CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS
BETHEL PENTECOSTAL CHURCH OF GOD, INC.
WHEREAS, it is the express purpose of God, our Heavenly Father, to call out of the world a people who shall constitute the Body of Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, built and established upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone;
WHEREAS, God having ordained that His Universal Church should find its expression in and through local churches, enjoining them to assemble together for worship, fellowship, counsel and instruction in the world of God, for the work of the ministry’ and for the exercise of these spiritual gifts and offices provided for in the New Testament, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that we whose names appear on the Assemble Roster as of this date do recognize ourselves as a local Assembly, first organized as such, February 22, 1992 and incorporated on August 5, 1992 under the law of the Not for profit corporation Act of the Sate of Illinois and the certification of such Incorporation being filed with County clerk of Lake County, do affirm ourselves to be in cooperative fellowship with the General Council of the Indian Pentecostal Church of God. Kumbanad, Kerala State, India and do hereby adopt the following articles these to supplement the Articles of Incorporation and to supersede any and all other rules of the church order.
The name of the church shall be BETHEL PENTECOSTAL CHURCH OF GOD,CHICAGO.
ARTICLE II. PURPOSE.
SECTION 1. To establish and maintain a place of worship of Almighty God our Heavenly Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. through the Holy Spirit, and for the promotion of Christian fellowship and edification.
SECTION 2. To obey in our capacity the Great Commission.(Matt. 28:8-20; Mark 16:15-20: Acts 1:8: 8:4)
SECTION 3. To solicit, receive and maintain a fund of funds or real or personal property or both, to use and apply for whole or any part for the principal or income thereof for the purpose of this Assembly and to assist missionaries in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in any part of the world.
ARTICLE III. PREROGATIVES.
SECTION 1. This Assembly shall have the right to govern itself according to the standards of the New Testament Scriptures. (Eph. 4:1-16; 1 Cor. 12:27, 28).
SECTION 2. To have a membership which is determined by the local Assembly and to discipline its members according to the Scriptures.
SECTION 3. To choose or call its Pastor, elect its officers and transact all other business pertaining to its life and conduct as a local Church.
SECTION 4. To purchase or acquire by gift, bequest or otherwise (either directly or as Trustee) and to own. hold in trust, use, sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or otherwise dispose of any real estate or chattels as may be necessary for the furtherance of its purposes, all in accordance with its constitution and By-laws or as the same may be hereafter modified or amended.
ARTICLE IV. AFFILIATION.
While maintaining its inherent rights to sovereignty in the conduct of its own affairs, this Assembly shall voluntarily enter into full cooperative fellowship with Assemblies of “like precious faith”.
ARTICLE V. TENETS OF FAITH.
This Assembly shall accept the Holy Scriptures as the revealed Will of God. the all-sufficient rule for faith and practice, and for the purpose of maintaining general unity, it shall adopt the Statement of Fundamental Doctrines, namely:
- 1.The Scriptures Inspired.inspired Word of God, a revelation from God to man. the infallible rule of faith and
conduct, and is superior to conscience and reason, but not contrary to reason. (Heb.
4:12; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 2 Tim. 3:15-17).
- 2.The One True God,existent, self-revealed ‘T AM”, and has further revealed Himself as embodying the
principles of relationship and association of the Trinity as Father, Son and Holy
(Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10-11; Matt. 28:19; Mark “l2:29; Matt. 3:16-17; John
- 3.Man. His Fall and Redemption.”Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness”. But man fell by voluntary
transgression and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
(Gen. 1:26-31; 3:17; Rom. 5:12-21).
- 4.The Salvation of Men.
(a) Conditions of Salvation. The grace of God. which bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men through the preaching of repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ; man is saved by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, and being justified by grace through faith, he
becomes as heir of God according to the hope of eternal life. (Luke 24:47; Rom. 10:13-15; Titus 2:11, 3:5-7).
