Preamble To the 1930 Constitution
Constitution and By-laws
Whereas, the large, established denominations, generally speaking, are now in the deadly grip of "modernism", with its blighting and paralyzing influences; and, since prevailing conditions have caused many to withdraw therefrom, and to seek elsewhere the faith and fellowship most satisfying to their spiritual needs; in consequence of which, many independent groups of earnest Christians have been formed; and
Whereas, it has always been both an encouragement, and a more effective means whereby to prosecute the work of the Lord, for such ministers and congregations to join in a common bond of fellowship, counsel and cooperation, so strengthening one another in the Lord's work; and
Whereas, in the providence of God, we believe the time has come for an advance movement among these independent churches and groups of Christians to thus unite in a closer fellowship and cooperation in the defense of the faith and in the proclamation of the gospel of God’s grace:
We do therefore, on this Twenty-sixth day of June, in the year of our Lord, 1930, form such a bond of fellowship and cooperation, as is set forth in the Constitution which follows, into which we heartily invite any and all churches and groups of believers, who share with us the same faith and doctrine.
Preamble to The 2003 Revised Constitution
God has blessed IFCA International since its inception in 1930, enabling it to develop a world-wide ministry attuned to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century. Believing, therefore, that God still calls His Church to work together in fellowship, to promote the proclamation of the gospel and the teaching of the historical doctrines of the faith, to send forth missionaries and to promote the worship of our great God and Savior, we, the people and churches of IFCA International, on this Twenty-sixth day of June, 2003, do hereby establish this Constitution for IFCA International.
This organization shall be called IFCA International, Inc.
The territory for the operation of this organization shall be world-wide in keeping with its missionary vision and burden.
The mission of IFCA International is to glorify God by providing an arena for individuals, independent churches, and organizations to participate interdependently in the common cause of advancing biblically authentic, dynamic, compassionate Christianity to all people groups.
Faith and Doctrine
Section l. Articles of Biblical Faith
Each and every person, church, or organization, in order to become or remain a member of IFCA International, shall be required to subscribe to the following articles of faith:
1 The Holy Scriptures
We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12,13).
2 The Godhead
We believe in one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – coeternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections (Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14).
3 The Person and Work of Christ
a. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1,2,14; Luke 1:35).
b. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross for all mankind as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that the sufficiency of this atoning sacrifice to accomplish the redemption and justification of all who trust in Him is assured by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24,25; 4:25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Timothy 4:10; Hebrews 2:9; I Peter l:3-5; 2:24; and 2 Peter 2:1).
c. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9,10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; l John 2:1,2).
4 The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
a. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13,14).
b. We believe that He is the divine teacher who guides believers into all truth; and, that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20,27; Ephesians 5:18).
5 The Total Depravity of Man
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God; and, that man is totally depraved, and, of himself, utterly unable to remedy his lost condition (Genesis 1:26,27; Romans 3:22,23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3, 12).
We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18,19).
7 The Eternal Security and Assurance of Believers
a. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1,38,39; l Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5).
b. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word; which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Romans 13:13,14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
8 The Two Natures of the Believer
We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit; and, that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural (Romans 6:13; 8:12,13; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; l Peter 1:14-16; l John 3:5-9).
a. We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (2Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1-2; Romans 14:13; John 2:15-17; 2 John 1:9-11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
b. We believe that sexual intimacy is a wonderful gift of God that is only to be expressed between one man and one woman (as genetically defined), within the love and bonds of marriage (Genesis 2:24-25; Matthew 19:4-6; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Hebrews 13:4). Therefore, we believe that any other form of sexual intimacy is both immoral and a perversion of God’s gift (Leviticus 18:1-30; Proverbs 6:32; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8).
We believe that it is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8, 2 Corinthians 5:19,20).
11 The Ministry and Spiritual Gifts
a. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of all His gifts; and, that the gifts of evangelists, pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the perfecting of the saints today; and, that speaking in tongues and the working of sign miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (1 Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12).
b. We believe that the biblical offices of pastor and elder in the church, or their equivalents, are restricted to biblically qualified men (1 Timothy 2:12; 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
c. We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer of faith, in accord with His own will, for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15).
