A church is a fellowship of people who have accepted Christ as Savior and are united by their common relation to the Holy Spirit. A church, like a community or an individual, is always changing. Fundamental doctrines remain the same, but methods of teaching these doctrines and of moving toward objectives must change if the mission of the church is to be accomplished.
A church constitution and by-laws document helps a church preserve democratic procedures. This instrument serves as the guide for members to follow in carrying out the work of the church.
Basic theology, organizational structure, and church policies are contained in a constitution. By-laws, on the other hand, state the methods for expediting these principles and policies. By-laws will usually be changed more often than the constitution. It should be emphasized, however, that both constitution and by-laws should be reviewed annually by the church council and/or deacons. As the program of the church changes, so must its rules of governmental procedure be brought up to date.
The basic advantages of a constitution and by-laws are:
- 1. Furnishes members a written statement of their church organization, fundamental guidelines, and theological beliefs.
- 2. Aids in preserving democracy and harmony since predetermined guidelines have already been established by the members.
- 3. Provides orderly procedures for aiding the transaction of church business.
- 4. Serves as a basis for solving problems before problems arise.
We declare and establish this constitution for the preservation and security of the principles of our faith, so that this body may be governed in an orderly manner. This constitution will preserve the liberties of each individual member of this church and the freedom of action of this body in its relation to other churches of the same faith.
This body shall be known as the Southside Baptist Church of Gaffney, Inc.
II. STATEMENT OF FAITH
The Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the basis for any statement of faith. The church subscribes to the doctrinal statement of the Baptist Faith and Message as adopted by the Southern Baptist Convention in 2000. We band ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ personally committed to sharing the good news of salvation to lost mankind. The ordinances of the church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
III. CHURCH COVENANT
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinance, discipline and doctrines.
To contribute cheerfully and regularly to the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel throughout all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to educate our children religiously; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances.
To walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings; faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and, mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other Baptist Church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
Section 1. Polity
The government of this church is vested in the body of believers who compose it. It is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body, but it recognizes and sustains the obligations of mutual counsel and cooperation which are common among Baptist Churches. Insofar as is practical, this church will cooperate with and support the association and state convention affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.
Section 2. Doctrines
This church receives the scriptures as its authority in matters of faith and practice. Its understanding of Christian truth as contained therein is in essential accord with the belief of other Southern Baptist Churches.
V. BY-LAWS MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. General
This is a sovereign and democratic Baptist Church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The membership retains unto itself the right of exclusive self government in all phases of the spiritual and temporal life of the church.
The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who shall be members of this church under the following policies:
Section 2. Candidacy
Persons may offer themselves as a candidate for membership in this Church. All such candidates shall be presented to the Church for membership in any of the following ways and be subject to the terms listed below:
- By profession of faith;
- Baptism by Immersion;
- Attend 2 of 4 new member classes.
- A waiting period of four weeks is required prior to the request for membership being presented to the Church for approval at the regular scheduled business meeting.
- By promise of a letter from another Baptist Church.
- Baptism by Immersion;
- Attend 2 of 4 new member classes.
- A waiting period of four weeks is required prior to the request for Membership being presented to the Church for approval at the regular Scheduled business meeting.
- By restoration upon a statement of prior conversion experience and baptism by immersion in a Baptist Church when no letter is obtainable.
- All persons wishing to unite themselves with the church must present themselves to the church in a regular worship service stating the conditions on which they desire to unite.
- All persons will be received upon a three fourths vote of the church, present and voting.
Section 3. Termination of Membership
Membership shall be terminated in the following ways: (1) death, (2) dismissing to another Baptist church, (3) exclusion by action of the church, (4) erasure upon becoming affiliated with a church of another faith or denomination, (5) upon the request of a member to remove their name from the Church roll, and after approval by the Church, their letter shall be mailed.
Should a member become an offense to the church and to its good name by reason of immoral or unchristian conduct or by persistent breach of his covenant vows, or non-support of the church, the church may terminate membership by a three-fourths vote of members present and voting, but only after due notice and hearing, and after faithful efforts have been made to bring such member to repentance and amendment. The church may restore the membership of any person previously excluded, upon request of the excluded person and by vote of the church upon evidence of the excluded person’s repentance and reformation.
