Property Policy

A.  Real Property Titles and Ownership
All church real properties will be held in the name of the church, and their disposition and use subject exclusively to the decisions of the church conference made in accordance with the church constitution and bylaws.
B.  Mortgages and Encumbrances
The real properties of the church may be encumbered only with the express consent of the church conference acting in business session.
C. Use and Disposition of Church Property
All personal property owned by the church through its purchase, donation or bequeath will be used and disposed of solely at the discretion of the church, and in a manner consistent with its constitution and bylaws and its character as tax-exempt, non-profit organization.
D.  Protection of Church Property
The Church Trustees are responsible for assuring that the titles to properties are properly recorded and that title insurance secured. The Finance Committee is responsible for obtaining adequate insurance for church properties. The Property Committee is responsible
for assuring that the church's interests are preserved and its policies observed in regard to the real and personal property of the church. Each of these groups should report to the congregation not less than annually upon matters within their responsibility.
E.  Property Inventory
The Property Committee should maintain and continually update an inventory of all church real and personal property valued at more than $1,000. The inventory should include dates of property acquisition and cost, any warranties and manuals, and any registration or
other identifying numbers. Where appropriate, the Property Committee should assure the attachment of tags or markings identifying the items as church property.
F.  Inspections
The Property Committee or its designees will inspect all church properties not less than annually for maintenance needs and unsafe conditions and report their findings and recommendations to the church. In addition to inspections, any unsafe condition which may present a hazard or risk of injury should be reported to the Property Committee. When unsafe conditions are identified, the Property Committee or its designees should arrange for appropriate corrective action to be taken promptly, and re-inspect within thirty (30) days to assure that safe conditions have been restored. The Property Committee or its designees will also take immediate steps to warn and
otherwise protect persons from injury from any unsafe condition. The committee will maintain records of its inspections, reports, and any corrective actions taken by themselves or others.
G.  Housekeeping and Lawn Service
The Property Committee will, in consultation with Church staff, assure the development and use of detailed regular tasks, lists, and procedures to assure that those responsible for custodial and housekeeping duties or lawn service and landscaping duties have clear guidelines covering responsibilities both for building and grounds regular upkeep and maintenance.
H.General Safety Policies
The Property Committee will appoint a staff member or church member as Safety Coordinator who will oversee the safety policies and procedures of the church, assure their implementation, and make recommendations for enhanced policies and procedures.
1. Accident Policies
  • The church will assure the prompt availability of first-aid supplies in all church facilities.
  • The church will provide first-aid and CPR training for church staff and leaders, especially those who work with children and youth. The church will have available the names and means of contacting persons with medical assistance skills.
  • The church will prominently post the contact numbers for police agencies, medical assistance, ambulance service, poison information offices and other appropriate persons or agencies.
  • Accidents will be promptly reported to all appropriate persons including the church’s insurance carrier.
  • In the event of an accident, the Safety Coordinator and those present at the time of the accident should assure that an Accident-Incident Report Form is promptly completed.
  • The Safety Coordinator and appropriate staff and committees should investigate all accidents, and take or recommend such steps they think appropriate to minimize future risks. The church’s response to an accident should be reviewed for any ways to enhance the response.
2.  Fire Safety
  • Fire extinguishers should be available and maintained, as well as other appropriate fire-fighting equipment.
  • Staff (paid and volunteer) should have adequate training covering fire safety, evacuation, and the use of alarms and equipment.
  • Special inspections should insure that fire hazards are avoided, including care in the storage of flammable liquids, improper use of extension cords or electrical equipment.
  • An evacuation plan should be in place, including the posting in all facilities of exit directions, clearly marked exit signs, and functioning exit doors. Evacuation training should be provided for all staff and teachers, including fire drills when appropriate.
  • The Safety Coordinator should assure that the church is in full compliance with fire regulations, and should seek the counsel of fire department personnel, and insurance company recommendations.
3. Safety Training
The Safety Coordinator should assure that all staff and church leaders have adequate safety training and appropriate refresher training in many dimensions of safety for personnel and those who utilize the facilities of the church.
I.  Safety/Security of Participants
The Usher and Property Committees will develop and recommend to the church specific measures to provide safety and security for church facilities as well as for those involved in the church’s ministry. These committees will annually review the safety/security measures in place and make recommendations to the church.
The Usher and Property Committees will annually review the security of the building and grounds and make any recommendations to address specific concerns expressed by persons of the church body.
J.  Use of Church Personal Property
Persons requesting short-term and limited use of church personal property for non-church, off-premises events should complete a property request form noting the property to be used, and event for which it is to be used, the dates of such use, and the person responsible for its timely return. The church office will review any request, assuring that such use is appropriate and does not conflict with a needed church use, and grant or deny the request.
K.  Uses of Facilities by Members Outside of Regularly Scheduled Meetings.
Persons needing the use of the church facility or church personal property for church related activities should notify the church office of such use and the church office will place the event on the calendar of activities. Examples of such use include church committee meetings, Sunday school teacher meetings, and Sunday school class meetings. The person making a request must indicate the persons responsible for securing the facilities and any clean up detail.
L.  Non-Church Uses of Facilities
1.  General Policy on Non-Church Use
  • Church properties may only be used in a manner and for the purposes consistent with the Christian mission of the church, its federal tax-exempt status and property tax exemption.
  • Any use for persons, whether members or non-members for non-church organized or sponsored activities must be approved under the policies of the church as provided herein or in other policy provisions.
2.  Specific Policies
  • Persons or groups wishing to use the property for non-church organized or sponsored activities will submit a written request to the church office indicating the requested time of use, purpose, facilities to be utilized, persons responsible, and other information as may be requested. Request should be made at least 2 weeks in advance except in the case of weddings, which require a 60 day advance request. No use is confirmed or reserved until the application is received and approved, when it is then placed on the church calendar.
  • The church secretary/administrator, or in the absence of such staff position, another person designated by the church will maintain an official calendar noting scheduled church events as well as approved non-church events.
  • The church reserves the right to require the payment of fees, deposits, or fees to cover janitorial services as the nature of use and church policy may require. The church may require evidence of insurance. Generally, church members and their immediate families will not be charged for use of the church except for cost associated with cleanup or repair. The Property Committee will provide a fee schedule for non-member use. Monies collected for the use of church facilities should be deposited in an account designated for building use revenues.
  • Requests for use of the facilities for non-church sponsored events will be reviewed by the church staff, and if the use is clearly consistent with the policies, they may approve such use. In the event requests are less clearly within guidelines or involve individuals or groups unknown to the pastor and/or the Deacon Chair, they will refer FBC Proposed Property Policy page 4 of 6 the matter to the Church Conference. Special consideration may be given to local civic groups/organizations and charges for the use of any part of the church facility will remain flexible.
  • Facility-use policies should be reviewed annually by church staff members who will make such recommendations as they believe appropriate to the church. The church will have final authority to adopt and amend policies.
3.  Facility Specific Policies
Some facilities have special policies and requirements for their use. Among these are the church’s recreational facilities and the kitchen-fellowship hall. Policies regarding these must be read and affirmed as part of the application procedure and are available
from the church office.

4.  Weddings and Funerals
The use of the church property for weddings and funerals is governed by the church policies set forth separately.

M.  Special Types of Property
1.  Church Recreational Facilities
The various committees whose activities involve the play and recreational are as of the church (including Property Committee, children’s ministry and youth ministry committees and staff) will develop specific proposed policies covering a range of topics related to the safety, use, security, appropriate activities, behavioral expectations, routine inspection and maintenance and liability protections associated with the use of these areas by church programs, outside organizations and individuals without express permission or church supervision. These committees will report to the church, and the church will consider for adoption appropriate policies, and when adopted, incorporate them into this policy manual, and where appropriate provide public and posted notice of these policies.
2.  Church Parking Lot
  • Design and Safety
The Property Committee’s Safety Coordinator will assure that the design of traffic flow for pedestrians and vehicles in the parking lot has been carefully reviewed for safety. Where appropriate, the committee may make recommendations to enhance parking lot safety, such as suggesting pavement markings, signs, or the stationing of church traffic volunteers.
