How To Affiliate Your Church

Thank you for your desire to become an affiliated church with Open Bible Churches. We will work closely with you in this quest. Below are the steps needed for affiliating your church.

Step 1:

Please complete the Church Affiliation Agreement, sign where indicated, and send it with requested documents to your regional executive director. The agreement must be approved by the regional and national boards.

Step 2:

The church must be incorporated in the state in which it resides, except for West Virginia, according to the laws of that state. Although the words, “Open Bible,” are preferred as part of the church’s name, they are not required. However, if those words are not used, a statement is required in the church’s Articles of Incorporation declaring affiliation with Open Bible Churches. Your Articles of Incorporation can be amended to include the sentence, “[Name of church] is affiliated with Open Bible Churches, an Iowa 501(c)(3) religious and educational corporation.” All churches must have a dissolution clause in their articles of incorporation provided to them by the regional executive director.

Step 3:

Enclose a copy of the church’s Articles of Incorporation (either original or amended) and the Secretary of State’s acknowledgement of the church’s incorporation.

Step 4:

All churches must have a Federal Employer Identification Number obtained prior to submitting this application. This number can be obtained online at by downloading form SS4 and following the instructions for obtaining the number either by phone or fax. Upon approval for affiliation, your church will be included as a federal, tax-exempt organization and will receive a federal group exemption number from Open Bible Churches. Therefore the church need not go through the process of becoming a 501(c)(3) corporation on its own.

Step 5:

Church Bylaws

  1. If the church making application to affiliate is a church plant or will be under regional supervision, the church plant or regional supervision bylaws template will be personalized and submitted with affiliation application.
  2. If the church making application to affiliate is an existing church and will not be under regional supervision, the region, church and Open Bible secretary-treasurer will work together in following these bylaws procedures.
  • The church will electronically submit (Word document) its bylaws to the secretary-treasurer, copied to the region.
  • The secretary-treasurer will either give approval for the church to present the document to its membership, give instructions for required changes and/or recommend changes/corrections.
  1. If changes are required, the church will make the changes and resubmit its bylaws to the secretary-treasurer (copied to the region) for approval.
  2. If changes are recommended the church may or may not choose to make the changes. If the church chooses to make the changes, it will resubmit its bylaws to the secretary- treasurer (copied to the region) for approval after making the modifications.

  • Upon approval for presentation to the church membership, the church will present bylaws to its membership with a motion stating the bylaws will take effect upon approval of affiliation by the Open Bible administrative committee. The membership- approved bylaws will be signed and submitted (both paper and an electronic Word document) with the affiliation application to the region.
  • The region will submit a paper set of bylaws to the national office with the affiliation application and submit an electronic Word document to the secretary-treasurer’s assistant.
  • If the affiliation application is approved by the administrative committee, the national office will send the church a bylaws approval letter, certificate and a printed set of bylaws. The bylaws will be sent electronically to the region.

Step 6:

If you have adopted a Statement of Faith other than Open Bible Churches’ Statement of Faith, enclose a copy for approval.

Step 7:

Enclose a completed and signed Pastoral Covenant of Relationship.

Step 8:

Enclose an application fee of $50.00 payable to your region.


Download a PDF of this list

View Minimum Bylaw Requirements

You are welcome to contact your regional executive director concerning any questions. It is our pleasure to work with you.