The Constitution and Bylaws of

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Creston and Mt. Ayr, Iowa

with The Articles of Reincorporation

December 28, 1977


Approved at

Iowa District West Convention

on June 27, 2022




         The Word of God requires that a Christian congregation shall conform to this Divine Word in doctrine and practice (Psalm 119:105; Matthew 28:18-20; Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Timothy 4:1-5) and that all things be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40).  Therefore we, the members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Creston and Mt. Ayr, Iowa, accept and subscribe to the following Constitution and Bylaws, in accordance with which all spiritual and material affairs of our congregation shall be governed.

Article 1.0 NAME

         The name of this congregation shall be Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Creston and Mt. Ayr, Iowa.

Article 2.0 PURPOSE

         The purpose of this congregation shall be to bring honor and glory to God by devoting itself to the work of maintaining and enlarging the kingdom of God by proclamation of the Word of God (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), by the administration of the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution (Matthew 28:19; 26:26-28), by uniting in worship (Hebrews 10:25), by providing for the instruction and growth in Christian faith and life for all age groups (Deut. 6:6-7; 2 Peter 3:18), by practicing fellowship (Acts 2:42), by exercising Christian discipline (Matt. 18:15-17; Gal. 6:1), and by serving the needs of all people in Christian love (John 13:34,35; Ga. 6:2).  All according to the confessional standard of the Lutheran Church (Art. 3.0).


         This Congregation acknowledges and accepts as the only rule and norm of faith and practice all the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed and inerrant Word of God, verbally inspired.  This congregation further acknowledges and accepts without reservation all the Confessional Writings of the Lutheran Church, contained in the Book of Concord of the year 1580, to be the true and genuine expositions of the doctrines of the Bible.  These are the three Ecumenical Creeds (Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian), the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Smalcald Articles, Luther’s Large Catechism, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the Formula of Concord.  In this congregation no doctrines shall be taught or tolerated, nor any practices condoned which are at variance with the Holy Scriptures and the afore-mentioned Confessions of the Lutheran Church.


         All literature used for public religious worship, ministerial acts, and educational purposes, such as agendas, hymnals, liturgical forms, prayers, books of instruction, etc., shall be in agreement with the Confessional Standard in Article 3.0 of this Constitution.


5.1   This congregation shall hold membership in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod as long as the Confessional Standard and the Constitution of said Synod are in agreement with the Confessional Standard of this congregation as set forth in Article 3.0 of this Constitution.

5.3   This congregation shall send its ordained minister(s) and a lay delegate to the District Convention of Synod.

5.5   It shall be the duty of the congregation and its members to support the work of Synod and District, since they are thereby supporting their own Christ-appointed work.

Article 6.0 MEMBERSHIP

         The membership of this congregation includes the following:

6.1   Baptized Membership

         Baptized members are all members who have received Christian Baptism in the name of the Triune God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and are under the spiritual care of the congregation and its pastor, but have not yet confirmed their baptismal vows.

6.3   Communicant Membership

         Communicant members are all those who:

a.     have received Christian Baptism in the name of the Triune God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;

b.     have declared their acceptance of the Confessional Standard of this congregation as set forth in Article 3.0;

c.     are familiar at least with Luther’s Small Catechism and have declared their acceptance of it;

d.     continue in the personal study of God’s Word;

e.     attend divine services faithfully (Hebrews 10:25);

f.      worship the Triune God faithfully and frequently partake of the Lord’s Supper;

g.     lead Christian lives and do not live in manifest works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21);

h.     contribute, according to ability, time, talent, and treasure for the maintenance and building of the Lord’s kingdom in this congregation and throughout the world;

i.      submit to the decisions already made, or still to be made, by this congregation, providing they do not conflict with the Word of God, and who permit themselves to be admonished and corrected in Christ’s love when they have erred;

j.      are not members, affiliates, or supporters of any organization whose purpose, principles, or practices conflict with God’s Word.

6.5   Voting Membership

         All communicant members who have reached their eighteenth (18th) birthday, have read and signed the constitution and bylaws of the congregation and have been accepted by the Voter’s Assembly shall be entitled to vote at all regular and special meetings of the Voter’s Assembly.  All voting members shall be eligible for election or appointment, as appropriate, except that female voting members shall not be eligible for, nor serve as, President, Vice-President or Elder.


7.1   General

         The congregation as a body, through its Voters Assembly, shall have supreme power to administer and manage all its external and internal affairs.  The establishment of all societies and institutions within the congregation, such as the parochial school, Sunday School, youth societies, men’s or ladies’ organizations, choirs, etc., shall require the approval of the Voters Assembly.  The conduct of such groups shall at all times be subject to the supervision of the congregation.  The supervision of such societies and organizations shall ordinarily be the responsibility of the pastor and the appropriate officers and boards.

7.3   Right of Calling

         The right of calling pastors shall be vested in the congregation through its Voters Assembly and shall never be delegated to a smaller body or to an individual.

7.5   Decisions

         Matters of doctrine and conscience shall be decided only on the basis of the Word of God.  Other matters shall be decided by the Voters Assembly by a majority vote unless otherwise specified by the Constitution or Bylaws.  Any decisions contrary to the Word of God and the Confessional Standard of Article 3.0 of this Constitution shall be null and void.

7.7   Powers of Officers

         Congregational officers, boards, or committees whether elected or appointed by the Voters Assembly, shall have no authority beyond that which has been conferred on them, and whatever power they may have had delegated to them may at any time be altered or revoked by the Voters Assembly.