VI. CHURCH OFFICERS
All church officers must be members of the church. The officers of this church shall be as follows:
Section 1. Pastor
The pastor is responsible for leading the church in functioning as a New Testament Church. The pastor will lead the congregation, the organizations, and church staff in performing their tasks.
The major responsibility of the pastor is the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the primary concern is to perform pastoral responsibilities.
A pastor shall be chosen and called by the church whenever a vacancy occurs. His election shall take place at a meeting called for that given purpose, of which at least one week’s notice shall be given.
The pastor is the leader of worship, proclamation, education, administration, and pastoral ministry.
(1) The pastor shall be granted the privilege of holding evangelistic services, study courses, and leadership responsibilities in other fields of service, not to exceed six weeks in each year. He shall be responsible, and aided by the deacons, to name the pulpit supply for the time he is absent while holding such services.
(2) The pastor shall be allowed an annual vacation of two weeks with pay, and three weeks annual vacation with pay after five years of service.
(1) The pulpit committee, after approval of Church Deacons, shall bring to the consideration of the church only one man at a time. Election shall be by ballot, an affirmative vote of three-fourths of those present and voting being necessary for a choice. The pastor, thus elected, shall serve until the relationship is terminated by his request or the church’s request. He shall preside at meeting of the church. The pastor shall give at least two weeks notice at the time of his resignation before terminating his responsibilities. A pulpit committee shall be elected by the church in the following manner: five (5) members may be nominated by each member present and voting. The top ten (10) names are to be brought back to the church one week later for the election of five (5). These five (5) will constitute the pulpit committee with the sixth one being an alternate
(2) In case of vacancy in office of pastor, the deacons shall attempt to supply the pulpit until the church calls a pastor under the aforementioned provisions.
Section 7. Church Staff
The church shall call or employ such staff members as the church shall need. A job description shall be written when the need for staff members is determined. (Omit- Vocational) Staff members shall be recommended to the church for church action.
Section 8. Deacons
(1) There shall be nine (9) Deacons at Southside Baptist Church of Gaffney, Inc. On Sunday in July a nominating election will be held with each member submitting a maximum of three (3) men by ballot voting. There shall be a minimum of three (3) with a maximum of six (6) qualified nominees from the election presented to the church. Two (2) weeks later, from this list, three (3) will be elected as deacons by a ballot vote.
The deacon shall serve on a rotation basis. Each year the term of office of one-third of the number of deacons shall expire, the election shall be held to fill the vacancies. After serving a term of three years, no deacon shall be eligible for re-election until the lapse of at least one year.
(2) In accordance with the meaning of the work and the practice of the New Testament, deacons are to be servants of the church. The task of the deacon is to assist the pastor in performing pastoral responsibilities.
(3) The deacons shall elect their officers and shall be organized to assist the pastor, and for the consideration of problems related to their work.
(4) The electees shall be screened as to their worthiness in keeping with requirements of I Timothy 3:8 -13 and Acts 6, by the pastor and chairman of deacons, and written records will be checked. This screening shall include written records kept by the church such as Sunday School and tithing.
(5) The runner-up of the previous election shall be the fill-in in the case of an unexpired term, etc.
(6) A man shall be a member of this church for a period of one year by July, be at least 21 years of age, and can not be an ordained minister to be eligible for election of deacon.
Section 9. Moderator
The Moderator shall be the chairman of deacons.
Section 10. Clerk
The church-elected clerk shall keep in a suitable book, a record of all the actions of the church, except as otherwise herein provided. He or she is responsible for keeping a register of the names of members, with dates of admission and dismission, or death, together with a record of baptism. He or she shall issue letters of dismission voted by the church, preserve or file all communications and written official reports, and give legal notice of all meetings where such notice is necessary, as indicated in these By-laws. The church may delegate some of the clerical responsibilities to the church administrative assistant.
All church records are church property and should be filed in the church office when one is maintained.
