L. Roy Taylor has been the stated clerk of the PCA General Assembly since 1998. According the PCA’s “Rules of Assembly Operation,” the stated clerk has 20 specific responsibilities associated with the gathering of the denomination’s highest court. ByFaith asked Taylor to talk about a few of the specific things he does before and during the Assembly.
What are the stated clerk’s duties and responsibilities related to General Assembly?
The stated clerk and staff, working with the Local Arrangements Committee, are responsible for the logistics of the General Assembly’s annual meeting, including site selection, meeting-hall arrangements, exhibit hall, spaces for Committee of Commissioners meetings, hotel arrangements, preparation and distribution of reports, hospitality for interchurch guests, scheduling and arranging seminars, etc.
Prior to the Assembly, the Clerk’s Office provides support services for the Standing Judicial Commission, the Cooperative Ministries Committee, the Committee on Constitutional Business, the Nominating Committee, and the Interchurch Relations Committee. The clerk is responsible for preparing the docket, expediting business, and serving as parliamentarian to the Overtures Committee and the General Assembly.
How do you prepare for it?
I review the “Book of Church Order,” “Rules of Assembly Operations,” and “Robert’s Rules of Order.” I also review overtures, Committee and Agency Reports, and ad interim committee reports. I prepare the Administrative Committee’s oral report and brief Fraternal and Corresponding delegates from other denominations. I brief the moderator on procedures, likely issues for major debate, and likely points of order.
What happens on the platform that most people aren’t aware of?
I text and email staff regarding logistics and docket progress. I keep the moderator apprised of our progress, who will give reports, and which Committee of Commissioners reports have been printed and are ready for distribution. I confer with the floor clerk manager regarding upcoming reports and presentations. I also confer with the assistant parliamentarians regarding procedural issues. Sometimes I receive emails from my counterparts in other denominations regarding their consideration of issues with which we may be dealing.
Why should members of PCA churches be grateful for the Assembly’s work?
In addition to the annual meeting of the PCA to hear the progress of the various General Assembly committees and agencies, General Assembly is sort of a family reunion of the PCA, a networking opportunity, an opportunity to discuss significant issues (in seminars, not just business meetings), and ministry resource gathering (exhibit hall, seminars, bookstore, etc.). The worship services where we corporately worship, hear the Scriptures expounded, and receive communion are highlights of the week.