The authority and work of an ordained local elder are confined to the church in which the election has been made. It is not permissible for a conference/mission/field committee by vote to confer on a local church elder the status which is granted to an ordained minister to serve other churches as elder. If there exists the need for such service, the conference/mission/field committee may recommend to the church or churches requiring the services of the elder of another church that they elect and invite the elder of the nearby church to serve them also. Thus by election one individual may, when necessary, serve more than one church at a time. When such an arrangement is made it should be in counsel with the conference/mission/field committee. However, this authority is inherent in the church and not in the conference/mission/field committee. The only way one may be qualified for serving the church at large is by ordination to the gospel ministry.

Beatrice Harris
Head Deaconess