First Congregational Church of Eaton/Ault
325 Second Street
Eaton, CO 80615
ph: 970 454-2481
Adopted by the congregation on December 21, 2008.
We, the members of THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF EATON/AULT, banding ourselves together in order to effectively carry out the commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ, do ordain and establish the following bylaws to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
Name and Incorporation
The name of this organization shall be THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF EATON/AULT. The church is incorporated under the laws of the state of Colorado for religious purposes. To fulfill these purposes, this corporation gives authority to its governing Board to lead and direct and to operate as officers of the corporation.
This Corporation is organized exclusively for religious purposes. Its purpose is to carry out the Great Commission given by Jesus to His followers when He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:18-20).
Statement of Faith
Section 1. The Bible
We believe that the Bible, as delivered in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, inspired (breathed out) by Him and without error in the original manuscripts. We believe it was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that it constitutes the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of man, and that it is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:20-21; Mk. 13:31; Mt. 5:18; Jn. 10:35; 20:31; Acts 20:32).
Section 2. God
We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons -the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; that these three are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption (Gen.1:1, 26; Dt. 4:35; Jn. 1:1-14; 4:24; Mt. 28:19; Ti. 2:13; Col. 1:13-17).
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He concerns Himself with the affairs of men, that He answers prayer, that He saves from sin and death and accepts into His family all who come to Him in true faith through Jesus Christ (Mt. 23:9; Jn. 3:3, 16; 6:27; Eph. 1:3-5; I Pet.1:3; Rom. 8:14-17; Rev. 1:5-6).
We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven. We believe that He ever intercedes for His people and that He will return personally, visibly and bodily to earth (Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1: 26-38; Jn. 1:1-4; 3:13; 20:28; I Cor. 15:3; II Cor. 5:14-21;I Pet. 2:21-24; Rom. 5:5-6; Heb. 4:14-16; 5:6-8; 7:25; 9:28; I Tim. 3:16).
We believe in the Holy Spirit who was sent forth from the Father and Son to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, indwell and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit is an abiding helper, teacher, intercessor and guide (Jn. 3:3-7; 14:16-26; 15:26-27; Rom. 8:9, 26-27; I Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 12:13; Gal. 5:22-26).
Section 3. Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God and originally existed in a state of righteousness and innocence. We believe that he sinned in direct violation of God’s revealed will thereby incurring physical and spiritual death. We believe that as a consequence every person is a sinner, both by nature and by his/her own acts and under penalty of eternal separation from God (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:17; 3:1-24; Rom. 3:9-23; 5:12-19; 6:23; Jer. 17:9; I Cor. 5:21-22; Eph. 2:1-3).
Section 4. Salvation
We believe that man can do nothing to save himself, but that salvation is available to all solely on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. We believe that all who repent of their sin and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are regenerated by the Holy Spirit, become new creatures and inherit eternal life, having been delivered eternally from condemnation and adopted into God’s family (Lev. 17:11; II Cor. 5:17-21; Rom. 5:6-9; 8:1; 10:9-13; Eph. 2:1-10; Jn. 1:12-13; 3:16; 5:24).
Section 5. The Church
We believe that the universal church is made up of believers living between Pentecost and the rapture; that it is the body of Christ and includes all those who have been baptized into that body by the Holy Spirit. True believers are eligible for membership in the local church which is intended for corporate worship, fellowship and service and is the instrument of God’s will in the world. We believe every local church has the right under Christ to decide and govern its own affairs (Acts 2:42-47; 6:1-4; Eph. 2:15-16; 4:7-16; 5:29-30; I Cor. 12:13; Heb. 10:25; I Cor. 12:12-27).
Section 6. The Ordinances
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed by the Church during the present age. We believe that baptism is for believers and, as administered by immersion, depicts the believer’s identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper was instituted as a commemoration of His death. While vitally important, these ordinances are not a means of salvation (Mt. 18:18-20; Acts 10:47-48; Rom. 6:3-5; I Cor. 11:23-34).
Section 7. Christian Conduct
We believe that a true believer will live for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow man. We believe that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and for others the full stature of maturity in Christ. We believe that a true believer will progress toward these goals (I Cor. 10:31; Rom. 12:1-3; Heb. 12:1-2; I Jn. 2:3-6, 19-20; Jn. 14:15-24; II Cor. 9:6-9; Col. 1:9-10).
Section 8. Future Things
We believe in the imminent, personal, and pre-millennial return of Jesus Christ and that this “blessed hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. We believe in the ultimate bodily resurrection of the dead, of believers to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord and of unbelievers to judgment and everlasting punishment (I Th. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:20; Mt. 24:15-21, 41-46; Jn. 14:1-6; Dan. 12:2-3; Rev. 20:7-15; 21:1-22).
