Presbyterian Church, USA

Presbyterian Church, USAPresbyterian Church, USA
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Phone: (888) 728-7228

Synod Mid-Atlantic

Synod of the Mid-AtlanticSynod of the Mid-Atlantic
Ginter Park Presbyterian Church
3601 Seminary Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227
Phone: (804) 342-0016
Fax: (804) 355-4884
Rev. David W. McKee, Synod Executive & Stated Clerk


Overview of Synod of the Mid-Atlantic

Over the past ten or more years, our synod – and indeed all synods throughout the Presbyterian Church (USA) – have undergone major and significant changes.  Whereas for many years our synods were quite similar in most respects, now each one is working to adapt its life and work to realities that continue relentlessly changing.  In the Mid-Atlantic, through the work of several task forces, we have intentionally down-sized the staff, rearranged programmatic responsibilities, and altered the organizational structure of synod.

All work on restructuring is intended to allow us to listen for, discern together and then respond to God’s specific and very particular call to faithful service in this part of God’s kingdom.

Among the many facts and bits of data about our Synod, here are several that may be helpful in gaining perspective about who we are and what we do:

A synod is one of the two Middle Governing Bodies in our Presbyterian Church (USA) structure (the other “MGB” is the presbytery).  There are 16 synods altogether in our denomination.

Our synod is made up of 14 presbyteries in five states (Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and several counties in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia).  There are some 1,450 congregations with approximately 300,000 confirmed members within that area.

Each of those presbyteries elects two commissioners – one clergy and one laity – to serve three-year terms.  Every reasonable effort is made to maintain, among the 28 commissioners, good balance in terms of gender, age, racial and ethnic identity, etc.

A Stated Synod Assembly Meeting is held twice each year.  These are held in different places across the synod (e.g., Union Seminary, MontreatMassanetta Springs), and are overnight meetings, in part to allow for both working and fellowship times.

Each commissioner is asked to serve on one of four Designated Committees: Administration, Finance, Grants & Awards, and Presbytery Initiatives.  Much of the synod’s actual work is done by these committees; they meet in person during the two Synod Assemblies, and at other times via telephone conference calls.

There is an Executive Committee which functions as a planning and coordinating body.  It is authorized to conduct any necessary synod business between assemblies, and consists of the Synod Moderator, Vice-moderator, Designated Committee moderators, and one member-at-large.

There are also three Permanent Committees: Committee on RepresentationNominating Committee, and Permanent Judicial Commission.  These are mandated by the Book of Order; their members are non-Commissioners from different presbyteries.

“Overview of Synod of the Mid-Atlantic.” Synod of the Mid-Atlantic. Web. <>.


Abingdon PresbyteryAbingdon Presbytery
890 W. Spiller Street
Wytheville, VA 24382
Phone: (276) 228-5588
Fax: (276) 228-6679
Rev. Dr. Bruce Ford,
Transitional Executive Presbyter


A Sketch of Abingdon Presbytery – By The Rev. John R. Herndon, A. M.

It is very essential that there should be something said here about the history of Abingdon Presbytery.  For this Presbytery, which is one of the oldest in the United States, has several important points of contact with the history of the country.  Within its bounds are the first churches of any denomination west of the Allegheny Mountains.  Here too was established the first institution of learning west of those mountains.  The commanding Colonel (Col. Wm. Campbell) at the Battle of King’s Mountain, was an Elder in one of these churches and most of his men were from the congregations of old Abingdon in Washington County.  The Fincastle Resolutions, which was the first voice raised for independence in the American Colonies, were drafted within the bounds of this Presbytery, and in all probability by one of her first ministers, Rev. Charles Cummins.  It is to be hoped that the history of this Presbytery will be written in full in the near future.  But this article claims only to be a sketch of this old and honorable Church Court.  But like most old things it is difficult to obtain anything like complete information about its early days.  There are no records in existence which date beyond the year 1806, just one hundred years ago.  Still that is a long time as time is measured in the Western Hemisphere.  The Minutes of the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, 1785, ‘show that the Presbytery of Abingdon was organized in that year.  At that date there were at least six churches within the territory now embraced within the bounds of the present Abingdon Presbytery.  I refer to the Glade Spring and Sinking Spring churches, which were organized in 1772, the Royal Oak Church at Marion, which was organized in 1776, the New Dublin Church, which was organized in 1782, and the Rock Spring and Green Spring churches, which were organized in 1784.  It will be seen that four of these are now in Washington county and one in Smyth and the other in Pulaski.

