Constitution

Officers' Christian Fellowship of the United States of America

Article I - Name

The name of this organization shall be "Officers' Christian Fellowship of the United States of America," further referred to herein as "OCF" or the "Fellowship."

Article II - Purpose

OCF's purpose is to glorify God by uniting Christian officers for biblical fellowship and outreach, equipping and encouraging them to minister effectively in the military society.

Article III - Statement of Doctrine

The following is the Doctrinal Statement of OCF. All Council Members, Field Staff, and Support Staff who are designated by the Executive Director, must subscribe to this statement without reservations:

1. We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

2. We believe that the Old and New Testaments as originally written are the verbally inspired Word of God, and accept them as the supreme and all-sufficient authority in faith and life.

3. We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death which is eternal separation from God; and that each human being is born with a sinful nature and cannot by his own efforts please God.

4. We believe that Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.

5. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins as our vicarious sacrifice in accordance with the Scripture, and that all who believe in Him are cleansed of their sins by His shed blood and are justified before God.

6. We believe that all who by faith receive the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and so become the children of God, to live with Him through all eternity.

7. We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into heaven, and in His present life there as our High Priest and Advocate.

8. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust; the eternal blessedness of the saved; and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost.

9. We believe in the personal, visible and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth.

Article IV - Spirtual Pillars

The pillars of OCF, as well as its purpose and vision, rest upon the foundation Jesus Christ has laid and upon His person, leadership and Lordship.

1. Lay-Led. We are a lay-led movement of Christian officers within the U.S. Armed Forces.

2. Centering on Scripture. We believe the Bible is God's Word written and stress the importance of studying and applying its teachings both individually and corporately.

3. Engaging in Prayer. We recognize our dependence on the Holy Spirit and are committed to pray.

4. Uniting for Fellowship. We consider authentic biblical fellowship essential for individual growth and the advancement of God's Kingdom within the military.

5. Equipping to Serve. We are committed to the spiritual development of each person in our movement by helping him or her in ways that find expression in godly service and outreach to the military.

6. Integrating Faith and Profession. We call Christian officers to integrate biblical standards of excellence into their professional responsibilities.

7. Nurturing the Family. We are committed to encouraging, supporting, and assisting military families as they implement the biblical principles of marriage and parenthood.

8. Supporting the Chaplaincy. We seek to support and encourage chaplains.

Article V - Membership

1. Membership in OCF shall be of three classes: Regular, Associate and Honorary.

2. All applicants for Regular and Associate Membership shall subscribe to the following statements of faith and participation without reservation.

Statement of Faith

Inasmuch as I am a sinner and deserve the wrath of God, and since Jesus Christ died for my sins, was buried and has been bodily resurrected, according to the Scriptures, I have accepted Him as my own personal Lord and Savior and am saved by His grace alone.

Statement of Participation

1. I am committed to the purpose of OCF: To glorify God by uniting Christian officers for biblical fellowship and outreach, equipping and encouraging them to minister effectively in the military society.

2. As an expression of my commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His work in the military society, I will participate actively and prayerfully in the ministry of OCF with my time, talents, spiritual gifts, and financial resources. I further commit, by God's grace, to live my life as an example consistent with biblical guidelines. 

3. The Regular Membership of OCF shall consist of present and former officers or warrant officers of the Armed Forces of the United States, and anyone training for such commissions, who subscribe to the Statements of Faith and Participation in paragraph 2 of this Article.

4. The Associate Membership shall include those not eligible for Regular Membership, but interested in the purposes of OCF and who have similarly subscribed to the statement of faith and paricipation in paragraph 2 of this article.

5. The Honorary Membership shall consist of those persons whose faith and belief are known to be in accord with the Statement of Doctrine in Article III, and who have been elected to such membership by the Council.

6. Regular, Associate, and Honorary Membership in the Fellowship shall continue unless terminated by the following provisions.

a. Written resignation by the member.
b. Action by the majority vote of the Council.
c. Failure of the member to confirm interest in continuing membership status when officially requested in writing to do so within ninety days.
d. If after three attempts to deliver mail and no contact is established with the member, the staff has the authority to remove the member from the OCF database.

