Church Bylaws


Robert's Rules of Order, Revised Edition, shall govern parliamentary procedure in all cases where it is not inconsistent with the Articles of Incorporation and the By-laws.


See separate page containing statement of faith


3.1 Admission

Admission to to membership shall be upon the following terms:

  • 3.1.1 One must be born again by the Spirit of God according to John 3:3-7 and Romans 10:9-10. Prospective members must show by their new life in Christ, demonstrated by their actions and confessions, that old things have passed away and all things have become new, and that they are willing to abide by the teachings of Christ and the Apostles in the Gospels and Epistles. They shall accept and abide by the provisions of these by-laws, Statement of Faith and the general principles and practices of the Church.
  • 3.1.2 Every applicant for membership shall indicate his or her desire for membership in an application form and relate in a summary his/her personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as his or her own Saviour and Lord to the Board of Elders. The prospective member shall be given a copy of the church by-laws and Statement of Faith to read and be interviewed by a pastor or an elder.
  • 3.1.3 Upon approval of the Board of Elders, the prospective member's name and a brief synopsis of his or her testimony shall be published in the church bulletin for two consecutive Sundays to give the congregation notice of the application for membership. Any applicant who is already baptized will be accepted directly into membership and any applicant who is not yet baptized will be accepted after his baptism at the earliest baptismal service.
  • 3.1.4 Each pastor and his wife shall become members at the time of acceptance of the pastoral call.

3.2 Responsibilities and Privileges

  • 3.2.1 Conduct. Each member of the church is expected to attend its services, to work for its building up, and to guard its good name and that of the elders, pastoral staff, and each individual member, to give of him or herself and his or her means for the work of the church and to submit to the authority of pastors and elders according to the Scriptures. Hebrews 10:25; Romans 12:10; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Romans 12:l,2; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; Hebrews 13:17.
  • 3.2.2 Discipline. If the life or conduct of a member is contrary to the Word of God, he may be asked by pastor(s) and elder(s) for an explanation. Disciplinary action, in accordance with the principles set forth in the Bible, may be taken in accordance with Matthew 18:15-20, not forgetting Galatians 6:1 and 1 Corinthians 10:12.
  • 3.2.3 Attitude. Considering the many denominational backgrounds of our church, we wish to stress the importance of the main fundamental doctrines, defined by the Statement of Faith, as being absolutely necessary and to be understanding in minor differences that so often are merely differences in terminology or custom.
  • 3.2.4 Voting. Voting privileges are given to active members who are eighteen years of age or older.
  • 3.2.5 Resolution of Disputes between Members of the Church. In accordance with l Corinthians 611-8, any unresolved dispute arising between members of the church shall be submitted for final resolution by the saints through spiritually qualified designees appointed by pastor(s) or elder(s).

3.3 Inactive Member

If a member has not attended a regular service of the church, or has not communicated with the elders in such a way as to reveal interest or sincerity in the church affairs over a period of six months, after due effort has been made to encourage him or her to respond, the Board of Elders shall designate the member inactive.

3.4 Children Membership

Children under 18 may be baptized as children members in accordance with Section 3.1 of this Article. At age 18, when they are eligible for full membership and voting privileges, they shall meet with the Board of Elders to reaffirm their Christian faith and receive further instructions in the privileges and responsibilities of a church member.


4.1 Background

The Evangelical Chinese Church of South King County is a Bible believing church of Jesus Christ. Although members are of various backgrounds, the church is not affiliated with any denomination. While our congregation is mainly ethnic Chinese, we welcome and reach out to all who desire to worship, fellowship, serve and grow in Christ with us. We are unique in having enormous cultural diversity. Oversea Chinese from many parts of the world are represented. A portion of the members were born and raised in the United States. With the culturally diverse background, we hold one and only one vision — that is to carry out the Great Commision of the Lord — Make Disciples of All Nations (Matthew 28:19).

4.2 The Board of Elders

The Board of Elders shall be responsible for the administration and management of the corporate business of the church and shall provide guidance, instruction, and protection for the congregation.

4.3 Deacons and Deaconesses

Deacons and Deaconesses shall assist in providing for the spiritual and physical welfare of the congregation under the direction of the Board of Elders.

4.4 Commissions and Committees

All commissions, departments, committees, and fellowships of the church shall report to the Board of Elders through their commissions. The commissions are created to organize the basic areas of the ministry. Each commission is to be led by the assigned elders. Committees may be created by the commission or Board of Elders as deemed necessary.

4.5 Pastoral Staff

The senior pastor shall report to the Board of Elders. All other salaried pastors shall report to the senior pastor.


5.1 Membership

There shall be a Board of Elders, which shall be composed of those members of the church who satisfy the qualifications of Scripture for eldership and are appointed to serve in that capacity. (l Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5, and 9, 1 Peter 5:l—4)

5.2 Qualification

The qualifications for appointment to the Board of Elders shall be based on those set forth in the New Testament in l Timothy 3:1-7, 5: l7-20, and Titus 1:5-9. An elder shall be 18 years of age or older, a member of ECC of South King County for at least one year, and active in ECC of South King County Ministry for at least one year.