Any individual who has given public testimony of receiving Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior, who has been baptized as a believer and who gives evidence of living a godly lifestyle may apply for church membership.
Section 1. Admission to Membership
Admission to membership in this church shall be obtained in the following manner:
Section 2. Maintaining Good Standing
Section 3. Responsibilities of Membership
Members shall participate in the fellowship and the worship of the church on a regular basis. It is further their responsibility to discover, develop and utilize the spiritual gift(s) that God has given them for the good of the body as a whole. They shall support the church financially as God makes it possible, and they shall support the church through their own willing service and prayer.
Upon recommendation from the Elder Board, voting members of the congregation shall approve or disapprove Elder, Deacon and Deaconess candidates, candidates for membership, annual budget, bylaw changes, and major decisions regarding property or building projects, and the calling or dismissal of a Senior Pastor. Members shall seek to progress in their spiritual walk by carrying out their membership responsibilities.
Section 4. Congregational Meetings
Section 5. Quorums
Section 6. Voting Privileges
Voting privileges are restricted to members who are in good standing, who are not under any disciplinary action, and who have passed their eighteenth (18th) birthday. Membership and voting privileges may not be assignable nor vest in any personal representative, heir or devisee. Members must be present to vote.
Section 7. Church Discipline
If any member shall conduct himself or herself in a manner which in the studied opinion of the Senior Pastor and the Board of Elders is not in harmony with scriptural principles and for which he/she does not show evidence of repentance, the member shall be interviewed and counseled by the pastoral staff and/or the Board of Elders after the manner clearly indicated in the Word of God (Mt. 18:15-17 and Gal. 6:1). The sole motivation of the disciplinary process is love for the erring member and a desire for his/her repentant heart. The process of discipline may be halted at any time by a confession on the part of the erring member and a commitment to turn from his/her sin. Confrontation of a member in sin with the goal of restoration shall proceed as follows:
Section 8. Removal
Members who request transfer to another church, request removal in writing or have been subject to church discipline shall be removed from the Membership List. Members who have been inactive and out of communication with the church for a period of two years may be removed from membership by action of the Board of Elders following purposeful and reasonable attempts to contact such members to determine their intent.
The First Congregational Church of Eaton/Ault shall be an Elder-led body where all decisions regarding church ministry, business and government are made by the Board of Elders except those specifically reserved for the congregation as noted herein.
Section 1. The Board
The Board of Elders shall be men selected from among the church body to provide spiritual oversight and management of the business affairs of the church. It shall establish policies and practices for the church that shall be consistent with Scripture.
Section 2. Annual Meeting
An annual meeting shall take place in January with the specific date being selected at the discretion of the Board. All members of the church shall be invited. The purpose of the meeting shall be the election of Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses, presentation of reports and the transaction of any unfinished or new business.
Section 3. Election of Elders, Deacons and Deaconesses
In September of each year, a Nomination Committee shall be formed consisting of the Senior Pastor, Board Chairman, Board Vice Chairman and one other Elder appointed by the Board who shall serve as chairman. In the event that any of the Elders defined above is at the end of his term, another Elder (or member from the congregation at large in the event no Elder is available) shall be appointed by the Board to the Nomination Committee in his place. The Nomination Committee shall proceed as follows:
If no qualified candidate can be affirmed within two months of the annual meeting, the Board may appoint a qualified interim candidate, if available, to fill the position until the next annual meeting.
Section 4. Church Governance
The Board of Elders has the responsibility and authority to make all decisions relative to the spiritual and business matters of the church with the following exceptions which are reserved to the congregation as a whole and require a majority vote by members present:
Section 5. Financial Planning
Members shall be encouraged to give regularly and sacrificially to the church to enable its ministries. Gifts and any other income shall be used to support a unified (consolidated) budget. The Board of Elders may designate certain special projects which fall outside the operating budget and against which designated offerings may be given.
Section 6. Reports
Written reports shall be presented to the congregation at the annual meeting by the pastoral staff, treasurer, and by the chairman of the Board of Elders. All church committees and approved organizations shall report through the Board of Elders. The Board of Elders shall make a written evaluation of the year's activities, giving special emphasis to the spiritual aspects.
A quarterly written financial report shall be provided to the Board of Elders and the congregation. In addition, the Board of Elders shall make an oral report to the congregation on a quarterly basis.
Board of Elders
Section 1. Composition and Term
The Board of Elders shall be comprised of no fewer than 4 men (including the Senior Pastor, who shall be a permanent member of the Elder Board during his tenure) chosen as indicated above. The number of board members may be expanded by Elder decision as deemed necessary to carry out the ministry of the church and in keeping with the call and qualification of men in the church. Each Elder shall be elected for a term of 3 years with at least one position being open for election each year.
