THE EXECUTIVE COMMISSION
2. This commission shall make all apportionments, administer funds for the bishops’ salaries, and the Church and Parsonage Aid Society.
3. It shall be the Board of Directors of the Free Methodist Publishing House and shall have advisory supervision of all church property.
4. The Executive Commission shall constitute the Court of Appeals, whose decision shall be final. Should any member of this court be absent or disqualified to sit, his place shall be filled pro tern by the Board of Administration from its members, or, if any are disqualified. from a list of members of the church at large approved by counsel for both sides; so that no appeal shall be heard except before a full court. The Court of Appeals shall, if necessary, hold a session once a year, for the purpose of trying all appeals that may be taken thereto by any traveling preacher from the decisions of an annual conference. The bishop who is a member of the Executive Commission shall ordinarily preside over the court; but should he be absent or disqualified, the Board of Administration shall elect one of the other bishops to preside.
5. The Executive Commission shall have the power to decide all questions of law referred to it in the interim of the General Conference. In case of any alleged legal irregularities in a trial court, where such court shall deliver a verdict against the church, the prosecution may, upon a written recital of such irregularities, apply to the Executive Commission or the General Conference for a writ of review, and it shall be the province of that body receiving such application to review the proceedings of the lower court as recited, and if such body shall find the alleged irregularities to exist, the case may be remanded for a new trial, but such case can be remanded but once.
6. The Executive Commission shall have power to make such preliminary arrangements for the public services of the General Conference as it may deem necessary.
7. The Executive Commission shall fix the salaries of the General Conference officers.
8. Deficiencies of any conference in the payment of its general assessed claims shall be prorated to the various general funds according to the ratio of the amounts of the assessments. These deficiencies shall be deducted from benefits receivable by such conference as follows:
Deficiencies in Bishop’s salaries, General Missions and Evangelistic Fund shall be deducted from the General Missions appropriations.
Deficiencies in the Conference Claimants’ assessment shall be deducted pro rata from the amounts due claimants.
Deficiencies in General Conference entertainment and delegates’ expenses shall be deducted from the expense allowances to delegates at the next General Conference.
Deficiencies in Church Extension and Church and Parsonage Aid shall be deducted from appropriations from either of such funds.
Such deficiencies as are not deducted or paid shall be held as a lien against subsequent appropriations. The general treasurer shall keep a record of these deficiencies and report the same to the conferences which are deficient and publish them in his annual report to the Board of Administration.
9. The acts of the Executive Commission shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Administration except when it sits as an appellate court.
The funds to be collected, administered and used for the benefit of superannuated preachers or their widows and orphans, the widows and orphans of ordained traveling preachers, and retired missionaries who have labored under the appointment of the Commission on Missions of the Free Methodist Church, shall be known as the Conference Claimants’ Fund and shall be divided into the Permanent Endowment Fund, the Administrative Fund, and the Reserve Fund.
A. The Permanent Endowment Fund shall consist of such funds and investments as are now held and known as the Permanent Endowment Fund, and gifts, bequests, legacies and annuities which may be received for this purpose.
B. The Administrative Fund shall consist of the income accruing from the Permanent Endowment Fund: gifts, bequests and legacies specifically designated for the use of the Administrative Fund; collections received from the several conferences for general assessed claims levied by the Board of Administration for the Conference Claimants’ Fund; sixty per cent annually of the net profits of the business of the Publishing House; income from the investment of Publishing House funds; and contributions received from preachers and missionaries who may •become beneficiaries of the Conference Claimants Fund, according to the provisions of section 2.
Any annual surplus in this fund shall be transferred to the Reserve Fund; but should there be a deficit in the Administrative Fund in any year, an amount sufficient to eliminate such deficit shall be transferred from the Reserve Fund.