Section 11. Treasurer
The church shall elect annually a church treasurer. It shall be the duty of the church treasurer to preserve, and pay out, by approval of authorized personnel all money, or things of value paid or given to the church, keeping at all times an itemized account of all receipts and disbursements. It shall be the duty of the treasurer to render to the church at each regular business meeting an itemized report of receipts and disbursements for the preceding month.
Upon rendering the annual account at the end of each fiscal year, and its acceptance and approval by the church, the records shall be delivered by the treasurer to the church clerk, who shall keep and preserve the account as a part of the permanent records of the church.
Section 12. Trustees
Three trustees, one third of whom shall be elected annually to serve for three years, and until their successors shall be appointed, will hold in trust the property of the church. They shall have no power to buy, sell, mortgage, lease, or transfer any property without a specific vote of the church authorizing each action. It shall be the function of the trustees to affix their signatures to legal documents involving the sale, mortgaging, or purchase or rental of property or other legal documents where the signatures of trustees are required.
Section 1. General
All church committee members shall be selected by the nominating committee and elected by the church unless otherwise indicated in the description below. The committee members shall serve on a three-year rotation system with one third to be nominated by deacons and elected by the church members each year.
Section 2. Baptism Committee
This committee shall consist of at least two members. The baptism committee is elected to assist the pastor in preparing for the ordinance of baptism. The committee is responsible for preparing and aiding the candidates for the ordinance.
Section 3. Lord’s Supper Committee
The Lord’s Supper committee prepares the elements and the equipment for the observance of the Lord’s Supper. The committee does the preparation and maintenance work needed to observe the memorial service. The committee will prepare the elements on a schedule approved by the church. The supper shall be observed a minimum of 4 times a year.
Section 4. Finance Committee
Principle Function: The finance committee develops and recommends an overall stewardship information plan and administers the gifts of church members using sound principles of financial management.
Membership: The finance committee should be composed of church members who are good stewards of their possession. They should have the confidence of their fellow church members and possess good business judgment. They should be elected by the church on the recommendation of the nominating committee. The pastor is an ex-officio member.
- 1. Stewardship promotion throughout the year
- Develop and recommend to the church council an overall plan for sharing stewardship information throughout the year.
- Provide information on budget and giving to appropriate church leaders.
- Provide information of the Cooperative Program to appropriate church leaders.
- Provide information of Christian wills and trusts to appropriate church leaders.
- Study the potential giving of church members.
- Analyze current budget strengths and weaknesses.
- Evaluate budget requests.
- Direct annual budget preparations.
- Present church budget to the deacons for review.
- Present to the church for adoption.
- Budget Subscription Initiate, plan and direct with the appropriate committees the church’s plan for subscribing the budget.
- Secure and study latest information on stewardship.
- Share with the pastor materials and ideas related to budget subscription promotion.
- Recommend to the church council suggested dates for the church’s budget subscription campaign.
- Conduct the church’s budget subscription campaign.
- Provide budget subscription information for use in the Church’s Educational Program.
- Budget Administration
- Review budget expenditures beyond allocated expenditures and bring recommendations to the Church for approval.
- Review expenditures periodically in terms of budget allocations.
- Review with church council requests for special offerings.
- Recommend adequate financial system.
- Purchase in the amount of and up to $500.00 may be approved by the deacons.
The church finance Record System will insure proper use of all funds according to the adopted church budget, instruction of the church, and the contributors.
Southside Baptist Church will only accept designated gifts for Church approved line items as presented in the yearly budget; however, the Church reserves the right to spend such funds as deemed necessary as approved by the Church.
Section 5. Properties Committee
Principle Function: The properties committee assists a church in matters related to properties administration. Its work includes such areas as maintaining all church properties for ready use; recommending policies regarding use of properties; maintenance personnel and the assignment of responsibility to appropriate personnel for supervision.
Church properties are set apart and dedicated to God for the specific purpose of worshipping, educating, ministering, and proclaiming. As such, a properly organized and functioning properties committee is essential to stewardship of church properties.
