After several years of study and prayer and following the recommendation we received in May of 2021 from our NABNW Regional Minister, our Deacons believe that it is time to consider changing our structure to an Elder-Led model of leadership.  In April of 2023 based on a recommendation from the Deacons our congregation elected a committee to consider this recommendation.  This committee consists of Jon Reimer (Moderator), David Hiebenthal (Deacon Chair), Berina Tuttle (Member), Sandi Villwock (Member), and Pastor David Curtis.  The committee is currently meeting every other week to pray, discuss and discern how God is leading Salt Creek Baptist Church. We have created this section of our website to keep you informed about the process and progress in this matter.

Meet Our Team

Jon Reimer
  • Worship Leader
Sandi Villwock
  • Member
David Hiebenthal
  • Deacon Chair
Berina Tuttle
  • Member

Questions & Answers

Here are some answers to common questions.

 After several years of prayer and study our Deacons believe that this model more closely resembles the church in the New Testament (1 Pet. 5:1-5). We also believe a simpler leadership model would empower our members to minister more efficiently (Eph. 4:11-13). 

As a priesthood of believers (1 Pet. 2:9) we believe every member of the congregation can equally hear and discern God’s leading for His Church.  Thus, the congregation would still be involved in the calling of pastors, the electing of lay leaders, approval of budgets, as well as ongoing prayer and service (Acts 6:5; 13:2-3, 15:22). 

 Ongoing study of the biblical passages regarding church leadership. Meeting with a interviewing other church leaders. Praying and discerning God’s direction by asking questions and seeking input from our members. 

Yes.  Because we believe and practice the Baptist principle of the Priesthood of Believers we believe that every member has the ability and responsibility to prayerfully hear from God.  Thus our bylaws can only be changed by a prayerful and discerning vote of our members.

Elders will be voted on by the members of the church.

When it comes to what the members vote on in bsuiness meetings or the ability of members to new issues before the membership at business meetings nothing is changing.  Because of our commitment and belief in the priesthood of believers we will still have congregational authority in place.

Members will still continue to vote on the same issues that they already vote on.  These include but are not limited to: Annual Budget, Calling or Dismissal of Elders & Pastors, Officers, Purchase or Sale of Property, Amendments to any future Constituion or By-Laws for the Church

There is not a distinction in Scripture between these two different models.  These are labels or terms that we have come up with to help identify the differences between two different types of structure that both include elders.  Elder rule eliminates congregational authority (Elders cannot be removed by the members), while Elder led retains congregational authority (Elders can be removed by members if needed).

This would depend on the practice of the individual church.  Because we practice local church autonomy our conference does not dictate this for the local church.  Each local church must interpret the Scriptures for themselves on this issue.  Currently it is the conviction of the leadership at Salt Creek Baptist Church that God's design and intent for the church is that the Elders are to be be Godly men who meet the standards of 1 Timothy 3 & Titus 1.

Yes we are. A good governance structure supports that truth and clairifies how that works in the leadership and decision making process.  That is what we are attempting to do.

It is our conviction that the Elder Led model that is being proposed includes term limits for Elders.  Eldering is a lot of work and rest is needed so that one does not burn out.  Pastors that are elders will be elders for the duration of their service as pastors.

Yes.  Biblically speaking deacons are servants so anyone who serves in the church is a deacon in a biblical sense.  The role of deacons would look different that it does currently if there are elders.  

Question Submission Form

Please use this form to submit your questions regarding the changes to our bylaws that are being considered.

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Recommended Reading List
Books and Resources on Elder Leadership in Churches

Below is a list of good books that we have looked at as either a Deacon Board or the Governance Committee on the Biblical Need for a plurality of Elders in the church.