Adopted: September 14, 1958
Amended: September 18, 1968
Amended: October 14, 1984
Changed/Approved: December 13, 1992
Changed/Approved: August 22, 1999
Changed/Approved: September 9, 2001
Changed/Approved: July 20, 2003
CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF LOS ALAMOS, NEW MEXICO
We, the members of the Christian Church of Los Alamos, a religious association duly incorporated under the laws of the State of New Mexico, do hereby adopt the following constitution and by-laws which are in strict accordance with the certificate of incorporation which was adopted by the membership on January 22, 1956.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The congregation shall be known by the name of “The Christian Church of Los Alamos.”
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The purpose of this corporation shall be exclusively for the promotion of religious and charitable causes. Specifically, the church shall work to restore the New Testament Church and unite all believers in Christ for the evangelization of the world.
ARTICLE III: MINISTRY AREAS
To accomplish its purpose the members of the church work together in various ministry areas. Each ministry area serves Christ and the church with its own focused ministry. Examples of ministry areas include worship and Christian education. Each ministry area is led by a ministry area coordinator.
ARTICLE IV: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Members
The membership of the Christian Church of Los Alamos shall consist only of scripturally immersed believers in Christ who have formally placed membership with this church body.
Section 2. Voting Members
Voting members shall consist of members fifteen years old and older.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS OF THE CONGREGATION
The officers of the congregation shall consist of elders, deacons and ministry area coordinators who shall comprise the Church Board.
ARTICLE VI: CHURCH BOARD
The Church Board should have regular meetings every two months for the purpose of conducting necessary business and additional meetings as required. The officers of the Church Board shall be Chairman, Assistant Chairman, and Secretary.
ARTICLE VII: TRUSTEES
The Trustees shall be the representatives of the church in all legal transactions and shall be composed of the Chairman, Assistant Chairman, Secretary, and an elder. The Chairman of the Church Board shall also act as chairman of the Trustees.
ARTICLE VIII: DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS UPON DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of this corporation, after payment of liabilities, all property and assets of the corporation shall go and be distributed to such organizations as may be selected by the membership which qualify as exempt organizations under section 501(C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, at the time of distribution. In no way shall any of the assets or property of this corporation, in the event of dissolution, go or be distributed to any director, officer or member of this corporation. It is the intent, in the event of dissolution of this corporation, that the property and assets then owned by the corporation shall be devoted to the purposes set out in ARTICLE II.
ARTICLE IX: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
Proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws must be discussed and voted upon at a meeting of the Church Board. Amendments must be passed by a two-thirds majority vote of all the members of the Church Board. Board-approved amendments must be submitted to the congregation in writing at least two weeks prior to a congregational meeting, and shall be adopted only after a confirming two-thirds majority vote of the voting members present at the meeting.
ARTICLE I: DUTIES OF OFFICERS
Section 1: Officers of the Congregation
A. The elders shall be the spiritual overseers of the congregation with duties as given in the New Testament. Such duties include pastoral support of members, prayer, teaching, doctrinal oversight, and visitation. Together with the ministerial staff, they shall provide the spiritual vision and direction for the Church in accordance with scriptural mandates. They shall recruit volunteer staff from the Board or congregation to fill positions of leadership in the various ministry areas of the church. In addition, they provide oversight to the ministerial staff and shall serve as the Pulpit Committee in filling ministerial positions (Article V, Section 1). The elders are voting members of the Board. The Senior Minister shall be considered an elder ex officio.
B. The deacons are set apart by the congregation to a ministry of service as described in the New Testament. Each deacon shall serve in one or more ministry areas. While a deacon may request to be placed in a certain ministry area, they may be asked to participate in any area of need. Deacons may also assist with visitation, ministering to member needs and other areas of Christian service. The deacons are voting members of the Board.
C. Ministry area coordinators serve as the leaders of the various ministry areas of the church. A primary focus of this office is to involve as many members of the congregation as possible in the ministry area so that members may grow in Christian maturity through fellowship and service to Christ. Ministry area coordinators shall be accountable for a budget, conducting ministry area meetings, and coordination of needs with the elders and other church officers. The ministry area coordinators are voting members of the Board.
Section 2: Officers of the Church Board
A. The Chairman of the Board shall preside at all congregational, Church Board, and Board of Trustees meetings.
B. The Assistant Chairman of the Board shall assist with church affairs as requested by the Chairman and shall assume the duties of the Chairman in the Chairman’s absence.
C. The Secretary of the Board shall keep a written record of congregational, Church Board, and Board of Trustees meetings. The records shall be made available to each Church Board member and be maintained in the permanent files of the Church.
D. The Trustees shall serve as the legal representatives of the church. The trustees shall ensure that all contributions are counted, recorded, and deposited. They shall also ensure that the records of individual contributions are accurately maintained.
ARTICLE II: SELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers of the Congregation
A. The primary qualifications for elders and deacons are found in I Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:6-9 of the New Testament.
