Church Constitution


CONSTITUTION OF THE VICTORIA FELLOWSHIP CHURCH                                                                                                            AS AGREED AT A SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SUNDAY, JANUARY 27TH, 1985
AND
AMENDED AT AN ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SUNDAY, MAY 3RD, 1992
FURTHER AMENDED AT A SPECIAL MEETING HELD ON SUNDAY
OCTOBER 29TH, 1995.
FURTHER AMENDED AT A SPECIAL MEETING HELD ON SUNDAY,
NOVEMBER 18TH 2007.

PREAMBLE:
This Constitution shall completely conform with the Holy Bible.
Being desirous of providing a Christian forum for the local and
international communities in Nigeria; in the fullest association
with other Nigerian Churches: founded primarily upon lay
support; thus offering the widest opportunity for personal
participation; so as to represent a genuine realization of
interdenominational love, co-operation, and understanding; at
the same time testifying to a full and lively Christian faith, in the
propagation of the Gospel, we do hereby establish ourselves in
Nigeria as a Christian Church, a non-profit organization, open
to peoples of all races and denominations, and agree to be
governed by the Articles listed herein.

PART I: POLICY MANUAL:

ARTICLE I – NAME:
The Church shall be known as VICTORIA FELLOWSHIP CHURCH.

 

ARTICLE II – MISSION:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
Mathew 28:19.
The Mission of the Church is “to bring men to the saving
knowledge of Jesus Christ and through them make Christ
known to the unsaved.”

 

ARTICLE III – PURPOSE:“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your
soul and with all your mind.” Mathew 22:37.
The purpose of the church, through its congregation, and
under the guidance at all times of the Holy Spirit, shall be to
emphasize and exalt in the lives of its members the things of
God; to provide a means of witness to loyalty to Christ; to
engage its members in Worship, public and private, in Christian
education, and in service to one another; to invite and
encourage all people who wish to make a Christian profession;
and to extend full fellowship to all other bodies of Christian and
church groups. The purpose of the Church shall cover all
aspects of (a) Worship; (b) Ministry; (c) Evangelism; (d)
Fellowship; and (e) Discipleship.

 

ARTICLE IV – DECLARATION OF FAITH:
Recognizing full liberty of individual interpretation, and taking
cognizance of the various statements of faith under which our
members have made their professions, we unite in affirming our
acceptance of the historic Christian faith as expressed in the
Nicene and Apostolic Creeds and more particularly in the
following main points:-
We believe in the completeness of the Bible as the written word
of God and the final authority in all matters of faith.
We believe in one God, Maker and Ruler of all things, Father of
all people; the source of all goodness, beauty, all truth and
love.
We believe in Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, our
Teacher, Example and Redeemer the Saviour of the world
through His death and resurrection.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, God present with us for guidance,
for comfort and strength.
We believe in the Church as the fellowship for worship and for
service of all who are united to the living Lord.
We believe in the Kingdom of God as the divine rule in human
society; and in the fellowship of all people under the
Fatherhood of God.
We believe in the final triumph of truth and righteousness, and
in the life everlasting.
We believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Upon this foundation of our Faith, we agree to live and labour
together as true disciples of Jesus Christ.

 

ARTICLE V – DECLARATION OF ADHERENCE:
We acknowledge and adhere to the cohesion of the Victoria
Fellowship Church as expressed in the Policy Manual of this
Constitution, in serving the Lord as a Church free from sectional
and personal pressures from any direction, and in a form of
public and corporate worship acceptable and attractive to a
reasonably wide range of Christian people, and especially so
that we may welcome those not normally associated with any
Church, all in the context of a complete and clear Christian
Faith.

 

 

PART II – PROCEDURE MANUAL:

ARTICLE VI – PROCEDURE FOR MEMBERSHIP:
“And the Lord added to their number daily those who were
being saved” Acts 2:47.
Membership is open to persons who are in agreement with the
Mission and Purpose of the Church as expressed in the Policy
Manual, will unite in accepting its Declaration of Faith and
undertake to promote its welfare by attending its services, by
regular contribution towards its support, by personal
participation in its activities, and by consistent Godly living.
Those desiring membership shall be those who have accepted
Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour and consent to
membership by signing the membership register and/or any
other records designated by the Church. New members shall
be admitted during the last Sunday of every quarter or at such
other times as the Council may specify.
Membership of the Church shall lapse in the event of any of the
following taking place:
i. When a member so indicates in writing;
ii. When a member stops attending the Church for a period
of not less than two (2) years without notice;
iii. If a member renounces any of the contents of the
Declaration of Faith and Declaration of Adherence as
specified in Articles IV and V of the Constitution;
iv. If a member is known to belong to or be a member of a
cult.

