Page 1

CONSTITUTION AND BYLAWS

1


SOUTH TEXAS DISTRICT COUNCIL OF THE ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, INCORPORATED PREAMBLE WHEREAS, in these last days God is pouring out of His Holy Spirit upon all flesh in Pentecostal fullness (Acts 2:17) resulting in the forming of Pentecostal assemblies of saved and Spirit-baptized believers, and WHEREAS, these Pentecostal assemblies have associated themselves in general unity for the propagation for the distinctive testimony under the name of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and WHEREAS, the General Council has made provision for the care and development of local assemblies through the agency of the District Councils; THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we gladly assume this delegated responsibility that has been committed to us and hereby assemble ourselves in scriptural order and recognize ourselves as a District Council of the Assemblies of God, for the purpose of promoting and husbanding the interests of the fellowship in the territory assigned to us, and agree to be governed by the following Constitution and Bylaws. CONSTITUTION ARTICLE I. NAME AND LOCATION The name of this body shall be the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God, Incorporated, with headquarters in Houston, Texas. ARTICLE II. TERRITORY The District shall include the territory of the State of Texas south of the northernmost county boundary lines of the following counties: Edwards, Kerr, Kendall, Comal, Guadalupe, Gonzales, Fayette, Washington, Grimes, Walker, San Jacinto, Liberty, Tyler, Jasper, and Newton. ARTICLE III. PURPOSE The principles and purposes of the District Council shall be in keeping with the broad principles of Christian Fellowship and cooperation as set forth in the Constitution of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, which Constitution shall hereby become a part of the Constitution of this District. ARTICLE IV. PREROGATIVES In connection with its purpose to promulgate the Gospel of Jesus Christ at home and abroad by all available means, the South Texas District Council shall have the following rights: a. To encourage and promote the evangelization of our District, our Nation, and the World. 2


b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j.

To promote and encourage the word of God To encourage and promote the edification of believers. To provide a basis of fellowship among Christians of like precious faith. To respond to human need with ministries of compassion. To establish and maintain such departments and institutions as may be necessary for the propagation of the gospel and the work of this Pentecostal fellowship. To approve all scriptural teachings, methods, and conduct, and to disapprove all unscriptural teachings, methods, and practices as listed in General Council bylaws, Article IX and X. To have the right to own, hold in trust, use, sell, convey, mortgage, lease, or otherwise dispose of such property, real or chattel, as may be needed for the prosecution of its work. To examine and recommend candidates for the ministry, those who shall have met the requirements of the General Council as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws. To elect its own officers, to appoint committees, to arrange for its own meetings, and to govern itself. ARTICLE V.

TENETS OF FAITH

STATEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS (Revised 1975 General Council) The Bible is our all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. This statement of Fundamental Truths is intended simply as a basis of fellowship among us (i.e., that we all speak the same thing, I Corinthians 1:10; Acts 2:42). The phraseology employed in this Statement is not inspired or contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all biblical truth, only that it covers our needs as to these fundamental doctrines. 1. The Scriptures Inspired The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (II Timothy 3:15-17; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Peter 1:21). 2. The One True God The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM�', the Creator of heaven and earth and the redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; Matthew 28:19; Luke 3:22). THE ADORABLE GODHEAD (a) Terms Defined The terms trinity and persons, as related to the Godhead, while not found in the Scriptures, are words in harmony with Scripture, whereby we may convey 3


to others our immediate understanding of the doctrine of Christ respecting the Being of God, who is one Lord, as a Trinity or as one Being of three persons, and still be absolutely scriptural (examples, Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; John 14:16,17). (b) Distinction and Relationship in the Godhead Christ taught a distinction of Persons in the Godhead which He expressed in specific terms of relationship, as Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, but that this distinction and relationship, as to its mode is inscrutable and incomprehensible, because unexplained. (Luke 1:35, I Corinthians 1:24; Matthew 11:25-27; 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14; I John 1:3,4). (c) Unity of the One Being of Father, Son and Holy Spirit Accordingly, therefore, there is that in the Father which constitutes Him the Father and not the Son; there is that in the Son which constitutes Him the Son and not the Father; and there is that in the Holy Spirit which constitutes Him the Holy Spirit and not either the Father or the Son. Wherefore the Father is the Begetter, the Son is the Begotten; and the Holy Spirit is the one proceeding from the Father and the Son. Therefore, because these three persons in the Godhead are in a state of unity, there is but one Lord God Almighty, and His name one. (John 1:18, 15:26; 17:11,21; Zechariah 14:9). (d) Identity and Cooperation in the Godhead The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are never identical as to Person; not confused as to relation; nor divided in respect to the Godhead; nor opposed as to cooperation. The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son as to relationship. The Son is with the Father and the Father is with the Son, as to fellowship. The Father is not from the Son but the Son is from the Father, as to authority. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son proceeding, as to nature, relationship, cooperation and authority. Hence, hence no Person in the Godhead either exists or works separately or in dependently of the others. (John 5:17-30,32,37; John 8:17,18). (e) The Title, Lord Jesus Christ The appellation, "Lord Jesus Christ", is a proper name. It is never applied, in the New Testament, either to the Father or to the Holy Spirit. It therefore belongs exclusively to the Son of God. (Romans 1:1-3,7; II John 3). (f) The Lord Jesus Christ, God with us The Lord Jesus Christ as to His divine and eternal nature, is the proper and only Begotten of the Father, but as to His human nature, He is the proper Son of Man. He is, therefore, acknowledged to be both God and man; who because He is God and man, is "Immanuel", God with us. (Matthew 1:23; I John 4:2,10,14; Revelations 1:13,17). (g) The Title, Son of God Since the name "Immanuel" embraces both God and man in the one Person, our Lord Jesus Christ, it follows that the title, Son of God, described His proper deity, and the title Son of Man, His proper humanity. Therefore, the title, Son of God, belongs to the order of eternity, and the title, Son of Man, to the order of time. (Matthew 1:21-23; II John 3:8; Hebrews 7:3; 1:1-13). (h) Transgression of the Doctrine Of Christ Wherefore, it is a transgression of the doctrine of Christ to say that Jesus Christ derived the title, Son of God, solely from the fact of the Incarnation, or because of His relation to the economy of redemption. Therefore to deny that the Father is a real and eternal Father, and that the Son is a real and eternal Son; is a denial of the distinction and relationship in the Being of God; a denial of the Father and the Son; and a displacement of the truth that Jesus 4


Christ is come in the flesh. (II John 9; John 1:1,2,13,18,29,49; I John 2:22,23; 4:1,5; Hebrews 12:2). (i) Exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, having by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; angels and principalities and powers having been made subject unto Him. And having been made both Lord and Christ, He sent the Holy Spirit that we, in the name of Jesus might bow our knees and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father until the end, when the Son shall become subject to the Father that God may be all in all. (Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 3:22; Acts 2:32-36; Romans 14:11; I Corinthians 15:24-28). (j) Equal Honor to the Father and to the Son Wherefore, since the Father has delivered all judgment unto the Son, it is not only the express duty of all in heaven and on earth to bow the knee, but it is an unspeakable joy in the Holy Spirit to ascribe unto the Son all the attributes of Deity, and to give Him all the honor and the glory contained in all the names and titles of the godhead (except those which express relationship. See Paragraphs b, c, and d) , and thus honor the Son even as we honor the Father. (John 5:22,23; I Peter 1:8; Revelation 5:6-14; Philippians 2:8,9; Revelation 7:9,10; 4:8-11). 3. The Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. The Scriptures declare: a. His virgin birth (Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:31,35) b. His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26; I Peter 2:22) c. His miracles (Acts 2:22; 10:38) d. His substitutionary work on the cross (I Corinthians 15:3; II Corinthians 5:21) e. His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:39; I Corinthians 15:4) f. His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9,11; Acts 2:33; Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 1:3) 4. The Fall of Man Man was created good and upright; for God said "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." However, man by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:17; 3:6; Romans 5:12-19). 5. The Salvation of Man Man's only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God. a. Conditions to Salvation Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of the regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God according to the hope of eternal life (Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:13-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11; 3:5-7). 5


b.

a.

b.

The Evidences Of Salvation The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit (Romans 8:16). The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:23; Titus 2:12). 6. The Ordinances of The Church Baptism in Water The ordinance of baptism by immersion is commanded in the Scriptures. All who repent and believe on Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and that they also have been raised with Him to walk in newness of life. (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47,48; Romans 6:4) Holy Communion The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements-bread and the fruit of the vine-is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 1:4), a memorial of His suffering and death (I Corinthians 11: 26), a prophecy of His second coming (I Corinthians 11:26), and is enjoined on all believers "till He come!"

7. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit All believers are entitled to and should ardently expect and earnestly seek the promise of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire, according to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the normal experience of all in the early Christian Church. With it comes the enduement of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts and their uses in the work of the ministry (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8; I Corinthians 12:1-31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14-16; 15:7-9). With the baptism in the Holy Spirit come such experiences as an overflowing fullness of the Spirit (John 7:37-39; Acts 4:8), a deepened reverence for God (Acts 2:43; Hebrews 12:28), an intensified consecration to God and dedication to His work (Acts 2:42, and a more active love for Christ, for His Word and for the lost (Mark 16:20). 8. The Initial Physical Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit The Baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4). The speaking in tongues in this instance is the same in essence as the gift of tongues (I Corinthians 12:4-10,28) but different in purpose and use. 9. Sanctification Sanctification is an act of separation from that which is evil, and of dedication unto God (Romans 12:1,2; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 13:12). The Scriptures teach a life of "holiness without which no man shall see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:13). By the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to obey the command: "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (I Peter 1:15,16). Sanctification is 6


realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:1-11,13; Romans 8:1,2,13; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:12,13; I Peter 1:5). 10. The Church And Its Mission The Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her Great Commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22,23; 2:22; Hebrews 12:23). Since God's purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshiped by man and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is: a. To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15,16); b. To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (I Corinthians 12:13); and, c. To be a channel of God's purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16; I Corinthians 12:28; I Corinthians 14:12). The Assemblies of God exists expressly to give continuing emphasis to this reason-for-being in the New Testament apostolic pattern by teaching and encouraging believers to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. This experience: a. Enables them to evangelize in the power of the Spirit with accompanying supernatural signs (Mark 16:15-20; Acts 4:29-31; Hebrews 2:3,4); and, b. Adds a necessary dimension to worshipful relationship with God (I Corinthians 2:10-16; I Corinthians 12-14); and, c. Enables them to respond to the full working of the Holy Spirit in expression of fruit and gifts and ministries as in New Testament times for the edifying of the body of Christ (Galatians 5:22-26; I Corinthians 14:12; Ephesians 4:11,12; I Corinthians 12:28; Colossians 1:29). 11. The Ministry A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the church in: (1) evangelization of the world (Mark 16:15-20); (2) worship of God (John 4:23,24); and, (3) building a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16).

7


12. Divine Healing Divine healing is an integral part of the gospel. Deliverance from sickness is provided for in the atonement, and is the privilege of all believers (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:16,17; James 5:14-16). 13. The Blessed Hope 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 the imminent and blessed hope of the Church (I Thessalonians 4:16,17; Romans 8:23; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 15:51, 52). 14. The Millennial Reign Of Christ The second coming of Christ includes the rapture of the saints, which is our blessed hope, followed by the visible return of Christ with His saints to reign on the earth for one thousand years (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 24:27,30; Revelation 1:7; 19:11,14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of national Israel (Ezekiel 37:21, 22; Zephaniah 3:19-20; Romans 11:16,17) and the establishment of universal peace (Isaiah 11:6-9; Psalm 72:3-8; Micah 4:3,4). 15. The Final Judgment There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Matthew 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8). 16. The New Heavens And The New Earth "We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:22). ARTICLE VI. RELATIONSHIPS This Council is an integral part of The General Council of the Assemblies of God, Incorporated, with headquarters at Springfield, Missouri. Therefore the principles of voluntary unity and cooperative fellowship as set forth in the Constitution of the General Council are the principles which shall govern the District Council. ARTICLE VII. MEMBERSHIP Section 1. The membership of the South Texas District shall consist of all ministers of the gospel holding credentials, with the General Council, and having their permanent residence within the boundaries of the District. Section 2. All ministers of the gospel and all persons holding specialized ministries 8


credentials with the South Texas District shall be members. Section 3. Voting Constituency Local affiliated Assemblies who shall be represented at the District Council by individuals possessing proper delegate credentials shall be members. ARTICLE VIII. MEETINGS Section 1. Regular Sessions The District Council shall meet annually with the time and place to be decided by the District Presbytery. Section 2. Announcement of Meetings Announcement of meetings shall be published not later than one month prior to the time of meeting and preferably at the end of the preceding District Council. Section 3. Special Sessions Special Sessions of the District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God shall be called by the District Presbytery if agreed by twothirds majority vote. Section 4. Rights of Initiative The right of initiative shall be granted to any member of the District Council when the occasion demands. A statement setting forth the reason for a special session of the Council, signed by a number equal to or in excess of one- third of the voting constituency registered at the last regular District Council, may be sufficient reason to call a special session. ARTICLE IX. OFFICERS Section 1. Executive Officers. Officers of the District Council shall consist of a Superintendent, an Assistant Superintendent, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Women's Ministries Director, Youth Ministries Director, and other officers as may be needed for the conduct of the work of the District. Section 2. Executive Presbytery. The Executive Presbytery shall consist of the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, General Presbyter and two additional members to be elected by the District Council. Section 3. District Presbytery. The District Presbytery shall consist of the duly elected Sectional and General Presbyters and the members of the Executive Presbytery. Section 4. General Council Presbytery. The General Council Presbytery shall consist of the District 9


Superintendent, Executive Secretary-Treasurer and General Presbyter. ARTICLE X. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES All true believers who uphold the doctrines of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, associating themselves in local bodies as assemblies, shall have the right to recognition by the District Council. They shall be classified as follows: Section 1. General Council Affiliated Assemblies. Local Assemblies, which have matured sufficiently to accept their full share of responsibility for maintenance of scriptural order shall be entitled to recognition as sovereign. They shall be set in order under the direction of the District Presbytery and shall be amenable to the District in doctrine, conduct, and all other matters which affect the peace and harmony of the fellowship. They shall have the right to choose their own pastors, elect officers, hold property either through trustees or a corporate name, discipline members, and transact all other business pertaining to their life as local churches. They shall have a standard membership which shall be determined by agreement with the District Council. A General Council affiliated assembly is one that has applied for and has received a Certificate of Affiliation from The General Council of the Assemblies of God. a. Requirements for affiliation. Churches desiring to be affiliated with The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall meet the following requirements. They shall: (1) Accept the tenets of faith of the Assemblies of God; (2) Adopt a standard of membership that may be determined either by the local assembly or by agreement with the district council; (3) Have a minimum active voting membership of 20 persons who shall accept responsibility to maintain scriptural order in the local body; (4) Adopt Articles of Incorporation, a constitution or bylaws compatible with models recommended by the district council, or district approved governance models that provide for adequate accountability, amenability, and safeguards so that a pastor and/or governing body cannot directly or indirectly exert dictatorial control over a church; (5) Have an adequate number of spiritually qualified members to fill the offices of the church called for in its constitution or bylaws; and (6) Make provision for a pastor who is a credentialed minister in good standing with the General Council and a district council. (7) They shall participate in the District organization and shall be entitled to representation in the District Council through properly accredited delegates according to the provisions of 10


Article VII, Section 3, of this Constitution. It being understood that each affiliated assembly shall be entitled to one duly accredited delegate.

