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



     ¶ 149 1/2. The Pacific Coast Japanese Conference shall consist of all work carried on among the Japanese of North America by the Free Methodist Church.
I. Membership

     There are two classes of membership as follows:

     1. Ministerial Members.

     (1). Missionaries and Japanese preachers holding membership in good standing in conferences shall on presentation of their certificates of standing or parchments become charter members of the conference. Subsequent to organization, ministerial members shall be received into conference membership in the manner prescribed by the Discipline. (See Paragraphs 198-200).

     (2) Unordained charter members.

     2. Lay Members.

     (1) Lay members shall be elected according to the Discipline. (See Paragraph 152).

     (2) Special Honorary Members: All missionaries who are members of the mission in full relation and who are not eligible to conference membership shall be known as special honorary members.

II. Churches

     1. Organization of Churches:

     When a church is organized it shall receive the recognition of the annual conference through the recommendation of the mission and the quarterly conference in whose territory it is located.

     2. Classification of Churches:

     (1) Self-supporting Church. A self-supporting church is one which pays all its current expenses and both the salary of its pastor and any other worker.

     (2) Aided Church. An aided church is an organized church which has not yet reached the status of a self-supporting church.

     (3) Mission Church. A mission church is a group which has been founded by the mission.

     3. Relation of Churches to the Conference:

     (1) Self-supporting Churches. Self-supporting churches shall be under the control of the conference and shall enjoy all the privileges of full relationship therein. (See Par. 152).

     (2) Aided Churches. Aided churches shall be under the control of the conference and shall have equal privilege with the self-supporting churches. An aided church shall endeavor to become self-supporting within a period of three years.

     (3) Mission Churches. Mission churches shall be under the control of the mission and shall have non voting lay representation in the annual conference. When such a church desires to become an organized society it shall receive the recognition of the annual conference through the recommendation of both the mission and the quarterly conference in whose territory it is located, and it shall have the same voting privilege as an aided church.

III. Stationing Committee

     1. Those who have served as district elders, during the past year, and an equal number of lay members to be elected by ballot the first day of the session, together with the president of the conference and superintendent of the mission, shall constitute a stationing committee, of which the president shall be chairman, and have a casting vote. If there is only one district elder in active service during the year, additional elders and lay members may be elected according to the number of districts. In case the superintendent is serving as district elder, an additional elder shall be elected from the body of the conference to serve on the stationing committee.

     2. This committee shall appoint pastors, workers, district elders (when elected by the conference), each year to their fields of labor, who may be returned to the same circuit or district whenever in the judgment of the stationing committee the needs of the work so require.

IV. Board of Administration

     1. There shall be a Board of Administration composed of three Japanese elders and two laymen, elected by the annual conference, and the superintendent of the mission. When there is only one acting district elder he shall be a member of the board without a vote of the conference. The conference treasurer shall be a member ex officio.

     2. During the interim of the annual conference, the board shall manage all matters of business within the jurisdiction of said conference.

     3. The board shall elect one of its members chairman, but in case of only one acting district elder, he shall be chairman by virtue of ‘his office as district elder.

     4. This board shall choose its own secretary and treasurer.

     5. In case of necessity this board shall have one or more advisors. 

V. Finances

     1. Funds shall be classified under two heads as follows:

     (1) Funds appropriated by the Commission ‘on Missions for the missionaries and their work, which shall be controlled by the mission.

     (2) Funds raised by the conference and by the churches for their work, which shall be under their respective control.

     2. Salaries of pastors and workers:

     (1) Salaries of pastors and workers serving self-supporting churches shall be determined by the local church.

     (2) Workers and pastors shall, in case of special financial need, present their request to the Board of Administration after said request has been approved by the official board of the circuit or society, which they are serving.

     (3) All request for funds from the Commission on Missions shall be made through the mission.

     (4) Expenses of pastors, workers and delegates to the annual conference shall be defrayed by the local societies which they represent, but in case of necessity, the expenses of pastors and workers only may be met by a fund created by the conference.

VI. Church Property

     1. All church and parsonage property in which the Missionary Board only has funds invested shall be held by the General Missionary Board of the Free Methodist Church of North America subject at all times to rules and regulations made or to be made by said board.

     2. Church and parsonage property toward which the Missionary Board and the Japanese churches together or the Japanese churches only have contributed funds, shall be held by the General Missionary Board of the Free Methodist Church of North America subject at all times to rules and regulations made or to be made by said board and shall not be disposed of without consent of the conference.

     3. All expenses such as taxes and repairs on church and parsonage property and all insurance on such property, whether purchased by mission funds wholly or in part, shall be paid by the local church having the use of the property.

VII. Prerogatives Restricted

     1. This conference may elect delegates to the General Conference, provided it becomes responsible for the transportation expenses thus incurred.

     2. This Constitution shall not be changed by the vote of the conference alone. (See Article IX, Sec. 2.)

VIII. The Mission

     1. The mission shall be composed of missionaries who hold credentials from the Commission on Missions, the right of membership being subject to the conditions stated in the “Rules for Missionaries.”

     2. The work of the mission shall be administered by an executive committee composed of a superintendent and two of its members who may be nominated by the mission and ‘who shall be elected by the commission.

     3. The mission shall be under the control of the Commission on Missions and all its doings shall be subject to the approval of the Commission on Missions.

IX. Appeals and Amendments

     1. All appeals made from the decisions and rulings of the president of the conference shall he presented to the Commission on Missions for final action.

     2. With the exception of Article IX Division 3 these articles may be amended by the conference, subject to the sanction of the mission, the Commission on Missions, and the General Conference.

     3. Article VIII, Section 1 may be amended by the mission, with the sanction of the Commission on Missions and the General Conference, provided such amendment or amendments do not in any way conflict with the rights or privileges of the conference, in which case the consent of the conference must also be obtained.