Missouri Synod Church in Downtown Memphis

By-laws

By-Laws of
Trinity Lutheran Church
of Memphis TN

Article I Membership

A. Admission in Membership

1. Baptised Membership

a. Holy Baptism may be administered at the request of anyone who ever has been instructed in the fundamentals of the Christian faith.

b. Baptism may be administered to infants and children brought by their parents or guardians and thus be received into membership.

2. Communicant Membership

a. By confirmation:
The act of confirmation itself being the reception into the church membership of a person who has been instructed in the Church faith and has become acquainted with the Lutheran Confessions, especially Luther’s Small Catechism, and in this rite publicly confesses his adherence to this faith, such confirmands, upon the recommendation of the Board of Elders, shall be added to the communicant membership roll at the next regular meeting of the Church Council.

b. By Transfer:
Persons coming with a communicant letter of transfer from a congregation in fellowship with our Synod, provided they conform in all respects to the requirements of membership of this congregation, shall be recommended for communicant membership by the pastor and the elders at a regular meeting of the Church Council.

c. By Profession of Faith:
Others applying for membership shall give satisfactory evidence of qualification for communicant membership to the pastor and at least one elder, and upon their recommendation through the Board of Elders be received as communicant members at the next meeting of the Church Council.

3. Voting Membership

Voting membership shall be effected by the application of a communicant member submitted to the Church Council. Upon acceptance by the Council, at a
worship service a Voter applicant will sign the Constitution. Before exercising the right to vote the new member shall sign the Constitution.

4. Membership Roll

The addition of any name to our Baptized, Communicant, or Voter Roll shall take place only by the approval of the Church Council.

B. Termination of Membership

1. Termination of Baptized Membership:

One who has been baptized and later refuses to receive instruction and confirm his baptismal vow, shall be admonished according to Matt. 18, and if
necessary, excluded from our congregation.

2. Termination of Communicant Membership:

a. Active communicant members desiring to join a congregation in fellowship with us shall present the request in writing for transfer to the pastor and
elders, upon whose recommendation such transfer of membership shall be acted upon by the Church Council.

b. Joining other Churches:

Communicant members who have joined a congregation outside our own fellowship shall, upon recommendation of the pastors and elders, have their names
deleted by resolution of the Church Council.

c. Whereabouts Unknown:

The names of members with whom we have lost contact for a period of one year shall, upon the recommendation of the pastors and elders, be removed by the
Church Council and forthwith such membership shall be terminated.

d. Excommunication and Self-Exclusion:

Any member who conducts himself in an unchristian manner shall be dealt with according to Matt. 18:15-20. Excommunication shall be acted on by the Voters
Assembly upon recommendation of the Board of Elders.

e. Status:

One whose membership has been terminated forfeits all rights of membership, and all claims upon the property of the congregation as such, or upon any part
thereof, are relinquished as long as he is not reinstated into membership.

3. Termination of Voting Membership:

a. A voting member who is absent from meetings of the Voters’ Assembly for four consecutive regular meetings without excusing himself to the Pastors or
Chairman, shall, upon the recommendation of the Board of Elders, be deleted by the Church Council. Such a person may be reinstated by reapplying for active
voting membership status the Church Council.

b. Elderly and/or invalid voting members who find it impossible regularly to attend meeting of Voters may, upon recommendation of Pastors and Elders, be
considered for honorary membership.

4. The deletion of any name from our baptized or communicant Rolls shall take place only by the approval of the Church Council.

Article II Meetings

A. The regular meetings of the Voters’ Assembly shall be held annually in the month of November.

B. Special meetings of the Voters’ Assembly may be called by the Chairman of the Congregation or the Church Council.

C. Every Voters’ meeting (regular or special) shall be announced (by word or in the bulletin) at a prior Sunday service, and upon notification of all
registered voters at least one full week prior to the meeting.

D. A quorum of the Voters’ Assembly shall consist of three times the membership of the Church Council.

Article III Calling of Pastor

A. Nominations:

1. Any Pastor who is a graduate of one of the recognized Seminaries or Colleges of our Church, and/or is in good standing in our Synod, may be nominated
for the office of Pastor respectively of this congregation (By-Laws VI, A2i).

2. The Congregation shall solicit the suggestions of the District Presidents to fill the office of Pastor.

3. Any communicant member may nominate a candidate for office of Pastor.

4. A Call Committee of four Elders and three Council members will present a list of candidates for the office of Pastor to the Voters’ Assembly.

