BY-LAWS & STANDING RULES FOR THE SAVANNAH RIVER PRESBYTERY
Adopted as revised at the 49th First Stated Meeting, 23 January 2016
SECTION I: NAME.
The incorporated name for this body shall be " THE SAVANNAH RIVER
PRESBYTERY OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA".
SECTION II: OBJECT.
The object of this body is to fulfill the requirements for Presbyteries as
set forth in the Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in
America (BCO 14—7). The doctrinal and governmental standards of the
Presbytery shall be those stated in the Book of Church Order of the
Presbyterian Church in America (Preface III). These by-laws are not to
conflict with the Book of Church Order, and in any case of conflict, the
standards in the Book of Church Order shall take precedence.
SECTION III: MEMBERS
Members of this Presbytery shall be in two classes:
Ordained Ministers of the Word and the particular churches. Standards
for examination for membership of both Ministers and Churches shall be
as set forth in the Book of Church Order. Representation of Elders from
the particular churches shall be in accordance with the provisions of the
Book of Church Order.
SECTION IV: OFFICERS.
All officers shall be elected by a majority vote of those present, with
power to vote at the stated meeting scheduled for that purpose. The
various offices of Presbytery, and their functions, are as follows:
1. Eligibility: The Moderator shall be a Minister who is in good standing
of the Presbytery, or a Ruling Elder in good standing of a member church
of the Presbytery. The Elder does not have to be active on the session of
his church, if that church follows a rotation system for the session. A
Moderator may not succeed himself, nor serve a term in office within one
year of previously having served.
2. Tenure: The Moderator will be elected at the Winter (January)
Meeting of Presbytery, and will continue to serve in office until a
successor is elected at the next Winter (January) stated Meeting. He will
preside at called or other special meetings and otherwise function as
Moderator during his tenure.
3. MODERATOR-IN-NOMINATION: At the Winter Stated Meeting of
Presbytery, a Moderator-In-Nomination will he elected, with the
understanding that his name will automatically be placed in nomination
for the office of Moderator at the next Winter Meeting. This policy is
established to enable men to prepare themselves to function in this
office to the best of their ability and to be aware of current issues
before the court. However, election as Moderator-In-Nomination does
not require the Presbytery to elect this nominee at its Stated Meeting,
at which time a normal process of nomination and election will be
4. DUTIES: The Moderator of the Presbytery will function as Chairman of
all meetings of Presbytery, following approved parliamentary procedure.
If no worship service has been held prior to the meeting of Presbytery
the retiring Moderator shall ordinarily bring a message from God’s Word
in an appropriate time of devotion. Between meetings, the Moderator
does not have authority to speak for the Presbytery, but should be
consulted in all matters affecting the Presbytery as a whole.
B. STATED CLERK:
1. ELIGIBILITY: The Stated Clerk will be a Minister who is a member in
good standing of Presbytery, or a Ruling Elder in good standing of a
member church of the Presbytery. The Ruling Elder does not have to be
currently serving actively on the session of his church, if the church
follows a rotation system for the session.
2. TENURE: The Stated Clerk will be elected at the Winter Stated
Meeting and shall serve for a period of three years. He may succeed
himself as often as the Presbytery so desires, and it is deemed
advisable that this be done whenever possible.
3. DUTIES: The Stated Clerk shall perform the duties assigned by the
Book of Church Order, following guidelines set forth by the Stated Clerk
of General Assembly. He shall perform other duties as assigned by the
Presbytery. In the administration of his duties, the Stated Clerk will be
under the supervision of the Permanent Committee on Administration.