7.9   Removal from Office

         Any pastor or officer may be removed from office, in Christian and lawful order, by a three-fourths majority ballot vote of the Voters Assembly for one of the following reasons:  persistent adherence to false doctrine, scandalous life, inability to perform their duties, or willful neglect of them.


8.1   This congregation shall establish and at all times maintain the ordained Christian pastoral ministry in its midst.

8.3   The office of the ordained pastoral ministry shall be conferred only upon such a pastor or candidate who is a member of LC-MS, has been endorsed by Synod as qualified, and is pledged to the Confessional Standard set forth in Article 3.0 of this Constitution.

8.5   In the administration of his office the pastor shall be held to:

a.     Teach the Word of God in truth and purity in accordance with confessional principles enumerated in Article 3.0 of this constitution;

b.     Administer the Sacraments and the Offices of the Keys according to Christ’s institution along the line of guidance laid down in an orthodox Liturgy and Agenda;

c.     Advise, admonish, comfort, and encourage individual members, whenever necessary, on the basis of God’s Word;

d.     Instruct the catechumens on the basis of Luther’s Small Catechism;

e.     Be a good example to the congregation for emulation in true piety.

8.7   The pastor’s call is not for a specified time only, but for as long a time as he preaches and teaches the Word of God in truth and purity, is faithful in the performance of his duties and leads a Christian life, or until the Lord calls him to another field of service.

Article 9.0 OFFICERS

         The officers of this congregation shall be such officers, boards, or committees as the Bylaws of this congregation may prescribe.

Article 10.0     PROPERTY RIGHTS

10.1 This congregation shall have the right to acquire and own such property as is necessary for the realization of its aims.

10.3 Everything owned by the congregation, or received by it through memorials or special gifts, whether movable or fixed, is the estate of the congregation.

10.5 If at any time a separation on account of doctrine should occur, which God may graciously prevent, the property of the congregation and all the benefits connected therewith, shall remain with those members who adhere to the Confessional Standard of Article 3.0 of this Constitution.  In such a case, the assistance of the proper Adjudication Board shall be requested.

10.7 If at any time a separation for a non-doctrinal reason should occur, which God may graciously prevent, the property and all benefits connected therewith shall remain with the majority.

10.9 In the event the congregation should totally disband, all properties and assets shall be transferred to the Iowa District West of the The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

Article 11.0     BYLAWS

         The congregation through its Voters Assembly may adopt such by-laws as may be required for the accomplishment of its aims.


12.1 Proposals to amend Article 3, 4, and 8 of this Constitution shall require notice of such amendment and discussion of the same to be presented at two meetings of the Voters Assembly before the meeting is held at which the proposed amendment is to receive action, with due notice of the fact that a vote will be taken to be given to all voting members of the congregation.  Any changes that are made in these articles shall not alter or destroy the essential meaning of the same.  An affirmative vote of a three-fourths majority shall be required to amend the above listed articles.  In the event that the changes that are made are challenged, the District Commission on Adjudication shall decide.

12.3 With the exception of the articles listed in 12.1, proposals to amend any other article(s) of this Constitution may be adopted at any meeting of the Voters Assembly, provided that

a.     the proposed amendment has been submitted in writing at a previous meeting of the Voters Assembly, published by posting in a conspicuous place in the church, and mailed to the church membership prior to the meeting at which the proposed amendment is to be acted upon; and

b.     an affirmative vote of a three-fourths majority of the voters present has been secured.


Article I           MEMBERSHIP

Admission into Membership

A.    Communicant Membership

1)     By Confirmation

         Confirmation itself being a reception into church membership, all who are thus received by the sacred act become communicant members.

2)     By Transfer

         Persons coming with a communicant letter of transfer from a congregation in church fellowship provided they conform in all respects to the requirements of membership of this congregation, shall be received by the pastor, whose action is to be approved in a subsequent meeting of the Voters’ Assembly or Church Council.

3)     By Profession of Faith

         Other persons shall submit their application to the pastor, and having given satisfactory evidence of qualifications for communicant membership to the pastor, they shall be received as communicant members, to be approved in a subsequent meeting of the Voters’ Assembly.

B.  Voting Membership

1)     Reception

         An applicant for voting membership shall give notice of his intention to the pastor or one of the elders and shall read a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation which shall be furnished him, and upon unanimous vote of the voting members present he shall sign the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation and be declared a voting member.

2)     Duties

         It shall be the duty of every voting member to attend the Voters' Assemblies.  By failing to attend such a meeting a member waives the right to cast his vote during that meeting.  He shall accept nomination for office, committee appointments, etc., if possible, and generally participate in the business activities of Voters' Assembly.

C.    Termination of Membership

1)     Transfer to Other Congregations

         Communicant members desiring to join a congregation in church fellowship shall present their request for transfer to the pastor, to whom authorization is granted to issue such transfers.  Such transfer of membership shall be approved by the Voters' Assembly in a subsequent meeting.

2)     Joining Other Churches

         In cases where communicant members have joined another congregation outside our own fellowship, they shall, upon recommendation of the pastor (and elders), be considered such to have terminated their membership, and their names shall be removed from the membership list by a resolution of the Voters' Assembly.

3)     Whereabouts Unknown

         The names of members whose whereabouts are unknown and cannot be established shall be removed by the Voters' Assembly, and forthwith such membership terminated.