B. Elections:

1. The election of a Pastor from a list of candidates shall be by ballot in a meeting of the Voters’ Assembly.

2. A 2/3 majority of the Voters present shall elect a candidate; the election shall, if possible, be made unanimous.

Article IV Election of Congregational Officers

A. Suitable candidates for the office of Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Board of Elders, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Finance, Chairman of the Board of Education, Chairman of the Board of Evangelism, Chairman of the Board of Youth, Chairman of the Board of Social Ministry, Chairman of the Board of Hospitality, shall be chosen by a nominating committee of three appointed by the Chairman in consultation with the Church Council. The nominating committee shall present at least one candidate for each vacancy.

B. The slate of candidates shall be publicized in the November issue of “The Candle” and presented to the Voters’ Assembly in the November meeting.
Additional nominations may be made from the floor.

C. The annual election shall take place in the November meeting. A majority of the Voters present shall elect a candidate to office.

D. Additional members of the Board of Trustees, Board of Finance, Board of Education, Board of Youth, Board of Evangelism, Board of Social Ministry, and Board of Hospitality shall be appointed by the Church Council.

E. The above officers shall be elected publicly and installed into office on the first Sunday in January.

F. In the event of a vacancy in any elective office, the Church Council shall appoint a qualified person to fill the unexpired term. This appointment is to last only until the next election.

G. No elected officer shall succeed himself in office more than twice.

H. Any active voting member shall be eligible to fill the elective offices of this congregation except the Board of Elders, which must be male members.

I. No person shall hold more than one elective office.

Article V Executive Officers and Their Duties

A. Chairman:

1. The presiding officer of the congregation shall be a Chairman who shall be elected annually.

2. It shall be the duty of the Chairman to:

a. Preside at all meetings of the Voters’ Assembly and Church Council.

b. Together with the pastors serve as an ex officio member of all Boards, and see to it that they function efficiently.

c. Perform whatever duties shall be assigned to him by the congregation.

B. Vice-Chairman:

1. The Vice-Chairman shall be elected annually.

2. It shall be the duty of the Vice-Chairman to:

a. Perform the duties of the Chairman in his absence or at his request.

b. Fill an unexpired term of the Chairman.

c. Together with the pastors serve as an ex officio member of all Boards, and see to it that they function efficiently.

d. Perform whatever duties shall be assigned to him by the congregation.

C. Secretary:

1. The Secretary shall be elected annually.

2. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to:

a. Keep accurate minutes of the Voters’ Assembly and Church Council in books which shall be and remain the property of the congregation.

b. Perform such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her by the congregation.

D. Treasurer:

1. The Treasurer shall be elected annually.

2. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to:

a. Supervise the Bookkeeper in keeping an accurate record of the receipts and disbursements of the congregation in books which shall be and remain the property of the congregation.

b. Promptly pay all bills authorized by the congregation.

c. Make monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to the congregation.

d. Submit his books for audit at the end of the fiscal year.

e. Perform such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her by the congregation.

E. Financial Secretary:

1. The Financial Secretary shall be elected annually.

2. It shall be the duty of the Financial Secretary to:

a. Verify the counting and deposit of all contributions.

b. Record all individual contributions in books which shall be and remain the property of the congregation.

c. Make a report to the Church Council indicating trends, averages, goals, etc., as necessary.

d. Make quarterly and annual reports to each family unit in the congregation of its contributions.

e. Perform such other duties as shall be assigned to him/her by the congregation.

F. Church Council:

1. The Church Council shall be made up of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, Chairman of the Board of Elders, Chairman of the Board of Finance, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Board of Education, Chairman of the Board of Youth, Chairman of the Board of Evangelism, Chairman of the Board of Social Ministry, and Chairman of the Board of Hospitality.

2. The Church Council shall ordinarily meet once a month. A majority of members will constitute a quorum.

3. It shall be the duty of the Church Council to:

a. Conduct the internal and external affairs of the congregation except those matters reserved exclusively to the Voters’ Assembly by Article VI A of the Constitution.

b. Establish effective communications between various Boards and Committees to avoid duplications and make for more effective administration.

c. Annually appoint all officers and committee members, designating Chairman, whose election has not been provided for in the Constitution, such as Sunday School Superintendent, Head Usher, Assistant Head Usher, Memphis Circuit Mission Council Representatives, Counters, LCEF Representative, Librarian, Nursery Coordinator, Publicity Chairman, Auditors (2), Church Historian, Photographer, and any others as may be established by the congregation.

d. Act in matters committed to it by the Voters’ Assembly.

e. Annually appoint an auditing committee to audit all financial records of the congregation and organizations thereof, except those of the Financial Secretary.

f. Recognize emergencies and take necessary action.

