CONSTITUTION OF LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL
“The Ministry” - Lighthouse Ministries Int shall be independent of any control of any denomination or organisation.
“The Members” - Those Christian believer adults who subscribe to the Statement of Faith and have joined the Ministry as full Members in the prescribed manner.
“The Ministry Director or Director” - The Leader of the Ministry.
“The Board” - The Executive Board consisting of the Ministry Director and Leaders as described in this Constitution.
“The Statement of Faith” - The Statement of Faith which contains the code of doctrine of the Ministry.
“AGM” - The Annual General Meeting of the Members.
Unless the context indicates to the contrary, the masculine shall include the feminine gender and the singular shall include the plural and visa-versa.
2. THE MINISTRY
The Ministry shall be called and will have it’s offices as indicated on the signatory page or at such address as the Board may decide upon. - Lighthouse Ministries Int
The Ministry is a local body of Protestant Christians holding to the interpretation of the Scripture which is commonly known as “Evangelical” as distinguished from the “Modernist” and “Roman Catholic” interpretations.
The Ministry functions under the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ and under the leadership of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the commandments and provisions as set forth in the Bible.
The Ministry is part of the body of Christ and is organised to function exclusively for religious, educational and charitable purposes. The Ministry subscribes to the Statement of Faith which is attached hereto. The statement of faith may not be amended in any way as it forms and describes the fundamental doctrinal position of this Ministry body.
3. THE MAIN OBJECT OF THE MINISTRY
To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to the whole Bible (old and new testament) and in compliance with the Statement of Faith as found in this constitution.
To observe a code of doctrine, discipline and form of worship in accordance to the Statement of Faith under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To spread the Gospel by reaching the unconverted through evangelism and establishing the saved in the Body of Christ through teaching, counselling, visitation and encouragement.
To care for the widows, orphans and the poor in the household of the Body of Christ and as an outreach in each local area where the Ministry operates.
To support missionary work by either organising such work or financially supporting other ministries who do this work in an organised, responsible and regular manner.
To have fellowship with other Christian believers and seek co-operation where this may be deemed beneficial for the local area or the scope of any of the projects of the Ministry.
4. THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
The Board consists of the Ministry Director who is the spiritual leader of the Ministry, and at least two other Leaders of the Ministry who are initially chosen by the Founding Members to serve in this capacity until the first AGM. New Board Member’s names may be put forward by the accepted Members of the Ministry or by the Ministry Director and chosen unanimously or by a vote by the existing Board. The Director will finally appoint these officers upon ratification by the Ministry members. The final Board will yearly be ratified by the Members at the AGM. Board Members (excluding the Ministry Director) are appointed for a two year period after which they may be re-elected in the same way.
All Members of the Board must walk and teach strictly according the Statement of Faith. If there is reasonable cause to doubt this of any member of the Board, including the Ministry Director, a special meeting will be called where each Board member has one vote and a final decision will rest with the two thirds majority of the Board. In the case of the Ministry Director, he will be able to appeal to a Special General Meeting.
When the Board meet together for regulating their business, the Ministry Director will act as Chairman of the meeting. Proper notice of such meetings shall be given and a quorum shall be constituted by a majority of the members of the Board. Should the Ministry Director fail to attend the meeting within thirty minutes after the advertised time, the persons present shall appoint a member of the Board to act as Chairman. The Board shall appoint a person to act as Secretary who shall record the Minutes of the meeting which shall be deemed to be an accurate record of the proceedings of the meeting. Should a person not receive notice of the meeting, the proceedings shall not be invalidated thereby. By attending, a person acknowledges having received such proper notice unless the person attends in order to object to holding an unlawfully convened meeting.
At any meeting, a resolution which is not unanimously accepted shall be put to the vote to decide by a show of hands and a majority of those members present shall constitute an adoption by the Board of any resolution provided that each member has a vote. In the event of a deadlock, the Chairman shall exercise the casting vote.
A resolution in writing signed by all the members of the Board who may at that time attend and vote at a Board meeting, shall be valid and effective as if the same had been passed at a Board meeting.
The Board appoints all salaried and other workers (including the Ministry Director) in the Ministry. The Board is also responsible to negotiate with workers, according to a contract or agreement entered into, their terms, resignation and dismissal regarding any office or position except dismissal of the Ministry Director.
5. THE MEMBERS
The Members of the Ministry will be those who have been received into membership on the signing of this document. Those Christian Believers who seek membership of this local Ministry shall complete the course for prospective Members unless the Ministry Director deems this unnecessary. The approved applicants will then be presented to a full gathering of the local Ministry.
6. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
An annual general meeting of the Executive Board and Members will be held within four months after the financial year-end. This meeting will be announced on two consecutive Sunday meetings just prior to the meeting.
The following reports shall be tabled:
a) The general work and activities of the Ministry during the year.
b) The financial position of the Ministry as reflected in the statements drawn up by a person with a thorough knowledge of accountancy. These statements will be open for viewing by the Members at this meeting.
c) Matters relating to it’s spiritual and social welfare.
Policy observations and decisions regarding past and future activities of the Ministry will be made to guide the Board.
The current Executive Board and their activities of the past year shall be ratified by the members. New Board members shall be chosen and appointed.
7. SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING
Special General Meetings of the Ministry shall be held only after public notice has been given thereof, which notice shall state the whole of the business to be transacted thereat.
Public notice shall be by way of an announcement at the morning and evening worship services on two consecutive Sundays preceding the day appointed for the Meeting, or by way of a printed notice affixed to the door or notice board of the Ministry during the aforesaid Sundays.
