Independent Presbyterian Church of Memphis, TN, hosted the 82nd Stated Meeting of Covenant Presbytery on February 3, 1998. Mr. Jim Alinder, a ruling elder from Main Street Presbyterian Church, Columbus, MS, presided as Moderator. TE John Sartelle, pastor of the host church, extended a welcome to the commissioners and visitors, and "expressed thanks from the Independent Presbyterian Church for the ministry of Covenant Presbytery and the PCA in the life of the church."
The completed internship of Clay Smith was approved, and his candidacy was transferred to Missouri Presbytery. Mr. David Skinner and Mr. Robert Fredericks were taken under care as candidates.
At a worship service, which included the observance of the Lord's Supper, Mr. Julian Russell was commissioned as an evangelist to plant a new church in inner-city Memphis. Dr. Richard Pratt, professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, preached at the service.
Presbytery turned down an overture from First Presbyterian Church, Osceola, AR, which would have requested the Covenant Seminary Board of Trustees to report to next year's Assembly regarding "what is being taught at our denominational seminary on the Days of Creation." The minutes state: "The Presbytery was informed that Covenant Seminary had already given the Seminary Board the report requested in the overture, and that report will be in the minutes reviewed this year by the Committee of Commissioners on Covenant Theological Seminary."
Mr. John Hunt was licensed to preach, and approved as Stated Supply at First Presbyterian Church, Water Valley, MS.
Various annual reports of ministers without charge were received. Various calls to ministers were approved, as follows: Wayne Herring, from Organizing Pastor to Pastor of the St. Andrews Church, Bartlett, TN; Bobby Penny, from Stated Supply to Pastor of the Houston, MS, Church; Del Farris as Assistant Pastor of Covenant Church, Little Rock, AR, to work with the Hot Springs mission church; and James Hayes from Stated Supply to Pastor of the Hickory Withe Presbyterian Church, Arlington, TN.
TE Lawrence Rountree was dismissed to South Texas Presbytery, pending reception; and TE John Ford was dismissed to Grace Presbytery. Permission was sought from Mississippi Valley Presbytery to allow TE Jimmy Turner the privilege of laboring within its bounds for another year.
Presbytery went into executive session in order to hear the counsel offered by the Church Care Committee to the First Presbyterian Church, Dyersburg, TN. The Moderator offered prayer for the congregation.
TE Wayne Herring reported that Christ PCA Mission
of Oxford, MS, would be particularized at a service on February
15, 1998. TE Mark Kreitzer was transferred from Westminster Presbytery
of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Assembly, to become
church planter of the Covenant Fellowship Mission, Russellville,
AR, under the supervision of the Session of Covenant Church in
Little Rock. Also received was TE Robert Clarke, from Mississippi
Valley Presbytery, to accept a call from Covenant Presbyterian
Church, Greenville, MS.