ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION
The purpose of this document is the formation of a religious, non-profit corporation for the glory of Jesus Christ, the fellowship of those of like faith, and the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE I. Name
The name of this corporation is Full Gospel Mission Church. This corporation will be further referred to in these Bylaws as the “Church” and also may be referred to in these Bylaws by and may do business as “Full Gospel Mission” or “FGM”.
ARTICLE II. Mission Statement
Full Gospel Mission exists to bring glory to Jesus Christ by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service, and gospel-centered multiplication in obedience to the Great Commision (Matthew 28:18-20).
ARTICLE III Offices
3.1 Principal Office
The principal office for business transactions of the Church is 114 West Oak Street, Stanley, Wisconsin, 54768.
The Board of Elders shall have full power and authority to change the principal office from one location to another. The Church secretary shall record any change in the location of the principal office.
3.2 Other Offices
The Board of Elders of the Church shall have power and authority to establish other offices, campuses sites and locations at any place or places where the Church is qualified under applicable law to conduct its business.
ARTICLE IV Nonprofit Purposes
The Full Gospel Mission Church is organized and shall operate exclusively for religious, charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Church’s purposes also include the limited participation of the Church in any other activities, including taxable activities, but only to the extent the activities would be permitted by a tax-exempt organization. More particularly, but without limitation, the purposes of this Church are:
(a) to promote the Christian religion by any appropriate form of expression, within any available medium, and in any location, through the Church’s combined or separate formation, of a church, ministry, charity, school, or eleemosynary institution, without limitation;
(b) to ordain, employ and discharge ordained ministers of the gospel, and others, to conduct and carry on divine services at the place of worship of the Church, and elsewhere;
(c) to collect and disburse any and all necessary funds for the maintenance of said Church and the accomplishment of its purpose within the State of Wisconsin and elsewhere;
(d) to make distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended; and
(e) to promote, encourage, and foster any other similar religious, charitable and educational activities; to accept, hold, invest, reinvest and administer any gifts, legacies, bequests, devises, funds and property of any sort or nature, and to use, expend, or donate the income or principal thereof for, and to devote the same to, the foregoing purposes of the Church; and to do any and all lawful acts and things which may be necessary, useful, suitable, or proper for the furtherance of accomplishment of the purposes of this Church; provided, however, no act may be performed which would violate Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as it now exists or as it may hereafter be amended.
ARTICLE V Powers and Restrictions
The Church shall not pay dividends and no part of the net earnings of the Church shall inure to the benefit of or be distributable to its organizers, officers or other private persons, except that the Church shall be authorized and empowered to make payments and distributions (including reasonable compensation for services rendered to or for the Church) in furtherance of its purposes.
The Church shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
The Church shall not accept any gift or grant if the gift or grant contains major conditions which would restrict or violate any of the Church’s religious, charitable, or educational purposes or if the gift or grant would require serving a private as opposed to a public interest.
ARTICLE VI Affiliations
The Church is autonomous and maintains the right to govern its own affairs, independent of denominational control. Recognizing, however, the benefits of cooperation with other churches in the fulfillment of its purposes, the Church may voluntarily affiliate with other churches and conventions by a passing vote of the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE VII Meetings
7.1 Public Worship
Meetings for public worship shall be held at such times and places as may be provided for under the direction of the Board of Elders
7.2 Church Business Meetings
The Board of Elders shall call a minimum of one business meeting within the calendar year. The Board of Elders shall have the authority to call additional Church business meetings or special meetings as needed.
ARTICLE VIII Articles of Faith
8.1 Statement of Biblical Authority
At the center of Christian faith and practice stands the belief that God has spoken to the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, which is accurately and authoritatively revealed in the Christian Bible (“the Bible,” “Scripture” or “the Scriptures”). The Bible is the inspired, inerrant and sufficient Word of God and is thus the ultimate authority for life, faith and morals. Though the various theological statements of the Church reflect succinct summaries of biblical boundaries, it is the Bible itself to which we are in ultimate submission.
Members have the responsibility and opportunity to engage the Board of Elders on areas of theological disagreement. However, membership carries with it the implicit understanding that the Board of Elders shall function as the interpretive authority on biblical meaning and application for the purpose of Full Gospel Mission’s doctrine, practice, policy and discipline.
8.2 Statement of Basic Belief
The following Statement of Basic Belief represents the core orthodox beliefs of the Church from a biblical perspective. While Church Members are not required to fully understand or articulate all aspects of the Statement of Basic Belief, the explicit rejection of any part of it disqualifies one from membership in Full Gospel Mission Church. Revisions to the Statement of Basic Belief in order to more clearly align to Scripture shall be at the sole discretion of the Board of Elders, with the understanding that such changes will be communicated to the Voting Members of the Church.
