Constitution and Bylaws
CONSTITUTION OF THE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF THE PHILIPIINES, INC.
(Revised as of May 1998)
ARTICLE 1 – NAME
The name of this organization shall be the “Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc.”
ARTICLE II – PRINCIPAL OFFICE AND HEADQUARTERS
The principal office and headquarters of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. shall be located in the City of Cebu, Philippines and with postal address at Post Office Box 230, Cebu City.
ARTICLE III – STATEMENT OF FAITH
We, as a fellowship of local churches or congregations of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. subscribe to the following doctrinal statement:
1. We believe the Scriptures both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the Divine and Final authority for all Christian faith and life.
2. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary. He died on the cross as sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Advocate.
4. We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and service.
5. We believe that man was created in the image of God, but fell into sin and is therefore lost and only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
6. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation for all who believe and only such as receive Jesus are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become children of God.
7. We believe that the Lord’s Supper and Water Baptism are ordinances to be observed by the Church during this present age. They are however, not to be regarded as means of salvation.
8. We believe that the true church is composed of all such persons, who, through, saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the body of Christ of which He is the head.
9. We believe that only those who are thus members of the true Church shall be eligible for membership in the local church.
10. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church, and that every local church has the right under Christ, to decide and govern its own affairs.
11. We believe in the personal premillennial and imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and that this “Blessed Hope” has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer.
12. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead; of the believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with the Lord; of the unbeliever to judgment and everlasting punishment.
ARTICLE IV – PURPOSES
The Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. shall be an association and fellowship of local churches and/or congregations of like faith and practices with the following objectives:
Section 1. Primary Purposes:
1.1 To promote the winning of souls to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching and edifying of those who have believed.
1.2 To organize local churches and to establish and maintain Christian missionary work in the Philippines and other countries.
1.3 To promote mutual fellowship and harmony among the churches and to unite them for such mutual activities.
1.4 To promote, guide and assist in the education of pastors, missionaries and lay leaders; to ordain and license workers and to assign foreign and / or local missionaries or to recall them if necessary.
Section 2. Secondary purposes:
2.1. To receive and accept any gift or donation in the form of cash or in kind from foreign and/or local churches, individuals, or other agencies to be used in the furtherance of the objectives herein set forth.
2.2 To acquire, hold, procure and secure by purchase, donation, lease, barter, or grant title to such property rights, real or personal, to carry out the objectives and purposes as herein stated.
2.3 To engage in social concern ministries through relief and development.
2.4 To cause to be published and distribute books, periodicals, and other literature that are in harmony with the objectives and purposes of the organization.
2.5 To cause to establish educational institutions in secular and / or theological fields.
ARTICLE V – AMENDMENTS
Amendments of this Constitution may be affected for implementation at any National Conference by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present, provided that the proper motions embodying such amendments have been presented, discussed and provisionally adopted by a simple majority at the previous National Conference of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc.
BY-LAWS OF THE EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF THE PHILS, INC.
ARTICLE I – MEMBERSHIP
The Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. as a corporate body shall consist of all local Evangelical Free Churches and congregations which voluntarily join together in fellowship and service, having whole-heartedly subscribed to the Statement of Faith under Article – III and desiring to cooperate in carrying out the objectives and purposes listed under Article IV of the Articles of Incorporation.
Section 1. Composition
- The regular membership shall consist of organized and temporarily organized local churches of the Philippines, Inc. which adopt these Articles of Incorporation by three-fourths of their official church members.
1.2 The affiliate membership shall consist of unorganized congregation under the supervision of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. and / or Evangelical Free Church Mission of the Philippines.
Section 2. Eligibility
2.1 An organized local church may be eligible as regular member if it fulfills the following qualifications:
- It has at least twenty-five (25) active official members at the time of the application.
- Members received were those who subscribed to believer’s baptism and were eighteen (18) years old or above.
- It is already organized with elected set of church officers and functioning under its own By-Laws.
2.2 A temporarily organized local church may be eligible as a regular member if it fulfills the following qualifications:
- It has at least fifteen (15) official active members at the time of the application.
- Members received were those who subscribed to believer’s baptism and were eighteen (18) years old or above.
- It has at least three (3) elected or appointed officers and in the process of formulating their own By-Laws.
2.3 An organized congregation under the supervision of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. and / or Evangelical Free Church Mission in the Philippines shall automatically be regarded as affiliate members.
Section 3. Procedures
Any local church desiring to be a regular member of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. shall undertake the following:
3.1 Secure application form and a copy of the EFCP Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.
3.2 Submit with accomplished form a resolution approved by three-fourths votes of the total membership- favoring the adoption of the EFCP Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws.
3.3 The National board of Directors shall designate a screening committee to undertake initial study and recommendation concerning doctrine, policy, polity, and Christian testimony of the applicant.