Membership: Members should have good judgment; a knowledge of the church, its objectives, its methods of operational, a spirit of Christian goodwill; and willingness to support maintenance personnel in the performance of their duties. Persons with property maintenance knowledge and experience would be particularly helpful on the committee.
- Inspect and inventory church properties. Good maintenance of church properties begins with a thorough inspection and a complete inventory of buildings and equipment.Inventory and service records of all furniture and equipment should be kept in the church office. Copies of instructions needed for operation and maintenance of equipment should be kept current.
- Recommend to the Deacons the employment, training and supervision of maintenance personnel.Preparing a manual of operations, establishing regulations concerning tools and equipment, assisting in structuring job descriptions and work schedules, and initiating a program of inspection reports are important aspects of this committee’s duties.
- Develop and initiate scheduled cleaning procedures.A schedule of cleaning procedures should include suggested cleaning standards relating to inspection and repair, floor care, painting, proper equipment, cleaning walls and ceilings, kitchen, rest rooms, and nursery and other elementary facilities.
- Develop and recommend a program of preventive maintenance.A comprehensive preventive maintenance program will include the development of safety measures, accident prevention, and fire prevention. Also included will be care and upkeep of church grounds, parking facilities, parsonage, utilities system, sound amplification system, lighting, heating, cooling and plumbing systems.
- Develop and recommend, in cooperation with appropriate church leaders, policies for the use of church facilities and equipment.Policies are needed in many areas of the life and work of a church. Some major areas are: church equipment, musical instruments, church weddings, church nursery, audiovisual equipment, kitchen equipment, use of buildings and facilities by community groups, and recreational facilities.
- Request and administer maintenance, furniture and equipment budget.Budget requests for property maintenance, furniture, and equipment should be prepared by the properties committee. The properties committee will follow church procedure in making all purchases. The committee may recommend a certain amount to be spent by authorized staff members for routine supplies without committee approval.
Section 6. Benevolence Committee
The benevolence committee is to perform acts of benevolence to persons in need in the name of Christ and His church. These needs may be physical, social or mental.
Section 7. Flower Committee
The flower committee is responsible for securing, arranging, and disposing of floral arrangements for church services.
Section 8. Recreational Committee
Principle function: The church recreation committee seeks to serve the entire church in seeing that all recreation activities sponsored by the church or any organizational unit are properly planned and that they contribute to the ultimate objective of the church. While the committee will at times plan and conduct all-church activities and occasionally activities for smaller groups, the primary function of the committee is that of a resource and aid to those who do the planning for the church.
Membership: Members of the committee should be those interested in developing the fellowship of the church, capable in recreational leadership, and desirous of serving others.
- The committee determines the needs for recreation in the church and advises church leaders of these needs. This involves a survey of the church to determine what is being done, the quality of the current recreational program, and the interests and needs of the members.
- The committee acquaints itself and church leaders with the recreational resources of the church and community. The committee should determine what the church and community now has for recreational purposes, what building facilities are best adapted to specific recreational activities, and share this information with church leaders.
- The committee seeks to discover those capable of recreation leadership.
- The committee assists in training those responsible for recreation in organizational units. The responsibility includes general training for recreational leaders and training for specific projects. For example, the committee may work with Sunday School leaders in training those who work in crafts during Vacation Bible School.
- The committee works with organizational leaders to coordinate recreational activities. The chairman of the committee will work with the church council to help coordinate the recreational activities carried on by the various organizations and the committee itself.
- The committee serves as a resource for organizational leaders who are planning recreation projects.
- The committee is responsible for planning and conducting recreation activities which are not sponsored by a specific organization. As a church committee, the recreation committee will be called on to plan and conduct certain social church-wide events. The committee will want to make certain that these occasions are well planned and properly conducted.
Section 9. Church Ushers
Concern for Christ – First, the usher ought to be a concerned Christian. It is out of harmony with the esteem we ought to have for each church office to accept any lesser basic qualification.
Concern for Stewardship – The usher must be a tither. He must be faithful with his time. He must be faithful with his talents.
