A. The names and addresses of the persons who are the EOM directors of the organization are as follows: (Addresses are not posted due to confidentiality but are on the original documents)
(1) Executive Board Members:
Bishop Lawrence C Dunbar, (Founder and Executive Board Member) EOM Presiding Bishop
1st Administrative Assistant: Jr. Bishop Quentin L Smith, (Executive Board Member) Overseeing Maryland Region
2nd Administrative Assistant: Elder William D. Phillips, (Executive Board Member) Overseeing Louisiana region
3rd Administrative Assistant: Elder Greg Cape, (Executive Board Member) Overseeing Colorado Region
4th Administrative Assistant: Elder William E Gipson, (Executive Board Member) Overseeing Florida Region and South America
5th Administrative Assistant: Elder LaChon D Smith, (Executive Board Member) Overseeing EOM Women’s Department
EOM First Lady: Sister Debra A Dunbar
(2) Administrative Board Members:
Treasure: Elder William E Gipson (Administrative Board Member)
Secretary: Elder LaChon D Smith, (Administrative Board Member)
Assistant Secretary: Minister Christina Phillips, (Administrative Board Member)
(3) Board Members:
Elder Melissa Cape
Sister Sharon D. Dunbar-Midgett
B. “I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14,15). We consider family members of a household to be an autonomous social unit. The word “autonomous” simply means “having the right or power of self-government; undertaken or carried on without outside control.” This does not mean that a family answers to no one, but that the family unit has the means of its own government, the means of its own support, and the means for perpetual propagation. No one family has the right or responsibility to exercise authority over another family in these fundamental areas. Likewise, God has made provision in the church family or Body of believers in it local expression to be autonomous in the sense that it is self-governing, self-supporting and self-propagating.
God has placed in the New Testament local Church the provision for its own government. We believe that God does have a Biblical pattern for this area of Church family life. In the local Church, God refers to “those that rule” or “he that ruleth”, or “them that have the rule” (1 Timothy 5:17; Rom. 12:8; Heb. 13:17,24). The word rule means “to be over, to superintend, to preside over, to car for, and to give attention to.” The Bible is clear that to be a “ruler” in the House of the Lord you must meet certain qualifications. (See Article XVII: New Testament Church Offices, Section 1, Sub-section C)
God has given direction in this area of local Church government. He has not left man to do that which is right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6; Proverbs 12:15). Just as God has established the natural order of family leadership, God has also established the principles and direction of government, which He would have in His Church. The family home order of the father and mother role has plurality of leadership vested in the parents of the children. The fact that they are the parents gives them the authority to make decisions that affect all the family members. In the local Church, God’s form of government in His House is also plurality. Those who have been appointed the responsibility of rulership and government in the House of the Lord are the elders (1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17, 24). All of the Churches in the New Testament eventually had plurality of eldership (e.g. James 5:14; Acts 21:18; 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Peter 5:1; Philippians 1:1). These are mature persons that God has raised up in local churches who meet Scriptural standards of spiritual, domestic and moral qualifications. These are persons who have demonstrated their spiritual maturity and who qualify to exercise proven leadership in the Office of the Elder for the local Church to which they belong. These are persons who have had time to know the ways of the Lord and are called by God to shepherd and oversee His people. These are persons who are sensitive to the voice of God and have demonstrated Spirit-ruled and Spirit-led lives that the qualifications for this office demand (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). This is God’s form of Biblical government, a Theocracy. God rules the Church because God rules in the lives of His anointed and appointed servants.
Under God’s form of government the New Testament local Church can be said to be self-governing. It looks to no outside authority, no special group functioning outside or above the local Church to effect decisions. The EOM International Church is the final court of appeal for disputes between believers (Matthew 18:15-17), for questions of doctrine (Acts 15) and for the discipline of moral conduct (1 Corinthians 5:1-5).