His duties will include, but not be limited to the following: keeping
proper minutes of all Presbytery and Commission meetings, giving
certified extracts there from when required, assemble the items of
business to come before Presbytery and refer the items of business to
the proper committee, (if the Clerk has questions regarding reference he
is to consult with the Committee on Administration before making
reference); send to each member and church (including men under care )
notice of all meetings; note the attendance at each meeting and make
recommendations concerning absences at Stated Meetings; Maintain
permanent orderly records of all Presbytery correspondence and all other
matters; notify each Committee and Commission Chairman of his
appointment, membership and business before it; maintain a supply of
forms for use by churches, make all communications authorized by
Presbytery; prepare and submit all, overtures, bills etc. required by or
forwarded to General Assembly; open meetings of Presbytery when the
Moderator is unable to do so, and serve until a new Moderator is
elected. The Presbytery shall provide or reimburse the Clerk for all costs
required by the duties of his office upon presentation of proper cost
statements, subject to the limitations of the current approved budget.
4. ASSISTANT CLERKS AND OFFICE STAFF: When necessary to the
performance of his duties, and upon recommendation by the Committee
on Administration, the Presbytery may elect other members of the body
to serve as Assistant Clerks and may authorize the hiring of clerical help
and services (such as printing and duplication) to assist the Stated Clerk
in carrying out the duties of his office.
1. ELIGIBILITY: Eligibility for the office of Treasure shall be the same as
for the office of Stated Clerk. The Stated Clerk may also serve as
2. TENURE: Tenure for the office of Treasurer shall be the same as for
the Stated Clerk.
3. DUTIES: The Treasurer shall perform those duties required of him by
the Book of Church Order and those other duties as may be assigned by
Presbytery. In the performance of his duties, the Treasurer shall come
under the oversight of the Committee on Administration. His duties shall
include but not be limited to: custody of the funds and securities
belonging to the Presbytery, and not otherwise designated; receive,
deposit, and disperse such funds as directed by the Presbytery; keep an
accurate account of the finances of the Presbytery, not only of those
funds in his custody but also by means of quarterly reports from other
Committees handling separate funds; prepare or have prepared quarterly
reports of the financial condition of the Presbytery; in general, perform
all the duties incident to the office of Treasurer. He shall be bonded in
the amount to be determined by the Presbytery. The Presbytery shall
provide or reimburse the Treasurer for all costs required by the duties of
his office upon presentation of proper cost statements, subject to the
limitations of the current approved budget.
1. ELIGIBILITY: The Board of Trustees of the Presbytery shall consist of,
the Stated Clerk, the Chairman of the six Permanent Committees of
Presbytery, plus two other members of Presbytery elected at large.
Eligibility for the office shall be the same as for all other offices.
2. TENURE: Trustees shall serve for the period of their Committee
Chairmanship, or three years,. which ever is shorter. Trustees may be
re-elected to office upon 2/3 vote of the members present at the time of
voting. Election will be held at the Winter Stated Meeting.
3. DUTIES: The Trustees shall receive and hold for use of Presbytery all
real and personal property, grants, endowments, and such other funds
acquired, devised, purchased, or donated, not otherwise disposed of.
They will be legal Officers of the Corporation.
SECTION V. MEETINGS:
1. STATED MEETINGS: The time and place of each Stated
Meeting shall be determined by Presbytery at the preceding
Stated Meeting, or should Presbytery fail to make this
decision, by the Moderator, with the approval of the
Committee on Administration. The normal times of Stated
Meetings shall be as follows:
WINTER STATED MEETING: 7:00 PM the Friday following the third
Monday in January and then at 8:30 AM the next Saturday in January.
SPRING STATED MEETING: 8:30 AM, the Third Tuesday in April.
SUMMER STATED MEETING: 7:00 PM the Friday prior to the third Saturday
in July and then at 8:30 AM the third Saturday in July.
FALL STATED MEETING: 8:30 AM, The third Tuesday in October
At the Winter and Summer, Stated Meetings the Friday session will
begin with a Worship Service, to include the Celebration of the Lord’s
Supper at the host Church or some other practical location.