C. The Reserve Fund shall consist of such surpluses as may occur in the Administrative Fund from year to year, Sunday-school offerings received on Superannuate Day and any offerings, gifts, bequests, legacies and annuities that may be received for this fund. The purpose of this fund is to provide a reserve to insure the payment of claims to those who become beneficiaries under the Contributive Plan. This Fund shall be invested only in obligations of the United States government, the income from which shall be added to the Reserve Fund.
Section 2. The Contributive Plan.
It shall be the duty of every pastor, evangelist, district elder, general officer, bishop, educator, missionary, and in fact every one who will be eligible to superannuation, to file, at the time of his annual conference, a certificate with the Executive Secretary of the Annual Conference Board of Claimants, hereinafter called Certificate of Income, stating the amount of his total income for that conference year, namely: all funds received for ministerial support such as salary, special offerings, receipts for evangelistic services and any other income accruing as a result of his position under conference appointment. Evangelists and District Elders may deduct actual traveling expenses in excess of $150 00 subject to such regulations as may be adopted by the General Board of Conference Claimants. He shall also give such other information on this certificate as shall he requested by the General Board of Conference Claimants. Those under appointment as evangelists shall give such information relative to time, place of labors, income and expense as the General Board of Conference Claimants may request.
Contributions to the Conference Claimants Fund shall be 1 3/4 per cent of the amount of income as shown in the Certificate of Income.
Contributions shall be paid in at the time of filing the Certificate of Income and receipt therefore shall be issued by the Executive Secretary of the Annual Conference Board of Claimants.
Should a preacher fail to make contribution at the tune of filing such certificate and then subsequently desire to do so, interest at the rate of 4 per cent per annum shall he charged from the time the payment was due, provided such contribution is paid not later than the next ensuing session of his annual conference.
Section 3. Administrative Organization.
A. The General Board of Conference Claimants. The Board of Administration, shall constitute the General Board of Conference Claimants. It shall he the duty of this board:
1. To pass upon all claims and make final disposition of the same.
2. To draw up such regulations and prepare such blanks as are necessary to the proper and efficient administration of the work of the hoard and the operation of the Conference Claimants Fund.
3. To estimate the amount necessary to be raised in addition to endowment and other income, to pay the claimaints and apportion the same pro rata upon the entire membership of the church. To such apportionment shall be added an amount of not less than ten cents per member to aid in building up the Endowment Fund.
B. The General Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary of the General Board shall be employed by the Board of Administration. It shall be his duty:
1. To keep a record of all the proceedings of the General Board and make a report of the same to the General Conference.
2. To receive, audit, classify, file, and be custodian of all Claimants’ Applications, Annual Claimants’ Certificates and Certificates of Income,
3. To receive and pass upon emergency claims in the interim of the meetings of the General Board subject to action by said Board.
4. To adjust amounts due on claims of deceased claimants.
5. To keep a record of all claims allowed and payments made on the same.
6. To direct the activities of the several annual conference executive secretaries, and supply them with such blanks and other record materials as are necessary.
7. To receive and credit to the individual preachers’ accounts the contributions forwarded to him and turn such funds over to the general treasurer, keeping a complete record of the same.
8. To travel through the connection and assist in promoting the Conference Claimants’ Fund under the: direction of the General Board of Conference Claimants.
9. To perform such other duties as shall devolve upon him as executive secretary.
C. The Annual Conference Board of Claimants. Each annual conference shall elect an Annual Conference Board of Claimants of not less than three or more than seven members. The presiding bishop or his appointee shall be ex officio chairman of this board during the session of the annual conference. It shall be the duty of this Annual Conference Board of Claimants:
1. To elect from its number an executive secretary who shall be the executive officer of the board in the interim of the annual conferences. The annual conference may elect the executive secretary if it so desires.
2. To study and pass upon all claims, recommending to the annual conference the amount of each claim. In no case, however, shall income from insurance or life savings be considered as a reason for reducing any claim in which contributive service constitutes all or part of the service record.