12 The Church
a. We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age (Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:25-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2).
b. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17; 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).
c. We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1-4; 1 Corinthians 3:9,16; 5:4-7; 13; l Peter 5:1-4).
d. We believe in the ordinances of believer’s water baptism and the Lord’s supper as scriptural means of testimony for the church age (Matthew 28:19,20; Acts 2:41,42; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe that the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations or rules of life which define man’s responsibilities in successive ages. These dispensations are not ways of salvation, but rather divinely ordered stewardships by which God directs man according to His purpose. Three of these -- the age of law, the age of the Church, and the age of the millennial kingdom -- are the subjects of detailed revelation in Scripture (John 1:17; 1 Corinthians 9:17; 2 Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:24,25; Hebrews 7:19; Revelation 20:2-6).
14 The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the fall; that he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and, that he shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6,7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11: 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
15 The Second Advent of Christ
We believe in that "Blessed Hope," the personal, imminent, pre-tribulation and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones; and in His subsequent return to earth, with His saints, to establish His millennial kingdom (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Zechariah 14:4-11; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6; l Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10).
16 The Eternal State
a. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28,29; 11:25,26; Revelation 20:5,6,12,13).
b. We believe that the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; Revelation 20:4-6; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; l Thessalonians 4:16,17).
c. We believe that the souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude vv. 6,7; Mark 9:43-48; Revelation 20:11-15).
Section 2. Movements Contrary to Faith
Ecumenism is that movement which seeks the organizational unity of all Christianity and ultimately of all religions. Its principal advocates are the World Council of Churches and the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
b. Ecumenical Evangelism
Ecumenical Evangelism is that effort to promote the Gospel by bringing fundamentalists into an unequal yoke with theological liberals and/or Roman Catholics and other divergent groups.
Neo-Orthodoxy is that theological movement which affirms: the transcendence of God, the finiteness and sinfulness of man, and the necessity of supernatural divine revelation of truth; but, while using evangelical terminology, seriously departs from orthodoxy: in accepting the views of destructive higher criticism, in denying the inerrancy of the Bible as historic revelation, in accepting religious experience as the criterion of truth, and in abandoning important fundamentals of the Christian faith.
d. New Evangelicalism (Neo-Evangelicalism, New Conservatism)
These terms refer to that movement within evangelicalism characterized by a toleration of and a dialogue with theological liberalism. Its essence is seen in an emphasis upon the social application of the Gospel and weak or unclear doctrines of: the inspiration of Scripture, Biblical creationism, eschatology, dispensationalism, and separation. It is further characterized by an attempt to accommodate biblical Christianity and make it acceptable to the modern mind. We believe that these movements are out of harmony with the Word of God and the official doctrine and position of IFCA International and are inimical to the work of God.
Section 3. Covenant of Faith
In subscribing to these articles of faith, we by no means set aside, or undervalue, any of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments; but we deem the knowledge, belief and acceptance of the Truth as set forth in our Doctrinal Statement, to be essential to sound faith and fruitful practice, and therefore requisite for Christian fellowship in IFCA International.
This organization shall be a Christian fellowship for mutual help and encouragement. It shall be autonomous and self-governing in all matters.
Section 1 Organizations
Churches and other Christian organizations, that are in full agreement with the Articles of Faith and are willing to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of IFCA International, are eligible to apply for membership in this organization provided they have no affiliation with any denomination and they meet the specific membership requirements and provisions in Article II of the By-Laws.
Section 2 Individuals
Vocational Christian workers* and laymen,** who (1) meet the specific membership requirements and provisions in Article II of the By-Laws, (2) are in full agreement with the Articles of Faith and are willing to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of IFCA International, (3) desire to participate with us in this fellowship, and (4) are separated from any denominational affiliation, are eligible to apply for regular membership.
* The phrase "Vocational Christian workers" is intended to mean: men serving as pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Bible teachers, administrators of Christian institutions, students preparing for vocational ministry, editors of Christian publications and others engaged in vocational Christian ministry. It may also refer to men previously engaged in such ministry who are between ministries, actively seeking to be so engaged again.
** The term "laymen" is intended to mean: men who are members in good standing of a local church of like faith and doctrine, but who are not engaged in vocational Christian ministry.
Section 3 Property
No member church or organization shall have its property placed in jeopardy by reason of its
membership in IFCA International.
Fiscal Year and Annual Dues
Section 1 Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of IFCA International shall be from January 1st to December 31st.
Section 2 Annual Fees
Members of this organization shall pay applicable annual fees as determined by the Board of Directors and approved by the Annual Convention
Annual Convention and Representation
Section 1 Annual Convention
There shall be an Annual Convention of this organization.
