Constitution

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Of The Ohio Association Of Conservative Congregational Christian Churches

Preamble: In gratitude to Almighty God for the gift of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ; and Believing that the task of the church of Jesus Christ is twofold, i.e., evangelism of the world and the edification of the saints; and

Believing further, that there is a definite need among the Congregational Christian churches in our area for an association of churches of unqualified loyalty to the entire Word of God written

We, therefore, as Congregational Christian Churches and ministers of the historic biblical persuasion as set forth in our statements of faith and polity, humbly invoking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, have covenanted together to form such an association.

Article I. Name

The name of this association shall be “The Ohio Association of Conservative Congregational Churches”

Article II. Purpose

  1. To provide a means of fellowship among our churches.
  2. To encourage a faithful, biblical witness by our churches.
  3. To facilitate cooperation and counsel among our churches in evangelism, Christian education, missions, stewardship and Christian action.
  4. To preserve and promote the Congregational Christian principles of the autonomy of the local church, and the freedom of the believer in Christ.

Article III. Statement of Faith

  1. We believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the only inspired, infallible, authoritative Word of God written.
  2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  3. We believe in th deity of Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by Whose indwelling power and fullness the Christian is enabled to live a godly, holy life in this present evil world.
  6. We believe in the spiritual unity of all believers in Christ.

Article IV. Statement of Polity and Rights of the Local Church

  1. We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of His body, the Church universal, and of each local church.
  2. We believe that each local church is in itself a complete church, and therefore autonomous and possesses all the rights and responsibilities of the Church as set forth in the Holy Scriptures, including the administration of the ordinances.
  3. We believe that Jesus Christ exercises His authority in each local church by the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Scriptures.
  4. We believe that each local church is amenable only to Jesus Christ and not to any association, conference, council, synod or any other ecclesiastical body.
  5. We believe that it is proper and beneficial for each local church to seek the fellowship and counsel of other such churches.

Article V. Membership

  1. Membership in this association shall be attained by the voluntary association of churches or ministers who are in full accord with the Statement of Faith and Polity of this constitution, and with the practices and policies of this Association. Membership may be granted to either churches or ministers upon application to and approval by the Committee on Credentials and Placement, subject to review by the Association at the next meeting, provided that the member churches or ministers have been so notified.
  2. A church or minister can withdraw from membership in this association at any time by its or his own action, provided written notice of such action be given to the secretary of the association prior to the time of any called business meeting and subject to review by the Association.
  3. While membership in the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference is not a prerequisite to membership in this association, we do express our sympathy with the purposes and suggest cooperation with the activities of the CCCC.
  4. Discipline and Dismissal. In the event that there is reason to suppose that a member church or minister has departed from the standards of faith and practice set forth in this Constitution and By-laws, the Committee on Credentials and Placement shall make a careful investigation of the matter. If the supposition is justified, the Committee shall report that matter in writing to the secretary of the Association and the party accused, at least thirty (30) days prior to the regular or special business meeting at which the report is to be considered. The right of appeal to the Association by the party accused is presupposed.

Article VI. Officers and Committees

  1. Officers. The officers of this Association shall be a Moderator, Vice-moderator, Secretary, Treasurer, and other such officers as shall be provided for in the By-laws. These officers shall be elected annually and shall hold their office until their successors are elected.
  2. The Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of this Association shall consist of the Moderator, Vice-moderator, Treasurer, Secretary and immediate past Moderator. It shall meet in response to the call of the Moderator and may, at its sole discretion, create and appoint special committees wich shall serve no longer than the next annual meeting of the Association unless voted upon by the delegates at the annual meeting. The minutes of the Executive Committee are to be made available to the Association upon request.
  3. Committees.
    1. Credentials and Placement Committee is the Executive Committee.
    2. Christian Education Committee is the Executive Committee.
    3. Evangelism and Missions Committee is the Executive Committee.
    4. Publication Committee is the Executive Committee.
    5. Men’s and Women’s Activies Committee is the Executive Committee.
    6. Youth Activities Committee is the Executive Committee.
    7. Christian Action Committee is the Executive Committee.
    8. Nomination Committee is not the Executive Committee.
    9. The Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of this Association shall be composed of the officers and the chairmen of all permanent committees. The minutes of the Executive Committee are to be made available to the Association upon request.

Article VII. Meetings

  1. The regular business meetings of the Association will be held semi-annually in the Spring and Autumn of the year with the Autumn meeting being the annual business meeting. The time and place shall be determined by the Executive Committee, unless the same is specifically designated by the previous meeting of the Association.
  2. Special business meetings may be called by the Executive Committee or upon written request of members representing on-fifth (1/5) of the total membership of the Association.
  3. Thirty (30) days notice in writing, of all all business meetings, shall be given to all member churches and ministers.
  4. Member churches shall be entitled to representation by one (1) elected delegate at the regular and special business meetings of the Association
  5. All member ministers shall be entitled to vote at all business meetings of the Association.
  6. The guide for parliamentary procedure in all meetings shall be Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article VIII. By-laws

The Association shall adopt such by-laws as it shall deem appropriate and necessary for the operation of the Association. The by-laws shall provide for the manner or amendment thereof.

