Higher Praise Worship Center, Corporation.
WHEREAS, it is the express purpose of God our Heavenly Father to call out of the world a saved people who shall contribute to the body of Christ, built and established on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone; and,
WHEREAS, the members of the Body of Christ are enjoined to assemble themselves together for worship, fellowship, counsel, and instruction in the Word of God and the work of the ministry and for the exercise of those spiritual gifts and offices provided for in the New Testament, therefore, be it
RESOLVED: That we recognize ourselves as a body of Christian believers working together for the common purpose of spreading the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that under the laws of the State of Indiana we may exercise all the rights and privileges granted to religious bodies.
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED: That we recognize and fellowship with any church or persons of the community that applies ARTICLE III Statement of Faith as essential tenets of the Christian faith.
The name of this corporation shall be Higher Praise Worship Center. It is an Indiana nonprofit religious Corporation with its principle offices in Connersville, Indiana
This Corporation is organized for exclusively religious purposes (including charitable eleemosynary purposes common to a pastoral church ministry as defined by scripture) as well as to license and to oversee ministers of the gospel (1 Thess. 5:12; 2 Thess. 2:15; 3:4; Heb. 13:7). Our commission is summarized as follow: "And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even till the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).
Statement of Faith
We believe in one living and true God, eternal and infinite in power, wisdom, goodness and righteousness. He is a loving and faithful God who is the Creator and preserver of all life. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one (1 John 5:7).
We believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary. Christ was both fully man, and fully God. (John 3:16, Matthew 1:20)
We believe the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to men and the infallible rule of faith and conduct. (2 Timothy 3:16)
We believe in the five-fold ministry, according to the Holy Scriptures. (Eph 4:11-13)
We believe the Grace of God, which brings salvation, has appeared to all men, through the preaching of repentance from the Word of God when the repentant sinner, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, enabled by the Holy Spirit responds in faith. This salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood and not on the basis of human merit or works. Only by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit and justification by grace will man become an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. We believe that the inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Ro. 8:16) and the outward evidence to all men is a life of holiness (1 Thess. 4:7, 2 Tim. 1:9).
We believe in the Spirit-filled life. The Holy Spirit baptizes all believers into the Body of Christ at the moment of salvation. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers them for service, and seals them unto the day of redemption.
We believe that everyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ is immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual Body, the church, of which Christ is the head. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by building its members up in the faith, by instruction of the word, by fellowship, by keeping the ordinances, and by advancing and communicating the gospel to the entire world. The formation of the church, the Body of Christ, began on the Day of Pentecost and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture.
We believe all marriage ceremonies to be worship services. We believe in traditional biblical marriage between one natural-born male and one natural-born female. We also believe marriage is a covenant between one male, one female, and God.
1. WATER BAPTISM
The ordinance of water baptism (Matt. 28:19) shall be administered to all those who have repented of their sins and who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ to the saving of their souls (Ro. 6:3-5; Col. 2:12).
2. THE LORDS SUPPER
The ordinance of the Lords Supper shall be observed regularly by all established places of worship. It is received in remembrance of God’s love and grace toward us, and the love we must share with one another as set forth in the scriptures (Matthew 26:26-28; Luke 22:19,20; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1Cor. 11:23-26).
Section 1. Corporate Members
The Corporation shall have no members. Any action which would otherwise require approval by a majority of all members, shall only require approval of the Board of Elders. All rights which would otherwise vest in the members shall vest in the Board of Elders.
Section 2. Members of the Fellowship
Nothing contained in Section 1 of this Article shall be construed to limit the right of the Corporation to refer to persons associated with the Corporation as 'members' even though such persons are not corporate members, and no such reference in or outside of these Bylaws shall constitute anyone being a member, within the meaning of the Indiana Nonprofit Corporation Law.
Section 1. Purpose of the Fellowship
The congregation of Christian believers who have applied for membership and have been duly accepted shall constitute a spiritual body, united for the spiritual purposes set forth in the Articles of Incorporation at Article II, and in Article II of these Bylaws.
Section 2. Active Membership
Active membership at Higher Praise Worship Center shall be open to: 1.) all persons who confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior; 2) are faithful attendee's of the worship services of this corporation; 3) agree to attend the membership/discipleship class that the corporation gives to all persons willing to become members; 4) live a life that is pleasing to the Lord as found throughout the Holy Scriptures; 5) be a tither in obedience with the Holy Scriptures. Tithe means giving 10% of annual income. No person will be monitored to verify that they are a tither. That will be left to the conscience of each individual person.
