The North Carolina Conference Lay Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Constitution and By-Laws Articles V - VIII
The Constitution & By-Laws Revision Committee:
Dr. Gettys Cohen, Chairperson
Revised on: Proposal Completed on February 19, 2013
The North Carolina Conference Lay Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Constitution and By-Laws
ARTICLE V Officers, Duties and Responsibilities
Section 1. The elected Officers of the Connectional Lay Organization and its Divisions shall be: a. President b. First Vice President c. Second Vice President* d. Third Vice President* e. Recording Secretary f. Assistant Recording Secretary* g. Corresponding Secretary* h. Treasurer i. Financial Secretary* j. Chaplain k. Historiographer* l. Parliamentarian* m. Director of Lay Activities n. Director of Public Relations* o. Young Adult Representative (*Elected at discretion of Divisions, see Article III of this Constitution)
a. Duties and Responsibilities. The President of the North Carolina Lay Organization shall: 1. Lead with vision and integrity. This includes serving as a spokesperson for laity in the church, a representative for lay ministry in ecumenical and interfaith gatherings or an advocate in public policy arenas, 2. Preside over its Business Sessions during regular, special, or emergency meetings, the Executive Board, and all other official meetings of this organization, 3. Be the active head of said organization, and shall be responsible for seeing that the Constitution and By-Laws of this organization, as well as the orders and policies of the Executive Board are fully carried out, 4. Be responsible for expanding and developing lay work throughout the Conference, 5. Be responsible for such other duties as may be usual and customary to the position, and which may be assigned from time to time by the Executive Board, and the directives approved by the Business Session, 6. Appoint chairpersons of all Standing, Convention, and Ad Hoc Committees,7. Serve as a member of the Episcopal District Lay Organization of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by virtue of his/her office
b. Duties and Responsibilities The First Vice President shall: 1. Be responsible for Membership Recruitment, Retention/and Coordinate such duties as assigned by the President and 2. Assume the complete duties of the President during an absence or when it has been determined by the Executive Board that the President can no longer perform the duties.
c. Duties and Responsibilities. The Second Vice President shall: 1. Be responsible for Strategic Planning and Coordinate such duties as assigned by the President and the Executive Board and 2. Serve in the absence of the President and First Vice President, preside at the meetings and assume all duties of the President.
d. Duties and Responsibilities. The Third Vice President shall: 1. Coordinate such duties as Personal Evangelism and coordinating those efforts with the appropriate departments, within the church, and in the absence of the President, First Vice President and Second Vice President preside at the meetings and assume all the duties of the office of President.
e. Duties and Responsibilities. The Recording Secretary shall: 1. Serve as Secretary of the Business Session and the Connectional Executive Board, 2. Be responsible for recording attendance, accurate minutes of all business transacted during meetings. 3. In the absence of the President and Vice Presidents, the Recording Secretary shall preside until a chairperson pro tempore is elected. 4. Prepare, for the presiding officer, a statement of unfinished business to come before the meeting and a report of the Executive Board meetings to be presented at the Business Session. 5. Hold the bond of the Treasurer and the Financial Secretary.
f. Duties and Responsibilities. The Assistant Recording Secretary shall: 1. Assist the Recording Secretary in all duties as outlined above. 2. In the absence of the Secretary, shall perform the duties of the Secretary.
g. Duties and Responsibilities. The Corresponding Secretary shall: 1. Insure lay ministry focus though effective communication. This includes sharing congratulations, well wishes, condolences and other news about laity. 2. Report pertinent information to the Executive Board, and reply to correspondence as directed by the President and/or the Executive Board.
3. Maintain a network of internal communications between the Conference Lay Organization and its subordinate bodies. 4.Compose communication as needed and/or directed by the President. Maintain liaison with the Director of Public Relations to insure publication of pertinent information.
h. Duties and Responsibilities. The Treasurer shall: 1. Serve as a member of the Budget and Finance Committee which is responsible for preparation of the organizations budget for the fiscal year. 2. Receive and disburse all funds. Disbursements shall made, in accordance with the line item budget approved by the Biennial. Expenditures not reflected/listed in the budget must be approved by the President and the Executive Board withappropriate justification. 3. Keep accurate records and give an itemized report at each Board meeting and the Biennial Session. 4. Be bonded and said bond shall be held by the Recording Secretary. 5. Have the accounts audited biannually by a committee or group approved by Conference President and the Executive Board.
