During the XVIth century the word is applied to the council of elders who, together with the pastor, lead the parish or local Church.

During the XIXth century, the articles organiques of 1802 only recognise as consistorial churches, parishes with 6000 souls. Since Protestants were wide scattered, such a consistorial church was made up of several local churches. Such a church was administered by a consistory made up of the pastors and some laymen (from 6 to 12) chosen amongst the better off.

Nowadays the consistory regroups several local Reformed or Lutheran Churches and is made up of delegates of these same churches. The consitory has no legal character.