All Souls Bylaws

​The earliest bylaws were formed by decisions made in the first meetings of the church founders, documented in the first bound book of minutes (1819-1845), which can be found online in our digital archives at Meadville Lombard Theological School:

​​The Bylaws of the church were adopted on February 14th, 1820, and have been amended, mostly in minor ways, over the years.  The latest version, last amended in 2009, is available here:

2009 bylaws.jpg

For a searchable transcription (thanks to James Moskin) of the minutes taken at the first two meetings of the church founders, click here:

The church was incorporated in 1819:

The minutes of the meeting in February 1820, when the founders adopted bylaws congruent with the Laws of Incorporation of Religious Institutions in the State of New York are here

We don’t, unfortunately, have any copies of the actual By-laws in their earliest form.  Marietta Moskin, who wrote and edited the All Souls Quarterly Review for many years, wrote in 1995 that  

A diligent search of our Archives has not produced a copy of those original by-laws. The earliest copy of a revised set of by-laws found in the Archives dates back to 1843, but since by-laws have generally changed only slowly over the years, that 1843 document probably reflects the ideas of the original founders in 1820 quite faithfully. 

To read the full article, click on the thumbnail:

The article says that bylaws were adopted in 1843, 1893, 1922, 1933, 1952, 1961, 1967, 1989, but we haven’t yet found copies of those versions. 

We have the 1967 by-laws here:

In 1975, All Souls was reincorporated:

A fairly important amendment was made to the by-laws in 1984.  Up until that time, to become a member In 1984 a change was made to remove the requirement that to become a member a person must have accepted the Right Hand of Fellowship and then acknowledge their subscription to the Bond of Union, “In the freedom of the truth and in the spirit of Jesus, we unite for the worship of God,” and sign the Membership Book.  After 1989, the requirement to subscribe to the bond of union was removed, and one only had to sign the Membership Book to become a member. See page 2: