Constitution

Below, you will find Paseo del Rey Church's constitution. If you would like, this is also available in the form of a downloadable PDF file. Just click this link. We hope and pray that this will answer questions you may have about our church's structure and practice to the glory of God.

EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF CHULA VISTA
dba Paseo del Rey Church

CONSTITUTION
Adopted November 12, 2017

Preamble

As members of this Church we band ourselves together in order to carry out the commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ, and do ordain and establish the following constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves. This Constitution shall serve as the by laws for this Church.

Article I - Name

The legal name of this Church shall be EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH OF CHULA VISTA, dba PASEO DEL REY CHURCH, hereinafter referred to as “Church”, which is a member church of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA).

Article II - Statement of Faith

Items 1 through 10 in this Article are the Statement of Faith of the EFCA, to which we fully subscribe. These articles of faith do not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Scriptures themselves, as noted in 2 below, define the totality of our beliefs. For purposes of the Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, discipline, and this Statement of Faith, the Church’s Elders are the final interpretive authority on the Scriptures’ meaning and application.

1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.

3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.

5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.

6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the  gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.

8. We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the
gospel in word and deed.

9. We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.

10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

In addition to the foregoing statements of faith, the Church also believes the following, which are not a part of the EFCA Statement of Faith:

11. We believe that God, as Creator, is the author of life and that He has created man in His image, and that such life is of inestimable value, no matter the stage or condition of life, whether pre-born, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, or any other stage or condition from conception through natural death. Therefore, we believe that the life of every person must be protected and that every person should be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Psalm 139:13-16)

12. We believe that God creates each person as male or female and that God instituted and ordained marriage as the lifelong union of one man and one woman. We believe that any marriage or sexual relationship that does not conform to God’s ordained marriage between a man and a woman is not as He has designed it, is a violation of His will, and is not recognized by God. We also believe that when the Bible addresses the relationship of a male and female, or man and woman, that it refers to the genetic state of each individual at birth. (Gen. 2:18-25)


Article III - Purpose

The purpose of the Church is, and shall be, to glorify God through the preaching and teaching of the Word of God to transform people into fully devoted followers of Christ. We dedicate ourselves to the mutual edification, instruction, and discipline of our members and other believers; to spreading the good news of Christ to the world; to helping Christians develop their spiritual life; to instructing the children in the Word of God; and to furthering the cause of Christ on the mission fields at home and abroad.

Article IV - Stand

This Church shall remain free and independent and shall not join itself to any other denomination or synod. It shall remain its own highest authority and conduct its business through its stated meetings. The Church shall cooperate with the Evangelical Free Church of America, so long as it stands true to the Word of God. This Church will send delegates to conferences, support home and foreign missions, and unite in any mutual effort for the furtherance of the Gospel as the Church itself may officially decide.

No Officer, Pastor, staff member, Elder, or member of the Church shall perform functions or ceremonies or advocate positions which are in opposition to the Statement of Faith found in Article II. The Church’s facilities or resources shall likewise not be used for any purpose, function, or ceremony that is in opposition to or in violation of the Statement of Faith found in Article II.

No policy or practice of the Church shall be adopted or implemented that is a violation of or is in opposition to the Statement of Faith found in Article II.

Article V - Members

Section A. Eligibility for Membership

All persons who by faith have received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior (John 1:12) shall be eligible for membership in this Church congregation.

Section B.  Admission to Membership

1.  Membership
Any person who seeks to identify with this Church by membership may do so by first expressing this desire to the Pastor, or any member of the Elders. Following the notification of the Pastor or Elders, the prospective member will be asked to:

a. Share his or her personal testimony as a Christian and affirm this Constitution, offering evidence, by their own confession, that they are living in accord with the Statement of Faith above and are actively pursuing a growing relationship with Jesus before a minimum of two members in good standing approved by the Elders.

b. The Elders’ representatives will give their recommendation to the Elders concerning the individual's faith and intent. The Elders will then vote upon each individual seeking membership.

c. Attend a designated Church service in which he or she will be officially recognized and welcomed as a member of this Church.

2.  Associate Membership
Any person who desires to unite with this Church while retaining his or her membership in another Church because of temporary residency in this area, may do so by meeting the above requirements.

Section C.  Termination of Membership

1.  If the Pastor or any member of the Board or of the Church is found to live or teach contrary to the Word of God and the Statement of Faith of this Church, he shall be admonished in love by the Elders.  If there is no repentance, exclusion from the Church shall follow according to Matthew 18:15-18, I Cor. 5, II Cor. 2:5-11 and Gal. 6:1-2, which is confirmed by written notice.  No accusation shall be taken up by the Church against the Pastor except by the complaint of two or more witnesses.  (I Tim. 5:19)

2.  Any member who has wresigned membership or been discharged has no right in any congregational meeting of the Church or to its property.

