Since many have never seen or even heard of the United Pentecostal Church Manual for their licensed ministers, I thought I would share some of the rules they have. Perhaps you will discover that a minister has not followed a rule or maybe will understand why some things happened the way they did. The majority of the UPCI Manual consists of non-interesting material that explains the various departments in the organization and the leadership roles and duties. David Bernard, their current General Superintendent, announced in January 2017 that they are in the works of updating the Manual.
If a resolution is passed at their annual fall General Conference, it will be added to the Manual the following January. Because of this and other possible changes, it usually is somewhat different from one year to the next. At times the changes are minor and other times they are major, such as rules excluding from fellowship those who believe certain teachings.
You cannot purchase a copy from the UPCI unless you hold license. However, sometimes older copies are found for sale through Amazon, ebay and other places. Also, they mostly produce these digitally now, making it more difficult to obtain more recent editions because of this. Sometimes the prices on Amazon are listed at ridiculously high amounts. If you wait awhile, they will lower. Don’t spend more than $20.00 and be sure to ask what year is being sold as often all are advertised as the same year.
What is shared below is the same as from at least 2005, with the exception of #3 where the second sentence was added in 2006 and ‘us’ in the first sentence was changed to ‘the UPCI’.
Below are some of the ministerial rules as found in Article VII, section 7: Obligations and Rules.
1. Ministers should not accept the invitation of a member or members of any assembly to hold a meeting in any church where there is a pastor without first obtaining said pastor’s consent. Where there is no pastor, the consent of the church officials in charge must be obtained.
2. Any minister affiliated with us, desiring to hold a meeting in a town or community where there is an affiliated church or pastor shall first consult and obtain the consent of the pastor before conducting a revival or crusade on his or her own or for another assembly that is not in fellowship. He or she may appeal the pastor’s decision to the nearest District Presbyter.
3. No minister affiliated with the UPCI shall endeavor to start a new work without the written consent of the District Board. Furthermore, any minister wishing to establish a preaching point, begin a daughter work, or start a church in a district other than the one in which he or she resides or holds license, must comply with all policies governing such activities in said district.
4. No minister, or church congregation pastored by one of our ministers, shall relocate or move an existing church into a city or neighborhood where there is another United Pentecostal Church, without written permission from the District Board. All applications for permission to relocate or move an existing church congregation in a city or neighborhood where there is another United Pentecostal Church must be submitted in writing thirty (30) days prior to the Board meeting. The District Secretary shall notify the Sectional Presbyter of the application at least twenty (20) days prior to the Board meeting. The presbyter shall notify the neighboring pastors, if needed and necessary, at least ten (10) days before the Board meeting.
5. Ministers shall not accept the invitation of a member or members, or the pastor of any assembly, to preach in any church that is held in question without first getting the consent of the District Superintendent.
6. In interpersonal relationships of ministers and saints of different congregations, in the matter of volunteer services or religious activities, the pastor of local church saints will be first contacted for approval. In the event of rejection, the decision shall be held in confidence. This applies on the national, district, or sectional level.
7. Any minister holding license or credentials who resigns the pastorate of a church, shall be expected to sever all connection with the said church and shall have no fellowship or visitation with any members who are held in question by his or her successor without his or her consent.
To be continued….