Montrose, Alabama 


These Bylaws are adopted to provide for the orderly administration of the affairs of the Clergy, Wardens, and Vestry of Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore, Montrose, Alabama (the Parish), and are to be applied consistent with and subject to the Articles of Incorporation of the Parish. This Parish agrees to abide by the Constitution and Canons of the Anglican Church in North America and the Gulf Atlantic Diocese with which it has affiliated, and in cases of conflict between these bylaws and those of the Province or the Diocese, canons of the Province and Diocese shall prevail.

Article 1

Purposes & Restrictions 

Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore is organized for religious purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the corresponding provisions of any subsequent Federal tax laws. 

Article 2


Section 1.  Baptized Members of the Church

A Baptized Member of Church of the Apostles, Eastern Shore, individuals shall:

  1. Be a baptized member of the Parish who has signed the Membership Covenant (see Appendix A)

  2. Be committed to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to the Holy Scripture as the foundation and authority for our life together and containing all things necessary to salvation, and to orthodox teaching defined by Scripture and confessed in the historic creeds.

  3. Contribute his/her time, talents, and treasure to the expenses or needs of the Parish 

Section 2.  Members Qualified to Vote

A Voting Member (or Adult Confirmed Member) of Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore shall:

  1. Be a Baptized Member of the Parish (see above immediately preceding paragraph)

  2. Be eighteen years of age or older

  3. Affirms Title I. Canon 10, Of the Laity, in the Anglican Church of North America Canons. (see Appendix B)

  4. Have been received into the Anglican Church through the laying on of hands by the bishop 

  5. Attend worship weekly (unless reasonably prevented)

  6. Be free from ecclesiastical censure

These qualifications shall be distributed as part of the notification of Annual Parish Meetings.

Article 3


Section 1. Annual Parish Meeting. 

There shall be an Annual Parish Meeting of the congregation in the month of January at a time, date and location specified by the Rector. The Annual Parish Meeting shall precede the first meeting of the Vestry each year.

Section 2. Special Parish Meetings. 

Special Parish Meetings may be called by the Rector or by unanimous vote of the Vestry.

Section 3. Notice of Meetings. 

Notice of the Annual Parish Meeting and Special Parish Meetings shall be given to members of the Parish by the Rector or the Vestry in any reasonable manner at least two weeks prior to such meetings. Notice of a Special Parish Meeting shall include a statement of the purpose of the special meeting.

Section 4. Presiding Officer. 

The Rector shall preside at all Parish Meetings and in the absence of the Rector, the Senior Warden and Junior Warden in succession shall preside. The Presider may appoint a warden or other member of the clergy to chair the meeting if desired.

Section 5. Quorum. 

A majority of the members of the Parish, who are qualified to vote, shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting business at any parish meeting.

Article 4

The Vestry

Section 1. Membership. 

The Vestry shall consist of the Rector and between 5 and 12 Voting Members of the Parish who meet the qualifications of Article 2 above. Vestry members shall be selected by the members of the Parish. One third of the Vestry members will rotate off each year, after their three-year term, and will be replaced by selection at the Annual Parish Meeting.  They will serve in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation of the Parish and these Bylaws.

Section 2. Expectations for Members of the Vestry

Expectations for lay members who are selected for Vestry membership are contained in Article 2.Section 2 above. 

In addition to the expectations listed in Article 2.Section 2, Vestry members will be expected to:

  1. Serve on Parish Committees as well as Boards of affiliated corporations of the Parish.

  2. Accept the principle of tithing in giving and be willing to commend this principle to the congregation by both word and example.

Vestry members may not be an employee or unpaid member of the staff of the Parish or any affiliated corporation during his or her term of office.

Additionally, members of the same immediate family (spouses, parents, children, siblings, and in-laws) may not serve on the Vestry at the same time. 

Section 3. Meetings. 

A quorum shall consist of more than half of the lay members of the Vestry.

a. Regular Meetings. The Vestry shall meet monthly, the Rector presiding, unless the Rector and Senior Warden determine there is no business to transact, whereupon the regular meeting may be cancelled.

b. Special Meetings. The Rector, as well as the Senior Warden or Junior Warden, may call a special meeting of the Vestry at any time or shall call a meeting upon the request of four members of the Vestry.

c. The Rector and lay members of the Vestry shall be given a minimum of 24 hours notice of any meeting.