4)     Excommunication and Self-Exclusion

         Any member who conducts himself in an unchristian manner shall be admonished according to Matt. 18:15-20.  If he refuses to amend his sinful life after proper admonition, he shall be excommunicated.  If the member refuses to attend the Voters' meeting (or in the case of a female member, to meet with a smaller group officially acting for the voters) to discuss his case, he has thereby excluded himself.  A unanimous vote shall be required for every resolution by the Voters' Assembly for the excommunication or self exclusion.  Excommunication or self-exclusion terminates membership.



5)     Policy Regarding Delinquents

         Since it is the will of our Lord that backsliders return to Christ, and since we, as a congregation are to demonstrate our Christian Love with a delinquent brother or sister in the faith, it shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to approach all delinquents in our congregation and to speak to them in a spirit of love and in accordance with principles of our Constitution, as set forth in Article IV, par. B, which states, "Communicant members are those who attend divine services faithfully;...Who partake of the Lord's Supper frequently after their confirmation;" and according to the procedure of Christ's teaching regarding the forgiving of an erring brother in the Eighteenth Chapter of St. Matthew.

         The Board of Elders are encouraged to follow the procedure outlined below, as far as it is practicable and possible:

a.     When a member of our congregation has absented himself from divine services or the Sacrament of the Altar for a period of five months, his delinquency shall be reported to the Board of Elders for consideration.

b.     Such a member shall be informed of his delinquency in an evangelical manner, with the express purpose of encouraging him to return to God's house, and the Lord's Supper.  (This may be accomplished in a form of a letter.)

c.     If, after seven months, such a delinquent has failed to respond to our efforts, it shall become the duty of the Board of Elders to designate a member of the Board to pay such a personal visit with the express purpose of pointing out his responsibilities and opportunities as a church-going Christian, and to encourage him to return to divine services and the Lord's Supper.

d.     If after nine months, there are no visible results, it shall become the duty of the Board of Elders to designate at least two Elders, or one Elder and the Pastor, to approach this delinquent member, and in their conversation, inform him that his delinquency will be reported to the Voters' Assembly.

e.     If after ten months, he still continues in his delinquency, his action shall be reported to the Voters' Assembly of this congregation, and it may become the duty of the congregation to consider his delinquency in a prayerful spirit, and out of love, to inform him that due to his delinquent church attendance and his continued absence at the Lord's Table, this congregation considers him as a person without Christ and a sinner in need of Christ's forgiveness and love, and that his name is reluctantly being taken from the church records (self-exclusion).

f.      It shall then become the duty of the Board of Elders to inform such a person of the congregation's action by a registered letter.  The letter shall include a message of God's love for him and willingness on our part to welcome him back in the spirit of brotherly love at any time.

6)     Status

         A person whose communicant membership has been terminated has forfeited all rights of a member of this congregation and all claims upon the property of the congregation as such, or upon any part thereof so long as he is not reinstated into membership.

D.  Voting Membership

         A voting member who is absent from the meetings of the Voter's Assembly for a full year without offering valid excuse shall have his name removed from the roster of voting members; however, he may be reinstated by re-applying for voting membership.

Article II          MEETINGS

A.    Regular meetings of the Voters' Assembly shall be held every three months.

B.    Special meetings of the Voters' Assembly may be called at any time by the pastor or a majority of the Church Council.

C.    Every regular voters' meeting shall be announced (by word or in the bulletin) at a Sunday service prior to it.  Special meetings may be called at any time to be announced in the best possible manner.  Whenever a meeting has been thus announced, and at least one fourth of the voting members of the congregation, or a quorum, are in attendance, it shall be considered a properly convened and legal meeting capable of transacting business.  However, for amending the Articles of Incorporation, the Constitution, and Bylaws, the erection of buildings, the purpose or sale of property, or the removal of a pastor or teacher or some other member from office, a quorum of one-third of the voting members is necessary, and a two-thirds majority shall be required for adoption of a resolution.

D.    Electronic meetings

1.     Meetings for all boards and committees may be held electronically in accordance with the following guidelines and requirements:

 a.    Electronic Board meetings may be conducted by telephone, telecommunication, or computer conference.

 b.    Electronic meetings of the Voter's assembly shall be only between the Creston & Mount Ayr locations.


A.  Nomination

         At a meeting of the Voters' Assembly properly convened, the list of candidates having been received from the District President and presented, candidates for the office of pastor or teacher shall be submitted by the nominating committee. 

B.  Elections

         The election of a pastor or a teacher from the list of candidates chosen by the congregation shall be by ballot.  The candidate receiving the majority of all votes cast shall be considered elected.  The election shall, if possible, be made unanimous by a rising vote, and shall be sent to the pastor or teacher elect.


A.  Nominations

         A Nominating Committee shall be appointed annually by the Church Council.  The Nominating Committee shall meet during September to prepare a slate for the elections to be held at the October Meeting of the Voters' Assembly.  The nominating Committee shall nominate at least one (1) and preferable two (2) qualified candidates for each office, having secured that nominee's approval.  The slate of candidates shall be published in the bulletin and posted in the narthex at both locations at least two weeks prior to the election.  The slate shall include provision for additional nominations to be made by any member of the congregation.  Such additional nominations must be approved by the Pastor(s) and the Board of Elders as "spiritually qualified":  i.e.: worshiping regularly, communing regularly, of good reputation, etc. (See also 1 Timothy 3:8-13).  All "write-in" nominations must be received at the church office at least one week prior to the election.  The final list of nominees shall be posted conspicuously at the church.  There will be no new nominations from the floor at the time of the election.  However, a person nominated for a particular office, but not elected to that office may be renominated for election to another office.

