In Presbyterianism a General Assembly is a meeting of ministers and elders that happens once a year to make decisions about how the church should be run, based on what Jesus has said in the Bible. The first General Assembly of the Church of Scotland met in the Magdalene Chapel, Edinburgh in December 1560. It had 6 ministers and 36 other members. By 1567 it had 252 ministers and 621 other members. Each year, a General Assembly appoints a Moderator who makes sure everything runs smoothly.
When the second General Assembly met in 1561, some thought it should only meet if the Queen allowed it. However John Knox argued that the Queen should have no power over the Assembly. The belief that a King or Queen should be able to tell the church how it should be run or what it should believe is called Erastianism.
DSCHT: General Assembly
Magdelene Chapel, Edinburgh