Welcome to
First Presbyterian Church of
Elizabethton, Tennessee


A Progressive Christian Community                                        Established 1782


Where We Are

119 West F Street
Elizabethton, TN  37643

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Visit our Stewardship page to learn more about the 2014 Stewardship campaign

First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton
Arms Open Wide to Welcome Everyone

  Pastor Search & Application

We are searching for a pastor to lead our congregation. Interested individuals should fill out the MIF (Minister Information Form) below. For more information, please contact Jeff Wardeska at jeffwardeska@yahoo.com




LOUISVILLE, KY  40202-1396

Toll Free 1-888-728-7228 ext. 8550

Fax # (502) 569-5870


Ministry ID: 03477

Ministry Name: First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, TN

Mailing Address: 119 West F Street, Elizabethton, TN  37643

Telephone Number:   423-543-7737; Fax Number: 423-542-4321

Email: firstpresbyterian@embarqmail.com

Web site:  www.fpcelizabethton.org

Congregation or Organization Size(Select one)

       Under 100 members

   X  101 - 250 members

       251 - 400 members

       401 - 650 members

       651 - 1000 members

       1001 - 1500 members

       More than 1500 members


Average Worship Attendance: 70-80

Church School Attendance:20 

Church School Curriculum:N/A

      Check if certified as eligible for participation in the Seminary Debt Assistance Program

Ethnic Composition Of Congregation: (in whole %):

Enter the percentage of each racial ethnic component of your congregation.

          American Indian or Alaska Native


   1%   Black or African American (African Native, Caribbean)

_____ Hispanic Latino/Latina, Spanish

_____ Middle Eastern

          Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

  99%   White 

Other __________________________

PresbyteryHolston   Synod Living Waters 

Community Type (select one)


  XSmall CityTownUrban

Village _______Recreation_______Retirement


Clerk of Session Contact Information:

NameChris Harrington (Harrington.cp@gmail.com)

*Select below the position to be filled and the minimal number of years of experience required (e.g. no experience, first ordained call, up to 2 years, 2-5 years, 5-10 years, or above 10 years)

We are looking for a Full-time Pastor with 2 – 5 years’ minimum experience.

You may also specify the position title (if appropriate):  Pastor

*Employment Status

Full TimePart TimeOpen to Either

_______ Bi-vocational (able to provide employment through outside partnership)

Is this a yoked congregation?     XNoYes

(If yes, please complete the Yoked Congregation Detail Form.)

Clergy Couple (Are you open to a clergy couple?) Yes _X_____No _____

Certification/Training (check below the desired certification or training needed for the position):

Interim/Transitional Ministry Training_______Interim Executive Presbyter Training_______

Certified Christian Educator_______Certified Business Administrator_______

Certified Conflict Mediator_______Clinical Pastoral Education Training_______

Other ____________________________________________

Language Requirements

__X__English _____Spanish_____Korean_____French

_____Arabic  _____Armenian_____Creole_____Portuguese



_____Vietnamese_____Taiwanese_____Cantonese_____ Mandarin Chinese

_____Twi_____ Sign Language _______________ Other

Statement of Faith Required   ______ Yes__X____ No

Mission Statement:

“With joyful hearts and open minds, we welcome all persons as diverse, unique, and individual expressions of the image of God as we:

Affirm the unconditional love of God for all people as expressed in the life of Jesus Christ.

Celebrate God’s grace and creative work through ritual, sacrament, music, art, movement, and play.

Honor our Christian heritage while we explore the knowledge and wisdom of multiple religions, science, philosophy, humanities and psychology to deepen and enrich our spiritual journeys.

Nurture one another through fellowship and compassion in a community that seeks to offer wholeness.

Embody our faith through local ministries and in actions that promote environmental sustainability, peace, and justice for all people and Earth.

In awe and gratitude for the Divine Mystery that dwells within each of us and pervades our Universe, we seek to create a Christian community that honors our past, is vitally connected to our present, and looks with hope and vision to the generations after us.”


    What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.  