Section 2 Annual Convention Representation
a. Individual members of IFCA International, together with authorized delegates shall constitute the voting membership of the organization.
b. Each member organization shall be entitled to send two male delegates.
c. Any organizational delegate must (1) be endorsed in writing by the organization with which he is affiliated, and (2) provide written affirmation to his full agreement with the Articles of Faith and willingness to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws of IFCA International.
d. Unless otherwise stipulated, authorized delegates shall be eligible for elective offices and for membership on all committees provided they meet the specific requirements and provisions applied to individual members as set forth in Article II of the By-Laws.
e. Each delegate elected to office or appointed to a committee, in order to fulfill his term of office, must remain in good standing with the organization that he represented as a delegate at the time he was elected or appointed to serve. Furthermore, said organization must also remain a member in good standing in IFCA International.
Section 3 Annual Convention Quorum
Individual members and authorized delegates present at any constitutionally called business session of the organization shall constitute a quorum.
Officers, Executive Staff and Their Duties
Section 1 The Officers
The officers of this organization shall be President of the Board of Directors, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer, all of whom shall be Directors of IFCA International and who, together with eight other Directors, shall comprise the Board of Directors.
Section 2 Duties of Officers
a. President - It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all sessions of the organization and at all official meetings of the Board of Directors. He shall sign, with the Executive Director, all official papers and perform all other duties pertaining to his office. In the absence of the President, or if for any reason the President is unable to act in his official capacity, the available officer next in rank shall have the same authority and perform the same duties as the President.
b. Recording Secretary - The Recording Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the meetings of the Board of Directors and perform such other duties as may be determined by the Board of Directors.
c. Treasurer - The Treasurer shall acquaint himself with the financial affairs of the organization and perform such other duties as may be determined by the Board of Directors.
Section 3 Executive Staff
a. All members of the Executive Staff of this organization must be members of IFCA International and shall be appointed by the Board of Directors. Such appointments shall, ordinarily, become effective upon confirmation of the Annual Convention. Under special circumstances, the Board of Directors may exercise its own discretion in making such appointments immediately effective. Appointments made in such a fashion, however, shall be subject to confirmation at the next Annual Convention.
b. The Board of Directors shall determine the scope of responsibilities, specific duties, extent of authority and lines of accountability for the Executive Director and he shall have the power to transact the business and conduct the work of IFCA International within the framework of the Constitution and By-Laws, and the policies and directives established by the Board of Directors.
c. The Executive Director shall, subject to review by the Board of Directors, determine the scope of responsibilities, specific duties, extent of authority and lines of accountability for all other Executive Staff members.
d. The Executive Director shall have the power to delegate, to individuals or committees, the authority to act on his behalf, and at his behest, in the transaction of business and the performance of actions related to the business and work of IFCA International. The performance of such actions or the exercise of such authority, however, shall be at all times subject to the supervision and control of the Executive Director, and such delegation shall in no way divest the Executive Director of his responsibilities.
e. The office of the Executive Director shall be limited to one who has proved himself in ministry and meets the qualifications contained in 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9.
f. Of those who comprise the Executive Staff, only the Executive Director shall be a member of the Board of Directors. That membership shall be ex-officio in nature, and that without vote.
Board of Directors and Committees
Section 1 Board of Directors
a. The Board of Directors shall consist of the President and twelve other Directors, all of whom shall be elected by the Annual Convention, as provided for in Article XI.
b. Non-member delegates may be elected to the Board of Directors and may constitute up to fifty percent (50%) of its membership. They shall not, however, be eligible to serve as President, First Vice President, or Second Vice President of that body.
c. The Board of Directors shall have the authority to direct the business and work of IFCA International, to the extent that its actions are in harmony with the Constitution and By-Laws and policies of the organization.
d. A majority of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.
Section 2 Committees
a. The Board of Directors shall establish and appoint all Standing and Special Committees as required for the effective operation of this organization.
b. The Executive Director shall be empowered to establish and appoint Advisory and Select committees as he deems appropriate to assist him in the exercise of his responsibilities.