The government of this local Church shall be theocratic, recognizing that Jesus Christ is Lord and the Chief Shepherd, Head and Pastor of His Church (1 Peter 5:4; Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22, 23), and that He has vested the authority to direct the affairs of this Church in the person of the Senior Bishop, being assisted by the EOM International Board (Acts 20:17, 28; Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Pet. 5:1-3). The members and all concerned shall recognize the Senior Bishop as the Under-Shepherd of the Church (Eph. 4:8-16). The Senior Bishop shall have final authority over the EOM International Board.
Section 1. EOM International Board (EOM Board Of Directors). In accordance with the will of the Eternal God and Father of us all, by Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named (Ephesians 3:14, 15) and without pretension or false piety, the EOM International Board acknowledges that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of this Church organization (Colossians 1:18), which is but on expression of His Church Body; And we declare that we are wholly dependent upon the gracious and faithful ministry of the Holy Spirit to communicate to our hearts the mind and will of the Godhead (1 Corinthians 2:12, 13; Colossians 2:9, 10).
(a) Powers Of The EOM International General Board. The government of EOM International shall be vested in its EOM International Board Members (EOM International Board of Directors) subject to the final authority of the Senior Bishop. The EOM General Board will consist of the Executive, Administrators, and all other General Board Members. They are responsible for establishing and executing policies for the membership, as well as sustaining and perpetuating spiritual order within the EOM International. Decisions made by the General Board are final unless revoked or modified by the Presiding Bishop or Executive Board. The EOM International Board Members shall have and exercise full control in management over all the spiritual and business affairs of the Corporation subject to the Articles of Incorporation. Bylaws, policies established and defined by the EOM International Board, and subject to the final approval of the Senior Bishop. As such, the EOM International Board shall be the administrative Board of the Corporation and shall have such powers as provided by law. Without prejudice to such general powers, but subject to the same limitations, it is hereby expressly declared that the EOM International Board shall exercise the following powers:
(1) To select and remove all the employees and agents of the Corporation, prescribe such duties for them as may not be inconsistent with law, with the Articles of Incorporation, or with these Bylaws, fix the tenure of their positions and their compensation and in their discretion require from them security for faithful and loyal service.
(2) To make such disbursements from the funds and properties of the Corporation as are required to fulfill the purposes of this Corporation as are more fully set out in Article IV thereof.
(3) To borrow money and incur indebtedness for the purposes of the Corporation and to cause to be executed and delivered therefore, in the corporate name, promissory notes, bonds, debentures, deeds of trust, mortgages, pledges, hypothecations, or other evidences of debt and securities therefore.
(4) To cause the Corporation to be qualified to do business in any other state, territory, dependency, or country and conduct business national and international.
(5) To carry on a business at a profit for the Church and apply any such profit that results from the business activity to any activity in which it may legally engage.
(6) To reserve the right to redirect all contributions and refunds to the area of ministry and or Corporation concerns most needed.
(7) To purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was the Church’s Senior Bishop, Directors, Trustee, Officer of key personnel of the Church.
(8) To enjoin all Church employees to sign an “At Will Employment” statement, and also to subscribe to the religious beliefs relative to the EOM International Bylaws. Therefore, all Church employees shall be bound accordingly as an acknowledgement that any violation or transgression of the beliefs of the Bylaws will subject the employee to the Church’s disciplinary proceedings, including suspension, termination of employment, and or if warranted removal as a Church member. The religious beliefs of the Bylaws and ‘Christian Life And Scriptural Conduct’ Article VIII, Section 30, address the Church’s firmly established and sincerely held belief that unscriptural conduct is inconsistent with the religious beliefs of the Church; and therefore, scriptural violations cannot be tolerated and will serve as the basis of discipline for the employment and or membership of the Church. The foregoing enumeration of specific powers shall, except as specifically restricted herein, be in nowise limited or restricted by reference to, or inference from the terms of any provision of this or any other Article of these Bylaws.
(b) Number Of EOM International Board of Directors. The EOM International Board shall direct the temporal and spiritual affairs of the Corporation and will consist of not less than five (5) and not more than ten (12) Jr. Bishops/Overseer and Elders who are members of this Church. If future demands warrant, the Senior Bishop may determine to increase the size of the Board to not more than twelve (15 members upon the counsel of the acting EOM International Board.
