Alliance By-Laws

  1. Article I. Name
  2. Article II. Purpose
  3. Article III. Membership and General Meetings
  4. Article IV. Location
  5. Article V. Executive Officers
  6. Article VI. Organizational Entities
  7. Article VII. Meetings and Voting Privileges
  8. Article VIII. Finances
  9. Article IX. Regional Associations
  10. Article X. Credentialing
  11. Article XI. Elections and Terms of Service
  12. Article XII. By-Laws

Article I. Name

This organization shall be named the Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations.

Article II. Purpose

  1. This organization shall exist for the purpose of maintaining a partnership in order to faithfully preserve, promote and propagate the Biblical Christian Faith as Believers from an Evangelical Anabaptist perspective, providing biblical fellowship, credentialing, and mutual accountability to enable congregations, to pursue their objectives of missions, evangelism, discipleship, nurture, and biblical ministries of witness and reconciliation, committed to a unity in Christ based solely on the truth of the Scriptures and summarized in a basic Statement of Doctrine.

  2. This purpose is summarized in the statement: The Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations is an affiliation of committed Christians who partner as congregations to carry out the Great Commission, provide biblical fellowship and mutual accountability in the unity of Christ, embracing an Evangelical identity and an Anabaptist Perspective.

Article III. Membership and General Meetings

  1. Membership in the Alliance is of two types: (1) Congregational Membership, hereafter called AMEC Congregations and (2) Individual Membership, hereafter called AMEC Associates.

  2. Congregations who endorse the stated "Purpose and Principles" of The Alliance of Mennonite Evangelical Congregations (hereafter called "the Alliance") and affirm without reservation the Statement of Doctrine (expressed in Sections IV, V, & VI) shall be eligible for Membership.

  3. Individual Believers who likewise are committed to the Purposes and Principles of the Alliance and affirm the Statement of Doctrine without reservation, but whose congregations are not yet affiliated, shall be eligible for Associate Membership.

  4. Provision shall be made, in conjunction with the General Meetings, for Member Congregations and Associate Members to reaffirm their commitment to the Purposes and Principles of the Alliance at least every four years.

Article IV. Location

In order to serve its member congregations and associate members the organization of the Alliance shall be based on Singer Avenue, Paradise, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with the mailing address: Box 97, Paradise, PA 17562, and be incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Article V. Executive Officers

  1. The Officers of the Alliance consist of a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer, and two Members-at-Large.

  2. The President and Vice President shall be elected from among the Ordained Ministers of the Gospel. The one Member-at-Large shall be selected by the AMEC Congregations, and the other Member-at-Large selected by the AMEC Associates.

Article VI. Organizational Entities

  1. An Executive Council shall be constituted to provide for coordination between the three Ministry Teams as well as to arrange for such other committees or ministry teams as may be deemed necessary for the ongoing effectiveness and health of the Alliance. The Executive Council shall give guidance in maintaining vision while providing oversight of the growth of the Alliance, enabling communication, and exploring inter-agency cooperation and fraternal relationships with like-minded groups.

  2. The Executive Council shall be comprised of the six Executive Officers which are a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and two Members-at-Large. One representative from each AMEC Regional Association shall be invited to be part of the Executive Council, participating in person or via phone or Internet communication.

  3. Three entities shall be constituted to provide guidance as Ministry Oversight Teams, in their particular areas of organizational function, namely: a Board of Elders; a Missions Commission; and a Management Committee.

  4. The Board of Elders of at least four [4] and not more than seven [7] ordained men who have served in pastoral ministry for at least seven years, shall be empowered to provide guidance for credentialing leadership, safeguarding doctrine, providing oversight of ministerial matters, leadership development, and accountability procedures. The Alliance President shall serve as an ex officio member of the Board of Elders.

  5. The Missions Commission of at least four [4] and up to eight [8] members shall be formed to encourage and counsel the Alliance membership in faithfulness in implementing and promoting Great Commission ministries including guidance for evangelism and church extension in home communities, trans-culturally and internationally. At least one elected member of the Executive Council shall serve as an ex officio member of the Missions Commission.