The Scriptures are true, authoritative and sufficient (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
There is only one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:4:-6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God. And they are one. (Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 28: 17-20; John 10:30; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
Jesus Christ is the expressed image of God. (Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 1:3)
I am, along with all humanity (Christ excluded), by birth and action a sinner (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 5:8, 12-21, 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3).
The deserved penalty for sin is death, both physical and spiritual (Genesis 2:15-17; Genesis 3:19, Romans 5:12; 6:23, James 1:14-15).
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human (Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).
Jesus Christ died as my substitute to pay the penalty for my sin (John 1:29; 10:1-18, Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18).
Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead (Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 1:20-21:25; 1 Corinthians 15:12-34).
Jesus Christ physically ascended into heaven and will one day physically return (John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7).
There will be a future physical resurrection of the dead. Those who trust in Jesus Christ alone will be raised to eternal reward. Those who have not trusted in Jesus Christ will be raised to eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24-15).
Only by trusting in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can I be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy (John 3:18, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2: 5-6).
Baptism is plainly commanded. Everyone who confesses Jesus Christ is commanded to be baptized (Acts 2:38)
We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an endowment of power, subsequent to conversion, given by God to anoint the believer for sanctification and evangelism (Acts 8:14–17; Acts 19:1–6).
8.3 Statement on Marriage and Sexuality
It is the biblical position that marriage involves the union of one man and one woman in permanent sacred fidelity. Though various cultures and customs have evolving definitions of marriage, it is God alone who has ultimate authority to prescribe and describe the marital relationship (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:1-9, Mark 10:1-12).
Furthermore, sexual intimacy is only properly exercised and pursued within the confines of this marital relationship. Sexual immorality, defined as any sexual activity outside of the boundaries of the sacred marital relationship between one man and one woman, is clearly and expressly prohibited by the Lord (Matthew 15:19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4).
As a consequence, the Church regards any and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography or even lustful intent toward such, as sinful and ultimately unsatisfying. Moreover, the Church also regards as sinful the intent or desire to surgically alter one’s biological sex to a different sex. Since the body is a creation of God, the Church holds sexual identity to be biologically determined, and associated gender norms are to be observed as appropriate to biblical standards. Disagreement with one’s biological sex only leads to spiritual confusion and emotional chaos (Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
In order to preserve the function and integrity of the Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical example to the Church Members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the Church in any capacity should abide by and agree to this, “Statement on Marriage and Sexuality“ and conduct themselves accordingly.
Though sinful sexual expression is egregious (as is all sin), the gospel provides redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Ephesians 2:1-10, Titus 3:3-7).
Furthermore, there is a difference between temptation and unrepented sin. Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet He never sinned. Members, employees, volunteers and attendees of the Church wrestling with all manner of sexual temptation will find a Church ready to point them to Jesus and join with them to fight for their obedience to Christ. Jesus called the weary and heavy-laden to Himself. As a church desiring to follow Christ fully, the Church will be a safe place for men and women fighting sexual temptations of all kinds. For those fighting temptation and repenting of sin, the Church will provide love, care and direction (Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Hebrews 2:17-18, Hebrews 4:14-16).
The Church’s Statement on Marriage and Sexuality does not provide grounds for bigotry, bullying or hate, as we fully believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity, regardless of his or her lifestyle. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated as sinful and are not in accordance with the Scriptures nor the doctrines of the Church.
This specifically gives the Board of Elders board the right and authority to prohibit acts or omissions, including but not limited to (a) permitting any Church assets or property, whether real property, personal property, intangible property, or any property or asset of any kind that is subject to the direction or control of the Church, to be used in any manner that would be—or, in the sole determination of the Board of Elders, could be perceived by any person to be— inconsistent with this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality; and (b) permitting any Church facilities to be used by any person, organization, corporation, or group that would or might use such facilities to convey, intentionally or by implication, what might be perceived as a favorable impression about any definition of marriage other than that contained in this Section.
The Church’s Statement on Marriage and Sexuality is based upon God’s will for human life as conveyed to us through the Scriptures, upon which this Church has been founded and anchored, and this shall not be subject to change through popular vote; referendum; prevailing opinion of Members or the general public; influence of or interpretation by any government authority, agency, or official action; or legal developments on the local, state, or federal level.
ARTICLE IX Membership
9.1 Requirements for Voting Members
Membership within the Church is first predicated on one becoming a genuine follower of Jesus Christ through having responded by faith by the drawing of the Holy Spirit to the message of the gospel. In addition, Voting members are required to affirm Article VIII and be in regular attendance for a minimum of six months prior to applying for voting membership. Regular attendance is defined as being physically present in a weekly worship service a minimum of twice a month. The regular attendance requirement shall be waived for a period of three (3) months after the bylaws have been ratified. To maintain voting membership, members are required to attend a minimum of twelve weekly worship services within the calendar year.
