Book of Order and Session

We follow the Book of Order of our denomination, which calls for lay members and ministers to govern together. This group is called the Session. Our ordained pastors participate along with about 60 elders elected by the congregation. These elders reflect the diversity of our membership with men and women of many ages and backgrounds.


Sixty-two elders comprise our Session, the governing body of the church. Elders are chosen by the congregation, and this process of choosing leaders is central to the idea of the Presbyterian Church. After 10:30 am worship Sunday, March 3, 2019, we will have a congregational meeting to vote on this year's nominees.

The name Presbyterian comes from the Greek word for elder, presbuteroi.

The practice of electing elders goes back to the Old Testament and was practiced in the early church. The famous Sanhedrin of Jerusalem was a group of 71 elders who served as a kind of supreme court for all Jewry.

Theologically, we continue with the practice of electing elders to stay in continuity with our Biblical roots. We elect rather than appoint our elders to uphold our belief in full congregational participation and follow a tradition of democracy and representative government instead of hierarchy and centralization of power with the clergy.

Being elected an elder is a serious assignment. Let us all pray that all our leaders will follow God's direction and stay focused on our very important responsibilities.

If you seek a community that will nurture your soul, listen to your questions and share your journey in faith, you can find a home here.

Our Vision

FPC's vision is to be a vibrant regional church of growing disciples through a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ, with a passion for welcoming all people who seek a life of meaning and purpose, with a special focus on churchless young adults. Relying on God's grace, FPC will be this church through:

  • Worship that is relevant, spiritual, welcoming, vibrant, mysterious and majestic
  • Living as an inclusive community of faith within the Reformed tradition of head, heart and hands 
  • A faithful commitment for excellence in children's and youth ministry
  • Congregational Care that is responsive and proactive 
  • Outreach that makes a significant difference in the community, the world and in the lives of members
  • Engaging, transformative education for all generations 
  • Connecting relationships within this faith community
  • Facilities that are welcoming, inviting and user-friendly
  • staff that models collaborative leadership 
  • session that governs with a focus on growing disciples.

Our Strategic Plan

Upon his arrival as senior pastor in 2001, Dr. Sid Batts said, “We share a calling to make this church what God wants it to be. We are on a spiritual journey together.”

From 2007 to 2009, the Strategic Planning Committee observed, listened, studied, consulted, surveyed and prayed in order to identify and articulate a new strategic direction for First Presbyterian Church.

The team proposed this as a three-year plan through 2012, renewable thereafter a year at a time.

Read the committee's report

Strategic Planning Committee

Erik Albright
Margaret Arbuckle
Margaret Benjamin
Ginger Booker, chair and FIRST WAVE liaison
Jack Brantley
Ty Buckner
Van King, vice chair (through September 2008)
Mackey McDonald, FIRST WAVE liaison
Sam Simpson
Shirley Spears
David Sprinkle
Sheron Sumner
Peter Tourtellot

Staff Advisers

Ann Adams, former director of program administration
Sid Batts, pastor
David Kolosieke, former director of finance and operations