Article VI Boards, Committees and Their Duties

A. Board of Elders:

1. The Elders shall be elected for a three-year term.

One Elder shall be elected for every 50 resident communicants or fraction thereof as determined by the Church Roll of March 1 to September 1. One-third, or the nearest fraction thereof, of the Board of Elders shall be elected annually. Annually the Board of Elders shall elect one of its members to serve as Chairman and another as Secretary.

2. It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to:

a. Assist the Pastor in all matters pertaining to the spiritual welfare of the congregation.

b. Examine candidates for membership, and make recommendations regarding membership to the Church Council.

c. Assist the Pastor(s) in the cultivation of a spirit of peace, love and harmony among the members of the congregation.

d. Consider complaints and grievances of members of the congregation if Matt. 18:15-16 has been fully observed, and they shall report to the congregation those which cannot be otherwise adjusted, in accordance with Matt. 18:15-16.

e. Make every effort to induce members who have been negligent in their attendance at services, in the use of the Sacraments, the financial support of the church, to amend their sinful ways and fully enjoy the rights and privileges of their membership.

f. Recommend to the Church Council the schedule of services and see to it that all services are conducted in a reverent and solemn manner.

g. Assist the Pastor(s) in arranging for pulpit assistance, special services, and guest speakers.

h. Provide the Pastor(s) with adequate secretarial help.

i. Prepare a list of candidates when the congregation is to call a Pastor or teacher. (The latter in consultation with the Board of Education.)

j. Be responsible to the Voters’ Assembly and make a report of its activities at regular meeting of the Voters.

k. In cooperation with the Trustees, look after the temporal welfare of the Pastor(s).

l. Act as the Salaried Personnel Committee on behalf of the congregation.

m. Perform any other duties which may be assigned to them by the congregation.

B. Board of Trustees:

1. The Board of Trustees shall consist of three members.

A Chairman of the Board of Trustees shall be elected annually. The additional members of the Board of Trustees shall be appointed by the Church Council.

2. It shall be the duty of the Trustees to:

a. Be the legal representatives of the congregation.

b. Be responsible for all real, personal, and mixed property of the congregation.

c. Maintain these properties in such a state of repair that they will best serve their respective purposes.

d. Keep the Church Council and Voters’ Assembly informed on the state of the properties and make relevant recommendations.

e. Keep the church and property adequately insured.

f. Hire and supervise custodial help for the church properties.

g. Perform any other duties which may be assigned to them by the Church Council and/or Voters’ Assembly.

C. Board of Education:

1. The Board of Education shall consist of the Chairman of the Board of Education who shall be elected annually, Sunday School Superintendent, along with at least two addition members who shall be appoint by the Church Council.

2. The Board of Education shall:

a. Promote and supervise sound Christian education in the congregation for all age levels.

b. Promote and encourage the various educational agencies in the congregation: Sunday School, Saturday School, Confirmation Classes, Vacation Bible School,
etc.

c. Set standards for teachers, arrange training courses, and select teachers for our educational agencies.

d. Recommend administration personnel for all educational agencies.

e. In cooperation with the Trustees, provide adequate space, equipment, materials to make our educational agencies as efficient as possible.

f. Be responsible to the congregation and accept any other duty assigned to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

D. Board of Finance:

1. The Board of Finance shall consist of the Chairman of the Board of Finance, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary, each of whom shall be elected annually, along with at least additional members who shall be appointed by the Church Council.

2. The Board shall:

a. Exercise surveillance over all funds of the congregation.

b. Supervise the raising of funds within the congregation.

c. Arrange for the approval of all expenditures.

d. In cooperation with the Trustees, provide our financial officers with the material and equipment to facilitate their work.

e. With cooperation of all Boards and Committees, compile and submit the annual budget with recommendations for adoption to the November Voters’ Assembly
covering the fiscal year from January 1 – December 31.

f. Devise ways to fully inform members of the congregation of local needs and opportunities to lengthen their outreach into all the world through District
and Synod.

h. Review the salaries of church servants at least annually.

i. Be responsible to the congregation, and except any other duties to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

E. Board of Evangelism

1. The Board of Evangelism shall consist of the Chairman of the Board of Evangelism who shall be elected annually, and at least two additional members who shall be appointed by the Church Council.

