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What is the Session?


Every Presbyterian church is governed by a representative democracy. The governing body of the church typically consists of the church Staff, the Session, and a variety of committees.


The Session of First Presbyterian Church of Jonesboro consists of our Pastor, 6 Ruling Elders in active service, the Clerk and the Treasurer. 


The Ruling Elders in active service are congregation members nominated by the Nominations Committee and elected by the congregation. Ruling Elders are representatives for the people of the church, chair the various committees, and oversee all aspects of a church. All members of the Session are entitled to vote on issues presented to them.

Every year, 1 or 2 members of the church are elected to the office of Ruling Elder to serve for three consecutive years. The group of elders elected each year is called a class. 

Responsibilities of the Session:

The Church Session is charged with maintaining the spiritual welfare and government of the church. In keeping with this purpose, it has the power to receive members into the communion of the church; to examine, ordain and install Ruling Elders on their election by the congregation; and to develop and supervise the church including the preaching of the Word, the administering of the Sacraments, and the music program, in keeping with the principles in the Directory for Worship.

It is further charged to order collections for Christian purposes, to devise suitable measures for advancing the spiritual interests of the church and the congregation, to select among the active Ruling Elders representatives to the Presbytery and the Synod, who shall submit reports concerning the meetings on their return.

Other Responsibilities of the Session include:

  • Ministering to those in need, to the sick, to the friendless and to those who may be in distress. 

  • Promoting a program of education designed to acquaint members of the congregation with the many activities of the church, the need of financial support and the importance of giving to support God’s work and for one’s own personal and spiritual growth in being a good steward

  • Approving the church budget which reflects the various causes and functions of the church supported by offerings of the congregation. 

  • The Session serves as Trustees of this church. In that role, the Session acts solely under the authority of the congregation. Trustees have the power and authority with the consent of the congregation to buy, sell, or mortgage the property of the church, to acquire and convey title to such property, to hold and defend the title to the same, and the management of any permanent special funds entrusted to the church. The latter responsibility has been assigned to the Endowment Committee. Other specific responsibilities are listed in the Book of Order.



















Ruling Elders 

Raymond Baggarly
Alan Bergmann 
Walter Harryman

Kevin Taylor 
Laura Wigington 

Debbie Woodward  

Committees and Chairs

Congregational Care                       Raymond Baggarly 
Administration                                 Laura Wigington
Christian Education                         Kevin Taylor 
Stewardship and Finance                Alan Bergmann
Buildings and Grounds                    Walter Harryman
Worship                                            Debbie Woodward

Outreach (a subcommittee of CC)   Jane Luetkemeyer 
Endowment                                      John Westervelt 
Ad Hoc                                               

Exofficio Members of Session 
Moderator                               Rev. Joshua Woodsmith
Clerk                                       Pat Hockett


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