A church member who moves from one locality to another for a period of longer than six months, should, after becoming located, make immediate application for a letter of transfer to a church near his or her new place of residence, or in case of a member locating in an isolated area with no church within a reasonable distance, the customary plan is to make application to join the conference or local field church. (Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual)
The procedure for transferring members from one Adventist church to another is a four step process as follows:
|Step One||A request for a letter of transfer is sent to the home church of the person who wants to transfer in.||Download form|
|Step Two||The home church receives the request, votes on it, then sends back a letter of transfer.||Download form|
|Step Three||The receiving church votes to accept the person into membership and sends back a confirmation letter.|
|Step Four||The church clerk in the receiving church sends the appropriate report form to the Missions Church Clerk at our head office in Watford.||Download form|
In more detail the procedure is as follows:
1. When an Adventist member moves into a new area and they make contact with a local church they should be encouraged to transfer their membership to that church if they are going to be there for more than six months or so.
2. The church clerk of the receiving church should get the details of the person's home church - that is, the church where their membership is currently held.
3. The church clerk should then send a request for a letter of transfer to the person's home church. No board or business meeting action is required at this stage.
4. In the person's home church the letter of request should be received by the church clerk, passed on to the pastor or elder, read out before the church, then voted upon the following week.
5. The church clerk of the sending church should then complete a letter of transfer and send it to the clerk of the church to which the person is proposing to transfer his or her membership, along with a blank confirmation letter for the church clerk of the receiving church to complete and return. As the blank confirmation letter should always be sent with the letter of transfer, the two are contained within the same document on this website. Download the combined letter of transfer and confirmation letter.
6. When the church clerk of the receiving church receives the letter of transfer he or she should pass it on to the pastor or church elder who presents it to the church board or business meeting for recommendation to the church as a whole.
7. A the next regular church service the request is read out then voted on the following week. The interval of a week gives existing members to raise questions or make relevant comments outside of the regular church service time.
8. Once the person has been voted in the clerk of the receiving church writes the member's name in the church roll, with the date of admittance.
9. The church clerk of the receiving church should also complete the confirmation letter, thus certifying that the member has been accepted, and send it back to the clerk of the church from which the member was transferred.
10. Note that until the person is voted into the new church he or she remains a member of the old church.
Once the above procedure has been completed the person is a member of the new church. However it is very important that the receiving church clerk sends the Quarterly Report Form to the Mission Office in Watford as it is their central record which is used to generate all the official membership statistics of the church. If any individuals have been removed from membership during the quarter the Membership Removal Form should also be completed and returned.
Of course there are times when the procedure does not run smoothly, or when the home church cannot be contacted etc. With these situations in mind the following procedure was voted by the Irish Mission Executive:
When efforts have been made to secure a transfer from the applicant's home church and they have proved to be unsuccessful:
1. At least three attempts should be made over a six-month period to secure a transfer by the normal process.
2. The church board shall satisfy itself over a period of one year that the person is in regular standing.
3. The person shall then be considered to be accepted on Profession of Faith.
For more information and for guiding principles, refer to the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual.