May 15_ 2008 Minutes - OFFICERS AND STAFF OF THE PRESBYTERY OF by pengtt



MODERATOR                          Mr. Bobby Robinson (2008), P.O. Box 1850, Vicksburg
                                   39181 (631-2983; 218-3574; FAX 634-6232);
VICE MODERATOR                     Rev. Michael Herrin (2008), 1101 Church Street, Port Gibson
                                   39150 (437-5428; 437-5887);
STATED CLERK                       Rev. John C. Dudley, D.Min. (2010), P.O. Box 16837,
                                   Hattiesburg, 39404 (582-9135; 268-6225; FAX 582-9137);
EXECUTIVE PRESBYTER                Rev. William A. dePrater, D. Min. (2009), P.O. Box 16837,
                                   Hattiesburg, 39404 (582-9135; FAX 582-9137);
ADMINISTRATIVE                     Mrs. Beverly Strong, P.O. Box 16837, Hattiesburg, 39404
ASSISTANT                          (582-9135; FAX 582-9137)
CAMPUS MINISTRY                    Mrs. Amy Ruff, 115 North 25 th Avenue, Hattiesburg, 39401
DIRECTOR                           (545-1922; 261-0922);
HUNGER ACTION ENABLER              Mrs. Sara Brown, 166 Dogwood Trail, Laurel, 39443 (649-

                                TABLE OF CONTENTS

                     Minutes of the Stated Meeting – May 15, 2008

Roll……………………………………………………………………………………..Pages 2-3
Report of Stated Clerk ……………………………………………………………………….4-5
Presbytery Council …………………………………………………………………………...6-8
Administrative Commission for Disaster Recovery …………………………………………8
Administrative Commission for J.J. White Memorial Presbyterian………………………...8
Administrative Commission for Grace Chapel …………………………………….........8-11
Committee on Ministry…………………………………………………………………….11-12
Nominations Committee ……………………………………………………………………...13
Committee on Preparation for Ministry………………………………………………………13
Church Extension Committee………………………………………………………………...14
Mission Committee………………………………………………………………………...15-16
Christian Nurture Committee………………………………………………………………....16
Hunger Subcommittee………………………………………………………………………...17
Adjournment …………………………………………………………………………………...17

NOTE: It is the policy of this presbytery to authorize the Moderator and the Stated Clerk
to read and approve the minutes for the presbytery. The minutes are not printed until
this approval is given. Also, once a year the presbytery prints a separate directory, with
the committee structure, and with names and addresses of all churches, ministers,
clerks of sessions, candidates, and committee members. Also, once a year the annual
audit is reported and made available to the presbytery at a regular stated meeting.
                                 STATED MEETING
                                   May 15, 2008

       The Presbytery of Mississippi met for its eighty-second stated meeting at First
Presbyterian Church in Vicksburg on Thursday, May 15, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. with the
Moderator, Elder Bobby Robinson, presiding. The meeting began with a Service of
Morning Prayer led by Rev. Tim Erskine, pastor of the host church. The sermon, titled
―Questions of a Thirteen Year Old‖ and based upon Philippians 1:19 – 24, was delivered
by Mr. Clark Remsburg.


A quorum was present with the following twenty-one ministers and thirty elders enrolled
for the meeting:

Churches                             Ministers                Elders

Bay St. Louis, First                 Rob Butler**             without representation
Bay Springs, Gavin Chapel            vacant                   without representation
Brookhaven, First                    Edwin J. Wolff, CLP      Bobbie Crews
Canton, First                        vacant                   Steve Puryear
Diamondhead, Diamondhead             Chas Jones               Frank Cuervo
Gautier, Gautier                     Chris Bullock            without representation
Gulfport, Handsboro                  Scott Castleman*         excused
Gulfport, New Life Community         Scott Castleman*         without representation
Gulfport, Westminster                George Bendall           without representation
                                     Karen Bullock,**
                                     Int. Assoc.Pastor
Hattiesburg, Pineview                T.S.                     without representation
Hattiesburg, Westminster             Steve Ramp               without representation
Heidelberg, Fairview                 vacant                   without representation
Heidelberg, McFarland                vacant                   without representation
Heidelberg, Pisgah                   Norma Loposser, CLP*     excused
Jackson, Briarwood                   Charles Bowdler          Janine Davis
Jackson, Faith                       William Jones**          without representation
Jackson, Fondren                     vacant                   Betty Gentry
Jackson, St. Luke’s                  Theophilus King*         excused
Kosciusko, Alexander Memorial        vacant                   without representation
Laurel, First-Trinity                James Truesdell          Clark Slonaker
Liberty, Liberty                     vacant                   Rick Stratton
Liberty, Unity Memorial              vacant                   Tom Lewis
Long Beach, Long Beach               Richard Jones, I.P.*     Sally Boulay
Lucedale, First                      James Rackley, S.S.      Al Hill
Lucedale, Vernal                     vacant                   Roscoe McLeod
Madison, Grace Chapel                vacant                   without representation
Magnolia, Magnolia                   Charles Ray, CLP         without representation