3.  Members in good standing will receive a letter of recommendation, if requested, when moving to other localities.

4.  Any member absent from all services, showing no interest in the work of the Church for one year, and giving no response to inquiries, shall automatically cease to be a member of the Church.

Section D.  Congregational Meeting

1. All congregational meetings shall be called by the Elders.

2.  At all congregational meetings called by the Elders, the voting membership present shall consist of one-third of the membership to constitute a quorum, except as otherwise stipulated herein.

3.  The Elders shall call for an annual congregational meeting of the Church, which shall be held during the second week of November.

4.  All congregational meetings, including the annual meeting, shall be called by public announcement during services on two consecutive Sundays.

5.  Voting Rights
a.  A member must be sixteen years of age or older to have voting privileges.
b.  Only members shall be entitled to vote in any congregational meeting.

Section E.  Membership Book

The Church shall keep a membership book containing the name and address of each member, date of membership, and date of termination of membership if membership is terminated.

Article VI - Officers, Pastors and Other Staff, and Elders

Section A.  Officers

1.  The officers of this Church shall be:

a.  Chairman: The Chairman shall be responsible for leading Elders' meetings. He shall be selected by the Elders each November to serve a 1-year term beginning January 1 of the following year.
b.  Secretary: The Secretary shall keep accurate written records of the procedure and desicions of all congregational and Elders' meetings. He or she shall attend to all Church correspondence delegated to him or her by the Elders. The Secretary shall be selected by the Elders each November to serve a 1-year term beginning January 1 of the following year. Additionally, the Secretary shall turn over to his or her successor all minutes and correspondence which may accrue from his or her term.
c.  Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible to hold and discharge the Church funds in accordance with the policy of the Elders. He or she shall, in addition, keep the financial records and submit monthly financial statements and attend monthly Elders' meetings as the financial advisor. The Treasurer shall be elected at the annual congregational meeting of the Church and will serve a 1-year term beginning January 1 of the following year.

2.  Only members of the Church shall be eligible to hold any Church office of leadership. It is recommended that no one member hold more than one office at a time.

Section B.  Pastors and Other Staff

1.  Senior Pastor: The Senior Pastor shall give himself to the service of the congregation by leading them in an understanding of worship. He will be a teacher of the Word of God, providing biblical instruction. In so doing, he will help the congregation grow in the knowledge of the One Holy God and each person's relationship to Him. In addition to aiding the Church in its expression of worship to God, the Senior Pastor is to help the people grow in their relationship to each other in the body of Christ. As the Senior Pastor, he shall be available for counseling and visitation with the people, desiring to reflect a genuine love and interest for each person. The Senior Pastor shall report and be accountable to the Elders and shall keep the Elders aware of his thoughts, evaluations, and projected plans. He shall be an unelected member of the Elders and attend the Elders’ meetings. Because he is also an Elder, the Senior Pastor shall conform to the qualifications in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

2.  Pastoral Staff: Pastoral staff are comprised of any and all other pastoral staff, generally including Associate Pastor(s), Worship Pastor(s), Youth Pastor(s), or any other pastoral staff that the Elders deem necessary. Each shall give himself to the service of the congregation by leading them in a relationship with God, particularly as is fitting for their respective areas of ministry. Each will be diligent in the Word of God and will help the congregation grow in their knowledge of and relationship with the One Holy God. In addition, each is to help the people grow in their relationship to each other in the body of Christ. Each shall reflect a genuine love and interest for each person. Each shall keep the Elders aware of his thoughts, evaluations, and projected plans. Pastoral staff, as invited by the Elders, may attend the Elders meetings in an advisory role. Pastoral staff shall conform to the qualifications in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.

Section C.  Elders

1.  Elders: The Elders shall be men not employed by the Church, except for the Senior Pastor, who are devoted to the spiritual life and ministry of the Church. They will provide spiritual oversight and care to the various designated ministries assigned to them. The Elders, along with the Senior Pastor, will evaluate and direct the life of the Church. The Elders of this Church shall have final authority in all matters of church governance, as set forth in this Constitution. There shall be a minimum of 3 Elders in addition to the Senior Pastor. Elders shall conform to the qualifications in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. The Elders shall constitute the Board of Directors for purposes of the California Corporations Code.

2.  The Elders shall choose from among themselves a Lead Elder, who shall serve as the Chairman described in Section A above, for a 1-year term beginning January 1 of the following year.