In order to obtain the connection with the history of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, we will have to go back to the period embraced between the years 1741 and 1758, when the Presbyterian Church was rent in twain into the Old Side Synod of Philadelphia, and the New Side Synod of New York.  It was the New Side Synod of New York which sent young Samuel Davies, who afterward was President of Princeton College, to Hanover county, Virginia, in 1747, where he obtained license from the General Court to preach at four different places.  Later he divided his labors between five whole counties and ministered with great success.  As a result of his work, largely, the Presbytery of Hanover was organized in 1755.  It embraced all the ministers then south of the Potomac river, except one or two who adhered to the Old Side Synod of Philadelphia.  It embraced all the territory of Virginia and the Carolinas, with the exception of one independently organized Presbytery in the Carolinas.

The Old Side and the New Side Synods came together in 1758, and continued the highest court of the Church until 1789, when the first General Assembly was held in the city of Philadelphia.  The year before the Synod had made all the necessary preparations for the convening of the General Assembly.  It had adopted the Westminster Standards, with some modifications, and divided the territory which it included into four Synods.  These were the Synod of New York and New Jersey, with four Presbyteries, the Synod of Philadelphia, with five Presbyteries, the Synod of Virginia, with four Presbyteries, and the Synod of the Carolinas, with three Presbyteries.  Abingdon Presbytery was one of the three that composed the Synod of the Carolinas.  At least one of the other Presbyteries had an independent origin.  I have been unable to find any fact in connection with that very early history of the Presbytery.  I have come across the evidences later of theological warfare within the membership of the Presbytery.  It grew up over discussions pertaining to the theological views promulgated by Dr. Samuel Hopkins, of New England, known as Hopkinsianism.

These discussions made it evident to the Synod of the Carolinas that the brethren could not prosper together, so in 1799 the Synod divided the Presbytery of Abingdon, cutting off a slice from its western border, and erected the Presbytery of Union, which at its beginning was composed of the following ministers: Hezekiah Balch, Samuel Carrick, John Coson, Robt. Henderson and Gideon Blackburn.  It appears that Abingdon had trouble with Union, even after they were separated, the occasion being Hebron church and its supplies.  In 1803 the Presbytery was transferred from the Synod of the Carolinas to the Synod of Virginia.  Very soon after this event the records that have been preserved begin.  For a long time they were lost, but after diligent search they were found.  The original copy has several pages lacking at the beginning. The first minute that exists is incomplete.  It begins with the examination of a candidate for licensure, but where the meeting was held we never will know.

The first full meeting reported is one held in the Sinking Spring Church, Abingdon, beginning April 1, 1806, and the records extend from that date until 1834, when they lapse again into silence.  From these records we gather that the bounds of the Presbytery extended from New River in Virginia unto Cumberland Gap in Tennessee, a distance of more than 250 miles.  So far as can be gathered from the records during these twenty-eight years, it had twenty-eight ministerial members: Edward Crawford, Samuel Doak, James Witherspoon, Stephen Bovelle, Charles Cummings, John W. Doak, Samuel Baldridge, Reuben White, James Black, Samuel W. Doak, James Galliher, A. McEwin, John W. Bovelle, Andrew Campbell, Robert Glen, Andrew S. Morrison, Samuel C. McConnell, David Nelson, Frederick A. Ross, George Painter, and George W. Crawford, Dugald Mclntyre, J. H. Wallace, D. R. Preston, D. R. Holt, T. A. Ogden, Andrew Vance and S. H. McNutt.

The roll of the churches is an imperfect one, but out of the sparse record which is made we gather that the following churches belonged to it:



While there are several which I cannot locate, such as Upper Holston, Cedar Spring and Rocky Spring.

And there may have been some other churches which were in existence then, although mention is not made of them in these records.

There is no way of telling how many Presbyterians there were in the bounds of the Presbytery, for there are no statistical tables preserved.  Perhaps the reports of the Assembly might show it.  I have not had the opportunity to examine them.

In 1825 the Presbytery of Abingdon was detached from the Synod of Virginia and attached to the Synod of Tennessee.  This association continued until these old records come to a close, but about the last thing the Presbytery did was to petition the Assembly to restore them to their former Synodical relation, which movement the Synod of Tennessee was resisting.  The Tennessee Synod seemed to be successful, for the Presbytery was still under her sheltering arms in 1838.

In 1828 the territory of Abingdon was again divided, and the Presbytery of Holston was constituted, and embraced the former churches of the Presbytery within the bounds of the State of Tennessee.  Holston and Abingdon did not then seem to be neighborly, for we read of complaints and charges of unf raternal conduct.  Already there seemed to have been some forebodings of the awful storm that was coming upon the Presbyterian Church in this country.  The resultant Abingdon Presbytery occupied about the same territory of the present Presbytery, although she had no churches north of Walker’s Mountain except Sharon, now in Bland county, and Mt. Carmel in Powell’s Valley, now in Lee county.

When these old records end in 1834 events were shaping themselves for the rending of the Presbyterian Church.  The controversy between the New School Party and the Old School Party had reached the acute stage.  On the adjournment of the General Assembly in 1834 a number of the Old School Party met and formulated an address to the Church, which goes in history as “The Act and Testimony,” supposed to have been written by Robt. J. Breckinridge, of Kentucky.  It charged the prevalence of gross heresies and disorders in the Church.  In the last meeting of Abingdon Presbytery noted in these old records it passed a series of resolutions in which it said that upon mature consideration they were convinced of the propriety and expediency of adopting the measures and principles and resolutions contained in the “Act and Testimony,” and did agree to them and adopt them as their own.  They said they did not intend to distract the Church, but thought that such a measure would tend to bring peace to an already distracted Church.  Sessions were requested to take action upon this document as soon as possible, but we do not know with what result.

They said that if a division of the Church should come they would cherish Christian and benevolent feelings for the opposite party.

The division came, and the Church was rent asunder in 1838, and the Old School Assembly and a New School Assembly each claimed to be the legal successor of the Assembly of 1837.  In this division the Presbytery of Abingdon stood with the side of the Old School.  At least the representatives of the Presbytery did in the Assembly of 1838.  And it was decreed by the Old School Assembly that Abingdon Presbytery should be detached from the Synod of Tennessee and attached to the Synod of Virginia (Old School), which was accordingly done. But, evidently, all of Abingdon Presbytery did not agree to this action of her representatives.  We hear no more of old Abingdon Presbytery after this.  Where her records are nobody seems to know.

It is believed that they are irretrievably lost.  So few churches were left in the Old School that in 1841 they were attached to nearby Presbyteries.  But in this same territory there sprang up soon after the division in 1838 another Presbytery, which was called the New River Presbytery.  It adhered to the New School Assembly.  The first book of these records is lost also, but the second book begins in 1842.  The ministers which belonged to this Presbytery were: George Painter, David F. Palmer, James McChain, A. G. Taylor, James King, Robert Glenn, Samuel Matthews, Philips Wood, I. N. Naff, Henry Smith and Andrew Blackburn.

These churches belonged to it:

  • Harmony (Draper’s Valley)
  • Glade Spring
  • Sinking Spring
  • Cold Spring (TN)
  • New Dublin
  • Anchor of Hope
  • Royal Oak
  • South Fork
  • Paperville (TN)
  • Mt. Zion
  • Walker’s Creek
  • Bethesda
  • Jeffersonville
  • Black Lick
  • Hillsville
  • Bethel (Tazewell County)
  • Bristol (First)
  • Wytheville

From this record it will be seen that not much was left of old Abingdon Presbytery for the Old School Assembly.

These records are brief and contain little information except about the licensing and ordaining of ministers, the settling of pastors and the organization of churches.  They undertook to do some Home Mission work, and gave some attention to Foreign Missions.  They showed some concern about the spiritual welfare of the slaves, and when the New School Assembly grew more and more radical in its actions upon slavery, they sent up a remonstrance to the Assembly on the subject, and in 1858 the Southern Synods withdrew from the New School Assembly and formed the United Synod, the Presbytery of New River joining with them.  This Synod existed for eight years, and in 1864 united with the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States, now what is popularly known as the Southern Presbyterian Church.  And this is the road by which most of the churches of this region came into connection with the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

When the Southern Synods in 1861 withdrew from the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, and formed the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States, the Presbytery of New River did not have the honor of being with them.  The few churches that then came into connection with the Southern Assembly were in connection with the Presbytery of Montgomery, Synod of Virginia.  And when the Presbytery of New River came into the “Southern” Church in 1864 by virtue of the union with the United Synod of the South, those churches in the State of Tennessee were attached to the Presbytery of Holston, and those that were in Virginia to the Presbytery of Montgomery.