McComb, J.J. White Memorial         vacant                     Beth Wild
Meridian, Jones Memorial            T.S.                       Jerry Snell
Meridian, Prospect                  T.S.                       Rachel Covington
Meridian, Trinity                   Cory Stott                 Roger Soons
Natchez, First                      John Larson                Courtney Aldridge
Natchez, Westminster                Marc Mihail                Philip Chaffin
Newton, Pilgrim Grove               Mattie Jordan, CLP**       without representation
Ocean Springs, First                vacant                     Russell Thompson
Osyka, Osyka                        vacant                     without representation
Pascagoula, First                   Clint Regen**              without representation
Pass Christian, Pineville           T.S.                       excused
Poplarville, Ruth Memorial          Sally-Lodge Teel, S.S.*    David St. Louis
Port Gibson, First                  Michael Herrin             Jim Cassell
Sandersville, United                T.S.                       Elton Buchanan
Toomsuba, Toomsuba                  vacant                     Chuck Niehuss
Vicksburg, First                    Tim Erskine                Jim Chaney
                                                               Peggy Teller
                                                               Bobby Robinson***
Vicksburg, Yokena                   David Daniels, S.S.*       Bob Friley
Wiggins, Wiggins                    Bill Pettey, CLP           Jim Rabby
*=Excused     **=Absent Without Excuse        ***=G.11.0101c

Other Ministers Present: Knox Chamblin, Bill dePrater, John Dudley, Andrew
Hoffecker, Su McLain, David Ray, Clarence Roberts, Bill Smith, and Richard Swayze

Other Ministers with Excused Absence: All honorably retired ministers, except those
listed above as being present, and Lynn Miller

Ministers Absent without Excuse: Barron Banks, George Barnett, Martha Blount, Joe
Martin, and Ron McFarland

Corresponding Members: Mickey dePrater (Presbytery of New Hope), Dwyn Mounger
(Presbytery of East Tennessee)

Other Visitors: Todd Boolos, Helen Boone, Charlotte Brown, Sara Brown (Hunger
Action Enabler), Muffett Haily, Myra Hester (moderator of Presbyterian Women), Tom
James, Alan Jones, Elaine Jones, Erin Kaye, A.M. ―Bubba‖ Martin, Pam McDonald, Bill
McKay, Carrie Lou McLeod, Larry Mills, Carolyn Osoianach, John Osoinach, Alice
Pinkerton, Alice Rackley, Sandra Rawls, Clark Remsburg (pastor-elect of First Canton),
Marilyn Remsburg, Hannah Remsburg, Luke Remsburg, Rachel Remsburg, Shiloh
Remsburg, Hilda Roberts, Robert St. John, Phyllis Sanders, Betty Simmons, Linda
Soons, Earl Stewart (interim pastor at First Ocean Springs), Annie Ruth Thigpen, Ann
Vessell, Jimmie Vessell, Reid Whittington

The docket presented by the stated clerk, Rev. John Dudley, was adopted. Mr.
Robinson appointed Rev. John Larson to the Thanks Committee. Mr. Robinson then
welcomed the presbytery to First Presbyterian Church.

                          REPORT OF THE STATED CLERK

Communications and other matters presented by the stated clerk were handled as

1. Excused absences were granted as requested and as reflected in the roll for this
2. The stated clerk presented the following summary of statistical information related to
   the Presbytery of Mississippi and its congregations for 2007.