11


b. Relationship to and support of the General Council and district councils. A General Council affiliated assembly should cooperate in the work and support the programs of the General Council and district councils and may send delegates to the General Council and district councils. c. Right of self-government (sovereign rights). Each General Council affiliated assembly has the right of self government under Jesus Christ, its living Head, and shall have the power to choose or call its pastor, elect its official board, and transact all other business pertaining to its life as a local unit. It shall have the right to administer discipline to its members according to the Scriptures and its constitution or bylaws. It shall have the right to acquire and hold title to property, either through trustees or in its corporate name as a self-governing unit. The fact it is affiliated with The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall in no way destroy its rights as above stated or interfere with its sovereignty. The governance model adopted by the local assembly shall conform to the guidelines of Constitution, Article XI, Section 1, paragraph a, subparagraph (4). d. Subordinate in matters of doctrine and conduct. A General Council affiliated assembly shall recognize that a district council or The General Council of the Assemblies of God has the right to approve scriptural doctrine and conduct and to disapprove unscriptural doctrine and conduct and the authority to withdraw its Certificate of Affiliation if deemed necessary. (See Article IX of the Bylaws.) e. Right of appeal. When in need of counsel or advice, the General Council affiliated assembly may appeal to the district officers for help. It may appeal from a decision by the district officers to the Executive Presbytery of The General Council of the Assemblies of God when there is a question whether or not the assembly has received proper help from the district. When exceptions are taken to the decisions of the Executive Presbytery, either by the General Council affiliated assembly or by the district presbytery, appeal

12


may be made to the General Presbytery. Section 2. District Council Affiliated Assemblies. Groups which have been brought into being as a result of evangelistic efforts or other means, and which are still in a formative state, shall be recognized as dependent Assemblies. They shall be under the general supervision of the District Presbytery which shall provide for pastoral care until such time as they give evidence of sufficient maturity to warrant recognition of sovereignty. These assemblies shall be encouraged to proceed to the status of sovereign General Council affiliated assemblies. Section 3. Cooperating Assemblies Provision may be made by district councils and the General Council Executive Presbytery for the status of a cooperating assembly, which would allow churches that subscribe to Article V. Statement of Fundamental Truths of the General Council Constitution to enter into a cooperative status with a district and the General Council on a temporary basis (4-year term, renewable by the request of the local church congregation at the discretion of the district council in cooperation with the General Council Executive Presbytery) before officially affiliating with the district council and the General Council. Section 4. Assemblies of God Total Giving Participation All assemblies are expected to have an interest in, and contribute regularly to, the Assemblies of God Total Giving plan. ARTICLE XI. DISSOLUTION Title to all real property and all assets now owned or hereafter acquired by the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God shall be held in trust in full cooperative fellowship and affiliation with the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Springfield, Missouri. In the event that the South Texas District Assemblies of God shall be divided over doctrinal or any other issues, or shall vote to disaffiliate from the General Council of the Assemblies of God, all property and assets of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God shall remain with those members, whatever the number, desiring continued affiliation with the General Council of the Assemblies of God and adhering to its Statement of Fundamental Truths. The determination of which group of members desires continued affiliation with the Assemblies of God and adheres to its Statement of Fundamental Truths shall be arbitrated by the Executive Presbytery and/or the General Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and its decision shall be final and binding. If a twothirds majority of the members of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God shall vote to disaffiliate from the General Council of the Assemblies of God for doctrinal or any other reasons, then all of the property of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God shall revert to the General Council of the Assemblies of God and shall be used by the General Council of the Assemblies of God if possible and if not possible, the General Council of the Assemblies of God may sell the property and apply the proceeds in any 13


manner consistent with its stated purposes. ARTICLE XII. AMENDMENTS Amendments to the constitution may be by a two-thirds majority vote, provided that the proposed amendments have been submitted to the membership not later than ninety days prior to a regular District Council. Amendments may be originated by any ten Ordained ministers of the District Council, a two-thirds majority vote of the District Presbytery, or by the Standing Constitution and Bylaws Committee. All amendment recommendations to be acted upon by the Constitution and Bylaws Revisions Committee must be available for the Committee in the District Office in writing by December 1 of the year preceding the Council they are to be considered in, state the reason for the recommended amendment, and bear the name of the author of the recommended amendment.

14


BYLAWS ARTICLE I. PARLIAMENTARY ORDER The work of the District Council shall be governed by parliamentary procedure as set forth in the current edition of Roberts’ Rules of Order Newly Revised, in keeping with the spirit of Christian love and fellowship. ARTICLE II. DISTRICT LIABILITY Section 1. The District's authority with regard to ministers is limited to those ecclesiastical matters specified in these Bylaws, and in no event shall extend to non-ecclesiastical activities. Accordingly, no minister shall be considered to be an employee of the District other than those who serve on the District Office staff. Section 2. Every director, officer, or employee of the District shall be indemnified by the District against all expenses and liabilities, including counsel fees, reasonably incurred by or imposed upon him in connection with any proceeding to which he may be made a party, or in which he may become involved, by reason of his being or having been a director, officer, or employee of the District, or any settlement thereof, whether or not he is a director, officer, or employee at the time such expenses are incurred, except in such cases wherein the director, officer, or employee is engaged in misconduct in the performance of his duties as such director, officer, or employee, provided, that in the event of a settlement the indemnification herein shall apply only if such settlement is approved by the court having jurisdiction of the action and shall be in addition to and not exclusive of all other rights to which such director, officer, or employee may be entitled. ARTICLE III. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND PRESBYTERS Section 1. Officers. The Officers of the District Council, except as hereinafter provided, shall be elected at its annual meeting, according to the manner of elections provided. They shall be chosen from the membership of the District Council, and shall be men who have been Ordained and of mature experience and ability. No District or Sectional Officer shall serve more than one District or Sectional elective office. Upon election and acceptance of a second office, the elected shall automatically terminate the former office. The Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer must have been members of the District Council for at least two full years, and the Sectional Presbyters must have been members for at least one year. An exception shall be allowed when candidates have previously served in official capacity within the General Council fellowship. A two-thirds majority vote shall be necessary to constitute an election. 15


Section 2. Nomination and Election of Administrative Officers. All nominations for the offices of Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Presbyter, and General Council Presbyter shall be made by secret ballot, it being understood that the first ballot cast shall be a nominating ballot. All names thus presented shall be revealed to the body. After prayer for guidance, the vote shall be cast. Any candidate receiving two-thirds of all ballots cast on a nominating ballot shall be considered elected. If no election is reached on the second electoral ballot, all names except the three receiving the highest number of votes shall be dropped; if no election is reached on the third electoral ballot, the two receiving the highest number of votes will be balloted upon until one receives a two-thirds majority of all votes cast. If no candidate receives a two-thirds majority by the fifth electoral ballot, the requirement for election shall be reduced to a simple majority on the sixth ballot. This election procedure shall be used for all district elections unless specified otherwise by this constitution and bylaws. Section 3. Executive Presbytery The Executive Presbytery shall consist of six (6) Ordained ministers, four of whom shall be the District Superintendent, Secretary-Treasurer, Assistant Superintendent and General Council Presbyter. The other two Ordained ministers shall be nominated by secret ballot and elected by a two-thirds majority vote of the District Council voting constituency. Any candidate receiving two-thirds of all ballots cast on a nominating ballot shall be considered elected. If no candidate receives a two-thirds majority by the fifth electoral ballot, the requirement for election shall be reduced to a simple majority on the sixth ballot. Section 4. Nomination of Sectional Presbyters. The Sectional Presbyters shall be nominated by the Sections and elected by the District Council. The nominee for Presbyter shall have been a ministerial resident of the Section he shall represent for at least one year prior to his nomination and be an Ordained minister. The nomination shall be by secret ballot and by a two-thirds vote. The voting constituency for the nominee shall consist of the qualified ministers of the Section and one duly appointed or elected delegate from each church of the Section. a. No Sectional Presbyter shall serve on a full-time basis. b. The Sectional Presbyters shall be nominated during the Fall Sectional Councils. c. The Sectional Presbyter shall be elected for a two-year term or to fill the time remaining in the event the office is vacated prior to the normal election. d. The District Council reserves the right to reject any and all nominees selected by the Section if it deems such action is warranted. e. All newly nominated Sectional Presbyters shall be ratified by the District Presbytery at its regular call meeting. 16


Section 5. Election of Sectional Committees. Sectional Committees shall be composed of four or more Ordained ministers who regularly attend the District, Sectional Councils and Minister's Institutes, Sectional Fellowship meetings and who are supporting the District and Sectional financial programs, who shall be elected for two years by a simple majority vote. Members of the Committees shall have been a ministerial resident in the Section for at least one year prior to their election. Nomination and election shall be by secret ballot. An exception can be made by the Executive Presbytery in the event there are not enough qualified Ordained ministers residing in a Section, by giving consideration to reducing committee size to three members, or by reducing the residency requirement for Ordained ministers. Section 6. Nomination and Election of General Council Presbyters. The General Council Presbyters from the South Texas District shall be as follows: The Superintendent, Secretary-Treasurer and one ordained pastor who has been a member of the South Texas District for at least one full year previous to his election. Nominations for General Council Presbyter shall be made by a secret ballot. All names thus presented shall be presented to the body for voting. In case of a vacancy occurring between election of a General Council Presbyter, nominations and elections shall be conducted for a General Council Presbyter at the following District Council after the vacancy occurs, and the election shall be for the remaining term. Section 7. Voting Constituency and Quorum. The voting constituency shall consist of all accredited members, present and registered. This shall include Ordained ministers, Licentiates, Certified ministers, persons holding Specialized Ministries credentials, and Church Delegates. Section 8. Nominee for General Council Executive Presbyter. By virtue of his office the District Superintendent shall serve as one of two nominees for General Council Executive Presbyter. At the District Council prior to the General Council, a second nominee, who is not an elected full-time District Official from the South Texas District shall be selected by a two-thirds vote, to be presented to the General Council along with nominees from other Districts in the South Central Region, for election as non-resident Executive Presbyter. If no candidate receives a two-thirds majority by the fifth ballot, the requirement for nomination shall be reduced to a simple majority on the sixth ballot. The nominee must be an Ordained minister of mature experience and ability, whose life and ministry are above question, but there is no minimum residence requirement.

17


ARTICLE IV. DUTIES OF OFFICERS & PRESBYTERS Section 1. Duties of Superintendent. a. To preside at meetings of the District Council. b. To be the head of the District Office and to supervise the work of that office during the interim between sessions of the District Council, and to be responsible for special assignments and functions of all full time District Officers and Department Heads. c. To preside at all meetings of the Credentials Committee and to receive all communications addressed to that body, or to be responsible for the appointment of an Ordained minister to act in such capacity. d. To administer discipline in all cases when requested to do so by the District Presbytery. e. To preside at all meetings of the District Presbytery and to receive all communications addressed to that body. f. To conduct one Sectional Convention annually in each Section of the District and any other meetings which can be conveniently arranged in the various areas of the District. The purpose of these meetings shall be to promote the fellowship of the Section and to handle any matters of Sectional business which might arise. The Superintendent shall have charge of these meetings unless it is impossible for him to be present; in such cases, he may appoint someone to act in his stead. g. To act as president of the corporation in all legal matters. h. To be an ex officio member of all committees. i. To appoint, under delegated powers of the District Presbytery, members of the Church Relation Committee as necessity may arise. j. To perform any other functions usual and customary for the presiding officer, or such as may be directed by the District Presbytery or District Council. Section 2. Duties of the Assistant Superintendent. a. To serve with the Executive Presbytery in all District matters. b. To fill the unexpired term of office of Superintendent in the event such office becomes vacant. c. To perform any other duties caused by emergencies upon being requested to do so by the Superintendent. The Assistant Superintendent shall act as Vice-President of the Corporation. Section 3. Duties of the Secretary-Treasurer. a. To keep a true record of the proceedings of the District Council and meetings of the District and Executive Presbytery. b. In cooperation with the chairman of the Credentials Committee, Section or District, he shall be responsible, to provide the District Office with a true record of proceedings. c. To serve as custodian of the seal of the District Council and to issue credentials under the direction of the Credentials Committee. 18


d. e.

To maintain a record of all ministers and churches in the District. To serve as editor of all District publications, unless such office is otherwise provided for by the District Presbytery. f. Be the custodian of all finances and legal documents of the District. g. Receive and record all contributions to the District Council and to disburse funds under the direction of the District or Executive Presbytery. h. Establish and maintain a reliable system of bookkeeping and to provide regular monthly financial reports as requested by the District Presbytery. i. Have the financial records of the District Office audited annually immediately after the close of the fiscal year, December 31. j. Serve as Executive Secretary of the corporation in all legal matters. k. Administer discipline in all cases when requested to do so by the District Presbytery. l. Serve as an ex officio member of all committees. m. Serve as Chairman of the District Benevolence Committee. n. Serve as General Council Presbyter. o. Free to do field ministry. p. Accountable to the District Superintendent for special assignments and functions. q. Manage properties. r. Manage equipment. s. Oversee maintenance. Section 4. Duties of the General Council Presbyter. a. To represent the South Texas District Council to the General Council. b. To represent the General Council and its interests to the South Texas District Council. c. To serve as a member of District Executive Presbytery. d. To serve with the District Presbytery in all District matters. e. To serve on the Board of Regents of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. f. To serve on the District Benevolence Committee. Section 5. Duties of the Executive Presbytery. a. To serve as trustees of this fellowship b. Having the general oversight of each department of the District work during the interim of the District Council session. c. Acting for the fellowship in all matters affecting the interest of the District between sessions as directed by the District Presbytery, and making report to the next Council in session. d. All decisions of the Executive Presbytery in matters affecting the interest of the fellowship between sessions shall be final unless reversed by the District Council. e. To consult with the District Presbytery in matters of great 19


f. g. h.

i.

j. k. l.

importance, which might affect the entire fellowship before taking final action on such matters. To supervise District Trials. To supervise the finances of the District Office and all associate departments. In addition to the powers and authorities by these Bylaws expressly conferred upon them, the Executive Presbytery may exercise all such powers of the District Council and do all such lawful acts and things as are not by statute or by the Certificate of Incorporation, or by these Bylaws directed or required to be exercised or done by the other members of the District Council. Without prejudice to such general powers and the other powers conferred by statute, by the Certificate of Incorporation and by these Bylaws, it is hereby expressly declared that the Executive Presbytery shall have the power to purchase or otherwise acquire for the District Council any property, rights or privileges which the District Council is authorized to acquire, at such price or consideration, and generally on such terms and conditions as the Executive Presbytery thinks fit and in their discretion to pay therefore, either wholly or partially in money, stocks, bonds, debentures, notes or other securities, of the District Council, and to create, make negotiable or transferable instruments and securities, secured by a mortgage or otherwise, and to do every other act and thing necessary to effect the same, and for this purpose the Executive Presbytery shall by its proper resolutions, designate the officers to execute the same as the binding act and deed of the District Council. To provide a set of questions to serve as guidelines for the Sectional Committees in interviewing ministerial applicants. To appoint the members of the Missions Advisory Board and to ratify the appointments of the members of the Executive Missions Committee. To determine the expense scale and per diem for members of the District Presbytery when in session.