3.  The Elders shall give themselves to the oversight of the Church in all areas of spiritual concern and practical implementation of service.

4.  The Elders shall generally meet monthly, but not less than quarterly.

Section D.  Elections

 1.  The Elders and Treasurer shall be elected at the annual congregational meeting of the Church. The candidates thus elected shall assume office on the first day of January of the following year. Vacancies shall be filled through appointments by the Elders. These appointments shall be effective until December 31.

2.  The Elders shall serve staggered 3-year terms. The Treasurer shall serve a 1-year term.

3.  The election and calling of the Senior Pastor shall be determined by a congregational election based upon the recommendation of the Elders. The election may take place at a congregational meeting. Voting shall be done by closed ballot. The Senior Pastor shall be called for an indefinite period of time and must receive a two-thirds majority of all votes cast.

4.  The calling of those individuals making up the other full-time pastoral staff shall be determined by the Elders, who shall conduct an advisory, non-binding vote of the congregation. The advisory election may take place at a congregational meeting. Voting shall be done by closed ballot. Any of the pastoral staff shall be called for an indefinite period of time. All other staff positions shall be selected and hired by the Elders.

Section E.  Termination of Officers, Pastors and Other Staff, and Elders

1.  Senior Pastors:  The employment of a Senior Pastor may end through the giving of a written thirty-day notice by either the Senior Pastor or the Elders.  If such action proceeds from the Senior Pastor, he will submit his written notice to the Elders, who will then present the resignation to the congregation.  If such action proceeds from the Elders, they shall call a congregational meeting.  Upon majority vote by closed ballot of the congregation at a congregational meeting, the Elders shall then give notification to the Senior Pastor.

2.  Pastoral Staff: The employment of a member of the pastoral staff may end through the giving of a written thirty-day notice by either the pastoral staff member or the Elders. If such action proceeds from the pastoral staff member, he will submit his written notice to the Elders, who will then inform the congregation. If the Elders determine to terminate the pastor, they shall give notification to such pastor and inform the congregation.

3.  Other staff:  The Elders shall have authority to terminate other staff members with a written thirty-day notice, unless for just cause, in which case termination may be immediate.

4.  Elders, Treasurer, and Secretary: An Elder, Treasurer, or Secretary may remove him or herself from office by submitting a written notice of resignation to the Elders. Upon the approval of the Elders, an Elder or Treasurer may be removed from office when he has failed to maintain a standard of conduct consistent with the office or with Scripture.  

Article VII - Property Rights

The Church shall have power to buy, own and sell real property in its own name. 

Article VIII - Indemnification

Section A. Definitions

For the purposes of this Article VIII, "agent" means any person who is or was a director officer, employee, volunteer or other agent of the Church; "proceeding" means any threatened, pending, or completed action or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative; and "expenses" includes without limitation attorneys' fees and any expenses of establishing a right to indemnification under this Constitution.

Section B. Indemnification in Actions by Third Parties

The Church shall have power to indemnify any person who was or is a party or is threatened to be made a party to any proceeding (other than an action by or in the right of the Corporation to procure a judgment in its favor, an action brought under § 9246 of the California Nonprofit Religious Corporation Law, or an action brought by the Attorney General or a person granted relator status by the Attorney General for any breach of duty relating to assets held in charitable trust) by reason of the fact that such person is or was an agent of the Church, against expenses, judgments, fines, settlements and other amounts actually and reasonably incurred in connection with such proceeding if such person acted in good faith and in a manner such person reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the Church and, in the case of a criminal proceeding, had no reasonable cause to believe the conduct of such person was unlawful. The termination of any proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or upon a plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent shall not, of itself, create a presumption that the person did not act in good faith and in a manner which the person reasonably believed to be in the best interests of the Church or that the person had reasonable cause to believe that the person's conduct was unlawful.

Article IX - Principal Office and Fiscal Year

The principal office for the transaction of business shall be located in Chula Vista, California.

The Church, by appropriate action, shall have authority to change said principal office from one location to another within San Diego County.

The fiscal year of the Church shall be the calendar year.

Article X - Corporate Seal

The corporate seal shall be in form and shall contain the name of the corporation and the date and state of incorporation.

Article XI - Amendments

Amendments to this constitution may be made at any congregational meeting of the Church by a two-thirds majority of votes cast, when said proposed amendments have been presented in written form and discussed at a congregational meeting at least three months prior to the time of its adoption.  Voting shall be done by closed ballot.

Articles II, III, VII, and XI can only be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Elders and a two-thirds vote of the membership.