Section 3. Voting Privileges
Membership in this church shall not vest in any member any proprietary rights in the Corporation, but shall only entitle the member to vote at a meeting of the members on those matters that the Sr. Pastor and Board of Elders chooses to submit to the church membership for affirmation. In such cases, voting privileges are restricted to members who are in good standing, who are not under any disciplinary action, and who have passed their sixteenth (16) birthday.
Section 4. Applications for Membership
Persons requesting to become members of Higher Praise Worship Center must be willing to meet the requirements of Article VI, Section 2. All requests for membership will be made to the Sr. Pastor or Elders. Upon making such a request, the person will be given (by email or electronically, unless a hard copy is requested) a copy of the Statement of Faith and a copy of the Bylaws. The Sr. Pastor, Elder and leadership council will meet with the applicant following membership.
Section 5. Denial of Membership
If, upon meeting with a prospective member, the Sr. Pastor and Board of Elders determines that the applicant does not confess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, or there is a lack of evidence of a godly lifestyle, membership shall be denied. The decision shall be final and there shall be no appeal to any court from that decision.
Section 6. Admission of Applicants
Applicants admitted to membership shall concur with the Statement of Faith, subscribe to the Bylaws, publicly affirm their membership commitment and be publicly acknowledged as members.
Section 7. Responsibilities of Members
Members shall seek to exercise their spiritual gifts for the mutual benefit of all the church body and shall submit to the loving rule of the Senior Pastor and Elders.
Section 8. Church Discipline
(a) The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Corinthians 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Timothy 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to return to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Galatians 6:1).
(b) Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Board of Elders, shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18. Before such dismissal, however, (1) it shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or misconduct to warn and correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then (2) the warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but accompanied by one or two individuals who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent. The first and second warnings may occur with no specified time interval. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then (3) it shall be brought to the attention of the Board of Elders. If the Board of Elders determines--after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures described in Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19--that there is substantial evidence that the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Elders shall inform the church and the congregation at a regularly scheduled worship service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regularly scheduled worship service. If, however, the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then (4) he or she shall be dismissed from the fellowship and/or membership of the church and the congregation. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Board of Elders, then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership.
(c) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the elders in the exercise of their discretion may proceed directly to the third stage of church discipline or to the fourth stage of church discipline, (i.e. the dismissal from the fellowship and/or membership of the church) when one or more of the following have occurred;
(i) Where the transgression and the refusal to repent have been public, i.e. openly and to the offense of the whole Church (1 Cor. 5:1-5);
(ii) Where the disciplined party has taught or otherwise disseminated doctrine deemed false or erroneous by the elders, then chosen to disregard the direction and reproof of the elders (Romans 16:17); or
(iii) Where the disciplined party has been warned twice to cease from factious and divisive conduct and has chosen to disregard that warning (Titus 3:10-11).
(d) The members of this church, and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church, agree that there shall be no appeal to any court because of the dismissal or because of public statements to the congregation at the third or fourth stages of church discipline. Members who are under discipline by the church, as defined in the previous paragraphs, forfeit and waive the right to resign from this church. Resignations from membership are possible only by members who are in good standing and who are not under any disciplinary action.
(e) Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the elders, a member, non-member regular attendee, or other individual may be notified that he or she is not to be present upon church premises for such a period of time as is deemed necessary for the safety and well-being of others on church premises. Such required absence may, but need not, be concurrent with church discipline of that person.
(f) Separate and apart from the process of church discipline, but subject to the discretion and approval of the elders, the names of any members who have not attended a worship service, Bible Study class session or Fellowship Group meeting at Higher Praise Worship Center for a period of six months or longer may be removed from the membership rolls.
Section 9. Regular Meetings
A meeting of the church members shall be held at the principal office of the church each year. At each meeting, the members shall consider reports of the affairs of the Corporation and transact other business as the Sr. Pastor and Elders determine shall be brought before the meeting, including but not limited to affirmation of the appointments made by the Elders of those who shall serve as Elders for the ensuing year and the election of those qualified in the offices of Deacons, Deaconesses, and Ushers.
Section 10. Notice of Meetings
Notice of meetings shall be given from the pulpit by the Sr. Pastor for two successive Sundays prior to the meeting. Notice of special meetings shall be given from the pulpit at least 1 Sunday prior to the meeting.
Section 11. Quorum
At all meetings of the members, whether regular, special or adjourned, the members present shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Section 12. Voting Rights
Those admitted to church membership do not constitute a legislative body, nor do they constitute members of the Corporation, and they cannot vote, pass resolutions binding upon the Corporation, nor shall they have any equity in the real property of the Corporation, or rights to vote on its disposal. Said property of the Corporation is dedicated to religious and charitable purposes as outlined in the Articles of Incorporation.
