2024 PCA General Assembly

Dear Church Family,

The 51st General Assembly of our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), will be held next week, June 10-14, in Richmond, VA. As the highest court in our church, it is an important part of the health and well-being of our denomination; however, with all the parliamentary procedures and Robert’s Rules of Order, General Assembly can sometimes seem to be a bit complicated, confusing, and unwieldy. So, I thought that I might give a quick overview of the schedule, along with some suggestions for what you might be interested in watching via live-stream or archived videos.

Presbyterian Government in the PCA

First, though, it might help to have a little reminder of the polity of our denomination. The PCA is ruled by presbyters (or elders) in three graded assemblies or church courts in our denomination: the session, governing the local church; the presbytery, for regional matters; and the general assembly, at the national level. Our local session at HCPCA conducts its business in bimonthly meetings. Our North Texas Presbytery meets quarterly during the year. And, the PCA General Assembly meets annually.

Some Highlights and Recommended Viewing

The 2024 General Assembly of the PCA will meet next week according to the following schedule: https://pcaga.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/GA-Docket-Second-Draft-5-16-2024-prayer-convocation.pdf (here is a simplified, two-page schedule document, if you like: https://pcaga.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2024-GA-Schedule-5.27.24.pdf).

Video recordings of all of the worship services and business of the General Assembly are available via live-stream (and then viewed as archived footage) here: https://pcaga.org/livestream/. Again, that schedule can seem a bit complicated, so let me make some recommendations for what you may want to watch.

Worship Services

There are three worship services during the General Assembly:

– Tuesday, June 11th, at 6:30 pm
– Wednesday, June 12th at 4:45 pm
– Thursday, June 13th at 7:30 pm

Debating and Voting on Overtures

While there are many interesting reports and discussions during the General Assembly, some of the most important debates and votes take place during the presentation of overtures which is scheduled to begin on Thursday, June 13th at 10:00 am (and will likely take most of the rest of the day). Overtures are requests from the lower courts (sessions or presbyteries) or from individual elders for the General Assembly to make a ruling or take some kind of action.

This year, there are 35 overtures that have been sent up the General Assembly. There is a committee (the overtures committee) which will discuss, refine, and sometimes combine some of these overtures before they come before the entire court on Thursday, but it’s usually one of the more interesting times of debate.

Review of Presbytery Records

One of the ways in which our denomination maintains mutual accountability to our standards is through the review of the minutes of the lower courts. So, for example, there is a committee at the presbytery level that reviews all of the minutes of the meetings of the sessions in the presbytery. And, there is a committee at the general assembly level that reviews all of the minutes of the meetings of the presbyteries in the denomination.

That may sound like a tedious and monotonous task and a boring administrative report. And, sometimes it is. In fact, when the report of these committees is boring, that’s a good thing; it means that nothing was done out of the ordinary or contrary to our standards. However, there are times when it is found that a lower court (in this case, a presbytery) has taken an action or made a decision that seems to be out of accord with our standards. And that’s when things get interesting, and not always in a fun way.

But, though it may be difficult and not always fun, reviewing the decisions and actions of our presbyteries and sessions is one of the important ways that denomination seeks to maintain its biblical orthodoxy and fidelity.


Please pray for our denomination and the meeting of our General Assembly next week. Pray for safe travels for all those in attendance. And, pray that the Holy Spirit would unite and bless the worship, deliberations, and decisions of the General Assembly as we seek to continue to be “faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.”

The Lord be with you!
Pastor Peter M. Dietsch