ODCC Church By-Laws
Open Door Christian Center
To spread the gospel and to promote the brotherhood of man under God, the Father of all, this group of believers in Christ Jesus does hereby so organize itself. To the end that this body be governed in an orderly manner consistent with the principles of our faith and that the liberties inherent in each individual member of the church be preserved and the freedom of action of this body with respect to its relation to other churches of the same faith, we do declare and establish this constitution.
Article 1 Name
This organization shall be known as Open Door Christian Center.
Article 2: The Christian Character
Section 1: Policy
The government of this Church is invested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other church organization, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist Churches.
Section 2: Doctrine
This Church receives the Scriptures as its authority in matters of faith and practice. It’s understanding of Christian truth as contained therein is in essential accord with the Articles of Faith herewith.
Section 3: Doctrinal Beliefs
We further believe in a regenerated church membership and that the conversation experience is a prerequisite to church membership. We believed in immersion only as answering Christ’s command of baptism and symbolizing the heart of the gospel message- - His death, burial and resurrection.
We further believe in the New Testament order of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The New Testament Christian were baptized before taking the Lord’s Supper.
We further believe in the right of each member of the church to a voice in it’s government, plan and discipline.
We further believe in the freedom of the individual conscience; in the voluntary principle, not the coercive principle, in religion.
We further believe in the total independence of separation of church and state.
We further believe in God’s Tithing Plan of financing the church according to the Scriptures, and that every member should be obedient to the Scripture and Tithe.
Article 3: Membership
Section 1. Qualifications
The members of this Church shall consist of such persons as confess Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord. Members will be accepted on the following four conditions: (1) Baptism; (2) Christian Experience; (3) By letter from Church and (4) Restoration- Restored back to membership.
Section 2. Duties
Members are expected, first of all, to be faithful in all the duties essential to the Christian Life; and also to attend habitually the service of this Church, to give regularly for its causes and to share in its organized work.
Section 3. Rights
Such members as are actively discharging their duties as specified by section 2 of Article 2. may act and vote in the transactions of this Church.
Ten (10) percent membership shall constitute a quorum, except that for the annual Church meeting, 33 1/3 percent in for call or dismissal of a pastor, 51 percent shall be necessary.
Section 5. Termination
The continuance of a membership shall be subject to the principals and usage of Open Door Christian Center, and especially as follows:
(1) Any member in good and regular standing who desires a letter of dismission and recommendation to any other Church is entitled to receive it upon his/her request. In case of removal to another community he/she should promptly make such request. This letter shall be valid for only six months from its date unless renewed, and this restriction shall be stated in a letter.
(2) If a member in good standing request to be released from his covenant obligations to this Church, after it shall have patiently and kindly endeavored to secure his continuance in its fellowship, such requests may be granted, and his membership terminated.
(3) Should a member become an offense to this Church and to its good name by reasons or immoral or unchristian conduct, or by persistent breach of his/ her covenant vows, the Church may terminate his/her membership, but only after due notice and hearing after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance and amend. (Matthew 18:15-17,1 Con 5:13)
(4) Members who willfully absent themselves from regular meetings and services of the Church for a long period of 12 months, and who are unable to show satisfactory reasons for the same, shall be dropped from the membership roll of this church. This action shall be taken by the Church upon recommendations of the Pastor.
(5) All request for termination of the membership shall first be considered by the Pastor and the Deacons, who shall make recommendations to the Church
Section 6. Restoration
Any person whose membership has been terminated for any offense may be restored by vote of the Church, upon evidence of his repentance and reformation; or, if on account of continued absence, upon satisfactory explanation.
Article 4: Adoption and Amendment
The constitution and the by-laws shall be considered adopted and in immediate effect if and when two-thirds of the members present at the business meeting having received one week prior notice and counsel, at which the vote is taken shall vote in favor of the same. The adoption of these shall effect a repeal of all of previously adopted rules in conflict herewith.
Section 2. Amendment
This constitution may be amended by Pastor Drew or by vote of the three-fourths (3/4)of the members present and voting at any annual business meeting of the Church provided a two (2) weeks notice of the suggested change has been published writing to each member of this Church. This constitution cannot be changed in the absence of Pastor Drew.
Section 3. Required Vote
The by-laws may be amended, repealed or suspended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at any business meeting of the Church- regular, special, or annual provided the proposed change was announced in the church proper or from the pulpit during two consecutive weeks prior to such meeting.