2. CALLED MEETINGS: Called meetings will only be held in cases of
extreme emergency. Such meetings will be called in strict accordance
with the Book of Church Order. The requirements for a call meeting shall
be increased to four teaching and four ruling elders from four different
churches and all eight elders must pledge to attend, to the best of their
3. QUORUM: A quorum for all meetings, whether Stated or Called will be
no less than four Teaching Elders and four Ruling Elders. At any time
that attendance at a meeting should fall below the level required for a
quorum, the only business which can be transacted is a motion to
adjourn the meeting.
4. DOCKET: The normal docket for Stated Meetings shall be as follows:
a. Period of worship and prayer.
b. Introduction and seating of corresponding members and visiting
c. Representative of the host church.
d. Election of Moderator. (January Meeting)
e. Election of Moderator in Nomination. (January Meeting)
f. Adoption of the docket.
g. Reading and Assignment of communications.
h. Appointment of standing committees.
i. Examination of Sessional Records.
j. Reports of Permanent Committees, with the report of the Candidates
and Credentials Committee always being first, the Other five Permanent
Committees rotating their order of report from meeting to meeting.
Special orders of the day will occur from 11:00 AM to 12:00 noon at
which either the MTW, MNA, CE, or any Permanent Committee
designated by Presbytery shall bring a report to the entire Presbytery.
The Committees may barter and share this time according to the
common consent of the Committee Chairman.
k. Unfinished business.
l. New business.
m. Reports of Standing Committees.
n. Reports of Officers (Clerk, Treasurer , Trustees).
o. Reports of Commissions and ad interim Committees.
p. Approval of Minutes.
q. Time and place of next Stated Meeting.
r. Adjournment with prayer.
Only those items of business which reach the hands of the
Stated Clerk no later than 20 days prior to a Stated Meeting
may be included in the docket any place other than New
Business. This includes reports of Permanent Committees.
SECTION VI: PERMANENT COMMITTEES.
1. MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEES: Eligibility for membership on
Permanent Committees of Presbytery will be the same as for Officers of
the Presbytery. No man may serve as Chairman of more than one
Permanent Committee at any given time. No Man may serve as Chairman
of more than two sub-committees or combination of
committee/sub-committee at any given time.
2. ELECTION AND TENURE: Election of Chairman of Committees and
Sub-Committees shall normally be held at the Winter Stated Meeting.
Terms will be for three consecutive years. If nominated to continue on
the same Committee/Sub-Committee after three years a 2/3 vote of the
members present at the time of election is required.
3. COMMITTEE STRUCTURE: Each Committee will be made up of its
Chairman and a number of Teaching and Ruling Elders set by Presbytery.
Committees are free to create, eliminate or structure their
Sub-Committees as they deem necessary and appropriate, subject to
particular mandates of Presbytery.
4. COMMITTEE BUDGETS: Committees should strive to expend moneys in
accordance with established budgets. A Committee may make
expenditures on non-budgeted items only to meet unforeseen immediate
need on a temporary basis. The Committee must report this expenditure
to the next meeting of Presbytery before this item can be further funded.
These expenditure changes may not increase the Committee’s overall
budget unless provision is made by Presbytery.
a) COMMITTEE ON ADMINISTRATION: This Committee will handle all
matters which do not normally fall under the oversight of any other
Permanent Committee, and will include, but not be limited to, such
things as: oversight of the work of the Stated Clerk and Treasurer;
inter-church relations; judicial business; insurance and annuities;
publicity and general information concerning the work of Presbytery;
nominations; stewardship and budget matters. The Sub-Committees of
the Committee will be as follows:
