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


The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Additional Resources on the Office of Deacon
and Issues related to the Diaconate

[Note: these articles do not have constitutional authority for the PCA and are offered as historical background on the larger discussion of the Office of the Deacon]

Diaconate / Office of Deacon
Articles from The Southern Presbyterian Review
*Ramsay, Rev. James Beverlin, "The Deaconship," 12.1 (April 1859): 1-24. [*If you read nothing else, read this.]
Boggs, Rev. William Ellison, "The Deacon’s Office in the Church of the New Testament," 26.3 (July 1875): 421-461.
Girardeau, Rev. John L., "The Diaconate," Part I - 30.1 (January 1879): 1-32
Girardeau, "The Diaconate," Part II - 31.1 (January 1880): 117-160
Girardeau, "The Importance of the Office of Deacon," 32.1 (January 1881): 1-29
Lefevre, Rev. Jacob Amos, "The Presbyterian Diaconate," 32.2 (April 1881): 343-354.
Lefevre, "The Diaconate of Scripture," 32.2 (April 1881): 355-368.
Girardeau, "The Diaconate Again," Part I - 32.4 (October 1881) 628-664

General materials on the office of the deacon--

1869 - James M. Willson, The Deacon: An Inquiry into the Nature, Duties and Exercise of the Office..
___________Chapter 1: The Deacon a Standing Church Officer (argument from Scriptures; deacons in early church, etc.)
___________
Chapter 2: The Nature of the Deacon's Office (care of poor and management of finances, etc.)
___________Chapter 3: Of the Substitutes for the Deacon (contra Boards of Trustees)
___________Chapter 4: The Relations of the Deacon. The Deacon is Subordinate to the Ecclesiastical Courts.
___________Chapter 5: Conclusion and Appendix
1840s - Anonymous, "The Scriptural Office of the Deacon,"in Presbyterian Tracts, vol. 6, tract no. 94, 16 pp.
1855 - Stuart Robinson, "The Office of Deacon," The Presbyterial Critic 1.6 (June 1855): 271-277.
1855 - Stuart Robinson, "Trustees of Church Property--Their Functions and Relations to the Deacons of the Church," The Presbyterial Critic 1.11 (November 1855): 490-497.
1880 - Rev. W.H. M'Millan, "The Diaconate a Scriptural Office," Evangelical Repository 57.1 (June 1880): 15-20.
1882 - J. Aspinwall Hodge, What Is Presbyterian Law?, Chapter 6--Of Deacons
1884 - Report on the Diaconate, by John L. Girardeau, Robert L. Dabney and Thomas E. Peck
1892 - T.E. Peck, Notes on Ecclesiology, Chapter 19--Deacons
1903 - R.C. Reed, "The Deacon," The Union Seminary Magazine 15.2 (1903): 215-224.
1978 - Diaconal Principles of the NAPARC Churches [Report, Sixth PCA General Assembly, Minutes, Appendix D]

Exegetical and historical consideration or debate regarding deaconesses--

1889 - B.B. Warfield, "Presbyterian Deaconesses"
1945 - PCUS Actions regarding deaconesses, 1880-1926
1976-1978 - RPCES studies on the Role of Women in the Church
1977 - Gordon H. Clark, "The Ordination of Women"[written in response to the 1976 RPCES study. An early draft of this article, with annotations, is found among the Gordon Clark Papers at the PCA Historical Center. The included explanatory preface was added later and is found in subsequent reprints of Clark's works by The Trinity Foundation.]

Materials in preparation--
James M. Willson, The Deacon: An Inquiry into the Nature, Duties and Exercise of the Office of Deacon in the Christian Church (Philadelphia: William S. Young, 1869), 59 p.
1978 - Francis Nigel Lee, "The Office of All Believers" and "The Office of Deacon"

Larger Issues -- Discussion of Office, Ordination, etc.

1854 - John G. Shepperson, "Authority of Ecclesiastical Rulers," Part I, Southern Presbyterian Review 8.1 (July 1854).

Additional resources located off-site:

1987 - OPC study: Hermeneutics of Women in Ordained Office
1988 - OPC study: Report of the Committee on Women in Church Office
1998 - A Historical and Biblical Examination of Women Deacons, by Brian M. Schwertley
2008 - The Aquila Report, for news of the Ohio Valley Presbytery report on Women serving as Deacons, and other news.

Additional resources located but not yet digitized:
Kerr, Robert Pollok [1850-1923], The Office of Deacon, The Presbyterian Quarterly, 10.2 (April 1896) 202-207.
"The Diaconate," The Christian Observer, 59.3 (21 January 1880): 4, column 4.
"Are Deacons Presbyterian?," The Christian Observer, 59.2 (14 January 1880): 6, column 2.
"Deacons An Element of Church Strength," The Christian Observer, 59.3 (21 January 1880): 6, column 2.
"The Poor in Our Churches," The Christian Observer, 59.4, column 4.


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]

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