Nominations and Elections
Section 1 Nominating Committee
a. The Nominating Committee shall consist of seven members chosen by the Board of Directors; the Chairman and one other shall be chosen from the Board of Directors, and five shall be chosen from the individual membership.
b. It shall be the duty of the Nominating Committee to prayerfully select from the membership or authorized delegates and to present in nomination at the Annual Convention, the names of six nominees for the position of Director. In years when a President is to be elected, the committee shall present in nomination the names of two nominees for that office.
c. Names of nominees may be proposed to the Nominating Committee by any Regional or individual member in good standing.
d. When the report of the Nominating Committee is accepted by the Annual Convention, the nominations shall be declared closed and the elections shall be conducted as provided for in the following sections.
Section 2 Elections and Term Rotation
a. Elections shall not be held the same day on which the report of the Nominating Committee is received.
b. The retiring President shall continue to preside over the public sessions of the Annual Convention in session.
c. The Presiding Officer shall appoint an appropriate number of tellers who shall distribute, collect and count the ballots and report the results to the Annual Convention.
d. The Directors shall be elected by the Annual Convention on a rotating basis to serve for a period of four years. The terms of office shall be so arranged that approximately one-fourth of the Directors' terms of office shall expire each year.
Section 3 Election and Terms of the President
a. The Nominating Committee shall place in nomination two candidates, each of whom must be current members in good standing of IFCA International, for the office of President.
b. The vote shall be by ballot, and the nominee receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected for a term of four years, subject to the annual renewal of his membership in IFCA International and his confirmation at each Annual Convention.
c. After filling one full term of office as President, an individual may be eligible to immediately succeed himself in that office for another full term. After the completion of two successive full terms as President, he shall not be eligible for re-election to the Board of Directors in any capacity until at least one year has passed.
Section 4 Election and Terms of the Directors
a. Following the election of the President, the Nominating Committee shall place in nomination a slate of six men, three or more of whom shall be elected, as may be required to maintain twelve Directors in addition to the President.
b. The vote shall be by ballot, and the Presiding Officer shall announce the number of Directors to be elected. If an unexpired term is to be filled, the three nominees receiving the highest number of votes shall be elected for the regular term of four years, and the next highest shall be declared elected to fill the unexpired term. The filling of an unexpired term, regardless of its length, shall not be considered as a full term when determining eligibility for subsequent re-election.
c. In every case, the continuation of a Director’s term from year to year shall depend upon the annual renewal of his membership or, in the case of a non-member delegate, the continued status of that organization as a member in good standing with IFCA International and its authorization of that delegate to serve as such.
d. After the completion of a full term of office, a Director may be eligible for re-election for an additional full term of office as a Director, or as President of the Board. After serving two successive full terms as a Director, an individual shall not be eligible for re-election until one year has passed.
e. With one exception, no man may serve on the Board of Directors for more than two successive full terms, the only exception being that of a man who serves two successive full terms as President of the Board after having served one full term as a Director.
f. Before the Annual Convention closes, the newly formed Board of Directors shall meet and elect two Vice Presidents, a Recording Secretary, and a Treasurer to serve for terms of one year.
Section 5 Installation of President and Directors
At the earliest opportunity following the elections, the First Vice President shall conduct the installation of elected individuals according to the following form:
a. Do you unreservedly subscribe to the Articles of Faith of this organization?
b. Do you willingly submit to being governed by the provisions and requirements of the Constitution and By-Laws of IFCA International?
c. Do you accept the office to which you have been elected, and do you promise, by God's help, to be faithful in the performance of all the duties pertaining thereto?
By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and By-Laws of this organization, I hereby declare you to be regularly elected and duly installed Directors of IFCA International, in the Name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Admission and Renewal of Churches, Organizations, and Individuals
Section 1 Admission Authority
The Executive Director has the authority, upon recommendation of the Credentials Committee, to admit into the membership of IFCA International, churches, other Christian organizations and individuals who meet the admission requirements.
Section 2 Admission Requirements and Procedure for Churches and Organizations
a. Any church or organization meeting the membership requirements as outlined in ARTICLE VI, Section 1 and desiring membership in IFCA International, must have a regularly called business meeting at which a majority vote is taken expressing agreement with the Articles of Faith, Constitution and By-Laws of IFCA International.
b. The majority vote of the governing board of an independent organization that does not have a membership will be regarded as sufficient authority for considering its admission.
c. Completed membership applications, accompanied by any required fees, must be submitted to the Executive Director for his review. He shall subsequently refer such applications to the Credentials Committee who will confer with the appropriate Regional officers, if such exist, for their advice and recommendation before making its decision. The proper official or officials of the applying church or organization must sign the application.
