Of the Presbytery

  1. A presbytery consists of all the ministers, in number not less than three, and regularly elected ruling elders from each congregation, within a certain district.
  2. Every congregation shall be represented by at least one elder. Congregations having from three hundred to six hundred communicant members on the rolls shall be represented by two elders; those with six hundred to nine hundred communicant members by three elders; those with nine hundred to twelve hundred communicant members by four elders, and larger congregations in the same ratio thereafter.
  3. Any two ministers, and at least one elder belonging to the presbytery, being met at the time and place appointed, shall be a quorum competent to proceed to business.
  4. The presbytery has power to receive and issue all complaints, and other matters, that are brought before it from church sessions in a regular manner, to examine and licence candidates for the holy ministry, to ordain install, remove, and judge ministers; to examine the records of church sessions; to resolve questions of doctrine or discipline seriously and reasonably proposed; to condemn opinions which injure the purity or peace of the Church; to unite or divide congregations, at the request of the people, but not without their consent, or to form or receive new congregations, and, in general, to order whatever pertains to the spiritual welfare of the churches under its care, always respecting the liberties guaranteed to individual congregations and persons under the Constitution.
  5. It shall be the duty of the presbytery to keep a full and clear record of its proceedings, and to report to the General Synod, every year, licensures, ordinations, the receiving or dismissing of members, the removal of members by death, the union or division of congregations, or the formation of new ones, and, in general, all the important changes which may have taken place within their bounds in the course of the year.
  6. The presbytery shall meet on its own adjournment and when any emergency shall require a meeting sooner than the time to which it stands adjourned, the moderator, or, in the case of his absence, death, or inability to act, the clerk, shall, with the concurrence, or at the request of two ministers and two elders, the elders being of different congregations, call a special meeting. For this purpose he shall send a circular letter, specifying the particular business of the intended meeting, to every minister belonging to the presbytery, and to the session of every vacant congregation, in due time previous to the meeting; which shall not be less than seven days. And nothing shall be transacted at such special meeting besides the particular business for which the court has thus been convened.
  7. Every particular session shall be opened and closed with prayer.
  8. Ministers in good standing in other presbyteries, or in any sister churches, who may happen to be present, may be invited to sit with the presbytery, as corresponding members. Such members shall be entitled to deliberate and advise, but not to vote in any decisions of the presbytery.