B. The elders, deacons and ministry area coordinators shall be elected at the annual congregational business meeting from a slate of nominees prepared by the Nominating Committee.
C. The Nominating Committee for the annual election shall be selected by the elders and be comprised of the Senior Minister, two elders, two deacons, and two other members of the congregation at large. All proposals from the membership for nominees shall be given to the Nominating Committee at least six weeks prior to the annual election. The Nominating Committee shall prepare a slate of names for elder, deacon, and ministry area coordinator positions. Prior to placement on the ballot, names for deacons and ministry area coordinators must be approved by a five-sevenths majority of the nominating committee. Names for elders shall be submitted to the Board of Elders for approval. All approved nominees for elder, deacon, and ministry area coordinator shall then be contacted for permission to place their names on the ballot. This process shall be completed at least four weeks prior to the election. The names of those candidates who accept nominations will be presented to the congregation at least two weeks prior to the election.
D. The election of elders, deacons and ministry area coordinators shall be by secret ballot and shall be determined by a majority vote of the voting members present at the congregational meeting.
E. A minimum of two elders is required; however, there is no maximum limit. In the event that the number of elders falls below two a special meeting of the membership may be called to elect additional elders to serve until the next election of officers.
F. The term of office for elders shall be two years, and for deacons one year. At the end of their term, an elder or deacon may submit their name to the nomination and voting process (By-Laws Article II, Section 1, Paragraphs C & D) for an additional one year term. An elder may serve for a maximum of four consecutive years and a deacon may serve for a maximum of three consecutive years. After serving the maximum number of consecutive years, the elder or deacon must take a one year leave.
G. The term of office for a ministry area coordinator will be one year. At the end of his or her term, a ministry area coordinator may choose to submit their name to the elders indicating their willingness to serve an additional one year term and have their name added to the ballot for the congregational election.
H. Vacancies in the offices of elder, deacon and ministry area coordinator may be filled, if deemed appropriate, by the elders acting as a body. The successor(s) shall hold office for the balance of the term of the vacated office. A successor who is not already a member of the Board must be confirmed by a majority vote of the voting members present at a special congregational meeting.
Section 2. Officers of the Church Board:
The Church Board shall elect as its officers, a Chairman, Assistant Chairman and Secretary, at its first regular meeting following the annual business meeting. An elder will also be elected to serve as a Trustee.
A. Officers of the Church Board shall be elected for one year.
B. Vacancies in offices of the Church Board shall be filled by an election of the Church Board at its next regular meeting for the balance of the vacated office.
ARTICLE III. REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Any officer may be removed from office for unwillingness to accept the responsibilities of the office or for conduct contrary to the scripturally designated attributes of a Christian.
Charges against an officer will not be admitted for consideration except in accordance with the scriptures.
Removal actions shall take place at a meeting of the Church Board and shall require a 75% vote of all members of the Church Board.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS
Section 1. Quorum
No official actions shall be taken at Church Board meetings unless a quorum is present. A quorum shall consist of over 50% of the members. No official actions shall be taken at Trustees meetings unless all members are present.
Section 2. Congregational Meetings
The congregation shall meet in regular session once each year on the first Sunday of October or within one week of that date for the annual business meeting and the election of elders, deacons and ministry area coordinators. Special congregational meetings may be called by the Chairman of the Church Board or at the request of four voting members of the congregation and must be announced at least one week prior to the meeting.
Section 3. Church Board Meetings
The Church Board should meet every two months at a time and place determined by the Chairman. The October meeting of the Church Board shall follow the annual election of elders and deacons. Special meetings may be called by the Chairman or at the request of three members of the Church Board. All Board members shall be given advance notice of special meetings.
Section 4. Trustees Meetings
The Trustees shall meet as the need arises. An accurate record of the proceedings shall be kept by the Secretary of the Board and shall be presented at the next meeting of the Church Board.
ARTICLE V: CHOOSING MINISTERIAL STAFF
Section 1: Pulpit Committee
The Pulpit Committee shall consist of the elders of the congregation. The elders may appoint additional members of the congregation to the committee as deemed appropriate. The Pulpit Committee is responsible for selecting candidates to fill ministerial positions in the Church
Section 2: Approval of Candidates
Any candidate approved by a majority of the Pulpit Committee shall be recommended to the Church Board for its approval. If approved by the Church Board by a two-thirds majority vote, the candidate shall be presented to the congregation for its approval at a regular or special congregational meeting. The candidate must be accepted by two-thirds majority vote of the voting members of the congregation present before a call may be issued.
Section 3: Contract with Ministers
A written contract for each minister, prepared under the direction of the elders and approved by the Church Board, shall be retained in the permanent records of the church.
ARTICLE VI: NON-MINISTERIAL STAFF
The Church Board acting as a body, may hire additional staff as deemed necessary. A written contract for each staff member, prepared under the direction of the elders and approved by the Church Board, shall be retained in the permanent records of the church.