                         Synopsis of Annual Statistical Reports

The sessions of eight congregations failed to submit an annual statistical report for
2007. The congregations are First Bay St. Louis, Gavin Chapel, McFarland, Faith,
Alexander Memorial, Grace Chapel, Westminster Natchez, and Pilgrim Grove. The
membership of each of these congregations as reported in the last statistical report
submitted is included in the statistics that appear in the next paragraph.

Thirty-seven sessions submitted annual statistical reports. The total membership in all
forty-six congregations at the beginning of 2007 was 5,989. On the last day of 2007 the
membership of our forty-five congregations (Covenant Presbyterian Church having
been dismissed to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church during 2007) stood at 5,035 – a
net loss of 954 members. Twenty-two sessions reported a net loss in membership,
seven sessions reported no change in membership, and eight sessions reported a net

Sessions provided age classifications for 4,268 members as follows:
 25 and under – 12.4 %
 26 – 35 – 16.95 %
 36 – 55 – 19.0 %
 56 – 64 – 19.75 %
 65 and over – 31.9 %

Of the thirty-seven reporting congregations, twenty-two had no baptisms in 2007. In
fifteen congregations children were baptized (44 in all). In five of these fifteen
congregations there were also adult baptisms. A total of six adults were baptized in
congregations in our presbytery in 2007.

Of some interest perhaps is the source of losses – 630 by certificate, 89 by death, and
471 by ―other.‖ I assume that the large ma jority in the ―other‖ category are people who
were placed on the inactive role. This fact may very well have implications for

Our congregations reported leadership being provided by 175 male elders, 113 female
elders, 43 male deacons, and 62 female deacons. With respect to ethnic composition,
sessions reported 15 members of Asian background, 154 African-American members, 6
Hispanic members, 3 Native American members, 4,240 members of Caucasian
background, and none of ―other‖ ethnic background.

Here is a summary of the congregations in the Presbytery of Mississippi by number of
confirmed members:

Number of Members                Number of Congregations

     1—25                                  13
    26 – 50                                12
    51—100                                  5
   101—200                                  5
   201—300                                  6
   301—400                                  2
   401—500                                  1
   500+                                     1

Please note that ministerial changes in 2007 were summarized in the Stated Clerk’s
report at the meeting of presbytery on February 23, 2008 and may be found in the
minutes of that meeting.

It should, of course, be remembered that the efficacy of prayer, the praise and
thanksgiving we render to God in joyful hymns of praise, the illumination of God’s Spirit
that takes place in our heart and mind when scripture is read, the redeeming power of
Christ at work in us when the gospel is proclaimed, the unsearchable riches of God’s
grace that sustains and renews us whe n bread is broken and wine shared, and much
more simply cannot be quantified or reduced to numbers. And that is as it should be.

3. A request from the session of First Presbyterian Church of Lucedale that the
   congregation be excused for a period of three years from the rotation of elders
   serving on the session under the provisions of G-14.0226c was approved.
4. A letter from Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, in
   response to the action of the presbytery taken on February 12, 2008 concerning
   unrest in some congregations within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the
   possible involvement of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in that unrest was
   received as information.
5. A letter from Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick and Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the
   General Assembly Council, concerning the response of the Presbyterian Church
   (USA) to recent tornadoes in the United States, the devastating cyclone in Myanmar
   (Burma), and the earthquake in China was received as information. Members of the
   presbytery were encouraged to read the letter in corporate worship on May 18.


Following announcements visitors and first-time elder commissioners were introduced.
Minister members of other presbyteries were welcomed as corresponding members and
granted the privilege of the floor.

                                PRESBYTERY COUNCIL

Dr. Bill dePrater reported briefly on the statements for the Benevolence Budget and the
Ecclesiastical Budget for the first four months of 2008. These statements appear at the
end of this set of minutes. Presbytery then approved the three action items below.

For information:

1. The council has approved beginning the May 2008 and October 2008 meetings of
presbytery with a Service of Morning Prayer rather than a Service for the Lord’s Day.
The service will include the reading of scripture and a brief homily but will also give a
central place to prayer. The service should be approximately one-half hour in length. In
keeping with the provisions of the Book of Order the February 2009 meeting will begin
with the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. This change, which does not require any
amendment to our Standing Rules, is being tried over the next three stated meetings of

2. The next stated meeting of presbytery will, Deo volente, take place on Thursday,
October 23, 2008. For the location see action item 1 below.