Section 6. The District Presbytery. The District Presbytery shall meet semiannually or more frequently if necessary. Their expenses shall be paid and a per diem in the amount to be determined by the Executive Presbytery. a.

District Duties (1) To set the salary and other remunerations of the administrative officers. (2) To appoint a layman representative to Southwestern Assemblies of God University to serve on the Southwestern Board of Regents with the members of the General Council Presbytery. (3) To review all applications for reinstatement of ministerial 20


(4) (5) (6) (7)

credentials, unless such privilege is waived. To appoint a replacement for the office of Secretary-Treasurer in event such office becomes vacant between Council gatherings. To act for the Fellowship in all matters that affect its interest while the Council is not in session or to delegate such duty to the Executive Presbytery. To nominate candidates for District Youth Director. To nominate candidates for District Women's Ministries Director.

Section 7. Duties of Sectional Presbyters. (1) The Sectional Presbyter shall serve as members of the District Presbytery. (2) To promote and supervise the work of the Section. (3) To work in cooperation with local pastors. (4) To supervise the missionary work of the Section in cooperation with the District Missions Director. (5) To arrange for the opening of the new works in the Section and setting churches in order. (6) To encourage ministers to support the District Council spiritually, morally and financially. (7) To make periodic reports of the progress of the work in the Section to the Superintendent. (8) To arrange for Sectional Conventions as requested by the Superintendent. Section 8. Duties of the Sectional Committee. Sectional Committees shall approve or disapprove those applying for a Certificate of Ministry or License to Preach, such action to be considered final unless reversed by the District Presbytery. Applications for Ordination must also be processed by the Sectional Committee before such applications can be forwarded to the District Council Credentials Committee. Interviews of ministerial applications by the Sectional Committee shall include questions supplied by the Executive Presbytery. Section 9. Duties of the Members of the Southwestern Board of Regents. a. To represent the South Texas District Council to Southwestern Assemblies of God University. b. To represent the interests of Southwestern Assemblies of God University to the South Texas District Council. c. To meet annually with the Board of Regents, or in special sessions, in the supervision of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. d. To serve as incorporators for Southwestern Assemblies of God University. ARTICLE V. TERM OF OFFICE AND VACANCIES a. The term of office of the District Superintendent, District Secretary21


b. c.

d. e. f. g. h.

i.

j.

Treasurer, Assistant Superintendent, General Council Presbyter, Executive Presbyters, shall be for four years, or until their successors are elected. The term of office of the District Presbyters shall be for two years, or until their successors are elected The outgoing full-time administrative officers shall remain in office for a period terminating thirty days after the adjournment of the Council sessions. In order to familiarize themselves with the routine of the administrative offices, the incoming officers shall begin their official service one week prior to the termination of the services of the outgoing officers. In the event the office of District Superintendent becomes vacant, the Assistant Superintendent shall fill the unexpired term of Superintendent. In the event the office of Assistant Superintendent becomes vacant, the District Presbytery shall be authorized to appoint a replacement to fill the unexpired term of Assistant Superintendent. In the event the office of Secretary-Treasurer becomes vacant, the District Presbytery shall be authorized to appoint a replacement to serve the unexpired term of Executive Secretary-Treasurer. In the event a vacancy occurs among the elected Executive Presbyters, the District Presbytery shall be authorized to appoint another qualified man to fill the unexpired term. In the event a vacancy shall occur in the office of the Sectional Presbytery between District Councils, the vacancy shall be filled by a called Sectional business meeting to be presided over by the District Superintendent or his appointee. Such election shall be for the unexpired term. The District Superintendent shall have the option of asking the Executive Presbyter to appoint an interim Presbyter to serve out the unexpired term if he determines there is division within the section where the vacancy exists. In the event a vacancy shall occur in any District office, no office shall remain vacant for more than six months.

ARTICLE VI. COMMITTEES Section 1. Standing Committees. Standing committees shall be appointed as necessary. They shall serve for the designated time or until their purpose is accomplished. In the event a vacancy shall occur in a standing committee, the Executive Presbytery shall be authorized to fill such vacancy. All District Council Committees shall be appointed at least ninety (90) days prior to District Council and serve through the following District Council. a. The Constitution and Bylaws Revision Committee shall: (1) Consist of not less than ten (10) members, including a 22


representative from each District Department. (2) The Chairman and other members of this committee shall be appointed by the District Superintendent in cooperation with the District Presbytery or Executive Presbytery and shall be appointed at the Executive Presbytery meeting immediately following District Council. (3) The term of office shall be for two (2) years. The purpose of this committee is to review the Constitution and Bylaws. (4) The specific duties and responsibilities are to annually meet following the fall District Presbytery meeting to do the following: a) Read through the Constitution and Bylaws for the purpose of discovering items that might need clarification or updating. b) Receive and review recommendations for revision of the Constitution and Bylaws, and when necessary interact with the author of the recommendation to gain approval for changes in the recommended revision. c) Submit all recommended revisions to the District Office in time to be mailed to the constituency ninety days prior to the District Council. d) Check to make certain that all changes to the Constitution and Bylaws that were approved in the previous year were accurately made in the new edition of the Constitution and Bylaws. b.

A District Benevolence Committee shall be composed of the District Secretary-Treasurer chairman, the one elected General Council Presbyter, and an Ordained minister appointed by the Executive Presbytery.

c.

A Finance Committee of five (5) persons shall be appointed by the District Presbytery to make an annual study of the total financial operation of the District. They shall report their findings and recommendation to the District Presbytery, who in turn, shall serve as a budget committee.

Section 2. Church Relations Committee. a. Authorization A Church Relations Committee shall be appointed, as required, by the Superintendent, acting on delegated powers of the District Presbytery, to investigate or hear both sides of local church grievances. b. Organization This committee shall consist of three unbiased or disinterested ministers and two mature Assemblies of God laymen. 23


c.

Authority This committee shall be amenable to the District Presbytery and shall be empowered to demand the rights of membership of any or all church members guilty of causing trouble and disturbing the peace and harmony of the local assembly. d. Limitations In the case of ministers and pastors who might be wrong and need reprimanding or removal, this committee shall refer such matters to the Executive Presbytery for final action. Section 3. Special Committees. Special Committees may be created at the District Council in session or by the District Presbytery between sessions as may be required. ARTICLE VII. MINISTRY Section 1. Definitions. Christ’s gifts to the church include apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11), exhorters, administrators, leaders, and helpers (Romans 12:7,8). We understand God’s call to these ministry gifts is totally within His sovereign discretion without regard to gender, race, disability, or national origin. In terms of maturity of ministry, three classifications of ministry are recognized; the ordained minister, the licensed minister and the certified minister. All ministers holding current ministerial credentials are authorized to perform the ordinances and ceremonies (sacerdotal functions) of the church. Section 2. Qualifications for the Ministry. Qualifications for ministerial recognition and credentials shall conform to those requirements specified in the General Council Bylaws, Article VII, sections 2 and 3. Section 3. Credentials. a. Application of Credentials. (1) Inquiries concerning ministerial credentialing may be made to the sectional presbyter or the District Secretary-Treasurer. Applications for ministerial credentials or Specialized Ministries License must be made in the Section where the applicant resides unless such applicant is a Pastor, which case it shall be made in the Section in which the church is located. (2) All candidates for ministerial credentials shall be approved by the South Texas District and forwarded to the office of the General Secretary for the issuance of the appropriate credential. b. Renewal of Credentials. (1) All ministers must renew annually with the General Council and 24


remit the renewal fee to the District Office with their annual renewal form (2) Ministers holding ordination and license credentials will be required to preach a minimum of 15 times a year and Certified Ministers will be required to preach a minimum of 12 times a year. (3) Renewals for Ordination, License, Specialized License, and Certified Ministers shall be granted to those whose General Council applications are signed by the District Superintendent or District Executive Secretary- Treasurer. c. Reinstatement of Credentials. (1) A minister applying for reinstatement who has been dropped from the Fellowship or shall have ceased to be connected with the South Texas District for any reason, who desires reinstatement shall make application with the Presbyter in the Section where he resides and if he is given endorsement by the Sectional Committee, his application shall be presented to the District Presbytery, whose decision shall be final. (2) Those ministers whose credentials were terminated by lapsing (who failed to renew) and who wish to be reinstated must take the following steps: e) If the minister has been lapsed for less than one year, (i) Reinstatement application form for the credential previously held must be filled out completely, signed, and dated. (ii) A check for the proper reinstatement fee must be made out to the District. f) If the minister has been lapsed for more than one year but less than two years, (i) Reinstatement application form for the credential previously held must be filled out completely, signed, and dated. (ii) The applicant and spouse must be interviewed by the Sectional Committee. (iii) A check for the proper reinstatement fee must be made out to the District g) If the minister has been lapsed for two years or more, (i) Reinstatement application form for the credential previously held must be filled out completely, signed, and dated. (ii) Take the General Council Credential Examination for the credential held when lapsed. (iii) The applicant and spouse must be interviewed by the Sectional Committee. (iv) Give permission to the District Executive 25


Secretary-Treasurer’s office to do the background check required by the General Council. (v) The applicant and spouse must be interviewed by the District Presbytery. (vi) A check for the proper reinstatement fee must be made out to the District. Section 4. Ministerial Relations. a. All ministers shall be amenable to the District Council in matters of doctrine and conduct. b. All ministers shall be expected to affiliate with the District Council, and to work and cooperate with same, and failure to do so shall bring their ministry into question. c. All ministers moving into this District from another District to reside shall be required to file with the Secretary a transfer from the former District within 60 days. d. All ministers must refrain from taking such an attitude toward those convicted of offenses of willful violations of Council principles, wrong doctrines, or misconduct that would tend to nullify or set at naught the solemn verdict of the brethren entrusted with this responsibility. e. All ministers must refrain from identifying themselves with any of the secret orders. f. All ministers shall endeavor to safeguard the churches of the District from unreliable and unsafe teachers and ministers who seek entry into the Assemblies without proper identification and recommendation. g. No minister of the District shall hold office as a member of a church board in a church of which he is not the Pastor unless such restriction is waived by the Sectional Presbyter. h. Any minister convicted of willfully leading a congregation in violation of Sectional or District agreements relating to the location of assemblies, must surrender his ministerial credentials with the General and/or District Councils. Section 5. Senior Ministers. In respect and honor to those ministers who have given years of service to the Fellowship, senior status shall automatically be given to all credential holders who have reached the age of 65, whether they continue in full time ministry or not. a. Terminology. (1) The term senior-active shall be used for credential holders who continue to serve three quarters to full time in the ministry. (2) The term senior-semi-retired shall be used for credential holders who continue to be active, but for half time or less (3) The term senior-retired shall be used for those who have ceased 26


b.

c.

to engage in any regular appointed ministry Application for Retired Category. Senior-semi-retired and senior-retired status shall be granted only to those ministers who file a request for such status with their District office. The District Secretary shall forward annually to the General Secretary a list of those ministers who have made these requests. Guidelines. (1) Reports. Senior-active and senior-semi-retired ministers shall continue to file their annual reports and pay the General Council portion of their tithes in the regular manner. Senior-retired ministers shall file an abbreviated report to maintain a correct address file for mail and insurance purposes. Reports will be mailed direct to the minister from Springfield. Minister shall return completed form to District office with renewal fee (2) Sources of income. These designations and guidelines shall apply regardless of whether the minister's income is from his ministry, from retirement plans or Social Security payments, or from investments or other employment. (3) Designation in publications. No distinguishing mark shall accompany the listing of senioractive in the official publications of the Assemblies of God, but may be so indicated in the working lists used for insurance and retirement purposes. Senior-semi-retired and senior-retired ministers shall have this status appropriately indicated in the official list of Assemblies of God Ministers. (4) Support. Senior-active and senior-semi-retired ministers shall be required to support their Section, District and General Council the same as any other minister. Senior-retired ministers shall be free to distribute their tithes as they so desire.

ARTICLE VIII. DISCIPLINE A. DISTRICT ACTION. Section 1. The Nature and Purpose of Discipline. Discipline is an exercise of scriptural authority for which the church is responsible. The aims of discipline are that God may be honored, that the purity and welfare of the ministry may be maintained, and that those under discipline may be brought to repentance and restoration. Discipline is to be administered for the restoration of the minister, while fully providing for the protection of the spiritual welfare of our local assemblies. It is to be redemptive in nature as well as corrective, and is to be exercised as under a dispensation of mercy. Section 2. The Relationship Between the District and General Council 27


Credentials Committees. The Executive Presbytery of the General Council is the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God (Constitution, Article X. Sections 4 and 6). It shall have the final authority in matters of doctrine and the personal conduct of all certified, licensed, and ordained ministers. District actions related to the termination of credentials or the remedial discipline of rehabilitation are to be in the form of recommendations to the General Council Credentials Committee. All references to the discipline of ministers within this article of the Bylaws relate solely to certified, licensed, and ordained ministers. Section 3. Causes for Disciplinary Action. a. Any Conduct unbecoming to a minister or indiscretions involving morals. b. Moral failure involving sexual misconduct. c. Moral failure involving pornography. d. Any moral or ethical failure other than sexual misconduct. e. General inefficiency in the ministry. f. A failure to represent our Pentecostal testimony correctly. g. A contentious or non-cooperative spirit. h. An assumption of dictatorial authority over an assembly. i. An arbitrary rejection of district counsel. j. A declared open change of doctrinal views. k. A habit of running into debt which brings reproach upon the gospel. l. A marriage in violation of our stand on marriage and divorce. (Bylaws, Article IX, B, Section 5, paragraphs d and e.) m. Violations of ministerial courtesy. (See Bylaws, Article IX, B, Section 8.) n. Ministry without prior approval in a non-Assemblies of God church. (See Bylaws, Article IX, B, Section 9.) o. An improper attitude toward those dismissed from the Fellowship. (See Bylaws, Article IX, B, Section 10.) Section 4. Right of Initiative. a. Authority. Occasions sometimes arise which make it necessary to deal with ministers who for some reason seem to have reached the place where, in the opinion of the leaders, endorsement can no longer be given. Credentials committees which have the authority to ordain ministers and to recommend them for credentials also have the right to withdraw their approval and to recommend the recall of credentials. b. Prior right of district. The officers of the district in which an alleged offense is reported to have occurred shall be recognized as having the prior right of initiative in matters of discipline. c. Responsibility of district of affiliation. 28


d.