3. To study and pass upon all Certificates of Income and rate them on the basis of activity or service unhampered by secular employment, such ratings to be reported to the annual conference which shall have final jurisdiction.
4. To receive emergency claims in the interim of annual conferences and recommend such claims direct to the General Board of Conference Claimants. Such emergency claims shall be only temporary and must be submitted to the next ensuing session of the annual conference for action and recommendation to the General Board.
5. It shall be the duty of the executive secretary of the annual conference board to assist the general executive secretary in promoting the interests of the Claimants’ Plan in his conference. He shall see that the Certificates of Income are properly filled out and turned in by the preachers of his conference and issue receipts for contributions paid in on the same, remitting such funds to the general executive secretary as soon as possible. He shall also receive all Claimants’ Applications and Annual Claimants’ Certificates, seeing that they are properly filled out and contain all necessary information; transmitting them, together with the Certificates of Income, to the general executive secretary after they have been properly acted upon and certified.
Section 4. Classification of Claimants.
Claimants against the Conference Claimants’ Fund shall be classified as follows:
A. Superannuated preachers of the traveling connection whose wives are living.
B. Superannuated preachers of the traveling connection who are bachelors, spinsters, unmarried widowers or unmarried widows.
C. Unmarried widows of superannuates or preachers of the traveling connection.
D. Orphans of preachers or superannuates of the traveling connection.
E. Missionaries, or their widows and orphans, who have served under the appointment of the Commission on Missions in foreign fields end who are not full members of an annual conference in the United States or Canada.
Section 5. Schedules of Benefits to Claimants.
Benefits to claimants shall be paid according to the following schedules and in no case shall any claim be allowed in excess of or contrary to the regular disciplinary allowance. For those who begin effective service at the time of their annual conferences in 1935 or subsequently. the allowance shall be based upon the number of years of effective and contributive service only.
A. The allowance to claimants who come under Classification A in Section 4 shall be at the rate of $10.00 per year of effective and contributive service up to a maximum of 36 years, making a full claim of $360.00 per year.
B. The allowance to claimants who come under Classifications B and C in Section 4 shall be at the rate of $7.00 per year of effective and contributive service up to a maximum of 36 years, making a full claim of $252.00 per year.
C. In the case of those coming under Classification D of Section 4, the Annual Conference Board of Claimants shall estimate an amount, not to exceed $36.00 per annum for each child, for the subsistence of such orphan child or children until same shall have arrived at the age of sixteen years.
D. In the case of those coming under Classification E of Section 4, the amount allowed shall be recommended by the Commission on Missions in accordance with the schedules in this Section.
E. In the case of those who have already had effective service records at the time of their annual conferences in 1935 and u-ho superannuate thereafter, the allowance shall he based upon the number of years of effective Service up to the end of the conference year in 1035. provided that not more than 25 such years may he counted for those in Class A, nor more than 28 years for those in Classes B and C, and the number of years of effective and contributive service thereafter, up to the maximum number of years allowed altogether as stated in schedules A and B.
F. The allowance for those who come under Classification C of Section 4 who were married before the General Conference of 1031 shall he computed upon the basis of the husband’s effective and/or contributive service as provided in the schedules in this section.
G. In the case of those who are eligible as claimants under any classification in Section 4 at the close of the conference year in 1935, the amount of claim shalt be figured at $10.00 per year of effective service for Classification A and $7.00 per year for Classification B and C, provided, however, the amount of said claim shall not be less than the amount actually received during the conference year 1934-5 nor more than the maximum allowance under the law in effect prior to the General Conference of 1935; and provided further, that no Class B or C claimant shall be eligible to receive more than $200.00.
Section 6. General Regulations.
1. By “effective service” is meant the time actually employed by a preacher as directed by his conference subsequent to the time he was received into full connection in the traveling connection. By “effective and contributive service” is meant the time actually employed as stated under “effective service” and in which he contributed his ratable portion according to the amount shown on his Certificate of Income.