5.3 Recommendation

Candidates for elder may be recommended by the commission elders or the congregation. A call for recommendations by the congregation will be made at least eight weeks prior to the annual meeting.

5.4 Ratification

The list of nominees will be submitted to the membership at least four weeks prior to the annual meeting.

After publication of the nominees, the Elders In Session will accept for consideration any accusation concerning a nominee such as would render him ineligible according to the Scriptures or these by-laws. The Elders In Session shall determine the validity of these accusations and shall either confirm or remove the nominee.

The list of nominees shall be submitted to the membership for ratification at the annual business meeting. Should a nominee fail to be ratified, the Elders In Session shall reconsider the nominee and either confirm or reject his selection as an elder.

Upon ratification by two-thirds majority of the members present at a duly held congregation meeting, the pastor(s), together with the commissions elders, shall, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, ordain him in a pre-arranged meeting attended by the membership.

5.5 Responsibilities of the Board of Elders

The Board of Elders shall be responsible:

  1. For the spiritual guidance, instruction, and protection of the congregation.
  2. For the management of the corporation. In this capacity, the Board of Elders shall see that all affairs pertaining to the function and well being of the corporation are transacted efficiently and in keeping with sound Christian principles.
  3. To oversee the activities of the various ministries of the church, assigning an elder to have specific responsibility over each.
  4. To assist the pastor in the administration of all ordinances.
  5. To appoint and remove pastoral and church staff as may be deemed necessary.
  6. To exercise general oversight of all financial matters of the church.
  7. To discipline and/or remove a member of the Board of Elders, deacons, deaconesses, or any other officer in the event that he or she ceases to fulfill the qualifications of the office. No elder shall be eligible to vote upon the issue of his removal from the Board of Elders.
  8. To approve recommendations before submittal to the membership on matters pertaining to the calling of new pastoral staff, acquisition or deposition of real property and changes in the by-laws.

5.6 Meetings

  1. Meetings of the Board of Elders shall be held at least monthly.
  2. Special meetings may be called by the chairman of the Elder Board at request of any elder.
  3. Two thirds of the members of the Board of Elders shall constitute a quorum.
  4. Believing that the leaders of the church should be of "one mind and purpose" (Philippians 2:2), the unanimous consent of those present shall be required to adopt any vote or resolution.

5.7 Term of Service

The qualifications of each elder shall be reviewed annually in order that his continued qualification for service may be ratified in accordance with Article IV. Owing to ill health, moving out of the locality, or other personal reasons, an elder may resign from his office and duty.


6.1 Organization

Deacons and Deaconesses shall be organized according to their role within the established Evangelical Chinese Church of South King County commission. They will be selected by the commission elders, confirmed and appointed by the Elders In Session and ratified annually by the congregation. In addition to those ratified annually, the Elders In Session may, as commission needs arise, appoint deacons and deaconesses. Deacons and deaconesses will be selected for positions identified by each commission as requiring "deacon or deaconess qualified" personnel.

6.2 Positions Requiring "Deacon or Deaconess Qualified"

  1. One requiring leadership over others,
  2. One requiring a public model of the Christian walk,
  3. One requiring the handling/management of church assets,
  4. One engaged in regular teaching/preaching/discipleship of children, youth or adults,
  5. One involving access to confidential information about others (counseling, secretaries).

6.3 Qualifications of Deacons and Deaconesses

The qualifications of a deacon or deaconess shall be based on those represented in the New Testament, and specifically in 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-7. A deacon or deaconess shall be 18 years of age or older, involved in ministry at Evangelical Chinese Church of South King County for one year or longer, and a member of Evangelical Chinese Church of South King County.

6.4 Term of Service

The term of service of deacons and deaconesses shall be for as long as they are qualified, ratified, required by their commission, and actively performing the duties for which they were selected.

6.5 Duties of Deacons and Deaconesses

Deacons and Deaconesses shall serve on commissions and perform the responsibilities for which they were approved.


7.1 Senior Pastor and Associate Pastors

7.l.l Duties: The Pastor(s) shall oversee the complete ministry to the Church. He is a member ex-officio of all committees. He shall accept the responsibility, as from the Lord God, to equip the believers through preaching, teaching, and shepherding for the work of the Gospel ministry and for the edification and upbuilding of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16). He shall meet the qualifications of any elder as stated in 1 Timothy 3 :2-7 and Titus 1:5-9, shall be a firm believer and faithful teacher of the Word of God by words and deeds and shall know how to commit the sound doctrine of faithful men who shall, in tum, be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2, Matthew 28:18-20).