 

ARTICLE VII – CHURCH GOVERNANCE:
The governance of the Church will be vested in an elected
Council (except for the Pastoral Affairs Committee and the
Pastoral Affairs Director who shall not be elected) constituted of
eleven (11) members whether men or women with a high level
of proven commitment to the Church and its activities, as
follows:
a. Council Chairman:
The Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Council
and shall perform all duties as they relate to the
realization of the mission and purpose of the Church as
contained in the Constitution. The Chairman will be an exofficio
member of any committee or office of the Church
that may be formed.
b. Council Vice Chairman:
The Vice Chairman shall assist the Council Chairman in
carrying out his duties and shall act in the absence of the
Chairman.
c. Church Secretary:
The Secretary shall perform all the secretarial duties of the
Church and conduct official correspondence of the
Church. He/She shall keep proper records, documents,
minutes of meetings and books whether of the Council or
of the members of the Church. He/She shall, in
consultation with the Chairman, be responsible for
summoning of meetings whether of the Council or of the
members of the Church.
The Secretary shall be responsible for the maintenance of
an adequate inventory of all Church properties, such list
to be presented to the Church at least once a year.
d. Treasurer:
i. The Treasurer shall, with the assistance of the Ushers,
receive, count and record all Church funds and shall
thereafter deposit the funds in the Church Bank
Accounts.
ii. He/She shall account for the Church money and
shall submit a written statement of income and
expenditure to the whole membership of the
Church.
iii. He/She shall report on the financial status of the
Church at each regular meeting of the Church
and/or as decided by the Council.
iv. He/She shall prepare the budget of the Church,
subject to adoption by the Council.
e. Worship Director:
The Worship Director shall be an ex officio member of the
Pastoral Affairs Committee and shall be responsible for
the preparation of all Church services, as follows:
i. Preparation of the Annual Church Calendar and
submission of same to the Church Council for
approval;
ii. Securing a preacher for each worship service;
iii. Appointing a Lay Assistant to lead each worship
service in accordance with the guidelines issued by
the Church Council for Lay Assistantship;
iv. Ensuring that necessary arrangements are made for
all services, including the celebration of Holy
Communion as directed by the Church Council;
v. Preparing the weekly service bulletin;
vi. Planning services for special occasions, such as
Christmas, Easter, Weddings, Funerals, Night Vigils
and any other service that may be approved by the
Church Council from time to time;
vii. He/She shall oversee the Ushering Unit of the Church.
f. Childrens’ Education Director:
The Childrens’ Education Director shall teach at the
Sunday school, be responsible for securing other teachers
for the Sunday School and for obtaining the required
materials and supplies.
Subject to the approval of the Church Council, the
Childrens’ Education Director shall:
i. Instruct the children in Christian education and
character;
ii. Recommend Bible Study materials for the Sunday
School;
iii. Plan and organize activities for children.
g. Mission and Evangelism Director:
The Mission and Evangelism Director shall, with the
approval of the Church Council,:
i. Plan and implement programmes, projects and
activities for outreach and evangelism;
ii. Plan, recommend and implement Mission and
Charitable financial support.
h. Fellowship Director:
The Fellowship Director shall be responsible for:
i. The collation of the records of membership, births,
weddings, child dedication and deaths;
ii. The welcome of visitors at Church services and
subsequent follow-up;
iii. The assimilation of new members into the Church;
iv. The welfare of members;
v. The visitation of members;
vi. The supervision of bible study (including men’s and
women’s fellowships);
vii. The supervision of prayer and home fellowship
meetings.
i. Youth Fellowship Director:
The Youth Fellowship Director shall be responsible for:
i. Instructing the youth in Christian Education, Career
and Christian Character;
ii. Recommending Bible Study materials;
iii. Planning and organizing activities;
iv. Equipping the youth for evangelism; and
v. Recommending and implementing issues relating to
youth welfare.
j. Music Director:
The Music Director shall be responsible for:
i. The Church Choir;
ii. Organizing music education for church members
including children; and
iii. Overseeing music ministration on all worship
occasions.
k. Pastoral Affairs Committee:
“and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the
word”, Acts 6:4.
Recognizing the need for spiritual guidance and the provision
of pastoral care there shall be established a Pastoral Affairs
Committee.
Composition and Appointment:
i. The Church Council shall under the guidance of the
Holy Spirit, appoint, remove and reconstitute the
membership of the Pastoral Affairs Committee at least
once every three (3) years.
ii. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall be composed of
nine (9) persons as follows:
(a) The Pastoral Affairs Director;
(b) Six (6) other members;
(c) The Chairman of Council – ex officio; and
(d) The Worship Director – ex officio.
iii. The Pastoral Affairs Director shall be an ex officio
member of the Church Council who shall not be
elected.
iv. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall meet at least once
a month. There should always be a minimum of four (4)
members at any point in time to form a quorum for
meetings.