Section 3 Admission Requirements and Procedure for Individuals
a. Any individual who meets the membership requirements, as outlined in ARTICLE VI, Section 2, may apply for membership in IFCA International.
b. Completed membership applications, accompanied by any required fees and personal reference information, must be submitted to the Executive Director for his review. He shall subsequently refer such applications to the Credentials Committee for processing.
Section 4 Membership Renewals
a. Membership renewal forms for member churches, organizations and individuals must be submitted annually, accompanied by any required fees.
b. Failure to submit the appropriate forms and/or fees for more than twelve months after the deadline may result in automatic forfeiture of membership in IFCA International.
Termination of Membership
Section 1 Withdrawal
a. Any individual member of IFCA International may voluntarily sever his connection with this organization by sending a formal resignation to the Executive Director.
b. Any church or organizational member of IFCA International may voluntarily sever its connection with this organization by sending a formal resignation by action of the governing board of the organization, or of the membership of the church, to the Executive Director.
c. Members cannot terminate their membership, without the approval of the Executive Director, if there are ongoing or unresolved disciplinary issues that are being addressed.
Section 2 Termination
a. The membership of any individual is terminated upon his death, and the membership of any church or organization is terminated upon dissolution.
b. The membership of any organization, church or individual may be removed after due consideration and pursuant to the applicable requirements of ARTICLE XIV by the Board of Directors for the following reasons: (1) teachings contrary to the Articles of Faith and/or violations of the Constitution and By-Laws of IFCA International, and (2) actions or practices that bring reproach upon the name of the Lord.
The Bible commands believers to make every effort to live at peace with one another and to resolve disputes with each other (Romans 12:18; Matthew 18:.15-20). Any claim, therefore, or dispute between this organization and any of its members, delegates, or representatives of member organizations shall be settled according to principles set forth in Scripture
Regional Affiliation with IFCA International
Section 1 Regional Affiliation
In order to become affiliated with IFCA International, Regional organizations must meet the following requirements:
a. There must be a duly called meeting to which all of the members of IFCA International who are known to reside within the boundaries of the proposed Regional have been invited. When possible, duly appointed delegates of IFCA International churches and organizations should also be invited. After due consideration and evidence of desire for a Regional organization, a vote in favor of accepting the Constitution and By-Laws and Articles of Faith of IFCA International must be recorded. A maximum of two delegates from each member church together with members of IFCA International in good standing shall have the privilege of voting. Upon this basis the consulting parties may proceed to make application for formal recognition and affiliation of the Regional.
b. Consulting parties must make written application to the Executive Director, which application must be signed by at least three IFCA International members in good standing who reside within the geographical boundaries of the area they seek to have recognized as a Regional; and they shall give definite assurance that all the requirements of the IFCA International Constitution and By-Laws have been met.
c. Accompanying such application should be a copy of the proposed Regional Constitution and By-Laws.
d. The application and accompanying documents shall be referred to the Board of Directors for approval.
e. The boundaries of Regional organizations shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
f. Any subsequent revisions and/or amendments to a Regional Constitution and By-Laws shall be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval prior to becoming officially enacted in the Regional.
g. The fiscal year of the Regional shall be the same as that of IFCA International.
Section 2 Regional Membership
a. Regional leadership shall maintain an up-to-date membership list that includes all IFCA International members (both organizational and individual) known to be located within its boundaries. Regional membership may also include those who, while located outside of the Regional boundaries, are active participants in the Regional activities.
b. Active participation in Regional activities is generally expected from individual and organizational members of IFCA International and, therefore, should be sought and encouraged by the leadership of each Regional.
Section 3 Tax Exemption
Regional organizations shall incorporate and seek tax exemption as it is deemed appropriate. In case of dissolution, Regional organizational records shall be transferred to IFCA International.
Section 1 Limited Liability and Indemnification
IFCA International shall indemnify and hold harmless its present and future Executive Staff, officers and Board of Directors (collectively "directors and officers") of, from and against any and all liability, expenses (including attorneys’ fees), claims, judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement, actually incurred by such person in connection with any threatened, pending or completed action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative or investigative to which such person is, was, or at any time becomes, a party, or is threatened to be made a party, by reason of the fact that such person is, was or at any time becomes, a director or officer of IFCA International [or is or was serving or at any time serves at the request of IFCA International, as a director, officer, trustee or fiduciary of another corporation, partnership, joint venture, trust, pension plan, profit sharing plan, employee benefit plan or other enterprise of any nature whatsoever]. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall authorize IFCA International to provide, or entitle any director or officer or other person to receive indemnification for any action taken, or failure to act, which action or failure to act is determined by a court, in the action, proceeding or suit referenced above or in any other action, proceeding or suit, to have constituted willful misconduct or recklessness.
