Non Profit Status
This church shall be organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue law.The church received this status from the Internal Revenue Service on November 2, 2007. Copies of the filings are maintained in the church offices.This church is not organized, nor shall it operate, for pecuniary gain or profit, and it does not contemplate the distribution of gains, profits, or dividends to its members and is organized solely for non-profit purposes. The property, assets, profits and net income of this church are irrevocably dedicated to charitable, educational, and religious purposes and no part of the profits or net income of this church shall ever inure to the benefit of any individual. On the dissolution of this church, its assets remaining after payment, or provision of payment of, all debts and liabilities of this church shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or corporation that is organized and operated for charitable, educational, ecclesiastical, religious, or sacerdotal purposes and that has established its tax exempt status under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as they now exist or may hereafter be amended.
Prohibition against sharing in corporate earnings
No member, trustee, officer, employee, committee member, or person connected with the church, or any other private individual shall receive at any time any of the net earnings or pecuniary profit from the operations of the church, provided that this shall not prevent the payment to any such person of such reasonable compensation for services rendered to or for the church in effecting any of its purposes as shall be fixed by the church leadership, and no such person or persons shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the church assets upon dissolution of the church. All members of the church shall be deemed to have expressly consented and agreed that upon such dissolution or winding up of the affairs of the church, whether voluntary or involuntary, the assets of the church, after all debts have been satisfied, then remaining in the hands of the Administrative Team shall be distributed, transferred, conveyed, delivered and paid over, in such amounts as the leadership may determine or as may be determined by the court of competent jurisdiction upon application of the Administrative Team, exclusively to charitable, religious, scientific testing for public safety, literary or educational organizations which would then qualify under the provisions of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as then now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.
Notwithstanding any other provision of these Bylaws, no member, trustee, officer, employee, or representative of this church shall take any action or carry on any activity by or on behalf of the church not permitted to be taken or carried on by an organization exempt under Section 501 (c) (3) or the Internal Revenue Code and its Regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended, or by an organization, contributions to which are now deductible under Section 170 (c) (2) and 509 (a) (1) of such Codes and Regulations as they now exist or as they may hereafter be amended.
The principal office of StoneBridge Church, Inc. hereinafter referred to as the Corporation, shall be located at the address set forth in the Articles of Incorporation. The Corporation may have such other offices, either within or without the State of Incorporation, as the Administrative Team may determine.
Statement of Faith- All Transformation Network Churches adhere to the following Statement of Faith:
The Bible: We believe the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of God’s will for the salvation of men and women, and the final authority for all Christian faith and life. (2 Timothy 3.16-17, 2 Peter 1.19-21, Matthew 5.17-18, John 10.34-36)The Trinity: We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6.4, Matthew 28.19, 2 Corinthians 13.14)The Father: We believe in God the Father, an infinite personal Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. We believe that He actively and mercifully intervenes in the affairs of humanity, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Exodus 34.6-7, John 3.16, John 4.23-24, Ephesians 1.3)Jesus Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. He rose bodily from the dead. He ascended into heaven. He is now our High Priest and Advocate at the right hand of the Father. (John 1.1-18, Romans 4.25, Ephesians 1.15-23, Colossians 1.15-23, Hebrews 7.23-25)The Holy Spirit: We believe the Holy Spirit is fully God, equal with the Father and the Son. The