In 1867 the present Presbytery of Abingdon was erected by the Synod of Virginia out of the territory of the Presbytery of Montgomery, with New River as the dividing line between them.  The first meeting was held in Wytheville, May 9, 1867, at which there were in attendance nine ministers and eight ruling elders, of whom only one is still living, Rev. Henry M. White, D. D., of Winchester, Va., who was at that time the pastor of Glade Spring Church.  One other minister who was received by that first meeting by a certificate of dismission from the Presbytery of Roanoke is still with us, and has been, with a very slight exception since that time, a member of this Presbytery, our dearly beloved Rev. Robt. Gray.  One other member of this Presbytery was a candidate under the care of New River, and was afterward licensed and ordained by Abingdon—Rev. J. Calvin Smith.  But all the others have gone up to join the “General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn.”

The Presbytery at the beginning had sixteen ministers and twenty-one churches.  Since that time there have been 120 ordained ministers in connection with the Presbytery, some of whom have done distinguished service in the Church and have gone to their reward, such men as Dr. E. H. Barnet, Dr. H. H. Hawes, Dr. I. N. Naff, Rev. James King, Rev. S. Taylor Martin, Rev. James McChain, Dr. Matthew Hale Houston, Dr. D. C. Rankin.  The Presbytery has furnished fifty-nine candidates for the ministry and six missionaries in foreign lands, all of whom are living with the exception of Rev. A. Pierce Sanders, who after a short service in Greece, returned to his native land in broken health, and conceived before he died the plan of the Home and School of Fredericksburg, which is doing such excellent service to the widows and children of our missionaries.

We will not speak at length of the present Presbytery of Abingdon for it is comparatively modern history.  In 1906 the Presbytery consisted of twenty-seven ministers, with fifty-two churches, and a membership of 3,500 with a 10 per cent, increase over the preceding year, with more than 3,000 in Sabbath Schools and total contributions amounting to $31,592.  A notable growth from the limited conditions of 1785.


Abingdon Presbytery is a middle governing body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  We are in the synod of the Mid-Atlantic.  The Presbytery includes 54 congregations, 48 ministers (eleven of whom are Honorably Retired), and 12 Commissioned Lay Pastors, working together in thirteen counties in southwestern Virginia.

Abingdon Presbytery embraces the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, with magnificent scenery and friendly people to enjoy as you live and travel along its highways and byways.  Presbytery extends westward from Bland, Pulaski, Floyd and Carroll Counties to the Cumberland Gap, and is bordered by West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.  Presbytery’s office in Wytheville is conveniently near the crossroads of Interstates 77 and 81.

Abgindon Presbytery shares a common border with the Presbytery of the Peaks and the Presbytery of Salem.  It also borders the Synod of Living Waters and two of their Presbyteries: Holston in Tennessee and Transylvania in Kentucky.  North of Abingdon Presbytery is the Presbytery of West Virginia which is part of the Synod of the Trinity.

Herndon, John R. “A Sketch of Abingdon Presbytery.” Comp. Presbyterian Historical Society, Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches. Journal of Presbyterian History 3: 390-96. Print.”About Us.” Abingdon Presbytery. Web. <> .

National Capital

National Capital PresbyteryNational Capital Presbytery
One Central Plaza
11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1009
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: (240) 514-5348
Fax: (240) 514-5349
Rev. Wilson Gunn, General Presbyter


Coming Soon

Eastern VA

Presbytery of Eastern VirginiaPresbytery of Eastern Virginia
801 Loudoun Avenue
Portsmouth, VA 23707
Toll Free: (800) 989-2193
Phone: (757) 397-7063
Fax: (757) 397-7246
Rev. Dr. J. Richard Short, General Presbyter


Prior to the year 1700, there were at least five Presbyterian ministers assigned to Church of England parishes in Virginia.  These ministers served “without presbytery supervision or any intent of organizing Presbyterian churches.”  Although not in Anglican orders, they apparently took full care of the church.  First in this area was the Rev. James Porter, in 1678, in Lynnhaven Parish in what is now Virginia Beach.  The Rev. Josiah Mackie in the Elizabeth River Parish, now Norfolk, arriving around 1697, closely followed him.  There is reason to think that both of these Episcopal parishes included persons of Puritan or Presbyterian persuasion.

In 1683, the Rev. Francis Makemie arrived in New York and made his way southward.  Makemie had visited the south side of Hampton Roads by late 1683, and returned in 1684 to spend the better part of a year before settling on the Eastern Shore in 1685.  In 1706 Makemie founded the first American Presbytery at Philadelphia, with the presbytery reporting in 1710 that, “In all Virginia there is but one small congregation at Elizabeth River and some few families favoring our way in Rappahannock and York.”  Among several churches that he founded, Makemie Presbyterian Church in Accomac, existed between 1708 and 1710.  It was later revived in 1837 and continues in ministry today.  Naomi Makemie Church was named after the wife of Francis, and is located near the site of her father’s home in Onancock.  Naomi and Francis Makemie made their home in Virginia, just outside of Temperanceville, where Makemie Park is now located.  Her father’s home was licensed in 1699 (Accomac County Court Record Book 1695-1705) as a place for meetings, and is one of the earliest court records in America of a Presbyterian place of worship.

Probably because of the domination of the Church of England, there is little information about any growth of Presbyterian Churches in Virginia until the Great Awakening that followed the Revolutionary War.  Throughout this time, the Episcopal Church was established by law in Virginia; strict conformity was demanded, and everyone was required to contribute to its support.  “Attendance at the meetings of non-conformists was punished by severe fines, and the rich were obliged to pay the forfeitures of their poor brethren;” (Hodge’s History, p. 46).  Nevertheless, having previously garnered permission from the Governor to preach and care for several frontier congregations, the Rev. Samuel Davies founded the Presbytery of Hanover, also called “the mother of all Southern Presbyteries,” in 1775.

The Civil War not only divided the country, but the Presbyterian Church as well.  After the war, the church grew in two parallel steams.  The so-called “northern” stream was initiated by Mrs. Samantha J. Neil, the widow of a Union officer who had lost his life on a Virginia battlefield, began Presbyterian work in the South among Freedmen in 1864 at Amelia Court House, Virginia.  She taught her first class under a big oak tree in Amelia for African-Americans, of all ages, who were thirsting for knowledge.  From her work, Presbyterian work among Negroes began, resulting in six Black Presbyterian churches established in Amelia and Nottaway Counties.  The oldest was located on the same ground on which Mrs. Neil organized her first class and was appropriately named “Big Oak.”  Financing came largely from the Board of National Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the USA.  In 1887, the network of churches in Virginia formed the Presbytery of Southern Virginia, which became a part of the Catawba Synod.  Four churches presently within Presbytery of Eastern Virginia spring from this Synod: First United and Messiah in Norfolk, Carver Memorial in Newport News, and Community in Portsmouth.

The so-called “southern” stream witnessed the establishment of sixteen new churches within thirty years.  Sentiment developed for a separate presbytery, as Hanover Presbytery was very large, with many churches clustered within the Richmond and Tidewater areas.  A new presbytery emerged in the Tidewater region and was named the Presbytery of East Hanover.  In 1893 the Synod of Virginia responded to an overture by defining an area to be called Norfolk Presbytery, with the boundaries similar to those of East Hanover.

Another war spurred a period of church growth when, from 1917, fifteen churches were founded in fourteen years.  Then after another pause, World War II precipitated eleven churches started between 1940 and 1949, during which time there was an extraordinary shift of population from rural to urban centers.

After the reunion of the “northern and southern streams” in 1983, presbytery boundaries were adjusted as representatives from two denominations sought the best ways to combine presbyteries, in whole or part, to effectively carry out the mission of the church.  The final decision left the boundaries of the new presbytery, then known as Presbytery III, essentially unchanged from the boundaries of Norfolk Presbytery (PCUS), but welcoming four predominantly African-American congregations who were members of the Presbytery of Southern Virginia (UPCUSA).  A Transitional Steering Committee was elected with equal representation from both presbyteries.  A conscious effort was made to plan a new presbytery, which would not project an image of four racial-ethnic congregations being absorbed by a much larger, predominantly Caucasian presbytery.  Happily, on July 21, 1989, the organizational meeting of the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia was held at First Presbyterian Church, Norfolk (which had also been the site of the organizational meeting of Norfolk Presbytery in 1893).

Over the course of more than 300 years, Presbyterians have formed a closely-knit ministry in Southeastern Virginia that includes the southern Eastern Shore, and churches stretching from Gloucester and Williamsburg south to the North Carolina border and west to Franklin.  There are presently 64 churches and 18,288 members, led by the Rev. J. Richard Short, General Presbyter, and the Rev. Mary Newbern- Williams, Associate Presbyter.