1. Sub-Committee on Insurance and annuities.
2. Sub-Committee on Information and Nominations.
3. Sub-Committee on Stewardship and Budget.
4. Sub-Committee on Judicial Business.
The Committee on Administration through the Sub-Committee on
Stewardship and Budget shall present to Presbytery at the Fall Stated
Meeting a proposed budget for the following year for formal adoption by
the Presbytery. The budget may be amended after formal adoption by
Presbytery, but as a condition precedent to such amendment, a
Committee must submit the proposed amendment to the Chairman of
the Committee on Administration at least 28 calendar days prior to the
time fixed for a Stated Meeting, for necessary Committee action. A
written report outlining the proposed amendment and including said
concurrence or non-concurrence of the Committee on Administration,
shall be submitted by the
proposing Committee to the Stated Clerk of Presbytery, at least 14 days
before the time fixed for such Stated Meeting, in order that the written
report and recommendations may be included in the docket for action by
b.) COMMITTEE ON CHRISTIAN EDUCATION: The Committee shall handle
all matters which concerns the internal training and education of the
members of Presbytery, both Ministers of the Word and Churches. It
shall include but not be limited to, such things as; Men’s work; Women’s
work; Youth work; Camps and Conferences; leadership training; Church
Schools, University and Seminary training (including any Extension
Seminaries within the bounds of Presbytery); and any other
educational programs. The regular Sub-Committees of the
Committee shall be as follows:
1. Sub-Committee on Men’s work.
2. Sub-Committee on Women’s Work.
3. Sub-Committee on Youth and Camps.
4. Sub-Committee on Conferences and Programs.
c.) COMMITTEE ON MISSION TO NORTH AMERICA. The Committee
shall handle all matters including church planting and growth
within the bounds of Presbytery, both for particular churches,
newly planted churches, college and campus ministries,
· Chaplainries, and separate missions dealing with residents of
the area. This Committee will also have the responsibility
for the promotion of mercy ministries within the bounds of
Presbytery. It shall include, but not be limited to, such
things as calling evangelist/organizing pastors to develop
new churches; providing aid and assistance to established
churches having need; develop and Co-ordinate programs for
use by the church’s in the areas of Evangelism and church
growth; provide mission work to such areas as inner-cities, Minorities,
Rural areas, and such other areas and groups which would normally
support a particular church. The regular Sub-Committees of the
Committee shall be as follows:
1. Sub-Committee on New Church Development.
2. Sub-Committee on Aid to Established Churches.
3. Sub-Committee on Evangelism and Church Growth.
4. Sub-Committee on Non-Self Supporting Missions.
d) COMMITTEE ON MISSION TO THE WORLD: This Committee shall
handle all matters pertaining to information and programs involving the
sending of Missionary Personnel from within the bounds of Presbytery to
serve outside the United States and the promoting of the program of the
Assembly’s Mission to the World, within the Presbytery. In addition, this
Committee shall provide oversight for the ministry of the International
Seaman’s Home in Savannah. The regular Sub-Committees of the
Committee shall be as follows:
1. Sub-Committee on Recruiting and Support.
2. Sub-Committee on Information and Support.
3. Sub-Committee on International Seaman’s House, Savannah.
e) COMMITTEE ON CANDIDATES AND CREDENTIALS: This Committee
shall handle all matters pertaining to the care of Candidates for the
Gospel Ministry, theological examinations of men applying for Ordination
to the Gospel Ministry; theological examination of previously examined
ministers transferring into the Presbytery; examination of calls issued to
ministers within Presbytery; and such other matters as may involve the
credentials of members of Presbytery. The regular Sub-Committees of
the Committee shall be as follows:
1. Sub-Committee on Men under Care (including Licentiates).
2. Sub-Committee on Theological Examination.
3. Sub-Committee on Credentials.
f) SHEPHERDING COMMITTEE: This Committee shall be composed of
three Teaching Elders and three Ruling Elders. The Stated Clerk shall
serve as an advisory member. The Committee shall meet as often as
necessary to fulfill its responsibilities,, and its duties shall be:
a. To advise and communicate with Teaching Elders in their relation to
sessions and congregations they serve.
b. To council with sessions of churches without Pastors and to offer
assistance in securing Pastors, only at the request of the session or
local nominating committee.
c. To advise with Ministers without pastoral charges and to offer
assistance in securing pastoral charges for them.
d. To offer general oversight of ministers without charge and/or laboring
outside the bounds of Presbytery.