Concern for Worship – High on the list of duties of the usher is the maintenance and preservation of a worshipful atmosphere before and during each church service.
Concern for Appearance – There is full justification for appropriate attention in this position to the personal appearance of the man. He need not be physically handsome, but he must have a maturity and an attractiveness that will draw others to him as he performs his task.
Concern for People – No Christian labor can be truly fruitful without a concern for people. This is another of the attributes that become vital in the task of the usher.
Concern for Orderliness – In some churches, ushers have the responsibility for straightening and putting the auditorium in good order between services, or after a service. This calls for a concern for orderliness.
Concern of the Church – The church that desires concerned ushers needs to show concern of its own.
With concern for the usher, the church shall:
- Provide for the nomination of ushers by the church nominating committee in the same way that other officers are chosen.
- Provide a specific term of service for ushers and a rotating system so that more men may serve.
Principal function: To be of service to congregation members before, during, and after services, and to maintain a worshipful atmosphere in the church.
- Receive offerings
- Help maintain order during services
- Ushers from time to time may be used for security purposes.
Section 10. Church Council
(1) The primary functions of the council shall be to recommend to the congregation suggested objectives and church goals; to review and coordinate program plans recommended by the church officers, organizations, and committees; to recommend to the congregation the use of leadership calendar time, and other resources according to program priorities; and to evaluate program achievements in terms of church goals and objectives.
(2) The Council, unless otherwise determined by vote of the church, shall have as regular members, the Pastor, Minister of Education, Minister of Music, Sunday School Director, Women’s Missionary Union Director and Chairman of Deacons. Committee Chairman and church-elected officers shall serve as ex-officio members. This Council shall be headed up and moderated by the Pastor.
Section 11. Nominating Committee
(A) Membership: The Nominating Committee shall be composed of three or more members who will serve three years on a rotating basis. A name shall be recommended to the church by fellowship of deacons to fill the vacant position created by the yearly rotation of a member. They shall nominate, after being elected by the church, the Sunday School Director and the Women’s Missionary Union Director. These officers shall be added to the Nominating Committee after being elected by the church.
Of the three or more listed above, one year retirement is required before one is eligible for re-election.
(B) Duties: The Nominating Committee, upon election, shall be called into conference for the first meeting by the pastor or chairman of deacons no later than May 1. The Nominating Committee will nominate all officers in the church with the exception of deacons, church staff, and Nominating Committee.
Recommendations of this committee shall be presented to the church for approval.
It will be the responsibility of the chairman of this committee to meet with the chairman of all other committees no later than August 15, to be assured that all committees understand their duties and are ready to function.
It will be the responsibility of the Nominating Committee to furnish names of responsible people to be assigned to a training class for future leadership.
Section 12. Personnel Committee
This committee is to consist of five (5) people. The committee will be a rotational committee with one new member coming on per year. The chairman shall be elected by the church each year to serve as such for one (1) year. Committee membership shall elect their vice-chairman and secretary each year prior to November 1.
The primary purpose of the personnel committee is personnel administration. The personnel committee should be an advocate for the church staff, including the pastor and other staff, to protect the church’s investment of time and money. The responsibilities of the committee shall fall in three (3) major areas: employment of all employees (excluding Pastor), salaries, and employee benefits.
- In consultation with the deacons and other church leadership the personnel committee shall have the responsibility of recruiting, interviewing, and recommending all staff excluding the Pastor. This includes secretarial, janitorial, and ministry related positions.
- In consultation with the deacons, appropriate church leadership, and the staff member directly affected by each personnel position; this committee shall have the authority to recommend to the church the employment or dismissal of all personnel except the Pastor. (Example: In hiring a janitor, the personnel committee would still need to consult with the property committee.)
- The personnel committee should be forward looking and should recognize the need for additional staff members and make appropriate recommendations.
- Prepare and update job descriptions, personnel policies, and organizational charts. Certain categories need to be included in job descriptions: the job title, principle function, responsibilities, and relationships.