For action:

The council recommends:

1. That presbytery accept the gracious invitation of the session of First Presbyterian
Church in Bay St. Louis to host the October 2008 stated meeting of presbytery

2. That 22.1.10 in the Standing Rules be amended by striking the phrase ―to be held
the first weekend after Easter‖ in the first sentence and inserting after the first sentence
―This renewal weekend shall usually be held the weekend after Easter.‖ As amended
the first two sentences of 22.1.10 would read as follows: ―To plan and organize a
Pastors Renewal Weekend to be held annually. This renewal weekend shall usually be
held the weekend after Easter.‖ (second reading)

3. That the following report of the moderator of Presbyterian Women be received as
information and entered into the minutes of this meeting.

                                   Presbyterian Women
                                        April 2008

This has been a busy year for Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery of Mississippi.
Last June several of us went to Franklin, Tennessee for PW Synod Training and
Gathering. We met and were trained by Catrelia Hunter, PW Churchwide Moderator;
Mary Weber, Moderator of PW in the Synod of Living Waters; Bonnie Blair, Leadership
Enhancement Committee, CCT; and Gloria Moorman, Moderator of Mid-Kentucky
Presbytery PW, Trainer for the Justice and Peace Workshop.

In the fall we put all that training to good use. At each Fall Cluster Gathering we held
training sessions for all leaders in the congregations. Over 200 women attended these
sessions. At the Cluster C Gathering in Jackson, Gloria Moorman was our guest
speaker and trained us all in a Workshop for Justice and Peace. Also at each of these
gatherings, Bill dePrater, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Mississippi, spoke
and gave us timely updates on what has been happening in our presbytery and in the
larger church.

Last summer Janice Catron gave us an overview of our Bible Study at the AL/MS
Women’s Conference held at Belhaven. In January Dee Koza led us in ―Finding
God…Finding Home‖ at our annual Winter Spiritual Retreat at Chatawa. In February at
Kaleidoscope, Norma Loposser taught a class on Mission in a Mish-Mash World.
Presbyterian Women in Mississippi have had many opportunities for growth and leaning
this year.

Our e-newsletters are being well received. I’m hearing back from a number of people
that they like having their own copy to read and that it is nice to be able to keep up with
what is going on throughout the presbytery (especially for someone who has moved).
Also by having this email capability, our entire newsletter is now on the PW Synod
Website and on the Presbytery of Mississippi website (which may readily be accessed
by following the links on the PC(USA) website). We have also been able to include
registration information and forms for our gatherings, making it easier to get the
information you need without having to find that piece of paper somewhere on your
desk. Keep giving us suggestions – we are still learning. This is a great way for us to
communicate, something we Presbyterian Women do well!

The Casserole Caravan still rolls to the coast. It is amazing how many casseroles have
been made, how many people have been fed, and how many blessings have been
received because of these.

This leads me to the AL/MS Women’s Conference for this year. It will be held at South
Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama on July 22-25. Dee Koza will
give the overview of the Bible Study, ―Insiders/Outsiders: A Study of the Gospel of
Luke.‖ All classes and meals will be at the church. Housing will be in motels. Rooms are
blocked off at Hampton Inn, and a shuttle bus will be provided if you don’t feel
comfortable driving. What could be easier? Sara Brown is the director this year and can

answer any questions you might have. It sounds wonderful. You can download the
entire brochure with all information and registration forms on the PW Synod website,

In the fall we will have Cluster Gatherings at First Presbyterian Church in Vicksburg,
Pineview Presbyterian Church in Hattiesburg, J.J. White Memorial Presbyterian Church
in McComb, and at Gautier Presbyterian C hurch.

In January we will again meet at St. Mary of the Pines for our Winter Spiritual Retreat.
Come if you can. It is a wonderful time in a beautiful setting.

The next PW Churchwide Gathering will be held in Louisville, KY in July 2009. The
theme of this gathering is ―God will do wonders among you.‖

Isn’t that a great thought for us?! Let’s do our part, with God’s help. Amen.