3.4 Upon agreeing that an applicant church is eligible for membership, the National Board of Directors shall recommend to the National Conference a church shall become a member of the Organization.
3.5 With three-fourths majority votes of a National Conference a church shall become a member of the Organization.
3.6 All member churches/congregations shall retain their membership status prior to the approval of these By-Laws, unless otherwise hereinafter declared.
Section 4. Privileges of a member body
4.1 A member body can send delegates to the Annual Conference.
4.2 A member body can avail of the assistance, services, and facilities of the organization including technical, legal, financial, spiritual, and other resources that are available.
4.3 Workers/Pastors of the member bodies can be granted ministerial license; be recommended for authorization to solemnize marriages, ordination, and other legal ministerial requirements as stipulated in the EFCP policy handbook.
Section 5. Responsibility of a member body
5.1 A member body is obliged to uphold the By-Laws and other national policies of the Organization.
5.2 It shall fully cooperate in all the programs and activities to be undertaken by the organization in pursuance to its objectives and purposes as stated in Article IV of the Constitution.
Section 6. Discipline
6.1 The Organization through its National Board of Directors shall impose proper disciplinary action on member body who in one way or another violate the stated Statement of Faith; the constitution and By-Laws: policies and practices of the Organization.
6.2 The power of terminate erring the member-body shall be vested upon the National Conference by a two-thirds votes of the delegates present, upon proper recommendation by the National Board of Directors.
ARTICLE II – NATIONAL CONFERENCE
Section 1. This organization shall hold its Annual National Conference on the last week of May and in the principal office upon such notice is given according to its By-Laws and to conduct the general affairs of the Organization.
Section 2. The National Conference of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. shall be composed of the officially elected or appointed delegates of the regular EFC member churches and such other individual as may be provided for in the By-Laws.
Section 3. In the event of the national emergency or calamity which would make it possible for the National Conference to convene the incumbent National Board of Directors shall continue to hold office and serve in the same capacity as duly elected National Board of Directors until such time their successor shall have been elected and qualified.
Section 4. The National Conference shall be the head-body of the Organization. Therefore, no officer or committee has the authority to change a decision made by the National Conference unless such authority has been delegated by that body.
Section 5. The officers of the National Conference shall include the officers of the Board of Directors namely: Chairperson; vice-chairperson; Secretary and the Treasurer.
5.1 The Chairperson shall preside over the business sessions. He shall note vote except to break a tie.
5.2 Vice-chairperson shall take over the functions of the Chairperson in the latter’s absence.
5.3 The Secretary shall keep accurate records of all proceedings of the National Conference and perform such other appropriate duties in connection with the business at hand as the Chairperson shall request. He shall also have on hand for quick reference a copy of all minutes of previous National Conferences, special meetings and of meetings of the Board of Directors.
5.4 The treasurer shall present an Annual Financial report and the proposed Annual Budget for the fiscal year to the National Conference.
ARTICLE III- ELECTION
Section 1. The National Board of Directors (NBD) shall create a committee of three (3) or more to choose nominees for the ensuing year.
1.1 The committee shall meet at least one (1) month before the National Conference to choose not more than ten (10) nominees for the national Board of Directors at large not more than three (3) nominees per region.
- 2 The nominating committee shall act as the election body during the National Conference and shall cease to function after the said conference.
Section 2. All nominees must be present during the election time except in case of emergency and in any event/circumstances which is beyond human control. In this case the said nominees shall have to put his intention in writing.
Section 3. Up to ten (10) additional nominees for the National Board of Directors at large and up to three (3) additional nominees per region may be received at a business session preceding the session in which the election is held.
Section 4. Voting shall be secret ballot.
4.1 The five (5) garnering the greatest number of votes from among the nominees at large shall be declared winners.
4.2 The one with the highest number of votes from each region/district shall be declared as winner.
4.3 Succeeding voting if necessary shall also be by secret ballot.
Section 5. Voting members
5.1 Members of the National Board of Directors
5.2 Pastors and their spouses
5.3 Missionaries/Church Planters of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. and their spouses.
5.4 Certified delegate from churches with membership in the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc.
Section 6. Non-voting members
6.1 Representatives of affiliate congregations.
6.2 Observers- are members of local EFC that are not delegates and EFCM missionaries.
6.3 Visitors- all persons that are not EFCP members.
Section 7. Credentials of Delegates for the National Conference.
7.1 Only baptized active members for at least one (1) year of churches belonging to the Evangelical Free church of the Philippines, Inc.
7.2 At least eighteen (18) years of age or above are eligible to become delegates.
Section 8. Representation of Delegates
8.1 Organized churches are allowed to send one (1) delegate for every ten (10) members who are elected/appointed by each local church with membership in the Organization.
8.2 Temporarily Organized Local Churches are allowed to send only two delegates.
Section 9. Accreditation
9.1 Every delegate, before he assumes his duties at the National Conference shall be granted proper certification by the credential committee.
9.2 In case of appeal of the decision of the Credential Committee regarding the accreditation of delegates, the appeal should be referred to the Annual Meeting in the first session with the questioned members having no vote until the issue is resolved.
Section 10. Voting members of the Conference shall retain their membership for one (1) year; that is, from one annual meeting to another.
ARTICLE IV – SPECIAL MEETINGS
Section 1. A special meeting may be initiated upon written request by 25% of the accredited delegates of the past Annual Conference.
Section 2. The reason for calling a special meeting must be stated in the request and only those matters stated in the call can be taken up in said special meeting.
Section 3. A quorum of accredited delegates must be present to transact business.
ARTICLE V – PROXY
No proxy or proxies allowed in all voting of the Organization.
ARTICLE VI – NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The National Board of Directors is the policy-making as well as one who sets the framework plans, programs, and activities of the Organization.
Section 1. Composition and tenure
The National Board of Directors shall consist of nine (9) members who shall serve through the next National Conference broken down as follows:
1.1. Five persons to be elected at-large by the Annual Conference
1.2 One (1) person from each Region (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) for a total of three (3) to be elected by its own Regional delegates at the National Conference.
1.3 The President of the Organization.
Section 2. Eligibility
All nominees for the National Board of Directors must be thirty (30) years of age or above, and must be either of the following:
2.1 Baptized and active member of a local church for the past three (3) successive years.
2.2 A licensed pastor or worker of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. serving in local church or in other ministries within the denomination for the past three (3) successive years.
2.3 After serving for three (3) consecutive one-year term, a person shall have to rest for one (1) year before he can be eligible to run again for said office.
2.4 Except for the President, no employee or worker directly employed by the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. is eligible for board membership.
2.5 Not more than two (2) persons coming from one local church can be nominated for National Board of Directors.
Section 3. Spiritual Qualifications
3.1 A born again mature believer, active member of a local Evangelical Free Church and have proven an exemplary relationships towards his family and others.
3.2 Must have shown evidence of an in-depth knowledge of the Scriptures and of the Christian Faith.
Section 4. Duties
4.1 Conduct business for and exercise the powers of the organization.
4.2 Recommend to the National Conference the reception of all churches seeking membership with the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. which have met the prescribed qualifications.
4.3 Present to the National Conference the proposed budget, amendments to the article of Incorporation and By-Laws and other recommendations covering the work and goals of the organization for the fiscal year.
4.4 To set the time and place of the Annual Conference if such has not been agreed upon by the previous Conference.
4.5 To form committees and to choose the members for the same, including foreign missionaries when desired.
4.6 To create position(s) as deemed necessary for effective functioning of the Organization and to hire or appoint qualified persons for such position.
4.7 To receive and evaluate reports and or recommendations from different regions/districts, and committees through the President and to act accordingly.
4.8 To designate EFCP representative to the different ministries of the denomination.
4.9 To attend to other appropriate duties and connection with the work of the Organization which may not be cared for by the National Conference and which do not fall within the sphere of any constitute committee.
4.10 To exercise and impose legal and disciplinary measures to all pastors/workers for any act committee which are contradictory to the EFCP statement of Faith and written policies.
4.11 Administer all properties of the Organization.
Section 5. Organization
5.1 The National Board of Directors shall elect its own officers from its membership including Chairperson, Vice-chairperson, secretary and treasurer.
5.2 The National Board of Directors is interim body between Conferences. Its actions are subject to review by the Conference.
Section 6. Duties of officers
6.1.1 Presides overall meetings of the National Board of Directors and may also preside during the National Conference.
6.1.2 To sign all legal documents for and in behalf of the Organization.
Performs the duties of Chairperson in the letters, absence and other duties as may be assigned by the Board.
6.3.1 Notifies members on scheduled meetings in writing including a listing of important items on the agenda.
6.3.2 Keeps minutes of all meetings of the National Board of Directors and the Annual Conference and to read them when requested by the chairperson.
6.4.1 Handles all financial matters of the Organization.
6.4.2 Prepares and submits the proposed Annual budget.
6.4.3 Prepare and submits the Annual financial report.
Section 7. Quorum
7.1 A simple majority shall constitute a quorum during Board meetings.
7.2 An affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum present is sufficient to transact businesses.
Section 8. Vacancy
Should a vacancy occur through death, incapacity, resignation of a Board member, the remaining National Board of Directors may appoint a successor to fill the unexpired turn.