  6. The Management Committee of at least three [3] and up to six [6] persons, plus the Alliance Treasurer, shall provide guidance in the stewardship of resources and finances, and overseeing institutional and staff relationships and record keeping, so as to enable the Alliance to carry on its agreed upon ministries and functions.

  7. Additional Officers, Boards and Committees may be selected or established as the need arises and so long as they help fulfill the stated purposes of the Alliance.

Article VII. Meetings and Voting Privileges

  1. General Meetings of the Alliance shall be held in connection with a biennial Conference for the purpose of conducting necessary business, selecting leadership, reporting on financial matters, reviewing ministry activities, and affirming member congregations' commitments to the Alliance.

    1. Initially, the Biennial General Meeting shall meet in the even numbered years; this meeting shall be announced to the membership at lease sixty [60] days prior to convening.
    2. Arrangements for the Biennial Conference shall be made by an appropriate Planning Committee(s) appointed by the Executive Council. Major program elements and key speakers shall be discussed with the Board of Elders prior to final confirmation.
    3. Any person who is a member in good standing of an AMEC Congregation shall have floor privileges when attending the Biennial Conference and other business sessions and is entitled to a voice vote when such is exercised.
    4. Any AMEC Associate has floor privileges at the Biennial Conference and other business sessions and is entitled to a voice vote when such is exercised.

  2. Special Meetings may be called by the Alliance leadership or at the request of Twenty Per Cent (20%) of the member congregations, provided that, in either case, adequate notice of thirty (30) days in advance is given to Member Congregations and Associate Members.

  3. At General or Special Meetings, at least Fifty Per Cent (50%) of the Member Congregations shall be represented, either by presence or by proxy, to constitute a quorum for the transacting of business or conducting of elections.

  4. When a Ballot Vote is deemed appropriate by the President or the Chairman of a business session, (1) AMEC Congregations shall be entitled to cast five [5] votes per congregation plus one [1] vote for every thirty [30] active members or portion thereof; (2) AMEC Associates are entitled to one [1] vote per individual.

    1. By action of the gathered body of delegates present, a particular vote may be limited to voting by the AMEC Congregation representatives, if the action is deemed to have bearing only on the member Congregations.
    2. When a ballot vote is duly called for, the Chair of the business session shall honor such a request.
    3. For Ballot Votes, Proxy Votes may be cast on behalf of AMEC Congregations or AMEC Associates who are unable to attend in person, provided they have designated in writing a person or persons to carry such Proxy Votes on their behalf. AMEC persons otherwise qualified to vote are permitted to carry up to twelve [12] Proxy Votes in addition to their own individual or congregational vote(s). Votes cast on behalf of one's own AMEC Congregation shall not be considered as Proxy Votes, even if the person is casting more than one [1] vote for their Congregation.
    4. When a Roll Call Vote is duly requested on matters of special significance or importance, the Chair shall arrange for such a registering of votes by AMEC Congregations, and if applicable, by Associate Members. Roll Call votes should always be preceded by a special season of prayer. Consideration should be given for providing adequate time for congregational representatives to consult with each other if they wish, before registering their votes on behalf of their Congregation.
    5. On the recommendation of the Board of Elders or at the request of five[5] ordained pastors, for matters primarily concerning credentialed persons or ministerial issues, a special voting procedure may be used that distinguishes the votes of credentialed persons and the votes of lay delegates. Prior to this special vote being cast, the required percentage of plurality shall be determined for each particular case.

  5. When the nature of business sessions is such that parliamentary procedure can assist in giving member Congregations and Associates opportunity to take part in an orderly manner, Roberts Rules of Order or a similar guide shall be followed, provided it is used in a spirit of Christian brotherhood and brotherly love.

  6. Persons attending the Alliance Biennial Conference sessions as guests, visitors representing from sister Christian bodies, or representatives of partner Agencies may be granted non-voting floor privileges by action of the assembled Conference.

Article VIII. Finances

  1. As a non-profit, charitable religious organization, the Alliance shall be duly registered so as to be able to receive contributions, donations, assets and bequests for the furtherance of its Christian ministries and mission and to issue appropriate receipts for the same. The designations of giving by a donor shall be honored whenever possible, unless such designations conflict with the Purposes and Principles of the Alliance, in which case the circumstances shall be discussed with the donor and if a mutually acceptable alternate designation cannot be found, the gift shall be returned to the donor.

