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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

Should we say “Rev. Charles, or Pastor Charles or just Charles


Charles 06 2014 bible teachingShould you call your preacher or minister or elder “Pastor?” Or “Reverend”

Reverent means “worthy to be revered, entitled to reverence.”  “a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.”

  • (initial capital letter) (used as a title of respect applied or prefixed to the name of a member of the clergy or a religious order):
  • The Reverend (Rev.) is a style most often used as a prefix to the names of Christian clergy and ministers
  • In the 20th and 21st centuries it has been increasingly common for reverend to be used as a noun and for clergy to be referred to as being either a reverend or the reverend (I talked to the reverend about the wedding service.) or to be addressed as Reverend or, for example, Reverend Smith or the Reverend Smith. This has traditionally been considered grammatically incorrect on the basis that it is equivalent to referring to a judge as being an honorable or an adult man as being a mister.[



  • As a verb:  to serve as the pastor of:  “He pastored the church here for a number of years.”
  • Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pstor, shepherd; see p- in Indo-European roots.]

pas·tor (pstr)


1. A Christian minister or priest having spiritual charge over a congregation or other group.

2. A layperson having spiritual charge over a person or group.

3. A shepherd.

tr.v. pas·tored, pas·tor·ing, pas·tors

To serve or act as pastor of.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pstor, shepherd; see p- in Indo-European roots.]

Dictionary Definition: pastor


P`ASTOR, n. L. from pasco, pastum, to feed.

1. A shepherd; one that has the care of flocks and herds.

2. A minister of the gospel who has the charge of a church and congregation, whose duty is to watch over the people of his charge, and instruct them in the sacred doctrines of the christian religion.


P`ASTORAL, a. L. pastoralis. Pertaining to shepherds; as a pastoral life; pastoral manners.

  • 1. Descriptive of the life of shepherds; as a pastoral poem.
  • 2. Relating to the care of souls, or to the pastor of a church; as pastoral care or duties; a pastoral letter.
  • Piety is the life and soul of pastoral fidelity.
  • P`ASTORAL, n. A poem describing the life and manners of shepherds, or a poem in imitation of the action of a shepherd, and in which the speakers take upon themselves the character of shepherds; an idyl; a bucolic.

P`ASTORATE, n. The office, state or jurisdiction of a spiritual pastor.

A pastor is someone who has spiritual care over a congregation.  The English word occurs only once in the Bible in Eph. 4:11, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers.”  The word in Greek is poimen and literally means shepherd.  Poimen occurs 18 times in the New Testament.  For example,

  • Matt. 9:36, “And seeing the multitudes, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.”
  • Mark 14:27, "And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.’
  • Luke 2:8, “And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night.
  • John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
  • Heb. 13:20, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord.”

Therefore, a pastor is a shepherd of God’s flock who is to instruct, teach, and protect the people under his charge.  Pastors are elders (1 Tim. 5:17), and as such cannot be women as the scriptures declare in Titus 1:5-7 and 1 Tim. 2:12-13.

Here are the reasons why I reject the wearing of religious titles:

1. There is no New Testament authority for the practice.

  • Though there were many gospel preachers in the first century, not one of them accepted and wore a religious title. I cannot read where Paul was ever called "Reverend Paul," Peter was ever called "Archbishop Peter," James was ever called "Pope James," Timothy was ever called "Pastor Timothy," or John was ever referred to as "The Right Reverend, Dr. John." The wearing of religious titles is a practice that arose centuries later. They were never worn with the approval of God by those in the Lord's church. Consequently, I refuse to go beyond the things which God has revealed that we should do in our worship of Him (2 Jn. 9-11; 1 Cor. 4:6; 1 Pet. 4:11; Rev. 22:18-19).

2. Wearing religious titles is expressly condemned.

The Lord Jesus forbade the practice when He said,

  • But be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ (Matt. 23:8-10).
  • The wearing of religious titles to elevate one brother above another was soundly condemned by Jesus. The practice is contrary to the spirit of Christianity that "all ye are brethren."
  • Long ago Job said, "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away" (Job 32:21-22).