i. Duties and Responsibilities. The Financial Secretary shall: 1. Maintain an independent set of records of all financial transactions and assist with work in concert with the Treasurer. 2. Serve as member of the Budget and Finance Committee. 3. Receive and record all funds. All funds shall be turned over to the treasurer within a period not to exceed ten (10) days. 4. Write vouchers countersigned by the President that authorize expenditures, pursuant to the budget passed by the Biennial, which are to be paid by the Treasurer. 5. Be bonded and said bond shall held by the Recording Secretary
j. Duties and Responsibilities. The Chaplain shall: 1. Make adequate preparation for each Bible Study and Devotional Service, utilizing creative styles that motivates and draws participants into the worship experience. 2. Provide spiritual leadership to this organization. 3. Maintain effective communication with the Chaplains on the local level.
k. Duties and Responsibilities. The Historiographer shall: 1. Be responsible for gathering, assembling, and maintaining a written and pictorial record of the activities and achievements of this organization; 2. Act as custodian for all photographs, citations, awards, trophies, and other mementos of the Connectional Lay Organization;
3. Compile a written history of this organization and submit it as a report to annually to the Executive Board of the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization. 4. Archives, find place to keep historical records.
l. Duties and Responsibilities. The Parliamentarian shall: 1. Advise the President or presiding officer concerning questions of parliamentary procedure. 2. Be seated next to the President at all meetings. 3. Follow the Constitution and By-Laws of this organization, The Book of Discipline of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, latest edition, at all meetings. 4. Serve as consultant to the Constitution and By-Laws, Rules, and other committees as needed.
m. Duties and Responsibilities. The Director of Lay Activities shall: 1. Maintain a close working relationship with the President and the Young Adult Representative in the planning, developing and implementing of the complete programmatic thrust of this organization. 2. Plan, design, and direct all educational programs and other activities of this organization at the Business Sessions, including but not limited to Training Institute, Banquets, Luncheons, Scholarships, Awards and Speakers in consultation with the President and approval of the Executive Board. 3. Maintain a working relationship with Episcopal District Lay Directors. 4. Be responsible for planning and implementing a training program and course of study in accordance with the mission, purposes and objectives of the Lay Organization. The proposed training program and course of study, inclusive of proposed theme and outline for the study guide, shall be presented to the Executive Board for approval at the Executive Board Meeting immediately preceding the next Biennial Session. 5. The proposed theme and program will be presented at the Fall Executive Board. Upon approval, the theme and Study Guide will be available for distribution at the Biennial session and shall be forwarded from the Connectional Director of Lay Activities to the Episcopal Districts Directors of Lay Activities. Upon receipt, the Episcopal District Directors will immediately forward the Course of Study to the Conference Directors of Lay Activities. 6. Conference Directors of Lay Activities shall forward the course of study to the District of the Annual Conference, Station or Circuit Directors of Lay Activities. The training program and Course of Study shall reach the Directors of Lay Activities within fourteen (14) days after the Connectional Director of Lay Activities has forwarded same. 7. A full report of progress made in the implementation of the course of study and the work of the Director shall be given Annually to the Executive Board.
8. Prepare an annual and biennial line item budget to reflect the work of this office for submission to the Budget Committee.
n. Duties and Responsibilities. The Director of Public Relations shall: 1. Oversee all official publication of the organization, editing, and publishing a monthly periodical containing news of general interest to the laity and news regarding the organization. 2. Solicit and edit articles for the publication on topics that will appeal to, inspire and motivate subscribers; 3. Oversee the entire publication process, including seeking bids from publishers; 4. Provide for promotion, circulation, subscription fulfillment, and advertising solicitation; 5. Prepare an annual line item budget for any publication for submission to the Budget Committee. 6. Seek to bring about harmony of understanding between the church and public through the channeling of information to various media. 7. Be responsible for all press releases and public relations for and during any Lay Organization meeting. 8. Disseminate news items of interest received from the Episcopal districts through Newsletter and/or multi-media processes. 9. Oversee the Conference website and any internal or external documents, including all social media networking
o. Duties and Responsibilities. The Young Adult Representative shall: 1. Be responsible for implementing teaching and training opportunities for Young Adults in conjunction with the Director of Lay Activities, and establishing working relationships with other relevant Young Adult Auxiliaries and Ministries within, and outside the AME Church. 2. Prepare an annual and biennial line item budget to reflect the work of this office for submission to the Budget Committee. 3. Advocate for Young Adults concerns to the Executive Board and beyond 4. Facilitate Lay Organization Young Adult events with approval of the Executive Board. 5. Voice the concerns and visions of a new generation of laity, and serve as a Christian mentor to a younger generation of African Methodists.
