Key point 6-02.02. Churches are subject to the provisions of their governing documents, which generally include a charter and a constitution or bylaws (in some cases both). A charter is the state-approved articles of incorporation of an incorporated church. Most rules of internal church administration are contained in a constitution or bylaws. Specific and temporary matters often are addressed in resolutions. If a conflict develops among these documents, the order of priority generally is as follows—charter, constitution, bylaws, and resolutions.
A Maryland appeals court ruled that a church’s board of trustees had the legal authority to terminate a pastor even though this authority was not specifically mentioned in the church’s governing documents.
In the summer of 2016, a man met with a pastor regarding his desire to start a church. During their discussions, it ...