e. To act as a Commission only to dissolve pastoral relations when both
parties concur in the request and in such instances to grant transfer of
membership to other Presbyteries.
f. To council with sessions at their request in such matters as are
presented by them.
g. To perform other duties which Presbytery shall deem wise.
h. To report to Presbytery whenever necessary or when requested by
g)JOINT COMMITTEE ON CAMPUS MINISTRIES PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN
AMERICA PRESBYTERIES OF CENTRAL GEORGIA AND SAVANNAH RIVER:
The Joint Committee on Campus Ministries is an arm of the presbyteries
of Central Georgia (CGP) and Savannah River (SRP). In each presbytery
the Joint Committee on Campus Ministries will work to carry out the
common campus ministries within the boundaries in an effective and
The Joint Committee on Campus Ministries and the minister(s)
operating under their supervision will function in accordance with the
"Manual for Campus Ministries: Presbyterian Church in America" as
approved by the Seventh General Assembly of the
PCA. (1979 minutes, p. 205 ff).
Membership on the Subcommittee on Campus Ministries is by election of
the respective presbyteries, each of which will designate four members
of its presbytery to serve on its own subcommittee. Members of the two
subcommittees from CGP and SRP will comprise the Joint Committee on
Meetings of the Joint Committee on Campus Ministries will be scheduled
according to needs. A quorum is five members with at least two
representatives from each presbytery.
Duties of the Joint Committee on Campus Ministries
The relation of the Joint Committee on Campus Ministries to the
presbyteries and their churches is defined by its duties as assigned by
To elect its own chairman and secretary.
To nominate an area coordinator, when needed, and oversee his work.
To determine the needs of campus ministry within the bounds of the
presbyteries and to inform the presbyteries, and to determine the
priorities of new ministries.
To prepare local campus ministries budgets and the overall budget for
To inform the churches and people of the presbyteries of campus
ministry- its purpose, progress, and needs.
To organize new ministries on campuses and to seek out and train
qualified staff for these ministries.
To initiate the call for campus ministers by presbyteries. To advise and
supervise the campus ministries being carried out within it's bounds.
Duties of the Presbytery Subcommitee on Campus Ministries - To carry
out, in conjunction with members from the other presbytery, the duties
of the Joint Committee on Campus Ministries, as defined above. To
report directly to the presbytery concerning work of the Joint Committee
and to present any appropriate matters to the presbyteries. It was
further properly moved to amend the by-laws of Savannah River
Presbytery to make the Joint Committee a permanent Committee of
SECTION VII: STANDING COMMITTEES:
The following Standing (temporary) Committees shall be appointed by
the Moderator for each separate meeting of Presbytery, when required.
A. PROGRAM COMMITTEE: This Committee shall consist of the Pastor Of
the host church along with anyone else that he deems appropriate. The
Stated Clerk will offer advice and will be further available to serve if
needed by the host church.
B. BILLS AND OVERTURES COMMITTEE: This Committee shall consist of
two Teaching Elders and two Ruling Elders, with power to vote at a given
meeting of Presbytery, none of whom may be serving at that time as an
Officer of Presbytery (other than Trustees) or the Chairman of a
Permanent Committee. The Committee will handle and report back all
matters assigned to it by Presbytery for that meeting.
c. SESSIONAL RECORDS COMMITTEE: This Committee shall consist of
three Teaching Elders and three Ruling Elders, with power to vote at a
given meeting of Presbytery. None of whom may be serving at that time
as an officer of Presbytery (other than Trustees) or the Chairman of a
Permanent Committee The Committee will convene, return to the floor to
examine records given to them while they observe the business of the
Presbytery. They will recess to vote and return to the floor to make their
report at the docketed time for the report.
D. RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEE: This Committee shall consist of two
Teaching Elders and two Ruling Elders, with power to vote at a given
meeting of Presbytery (other than Trustees) or the
· Chairman of a Permanent Committee. The Committee will handle the
drafting of any resolution which may be appropriate for that given
meeting, including resolutions of thanks and any other such resolutions
on which the Presbytery desires to speak.