Section 1. Powers
Subject to the limitations of the Articles and these Bylaws all the activities and affairs of the Corporation shall be exercised by or under the direction of the Board of Elders, who are responsible for shepherding and having oversight of the flock. Without prejudice to such general powers, but subject to these same limitations, it is hereby expressly declared that the Board shall have the following powers in addition to the other powers enumerated by these Bylaws:
(a) To select and remove all the officers, agents, pastors, staff, and employees of the Corporation; prescribe such duties for them consistent with the Scriptures, with law, with the Articles of Incorporation, or with these Bylaws; and fix the terms of their offices and their compensation.
(b) To make such disbursements from the funds and properties of the Corporation as are required to fulfill the purposes of this Corporation as are more fully set out in the Articles of Incorporation, thereof and generally to conduct, manage, and control the activities and affairs of the Corporation and to make such rules and regulations consistent with the Scriptures, with law, with the Articles of Incorporation, or with these Bylaws, as they may deem best.
(c) To establish policies and practices for the church consistent with the purposes of this Corporation.
(d) To assist the Pastor-Teacher in the administration of the ordinances of baptism and Communion.
(e) To borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purposes of the Corporation and to cause to be executed and delivered, in the corporate name, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, deeds of trust, mortgages, pledges or other evidence of debt and securities.
(f) To carry on a business and apply any such profit that results from the business activity in which it may legally engage.
Section 2. Nomination, Selection, and Tenure of Office
Recommendations to fill the office of Elder shall be requested once a year. The Nominating Committee shall consist of the active Board of Elders and the Sr. Pastor. This committee shall review all nominations and determine each nominee’s qualifications. A proposed slate of nominees prepared by the nominating committee shall then be submitted to the Pastor and Board of Elders, along with any relevant comments.
Section 3. Qualifications
Each member of the Board of Elders must be an active member of this church and possess the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He shall be:
(a) Blameless as a steward of God; above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
(b) Husband of one wife; a one-woman man (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
(c) Temperate, sober, vigilant (1 Timothy 3:2)
(d) Sober-minded, prudent (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
(e) Of good behavior; orderly, respectable (1 Timothy 3:2)
(f) Given to hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
(g) Apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
(h) Not given to wine (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
(i) Not violent; not pugnacious (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
(j) Patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)
(k)Not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick-tempered (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
(l) Not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
(m)Rules well his own house; his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:7)
(n) Not a novice; not a new convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
(o) Has a good report or reputation with outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7)
(p) Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)
(q) A lover of good men and things (Titus 1:8)
(r) Just, fair (Titus 1:8)
(s) Holy, devout (Titus 1:8)
(t) Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)
Section 4. Vacancies
Any Elder may resign effective upon giving written notice to the Chairman of the Board or the Secretary of the Board unless the notice specifies a later time for the effectiveness of such resignation. If the resignation is to take effect at some future time, a successor may be selected before that time.
Section 5. Removal of Elders
Any Elder may be removed from office at any regular or special meeting of the Board if he is found to be physically or mentally incapacitated or spiritually unqualified (according to pertinent Scripture, including 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9), after thorough investigation by the Elders, in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Timothy 5:19.
Section 6. Place of Meetings
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary provided in these Bylaws, any meeting (whether regular, special, or adjourned) of the Board of Elders of the Corporation may be held at any place within or without the State of Indiana.
Section 7. Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Board shall be held at a scheduled time designate by the Sr. Pastor and/or Board each month, unless otherwise modified by the Board. Regular meetings shall be open to church members.
Section 8. Quorum
Except as otherwise provided herein, a majority of the Elders currently serving shall constitute a quorum except when a vacancy or vacancies prevents such majority, whereupon a majority of the Elders in office shall constitute a quorum, provided such majority shall constitute either one-third of the authorized number of Elders or at least two Elders, whichever is larger, or unless the authorized number of Elders is only one. A majority of the Elders present, whether or not a quorum is present, may adjourn any meeting to another time and place. Whenever the matter to be considered concerns calling or dismissing a pastor, or buying or selling real estate, a quorum shall consist of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Board.
Section 9. Action Without Meeting
Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board shall individually or collectively consent in writing to a duly prepared resolution to such action. Such consent or consents shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote of the Board and shall be documented by attaching the signed resolution with the minutes of proceedings of the Board.
Section 10. Rights of Inspection
Every Elder shall have the absolute right at any reasonable time to inspect and copy all books, records, and documents of every kind and to inspect the physical properties of the Corporation of which such person is an Elder, for a purpose reasonably related to such person’s interest as an Elder.
