Presbyterian Night at the Ballpark

You are invited to

A Presbytery Wide Night at the Ballpark – Friday, September 17

Fayetteville Woodpeckers vs The Carolina Mudcats

The West Community is inviting the whole presbytery to an evening of baseball and fellowship, Friday, Sept 17.

We have secured a block of tickets at a discounted rate.

Churches are encouraged to form groups and carpool together to the game.  The cost of each pastor’s/CRE’s admission ticket is covered.

Everyone else’s ticket is $10.

An optional $10 meal voucher is available, if pre-ordered. The meal voucher is a hot dog, drink and chips.

If a church sees that their group will be more than 10 persons, Laura Lupton needs to be notified as soon as possible so that our number of tickets on hold can be adjusted as needed.

Currently, we are holding 200 tickets, but in 2019 we had over 400 persons respond!

Please NOTIFY me if your church is forming a group so that I have an idea about how many tickets are needed.

Here is the poster/Flyer and sign-up sheet for you to use.

GROUP LEADERS must let Laura Lupton know their final count by email no later than September 6 as payment will be due for the tickets we are holding.
She just needs

  • the total number of tickets,
  • the number of pastors in your count and
  • the number of meal vouchers.
  • The group leader’s contact information

Group leaders will need to bring complete payment with them to the ballpark to receive their tickets. ONE CHECK from the church is preferred, payable to the Presbytery.

The church must pay for any last-minute cancellations as the tickets are non-refundable. If there is a weather event, the church will still be responsible to pay for the tickets.

Plan to arrive at the gate of the ballpark before 6:15PM – We suggest that you just aim to be there before 6:00 to give your group plenty of time to get in the ballpark and order food and drink, etc.

Give yourself time to park and walk to the entrance and get your tickets from Laura (this could be a 10 minute walk after you find parking).

If you arrive after 6:15 your group tickets may be held at the will call window or you might have to call Laura to find out where she is to get your tickets from her!

The linked flyer & sign-up sheet have the details.  The ballpark does not have any covid restrictions at this time.

A question we had in 2019 wasIs this open only to church members or may they bring friends?”

Our reply is that this event is a great evangelism opportunity – your members may invite whoever they want to come with them. Then their guest(s) can get to know some church folks in a relax environment and hopefully feel more at ease to visit church in the future. Your group is your group – it can be any you choose to welcome and invite.

Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions! Let’s play ball!

Peacemaking Scholarship 2021

“Seek Peace and pursue it.” Proverbs 34:14

The Mozell Howie 2021 Peacemaking Scholarship for High School Seniors

The Peacemaking Committee of Coastal Carolina Presbytery
will offer two scholarships to high school seniors enrolling in college by the fall of 2021. (1) $500 and (1) $400 Scholarship will be awarded.

All essays must be received by Tuesday, June 15.

Here is the Printable Flyer for use in your congregation. (PDF)

Rules for Scholarship Consideration:

The Peacemaking Committee of Coastal Carolina Presbytery will offer two scholarships to high school seniors enrolling in college by the fall of 2021.   Rules for Scholarship Consideration:

1. The student must be a graduating high school senior. The student must be active in a Presbyterian Church in Coastal Carolina Presbytery.

2. The student shall compose and submit an essay in response to the following question:

What do you see as the most pressing peacemaking issue of concern to you, and how will you seek to address it through your studies and beyond?

3. Essay must be typed, properly referenced, approximately 1,000 words. Proper grammar and proofreading improve the rating of an application. PDF or Word Document is acceptable.

4. The submission shall include the

    • student’s name,
    • grade level,
    • contact information (phone, email and
    • name of home church with the city of the church, and
    • college they will be attending.

5. Submit essay & student information to,
email subject: Peacemaking Scholarship.

6. All essays must be received by Tuesday, June 15, 2021.  All email submissions will be acknowledged. If you do not get a reply, please call and verify receipt.

7. The winners will be notified by July 10. Funds awarded will be sent directly to the college or university.

Scholarship Essays must be submitted to:

Laura Lupton at

All entries will be acknowledged.   If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please call 910-818-9938

NOTE: This scholarship is funded by the PCUSA Peace and Global witness Offering. The participation in that offering as low in 2021 so the scholarship award this year is smaller. Please encourage your church to participate in the Peace and Global Witness offering each October. Learn more here.

Peace and Global Witness Offering

Session Records Annual Review

Annual Review of Session Minutes 2021


The Book of Order requires the Presbytery to review every church’s records to be sure that all is in order.

Officially the Book of Order urges that at least once a year every governing body above a session shall review the records of the proceedings of the next lower governing body. If any lower governing body shall fail to send up its records for this purpose, the higher governing body shall order them to be produced as a specified time.

In reviewing the proceedings of a lower governing body, the higher governing body shall determine, either from the records of those proceedings or from any other information as may come to its attention, whether:
(1) The proceedings have been correctly recorded;
(2) The proceedings have been regular and in accordance with the Constitution.
(3) The proceedings have been prudent and equitable;
(4) The proceedings have been faithful to the mission of the whole church;
(5) The lawful injunctions of a higher governing body have been obeyed.

When is the Review?

The Community’s committee on  Sessional Records will conduct these reviews at various times and places or by appointment when requested.  Church records should be reviewed once a year. Simply bring the minute book with the completed form to a review session in your community.

What Form?

Please complete the checklist and bring it with your minute book.

  1. Session Minutes Records Checklist (2019-2020-2021)
Who to Contact?

Contact the  Mission Coordinator for your Community for the schedule of when records will be reviewed.

Welcome Our New Treasurer

Lornette McCaskill hails from the sunny island of Jamaica and migrated to the United States over 25 years ago. Ms. McCaskill is married to Pastor Willie J. McCaskill II of Freedom East Presbyterian Church in Raeford, NC, and the mother of four beautiful children. She holds a Master of Business Administration Degree from Fairleigh Dickenson University in New Jersey with an emphasis in Finance.

