The Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic was formed in 1989 as a re-organization of The Historical Society of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America begun in 1952 and of its predecessor organizations, the first of which was founded in 1843.
This Constitution is effective as approved by the membership of the Lutheran Historical Society on April 21, 2002.
The name of this organization shall be The Lutheran Historical Society of the Mid-Atlantic (hereafter referred to as The Society).
ARTICLE II–PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF THE SOCIETY
SECTION 1. The mission of The Society is to preserve, to document, and to share the history of Lutherans and Lutheranism in the Middle Atlantic and adjoining areas.
SECTION 2. The Society’s purposes are to:
a. stimulate interest in the history of Lutherans and Lutheranism
b. encourage the collection and preservation of archival materials; document
Lutheran church life at the regional, synodical, and congregational levels;
c. assist scholarly research exploring Lutheran history.
SECTION 1. Membership in this Society shall be open to all individuals, congregations, and other institutions supporting the mission of the Society.
SECTION 2. Each institutional member may designate one representative to vote at annual meetings.
SECTION 3. Individual members and the one designated representative from each institutional member may vote in Society meetings and may hold office.
ARTICLE IV-MEETINGS OF THE SOCIETY
SECTION 1. The Society shall hold one Annual Meeting for the purposes of conducting business.
SECTION 2. Additional meetings of The Society or Special Meetings may be called for the presentation of research papers, workshops, special reports, and general fellowship by the action of the Board of Directors, or in unusual circumstances, by the President of The Society.
SECTION 3. Sixteen voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at the meetings of The Society.
SECTION 4. Notice of all meetings shall be given at least thirty days in advance by regular mail to the last known addresses of The Society’s
SECTION 5. All business conducted at the meetings shall be guided by Roberts Rules of Order, latest edition.
ARTICLE V–BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SECTION 1. The Society shall be governed between meetings by a Board of Directors. Terms of office of the members of the Board of Directors shall be three years.
SECTION 2. The Board of Directors shall have at least nine and no more than fifteen members with one-third of the members elected each year at the Annual Meeting of The Society. The Board of Directors may fill vacancies on the Board with interim members subject to approval at the next regularly scheduled Annual Meeting of The Society.
SECTION 3. At the first Board Meeting following the Annual Meeting, the Board of Directors shall elect the president, vice-president, recording secretary, corresponding secretary and treasurer for a term of one year.
SECTION 4. A majority of the members of the Board of Directors shall constitute a quorum.
SECTION 5. The Board of Directors shall elect the editor(s) of publications who shall serve at its pleasure.
SECTION 6. The Board of Directors is authorized to adopt, amend and repeal Standing Rules for The Society.
SECTION 7. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once in any given calendar year.
SECTION 1. The Board of Directors shall establish categories of membership and dues for individuals and institutions.
SECTION 2. The Board of Directors may create permanent special accounts whose principal will be invested and whose earned income shall only be used for the purposes of the Society. Principal funds in special accounts may be expended only by action of the Society at a legally conducted meeting.
SECTION 3. The Treasurer shall present a financial statement to the Society members at its Annual meeting and to the Board at its regularly scheduled meetings.
SECTION 4. The President and the Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget for the calendar year for consideration and adoption by the Board of Directors.
SECTION 5. The President shall appoint two members of the Board to conduct an annual audit of the Society’s finances with a report provided at the fall meeting of the Board.
ARTICLE VII. COMMITTEES
SECTION 1. There shall be the following Standing Committees: Executive and Nominating. The officers of the Board constitute the Executive Committee. This Committee is to conduct the business of the Society between meetings of the Board and the Society, itself.
SECTION 2. Other Standing Committees may be created, modified and eliminated from time to time at the direction of the Board of Directors or the Society. The duties and membership of these Committees shall be specified in the Standing Rules.
SECTION 3. Committee members are members of the Society and are appointed by the Executive Committee with approval of the Board of Directors. The Chairperson of each standing Committee shall be a member of the Board of Directors.
SECTION 1. This Constitution may be amended at any legally called meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present, providing that there be a six-weeks advanced notice of the proposed amendment.
SECTION 1. The duties of the officers shall be:
A. President. To preside at all meetings of the Society, Board and Executive Committee; to call special meetings of the Board, after seeking the advice of the Executive Committee; to appoint members to regular and ad hoc committees composed of members of the Society and/or the Board; with the Recording Secretary, to sign all official records of the Society
B. Vice President. To act in the place of the President, where necessary; to be Chairperson of the Nominating Committee.
C. Recording Secretary. To record and distribute all minutes of the Society, Board and Executive Committee; to send notice of all meetings of Board and Society; to conduct all official business between the Society and other historical, Church or government agencies.
D. Treasurer. To keep a record of all financial information of the Society; to conduct all financial business of the Society; to present a financial statement regarding the Society’s finances to the Annual meeting and to all regularly scheduled meetings of the Board.
D. Corresponding Secretary. To receive all information of the Society; to keep a list of active members; to prepare and distribute the Society’s literature to the membership.
Resolved, that all standing rules of the Lutheran Historical Society, presently in force are hereby repealed and replaced by the following.
