District By-laws

BY-LAWS OF THE MIDWEST DISTRICT MISSIONARY CHURCH

ARTICLE I - Name and Relationship

The name of this organization shall be the Midwest District Missionary Church. As a District Conference it is a subsidiary of the Missionary Church with headquarters at 3811 Vanguard Dr., Fort Wayne, Indiana. As such it is responsible for the promotion of the work and objectives of the parent organization within the boundaries established for it by the General Conference. It shall be governed in all matters pertaining to doctrine, polity, and practice by the constitution of the Missionary Church.

ARTICLE II - Functions

1. The District Conference shall elect its own officers and committees including the District Superintendent, the Vice-District Superintendent, the Secretary, the Executive Board, and such other officers, boards, and committees as may be deemed advisable.

2. It shall approve new churches for membership in the Missionary Church and a certificate of membership in the Denomination shall be issued by the proper denominational officers.

3. It shall license and ordain ministers in keeping with the provisions of the constitution and shall certify such to the General Secretary who shall issue the credentials.

4. It shall conduct Conference, and various other ministries in the District as practicable, and it shall take such steps as are necessary to implement and to promote the programs and interests of the denomination.

5. It shall receive the reports of the District Superintendent and other officers, pastors, other ministers, boards, and committees, and submit to the General Conference such reports as may be required.

6. It shall be the prerogative of the District Conference to make recommendations to the General Conference.

ARTICLE III - Membership

The District Conference shall be composed of the Denominational President, member ex-officio, all ordained and licensed ministers resident in the District, all those approved for ministry who are serving as senior pastors, all Conference Officers, one lay delegate for each 50 member or fraction thereof from each organized church, members of the Executive Board, Director of Children’s Ministries, Director of Youth Ministries, Director of Men’s Ministries, Director of Women's Ministries, Timber Lakes Board Chairman, Timber Lakes Director, and the Timber Lakes Treasurer.

ARTICLE IV - Meetings

1. Annual Conference
The Midwest District Conference shall meet annually at such time and place as may be determined by the Executive Board. The business affairs of the corporation shall be acted upon by the membership at these meetings.

2. Special Conferences
Special District Conferences may be called by the District Executive Board. The membership of special District Conferences shall be the same as the membership of the previous annual District Conference. All of the rules governing special District Conferences which are found in Robert's Rules of Order shall apply.

3. Election Procedure
          a. Prior to District Conference, the District Superintendent shall inform the local pastors of positions in the District that are up for election. The pastors shall announce these positions to the local congregations and invite recommendations for nominations. Suggestions for nominees need to be members of a local congregation in the Midwest District, but not necessarily members of the recommending church. The District Superintendent will submit any recommendations to the District Executive Board for consideration.

         b. The District Executive Board shall then prepare the list of nominees that will be presented in the published agenda of the annual Midwest District Conference, and shall be considered the final slate for voting and election procedures.

ARTICLE V - Officers

1. District Superintendent
When there is a vacancy in the office of the District Superintendent, all potential candidates must first be approved by the denominational President in consultation with the General Oversight Council and the Ministry Leadership Council. Having received their approval, the search can continue among those men who are ordained ministers in the Missionary Church. If adequate leadership cannot be found within the Midwest District, the District Executive Board may request assistance from the Ministry Leadership Council in securing qualified district leadership. When the District Superintendent is elected by the District Conference it shall be for an initial term of two years. His subsequent election, and each election thereafter, shall be for a four-year term. If the District Superintendent should leave office for any reason, and at a later time be elected to said office, said election shall again commence with a two-year term.

2. Vice-District Superintendent
The Vice-District Superintendent shall be an ordained minister of the Midwest District of the Missionary Church and shall be elected by the District Conference for an initial term of two years. His subsequent election, and each election thereafter, shall be for a four-year term. If the Vice-District Superintendent should leave office for any reason, and at a later time be elected to said office, said election shall again commence with a two-year term.

3. Secretary
The District Conference shall elect or appoint the Secretary for a term of two years.

4. Treasurer
The District Executive Board shall appoint the District Treasurer and Assistant District Treasurer for a term of two years.

5. Start of Terms
    For all elected positions, the term of service begins at the conclusion of the conference in which the election takes
    place.