Section 4. Term of Service.

a. Members of the Vestry shall be selected at the Annual Parish Meeting for a term of three years, after which they are ineligible for re-election for one year. Upon selection, new Vestry members may serve an interim period from the Annual Parish Meeting of their election until the subsequent meeting of the Vestry with voice, but no vote. At the subsequent meeting of the Vestry, the newly elected Vestry shall be seated with both voice and vote, and the term of the outgoing Vestry members shall end.

b. Vacancies on the Vestry. The Vestry may fill any vacancy by appointing a qualified member of the Parish to serve any such unexpired term. Members who were listed as an Alternate during the first selection process will be given first option to fill the vacancy.

c. Members of the Vestry shall continue in office until their successors are seated with voice and vote. 

d. Copies of these bylaws will be distributed to the Vestry at the first meeting following the Annual Parish Meeting. 

Section 5. Committees. 

a. The Finance Committee. This standing committee of the Vestry shall consist of the Chair, to be selected annually by the Vestry from its membership; two at-large Vestry members who are nominated by the Rector and elected by a vote of the Vestry; the Rector; the Senior Warden; and the Treasurer. 

The functions of the Finance Committee shall be to advise and consult with the Vestry on all matters relating to the financial affairs and condition of the Parish, including, without limitation, all responsibilities assigned to the Treasurer, the investment of the Parish funds, the annual audit or review of the books and records of the Parish, the recommendation of an annual budget to be adopted by the Vestry, and the management of that budget.

b. Other Committees.  On the basis of the needs of the Parish, the Rector and Vestry shall determine the number and duties of other committees of the Vestry. The chair of the committees shall be appointed annually by the Rector and Senior Warden. Additional members may be appointed at any time by the Rector to fill vacancies or at the request of the chair to appoint additional personnel for the work of the committees. Such other committees may be: Mission, Discipleship, Parish Life, Worship, Administration, Personnel, Properties, Stewardship.

Article 5


Section 1. Designated Officers. 

The officers of the Parish shall consist of the Rector, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary, and Treasurer.

Section 2. Senior Warden

The Senior Warden, a member of the Vestry, shall be appointed by the Rector with the Vestry’s confirmation. He or she shall preside at meetings of the Vestry in the absence of the Rector and shall assist and serve the Rector for the good of the Parish.

Section 3. Junior Warden

The Junior Warden, a member of the Vestry, shall be elected by a majority vote of the Vestry at the first or second meeting each year, or at any such time as is needed to fill a vacancy in the office. The Junior Warden shall oversee the property of the Parish, and have such other duties as requested by the Rector or Vestry.

Section 4. Secretary

The Secretary shall be a confirmed member and qualified elector of the Parish and shall be elected by a majority vote of the Vestry at the first or second meeting each year, or at any such time as is needed to fill a vacancy in the office. The Secretary shall have the duty of ensuring that the minutes of all Vestry and Parish meetings are accurately recorded and maintained, and of performing such additional duties as requested by the Rector or Vestry.

Section 5: The Treasurer 

The Treasurer shall be a qualified elector of the Parish and shall be elected by the Vestry at the first or second meeting each year, or at any such time as is needed to fill a vacancy in the office. The Treasurer shall oversee all Parish funds and securities; shall keep, or cause to be kept, accurate accounts of the properties and financial transactions of the Parish; and shall submit to the Vestry a monthly statement of receipts, disbursements, and cash on hand, in such form as the Vestry shall direct. The Treasurer shall also prepare a statement of financial condition of the Parish for the Annual Parish Meeting, shall prepare for an annual audit or review of all books and records concerning the financial affairs of the Parish according to the policies of the Diocesan Audit Committee; and shall perform such additional duties as requested by the Rector or Vestry. The bookkeeping functions and the authorized signature(s) on any church account(s) shall not be done by the same person. The Treasurer does not need to be a member of the Vestry.

Section 6. Terms of Office. 

The term of all lay officers shall be one year. Officers may be reappointed or reelected, at the discretion of the Rector.

Article 6

Absence from Meetings

Lay members of the Vestry and officers are expected to attend all meetings of the Vestry each year unless notification is given in advance to the Rector or Presiding Officer, with a reasonable reason for his or her absence. Vestry members are expected to miss no more than three (3) non-consecutive meetings over the course of each year. Absence from more than three (3) non-consecutive meetings during any given year could result in that member forfeiting his or her membership on the Vestry, or from his or her appointed office. 

Article 7

Nominations for Vestry

Section 1. Nominating Committee. 

Each year there shall be established a Nominating Committee consisting of the outgoing Vestry members, and the seated Junior Warden (whether outgoing or not). The Junior Warden shall serve as chair of the Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall be established three months prior to the Annual Meeting. Copies of these bylaws shall be distributed to members of the Nominating Committee.

Section 2. Expectations. 

The Nominating Committee, in consultation with the Rector, is responsible for determining if a proposed candidate is qualified. Nominating Committee members are not eligible for nomination to serve on the Vestry.

Section 3. Nominations by Members of the Parish. 