Article 5: Church Officers
The officers of this Church shall be as follows:
Section 1 His Calling
A pastor shall be chosen by this Church whenever a vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, of which public notice shall be given to the church on two (2) consecutive services during the Sunday Morning Worship, prior to the election. A Pulpit committee shall be appointed by the Church to seek out a suitable pastor, and their recommendation shall constitute a nomination. The committee shall bring to the consideration of the Church only one man at a time, though any member has the privilege to make a nomination. Election shall be an affirmative vote of three fourths (3/4) of those present. The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relation is terminated. The Pastor shall have in charge the welfare and oversight of the Church. He shall preside at all meetings of the Church.
Section 2. Duties
It shall be his duty to preach the Gospel and teach all the doctrines of the faith, administer the ordinances, have general oversight of the Church in all business meetings of the Church, whenever and however convened, and preside at all meetings of the Church except as hereinafter provided. He shall lead the Church in Tithing according to the Scriptures. The Pastor shall also be Chairman of all auxiliary organizations, boards and or committees of the Church. He shall be responsible for the total program of the Church in the area of church administration, and must carry out the wishes of the Church in all areas of church discipline. He shall perform all the various other duties of his office. The Pastor shall be authorized in counsel with the Deacons to temporarily silence or remove from the office any un-cooperative officer or member of the Church. Such permanent action must be performed by the vote of the church in its business meeting.
Section 3. Tenure and Termination
The Pastor’s tenure of office shall be indefinite, but it may be terminated by his resignation or by the action of the Church. In case of termination by the Church, it shall take place at a meeting called for that purpose, at the request of the Church, of which at least one weeks public notice shall be given the Church. A three fourths (3/4) majority present is necessary for the termination. At least ninety days notice shall be given unless a shorter one is agreeable to both parties. Both the Pastor and the Church must be well informed before a meeting or election to change pastors can be official. In the event the Church should vote to terminate the pastor’s service abruptly, his salary shall be given him for the unexpired portion of his unfulfilled term of 90 days.
Section 4. Retirement
After twenty years of service, the Pastor will receive $300.00 a week, upon his retirement continued until deceased, effective immediately.
Section1. The Number Of Deacons, Appointed, Terms of Service
(1) The number of Deacons to be appointed shall be determined by the Church according to the need, as recommended by the Pastor. They shall be appointed according to the qualification outlined in 1Timothy 3:8-13, Acts 6:1-4. They shall serve as long as their service is satisfactory acceptable to the Church.
(2) Deacons must be watchful guardians of the purity and good order of the Church, striving to maintain a healthful tone of Christian faith and activity in the body. While it is desirable for the Pastor to have meetings with his Deacons often or stately for consultation advice, it is not proper for them to hold a meeting as a “Board of Deacons”, independent of the consent of the Pastor.
(3) There is no obligations to constitute as deacon as a brother who comes to the Church from another church where he has served as deacon. The Chairman of Deacons shall be appointed by the Pastor. Additional deacons will be added as needed by the Pastor following an extensive course on the Deaconship and the Church. A deacon may also surrender his deaconship as a matter of choice.
(4) It shall be pertinent for the Church to promote to honorary life membership any deacon who by reason of age and or infirmities shall, after honorable service, be no longer able to render active service.
Section 2. Duties
In accordance with the meeting of the word and the practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the Church, and Pastor’s helpers, constituting an extension of the Pastor’s Ministry.
(1) They are to be zealous to guard the unity of the spirit within the Church in the bonds of peace. They shall assist the Pastor in leading the Church, in Tithing according to the Scriptures.
(2) They shall serve as a council of advice and the conference with the Pastor in all matters pertaining to the welfare and work of the Church. With the Pastor they are to consider and formulate plans for the progress of the church in all things pertaining to the saving of souls, the development of Christians, and the extensions and the growth of the kingdom of God.
(3) By proper organization and method among themselves, they are to establish and maintain personal fraternal relations with and inspiring oversight of, all the membership of the Church. Especially they are to seek to know the physical needs, the moral and spiritual struggles of the brethren and sisters; and to serve the whole church in relieving, encouraging, and developing all who are in need.
(4) That each deacon shall constitute a liaison between the auxiliaries of the Church.
(5) In counsel with the Pastor, and by such methods as the Holy Spirit may direct in accordance with New Testament teachings, they are to have oversight of the discipline of the Church in administering, which they are to be guided always by the principles set forth in St. Matthew 18;14-17; 1 Corinthians 5:9 and 3:1, Thessalonians 5:12-14. The deacons shall be free to call upon any members of the Church to aid in disciplinary action.