ARTICLE VI - Duties of Officers

1. District Superintendent

The District Superintendent shall be the presiding Conference president and shall have supervision of all the churches and workers within his jurisdiction.

In consultation with the District Executive Board, the District Superintendent has authority to do whatever is necessary to safeguard the safety and well-being of the district pastors and/or churches.
In case of necessity between District Conferences, he shall serve as the chief liaison officer in all negotiations between a pastor and any district churches. He shall submit a report to the District Conference. He shall also submit to the General Conference a full report of the work of his District, including a summarized statistical report of the General Conference term. He shall serve as liaison between the District and all Denominational Boards. He shall be a member ex-officio of all standing committees, and shall accept such other assignments as may be outlined from time to time by the District Conference.

2. Vice-District Superintendent
The Vice-District Superintendent shall perform such duties as are delegated to him by the District Superintendent. In case of death, resignation, or removal of the District Superintendent, the Vice-District Superintendent shall become the Superintendent until the next District Conference.

3. Secretary
The Secretary shall record and keep the minutes of the District Conference and perform such other functions as are outlined by it.

4. Treasurer
The Treasurer shall receive such monies as the District Conference shall determine and make payment in keeping with its policies and directives. He shall submit such reports as the District Conference, District Executive Board, or the District Superintendent shall require.

ARTICLE VII - Committees

1. The Executive Board

             a. The Executive Board shall be composed of the District Superintendent as chairman, the Vice-District Superintendent, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and three elected members at large. The members at large shall be elected by the District Conference for two-year terms. One additional member shall be appointed annually by the District Executive Board to serve for a one-year term. At least three members of the board shall be lay persons. Members at large must vacate the board for at least two years after serving three consecutive terms, after which they may again be nominated. It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Board to conduct the necessary business of the District Conference in the intervals between conferences; it shall deal with all emergency matters and shall call a special session of the District Conference when necessary. Its actions shall be subject to ratification by the next District Conference.

            b. Terms of service for members of the Executive Board begin at the conclusion of the conference in which their election was held.

           c. The Executive Board, or a committee authorized by them, shall examine ministerial candidates and recommend the licensing and ordaining of ministers. It shall certify annually to the Denomination a list of all ordained and licensed ministers under the jurisdiction of the District.

          d. The District Superintendent shall be the liaison officer between the Executive Board and pastors and congregations in all pastoral relations.

         e. The Executive Board shall serve as the Board of Directors of the District Conference and shall hold in trust any properties owned by the District Conference and have authority to receive and hold in trust monies, gifts, and legacies; acquire loans or borrow money; purchase, sell, improve, convey, or ex-change real estate held by the District Conference or other property such as stocks, bonds, mortgages, and other securities; and serve as the trustees for estates and gifts in conformity with the civil laws of the several states in keeping with authority delegated by the District Conference.

        f. The Executive Board shall serve as the Budget Committee.

       g. The Executive Board shall serve as the Nominating Committee.

       h. The Executive Board is granted full authority and is duly authorized and empowered to transact matters of business in the name of the District Conference, including the general oversight of the extended ministries of the Midwest District. It shall be responsible to the District Conference and shall report its activities to this body.

(1) A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business provided due notice of the meeting has been given.

2. Children’s Ministries Committee

The Children’s Committee shall be composed of the Director of Children’s Ministries and additional members as recommended by the Director of Children’s Ministries and ratified by the District Executive Board. The Director of Children’s Ministries will be elected by the District Conference for a two-year term.

3. Youth Ministries Committee

The District Youth Committee shall consist of the Director of Youth Ministries, the Assistant Director of Youth Ministries and additional members as recommended by the Director of Youth Ministries and ratified by the District Executive Board. The Director of Youth Ministries will be elected by the District Conference for a two-year term.

4. Men’s Ministries Committee (MMI)

The Men’s Ministries Committee shall be composed of the Director of Men’s Ministries and other men as recommended by the Director of Men’s Ministries and ratified by the District Executive Board. The Director of Men’s Ministries will be elected by the District Conference for a two-year term.

