Steward and Trustee Board Members : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Is there any reference made in the Discipline stating that more than one family member cannot serve on the same board (ie. Trustee or Steward. Or is this strictly a pastoral preference. Please cite Discipline source of reference, if applicable.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2004


The Discipline gives the qualifications of persons who can serve on Boards but it is the pastor's "discretion" as to having members of the same family on the same board. I have seen situations when a person is a Steward and that person's spouse and/or child is a Trustee and vice versa. One may say that if there are members of the same family who fit the "qualificaions", than they could sit on the same board at the same time.

However, I would think that a prudent Pastor would avoid such a situation.

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2004

Although there are qualifications for Stewards and Trustees these are not always met. Apart from the fact that they must be at least 18 years old and in good a regular standing in the church, I know of no other reason to prevent them from serving in these positions at all.

Stewards are selected by the pastor of the church. The pastor also nominates twice the number of Trustees from which members of the church, 18 years and older, select at a Church Conference by secret ballot vote. The total number on each of these boards is always an uneven number-- no fewer three and no more than nineteen. The average on each board is seven to nine.

Having said this what we often fail to realize is that after Christ, the Conference is the Supreme Authority in the Methodist Church—not any member of either the clergy or lay. That is why we have five of them and that is why they are so often held.

No person may become a Steward or Trustee unless the First Quarterly Conference confirms him or her to be. Once they are confirmed they may not be removed before the next Annual Conference unless the sufficient charges are brought against them. They may be removed by the Quarterly alone, not solely by any member clergy or lay. This is similar to the Presidential nomination to the Justices of the Supreme Court who the Congress must first confirm and only a Congressional Hearing may impeach or remove.

The Quarterly Conference is a conference of the Local Church. It is presided over by an Elder whom the Annual Conference appoints and whose interest lies outside that of the Local Church. Thus, the Local Church pays him/her for the service he/she performs.

If the members of the church have reservations about who has been selected to serve as either Steward or Trustee, the reasons should be presented when the First Quarterly Conference is held. The members of the Quarterly Conference, who include both clergy and lay, then have the right to allow or prevent them from being confirmed. This is important because it allows the members of the Quarterly Conference to also confirm or reject the Stewards, whom the pastor chooses, should they feel these persons will not serve the best interest of all members of the church. They Quarterly Conference may also remove them when sufficient charges are brought.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2004

I would like to make the suggestion that every AME should own a copy of the discipline. Part of our new members class is that every member receives a copy and the Christian Education Department reviews policies and procedures with them.

Having a copy of your own would allow you to have first hand knowledge of our church.

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2004

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