2. It shall be the duty of this board to:

a. Seek to instill the entire congregation with the desire to share Christ with others.

b. Plan, promote and carry out an Evangelism program in the congregation and in the community.

c. Plan and supervise religious surveys of the community.

d. Arrange for the maintenance of record files in order to keep an Evangelism Program active.

e. Enlist aid in visiting prospective members of the church.

f. Assist the Pastor(s) in training the laity to bring the unchurched to the Pastor’s instruction class.

g. In cooperation with the Elders, integrate new members into the life and work of the church.

h. Be responsible to the congregation, and except any other duties to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

F. Board of Social Ministry

1. The Board of Social Ministry shall consist of the Chairman of the Board of Social Ministry, who shall be appointed by the Church Council.

2. It shall be the duty of this board to:

a. Help us, as a congregation, live a life to demonstrate the compassion of our Savior.

b. Plan and supervise our entire Social Ministry Program.

c. Discover and respond to the needs of individuals in the congregation and community: of the sick, the aged, the bereaved, and the poor.

d. Solicit the congregation’s support for responsible Welfare Agencies of the church and community.

e. Be responsible to the congregation, and except any other duties to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

G. Board of Hospitality

1. The Board of Hospitality shall consist of a Chairman who will be elected annually, and at least two additional members who shall be appointed by the Church Council.

2. It shall be the duty of this board to:

a. Serve as official host of the congregation.

b. Promote the Christian virtues of hospitality and fellowship.

c. Supervise the planning and serving of all congregation sponsored dinners, receptions, etc.

d. Be responsible for the supervision of the kitchen and related inventory.

e. Be responsible to the congregation, and except any other duties to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

H. Board of Youth

1. The Board of Youth shall consist of the Chairman of the Board of Youth who shall be elected annually, and at least two additional members who shall be appointed by the Church Council.

2. It shall be the duty of this board to:

a. Organize and guide the activities of the youth of the church with a view to training our young people for effective service in the Kingdom of God.

b. Recommend to the Church Council counselors for the various youth organizations.

c. Constantly be alert to new ways in which the youth can serve their Savior.

d. Keep our entire congregation aware of the importance of work with the youth and informed of the program for youth developed by our Synod.

e. Be responsible to the congregation, and except any other duties to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

I. Worship Committee:

1. A Worship Committee shall consist of the Music Director / Organist and at least three members appointed by the Church Council annually.

2. It shall be the duty of this Committee to:

a. Encourage the development of corporate worship of our church.

b. Allocate budget funds for the worship program of our church.

c. Be responsible for appointing directors of choirs.

d. Make recommendations to the Board of Elders for hiring a Music Director / Organist.

e. Enlist the services of additional musicians.

f. Manage the Organ Scholarship Fund.

g. Be responsible to the congregation, and except any other duties to it by the Church Council or Voters’ Assembly.

Article VII Order of Business

The following shall be the normal order of business for regular meeting of the Voters’ Assembly:

A. Opening Devotion

B. Topic Study or presentation

C. Welcoming of Guests

D. Presentation of new members – signing the Constitution

E. Report of Pastor(s), Officers and Boards

1. Report of Pastor(s)

2. Report of Chairman

3. Report of Church Council

4. Report of Board of Elders

5. Report of Board of Education

6. Report of Board of Trustees

7. Report of Board of Finance

8. Report of Treasurer

9. Report of Financial Secretary

10. Report of Board of Evangelism

11. Report of Board of Social Ministry

12. Report of Board of Hospitality

13. Report of Board of Youth

14. Report of Standing Committee(s)

15. Other Reports

F. Old Business

G. New Business

H. Announcements

I. Adjournment

J. Closing Prayer

Article VIII Changes and Amendments

Changes and amendments to these By-Laws may be proposed at any regular meeting of the Voters’ Assembly. A two-thirds majority vote of a Voters’ Assembly quorum shall be required for adoption.

Article IX Parliamentary Practice

All parliamentary procedures not covered by the Constitution and By-Laws shall be determined by Robert’s Rules of Order – in so far as they are applicable and consistent with Christian love and practice.
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By-laws July 8, 2015