9.2 Voting by Members
Voting members shall vote on matters of (a) confirming Board of Elders membership; (b) any single expenditure exceeding twenty five percent (25%) of the current, annual Church operating budget; (c) any loan that results in cumulative indebtedness exceeding twenty percent (20%) of the current annual Church operating budget; (d) merger or dissolution of the Church; (e) any proposed change to these Bylaws; (f) other actions deemed major and extraordinary by the Board of Elders.
The time, place and nature of upcoming votes will be communicated to the Church at least fourteen (14) days in advance and Voting Members shall have an opportunity to submit questions, comments and concerns, which will be considered by the Board of Elders on a case-by-case basis. Notification of upcoming votes will be communicated via announcement during public worship services. Voting shall take place during public worship services or a special business meeting as determined in the sole discretion of the Board of Elders. Only Voting Members shall be permitted to vote on any matter under this. A majority vote is defined as a result greater than 50% when the number of affirmative votes are divided by the number of total votes cast, shall constitute a passing vote. Voting results shall be communicated to Voting Members not later than thirty (30) days following such vote.
9.3 Voting Membership Renewal and Removal
Membership is reviewed and renewed on a periodic basis. Members can be removed through (a) failure to renew their membership, (b) voluntary resignation of membership, (c) death, (d) or failure to meet the minimum membership attendance requirements.
ARTICLE X Board of Elders
10.1 Definition and Minimum Board Members
Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). Jesus Christ through the Scriptures has ordained elders to shepherd the local body of believers (1 Peter 5:1-2). The Board of Elders, also referred to as the “Board”, the “Elders”, “Church Board”, or the “Elder Board” is the principal governing body of Full Gospel Mission Church and serves as the Board of Directors for Full Gospel Mission Church. The Board of Elders is subject to Jesus Christ as made manifest in the Bible and held accountable by the local Church represented by the Voting Members. The Board will consist of a minimum of three (3) members. If at any time the number of board members drops below three (3) members the first order of business will be to appoint a new member.
A member of the Board of Elders may also be referred to as a “Board Member”, “Member of the Board”, or as an “Elder”.
10.2 Requirements for Board Members
All board members are required to affirm the Church’s Mission Statement (Article II) and Articles of Faith (Article VIII). In addition the board members will conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with this affirmation. All Board Members will meet all the requirements for Voting Membership (Article IX) The Senior Pastor will hold a seat on the Board. Additional members of Board must be a voting member of the Church for a minimum of one (1) year before they are eligible for a seat on the Board, with the exception of the initial formation of the Board. A new Senior Pastor may be appointed from outside the congregation, therefore is not required to be a voting member of the church prior to appointment and will be appointed to the board upon appointment to the position of Senior Pastor.
All members of the Board of Elders must meet the Biblical requirements of an Elder as defined in the Bible (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9). We interrupt these requirements as follows:
Must hold a good reputation within the community
If married a faithful husband or wife
A good father or mother
Kind and inviting to others
Able to teach
Holy and Devout
Not addicted to alcohol or other substances
Additionally, Board Members can not consist of members of the same immediate family. “Immediate family” is defined as a husband and wife, siblings, or children.
10.3 Responsibilities of the Board
As the primary governing body of Full Gospel Mission Church each Board Member should fervently seek God in prayer, Biblical study, and daily conduct. It is the responsibility of the Board to implement the Church’s Mission Statement (Article II) in accordance with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20) in the administration of the Church.
The administrative responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:
The general maintenance and improvement of Church assets
The acquisition of necessary Church assets
The fulfilment and dismissal of ministry positions
Setting the annual budget
Organizing and funding events and ministries
Distribution of charitable contributions
The nomination of new board members
Calling a Senior Pastor in the event of a vacancy
10.4 Appointment of Board Members
A Board Member is expected to commit to serve for a minimum of one (1) year for a term of five (5) years. A Board Member shall be released of their commitment to serve upon request. Board Members may serve for no more than three (3) consecutive terms. The Voting Members shall vote to confirm a Board Member for an additional term, if the Board Member wishes to serve another term, prior to the expiration of the Board Member’s previous term. The Senior Pastor will serve as a Board Member without term limits until resignation or removal.
The Board of Elders will determine the number of Board Members, as long as that number is not less than three (3). The Board of Elders shall nominate future Board Members. Each Board Member is entitled to a single nomination. The nominee will have one week to accept or reject the nomination. After the nominee’s acceptance of the nomination the Voting Members will vote to confirm Board Members. If there is more than one (1) nominee for a single Board position the nominee with the majority of votes cast by the Voting Members will receive the position. If there is only one (1) nominee for a Board Member position the Voting Members will vote whether to accept or reject the Elder Board’s nominee. If the Voting Members reject a nominee the Board of Elders will appoint a new nominee until the position on the Board is filled. If the number of current board members is equal to or greater than three (3) the Elder Board may vote to eliminate the position.
