The Presbytery of North Georgia met for its Stated Fall Meeting on October 23, 1999, at Carriage Lane Presbyterian Church, Peachtree City, Georgia. The Moderator, the Rev. Dr. George Mitchell, preached from John 19:16-24, "Jesus Earned It For Us." Dr. Mitchell administered the Lord's Supper.
The Moderator Designee, Ruling Elder John White, was elected Moderator by acclamation.
The Presbytery Stated Clerk, Mr. Dwight Allen, reported that First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi, had granted the Presbytery of North Georgia $50,000 over a three year period, on the recommendation of Mission to North America, for a church plant in the Atlanta area by Dr. Roy Taylor.
Stated Clerk Emeritus Bob Valentine expressed via letter his appreciation for the continuing annuity provided by the Presbytery.
Presbytery admitted to record the reports of its commissions to install David Beckman as Assistant Pastor at Cherokee Presbyterian Church, Woodstock, Georgia; and to install Shayne Wheeler as Assistant Pastor at Ivy Creek Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The Rev. Weldon Williams was transferred to Northern Illinois to pursue church planting work there.
Mr. Robert Clayton Coffee was transferred as a candidate from Missouri Presbytery. Presbytery approved his internship at Perimeter Church PCA, Duluth, Georgia.
Messrs. Daniel Wannall and William Robert (Rob) Edwards were examined and licensed to preach.
Presbytery approved changes of call for two of its ministers. The Rev. Jeffrey Taylor, New Hope PCA, Cumming, Georgia, was given a 6.5% increase; and the Rev. Thomas Irby, Harvester PCA, Douglasville, Georgia, was given an increase in insurance premium only.
Presbytery voted to encourage Session "to continue exploring avenues of cooperation and mutual support with nearby sister PCA churches, i.e., combined special services/mission conferences, pulpit/choir exchanges, youth activities, etc."
Presbytery voted to change its Bylaws to extend the term of Moderator to one year beginning with the January Stated Meeting. The Presbytery, by a requisite two-thirds majority, voted to suspend its Bylaws in order to deal with the change immediately. Then, the Presbytery voted to reconsider the previous action, and recommitted this motion to the Administrative Committee for perfection.
The Presbytery amended its Bylaws with regard to the responsibilities of the Shepherding Committee. It is authorized officially to visit churches "only at the request of the Session or Teaching Elder."
In its report, the Shepherding Committee noted that the ministers' "koininia" meetings "in a few regions are going exceptionally well and the ministers involved report they are deriving many benefits. A couple of regions report spotty attendance while still others continue to demonstrate little or no enthusiasm for getting together with other ministers for fellowship, prayer and mutual accountability."
The Committee also stated that "it appears some Presbytery churches are combining their minister's salary, housing allowance, benefits and ministry expenses in a manner which may give a misleading impression to church members."
The Rev. Ted Lester reported on a meeting to be held on November 5th, by Citizens for Community Values against pornography.
The Rev. Bob Edmiston, Chairman of the Christian Education Committee, recommended the approval of changes in the "Presbytery of North Georgia Theological Training Program for Licensed Interns." This was approved.
Also approved was the document entitled, "Guidelines for North Georgia Scholarship Assistance."
The candidacy of Mr. James Weston (Wes) Alford was transferred to Tennessee Valley Presbytery.
Chairman Doug Griffith of the Mission to North Georgia Committee presented the committee budget for 2000 and encouraged greater giving to meet the budget.
Presbytery approved the passage of a resolution, "Toward a Consortium of PCA Resources in Atlanta." This consortium, which includes the Presbytery's Mission to North Georgia Committee and Mission to the World Committee, the denominational Mission to the World Committee, Perimeter Ministries International, and Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship's Synod of the City, is designed only as a way of developing resources among the groups, with no power or intention of directing the various ministries. The consortium's specific purpose is that "of evangelism, discipleship, and church planting among the poor and less opportune, and multi-cultured peoples living in the [North Georgia Presbytery] area, and to provide strategic opportunities for better resourced churches to engage in these communities of need."
Dr. Mitchell reported for the Bills and Overtures Committee. Presbytery adopted a "The Adopting Act" originally adopted by the Synod of Philadelphia in 1729; this resolution was brought by the Session of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Atlanta. An overture from Cherokee Presbyterian Church, Woodstock, with regard to amending the Book of Church Order in terms of dealing with exceptions to the Standards, was not adopted.
Smyrna (Ga.) Presbyterian Church hosted the stated meeting of North Georgia Presbytery on January 15, 2000. The Moderator, John White, had asked his pastor, the Rev. Dr. Chuck Frost, pastor of Atlanta's Westminster Presbyterian Church, to preach for the opening worship.
