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Author Topic: Ordination requirements - anyone know?  (Read 2446 times)
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Michael T
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« on: May 24, 2008, 02:01:07 PM »

Quick question about ordination:  Are any of you knowledgeable on the subject?

Do any of you know the up-to-date legal guidelines for ordination?  If the state requires someone to be ordained before they can perform marriages, I would guess there is some standard they require so they can be sure someone is truly recognized by some group – truly ordained.

It used to be that any group could decide they recognized someone as being truly called of God, and therefore ordain that person into the ministry.

Reason for my asking:  The pastor of one of the Cowboy Churches we attend has been increasingly asked to conduct many other services as he travels around North America doing his tent making job to do with horses.  These days, he is almost more involved in the ministry than he is with horse stuff.

It is obvious to all that he is truly called and anointed of the Lord to be in this ministry. 

I have been feeling it on my heart for some time to see him ordained.  At the calf branding Thursday, he confided in me that his ministry has grown such that he now sees the need for becoming ordained.  He does not feel he needs to be ordained to do what he has been doing thus far.  It is just that others expect a minister conducting services etc. to be ordained.  He can also see that he will be asked to perform weddings from time to time.  Additionally, he is receiving “donations” for his ministry.  There needs to be some sort of legal framework set up for accounting for that money – and so the donors can receive donation tax paperwork at the end of each year.

Maybe I am asking two questions here:  One regards legal ordination (as accepted by the state and feds), and the other regards possibly needing to form a 501-C-3.

He does not want to be associated with a denomination or group that would cause others to question his ministry.  I.e. COA type churches.  I agree with him.

I told him I thought any group of people could ordain him.  I added that I did not know if that group needed to be a 501-C-3 first.  If it is necessary, I think WE could form our own separate 501-C-3 ministry with all the bylaws etc.  If that is the case, I wish I knew where my lawyer created 501-C-3 paperwork was and just duplicate it for his ministry.  My 501-C-3 ministry has long been closed down.  My paperwork is also long gone.

Anyway, I don’t even know if having a 501-C-3 is necessary for having something the state and feds would recognize when it comes to accepting someones ordination.

As a last resort, I could direct him to the organization that ordained myself and several other former CC ministers (not while in CC).  The problem is, is that he does not know them, and they do not know him.  Their procedures for ordaining him would be cumbersome, but possible.  (They are in Florida.)

Do any of you have up-to-date knowledge along this line that could help us/him?

As a side note:  This particular Cowboy Church is closing, and this pastor friend is moving his family to NW Oregon in June.  I will be in frequent contact with him.  Last Thursday, I was asked to take over the church but declined for various reasons.

Thanks,
Mike
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lanny
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2008, 06:52:08 PM »

---There is a debate whether a group or church should even incorporate at all. I see pros & cons.
Lanny
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Michael T
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2008, 07:06:01 PM »

---There is a debate whether a group or church should even incorporate at all. I see pros & cons.
Lanny

I understand there is no government "requirement" to incorporate.  It is just expected.  Once incorporated, it gives way too much control to the feds. 

If people gave to a ministry as a "gift" and not as a payment for services, then there would be no need for incorporation - as I see it.  Those wanting their offering to be accounted for for tax deductions at the end of the year make need for a 501-C-3, and all the troubles it brings.

We have been givers, tithers, etc., but have always given as a cash "gift," or a check with "gift"  clearly marked on it; never requiring an accounting of our giving.

Mike
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2008, 07:44:55 PM »

In my opinion,

If your cowboy minister is going to be looking for donations, he should incorporate as a 501-C-3.

He should have articles of incorporation, a board of directors, and a set of bylaws.

Every 501-C-3 should make their finances public.  First of all, they should have published their mission objectives, and then they should show how donations are achieving those objectives, including a financial report.

As for ordination, it is odd that ministers have to seek ordination from complete strangers.  Somehow, that just seems off.  Are there no ministerial organizations operating in the cowboy community that would recognize the calling and then ordain this person?

I do believe strongly that ministries need to be accountable for their finances.  And, I believe there needs to be a reasonable system of accountability in place (and I don't mean a board of "yes men" or family members.) 

This is partially why I question ordination by a ministry in a far away location that doesn't know the minister or has no ongoing relationship in his ministry. 

A few thoughts off the top my head.    Wink
UD
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Michael T
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« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2008, 08:05:18 PM »

As for ordination, it is odd that ministers have to seek ordination from complete strangers.  Somehow, that just seems off.  Are there no ministerial organizations operating in the cowboy community that would recognize the calling and then ordain this person?