(c) Appointment And Tenure Of Service
(1) Only Jr. Bishop/Overseers and Elders of EOM International are prospective candidates to serve as Board of Directors by appointment of the Senior Bishop, with the advice and prayer of the EOM International Board; providing, however, that either prevailing conditions of need or church growth warrant such appointments.
(2) Jr. Bishop/Overseers and Elders who have been appointed to the EOM International Board qualify for annual reappointment by the Senior Bishop of consecutive unlimited terms of EOM Board service; excluding the Presiding Bishop (Senior Bishop) who shall serve as Chairman and President of the EOM International Board perpetually.
(d) Place Of Meetings. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in these Bylaws, any meeting (whether regular, special or adjourned) of the EOM International Board of the Corporation may be held at any place within United States or International, which has been heretofore designated for that purpose by consent of all the members of the EOM Board and subject to the approval of the Senior Bishop.
(e) Regular Meetings. During the current fiscal year the EOM Board shall meet as often as needed, and shall designate a day and a time for regular meetings which may be altered from time to time by consent of all the members of the EOM Board and subject to approval of the Senior Bishop.
(f) Regular Annual Meetings. Annually, the EOM Board will convene (normally in the organization’s anniversary month, June or not later then December) to culminate the current year’s business and or to deliberate the new year’s concerns. A report of the finances of the Corporation shall be presented at that time as a preliminary review prior to the completed fiscal year end certified public accountant audit.
(g) Notice Of Special Meetings.
(1) Special meetings of the EOM Board for any purpose may be called at any time by order of the Chairman (Presiding Bishop and Senior Bishop) or by order of three or more of the EOM (Board of Directors) subject to the presence at such meeting of the Senior Bishop.
(2) Notice of such special meetings shall be given four days in advance unless waived by all of the Board of EOM so fixed by this Article XII, Section 1, Sub-section J.
(3) Notice of the time and place of special meetings shall be given to each EOM Board Member by one of the following methods: (a) by personal delivery or written notice; (b) by telephone, facsimile or similar communication equipment, either directly to the EOM Board Member or to a person at the EOM’s office or residence who would reasonably be expected to communicate such notice promptly to the EOM Board members; (c) by first-class mail (postage paid) deposited into a United States mail box at least four days before the time set for the meeting; or (d) by telegram, charges prepaid.
(4) The notice shall state the time for the meeting. However, it need not specify the purpose or place of the meeting, if it is to be held at the principal office of the Corporation.
(h) Quorom. At any meeting of the EOM Board, the presence of a majority of the EOM Board of Directors then in office shall be necessary to constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the event that a majority of the EOM Board Members then in office are not present at a meeting of the EOM Board, then a quorum shall consist of at least one-third (1/3) of the maximum number of Trustees so fixed by Article XIII, Section 1, Sub-section B of these Bylaws. The acts of a majority of the EOM Board Members present at a meeting at which a quorum is present when approved by the Senior Bishop will be the acts of the EOM Board, except as may be otherwise specifically provided by applicable state statute or bylaw provision. No meeting of the EOM Board may take place without the Senior Bishop present.
(i) Participation In Meetings By Conference Telephone. The EOM Board may participate in a meeting through use of conference telephone or similar communications equipment, so long as all members participating in such meeting are able to hear one another, and such participation shall constitute presence in person at the meeting. No telephonic meeting of the EOM Board may take place without the Senior Bishop present.
(j) Waiver Of Notice. Notice of a meeting need not be give to any EOM Board Member who signs a waiver of notice or a written consent to holding the meeting or an approval of the minutes thereof, whether before or after the meeting, or a EOM Board Member’s attendance at any meeting shall constitute waiver of notice of such meeting. All such waivers, consents and approvals shall be filed with the corporate records or made a part of the minutes of the meetings. The waiver of notice or consent need not specify the purpose of the meeting.
(k) Action Without Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board shall individually or collectively consent in writing to such action. Such consent or consents, after the final approval of the Senior Bishop, shall have the same effect as a unanimous vote of the Board and shall be filed with the minutes or made a part of the minutes of proceedings of the Board.
