How many local church treasurers can there be?

This should be a simple question: how many treasurers can a local church have? The 2012 Discipline should have a simple answer to this question. It does not.

The short answer: it depends on which part of the 2012 Discipline is consulted.

¶ 258 is one long paragraph: it covers administrative committees of a local church and spans pages 190 through 199 (inclusive). ¶ 258.4 discusses the committee on finance. As far as I can tell, page 198 is the only section in the entire Discipline that explicitly describes the responsibility of the local church treasurer(s):

2012 Discipline, page 198 (¶ 258.4)

2012 Discipline, page 198 (¶ 258.4)

Page 198 clearly suggests that the local church can have more than one treasurer. All of them must be adequately bonded.

How are all the treasurers selected? ¶ 249 provides that each treasurer who is not a paid employee must be elected by the charge conference. Page 175 describes this requirement:

2012 Discipline, page 175 (¶ 249)

2012 Discipline, page 175 (¶ 249)

¶ 249.4 clearly allows for the election of “church treasurer(s)”. Yet ¶ 249.8 prohibits two persons from sharing the local church office of treasurer. When it comes to the office of treasurer, it seems like it should not be shared between persons. Sharing oversight of financial assets effectively undercuts financial controls. Accountability matters when it comes to disbursing money.

I’d like to say that this contradiction in the Discipline is a recent change. It isn’t. The 1992 General Conference first added the language at ¶ 249.8 (Calendar Item 730, DCA page 303). This contradiction has existed in the 1992 Discipline, the 1996 Discipline, the 2000 Discipline, the 2004 Discipline, the 2008 Discipline, and the 2012 Discipline.

The long answer: a local church can (probably) only have one treasurer.
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