  • Use
Except by written agreement, parking in the church parking lot will be limited to persons attending or using the church. The Property Committee may arrange for appropriate signs in the parking lot to indicate its limited use. The committee may create a special parking permit which may be given to persons and placed in vehicles which do have authorization for use of the lot other than immediate church matters. The committee may also create a notice of unauthorized use that may be placed on unauthorized vehicles advising the owner of the improper use and stating the policy.
  • Other Uses
Use of the church parking lot for other than parking is prohibited except by prior written permission. Because of the risk of potential injuries, neither church groups nor others may use the parking lot for skateboarding, rollerblading or other similar activities. This policy should be enforced by notice in the parking lot advising of FBC Proposed Property Policy improper uses, and advising parents of improper use by their children when necessary.

N.  Church Land Rented to Others
In the event any church real property is leased, rented or used in any form by other persons or groups, the Trustees and Deacons will assure that the use is lawful, that the users maintain insurance coverage for damages or liabilities arising from their use or pos
session, and that the use is not inconsistent with the values, beliefs and mission of the church. The Church Conference will have final authority.
The Finance Committee with the assistance of church staff will secure professional insurance advice and assure that adequate insurance coverage is obtained including property and liability coverage appropriate to the ministries of the church and sufficient to provide coverage for liabilities arising from the ministry of members and staff, both volunteer and paid.
P.Property Tax Exemption
The Trustees, Property Committee and other church officers will seek to assure that in so far as is possible, all real estate of the church is used for church purposes in such a way as to qualify for tax exemption. Applications for such exemption must be filed in the appropriate offices.
Q.  Kitchen and Food Service
1. Policy Responsibility
The church will appoint a special committee to propose a set of policies governing the use of the kitchen and food service at the church. Such policies should address permissible uses and procedures for use, kitchen maintenance and cleaning, use of the kitchen by outside persons or groups, appropriate sanitation policies, any requirements regarding insurance, and persons with responsibility for assuring compliance. The church will review any recommendations, and upon adoption of any policies, they will be added to this policy manual, and where appropriate posted in the church facilities, and provided to any proposed users of the affected facilities. Once policies are adopted, the committee and its leadership will assure the effective implementation of such policies.
2.  Kitchen/Fellowship Hall Use
Use of the kitchen facilities and equipment must be approved by the church in accord with policies and procedures set by the church. In general, cleanliness and safety are of paramount importance. Furnishings and equipment are church property and are not to be taken outside the facility without prior approval. In all cases, a church member must be present and be the responsible person for the function.
  • Schedule use of the fellowship hall/kitchen with the church office. Provide date, time, group, point of contact and phone number.
  • Using group is responsible for a list developed and posted by the appropriate committee.
3.  Kitchen and Food Preparation Policies
Any use, whether by the church or authorized others, must conform to permissible-use policies established by the church concerning sanitation practices, fees and cleanup. Such policies will be posted or provided in a binder available at the office and/or in the church kitchen.
4.  Non-church Use of Food Service Facilities
Use of food service facilities of the church by any persons or groups not recognized as part of a church activity must be approved by the church in accord with procedures established by the church, including written application, written approval, and scheduling on the church calendar. Such policies may include descriptions of appropriate uses, fees for non-church use, responsibilities for cleanup, identification of food-service equipment that may or may not be used. Any user agrees to comply with all church policies regarding appropriate use of church facilities.
5.  Church Regular Dinners/Meals
When church provides regular meals in connection with church events, such as Wednesday night dinners, the designated committee will develop specific policies regarding preparation, serving, charges, cleanup, use of tickets and other matters related to safe and effective provision of these services.
6.  Food Banks and Other Charitable Food Services
If the church offers charitable food services such as food banks, “meals-on-wheels” type activities, special dinners for needy families, the Church will set forth in writing specific policies and procedures regarding such activities including such areas as duties and responsibilities, financial procedures, health and safety issues, eligible persons, adequate supervision of food preparation, facilities security, and reporting.