(l) EOM Board Member Resignation, Removal And Vacancies.
(1) A EOM Board Member of EOM International shall be dismissed during their tenure of service if they voluntarily resign from the Board and or from their Jr Bishopship and Eldership ordination standing; or
(2) If the EOM Board unanimously or the Senior Bishop, individually, determines removal at any special meeting duly called and held for such purpose: (a) that a EOM Board Member does not faithfully and or satisfactorily perform either their Board, Jr Bishopship, or Eldership ministry responsibilities; or (b) that a EOM Board Member is out of harmony with the Church teaching, ministries and or spiritual leadership of the EOM Board; or (c) Scripturally disqualifies themselves. Any such decision that is made by the Senior Past, individually, or the Presbytery Board, unanimously, shall be conclusive and final, and shall not be subject to challenge by the EOM Board Member affected by such a decision.
(3) A vacancy or vacancies in the EOM Board shall be deemed to exist in case of death, resignation, or removal of a EOM Board Member, or if the authorized number of EOM Board Members be increased. The Senior Bishop shall appoint Jr Bishops, Overseers/Elders to fill vacancies on the EOM Board; providing that prevailing conditions of need warrant such appointments as determined by the Senior Bishop exclusively.
(m) Replacement Of The Presiding Bishop (Senior Bishop). The Presiding Bishop shall not be removed as Senior Bishop, as Chairman of the EOM Board or as President of the Corporation, except with respect to either of the following circumstances and shall require a determination of unanimous consent from all the members of the EOM Board then serving:
(1) In the event that the untimely demise of the Presiding Bishop occurs and the successor has not been named as provided for in accordance with Article XII, Section 2 thereof; or
(2) The physical incapacity or mental incompetence to a degree that substantially hinders the performance of the corporate duties of the Senior Bishop, and said incapacity or incompetence having been proven and determined to exit by a court of law.
Section 2. Succession Of The Senior Bishop.
(a) The Senior Bishop (Presiding Bishop) shall have the authority to name his successor. Such designation of a successor shall be made in the minutes of this Corporation and signed by the Senior Bishop so designating his or her successor. Presiding Bishop’s successor shall be 1st Administrative Assistant Jr. Bishop Quentin L Smith.
(b) In the event the first adimistrative assistant refuse the Office of Presideing Bishop, the 2nd Administrator Assistant will be designated to the Office of Presiding Bishop. If the Office of the Presiding Bishop becomes vacant, because the successors has refuse the Office of Presiding Bishop, the EOM Board then serving shall, with prayer and fasting, appoint the succeeding Senior Bishop to serve as the Presiding Bishop requiring a three-fourths (3/4) majority approval of the EOM Board.
Section 3. Officers. On behalf of the EOM Board, and subject to the final approval of the Senior Bishop, the business affairs of the Corporation shall be administered by its officers, which shall be the Executive and Administrative Officers, which includes the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, all of whom shall be members of the EOM Board. As long as candidates meets the stated criteria in accordance with EOM bylaws, we welcome men and women to serve as EOM Board Members.
(a) President (Presiding Bishop). Presiding Bishop is the highest leadership position and the chief executive and ecumenical officer of EOM International charged with initiating policy, developing strategy and overseeing administration of the entire church. The presiding bishop also serves as a figurehead and speaks on behalf of the entire church. Bishop Lawrence C Dunbar is the Founder and Presiding Bishop of EOM Intl and his term of service will be indefinitely or until he decides to resign from office or the Lord takes him home. Once one of these conditions are met the first administrative will assume the office of presiding bishop. The Presiding Bishop (Senior Bishop) shall be the President of the Corporation, by virtue of his Headship Office, and shall perpetually serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. The Presiding Bishop is recognized as being “set” by Christ in the Body to lead and direct the Church. His responsibilities cover the entire spectrum of the Church function and he will be responsible under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to keep said Church functioning according to Biblical principles. He shall act as Chairman of all the business meetings of the EOM Board, have general supervision, direction and control of the activities of the Corporation, and shall have the general powers and duties of management usually vested in the office of President of a corporation, including the power to appoint committees from time to time as in his discretion he may deem appropriate to assist in the conduct of the affairs of the Corporation, and shall exercise and perform such other powers and duties as may be from time to time assigned to him from the EOM Board or prescribed by the Bylaws. He shall preside at all worship services and meetings of the collective EOM membership, or in his absence, the Administrative Assistant in order leadership assigned as appointed by him shall preside. He shall be an ex-officio member of all ministries and departments. No person shall be invited to speak or minister at this Church without his approval. No meeting of the EOM Board shall become a corporate act without approval of the President. If the President shall take any action which is intended as a corporate act, such action shall be as valid a corporate action as thought it had been authorized at a meeting of the EOM Board.