SECTION VIII, AD-INTERIM COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS: The
Presbytery may establish Ad-Interim Committees and
Commissions to deal with matters before it: at any time, with
the following limitations:
A. Each Ad-Interim Committee or Commission will consist of a quorum of
a minimum of two Teaching Elders and two Ruling Elders, with any large
number always being an equal number of each.
B. No Ad-Interim Committee or Commission may continue past the next
Stated Meeting of Presbytery unless authorized to do so by a majority
vote of Presbytery.
C. No Ad-Interim Committee or Commission may continue more than 6
months in any case.
D. Each Ad-Interim Committee will be appointed by the Moderator, each
Commission shall be elected by the Presbytery.
SECTION IX. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY:
All parliamentary procedures must be in accordance with the Book of
Church Order and the most recent edition of Roberts Rules of Order,
Newly Revised. The Moderator may appoint a member of the Presbytery
to assist him in these matters, who will serve as Parliamentarian only
for the term of the actual meeting.
SECTION X, SUSPENSION AND AMENDMENT OF THE BY-LAWS:
These By-Laws may be temporarily suspended, by a 2/3 vote of those
present and voting, unless such suspension, amendment, or revision
would violate any part of the Book of Church Order. Any permanent
amendment , revision or repeal of the By-Laws must be proposed IN
WRITING, at a Stated Meeting approved by a 2/3 vote of that meeting,
and ratified by a 2/3 vote of the following Stated Meeting.
SECTION XI. AUTHORITY TO INDEMNIFY:
A. The Corporation shall indemnify or obligate itself to indemnify an
individual made a party to a proceeding or against whom a claim has
been made because he is or was a director, trustee or officer of the
Corporation for reasonable expenses, judgments, fines, penal ties and
amounts paid in the settlement (including Attorneys’ fees) incurred in
connection with the preceding if the individual acted in manner he
believed in good faith to be in, or not opposed to the- best interest of
the Corporation and, in the case of any criminal proceeding, he had no
reasonable cause to believe his conduct was unlawful. The determination
of a proceeding by judgment, order, settlement or conviction or upon a
plea of nolo contendere or its equivalent, is not of its self,
determination that the director, trustee or officer did meet the standard
of conduct set forth above. Indemnification permitted under this action
in connection with a proceeding by or in the right of the Corporation is
limited to reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the
proceeding. Expenses may, at the option of the Corporation, be paid in
advance or as incurred.
B. Determination of Indemnification. The Corporation may not indemnify
a director, trustee or officer as provided in (A) above unless authorized
by its board of Trustees. A determination shall be made in the specific
case that such indemnification is permissible in the circumstances
because the person to be indemnified has met the standard of conduct
set forth in (A) above. Such determination shall be made by the Board of
Trustees by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of trustees not at
the time parties to a proceeding or against whom a claim has been
C. The Corporation may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of an
individual who is a director, trustee or officer of the Corporation against
liability asserted against or incurred by him in the capacity or rising from
his status as such, and for its on benefit.
D. Should any director , trustee or officer indemnified by the Corporation
thereafter secure a recovery of all or any part of the expenses,
judgments, fines, penalties, settlements, attorney fees or costs from a
third party which were the subject of indemnification by the Corporation,
he shall remit such recovery to the Corporation to the extent of such
indemnification and any payment of indemnification to such person shall
be conditional on his written consent to refund such indemnification in
PERMANENT COMMITTEE PROGRAM SCHEDULE:
Note: A Committee may barter with any other Committee for use of that
Committees Scheduled Time. The program presented will be at the 11:00
AM SPECIAL ORDERS OF THE DAY.
1. January Meeting - Christian Education Committee
2. April Meeting - Administration Committee.
3. July Meeting - Mission To The World Committee.
4. October Meeting - Mission To North America Committee