B.  Elections

         The election shall be by ballot.  To be elected, a candidate must receive at least a simple majority of the ballots cast for that office.  The officers-elect shall assume their respective duties on the first day of the following year.  In the event of a vacancy in any office other than president, the Church Council shall appoint a successor to serve until the end of the present year.  The officers shall be permitted to hold the same office for two (2) consecutive terms only,  except the Treasurer and Financial Secretary offices shall have no term limits.    Officers shall be elected for the terms specified in these Bylaws and shall hold office until their successors shall have been elected and qualified.

Article V          OFFICERS

A.    The elected officers of this congregation shall be a President; Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and Board of Elders shall have been members of the congregation for a least one year.

B.    Candidates for President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and Board of Elders shall have been members of the congregation for at least one year.

Article VI         CHURCH COUNCIL

6.1   The Church Council shall be composed of:  The President, the Vice-President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the Financial Secretary, the chairman of the Board of Elders and the chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Board of Education, Board of Stewardship, Board of Missions, Board of Youth, and the pastor(s) as ex officio.

6.2   The Church Council shall meet in regular session at least once monthly.  The President, the Pastor or any two members of the Council may call a special meeting by personally informing as many members of the Council as possible of the time and place of such a meeting at least 24 hours in advance.  A majority of the current members of the Church Council shall be necessary to constitute a quorum.

6.3   All meetings shall be open to all members of the congregation unless the Council, due to a matter of a sensitive nature, votes to go into a closed session.  A majority vote of the Church Council, in session, shall be required to go into closed session.

6.4   It shall be the duty of the Church Council to consider and discuss all matters pertaining to the general welfare of the congregation and its ministry.

6.5   The Church Council shall act on matters committed to it by the Voters Assembly.  It shall hear, receive and review reports on the progress of each area of ministry from the respective Board Chairpersons.  It shall plan and coordinate the total program of the congregation's ministry and may also consider and initiate new programs which further the purpose of the congregation.

6.6   It shall receive suggestions and recommendations from the Chairperson of each Board and prepare proposals to be brought before the Voters Assembly.

6.7   Specific duties of the Church Council shall include:  preparation of the Annual Budget for presentation to the Voters Assembly; appoint non-elected board members; appoint people to fill vacant elected offices of the church; authorization of expenditures; hiring, supervision, and releasing of custodians and office personnel; and contracting for the improvement, use and maintenance of the church property, keeping all expenditures within approved budget guidelines.

6.8   The minutes of Church Council meetings as well as recommendations and proposals for the Voters Assembly shall be printed and made available to all members in the secretary’s office or on the church website


President and Vice-President

         The term of the office of the President and of the Vice-President shall be one (1) year.

         The President is the chief administrative officer of the congregation.  He shall, to the best of his ability enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of the congregation as embodied in the resolutions of the Voters. 

         All Boards, committees, auxiliary organizations, groups, etc, in the congregation shall be responsible to the President and he shall be welcome at any and all meetings of such groups, either in person or as represented by the person or persons he may appoint.

         The President shall preside at all meetings of the Voters' Assembly.  He shall call and preside over the meetings of the Church Council and shall endeavor to coordinate the functions, plans and activities of the congregation in all its parts for the total furtherance of the work of Christ's kingdom in our midst;

         The President shall

1)     See to it that all elected or appointed officers, boards, and committees of the congregation are functioning and carrying out their individual responsibilities.

2)     Shall be an ex officio member of all administrative boards and committees and shall attend meetings whenever necessary and/or request of the Pastor.

3)     Shall meet with the Pastor for preparation of agendas for all Church Council meetings.

4)     Perform such other duties as shall be assigned to him by the Voters.

         The Vice-President, in the absence of the President, shall act for and in the stead of the President.  He shall be available for whatever duties the President shall assign to him as the President's representative.

The Secretary

1)     The term of office of the Secretary shall be one (1) year.

2)     The Secretary shall keep an accurate and permanent record of all Voters' Assembly meetings and Church Council meetings.

3)     He/She will maintain an accurate list of all voting members and the membership of all official boards and committees.

4)     He/She shall provide the church office secretary with a copy of the minutes of each Voters' Assembly meeting as soon as possible for reproduction and distribution to the congregation.

5)     In cooperation with the church office secretary he/she shall notify all members of the congregation of the date, time and location of each Voters' Assembly meeting.

6)     He/She shall conduct such correspondence as is necessary and/or requested.


         The term of office of the Treasurer shall be one (1) year.  He/She shall pay all bills authorized by the congregation.  He/She shall keep accurate records of the receipts and disbursements of the congregation in books which shall be and remain in the property of the congregation.  All of these books shall be audited annually, and a report of such audit shall be submitted to the congregation.  He/She shall submit a report at each Council and Voters' Assembly meeting.  Such report shall show actual receipts and disbursements compared with budgeted amounts.

Financial Secretary

         The term of office of the Financial Secretary shall be one (1) year.  It shall be his/her duty to receive, record in books kept for such purpose, and deposit in the congregation's designated depository, all congregational moneys, including offerings, contributions, special collections, loans, subsidies, bequests, etc.  A report of all receipts shall be submitted to the Treasurer at regular weekly intervals.  The Financial Secretary shall provide a report for each meeting of the Church Council and Voters' Assembly.

         The Church Council will select and appoint as many assistants to the Financial Secretary as needed.   Along with the Financial Secretary, they shall constitute the Board of Finance.  All offerings shall be counted in the presence of at least two members of this board, who are from different families. 

         The books and records of the Financial Secretary shall be audited annually.