Responsibilities:

v. In accordance with the principles laid down in the
Bible, the Pastoral Affairs Committee shall guide the
Church in matters relating to prayer and teachings of
God’s word and towards fulfilling God’s will by
overseeing the spiritual well being of the Church.
vi. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall monitor and
oversee the spiritual content of the various Bible study
groups within the Church.
vii. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall ensure that proper
and adequate instruction and counseling are provided
for new Christians, members and friends in crisis, persons
wishing to become members, be baptized, get married
or undertake any other Christian activity.
viii. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall advise the Church
Council on Spiritual matters.
ix. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall be responsible for
the preparation and updating of the Church
Ordinances on birth, marriage, death and any other
Ordinances as may be approved by the Church Council
from time to time.
x. The Pastoral Affairs Committee shall not be involved in
the governance and/or administrative functioning of the
Church which is vested in the Church Council.

 

ARTICLE VIII – ASSISTANT OFFICERS:
i. There shall be created for each of the positions
or offices established in Article VII (except for
the Council Vice Chairman and the Pastoral
Affairs Director) the position of an Assistant.
ii. The Assistant shall be elected at the same time
as the substantive holder of the office is
elected.
iii. The Assistant shall assist the substantive holder in
carrying out his duties and shall act in the
absence of the substantive holder and attend
meetings of the Church Council in the absence
of the substantive holder.

 

ARTICLE IX – GENERAL:
a. Additional functions:
In addition to the specific functions and duties assigned to
the holders of the positions or offices established in Articles
VII and VIII, all such holders or offices shall exercise all
other powers that may be assigned and/or delegated to
them by the Church Council from time to time.
b. Replacement of Vacancies:
The Church Council shall have the authority to fill any
vacancies that may occur between formal elections by
the co-option of Church members to the Church Council.
c. Co-option of Church members:
All Directors or persons as holders of the positions or offices
established in Article VII shall, in consultation with the
Church Council, co-opt any number of Church members
as may be considered necessary to assist them in carrying
out their functions.

 

ARTICLE X – FUNCTIONING OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL:
a. The Church Council shall diligently and faithfully carry out
the functions of the Victoria Fellowship Church implicit in
the positions or offices outlined in Article VII.
b. The Church Council shall from time to time issue guidelines
and/or bye-laws in writing signed by the Chairman of the
Church Council and Secretary of the Church on any
matter whatsoever for the proper and efficient
functioning of the Church.
c. The operations of the Church Council shall be in
accordance with the following guidelines:-
i. Term of office – Council:
The term of office will be for one year, beginning 1st
May.
ii. Term of Office – Members:
Except as may be agreed by the Church at a
General Meeting, no member shall hold the same
office for more than two (2) consecutive terms.
iii. Meetings:
The Council shall meet at least once a month.
Special meetings will be called by the Chairman at
his discretion, or at the request of any Council
member. Six (6) members present at a duly called
regular or special meeting will constitute a quorum.
iv. Business to be Transacted:
The Council shall transact all affairs necessary for the
proper operation and function of the Church. The
Council shall diligently consider and reply to all
matters made by any member of the congregation
or of the public which concerns the Church.
v. Open Government:
The government of the Church shall be as open as
possible and to this end a copy of the minutes of all
Council and Congregational Meetings shall be
made available by the Secretary at the Church
office for any member of the Church to read.
vi. Fiscal Year:
The fiscal year shall be 1st May to 30th April.
vii. Budget:
The annual budget shall be prepared by the
Treasurer and submitted to the Council. Following
approval by the Council, the budget shall be
presented to the members for their final acceptance
at the Annual General Meeting. The Council shall
only spend such amount of money as is approved by
the budget of the Church.