ARTICLE VII – ADMINISTRATION
The member body of the Organization is autonomous in its operation and administration. However, such autonomy is subject to and subservient to the National policies.
Section 1. The ownership, control, supervision and possession of the properties which were acquired or by the local church or congregation shall remain with the said church. The National Board of Directors cannot alienate, take away or prejudice the rights of the church concerned without the written consent of the latter.
Section 2. The ownership, control, supervision and possession of the properties which were acquired through or by the EFCP through purchase or donations for the use of its member churches or congregations, or other ministries, shall remain with the organization until fully paid by the local church and duly transferred to the said local church by virtue of resolution passed by the National Board of Directors.
Section 3. In case of separation from the organization all properties of the church stated in section 2 shall revert back to the organization.
Section 4. Local churches which are members of the Organization may have their property registered under the name of the EFCP, Inc. until such time that the churches in question shall acquire its legal personality. The control of such properties shall remain with the said local church.
Section 5. The EFCP, Inc. may also acquire such properties for itself, distinct and separate from the individual churches under them, the disposition of which is to be determined by policies laid down by the National Conference, however, the actual administration of the same vested in the National Board of Directors.
Section 5. In case of dissolution, all properties and other resources of the church in question shall be turned over to the EFCP, Inc. by the local church Board after having settled all of its existing debts and other legal obligations.
ARICLE VIII – PRESIDENT
Section 1. Qualification
1.1 Spiritual background:
1.1.1 A born again mature believer, active member of a local EFC, and have proven and exemplary relationship towards his family and others.
1.1.2 Must have shown evidence of an in-depth knowledge of the Scripture and of the Christian Faith.
1.1.3 He must be a church and/or denominational leader preferably a pastor.
1.2 Personal Background:
1.2.1 He shall be a Filipino, at least thirty-five (35) years of age.
1.2.2 He must have a proven leadership and administrative skills.
1.2.3 He must be a member of any EFC local church for the past three (3) years prior to his appointment.
1.2.4 He must be favorably endorsed by the church Board by his local church.
1.2.5 He must be fully committed to the administration and ministry of EFCP without conflict of interest in other Organization.
1.3 Academic attainment: A graduate of at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent, preferably from Theological School and/or a Master’s Degree holder.
1.4 Working Experience
1.4.1 Must have served at least five (5) years in full time pastoral ministry or has served the EFCP on a National leadership status for at least three (3) years.
1.4.2 If a lay leader, he must be a holder of a managerial position or its equivalent with a private or government entity.
Section 2. Functions and responsibilities
2.1 Shall act as the Chief executive officer (CEO) of the Organization.
2.2 Acts as official representative of the Organization, as such, his signs for and in behalf of the Organization as may be authorized by the Board.
2.3 Shall be responsible in coordinating all line and staff functions of the Organization.
2.4 Shall be responsible in the implantation of policies and objectives of the Organization as formulated by the National Board of Directors and/or National Conference.
2.5 Shall recommend ways and means to the National Board of Directors that will effectively improve existing systems and procedures of the Organization.
2.6 Shall recommend to the National Board of Directors or the hiring, transfer, termination and imposition of disciplinary action of any EFCP workers directly supervised by EFCP and its employees
. 2.7 Shall prepare in coordination with the treasurer, the Organizational Annual budget and recommend same to the National Board of the Directors.
2.8 Must submit quarterly summarized report of all churches as to their finances, membership and activities to the National Board of Directors.
Section 3. Terms of office
The President so recommended by the National Board of Directors and to be ratified by at least three/four votes of the National Conference shall serve for a three (3) year term renewable for a maximum of three (3) successive terms.
Section 4. Vacancy
In case of vacancy through discipline, disability, or death, the National Board of Directors shall appoint an interim President to serve up to the next National Conference.
ARTICLE IX – FISCAL YEAR
The fiscal year of Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. shall end on the 30th of April each year.
ARTICLE X – INTERNAL AUDITORS
An auditing committee of two (2) persons to be chosen by the National Board of Directors one (1) month before the National Conference shall audit the account of the Organization for the fiscal year.
ARTICLE XI – DISSOLUTION
In the event of the dissolution of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc. any asset of this Organization remaining thereafter shall be conveyed by the governing body which dissolves it, at the time of the Dissolution to such other Organization, as, in the opinion of the members of the governing body, are best fitted to carry on the stated provision of the Articles of incorporation.
ARTICLE XII – AMENDMENTS
The By-Laws may be amended at any Annual Meeting by a majority vote of the members and that such proposed amendments have been approvedby themajority of theNational Board of Directors.
ARTICLE XIII – FINAL PROVISIONS.
The laws embodied by the Corporation of the Philippines shall applicable in cases of covered by the By-Laws of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, Inc.
Approved this 30th day of May, 1998 at Cebu City.