Official Documentation Path for New Churches
After District approval, you will need to set up your official documentation for your new church. You will need an EIN# and 501c3 set up before you can get a bank account to receive donations. Getting the legal documentation set up is often confusing for church planters, but don’t you worry, we’ve made it really easy. Just smile and follow the steps below!
1 | Select a Church Name
Before your new church can become official it needs a name. Choosing a great church name is important. Click HERE to download an article entitled, “How to Choose a Great Church Name.”
2 | Establish an Address
If you do not have a permanent church facility, consider getting a P.O. Box instead of using your personal home address. In most areas, a P.O. Box is less than $25 per year. A church name is all that is needed for obtaining a P.O. Box. Some local mail shops are now offering P.O. Boxes with an actual address rather than a P.O. Box address.
3 | Get an EIN# (Tax ID)
An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is a nine-digit number that the IRS assigns to business entities. The process of obtaining a Federal Tax Number is very simple and it’s FREE. Click HERE to apply online via the IRS website. You must have an EIN number to get a bank account and obtain status as a new church with The Wesleyan Church Headquarters.
4 | Notice of New Church Listing and 501c3
Contact your District Administrator who will input your information to the Portal. Your District Administrator will submit the form to TWC General Secretary at Headquarters. Upon receipt of the NNCL form, the General Secretary will mail out your 501c3 Tax Exempt certificate within 10 business days. All Wesleyan churches are under the tax exemption umbrella of The Wesleyan Church.
5 | Establish a Church Bank Account
Armed with the products from steps 1-4 above, you can open a business checking account. Many banks offer a free (no fees) checking account to non-profit organizations. The bank may want to see your official EIN form and tax exempt approval letter from the IRS to set the account up as a non-profit. Opening an account will usually take two trips to the bank. One visit to obtain the application form and a second to submit the form with required documentation. In most cases, your designated Board (Sending Church or District Board) will need a signed resolution to establish the account. *Check with your District to see if they require a representative from the District leadership team to be on the checking account as a potential check signer. You may also find it helpful to tap into a virtual bookkeeper/accountant during the early phase of your church plant, such as, Belay Solutions.
6 | Register on Pastor Portal (Wesleyan.org)
Create your new account on the Wesleyan Pastor’s Portal.
1. Go to Wesleyan.org/pastors
2. On the login page click “register” on the right side of the screen
3. On the Register Account screen you need to enter your first name, last name, email, and password. The email address will become your login username. The password must be a minimum of six characters in length, contain at least one letter, and contain at least one number or symbol. List of approved symbols !@#$%^&*
5. Click “Submit.” If the registration was successful you will see a message stating, “An email has been sent to you at (the email address they entered).” You must verify your email address is legit. Check your inbox or junk email folder to activate your account.
6. The system will send you an email. Inside the email you need to click on the link, which verifies your account. If there is a pastor record in the database with the same email address the system will automatically approve the request. If there is not a match of email addresses then you will receive an email from Wesleyan.org granting your approval.
7 | DBA Approval Items
Keep in mind, your District may require special District Board of Administration (DBA) approval for certain items. Be sure to double check with your District leadership when you come in contact with any of these dynamics:
-Any expenditure that is over 10% of the budget
-Signing of ANY legal/binding contract
-Purchase of land or building
-Lease of building of any type
-Hiring of Staff