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518. Authorization for Organization. The organization of a developing church as a fully established church, or of a group of believers who have applied to a district superintendent for organization as a Wesleyan church, empowering it to assemble for business as a local church conference and to elect a local board of administration, and investing it with all the rights, powers, and duties of a local church as given in the Constitution (315) and as set forth elsewhere in The Discipline, may be authorized by the district board of administration and effected by the district superintendent when it meets these requirements:

(1) Twenty-five or more persons who are members or are approved and ready to be received as members when the organization shall be effected.
(2) Effective evangelism and a record of new converts and/or believers’ baptisms incorporated into the church.
(3) An intentional investment of financial and human resources into community and global needs.
(4) A reasonable degree of financial stability, including the meeting of such obligations as it may have to the General Church and the district.
(5) A reasonable degree of leadership and organizational maturity, with sufficient qualified persons to staff the minimum organization provided for in 810.
(6) The holding of all property in trust for The Wesleyan Church as required in 4610 (4680) or steps taken to accomplish the same.
(7) An established church may be reclassified by the district conference or the district board of administration as a developing church if such is recommended by the district superintendent and:
(a) If its membership drops to thirty or fewer (1180:22; 1233:26); or
(b) If no new converts and/or believers’ baptisms have been reported by the church within the previous two years; or
(c) If no intentional investment of financial and human resources into the needs of those outside the church has been demonstrated within the two previous years; or
(d) If it has consistently declined in attendance over the past seven years; or
(e) If it ceases to meet one or more of the other conditions set forth in 518:2–5 (4670).