CONSTITUTION OF THE INCORPORATED TRUSTEES OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN NATIONS [COCIN]
i. The church of Christ in Nation (COCIN), formerly known as the church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN), came into existence as a result of the work of the Sudan united Mission (SUM) British Branch, which came into Nigeria in 1904 through the first four (4) missionaries, its founding fathers, who arrived Wase town in plateau State, Nigeria
On the 8th October, 1904, namely:-
a) Dr. Herman Karl Wilhelm Kumm
b) Dr. Ambrose H. Bateman
c) Mr. John Burt
d) Mr. John Lowry Maxwell
ii. This small beginning in Wase led to the foundation of the fellowship of the churches of Christ in Nigeria "Tarrayar Ekklesiyoyin Kristi a Nigeria" (TEKAN), with COCIN as a member.
iii. Members of the Cambridge university Mission Party gospel to Panyam in 1907 and to Kabwir in 1910.
iv. By mutual agreement, the work of the Cambridge university Mission party was later handed over to the Sudan united Mission, British branch, between 1930 and 1934.
v. The aim of the Sudan united Mission, British branch, was to establish an indigenous Nigerian church, which would be self-supporting, self-propagating and self-governing. By the grace of God, this aim of the Mission was achieved in 1948 when the Mission gave the Nigerian church the freedom to administer her affairs.
vi. In 1958, this church was incorporated in the name Ekklesiyar Kristi a Sudan (EKAS), plateau da Bauchi ta Yamma", under the land perpetual Succession Act, Cap. 98, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 198(as amended) and Registered as No. 493at the company Registry, Lagos, Nigeria (EKAN) Plateau da Bauchi" (plateau and Bauchi church of Christ in Nigeria).
vii. The first four(4) Registered trustees of this Church were:-
a) Rev. Rindap Damina Bawado
b) Rev. Dusu Lodam
c) Rev. Istifanus Deshi
d) Mr. Akila Wantu Machunga.
viii. About a year later , Rev. Manasseh Gyemu replaced Mr. A.W. Machunga.
ix. On the 21st June 1976, the Church duly changed her name to the Registered Trustees of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) and in 1977, the Sudan United Mission ceased to exist in Nigeria and all property and administration of mission affairs in Nigeria were handed over to COCIN.
x. The first Constitution of COCIN was written in 1958and amended in 1978, 1983, 1995, 2001 and 2008.
PURSUANT to the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matter Act, Cap C. 20, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004, the said Constitution is now amended and duly adopted by the General Church Council at its--- meeting held on the … day of ……., 2012, with a resolution that this Constitution be published in English and other Languages. Therefore, we now give ourselves this constitution.
SECTION 1: NAME
The name of the church is the incorporated trustees of the CHURCH OF CHRIST INS NATIONS, hereinafter called "COCIN" or "the Church".
SECTION 2: HEADQUARTERS
The Headquarters of the church is situated in Jos, Nigeria.
SECTION 3: LOGO
In consonance with her doctrinal basis, the Church has a logo which is represented by the following:-
i. The map of the World in black
ii. The cross in white color superimposed on the map of the world, with an open Bible in white color below the globe
iii. The radiance of the word of God giving light to the nations of the world.
SECTION 4: VISION AND MISSION
COCIN envision a Church in which the leadership and membership are maturing in Christ by obeying the word of God, living holy lives, united and committed to worshipping God and spreading the holistic gospel, thereby impacting the world as salt and light of her time to the glory of God, till the return of Jesus Christ.
2. Mission Statement
To glorify God and not any person or material; to edify and equip believers to preach the good news of holistic salvation in Jesus Christ to unbelievers. Thus, COCIN shall continue to administer the sacraments and be self propagating, self supporting and self-governing.
SECTION 5: AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1. The build a community of believers in Jesus Christ of all nations.