Ms. McCaskill started working as the Business Manger and Treasurer of the Presbytery in October 2020.

Ms. McCaskill’s career in the U.S. began in 1994 as a receptionist in New York City. In that role she developed three essential attributes: people skills, multi-tasking, and how to excel at time management simultaneously.  For over 21 years, Ms. McCaskill has been fighting the fight against debt, especially as it pertains to money management and financial planning. She lives by the motto, “It is not how much you make but how much you save”.

She is a participative management professional with a progressive history of experience in Healthcare Finance and Administration. She is a dynamic leader and mentor, with the ability to build effective teams and inspire individuals to strive toward higher levels of achievement.  Ms. McCaskill has 10 years of experience in the role of Billing Manager and Revenue Manager, at two of the most lucrative hospitals in the New York City Metropolitan area.  After leaving the Healthcare Industry she embarked on opening her own Accounting and Tax Preparation Firm.  Within that role Ms. McCaskill works with individuals, corporations, and nonprofit organization.  Her responsibilities include preparing financial statements and reports while ensuring all financial reporting deadlines are met, internally and externally.  Record and analyze financial information of the businesses to project their financial wealth.  Ensures that businesses are in compliance with IRS guidelines and any other regulatory agencies.

Ms. McCaskill is excited to be part of this new venture and is looking forward to working with the churches through out the Presbytery, treasurers and church leaders.

Please welcome her to the Presbytery staff team. She is ready to help you.  She can be reached at the Presbytery Office 910-862-8300 ext. 4 or by email to LMcCaskill @    (remove the spaces)

Welcome, Lornette McCaskill!

Become a QRE or CRE!

Through an online program at Union Presbyterian Seminary elders can become “Qualified Ruling Elders (QRE)” eligible to preach and officiate the sacraments in our congregations. QREs are also eligible to serve in churches as pastor, a role called  “Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE).”  A CRE performs all the functions of a pastor – leading worship, providing pastoral care, moderating session, officiating communion,baptizing children and adults, leading weddings and funerals, and more.

Is God calling you to prepare to lead a congregation?

If you, or someone you know, is interested in learning more about QRE/CRE opportunities and exploring a sense of call to serve the presbytery in this way, Presbytery staff would love to speak with you.  Meanwhile interested persons can look at the Pathways Program offered by Union Presbyterian Seminary and read the documents linked below.

PATHWAYS ONLINE COURSES at Union Presbyterian Seminary

What is Elder Ministries?  (QRE/CREs)

In the Presbytery we have a committee that oversees the QRE/CRE program called the “Elder Ministries” committee.  this committee works with interested persons to help them complete the training and organizes ongoing training opportunities in the Presbytery.

Learn more about the steps involved to become a QRE/CRE :

You can learn more about the CRE Elder Ministries program by clicking here.  The current chair is  Becky Raynor who can be reached at

Waiving the Requirement to Rotate Officers

Dear Congregations, Clerks of Session and Moderators,

On May 14, 2020 the Full Commission on Ministry for the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina approved waiving the requirement to rotate officers.

“The Full Commission on Ministry of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina approves a one year exemption of the requirement for congregational rotation of officers in 2020. Congregations that are able to fulfill the requirement according to our polity and by the rule of the particular congregation’s procedures should endeavor to do so.”

The Full Commission on Ministry considered that some congregations may have difficulty following established procedures for electing officers due to the pandemic.

  • Some congregations may not be able to assemble “a majority of all active members” for a congregational meeting to elect a Nominating Committee.
  • Some congregations may not be able to assemble “a majority of all active members” required for a congregational meeting to vote upon a slate from the Nominating Committee.
  • Some congregations may not be able to meet in regular or even alternative methods to receive names from the floor during elections as mandated for a nominating process (G-2.0401).

There may be additional impediments that prohibit proceeding with a safe and routine election process. For congregations unable to properly elect officers, the waiver of Full COM on behalf of the presbytery would allow for continuity of congregational leadership.

Sessions wishing to participate in the waiver shall:

  1. Note in the minutes of session the action by Presbytery allowing exemption,
  2. Notify all active members of the intent and rationale to not rotate officers,
  3. Inform the congregation liaison to COM, Community COM chair, or the presbytery stated clerk in writing (mail or email) that it wishes to waive rotation of officers in 2020,
  4. Inquire from officers due to rotate off their respective boards, a willingness to continue serving.

This decision was made knowing that some congregations may not have any trouble following procedures for electing officers. The action of Full COM does not conflict with congregations that are able to duly elect officers in 2020 to the class of 2023.

It is our hope that we will soon be able to safely return to our standard practices like discerning together those God calls “for such a time as this” to lead our congregations. It is my hope that congregations exercising the option to waive rotation of officers in 2020 will be able to resume proper election and rotation of officers as soon as practical. It is our sincere hope that the action by Full COM will allow congregations to concentrate their energies on the work of caring for neighbor and proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel during a challenging pandemic.

Please contact your COM liaison or your mission coordinator if you have questions about this waiver.


Jay Bender,
Chair of Full Commission on Ministry

Rev. Jerrod B. Lowry,
jerrodlowry @
General Presbyter & Stated Clerk

Print Version (PDF) of this announcement HERE

Hurricane Isaias in Coastal Carolina

With its August 2020 landfall, Isaias became the earliest fifth named storm to make landfall in the United States. The previous record for the earliest fifth storm to make a U.S. landfall was August 18, 1916.

The hurricane made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina .

Heavy damage was inflicted to multiple homes in Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach, including three that were destroyed in the latter community by a large fire. Damage in Holden Beach alone exceeded $40 million.  On August 3, a waterspout came ashore and struck Bald Head Island and Southport, causing major EF2 damage.