Section 2. The Annual Audit shall include the records of all officers handling finances of the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization and shall be conducted by an external licensed, bonded, and insured Certified Public Accounting firm, which shall report its findings, annually, to the Executive Board for review and approval. This Audit Report shall serve as the basis for the Annual Report of the Connectional Lay Organization as required by the General Board. Upon approval of the Executive, the Audit is then presented to the Business session which will include an annual programmatic report from each office with an operational budget.
ARTICLE VI NOMINATION and ELECTION PROCEDURES
Section 1. All officers and members of the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization and its Divisions shall be members in good and regular standing in their Station, Mission or Circuit Organization to participate in elections and voting.
Section 2. Any person seeking an elected office in the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization must be a member in good and regular standing in the organization and must possess the qualifications required for the position being sought. Any candidate for elected office must have registered and attended at least 12 meetings/events in the two year period prior to the election. Registration shall be confirmed from the official registration records to be provided to the nominating committee upon its appointment.
Section 3. All persons seeking an elected office must submit a Letter of Intent with qualifications signed by the Local President to the Chairperson of the Nominating Committee. The format for the Letter of Intent will be provided by the Nominating Committee and must be returned Letter must be returned by certified mail or its international equivalent and postmarked on or before February 15th of the election year. This deadline date will constitute the close of all nominations submitted to the Nominating Committee. There shall be no nominations from the floor of the Business Session.
Section 4. All candidates seeking an elected office must have demonstrated active participation in the Annual Conference, Districts of the Annual Conference (where they exist), and local church levels within the two (2) year period preceding the election year.
Section 5. No elected officer shall hold more than (1) one additional office beyond the Local organization.
Section 6. Members of the Nominating Committee shall be ineligible for nomination by the committee for any elected position to be filled (where applicable on the local level)
Section 7. The Nominating Committee shall consist of seven (7) persons appointed by the President with nominees to be confirmed by the Executive Board. The President in selecting committee members shall follow these guidelines: a. There shall be no more than one person appointed from a local congregation; and b. Appointments shall be inclusive and sensitive to age diversity, at least one (1) person between the ages of 18 - 30, and all persons must have demonstrated experience with the nominating process. Selection of committee members must respect the guidelines that govern the committees duties and reporting timelines.
Section 8. Duties of the Committee a. At least three (3) months prior to the Election the committee shall call for nominations through a notice given in during a regular business session submitted and on the Conference Lay Organization website, and any other appropriate printed or online communication. Such Notice shall inform members when, how and where nomination forms can be obtained. Nomination forms shall also be sent to Executive Board members and the local Presidents for distribution to interested persons. The nomination form shall request biographical data and other pertinent information which will aid in the qualifying of candidates. Such forms shall be returned to the chair of the nominating committee by prospective nominees, bearing the signature of the local Lay President, no later than February 15th.
b. The committee shall thoroughly examine any and all necessary information regarding nominees for elected offices being sought. Each nominee must be notified of his/her eligibility which signals authorization to campaign for the designated office. From those persons found qualified for the offices being sought, the committee shall prepare a slate of nominees, listing the qualifications of the nominees for offices to be elected.
c. No political campaigning for office shall take place before candidates are qualified as nominees by the Nominating Committee. Participation in campaign activities prior to being qualified as a nominee will result in valid disqualification for that candidate if confirmed by the Nominating Committee and the Executive Board.