Section 11. Fees and Compensation
Elders (as such) shall not receive any stated or fixed salary for their services, however, nothing herein contained shall be construed to preclude any Elders from serving the Corporation in any other capacity and receiving compensation. Any person receiving compensation directly or indirectly from Higher Praise Worship Center shall not be in a position to determine the nature or amount of said compensation.
Other Councils and Committees
Section 1. Councils and Committees
To promote efficient handling of Board matters, the Board may appoint various councils and committees from within its membership, the staff, and from the church at large. These councils and committees shall perform tasks solely in accordance with the duties and with powers specifically delegated by the Board. The general functions of councils and committees are:
(a) To bring considered recommendations to the Board concerning ministries.
(b) To provide a wider base of counsel to the Elders having the oversight of
All councils and committees shall exist for the period specified by the Board.
Section 2. Deacons
The Deacons shall consist of members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 and shall be nominated by the board of Elders. The Board of Elders will compile and confirm the nominations and submit the names to the members for affirmation at the annual meeting. The Deacons shall serve for a minimum term of one (1) year. The Deacons shall assist the Elders in the shepherding of the saints, assist the Pastor at Communion and baptismal services, aid in the general spiritual care of the church, and perform other duties as assigned by the Board of Elders.
Section 3. Deaconesses
The Deaconesses shall consist of members possessing the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:11 and Titus 2:3-5 and shall be nominated by members of the church. The Board of Elders will compile and confirm the nominations and submit the names to the members for affirmation at the annual meeting. The Deaconesses shall serve for a term of one (1) year. They shall prepare the Communion elements, assist the Pastor at baptismal services and in the general spiritual care of the church, and shall assist in the care of the sick and needy.
Section 4. Ushers
The Ushers shall consist of members to be nominated by members of the church. The Board of Elders will compile and confirm the nominations and submit the names to the members for affirmation at the annual meeting. The Ushers shall serve for a term of one (1) year. They shall act as church ushers, greeters at the door, church collectors, and assist the Pastor in the services in such matters as he deems necessary.
Section 5. Nomination and Selection
The nomination and selection of Deacons, Deaconesses, and Ushers shall be done in the same manner as for Elders, as set forth in Article VI, Section 3 of these Bylaws, except they shall be affirmed at the annual meeting by the members of the church.
Section 6. Vacancies
In the event any of the above-mentioned offices becomes vacant during the period between annual elections, the Board of Elders may fill such vacancy for the unexpired term.
Section 1. Officers
The officers of the Corporation shall be a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Corporation may also have, at the discretion of the Board of Elders, other officers as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of this article.
Section 2. Election
The officers of the Corporation, except such officers as may be appointed in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 or Section 5 of this Article, shall be chosen annually by, and shall serve at, the pleasure of the Board of Elders. Each officer shall hold his office until he shall resign, be removed, or become otherwise disqualified to serve, or until his successor shall be elected and qualified.
Section 3. Subordinate Officers
The Board of Elders may appoint, and may empower the Chairman to appoint, such other officers as the business of the Corporation may require, each of whom shall hold office for such period, have such authority, and perform such duties as are provided in the Bylaws or as the Board of Elders may from time to time determine.
Section 4. Removal and Resignation
Any officer may be removed upon disqualification and removal as an Elder per Article VI, Section 8 of these Bylaws. Any officer may resign at any time without prejudice to the rights, if any, of the Corporation under any contract to which the officer is a party, by giving written notice to the Board of Elders, or to the Chairman, or to the Secretary of the Corporation. Any such resignation shall take effect at the date of the receipt of such notice or at any later time specified therein; and, unless otherwise specified therein, the acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.
Section 5. Vacancies
A vacancy in any office because of death, resignation, removal, disqualification, or any other cause shall be filled in the manner prescribed in the Bylaws for regular election or appointment to such office, provided that such vacancies shall be filled as they occur and not on an annual basis.
Section 6. Inability to Act
In the case of absence or inability to act of any officer of the Corporation and of any person herein authorized to act in his place, the Board of Elders may from time-to-time delegate the powers or duties of such officer to any other officer or other person whom the Board may select.
Section 7. The Chairman/Sr. Pastor
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 principles such as set forth in Philippians 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.
The Pastor-Teacher shall be selected by the Board and confirmed by the members of the church at its annual meeting or at a special business meeting, and such confirmation shall be a three-fourths (3/4) majority of all the votes cast. He shall remain in office an indefinite period of time.
The Pastor-Teacher shall arrange for and conduct all public and regular services of the church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. In the absence of the Pastor-Teacher, the Board of Elders shall be responsible to arrange for the public and regular services of the church.