  2. Necessary operating and development expenses of the organization shall be met by voluntary contributions from Member Congregations, Associate Members and others who share the vision and support the purposes of the Alliance.

  3. All financial transactions shall be duly recorded and financial reporting shall be made available by the Treasurer of the Alliance to Member Congregations on a regular basis, not less frequently than in annual written reports to membership. Executive leadership shall see to it that adequate auditing of financial records is maintained and the auditors' reports shall be available to the Alliance membership upon request.

  4. In the event of dissolution of the Alliance, existing funds and assets shall be transferred to such evangelical Anabaptist organization(s) or mission(s) that are deemed to hold similar purposes and objectives. Apart from meeting normal operating expenses and costs, no officer(s) or member(s) shall accrue personal financial reward or personal profit from such dissolution.

Article IX. Regional Associations

  1. Wherever three or more Member Congregations or Associate Members of the Alliance are in geographical proximity to enable occasional gathering for fellowship, mutual accountability and encouragement in their Christian ministries, Regional Associations may be constituted to carry out the Purposes and Principles of the Alliance in their specific regions.

  2. Communication between the Alliance and the Regional Associations shall be maintained for mutual benefit. Reporting on the ministries and goals of Regional Associations shall be part of the biennial General Meetings.

Article X. Credentialing

  1. Provisions shall be made for granting and recognition of appropriate Credentials for Christian Ministries and Pastoral Leadership. The Standards for such Credentials shall be established and maintained by the Alliance in keeping with its Purposes and Principles. Though these Credentials shall be considered as held by the Alliance, the respective Regional Associations shall process and arrange for the granting of the credentials in the individual cases.

  2. The processing of the Credentials by a Regional Association shall be considered as acting on behalf of the full Alliance. The records of credentialed persons shall be maintained under the Secretary of the Alliance.

Article XI. Elections and Terms of Service

  1. A process of nominating shall be established upon the recommendations of the Executive Council in consultation with the Board of Elders, taking into consideration individuals' spiritual gifts and Christian experience, their openness and commitment to the vision and mission of the Alliance and the balance of representation from various areas of the Alliance constituency. Until such a process is in place, the standing Executive Committee will arrange for the initial elections.

  2. Terms of elected positions on the Executive Council and the three Ministry Teams shall be four [4] years with half being elected each Biennial Conference. To establish the cycle of terms at the outset, half of the nominees shall be elected for a two year term and the remainder for four year terms.

  3. Unless otherwise mutually agreed upon, terms of service in elected or appointed positions shall begin at the conclusion of the business session in which elections, affirmations or appointments took place. They shall continue through the final business session of the Conference in which new elections take place. When persons choose to resign, adequate notice should be given whenever possible to enable a replacement to be prayerfully selected.

  4. Where possible a transition meeting for each ministry oversight team is encouraged, during which out-going office holders and in-coming office holders meet together for communication, clarification and orderly transition of responsibilities.

  5. All official Secretarial Minutes and Treasurer's Records of the Alliance and its respective Boards, Commissions and Committees shall be duly transferred at the completion of terms of service in these respective offices. An appropriate copy of official transactions shall be placed in an agreed upon archival location.

Article XII. By-Laws

  1. Long term additions to the organizational framework shall be approved in the manner of by-laws. Organizational development and adoption of future by-laws shall be in keeping with the expressed beliefs and intent of the published "Purposes and Principles" of the Alliance. [A Constitution incorporating the By Laws and other policy and polity matters shall be developed as a Charter during the early years of the Alliance. Each Member Congregation, during this chartering period, shall be entitled to have two voting representatives participate in the Constitutional design meetings.]

  2. A two-thirds majority of Members voting shall be required to add to, amend or alter the adopted by-laws, provided that notice was given prior to the meeting of the intention of such amendment or alteration.

  3. The Statement of Doctrine is not to be handled as a by-law, subject to ordinary amendment, but shall be modified only for the sake of clarity and conformity to Scripture after an extensive process of study and review. At least a three-quarters majority is required to begin such a process and the same majority shall be required to adopt such clarification, at a meeting called for that purpose.

Adopted 9/28/2002, Additions adopted 9/25/2004