Ordination Vows

I have been encouraged to share with you my ordination vows. I was ordained by Plantation Community Church on October 9, 1994. Plantation Community is a non-denominational church, and so in lieu of denominational vows, I wrote my own vows drawing from various Scriptures relating to pastoral ministry. I take these promises as seriously as my marriage vows, which means, very seriously! Here are the promises I made before God and his people that day.


Before God and by his grace I covenant the following:

  • I covenant to keep watch over my own life, seeking to live in a manner pleasing to God and worthy of his calling. (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:1)
  • I covenant to watch over and pray for the flock of God entrusted to my care as one who must give an account. (Acts 20:28; Hebrews 13:17)
  • I covenant to love, guide, and care for God’s people — not by constraint, but from a willing spirit; not motivated by personal gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to me, but rather being an example to the flock. (1 Peter 5:2-3)
  • I covenant to set an example for other believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
  • I covenant to love my family, to raise my children in the training and instruction of the Lord, to manage my own household well, and to maintain a good reputation in the community. (Ephesians 5:25, 6:2; 1 Timothy 3:4,7)
  • I covenant to study the Scriptures that I may teach what is in accord with sound doctrine and handle God’s Word correctly to the best of my ability. (2 Timothy 2:15; Titus 2:1)
  • I covenant in my teaching to show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech befitting the Word of God. (Titus 2:7)
  • I covenant to preach God’s Word, to be prepared in season and out of season, to correct, rebuke and encourage — with patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)
  • I covenant to proclaim the whole counsel of God from the Scriptures without fear or hesitation. (Acts 20:27)
  • I covenant to discharge faithfully all the duties of my ministry in a manner that is honorable to both God and man. (2 Timothy 4:5)

These things I covenant before God, asking his grace that I may fulfill them and his forgiveness where I may fail or fall short.

“Now may the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)


Related post: Tim Challies was ordained as an elder/pastor at Grace Fellowship Church yesterday. See his post Ordination for the excellent set of promises Tim made at his ordination. Congratulations, Tim!


  1. Sharon Gamble says:

    Love how it is totally based on the Word of God. Just like wedding vows, I suspect Ordination vows are something we need to frequently brush off and look at again. A lot of what you pledged is relevant to all of us, too, in walking in a way that brings honor to the Lord. Thanks for sharing and thanks to whoever encouraged you to do so. 🙂

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Sharon – You’re right, when it comes to godly living, those Scriptures apply to all believers, not just those in leadership.

  3. Margaret says:

    We both loved re-reading your ordination vows, Ray. We pray that you will soon be in a Pastoral position again, and yes, we should all exhibit these qualities in our Christian lives. God bless you. Mum and Dad.

  4. stephy says:

    As a preacher’s kid I just have to say…good on you, and…you will fail. But that’s what it’s about eh? Knowing we can’t do this all but through Jesus.

  5. Ray Fowler says:

    Amen to that, Stephy!

  6. Bill Bickmore says:

    Wow, I just happened to be looking for a good set of ordination vows and stumbled across this site with a comment from Sharon Gamble… How delightful. AND I like the vows, I may use them tonight with a brother in the Lord who is stepping over this line of ordination.

  7. Adewale Stephen says:

    It’s absolutely refreshing reading through you ordination covenants. O has helped me to also upgrade my commitment to both God and the flock. Counting on God’s grace.
    Thanks for your life and thanks for sharing this with others.

  8. Tracy-Lynn says:

    Beautiful ordination vows. Biblical, no trimmings. Amen and thank you

  9. Famous Abua says:

    Wow… I really must appreciate Ray Fowler for this biblical piece.. I hope to be able to use this vows exactly. Thanks and God bless you real food

  10. Ricky Woodard says:

    Well done sir. I would use these scriptures to renew my vows as well.

  11. daniel kimonye says:

    wonderful piece which so encouraging to the upcoming ministers. God richly bless you

  12. Panji chihana says:

    Send me your note on vows.
    I be ordained on 31/08/2019

  13. Ronnie Dominick Young says:

    Excellent vows. I will use them too. May God bless you and yours.

  14. Peter Thawani says:

    This stuff is very great

  15. Rev Francis says:

    Dear servant of The Living God,

    Upon reading this your vows, I am compelled to testifying that I am inspired, reminded and edified to uphold my Christian faith, believes, practices and conduct before our GOD and his church-the body of Christ!

    Thank you so much and blessings!

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