Jesus said, “Whoever would be my
disciple must deny himself, take up his
cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34 Jesus is
the leader we are all following. From time to time though God calls individuals to
take the lead in following him.
The word “Presbyterian” is derived from
the Greek word “Presbuteros” which
means “elder.” One of the essential beliefs of the Presbyterian Church is in the
“priesthood of all believers.” We believe
that every follower of Jesus has a High
Priest in Jesus to whom we can go directly through prayer without needing an
intermediatry priest or pastor to
intercede for us.
In the Presbyterian Church, leadership is
exercised by a board of elders called the
Session. Elders normally serve a
three-year term. Persons who are elected to serve as elders undergo a period of training after which they are ordained to their
office by the laying on of hands and prayer. Persons who are ordained to the office of elder still maintain their ordination after their three year term is finished and may be installed to serve another term at a later period. In our denomination, the Presbyterian
Church (USA), both women and men may be ordained as elders and as ministers of the Word and Sacrament. Elders not only see to the carrying out of the church’s ministry and mission, they also represent our church at meetings of our church’s higher courts
called the Presbytery, Synod, and the General Assembly. In each higher court of our denomination we are represented by an equal number of elders and pastors.
Elders: Three classes of elders make up what we call the “Session”. The Session meets monthly and serves as a clearing house for what the other church committees are doing but it is they who ultimately make the decisions regarding the church and its mission. Each of the session members serves on one of our four sessional committees.
Trustees: The Trustees are the ones who are empowered to make transactions on behalf of the church.
Our Presbytery: The name of our presbytery is New Covenant. The location of the Presbytery’s staff offices and Resource Center are at 1110 Lovett Boulevard, Houston, TX. New Covenant Presbytery is comprised of the 39,000 members of the 107 churches in
Southeast Texas — from Orange on the east, to Bryan-College Station on the west, and from Nacogdoches on the north to
Galveston to the south.
Our Synod: The name of our Synod is Synod of the Sun. It is comprised of the presbyteries in the states of Texas, Oklahoma,
Arkansas and Louisiana. The Synod meets twice a year in various locations. Our Synod staff offices are located in Dallas, Texas.
Our General Assembly: Our General Assembly is called by the name of our denomination: the Presbyterian Church in the
United States of America – PC (USA). The General Assembly is comprised of the members of all of the congregations in the
PC(USA). The General Assembly meets every other year at various locations around the country. The offices of the denomination
are located in Louisville, Kentucky.