Please refer to the Beersheba Presbyterian Church MIF 22322.ABO on the Church Leadership Connection.
The Beersheba Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) was founded in 1853. The church sits in a wide valley, overshadowed by Pigeon Mountain in the mountains of Northwest Georgia. The nearest city is Chattanooga, about a 50 minute drive away (with Birmingham and Atlanta within two hours). The area is a tourist destination for bikers, hikers, fishers, and other outdoor enthusiasts. The local economy is based on factory work, tourism, agriculture, animal production, and logging. It is an exceptionally beautiful area, under-employed.
The church consists of an exceptionally attractive sanctuary backed by 6 Sunday School rooms, a kindergarten, and a fellowship hall with full kitchen. Beside the church rests the manse, a three bedroom, ranch style house within a large yard under enormous hardwood trees. Both are in very good condition.
Beersheba is a country church, within easy driving distance of three small towns.
The congregation numbers approximately 50. At present, we have an interim pastor, but he is uninterested in taking a permanent position. The church’s income is stable, and we can confidently commit to a three-year contract with the person called. Our congregants are loving, supportive of each other, non-judgmental.
Our church is in a slow decline; our hope is to reverse this trend. Children move away in this age, and they no longer come to their parents’ church. In addition, agriculture is now corporate, using fewer employees, and the family farm is mostly gone. While we have gained a few new members lately, they are offset by those who have departed this world. Our hope is this. Like many communities, ours took a beating in the recession. Many people fell away from churches (though not ours, thankfully). The local paper reports that 75% of the inhabitants are unchurched, a fertile field now unplowed. There are no large, community, unaffiliated churches in our area. We strongly feel that it is time Beersheba raised its profile in the community with mission to those who need us most. This will have the joint outcome of serving those who need us and introducing many to the fact that the church was how the Savior meant to feed his sheep. The Word of God is not preached when churches go under.
I am going to be blunt. We don’t perceive our new pastor to be a magic bullet who will solve all our problems. It is obvious that bringing people to the church of the Gospel is dependent on how the church connects with the community in a variety of ways, and that this will not be pastor driven. We see our survival as a secondary effect or by-product of doing what we think all churches should, bring the Word of Jesus to those who are without it. But… a person who has the moral and formal authority to invite, oversee, supervise, and cheerlead change is someone we feel is required. We understand that change is inherent in our survival, that things are going to get shaken up. As a congregation, we have progressed to the point where we understand that the old ways are gone and that new ideas are coming. And that not everything we try will work. But… this will be easier and have a higher chance of success with someone at the helm who views this process as a challenge, something interesting, a work of worship.
The person called to this position will fulfill the duties of a traditional pastor: marriages, comforting the sick, preaching, funerals, etc. However, this person will in addition lead the church in its outreach and oversee its activities. We are looking a pastor who can amplify our vision for the future and a path to that vision.
Beersheba has not yet reached the tipping point. We still have a stable income, good facilities, a committed congregation, and a community ready to hear the Word and proclaim the way of God. Nor do we expect the new pastor to do all the work. We have a core of relatively young, energetic members who see the need for greater commitment to the world. Some things are going on now; more is needed. The new pastor should be a leader of this, not responsible for all the implementation.
We would consider anyone who meets the basic qualifications: whether retired, new graduate, second career, whatever. Personality and temperament are the deciding factors. We would like a three year commitment. Our goal is to maintain the wonderful spirit we have, grow, and take the Word to those around us.
Please contact: John Bertrand, Chair PNC, 523 Blue Mountain Lane, Trion, GA 30753. Evening Phone: 706-638-2569. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org