(b) The Evidences of Salvation. The inward evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit. (Rom. 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. (Rom. 6:22).
- 5.Baptism in Water.observed as commanded in the scriptures by all who have really repented and in their
hearts have truly believed in Christ as Savior andIn so doing they declare to
the world that they have died with Jesus and that they have also been raised with Him
to walk in the newness of life. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47; Rom. 6:4; Matt. 3:16).
Baptism by immersion and in the name of the Father. Son and Holy Ghost.
- 6.The Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper, consisting of the elements of bread and the
fruit of wine, is a memorial of His suffering and death and a prophecy of His second
coming, and is enjoined on all believers until he(Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor.
10:16, 17; 11:23-32).
- 7.The Promise of the Father.and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit according ‘
to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in
the early ChristianWith it comes the endowment of power for life and
service and the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry.
(Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-6; Cor. 12:1-31). This wonderful experience is distinct from
and subsequent to the experience of the new birth. (Acts 2:38; 10:44-46; 11:14-16;
- 8.The Evidence of the Baptism in the Holv Ghost.Baptism of believers in the Holy Ghost is evidenced by the initial physical sign of
speaking with other tongues as the spirit gives utterance and by the subsequent
manifestation of spiritual power in public testimony and(Acts 1:8;
- 9.Entire Sanctification. The Scriptures teach a life of holiness without which no man
shall seeBy the power of the Holy Ghost we are able to obey the command,
“Be ye holy, for I am holy”. Entire sanctification is the will of God for all believers
and should be earnestly pursued by walking in obedience to the Word of God. (Rom.
8:3-4; 1 Thes. 5:23-24; 1 Peter 1:15, 16; 1 John 2:6; 2 Cor. 7:1).
- 10.The Church.Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her greatEach
believer born of the Spirit is an integral part of the General Assembly and Church of
the firstborn which are written in heaven. (Eph. 1:22,23; 2:19-22; Heb. 12:23).
- 11.The Ministry and Evangelism.has been provided by our Lord for a twofold purpose:
1. The evangelization of the world and
2. The edifying of the body of Christ. (Mark 16:15-20; Eph. 4:11-13).
- 12.Divine Healing. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement and is
the privilege of all believers. (Isa. 53:4; Matt. 8:16-17; Mark 16:18-20; James 5:14-
- 13.Blessed Hope. The Premillennial Second coming of Jesus Christ, the
resurrection of those who have fallen asleep in Christ and their translation, together
with those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, is imminent and is
the blessed hope of the Church. (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15: 51-52: 1 Thes. 4:16-18; Titus
- 14.The Millennial Reign of Jesus. The revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven,
the salvation of all Israel, and the millennial reignChrist on the earth is the
scriptural promise and the world’s hope. (Rom. 11:25-27, 2 Thes. 1:7; Rev. 19:11-
- 15.The Lake ofThe devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and
whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into everlasting
punishment into the lake that is burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second
death. (Rev. 19:20:20:10-15).
16. The New Heaven and the New Earth. We, “according to His promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness”.
ARTICLE VI. ORDINANCES.
The ordinance of baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; the Lord’s Supper: the anointing of the sick with oil for healing and the laying on of hands; and the dedication of children shall be observed at stated times and whenever requested. (Matt. 19:13-15; 28:19; Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 11:23-25).
ARTICLE VII. OFFICERS.
SECTION 1. The officers of the church shall be: the Pastor, Secretary, Treasures, and members of the Executive Committee.
SECTION 2. No officer of the Board shall be allowed to hold more than one office.
SECTION 3. All officers of the church must qualify according to the scripturalqualifications for Deacons in Acts 6:3 and 1 Tim. 3:8-13.
SECTION 4. No officer, except the Pastor, shall be in office for more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same position.
SECTION 5. Pastor’s term of office shall be three years. The General Body has the power to extend the term for an additional two years by confidential vote.
