Doctrines and Discipline of the Free Methodist Church of North America - 1939 Edition




     ¶ 130. The Board of Administration shall constitute the Board of Evangelism, the Board of Charities and Benevolences, and the Church Extension Society. It shall elect seven of its members to be known as the Commission on Evangelism, Charities and Benevolences, and Church Extension, one of whom shall be a bishop. The acts of this commission shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Administration.
I. Evangelism

     ¶ 131. 1. The commission shall meet at least once each year to plan for the evangelistic work of the church and to do such other business as may be necessary to carry on the work successfully.

     2. The commission shall work in conjunction with the annual conference evangelistic boards in holding evangelistic conventions, raising funds for evangelistic work, employing evangelists and organizing bands for evangelistic work.

     3. The commission shall have authority to raise funds, employ evangelists, band workers, and helpers and to carry on aggressive evangelism throughout the church.

     4. The first Wednesday in January shall be oh served as a day of fasting and prayer for general evangelism.

     5. The general church treasurer shall be the treasurer of the Commission on Evangelism.

     6. Each annual conference is required to organize a Conference Evangelistic Board, which shall be authorized to carry on aggressive evangelistic work within its bounds. This board shall have power to raise funds and to employ evangelists, band workers and helpers to labor within the conference bounds, who, with the concurrence of the district elders, shall be authorized to establish new societies where the interests of the cause of God require, providing that it make provision and be responsible for the support of all the laborers which it employs.

     7. In connection with conference evangelism. through the Conference Evangelistic Board, on annual conference Sunday a collection and subscription are to be taken, and 90% of the fund taken is to be retained in the conference for annual conference evangelism, and 10% is to be sent to the general church treasurer for general evangelism through the Commission on Evangelism in the weaker conferences in need of help.

     8. It shall be the duty of the pastor to raise for general missions by public collections or otherwise a sum of not less than eight cents per annum for each member in full relation, sixteen years of age and over, to be forwarded to the conference treasurer and by him to the treasurer of the Commission on Evangelism. (This section refers to moneys to be raised in Conference Claims and is not to be confused with Sec. 7.)

     9. The general missions fund raised according to Section 8, shall be administered by the Commission on Evangelism.

     10. The eight cents per member allocated to this fund shall be used only in those conferences having a membership of not over five hundred members paying conference claims.

     11. There shall be a general evangelistic secretary who shall be elected by the General Conference, and shall be an ex officio member of the Commission on Evangelism. He shall keep the records of the com mission, receive and answer all correspondence relative to the evangelistic work of the church; and together with the bishop who is president of the commission shall have general supervision of the entire evangelistic work, subject to the direction and approval of the Com mission on Evangelism. He shall travel at large throughout the church and raise money for evangelism, inspire the spirit of aggressive evangelism, plan for and supervise the extension of work into new fields, and discover and utilize available evangelistic talent such as may be found in our schools, pastors, 1. P. M. S., and elsewhere, to promote, in harmony with the conference evangelistic boards and district elders, a general forward, aggressive program.

     The general evangelistic secretary shall receive a salary, the amount to be determined by the Executive Commission.

II. Charities and Benevolences

     ¶ 132. 1. It shall be the duty of the Commission on Evangelism, Charities and Benevolences to inspect the charitable and benevolent institutions operating in and soliciting financial support from the Free Methodist Church.

     2. The commission shall determine the financial standing of these institutions, their plan of operation, and the character and amount of work done, and shall determine whether the institution inspected shall receive. the endorsement and financial support of the Free Methodist Church, as an accredited institution.

     3. The commission shall have power to regulate the establishment of charitable and benevolent institutions, not for the purpose of restricting works of charity and benevolence in the church, but to so limit the multiplication of charitable or benevolent institutions as to avoid their becoming so numerous as to jeopardize the perpetuity and success of those al ready in the field.

     4. No charitable or benevolent institution of the same character shall be established in the patronizing territory of any such institution already established without first obtaining consent of the commission.

     5. All accredited institutions shall report annually to the commission as to their financial condition, the work done, and the general plan and scope of their work.

     6. The accredited institutions of the Free Methodist Church are:

     The Gerry Homes, Gerry, New York.

     The Chicago Industrial Home for Children and the Old People’s Rest Home at Woodstock, Illinois.

     The Life Line Orphanage, Kansas City, Kansas.

     The Home of Redeeming Love, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

     The Wesley-Roberts Deaconess School of the Home of Redeeming Love, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

     And all others established by the Commission on Charities and Benevolences.

     7. It shall be the duty of each pastor to preach a sermon at least once a year at each appointment on his charge where classes are formed, on the subject of practical charity, and take a collection for the poor; the proceeds of this collection to he used for the relief of the poor on the circuit where the collection is taken if there he any needing such help—if not, it shall then be sent to some accredited institution in whose patronizing territory the collection is taken.

     8. Each annual conference shall at its annual session appoint among its regular committees, a committee on charities.

III. Church Extension

     ¶ 133. 1. The object of the Church Extension Society shall be to aid needy churches or societies by donations or loans for the erection of churches.

     2. This society shall publish in the official paper of the church an annual report of its work, and also submit a full report quadrennially to the General Conference.

     3. The general church treasurer shall be the treasurer of the Church Extension Society.

     4. Each annual conference shall appoint a society of five members which shall constitute a Conference Church Extension and Aid Society, the officers of which shall be a president, secretary and treasurer.

     5. The Conference Church Extension and Aid Society shall be auxiliary to the commission, and shall, under its direction, have charge of all the work of the Church Extension and Aid Society within its bounds.

     6. The treasurer of the conference society shall, at least once in three mouths, remit all funds in his hands to the treasurer of the commission.

     7. It shall be the duty of every preacher in charge of a circuit to raise annually an amount equal to at least twelve cents per member for this fund. Should any conference be deficient in its assessment for this fund, such deficiency shall be deducted from any appropriation made from this fund or from the Church and Parsonage Aid Fund to any circuit in such conference at the time payment on appropriation is made by the general treasurer. Such deficiencies as are not de ducted in any one year shall be held for future deduction unless paid by the conference.

     The Board of Administration should be careful not to make appropriations beyond available funds.

     8. The conference society shall make a full report of its work to the conference at its annual session.

     9. All applications for aid shall be first submitted to the conference society, and said society shall certify its action thereon to the commission; and aid shall be granted only by the concurrent action of the conference society and the commission.

     10. All such applications for aid shall be in accordance with blank forms furnished by the general society, and shall set forth:

     (1) The number of members of the Free Methodist society, and the size of the congregation.

     (2) The fact. that the board of trustees is legally incorporated.

     (3) The size and valuation of the site, the validity of the title, and whether deeded to the Free Methodist Church.

     (4) A description of the building for which aid is asked.

     (5) The estimated cost.

     (6) The amount of available and reliable means secured.

     (7) What provisions have been made for suitable accommodations for the Sunday school.

     (8) Any other information that the commission may require.

     11. In case a church which has received aid from the funds of the Church Extension and Aid Society shall be sold, it shall pay back to this society an amount equal to that received as aid, unless it be used on the same circuit and for the same purpose.