How we are organized
Districts: The national structure of the IFCA consists of given Districts, formed by smaller units known as sections or zones.
Geographical Scope: The vast geographical areas assigned to the respective Districts and obvious omission of some are as were dictated by the early settlement of Italian immigrants. The Church must go where the people are. Of late years, with the organization progressively losing its distinctively Italian identity, the “cities-in-between” are being reached.
Self Governing at all levels: On the national, district and local levels the congregational form of government is practiced. Each unit of the organizational structure is autonomous; that is, self-governing. Article 8 in the 1956-57 edition of the General Council Manual clearly defines this relationship:
“Each local church in this fellowship shall reserve the right of self-government and shall be free to adopt administrative rules and
regulations for its own welfare, providing they do not conflict with the deliberations of the General Council. If a church with its
administration is unable to solve any of its problems, it shall if it wishes, summon the Presbyters of its district for counsel and advice.
Should the problem warrant further investigation and/or attention, the General Overseers shall be summoned though the District office
either by the church or district Presbytery.”
A Cooperative Fellowship: A cooperative fellowship is thusly formed protecting the identity and objectives of the local churches and districts; at the same time affording an excellent opportunity for accomplishing corporately what could not be done individually particularly regarding the missionary enterprise.
The Executive Board: The highest board in the denomination is the Executive Board, consisting of 13 elective offices though not always comprised of 13 elective persons because some men might be responsible for more than one portfolio. Provision is made for a General Overseer who serves as Chairman of the Executive Board and presides at the General Convention. The Assistant General Overseer elects and serves as the Chairman of the FOCUS committee and acts as the Vice President of the corporation. Each elected district overseer automatically becomes an Assistant General Overseer, representing his perspective District, with a seat on the Executive Board. Additional portfolios at the Executive level are served by Presbyters who are also known as Executive directors of the following departments: FAITH, ORDER, CREDENTIALS, UNITY & STANDARDS (FOCUS) directed by the Chairman of said Committee, is to “hold fast the faith once for all delivered unto the saints” and to certify the clergy of the IFCA; the FOCUS committee is also the finance committee. FOREIGN MISSIONS, which supervises all ministry in foreign countries: HOME MISSIONS which covers all US evangelistic and mass medial outreaches; LAY MINISTRIES, which include Men’s fellowship, ladies ministries and youth. PUBLIC RELATIONS regularly produce literature in addition to the the IFCA Vista magazine, and the EDUCATION DEPARTMENT which includes the Sunday school and School of the Bible.
District government: Districts are directed by a Board known as the District Presbytery suited to the needs and created by the ministers of the respective Districts. Generally, one or two elected Overseers function throughout each District. Conventions are usually held semiannually or annually.
Local government: Local church properties are held in custody by Trustees or Deacons (who also serve as Trustees) elected in number and method by the congregation according to State requirements. The extent of a Trustee’s authority in governing church matters is dictated by the constitution and by-laws drawn up by the local congregation. This same document defines the relationship of the Trustees to their Pastor, generally upholding the dignity and authority of the Pastor and rarely allowing any infringement by Trustees in the spiritual program of the church. Deacons, and sometimes Elders, assist the Pastor in serving the congregations.