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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 13 : The Presbytery

Paragraph 12 :

13-12. The Presbytery shall meet at least twice a year on its own adjournment. The Moderator shall call a special meeting at the request or with the concurrence of three teaching elders and three ruling elders from at least three different churches. Should the Moderator be for any reason unable to act, the Stated Clerk shall, under the same requirements, issue the call. If both Moderator and Stated Clerk are unable to act, any three teaching elders and three ruling elders of at least three different churches shall have power to call a meeting. However, any Presbytery may prescribe in its rules its own requirements for callng a special meeting, provided that those requirements are not less than those stated in this section. Notice of the special meeting shall be sent not less than ten days in advance to each teaching elder and to the Clerk of Session of every church. In the notice, the purpose of the meeting shall be stated, and no business other than that named in the notice is to be transacted. The Presbytery also shall convene when directed to do so by the General Assembly, for the transaction of designated business only.

[Historical Summary :

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, 14-1, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly,

Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 14-9, Proposed text, p. 15-16
The Presbytery shall meet at least twice a year on its own adjournment. When any emergency shall require a meeting earlier than the time to which the Presbytery stands adjourned, the Moderator shall, at the request, or with the concurrence, of two Ministers and two Ruling Elders of different churches, call a special meeting. Should the
Moderator be for any reason unable to act, the Stated Clerk shall, under the same requirements, issue the call. If both Moderator and Stated Clerk are unable to act, any three Ministers and two Ruling Elders of different churches shall have power to call a meeting. Notice of the special meeting shall be sent not less than ten days in advance to each Minister and to the Session of every church without a Pastor. In the notice, the purpose of the meeting shall be stated, and no business other than that named in the notice is to be transacted.

PCUS 1933,

PCUS 1925, XV, 78
The Presbytery shall meet at least twice a year on its own adjournment. When any emergency shall require a meeting earlier than the time to which the Presbytery stands adjourned, the Moderator shall, at the request, or with the concurrence, of two Ministers and two Ruling Elders of different churches, call a special meeting. Should the Moderator be for any reason unable to act, the Stated Clerk shall, under the same requirements, issue the call. If both Moderator and Stated Clerk are unable to act, any three Ministers and two Ruling Elders of different churches shall have power to call a meeting. Notice of the special meeting shall be sent not less than ten days in advance to each Minister and to the Session of every church without a Pastor. In the notice the purpose of the meeting shall be stated, and no business other than that named in the notice is to be transacted.

PCUS 1905, V-4-8, §79
The Presbytery shall meet at least twice a year on its own adjournment, and when any emergency shall require a meeting sooner than the time to which it stands adjourned, the Moderator, or in case of his absence, death, or inability to act, the Stated Clerk shall, with the concurrence, or at the request of two ministers and two ruling elders of different churches, call a special meeting. For this purpose he shall give notice specifying the particular business of the intended meeting to every minister belonging to the Presbytery, and to the session of every vacant church in due time previous to the meeting, which shall be not less than ten days. Or in the case of the absence, death, or inability to act of the Moderator and Stated Clerk, any three ministers and two ruling elders of different churches shall call a special meeting. And nothing shall be transacted at such special meeting besides the particular business for which the court has thus been convened.

PCUS 1879, V-4-8
The Presbytery shall meet at least twice a year on its own adjournment; and when any emergency shall require a meeting sooner than the time to which it stands adjourned, the Moderator, or, in case of his absence, death, or inability to act, the Stated Clerk shall, with the concurrence, or at the request of two Ministers and two Ruling Elders of different churches, call a special meeting. For this purpose he shall give notice, specifying the particular business of the intended meeting, to every Minister belonging to the Presbytery, and to the Session of every vacant church, in due time previous to the meeting, which shall not be less than ten days. And nothing shall be transacted at such special meeting besides the particular business for which the court has thus been convened.

PCUS 1869 draft, V-4-1

PCUS 1867 draft, V-4-1

Northern Tradition :
PCUSA 1821, 10-2

OPC 2003, 14-1 – 3

BPC 2003, 9-1

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
, on Chapter 2, section 1 :
"The



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I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
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RoD
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DfW
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[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]