The River Conference of the Free Methodist Church

Pastor + Church Leader Resources

Articles of Incorporation

Filing articles of incorporation is legally required for any churches to be classified as a nonprofit entity. Complete this fillable document to provide your Articles to The River Conference, FMCUSA, and other financial institutions. Keep this document in a safe place that you can easily access when needed.


Bylaws are the overall guiding principles for operating your church. We have provided a template that can be filled out with your information. The document is for a non-profit corporation and is what you will need to provide to The River Conference, FMCUSA, and other financial institutions. Keep this document in a safe place that you can easily access when needed. 

Legal & Administrative Resources at FMCUSA

The Free Methodist Church USA has a Church Legal and Administrative Resources Library on its website. If you are in need of more information related to children and youth ministries, employment, volunteers, policies and procedures, liability, or property, there are many downloadable resources available here. 

Financial Resources

Find important River Conference forms related to church finances and accounting.

The Center for Pastoral Formation

Find out more about ordination and coursework through FMCUSA’s Center for Pastoral Formation

Welcome Packet

Whether you are new to The River Conference, or just need an update on our policies, programs, and expectations, download our welcome packet. This contains a lot of valuable information that every pastor should know.

Local Church Profile

From time to time, the Superintendents will request that you complete a TRC Church Profile  to help them better understand your church and the context in which it operates.

Pulpit Supply

Add your name to the database of pastors available to fill River Conference pulpits.

Pastoral Transitions

One of the most stressful seasons in the life a local church is the transition of a lead Pastor. Congregants often compare the loss of an effective lead pastor to the loss of family member, confidante, or close friend. Additionally, many Pastors feel a sense of loss even if they are transitioning to another ministry opportunity as they are deeply invested in the relationships, ministries, and mission of the churches they serve. To better prepare Churches and transitioning Pastors, we are urging those who are transitioning or anticipate transitioning, develop a transition plan in conjunction with The River Conference Superintendents.

Please download and review the Pastoral Transition document if you are contemplating a transition.

When The River Conference recommends a pastoral candidate for appointment to a local church, the Ministerial Appointments Committee (MAC) has generally reviewed the church profile constructed by the Local Board of Administration (LBOA). That profile includes information about the needs of the church and community. In addition, the pastoral candidate has had several interviews with the Superintendents and the MAC to carefully evaluate their academic, experiential, spiritual, and personal preparation to lead a local congregation. Based upon this information, the first best-fit available pastor is recommended for appointment to the church.

When this happens, the delegate(s), LBOA, and recommended pastoral candidate have an opportunity to reflect with one another prior to final affirmation of the appointment. This happens through a meeting between the prospective pastor, delegate(s), and LBOA. Please download the Pastoral Transition – Interview Guidelines to help you with this meeting.