2. If a preacher shall take a certificate of location and subsequently be restored to conference membership, the years of effective, or effective and contributive service, prior to location may be restored by the General Board only upon recommendation of the conference which granted the certificate of location and upon the further condition that such restoration is for the purpose of re-entering effective service; provided said preacher shall have remained a member of the Free Methodist Church during the years of his location and that not more than ten years shall have elapsed since his location.
3. If a preacher withdraws from the church or is expelled, all rights and claims are forfeited; and should he be readmitted to the church and conference, and afterward be superannuated, the years prior to his withdrawal or expulsion shall not be restored to his service record.
4. If a preacher who has had effective service under the Commission on Missions joins an annual conference in full connection after serving on trial, such years of service on trial may be counted in his service record upon the recommendation of his annual conference, provided he has fulfilled other requirements for effective and contributive service.
5. If, subsequent to the General Conference of 1931, a minister shall marry while a member of the conference, and before he is superannuated, the claim allowed his widow shall be based only upon the years she labored with him in effective and contributive service.
6. Claimants shall receive benefits only so long as they remain members of the Free Methodist Church.
7. Widows of preachers and superannuates shall receive benefits from the Conference Claimants Fund only so long as they remain single.
8. All claimants shall file an original Claimant’s Application in duplicate on blanks provided by the General Board of Conference Claimants containing such information as said Board shall deem necessary. Each subsequent year an Annual Claimant’s Certificate, to be provided by the same general hoard and containing information as to the continuation of the same general status of the claimant, shall be filed by all claimants. Both of these blanks shall be filed with the Executive Secretary of the Annual Conference Board of Claimants in time for action at the annual conference.
9. In all eases, a claimant shall have the right to appear in person or by counsel before the Annual Conference Board of Claimants to present his case. in case of an irreconcilable difference between the claimant and his Annual Conference Board, said claimant shall have the right of appeal to the General Board of Conference Claimants where final disposition shall be made.
10. All claims shall be paid from the General Treasury quarterly beginning January 2nd of each year and according to the following schedule: 20% of the claim for each of the first two quarters and 30% each for the third and final quarters. The general treasurer is authorized to withhold payments for the third and fourth quarters to claimants of any conference which is in arrears in the payment of its general assessed claims. Any amounts so withheld shall not be in excess of deficiencies as provided in 105, Sec. 2.
11. The Board of Administration is empowered to amend such regulations as may he found necessary.
12. No minister shall be eligible as a claimant until he shall have attained the age of sixty-five years, except in case of mental or physical disability which disqualifies him for service, such exception to be finally determined by the General Board of Conference Claimants.
2. The object of this society shall be to aid churches or societies in rebuilding churches or parsonages which have been destroyed totally or in part. This is to be construed to mean church buildings, parsonages, barns and garages.
3. This society shall publish in the Annual Minutes an annual report of its work and also submit a full report quadrennially to the General Conference.
4. The Annual Conference Church Extension Society shall constitute the Conference Church and Parson-age Aid Society.
5. The Conference Church and Parsonage Aid Society shall be auxiliary to the general society and shall pass upon all applications for aid arising from the loss of, or damage to, church or parsonage property within the conference.
6. The conference society shall make a full report of its work to the conference at its annual session.
7. The provisions of this society shall apply also to the district parsonages, and to homes of superannuated preachers when owned by the annual conference.
8. In case of loss to church or parsonage property it shall be the duty of the official board to appoint three persons who with the district elder of the district and the pastor of the church shall constitute a board of appraisers. This board shall send the estimate of loss to the Conference Church and Parsonage Aid Society.
9. The amount of aid given any church or society shall not be more than one-half of the net loss, and in no case shall exceed $1,000. However, in case both church and parsonage are destroyed wholly or in part at one time, and in case the two are in separate buildings, then the above allowance shall be paid for each building.
10. The Church and Parsonage Aid Fund shall protect the household goods of all ministers under appointment by, and in the active service of, the Free Methodist Church, and all superannuated preachers. to the extent of one-half of their net loss, but in no ease to exceed $300 00.
11. All applications for aid shall be in accordance with blank forms furnished by the Executive Commission.
12. The adjustment of the claim shall be upon the concurrent action of the Executive Commission and the annual conference society.
13. It shall be the duty of each preacher in charge of a circuit to raise for church and parsonage aid a sum not less than ten cents per annum for each member in full relation and forward the same through the conference treasurer to the treasurer of the general society.
14. In case of emergency, the Executive Commission shall have power to make a special call for funds to meet such special need.
15. Should any conference be deficient in the payment of its assessment for this fund, such deficiency shall constitute a lien against any claim made upon the Fund by a society or beneficiary in the conference and shall be deducted from such claim at the time payment is made by the general treasurer.
In the event that it is impossible to deduct the lien in any one year, it shall be held over for future deduction unless the deficiency in assessment is paid by the conference.
¶ 107 1/2. If any church society, Free Methodist Publishing House, or any school or benevolent institution recognized by the Free Methodist Church desires to secure additional aid from this fund other than is allowed in the regular provision of this chapter, such special aid may be had upon the following conditions:
1. Such society, school, benevolent institution or Publishing House shall contribute to the Church and Parsonage Aid Fund, for each one hundred dollars of special aid desired, an amount equal to 60% of the regular board rates as established for insurance purposes in the several states and communities in which the property is located.
2. Each building shall be aided under separate application to he made by the society or institution desiring the aid.
3. This special aid shall be limited to
a. The actual loss, not exceeding the amount of aid applied for.
b. The net loss after any allowances for insurance or protection has been paid (if any) from other sources.
4. If any society shall take advantage of this “special provision,” then that society shall in addition have the benefits provided for under Paragraph 107.
5. In case of loss, the Church and Parsonage Aid Society shall have the option either to replace what is destroyed, or pay the aid in cash, to which the applicant is entitled.
6. No credit shall be extended to any church or institution under the provisions of this chapter. The aid hereby provided for shall automatically cease with the expiration date, unless the contributions herein provided for shall have been paid promptly upon the due date,
7. No application made under the provisions of this chapter shall become effective until approved by the Executive Commission.
8. The Executive Commission shall provide application blanks, agreements for special aid, and shall have power to do any and all things necessary to put -into effect the special provisions of this chapter.
9. In the event a loss shall be sustained by an applicant, then the Church and Parsonage Aid Society may send a special representative or employ an adjuster to adjust the claim of any applicant, and the decision of the Church and Parsonage Aid Society shall be final.
10. It shall be expressly agreed and understood between the Church and Parsonage Aid Society and any applicant applying for special aid under the provisions of this chapter, that said agreement for special aid shall in no sense constitute a contract of insurance or indemnity, the laws of any state notwithstanding.
¶ 108. 1. The Free Methodist Publishing House is an institution established by the Free Methodist General Conference of North America for the purpose of producing and circulating wholesome literature. It is duly incorporated under the laws of the State of Illinois, with its business plant and official headquarters at Winona Lake, Indiana.
2. The Executive Commission shall be the Board of Directors of the Free Methodist Publishing I-louse and have general supervision of the publishing interests of the church during the interim of the General Conference sessions, and shall carefully examine into their condition. It shall not, however, have power to change the site of the Publishing House, except with the consent of three-fourths of all the members of the Board of Administration who shall be present at a regularly called meeting.
3. The publishing agent shall have authority, under the supervision of the Executive Commission, to regulate the business of the Publishing House in such a manner as in his judgment the interests of the church require.
4. The publishing agent and editors shall make annual reports to time Executive Commission, and shall also report to the General Conference.
5. It shall he the duty of the assistant
publishing agent to co-operate with the publishing agent in planning and
carrying forward the business of the Publishing House, and, in the absence
of the publishing agent; to assume the ordinary duties of the publishing