SECTION 6. No person shall be considered eligible for nomination as an officer for the Official Board if he has not been a member in good standing of this Assembly for at least one year and is at least twenty-one (21) years of age.
ARTICLE VIII. MEMBERSHIP.
Individuals shall be eligible for membership in this Assembly who give evidence of personal living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and who voluntarily subscribe to its tenets of faith and agree to be governed by its Constitution and By-Laws as herein set forth.
ARTICLE IX. MEETINGS.
SECTION 1. Meetings for public worship shall be held on each Lord’s Day and during the week as may be provided for under the direction of the Pastor and the Official Board.
SECTION 2. There shall be an annual business meeting of the Assembly in the second week of January at which time the reports of all officers shall be read and the election of officers shall take place.
SECTION 3. All of the reports shall be approved by the Executive Committee before reading in the General Assembly.
SECTION 4. Special business meetings of the Assembly may be called when necessary by the Pastor or by the majority of the Board after proper notice has been given by the Pastor or by the Secretary.
SECTION 5. Right of Initiative – Special business meetings may also be called by petition having been signed by not less than one-form of the voting membership of the Assembly, the petition to be placed in the hands of the Pastor or the Secretary and announcement made on three Sundays prior to the date of the meetings.
SECTION 6. Quorum – No record of any regular or special business meeting of the Assembly, including Board and Committee, shall be made unless two-thirds or more voting members shall be present to constitute a quorum.
SECTION 7. The Official Board shall meet at least quarterly and the Executive Committee shall meet monthly for the transaction of routine business of the Assembly or upon such other times as it deems necessary. Special meetings of the Board shall be held whenever called by the majority of the Board.
SECTION 8. Charges of misconduct shall be in writing and signed by the accuser before official action is taken, if it is from non-members of the church, according to the Bible.
ARTICLE X. FINANCES.
The Assembly shall be financed according to the scriptural method by the tithes and offerings of the members and friends of the congregation. (Mai. 3:10: Matt. 23;23; Heb. 7:4-9; Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:1, 6-15).
ARTICLE XI. PROPERTY
SECTION 1. All property (Real or Chattel) shall be taken, held, sold, transferred or conveyed in the name of the Assembly.
SECTION 2. No real property of the Assembly shall be sold, leased, mortgaged or otherwise alienated without the same shall have been authorized by at least a two-third majority vote of the membership at a regular or special business meeting of the Assembly which has been duly called for the consideration of the proposal.
SECTION 3. Chattels of the value of SI,000.00 or more shall be subject to the same restrictions as given in Section 2 for real property. In order to expedite the business of the Assembly, the Official Board shall have the right to dispose as they see fit of chattels, singly or in the aggregate, below the value of SI ,000.00.
SECTION 4. The Pastor and the Secretary of the Assembly shall certify in such conveyance, lease, or mortgage that the same has been duly authorized by the vote of the membership or by the Official Board if Section 3 applies. Such certificates shall be held to the conclusive evidence thereof. A listing of all chattels covered by Section 3 above of the value of $100.00 or more shall be listed and presented by the Treasurer at each formal business meeting and included in the minutes of such meetings.
SECTION 5. In the event that the Assembly herein mentioned ceased to function as a Church body, then the said property, real or chattel may be disposed of and the entire proceeds shall be handed over to the Indian Pentecostal Church of God, Kumbanad, Kerala State, India. The Official Board is empowered with the authority to conduct this transaction upon the consent of two-thirds of the membership of the Assembly in a meeting specifically called to transact this matter.
ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS.
Amendments to this constitution-may be made by a two-thirds vote of the members of the Assembly who are in attendance at any regular or special meeting called for that purpose, provided that due notice of at least three weeks be given of such proposed change at the public services, and the same posted on the bulletin board at least two Sundays prior to the date of the meeting.
ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP. SECTION 1. Standard of Membership.
- (a)Evidence of a genuine experience in regeneration.