2. To edify and equip believers to preach the good news of holistic salvation in Jesus Christ.
SECTION 6: THE CREED: THE APOSTLES' CREED
The Church accepts the Apostles Creed as it is:
I believe in God the father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into Hades, on the third day He rose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the of God the father Almighty, from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen
The doctrinal basis of the Church.
a. The Church is Evangelical and accepts the infallibility of the Holy Bible as her final authority in matters pertaining to faith and conduct, and believes that:-
b. The Holy Bible is inspired by God, infallible, authoritative and profitable for teaching , rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 timothy 3:16-17; 2peter1:20,21.
c. The Church is a chosen community of believers, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people (1 peter 2: 9). In view of this, it is the duty of the Church to strive to live a holy life.
d. There is the unity of God the father, son and Holy Spirit, three in one and one in three .(Deut. 6:4; Matthew 28:19; 2Cor13:14).
e. The human race is totally depraved in consequence of the fall of mankind and is therefore in need of new birth in Christ Jesus. (Gen 3; John 3:3; Rom. 3:10; 5:12).
f. The son of God came into the world, taking on the human body, did works of grace, died for the sins of the human race, resurrected to give humankind eternal life, ascended into heaven to be Mediator between God and man, He reigns eternally. (Mark 10:45; Luke 24:6; 5: 1Thess. 4: 16 -17; 1peter 3:18).
g. A person is justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus alone.( Rom.3;24-26;mAct 13 39).
h. The Holy Spirit works in the heart of heart of a person to bring conversion and sanctification. (Act 13: 39; Rom. 3:23-26; James 1:18; 1peter 1:23-25).
i. The Church was instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ and it is her responsibility to worship God evangelize and build up her members by exercising the spiritual gifts given to them by God.(Matthew 16:16-18; 1corinthians 12:4-11;Ephesians 2:19-22 and 4:11-16).
j. Jesus Christ instituted the sacraments and instructed the Church to observe them regularly. (Matt.26:25- 29, 28:19- 20, 1 Cor. 11:23-24)
k. On the last day the lord Jesus Christ shall return in person, the dead shall be resurrected bodily, after which the world shall be judged by Him resulting in the eternal bliss of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.(1 Thess. 4:14-17; 2thess 1:7-10; Acts 24:15; Heb. 9:27 and 2cor. 5:10).
SECTION 7: MEMBERSHIP
1. REQUIREMENTS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Each member of the Church is required:-
a. To have repented from sin, turned to God and accepted Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
b. To have, through baptism, publicly confessed conversion and is issued a COCIN Baptism Card.
c. To demonstrate conversion by consistent Christian living in accordance with the teaching of the Holy Bible.
d. To belong to a congregation of COCIN.
e. Not to be a member of any secret society.
f. Not to be a homosexual, lesbian or trans-sexual.
2. RESPONSIBILITIES OF MEMBERS:-
The responsibilities of reach member of the church include:-
a. Obedience to the teaching of the word of God and to the leadership of the church.
b. Holy and faithful living as befits a Christian who acknowledges that the holy bible is the word of God.
c. Regular attendance of Sunday worship services, the Lord's Supper, prayer meetings, Bible studies and all other church gatherings.
d. Personal commitment to service, using personal talents and spiritual gifts.
e. Regular and faithful giving of offerings and tithes for God's work.
f. Maintaining the unity of the church, promoting fellowship and love amongst the members.
g. Showing zeal in evangelism by way of word and conduct and by encouraging and supporting the evangelistic programmers of the church
SECTION 8: TRUSTEES
1. APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES
Trustees of the church shall be appointed by the General church council at any of its meeting in accordance with the provisions of the companies and Allied matters Art, Cap. C 20, Law of the Federation, 2004 and other terms including those stated hereunder.
2. COMPOSITION OF BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The church shall appoint 10 Trustees, who shall constitute the board of Trustees and among whom at least 2 shall be lay members of the church.
3. TENURE OF OFFICER FOR TRUSTEES
Trustees may hold office for life. However, a person shall cease to hold office of Trustee of the church if such trustee:-
a. Resigns form office of trustee.
b. Becomes unable to perform the functions of his office due to old age, insanity, disability or illness of a permanent nature.
c. Becomes a person of unsound mind, having been so found by a court or hospital,
d. Is officially declared bankrupt or an undischarged bankrupt.
e. Has been convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
f. Ceases to reside permanently in Nigeria.
g. Is found guilt of immoral, indecent and /or inhuman conduct by the Church or court.
h. Engages in any activity or conduct which the Church considers incompatible or repugnant to the objectives of the Church and is likely to have adverse effective on the Church.
i. Is recommended for removal from office as a trustee by a 2/3 majority of members of the General church Council at its meetings.
k. Is required by any of the provisions of the companies and Allied Matters Act, 2004 to be removed from office as Trustee.
4. REPLACENENT OF TRUSTEES
When there is a vacancy in the number of trustees, for one or the other reasons stated herein, or for any other reason, the Executive Council shall appoint, as Trustee, an eligible person and forward the name of such trustee to the meeting of the General Church Council for ratification.
