Standing Rules

Our standing rules outline the framework for conducting business and making decisions at Annual Conference. This year, some aspects of these rules are being modified. Changes are indicated in italics where relevant within the rules.

1. Roberts’ Rules.

The latest edition of ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER is the basis of parliamentary procedure.

2. Bar.

The bar of the conference shall be established by declaration of the presiding officer of the Conference.

3. Roll.

Roll for the purposes of VOTING is established by the receipt of delegate and ministerial credentials received by the Conference Secretary in advance of the conference.

Roll for the convened annual conference is established by delegates and ministers’ attendance at the event.

4. Delegates’ Seating.

Delegates will have a seat within the designated bar.  The term of an elected delegate spans one full conference year.  The term of a newly elected delegate begins at the opening of Annual Conference.

5. Honorary Seats.

If not otherwise members of the Annual Conference, honorary seats shall be granted to the conference secretary, lay members of the Ministerial Appointments Committee, the Board of Administration, the Conference Treasurer, Board or Committee members expected to report to the Conference, Ministerial Candidates, supply ministers and honorary members of the Conference. Each church planting project and fellowship shall be entitled to one lay representative who shall be granted an honorary seat in the Conference. Each congregation in a multiple congregation church shall be entitled to one representative who shall be given an honorary seat if the duly elected delegate(s) from the church is(are) not elected from that congregation.

6. Secretary/Tellers.

The Secretary of the Annual Conference is empowered to appoint assistant secretaries, a statistical secretary, and at least two panels of tellers who, unless otherwise instructed, are to retire to count all ballots while Conference business proceeds.

7. Minutes.

The Conference shall keep minutes of all its proceedings.  The minutes shall be approved by the Board of Administration within the conference year. A record of the approved minutes are deposited with FMCUSA every year. Video recordings, audio recordings, and written minutes of the Conference proceedings shall be made available to any active member of the Annual Conference upon written request, subject to the approval of the Board of Administration.  Such requests may be submitted to the Conference Office.

8. Communications.

All communications are to be referred in writing to the secretary.

9. Motions & Nominations

All motions (except incidental motions), resolutions, recommendations and the organization of boards and committees are to be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Conference. Typewritten copies are preferable. At the discretion of the presiding officer, floor debate on motions will be limited to three (3) comments in favor and three (3) motions against before a vote or amendment of the motion.

10. Terms of Office.

All newly-elected board and standing committee members and directors are to take office at the close of the Annual Conference Session.

11. Adjournment.

When the Conference adjourns, it adjourns to meet at the call of the Area Bishop.


12. Organization.

The standing boards and committees of the Conference are as follows:


Board of Administration (BOA)

The Finance Committee [reports to the BOA]


The Ministerial Education and Guidance Committee (MEG)

The Ministerial Appointments Committee (MAC)

The Nominating Committee

Group – Separately Incorporated

The Management Group (TMG)

The Kingdom Multiplication Group (KMG)

13. Recommendations & Budgets.

Any report to the Conference containing recommendations or financial considerations is to be printed, distributed, and submitted to the Annual Conference Secretary two hours preceding the opening of Annual Conference. If the proposer wishes for physical copies to be presented to the delegation, printing is their responsibility.

14. Reporting.

All reports from boards or ministries to be included in Annual Conference materials must be submitted 45 days prior to the first session of Annual Conference. If a report contains recommendations requiring Annual Conference action, the chairperson of the board or committee is to designate a representative to present or answer questions pertinent to the recommendation. Written, audio, and video reports will constitute the board, committee, or ministry report unless permission is not granted by the superintendent(s) or chair of the annual conference. Oral reports will be limited to 3 minutes unless otherwise approved by the superintendent(s) or chair.

15. Ministerial Appointments Committee (MAC)

  1. The committee shall consist of eight members of equal lay and clergy.
  2. The Superintendent shall serve as the clergy representative by virtue of their elected office.
  3. Four Lay members and two clergy will be presented to the Annual Conference by the Nominating Committee.
  4. Per the Book of Discipline of the FMC, the Bishop is recognized as committee chair and the designated Superintendent as vice-chair.

16. Nominating Committee.

The Nominating Committee shall consist of eight members of equal lay clergy representation as follows:

  1. The Conference Superintendent serves as a voting clergy member by virtue of their office.
  2. Seven members within the conference (three clergy and four lay) will be elected to the Committee.
  3. The Nominating Committee will present a list of possible nominees to the BOA, and the BOA will make the final decision on the names to go on the ballot.
  4. The chairperson will be appointed by the Board of Administration.

17. Duplication on Committees

To promote broad participation and prevent overextending individuals, it is strongly recommended that no person serve concurrently on more than one conference board or committee. In exceptional cases where an individual’s expertise or experience is deemed crucial for the effective functioning of multiple boards and committees, the Board of Administration may grant an exception to this recommendation. However, such exceptions should be carefully considered and kept to a minimum to uphold the spirit of this guidance and to maintain balance of participation across conference membership.

18. Vacancies.

The Board of Administration is empowered to fill any vacancies on temporary committees as they occur. In the interim between Annual Conference Sessions, boards and standing committees may receive resignations from their members. Replacements are to be elected by the Board of Administration to an interim position until the next seating of the Annual Conference.

19. Ex Officio Memberships.

The Superintendent will be named to fill the ex officio position of all Conference Boards, standing and temporary committees, except where otherwise identified by the current Book of Discipline. The Superintendent may, at their discretion, appoint a representative to serve in their ex officio position.

20. Conference Employees.

With exception of the Superintendent(s), an employee of the Free Methodist Church in Southern California must be approved by majority vote of the Annual Conference, or by the BOA in between annual sittings, to serve on the Conference Board of Administration, Ministerial Appointments Committee, and Ministerial Education and Guidance Board. Otherwise, they may serve only in advisory roles.

21. Board Tenure.

The Nominating Committee shall seek to staff each board with the best qualified personnel. As terms expire and other vacancies occur, they shall seek to replenish boards with new personnel so as to provide continuity of leadership and expertise and broaden the base of involvement. All Board and Committee Terms will be organized for three year rotating terms.  Service may be completed for two consecutive terms followed by a mandatory one year break in service for any given board or committee. A member may serve concurrently on more than one board or committee which may have differing expiring terms.

22. Business Overlooked.

Any business overlooked by session of the Annual Conference and routine business during the conference year is referred to the Board of Administration.

23. Assistant Superintendents.

The Superintendent may, at their discretion, designate ministerial members to serve as Assistant Superintendent(s) for the purpose of assisting with the work of the Superintendency.

Board & Committee Organization and Procedure

24. Board/Committee Organization.

The newly elected Board of Administration will convene an organizational meeting within 30 days after the close of Annual Conference to establish officers from among the newly elected Directors of the Board, and to appoint committee chairpersons to conference standing boards and committees

  • Board of Ministerial Education and Guidance
  • Nominating Committee
  • Finance
  • Ministerial Appointments Committee is Chaired by the Area Bishop, By Virtue of Office

The Board of Administration will also appoint Directors for The Management Group and The Kingdom Multiplication Group, which are separately organized subsidiary corporations consistent with the bylaws of each.  The Directors of each Group will self-organize once appointed and report back to the Board of Administration.

New Chairpersons will convene their committees within 30 days of Annual Conference to distribute a committee roster, establish communication, assign a recording secretary, review any open items of the committee, and set a first meeting time.

25. Reporting.

The Chairperson or secretary of each board and committee shall complete and return minutes of the actions to the conference secretary within ten days of the adjournment of Conference if committee action was taken during an Annual Conference session.

26. Member Notification, Job Description.

The chair of the Nominating Committee will follow-up with all nominees after the close of Annual Conference to notify them of their election or non-election.  The chairperson is to include a copy of the board’s or committee’s job description as approved by the Board of Administration with the letter notifying them of their election.

27. Attendance Record.

All board and standing committee secretaries are to prepare an annual report of the attendance record of members at regular meetings and provide the same at the call of the chairperson of the Nominating Committee.

28. Absences.

In the event of an intended absence from any board or standing committee meeting, members are instructed to inform the chairman or secretary of the board of committee prior to the date of meeting. All secretaries are to record those present, absent (no notice) and excused (prior notice given) at all meetings. The Nominating Committee is to take notice of the attendance of board and standing committee members and when it is observed that a member has a pattern of not attending regular meetings, it is authorized to nominate a replacement.

29. Minutes.

All board and standing committee secretaries shall, within ten days, send copies of the minutes of meetings to all members of the board or committee and a copy to the Conference Secretary.

30. Board of Administration Executive Committee.

The actions of the Board of Administration Executive Committee must be ratified by the full Board except when given power to act.

31. Pastoral Appointments & Transitions.

The outgoing pastor is responsible for services at the church they are leaving through the Sunday following the adjournment of Annual Conference or the final Sunday of May, whichever is later unless special arrangements are made by the Superintendent or Ministerial Appointments Committee.

32. Electronic Voting.

At the direction of the Board of Administration, voting for conference actions, motions, resolutions, or the like, may be executed through electronic means (such as, email, discussion groups, or similar method) for all standing boards and committees.  In the case of a vote requiring approval of the full Annual Conference Delegation, notifications will be sent to the delegate(s) and minister(s) through the credentials on file with the Conference Secretary for the current conference year. Voting results will be ratified by the Annual Conference delegation or by the Board of Administration in between sittings of the Conference. Ballots for Conference Boards and Committees will be submitted to the Annual Conference Delegation in advance of conference by electronic posting and notification.  Ideally, ballots will list more eligible candidates than available positions so voting delegates may exercise their voice in choosing representatives to serve.