5. Women’s Ministries Committee

The Women’s Ministries Committee shall consist of the Director of Women’s Ministries, the District Superintendent’s wife (if she so desires), and other women as recommended by the Director of Women’s Ministries and ratified by the District Executive Board. The Director of Women’s Ministries will be elected by the District Conference for a two-year term.

6. Committee on Credentials

Two members to be appointed by the District Executive Board for a term of one year.

7. Committee to Review Accounts

Regional members to be appointed by the District Executive Board for a term of one year.

ARTICLE VIII - Ministers

Refer to the Constitution of the Missionary Church, Inc.

ARTICLE IX - Pastoral Relations

1. The Method of the Call of Pastor

a. Approved List of Pastors  
                
The District Superintendent shall send to each church desiring a change, a list of all approved available candidates.
                  
b. Recommendation of Candidate

The Church Board or the Pastoral Relations Committee, exclusive of the Pastor, may consider several potential candidates. This committee shall then engage only one person as a candidate at any one time.  After that person candidates, the committee shall then decide whether to recommend that candidate to the congregation for a membership vote.

c. Calling a Pastor

A call may be extended to a candidate, provided he receives at least a 75% approval of the local membership present and voting. Consideration of extending a call with less than 75% approval of the local membership may be done only in consultation with the District Superintendent.

2. Pastor's Salary and Benefits

The Pastor's salary package should be reviewed annually. Effort should be made to keep the pastor's support at a respectable level for the community in which he serves, in accordance with biblical principles.

3. Change of Tenure

(a) Decision of the Pastor: If after consultation with the District Superintendent, the Pastor believes that a pastoral change is advisable, he shall so inform the Chairman/Vice Chairman of his Church Board in writing.

(b) Decision of the Church Board: If consensus is reached by the board that a pastoral change is in order, after consulting with the Pastor and the District Superintendent, the pastor should be requested by the board to resign. The resignation shall be sent in written form to the District Superintendent and the Church Board. However, should the Pastor strongly question the conclusion of the Church Board, he may appeal to the District Superintendent for a full membership vote.

(c) Decision of Membership: If the Pastor or Church Board majority requests a vote of the local membership, they shall first consult with the District Superintendent. The date of any pastoral vote shall be announced two Sundays in advance. If the incumbent Pastor receives less than 60% of the votes cast, the advisability of the Pastor remaining at that church shall be determined by the District Superintendent, Pastor and Church Board.

4. Voting Eligibility

Voting on pastoral relations issues shall be done by the eligible members present in a meeting duly called. Absentee or proxy voting is not permitted. In addition to this official membership vote, it is advised that non-member adherents be included in the voting process so that their separate corporate expression may be taken into consideration in pastoral relation decisions.

6. Moving Date

A Pastor leaving his church shall negotiate the time of departure with his Church Board.

ARTICLE X - Financial Accountability

1. All departments on the District level that handle finances shall have their records reviewed annually by a qualified individual.

2. All local churches shall have all financial records reviewed annually by a qualified individual, and a report shall be given at the annual business meeting.

ARTICLE Xl- Article of Dissolution

1. In the event of the dissolution of the Midwest District Missionary Church, the assets of the Midwest District Missionary Church will become the property of the Missionary Church, Inc., a non-profit organization.

2. Each local church shall establish an article of dissolution. In the event that any District church or District entity dissolves without such article in place, all assets shall become the property of The Midwest District of the Missionary Church, Inc.

ARTICLE XII - District Policies

The District Conference may adopt statements of policy regarding procedures practiced in the local church in order that greater uniformity might exist within the District. Adopted "policies" will serve as recommendations to each local church for their implementation.

In addition, the District Executive Board may adopt policies for the purpose of aiding its ministry to the District. Such policies may be enacted and rescinded by the District Executive Board rather than by the District Conference.

ARTICLE XIII - Amendments

Amendments to these By-laws may be adopted at any regular session of the District Conference by a two ¬thirds vote of the membership present and voting, providing they do not conflict with the Constitution of the Missionary Church.
Recommendations for amendments to the District By-laws must be in the District Office by February l prior to the District Conference in which they are to be considered. They must be published in the Conference Agenda and circulated to the District Executive Board, all Pastors, churches and delegates. There shall be one reading of all amendments in a meeting prior to the one in which they shall be voted upon.