If the district in which an alleged offense is reported to have occurred for some reason cannot take action, the General Council Credentials Committee shall refer the matter, together with the facts and supporting instruments, to the district with which the minister is affiliated. Responsibility of General Council Credentials Committee. In the event a district fails to take action within 90 days after a matter has been referred to it, it shall be the responsibility of the General Council Credentials Committee to see that action is initiated.

Section 5. Investigation of Reports or Complaints of Alleged Violations of Assemblies of God Principles. When a signed report or complaint of alleged violations by a minister is received, the Sectional Presbyter and his committee (in the Section where the minister is a member) upon the request of the District Superintendent shall make an investigation, having in mind that it is their responsibility to safeguard the church, the minister, the District, and the Fellowship. Section 6. Preparation and Filing of Charges. If after due investigation it is determined that charges should be made, proper charges shall be prepared and filed in the District Office. If no one appears to sign the charges, members of the District Officiary making the investigation may prefer charges based on the evidence in their possession. The person against whom the charges have been filed shall be informed in writing by certified mail of the charges made in keeping with Article VIII (A), Section 2. A hearing shall not be considered as final disposition of the case until the accused be present and be allowed all rights and privileges granted herein. Provided, however an accused member may be disciplined and found guilty of charges preferred, if he refuses to appear at the hearing, or proof is found of willful neglect on his part to take advantage of his rights and privileges. If the District determines that guilt has been established, discipline shall be administered prayerfully and in the fear of God, in accordance with the Scriptures, and as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws of this ecclesiastical body. Section 7. Hearing and Discipline. a. District Hearing. In the event the reports or complaints cannot be dealt with privately to the satisfaction of all concerned, the District in which the alleged offense is said to have occurred, or the Superintendent of the District with which the minister is affiliated shall arrange for a hearing by the District Credentials Committee for the accused minister. The minister shall be required to be at the hearing; in the hope the matter 29


b.

c.

can be resolved. In a case where the validity of an accusation made against a minister is questionable, the Superintendent may in the interest of protecting the minister's reputation, appoint a special unofficial committee of mature Ordained ministers to make a confidential investigation and report their findings to the Superintendent who will determine whether or not a further investigation is necessary. Forfeiture of Rights. A hearing shall not be considered as final disposition of the case until the accused be present and be allowed all rights and privileges granted herein, provided, however, an accused member may be disciplined and found guilty of charges preferred, if he refuses to appear at the hearing, or proof if found of willful neglect on his part to take advantage of his rights and privileges. Discipline. If the District determines that guilt has been established discipline shall be administered prayerfully and in the fear of God, in accordance with the scriptures, and as set forth in the Constitution and Bylaws of this ecclesiastical body.

Section 8. Credentials Terminations. In all cases the minister shall be requested by the District to return to the General Secretary's Office the credentials which had been issued by that office. Refusal to surrender his certificate of ordination and/or current fellowship certificates shall be considered insubordination, and may result in placing a charge against the minister. Credentials terminations may occur in the following manner: a. On the initiative of the minister by resignation. (1) Lapsed. A minister who does not elect to renew his credentials providing there is no cause for disciplinary action, shall be listed as having "lapsed." His name shall be published in the Minister Letter as "lapsed." (2) Resigned. A minister who has elected to remove himself from the fellowship and against whom there are no charges filed, shall be published in the Minister Letter as "resigned." In the event of the announced desire of a minister to resign from our Fellowship, before action shall have been taken in the matter either by the District or the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, due investigation shall be made as to the standing of the minister in the District of his affiliation. His request shall be granted, provided he is found in good standing. In case the evidence warrants contrary action, the minister shall be advised of the findings and appropriate disciplinary action shall be taken. All information pertaining to disciplinary action taken against 30


an Ordained minister shall be preserved for future reference in the office of the Credentials Committee of the general Council of the Assemblies of God. (All other ministers records shall be kept in the District Office). b.

On the initiative of the District resulting from disciplinary action by dismissal (Cf. Article VIII, Section 3.) (1) Dismissal. A minister who has been found guilty of violating any of the Assemblies of God principles set forth in Article VII, Section 2 shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Credentials Committee. Said discipline shall be administered in brotherly love and kindness in an effort to lead the offending minister through a program of rehabilitation (Article VII, Section 9.) In the event the offending minister is found to be unrepentant or unwilling to cooperate with, or otherwise fails in the rehabilitation effort, the minister shall be listed as having been dismissed. His name shall be published as "dismissed" in the minister's letter known as "Assemblies of God Minister.� (2) No publication of disciplinary action shall be made until the District has been advised by the office of the General Secretary that such has been authorized by the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God.

c.

As a result of affiliation with other church organization. In the event a minister shall identify himself with another organization granting ministerial credentials, and shall have received such credentials he shall then be requested by the District to surrender his Certificate of Ordination and/or his current Fellowship Certificate to the District Office. In the case of an Ordained minister the District shall forward these to the office of the General Secretary of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. An investigation shall be made to determine the proper category of termination.

Section 9. Referral for Action to the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. If it is determined that a minister's credentials are to be terminated, the District shall recommend to the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God that his name be removed from the official list of ministers in accordance with Section 7 of this article. Such recommendations shall set forth in writing satisfactory reasons for the action. Copies of these charges and recommendations shall be forwarded to the said Credentials Committee, to the minister involved, and to the Superintendent of the home district. Thirty days from the date of the notification of the District decision shall be allowed for the accused to request a trial. He shall be apprised officially of this right at the time the District decision is made. The said Credentials Committee shall be authorized to comply with the request of the District, if in its judgment, the District was justified in the 31


action taken. If the said Credentials Committee finds that justice has not been served, it may refer the case, together with its recommendations back to the District for review and reconsideration. Disposition of the case shall await further report from the District. Section 10. Rehabilitation. When it has been determined, either by a confession of the minister involved or by deliberation of the District Presbytery, that there is a cause for disciplinary action as a result of a violation of Assemblies of God principles as set forth in Article VII, Section 2, it shall then be the responsibility of the District Presbytery to determine whether or not the offense warrants expulsion from the fellowship by dismissal or resignation to good standing in the Fellowship through a program of rehabilitation. Recognizing that the underlying principle involved in discipline is redemptive, and that man's conscience frequently brings him to judgment and confession, and that justice can sometimes best be served with mercy therefore, the following provisions for rehabilitation shall apply: a. Those found to have violated any of the Assemblies of God principles (Article VII, Section 2) shall be subject to a period of rehabilitation. b. The period of rehabilitation shall be not less than one year except when the violation involves misconduct defined in Section 2 (a) in which case it shall be for not less than two years. c. The following procedure shall be used by the District Presbytery in determining the specific requirements to rehabilitation for the individual minister. (1) The minister shall be considered to be under suspension during the entire period of rehabilitation, and his credentials shall be held in the District Office. The extent to which he may be permitted to minister, if any, shall be determined by the District Presbytery. Certain offenses may not require complete cessation of ministerial activities, although some restrictions or limitations may be warranted. (2) The minister must remain a member of the District during the period of rehabilitation. While his credentials are in a state of suspension, his name shall not be published as removed from the ministerial roster. In the event his ministerial activity has been terminated, the minister must become established in a local church working under the supervision of a local pastor and presbyter. (3) The minister must submit reports quarterly to the District Superintendent. (4) The rehabilitation record shall not accompany the Certificate of Transfer to another District. The information shall be preserved for future reference in the files of the District and the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. (5) When the rehabilitation period is satisfactorily completed, the 32


d.

e.

minister shall be considered in good standing and his credentials restored. (6) The terms of rehabilitation as above stated shall be administered at the discretion of the District Presbytery. (7) During the period of rehabilitation, the minister shall continue to be eligible for benefits such as the Ministers Group Insurance and Ministers Benefit Association. In the event a minister who has been dismissed, shall later show repentance and indicate his desire for reinstatement, he shall, upon obtaining the approval of the District, enter the two year rehabilitation program with the provision that he shall not be eligible for reinstatement until the requirements of the program have been satisfactorily completed. In the event a minister has undergone a previous rehabilitation experience, and/or has a record of a prior violation(s) of Assemblies of God principles necessitating disciplinary action as defined in Article IX, Section 2, of General Council Bylaws, permission for rehabilitation shall be granted only by the General Council Credentials Committee and terms of such rehabilitation shall be approved by that body.

Section 11. Restoration of Credentials. a. Minimal time lapse. When a minister who is a member of our Fellowship shall have been removed from our rolls for any cause, except failure to renew, and shall apply for reinstatement, he shall in no case be eligible for reinstatement until at least six months shall have elapsed after his name has been stricken from our list of ministers. For a minister who is listed as "dismissed" the minimal time lapse required before he is eligible to apply for reinstatement shall be one year, except that a minister who is dismissed because of charges as stated in paragraph (a) of Section 2, the minimal time lapse shall be two years. The time lapse shall be computed from the date of the District Presbytery action as it appears on the termination reports filed with the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. (See Article VI, Section 3, Paragraph (e). The Credentials Committee may also hold the matter in abeyance until the next session of the General Presbytery in order that the General Presbytery may have the opportunity to review the case, in which event the matter of reinstatement of such minister may be left entirely with that body. b. Authorization. Application for reinstatement may be made through the District Council within which territory the applicant resides. The application shall be considered subject to the approval of the District in which the termination was made. c. Terminology. (1) The term "renewed" shall be used to apply strictly to those who 33


for inadvertent reasons fail to comply with the Annual Questionnaire deadline, but do not renew on or before April 30 and are restored to the ministerial list; (2) The term "reinstatement" shall apply to those whose names have been deleted from the official ministerial list, but have received District clearance for restoration to the ministerial list. (See also, Section 25.) B. TRIAL BY JURY. Section 1. Right of Appeal and Authorization for Trial. In the case of an Ordained Minister, if the accused desires to appeal from the decision of the District, his request shall be filed by him with the office of the District Superintendent within thirty days of his notification of the District decision. A copy of his appeal must be sent to the office of the General Superintendent with copies filed with other Districts involved. The District shall be expected to furnish a record of the proceedings leading up to the District action. No trial shall be granted if proof is found of willful neglect on the part of the accused to take advantage of his rights and privilege of trial. If, in the judgment of the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, justice has not been served, the case may be remanded with recommendation to the District Presbytery for review and reconsideration. In the event there is no change of viewpoint, a trial by jury shall be authorized. The accused minister shall be required to surrender his current Fellowship Certificate, to be retained by the District until the case has been tried and judgment has been rendered. Refusal to surrender his credentials shall be considered insubordination and may result in the placing of an additional charge against the minister. Section 2. Responsibility for Arrangements and Expenses of Trial. The appointed judge shall be responsible for making arrangements in the trial of members, as outlined in subsequent sections of the Article. In the event it should appear to the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, after consultation with the District, that it would not be feasible to conduct a trial within the bounds of the District where the alleged offense may have occurred, the said Credentials Committee shall designate a more suitable location. The defendant shall be responsible for the expenses of his own witnesses and counsel. Section 3. The Judge. The District Executive officers, of the District Presbytery, shall select a presiding judge, who shall be approved by the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. The judge shall be a mature, Ordained Minister in good standing in fellowship with the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Any person known to be prejudiced toward the case shall be disqualified to serve as judge. He shall be authorized and instructed to conduct a fair trial. 34


Section 4. The Jury. The jury shall be chosen by the presiding judge subject to agreement both by the plaintiff and the defendant. The jury shall be composed of six Ordained Ministers who are mature men in good standing in fellowship with the Assemblies of God. There shall be one or more qualified alternates present. The plaintiff and defendant must present valid reasons for the disqualification of a juror prior to the time of trial. Section 5. Time And Place. The time and place for the trial shall be determined by the judge, with the convenience of the principals fully considered in connection therewith. Trial shall be held at a place convenient to the location where the facts of the case are available. Section 6. Notice of Trial. Preceding the trial the accused shall be notified by the judge of the time and place of trial by registered or certified mail, with a return receipt requested. Up to thirty days shall be allowed to make all necessary arrangements for the trial. An extension of time may be granted at the discretion of the judge upon request by the defendant or upon a request by the plaintiff. Such notice of trial shall be accompanied by a copy of the charges in writing, which shall be provided by the District. Refusal of the defendant to appear for trial may be interpreted as an admission of guilt, and shall result in forfeiture of his right to appeal any decision rendered and any discipline administered. Section 7. Conduct of Trial. Trials shall be conducted in all fairness to all concerned as brethren in the ministry, and in accordance with Assemblies of God principles and rules for trials by jury as herein defined. Considering the nature of such a trial only participants shall be permitted to attend. No discourtesy to anyone shall be allowed. Counsel in the case must conduct the trial subject to the rulings of the presiding judge. When objections to such rulings are made they shall be written into record, but the ruling shall stand for the trial. Any person involved in or attending a trial, who shall engage in discourteous action or misbehavior, or who shall disregard the ruling of the court, may be held in contempt of court by the judge. The judge shall then order that the record of the court proceedings shall show such ruling. Charges or penalties may be placed against the offender. Should the defendant be found in contempt and refuse to comply with the ruling of the court, the judge may adjourn the court and submit his report to the Credentials Committee of the District the General Council of the Assemblies of God. In this event the previous rulings in this case shall stand. Such decision will not jeopardize the defendant's right to appeal. Section 8. Counsel. A mature, Ordained Minister, resident in the District and in good standing in the General Council of the Assemblies of God shall be chosen by 35


the District to conduct the case for the plaintiff. The accused may conduct his own case, or be represented by another Ordained Minister. Counsel for the defendant must be in good standing in the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and in his respective District. Both the counsel for plaintiff and defendant shall recognize the spiritual implications of their trust. They shall be obligated to present only pertinent material relating to the case. Section 9. Record and Report of Trial. Provision shall be made by the plaintiff, with the approval of the judge, for making a true and accurate record of the trial. This shall be the official record and shall be kept on file in the District Office for future reference. A certified copy of all records shall be forwarded to the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. If the offense shall have occurred in any District other than the one in which the accused is a member, a report of the finding of the trial shall be filed with the Superintendent of his District. These records, as certified, are the sole property of the District Council and of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and are to be held in their respective files. Section 10. Witnesses. Witnesses shall be free to testify under the direction of counsel. They shall not be required to answer questions asked by anyone other than the one presiding or the counsel who is at the time conducting the inquiry. Interrogation of witnesses and the taking of testimony from them shall be conducted in a Christ like manner, for the purpose of establishing the facts of the case. No undue influence or unfair means shall be allowed to affect the testimony of witnesses. Opportunity for cross-examination of witnesses shall be given as the case proceeds. Section 11. Order of Trial. a. The Plaintiff. The counsel for the plaintiff shall first present all testimony and exhibits intended to prove the charges made against the defendant. No testimony except such as is relevant to the charges, shall be allowed. The counsel for the defendant shall have opportunity to examine all exhibits and cross-examine all witnesses. b. The Defendant. Counsel for the defendant shall be allowed time and opportunity to present his side of the case and shall be granted all due respect and consideration. Defense testimony shall be confined to disproving the charges and must not include countercharges against anyone, or use the attitude or conduct of others as reason or excuse for the alleged misconduct. This shall not exclude the right to impeach a witness. Counsel for the plaintiff shall have opportunity to examine all exhibits and cross-examine all witnesses. 36


c. d.