5. QUALIFICATION FOR TRUSTEES
A person to be appointed a trustee must be:-
a. A member of the church in good Christian standing and walking right with God
b. Not less than 45 years old.
c. A consistent member of the church for not less than 10 years.
d. A person of integrity and well respected by members of the church and in the community.
SECTION9: COMMON SEAL
a. The church has a common seal, a device duly approved by the corporate affairs commission, representing any document upon which the seal has been affixed in apparent compliance with the regulations for the use of the common seal as duly authenticated and executed and binding on the church notwithstanding any defect or circumstance affecting the execution of such document or instrument.
b. The trustees shall provide for the safe custody of the seal by the General secretary which shall only be used by the authority of trustees.
c. Every instrument to which the seal is affixed shall be signed by at least one trustee and countersigned by the General Secretary or other trustee or by some other person appointed by the trustees for that purpose.
SECTION 10: ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE:
CHURCH COUNCILS, BOARDS AND COMMITTEES
For the effective administration of the church there shall be the following councils, Boards and committees:-
1. The board of trustees
2. The General Church Council, (GCC): the general church council is the highest policy-making body of the church and its decisions are final and binding on all her members.
3. The Executive council, (EC): the executive council is accountable to the general church council (GCC).
4. The licensing council, (LC): The licensing council is accountable to general council (GCC)
5. The provincial church councils, (PCC): The provincial church council are accountable to general church council through the vice president.
6. The regional church councils, (RCC): the regional church councils shall be accountable to the general church council through the vice president.
7. The local church councils, (LCC): The LCC may be a single congregation or a composition of church congregations accountable to the RCC.
8. The congregational committees (CC): The congregation shall have a committee accountable to the local church council.
9. COCIN Headquarters church: the senior pastor who shall be answerable to the president shall be in charge of the day to day running of the congregation on behalf of the president.
10. Chaplaincies: An institutional congregation shall be a chaplaincy accountable to the vice president.
11. Boards: The church shall create boards to oversee the activities of her Departments. They shall be accountable to the Executive council through the general secretary.
SECTION 11: MEETINGS
1. BOARD OF TRUSTEES
a. The board of trustees may convene, hold and conduct its meetings and other functions in a accordance with the provision of the companies and Allied Matters Act, 2004.
b. The board of trustees shall hold its meetings 3 times each year and may hold emergency meetings whenever the need arises.
c. The chairman of the board shall convene and preside at all its meetings but in his absence or where necessary by the secretary of the board.
2. THE GENERAL CHURCH COUNCIL (GCC) MEETINGS
a. The General church council shall hold its meetings twice a year.
b. It may also convene and hold emergency meetings anytime the need arises.
3. THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (EC) MEETINGS
a. the executive Council shall schedule and hold 6 meetings in a year.
b. The Executive council may hold emergency meetings whenever the need arises.
c. Minutes of its meetings shall be produced and distributed to members and other relevant organs.
4. THE LICENCE MOUNCIL (LC) MEETINGS
The licensing Council shall hold meetings twice a year and may hold emergency meetings when the need arises.
5. THE PROVINCIAL CHURCH (PCC) MEETING
a. The provincial Church Council shall hold meetings twice years and may hold emergency meetings whenever the need arises.
b. Minutes of all meetings of the PCC shall be produced and distributed to member of the Council and also to the President, Vice President, General Secretary and Deputy General Secretary.
6. THE REGIONAL CHURCH COUNCIL (LCC), CONGREGATION
The Regional Church Council shall hold meetings twice a year. It may convene and hold emergency meetings when the need arises.
7. THE LOCAL CHURCH COUNCIL (LCC), CONGREGATION COMMITTEES, HEADQUARTERS CHURCH AND CHAPLAINCIES MEETING
They shall hold meetings monthly and may hold emergency meetings when the need arises.
SECTION 12: QUORUM
1. Quorum for the meetings shall respectively be 2/3 of the members of the Council.
2. At each meeting, a quorum must constituted before a meeting commences.
3. No business or decision shall be taken or made at the meeting unless quorum of members is present at the time when the meeting.
4. When a member withdraws from the meeting for insufficient reasons or for the purpose of reducing the quorum so that the requisite quorum for taking a decision is no longer present, the meeting may continue with the number of members present and their decisions shall be binding on all members.