10.5 Appointment of the Senior Pastor
The Board of Elders is responsible for finding and appointing a new Senior Pastor in the event of a vacancy. The Senior Pastor must fulfil all the requirements of a member of the Board of Elders except:
The Senior Pastor is not required to be a voting member of Full Gospel Mission Church prior to his appointment as Senior Pastor
The Senior Pastor is not required to attend Full Gospel Mission Church prior to his appointment as Senior Pastor
A Senior Pastor will be appointed after a unanimous vote of the Board of Elders and a majority vote of the congregation. All board members are required to vote and each vote will be recorded and made public to the voting members of the church.
If the office of Senior Pastor remains vacant for more than six (6) months, a Senior Pastor may be appointed with a majority vote of the Board of Elders and a majority congregational vote or a unanimous vote from the Board of Elders.
If the office of Senior Pastor remains vacant for more than one year, a Senior Pastor may be appointed with a majority vote of either the Board of Elders or a majority congregational vote.
Upon appointment to the position of Senior Pastor, the Senior Pastor will also assume the office of President of the Board, become a member of the Board of Elders, and become a voting member of the church. Upon appointment to the position of Senior Pastor, the Senior Pastor’s spouse will become a voting member of Full Gospel Mission Church.
10.6 Removal or Resignation of Board Members
A Board Member may resign at any time for any reason by submitting a letter of resignation to either the President, Vice President, or Secretary.
The Senior Pastor may only be removed with just cause with an unanimous vote of the Board and a two thirds (⅔) vote of the Voting Members. Other Board Members may be removed with just cause by unanimous vote of the Board.
“Just cause” is defined as a failure to maintain the qualifications for office (See section 10.2), failure to fulfill the responsibilities of the office (see section 10.3), unscriptural conduct (moral or ethical failure), or departure from the tenets of faith held by this church
All voting will be determined by a majority vote. The decision with the most affirmative votes cast will win the vote unless otherwise specified within the bylaws. No proxy or absentee voting will be permitted.
Board Members are also Voting Members and may cast a vote as such.
All tied votes will be determined by the President of the Board.
10.8 Officers of the Board
Officers of this corporation shall consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. Any two or more offices may be held by the same person except the offices of the President and the Secretary. The office of the President will be held by the Senior Pastor when there is a Senior Pastor. The officer will be appointed by the Board. Only the office of the President is required to be filled by a Board Member.
ARTICLE XI Transactions of the Church
11.1 Contracts and Legal Instruments
The Board of Elder may authorize an individual Elder, Officer, employee or agent of the Church to enter into a contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Church. This authority may be limited to a specific contract or instrument, or it may extend to any number and type of possible contracts and instruments.
All funds of the Church shall be deposited to the credit of the Church in banks, trust companies, or other depositories that the Board of Elders selects.
The Board of Elders may accept on behalf of the Church any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for the general purposes or any special purpose of the Church including, but not limited to, gifts of money, annuity arrangements, securities, and other tangible and intangible personal property, real property, and interest therein. The Board of Elders may make gifts and give charitable contributions that are not prohibited by these Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation, state law, or any requirements for maintaining the Church’s federal and state tax status.
11.4 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.
ARTICLE XII Amendments and Alterations
These Bylaws or any provision contained herein may be altered, amended, repealed or restated, and a new Bylaws adopted, by an unanimous vote of the Board of Elders and confirmed by a passing vote from the Voting Members.
Revisions to the Statement of Basic Belief in order to more clearly align to Scripture shall be at the sole discretion of the Board of Elders, with the understanding that such changes will be communicated to the Voting Members of the Church. Revisions must be passed by unanimous vote of all members of the Board of Elders.
All members of the Board of Elders are required to vote on amendments and alterations to the bylaws and may not abstain from such a vote for more than three (3) weeks. Refusal to vote for a period greater than three (3) weeks will be considered a resignation from the Board of Elders.
ARTICLE XIII Books and Records
13.1 Required Books and Records
The Church shall keep correct and complete books and records of account.
13.2 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Church shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day in December in each year.
ARTICLE XIV Dissolution or Merger
“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 therefore; (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 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), and are engaged in activities substantially similar to those of the Church; this distribution shall be done pursuant to a plan adopted by the Board of Elders by passing vote; 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 Church is then located, for such purposes and to such organizations as said court shall determine.
In the event of a merger of the Church with another church, the net assets of the Church shall be contributed to the surviving entity.