ARTICLE VII ELECTION OF OFFICERS
Section 1. Officers shall be elected at the designated business session of the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization, unless otherwise provided for herein. All elections shall be by secret ballot, electronic or paper, except in the case where the office is not contested. When there is only one candidate for office the chair can take a voice vote or declare that the nominee is elected, effecting the election by unanimous consent or acclamation. A majority vote shall be necessary to elect. Elected officers shall assume office immediately upon installation. The candidate seeking elected office does not have to be present to be voted upon. Any method of election in any division other than by secret ballot, except in the case of uncontested offices, shall be declared null and void by the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization.
Section 2. North Carolina Conference Lay Organization Officers shall be elected to a two (2) year term.
Section 3. Term limitation. The elected officers of the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization and its Divisions shall serve no more than eight (8) consecutive years in the same office.
Section 4. If an officer completes a term of office which was vacated by the incumbent due to death, illness, resignation, and/or other conditions approved by the Executive Board, the unexpired portion of the term, will not count as a full term for the purposes of term limitation.
Section 5. Transition Period. A transitional period of sixty (60) days or 8 weeks beginning at the close of the Annual Conference is provided for outgoing officers to reconcile files, records, and make inventories before transferring them to the incoming officers. Outgoing officers shall complete the transfer of all files, records, books, papers and property belonging to the organization to the incoming officers on or before the end of the sixty day period.
Section 6. Vacancy in Office of President. If a vacancy occurs in the office of President due to death, resignation, disability or temporary inability or other causes, the First Vice President shall immediately assume the Office of President, for the unexpired term of office; the Second Vice President shall ascend to the Office of First Vice President, and the third Vice President becomes second Vice President, leaving the vacancy to be filled in the office of the lowest ranking Vice President. If the position was contested during election for the office of Third Vice President, the person with the second highest number of votes will immediately fill the position of Third Vice President. If the position was uncontested, the president shall, with the confirmation of the Executive Board appoint an active member, possessing qualifications for the office of the third vice president, to fill the vacancy, if the remainder of the term is less than one (1) years. A majority vote by the Executive Board shall determine the result. If the remainder of the term of office for The Third Vice President is greater than eighteen (18) months, a special election shall be held by the Executive Board within forty-five (45) days, of the vacancy date, to fill this position. The Letter of Intent shall be sent to the person who last served as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee by each person who wishes to be a candidate for the office of third vice president. Nominating procedures, approved for last election, will be used for the election. All voting shall be by secret ballot (electronic or paper). Any person appointed and/or elected to fill an unexpired term of President shall subsequently be eligible to be elected to four (4) full (2) year terms in accordance with this constitution and By-Laws.
Section 7. Vacancy of Elected Officer other than President. If a vacancy occurs in an elected officers position, other than that of a President, due to death, resignation, disability or inability to serve, the President shall, with the confirmation of the Executive Board, appoint an active member, possessing qualifications for the office, to fill the vacancy if the remainder of the term is less than one (1) years. A majority vote by the Executive Board shall determine the result. If the remainder of the term of office is greater than eighteen (18) months, a special election shall be held by the Executive Board within forty-five (45) days, of the vacancy date, to fill this position. The Letter of Intent shall be sent to the person who last served as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee by each person who wishes to be a candidate for the vacant office. Nominating procedures, approved for last election, will be used for the election. All voting shall be by secret ballot, electronic or paper. Any person appointed and/ or elected to fill an unexpired term of office shall subsequently be eligible to be elected to to four (4) full (2) year terms in accordance with this Constitution and By-Laws.
Section 8. Removal of Elected Officer. The Organizational and Officers Effectiveness Committee/shall give its findings annually. Any elected officer, not performing his/her duties, as outlined in this Constitution and By-Laws, shall be notified in writing by the President, of his/her failure to perform designated duties, with a copy forwarded to the Episcopal District President of Lay Organization, and the Executive Board. If failure to perform his/her duties continues for a period of ninety (90) days after notification, the matter will be referred to the Executive Board for action. If the President is not performing his/her duties, as outlined in this Constitution and By-Laws, he/she shall be notified in writing by the Executive Board through the Corresponding Secretary of his/her failure to perform designated duties. The Executive Board, may, in the interim of the Business Session suspend the elected officer. The final decision to expel or reinstate from/to office shall rest exclusively with the Connectional Lay Organization in its Biennial Session. The Organizational and Officers Effectiveness Committee/ will give guidelines, implementation and corrective actions when deemed necessary. Section 9. Conference Lay Organization Officers shall be elected Biennially.
