How do Baptists make the deacons(servants)become the elders (overseers). The word Pastor is used 1x, and no one is identified as a Pastor. Also in every case, when it speaks of the church,it speaks of a plurality of elders. And how is it when are told to take these verses literally, that we don't.
On my church application it states that they only desire to have true bible doctrine. So this is why they ask 24 questions to make sure that we are on the same page. I have relocated from a Reform Baptist church where we had Elders.

Hi Dan,

Thank you for this great question.  The term deacon means servant... it is not the same as the elder.  We see the roll of deacons in Acts 6.  Although the English term is not used in the passage... the Greek term for deacon is used.

Acts 6:1–7 (AV)
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: 6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

There are three terms that are used interchangeably for the same office:

Pastor - poimen - shepherd
Bishop - episkopos - overseer
Elder - presbuteros - mature leader

Notice how these three terms are all speaking of the same office:

1 Peter 5:1–4 (AV)
1 The ELDERS which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Feed the FLOCK of God which is among you, taking the OVERSIGHT thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4 And when the chief SHEPHERD shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

I absolutely believe in the plurality of elders... if a church is big enough it can have more than one pastor... a pastor and an elder and a bishop are all the same office.

I hope that this helps you.

In Christ
Pastor Don


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Pastor Don Carpenter


I believe that every word of the Bible is God-Breathed. This blessed book is the foundation of truth for faith and practice. If you ask this volunteer a question you will receive an answer from the Bible that is based upon a litteral, normal interpretation, taking into account the grammar and culture of the time.


I have been in the ministry almost 20 years. During this time, the Lord has used me as Senior Pastor, counsellor, youth pastor and generally in the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry.

Professor at New England School of the Bible - Southington CT

The Revival Chronicles

BS in Bible Baptist Bible College of Clarks Summit, PA

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]