primary ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Jesus by convicting non-Christians of their need for Christ; giving new birth to believing sinners; and indwelling, sanctifying, leading, teaching, and empowering believers for godly living and service. We believe that all Christians are to be baptized (filled) with the Holy Spirit subsequent to conversion. We also believe that all of the spiritual gifts listed in the Bible (Romans 12.6-8, Ephesians 4.11, 1 Corinthians 12.8-10, 28-30) continue to be distributed by the Spirit today; that these gifts are divine provisions central to spiritual growth and effective ministry; and that these gifts are to be eagerly desired, faithfully developed, and lovingly exercised according to biblical guidelines. (John 3.3-8, John 14.15-27, John 16.5-15, Romans 8.9-17, 1 Corinthians 12-14, Galatians 5.16-26, Ephesians 5.18-21)Humanity: We believe God created humanity in the image of God. We further believe men and women are sinners by nature and action and are therefore spiritually dead. We also believe that those who repent of sin and place their trust in Jesus Christ are spiritually born again to new life by the Holy Spirit. (Genesis 1.27, Acts 2.38-39, Ephesians. 2.1-9, Romans 3.9-26, Romans 5.12-21)Salvation: We believe that salvation is a free gift of God and is received by individuals through faith in Jesus Christ apart from any human merit, works, or ritual. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus and His resurrection provide the only grounds for the forgiveness of sins for all who believe and that only those who receive Jesus Christ are born of the Spirit, become children of God, and are given eternal life. (John 3.16-17, John 8.23-24, John 14.6, Acts 16.29-34, Romans 3.21-31, Romans 10.9-10, Ephesians 2.4-9, 1 Timothy 2.3-6, Titus 3.5-7)The Church: We believe that the Church is composed of all people who through saving faith in Jesus Christ are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the head. (Ephesians 1.22, 2.14-22 and 4.1-5)Ordinances: We believe the following three ordinances have been established by God as channels of His grace to us, provided we practice them in faith.
- Baptism- We practice the baptism of believers. We give freedom for each church to choose which mode of baptism to practice- sprinkling (aspersion), pouring (affusion), or immersion- and we see both Biblical truth and imagery behind each mode. Sprinkling- Hebrews 10.22; Pouring- Acts 2.17; Immersion- Romans 6.3-4.
- Communion- We believe communion is both a remembrance and a proclamation of the death of Jesus on behalf of humanity (Matthew 26.26-28, Luke 22.19-20, 1 Corinthians 11.23-26.) There is freedom for each church to decide how to take communion (common cup, intinction, individual servings) and how often to do so.
- Christian Marriage- Christian marriage is a loving, exclusive, and covenantal union between one man (born male) and one woman (born female) for life (Genesis 2.23-24 and Matthew 19.4-6.) This union is the only appropriate context for sexual intimacy and all sexual activity outside of this union is sinful (Hebrews 13.4.) We believe Christian marriage is a reflection of the union between Jesus and His Church (Ephesians 5.25-33.)
Dual Nature of the Church (Corporation)
The Church (Corporation) has a dual nature as both the Body of Christ and a Nonprofit Corporation incorporated in the State of Georgia. The purpose of the Corporation is to create an organizational structure that supports the life of StoneBridge as the Body of Christ, to protect the leadership of StoneBridge by adhering to all applicable state and federal regulations governing the operation of a church, and to maintain a stable organizational culture so the people and ministries of StoneBridge can flourish.
People who have repented of their sins, chosen to follow Jesus, and have received the Holy Spirit into their lives are joined to the Body of Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8.15-16, 1 Corinthians 12.13.) As a local expression of the Body of Christ, StoneBridge Church is comprised of all people the Holy Spirit has grafted into this fellowship.
Section 1. Requirements for Membership
All members agree to the StoneBridge Statement of Faith (Article 2.)
Section 2. Expectations of Members
All members of StoneBridge are expected to regularly contribute to the life of the body through giving, serving, and participating in the ministries of the church. Members of StoneBridge also agree to submit to the pastor and leadership of the church in matters of conduct and doctrine. Discipline of church members is described in Article Fourteen.