(John 1:12, 13; 3:3; 1 Peter 1:18-25).
- (b)Evidence of consistent Holy Christian Life.
(Rom. 6:4, 11-13; Eph. 4:1-3, 15, 17-32; 1 John 1:6-7).
(c) Baptism in water by immersion.
(Matt. 28:19-20; Rom. 6:1-12; Acts 8:36-38).
- (d)Full subscription to the tenets of faith as set forth in the Constitution.
- (e)Willingness to contribute regularly to the support of the Assembly according to
his or her ability.
- (e)Willingness to contribute regularly to the support of the Assembly according to
(Acts 11:29; 1 Cor. 9:13-14; 2 Cor. 9:7; 16:1-2; 8:1-4).
SECTION 2. Standard of Family.
(3.) Marriage: All marriages shall be conducted in accordance with the Scriptures.
Marriage is honorable in all.
(Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 7:9; Eph. 5:22-31; 2 Cor. 6:14; Matt. 19:5, 6; Mark 10:7-9). (b) Divorce: Divorce is not acceptable except as provided in the Scriptures.
(1 Cor. 6:15-20; 7:10, 11, 39; Mark 10:7-12; Matt. 19:5-11; Mala. 2:15, 16).
SECTIONS. Voting Privilege.
All members 21 (twenty-one) years of age or older constitute the voting membership of the Assembly. The Secretary shall prepare at least 15 days before every business meeting a complete list of voting members which shall be approved by the Board.
SECTION 4. Reception of Members.
1 (a) Persons desiring to become members of the Assembly shall make the fact known to the Pastor, who shall examine the applicant according to the standard of membership.
(b) The Pastor shall present to the Board the names of those who apply for
membership with his recommendation. After due consideration, the names of those whom the Board recommends to the Assembly for membership shall be publicly welcomed into the fellowship and their names shall be inscribed in the Assembly roster book.
(c) When a member shall leave the Church at his/her own motivation, it should be publicly announced n the Church and their names should be removed from the Assembly roster book.
SECTION 5. Discipline and Revision of the Roster.
- (a)Any member of the Assembly who shall willfully absent himself or herself from
the regular services for a period of one month shall be contacted by the Pastor and
or by the committee. Prolonged absence without acceptable reason will result in
suspension of voting rights and membership. Any member under charge shall be
temporarily suspended from the voting membership of the Church pending
investigation and final decision in his or her case. The same should be publicly
announced in the Church and the copy should be posted on the notice board.
- (b)Unscriptural conduct or doctrinal departure from tenets of faith held by the
Assembly shall be considered sufficient grounds upon which any person may be
disqualified as a member. Such discipline shall be prayerfully administered
according to the Scriptures and should be publicly announced in the congregation
copy should be posted on the Church notice board. (Matt. 18:15-17; Rom. 16:17;
1 Cor. 6:9-13; Titus 3:10-11).
- (c)The Board shall be authorized to revise the membership roll of the Church semi-
annually and to remove from the list of active members all names of those who
may have been deceased during the period, together with the names of those who
may have fallen into sin and whose lives may have become inconsistent with the
standard of the Church.
- (d)If a member is removed for cause, the one whose name is removed shall be
notified of the action of the Board by the Secretary and if the member cannot be
contacted, the action of the Board should be sent to the member by registered
mail, the same should be publicly announced in the Church and copy should be
posted on the Church notice board.
ARTICLE II. DUTIES OF OFFICERS.SECTION 1. The Pastor.
The Assembly finds its headship under the Lord Jesus Christ in its Pastor. He should be honored in his sacred office as the spiritual head of the Assembly, and shall be general supervisor of all its activities. He shall be President of the Corporation. He shall provide for all the services of the Assembly and shall arrange for all special meetings, giving due regard to the Assembly. No person shall be invited to speak or preach in the Assembly without his approval.
SECTION 2. The Secretary.
