10th (2013) Edition
5.1. There are four kinds of NCAY congregation or assembly: (1) A Firstborn Assembly (like MLT); (2) A Central Assembly (sometimes known as an Episcopal, Metropolitan or Mother Assembly), (3) An Independent Local Assembly (or Branch), and (4) A Dependent Local Assembly (or Mission):
5.1.1. A Dependent Local Assembly or Mission is a congregation of up to 144 baptised members which possesses no regularly ordained Priesthood officers. It is usually pastored by a traveling Evangelist or, if available, a traveling Pastor from a neigbbouring Local Assembly or Branch who visits with other Elders to disciple the flock and train its leaders. In his absence, a Sub-Deacon (trainee Deacon) is set over the Mission until such a time as a properly trained and ordained standing Elder can be set apart as Pastor;
5.1.2. An Independent Local Assembly or Branch is a congregation of up to 144 baptised members possessing its own regularly ordained Priesthood officers including a standing Presiding Elder, Pastor or Overseer;
5.1.3. A Central Assembly is a congregation of up to 144 baptised members that has responsibility for, and jurisdiction over, up to 12 other Branches and Missions, viz. a maximum of 24 daughter assemblies, which they shall have raised up themselves through evangelism and/or by appointment of the Apostolate and the work of traveling evangelists. It is governed by a standing Elder, Pastor or Overseer called a Bishop;
5.1.4. A Firstborn Community, of which there are a maximum of twelve in the world, one for each of the 12 tribes of Israel, is a special congregation organised by the Holy Melchizedek Order and governed directly by one of the Twelve Apostles who is its Presiding Patriarch. It is distinguished from Central Assemblies and Branches by the fact that it lives the fullness of the Millennial Theocratic Order along with the United Order of All Things in Common (¶7.3.16). Firstborn Communities will be found on every continent except possibly Antarctica. They do not come under the authority of any central Bishop or local Pastor.