Review. When the defense has rested, the case may be reviewed by counsel for each side, beginning with defense. Instructions to the Jury. The case shall be given to the jury with proper instructions by the presiding judge. Such instruction shall be confined to setting forth the true basis of judgment in the case as represented by the evidence and shall in no wise be intended to prejudice the jury. Accusation does not imply guilt, but may imply a misunderstanding or wrong information. The purpose of a trial is to arrive at all available facts relative to the case, and to render a verdict based upon the evidence submitted. Judgment in the case shall be rendered in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and Bylaws of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. The jury shall be instructed to choose one of its number to serve as foreman when it retired to the jury room. The foreman shall lead the jurors in the review of the case and shall poll the jurors until a decision is reached. Should there seem to be no possibility of reaching a decision of a two-thirds majority after repeated ballots, the foreman shall so apprise the judge. It shall be the prerogative of the judge to determine whether the balloting should continue. Should the jury be unable to reach a verdict, the judge shall dismiss the jury and declare a mistrial. In the event of a mistrial because the jury cannot reach a verdict, the judge shall set the date for a new trial and a new jury be selected.

Section 12. The Verdict. The verdict shall be reached by a two-thirds vote of the jury, and when presented to the court, the judge shall announce the verdict and adjourn the court, advising the defendant if found guilty that his counsel will inform him of his further rights of appeal. It shall then be the responsibility of the counsel for the defense to advise the defendant of his rights and privileges of appeal from the decision of the court. The judge shall file his report with the Districts involved and with the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. The District shall take appropriate action in accordance with the verdict rendered. Section 13. New Trials. a. Right of Appeal. The defendant may appeal from the decision of a court. Appeal shall be filed with the Executive Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, and notice of such appeal shall be made in writing addressed to the General Superintendent. A copy of notice of appeal shall be given and appeal made within thirty days following the date of notification of the verdict. In the event the trial occurred in a District other than the one in which the defendant is a member, a copy of the appeal shall also be filed with the Superintendent of his 37


home District. Basis for Appeals. Appeals from the decision of the court affecting the minister's standing in the Assemblies of God fellowship as a result of a trial may be made only upon the following grounds: (1) Mistrial. When there has been error either in arrangement for trial or method of conducting the same, or in the case of a verdict unsupported by sufficient evidence; (2) New Evidence. After final decision has been rendered, in the event new evidence is presented to the Executive Presbytery of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, such new trial shall be authorized and conducted as herein defined. c. Review by the Appeals Board. The Executive Presbytery on notice of an appeal shall appoint an Appeals Board of seven impartial Ordained Ministers of the General Council of the Assemblies of God to hear the case and render a decision. Appeal from a trial cannot result in a retrial at the Assemblies of God National Headquarters. It shall be the duty of the Appeals Board to review the case, carefully examining the official record of trial. b.

d.

All appeals shall be considered on the basis of the record of trial. No person or persons shall have the right to introduce testimony of new evidence at a review of a tried case. All such evidence or testimony must be presented in new trials. The parties involved shall not be present at a review of an appeal, but may file a written brief in summation of trial material with the General Secretary. In case the Appeals Board shall rule a mistrial, it shall be the right of that body to which appeal has been made to nullify the decision of the court and to authorize a new trial. The Executive Presbytery shall outline proper procedure. The final appeal of a Licentiate or Certified Minister of a disciplinary decision shall be with the District Executive Presbytery.

Section 14. Review by the General Presbytery. When exceptions are taken to the decision of the Appeal Board, either by the defendant or by the District Presbytery, appeal may be made to the General Presbytery. This appeal shall be addressed to the office of the General Secretary. Procedure in such cases shall conform to that in making appeal from a District Credentials Committee action or a jury trial and must be made within thirty days following the notification of the decision of the Appeals Board. 38


Section 15. Reinstatement. A minister shall not be considered to have exhausted the avenues of remedy provided by the Constitution and Bylaws of this ecclesiastical body until application for reinstatement has been acted upon by the District Officiary. (See Article VI, Section 3, Paragraph (e)) No Publication of the action of the District shall be made until such time as action has been taken and authorization given by the Credentials Committee of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. ARTICLE IX. FINANCES Section 1. Supervision of Finances. All Finances shall be under the immediate supervision of the Executive Presbytery. Section 2. District Office Support. a. The District Office shall be supported by a monthly offering of at least three-fourths of the tithes of every minister (except SeniorRetired Ministers) from both secular and ministerial income. If a minister fails to cooperate with this plan, he shall be called to give a reasonable explanation to District Officials. (1) Since the minister’s portion of his tithes sent to the District was increased from fifty percent to seventy-five percent, the possibility might exist that the local church a person pastors could be impacted in a negative way. The following procedure will be used to assist the smaller church: a) The pastor will share the need of his local church with the presbyter and committee of his section. In doing so, he will request that the additional portion of his tithes from fifty percent to seventy-five percent that he sends to the district be refunded to his church. b) If the presbyter and his committee approve the pastor’s request, they will forward that request with a recommended time limit to the District Ministerial Relations Committee. c) Since the District Ministerial Relations Committee already has the responsibility of reviewing ministerial giving to the District, it will carefully and prayerfully consider the pastor’s request. After careful consideration, the Ministerial Relations Committee will make a recommendation. d) If the recommendation of the Ministerial Relations Committee is to approve the request of the Sectional Presbyter and Committee, the difference between the pastor’s giving of fifty percent to seventy-five percent to the District will be returned to the pastor’s church. The 39


b.

District will add to the refunded amount ten percent, which will also be sent to the church. It is recommended that the District Office shall be supported by one percent (1%) of the monthly general fund income of each of the churches of the South Texas District Council.

Section 3. Sectional Support. a. Each section shall be supported by all credentialed ministers by a monthly offering of at least ten dollars per month (except Senior Retired Ministers). If a minister fails to cooperate with this plan, he shall be called to give a reasonable explanation to the Sectional Presbyter and committee. ution 03-13-08 b. Sectional Presbyters shall be responsible to present, at the Spring District Presbytery meeting, a financial statement detailing the previous year’s finances, including all ministers’ giving. Section 4. Officer's Bonus. a. The Superintendent and the Secretary-Treasurer shall be given a bonus of one week's salary during the District Councils in addition to their regular support. b. The Assistant Superintendent shall be given a bonus for the District Council in an amount to be determined by the Executive Presbytery. Section 5. Officer's Remuneration. Salaries, other remunerations and vacations of all administrative officers shall be set by the District Presbytery. Section 6. District Council Expenses. Each minister and church of the District shall be notified of the District Council expenses at least one month prior to the Council and shall be asked to send an offering for same to the District Office. Section 7. Finance Committee. A Finance Committee of five (5) men shall be appointed by the District Presbytery to make an annual study of the total financial operation of the District. They shall report their findings and recommendation to the District Presbytery, who in turn, shall serve as a budget committee. ARTICLE X. LOCAL ASSEMBLIES Section 1. General Council Affiliated Assemblies. A General Council affiliated assembly is one that has applied for and has received a Certificate of Affiliation from The General Council of the Assemblies of God. a. Obligations. While full recognition of sovereignty is assured to the mature assembly by the District Constitution, yet it is obvious that the sovereignty of the assembly is limited by the association with other assemblies of like faith in the District Council 40


b.

c.

fellowship. Assemblies must recognize their obligation to church order, and conduct. They shall be expected to participate in the cooperative program of the General and District Councils for the propagation of our testimony in both home and foreign lands, and to share in such provisions as may be made for the maintenance of the fellowship on financial or other practical lines. Each church should assume the financial responsibility of sending its pastor and delegate to the Annual District Council. Requirements for affiliation. Churches desiring to be affiliated with The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall meet the following requirements. They shall: 1) work in harmony as to relationships and government as provided for in the General Council Constitution Article XI, Section 1 2) Accept the tenets of faith of the Assemblies of God; 3) Adopt a standard of membership that may be determined either by the local assembly or by agreement with the District Council; 4) Have a minimum active voting membership of 20 persons who shall accept responsibility to maintain scriptural order in the local body; 5) Adopt Articles of Incorporation, a constitution or bylaws compatible with models recommended by the District Council, or district approved governance models that provide for adequate accountability, amenability, and safeguards so that a pastor and/or governing body cannot directly or indirectly exert dictatorial control over a church; 6) Have an adequate number of spiritually qualified members to fill the offices of the church called for in its constitution or bylaws; and 7) Make provision for a pastor who is a credentialed minister in good standing with the General Council and a District Council. It shall be the responsibility of the district presbytery to determine when an assembly has reached a state of growth, stability, and maturity qualifying it for affiliation with The General Council of the Assemblies of God. Qualifications shall include a minimum active voting membership of 20 persons. The assembly shall have matured to a point where a sufficient number of qualified persons are available for the offices called for in its constitution and bylaws. The procedure for affiliation shall be: 1) A church desiring affiliation shall forward its request to the office of the district in which it is located. The district council shall provide an approved application form and procedural instructions. 2) The meeting in which an assembly shall be set in order shall be presided over by an officer of the district who shall assist 41


d.

e.

f.

g.

the assembly in the adoption of a constitution and bylaws acceptable to the district. 3) An existing, mature church that desires to affiliate with The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall apply to the office of the district council for guidance and assistance. 4) Upon approval by the district presbytery, the application for affiliation shall be forwarded to the general secretary of The General Council of the Assemblies of God. Recognition of affiliation shall occur upon receipt by the assembly of an Official Certificate of Affiliation issued by the general secretary. If a General Council affiliated church is unable to meet any of the criteria for affiliation as set forth in the Constitution, Article XI, Section 1, paragraph a, it shall seek the assistance of the district officers for help in maintaining the minimal requirement for General Council affiliation. The district may use any means prescribed by its bylaws to assist the church in returning to a position of strength. If the minimal requirements have not been attained, the church shall revert to district affiliated status until the minimal requirements for General Council affiliation have been attained. When all requirements for affiliation have been met, an application for affiliation shall be filed with the District Secretary and approved by the District Presbyter. Relationship to and support of the General Council and District Councils. A General Council affiliated assembly should cooperate in the work and support the programs of the General Council and District Councils and may send delegates to the General Council and District Councils. Right of self-government (sovereign rights). Each General Council affiliated assembly has the right of self-government under Jesus Christ, its living Head, and shall have the power to choose or call its pastor, elect its official board, and transact all other business pertaining to its life as local unit. It shall have the right to administer discipline to its members according to the Scriptures and its constitution or bylaws. It shall have the right to acquire and hold title to property, either through trustees or in its corporate name as a self-governing unit. The fact it is affiliated with The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall in no way destroy its rights as above stated or interfere with its sovereignty. The governance model adopted by the local assembly shall conform to the guidelines of Constitution, Article XI, Section 1, paragraph a, subparagraph (4). Subordinate in matters of doctrine and conduct. A General Council affiliated assembly shall recognize that a District Council or The General Council of the Assemblies of God has the right to approve scriptural doctrine and conduct and to disapprove unscriptural doctrine and conduct and the authority to withdraw 42


h.

its Certificate of Affiliation if deemed necessary. (See Article IX of the Bylaws.) Right of appeal. When in need of counsel or advice, the General Council affiliated assembly may appeal to the district officers for help. It may appeal from a decision by the district officers to the Executive Presbytery of The General Council of the Assemblies of God when there is a question whether or not the assembly has received proper help from the district. When exceptions are taken to the decisions of the Executive Presbytery, either by the General Council affiliated assembly or by the District Presbytery, appeal may be made to the General Presbytery.

Section 2. District Council Affiliated Assemblies. The immature or dependent assembly which has been brought into being and which is still in a formative state shall have the privilege of District supervision until such time as a permanence of life and growth is assured. Section 3. Safeguarding the Assemblies. a. Pastors and leaders of assemblies should make proper investigation of persons who seek to gain entrance to teach, minister, or pastor. Use of the platform should be denied until spiritual integrity and reliability have been determined. It is recommended that Assemblies of God churches use Assemblies of God ministers since the use of non-Assemblies of God ministers may bring confusion and problems detrimental to the Fellowship. b. No minister dismissed by the Assemblies of God may be allowed to pastor or have ministry in an Assemblies of God church. Pastors and district officials should maintain an exchange of information regarding dismissed ministers known to be seeking ministry in our assemblies Section 4. Cooperating Assemblies. Provision may be made by District Councils and the General Council Executive Presbytery for the status of a cooperating assembly, which would allow churches that subscribe to Article V. Statement of Fundamental Truth of the General Council Constitution to enter into a cooperative status with a district and the General Council on a temporary basis (4-year term, renewable by the request of the local church congregation at the discretion of the District Council in cooperation with the General Council Executive Presbytery) before officially affiliating with the District Council and the General Council. Section 5. Relationships between Churches, District Councils, and the General Council. a. Nature. General Council affiliated churches are deemed to be sovereign, autonomous, self-governing, and self-determining bodies which have, by their sovereign, self-determining action in making application for and receiving recognition as a General 43


b.

c.

d.

