any court otherwise having jurisdiction.
All mediators and arbitrators shall be in agreement with the Westminster Confession of Faith and our basic form of government, unless this requirement is modified or waived by all parties to the dispute.
If a dispute submitted to arbitration involves a decision reached by an official judicatory (court or ruling body) of this church or of our presbytery or general assembly, the arbitrators shall uphold the highest judicatory’s decisions on matters of doctrine and church discipline.
This section covers the church as a corporate entity and its agents, including its pastors, officers, staff, and volunteers with regard to any actions they may take in their official capacities.
This section covers any and all disputes or claims arising from or related to church membership, doctrine, policy, practice, counseling, discipline, decisions, actions, or failures to act, including claims based on civil statute personal injury, or other tort, etc, to the extent permitted by law.
By joining this church, all members agree that these methods shall provide the sole remedy for any dispute arising against the church or its agents, and they waive their right to file any legal action against the church in a civil court or agency, except to enforce an arbitration decision.
If a dispute or claim involves an alleged injury or damage to which the church’s insurance applies, and if the church’s insurer refuses to submit to mediation or arbitration as described in this section, either the church or the member alleging the injury or damage may declare that this section is no longer binding with regard to that part of the dispute or claim to which the church’s insurance applies.
Church discipline shall be carried out according to the Book of Discipline of the Bible Presbyterian Church, as explained in the Guidelines for Church Discipline developed by the Session.
Ownership and Distribution of Property
The church shall hold, own, and enjoy its own personal and real property, without any right of reversion to another entity, except as provided in these Bylaws. Should the church decide to withdraw from the Bible Presbyterian Church as provided in Form of Government III:2, the church shall retain ownership of its property. Such withdrawal shall not be considered to be a dissolution.
“Dissolution” means the complete disbanding of the church so that it no longer functions as a congregation or as a corporate entity. Upon the dissolution of the church, its property shall be applied and distributed as follows: (1) all liabilities and obligations of the church shall be paid and discharged or adequate provision shall be made therefor; (2) assets held by the church upon condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance, which condition occurs by reason of the dissolution, shall be returned, transferred, or conveyed in accordance with such requirements; (3) assets received and not held upon a condition requiring return, transfer, or conveyance by reason of the dissolution, shall be transferred or conveyed to one or more domestic or foreign corporations, societies, or organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the responding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), and are engaged in activities substantially similar to those of the corporation; this distribution shall be done pursuant to a plan adopted by the Session, or as otherwise required by New York State Law; and (4) any assets not otherwise disposed of shall be disposed of by a court of competent jurisdiction of the county in which the principal office of the corporation is then located, for such purposes and to such organizations as said court shall determine, provided such organizations are part of the Bible Presbyterian Church or are one of its approved agencies.
Indemnification of Officers
The Session may choose to indemnify and advance church-related expenses of any officer, employee, or agent of the church.
Subject to the provisions of paragraph c. of this section, the church shall indemnify any pastor, elder or deacon or former pastor, elder or deacon of the church against claims, liabilities, expenses, and costs necessarily incurred by him in connection with the defense, compromise, or settlement of any action, suit or proceeding, civil or criminal, in which such person is made a party by reason of being or having been an elder or deacon, to the extent not otherwise compensated, indemnified or reimbursed by insurance, if:
The conduct of the pastor, elder or deacon was in good faith;
The pastor, elder or deacon reasonably believed that his conduct was in the best interests of the church, or at least not opposed to its best interests; and
In the case of any criminal proceeding, the pastor, elder or deacon had no reasonable cause to believe that his conduct was unlawful.
The church may not indemnify a pastor elder or deacon in connection with a proceeding brought against him by or in the right of the church, in which he was adjudged liable to the church, or where the pastor, elder or deacon is charged with receiving an improper personal benefit and he is adjudged liable on that basis.
The Session is authorized to obtain insurance coverage to implement the provisions of this bylaw.
Rules of Order
All meetings of the church, the Session, and its various boards and committees shall be conducted pursuant to the latest edition of Roberts Rules of Order.
Amendment of Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended or repealed only by the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present at a duly-called meeting of the church called for such purposes.
As this church believes in the Biblical principle of every man giving as he purposes in his heart; not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:6-8) there shall be no money raising “projects” engaged in by the church or any of its organizations. The church recommends the giving of tithes and love offerings, believing God will bless those who honor Him.
In selecting speakers it shall be the purpose of this church that no one may fill the pulpit who is not known to be sound in the faith as taught by this church. Because this church believes in the doctrine of separation from apostasy and unbelief, no member of the National Council of Churches or the World Council of Churches shall occupy the pulpit. Nor, will this church join in fellowship with other churches connected with these or other apostate councils.
© 2008 Bible Presbyterian Church
1650 Love Rd, Grand Island, NY 14072