Mission Coordinator, Nancy Gladden, summarizes, “The damage was extensive in southern Brunswick County, particularly on Oak Island, Ocean Isle, and Holden Beach.  Southport and Shallotte also have damage.  Storm surge and wind were the main problems.  The storm intensified just before landfall and came in on a lunar high tide which compounded impacts.  Some areas are still without water and power.  Members of our churches who were affected have been told by insurance companies their damage will be covered. So yay for that!  Our churches are all fine as far as they can tell at this point.

Churches are reminded to Check Facilities

Churches in the Presbytery who are not currently fully utilizing their facility are strongly reminded and encouraged to thoroughly inspect for storm damage so that additional water damage can be prevented and timely insurance claims filed. If your facility has significant damage, please notify your mission coordinator.

At least two of our member churches are helping folks with damage and repairs, Southport Presbyterian and Shallotte Presbyterian Churches. The Presbytery supports long term recovery groups throughout the Presbytery.


The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina has an ongoing disaster recovery fund which supports recovery efforts throughout our Presbytery including this storm, past hurricanes and preparations for future disasters.

If you, or your church, would like to donate, please send your check to Presbytery of Coastal Carolina
807 W King St.
Elizabethtown, NC 28337

MEMO: Disaster Recovery

Or give online using this link:  
Donate to Disaster Recovery Now

Give Now Button

Donation Service Provided by the Presbyterian Foundation

If you are interested to support disaster recovery efforts both in the USA and other countries including island nations, please give to Presbyterian Disaster AssistancePDA Banner Image

Seeking Business Manager

Now Accepting applications for PRESBYTERY BUSINESS MANAGER

The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, NC, is seeking a Business Manager with 5-10 years of financial work experience in a small to medium sized business or institution to oversee the Presbytery financial business affairs, ensuring faithful stewardship and sound practice in the management of Presbytery property.

To apply please send a cover letter and resume to .  Applications received by
April 21, 2020 will be considered first.

Applications accepted until the position is filled. This position is also posted on and the NC Association of CPA’s websites.

Open the PDF/Printable version of the Position Description here

Presbytery Business Manager
Job Description Detail:


Presbytery Business Manager:
full-time, salaried, exempt.


Position oversees the Presbytery financial business affairs, ensuring faithful stewardship and sound practice in the management of Presbytery property


The position is accountable to the Presbytery and the Mission Cabinet through the General Presbyter/Stated Clerk and the Mission Cabinet’s Personnel Committee.  Business Manager serves on the Finance and Property Committee, is an ex-officio member of the Strategic Planning and Organizational Review Committee and may serve as Treasurer of the Corporation.


BS degree in Business/Accounting with 5-10 years of work experience in a small to medium sized business or institution using a professional level of financial accounting, budgeting, taxation, and has a general knowledge of property management.


  • Knowledge and experience in accounting and financial reporting, financial statement analysis, cash management, cost analysis, payroll / benefit administration, fixed asset accounting and purchasing.  Knowledge of fund accounting is a plus.
  • Excellent people and communication skills.
  • Ability to establish priorities, organize and process heavy volumes of work, problem-solve and has a good work ethic.
  •  Knowledge and experience with spreadsheets and word processing.
  • General knowledge of income tax compliance, legal processes and contract administration.


Financial Administration

1.      Manage all accounting, general ledger and financial reporting functions including AR / Cash Receipts, AP / Cash Disbursements and HR/ Payroll processing.

2.      Oversee all Presbytery banking functions in coordination with the General Presbyter.

3.      Coordinate origination and administration of Presbytery loans to Churches including loan set up, preparation of amortization schedules, and collections.

4.      Reconcile on a monthly basis all balance sheet accounts.

5.      Manage all validated Ministries Funds, including Hispanic Ministries and the associated immigration issues.

6.      Manage all Designated Funds and ensure proper compliance with any related guidelines and assist with establishing new funds.  Manage Special Offerings and Designated Contributions and remit funds in a timely manner to outside agencies, including Synod and General Assembly (GA).

7.      Calculate and coordinate benevolence pledge forms for Mission Support and Per Capita and send to churches in September for the following year.

8.      Coordinate and report Presbytery investments and activities—design and maintain templates for reporting all investment data to Presbytery.

9.      Manage GA and Synod Per Capita and Mission Support and remit funds in timely manner.

10.  Provide leadership to the Presbytery in the use of its assets in supporting and enhancing Presbytery’s mission by furnishing information and guidance to the General Presbyter, other staff, Mission Cabinet and committees of Presbytery.

11.  Design, calculate, and generate special monthly budget reports /revenue and expense statements and send to appropriate recipients.

12.  Provide all required information for annual audit with responsibility for all account functions and compliances including reconciliation of all designated accounts.

13.  Send contribution letters to donors in compliance with IRS regulations.

14.  Send end-of-year financial reports to each church with their contributions for the year.

Property management

1.      Oversee Presbytery office facility management, in coordination with General Presbyter, including locating contractors, obtaining bids, monitoring work of contractors, and any additional duties which may be needed.

2.      Maintain current equipment/furniture/property lists, including inventories for Elizabethtown office, Hispanic Ministries and two camps.

3.      Manage Presbytery insurance, in coordination with the Property and Finance Committee and the General Presbyter.

4.      Maintain property records including a list of vacant churches, cemeteries and lots.Church for Sale

5.      Ensure camp organizations are updated as to the condition of camp properties and organization responsibilities.

6.      As to property transactions, coordinate surveys, the recording of deeds, closings and ensure all proceeds due to the Presbytery are collected and deposit into appropriate bank accounts.

7.      As required, accompany Finance and Property Committee members on site visits to properties.

8.      Encourage churches to locate and maintain all appropriate legal documents.

9.      Assist with the maintenance legal files and financial documentation for each church.

Personnel and Payroll management

1.      Ensure the timely accurate processing of payroll and the timely payments of monthly payroll taxes.

2.      Calculate annual and effective salaries for all employees and report or confirm to BOP.

3.      Maintain Presbytery personnel records.

4.      Process and timely issue all required Federal and state forms including W-2’s, and 1099’s.

5.      Correspond with attorneys and research/maintain records for all employees with immigration issues.

6.      Properly withhold funds for employee Retirement Savings Plans and remit to Fidelity monthly.

7.      Complete and submit Worker’s Compensation audit annually when it is received.

Ensure compliance with rules and regulations of the IRS and other official government agencies.