Nominations for Vestry may be made to members of the Nominating Committee by any qualified elector of the Parish. Nominations must be made in writing using the nomination forms provided for this purpose and provided to the Nominating Committee at least three months prior to the next Annual Parish Meeting.  All nominees must meet the qualifications set forth in Article 4 of these Bylaws. The person nominating must have obtained the nominee’s written consent to his or her name being placed in nomination prior to submitting the nomination in writing to the Committee.

Section 4. Nominations Published by the Committee

The Nominating Committee shall review all nominations for Vestry and shall publish a slate of nominees to fill the positions being vacated. All nominees who meet the qualifications will be added to the slate with no restriction on the total number of nominees. The Nominating Committee shall publish the slate of nominees, with a brief biographical sketch of each nominee, to the members of the Parish at least three weeks prior to the Annual Parish meeting. 

Article 8

Vestry Selection

Section 1. Selection

The Nominating Committee or Rector shall supervise vestry selections at Parish meetings. 

Section 2. Candidates for Vestry

Only those individuals nominated according to the procedures set forth in Article 8 of these Bylaws shall be candidates for election. Nominations from the floor shall not be permitted.

Vestry members are chosen by lot at the Annual Parish Meeting. The Chair of the Nominating Committee shall place all of the qualified nominees, published in the Slate of Nominees, into a vessel and randomly shuffle the entries. A time of prayer over the nominees will be observed and a volunteer from the qualified electors present will draw names sequentially to fill each position plus two alternates.   

Section 3. Proxies. 

There shall be no voting by proxy.

Article 9

Rules of Procedure for Vestry meetings

Robert’s Rules of Order or some other agreed upon method shall be observed on all pertinent matters of parliamentary procedure not covered by these Bylaws or by the Articles of Incorporation of the Parish.

Article 10

Attending Vestry Meetings

Members of the congregation shall be welcome at any meeting of the Vestry, with prior notification to the Presiding Officer, (except when the Vestry shall declare itself in executive session) but without voice or vote. 

Article 11

The Rector Search Committee

In the event of a vacancy of the position of Rector, the Wardens shall follow the approved succession plan for Church of the Apostles, Eastern Shore. The duties of the Search Committee shall include, but not be limited to, preparing a parish profile, interviewing candidates proposed by the bishop's office, and recommending to the Vestry one or two candidates to be considered for the position of Rector. The Vestry shall then select the Rector by a two-thirds vote.

Article 12

The Rector, Assisting Clergy, and Lay Employees 

Section 1. The Rector

      1. The call of the Rector shall be in writing in a letter of agreement between the Rector and the Vestry and must clearly express the job description and any special conditions, together with the understandings as to salary and benefits, including vacation, continuing education, sabbaticals and other time off.  The salary and benefits may be changed, but shall always be reduced to writing, signed by both parties, and included in the Vestry Minutes.

      1. The Rector shall not be called or dismissed from Church of the Apostles without the consent of the Vestry and the concurrence of the Bishop of the Diocese. If conflicts in the pastoral relationship develop and reasonable attempts at reconciliation have been unsuccessful, and if either the Rector or a majority of the Vestry believe the pastoral relationship to be imperiled or hindered, either or both shall present the matter to the Bishop. Both the Rector and the Vestry shall participate cooperatively in the process. 

Section 2. Assisting Clergy. 

All assisting clergy of Church of the Apostles, Eastern Shore, shall serve under the direction of and at the pleasure of the Rector. No assisting clergy may be called or dismissed from this church without prior consultation with the Bishop.

Section 3. Lay Employees. 

Lay employees of Church of the Apostles, Eastern Shore, shall serve under the direction of and at the pleasure of the Rector.

Section 4.  Job Descriptions

Job descriptions for all Clergy and Lay Employees will be kept current and on file in the church’s Policies and Procedures Manual.

Article 13

Amendment of Bylaws

Section 1. Amendments to Bylaws

Amendments to these Bylaws may be proposed in writing to or by the Vestry and, in either event, published by the Vestry to the members of the Parish at least two weeks prior to any duly noticed and called Annual or Special Parish meeting. Any such proposed amendment may be adopted by a majority vote of the members of the Parish attending and qualified to vote at the Annual or Special Parish meeting at which the proposed amendment is noticed for consideration. 

Section 2. Conflicts of Bylaws and Canons

No amendment or addition to these by-laws shall be made or adopted that is in conflict with the Constitution and Canons of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese or the Anglican Church in North America. In case of conflict with these bylaws, diocesan and provincial Constitution and Canons shall prevail.

Section 3. Disassociation from the Diocese or Province

The Parish retains the right to disassociate from the diocese or province at any time by a two-thirds vote of the qualified electors at an Annual Parish Meeting or Special Parish Meeting.  The diocese shall be notified three months prior to any vote of disassociation.