Board of Elders

         The nature of the duties of this Board required that only men noted for their Christian knowledge, zeal and experience in the spiritual work of the Kingdom of Christ shall be elected to membership.  The Board shall consist of eight (8) members.  The term of office shall be two (2) years, one-half (1/2) of the Board being elected annually.

         The basic objectives of the Board are the spiritual welfare of the Pastor(s) and congregation members, individually and corporately, and the supervision of everything pertaining to congregational worship.

         That the objects of this Board may be carried out, the Board either corporately or through specifically designate individuals shall:

1)     Pray for the Pastor(s) and other spiritual leaders.

2)     Encourage the Pastor(s) in his work by word and action.

3)     Be concerned about the spiritual, emotional and physical health and welfare of the Pastor(s) and his family (adequate compensation, housing, free time, vacation, assistance in times of illness).

4)     Assist the Pastor(s) in counseling with difficult cases and in finding peaceful and God-pleasing solutions to personal problems within the congregation.

5)     Review yearly the salary and performance of the Church Office Secretary and make appropriate recommendations to the Voting Membership or in case of vacancy, interview and hire a replacement in conjunction with the Pastor(s).

6)     Exercise leadership in gathering call lists and calling a new Pastor when a vacancy occurs.

7)     Maintain discipline within the congregation according to Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions and Article IV of the Constitution and Article I of the By-Laws of this congregation and exercise discipline when required.

8)     Take spiritual charge and oversight of the geographical or familiar groupings assigned to them in liaison with the Pastor(s) and other concerned Boards of the congregation. 

9)     Insure that the congregation functions in accordance with the established doctrine of the Church as listed in Article III of the Constitution.

10)   Determine eligibility for membership of all individuals and families applying for membership in this congregation according to Article IV of the Constitution and Article I of the By-Laws.

11)   See to the prompt transfer of all members who move away and of new Lutheran families moving into the community.

12)   Engage in member conservation and discipleship training in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism and the Board of Stewardship.

13)   Engage in continual review of communion and church attendance of all members, make calls on delinquents, follow-up on all newborn children in the congregation until they are baptized.

14)   Train and supervise a Visitation Committee and engage in visitation of all sick, hospitalized, aged and shut-ins in the congregation continually.

15)   Investigate cases of severe financial need within the congregation and make specified recommendations to the Pastor(s) and the Christian Care Fund Committee.

16)   Be concerned about and supervise thorough instruction of youth and adults of confirmation and church membership in accordance with the policies and aims of the Board of Christian Education

17)   Be responsible for a friendly personal welcome of visitors at worship and for orientation and integration of new members in conjunction with the Board of Evangelism.

18)   Be present for periodic training as determined by the Pastor(s) and this Board.  Be an example of Christian conduct and conversation.

19)   For the administrative purposes and program development supervise the total work of the Trinity Lutheran Women's Missionary League.

20)   Encourage spiritual programs in the societies of the congregation generally.

21)   Submit an annual budget request in the form and at the time requested by the Board of Stewardship.

For the Worship of the Congregation

22)   Supervise the organists of the congregation

23)   Provide for vicars, assistants, substitute pastors, and guest speakers as needed.

24)   Staff, train and supervise the ushering staff.

25)   Assist the Pastor(s) with communion distribution, reading of Scripture, preaching, etc., as required

26)   Set the time, schedule and number of communion services in conjunction with the Pastor(s) and the Voting Membership.

27)   Approve and disapprove new forms of worship, liturgies, and hymns for use in public worship.

28)   Supervise the Altar Committee in the care, use and maintenance of the sacred vessels, the altar, the altar furnishings and vestments.

29)   Maintain an adequate supply of expendable items for worship such as communion cards, pencils, communion wine and wafers, baptismal napkins, candles, etc., in conjunction with the Altar Committee.

30)   Coordinate with the Flower Committee all church and chancel decorations and the distribution of altar flowers to the sick and shut-ins.

31)   Plan and publicize the services for the year.

32)   Supervise the budgeted allotment for the selection and procurement of appropriate music, supervision of choirs, and other related matters.

33)   Arrange and publicize special services are required.

34)   Maintain and supervise adequate nursery facilities and personnel.

Annually, the Board of Elders shall be organized as follows:

         a chairman, whose duties are items 3, 5, 6, 12, 15, 22, and 32;

         a committee (of at least 2 elders) for sick and shut-in ministry, whose duties are items 14 and 30;

         a committee (of at least 2 elders) for new members assimilation, whose duties are items 10, 11, 12, and 17;

         a committee (of at least 2 elders) for worship, whose duties are items, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, and 34;

         a committee (of at least 2 elders) for membership conservation, whose duties are items 12, 13, 16, 19, and 20;

         The following items are always to be the concern of every elder: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 18.  To carry out their various duties and ministries effectively, the Board of Elders shall recruit lay members as needed to serve on the various committees of this Board.

The Board of Trustees

         The Board of Trustees shall consist of four (4) members.  The term of office shall be two (2) years, with half (1/2) of the board being elected annually.

         The basic objectives of this Board are the proper maintenance and repair of church property, the representation of the congregation in all legal matters, and the general protection of the congregation against loss or damage of whatever nature.

         That the basic objectives of the Board may be carried out, the Board either corporately or through specifically designed individuals shall:

1)     Make an annual inspection of church properties and equipment and recommend to the Voters' Assembly needed repairs, improvements or replacements.

2)     Conduct an annual inventory of all church properties, equipment and supplies, including acquisition date and approximately value of each item.