Council affiliated church, entered into an agreement with the Fellowship to be amenable to the General Council and district council in matters of doctrine and conduct. (See Constitution, Article XI, Section 1, paragraph d.) Relationships. Cooperative fellowship describes both the relationship that exists between local churches and their relationships with the district councils and the General Council. Organizational assistance. The services of both the General Council and district council are available to assist the General Council affiliated church in dealing with any of its problems, either internal or external, when requested by the pastor or a majority of the official board of the church or a petition signed by 20 percent of the voting members. Preservation of affiliation. In the event the termination of affiliation with The General Council of the Assemblies of God is under consideration by an affiliated assembly, the pastor or board shall invite the district officers to participate in a specially called business meeting for the express purpose of giving the district officers the opportunity to present the case for continued General Council affiliation. Final disposition of the matter may then proceed in accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the local church

Section 6. Organization. Assemblies shall be entitled to the help of the District Officiary in obtaining proper organization. Arrangement for a meeting to set the assembly in order shall be made through consultation with the Superintendent. At this meeting declaration of affiliation with the Assemblies of God shall be made, officers shall be elected, and an adequate Constitution and Bylaws shall be adopted for the future guidance of the church. Section 7. Guidelines for Minimal Membership for General Council Affiliated Assemblies. If a General Council affiliated church is unable to meet any of the criteria for affiliation as set forth in the Constitution, Article XI, Section 1, paragraph a, it shall seek the assistance of the district officers for help in maintaining the minimal requirement for General Council affiliation. The district may use any means prescribed by its bylaws to assist the church in returning to a position of strength. If the minimal requirements have not been attained, the church shall revert to district affiliated status until the minimal requirements for General Council affiliation have been attained Section 8. New Assemblies. The planting of new churches shall be a priority goal of The General Council of the Assemblies of God. Resources at all levels shall be aligned to accomplish this purpose. Initiative for establishing new churches and the 44


oversight of those churches may emanate from local assemblies, sections, and district councils. District presbyteries, sectional committees, or the authorities within a district charged with the responsibility of approving new churches shall not prohibit the planting of new churches unless a compelling reason exists. If it is determined that a compelling reason exists, a minister or local church desiring to plant the church shall have the right to appeal to their district presbytery or authorities within a district charged with the responsibility of approving new churches, and the decision of the district may be appealed to the General Council Executive Presbytery, whose decision shall be final. Section 9. Government. a. The Pastor. The pastor, under Jesus Christ, is recognized as the head of the church, chairman of all boards and an ex officio member of all committees and meetings. He is responsible both to the District fellowship and to the church which he serves, and as long as he conforms to scriptural order and complies with the Constitution and Bylaws of the local church, he shall be respected in his office. The titles given to staff members of the local assembly shall be left to the discretion of the local church. b. Church Boards. Each church board member should familiarize himself with the District Constitution and Bylaws. In the affiliated churches no board, committee or group may take to themselves the right to supersede the authority vested in the scriptural office of the pastor, nor come between the pastor and his relationship to the congregation itself. Boards or other church committees are chosen to serve the church in conformity to simple New Testament order, and are directly responsible to both the pastor and the church for their actions and conduct. c. Pastoral Elections. The congregation has the privilege of electing its own pastor at a duly announced business meeting. Such pastor must be an Assemblies of God minister unless such requirement is waived by the District Presbytery. It is recommended that the pastors be elected for a period of at least two years on the first call with a two-thirds majority of votes required for election. Subsequently, it is recommended that pastors be elected for indefinite terms of office and that all re-elections, definite or indefinite, conducted on the basis that a simple majority of the votes shall constitute an election. If an election is petitioned by members of the congregation, it is recommended that a simple majority of the qualified voters be required to call such an election. d. Organizational Assistance. The services of both the General Council and District Council are available to assist the General Council affiliated church in dealing 45


with any of its problems, either internal or external, when requested by the pastor and/or a majority of the official board of the church or a petition signed by 20 percent of the voting members. Section 10. Assemblies Resulting From a Division. a. Status of assembly. When efforts to maintain unity and harmony in an assembly have failed, and a division results in a new congregation being formed, the district should exercise strong and wise leadership in ascertaining the facts and seek to preserve Assemblies of God adherents for the Fellowship. Within the bounds of ethical principles, sound doctrine, and district policy, all districts should seek to retain any meritorious group within the Assemblies of God. b. Status of minister. Circumstances in each case will determine whether the minister should be disciplined or denied ministry in either the original church or the dissident group, or even residency in the area where the division occurred. If a minister is guilty of inappropriate conduct resulting in a division, the district presbytery shall deal appropriately with the minister as provided in Article X, Section 3, of the Bylaws. Section 11. Church Property. a. Location. 1) In the opening of a new work, or before buying property or before moving a church into any locality, the minister must first contact the Sectional Presbyter in writing, who, after taking into consideration the community, population and views of the nearby pastors, if any shall express his opinion to the Sectional Committee, who shall then approve or disapprove such move. If objections are offered to the proposed location, such objection must be made in writing to the Sectional Presbyter. 2) If after a reasonable length of time, said location is not used, the Presbyter and the Sectional Committee, at their own discretion, shall withdraw permission from said applicant and grant same to another who is making request for said church location. 3) Appeals from the decision of the Sectional Committee shall be made to the District Presbytery, whose decision shall be final. b. Deeds. 1) Each congregation shall have the right to hold property in its own corporate name through its own trustees. If it deems this plan impractical, it shall have the right to deed the 46


property to the District Council until such time as it is considered expedient to return the property to full assembly control. This plan shall be subject to the approval of the District Presbytery. 2) In order to protect the interest of those whose purpose in providing or obtaining church property was for the establishing or maintaining of an Assemblies of God Church, it is recommended that each assembly place the following provisions in its Constitution and Bylaws. In the event that any South Texas Assemblies of God Church, either sovereign or dependent, shall be so affected by strife, division or other reasons so that a ruling majority of its members become affiliated with some other organization; or in the event that its teaching and practice shall no longer uphold those statements of faith embodied in the District Constitution; or in the event for any reason a church should cease to function in or on said property, all rights to said property shall come under the control of the Executive Presbytery of the South Texas District Council until such time as an Assemblies of God Church does again function or conditions indicate that future operation of a church in said location is not feasible in which case the Executive Presbytery shall be empowered to dispose of the property and use the proceeds to promote Assemblies of God interest elsewhere. 3) All churches applying for District financial assistance or endorsement of notes shall furnish the Secretary with a copy of church property deeds. 4) In the deeding of church property, the following form is suggested: We, ________________________ and _________________________ his wife, of the County of __________, State of Texas, for and in consideration of the sum of __________ dollars, and other good and valuable consideration, in hand paid by (name of church) affiliated with the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God, Incorporated, with headquarters at Houston, Texas, have granted, sold and conveyed and by these present do grant, sell and convey unto said (name of church), at _______________ Texas, with _______________ , _______________ , and _______________ , as trustees, their successors and assigns, of the County of __________, State of Texas, all that certain tract or parcel of land in __________ County, Texas, know and described as follows: (Give full property description) To have and to hold the above described premises, together with all and singular, the rights and appurtenances thereto in anywise belonging unto the said (name of church), its successors or assigns, forever; and we do hereby bind ourselves, our heirs executors and administrators, to warrant and forever defend, all and singular, the said premises unto the said (name of church), 47


it's successors and assigns, against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof. In the event, however, that said property should cease to be used for any purpose outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God, Incorporated, due to lack of membership or failure of organization, or in the event the congregation should sever its affiliation with the Assemblies of God Organization, the herein described property shall revert to and become the property of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God, Incorporated, in fee simple, absolute. It is expressly provided, however, that nothing herein contained shall deprive the church of acting by and through its duly authorized Trustees, to function normally and to make and execute a bona fide mortgage or Deed of Trust, conveying the above described property in fee simple, absolute. c.

d.

Private Ownership. All private ownership of church buildings, schools, or other institutions that are supported by funds solicited for the work of God is disapproved by the District Council. Where such private ownership exists, it is strongly recommended a properly constituted incorporated body be formed and that the title to the property be transferred to such body. Mergers. (1) Before an assembly considers closing and merging with another assembly, both initiating pastors should go to the Sectional Committee and express their desire to merge and request assistance. (2) The Sectional Committee would meet with both pastors concerned. (If two Sections are involved then both Presbyters and their Committees will serve as mediators.) The Presbyter(s) and Committee should evaluate the proposed merger on the basis of how it will affect both assemblies as pertaining to attendance, facilities, indebtedness, leadership and any other situation that would be determined by the outcome of such a merger. (3) If the two pastors are agreeable, the Sectional Committee will then meet with the two boards (separately or together.) It being understood that time is of essence and all effort should be expended to bring recommendations to both churches as soon as full inquiry is made. (4) When the churches meet, allow the Sectional Committee to be present to act as an arbitrator and represent the view of the District. It being understood that each church involved would have their own separate duly called business meeting. It being further understood that the business meeting would not be valid unless the required quorum was present and voting. In cases where no quorum is specified, there must be at least 51% of all the qualified 48


members present and a two-thirds majority vote of those present must approve the merger. Section 12. Name of Local Assemblies. The District Council favors the adopting of a uniform name for its assemblies, namely, “Assembly of God�, and encourages each assembly to comply with this recommendation. Section 13. Transfer of Local Church Membership. a. Letter of introduction. It is recommended that members request a letter of introduction from the church of which they are a member to be sent by mail to the church with which they desire to affiliate. b. Acknowledgment of transfer. It is recommended that the receiving church shall give an acknowledgment of transfer to the former church. ARTICLE XI. MISSIONS DEPARTMENT Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a Missions Department to include all missionary activity of the District at home and abroad. Section 2. Organization. a. Personnel. (1) The District Superintendent shall recommend a District Missions Director who shall be appointed by the District Presbytery. (2) Each Sectional Presbyter shall provide a missions representative from his section. (3) The Director of Missions and the appointed Sectional Representatives, and including, when possible, two missionaries in the District, shall comprise the District Missions Committee. b. Duties of Missions Director. (1) To conduct and promote missions conventions in local churches upon request. (2) To act as supervisor of the Mission Department working in full cooperation with the Executive Presbytery and the Sectional Presbyters. (3) To record official decisions, acts and proceedings of the Missions Department, reporting same at the District Council, or when requested, to the District Officiary. (4) To receive and handle all correspondence of the Department. (5) To meet with the Executive Missions Committee quarterly to evaluate the Missions Program and to determine 49


c.

promotional methods for the Department. (6) To perform such other duties as are common to the Office. Appointments and Elections. (1) The Missions Representative from each section shall be appointed for a two (2) year term, in consultation with the District Missions Director. (2) The Executive Presbytery shall serve as advisors to the District Missions Committee.

Section 3. Finance. a. The Missions Department shall have travel expenses paid from the District Missions Fund. b. The operating expenses of the Missions Department shall be paid from the District Missions fund. c. The disbursement of Home Missions funds shall be exclusively for Home Missions, under the direction of the Executive Presbytery. d. Each assembly receiving Home Missions donations shall be requested to provide an itemized statement to the Sectional Committee and a duplicate statement to the District Home Missions Department showing the disbursement of any money received from the General Council or the District Home Missions Department. e. One-third of the offering received at the missionary rally of each Council shall be given to Home Missions. f. The disbursement of all undesignated missionary funds shall be under the direction of the Executive Presbytery in consultation with the District Missions Director. g. When these Home Missionary projects are approved, Home Missionary pastors may itinerate as invitations are available from local churches in the District for the purpose of raising funds to meet the need of the approved project. Section 4. Church Planting and Revitalization. The South Texas District shall cooperate with the General Council in promoting church revitalization to benefit existing churches and pastors, and promote and support efforts to plant new churches throughout the District. Such personnel and committees as needed to carry out these efforts shall be appointed by the Superintendent with the approval of the Executive Presbytery. Assemblies are encouraged, at their own initiative, to establish new churches at sectional approved locations under the Mother Church Plan of the National Home Missions Department. All Church Planting and Revitalization shall meet requirements set forth by the General Council, ByLaw Article VI, Assemblies, Section 6 New Assemblies, P. 109, and comply with the District Council Policy concerning church planting. ARTICLE XII. CHRISTIAN EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 50


Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a District Christian Education Department of the South Texas District Assemblies of God. Section 2. Mission and Purpose. a. Mission Statement. The mission of the Christian Education Department of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God is to assist pastors, ministers, and laity in strengthening the discipleship arm of the church through winning the lost and discipling converts and believers of all ages. b. Purpose Statement. The purpose of the Christian Education Department is explained in the following purpose statement, which includes: (1) The formation, development, and promotion of Christian Education ministries which include but not limited to Sunday School, ministry to children and adults for the spiritual growth and advancement of the Kingdom of God. (2) The development and training of lay leaders in equipping them to do the work of the ministry according to their gifts and abilities. (3) The networking of pastors, lay leaders, Christian Education Directors, Sunday School Superintendents, and Children’s Ministers for the exchange of resources and materials. Section 3. Personnel. a. Officers. (1) A District Christian Education Director. (2) An Assistant District Christian Education Director. (3) Sectional Christian Education Representative b. Qualifications. (1) The District Christian Education Director shall be a minister in good standing with the District. (2) The Assistant District Christian Education Director shall be either a minister or layman in full cooperation with the District Education Department policies. (3) The Sectional Christian Education Representatives shall be either a minister or layman in full cooperation with the District Christian Education Department policies. c. Appointments. (4) The District Christian Education Director shall be appointed by the Executive Presbytery for a two (2) year term. (5) The Assistant District Christian Education Director shall be appointed by the District Christian Education Director with the approval of the Executive Presbytery for a two year term concurrent with the term of the District Christian Education Director. 51


d.

(6) The Sectional Christian Education Representatives shall be appointed by the Sectional Presbyter and District Christian Education Director for a two year term of office. Duties. (1) Christian Education Director. a) To act as a general advisor of the local Christian Education Departments of the district and assist in the organizing of new Sunday Schools whenever requested. b) To carry out the purpose of the District Christian Education Department providing leadership, vision, encouragement, and resources to local churches. c) To insure the maintenance of accurate records of the activities and development of the District Christian Education Department. d) To develop, promote, and supervise the ministry to Children through children’s camps, retreats, and Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade. e) To direct training conferences and seminars for the equipping of the laity in the work of the ministry. f) To provide information to sectional representatives and local Christian Education leaders concerning the programs of the National Christian Education Department. g) To perform additional duties as requested by the District Council or presbytery. (2) Assistant District Christian Education Director. a) To assist the District Christian Education Director. (3) Sectional Christian Education Representative. a) To promote the work of Christian Education within their section under the direction of the District Christian Education Director. b) To be available to assist local churches within their section in Christian Education providing information, inspiration, and instruction. c) To conduct lay leadership training events in accordance with the District Christian Education programs. d) He shall assist the District Christian Education Director as needed.

Section 4. Finance. a. The District Christian Education Department shall have salaries, travel expenses and office expenses paid out of the District Ministries General Fund. b. All funds generated for approved projects, shall be given to those projects, and other funds contributed to this department shall go into the District Ministries General fund. 52


c. d.

Each church is recommended to financially support the District Christian Education Department as well as the District Christian Education personnel when they minister in the local church All budgets and projects shall be approved in advance by the Executive Presbytery.

ARTICLE XIII. YOUTH MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a District Youth Ministries Department. Section 2. Organization. a. Personnel. (1) A District Youth Ministries Director. (2) An Assistant District Youth Ministries Director. (3) One Youth Ministries Department Representative from each Section. (4) A Campus Ministries Director. b.

Qualifications. (1) The District Youth Ministries Director shall be an Ordained Minister. (2) The Assistant Director shall be an Ordained Minister. (3) The Sectional Youth Ministries Department Representatives and Secretaries shall be either a minister or layman in full cooperation with District Youth Ministries Department policies.

c.

Appointments. (1) The District Youth Ministries Director shall be appointed by the District Presbytery for a two (2) year term. (2) The Assistant District Youth Ministries Director shall be appointed by the District Youth Ministries Director with the approval of the Executive Presbytery for a term of two (2) years. The term of the Assistant District Youth Ministries Director shall be concurrent with the term of the District Youth Ministries Director. (3) The Sectional Youth Ministries Directors shall be appointed by the District Youth Ministries Director in full agreement with the Sectional Presbyter. The term of office for the Sectional Youth Ministries Director shall be for two (2) years. In the event of a vacancy in this office, the District Youth Ministries Director in full agreement with the Sectional Presbyter shall appoint a Director to fill the unexpired term. (4) The Campus Ministries Director shall be appointed by the District Youth Ministries Director with the approval of the Executive Presbytery.

d.