1. Standing Committees.
A. Membership Committee. The Membership Committee shall recruit new members and sustain contacts with the Churches and Synods in Region 8 of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. There shall be three members of the Membership Committee, one of whom is not a member of the Board. Members of the Membership Committee shall serve three year terms, with one member leaving the Committee each year.
B. Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee shall receive and make nominations to the Board and provide a list of nominees for a term on the Board of Directors to the Annual Meeting of the Society. The Nominating Committee shall provide a list of officers of the Society for election by the Board of Directors at the Board’s next scheduled meeting following the annual meeting of the Society The Vice President shall chair the Nominating Committee which shall have two other members, at least one of whom is not a member of the Board. No member of this Committee shall serve more than three years.
C. Prize Committee. The Prize Committee shall publicize and receive nominations for the St. Paul Biglerville and Wentz prizes and make recommendations to the Board for recipients of these prizes. The Prize Committee shall also monitor and provide to the Board an annual report of the status of the assets of the Society held in the Endowment Funds of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg. There shall be three members of the Prize Committee, at least one of whom is not a member of the Board. Members of the Prize Committee shall serve three year terms, with one member leaving the Committee each year.
D. Program Committee. The Program Committee shall be responsible for the program and local arrangements of the Annual Meeting of the Society and any other meetings that the Board of Directors, the Society or, in unusual circumstances, the President might schedule. There shall be three members of the Program Committee, at least one of whom is not a member of the Board. Members of the Program Committee shall serve three year terms, with one member leaving each year.
E. Publicity Committee. The Publicity Committee shall make members of the Society, the Church and the general public aware of the business of the Society, as appropriate, and the program of the annual meeting. There shall be three members of the Publicity Committee, at least one of whom is not a member of the Board. Members of the Publicity Committee shall serve three year terms, with one member leaving the Committee each year.
2. Categories of Membership and Dues.
The following are the categories of membership in the Society and the annual charge for each:
a. $20 Annual Membership (individual, household, and institutional)
b. $250 Life Membership
A. During the month of October each year a notice with a return envelope enclosed shall be sent to all members of the Society soliciting dues for the coming year. Toward the end of January, a second notice shall be sent to those members who have not responded to the first. Within a month after the annual meeting, a third notice shall be sent to those who have not responded by June 15, they shall be dropped from the membership rolls. As soon as possible after June 15 the treasurer shall transfer the delinquents to the former member file.
B. The membership year is the calendar year. The fiscal year extends from October 1 to September 30.
3. In cooperation with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the Lutheran Historical Society, awards the Abdel Ross Wentz Prize for the best essay or research paper submitted by a Lutheran student enrolled in a first-degree program at an accredited theological seminary on a subject in American Lutheran church history.
a. The principal amount of the prize funds, contributed by the friends and family of Dr. Abdel Ross Wentz (1883-1976), is invested and managed by the seminary. An agreement approved by the seminary and the society prescribes the responsibilities of each in managing and expanding the funds.The prize is administered by the Society’s Prize Committee.
b. The Prize Committee is authorized to use income from the prize fund to defray costs incurred in administration which are not otherwise provided for; to choose judges to evaluate papers submitted and make their recommendations to the committee; to determine the amount of each prize, including second and third prizes, if in its opinion, such are warranted; and to select all recipients. Assuming the availability of qualified submissions, the normal sequence of prizes is at least one each year. Except in the absence of such submissions, available prize funds should be expended and not allowed to accumulate.
c. The Prize Committee shall keep a record of its activity and report to the Board of Directors on its work at least annually.
4. In cooperation with the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, the Lutheran Historical Society, awards the St. Paul’s, Biglerville, Prize for a publishable work of mature scholarship in the field of American Lutheran church history.
a. The principal amount of the prize funds, contributed by St. Paul’s Lutheran church, Biglerville PA, is invested and managed by the seminary. An agreement approved by the seminary and the Society prescribes the responsibilities of each in managing and expending the funds.The prize is administered by the Society’s Prize Committee.
b. The Prize Committee is authorized to use income from the prize fund to defray costs incurred in administration which are not otherwise provided for; to choose judges to evaluate works which it selects for consideration and make their recommendations to the committee; to determine the amount of each prize; and to select each recipient. Assuming the availability of qualified works, the normal sequence of prizes is one every three years. Except in the absence of such works, available prize funds should be expended and not allowed to accumulate.
c. The Prize Committee shall keep a record of its activity and report to the Board of Directors on its work at least annually.
5. The Society offers travel, meal, and lodging expenses to speakers at annual meetings. It may solicit from the presenters at its public meetings release forms approved by the Board of Directors.
6. The Board of Directors may establish local chapters of the Society. Members of each local chapter shall also be members of the Society. Local chapters shall develop programs of their own choosing, but such programs shall be consistent with the stated purposes of the parent society. Each chapter shall maintain regular contact with the parent society, in order to insure that the efforts of both are complementary and mutually supportive.
7. Unless otherwise designated, all gifts of $500 or more, or which over a period of time accumulate to that amount will be placed in the endowment and donors will receive a certificate to that effect.