The History of the Congregational Church - Chapter 4

By Rev. John A. Ross

(Hampton: Printed for the Parish - 1902)

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Statement of Policy

This Church is Congregational in government; and in the admission and discipline of members, fellowship with other churches, election of officers, &c., conforms to Congregational usage.

Rules of Government

Church Officers

1. The permanent officers of this Church are Pastor, Deacons, Clerk, and Treasurer.

2. These officers shall be elected by ballot, and in no other way, and always at a regular meeting, the object of which shall have been announced on the previous Sunday. All the members shall have the right to vote, and a majority of the votes cast shall elect. The Clerk and Treasurer shall be elected annually.

3. It shall be the duty of the Deacons to assist in the administration of the Sacraments, to superintend the meetings in the absence of the Pastor, to look after the sick, the poor, and strangers, and ordinarily to distribute the charities of the Church. The Church may elect as many Deacons as its interests require.

4. The Clerk and Treasurer shall perform the duties ordinarily connected with these offices. They shall also make a report at the annual meeting of the Church.

5. The following Committees shall be chosen at the annual meeting of the Church:-

A. The Examining Committee, consisting of the Pastor and Deacons, with such other members as the Church may see fit to add. This Committee shall examine all who wish to unite with the Church, whether by confession or letter, and report to the Church thereon.

B. A Committee on the Sunday-School, consisting of three members, of whom the Superintendent shall be one. This Committee shall have oversight of the interests of the Sunday-School.

NOTE.--The Sunday-School shall elect its own officers, unless the Church otherwise order.

Communion, Church Meetings, Etc.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper shall be administered six times in the year, viz.: On the first Sunday in January, and every second month following.

2. The regular weekly prayer meeting shall be held on Thursday evening, unless otherwise ordered by the Church.

3. The meeting on the Thursday before the Communion shall be a service preparatory to the Communion.

4. The annual meeting shall be held on the Thursday before the Communion in March.

5. Special meetings for the transaction of business may be called at the close of any regular meeting of the Church. Special meetings may also be called by the Pastor and Deacons, of which notice must be given on the previous Sunday.

6. When business of importance is to be brought before the Church at any meeting, notice thereof must be given on the previous Sunday.

7. At all regular meetings the Pastor shall preside if present. If not present, or if for any reason it is not suitable that he preside, the Deacons shall preside in the order of seniority.

8. When a delegate chosen to attend any meeting cannot do so, he and the Pastor may appoint a substitute.

Admission to the Church

1. All persons desiring to join the Church must come before the Examining Committee. If the Committee report favorably, they shall be propounded two weeks before the time of admission. Traffic in intoxicants disqualifies for membership. NOTE. There is always the right of appeal from the decision of the Examining Committee to the Church.

2. Those, who desire to join by letter, must present their letters two weeks previous to the time of admission. The letters must be read in Church meeting before they are propounded.

3. Those who join on confession of faith must give their assent publicly to the apostles' Creed and the covenant of this Church.

4. All applicants for membership must be voted on at the service before the Communion. The Church may, for special reasons, receive members who have not been propounded two weeks.

5. The Church will receive no letter more than a year old, unless satisfactory reason is given why it was not presented before. Nor will the Church regard as valid letters of dismission and recommendation granted it after a year from date of such letters.

6. All absent members, who wish to retain their relation to this Church, must report annually to the Church.


1. All cases of discipline shall be conducted agreeably to the rules given in the XVIIIth Chapter of Matthew, unless imperative reasons make it necessary to dispense therewith.

2. If any member neglects to commune with the church for one year, and neglects or refuses to give a satisfactory reason when required by the church, he shall be subject to discipline.

Alteration of Rules

1. These rules may be altered by a vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting at a regular church meeting, provided notice thereof has been given on the previous Sunday.

2. No rule shall be adopted by the church of which notice has not been given on the previous Sunday.

3. All former rules and usages of the church inconsistent with these rules are no longer in force.

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