 

ARTICLE XI – ELECTION OF THE CHURCH COUNCIL:
a. Each of the offices of the Church Council and their
Assistants shall be elected each year by a majority of the
Church members except for the Pastoral Affairs Director
who shall be an un-elected member of the Church
Council.
b. The Chairman of the retiring Council shall ensure that the
Church members shall by suitable publicity be invited to
stand for election from the last Sunday in February
onwards.
c. Those Church members wishing to stand election to any
of the offices of the Church Council shall submit their
names in writing to the Chairman of the Church Council
by the third Sunday in March, as shall also be nominations
supported by at least one (1) proposer and one (1)
seconder; and all such names shall in the meantime be
given suitable publicity within the Church.
d. The final list of candidates for the election shall be
circulated in writing to the Church members at the
Worship Service o n the fourth Sunday in March.
e. Voting for the new Council shall thereafter take place by
secret ballot at the Annual General Meeting of the
Church to be called at the close of a Worship Service in
accordance with Article XIII(a).
f. The retiring Council shall conclude all business as
appropriate during April, and the new Council shall take
office as from 1st May.
g. After their election, the Council Members shall make an
oral affirmation to the Church of their full commitment to
the Lord in the faithful and diligent discharge of their
duties. There shall also be a retreat for the Council
Members within the first week of taking up offices.

 

ARTICLE XII – THE TRUSTEES:
There shall be for the purpose of the Companies and Allied
Matters Act of 1990 Trustees being appointed by a simple
majority vote of members present at an Annual General
Meeting. Such Trustees (hereinafter referred to as “The
Trustees”) shall be five (5) and known as “The Incorporated
Trustees of the Victoria Fellowship Church”. Provided however
that the first Trustees shall be elected by the Church Council
and confirmed by the Church members at a special meeting
to be called for that purpose by the Church Council.
ELECTION OF TRUSTEES:
a. Each member of the Church shall have one (1) vote.
b. A member is duly nominated if he is proposed by one (1
member and seconded by two (2) other members.
c. Voting shall be by secret ballot of those members present
at the Annual General Meeting.
d. In case of equality of votes there shall be a second ballot
and if there is still equality of votes, the Chairman of the
meeting shall be entitled to a casting vote.
e. All members present at an Annual General Meeting shall
form a quorum for the purpose of election of the Trustees.
f. When any post of a Trustee becomes vacant, or on the
resignation of a Trustee, the Council shall by a simple
majority determine who among the members of the
Church shall fill the vacant post pending the next Annual
General Meeting when Trustees so selected by the
Church Council shall vacate their Office and seek
election if they so wish.
g. Notice of replacement and appointment of additional
Trustees shall be published in two (2) national newspapers
giving reasons for the desired change as well as the
names of the new or additional Trustees as the case may
be.
TERMS AND DUTIES OF TRUSTEES:
a. A Trustee will be allowed to hold office until he falls under
any one of the circumstances laid down below for the
Removal of Trustees.
b. The Trustees shall apply to the Corporate Affairs
Commission for the Certificate of Incorporation under the
Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.
c. When such Certificate is granted, the Trustees shall have
power to accept and hold in trust all land belonging to
the Church and to acquire land and other properties on
behalf of the Church subject to such conditions as the
Corporate Affairs Commission or competent authorities
may impose.
d. The Trustees for the time being shall have vested in them
all real and personal estate and whatever belongs to the
Church holding them in trust for the Church and they shall
deal with them in such ways as the Church may direct.
e. The Trustees shall subject to the direction of the Church
Council and the Church, have power to acquire,
purchase or hold any movable or immovable property
whatsoever and to do all such things incidental and
appertaining to a body corporate including the power to
borrow money and to mortgage or charge its
undertakings and properties or any part thereof and to
issue debenture and other securities whether outright or
as a security for any third party, provided that the Trustees
shall not alienate, mortgage, charge or demise such
property without the written authority of the Council and
the Church.
f. The Church shall have a common seal to be kept by the
Church Secretary who shall produce it when required for
the use of the Trustees.
g. The common seal of the Church shall not be affixed to an
instrument except in pursuance of a resolution of the
Trustees which resolution shall be confirmed at a duly
constituted meeting of the Church and in the presence of
at least two (2) Trustees and the Church Secretary who
both shall sign every document to which the common
seal is affixed in their presence.

