.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 24 : Election, Ordination and Installation of Ruling Elders and Deacons

Paragraph 2 : Of the Moderator


24-2. The pastor is, by virtue of his office, moderator of congregational meetings. If there is no pastor, the Session shall appoint one of their number to call the meeting to order and to preside until the congregation shall elect their presiding officer, who may be a minister of the Presbyterian Church in America or any male member of that particular church.


[DIGEST : Apart from the specific name of the denomination and some differences of capitalization, the current PCA text for this paragraph otherwise retains the wording of PCUS 1925.]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
PCA 1973, 25-2, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 142

The Pastor is, by virtue of his office, Moderator of congregational meetings. If there is no Pastor, the Session shall appoint one of their number to call the meeting to order and to preside until the congregation shall elect their presiding officer, who may be a Minister of the National Presbyterian Church or any male member of that particular church.


Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 25-2, Proposed text, p. 33
The Pastor is, by virtue of his office, Moderator of congregational meetings. If there is no Pastor, the Session shall appoint one of their number to call the meeting to order and to preside until the congregation shall elect their presiding officer, who may be a Minister of the ___________________________ or any male member of that particular church.

PCUS 1933, XXVII, §144
PCUS 1925, XXVI, §144
The Pastor is, by virtue of his office, Moderator of congregational meetings. If there is no Pastor, the Session shall appoint one of their number to call the meeting to order and to preside until the congregation shall elect their presiding officer, who may be a Minister of the Presbyterian Church in the United States or any male member of that particular church.

PCUS 1879, VI-3-2

It is important that in all these elections a Minister should preside ; but if the Session find it impracticable, without hurtful delay, to procure the attendance of a Minister, the election may nevertheless be held.


PCUS 1869 draft, VI-3-2
It is important that, in all these elections, a Minister should preside; but if the Session find it impracticable, without hurtful delay,
to procure the attendance of a Minister, the election may nevertheless be held.

PCUS 1867 draft, VI-3-2
It is important that in all these elections a minister should preside; but if the session find it impracticable, without hurtful delay, to procure the attendance of a minister, the meeting may proceed without it.


COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, p. 126-127), on VI-3-2
103.--II. It is important that in all these elections a Minister should preside ; but if the Session find it impracticable, without hurtful delay, to procure the attendance of a Minister, the election may nevertheless be held.
The meeting is under the direction of the Session ; and it belongs to the Session, and not to the congregation, to provide a Moderator. If that Moderator is not a Minister, his rulings are subject to the review of the Session ; if a Minister, to the review of the Presbytery ; but in no case to the review of the congregation ; for that would be for the congregation, as such, to take part in government beyond electing, contrary to paragraph 15. It is, therefore, desirable that a Minister preside, so that his rulings may, if questioned, be reviewed by a body probably more competent, and less related in an embarrassing way to the questions involved. The relation of the Session to the Moderator of a congregational meeting being the same as its relation to the Moderator of the Session, whoever is Moderator of the Session is, ex
officio, Moderator of the congregation, with the limitations specified in paragraphs 64 and 65. (Cf. par. 104.)

CONSTITUTIONAL INQUIRY :
1987 - Constitutional Inquiry #5. From Central Carolina Presbytery regarding the status of Stated Supply as Moderator.
QUESTION:
1. Does the Stated Supply automatically become the Moderator of the Session, or must the Session request such (BCO 12-3)?
2. Although the pastor normally serves as moderator of a congregational meeting, does this duty automatically fall to a Teaching Elder Stated Supply, or must the meeting be opened according to BCO 24-2, where the Session appoints one of its members of (sic) call the meeting to order?
ANSWER:
1. The Session may invite the Stated Supply to serve, or he could be appointed by Presbytery to be moderator with their consent (BCO 12-3).
2. The Session should appoint one of their members to open the meeting in accord with BCO 24-2.
Recommended: That the advice of the Permanent Committee regarding Constitutional Inquiry #5 be ratified.
Adopted. [M15GA, 15-83, III, Item 11, p. 171].

Chapter 24 : Election, Ordination and Installation of Ruling Elders and Deacons

Paragraph 2 : Of the Moderator



©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]