Article VI - Council

1. Composition and Term of Office

a. OCF shall be governed by a Council consisting of not less than six and not more than twenty-two Regular Members of OCF, including the Executive Director. No other staff member is eligible to serve on the Council.

b. The term of Council Members shall be three years. A member may not serve more than two consecutive terms, except for one Council Member who may serve additional terms at the discretion of the Council when it is determined to be in the best interest of OCF.

c. It shall be arranged that the terms of an equal number of Council Members shall expire each year. Newly elected Council Members shall be announced at the last regulary scheduled meeting of the calendar year.

2. Council Responsibilities

a. The corporate role of the Council is to:

  1. Determine the OCF's mission, purposes, and strategic direction.
  2. Provide policy and ministry guidance.
  3. Select the Executive Director (ED), establish the ED's salary and benefits, support the ED, and evaluate the ED's performance annually.
  4. Establish the Field Staff's salaries after considering the Executive Director's recommendations.
  5. Ensure financial integrity.
  6. Oversee the selection process of the Field Staff.
  7. Monitor the effectiveness of OCF's programs, products, and services.
  8. Enhance OCF's image inside and outside the military.
  9. Serve as a court of appeals for the Field Staff and the Membership.
  10. Assess its own performance.

b. The Council is authorized to make such Bylaws as are necessary for the orderly conduct of the Council and the affairs of the Fellowship.

c. The council may remove, by majority vote, a Council Member if no communication is received from the individual by members of the Council or staff for a period of one year.

3. Election Process. The Regular Membership will annually elect no more than five of the seven possible positions. To be eligible for election, each nominee must be a Regular member and must receive a minumum of three Regular member recommendations. If the Membership has failed to nominate more than five persons, those nominated shall be considered elected without formal ballot, subject to Council approval. In addition to those elected, the Council each year may select additional members up to the seven allowable positions with the purpose of encouraging Membership representation of service, rank, and gender.

4. Meetings and Business

a. The Council hall meet semi-annually in scheduled meetings to review, approve and direct as necessary the business of OCF.

b. One-third of the members of the Council shall constitute a quorum.

c. The President, or in his absence the next available officer of OCF present, shall preside as Chariman of all meetings. If no elected officer is present, the Council Member senior in military rank shall preside.

d. Special meetings to conduct urgent, essential, interim business may be called by the President, or in his absence, by another elected officer of OCF. Five Council Members shall constitute a quorum at these meetings and complete minutes indicating Council Members present and business conducted will be sent to all Council Members within twenty days after the conclusion of the special meeting.

e. In all cases not specified otherwise, questions before the Council shall be determined by majority vote. Each Member of the Council shall have one vote.

Article VII - Officers

1. The officers of OCF shall consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The last two named officers may be combined in one individual if deemed appropriate by the Council.

2. The Council shall elect the officers of the Fellowship from the Membership of the Council.

3. Officers of OCF shall be elected by the Council for a one-year term.

4. Officers of OCF shall be elected at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the calendar year. Installation of the new Council Members and Officers shall become effective on the first day of the following January or as directed by the Council.

5. The title of President Emeritus shall be conferred upon those whose distinguished past service as President of OCF entitles them to honoray status. This title shall be conferred by a two-thirds vote of the Council on those former presidents nominated by members of the Council or by the Executive Director, and my be retracted by the same procedure. President Emeritus status confers the right to attend Council meetings as an official part in the Council discussions. It does not include the right to make or second motions or to vote on questions before the Council.

Article VIII - Executive Director

1. The Executive Director is charged with the management of OCF under the authority and guidance of the Council. He shall make such written and oral reports to the Council and Membership as the Council may require.

2. The Executive Director shall be appointed to a term of unspecified length upon affirmative vote by two-thirds of the Membership of the Council. Termination of the appointment by the Council also requires the vote of two-thirds of the Membership of the Council. The vote in each instance shall be by written ballot.

3. The Executive Director shall be assisted by a Support Staff and Field Staff.

4. The Executive Director shall select and appoint the Support Staff without Council approval. With the consultation and advice of the Council, the Executive Director shall select and appoint the Field Staff to positions authorized and funded by approval of the Council.

5. All salaries, other than the Field Staff, shall be established by the Executive Director.

Article IX - Ratification

1. This Consitution shall be declared ratified upon approval by two-thirds of those voting in a ballot conducted as directed by the Council among the Regular Membership of OCF.

Article X - Amendments

1. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed by the Council or ten Regular members.

2. Amendments will be adopted when approved by two-thirds of the voting in a ballot conducted as directed by the Council among the Regular Membership of OCF.