Article IX. Amendments

  1. Amendments to this constitution shall be proposed in writing by submitting the same to the secretary at the semi-annual meeting (one [1] year preview) preceding their consideration for adoption at the following annual meeting. The Executive Committee shall cause immediate notice of all proposed amendments to be given to all member churches and ministers. A Two-thirds (2/3) favorable vote of all eligible delegates and ministers present and voting shall be required for adoption of any amendments except as provided in Section 2 of this article.
  2. The provisions of amendment contained in Section 1 of this article shall apply to all articles of the constitution with the exceptions of Articles III and IV and Article IX, Section 2, which articles shall require a unanimous vote of all eligible delegates and ministers present and voting.

By-Laws

By-law 1. Officers

  1. The moderator shall preside at all business meetings of the Association, and shall act as chairman of the Executive Committee.
  2. The Vice-moderator shall preside at all business meetings of the Association and act as chairman of the Executive Committee in the absence of the Moderator, and perform such duties as the Association or Executive Committee shall direct.
  3. The Secretary shall keep a full and accurate record of the minutes of the proceedings of the Association and the Executive Committee. He shall keep a record of membership and attendance and shall receive official communications, send notices and take care of all correspondence as directed by the Association or the Executive Committee.
  4. The Treasurer shall have custody of all funds belonging to the Association and shall cause to be kept full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements. The Treasurer’s books shall be audited annually as directed by the Executive Committee.

By-law 2. Committees

  1. The Committee on Credentials and Placement: This Committee shall review all applications for membership in the Association, and all requests for transfer or dismissal, and may grant temporary credentials or certificates of transfer or dismissal subject to review by the Association. This Committee is also in charge of pastoral placement.
  2. The Committee on Missions and Evangelism: This Committee shall encourage and stimulate the local churches in home and foreign mission and evangelism by making available literature and speakers. This Committee shall make available to the Association information concerning potential areas for the organization of churches, and concerning needy churches to whom assistance and counsel would be helpful.
  3. The Committee on Christian Education: This Committee shall encourage and stimulate the local churches to strengthen their programs of Christian education by making available information concerning materials and speakers, and providing counsel on request. This Committee shall seek to make the local churches aware of their responsibility in the field of Christian higher education.
  4. The Committee on Publications: This Committee shall publish an annual year book or its equivalent, and Association newsletter and other necessary and desired literature.
  5. The Committee On Christian Action: This Committee shall encourage and stimulate the local churches to register Christian concern and to take appropriate action in the areas of civic and moral responsibility.
  6. The Committee on Men’s and Women’s Activities: This Committee shall provide a means of communication and fellowship among the women’s and men’s organizations of the local churches, and shall make available information regarding programs and projects.
  7. The Committee on Youth’s Activities: This Committee shall provide a means of communication and fellowship among the youth organizations of the local churches, and shall make available information regarding programs and projects.
  8. The Nominating Committee: This Committee shall provide a slate of candidates for the various offices and committees of the Association. Three (3) members shall be elected from the floor.

By-law 3. Financial Policy

There is to be no per capita assessment or apportionment levied by this Association upon the member churches or ministers. The churches and ministers are encouraged to assume voluntarily a share in the financial responsibility of the Association.

By-law 4. Ministerial Standing and Qualifications

  1. Ministerial standing in the association shall require:
    1. a minimum academic attainment of a diploma from an accredited Bible Institute or its equivalent in formal education or Christian service. However, this Association considers a seminary training to be desirable.
    2. acceptable ordination to the Christian ministry.
    3. reception into this Association membership in the same manner provided by the constitution.
  2. Good and regular standing of ministers shall indicate that they do hold Association membership, and are not under discipline and have no charges against them.
  3. Ordination to the ministry shall be by the local church, after examination by a council called by said church.
  4. A ministerial license to preach may be granted by the Committee on Credentials and Placement to any lay member of one of the churches of the Association upon recommendation of that church. The license shall expire upon the date of the ensuing annual meeting of the Association. It shall be renewable at the discretion of the Committee on Credentials and Placement upon application by the licentiate to its chairman thirty (30) days before date of expiration.

By-law 5. Procedure

Application for church membership shall be by letter to the Credentials Committee stating an affirmative vote by the congregation and including a statement of the church’s agreement with the state constitution and By-laws.

The church shall submit a copy of its constitution and doctrinal statement.

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