 

QUALIFICATION OF TRUSTEES:
A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a Trustee if:
a. He is an infant;
b. He is a person of unsound mind having been so
found by a court;
c. He is an undischarged bankrupt;
d. He has been convicted of an offence involving
fraud or dishonesty:
e. A Trustee must have been a member of Victoria
Fellowship Church for a continuous period of five (5)
years and have served at least one (1) term on
either the Church Council or the Pastoral Affairs
Committee with a high level of proven commitment
to the Church and its activities.
REMOVAL OF TRUSTEES:
A Trustee shall cease to hold office if he:
a. Resigns his office;
b. Ceases to be member of the Victoria Fellowship
Church;
c. Becomes insane;
d. Is convicted of a criminal offence by a court of
competent jurisdiction;
e. Is officially declared bankrupt;
f. Is recommended for removal from office by twothirds
majority vote of members at any General
Meeting.

 

ARTICLE XIII – CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS:
a. Annual General Meeting:
The Council shall be responsible for arranging an Annual
General Meeting of the Church to be held not later than
the second Sunday in April with a minimum of two (2)
Weeks’ notice such that an announcement of the
forthcoming Annual General Meeting shall be made in
Church on the two (2) Sundays preceding that meeting.
b. Special Meeting:
Special meetings shall be called by the Chairman of the
Council or at any time upon written request by ten (10)
members of the Church, provided two (2) weeks’ notice
is given, indicating the primary purpose of the meeting.
c. Quorum:
The members present shall constitute a quorum for the
transaction of business at all Church meetings.

 

ARTICLE XIV – MODE OF WORSHIP:
The services, including Holy Communion, shall be in a form
consistent with a Church founded primarily on lay participation,
and broadly in accordance with the traditions of this Church,
that is to say simple and straight-forward, and chiefly making
use of hymns, choruses, prayers and biblical modes of worship.
Major permanent innovations, such as change in the order of
service or the introduction of a new hymn book shall be subject
to the approval of the Church in Annual or Special General
Meeting.

 

ARTICLE XV – AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION:
Suggested amendments to the Constitution will be presented in
writing by any member of the Church to the Council for study
and recommendation prior to their being presented to the
Church for consideration at an Annual or Special Meeting.
A simple majority favourable vote of those present and voting
shall constitute acceptance of the amendment.

 

ARTICLE XVI – INCOME AND PROPERTY:
a. The income and property of the Church shall wheresoever
derived be applied solely towards the promotion of the
objects of the Church and no portion thereof shall be
paid/transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend,
bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit, to the
members of the Church.
b. PROVIDED that nothing herein shall prevent the payment
in good faith of reasonable and proper remuneration to
any officer/servant of the Church in return for any service
actually rendered to the Church but so that no
Trustee/officer shall be appointed to any salaried office of
the Church and that no remuneration or other benefit in
money shall be given by the Church to any Trustee/officer
except payment of out of pocket expenses or reasonable
and proper rent for premises demised or let to the Church
provided that the provision aforesaid shall not apply to
any payment by any company to a member of the
Church, being a company in which such member shall
not hold more than one-hundredth part of the capital
and such member shall not be bound to account for any
share of profits he may receive in any such payments.

 

ARTICLE XVII – WINDING UP:
In the event of a winding up/dissolution of the Church
whatever remains after the satisfaction of all its debts and
liabilities, any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid
to or distributed among the members of the Church but shall
be transferred to some other institution/institutions which shall
be determined by the members of the Church and if effect
cannot be given to the aforesaid provision then to some other
charitable organizations determined by the Trustees.