(6) In case of the absence or inability of the Pastor, subject to advice from and conference with him, they will provide for pulpit supplies. In any period, when the Church is without a pastor, unless the Church shall otherwise provide, the deacons will conduct temporary ministry and take counsel with reference to securing a pastor. It is not intended in any wise to prejudice herein the method by which the Church shall proceed in securing a pastor. The deacons shall act with deliberate concerns as directed by the Church.
Section 3 Method of Procedure
(1) The whole body of the deacons shall be organized as a unit for the consideration of all larger problems and general policies, and shall meet regularly. Special meetings may be called by the Pastor. All deacon meetings must be held at the Church.
(2) They shall allocate the membership of the Church among themselves, with the counsel of the Pastor; maintain regular spiritual contact with the entire membership.
(3) Each deacon shall freely confer with the Pastor about all matters and cases of discipline which in his judgment would be most wisely and spiritually handled in private.
Board Of Directors & Trustees
Section 1. Board Of Director, Appointment, Terms of Service
(1) Board Directors shall be determined and appointed by the Pastor and approved by the Church.
(2) Board Of Directors must be Tithing members of the Church and be appointed for five years. They may be re-appointed pending Pastoral recommendation. Their tenure of service shall be determined by satisfaction rendered, desire to surrender the position, removal to point of inaccessibility, or cessation of membership in the Church.
(3) A Board Of Director must have some business skill that would benefit some phase in the work of the Church.
(4) The Chairman of the Board Of Directors shall be appointed by the Pastor, and approved by the Church.
Section 2 Duties
(1) Board Of Directors shall be custodians of the Church’s real property. They shall be responsible for the upkeep of the building’s grounds and equipment, insurance, and any form of protection rules and regulations regarding the use of the Church’s property.
(2) Board Of Directors shall constitute the legal arm of the Church and shall hold in trust the property of the Church. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease or transfer any property without a specific vote of the Pastor and Church authorizing such action,
The moderator shall be the Pastor. In the event the Church is without a pastor, the Chairman of Deacons shall preside; or in the absence of both, a Board Director shall call the Church to order and a moderator protem shall be elected.
The Clerk of the Church shall maintain permanent records of membership, showing additions and subtractions after proper Church action. He/she shall keep a register of names of members, with date of admissions, dismissions, or death, together with a record of baptisms. He/she prepare all resolutions for funerals. The Clerk shall make monthly reports reflecting the numbers of new members. The Clerk shall considerate a part of his/her responsibility to promote loyalty and efficiency in Church life. It shall be the duty of the Church clerk or her designate to take accurate minutes of all meetings, both regular and special, and report all such minutes to The Church in the Conference sessions. Such minutes shall be kept on file in the Church office.
This office constitutes the only authorized official representative of the Church for the receipt and the banking of Church and Auxiliaries funds and for the proper accounting of all such actions. The Treasurer shall perform such as actions as are required by the normal responsibilities of the office, or may be directed by the Church action, and as may be required for the proper direction of the Financial Secretary. Monthly, semi-annual, and annual written reports shall be submitted to the Church and to the Financial Committee. By virtue of this office, the Treasurer shall be on the Board of Directors of the Finance Committee and shall attend or be represented at all Financial Committee Meetings, for the purpose of giving and receiving financial guidance as to proper programs and procedures, and he shall be appropriately bonded or insured by the Church.
Secretarial personnel shall be employed as required to perform those services of reception, correspondence and recording essential to the successful promotion of the Church program. Such positions, their duties and their compensation shall be recommended and administered by the Pastor.
a. There will be an Office Secretary, responsible for all the office business of the Church. This position shall be, but not limited to, preparation of Church Bulletins, correspondence, filing, typing, reception, record keeping, and etc. She/he shall be directly responsible to the Pastor. The Pastor shall recommend salary and fringe benefits and shall set holidays observances.
b. There shall be a designated appointed secretary, recommended by the Pastor and elected by the Church. It shall be the duty of the Church Clerk or her designate to take accurate minutes of all meetings, both regular and special, and report all such minutes to the Church in the Conference sessions. Such minutes shall be kept on file in the Church office.
c. Auxiliary Secretary shall be recommended by the Auxiliary and approved by the Pastor. This secretary shall be available to do special work by the Auxiliary and approved by the Pastor. The secretary shall be available to do special work by the Auxiliaries of the Church. Typing is a pre-requisite.
(1) The Auxiliary Secretary shall make available a permanent roll of the Church and provide copies of the Clerks monthly report.
