Church Trustee

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by puritanpilgrim, Dec 17, 2008.

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  1. puritanpilgrim

    puritanpilgrim Puritan Board Junior

    I was asked to be a church trustee. Can anyone give me a background of what this normally means and entails? One person told me it means that I am financially required to back up problems in the church if things don't add up. That seemed a bit unrealistic. I wanted to throw it up here to get a more well rounded view.
  2. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    It is a sort of "half-deacon" in churches that pretend deacons are elders.
  3. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    A trustee in a Baptist church is a person that signs certain legal documents as a church representative, but is not personally responsible. They are often the ones that take care of any necessary upkeep of church property. In smaller churches they do the actual repair (etc.) work.

    At lleast that's what my tired middle-aged befuddled brain is thinking tonight.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Unfortunately some people just can't seem to help themselves from getting a dig in at Baptists at every turn. Is it a half-deacon in the OPC too?

    Aaron, a trustee is an office that tends to temporal affairs in churches that are incorporated. Sometimes trustees are deacons or elders, sometimes they are not.
  5. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Good call, Chris. Your statement is very true.

    I've never heard the "half deacon" thing. Never.

    -----Added 12/17/2008 at 11:54:46 EST-----

    BTW, I've never been in a Baptist church that "pretends" deacons are elders. Never.
  6. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Hey, brothers I mean no disrespect to your (false) view of Church Gov.

    I was only commenting on the trend toward the use of non-biblical offices within the church.

    I disagre with y'all,and I will state that disagreement (in the proper forum), tonight I was just objecting to the innovaton of a new office.

    -----Added 12/18/2008 at 12:04:05 EST-----

    BTW, Bro. Chris & Pastor Ivan, I would consider it an Honour to worship God with either of you. And I was not trying to pick a fight on the church gov. issue.

  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't know about the church Ivan that pastors, but the church I belong to has elders. Sorry for the sharp response on my end as well. My point was that the position of trustee really doesn't have anything to do with the form of church government at all since it isn't a church office but is rather secular. Any church that is incorporated has trustees.

    I would consider it an honor to worship with you as well, brother.
  8. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Okay, I hear ya! And, of course, I'd be honor to worship God with you too and one day we will worship God together, when all the "arguments" will be over.
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I just noticed your sig. If you were financially liable for things at 2nd Baptist, you'd be in big trouble! I have family that attend at the Kingwood location.

    I'd ask someone there what it usually entails since it may be different in some churches.
  10. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    A trustee is basically a director (as in board of directors) of the corporation. Non-profit directors are typically called trustees in non-church contexts as well. Therefore in legally binding matters, the Trustees must act (by resolution or meeting) not the Session or deacons. (That is the reason why the OPC directory Chris cites says that Trustees should be elders and/or deacons.)

    Any trustee (as such) that holds any ecclesiastical authority is an innovation.

    Trustees are usually (laws vary by State) covered by D&O (directors and officers) insurance carried by the corporation, and further their decisions are usually protected by the Business Judgment Rule (which does not require a perfect business decision, merely that reasonable business judgment be used in the decision).

    For more information, ask Evie - she's still in law school! :lol:
  11. TsonMariytho

    TsonMariytho Puritan Board Freshman

    I am a trustee at my (non-Reformed) independent Baptist church. Fred and others above are correct. It is an office created by Caesar, not by Christ, but unfortunately is not optional.

    The trustees are the people who are registered at the courthouse and/or bank as the legal representatives of the church. Even in churches that have their deacons serve as trustees (which is a nice arrangement), if there was a change of persons filling the role of deacon, there would not automatically be a change of trustees. The church has to fill out forms and such.

    In the event a non-denominational church disbands, the trustees are charged with disposal of the church property in a responsible way (some denominational churches also have set things up such that they similarly retain their autonomy with regard to local church property).

    The trustees are not legally responsible for a church's financial debts. Unless, of course, a trustee is not trustworthy, and skips off to Vegas with the offering some Sunday...

    My job as trustee is pretty much to assist the other trustees in counting the offering, signing checks to pay bills, and answering questions about the budget in congregational meetings.
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