Deacons - The Ordination

Last time we undertook try to attempt to examine the process of choosing the man or men to fill the office of a deacon. And now this brings us down to the actual service that will be used the church to ordain them to the office.

After the church has made its choice of whom they feel have the “qualities” of a good and sound deacon and they have determined that these men have thus committed themselves to be faithful to the office in all of its meaning of service in the manner that we have discussed previously in other articles, then the church, being lead by her pastor will then move to call for their sister churches to send ordained elders and deacons to aid in the service of ordination.

We find that the scriptures speak of the “laying on of hands” by the apostles and elders of the churches. And although I will write about the actual service used in the church by the presbytery, I would like to say here and now that what I am about to say is not meant as being anything that ought to be binding on any particular church body but is that which is the way and manner in which we; that is to say I as the pastor at the Dixie Old Line Primitive Baptist Church feel is scriptural and orderly. That being stated I do believe that there ought to be within each individual service these basic scriptural principles in order to govern the ordination service.

First, the service ought to magnify the Lord God as well as the office to which the man or men are being placed into, whether we are speaking of the office of an elder/pastor or deacon, in order to be of any real service to the church that has called for the ordination.

Second, the whole membership of the ordaining church should, as much as is possible, be present at the proceedings.

Third, the service should be conducted with dignity and sincerity as this is a sacred moment in the life of the church and of the man or men who are to occupy the office.

The service should first be opened with prayer by someone that has either selected by the pastor or the nominee.  After which the pastor of the church calls for the formation of the presbytery, who are then seated. It is at this time that the elders and deacons who have responded to the ordaining church to come forward and be seated. After which the pastor will ask the members of the presbytery if they are satisfied with members of the presbytery as seated. This will allow for anyone within the church body or any other man who have come to be able to speak as to the orderliness of any person who has responded. And so if there be any objection to someone as to their calling or their order this is the time to state it, and bring forth their reasons. After which the pastor and the ordaining church will consider whether or not the objection is valid. And then the pastor will ask the church, who they wish to appoint a spokesman for the congregation from among the male membership to represent the church. This being answered in the affirmative, the pastor will move to request that the members of the presbytery elect a moderator, which is usually, but is not always the case, the pastor of the ordaining church, followed by the electing of a clerk from the members of the setting presbytery.

Next, the Moderator will request that the church spokesman come forward and take a seat before the presbytery and the ordaining church. Having been seated he will then ask him if the church is satisfied with the presbytery as it is now seated. Then the Moderator will ask the members of the presbytery if they are thus satisfied with all of the members and proceedings thus far.

This being established the moderator will ask that the candidate be seated by the church spokesman before the church and the presbytery. Then the moderator will give an explanation of the office of the deacon; the significance and the service which this man to be ordained has accepted. Then this is followed by the interrogation or questioning of the nominee as to certain matters of his faith and understanding of the scriptures and the Old Line Primitive Baptist Church. The elder that will do things may be either chosen by the members of the presbytery or by the candidate and given leave or approved by the presbytery.

This is followed by the appointment of the Elder who will give the charge to the candidate, who also may be chosen by the presbytery, or by the candidate, and given leave or approved by the presbytery.

Then the choice will be made for the elder who will deliver the ordination prayer, which is usually chosen by the candidate and approve by the members of the presbytery.

And all of this having been completed to the satisfaction of the members of the presbytery, and the church; the interrogating elder will come forward and question the candidate as to his understanding of the doctrines of God and the Church of Christ.

This being satisfactorily completed the moderator will then ask each member of the presbytery if they have any further questions that they would like to ask the nominee. This being done he will ask the presbytery and the church spokesman if they are satisfied with the answers given.

This being established in the affirmative will ten be followed by the laying on of hands by the presbytery during the ordination prayer.

After this the moderator will ask the church spokesman to bring forward the newly ordained deacon’s wife to be seated next to her husband and the elder who has been chosen to deliver the charge will come forward and he will charge the new deacon, his wife as to their duties to the church and to one another, and to and the church as to their responsibilities in their support their new ordained deacon.

All being completed to the satisfaction of the presbytery and the church, the moderator will proceed to deliver the newly ordained deacon to the service of the church. The moderator will then move to dissolve presbytery and the pastor will then extend the “right hand of fellowship” to the newly ordained deacon.” Who will as long as he lives function and serve in that office as long as he lives and remains faithful to his calling.

Beloved, let us who are the true disciples of Christ always endeavor to keep and to maintain the proper order that our Lord Jesus Christ has provided us in His church. And in so doing may we reap the blessings of God the Father who will send us the Holy Ghost to dwell with us as we undertake to serve Him in such a way that we will give Him all the praise that He is due, and that He will bless us in our efforts, saying, “well done thou good and faithful servant.” May God bless you and keep you all in His grace and mercy.                       


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