Following the model of local churches in the New Testament, the Pleasant Valley Church is an autonomous (self-governing) congregation. We appoint our own leaders in keeping with Biblical guidelines, without outside intervention or interference. We belong to no conference, synod, council or other governing body. This congregational independence serves as a buffer against being swept away in a large-scale apostasy, which historically has been a major source of problems in Christianity.
Our local leadership is organized based on the New Testament pattern of elders and deacons, supported by evangelists and teachers (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Ephesians 4:11-12).
Our elders--also referred to in the New Testament as bishops, pastors or presbyters (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7)--are the shepherds or overseers who have the responsibility of guiding the church. They are active in preaching, teaching and caring for the spiritual and physical needs of the members. These men meet the qualifications for this office as detailed in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
Our deacons are special "servants" who assist the elders in carrying out the work of the church. The qualifications for this office are documented in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Our evangelist (minister, preacher) plays an active role in preaching and teaching the Word of God, both within the congregation and to those outside the Body. The evangelist is not to be confused with the pastors (elders) who guide the church. His authority is largely moral in nature, serving as the "conscience" of the congregation, encouraging us to do right and warning us against doing wrong.