Courts of the church

The Presbyterian Church of East Africa governing system is Presbyterian which means that no one person or group within the Church has more influence or say than any other. Its supreme rule of faith and life is through the teachings of the Bible. In matters of doctrine, government, discipline and worship, The Presbyterian Church of East Africa operates under a constitution largely contained in the Articles Declaratory which were recognised by Parliament in 1921. Our Practice & Procedure Manual include more information and the acts and regulations of the General Assembly since 1929.

Presbyterianism is the Biblical system of Church government, where ministers and ruling elders together oversee the affairs of the Church. They meet together in Church courts, the pcea church courts are as follows:

Church Polity

As one family under the lordship of Christ, Christian communities have organized themselves in a variety of ways to provide effective worship, pastoral care, discipleship, and service. While some Christians follow a model in which all decisions regarding theology and polity are decided by the individual congregation (congregational) and others abide by a hierarchical system of priests and bishops (episcopal), the Presbyterian form of government is based on eldership. Teaching elders (usually referred to as ministers or pastors) and ruling elders (usually referred to as elders) share in the care and oversight of the ministry of Christ at every level of our church.There are four “courts” in our presbyterian system. Most of the important decisions that affect the church are made as women and men prayerfully meet to discern the mind of Christ.

Sessions are made up of elders and minister(s). Elders are women and men who have been elected by the local congregation and ordained. The session provides for the overall ministry of the congregation, including pastoral care, worship, Christian education, stewardship, and mission. It has representation at the presbytery. The minister acts as the moderator.

The constituent roll of each presbytery is made up of ministers and elders from each Parish within its bounds—one elder for each minister on the constituent roll. Retired ministers and co-opted members are members of the presbytery. Presbyteries support and oversee their parishes and ministers. presbyteries are to normally meet several times each year. Moderator must be a minister while the clerk may be a minister or an elder. There are 55 presbyteries in Canada.

Each region is made up of several presbyteries and works in harmony provides with them. Ministers and an equal number of elders make up the membership of this court. Some regions operate and offer educational, hospitality, rehabilitation, and training events. Regions plans and schdeules their meeting when need be. The moderator may be a minister or an elder. We have five regions.

General Assembly
The General Assembly meets after three years normally at the first quarter  of the year. It is the highest decision-making body of our church. An equal number of ministers and elders are commissioned by presbyteries to attend. It votes on matters of theology and polity that affect the whole denomination. It receives, discusses, and makes decisions on reports from committees, petitions, overtures, references, and appeals. Its decisions are made carefully. Some issues require study over a number of years. The General Assembly elects a moderator, a minister, who presides over the Assembly and continues in an inspirational and ceremonial role for the entire assembly lifespans.