The Elders



The Kansas Avenue Seventh-Day Adventist Church Board of Elders

“The term ‘elder’ is used more frequently in the Old Testament than in the New. Faithfully serving in their synagogues and among their communities, these elders guided God’ people and helped keep alive His mission to the world.” [Elder’s Handbook, p. 24]

“In the New Testament, the words ‘elders,’ ‘bishop,’ and ‘overseer’ are often used interchangeable (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). The title refers to more than the age of the leader, but to a role as a spiritual guardian of the congregation (1 Pet. 5:1-3).” [Elder’s Handbook, p. 25]

“Seventh-day Adventist elders. The work of the local elder has developed through the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The earliest churches elected deacons, but not elders. In 1854 and 1855, Joseph Bates and J. B. Frisbie wrote of two kinds of church leaders-those who traveled from church to church and those who had pastoral care of church. In 1861, J. N. Loughborough, Moses Hull, and M. E. Cornell were asked to study the bible model of church organization. They concluded that the election and ordination of elders and deacons in local churches was clearly prescribe.

In 1874, G. I. Butler wrote that the elder was the principal officer in the church. The elder’s power were limited, however, in that the body of the church was the deciding authority. By 1875, the church agreed that elders should visit both active and inactive members, conduct the ordinances in the absence of the pastor, and call business meetings.  In recent years. the world church has determined that where division committees approve and where a local congregation agrees, both men and women may serve as local elders.” [Elder’s Handbook, p. 26 & 27]

“Elders in the church. Scripture calls for the service of elders. From the beginning of the New Testament church, leadership in the community of believers was accorded to the apostles and elders (Acts 15:22), and they appointed and ordained elders in every church (Acts 14:23). With this practice as a model, such structure has continue in various forms since the beginning of the Christian era.”

“Elders. While the basic definition of elder refers to one’s age, in both New Testament usage and current understanding, the word has an additional meaning of leader or ambassador. Though elders are generally mature and experienced, it does not  mean that only older individuals can serve as elders. The instruction to appoint elders in every city (Titus 1:5) indicates that the older member is not necessarily the elder: Otherwise, the office would be filled automatically, thus rendering appointment unnecessary.” [Elders’s handbook, p.15 & 16]

“As spiritual leaders, elders are responsible for encouraging member to develop a personal relationship with Jesus by strengthening their habits of personal Bible study and prayer. Elders should model a commitment to Bible study and prayer. An effective personal prayer life of every member, supporting all ministries and programs of the local church, will enhance the church’s mission.” [Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, p. 74]

“The church is very dependent on its elders. On any given Sabbath in Seventh-day Adventist churches, there are more sermons that are preached and more worship services that are led by local elders than by pastors.”

[Elder’s Handbook, p. 27]

The Board of Elders advise the pastor, serving as additional eyes and ears to discern the needs of the church and the direct it should take in its service to members and community.

Each member of the elder team is assigned to one or more of our Departments.

Further, Elders visit members, minister to the sick, encourage the disheartened, pray with the sick, anoint the sick, help church members to fully develop their spiritual gifts, officiate in all services of the church- communion services, child dedications, funeral services, encourage member to develop a personal relationship with Jesus by strengthening their habits of personal Bible study and prayer, conduct Bible studies, assist with / in the weekly corporate worship, exercise constant vigilance over the flock, encourage members to return faithful tithes and offerings, etc.


Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.