In addition to these churches, the presbytery has been blessed by the growth of a strong Sister Church Pairing partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Kinshasa (CPK), in the Democratic Republic of Congo, nourished by the efforts of Congo Mission Interpreter Etienne Bote-Tshiek.  There is a vibrant camp and conference ministry maintained on the grounds of Makemie Woods, just north of Williamsburg, named appropriately after Francis Makemie and directed by the Rev. “Mike” Burcher.  The growth of urban centers within PEVA’s bounds has also led to active campus ministry in several local colleges and universities, including the Westminster Faith Center at Old Dominion University, shepherded by PEVA staff member, the Rev. Linda Rainey.

In the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia, the three-hundred-year-old legacy of James Porter, Josias Mackie, Francis Makemie, Samuel Davies, and Samantha J. Neil thrives!

LMS, and JRS. “A Brief Histoy.” Presbytery of Eastern Virginia. 30 May 2007. Web.

The James

Presbytery of the James
3218 Chamberlayne Avenue
Richmond, VA 23227
Toll Free: (877) 262-2074
Phone: (804) 262-2074
Fax: (804) 612-0583
Rev. Fred Holbrook, General Presbyter


The Presbyterian Church U.S. and the United Presbyterian Church merged in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Following the merger, presbyteries and synods were realigned.  The Synod of the Mid-Atlantic comprising presbyteries in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia was formed with offices in Richmond. After the Synod’s formation, the Presbytery of the James came into existence in 1989, having been created from three different presbyteries: Blue Ridge, Hanover and Southern Virginia.

A Transitional Steering Committee was appointed to begin laying the groundwork for the new Presbytery that was to serve central Virginia.  The steering committee asked members of the emerging Presbytery to consider that they were a “merger of varied people of faith with different memories; moving forward into a new beginning and a new creation.”  The name Presbytery of the James was chosen, calling attention to the James River flowing throughout the geographic area of the new Presbytery.  Presbytery of the James officially came into existence July 1, 1989.  The Rev. Dr. William S. Morris was the first Executive Presbyter/Stated Clerk.  The Presbytery’s first meeting was held July 11 at First Presbyterian Church in Richmond. During Dr. Morris’ term, the Presbytery’s former office building on U.S. Route 1 was constructed on land owned by  the former Hanover Presbytery.  In 2006, the Presbytery voted to sell the property on Route 1 in Henrico County.  October 2007, the office relocated to 3218 Chamberlayne Avenue, Richmond, Virginia.

After Dr. Morris’ resignation to become pastor at Campbell Memorial Presbyterian Church in Weems, the Rev. William M. Boyce, Jr. served as  Stated Clerk.  Later, the Rev. John Rickard accepted the call to become Interim Executive.  Following their resignations, the Rev. James Cushman became the Interim Executive Presbyter and Stated Clerk.  In July, 1997, the Rev. H. Carson Rhyne, Jr. began a three-year renewable term as the Presbytery’s new General Presbyter and Stated Clerk.  Having recently completed a decade of ministry, most of which has been spent in transition and reorganization, Presbytery of the James is now looking and working more toward the future.

A Strategic Plan detailing specific goals was created for completion between 1999-2001.  By December 2001, at least 50 percent of all Presbytery training events were held in districts or clusters of districts.  By the same deadline, each of the nine districts had participated in a local mission project as a district. (In the mid-1990s, churches were divided into nine districts based upon geography to cultivate close relationships and shared ministry opportunities.) By December 2001, congregations had begun the redevelopment process of the General Assembly, PC(USA).

Presbytery of the James developed its newest vision and mission plans and began implementation in 2010.  Nominating regions have replaced districts and teams have replaced boards.  Purpose Groups bubble-up in areas of special interest.  Our vision as disciples of Jesus Christ is to be involved in Mission, Leadership, and Communication & Coordination efforts serving our Lord.

A new decade, new direction, and a bright future continue to call us to new ways to serve our Lord.  To God be the Glory!

“History.” Presbytery of the James. Web. < US/History_1.htm>

The Peaks

Presbytery of the PeaksPresbytery of the Peaks
1022 Floyd Street, Suite A
Lynchburg, VA 24501
Toll Free: (888) 557-3257
Phone: (434) 845-1754
Fax: (434) 847-4650
Rev. Nancy Dawson, General Presbyter


Coming soon.


Presbytery of ShenandoahPresbytery of Shenandoah
1111 N. Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Phone: (540) 433-2556
Fax: (540) 433-6830
Rev. Sally Hinchman, Interim General Presbyter


Coming soon.