Only duly admitted Members who have been Members for a period of at least six months (and who have attained the age of eighteen years) may vote.
8. THE FUNCTION OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
To appoint committees for specialised areas of activities or projects, one of such committees being a Financial Committee, on whose meetings at least one member of the Board will always be present.
To administer funds as designated for the projects but within the limits and guidelines as set out and decided upon by the financial committee. Any ancillary objects which are not in accordance with the main object shall be excluded.
To receive reports from the various committees and ratify their major decisions. All decisions regarding funds exceeding the allocated budgets will be referred to the Financial Committee. Only decisions which are in accordance with the main object of the Ministry will be ratified and referred.
To receive recommendations from the Members and channel deserving suggestions to the relevant committee.
To make known approved projects and policies to the Members and interested parties as seems applicable.
To be accountable to the Ministry and to properly implement decisions about policies, plans and projects.
9. FINANCIAL POLICY
Financially the Ministry is an independent ecclesiastical non-profit making organisation, exempted from Income tax, Donations tax, Transfer duty, Stamp duty and Estate duty. In order not to lose this status with the Commissioner for Inland Revenue, all the following points of this constitution will not be amended without their prior consent.
9.1 All funds are controlled by the Executive Board as advised by the Financial Committee. Under no circumstances will the financial control be vested in the Ministry Director or any one person on his own.
9.2 In its missionary endeavour, the activities of the Ministry will be confined to the Republic of South Africa (including the territories that formerly formed part of the Republic of South Africa) and the funds of the Ministry will be applied within this area.
9.3 The Ministry will not carry on any form of business such as commercial trade, speculative transactions, dividend stripping activities or letting of property. The Ministry will be allowed to sell religious material on it’s premises as a service to it’s Members and occasional visitors.
9.4 The Ministry will not acquire shares in any private or public company, other than by way of donation or bequest.
9.5 Full-time administration office staff will be paid for services rendered according to the salary scale determined by the Financial Committee and as ratified by the Board. In their capacity as directors of the Board (or otherwise) no donor, director or trustee or any of their relatives will receive any benefit from the funds or the income of the organisation.
9.6 No loans will be made to a Ministry Director (unless such loan is to be used in the furtherance of the objectives of the Ministry), Board member, Member or any of their relatives or to a private company.
9.7 Funds will only be invested with registered financial institutions as defined in section 1 of the Financial Institution Act, 1984, and in shares listed on a licensed stock exchange as defined in the Stock Exchange Control Act, 1985. Where shares (other than shares mentioned above) have been donated or bequeathed to the church, the shares may be held without jeopardizing the exempt status of the Church.
9.8 The Ministry will not be held responsible for any debts by hired staff, Board Members or voluntary workers.
9.9 All donations to the Ministry must be irrevocable and subject to the conditions of this constitution.
9.10 All donations made by the Ministry will be made in accordance with the main object of the Ministry.
The Ministry may purchase, sell and bond property (in order to obtain finance) solely for the furtherance of their aims, provided that such transaction is not of a speculative nature. All immovable property owned or acquired by the Ministry shall be registered in the name of the Ministry.
11. DISSOLUTION OF THE MINISTRY
Should the Ministry no longer adhere to it’s principles, the Ministry shall be deemed to have ceased to exist. The Ministry may also at any other time be dissolved by the Board upon an AGM or SGM Resolution. All funds and property of the Ministry would then be transferred to an organisation within the Republic of South Africa that propagates like-minded principles, being charitable, educational or ecclesiastical and which is itself exempt from Income Tax and Donations Tax in terms of section 10(1)(f) of the Income Tax Act.
12. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
The constitution may be amended at the AGM or at any other time at a Special General meeting called for this purpose provided that one month’s notice is given of the proposed change or resolution. Such meeting shall be convened and constituted in the way prescribed in this constitution. The Ministry Director shall preside over the meeting, minutes of the meeting will be taken and the vote shall be exercised by way of a two-thirds majority.
All future amendments will be submitted to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue for approval.
13. STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments in their original form, is the fully inspired and only infallible Word of God. We accept it as the supreme and final authority in all matters of doctrine, faith and life.
There is one God, who is self-revealed in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These are the three eternal distinctions in one divine being.
The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of God the Father, His personal future return to reign in power and glory.
Man was created good and upright in the image of God. But man, by voluntary transgression, fell, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ the Son of God.
The only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentance toward God and faith in the finished work of the Lord Christ Jesus on Calvary. Man is justified by grace alone and this through faith.
They who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour by faith, are born again by the Holy Spirit and become Children and heirs of God. The New Birth is absolutely essential for personal salvation and eternal life.
The Lord Jesus appointed two ordinances - believer’s baptism by immersion in water as a public witness and confession of faith and identification with Christ declaring that we have died with Jesus and have also been raised with Him to walk with Him in newness of life, symbolical of being baptised in one body - and the Lord’s Supper is the partaking of the emblems, the bread and the fruit of the vine, as a memorial of His suffering and death and a prophecy of His second coming by all believers “until He come”.
The sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a life of righteousness and true holiness.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit with the speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives them utterance and the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for the edification of the body of Christ.
The Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointment for the fulfilment of her great commission. Each Christian believer who is redeemed by Jesus Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit is part of that body. In reflecting the greater body of the church, the new birth and a personal confession of Christ are essentials for membership of the local church..
The Redemptive work of Christ on the cross provides healing for the human body - it is the privilege of all believers and as a sign following to confirm the preached Word of God to unbelievers.
The resurrection of both the saved and the lost, the one to everlasting life and the other to everlasting damnation.