.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 10 : Church Courts in General

Paragraph 6 : On Defraying Expenses

10-6. The expenses of ministers and ruling elders in their attendance on the courts shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent.

[Historical Summary : In 1925 the PCUS approved a major revision of its Book of Church Order, and at this paragraph, there was added a clause on the expenses of Commissioners. That clause was retained in the 1933 edition that became the template for the Continuing Presbyterian Church's proposed BCO. This added clause was then deleted from the edtion approved in 1973, and that modified text remains the current PCA text. It is interesting to note that the approved PCA text was thus returned to the exact wording of the first approved PCUS edition of 1879.]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, 11-6, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 132
The expenses of Ministers and Ruling Elders in their attendance on the courts shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent.

1. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 11-6, Proposed text, p. 11
2. PCUS 1933, § 56
3. PCUS 1925, § 56
The expenses of Ministers and Ruling Elders in their attendance on the courts shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent, except that the expenses of Commissioners to the General Assembly shall be paid out of the treasury of the General Assembly.

PCUS 1879, V-1-7

The expenses of Ministers and Ruling Elders in their attendance on the courts shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent.

PCUS 1869 draft, V-1-6
The expenses of Ministers and Ruling Elders, in their attendance on the courts, shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent.

PCUS 1867 draft, V-1-8
The expenses of ministers and elders in their attendance on the courts shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 67), on V-1-7

58.--VII. The expenses of Ministers and Ruling Elders in their attendance on the courts shall be defrayed by the bodies which they respectively represent.
The expenses of attendance are always what has to be paid out above what is provided in the way of voluntary entertainment. There might have been a regulation providing for each court a fund for the expenses of its members ; but that is not the regulation. By analogy the expenses of members of a commission in excess of their expenses as members of a court appointing the commission must be borne by this court itself ; and the same principle would apply to committees and other appointees.
What body is represented is not easily answered in all cases. A Ruling Elder in Session, Presbytery, or Synod represents his church, and in the General Assembly represents his Presbytery. So a Minister in the General Assembly represents his Presbytery. But in the other courts, what body does a Minister represent? If a pastor, he might be thought to represent his church or churches ; if engaged in Evangelistic, or other work, the body for which he is doing the work ; and if not engaged in ministerial work, for some "body" ; What? The two things made unmistakable by the paragraph is, that the expenses of delegates to the General Assembly are to be paid by their respective Presbyteries, and of Ruling Elders in attendance on all other courts, by their churches.

 



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]