Board of Pensions Personnel Benefits, and Retirement Plans,

1.      Calculate and confirm salary information to the Board of Pensions (BOP).

2.      Administer employee Retirement Savings Plans per IRS regulations

3.      Ensure timely payment of BOP dues, retirement savings and all insurance plans.

4.      Oversee enrollment of new employees and any changes for current employees.

5.      Assist churches and ministers with BOP information and reporting requirements.

6.      Obtain and maintain records of current policies and procedural information from BOP.

Finance and Property Committee and Mission Cabinet

1.      Establish agendas, record minutes, write correspondence, and provide any other additional information requested by Finance and Property Committee for their meetings.

2.      Attend and provide full reporting of financial activities and status to the Executive Presbyter and to each meeting of F/P, Mission Cabinet, and Presbytery, as well as attend other meetings concerning the financial wellbeing of the Presbytery.

3.      Provide budgeting tools by designing templates and providing historical and current input for the Finance and Property committee throughout the process until completion.

4.      Design and submit budgets to Mission Cabinet and Presbytery.

5.      Draft and compile motions from Budget and Finance Committee when requested.

6.      Maintain current book of minutes and other legal information for the Property and Finance committee.

7.      Assist moderators in formulating line item budgets if requested.

8.      Monitor all Committee expenditures and correspond with committee chairs as needed.

9.      Create and submit a line item budget to Presbytery as required.

10.  Administer Cafeteria Plan of Presbytery and file associated BOP paperwork.

11.  Provide input and ensure financial compliance with manuals of Presbytery.

Additional Duties

1.      Compile and maintain Presbytery 501(c)(3) history.

2.      Design and maintain templates to assist churches with their terms of call if requested.

3.      Prepare motions and background information for various committees pertaining to financial  activities upon request.

4.      Maintain current knowledge regarding applicable IRS rules

5.      Train church treasurers on church finances–occasionally teach classes if requested.

6.      Maintain information detailing the stewardship of all churches within the Presbytery and provide occasional flyers with information which may be interesting to the Presbytery members.

7.      Attend Cabinet and Presbytery Meetings to give financial report and any motions required.

8.      Handle communications for the Finance Office in consultation with the General Presbyter.

9.      Coordinate lunches, including the collection and deposit of lunch money, for Presbytery  meetings.

10.  Receive offerings from elders at Presbytery meetings and submit to office for deposit.

11.  Receive Cents-ability funds at Presbytery meetings and submit to office for deposit.



Coronavirus April Advisory from Presbytery

March 27, 2020
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea…

The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob

is our refuge!”


There can be no doubt that our world continues to shift and change due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. And what makes matters worse is that the changes come rapidly. It is hard to find comfort in a new rhythm that continues to be challenged and changed. These disruptions, while for the common good, are still disruptions from our comfortable norms.

Nevertheless, I find great comfort in the affirmation of the 46th Psalm. In this Psalm I am reminded that in the midst of overwhelming change, God is my place of refuge. In this Psalm, I am reminded that God is the strength I need to thrive in chaos. It is in this Psalm that I am reminded that God has been and continues to be present, steadfast, with us in times of trouble. Even if the mountains (or things we thought permanent) were to change, falter, or disappear; the Lord is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Thanks be to God.

Presbytery of Coastal Carolina LogoYesterday, the Board of Directors for The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, responding to the challenges of our day; mandated that all scheduled presbytery gatherings be convened virtually until May 1st and recommended to sessions that face-to-face worship services prior to May 1st transition to incorporate use of available technology.

In March the board took similar action to cancel events of presbytery scheduled in the month of March. This recent action of the board requires that meetings of presbytery commissions, committees, and subcommittees be convened virtually at this time. By meeting virtually, we can continue to do the work that needs to be done resourcing congregations and “equipping the saints for the work of ministry”.

Please note that the board is again recommending to sessions that face-to-face worship be suspended until May 1st. The board can only make recommendation to sessions regarding the worship of a particular congregation.

To aid session deliberation, I have attached(linked) to this correspondence

The two advisory opinions from the PC(USA) will help answer questions for those considering virtual meetings (session and congregation) and celebration of the Lord’s SupperPCUSA Logo when worship is not face-to-face. Additionally, sessions should use the attached executive order. This order acknowledges places of worship as “essential activities” (Section 1, paragraph 3, subsection vi & Section 2C.10). This document provides information about management of administrative staff, the number that constitute a mass gathering, and the number of attendees allowed for funerals.

Sessions should also consider ways to stress the importance of faithful stewardship.

  • Ensure utilities are not running in unoccupied facilities. Inform members that ministry is on-going.
  • Remind contributors to the ministry that their financial support is critical.

These are strange and challenging times. Nevertheless, I have been encouraged by the commitment of our congregations to share The Good News – news desperately needed during these times – in new and different ways. I have heard of a commissioned ruling elder that posted a sermon reflection to YouTube for a congregation of 20. By the afternoon that sermon had over 200 views. And another pastor reported that she received a message from a sick-and-shut-in member that they felt connected to their church for the first time in months thanks to a sermon she posted on Facebook.

Be encouraged! The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge!

Lenten Blessings,
Rev. Jerrod B. Lowry

Click here for the PDF Print friendly version of this letter.

The PCUSA has provided a resource page of helps for getting online and ways to respond to this emergency. View it here


Click here to see a list of the latest resources from the PCUSA Mission Agency – Prayers, Advisories, Grants from PDA for COVID19 response, ways to help, and more.

Coronavirus Advice to Churches

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.   In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”            Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)

To the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina,

Friends, like you, I have worries around this pandemic called Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus. I worry about those that will get sick and those that will die. I worry that I may have missed the opportunity to respond in ways that could have saved lives, and I worry that time will prove my recommended response to have been an overreaction that does harm to our faith communities. I’m worried about our presbytery staff and ensuring that they have the resources they need to do the jobs that they are called to do in the safest and healthiest ways possible. As the pastor to this presbytery, I’m concerned about adequately resourcing all our congregational leaders to ensure that congregations are doing the right thing for themselves and their neighbors. As a father I’m worried about my family. I have children in schools and my wife has health concerns that put her amongst those most at risk. Like you, I have worries as I read about the spread of this pandemic.

Yet as I wrestled these past few days, I have found reassurance in our confessions – documents written when the church was facing challenging times and felt the need to unify around declarations of faith or to teach the faith. These days I have leaned upon the words offered in the Heidelberg Catechism and the Brief Statement of Faith. Both speak about a deep trust in God. They speak about trusting God completely and totally. They speak about trusting God who is both present and active amid all that is known and whatever is to come.

We trust that we belong to God, the confessions affirm. We trust in Jesus Christ. We trust in the Holy Spirit. Aware of what is going on around us and no matter what the outcomes may bring – in life and in death – our trust is in God. This is the trust that we sing in one of my favorite hymns as we proclaim Christ is like a solid rock upon which we stand when all other ground is sinking sand.

These are the thoughts that have encouraged me as I’ve discussed with your presbytery staff about how to respond as faithfully as possible to the challenges raised by Covid-19.

  • Our faith does not make us blind to the terrible reality of pandemic around us. Instead, with Bible in one hand and “newspaper” in the other, we seek to share the Gospel in word and in deed…but to do so in ways that will be healthy for us and for those that we seek to encourage with Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Our deep faith and trust in God does not mean that we ignore what is going on around us. Instead we are challenged, and I believe we are guided by the Holy Spirit to respond in new, innovative, and creative ways.

Guided by both a firm faith that we are called to ministries bearing love, light, and peace found in Christ (a message needed these days) and that we must do this work in ways that do not place us or hearers of the gospel in danger; I am recommending to the 180ish churches in the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina that all gatherings be cancelled until April 1st.

It is my hope and prayer that things will improve and as April 1st approaches we can reconsider how we do ministry in the coming weeks and months.

Meetings and events of the presbytery may be rescheduled for a date after April 1st. Some meetings of presbytery committees will shift from face-to-face meeting and become meetings that are convened either by conference call or using web-based video conferencing. And it is my recommendation that worship services and fellowship activities in local congregations be cancelled until April 1st. Please know that this is my recommendation based upon information received from the Centers for Disease Control, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, state and local health organizations. It will be the responsibility of each session to determine whether they will cancel gatherings of their congregation.

  • Some sessions may decide to cancel services.
  • Some may decide to worship over conference calls (low tech option) and some may decide to offer live streamed worship services (a high tech option). Trying new things will be challenging and frustrating.
  • However, I’m optimistic that choosing options that limit face-to-face interaction are not only safest options but may put us in contact with new ears in our communities that are searching for words of comfort and hope.

If a session decides to continue meeting face-to-face, Rev. Laura Lupton, Mission Coordinator for the West Community, has developed a list of things that need to be considered. This is not an exhaustive list but it a great place to start for those deciding to worship as they normally would worship. (see the text below).

As your presbytery staff receives information, we will do our best to disseminate it as quickly as possible so that you can make healthy, safe, faithful decisions for yourselves, your families, your congregations, and your neighbors.

Friends remember that we do not just “do church”. We are the CHURCH. May we approach this crisis with eyes wide open about the challenges we face, but also with hearts wide open that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit to respond in full trust that even now God is with us and has given us Good News of Christ to share with the world! I am not sure what the future holds but I am confident that it is God who holds the future.

May God bless us all!

Rev. Jerrod B. Lowry
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk Presbytery of Coastal Carolina

 Live Streaming Tips & Helps:

  • The ADMINS of your church’s Facebook group can livestream (or upload) video that will appear to be “ABC Presbyterian Church is live”
  • a good internet connection or quality data plan is needed. (practice in advance of worship)
  • Some ministers might do a video message sitting at their desk if the congregation is not gathering.
  • a phone holding adapter can be purchased for use on a tripod
  • Please consider copyright issues when livestreaming music.
  • Consider SLOWLY showing the bulletin at some point in the video. This will give people away to find song titles and names of persons speaking, if they want to know those things.
  • Consider videoing the service horizontally (wide not tall).
  • Clean the camera lens of the phone being used.
  • Please read this cautionary advice
  • PAUSE the video stream when simi-PRIVATE prayer concerns are being shared (think HIPPA). The video is available GLOBALLY when online with many platforms.
  • If you don’t want to use Facebook, please check out

SHARE with your Sister Congregations:

If you are offering a live streaming option or a call in option, please let your mission coordinator know the details (time, link, phone number, etc.) because some churches are unable to do this and would like to invite members to be part of your service.

Phone Calling Services

  • One church is recommending the use of as a way to text, call or email congregants news, updates, a devotional message, information about online events or call-in access information, and other advisories. This service has a free trail but is a paid service at reasonable cost. If you have questions Rev. Shane Owens of Union PC in Carthage may be able to help you.  Reach him at (910) 638-1609.
  • Mt Pisgah PC is using to contact members.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Pandemic Information Sheet (click here)

COVID-19 Practical steps Congregations can take:

  1. Hand sanitizer at all entrances
  2. Clean the upper back edge and arm rests of all pews
  3. Do not use hymnals – print or display words
  4. Do not pass offering plates; Have persons come forward during the offertory music or have donation plates at the exits
  5. Persons handling money after the service should wear gloves (and persons handling mail)
  6. Some are suggesting that water fountains be closed with a “do not use” sign.
  7. Enhanced cleaning of nursery area and toys.
  8. Wipe down all door handles, push plates on doors, chairs, tables, light switches, thermostats, etc.
  9. Persons preparing communion should wear gloves, masks and hairnets.
  10. Add signage about hand-washing in all restrooms.
  11. Put bulletins on a counter for pick up rather than handing them out.
  12. Doorman/woman to hold doors open so it is not touched by all person entering/exiting
  13. For Communion (see below)
Social Distancing
  1. Ask people to sit with spacing between them (sitting in every other row is one idea)
  2. In SS classes ask persons to sit in every other chair.
  3. Do not pass the peace – when greeting use hand on the heart gesture, elbows or the peace sign, etc.
  4. Do not serve communion by intinction – use cup trays held by one person (do not pass the trays), Consider the use of the sealed self-contained communion cups. To order these search online for “Prefilled Communion Cups with Juice and Wafer”
  5. If anyone is coughing, ask them to wear a mask or go home.
Congregational Care
  1. Establish Care Team (Response Team) of persons willing and able to help persons who need to be quarantined at home. This team would be available to pick up groceries or prescriptions, etc. and leave them the porch or in a mailbox of the home-bound person.  Arrange for payment online or by some other non-cash means.
  2. Increase the use of Live Streaming on Facebook or recording and posting to church website or YouTube or Vemio, etc. for spiritual messages – sermons, devotions, hymns, etc.
  3. Pray for one another and for the virus to cease!
Inform & Educate
  1. In the bulletin print appropriate reminders (washing hands, available hand sanitizer, maintaining social distances) instructions for the offering and information about care teams or a point person in your congregation.
  2. Let people know about any livestreaming options.
    How to participate online in worship or by phone
  3. Communicate the need to continue to financially support the church.
  4. Remind people of the need to get medical care if ill. Some hospitals are offering drive through COVID19 screening, call your hospital to find out more.
Contact the Presbyterian Foundation about adding online giving options.

If you have additional suggestions,
please feel free to send them to your mission coordinator.

One Great Day of Service-West Community

One Great Day of Service- POSTPONED

A West Community Initiative of the Presbytery
across 5 Counties

Sign-Up  ~  Go  ~  Rejoice

In the afternoon: Come Rejoice & Celebrate at 2:30PM-3:30PM
Hear from others ~  Share your Story ~ See photos ~ Pray
at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, 2:30PM
1002 N Sandhills Blvd, Aberdeen, NC 28315

Scotland County Locations

Monroe Camp & Retreat Center, Inc. 24501 Camp Rd, Laurel Hill    8:30AM- 1PM  (25 people)  Bring: work gloves, yard tools, gas trimmers, tool box, etc. for Yardwork, Roadside Cleanup – Adopt a highway. Various minor repairs around camp. Flexibility is of the essence!   Wish List idea…Assembling or Creating picnic tables for the pool area (Up to 8 Needed/NOTE: Volunteer Group would to donate/obtain materials.)

Hoke County Locations

See Camp Monroe above.

Moore County Locations

Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills “the Carthage site” 103 Old Glendon Rd. Carthage  8AM- 1PM  (10Max) Must be at least 16 years of age Specific work is determined on site.

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Southern Pines Branch, 195 Sandy Ave, Southern Pines, NC 28327 – 9AM – Noon (30 people) Food sorting, cleaning, learning about the Foodbank. Participants will need to complete a second registration required by the Food Bank.

Harnett County Locations

Crossing All Borders Ministry, 1446 James Norris Rd., Angier, NC 27546.  8:30AM until 12:30 (50 max, any age) Making hygiene kits, Sorting clothes & Medical supplies & donations, Yard maintenance Volunteers may bring items for hygiene kits: 1. Gallon zip lock bags 2. Toothbrushes 3. Toothpaste 4. Mouthwash 5. Combs 6. Deodorant 7. Floss 8. Nail Clippers 9. Washcloths 10. Soap 11. Lotion 12. Shampoo.

Lee County Locations

Christians United Outreach Center in Sanford (CUOC) 2885 Lee Ave, Sanford,  9AM- 12:30  (10 persons) Various tasks of sorting, stocking, cleaning

Liberty Home Care and Hospice – 1005 Carthage Street, Sanford, NC. 9:00 AM – 1 pm with lunch included.   (20 Teenagers – Adult)

Boys and Girls Club of Central Carolina, 1424 Bragg St. in Sanford.  9:30 AM – 1 PM.  (10)  Painting an inside room. Wear clothes for painting & bring disposable gloves if you want them.

Sewing Sisters at Pocket Presbyterian Church, 669 Pocket Church Rd, Sanford, NC 27330  8:30AM to 12:30 Learn about sewing dresses that decrease human trafficking in impoverished areas.  Optional to bring any of the following: Sewing Machine, Sewing Serger, Fabric Scissors, and a snack to share.

Register by Tuesday, March 17 at Noon.
Please do not contact agencies directly.
Please contact Laura Lupton with any questions.


  • There is no cost to participate.
  • Advanced registration is REQUIRED – no walk-ins permitted due to limited space at each site and the preparation of supplies and refreshments.
  • Each individual must register by Monday, March 9. No Group reservations.
  • Participants volunteer at their own risk and must exercise caution and safe practices at all times.
  • If available, additional details may be emailed to registered participants a few days prior to the 21st.
  • Due to the limited spaces, please notify Laura Lupton of any cancellations as other may be waiting.
  • If the projects in your county are full, we would welcome you to create your own community service project for that day and let us know the details and for you to come to the closing conversation and prayer at Bethesda PC at 2:30.
  • Coming to Bethesda for the closing gathering is optional but will be worth your time.