SECTION 13 SPECIAL DESIGNATED OFFICES
1. THE PRESIDENT
There shall be for the Church a President
The president shall:-
i. Hold office on a full time basis
ii. Be the leader of the Church and is accountable to the General Church Council.
A person shall be qualified for election to the office of president if:-
i) He is in good spiritual standing.
ii) He has at least 15 years experience as ordained Pastor in COCIN.
iii) He is not less than 50 years old.
iv) He possesses at least a Bachelors degree in Theology from a Theological institution recognized by COCIN.
Tenure for office of president shall be a term of 4 years with eligibility for re-election for another term only.
Functions of the president shall include:
i. Overseeing the holistic welfare of the church.
ii. Representing the Church in matters affecting government, public and church affairs.
iii. Chairing the GCC, EC and Licensing council meetings.
iv. Issuing license to qualified pastors.
v. Ordaining Pastors.
vi. Counseling ordained pastors.
vii. Ensuring that decisions of the GCC and EC are implemented.
viii. Presenting a written report of his work and that of the EC and suggestions to the GCC to facilitate policy formulation.
ix. Inauguration of new PCCs, RCCs and Boards.
x. Visiting PCCs, and Departments.
2. THE VICE PRESIDENT
There shall be for the Church a vice president.
The vice president shall:-
i) Hold office on a full time appointment.
ii) Assist the president in the discharge of all his duties, act for him in his absence and is accountable to the president.
A person shall be qualified for election to the office of vice president if he possesses the same qualification as that of the president.
The tenure of office of the vice president shall be the same as that of the president.
Functions of the vice president shall include:
i. Assisting the president in the discharge of his duties as may be specifically delegate or assigned or assigned to him by the president.
ii. Acting for the president.
iii. Overseeing the affairs of the RCCs and reporting same to the president.
3. THE GENERAL SECRETARY
There shall be a General Secretary for the Church.
The General Secretary is the Chief Administrative Officer responsible for the day to day running of the church on behalf of the executive council in consultation with the president. He is accountable to the General Church council through the EC in consultation with the president.
A Person shall be qualified for election into office of General Secretary if :-
i) He is in good spiritual standing.
ii) He has 15 years experience in service as an ordained pastor in COCIN.
iii) He possesses at least a Bachelor Degree in theology from a theological institution recognized by COCIN.
iv) He is not less than 45 years old.
The tenure of office for the General Secretary shall be a term of 5 years with eligibility for re-election for another term only.
Functions of the General Secretary shall include:-
i. Implementing decisions of the GCC on behalf of the EC.
ii. Overseeing and receiving reports from Departments.
iii. Safeguarding decisions and administrative matters of the Church at all times.
iv. Ensuring that money is expended as approved by the GCC and EC.
v. Preparing the agenda of GCC and EC meetings in consultation with the presenting.
vi. Giving an Annual an annual report of his work.
vii. Presenting report on each Director to the GCC every years.
viii. Ensuring that workers emoluments are paid in good time.
ix. Maintaining and ensuring adequate communication, correspondence and other matters between the Church Boards.
x. Checking and advising the church regularly pertaining all its instruments of administration.
xi. Translating minutes and decisions of the church into relevant languages.
xii. Keeping, ensuring the safeguard and affixing the common seal of the Church to documents as approved by appropriate authority.
xiii. Carrying out any other work that the General Church Council, executive Council or the president may direct or assign him or as may be expedient for the good administration of the Church.
4. THE DEPUTY GENERAL SECRETARY
There shall be for the Church a Deputy General Secretary.
The Deputy General Secretary shall assist the General Secretary in his absence . He is accountable to the General Secretary.
The qualification, election and tenure of the Deputy General Secretary shall be in the same manner and procedure as prescribed for the General Secretary in this Constitution.
i. Assisting the General Secretary in the discharge of his duties.
ii. Acting for the General Secretary in his absence.
iii. Translating minutes and decisions of the Church into languages as may be prescribed, or appropriate.
iv. Ensuring the proper welfare of junior staff of the Church in consultation with the General Secretary.
v. Collating reports of the General Church Council and Boards in consultation with the General Secretary.
vi. Handling and representing Church in all administrative matters as directed by the General Secretary.
5. THE HONORARY TREASURER
i. There shall be for the Church an Honorary Treasurer.
ii. The Church through the EC shall appoint an Honorary treasurer.