We welcome all persons as unique and individual expressions of the image of God.  Sharing the unconditional love of God for all people as expressed in the life of Jesus Christ, we reach out to those who have experienced social injustice or spiritual intolerance.  We envision and promote environmentally sustainable lifestyles.  We honor our Christian heritage while exploring the knowledge and wisdom of various religions, science, philosophy, humanities, and psychology to deepen and enrich our spiritual journeys.  We invite all people to join us in fellowship as part of a community that seeks to offer creative celebration, peace and wholeness.

We promote social justice by inviting speakers and hosting letter writing campaigns for such initiatives as Medicaid expansion in Tennessee and gun law reform. We are advocates for conservation and environmental justice; supporting the Friends of Roan Mountain and anti-mountain-top removal mining organizations. We recycle and have been featured in a local paper for the large number of hybrid vehicles in our parking lot. We are anti-war. Our Peacemaking Committee, has an ongoing School project in Boroko, Kenya, that has provided clean water, a grinding mill, and food for the school. We host, sponsor, and support a number of events, organizations, and causes in our attempts to capture the spirit of Micah 6:8 and the last third of the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?

Our needs are not especially emerging as much as they are continuous and on-going. According to the results of our congregation’s responses to the Hartford survey, we see our constituency and our local community as being two different entities.  Our constituency is, for the most part, well-educated, liberal and progressive-minded, and as such, FPCe is somewhat of an isolate in the immediate community. Nonetheless, we, constituents and community members alike, are all human and share common human needs. Among these are the needs to feel connected to something greater than ourselves, a sense of belonging to the universe, finding deep meaning and sacredness in our lives, and embracing the ineffable mysteries beyond our understanding. We feel called to a greater awareness of ourselves, of the needs of humanity, the courage to take action backed by a deepening sense of spiritual strength and maturity to carry us through.  We feel called to a clearer vision of what Christ would have us do to make the world a better place for all…yes, all.

    How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?

This is a difficult question in that there are so many possible good answers. Much depends on the talents, inclinations, and strengths of the individual who eventually fills the job. We are not looking for an individual that we can shoehorn into a precisely predefined job description. We hope to attract someone who wholly buys into our mission and who can help us see how to live that out, perhaps a model who can walk our talk, inspire us to deeper thought, teach us better how to love as Christ would have us love, help us take our hearts, and our minds on a journey closer to the heart of God.

As one of the few liberal, More Light, and Progressive churches in our region, we feel that we have a particularly valuable message for our community and that a large number of local people would benefit from the meaning we find in the Gospels. We hope that we would be able to increase our membership across all ages, but especially with the youth.

    Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and/or organization. 

The qualities that respondents to our Hartford Survey value the most in our new pastor are; that he/she be a lifelong learner, exhibit spiritual maturity, is one who can articulate a clear, consistent theology, is compassionate, is an effective preacher who projects the identity of the congregation through worship leadership, and can self-differentiate – who has a healthy appreciation of self and is emotionally mature. We seek one who has the ability to build solid relationships of trust and respect, who has a natural collaborative ability for getting people to work together, who is a good communicator, who exhibits personal resilience and who learns from adversity, who copes effectively with change, and sees ahead clearly, who can anticipate future trends accurately, and who has an inspired vision for the future. In summary, we are looking for a kind, thoughtful person who is a good listener, and can give an inspiring sermon. We hope this person will bring an active, vibrant mind and a loving generous heart to our community, understanding that becoming more fully human is a way of approaching the divine.

    For what specific tasks, assignments, and programs areas will this person have responsibility?

In addition to the usual duties of a full-time pastor, our congregation seeks a pastor who emphasizes spiritual development in a manner that demonstrates sensitivity to the spiritual needs of the congregation.  One of our goals is to provide an improved educational program especially for our youth. (We have recently hired a Youth Director).   We are looking for one, who, in some way will extend our hopes beyond our local church to the larger community.  Our previous pastors have done this by 1. Speaking on Jungian psychology in many different venues, and  2. Maintaining a blog and creating a radio program which is carried by several Public Broadcasting Radio Stations; Religion for Life.

The pastor acts as the Chief of Staff for the secretary, bookkeeper, Youth Director and custodians and is responsible for supervising their performance. Traditionally, the Pastor has also led a study group called Thursdays with Jesus.

