The Church Structure

Structure of the Mountaintop Presbyterian Church


Elders are chosen by the people. Together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, they exercise leadership, government, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a particular church as well as the church at large, including ecumenical relationships. They shall serve faithfully as members of the session. (G-10.0102) When elected commissioners to higher governing bodies, elders participate and vote with the same authority as ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and they are eligible for any office. (Book of Order G-6.0302).


The body of elders elected to govern a particular congregation is called a
Session. They are elected by the congregation and, in one sense, are representatives of the other members of the congregation. On the other hand, their primary charge is to seek to discover and represent the will of Christ as they govern. Presbyterian elders are both elected and ordained. Through ordination they are officially set apart for service. They retain their ordination beyond their term in office. Ministers who serve the congregation are also part of the session. The session is the smallest, most local governing body. The other governing bodies are presbyteries, which are composed of several churches; synods, which are composed of several presbyteries; and the General Assembly, which represents the entire denomination. Elders and ministers who serve on these governing bodies are also called presbyters.


"The Office of Trustee is one of dignity and responsibility, requiring ability and devotion."
The Book of Order

The Board of Trustees holds and administers; on behalf of the church, and subject to its will as expressed by the congregation or the Session, all church property, trust funds, and endowments. The Board of Trustees is responsible for the operation and] maintenance of the church property.


The Ministry and Gifts of Deacons
The office of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of sympathy, witness, and service after the example of Jesus Christ. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, warm sympathies, and sound judgment should be chosen for this office.

Responsibilities:  It is the duty of deacons, first of all, to minister to those who are in need, to the sick, to the friendless, and to any who may be in distress both within and beyond the community of faith. They shall assume such other duties as may be delegated to them from time to time by the session, such as leading the people in worship through prayers of intercession, reading the Scriptures, presenting the gifts of the people, and assisting with the Lord's Supper.

The deacons of a particular church shall be organized in one or both of the following ways:

As a Board

They may be organized as a board, of which the pastor, co-pastors, associate pastors, and assistant pastors shall be advisory members. The board of deacons shall elect a moderator and a secretary from among its members. The secretary shall keep a record of the board's proceedings.

Individually Commissioned
They may be individually commissioned by the session to particular tasks consistent with the responsibilities of their office. The session shall ordinarily conduct an annual review of their service, at which time their commission may be renewed, altered, or terminated.