- Following employment this committee should assist in orienting the new staff members for their job. This includes a three (3) month and (6) month evaluation. Each employee shall be evaluated in consultation with deacons, appropriate church leadership, and the staff member directly affected by each personnel position each year on the anniversary of their employment.
- The committee shall design a program of salary administration and make annual recommendations to the budget planning committee. The chairman of the personnel committee shall serve on the budget planning committee.
- To aid in salary recommendations this committee shall formulate and maintain a written description of each position on the church staff describing the major duties assigned to that position.
- A program of employee benefits shall be recommended by this committee. Items for consideration should include retirement, vacation, holidays, other time off, insurance, continuing education, conferences, and conventions.
- Eligibility for benefits shall be clearly stated as policy.
VIII. EDUCATIONAL MINISTRIES
Section 1. General
All organizations of the church shall be under church control, all officers being elected by the church and reporting regularly to the church. It is understood that the pastor is an ex-officio officer of all the organizations named, and his leadership is to be recognized in them.
Section 2. Sunday School
There shall be a Sunday School, divided into departments and classes for all ages and conducted under the direction of a general director, for a study of God’s word. Sunday School is to be conducted each Sunday morning.
The task of the Sunday School shall be to teach the Biblical Revelation; lead in reaching all prospects for the church; lead all church members to worship, witness, learn, and minister daily; provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.
Section 3. Women’s Missionary Union
There shall be a Women’s Missionary Union with such officers and such forms of organization as needed. The task of the Women’s Missionary Union shall be to teach missions; lead persons to participate in missions; provide organization and leadership for special projects of the church; provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and the denomination.
Section 4. Music Ministry
There shall be a Music Ministry under the direction of the Minister of Music. Such officers and organization shall be included as needed. The music task shall be to teach music and hymnody; provide music and musicians for the congregational services and the organization of the church, lead persons to participate in hymn singing; encourage persons to lead, sing, and play music; provide organization and leadership for special projects of the church; provide and interpret information regarding the work of the church and denomination.
IX. CHURCH MEETINGS
Section 1. Worship Services
The church shall meet regularly each Sunday morning and evening for preaching, instruction, evangelism and for the worship of the Almighty God and on Wednesday evening for prayer. These meetings will be open for the entire membership of the church and for all people, and shall be conducted under the direction of the pastor.
Section 2. Regular Business Meetings
Regular Business Meetings shall be held monthly on a designated Sunday night. Should there be any unusual business or matter of unusual interest to be brought before such regular monthly meeting, notice shall be given the members one week prior to the meeting. The regular business meeting shall be held on the fourth Sunday of each month.
Any church member who may have any new business to present during a business meeting must request in writing to be placed on the agenda and specify the new business in writing to be presented to the pastor or the administrative assistant at least one week prior to the regularly scheduled business meeting.
Section 3. Special Business Meeting
A special called business meeting may be held to consider special matters of significant nature. A one-week notice must be given for the special called business meeting.
Notice of Called Meetings Notice of all special called business meetings of the church shall be given by announcement of a week prior to the meeting unless extreme urgency renders such notice impracticable.
Section 5. Quorum
The quorum consists of those who attend the business meeting, provided it is a stated meeting or one that has been properly called.
Section 6. Parliamentary Rules
Robert’s Rules of Order Revised is adopted as the authority for parliamentary rules of procedure for all business meetings of the church, the deacons, and the committees.
Section 7. Fiscal Year
The fiscal year of the church begins on January 1, and ends on December 31.
Changes in this constitution and By-Laws may be made at any regularly scheduled business meeting of the church, provided such amendments shall have been presented in writing at a previously regular scheduled meeting, and copies of the proposed amendment be furnished to each member present. Amendments to the constitution shall be by two-thirds vote of all members of the church present entitled and voting; amendments to the By-laws shall have a concurrence of a majority of the members present and voting.
In the event of the dissolution of Southside Baptist Church of Gaffney, Inc., no property or assets owned by the church shall inure to any member or members of the church and or such assets shall be assigned, conveyed and transferred to another religious organization which is tax exempt under the laws of the State of South Carolina or under the laws of the United States or to local state or federal governmental entities.