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1. The society (a Methodist term for the members of a local church) is the fundamental unit of organization of a fully organized local Free Methodist church. For further detail on local church organization, see ¶¶370-376.

2. Membership: A Free Methodist society shall be composed of all members of the local church.  Members under the age of majority, as defined by provincial legislation, are youth members without vote.  The requirements for membership are defined in ¶150ff.

3. Authority: The ongoing business of the local church is generally carried out by the official board that is elected by the society. The official board and all committees, groups or organizations functioning within the church are ultimately amenable to the society.  The society has authority in the following areas:

  • 3.1. Final approval of the organization plan for the official board committees and service positions of the church.
  • 3.2 Officials to be elected at the annual meeting
    • 3.2.1  Officers which must be elected:
      – official board (2.1)
      – nominating committee (5.2.3)
    • 3.2.2. Unless otherwise approved according to the applicable provisions of 2 (i.e., by the official board), the following must be elected:
      – secretary and treasurer (2.3)
      – delegates and reserve delegates (3)
      – auditor and other financial officers (4)
      – the trustees (5.2.1)
       – the pastor’s cabinet (See 5.2.2)
  • 3.3 Final approval of all major decisions, such as:
    – a recommendation to plant another church
    – a recommendation to purchase, mortgage or otherwise encumber, or sell real property, erect a building or undertake major renovations, lease property, or to relocate (subject to conference approval).
  • 3.4 Recommendations regarding the addition of full-time, paid ministerial positions.