Church Manual Changes

    Church Manual, page xxi    ( 17th Edition )

·         "Changes in or revisions of the Church Manual, the Notes excepted (see below), can be made only by action of a General Conference session in which delegates of the world body of believers are assembled and have a voice in making revisions. If revisions in the Church Manual are considered necessary by any of the constituent levels (see page 26), such revisions should be submitted to the next constituent level for wider counsel and study.  If approved, the suggested revisions are then submitted to the next constituent level for further evaluation. Any proposed revisions shall then be sent to the General Conference Church Manual Committee."

  The 59th GC Session has changed the wording of this text to [ Click here ]


     Here is the constituent levels described on page 26   (this page number will change)

Church Manual, page 26    ( 17th Edition)

  "Among Seventh-day Adventists there are four constituent levels leading from the individual believer to the worldwide organization of the work of the church:

  1.     The local church, a united organized body of individual believers.
  2.     The local conference or local field/mission, a united organized body of  
             churches in a state, province or territory. (see page xxii)
  3.     The union conference or union mission, a united body of conferences . . .
  4.     The General Conference, the largest unit of organization, embraces all . . .

  These definitions have been clarified by the 59th GC Session


   The individual member is part of the first level, so when a member has a suggestion to improve the church manual, he needs to bring it to his church at a business meeting or to bring it to the church board of any local church.

  The Church Manual Committee reviews the manual and suggests changes to be voted on by a GC Session.

   Here is a transcript of the proceedings at the 59th GC Session related to the Church Manual. This prints out on 76 pages and it is hard to find a text - that is of interest to you - to see if it has been changed. staff is carefully reviewing the transcript and organizing  the changes to the Church Manual that have been approved by the delegates at the 59th General Conference Session in Atlanta.

   This project is on-going and if we have not published anything for the texts that interest you - please refer fo the transcript - and come back again. The problem is that the transcipt gives the change and where it will appear in the new manual, it does not say where the topic appeared in the last edition. There are 14 Chapters in the new manual and 17 in the previous one.

Lectures about the Church Manual presented to GYC Conference in Seattle - Nov. 2012
by Jay Gallimore, President of Michigan Conference   ( six part series - audio files )

                                                                 Changes   to      

                               Chapter and titles, as found in the Table of Contents of the 17th edition    (show changes that appear in the 18th edition)

                                                                                   Changes to Introduction     

  Changes to Chapter 1
   Why a Church Manual  -  new title for Chapter 1
  Changes to Chapter 2
 -  Church of the Living God
   No Changes to Chapter 3       
  -  Fundamental Beliefs
   Changes to Chapter 4
  -  Organization on Divine Principles
   Changes to Chapter 5      
  -  Form of Organization in the Church
   Changes to Chapter 6
  -  Church Membership
   Changes to Chapter 7
  -  Church Officers and their Duties
   Changes to Chapter 8
  -  Services and Meeting of the Church
   No Changes to Chapter  9         
  -  Auxiliary Organizations
   No Changes to Chapter 10         
  -  Ministers and Workers in Relation
   Changes to Chapter 11
  -  Church Election
   Changes to Chapter 12
  -  Gospel Finance 
   Changes to Chapter 13
  -  Standards of Christian Living
   Changes to Chapter 14
  -  Church Discipline
   Changes to Chapter 15
  -  Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
   Changes to Chapter 16
  -  Organizing, Uniting, Dissolving Churches
   Changes to Chapter 17
  -  Pulpit Not a Forum
   Changes  to  Notes
  -  Other Changes


                                    Major   Changes

                          more separate pages will be created to discuss the other changes

                     -   Appealing Differences to Next Level 

                     -   Church Discipline  -  New Rights given to members

                     -   Baptism

                     -   Business Meetings

                     -  Church Board 

                     -  General Conference 

                     -  Ordination of Deaconesses 

                     -   A new right given to members  (fairness in discipline)

                     -   Liabilities of church organizations   

                      Mystery of the missing paragraph   

                                -  which  defined  the   Corporate  Witness  of  the  Church  as  the  body  of  Christ


        Note:       NO  CHANGES  WERE  MADE  TO  THE  FUNDAMENTAL  BELIEFS   at  the  59th  Session




                     Removal of summary of Doctrinal Beliefs use for instruction of baptismal candidates
                     See Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs  (all 4 pages were removed)

                     Hot Topic for next General Conference Session    Ordination of Women as Pastors 

                                                          The Church Manual  -  18th Edition

Table of Contents      for  new edition of Church Manual
Chapter  1 - Why a Church Manual?
Chapter  2 - Church of the Living God
Chapter  3 - Organization and Authority
Chapter  4 - Pastors and other church employees
Chapter  5    Ch  5      - Organizing, Uniting, Dissolving Churches
Chapter  6     Ch  6      - Membership
Chapter  7 - Church Discipline
Chapter  8 - Local Church Officers & Organizations
Chapter  9 -  Elections
Chapter 10 - Services and other Meetings
Chapter 11 - Finance
Chapter 12 - Standards of Christian Living
Chapter 13 - Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage
Chapter 14 - Fundamental Beliefs
   Notes -  See changes to Notes


      Explanation of Terms that will appear throughout the Church Manual

         These changes are for editorial and printing economy

    Church (with a capital "C") will be used in place of the full term Seventh-day Adventist Church and refers to the overall Church organization rather than to a local church or     congregation, with the exception of when it is referred to within a quotation.

   Conference now means 'conference, mission, field, section, delegration, or union of churches.' as the administrative context indicates. Generally, each congregation is a member of the sisterhood of churches known as a conference, but until the local organization achieves conference status, under General Conference Working Policy it may be identified as a mission, section, delegraion, or field. In some world divisions, union of churches in a particular country function as a conference for local-church purposes (see Chapter xx, Church Organization)

   Pastor and minister - most areas of the world Church use 'pastor' to identify a member of the clergy, so that term is used in these pages rather than 'minister' - regardless of the responsibilities assigned by the local conference. Use of the term here is not intended to mandate that usage where the custom is to use 'minister' - Pastors referred to in this manual are those who have been appointed by the conference to oversee the affairs of the local church or district.

   Abbreviation of Ellen G. White books follow the "Key to Abbreviations' found in the front of most of her books and are listed in the Spirit of Prophecy Index on page xx (number to be inserted when the manual is printed).

   Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated, with the exception of when referred to within a Spirit of Prophecy quotation.
See page 20, 21 in 18th Edition

    If you have any suggestions how to better organize or present this information - please contact us.

Related Information

Church Manual 2022 Church Manual Changes Chapter 1 - 18th Edition with changes shown Study in Reinstatement of Membership Study of Church Governance and Unity - Sept. 2016 Working Policy L-60 section 15 Writings of EGW in the Church Manual Changes to Chapter 1 Changes to Chapter 11 - Elections Changes to Chapter 12 - Finance Changes to Chapter 13 - Christian Living Changes to Chapter 14 - Discipline Changes to Chapter 15 - Marriage Changes to Chapter 16 - Organizing Churches Changes to Chapter 17 - Pulpit Not A Forum Changes to Chapter 2 Changes to Chapter 4 - 5 Changes to Chapter 6 - Membership Changes to Chapter 7 - Church Officers Changes to Chapter 8 - Services, Meetings Changes to Introduction Changes to Notes Major Changes - Appealing Differences to Next Level Mystery of the Missing Paragraph New Right Given to Members - fairness