Section 3. Process for Membership
People join StoneBridge electronically through the church website at www.stonebridgemarietta.org/about-stonebridge/membership/ indicating their agreement with the StoneBridge Statement of Faith (Article 2) and their commitment to the expectations outlined in Article 4, section 2.Membership must be renewed annually.For the purpose of voting, an electronic copy of the Membership Covenant from the most recent calendar year will serve as proof of membership. Members’ voting rights are described in Article Seven relating to the selection of a new Senior Pastor. Members shall have no other voting rights.Those under church discipline, or anyone whose purpose is to disrupt the service or the meeting, or any person whose presence is deemed to be detrimental to the church or its services, at the sole discretion of the Senior Pastor and/or the Leadership Team of the church, may be excluded from any service or property of the church. This church is not a public institution and its property, whether rented, leased, owned or volunteered for us by a member, is not a public place. The church maintains the right to determine who may and may not attend meetings or come onto property owned or used by the church.
StoneBridge Church seeks to be led by the Holy Spirit in all its decisions. The Senior Pastor, the congregation, the Transformation Network Executive Board, and the Administrative and Ministry Leadership Teams all have a role in the body’s leadership. The Senior Pastor’s office is responsible for developing and communicating the vision and overseeing the day-to-day ministry of the church. The congregation influences the spiritual tone, strength, and direction of the church by wisely selecting the Senior Pastor. The Transformation Network Board is to protect the church through counsel, prayer, and if required, the discipline of the Senior Pastor, as described in Article Fourteen. The Administrative Leadership Team provides organizational support by providing wisdom, oversight, and accountability on financial, facility, and staffing matters including the annual budget, hiring and lease terms. The Ministry Leadership Team helps set the spiritual climate of the church through prayer and worship and by supporting the Ministry Leaders in each ministry area; children, students and adults.
The President is the chairman of the Administrative Team. He calls meetings and determines the agenda in consultation with the team members. The President shall make selections to the Administrative Leadership Team from the candidates nominated by the congregation in accordance with Article Ten. The President may also dismiss team members, but at a rate that does not exceed one dismissal every six months in accordance with Article Ten, section 3, paragraph 2. (Paragraph 3) The President’s Administrative Role
The President is the senior administrator of the church. He is ultimately responsible for all day-to-day administrative decisions of the church.(Paragraph 4) The President’s Role With Staff
The President, in consultation with the Administrative Team, hires, directs and dismisses staff. As the Senior Pastor, his call is confirmed to the church through the congregation, and those hired by him are to assist him in fulfilling this calling.
Section 1. General Authority to Select a New Senior Pastor
Should the church need a new Senior Pastor, two methods are provided for the congregational selection of a new Senior Pastor. One method involves the participation of the departing pastor. One method does not. The congregation need not officially confirm the founding pastor of the church; therefore, he is exempted from Article Seven. In accordance with the Transformation Network Inc. Bylaws (http://www.transformationnetworkinc.com/by-laws/), all candidates for Senior Pastor must be approved by the Transformation Network Executive Board prior to being presented to the congregation.Section 2. Congregational Process with the Participation of the Departing Senior Pastor
If the Senior Pastor is in good standing with the church and is removing himself because of retirement or relocation, the following is the selection process.Congregational Vote
The Senior Pastor may choose up to two candidates. The first c>andidate is to speak in the primary church services for at least three weeks. Then the Senior Pastor is to formally recommend this candidate during a meeting of the membership. The meeting is to be announced in the primary services of the church and held at least eight days, but not more than fourteen days, later. Any meeting of the membership for pastoral selection requires that the members have an electronic copy of the Membership Declaration from the most recent calendar year on file with the church office. At that meeting, the departing Senior Pastor and the candidate must leave. Then the secretary is to conduct a secret ballot vote and, with a minimum two-thirds (2/3) vote, the candidate shall be accepted. If that candidate fails, the second candidate chosen by the Senior Pastor is afforded the same opportunity as the first. If the second ballot fails, the process outlined in Section 3 shall be followed.Section 3. Congregational Process without Departing Senior Pastor’s Participation