Laura Lupton can be reached at 910-818-9938 or

Ongoing Hurricane Florence Response

Ongoing Hurricane Florence Response

PDA Deploys Long Term Recovery Specialist

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence Presbyterian Disasters Assistance (PDA) sent a team of six people to stand with the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina and to assess the magnitude of the disaster caused by the hurricane. ….   <continue reading>

PCC Churches Continue to Response

Within hours of the restoration of power and communications across the area Facebook and other social media were abuzz with reports about what the churches of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina were doing in response to Hurricane Florence. Examples of neighbors helping neighbors….
<continue reading>

Camp Kirkwood can host work groups

Learn More (PDF)

Highland Presbyterian is Hosting Work Groups in Fayetteville

for an overnight group willing to work in Fayetteville or Lumberton, please contact Eden Roberts who is the PDA Mission Specialist II for Hosting and Volunteer Management of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance at the National Call Center  1.866.732.6121 (toll-free)  VOLUNTEERS NEEDED NOW

Resources Available

  1.  Ministry Continuation Grants
  2.   Can my church become a Volunteer Hosting Site
  3.   Emotional/Spiritual Support

Important Links Below

PDA Deploys LTR Specialist

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence Presbyterian Disasters Assistance (PDA) sent a team of six people to stand with the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina and to assess the magnitude of the disaster caused by the hurricane.

Now only a few weeks later, PDA has deployed David Tahlman, a specialist in Long Term Recovery (LTR), to work with the three presbyteries most affected by Hurricane Florence – Coastal Carolina, New Harmony, and New Hope. David is based in Raleigh where he can easily coordinate with FEMA and State of NC authorities but has begun a tour of our presbytery along with PDA National Response Team member Dave Tahlman. After meeting with presbytery staff in Elizabethtown, the team is moving east to visit Duplin, Pender, Onslow, and Carteret Counties over the next few days.

The purpose of this visit is to get a sense of the needs related to our congregations, to help churches consider becoming host sites for volunteers, and to encourage the development or redevelopment of Long Term Recovery (LTRG) organizations.

PDA specializes in three areas of disaster response within the United States – long term recovery efforts, hosting of volunteers, and emotional/spiritual resilience. David  and his colleagues from PDA are available to work with  churches and groups in any of these areas. They can be contacted through the Presbytery office or through your Community’s Mission Coordinator.

PCC Churches Continue to Response

Within hours of the restoration of power and communications across the area Facebook and other social media were abuzz with reports about what the churches of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina were doing in response to Hurricane Florence. Examples of neighbors helping neighbors lifted the spirits of all who saw the Body of Christ at work.

While the initial burst of activity has slowed down, the churches of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina continue to be engaged not only with continuing needs for food, shelter, and cleaning supplies, but also in building up the infrastructure that our communities will need to connect the volunteers eager to help with those who need assistance.

Led by decades of experience by PDA, Presbyterians excel in the creation of committees and work teams who are there for the long haul. The lessons we learned in parts of our Presbytery following Hurricane Matthew are now available to the eastern portion of our Presbytery which escaped much of the damage caused by Matthew two years ago.

In the days and weeks to follow we will use this page to inform you of where Long Term Recovery (LTR) groups are being established and where volunteers can be hosted. If you or your church has something to offer to the effort, please contact the Presbytery office or your Community’s Mission Coordinator.

Resources Available

  • Ministry Grants

Very limited financial resources are available to assist congregations in recovery of their ministry. These funds are designed to come in after insurance and other resources have been tapped. Contact the Presbytery office for details and application forms.

  • Setting Up a Hosting Site for Volunteers 

PDA has specialists who can help your congregation evaluate their capacity to host teams of volunteers to assist in recovery efforts. Call the Presbytery office or your Community’s Mission Coordinator

  •  Emotional/Spiritual Resilience

Disasters, like any other sort of trauma, leave us exhausted and spiritually drained. Anxiety within congregations, like in any human system, tend to flow to the top. Pastors often carry the heaviest burden of this additional load of anxiety. PDA makes available retreats and other opportunities for emotional and spiritual respite and recovery of balance. Contact the Presbytery office or your Mission Coordinator for details.

Important Links

Special Presbytery Meeting

The Mission Cabinet has called a special meeting of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina for Thursday, August 30, 2018, to act on these items:

  1. Hear the report of the GP/SC Search Committee … and Vote on calling Rev. Jerrod Lowry as our next General Presbyter/Stated Clerk.
  2. Vote on the 2019 Terms of Call for Ministers and Certified Christian Educators (second reading),
  3. Vote on the revised 2019 Budget (second reading), and
  4. Hear the report of our Commissioners to the 2018 General Assembly

The meeting will begin at 2:00 pm.
Registration will begin at 1:30 pm.

Thursday, August 30, 2018
at Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church
800 W Broad St, Elizabethtown, NC 28337


Photo of Jerrod Lowry
Rev. Jerrod Lowry

A brief reception for the new General General Presbyter/Stated Clerk nominee and his family will follow the meeting.

Complete Packet with terms of call (20 pages)

Click here for the original packet (18 pages) and please open the Terms of Call for Rev. Lowry (2 pages)

NOTE: The commissioner elected to go to the June Community Gathering my serve as your commissioner to this meeting without having to have a session meeting. A new commissioner may also be elected by the session.

NO PRE-Registration is needed.
Please simply come and register on site.

General Assembly Report


By Clarence G. Page, Mission Coordinator


Members of the Presbytery of Gid­dings-Lovejoy’s Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) did an outstanding job planning the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis that was held at the America’s Center Downtown, June 15-23, 2018.  Theme chosen for the Gathering was, “Kin-dom Building of the 21st Century” (Matt. 6:33).


At the Pre-Assembly Gathering, Dr. Liz Theoharris, co-founder of the New Poor People Campaign, captivated the audience when she spoke about her experience from campaigning for the poor.  She and some others were put in jail for praying on the steps of the state house. She encouraged the audience to keep standing up for the poor and not be silent.