The person to be appointed Honorary treasurer of the Church must be:-
i. A member of COCIN in good spiritual standing.
ii. A qualified accountant with not less than 10 years of cognate experience.
The Honorary Treasurer shall be appointed for a term of 4 years and may be eligible for re-appointment for another term only.
Functions of the Honorary treasurer include:-
i) Advising the GCC on financial matters.
ii) Preparing and giving financial Report to the GCC and any other appropriate authority at its meetings in consultation with the Direction of Finance.
iii) Liaising with and enhancing the work of Departments of finance and Audit, respectively.
iv) Presenting the annual Budget for approval to GCC through the executive Council.
6. PROVINCIAL CHURCH COUNCIL
i. There shall be Chairman and Vice Chairman of the provincial Church council who shall be elected from among the Chairman of the regional Church Councils but they shall have no executive powers.
ii. There shall be Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the PCC who shall be elected from among the Secretary of the RCCs.
iii. There shall be a treasurer and a Financial Secretary.
7. REGIONAL CHURCH COUNCIL
a. There shall be an Executive Council of the regional Church Council which comprises the following members:-
b. Vice Chairman
d. Assistant Secretary
i) Treasurer, who must be a lay person.
ii) Two(2) lay persons (one of whom must be a woman) to be appointed for a term of 3 years and eligible to be re-appointed for another term.
b. THE CHAIRMAN AND CICE CHAIRMAN OF THE RCC
The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the RCC. Must be:-
i) In good spiritual standing.
ii) Ordained Pastors within the RCC.
iii) In full employment of the Church and having been ordained for not less than 10 years.
iv) 40 years. And above.
v) On salary grade level 10 and above in the COCIN Scheme of Service.
c. SECRETARY AND ASSISTANT SECRETARY
The Secretary and assistant Secretary of the RCC must be:-
i. In good spiritual standing.
ii. Ordained pastors within the RCC.
iii. In full employment of the Church and having been ordained for not less than 5 years.
iv. 30 years and above.
The treasurer shall be appointed by the RCC and must be:-
i. In good spiritual standing.
ii. A communicant member of the Church.
iii. 30 years and above.
iv. A person who has completed at least an EBS course.
v. A person who has knowledge of financial transactions and record keeping.
8. The Local Church Council comprises the following members:-
a. The ordained pastor or licensed Pastor (in cases where there are more than one ordained pastors, the most senior ordained pastor shall be the leading pastor at the headquarters).
b. 7 elected members ( at least 2 of whom shall be women ) amongst who shall be a Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Financial Secretary.
c. All Pastors in the LCC.
d. Associate ordained pastors, but are not eligible to be voted for.
e. Any person may be invited to give advice on any particular issue(s) but with no voting rights.
9. There shall be a congregation committee and members of the committee shall comprise of:
a. The ordained pastors or pastor.
b. 7 elected members, at least 2 of whom shall be women out of whom shall be a Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Financial Secretary.
SECTION 14: THE SOURCES OF INCOME OF THE CHURCH
1. Sources of income of the Church include:-
a. Offerings, thanksgiving and tithes
b. Gifts, grants and donations.
c. Devises, bequests and legacies; and
d. Any other sources as may be approved by the Church
SECTION 15: DISBURSEMENT AND APPLICATION OF FUND
The funds of the Church shall be for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in promoting the aims and objectives of the Church.
SECTION 16: BOOKSOF ACCOUNTS
The Church shall keep and maintain an Accounting Manual, mandatory Books of Accounts and Financial Guidelines to be used by all levels of the Church.
SECTION 17: EXTERNAL AUDIT
1. The General Church Council, through the Executive Council, shall appoint a firm of Accountants as External Auditors to:-
a. Audit the accounts of the Church annually;
b. Prepare and give reports of the Audited Accounts of the Church to the General Church Council at its last meeting of each year.
2. The External Auditor (s) shall be appointed on a yearly basis renewable.
SECTION 18: AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
This Constitution may be amended only after at least 3 months' notice of the proposed amendment has been given and upon the approval of 2/3 majority of members of the General Church Council.
SECTION 19: TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS: SAVING CLAUSE
Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, any act done under the previous Constitution in pursuance of the aims and objectives of this Church shall have effect with such modifications as may be necessary to bring it in conformity with the provisions of this constitution and shall be deemed to be an act with respect to any matter on which the Church is empowered by this Constitution.
Dated this ....................... Day of ......................., 2012
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