I do believe strongly that ministries need to be accountable for their finances.  And, I believe there needs to be a reasonable system of accountability in place (and I don't mean a board of "yes men" or family members.) 

This is partially why I question ordination by a ministry in a far away location that doesn't know the minister or has no ongoing relationship in his ministry. 

I agree with you.
Howbeit, up to now, he has never asked for monies.  People just hand him money to help pay his way.

As far as ordination, the IMA (the one in Florida) has member ministers all over the nation (as I am sure you know).  There would be a local (somewhere in the state) oversight board.

The Cowboy Churches nationwide represent several differing ministries, and do have various oversight headquarters.  However, the ones we are knowledgeable about are into the hyper faith/name-it-and-claim-it/don't ever confess a lack or need, type of doctrines.  They are also into helping to bless the Christian by constantly soliciting tithes and offerings - so the Christian attending can be blessed by giving.  Our friend is not into these types of excesses.  Rather he rightly flees from them.

It is for this reason I would like to see those of us that know him be the ones to ordain him.  It is just that I do not know if that is sufficient when it comes to States and the Feds requirements.

Thanks for your thoughts.  Keep um come'n.
Mike
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Nomad
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2008, 09:00:28 PM »

If I might make a suggestion:

Have your friend contact a local community college that offers classes in business, business law and etcetera.  'Hate to say it, but once money moves from one hand to another, "business" is involved, and the government is watching.

A little education now could save him a lot of grief later.  It's worth the investment. 

There are also several good computer programs that are aimed at church finances.  These make record keeping much easier, and can generate the end of year tax receipts.
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Heb 11:13  All these faithful ones died without receiving what God had promised them, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed the promises of God. They agreed that they were no more than foreigners and nomads here on earth.
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2008, 10:39:45 AM »

The way it is.

A Church does not have to be a 5013c. EVER

But this guy is not a church but is starting a paraministry.  So he probably should be a non profit corp.

A 5013c for a church is to protect the ministers and leaders of the church.  It does NOT protect the church but instead makes it much easier to sue the church. 

Ordination

If he is the head of the paraministry then he does not need it.   If he wants to marry someone then he needs to be licensed by the state just to do that.

Some people think they need to be "ordained" to minister.  But that really is just a "church" thing.  God can anoint you and then you can just "go".

Being ordained does open some doors for you.

Bob
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Michael T
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2008, 10:42:46 AM »

... If he wants to marry someone then he needs to be licensed by the state just to do that. ...

How does one go about being licensed by the state?  When I performed a marriage, all it took was my ordination certificate.  (But, that was 20 years ago.)

Mike
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Michael T
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2008, 06:16:58 PM »

I found out the answer to the original post of this thread.

I have been researching the “law” when it comes to legally performing weddings in Washington and in Oregon.  In so doing, I've talked to departments in both states.

In Washington, the marriage form only asks for who performed the wedding.  They actually said the preference, from the State's perspective, is that someone is married.  They trust the person performing the ceremony is in fact a member of the recognized clergy.  They don’t check to verify the information on the form unless someone contacts them with a complaint that the information could be bogus.  I found this out by calling Washington State in Olympia at Statistical Services at (360) 236-4330.  No “clergy” needs to register with the State at any time.

In Oregon, the person performing the wedding does need to be an ordained minister that is recognized such by some/any recognized church or organization.  This organization or church does need to be “official” and have a physical address where they can be contacted.  This church or organization does not need to be in  Oregon.  The ordained minister (clergy) does not need to register with the State of Oregon prior to  performing weddings.

When I asked Oregon about someone that had a traveling ministry and did not have a “church” physical address, I was told that the marriage form had two places for address’s that the clergy needed to fill out:  One is the physical address for the recognized church or organization that has recognized the officiating person as clergy, and, the form will ask for your physical address.  In Oregon I called their Center for Health Statistics / Marriages / Darcy Niemeyer at 971-673-1160.

The simple bottom line is that in these two states you just fill out the marriage form.  Washington will trust you to be who you say you are.  Oregon will trust you, but wants two address from you to verify your authority to do weddings.

Now, when it comes to performing weddings in other states, you would need to contact each State’s Vital Statistics office to find out their laws/regulations, prior to performing a wedding.

Mike

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lanny
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2008, 10:06:17 PM »

---I have performed weddings since CCBTC days. I have considered my ordination to be for life. Since my vision & faith have not changed I still perform weddings for those I know. I might add that I was blessed to marry both of my adult children. That was a highlight of ministry. The WA state paperwork is as you say. On a practical note someone can marry without a minister. Just file the paperwork yourself.
Lanny
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