3)     Carry out all resolutions of the Voters' Assembly on purchases, repairs, replacement of church property and equipment.

4)     Determine and engage, with congregational approval, adequate custodial help.  The Board shall also meet periodically with custodian(s) to discuss the care of the buildings, needs and problems in custodial services, and the like.

5)     Prepare for the custodian(s) a detailed list of the required daily and weekly, monthly, or annual maintenance of the facilities and equipment of the congregation.

6)     Annually review and recommend salaries for all custodial help and to that end study and recommend policies regarding union labor, fair employment practices and the like to be applied to suppliers and to the congregation.

7)     Determine and establish, with the approval of the Voters' Assembly, regulations governing the use of church property and equipment.

8)     Coordinate the schedule of activities with the facilities.

9)     Make and issue keys for church property and keep and review annually a list of the keys issued.

10)   Supervise, control and recommend adequate storage facilities for church property, equipment and supplies and the orderly maintenance of the same.

11)   Annually check the adequacy of all types of insurance for church property and equipment and negotiate insurance contracts.

12)   Check all property twice a year for fire hazards.

13)   Enlist work crews for special repair,  improvements, clearing, painting, decorating, landscaping, and other projects.

14)   Arrange for immediate repairs of an urgent nature and all normal repairs and alterations for which budget funds have been allocated.

15)   Obtain legal information necessary for the wise consideration of contracts, deeds, and the like by the congregation.

16)   Negotiate service contracts for the organ, office machines and the like.

17)   Make an annual inventory of official documents in safekeeping and enter its completion in the official minutes of the congregation.

18)   Obtain legal information on the laws governing nonprofit organizations.

19)   Set all policies and fees for rental, use and lending of church properties.

20)   Submit an annual budget request to the Board of Stewardship in the form and at the time requested by that Board.

Board of Missions

         This Board shall consist of four (4) members whose term shall be two (2) years.  Two members shall be appointed annually by the Church Council and approved by the Voters' Assembly.  They shall be jointly responsible for all duties assigned.

It shall be the duty of this Board to:

1)     Plan, promote and carry out an evangelism program in the congregation and in the community.

2)     Plan and supervise religious surveys of the community.

3)     Arrange for the maintenance of record files in order to keep an evangelism program active.

4)     Enlist aid in visiting prospective members of the church.

5)     Assist the pastor in training the laity to bring the unchurched to the pastor's instruction classes.

6)     Integrate new members into the life and work of the church.

7)     In the field of social welfare, it shall discover the needs of individuals in the congregation, of the aged, and of the poor.  It shall bring these needs to the attention of the Voters' Assembly with suggestions for action by the congregation.

8)     It shall call attention of the congregation the welfare agencies being conducted by the church and solicit support for them.

9)     It shall report on the social needs of the community and solicit the congregation's cooperation with other agencies in the community endeavoring to meet these needs.

10)   In the area of public relations it shall endeavor to publicize the gospel and the activities of the congregation by the various modern avenues available.

11)   It shall represent the congregation in sending greetings, commendation, criticism, or any other message which may be in order.

Board of Education

         This Board shall consist of four (4) (or more) members who shall be appointed by the Church Council annually for a term of two (2) years, and approved by the Voters' Assembly so that two new members are appointed yearly.  The pastor, (Parochial school principal), and the superintendent of the Sunday School shall be advisory members of this Board.

         The Board shall organize at the beginning of each year for the purpose of electing a chairman and a secretary.  The chairman will represent the Board on the Church Council.  The Board shall hold regular meetings.

A.  Scope and Nature

         The Board shall:

1)     Foster spiritual growth in the life of the individual Christian.

2)     Strengthen the Christian home and help equip parents, children, and young people for Christian family living.

3)     Provide learning opportunities for all age levels:  preschool, school age, youth, adults, and older adults.

4)     Encourage the congregation to set up agencies and organizations to help the parish best perform its educational task for each specific age level; namely, the Sunday School (from Nursery department to Bible Class), the parochial school, youth, and adult groups, couples, and parents' groups.

5)     Provide leadership education for teachers, officers, and workers.

B.  Policy and Program Planning

1)     Set up adequate objectives for every age level, agency, and organization, embracing training in Christian knowledge, in Christian attitudes, in Christian skills, such as Bible use, witnessing, prayer, giving, and family living.

2)     Select curricula so that objectives for each agency and age level can be achieved.  The curriculum shall be Christian, comprehensive, balanced, and functional.  The Board shall select proper teaching texts and other educational materials.

3)     Give attention to enrollment, attendance of pupils, and expansion of program, evangelism, personal development, and soul keeping.

4)     Recommend to the congregation adequate teaching and administrative personnel for all age levels and agencies.

5)     Develop a teacher training and leadership education program adequate to the needs of the congregation present and future.

6)     Bring to the attention of the Voters' Assembly the needs of the facilities and equipment for all educational agencies.

7)     See that all phases of Christian education are properly financed.

8)     Review and appraise all education, and plan for improvements on the basis of such regular appraisals.

C.  Organization and Administration

         To carry out such a program the Board shall:

1)     Subdivide and assign responsibilities to one or more members by age levels (child, youth, or adult), or by the agencies Sunday School committee:  Nursery to Bible Classes, school committee, and leadership training committee.

2)     Delegate the administration of all educational agencies and work to qualify persons (superintendent, principals, youth and adult leaders, etc.) subject to the approval of Voters' Assembly.

3)     Maintain good relations and cooperation with the individual agencies and educational organizations, the Voters' Assembly, the whole congregation, and the community.

