Church By-Laws


was established in 1991 by a group of families joining together to fellowship, worship, and build one another up in their faith in and service to Jesus Christ in accordance with the Holy Bible and guided by the Holy Spirit. Grace Fellowship is an incorporated Free Church with the State of New York and organized under the Trusteeship of a Board of Elders.

Appointment of Elders

  • Elders are appointed based on a calling and adherence to biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4).
  • The appointee shall be evaluated by the existing elder board to determine a calling and qualifications.
  • The candidate’s calling should be announced to the Fellowship previous to any confirmation so as to give ample time for feedback and input from the Fellowship.
  • After sufficient interviewing and questioning, the appointee may be confirmed as an elder by the consensus of the existing elder board.
  • The nomination of candidates should not be made by the candidates themselves.

Term of Office

  • The office of elder shall be in effect for one year after which time the elder may renew or withdraw from this office. Renewal or withdrawal is recorded in the minutes of the annual self-evaluation meeting.
  • An elder “self-evaluation meeting” shall be held at the June elder board meeting each year where each elder, after prayerful self-evaluation, shall announce the withdrawal or renewal of his service for another year. He shall evaluate himself based on the following:
    • His biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:6-9, 1 Peter 5:1-4, Acts 6:1-4).
    • His ability to have both a good working knowledge of Scripture, and a discipline and desire to maintain on-going communion with and love for the Lord.
    • His ability to prioritize his life and make the time commitment necessary to carry out the office of elder.
    • Any other reasons God may be calling Him to step down from the office.

Removal or Withdrawal

  • An elder is free to withdraw or be asked to withdraw at anytime he compromises his biblical qualifications, is not able to make the time commitment necessary or other reasons it is apparent God has removed his calling from serving as an elder.
  • Any accusation against an elder should follow the biblical prescriptions of elder (1 Timothy 5:19-20).

Decision Making

  • All decisions made by the elders must be by consensus.
  • There must be a quorum present for decision making to be valid.
  • A majority of those holding the office of elder constitutes a quorum.
  • An elder may abstain from submitting a “nay” vote to allow for a consensus decision to be made.
  • Emergency decisions may be made by phone by contacting all elders available; consensus and quorum apply.


    • Teaching is an essential responsibility of our faith in Christ. It is especially important for our children and young people to learn God’s Word and truths accurately. Not only is biblical knowledge essential to teach, but also to demonstrate. Teachers should be beyond reproach* and therefore teachers should be willing to submit to greater scrutiny and testing than those who do not teach (James 3:1) and have similar qualifications as deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13).
      *Teachers must be free from any accusations or convictions involving child molestation or sexual abuse.

Teachers will be required to sign a statement of agreement with the statement of faith, and general agreement with the position statements, and their agreement to not teach contrary to either the statement of faith or position statements.

  • Each year teachers are required to prayerfully re-evaluate their calling, qualifications and commitment to teach.
  • Teachers should inform the elders of any changes in their doctrinal position or theological foundation.


  • Preaching the Word of God to the Fellowship from the pulpit is a sacred task reserved for those called, tested and gifted to preach. All elders by their qualifications may preach from the pulpit. Others sensing a call to preach must first be tested as teachers and demonstrate a prayerful love and concern for the Fellowship. They also must sign the Statement of Faith which should be kept on file.
  • Guest ministers outside the Fellowship may preach upon consensus approval by the elders.

Membership Transference

We are delighted to welcome you to Grace Fellowship! It is our desire at Grace to see each and every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ awake and employed in His Kingdom.

As a child of God you have been given a unique gift by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 16:6 puts it this way: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.” We at Grace Fellowship are concerned about the body of Christ “at large” as well as our own local body. If you have come to Grace from another Bible-believing church, it is our hope that it is with the blessing of that former church. You, as a believer in Jesus Christ, are uniquely blessed of the Holy Spirit “for the profit of all”. We are grateful for the gifts you might bring, but we feel compelled to ask all our visitors to consider what effect the loss of these gifts will have on their former church. We actively seek the input of the leadership of your former church home and trust that you will assist us pursuing it.