(Paragraph 1) Departing Senior Pastor Unavailable
If the Senior Pastor is removed by the Transformation Network Executive Board, is deceased or cannot or will not participate in the selection process of the new Senior Pastor for any reason, the following shall be the process for selecting a new Senior Pastor.(Paragraph 2) Meeting of the Membership
The secretary or another person appointed by the Administrative Team is to immediately call a meeting of the membership by making an announcement during the primary worship service(s) of the church. The meeting is to be held in the church building at least eight days, but not more than fourteen days later. At the meeting of the membership, a Pastoral Selection Committee of seven people will be formed; four will be elected from the membership and three will be staff members to be selected by the Administrative Team. If there are not at least three staff members, the membership may elect people who are familiar with the day-to-day work of the church. The committee itself is to vote and select a chairperson and co-chairperson.(Paragraph 3) Formation of Pastoral Selection Committee
The duty of the Pastoral Selection Committee is to work in conjunction with the Transformation Network Executive Board to provide an interim pastor or guest speakers to conduct church services. However, neither an interim pastor nor a replacement speaker shall have the corporate powers of the President.(Paragraph 4) Congregational Vote
The committee is to recommend a new Senior Pastor as soon as an acceptable candidate is available. Once the committee recommends a Senior Pastoral candidate, that person may speak to the church in every weekend service for three consecutive weeks. Afterward, a meeting of the membership shall be publicly called, chaired by the secretary or by a member of the Administrative Team. At that meeting church members shall vote by secret ballot to either accept or reject the pastoral candidate. Administrative Team members are to count the ballots. A minimum two-thirds (2/3) vote of those attending the meeting is required to elect the next Senior Pastor. When a two-thirds (2/3) majority in favor of the candidate does not occur, the Pastoral Selection Committee shall seek another candidate.(Paragraph 5) Staff Administration During Transition
During the selection process, members of the church staff are to continue in their positions. The Administrative Team is to appoint an acting President; this person will generally be the Senior Associate Pastor, if any. Should staff or financial problems arise, the acting President has authority to alter the roles of staff members, including dismissal if necessary in his judgment. When the new Senior Pastor is in place, he has full authority to select his own staff, replacing existing staff members, if he should choose (Article Six, Section 2, Paragraph 4).
(Paragraph 1) StoneBridge Church’s Relationship to the Transformation Network Executive Board
StoneBridge Church is a member of the Transformation Network, Inc. and has willingly agreed to uphold the values of the Network, to seek to further the mission of the Network, and to abide by the guidelines of the Network (http://www.transformationnetworkinc.com/by-laws/) including:
- Giving 1% of all undesignated offerings to the Network,
- Participating in Network-wide ministry events,
- Participating in the planting of churches through the Network and according to the Network’s policies and procedures.
The Senior Pastor will be accountable to the Transformation Network Executive Board in the event of alleged misconduct in compliance with Article Fourteen.
Ministry Leadership Team
During the two years of service, those Ministry Leadership Team members who are no longer able to serve for any reason need not be replaced unless the total number of Ministry Leadership Team members is decreased to less than the Senior Pastor feels is adequate to fulfill the responsibilities of the Ministry Leadership Team as a whole.
Administrative Leadership Team
Section 1. General Powers
At any meeting of the Administrative Leadership Team, any person may participate in the meeting by telephone provided all members of the Administrative Leadership Team present at the meeting or by telephone can hear and speak to each other. Participation by telephone shall be equivalent to attending the meeting in person.
Section 5. CompensationAdministrative Leadership Team members, as such, shall not receive any salary for their work.
