The Diaconate (or Board of Deacons and Deaconesses, historically) may be described as the group which looks after the spiritual welfare of congregational life. First and foremost, the Diaconate Board arranges for the two ordinances (we don’t have sacraments in the Baptist tradition), Believer’s Baptism (held as needed) and Communion (held the first Sunday of each month and occasional other times, such as Maundy Thursday). They work closely with the Pastor on this and also her other pastoral duties.
In addition, the Diaconate meets with prospective members. Individuals may join the church by baptism, or transferring their membership from another Christian church or by “profession of faith,” describing their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The Diaconate then recommends individuals to the congregation for membership. The Board also periodically reviews the membership rolls to keep them up to date, contacting those who haven’t been active lately, to determine their status. The Diaconate also leads the congregation in efforts to welcome visitors into the fellowship.
The other main function of the Diaconate is to work with the Pastor to provide congregational care, through visiting, prayer, financial support, provision of communion, provision for other practical needs (meals, rides etc.) The Diaconate is composed of 9 church members.