Article 14


Section 1. Assets

All assets, of every kind and nature, held by Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore are, and shall be, irrevocably dedicated to and inured to the benefit of the charitable, educational, and religious purposes of the Parish, and used according to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). Gifts or contributions to Church of the Apostles may be restricted and designated for a specific purpose by the donor. Church of the Apostles, Eastern Shore, however, reserves the right to refuse any designated or restricted contribution that is not in the best interest of the Parish in fulfilling its mission and achieving its vision. 

Section 2. In the event of dissolution

In the event of dissolution, Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore, the Parish’s property shall be distributed to other parishes or ministries as directed by the Vestry and in accordance with applicable law of the State Alabama.

Section 3: Support of the Diocese

Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore, shall provide support for the Office of the Bishop and the Diocese.  The level of support shall be determined by the Vestry and reported to the diocese by October 1st for the subsequent diocese fiscal year. All contributions to the Diocese shall be voluntary.

Article 16

Election of Lay Delegates to Diocesan Synod

Section 1Synod Delegates

Church of the Apostles Anglican Church, Eastern Shore will send the number of delegates to Synod allotted by the Diocese, which includes the Senior Warden, plus a number determined by Average Sunday Attendance.  Delegates will be elected by the Vestry to a 3-year term; if there is more than one (not counting the Senior Warden), they shall be elected to, and serve, staggered terms.  (See Gulf Atlantic Diocese Canon II. Sections 2 and 3)

Officers & Vestry:

The Rev. Robert Seawell, Rector ____________________

Vestry Senior Warden ____________________

Vestry Junior Warden ____________________

Vestry Secretary ____________________

Vestry Treasurer ____________________

Appendix A

Church of the Apostles

Membership Covenant


To see lives restored and the Bay Area renewed through the gospel of Jesus Christ.


To be a community that gathers people to Christ, forms followers of Christ, and sends servants for Christ.

Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior, and being in agreement with Church of the Apostles’ vision and mission, I believe I am now being led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Church of the Apostles family.  In doing so, I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:


...By acting in love toward other members ...By refusing to gossip  ...By following the leaders …By handling conflict in a Biblical manner 

    (Romans 15:19; 1 Peter 1:22; Ephesians 4:29; Hebrews 13:17; Matthew 18:15-20)


...By praying for its health and growth  ...By daring to share my faith and inviting people to attend  ...By warmly welcoming those who visit

    (1 Thessalonians 1:2;  Luke 14:23;  Romans 15:7)


...By discovering, developing, and using my spiritual gifts  ...By being equipped to serve by my pastors and leaders  ...By developing a servant's heart

    (1 Peter 4:10;  Ephesians 4:11-12;  Philippians 2:3-4,7)


...By attending faithfully  ...By living a godly life  ...By giving of the resources God has entrusted to me

    (Hebrews 10:25;  Philippians 1:27; 1 Corinthians 16:2;   Leviticus 27:30)

signed - clergy signed – new member

date date

Appendix B

Canon 10

Of the Laity

Section 1 - Concerning Ministry 

The people of God are the chief agents of the Mission of the Church to extend the Kingdom of God by so presenting Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit that people everywhere will come to put their trust in God through Him, know Him as Savior and serve Him as Lord in the fellowship of the Church. The effective ministry of the Church is the responsibility of the laity no less than it is the responsibility of Bishops and other Clergy. It is incumbent for every lay member of the Church to become an effective minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, one who is spiritually qualified, gifted, called, and mature in the faith. Each diocese may establish standards for the ministry of the laity.

Section 2 - Concerning Duties of the Laity 

It shall be the duty of every member of the Church:

1. To worship God, the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, every Lord’s Day in a Church unless reasonably prevented;

2. To engage regularly in the reading and study of Holy Scripture and the Doctrine of the Church as found in Article I of the Constitution of this Church;

3. To observe their baptismal vows, to lead an upright and sober life, and not give scandal to the Church;

4. To present their children and those they have led to the Lord for baptism and confirmation;

5. To give regular financial support to the Church, with the biblical tithe as the minimum standard of giving;

6. To practice forgiveness daily according to our Lord’s teaching;

7. To receive worthily the Sacrament of Holy Communion as often as reasonable;

8. To observe the feasts and fasts of the Church set forth in the Anglican formularies;

9. To continue his or her instruction in the Faith so as to remain an effective minister for the Lord Jesus Christ;

10. To devote themselves to the ministry of Christ among those who do not know Him, utilizing the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives them, for the effective extension of Christ’s Kingdom.

Section 3 - Concerning Membership in the Church 

Membership in the Church requires that a person has received the Sacrament of Baptism with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and that such a person be accepted as a member of the Church by a congregation of this Church in compliance with the Constitution of the Church. Such a person is a baptized member of the Church. A confirmed member is a baptized member who has been confirmed or received by a Bishop of the Church.