Section 1. Officers
The officers of the Corporation shall be a President, a secretary, and a treasurer and any other officers that the Administrative Team may authorize from time to time. The Secretary and Treasurer can be the same person.Section 2. Appointment, Election and Term of Office
(Paragraph 1) Appointment of the President
The appointment responsibilities of the President are listed in Articles Five and Six. (Paragraph 2) Appointment of Secretary and Treasurer
The Secretary and the Treasurer are to be nominated by the President and approved by the Administrative Team (the Secretary and Treasurer can be employees of the corporation). Should the team fail to approve the nomination of the President other nominations must be made until a candidate suitable to the Administrative Team is nominated. (Paragraph 3) New Offices
New offices may be created and filled at any meeting of the Administrative Team. Each officer shall hold office until his successor has been duly elected and qualified.Section 3. Removal of Officers
(Paragraph 1) Overseers’ Responsibility for the President
The Transformation Network Executive Board may discipline or remove the President according to Article Thirteen.(Paragraph 2) President’s Responsibility for the Secretary and the Treasurer
The President/Senior Pastor can remove the Secretary and/or Treasurer at any time.(Paragraph 3) Administrative Team’s Responsibility for All Other Officers
Any officer elected or appointed by the Administrative Team may be removed by the team when the best interests of the Corporation would be served thereby, but such removal shall be without prejudice to the contract rights, if any, of the officer so removed.Section 4. Powers of Officers
(Paragraph 1) The President
The powers of the President are listed in Article Six.(Paragraph 2) The Secretary’s Role
The Secretary is responsible to attend all sessions of the Administrative Team, and is responsible to act as clerk thereof to record (or have recorded) all votes and the minutes of all proceedings in a book to be kept for that purpose. This person shall oversee the keeping of the membership rolls of the Corporation, and in general perform the duties usually incident to the Office of Secretary, and such further duties as shall be prescribed from time to time by the Administrative Team or by the President.(Paragraph 3) The Treasurer’s Role over Accounting
The Treasurer shall oversee the keeping of full and accurate accounts of the receipts and reimbursements in books belonging to the Corporation. The Treasurer shall also oversee deposits of all moneys and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Corporation in such banks and depositories as may be designated by the President or Administrative Team. The Treasurer does not determine expenditure, but does oversee the disbursement of the funds of the Corporation as may be ordered by the Administrative Team or President. This person shall perform the duties usually incident to the Office of Treasurer and such other duties as may be prescribed from time to time by the Administrative Team or by the President. Section 5. Administrative Team’s Selection of Additional Officers
In the absence of any officer of the Corporation, except the President, or for any other reason that may seem necessary to the team, the Administrative Team, by a majority vote, may delegate the duties and powers of that officer for the time being to any other officer, or to any team member.
Section 1. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be the calendar year.Section 2. Contracts
The Administrative Team may authorize any officer or officers, agent or agents of the Corporation, in addition to the officers so authorized by these bylaws, to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Corporation. Such authority may be general or may be confined to specific instances.Section 3. Checks, Drafts or Orders
All checks, drafts, order for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Corporation shall be signed by such officer or officers, agent or agents of the Corporation, and such manner, as shall from time to time be determined by resolution of the Administrative Team. In the absence of such determination by the Administrative Team, such instruments may be signed by either the Secretary/Treasurer or the President of the Corporation in accordance with their duties outlined in these bylaws. Section 4. Deposits
All funds of the Corporation shall be deposited to the credit of the Corporation in such banks, trust companies or other depositories as the Administrative Team or the President may select in accordance with these bylaws.Section 5. Gifts
The President/Senior Pastor may accept on behalf of the Corporation any contribution, gift, bequest or device for any purpose of the Corporation.Section 6. Books and Records
The Corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of account. The Corporation shall also keep minutes of the proceedings of its members, Administrative Team, committees having exercised any of the authority of the Administrative Team and any other committees.