(b) Vice Presidents (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, Administrative Assistants). In the absence or temporary disability of the President, The Vice Presidents shall perform the duties and exercise the powers of the President in the order of leadership assigned, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, Administrative Assistants. If the 1st Administrative Assistant is absence or temporary disability the 2nd will assume his duties and so forth with the other Vice Presidents. The Vice Presidents shall also perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by the Senior Bishop.
(1) 1st Administrative Assistant is the EOM Intl’s Chief of Staff responsible for overseeing and coordinating operations with the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Administrative Assistants and Administrators, and General Board Members. Spearhead establishing new organization bylaws along with Executive Board Members having drafts ready for General Board Members to review not later then three months before the annual board meets or any other dates determine by the General Board. He will work closely with the Presiding Bishop and assist him in the organization of EOM Intl and preside in his absents. He will also be prepared to be the Presiding Bishop’s successor once he resigns or the Lord takes him home, whichever comes first. He will also serve an indefinite term of service. After his term of service, the General Board Members will have the authority to select their Presiding Bishop and establish his terms of service.
(2) The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Administrative Assistants will assist the 1st Administrative Assistant in performing his duties. They will most work closely with him and help with the functions and operations of this organization. He has the authority to delegate tasks to General Board Members and Organization Members to be performed on behalf of EOM Intl and the Presiding Bishop. Together they will stand strong in the Lord defeating the devil and his tactics so that souls are saved and needs are met.
(3) Administrative Assistants/Excutive Board Members are appointed by the current and every succeding presiding bishops thereafter. However they must be comfirmed by 2/3 votes of the General Broad Member. The Presiding Bishop can appointed up to twelve qualifing Administrative Assistants/Excutive Board Members as needed to operate the orgainization.
(c) Secretary. The General Secretary and assistances shall be responsible to record, or cause to be recorded, and to keep, or cause to be kept, at the principal office or such other place as the Board may direct, a book of the minutes of all the business meetings, called by the Senior Pastor. The Secretary shall also perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by the Senior Bishop. General Secretary and assistants are accountable to the Executive Board. Specific duties are taking minutes, custodian of records, membership records, bylaws records, communication, meetings, signing officer, and filing of documents.
(1) Minutes, the secretary is responsible for ensuring that accurate minutes of meetings are taken and approved. Requirements of minutes may vary with the jurisdiction but should include at a minimum:
· date, time, location of meeting
· list of those present and absent
· list of items discussed
· list of reports presented
· text of motions presented and description of their disposition
· the Secretary signs a copy of the final, approved minutes and ensures that this copy is maintained in the corporate records
(2) Custodian of records, the secretary ensures that the records of the organization are maintained as required by law and made available when required by authorized persons. These records may include founding documents, (eg. letters patent, articles of incorporation), lists of directors, board and committee meeting minutes, financial reports, and other official records.
(3) Membership Records, the Secretary ensures that official records are maintained of members of the organization and General Board. He/She ensures that these records are available when required for reports, elections, referenda, other votes, etc.
(4) Bylaws, the Secretary ensures that an up-to-date copy of the bylaws is available at all meetings.
(5) Communication, the Secretary ensures that proper notification is given of directors' and members' meetings as specified in the bylaws. The Secretary manages the general correspondence of the General Board members except for such correspondence assigned to others.