The Secretary shall call the meetings of the Board, Committee, and Regular and Special Business meetings of the Official Board and shall keep the minutes of the
meetings of the Assembly. He shall keep a record of the membership in the Assembly Roster book and perform any other clerical work necessary for the proper discharge of his duties. He shall be the custodian of all legal documents and be in possession of the corporate seal.
SECTION 3. The Treasurer.
- (a)The Treasurer shall be entrusted with all the finances of the Assembly and shall
keep or cause to be kept at the discretion of the Official Board, an itemized record
of receipts and disbursements in accordance with accepted business practice. He
shall endorse adherence to Article XI of the Constitution which governs the
disposition of property, both real and chattel.
- (b)All funds shall be disbursed by checks, after proper approval, such checks to be
signed by any two or three members of the Official Board of which the Treasurer
must be one and the senior Trustee or an Executive Member shall be the other; or
if covered by Section 3 above, such checks to be signed by the two persons to
whom authority is delegated by the Official Board.
- (c)He shall present a financial report at the Annual Meeting of the Assembly.
- (d)His account shall be audited under the direction of the Board.
- (e)The financial records shall be open for examination by any member in good
- (e)The financial records shall be open for examination by any member in good
ARTICLE III. THE OFFICIAL BOARD.
SECTION 1. The Official Board shall consist of the Pastor, and the ExecutiveCommittee.
SECTION 2. The Board shall be empowered to provide annually for their own Chairman from the elected membership in order to transact business for the Assembly. A substitute Chairman shall be provided for in his absence. The Chairman of the Board shall not be in office for more than one year continuously.
SECTION 3. They shall determine the amount of all salaries paid by the Church subject to ratification of the Assembly by a majority vote of its membership who are in attendance at any regularly scheduled meeting. They shall employ such temporary help as for any work of the Church and for the maintenance of the building.
SECTION’4. They may invite department heads or individuals to sit with the Board in conference but may not give them the right of voting with the Official Board.
SECTION 5. They shall be authorized to make such expenditures as may be necessary to conduct business and to make such purchases as are required for normal operation. They may negotiate loans when such do not require alienation of property. They may sell or
otherwise dispose of any chattel of the value of $500.00 or less without the vote of the Assembly.
SECTION 6. They shall act in the capacity of a Pulpit Committee if the Assembly is without a Pastor. In the temporary absence of the Pastor they shall act with due regard to his wishes.
SECTION 7. They shall meet and inspect all real property proposed for purchase or sale or other disposition for the next six months in order to make an appropriate recommendation for consideration at the following business meeting.
SECTION 8. Executive Committee.
(a) The Executive Committee shall consist of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and four
- (b)They shall conduct all the routine business of the Church and provide for the orderly
conduct of all Church business according to accepted business practice.
- (c)They shall meet monthly for the conduct of routine business and such other times as
may beSuch meetings shall be presided over by the Chairman of the
- (d)They may invite department heads or individuals to sit with the Committee in
conference but may not give them the right of voting with the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE IV. ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING.
The Annual Business Meeting of the Church shall be held in the Church building during the second week of January. Due notice of this meeting shall be given at the Sunday service three weeks prior to the meeting and the same shall be posted on the bulletin board for the three Sundays prior to the date of the meeting. In addition, copies of known proposals for discussion shall be made available for all members at the two Sunday morning services prior to the meeting dates.
ARTICLE V. ELECTIONS AND VACANCIES.
SECTION 1. The Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Executive Committee members shall be elected annually by the Church membership by a majority vote.
SECTION 2. Those elected at any business meeting shall assume office as of their election date. They shall hold office until the next Annual Business Meeting when their successors are elected.
SECTIONS. Secret Ballot.
Secret ballot shall be taken if the majority of the members request the same.
SECTION 4. Vacancv in the Pastorate.