According to the Hartford Survey (see link below), the highest priority task that the congregation has for the pastor is delivering thoughtful and inspiring sermons. We also want him or her to plan and lead worship that is sensitive to the needs of the congregation, and to hold social justice and environmental issues before members.   In addition, respondents would like the pastor to support education programs for children and youth, to involve laity in the planning, decision-making and leadership of programs and events, and to visit the sick and the bereaved. 


The Top Ten Leadership Competencies we seek are (in descending order).

Lifelong Learner – individuals who use every experience in life as a potential tool for growth; one who pursues continuing education; and those who build on strengths and seek assistance to improve weaknesses.

Spiritual Maturity: Shows strong personal depth and spiritual grounding; demonstrates integrity by walking the talk and by responding with faithfulness of purpose; is seen by others as trustworthy and authentic; nurtures a rich spiritual life; seeks the wisdom and guidance of appropriate mentors; is able to articulate a clear and consistent theology.

Preaching and Worship Leadership: Is a consistently effective preacher and worship leader; is able to inspire from the pulpit; communicates a clear and consistent message through sermons that are carefully prepared and artfully delivered; projects the identity and character of the congregation through worship leadership presence.

Compassionate – having the ability to suffer with others; being motivated by others pain and is called into action as advocate; is motivated by caring for others while concurrently keeping the organizational goals clearly in focus.

Self Differentiation: Demonstrates strong and appropriate personal boundaries in relationships; has a healthy appreciation of self, without being egotistical; is emotionally mature; can maintain a less- anxious presence in the midst of turmoil; is not overly dependent upon outside affirmation; works to build a strong personal support system.

Interpersonal Engagement - Displays a consistent ability to build solid relationships of trust and respect inside and outside of the organization; engage people, organizations, and partners in developing goals, executing plans, and delivering results; use negotiation skills and adaptability to encourage recognition of joint concerns, collaboration, and to influence the success of outcomes.

Collaboration: Has a natural orientation toward getting people to work together; shares wins and successes; fosters open dialogue; lets people finish and be responsible for their work; creates strong feelings of belonging among group members; is a good judge of talent and can accurately assess the strengths and limitations of others.

Communicator - Advances the abilities of individuals and the organizations through active listening supported with meaningful oral and written presentation of information.

Personal Resilience: Learns from adversity and failure; picks up on the need to change personal, interpersonal, and leadership behaviors; deals well with ambiguity; copes effectively with change; can decide and act without having the total picture; comfortably handles risk and uncertainty; seeks feedback; expresses personal regret when appropriate.

Strategy and Vision: Sees ahead clearly, keeping focused on the larger picture; can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately; is future oriented; casts a compelling and inspired vision for a preferred future; sees possibility; crafts breakthrough strategies

*COMPENSATION AND HOUSING:  A range is needed for matching purposes. The maximum salary is not published anywhere.  Effective salary is cash salary plus housing allowance or manse value and other compensation considered “effective salary” by the Board of Pensions of the PC (U.S.A.)

See Effective Salary Definition at Board of Pensions.

Minimum Effective Salary $50,000

Housing TypeManse

      XHousing Allowance

Open To Either (Manse or Housing Allowance)

Not Applicable (For Non-pastoral Positions Only)


The unity of believers in Christ is reflected in the rich diversity of the Church’s membership.  In Christ, by the power of the Spirit, God unites persons through baptism regardless of race, ethnicity, age, sex, disability, geography, or theological conviction.  There is therefore, no place in the life of the Church for discrimination against any person.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) shall guarantee full participation and representation in its worship, governance, and emerging life to all persons or groups within its membership.  No member shall be denied participation or representation for any reason other than stated in this Constitution. (F-1.0403)

Each Pastor Nominating committee and Search committee is expected to undertake its search for a Teaching Elder in a manner consistent with the good news that in the church “….as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Has the Pastor Nominating Committee and Search Committee affirmed its intention to follow the Form of Government in this regard?

__X_ Yes

____ No

*Pastor Nominating Committee/Search Committee Chairperson/Mid-council Search Committee Chairperson:

Contact Jeff Wardeska at jeffwardeska@yahoo.com