Section 2. Qualifications
Elders and nominees for Elder shall be qualified for the office as specified in the Bible. Relevant texts include I Tim. 3:1-7, Ti. 1:6-9 and I Pet. 5:1-4. Elders are also required to be in agreement with the Statement of Faith.
Section 3. Responsibilities
The fundamental responsibility of the Elders is to devote themselves to prayer and the Word. The Elders are responsible for governing the Church, teaching the Word and tending the flock of God in this Church. Beyond this, the Elders are responsible for all ministry and business functions for the church. Responsibilities, many of which may be carried out by appointed committee, include but are not limited to the following:
Section 4. Officers
The Board of Elders shall appoint corporate officers yearly. The corporate officers shall be the chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer. The chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary shall be Elders. The Senior Pastor may not be appointed to any of these offices. The treasurer is not required to be an Elder. These officers shall sign all official documents pertinent to the corporation and approved by the Board of Elders. The Elders shall also appoint such other officers as deemed necessary, none of whom needs to be an Elder.
The Chairman shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation and shall, subject to the control of the Board of Elders, have general supervision, direction, and control of the activities and officers of the Corporation. He shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Elders, which are to be conducted according to the scriptural principle as set forth in Phil. 2:2-8. He shall be an ex officio member of all the standing committees, if any, and shall have powers and duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Elders or the Bylaws. He shall also preside over any congregational meetings.
In the absence or disability of the Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall perform all the duties of the Chairman, and when so acting shall have all the powers of, and be subject to all the restrictions upon, the Chairman. The Vice-Chairman shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed for him by the Board of Elders or the Bylaws.
The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, a book of minutes at the principal office or such other place as the Board of Elders may order, of all meetings of the members, the Board and its committees, with the time and place of holding, whether regular or special, and if special, how authorized, the notice thereof given, the names of those present at the meetings, the Board and the proceedings thereof. The Secretary shall keep the seal of the Corporation in safe custody, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board. The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept at the principal office of the Corporation, a church membership register, or a duplicated membership register, showing the names of the members and their addresses.
The Treasurer shall keep and maintain, or cause to be kept and maintained, adequate and correct accounts of the properties and business transactions of the Corporation. The books of account shall at all reasonable times be open to inspection by any Elder. The Treasurer shall deposit, or cause to be deposited, all monies and other valuables in the name and to the credit of the Corporation with such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Elders. He/she shall disburse, or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the Corporation as may be ordered by the Board of Elders, shall render, or cause to be rendered, to the Chairman and the Elders, whenever they request it, an account of all the transactions and of the financial condition of the Corporation, and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Elders. The Treasurer shall make, or cause to be made, the financial reports at each regular Board meeting and at the annual meeting of members.
Section 5. Organization
The Board must designate the officers mentioned in Section 3. Beyond that, the Board is free to organize itself as it sees fit to best carry on the ministries and business of the church. Any standing committee which is designated under Article VII shall be under the direction of one of the Elders.
Section 6. Quorum
A quorum shall consist of a majority of the Board currently serving.
Section 7. Resignation or Removal
An Elder may leave the Board of Elders of his own free will at any time by written resignation, or he may be removed from office if 2/3 of the Board of Elders believes that he is incapacitated or spiritually unqualified to continue serving.
Section 1. General Provision
To promote efficient handling of Board matters, the Board of Elders may appoint various committees from within its membership, the staff, and from members of the church at large. These committees shall perform tasks solely in accordance with the duties and powers specifically delegated by the Board of Elders. The general functions of committees are the following:
All committees shall exist for the period specified by the Board or as designated in Article VII, Section 4. In addition, there shall be a permanent Committee of Deacons and Deaconesses. As with other committees, they shall report to a designated Elder who shall serve as an ex officio member of the committee.
Section 2. Deacons and Deaconesses
There shall be a combined Committee of Deacons and Deaconesses consisting of a minimum of 4 deacons and 4 deaconesses. The number of members may be expanded by the Board of Elders to accommodate the needs of the ministry and the call and qualification of members in the church. Each Deacon and Deaconess shall be nominated and affirmed as designated in Article V, Section 3 for a normal term of 3 years with at least one deacon and one deaconess position being open each year.
Deacons and Deaconesses shall be qualified for the office as specified in the Bible. Relevant texts include I Tim. 3:8-12 and Titus 2:3-5.
