PCA HISTORICAL CENTER
Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church


The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 20 : The Election of Pastors

Paragraph 6 : The Form of the Call

20-6. Form of call: The terms of the call shall be approved by the congregation in the following or like form:
The ____________________ Church being on sufficient grounds well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you, ____________, and having good hopes from our knowledge of your labors that your ministrations in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. That you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of $___________ a year in regular monthly (or quarterly) payments, and other benefits, such as, manse, retirement, insurance, vacations, moving expenses etc., during the time of your being and continuing the regular pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof we have respectively subscribed our names this ___________day of____________________, A.D.________.
Attest: I, having moderated the congregational meeting which extended a call to ______________ for his ministerial services, do certify that the call has been made in all respects according to the rules laid down in the Book of Church Order, and that the persons who signed the foregoing call were authorized to do so by vote of the congregation.
_________________________________
Moderator of the Meeting

DIGEST: The current text dates to _______, but still closely resembles that of PCA 1973 and the earlier PCUS editions. PCA 1973 does not have "Attest:", though this omission is probably only a typographical error. Otherwise there were no changes from the Proposed BCO and PCA 1973, and the current text continues to retain the PCA addition of specific provisions additional to the manse, namely, "retirement, insurance, vacations, moving expenses, etc."

BACKGROUND & COMPARISON:
PCA 1973, 21-6, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, pp. 139-140
Form of Call
The call shall be in the following or like form, namely :
The church of _______________ , being on sufficient grounds well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you,_______________, and having good hopes from our knowledge of your labors that your ministrations in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of $_____________ a year in regular monthly (or quarterly) payments, and other benefits, such as : manse, retirement, insurance, vacations, moving expenses, etc., during the time of your being and continuing the regular pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof we have respectively subscribed our names this _________ , day of _____________, A.D.
I, A.B., having moderated the congregational meeting which extended a call to __________________ for his ministerial services, do certify that the call has been made in all respects according to the rules laid down in the Book of Church Order, and that the persons who signed the foregoing call were authorized to do so by vote of the congregation.
________________
Moderator of the Meeting.


Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 21-6, Proposed text, p. 27
Form of Call
The call shall be in the following or like form, namely :
The church of _______________ , being on sufficient grounds well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you,_______________, and having good hopes from our knowledge of your labors that your ministrations in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of $_____________ a year in regular monthly (or quarterly) payments, and other benefits, such as : manse, retirement, insurance, vacations, moving expenses, etc., during the time of your being and continuing the regular pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof we have respectively subscribed our names this _________ , day of _____________, A.D.
Attest:
I, A.B., having moderated the congregational meeting which extended a call to __________________ for his ministerial services, do certify that the call has been made in all respects according to the rules laid down in the Book of Church Order, and that the persons who signed the foregoing call were authorized to do so by vote of the congregation.
________________
Moderator of the Meeting.


PCUS 1933, XXIII, §126
and
PCUS 1925, XXIII, §126
The call shall be in the following or like form, namely :
The church of _______________ , being on sufficient grounds well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you,_______________, and having good hopes from our knowledge of your labors that your ministrations in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of $_____________ a year in regular monthly (or quarterly) payments (and a manse), during the time of your being and continuing the regular pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof we have respectively subscribed our names this _________ day of _____________, A.D. ______.
Attest:
I, A.B., having moderated the congregational meeting which extended a call to __________________ for his ministerial services, do certify that the call has been made in all respects according to the rules laid down in the Book of Church Order, and that the persons who signed the foregoing call were authorized to do so by vote of the congregation.
________________
Moderator of the Meeting.


PCUS 1879, VI-3-6

The call shall be in the following or like form, viz :
The Church of _______________________ , being, on sufficient grounds, well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you ________________, and having good hopes from our past experience (or knowledge) of your labors, that your ministrations in the gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of _________________, in regular monthly (or quarterly, or half-yearly, or yearly) payments, during the time of your being and continuing the regular Pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof we have respectively subscribed our names this ___________ day of ________________ A.D.
Attested by A.B., Moderator of the Meeting.

PCUS 1869 draft, VI-3-6
The call shall be in the following,or like form, viz:
The Congregation of ___________________ being, on sufficient grounds, well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you _________________ and having good hopes from our past experience [or knowledge] of your labours, that your ministrations in the Gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said Congregation; promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of _________________, in regular monthly [or quarterly, or half yearly, or yearly] payments, during the time of your being and continuing the regular Pastor of this Church.
In testimony whereof, we have respectively subscribed our names, this __________day of ________________A.D.
Attested by A. B., Moderator of the Meeting.

PCUS 1867 draft, VI-3-6
The call shall be in the following or like form, viz:
The Congregation of ___________________ being, on sufficient grounds, well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you _________________ and having good hopes from our past experience [or knowledge] of your labours, that your ministrations in the gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call and desire you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation; promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay to you the sum of ______________, in regular monthly [or quarterly, or half yearly, or yearly] payments, during the time of your being and continuing the regular pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof, we have respectively subscribed our names, this ___________ day of _______________ A.D.
Attested by A. B., Moderator of the Meeting.

Pardovan's Collections [Church of Scotland], 1707, rpt 1771, I-1-§7
We the heritors, elders, and magistrates of the town-council of ___________ being destitute of a fixed pastor, and being most assured by good information, and our own experience, of the ministerial abilities, piety, literature, and prudence, as also of the suitableness to our capacities of the gifts of you Mr. A.B. preacher of the gospel, or minister at C. have agreed, with the advice and consent of the parishoners foresaid, and concurrence of the Rev. presbytery of D. to invite, call, and intreat you, to undertake the office of a pastor among us, and the charge of our souls. And further, upon your accepting of this our call, promise you all dutiful respect, encouragement, and obedience in the Lord. In witness whereof, &c.

COMMENTARY:
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, pp. 131-132) on VI-3-6 :

107.--VI. The call shall be in the following or like form, viz :
The Church of _______________________ , being, on sufficient grounds, well satisfied of the ministerial qualifications of you ________________, and having good hopes from our past experience (or knowledge) of your labors, that your ministrations in the gospel will be profitable to our spiritual interests, do earnestly call you to undertake the pastoral office in said congregation, promising you, in the discharge of your duty, all proper support, encouragement and obedience in the Lord. And that you may be free from worldly cares and avocations, we hereby promise and oblige ourselves to pay you the sum of _________________, in regular monthly (or quarterly, or half-yearly, or yearly) payments, during the time of your being and continuing the regular Pastor of this church.
In testimony whereof we have respectively subscribed our names this ___________ day of ________________ A.D.

Attested by A.B., Moderator of the Meeting.

The Moderator, who draws up the call (106), should not vary from this form, unless the congregation by its action adopts the variation ; and it belongs to the congregation to adopt the amount or statement of salary, and what payments are to be made. This form, and all the provisions of the Book, contemplate only one church to a Pastor ; but where the church does not ask for all the time of the Pastor, it is proper that the form of call should indicate what time it does ask for ; and this, too, it belongs to the church to determine.


Chapter Index [links are to Paragraph 1 in 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]

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