Presbytery received under care three men: Messrs. Ralph Kelly, Greg Tinkle, and Lance Lewis.
Presbytery transferred three men: the Rev. Bernie Kuiper from Rocky Mountain Presbytery; the Rev. Ron Coleman from Central Carolina Presbytery; and the Rev. Kyle Brown from Western Carolina Presbytery. Mr. Kuiper was approved to become Pastor of Little River Church, a "Brethren" type of unaffiliated congregation outside of Canton, Georgia. (He reported that the elders at this church, where he has been serving for several months, had already installed him.) Presbytery approved the call to Mr. Brown to be an assistant pastor, with a total package of $74,539 (plus four weeks vacation); and the call to Mr. Coleman to be assistant pastor at Parkview Church, Lilburn, Georgia, with a total package of $70,102 (plus four weeks vacation).
Presbytery examined and approved for ordination Mr. Dong Soo Rhee, who accepted a call as a tent-maker in order to organize a Korean language church. At the urging of the Rev. Dwight Linton, retired missionary to Korea, Presbytery invoked the extraordinary clause, exempting Mr. Rhee from having studied the original Biblical languages. However, in taking this action, the court exhorted him to avail himself of the opportunities to acquire the languages as necessary tools for the ministry. (Mr. Rhee, who is a fairly recent convert and immigrant, had attended the local campus of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, which does not require knowledge of the Biblical languages for a theological degree.)
Presbytery approved the petition from Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Athens, Georgia, to become an organized church. The court also granted limited powers of evangelist to Mr. Coleman, Mr. Rhee, and the Rev. Mike Glass, who will attempt to organize a church in West Cobb County.
TOWARD A CONSORTIUM OF PCA RESOURCES IN ATLANTA
Be it resolved that . . . a consortium of ministries,
fellowships, organizations, and churches serving in Atlanta, North
Georgia area be formed comprised of:
Mission to North America of NGP [North Georgia
Presbytery] officially represents the
PCA's interest and responsibility in this prescribed area. They
will serve the consortium as a means of presenting NGP prepared
personnel and groups for their further preparation, examination
and reception into that body.
Perimeter Ministries International (a
network of churches with similar vision and philosophies of ministry)
primarily is engaged in church planting in both the resourced
and under-resourced communities of Atlanta. PMI's Urban Ministry
will be primarily involved in this consortium with its inner city
and ethnic poor ministry interests. The Urban Ministry will also,
at the appropriate time, present readied personnel and bodies
of believers for gathering, preparing and sponsoring to the MNA-NGP
for its examination and sponsorship to NGP.
Mission to the World of NGP
officially represents the NGP Presbytery's area of ministry interest
and responsibility as it focuses on this cooperative endeavor
seeking to involve local churches and people in the needs, opportunities
and ministry openness of those among us.
Mission to the World of the PCA-GA
represents MTW's personnel and resources available to assist local
ministries and be assisted in serving their own MTW personnel,
thereby more effectively fulfilling its responsibilities to reach
the multiple people groups of the world wherever they may be found.
The Synod of the City of PEF [Presbyterian Evangelistic
Fellowship] has from its beginning in
June 1992 existed for the prime purpose of evangelism, discipline,
and church planting among the poor, underclass, multicultural
and immigrating internationals coming to this area. It will seek
to continue this mandate training and preparing laborers called
of God to the harvest, giving them an opportunity to fulfill His
call, evangelizing the lost, disciple new and disobedient believers,
gathering believers into worshipping groups, and preparing leaders
and people for reception in those bodies prepared to receive them.
. . . For the purpose of evangelism, discipleship, and church planting among the poor and less opportune, and multi-cultured peoples living in the NGP area, and to provide strategic opportunities for better resourced churches to engage in these communities of need.
Each member of this consortium has a plan being implemented.
Most members are lacking the resources and contacts broad enough
to accomplish the greatest Kingdom good. It is not the purpose
of this consortium to inject itself nor any of its members in
any management or strategic decisions of the other member ministries.
The organization of this consortium is intended to encourage
communication and cooperation, to help to prevent duplication,
to provide a forum for sharing ideas and resources, and for mutually
encouraging one another as a fellowship and in prayer as they
work toward extending Christ's Kingdom in the Atlanta metropolitan
area. Agreements of cooperation, in various areas of ministry,
between members are encouraged.
In order to maintain an active participant, each
member will agree to send a representative(s) (up to two) to quarterly
meetings. A Convenor will be elected to facilitate participation.