Section 1. Minister Ordination and Licensing
(Paragraph 1) Role of the Senior Pastor in Ordaining/Licensing Pastoral Staff
The Senior Pastor and a group of his choosing may ordain and/or license a person as a minister of the gospel after first examining the applicant’s background, moral and religious character, and previous Bible courses and/or independent studies completed. Final determination shall be within the absolute discretion of this group. (Paragraph 2) Role of the Senior Pastor in Ordaining/Licensing Church PlantersThe Senior Pastor recommends potential church planters to the Transformation Network Executive Board.That board oversees the ordination of all Network church planters. (Paragraph 3) Ability to Limit Ministry Validation
The Senior Pastor and a group of his choosing may at their discretion limit any licensee ordained to an area of special emphasis.Section 2. Ministry Training
The Senior Pastor and his staff may establish a School of Ministry, setting forth a prescribed curriculum and course of study leading to ordination and licensing of ministers. The School of Ministry shall prepare students in the knowledge of the Word of God and in ministering to people’s needs through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Section 1. Disciplining Church Members
Only members are subject to church discipline.(Paragraph 1) The Purpose of Church DisciplineThe purpose of any church disciplinary procedure is the restoration of the erring member to a spiritually healthy condition and full participation in the life of the church as a member. However, should a member consistently conduct him- or herself in a manner that is in direct violation of clear biblical commands (see 1 Tim. 5:19-20) and remain unrepentant at the end of the following steps of discipline, that member is subject to loss of membership privileges through removal from the membership roll.(Paragraph 2) The Steps of Discipline (Following Matt. 18:15-17)In progressing through these stages of church discipline, ample time for repentance must be allowed at each step.1. Private confrontation. The erring member should be directly approached in private by the concerned and informed fellow Christian and confronted with his or her sin. If repentance does not follow this step, the second step should be followed.2. Private conference. If the erring member is unrepentant, then he or she should be confronted about his or her sin by two or three believers. If repentance does not follow this step, the third step should be followed.3. Public meeting. After step two, the Administrative Team of the church should be made aware of the situation and should ensure that the biblical ideals of discipline, love, and concern have been communicated to the erring member. Care must be taken that fairness, evidence, and a right to be heard imbue all proceedings. If the Administrative Team determine that the erring member is guilty and remains unrepentant after being given ample evidence, warning, and time, step four should followed.4. Public exclusion. After the Administrative Team have made clear, fair, and consistent efforts to bring the erring member to repentance without results, they may then disassociate the erring member from church fellowship. The erring member will thus lose his or her membership in the church and will be asked to stay away from any church activity. After a period of time, the elders shall attempt at least once more to bring the disfellowshipped member back into repentance, discipline, and fellowship. Section 2. Disciplining the Senior Pastor(Paragraph 1) Criteria for Discipline
Should the Senior Pastor demonstrate questionable moral conduct, questionable financial practices or theological views not in keeping with the StoneBridge Church Statement of Faith, which a supermajority of at least 75% of the Administrative Team believe may require either personal correction or termination of his position, the Administrative Team shall contact the Senior Pastor and then, if the problem remains, contact the Transformation Network Executive Board for investigation and evaluation of any appropriate discipline.(Paragraph 2) Process for Investigation
Should the Transformation Network Executive Board be asked to investigate alleged pastoral misconduct, consensus of the Transformation Network Executive Board members is required to pursue disciplinary action. With a consensus, that Board shall assume complete authority over the Senior Pastor. They may decide to remove him from his position or to discipline him in a way they deem necessary. The Transformation Network Executive Board has no authority in StoneBridge Church unless contacted by the Administrative Team and then only insofar as permitted under these bylaws.(Paragraph 3) Motivation
It is the intention of the church to protect the hearts of all involved in matters of pastoral discipline. Using the method outlined in these bylaws, the “sheep” never have to pass judgment upon their “shepherd.”
These bylaws may be altered, amended or repealed, and new bylaws may be adopted, by a majority of the Administrative Team and concurrence of the Senior Pastor at any regular meeting. At least five days advance written notice of said meeting shall be given to each member of the board. The written notice must explain proposed changes. These bylaws may also be altered, amended or replaced, and new bylaws may be adopted by consent in writing by the Administrative Team and approval of the Senior Pastor.Bylaws were approved by the Administrative Team StoneBridge Church on August 26, 2019