D.  Sunday School Superintendent

1)     The Sunday School Superintendent shall serve a term of one year, beginning September 1st and ending August 31st.

2)     The Sunday School Superintendent shall be appointed by the Board of Education, subject to approval of the Voters' Assembly.  The Sunday School Superintendent shall be an ex officio member of the Board of Education.

3)     The Sunday School Superintendent shall:

a)     help to enlist teachers and substitute teachers that are capable and faithful;

b)     have general supervisory authority over the Sunday School;

c)     attend all Sunday School staff meetings and encourage the attendance of all staff personnel at such meetings.

d)     assign students to their classes;

e)     report all enrollment and attendance information to the church office secretary;

f)     sign and issue all attendance recognition certificates;

g)     assist in handling any disciplinary problems;

h)     direct all rehearsals of the Children's Christmas Service;

i)      order all necessary materials of the Sunday School for all ages (nursery through adult).

The Board of Stewardship

         This Board shall consist of the Financial Secretary, the Treasurer, and four (4) additional members who shall be appointed by the Church Council and approved by the Voters' Assembly for a term of two (2) years, two new members being appointed each year.  The Board shall organize at the beginning of each year for the purpose of choosing a chairman and secretary.  The chairman shall represent the Board on the Church Council.  The Board shall hold regular meetings.

         It shall be the duty of this Board to:

1)     Discover the talents of the membership and enlist them in the congregational program.

2)     Assist in training lay workers.

3)     Sponsor stewardship and mission talks, discussions, conferences, plays, movies, pageants, etc., in the congregation and its organizations.

4)     Work in close cooperation with the circuit and District stewardship committees, and encourage larger attendance at circuit meetings.

5)     Fully inform the members of their local congregation's programs and opportunities to lengthen their outreach into all the world through District and Synod.

6)     Give the congregation a clear vision of the world's need of Christ and how they can supply that need.

7)     Instruct the people in the grace of proportionate giving to God's work in their own parish and in the world.

8)     Aid in planning successful Mission Sundays and programs for young and old.

9)     Prepare the annual proposed budget for submission at the last Voters' Assembly of the year.

Board of Youth Ministry

         This Board shall consist of at least six (6) members, 3 appointed every year by the Church Council.  The four (4) LYC counselors shall be among these six (6) members.  The LYC counselors shall be appointed annually the Church Council so that two (2) new counselors are appointed each year.  The senior person LYC counselor shall represent this Board on the Church Council.  The LYC officers shall be advisory members of this Board.

         It shall be the duty of this Board to:

1)     Promote attendance and involvement of the congregation's youth at all youth activities.

2)     Provide for the continuing spiritual growth of the young people of the congregation through Bible Study, prayer, and Christian service.

3)     Plan and carry out, together with other Boards, a year-around program for the young people of the congregation.

4)     Involve youth leaders from all parts of the congregation's work in developing a planned parish program for young people.

5)     Develop a program for the social fellowship for both young people and the young adults of the congregation, including various recreational programs.

6)     Actively engage in the election and training of leaders for the young people's program at all times.

7)     Plan and observe, together with Pastor, a yearly congregational Young People's Sunday.

8)     Plan a special event to welcome the newly confirmed young people of the congregation and to invite them to join the young people's groups.

9)     Provide for continual education of young people on topics of current interest to them (in cooperation with the Board of Christian Education).

10)   Provide opportunities for involvement as servants in the life of the community such as civic, school, cultural, humanitarian, recreational and social groups.

11)   Provide for public recognition of various youth achievements and accomplishments.

12)   Plan and coordinate activities for youth with other young people's groups outside the congregation, particularly in the circuit, district, and synodical levels.

13)   In conjunction with the Board of Missions, train and involve the young people of the congregation in bringing others to faith in Christ.

14)   Provide counseling for the spiritual, moral, social, and vocational development of young people.

15)   Recruit, together with the Board of Christian Education, young people for full time service in the Church as pastors, teachers, and the like.

16)   Welcome and use college students during the summer months for various young people's activities.

17)   Submit at the time and in the form required, an annual budget request for the Board of Stewardship.

18)   For administrative purposes and program development, supervise the work of all youth and young adult groups in the congregation.

Head Usher

         The Church Council shall appoint a head usher each year to be approved by the Voters' Assembly.  Together with the Elders he shall be in charge of securing assistants to serve in the ushering program of the congregation.

Article VIII  Christian Care Committee.

I.      The Purpose

         The purpose of the Christian care committee is to show mercy in the community through the distribution of funds set aside by the congregation for the help of those in need. 

II.    The Committee

1.     The committee shall be composed of five members: 

a.     Pastor

b.     One member from the Board of Elders

c.     One member from the Mission Board

d.     Two members in good standing from the congregation at large

2.     The Pastor shall chair the committee. In his absence, the Board of Elders member shall chair the meetings, but still be able to vote.

3.     The Mission Board member shall be the Treasurer.

a.     The Treasurer shall maintain a checking account, and necessary accounting apart from the congregational checking account and accounting.

b.     The Treasurer shall arrange for an external audit of the books every year.

4.     Each member shall have one vote.  The chair shall only vote in case of a tie.

5.     The at large members of the committee shall be appointed by the Board of Elders and the Board of Missions to be approved by the Church Council.  The term of office shall be one year. 

III.   Meetings

1.     The committee shall meet when a disbursement has been requested.

2.     Meetings may be conducted electronically or by conference call as deemed necessary by the chair as long as confidentiality is maintained. (See article V.I. these bylaws)

3.     The committee treasurer shall give an oral or written report of the status of the fund, of income and disbursements at every meeting.

