Pastors and Deacons in the Tennessee Synod

No one can be a teacher or otherwise an officer in the Church, who has not been received into the congregation, according to the order of the Church, and does not lead a Christian life. Whoever desires to be a teacher, shall also take a solemn obligation, that he will teach according to the Word of God and the Augsburg Confession and the doctrines of our Church. ... As to the ranks and grades in the office of teaching [des Lehramts], or the ministry, we acknowledge not more than two as necessary for the preservation and perpetuation of the Church; namely, Pastor and Deacon. A Pastor is an evangelical teacher, who exercises that office fully in all its parts, or performs all the ministerial acts. Such person must be ordained with prayer and the imposition of hands, by one or more pastors, to such office. Besides, he must then also solemnly affirm, that he will faithfully, according to the Word of God and the doctrines of our Church, perform the duties of that office. A Deacon is also indeed a servant in the Word of God; but he is not fully invested with the ministerial office like the Pastor is. But he is to give instructions in the catechism, read sermons, attend to funerals, admonish, and, if desired, in the absence of the Pastor, to baptize children. He must be an orderly member of the Church, and have the evidence of a Christian conduct. He must, at the desire of the church council, be examined as to his fitness for office by the Synod, and if he is found qualified, he must be consecrated and ordained to that office with prayer and the imposition of hands, by one or more pastors, either at Conference or in one of the congregations in which he labors. Besides, he shall also make a solemn affirmation, in the presence of the whole congregation, that he will faithfully serve in that office according to the instructions given him. But if such Deacon prove so industrious or assiduous in his office as to reach the required attainments and qualifications to bear the office of Pastor, and secures a regular call from one or more vacant congregations, he can be consecrated and ordained to the office of Pastor in the same manner as already indicated. In regard to the offices in the congregations, they shall be as they were heretofore customary in our Church: Elders, Deacons, etc. (Basis and Regulations of the Evangelical German Lutheran Tennessee Conference or Synod [1820], in Socrates Henkel, History of the Evangelical Lutheran Tennessee Synod [New Market, Virginia: Henkel & Co., 1890], pp. 26-27)

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