“Pick out from among you …[those] … of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty.” —Acts 6:3
In accordance with the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Session governs our congregation. Our Session is made up of ordained laypeople (Ruling Elders) who are elected by the congregation at its annual meeting, as well as the installed pastors of the congregation (Teaching Elders).
Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships.
- All matters of one’s commitment of faith and life, with no one quality constituting a per se disqualification for nomination, Acts 6:3 being a particularly good reference as a guide for selection.
- A requirement of at least two years’ membership at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta at the time of nomination.
- Stewardship of time and money, including regular church attendance, pledging and participation in activities resulting in service to the church and the community, and the sharing of one’s talents and resources.
- A strong willingness to serve anda firm commitment of time on a regular basis prior to election.
Term of Service
Ruling Elders are elected to serve terms of no more than three years on the Session and are eligible for re-election for a second term. However, no Ruling Elder is eligible to serve more than six consecutive years and a Ruling Elder who has served six consecutive years is ineligible for election to the Session for at least one year.
Class of 2017
Mary Claire Allvine (Trustee-Elder), Jason Cherry, Hannah Cousar, Erin Demo, Mark Downs, Catharina (Cat) Chang Earnest, Tom Greene, Tommy Hills (Trustee-Elder), Jerry Peterson, Becky Powhatan Kelley, Stewart Smallwood and Dorothy White-Williams.
Class of 2018
Sarah Balsley, Rick Bold, Bobby Candler (Trustee-Elder), Sumner Case, Barbara Cavanaugh, Webb Cochran, Florida Ellis, Helen Hatch, Craig Maxwell, Mark Myette, Gary Shell (Trustee-Elder), Mike Tillman and Melissa Trimble.
Class of 2019
Paul Dimmick, Susan Farrar, Elizabeth Fogartie, Jeff Irby (Trustee-Elder), Lilly Jacobsen, Duggan Childers Lansing, Jeff Neikirk (Trustee-Elder), Cliff Orr, Jr., Karen Thompson, Will Trimble, Mary-Ellen Vian, Gayle White, Kelly Williams, and Matt Wirth.
The Nominating Committee is responsible for prayerfully recommending to the congregation a slate of twelve adult and two youth nominees for the position of Ruling Elder. Meeting throughout the fall, the committee consists of twelve members, rotating six new members each year who serve a two-year term. In February of 2017, the committee will present to the congregation a slate of nominees based on the received recommendations. Those persons currently serving on the Nominating Committee are: Mary Busko, Bill Earnest, Tim English, Kathy Freebairn, Kim Grady, Helen Hatch (E), Becky Powhatan Kelley (E), Patrick Madden, Eddie Newsom, Jerry Peterson (E), Adele Shepherd, and Mike Tillman (E).