(6) Meetings the Secretary participates in Board meetings as a voting member. The Secretary provides items for the agenda as appropriate. In the absence of the Presiding Bishop and Administrative Assistants, the Secretary calls the meeting to order and presides over the meeting. The secretary records meeting organization minutes.
(7) Signing Officer, the Secretary may be designated by the Executive Board and/or bylaws as one of the signing officers for certain documents. In this capacity, the Secretary may be authorized or required to sign or countersign checks, correspondence, applications, reports, contracts or other documents on behalf of organization.
(8) Filing of Documents, the Secretary may be the registered agent with respect to the laws of the jurisdiction.; the person upon whom legal notice to the corporation is served, and responsible for ensuring that documents necessary to maintain the corporation are filed.
(d) Treasurer (Chief Financial Officer). The General Treasurer and assistance shall be responsible for all corporate funds and securities. He/she shall keep, or cause to be kept, a full and accurate account of all receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Corporation, and shall deposit, or cause to be deposited, all monies and other valuable effects in the name of and to the credit of the Corporation in such depositories as may be designated by the Senior Bishop with counsel from the EOM Board. The Treasurer shall have the responsibility to disburse or cause to be disbursed, the funds of the Corporation as may be ordered by the Senior Bishop with counsel from the EOM Board, and the Treasurer shall render an account to the EOM Board of the financial status of the Corporation whenever called upon to do so by the Senior BishopPastor. The Treasurer shall also perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by the Senior Bishop. General Treasure carries out the responsibilities of a member of the General Board:
(1) Assists in the preparation of the budget
(2) Monitors the budget
(3) Ensures the Board's financial policies are being followed
(3) Reports to the General Board and membership on finances
(4) Prepares any required financial reporting forms
(5) Maintains all bank accounts
(6) Oversees all financial transactions
(7) Treasurer's signature should appear on all checks of the organization with the second signature from any of the board's other directors or staff with signing authority
(8) Chairs the finance committee
(9) The Treasure may be a member of anther ministry; however, he/she is first and foremost a member of the General Board. This means that the Treasurer is responsible to the members (as with every board member). The assumption in this job description is that the Treasurer takes a "hands-on" role with respect to the association. A hands-on Treasurer should go through a monthly routine, which would vary depending on the level of involvement. At the very least, a Treasurer should meet
with the staff person on a regular basis to go over invoices and checks, to review the bank statements, and to monitor the preparation of monthly statements for the Board.
(e) Junior Board Member, These are an intern, someone that is learning and being trained to be a future General Board Members. We are preparing them to be our present and future leaders of EOM International. They will be able to attend and participate in our General Board sessions. They will be able to vote, but their vote does not count towards the 2/3 voting rules. They will be assign minor responsibilities assisting in the functions of the General Board. We want them to provide ideals and recommendations along with their written proposals for our children and young people so that they may grow in Gods grace.
Criterion, they must be a least 15 years older acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Savior. Parents must approve their participation along with their pastor. Candidate must be will to attend conference calls and General Board Meetings. They must be willing to represent Jesus Christ and EOM International. Candidate must be willing to work and complete assigned tasks.
(f) Appointment And Tenure Of Service. Officers shall be members of the EOM Board. The Senior Bishop shall annually appoint or reappoint the officers, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Senior Bishop, who also my serve an unlimited number of consecutive terms in office. The Presiding Bishop (Senior Bishop) shall serve as Chairman and President of the EOM Board perpetually.
Section 4. Committees. The President may designate and appoint one or more committees to serve at his pleasure. Any committee, subject to the final approval of the Senior Bishop, shall have all the authority of the EOM Board, except that no committee, regardless of the Board resolution, may:
(a) Take any final action on Corporation matters which would be in violation of religious, educations or charitable purposes, as may qualify it as exempt from Federal Income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
(b) Take any final action on Corporation matters which also requires the approval of the Senior Bishop.
(c) Fill vacancies on the EOM Board or in any committee.
(d) Amend or repeal Bylaws or adopt new Bylaws.
(e) Amend or repeal any resolution of the EOM Board.
(f) Appoint any other committees of the EOM Board or the members of these committees.
