A nominated or elected lay official of any of various Christian churches, especially of a Presbyterian church.
- Recently a Presbyterian Church in America ruling elder posted a blog stating his stance on an earlier discussion regarding the Pope's comments on Sunday sports.
- In addition to ministers, many Baptist churches had ruling elders, assistants, exhorters, deacons, deaconesses, elderesses, and evangelists.
- He is ruling elder at Proclamation Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA.
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Syllabification: rul·ing eld·er
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