7.1.2 An initial call to serve as senior pastor shall be extended by the Board of Elders upon:

  • Recommendation of the Pastoral Search Committee.
  • Unanimous approval by the Board of Elders
  • Approval by three quarters of the membership present and voting at the annual business meeting convened for the particular purpose of approval or a pastoral call.

7.1.3 An initial call to serve as associate pastor shall be extended by the Board of Elders upon:

  • Recommendation of the Pastoral Search Committee.
  • Endorsement by the senior pastor, and his designees on the pastoral staff to recommend staff positions and personnel, in communication and counsel with the commissions involved.
  • Unanimous approval by the Board of Elders
  • Approval by three quarters of the membership present and voting at the annual business meeting convened for the particular purpose of approval or a pastoral call.

7.1.4 Pastoral services may be terminated by either party on thirty days notice in writing by certified mail or personal delivery to the other party. In the event that action is required under section 7.1.5 of this Article, the pastor's call shall terminate immediately and be shall be entitled to receive two months severance pay.

7.1.5 Charges Against the Pastor: Accusations against the pastor shall be submitted in writing to the Board of Elders and shall not be considered unless supported by the testimony of at least two witnesses. If, in the judgment of the Board of Elders, he errs in doctrine or conduct, the Board of Elders shall discuss the accusations with him. Dismissal of the pastor should be approved by three quarters majority vote at a congregational business meeting specially called for.

7.2 Other Personnel

Other personnel may be employed and compensated at the endorsement of the pastoral staff and the approval from the Board of Elders as need arises for such assistance.


8.1 Officers

The following are officers of the Church: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary of the Board of Elders shall be respective officers of the church. The treasurer shall fulfill the qualifications of a deacon or deaconess and shall be selected at the annual business meeting.

8.2 Responsibilities of Officers

  1. The chairman shall preside at all business meetings of the congregation and shall be the executive officer of the corporation.
  2. The vice—chairman shall assist the chairman assuming his duties in the chairman's absence or at the direction of the chairman.
  3. The secretary shall keep the minutes of all business meetings of the membership, carry on correspondence as the Board of Elders may direct, maintain a registry of the membership, and give official notice of all meetings of the membership
  4. The treasurer shall be responsible for authorizing all disbursements. All disbursements shall be made by check. The treasurer shall make regular financial reports to the Board of Elders and, as required by the Board of Elders, to the membership. He or she shall also be responsible for counting collections and offerings, maintaining individual accounts of each contributor for income tax purposes, and sending receipts for contributions as directed by the Board of Elders.


9.1 Worship Meetings

Worship shall be conducted in accordance with the New Testament and shall contain the elements stated in Acts 2:42.

9.2 Business Meetings

  1. Annual meetings of the membership shall be held during the month of January of each year. Notice of the annual meeting shall be published for two consecutive Sundays prior to the meeting.
  2. At the annual meeting those present shall consider and ratify the nominees submitted by the Board of Elders, ratify the annual budget, and consider such other matters as deemed necessary by the Board of Elders or the membership present.
  3. Special meetings may be called by the Board of Elders, or by written petition signed by twenty-five percent (25%) of all of the bonafide members or fifty members, whichever is less.
  4. Recommendation of the Board of Elders concerning the acquisition or disposition of real property, the calling of new pastoral staff, changes in the by—laws, and other matters as deemed necessary by the Board of Elders shall be submitted to the membership at least two Sundays prior to the date of meeting, except as otherwise provided in these by-laws.
  5. For the consideration and transaction of any business at any annual or special meeting of the church, the presence of one third of all of the bonafide members shall constitute a quorum. A majority vote of those present shall carry all matters brought before the meeting and shall constitute the action of the congregation, except as otherwise set forth in these Articles of Incorporation or the By-laws. There shall be no voting by proxy or by absentee ballot.


The fiscal year of the church shall be January l through December 31.


11.1 Communion

The communion service shall be observed on a regularly scheduled basis, preferably at least once a month. All Christians, regardless of denominational affiliation, are invited to partake of this service. The order given to the church in l Corinthians 11:23-33 will be followed.

11.2 Baptism

Believing water baptism to be a scriptural witness of an inward regeneration, all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior shall be encouraged to take this step of obedience in their Christian life. 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-6; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41, 8:12, 34-39.


11.1 Candidate

When in the judgment of the Board of Elders any person is convinced he or she is called of God to the Christian ministry and has personally requested ordination, or the church he or she is serving has requested the ordination, it shall be the prerogative of the Board of Elders to call a council of ordination and conduct an examination of the candidate.

11.2 Council

The procedures for calling and conducting a council of ordination shall be set forth by the Board of Elders.


These By-laws may be amended by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the members present and voting at any annual meeting of the congregation, or at a meeting especially called for that purpose, with the proposed change having been laid before the congregation in writing not less than four Sundays prior to the time of the proposed action. No amendment shall ever be made to Article II of the By-laws entitled "Statement of Faith".