At the end of the first missionary journey, around year 47-48 A.D., the apostle Paul returned to visit the newly formed churches and he appointed elders in local congregations to shepherd, oversee, and instruct the believers (Acts 14:21-23). Throughout the New Testament, we see that the local churches were led by a plurality of elders or overseers or shepherds (Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17, 28; 1 Peter 5:1-4). Park Hills Baptist Church is therefore an “elder-led” congregation, meaning that several biblically-qualified men shepherd and oversee the congregation as a whole. Some of our elders, not all, are employed by the church. All elders meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, and they endeavor to lead the church through example, teaching, discipling, and counseling. They meet every two weeks to pray and provide spiritual oversight and care for the life of this church.
In the early church, when a dispute arose concerning the care of the widows, the apostles appointed servants to address the physical needs of the church while the apostles devoted themselves to “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). In the same way, at Park Hills Baptist Church the care for the physical needs of the congregation is entrusted to deacons who meet the qualifications of 1 Tim 3:8-13. Deacons labor to promote unity in the church, to care for the needs of members and of the church, and to support the elders in the ministry of the Word.