Section 2 Property
IFCA International shall have the right to own, buy, or sell tangible properties both real and personal in its name as directed by the Board of Directors, with the consent of the individual membership.
Section 3 Review of Financial Records
A qualified independent accountant shall conduct an annual review of the financial records and the financial procedures of this organization. A report of the findings shall be included as part of the financial report to the Annual Convention.
Section 4 Dissolution
No part of the net earnings of this corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, director, officer of the corporation, or any private individual; and no donor, member, director, officer of the corporation, or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets. In the event of dissolution, any assets of the corporation must be distributed to one or more organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as one organized exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes and whose doctrinal position is in harmony with IFCA International.
Amendments to Constitution and By-laws
Section 1 the Process
The Constitution and/or By-Laws of this organization may be amended and/or adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Annual Convention, providing that (1) the proposed amendment has been filed with the Executive Director; and that, (2) either the Board of Directors or the preceding Annual Convention has voted to place such an amendment on the agenda; and that, (3) the membership has been notified at least thirty days prior to the meeting in which the action is taken.
Section 2 Ratification
a. Any constitutional amendment adopted under this article will take effect upon approval of two-thirds of the Regionals responding before the next Annual Convention.
b. Any amendment to the By-Laws adopted under this article will take effect upon its adoption at the Annual Convention.
Philosophy and Goals of IFCA International
The historical philosophy of IFCA International, as affirmed and set forth in 1972, is as follows:
(1) Our Purpose
The provision of a common ground of fellowship for churches and ministers that have separated from denominations which include unbelievers and liberal teachers; and, the encouragement of each other in the prosecution of God's program for world evangelization. We must never lose sight of the fact that men are lost and that our first business is soul-winning.
(2) Our Position
Biblical separation: first, from the apostate ecumenical movements of today, such as the National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches and their affiliated organizations; and secondly, from such carnality and worldliness as is condemned in the Word of God.
(3) Our Policy
The recognition of the sovereign, independent position of the local church in its own government. Our constitution does not permit any interference in the affairs of the local church by any officer of IFCA International, or of any council with which IFCA International may be affiliated. However, IFCA International stands ready at all times to give counsel or to lend assistance upon request of the local church.
(4) Our Propaganda
The preaching and teaching of all the doctrines of God's Word, including the scriptural emphasis on the independence of the local church, and its separation from apostasy and worldliness. God's Word declares, "If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 4:1-6).
(5) Our Principles
The recognition that both positive and negative sides of separation must be presented. In doing this, all pronouncements must be truthful and based upon facts, designed to "win him that is of the contrary part."
(6) Our Promotional Program
The education of people in the advantages of the IFCA International fellowship. Such education can be made effective through our official magazine, the VOICE, young people's camps and rallies, appropriate literature, regional activities, the Laymen's League, and especially Christian schools offering such constructive training as to properly equip for the ministry of independent churches.
(7) Our Primary Weapons
The teaching and preaching of God's Word, the cultivation of the prayer life, and the furthering of evangelism at home and abroad, and also the elimination in individual church life and service of anything that grieves the Spirit of God.
On the basis of and in keeping with this historical philosophy, IFCA International shall establish and pursue organizational goals that are responsive to the changing world while, at the same time, being in harmony with Scripture and the mission of this organization. Said goals and mission shall be published in the document containing the IFCA International Vision and Mission Statements.
Specific Membership Provisions and Requirements
Individuals, churches and organizations who meet the basic constitutional requirements for membership are eligible to apply. Approval of such applications will be governed by specific requirements as outlined below and as may be detailed in the Manual of Policies and Procedures maintained by this organization.
Section 1 Organized Churches
Established churches shall have been organized and functioning according to the minimum requirements and standards outlined for such churches in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
Section 2 Mission Churches
a. A new church in process of being planted by, or a local church that is being served by an IFCA International Church Extension agency or a member organization and is pastored by an IFCA International individual member, shall automatically become an IFCA International Mission Church.
b. A Mission Church shall be entitled to all the benefits of IFCA International membership, except that a Mission Church may send only one male delegate to the Annual Convention of IFCA International.
c. The status of Mission Church shall continue as long as the above requirements are maintained, or until the Mission Church applies for, and is granted, regular organizational membership in IFCA International.