Minutes shall be kept of each meeting of any committee and shall be filed with the Corporate records. The President (Senior Bishop) of the EOM Board may adopt rules for the government of any committee not inconsistent with the provisions of these Bylaws.
Section 5. Church Discipline. It is necessary in our hardened and apostate age for the Church to be called back to the New Testament doctrine of Church discipline. The contemporary Church seems more willing to ignore sin than to denounce it, and more ready to compromise God’s law than to proclaim it.
Today the Church faces a moral crisis to take a strong stand against sin even within her own ranks. The tendency of the Church is to be more concerned about what is expedient than what is right, which has so often robbed the Church of the ability to govern with Biblical integrity and power.
When the Apostle John wrote that we should ‘love one another’, he also wrote: ‘And this is love, that we walk after his commandments’ (2 John 5:6). True Christian love dare not ignore the use of the various forms of discipline wherever they are applicable. It is no more love for a Christian to watch a brother in Christ pursue a course of sin unchallenged than it is love for a parent to watch his child walk unhindered into disaster. It is essential that we discipline ourselves according to the commands of God’s Word, so that we know how to conduct ourselves in ‘the house of God’ (1 Timothy 3:15). If we are to practice Christian love and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:15, 23, 24; 15:10, 14), we must practice Church discipline.
(a) Necessity And Purpose. Just as the Church applies to Biblical principles in admitting persons to membership, so too must the Church apply Biblical principles in the governing of the membership and, if necessary, in removal from membership. Jesus set forth principles to follow which make all Christians to some extent responsible for each other’s behavior, and he included disciplinary procedures (Matthew 18:15-17). It is in this context that he gave the Church the responsibility to pronounce his forgiveness and his judgments (Matthew 18:18). The Church is not infallible, however, the Lord Jesus Christ does indeed intend His Church to govern its members even to the extent of disciplinary measures when these become necessary. The necessity and purpose for which Church discipline is exercised are:
(1) To glorify God by obedience to his instructions for the maintenance of proper Church government. God’s Word makes it plain that he intends discipline of various types to be a part of Church life. (Mt. 18:15-19; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5; 1 Thes. 5:14; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; 1 Tim. 5:20; 6:3; Titus 1:13; 2:15; 3:10; Rev. 2:2,14, 15, 20)
(2) To reclaim offenders. The goal in every type of discipline, whether it be correction, admonition, rebuke, or excommunication, is always the restoration of the offender (Matthew 18:15; 1 Corinthians 5:5; Galations 6:1). However, none of the Biblical instructions in this matter promise that restoration will always be the result.
(3) To maintain the purity and worship of the Church (1 Corinthians 5:6-8), and to avoid profaning the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:27).
(4) To vindicate the integrity and honor of the Church of Christ by exhibiting fidelity to the commands and principles of the Scriptures (2 Corinthians 2:9, 17).
(5) To prevent giving cause for God to set himself against a local Church (Revelation 2:14-25).
(b) Disciplinary Examples. Some of the following Biblical examples are mandates of Church discipline:
(1) Admonition – either private or public (Romans 15:14; Col. 3:16; 1 Thes. 5:14; 2 Thes. 3:14, 15; Titus 3:10, 11). The Scripture itself is a form of admonition (1 Cor. 10:11). Christians ought to admonish and encourage one another (Heb. 10:24, 25).
(2) Reprove, rebuke, convince, convict (Mt. 18:15; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:9,13; 2:15). The Greek word (eloncho) means ‘…to rebuke another with such effectual wielding of the victorious arms of the truth, as to bring him, if not always to a confession, yet at least to a conviction, of his sin…’ (R.C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament). This word rebuke in a Scriptural context is an act of love. Therefore, the guide in such matters is the Word of God which is ‘profitable…for reproof’ (2 Tim. 3:16).
(3) Excommunication. This final form of discipline is defined by our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul (Matthew 18:17-19; 1 Corinthians 5:11,13). However, excommunication for the person who repents of his sin, seeks God’s cleansing pardon and demonstrates the fruit of repentance can be welcomed back into the fellowship of the church (2 Corinthians 2:6-8). On the other hand, so long as they remain unrepentant and absent of the demonstration of repentance they remain excommunicated.
