The Articles of Incorporation of each local church shall include the following provisions:
- The corporate name shall include the words “Church of the Nazarene.”
- The bylaws of the corporation shall be the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene.
- The Articles of Incorporation shall not contain any provision that might prevent the local church from qualifying for any tax exemption available to churches in the same area.
- Upon dissolution, the assets of the corporation shall be distributed to the District Advisory Board.
The Articles of Incorporation may contain additional provisions when appropriate under local law. No provision, however, shall be included that can cause the property of the local church to be diverted from the Church of the Nazarene. (101–101.1, 104.3, 106.1–106.3)
In multicongregational churches, where more than one organized church shares the same facility, incorporation may take place in partnership where local laws allow.
In localities where incorporation is not possible, the church name shall include the words “Church of the Nazarene” on all legal documents including, but not limited to the property deed(s) and deed(s) of trust. (102.2)
Property. The local church considering the purchase or sale of real estate, the erection of churches or church-related buildings, a major remodeling of either, or leasing real property for any reason, shall submit its proposal to the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board for their consideration, advice, and approval. No indebtedness, whether involving a mortgage or not, shall be incurred in the purchase of real estate or the erection of buildings or a major remodeling of either, without the written approval of the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board. The local church shall submit quarterly financial and status reports to this board throughout the construction process. (236–237.5)
In case agreement cannot be reached between the church board and the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board, the issue may be submitted to the general superintendent having jurisdiction, for a decision. Either the church or the district superintendent may appeal such decision to the Board of General Superintendents for a final decision. All such appeals, rebuttals of appeals, or arguments pertaining thereto, whether to the general superintendent in jurisdiction or the Board of General Superintendents, shall be in writing. A copy of the appeal, rebuttals of appeals, or arguments pertaining thereto by either the church board or the district superintendent shall be sent to the other party involved. The minute record of a church board appeal shall include the appeal resolution, arguments sustaining it, and the record of the vote taken.
Restrictions. The local church may not purchase or lease real estate, nor sell, mortgage, refinance with accrual of additional debt, exchange, or in any other way encumber real property, or otherwise dispose of real estate unless approved by a two-thirds vote of the members present at an annual meeting, or at a special meeting properly called. If a church is refinancing an existing debt, and the refinancing arrangement does not increase the debt of the church and does not further encumber the real estate of the church, approval for the refinancing may be granted by a two-thirds vote of the board, without the need to take a congregational vote on the matter. The church board may approve by two-thirds vote of its members present and voting, the disposition of properties donated for the specific purpose of providing funds for the local church. All items above require the written approval of the district superintendent and the District Church Properties Board. (113.3–113.4, 113.7–113.8, 237.3–237.4)
The real estate of the local church shall not be mortgaged to meet current expenses.
A local church which mortgages or sells real estate, or receives insurance claims on real estate, shall use the proceeds only for the purchase or capital improvement of real estate, the planting of a new church, or to reduce other real estate indebtedness. Only with the approval of the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board shall any proceeds be used for other purposes.
Trustees and/or a local church may not divert property from the use of the Church of the Nazarene. (113–113.1)
Withdrawal of Churches. No local church may withdraw as a body from the Church of the Nazarene, or in any way sever its relation thereto, except by provision of the General Assembly, and upon agreed conditions and plans. (106.2–106.3)