Presbyterian Government

The Bible Presbyterian Church operates under a Presbyterian form of government because the Apostles established a representative form of government where the elected spiritual leaders, called elders or presbyters, make up the session of the local church to oversee affairs of the church.

The Bible Presbyterian denomination consists of one synod, four presbyteries, and 20 local churches. There are over 40 ministers listed on the roll.[1] Each of these courts has its own distinct function in the worship of God, the promulgation of the faith, and the discipline of the church. The denomination adopts the Westminster Standards (Confession of Faith, Larger and Shorter Catechisms) along with the Book of Discipline and Form of Government as its constitution.

Local Churches

Each church is governed by a session, composed of the minister(s) and ruling elder(s), which administers the affairs and discipline of the church. Congregations approve or disapprove sessional recommendations such as extending calls to ministers and church budgets. Each congregation owns its own property and approves by-laws that help apply the Constitution to the local situation.

Presbyteries

A presbytery consisting of ministers and elder delegates represents each congregation in a certain geographic region. The presbytery duties include:

  • Receiving and ruling on all appeals and complaints brought before it from sessions;
  • Overseeing the spiritual welfare of the local churches in the region;
  • Providing accountability for ministers and local churches;
  • Examining, ordaining, installing, and judging ministers and missionaries;
  • Ministering together in mutual projects across the region, such as church planting efforts, camps, seminars, evangelistic efforts, and so on.

General Synod [2]

The General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church consists of every minister and elder delegates from each church. The Synod is the ultimate governing body of the denomination. The Synod’s duties include:

  • Receiving and ruling on all appeals and complaints brought before it from presbyteries or sessions;
  • Laboring toward the bond of union, peace, correspondence, and mutual confidence among all our churches;
  • Representing the denomination to, and corresponding with, other branches of the Christian faith.
  • Serving as the primary outlet for the official views and positions of the BPC regarding the application of Scripture truth to the visible Church and society at large.

Concerning Ecclesiastical Fellowship

The BPC has a strong commitment to a Scriptural purity in associations. Such purity has been important to the character, activity, and development of the denomination from its inception. This commitment has guided our fellowship with other major Protestant denominations that hold to the essential doctrines of Christianity and recognize the Bible as their only infallible rule of faith and practice. We oppose ecumenicity that seeks to bring together all churches without regard for their doctrine or faithfulness. At the same time, we extend the hand of fellowship and cooperation to other churches and ministries that endeavor to remain faithful to the Word of God.

[1] These statistics are based on the roll of the 80th General Synod, August 4-9, 2016. Many of our ministers serve as chaplains, educators, and missionaries.

[2] The General Synod of the Bible Presbyterian Church is incorporated in the state of New York and has been granted group tax-exempt status for all churches in the denomination by the Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Synod is funded by contributions from local churches and individuals.