Duties of Youth Ministries Department President. 53


(1) The office of Youth Ministries Director shall be on a full time basis. (2) To promote Sectional Youth Ministries Events, preside at District Youth Ministries Conventions, appoint such committees as may be deemed necessary, and oversee and supervise the District Youth Ministries Department organization in general. (3) To promote youth camps and supervise same. (4) To provide youth ministry leadership training. (5) To perform any additional duties that the District Council or District Presbytery may direct. (6) To present his/her proposed program to the Executive and/or District Presbytery at their scheduled meetings. (7) Shall be accountable to the District Superintendent for special assignments and functions. e.

Duties of the Assistant Youth Ministries Director. (1) To assist the Youth Ministries Director al all times. (2) To fill the office of Youth Ministries Director in case of vacancy.

f.

Duties of the Sectional Youth Ministries Director. (1) To preside over the Youth Ministries work in his Section. (2) To work in full cooperation with the District Youth Ministries Director and with the pastors and youth leaders of the Section. (3) To arrange and conduct ministry events. (4) To help organize new Youth Ministries groups. (5) To attend the meetings of the Sectional Youth Directors or arrange for a representative of the Section to attend in the event he/she cannot.

Section 3. Campus Ministries. a. The Campus Ministries Director is a Home Missionary to the students of South Texas. b. The Campus Ministries Director works to further the Kingdom of God among students by following the philosophy, procedures and guidelines of the Campus Ministries Program, also known as Youth Alive, of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. c. The Campus Ministries Director is to work in full cooperation with the District Youth Ministries Director, District Presbytery, and the local Pastor. d. The duties of the Campus Ministries Director include, but are not limited to: promoting the organization of new groups; overseeing existing groups; training and overseeing campus group leaders and campus missionaries; representing campus missions at District functions and in local churches; planning and promoting training events; providing resource materials; enlisting help and assistance from local assemblies maintaining a central office from which to 54


carry out any and all duties necessary to further win lost students to Christ. Section 4. Finance. a. The District Youth Ministries Director shall have salary and office expenses, paid out of the District Ministries General Fund. b. All funds generated for duly-approved projects shall be given to those projects and other funds contributed to this department shall go into the District Ministries General Fund. c. Each Church is encouraged to assume its financial obligation in contributing to the support of the District Youth Ministries Director when he/she visits the local churches. d. All budgets and projects shall be approved in advance by the Executive Presbytery. ARTICLE XIV. WOMEN’S MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a Women’s Ministries Department of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God. Section 2. Mission and Purpose. a. Mission Statement. The mission of Women’s Ministries is to touch the lives of women and girls by the transforming power of Jesus Christ, discipling them to follow His example, and training them to minister to others. b. Purpose Statement. The purpose of Women’s Ministries has eternal significance and is explained in a fivefold purpose statement, which includes: (1) Reaching women through the transforming power and love of Jesus Christ; (2) Discipling women to follow Christ’s example and live an overcoming life; (3) Building wholeness and balance, both spiritually and mentally, through consistent prayer and study of God’s Word. (4) Providing an atmosphere for women to develop their gifts, abilities, and lasting Christian relationships; and (5) Training women to find their place of ministry and effectively touch their world for Christ. Section 3. Personnel. a. Officers. (1) District Women’s Ministries Director (2) District Women’s Ministries Assistant Director (3) District Girl’s Ministries Director (4) Sectional Women’s Ministries Director (5) Sectional Girl’s Ministries Director 55


b.

c.

d.

Qualifications. (1) The District Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries officers shall be properly qualified, cooperative, and a resident of the district. (2) They shall be women of mature experience, with recognized leadership ability, a vision, an understanding of the ministries of the department, and a desire to promote the work of Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries. (3) They shall subscribe to the tenets of faith of the Assemblies of God, be baptized in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4, and members in good standing of a local Assemblies of God church. (4) They shall be in agreement with the purpose of the District Women’s Ministries Department, and shall have demonstrated proven interest and ability in its ministry. Appointment. (1) The District Women’s Ministries Director shall be appointed by the District Presbytery. The term of office shall be for two (2) years. (2) The District Women’s Ministries Assistant Director and District Girl’s Ministries Director shall be appointed by the District Presbytery and District Women’s Ministries Director. The term of office shall be for two (2) years. (3) The Sectional Women’s Ministries Directors and Girl’s Ministries Director shall be appointed by the Sectional Presbyter and District Women’s Ministries Director. The term of office shall be for two (2) years. (4) No communications concerning such appointment shall be had with any potential appointee until such time as her local pastor has approved. Duties. (1) District Women’s Ministries Director a) She shall carry out the purpose of the Women’s Ministries Department. She shall be a leader to whom the local groups look for information, training, inspiration, and direction. She initiates and directs the District Women’s Ministries program and oversees the auxiliary (Girl’s Ministry). b) She shall preside at all executive and district Women’s Ministries committee meetings. The District Women’s Ministries Director shall work together with the District Girl’s Ministry Director and be supportive with her in prayer and counsel. c) She shall provide information to sectional directors and local leaders concerning the programs and projects of the 56


National Women’s Ministries Department. d) She shall insure the maintenance of accurate records of district Women’s Ministries activities, meeting, and finances. (2) District Women’s Ministries Assistant Director. The District Women’s Ministries Assistant Director shall assist the District Women’s Ministries Director. (3) District Girl’s Ministries Director. a) She shall plan and coordinate District Girl’s Ministries events and activities, working in cooperation with and under the direction of the District Women’s Ministries Director. b) She shall be a leader to whom the local clubs look for information, training, inspiration, and direction. c) She shall provide information to Sectional Girl’s Ministries and local clubs concerning the programs, projects and materials she receives from the National Girl’s Ministries Director. (4) Sectional Women’s Ministries Director. a) She shall supervise and promote the work of the District Women’s Ministries Department, including its auxiliary, Girls Ministries, in her section, under the supervision and direction of the District Women’s Ministries Director and in cooperation with the Sectional Presbyter. b) She shall be available to assist the District Women’s Ministries Director in any manner in which her help is needed. c) She shall conduct regular inspirational events in her section in accordance with the direction of the district Women’s Ministries programs. d) She shall be available to local Women’s Ministries Directors and local Girl’s Ministries Director to provide assistance, information, inspiration, and guidance. e) She shall serve as a member of the District Women’s Ministries Board under the supervision of the District Women’s Ministries Director. (5) Sectional Girl’s Ministries Director. a) She shall supervise and promote the work of the District Girl’s Ministry in her section, under the supervision and direction of the District Women’s Ministries Director and District Girl’s Ministries Director and in cooperation with the Sectional Presbyter. 57


e.

b) She shall be available to assist the District Women’s Ministries Director and District Girl’s Ministries Director in any manner in which her help is needed. c) She shall conduct regular inspirational events in her section in accordance with the direction of the district Girl’s Ministries. d) She shall be available to local Girl’s Ministries Director and Sponsors to provide assistance, information, inspiration, and guidance. e) She shall serve as a member of the District Girl’s Ministries Board under the supervision of the District Women’s Ministries Director and District Girl’s Ministries Director. Vacancies. A vacancy in any district-level office shall be filled by appointment by the District Presbytery. A vacancy in any sectional-level office shall be filled by appointment by the District Women’s Ministries Director and the Sectional Presbyter in accordance with Section 3(c) of this article.

Section 4. Activities. The District Women’s Ministries Department shall conduct annual Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministry events in keeping with the mission and purpose of Women’s Ministries. There shall be provision for training seminars, meetings, and other programs as deemed feasible. Section 5. Finances. a. Income. (1) Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries operational income shall include support from local groups and clubs, offerings and registration fees at district Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries events, and annual chartering and membership fees. (2) A percentage of district Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries project funds may be designated for the support of the District Women’s Ministries Department. (3) The District Women’s Ministries Department shall provide regular support to the National Women’s Ministries Department as established by the General Council bylaw of support for the (4) national office. b. Salaries and Honorariums. (1) Remuneration for the District Women’s Ministries Director shall be determined and reviewed periodically by the District Presbytery. (2) Remuneration for all other employees of the District Women’s Ministries Department shall be determined by the District Women’s Ministries Director and shall be paid by the Women’s 58


c.

Ministries Department. (3) Offerings shall be received at sectional Women’s Ministries and Girls Ministries activities to defray expenses incurred by the sectional Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries leaders in promoting projects and attending district or sectional meetings involving Women’s Ministries and Girl’s Ministries activities. Other methods of funding these expenses may be determined by the District Women’s Ministries Board. (4) All money for the District Women’s Ministries Department shall be channeled through the District office and shall be expended under the supervision of the District Women’s Ministries Director. An Annual Report shall be given at the district council. Expenses. Subject to Section 5, subsection b of this bylaw, all expenses of the Women’s Ministries Department shall be paid for by the income generated by the Women’s Ministries Department.

ARTICLE XV. HONORBOUND MEN'S MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a HonorBound Men's Ministries Department of the Assemblies of God. Section 2. Mission and Purpose. a. Mission Statement - It shall be the purpose of the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department of South Texas to commit itself to the task of growing godly men through the Holy Spirit in every church. b. Purpose Statement - This department shall set as its purpose the developing of men to be HonorBound men that are unique men of honor in Christ, baptized in the Holy Spirit, engaged in evangelism and committed to a lifetime of discipleship while supporting the local church. Section 3. Personnel. a. Officers. (1) District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director (2) District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Assistant Director (3) Sectional Honorbound Men’s Ministries Directors b.

Qualifications. (1) The District HonorBound Men’s Ministries officers shall be properly qualified, cooperative, and a male resident of the district. (2) They shall be men of mature experience, with recognized leadership ability, a vision, and understanding of the ministries of the department, and a desire to promote the work of 59


HonorBound Men’s Ministries. (3) They shall subscribe to the tenets of faith of the Assemblies of God, be baptized in the Holy Spirit according to Acts 2:4, and members in good standing of a local South Texas Assemblies of God church. (4) They shall be in agreement with the purpose of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department, and shall have demonstrated proven interest and ability in its ministry c.

Appointments. (1) The District HonorBound Men’s Director shall be appointed by the District Presbytery. The term of office shall be determined by the District Presbytery, but shall not be for less than 2 (two) years. (2) The District Assistant HonorBound Men’s Director shall be appointed by the District HonorBound Director in consultation with the Executive Presbytery. The term of office shall be for a term of 2 (two) years. (3) The Sectional HonorBound Men’s Directors shall be appointed by the District HonorBound Director in consultation with the Sectional Presbyter. The term of office shall be for 2 (two) years. (4) No communication concerning such appointment shall be had with any potential appointee until such time as his local pastor has approved.

d.

Duties. (1) District HonorBound Men’s Director. a) He shall carry out the purpose of the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department. He shall be a leader to whom the local groups look for information, training, inspiration, and direction. He initiates and directs the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries program and gives oversight to the auxiliary (Royal Rangers). b) He shall preside at all executive and district HonorBound Men’s Ministries committee meetings and functions. c) He shall provide information to sectional directors and local leaders concerning the programs and projects of the National HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department. d) He shall insure the maintenance of accurate records of district HonorBound Men’s Ministries activities, meetings, and finances. e) He shall serve as the District Light for the Lost Director, and in such capacity have the right to appoint individuals to serve special functions within the department to fulfill the purpose of this ministry. (2) District HonorBound Men’s Assistant Director. 60


a) He shall assist the District HonorBound Men’s Director b) He shall accept portfolio assignments given to him by the District HonorBound Men’s Director. c) He shall serve as the District Assistant Light for the Lost Director. (3) Sectional HonorBound Men’s Ministries Directors. a) He shall supervise and promote the work of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department in his section, under the supervision and direction of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director in cooperation with the Sectional Presbyter. b) He shall be available to assist the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director in any manner in which his help is needed. c) He shall conduct regular inspirational events in his section in accordance with the direction of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries programs. d) He shall be available to local HonorBound Men’s Ministries to provide assistance, information, inspiration, and guidance. e) He shall or shall not, at the discretion of the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director, serve as the Sectional Light for the Lost Director. e.

Vacancies. (1) A vacancy in any district-level office shall be filled by appointment by the District Presbytery. (2) A vacancy in any sectional-level office shall be filled by appointment by the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director in conjunction with the Sectional Presbyter and in accordance with Section C (3) of this article.

Section 4. Activities. The District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department shall conduct annual Men’s Ministries and Light For The Lost events in keeping with the mission and purpose of Men’s Ministries. There shall be provision for training seminars, meetings, mission trips, and other programs and activities as deemed feasible. Section 5. Finances. a. Income. (1) HonorBound Men’s Ministries and Light for the Lost operational income shall include support from local groups, offerings from individuals and ministers, registration fees at events, and other fees and reimbursements received. (2) Other income may be approved by the Executive Presbytery. 61


b.

Salaries and Honorariums. (1) Remuneration for the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director shall be determined and reviewed periodically by the District Presbytery and shall be paid by the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department. (2) Remuneration for all other employees of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department shall be determined by the District Men’s Ministries Director and shall be paid by the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department. (3) Offerings shall be received at sectional and district functions of the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department for the purpose of funding the departmental operations. Other methods of funding these expenses may be determined by the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director in cooperation with the District Superintendent. (4) All money for the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department shall be channeled through the District office and shall be expended under the supervision of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director. An Annual Report shall be given at the District Council.

c.

Expenses. (1) Subject to Section 5, subsection b of this bylaw, all expenses including travel expenses, District Council, office and operational expenses of the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Director shall be paid for by the income generated by the HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department.

Section 6. Royal Rangers. a. The Royal Rangers shall have their own Constitution and Bylaws as long as said bylaws is in conformity with General Council and District Council policies. b. The District Royal Ranger program shall be a part of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department program and shall be under the supervision of the District HonorBound Men’s Ministries Department Director. ARTICLE XVI. NEW CHURCH PLANTING AND REVITALIZATION Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a New Church Planting and Revitalization Department of the Assemblies of God. Section 2. Mission and Purpose. a. Mission Statement – It shall be the mission of the Church Planting and Revitalization Department to identify, assess, equip, and coach 62


b.

spirit-led church planters to develop healthy and reproducing new and existing churches in the South Texas District. Purpose Statement – This department shall be for the purpose of opening and establishing of new churches, strengthening existing district churches through an effective revitalization program of training, coaching, and assessment, promoting and establishing churches in the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God through a strategic parenting program, and coaching, training, and equipping all dependent church pastors to move their churches to a General Council status.