- (a)In case of a vacancy in the pastorate, the Board, acting in the capacity of Pulpit
Committee after prayerful inquiry and with judicious counsel, and due consideration
being given to the leading of the Holy Spirit, shall select an available, scripturally
qualified Minister as nominee to the Office of Pastor and present his name for the
approval of the Assembly without undue delay. A majority vote shall be required
for such approval.
- (b)Should the Pastor resign, he should give thirty days notice of hisIf
Pastor’s term is not extended, he shall be granted a minimum of sixty days to find
another position, except where moral turpitude is involved when he shall be
- (c)Should the Pastor teach contrary to the Gospel of Christ, of cause dissentions, or in
any way prove his inability or unfitness as a Pastor, he shall be removed by a
majority vote of the qualified members of the Assembly at a special meeting called
for that purpose by the Secretary of the Assembly with the approval of the Board
members. Such meetings shall be presided over by a chairman elected by the Board.
SECTION 6. Vacancy in Other Offices.
(a) Any other office may be declared vacant by an Act of the majority of the Board.
Grounds for such action shall be:
- (1)Unscriptural conduct.
- (2)Doctrinal departure from the tenets of faith.
- (3)Incompetence in Office.
(b) Any irregular vacancy shall be filled at the next regularly held business meeting by
the same elective procedures established for annually scheduled elections in January.
Such elections shall be for the unexpired term of the vacated office. The Board is
empowered to fill by appointment any irregular vacancy until the next
congregational business meeting.
ARTICLE VI. DEPARTMENTS.SECTION 1. Sunday School.
- (a)The Sunday School shall be conducted as a branch of the activities of the Assembly.
- (b)The Sunday School Director and Teachers shall be appointed each year by the Pastor
with the concurrence of the Church Board.
- (c)The officers of the Sunday School together with the Pastor shall constitute the
Executive Committee of the Sunday School.
- (b)The Sunday School Director and Teachers shall be appointed each year by the Pastor
(d”i Sunday School funds shall be committed to the custody of the Church Treasurer. Sunday School business is subject to review of the Official Board who shall have final authority in case of dispute.
SECTION 2. Young People’s Association.
The Young People’s Association shall be known as Pentecostal Young People’sAssociation. The purpose of this department shall be to promote fellowship and service among the young people of the Assembly. It should be recognized as subservient to the Church body and under the supervision of the Pastor. A Youth Director and officers shall be appointed each year by the Pastor with the concurrence of the Church Board. The PYPA funds shall be committed to the custody of the Church Treasurer. The PYPA business is subject to review of the Official Board who shall have final authority in case of dispute.
SECTION 3. Women’s Fellowship.
The women of the Assembly shall constitute the Women’s Fellowship. They shall have a Coordinator who will work under the guidance of the Pastor. They shall meet at stated times for the purpose of fostering closer fellowship, engaging in prayer for various requests, and to assist in a practical way the work of the Church.
ARTICLE VII. FINANCES.
SECTION 1. The Board shall determine all salaries subject to Article III. Section 3, and shall have general supervision in all financial matters in every department of the Assembly. All records shall be subject to its audit.
SECTION 2. The Pastor shall be given regular and adequate financial support, the amount and manner of which shall be determined by the Board, said agreement subject to ratification of the Assembly by a majority vote at any regular or special business meeting when such vote be requested and subject to Article III, Section 3 of the By-Laws.
SECTION 3. The Assembly shall provide a regular monthly offering to be sent to the mission work in India. Foreign missionary funds may be designated to missions or individual missionaries at the discretion of the Board.
ARTICLE VIII. ORDER OF BUSINESS.
Business meetings shall be governed by the accepted rules of parliamentary procedures and shall be conducted in the spirit of Christ and brotherly counsel. The regular order of business for the Annual Meeting of the Assembly shall be as follows:
2.Report of the Secretary.
3.Report of the Treasurer.
4.Reports of the Departments.
6.Election of Officers.