Section 3 Schools
Christian institutions of higher education shall have been organized and functioning according to the minimum requirements and standards outlined for such organizations in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
Section 4 Missions
Mission agencies shall have been organized and functioning according to the minimum requirements and standards outlined for such organizations in the Manual of Policies and Procedures.
Section 5 Other Organizations
Any other organization, not listed above, shall apply by using the regular organizational application form for churches and supply such additional information as may be required by the Manual of Policies and Procedures and/or the Credentials Committee.
Section 6 Individuals
a. Individual membership in IFCA International is open, without respect to race or national origin, to men who meet the constitutional requirements for membership.
b. The following are specific causes for rejection of applicants for membership: use of liquor, tobacco or narcotics, immorality, divorce, remarriage following divorce, marriage to a divorcee, membership in an oath-bound society, unfavorable references, doctrinal and constitutional disagreement.
c. Students holding a vocational Christian worker membership, in order to maintain that status must become established in some position of definite vocational Christian ministry within two years after graduation.
Council of Regional Presidents
Section 1 Composition of the Council
a. The Council of Regional Presidents shall consist of the President of each Regional of IFCA International. If the president of a Regional is unable to attend, the Regional may appoint another Regional officer or representative to take his place. Other Regional officers may attend but each Regional is entitled to only one vote to be cast by its official representative.
b. A member of the Board of Directors, together with the Executive Director shall be ex-officio members with voice but without vote.
c. This Council shall elect a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and a Secretary for a term to coincide with the term of the President of the Board of Directors of IFCA International.
d. The officers shall fulfill their terms of office irrespective of their status as either Regional President or delegate.
e. It shall be the responsibility of the Chairman and Secretary in conjunction with the Board of Directors representative to prepare an agenda and program for the Council’s annual meeting. The program shall provide inspirational and practical help in the areas of Regional administration and activities.
Section 2 Purpose of the Council
a. It shall be the duty of this Council to assemble vital facts with regard to needs, methods, and promotion of IFCA International Regional activities.
b. This Council shall convene, as necessary, during the Annual Convention and report to the Board of Directors information and recommendations for the improvement of Regional activities.
c. The Council of Regional Presidents shall undertake any assignment by the Board of Directors for discussion or consensus and report their findings and/or counsel to the Board of Directors.
d. The Council of Regional Presidents shall formulate its own rules of procedure.
Councils of IFCA International Members
Councils which are constituted by such groups as Church Extension, evangelists, educators, mission leaders, Regional Presidents, etc., and which meet at or during the IFCA International Annual Convention shall be solely advisory in nature without infringement upon the autonomy of any individual or organizational member and shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.
Women’s Fellowship of IFCA International
Section 1 Membership
a. The membership of the Women’s Fellowship shall include the following: (1) Wives of IFCA International members; (2) Widows of deceased IFCA International members; and, (3) Single women who complete the women’s membership application.
b. All members of the Women’s Fellowship shall be non-voting members of IFCA International.
Section 2 Women’s Fellowship Organization
a. A Women’s Coordinator will be appointed by and accountable to, the Board of Directors of IFCA International.
b. The Women's Coordinator shall appoint a Women's Executive Committee with approval from the Board of Directors. She shall also serve as Chairman of that committee.
c. The Women’s Executive Committee, in conjunction with the host Regional Women’s Chairman, shall be in charge of pre-convention planning.
d. The Women’s Executive Committee shall oversee the women’s meetings at the Annual Convention of IFCA International.
e. The Women’s Coordinator shall keep and submit all financial records of the Women’s Fellowship. These records shall be the property of IFCA International.
Section 3 Accountability of Women’s Fellowship
The Women’s Fellowship shall be subject to the Board of Directors.
Section 4 Annual Convention
The Women’s Fellowship shall hold its annual meetings during the Annual Convention of IFCA International.
All internal organizations shall deposit their funds through the IFCA International home office and disburse the same by voucher.
Amendments to By-laws
These By-Laws may be amended only according to the procedure outlined in the IFCA International Constitution, Article XVII.
This Constitution and By-laws was approved by the 2003 IFCA International Annual Convention delegates and ratified by over two-thirds of the Regionals.