4.     A quorum shall be obtained only when all members of the committee are present (see Article III.2)

IV.   The Funds

1.     The committee fund shall consist of

a.     the Thanksgiving Service offering

b.     amount budgeted by the congregation

c.     designated gifts from members of the congregation

d.     additional funds as designated by the voter's assembly

2.     The committee treasurer shall keep an accurate record of the fund deposits and disbursements.  (See Art. V.1 these bylaws)

3.     The committee shall report the balance of the fund, the number of requests granted, and a general description of the use of the funds, to the Church Council and Voter's Assembly at each meeting.   (See Art. V.1 these bylaws)

4.     Any member of the committee is allowed to sign checks for the disbursement of funds and only one signature is required on each check

V.    Requests for Disbursement

1.     All requests and disbursements are strictly confidential.

2.     Disbursement may be requested by any member in good standing of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.  (Article 6.0 The Constitution of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Creston and Mt. Ayr, Iowa)

3.     Disbursements may be requested for anyone in the community.  (i.e. Creston, Lenox, Afton, Mt. Ayr and the immediate surrounding area).

4.     Requests for disbursement will contain the following information:

Requested by:

Requested for:

Amount Requested:

Date Needed:

Reason for Request:

Special Circumstances:      

5.     Disbursement shall be decided by a simple majority vote of the committee.

6.     The maximum disbursement shall be $1,000 per request. Special grants greater than this amount must be approved by the church council.

Article IX   Changes to these Bylaws

1.     Changes to these bylaws may be made in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.


         The congregation shall from time to time adopt, alter, or amend rules and regulations (or directives) for the guidance of officers and committees in their work.


The following shall be the order of business for the regular Voters' Assembly:

1)     Devotion

2)     Roll Call

3)     Reading of Minutes

4)     Admission of New Members

5)     Pastor's Report

6)     Reports of Officers and Boards

7)     Unfinished Business

8)     New Business

9)     Adjournment

10)   Prayer

Article XII Marriage Policy


Article XIII Trinity Lutheran Preschool


To instruct preschool age children of all social, economic, racial and religious   backgrounds to help improve social behavior and learning skills, in a safe Christian setting. 


The Board of Directors will consist of communicant members of Trinity Lutheran   Church.  All potential preschool board members are to be approved by the Church    Council prior to their appointment.   The President or officer designated by the  President, shall be a voting member on the Church Council.


The preschool is an entity established by the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, but will operate under its own By-Laws, which will be in agreement with Articles 2 and 3 of the Church’s Constitution.


The preschool President or Vice President shall give a report of the preschool enrollment, activities, staffing, and other matters of importance at each Church Council and Voters assembly meetings.  Upon request from the Church Council or the Congregational President, a copy of the most recent Treasurer’s report will be provided to the Church Council or Voters Assembly.   The names of the Board of Directors, officers, and teachers will be reported to the Church Council and Voters Assembly at their January meetings and at such other times as may be requested.  








         The name of the Corporation shall be TRINITY EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH, CRESTON, IOWA.


         The principal place of business of the Corporation shall be at 800 North Sumner, City of Creston, Union County, Iowa


         The purpose and essence of the Corporation shall be that of a Christian congregation, established and maintained to disseminate the Gospel of Christ according to the confessional standard of the Lutheran Church, the Book of Concord of the year 1580.


         The number of members of the Church Council constituting the initial Church Council of the Corporation is eleven (11), and the names and addresses of such persons who are to serve at the initial members of the Church Council are:

President:  Steven Rall, Chairman, Board of Elders:  Walton Herzberg,

Vice-President:  Norman Cottrell, Chairman, Board of Trustees:  Bernard Herzberg,

Secretary:  William Marvin, Chairman, Board of Missions:  H. M. Embree,

Treasurer:  Thomas Braymen, Chairman, Board of Education:  Byron Bilderback,

Financial Secretary:  Kevin Herzberg, Chairman, Board of Stewardship:  Charles Ehm,

Pastor:  The Rev. Larry D. Troxell, ex officio,... (all of Creston, Iowa  50801


         The corporation shall hold its Annual Meeting on the fourth Thursday in the month of January each year commencing with the year 1978.


         The corporation shall have all the authority granted to corporations organized not for pecuniary profit and shall endure for fifty (50) years.


         The directors, officers, employees, and members of the corporation shall not, as such, be liable on its debts or obligations and directors, officers, members or other volunteers shall not be personally liable for any claim based upon an act or omission of such person performed in the reasonable discharge of their lawful corporate duties.


         Amendments to these Articles of Re-Incorporation may be made by the favorable vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members present at a regular or special meeting.  Prior to the submission of the quest as to whether or not the amendment should be made, the proposed amendment must receive favorable consideration when submitted in writing at a previous voters' assembly.  Amendment or repeal of Article VII shall only be accomplished in the event of a unanimous vote of the voting members attending a voters' assembly.


         Incorporated as a corporation organized not for pecuniary profit under the provisions of Chapter 504, 1977 Code of Iowa.

         Filed in the Office of the Secretary of State of the State of Iowa on December 28, 1977, at 10:22 a.m.  Recorded in Book 7-R.   Certificate #92220.   Expires December 28, 2027.

         Filed in the Office of Country Recorder of Union County, Iowa on January 3, 1978, at 10:37 a.m.  Recorded in Book 398, page 470, No. 1362.