WORKERS AND LEADERS
ALL LEADERS AND TEACHERS MUST BE TRAINED
All leaders and teachers in the auxiliaries of the Church shall be elected annually by the respective auxiliaries and ratified by the Church except Sunday School Teachers who shall be recommended jointly by the General Superintendent and with the approval of the Pastor.
GENERAL PROVISIONS: All committees shall be appointed by the Pastor and approved by the Church to assure properly coordinated action in all areas of organized endeavor. Each committee shall plan and supervise their respective activities; continuously monitor Church programs and spiritual attitudes and make appropriate recommendations to the Church, whenever significant redirection of their programs is required. Request expenditure of budgeted funds in areas of responsibility, submit an estimate of expenditures for the next succeeding calendar year to Budget Committee no later than the tenth (10th) month of each fiscal year; cooperate with Church staff and other Church leaders and members in the promotion and conduct of various programs; and perform such other functions as are further indicated in these By-Laws or may reasonably accrue to the area of responsibility through growth of the Church.
CORPORATION OFFICERS (Board Of Directors)
Board Of Directors shall be appointed by Pastor and approved by the Church annually as directed by the Corporation Charter and shall be governed by the Charter and By-Laws of the Corporation.
The Finance Committee shall promote an equitable, well rounded and spiritual program of church finance; ensure no deficit spending; maintain continuous surveillance of the financial status of the church; advise and counsel the subcommittees, the treasurer, financial secretary, other staff members, auxiliary leaders, and church members to assure the adequacy or feasibility of the financial program; to ensure that designated offerings are segregated in the general fund accounting and not diverted from the purpose for which they were offered without consent of the contributors ; and recommendations to the church as it may deem necessary or expedient in carrying out the above objectives.
EXCEPTION: If, in any year, the Church shall vote to use any special program for promotion and subscription of the budget, the Church shall elect such special organization as necessary and the Finance Committee shall assume only assigned functions in this larger organization. In such event, the regular constituted Finance Committee will retain the previously indicated responsibilities in connection with operation and administration of financial programs.
The Finance Committee shall be comprised of seven (7) members to be appointed by the Pastor. The Chairman of this committee will be an active Church member and will have at least one (1) prior year’s experience on the committee.
The Budget Committee shall be comprised of five to seven (5 to 7) Trustee Board members and members of the Church appointed by the Pastor. The Pastor shall serve as Chairman.
- This committee shall receive budget estimates with supporting justification (reasons) from all organizations of the Church by the first (1st) Sunday in November.
- The committee will compile a proposed budget for the next succeeding calendar year and present such draft to the Church membership, along with any changes in policy or procedures, not later than the first(1st) Sunday in December of each year.
- A meeting of the Church shall be held two (2) weeks after receipt of the draft for discussion and amendment.
- Two (2) weeks after this meeting the budget will be presented to the Church for its adoption. Adoption of the budget shall be by a majority vote of the Church members present and voting in the annual business session according to the quorum requirements.
ARTICLE II AMENDMENTS
Amendments to these By – Laws may be made only upon a vote of the church in special business sessions as herein provided. Such proposed action shall be announced orally at least two (2) successive Sundays prior to voting. Any proposed amendment, or at least its intent if extensive, shall be given I draft in the previous conference, Sunday subsequent to adoption.
MINISTER OF MUSIC
The Minister of Music shall be charged with responsibility to provide worshipful music for all service and department of the Church, and shall have the general oversight and direction of Music. He/she is oversee all Choirs, Directors and Instrumentalists in practice and public singing, and is to work in co-operation and with the approval of the Pastor in the selection of suitable music and the devising of appropriate Musical Programs for all occasions where such service are needed. (A Budgetary Item)
The Church shall secure a Praise & Worship Leader or Organist, Assistant Organist, Pianist, Assistant Pianist, Drummer, Bass Guitarist, and any other instrumentalist, or director(s), as it deems necessary to aid the Minister of Music in the musical atmosphere of the Church. Compensation for such services will be recommended to the Church by the Budget Committee. The Musicians shall assist the Minister of Music by accompanying the congregation and choir(s) at regular or special worship services and at rehearsals as required.
Adoption of these Constitution and By-Laws of the Open Door Christian Center, in St. Louis, Missouri, shall and be duly reordered in the minutes of a special business meeting called for this purpose upon affirmative vote of a majority of the members present at such special business meeting in accordance with our Articles.
ADOPTED THIS ____26th_______ DAY OF _________August__________ IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD __________2018___________________
Signed: Pastor Drew & Lady Lydia Huston