Opening Worship Communion

Opening Worship began with participants reflecting on the two Missouri and Mississippi Rivers merging together.  The 222nd General Assembly’s co-moderators, the Revs. Jan Edmis­ton and Denise T. Anderson encouraged PC(USA) support for oppressed peoples in today’s Mid­dle East, the United States and other parts of the world. The co-moderators delivered a co-sermon, their last message together after two years in that role.

It took commission­ers four ballots Saturday evening to elect Co-Moderators Who are: an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and a mid-council exec­utive as the Presbyterian Church (US­A)’s. These are the PCUSA’s second-ever co-moderators.

Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri and Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly (2018)(PHOTO BY Danny Bolin)

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida and the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann of the presby­teries of Boston and Northern New England gained their victory over two pairs of challengers.

Cintrón-Olivieri, who grew up in Puerto Rico, is an ESL teacher and rul­ing elder at First Spanish Presbyterian Church in Miami.

Kohlmann currently serves as Resource Presbyter for the presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England. The vote was 266 to 253.

New Mission Leader:

Diane Moffett, PCUSA
Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency at PC(USA) General Assembly. (Photo by Danny Bolin)

The 223rd General Assembly confirmed the Rev. Diane Moffett as president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency by voice vote on Wednesday evening. Moffett will lead the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) agency charged with conducting the church’s national and international mission endeavors. A vet­eran Presbyterian pastor, Moffett comes to the role from Saint James Presbyteri­an Church in Greensboro, N.C., where she served for 13 year.

The Way Forward Commission:

Commissioners approved Way Forward plan  in strengthening the role of the stated clerk and for the church in matters of faith and practice.  They rejected the amendments that would have eliminated his ability to exercise pastoral authority during times of crisis and would have required that stated clerk to consult with agency leaders before making a decision to take action.

Per Capita Approved:

in an unusual move, commissioners waited until the Saturday morning plenary to approve an increase in the per capita rate to $8.95 for the next two years after postponing the vote on Friday night in an attempt to assure the increase covers the financial implications of all actions taken by this assembly.

Mission Budgets:

The General Assembly on Saturday approved mission budgets of $71,589,237 for 2019 and $70,531,957 for 2020.

The budgets were passed as submitted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), but the PMA will be required to deal with financial implications of items approved during the Assembly. The financial implications total $1,030,978 for 2019 and $857,305 for 2020.

  • The General Assembly approved to adjust ministers’ compensation to include gender disparity by giving equal benefits to all.

Local Impact of the Assembly –

On Tuesday, June 19, hundreds of Presbyterians joined in a march to St. Louis Justice Center to protest the citizens who are unable to post bail from imprisonment and as result have lost their jobs, child custody and other increasing fines.  The Bail Project is to help pay those fees that are less than $5,000.  The Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson presented a check from the Presbyterian Church.  Over $54,000 was raised to assist those citizens which is a part of Rev. Nelson’s Hands and Feet Campaign.

Committee on Environment Issues

made a recommendation to the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian Foundation to divest from investing in fossil fuel industries was (disapproved) and inste

ad, the General Assembly sent action to Mission Responsibility Through Investment to do further evaluation and report back to 224th General Assembly.

 Young Adult Advisory Delegates…

put their money where their hearts were during Saturday’s closing plenary, directing a $1,605 special offering they collected toward causes important to the General Assembly’s co-moderators and stated clerk.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

….received $535 for Puerto Rico hurricane relief to honor Co-Moderator Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri. PDA’s refugee support efforts received the same amount in the name of the other co-moderator, the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann. The remainder honored Stated Clerk the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson and one of his favorite movements, the Poor People’s Campaign.


  1. Church property held in trust for the use and benefit of PCUSA unless the state law requires otherwise – recommendation disapproved
  2. When a former minister of Word and Sacrament who renounced jurisdiction while being accused in a disciplinary case wishes to work for the denomination again must receive concurrence from the next higher council – recommendation approved.
  3. Composition for congregational Nominating Committee to have a minimum size of at least three persons of whom one must be an elder active on the session and there must be a majority vote – recommendation approved.
  4. Amendment to instruct Board of Pensions to include 12 weeks of paid parental leave as part of the benefits package was referred.
  5. Composition and responsibilities of the Session – when the pastor or designated moderator is unable to be presence or is sick, a member the session may be appointed to preside at a single meeting – recommendation approved.
  6. Amendment to allow congregations to elect individuals to be ruling elders without serving on the session – recommendation disapproved.
  7. Amendment to prohibit public endorsement of individuals running for public office – recommendation approved.
  8. Authoritative Interpretation Request from Presbytery of Coastal Carolina about whether a non-PC(USA) minister can moderate a session in those cases where the presbytery has accepted these pastors who have “satisfied the requirements of preparation” … recommendation approved.

for going on behalf of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina:

You are fee to contact these persons to see if they are available to come share with you about their experience at the General Assembly.

Teaching Elders:

  • Mamie Hooker (West),
  • Steuart Link (Central),
  • William (Bill) Young (East);

Ruling Elders:

  • William (Paul) Pope (Central),
  • Curt Simpson (East),
  • John Baker (West);
RE John Baker Speaking at the Assembly

Young Adult Advisory Delegate:

  • Adrian Jackson (East);

Theological Adult Student Advisory Delegate:

  • Christopher Taylor (East).

Mexico Partnership Trip 2018

Rev. Sue Hudson
Rev. Sue Hudson (in rose) and other members of the 2018 Mexico Trip

A group of 13 adults and young people will be going to Tabasco, Mexico as part of the Presbytery’s ongoing partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Presbytery.

This year’s trip is being led by Dr. José Rivera and Dr. Jaime Martinez both of Laurinburg Presbyterian Church. Most of those who will be going to assist with the building of the José Coffin Sanchez Health Clinic and Vacation Bible Schools in three different churches come from the Laurinburg Church but members of the Bethesda Church and Presbytery ledership will also take part including Rev. Sue Hudson and Rev. Bill Reinhold, our Genreral Presbyter.

The Mexico partnership is part of our our Shared Mission in the Presbytery.