Section 10. Districts of the Annual Conference Lay Organization Officers shall be elected Biennially.
Section 11. Station or Circuit Lay Organization Officers shall be elected annually
ARTICLE VIII Qualifications
Each officer shall be responsible for understanding and fulfilling his/her duties and those officers with a budget shall prepare and submit an annual line item budget for approval by the Executive Board.
Section 1. The President. a. Qualifications. The President of the North Carolina Conference Lay Organization shall have a commitment to lay ministry as demonstrated by: 1. Prior management experience, preferably in non- profit organization (desired but not required). 2. Prior service as either an elected officer of the Conference, Districts of the Annual Conference or local church Organization. 3. Five years of administrative, supervisory, or fiscal management experience.
Section 2. First Vice President a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the position of First Vice President must possess the same qualifications as provided for the President.
Section 3. Second Vice President a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the position of Second Vice President must possess the same qualifications as provided for the President.
Section 4. Third Vice President a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the position of Third Vice President must possess the same qualifications as provided for the President.
Section 5. Recording Secretary a. Qualifications. All candidates seeking the office of Recording Secretary must possess 1. Proficiency in writing and composition of the English language, basic reading competency, editing and record keeping skills 2. Experience in word processing or other technology (electronic media) available for recording, storing, and retrieving information. 3. Prior secretarial experience or training 4. Ability to prepare and present minutes and reports.
Section 6. Assistant Recording Secretary a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the position of Assistant Recording Secretary must possess the same qualifications as required for the Recording Secretary.
Section 7. Corresponding Secretary a. Qualifications. . Any candidate seeking the position of Corresponding Secretary must possess the same qualifications as required for the Recording Secretary and have experience in database management.
Section 8. Treasurer a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Treasurer must demonstrate: 1. Experience in financial management, including but not limited to, the areas of accounting, bookkeeping, and finance, preferably in non-profit organizations. 2. Two years experience working with accounting, finance, and budgeting. 3. Ability to be bonded 4. Experience and knowledge with computerized financial or accounting software and financial accounting/reporting.
Section 9. Financial Secretary a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Financial Secretary must possess the same qualifications as those of the Treasurer.
Section 10. Chaplain a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the position of Chaplain must demonstrate: 1. A Christian commitment, possess a high level of spiritual maturity, effective interpersonal and communication skills. 2. Training and experience in Christian Education; 3. Knowledge of the Bible and the AMEC Hymnal 4. Experience in preparing and conducting Bible study and worship;
Section 11. Historiographer a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Historiographer must demonstrate: 1. Prior experience with emphasis in research, writing, and publishing historical information. 2. Proficiency in English is required. 3 Ability to use technology (electronic media, including video, photos, and other graphics) for data gathering, organizing, record keeping and writing; 4. Knowledge of record and artifact preservation specific to an organizations founding, operations, projects, and other activities.
Section 12. Parliamentarian
a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Parliamentarian must demonstrate: 1. They are a registered Parliamentarian in good and regular standing of the National Association of Parliamentarians or an equivalent certification at the time of nomination Where there are no qualified candidates, the President, with the approval of the executive board and for any fee that will be required, may contract for such services to be provided, at a competitive rate to the organization as needed. Preference will be given to members of the AME Church in good and regular standing. Section 13. Director of Lay Activities a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Director of Lay Activities must demonstrate: 1. Extensive experience in research, speech, writing and proficiency in the English language, program planning, development, designing, implementation, teaching, training, adult learning, and/or administration, and technology (electronic media, including video, photos, and other graphics) for data gathering, organizing, record keeping and writing.
Section 14. Director of Public Relations a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Director of Public Relations must demonstrate: 1. A working knowledge of media relations, marketing, sales, prior experience in preparing and distributing press releases. 2. Strong communication skills and extensive experience in English, speech, and journalism.
Section 15. Young Adult Representative a. Qualifications. Any candidate seeking the office of Young Adult Representative shall: 1. Be between the ages of 18-30 at the time of election. Completion of high school is required. 2. Demonstrate visionary leadership skills through work experience or volunteer opportunities, especially with Youth and Young Adults within the church or other organizations and 3. Possess strong abilities to provide training, and demonstrate effective communication skills.