PCUSA

First Presbyterian is a member of the Presbyterian Church (United States of America).

The word "Presbyterian" comes from the Greek word "presbuteros," which means "elder." The Old Testament shows us that tribes selected elders to lead them. In the New Testament examples of the church, the term is descriptive of the overseers of the local church congregation.

A Presbyterian church is led by elders. These elders are elected by the congregation. Authority rests with these elected representatives of the congregation in the church courts.

At the lowest level of the hierarchal structure of the Presbyterian church courts is the Session. Each Presbyterian church has its own Session, comprised of the church's pastor(s), as well as church members elected by the congregation to serve as elders. Each congregation decides how many Session members it needs, and both men and women are eligible to serve. The Session oversees the day-to-day activities of the church and supervises the Deacons (or Diaconate), who conduct the temporal and charitable ministry of the church.

Other Presbyterian church courts are, in rank from lowest to highest: the Presbytery, the Synod, and the General Assembly. You can find out more about Presbyterian Church Structure by visiting the web site of the PCUSA.

 
 
The information contained above was derived from the following sources:

What Presbyterians Believe. Gettys, Joseph. Copyright 1982.
About Being Presbyterian. Channing L. Bete Company, Inc. Copyright 1974.