Section 8. Vice-Chairman
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 from time to time may be prescribed for him by the Board of Elders or the Bylaws.
Section 9. Secretary
The Secretary shall be a spiritually minded person and of sound judgment. The Secretary must be capable of recording the minutes of meetings at the principal office or such other place as the Board of Elders may order, and of doing all the correspondence necessary in the conduct of Official Corporation business. The Secretary shall keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office in the State of Indiana the original and a copy of the Corporation’s Articles and Bylaws, as amended to date as well as a church membership register showing the names of the members and their addresses.
The Secretary shall perform clerical duties and shall be the custodian of all legal documents and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board.
Subsection 1: Church Recorder/Clerk
The church recorder/clerk shall be a spiritually minded person and of sound judgment. The Church Recorder/Clerk shall be responsible to record salvations, candidates for baptisms and keep track of the membership of the church. The Church Recorder/Clerk shall keep track of membership attendance as well as perform clerical duties and perform such other duties as prescribed by the Board.
Section 10. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall ensure the stewardship of the physical and financial resources of the Corporation, “taking precaution that no one should discredit us in our administration…for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Corinthians 8:20-21). The Treasurer shall keep, in a business-like manner, an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements of moneys committed to their trust and shall make reports to be presented during the Official Board Meetings.
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. The Treasurer 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.
Ordination, Licensing, and Commissioning
All candidates for licensing or ordination must be of the necessary experience and qualifications and shall have demonstrated their ability to undertake the responsibilities of the Full Gospel ministry. No minister shall be licensed or ordained until he shall have been engaged in the active work of the ministry, exhibiting a teachable spirit. Credentials shall be valid only when sealed by the church seal and shall be renewed annually.
Ordination shall be in order for local ministries within the fellowship as a means of establishment, under girding, and as a display of support. This type of ordination serves to recognize the calling to labor within and for the church. The pastor and presbytery shall establish various offices of ministers who shall minister in the church and congregation in the following manner:
Section 1. Ordination
Ordination refers to the unanimous recognition by the Board of Elders of a man’s call to the ministry, preparation as a shepherd, and qualification to serve. Ordination shall be conferred for life, so long as the man continues to manifest the qualifications of the office.
Section 2. Licensing
The license is issued by the Board of Elders and is given in recognition of a man’s call to that ministry. Its aim is to allow a man to perform the ecclesiastical duties and functions of the church. Licenses will be evaluated and issued on a yearly basis.
Section 3. Commissioning
When local-church certification is required for ministry where ordination would be unnecessary or inappropriate, a person is commissioned by the Board of Elders to minister. This authorization continues as long as the opportunity to minister remains in effect and as long as the person maintains the qualifications for ministry.
Higher Praise Worship Center, Corp., shall have authority to examine all candidates. An application shall be filled out properly submitted to the prescribed person. A confidential questionnaire may also be required. Each candidate may be required to take a written examination and/or fulfill a prescribed course of study. Each candidate may be requested to appear in person before a prescribed committee to respond to any matter relating to the ministry.
Credentials may be terminated by the removal of the minister from the authority of this fellowship or by discipline as set forth with regard to this fellowship.
Settlement of Disputes
Section 1. General
In any dispute arising between church members, pastors, or staff pertaining to any matter of spiritual teaching or practices, church finances, or title to property purchased with church contributions, the dispute shall be resolved by the Board of Elders of the church (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at the sole discretion of the Board). A decision shall be reached after prayerful consideration, in a spirit of humility, with each Elder regarding one another before himself and striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:1-3).
Section 1. Amendments
These Bylaws may be amended, and new and additional Bylaws may be made from time to time at any time by the Board of Elders, including the Sr. Pastor's approval. Whenever an amendment or new Bylaw is adopted, it shall be copied in the book of minutes with the original Bylaws.
Receipt, Investment, and Disbursement of Funds
The Corporation shall receive all monies or other properties transferred to it for the purposes for which the Corporation was formed (as shown by the Articles of Incorporation). However, nothing contained herein shall require the Board of Elders to accept or receive any money or property of any kind if it shall determine in its discretion that receipt of such money or property is contrary to the expressed purposes of the Corporation as shown by said Articles.
The Corporation shall hold, manage, and disburse any funds or properties received by it from any source in a manner that is consistent with the expressed purposes of this Corporation.
Upon dissolution of this Corporation, the Board of Elders shall cause the assets herein to be distributed to another Corporation with purposes similar to that identified in Article II of these Bylaws and Article II of the Articles of Incorporation as amended.