Section 3. Personnel. There shall be a District Church Planting Director. The director shall be appointed by the District Superintendent and ratified by the Executive Presbytery. The Church Planting Director shall supervise and promote the efforts of church planting and revitalization throughout the South Texas District according to the policies that shall be established by the Executive Presbytery. Section 4. Policy and Procedure. Policy and procedure for planting churches within the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God shall be developed and implemented by the District Task Force which will be composed of the District Superintendent, the Executive Presbytery, the District Church Planting and Revitalization Director, and a council of not more than ten proven South Texas District church (mother church pastors and/or pioneer planters). These Church Planters will be appointed by the District Superintendent and the Executive Presbytery with the counsel of the District Church Planter. Section 5. Procedure for Establishing New Works, Parenting Churches, and/or Revitalization. a. Approval must be granted by the Sectional Task Force (Sectional Presbyter and his committee) and the District Task Force (District Superintendent, Executive Presbytery, Church Planting & Revitalization Director. b. Approval must be based upon investigation of the population of affected area, growth patterns, a definite apostolic call (a sent one), and the impact the new work will have on existing churches. To develop a new church, the evaluation shall take into consideration the recommendation of the affected pastor(s) before making a final decision. Section 6. Finances. All churches should consider including Church Planting and Revitalization as part of the church’s mission’s budget. Funds may also be obtained by liquidation of assets, rental properties, corporate grants, foundations and interest loans. The greatest way to effectively plant new 63


churches is by mothering churches. We encourage all churches to be actively involved in some way in the parenting program. All mother churches shall follow the South Texas District Policy and Procedure Manual for New Church Plants and District Churches. Section 7. Location of a New Work. It is recommended that new works shall be no closer than one mile from an existing affiliated church. Section 8. Relocation of Assemblies. Relocation of General Council Assemblies shall be at the discretion of the Assembly, provided such assembly shall not be located within one mile of an existing affiliated church. In the event of unusual circumstances, warranting profit for the Kingdom of God, the one-mile limit may be waived. In such cases the relocating church shall secure approval from the Sectional Task Force (Sectional Presbyter and his committee) and the District Task Force (District Superintendent, Executive Presbytery, and Church Planting and Revitalization Director). The approval shall take into consideration the recommendation of the affected pastor(s), who shall keep with ministerial courtesy and ministerial ethics, before making a final decision. Section 9. District Council Affiliated Assemblies. Whereas it is the desire of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God to see all churches grow and mature to a General Council Affiliated status. The Sectional Task Force (Sectional Presbyter and his committee) and the District Task Force (District Superintendent, Executive Presbytery, and Church Planting and Revitalization Director) will develop a Revitalization Review for each District Council Affiliated Church annually. This will help promote growth and evangelism through coaching, assessment, and training. ARTICLE XVII. PLEASANT HILLS CHILDREN'S HOME Section 1. Authorization. The South Texas District Council shall participate in the regional operation of the Pleasant Hills Children's Home, Fairfield, Texas in cooperation with other Districts of the region. Section 2. Delegation of Authority. The South Texas District Council delegates its Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer to serve as trustees, or members of the Board of Directors of Pleasant Hills Children's Home. ARTICLE XVIII. SOUTHWESTERN ASSEMBLIES OF GOD UNIVERSITY Section 1. Authorization. The South Texas District Council shall participate in the regional operation of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie, Texas in cooperation with other Districts of the region. 64


Section 2. Delegation of Authority. The South Texas District Council delegates its General Council Presbyters and one lay representative appointed by the District Presbytery to serve as trustees or members of the Board of Regents of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. The lay representative shall be appointed for a two-year term. The lay representative who serves on the Board of Regents shall also serve on the S.A.G.U. Executive Committee of the Board of Regents, along with one of the General Presbyters who has been appointed by the District Presbytery. Their term on the S.A.G.U. Executive Committee shall be for two years. ARTICLE XIX. STEWARDSHIP Section 1. Authorization. There shall be a Stewardship Department. Section 2. Organization. a. The Secretary-Treasurer shall serve as Director of the Stewardship Department. b. He shall be assisted by an estate planner who has been certified by the General Council Stewardship Department. c. The Assistant Stewardship Director shall be appointed for a two year term by the Executive Presbytery. ARTICLE XX. SECTIONAL BOUNDARIES Section 1. San Antonio Section. Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, Wilson, Karnes, Atascosa, Medina, Frio, LaSalle, Uvalde, Zavala, Dimmit, Kinney, Maverick, Kendall, Kerr, Bandera, Real and Edwards Counties. Section 2. Corpus Christi Section. McMullen, Live Oak, Bee, Refugio, Aransas, San Patricio, Nueces, Webb, Duval, Jim Wells, Kleberg, Jim Hogg, Brooks and Kenedy Counties. Section 3. Rio Grande Valley Section. Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron Counties. Section 4. Victoria Section. Fayette, Gonzales, Lavaca, DeWitt, Colorado, Goliad, Victoria, Jackson, Wharton and Calhoun Counties. Section 5. Houston Section. Washington, Waller, Austin, and Fort Bend Counties, and all that portion of Harris County lying West of the Santa Fe Railroad (along Mykawa Road) H.B. & T. Railroad and Rock Island Railroad. Section 6. Gulf Coast Section. Brazoria, Galveston and Matagorda Counties. Section 7. North Houston Section. Walker, Grimes, San Jacinto and Montgomery Counties and all that portion of Harris and Liberty Counties North of Rock Island Railroad, H.B. & 65


T. Railroad and Missouri Pacific Railroad. Section 8. San Jacinto Section. That portion of Harris County lying East of Santa Fe Railroad (along Mykawa Road), H.B. & T. Railroad, and the Missouri Pacific Railroad and West of the Trinity River and the portion of Chambers County lying West of the Trinity River. Section 9. Beaumont Section. Orange and Jefferson Counties and that portion of Liberty and Chambers Counties lying East of the Trinity River. Section 10. Neches Valley Section. Tyler, Jasper, Newton and Hardin Counties. ARTICLE XXI. PUBLICATIONS Section 1. Authorization. a. The South Texas District Council shall publish a monthly periodical in promotion of the work of the District and the Annual Yearbook which shall include the District Constitution and Bylaws, minutes of the District Council, a ministerial list and church directory. b. All publication subscriptions shall be included in the annual minister's credential renewal fees. Ordained Ministers shall send their DISTRICT renewal fee to the DISTRICT OFFICE with their annual GENERAL COUNCIL questionnaire. ARTICLE XXII. QUORUM All members registered and voting in any meeting of The General Council of the Assemblies of God shall constitute a quorum, and all general presbyters registered and voting in any meeting of the General Presbytery shall constitute a quorum. The presence of nine executive presbyters at any meeting of the Executive Presbytery shall constitute a quorum. The presence of four members at any meeting of the Board of Administration shall constitute a quorum. ARTICLE XXIII. ORDER OF BUSINESS The regular order of business for the District Council shall be: a. Report of Roster Committee b. Recognition of Committees c. Report of Superintendent d. Report of Secretary-Treasurer e. Unfinished Business f. Election of Officers g. New Business h. Adjournment All business sessions of the Council shall commence with prayer. ARTICLE XXIV. AMENDMENTS 66


Amendments to the Bylaws may be made at any regular meeting of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Amendments to be adopted shall require a majority of all votes cast. Section 1. Resolutions. a. All resolutions considered by the District Council must be presented in writing, signed by the author, and in the District Office thirty days prior to the District Council. They must further more be prepared and included in the packet distributed at the time of registration at the District Council. b. All essential resolutions, passed by the District Council, shall be printed perpetually in the publication containing the Constitution and Bylaws until such time as they are removed by an action of the District Council. Section 2. Amendments. Amendments to the Bylaws may be made by a two-thirds majority vote. The Constitution and Bylaws Review Committee shall review all changes to the General Council Constitution & Bylaws making recommendation to the District Presbytery to bring into alignment the South Texas District Constitution & Bylaws with the General Council Constitution and Bylaws and notifying the District Council of these changes. ARTICLE XXV. ADDENDA All matters not covered by the Constitution and Bylaws or by the resolutions which have been passed by the District Council shall be governed by the resolutions appearing on the minutes of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, endeavoring to keep the unity of the faith.

67


ESSENTIAL RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY

DISTRICT PRESBYTERY March 18, 1998, motion made, seconded and passed to accept Church Sale Policy with the following recommendations included therein: TO: THE DISTRICT PRESBYTERY. We feel the following procedures should be the most probable direction for the handling of funds that materialize from the sale of church properties which are under the custodianship of the District/Section. 1. 2. 3.

If the Section has experienced financial cost and responsibilities related to the sale of the church properties, these costs will be taken from the proceeds of the sale. Special financial consideration will be given to home missions, camp needs and District Office operational funds, based on urgency of needs at the time. The balance of the proceeds from the properties will go into the District Home Missions and/or New Church Missions to be administered by the Executive Presbyter.

The rationale for this is: 1.

2. 3.

4.

Often over a period of years the District has been involved in helping churches in financial need, either with loans or loan arrangements, direct gifts, and time spent in consultation with the church. Seldom is there any return of these District costs. The Section is not a legal division of the District. It cannot sell property on its own, because it is only an extension through which the District works. There may be shifts of Sectional leadership, and the new leadership may not have the same values on the usage of monies being held from the sale of properties. There would be less possibilities of this occurring with the Executive Presbytery. Since the priority location for establishing a new church may shift from Section to Section, the District Executive Presbytery would be in better position to place the funds at the point of need.

68


ESSENTIAL RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY

DISTRICT COUNCIL Essential Resolutions. "Be it resolved that a committee be appointed by the Executive Presbytery Board to review the resolutions adopted by previous District Council sessions and list the Essential Resolutions in the District Year Book immediately following the Bylaws." (1971) Underwriting of Loans by South Texas District. WHEREAS, occasionally, extenuating circumstances in smaller churches require the endorsement of a larger corporation to secure loans; and, WHEREAS, at the present time there is no authority for the District Council to become liable by underwriting such loans; therefore be it, RESOLVED, that this District Council in session request that the Executive Presbytery, hereafter, be authorized to obligate the South Texas District Council by underwriting such loans in cases where the Executive Presbytery deems such action wise and absolutely necessary. (1972) Ordination Committee. "Be it resolved that the Ordination Committee meet at least thirty days prior to the District Council to interview all ordination candidates and that said interview be done on an appointment basis. Also be it resolved that the candidates be told at the time of the decision of the Committee and be it further resolved that the District Secretary make application to the General Council for the certificates of all approved candidates so that said certificates can be presented during the ordination service at the District Council." (April 1976 B13) Resigning Pastors. "Be it resolved that all pastors be requested to notify the District Executive Officers of their intent to vacate a pastorate as soon as this intent has been announced to the local congregation. Such notice to include the date vacancy is to occur, name, address and telephone number of person or persons who may be contacted regarding the vacancy. Be it further resolved that the local assembly be requested to notify the same District Officers immediately upon the vacancy being filled, and that as an act of courtesy the local assembly notify all applicants of their decision as soon as possible thereafter." (April 1976 B13) Failure to Pay Tithes. "Be it resolved that when a minister has been personally apprised of his financial responsibilities and yet he willfully refuses to cooperate, his credentials shall not be signed by the Presbyter or endorsed by the District." (April 1977 B13) Portfolio Committee. "Be it resolved that the Executive Presbytery be given the responsibility of appointing a continuing Portfolio Committee for the purpose of evaluating the efficiency of the diverse responsibilities in the District 69


Office, and that this Committee report annually to the District Council." (1981 p.77) Honorary Presbyter. "Be it resolved that the 41st District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Jack B. Linney an honorary member of the District Presbytery with all rights and privileges." (April 1993) Accelerated Ministers' Training (A.M.T.). WHEREAS, The Accelerated Ministers’ Training program, better known as A.M.T., has been successful in reaching its goals of practical training for South Texas Ministers; and WHEREAS, The program has, of necessity, changed with the times in several practical ways since the 1982 District Council in Galveston adopted the Essential Resolution establishing A.M.T.; and WHEREAS, A.M.T. would be better served by allowing the Executive Presbytery to establish dates for the annual A.M.T. sessions; therefore be it RESOLVED, That the following action be taken by the 1996 District Council in Houston: 1. The program will require attendance at four (4) sessions (a session consisting of a Friday evening and a Saturday morning). 2. There will be only two (2) sessions in any given year. The time of these sessions will be determined by the Executive Presbytery. 3. A student must attend two (2) years (four (4) sessions) of A.M.T. in order to graduate. Following graduation, no further attendance at A.M.T. will be required. 4. Graduates of Assemblies of God Bible Colleges with Bachelor Degrees in Ministry or Theology will be exempt from attendance requirements. 5. Hardship cases can substitute tapes and written assignments for classes missed. (1996) Honorary Presbyter. “Therefore be it resolved that, this 48th District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Reverend LeRoy Fleck an honorary member of the District Presbytery of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God with all rights and privileges.” (May 2000) Honorary Presbyter. “Therefore be it resolved that, this 49th District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Howard Burroughs an honorary member of the District Presbytery of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God with all rights and privileges.” (April 2001) Honorary Presbyter. “Therefore be it resolved that, this 55th District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Earl Banning an honorary member of the District Presbytery of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God with all rights and privileges.” (April 2007)

70


Honorary Presbyter. “Therefore be it resolved that, this 55th District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Johnny Durham an honorary member of the District Presbytery of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God with all rights and privileges.” (April 2007) Honorary Presbyter. “Therefore be it resolved that, this 55th District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Sidney Watson an honorary member of the District Presbytery of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God with all rights and privileges.” (April 2007) Rotation to bring present Terms of Office in compliance with changes in Terms and Rotation System. Whereas: A rotation system is needed for the term of offices for District Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Executive Presbyters and General Presbyter exists, it is necessary for the present term of office to be in compliance with a rotation system. 1. In order to implement the rotation system, the following one time revision is necessary: a. In 2008 – the District Superintendent present term will be extended two additional years with the next election in 2011. b. In 2008 – The Assistant Superintendent present term will be extended one additional year with the next election in 2010. c. In 2008 – The Executive Presbyters Election will be for a fouryear-term. 2.

An example of the rotation as it would be (shown through the year 2019) a. in 2009 – The District Secretary Treasurer and General Presbyter would be elected for a four-year term. b. in 2010 – The Assistant Superintendent would be elected to a four-year term c. in 2011 – The District Superintendent would be would be elected to a four-year term d. in 2012 – The Executive Presbyters would be elected to a ouryear term. e. In 2013 – The District Secretary Treasurer and General Presbyter would be elected for a four year term. f. In 2014 – The Assistant Superintendent would be elected for a four-year term g. In 2015 – The Superintendent would be elected for a four-year term. h. In 2016 – The Executive Presbyters would be elected for a fouryear term. i. In 2017 – The District Secretary-Treasurer and General Presbyter would be elected for a four-year term. j. In 2018 – The Assistant Superintendent would be elected for a four-year term. 71


k. In 2019 – the Superintendent would be elected for a four-year term. Honorary Presbyter. “Therefore be it resolved that the 57th District Council of the South Texas District of the Assemblies of God make Gary Chapin an honorary member of the District Presbytery of the South Texas District Council of the Assemblies of god with all rights and privileges. (April 2009)

72


73

STXAG Constitution & Bylaws  

Constitution and bylaws updated 2009

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you