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Q&A: Can Church Members Vote to Suspend Bylaws at a Business Meeting?

Ten reasons why this isn't usually permissible.

A question came up during our church’s annual business meeting regarding the suspension of bylaws. Our church bylaws state that board members serve a maximum of six years in office. Our church is in the midst of a construction project, and one of our board members is a contractor who has provided invaluable assistance to the church during this project. Many of the members wanted this person to remain on the board following the expiration of his term of office. A member made a motion to "suspend the bylaws" to allow this to happen. This motion did not pass, but it raised a question in our minds concerning the legality of suspending bylaws. Can church members, at a duly called business meeting, take action to suspend the bylaws?

In most cases, the answer is no. Consider the following ten points.

1. State nonprofit corporation laws under which many churches are incorporated generally ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 2008

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