The Deacons shall advise and assist the Elders in any service that shall support and promote the ministry of the Word. They shall assist in new and existing ministries of the Church and in the care of members of the congregation. Their responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
A. Administering a fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise providing aid in times of crisis or distress
B. The greeting and welcoming ministries of the church
C. Assisting in administering the ordinances
D. Assisting at fellowship gatherings of the church
E. Ministering to those in need due to illness or other afflictions
F. Caring for and maintaining the Church properties
G. Administering the business affairs of the Church which pertain to its material assets under the direction of the Board of Elders
H. Ensuring adherence to conditions attached to any special bequests, wills, trusts or other endowments accepted by the church
I. Ministering to gender specific needs for counseling, prayer and encouragement
The Deacons and Deaconesses shall organize themselves however they determine best to achieve the mission of the church. The Elders or the Deacons and Deaconesses may designate any specific Committee member(s) to specialize in some particular Deacon function. Meetings of the Deacons and Deaconesses, or subcommittees thereof, shall be held as needed to best fulfill the responsibilities of the Committee.
A Deacon or Deaconess may leave the Committee of his/her own free will at any time by written resignation, or he/she may be removed from office if 2/3 of the Board of Elders believes that he/she is incapacitated or spiritually unqualified to continue serving.
Section 4. Other Committees
As provided above, other committees may be appointed by the Board of Elders for specific purposes and duration. However, as a minimum, the following committees shall be appointed each year, with each reporting to a specific Elder who shall be responsible for the overall function of that committee.
The Worship committee shall be responsible for planning and coordinating worship activities each week under the direction of the Senior Pastor. The committee shall be responsible for insuring that music and other activities support the theme of the message and that every part is aimed at glorifying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Special worship services may be designated and planned by the committee for special occasions throughout the year.
The Christian Education Committee shall be responsible for insuring that a coordinated program of learning is carried out with the goal of presenting the “whole counsel of God” to each age group. The times and means of providing these teaching opportunities shall be at the discretion of the committee, subject to approval by the Senior Pastor and Board of Elders. Responsibilities shall include the evaluation and provision of appropriate materials, staffing, and ongoing evaluation.
The Missions and Evangelism Committee shall be responsible to insure local evangelism effort and to create and motivate a vision for world missions in accordance with the command of Acts 1:8. The committee shall also be responsible for administering, with the approval of the Board of Elders, a budget to support both local and worldwide mission’s efforts. The budget for Missions shall be at least 10% of congregational giving (excluding special projects) and may be increased by action of the Board of Elders.
Section 1. Senior Pastor
The Senior Pastor shall be responsible for the general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. This shall include, but not be limited to the following:
The Senior Pastor shall meet the biblical qualifications for an Elder as specified in I Tim. 3:1-7, Ti. 1:6-9 and I Pet. 5:1-4. He shall be in agreement with the Statement of Faith. He shall also meet such requirements for experience, training, and education as set forth by the Board of Elders at the time of any pastoral search.
In the absence of a Senior Pastor, it is the responsibility of the Board of Elders, in conjunction with a search team designated by them, to search for, evaluate and propose a candidate to fill the position. A successful candidate must be affirmed by secret ballot totaling at least three-fourths of the votes cast by the members present at any annual or specially called business meeting.
The Senior Pastor may resign with three months written notice to the Board of Elders. The church may dismiss the Senior Pastor with three months written notice (or with notice in accordance with terms of the original call) upon recommendation by the Board of Elders affirmed by two-thirds vote by secret ballot of members present.
Section 2. Other Ministerial Staff
Additional ministerial staff may be added as approved by the Board of Elders. Duties of such additional staff shall be in accordance with the written job description provided by the Senior Pastor and approved by the Board of Elders. Additional ministerial staff need not be part of the Board of Elders, but may be if selected as part of the election process for Elders. In his/her ministerial capacity, the additional staff shall be responsible to the Senior Pastor.
Any additional ministerial staff shall be in accord with the church’s Statement of Faith. They shall be of exemplary character and meet such requirements for experience, training, and education as set forth in the Statement of Work or Job Description as approved by the Board of Elders that defines the position.
He/she shall be called to serve at the request of the Senior Pastor with the approval of the Board of Elders.
If he/she desires to resign, or the Senior Pastor with the approval of the Board of Elders, desires the termination of his/her ministry, a notice shall be given in writing by either party two months in advance of the termination date, unless waived by mutual consent.
Amendment of Bylaws
Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by the Board of Elders. If any member of the church wishes to recommend an amendment, it shall first be presented to the Board of Elders in writing for approval. Any amendment approved by the Board of Elders must be presented to the church membership at two separate meetings with a period of at least two months in between. Voting at the second meeting shall be by secret ballot and shall require a two-thirds majority of ballots cast to pass.
First Congregational Church of Eaton/Ault
325 Second Street
Eaton, CO 80615
ph: 970 454-2481