(c) Disciplinary Grounds. This Church has both the responsibility and the authority to be involved with the doctrine and the conduct of its members (1 Timothy 3:15). Therefore, to be a member in good standing requires adherence to the doctrines and the standards of conduct commanded in the Scriptures. The Scriptures themselves are to be an instrument of discipline (2 Timothy 3:16), and should be taught ‘with all authority’ (Titus 2:15). All breaches of the Biblical standards of doctrine and behavior require some form of discipline. Thus, every believer needs to be disciplined, and ‘whom the Lord loves, he disciplines’ (Hebrews 12:6).
Therefore, Church discipline is necessary when:
(1) Christian love is violated by private offenses (Matthew 18:15-18). Though such offenses may originate unexposed, they may ultimately result in public censure if the offender stubbornly refuses to repent and be reconciled, thereby aggravating a continual breach of Christian love.
(2) Christian unity is violated by those who form divisive factions that destroy the peace of a local church. Such persons must be watched, rebuked, and, if necessary, removed. (Rom. 16:17, 18; Titus 3:10)
(3) Christian law is violated by those living scandalous lives (Titus 1:16). Biblical Christianity undeniably teaches a high standard of conduct and morality (e.g. Matthew 15:19,20; Romans 13:8-14; Ephesians 4:25-6:8; Colossians 3:5-4:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-10; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 2:1-12; 3:1-11). Those who live in known habitual violation of Biblical morality, refusing to repent when admonished, and rebuked, who do no demonstrate the fruit of repentance, must be removed as a member of the Church (1 Corinthians 5).
(4) Christian truth is violated by those who reject doctrines of the faith (1 Timothy 1:10, 20, 6:3-5; 2 John 7-11). This refers to those who knowingly reject any of those doctrines which the Church considers essential and fundamental. The Elders of the Church are responsible to teach and defend ‘all the counsel of God’ (Acts 20:27) and maintain all the doctrines of the Scripture. “For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God…holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:7, 9).
(5) Christian repentance is violated by the unrepentant. In each case, the cause of further discipline is impenitence. Regardless of what the offender’s sin(s) might be, it is ultimately his impenitence that must exclude him from the Church (Romans 2:5). Those who ‘bring froth fruit in keeping with repentance’ demonstrate a life of faithful Christianity (Matthew 3:8).
(d) Disciplinary Administration. Disciplinary measures to be administered in the Church shall be determined and under the direct or general supervision of the EOM Board, under the guidance and subject to the final approval of the Senior Pastor, in accordance with the doctrines and Bylaws of the Church (Heb. 13:17; Article VIII, Section 19).
(e) Summation. One of the historical church Protestant creeds is the Westminister Confession of Faith completed in 1646. It is sometimes called the mother of all subsequent Reformed Confessions. An excerpt from Chapter Thirty is entitled ‘Of Church Censures’ and reads as follows:
The Lord Jesus, as King and Head of His church, hath therein appointed a government, in the hand of church officers distinct from the civil magistrate. Church censures are necessary, for the reclaiming and gaining of offending brethren, for deterring of others from the like offences, for purging out of that leaven which might infect the whole lump, for vindicating the honour of Christ, and the holy profession of the gospel, and for preventing the wrath of God, which might justly fall upon the Church if they should suffer His covenant, and the seals thereof, to be profaned by notorious and obstinate offenders.
The history of God’s people from Old Testament times up to the present day is a large collection of illustrations of the fact that the pathway to blessing is along the road of following the commands of Biblical truth. Certainly faithful Christians who are members of EOM International desire God’s glory, the prosperity of this local Church, and the welfare of every individual in this Church. The Bible recognizes this threefold concern and Biblical church discipline guards all three. Those persons who are sincerely committed to the membership of this local Church desires to be taught of God and to voluntarily submit to Scriptural precepts and Church government. If any are contentious against this Biblical practice we can only say, as Moses did to Israel, “Your murmurings are not against us, but against the Lord” (Exodus 16:8).