Respectfully submitted,

Myra Hester
Moderator, PW
Presbytery of Mississippi

Action items 1 – 3 were approved.


In the absence of Mr. Pearce Sunderland, moderator of the Administrative Commission
for Disaster Recovery, Dr. dePrater reported on the dedication service held on May 5 for
twenty-two houses constructed by Presbyterian volunteers in the Gulfport area.


Dr. Steve Ramp reported on the great progress in the life of J.J. White Memorial
Presbyterian Church that has taken place since the split in the congregation that
occurred last summer. The work of the administrative commission having been
accomplished, presbytery dismissed the commission with thanks for its faithful labors.


At the Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of Mississippi at the First Presbyterian Church
of Brookhaven, on February 23, 2008 the presbytery received the Interim Report of the
Administrative Commission for Grace Chapel PC(USA) (GCAC). In its report the GCAC
stated that “At this time it is the position of the Administrative Commission for
Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA) that the Administrative Commission
take no further action other than the active defense of the presbytery in the

litigation still pending until: (1) the lawsuit against the Presbytery of Mississippi
is dismissed with prejudice, (2) the Stated Clerk and General Assembly Council
have acted upon the above referenced letter, and (3) Grace Chapel Presbyterian
Church gives some monetary consideration toward assisting the Presbytery of
Mississippi in future efforts toward New Church Development in South Madison
County to replace Grace Chapel as a particular church in the Presbyterian Church
(USA), before recommending the dissolution of Grace Chapel Presbyterian
Church (USA) by the Presbytery of Mississippi.” The full report has been included in
the minutes of that meeting.

Consistent with this report, the GCAC contacted its counsel, Mr. Jimmy Robertson, and
instructed him to seek to initiate conversations with the attorney representing the Grace
Chapel session as to a negotiated conclusion to their lawsuit against the Presbytery of
Mississippi. In his letter of March 18, 2008 to the attorney for the Grace Chapel session
he offered that if a settlement agreeable to the GCAC was reached and if an
appropriate order for dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice would be filed with the
Chancery Court, then the GCAC would recommend to the presbytery that it approve
both the settlement and the filing of the agreed order and that it dismiss the GCAC of its
duties upon notification that the agreed order for dismissal with prejudice had been filed.
Regrettably Grace Chapel refused to be willing to negotiate a mutually agreeable
settlement of their lawsuit against the Presbytery of Mississippi.

Instead, on April 10, 2008 their attorney verbally told the attorney representing the
presbytery that the Grace Chapel session had told him that they ―should not have to pay
their attorney to respond in writing to the Administrative Commission’s request.‖ Further,
they demanded:
     that the GCAC agree to a Permanent Injunction against the GCAC, the
        presbytery and the Presbyterian Church (USA) from interfering with the pastor,
        officers, or staff of Grace Chapel and to prevent further ―harassment‖ of its
     that the presbytery dissolve the GCAC at its meeting on May 15, 2008 and agree
        not to form any future commissions to interfere with Grace Chapel in any way,
     that the agreed order be a dismissal of the lawsuit without prejudice and that the
        presbytery agree to a Permanent Injunction restricting the presbytery from
        enforcing any of its ecclesiastical authority and responsibilities as it may have
        with regard to Grace Chapel.

On April 17, 2008 the GCAC, through our attorney responded that we could not agree to
these demands and specifically would not recommend to presbytery that the GCAC be
dissolved until the lawsuit was concluded. They were further told that unless the Grace
Chapel session was willing to open negotiations toward a mutually agreeable
conclusion of the lawsuit against the Presbytery of Mississippi that we would have no
other alternative than to instruct o ur attorney to prepare for the hearing in Chancery
Court scheduled for May 27 th. There has been no further response from Grace Chapel.

Accordingly, on May 6th the GCAC instructed our attorney to notify the attorneys for
Grace Chapel that we would begin our preparation for the May 27 th hearing.

In a related action, the Presbytery of Mississippi at a called meeting on February 12,
2008 asked the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) to contact the
Stated Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and to seek to bring to his attention
the concerns that had been expressed to him by the Presbytery of Mississippi. In the
White Book for this meeting there is included a letter from the Stated Clerk of the
Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Mississippi,
informing him that he had brought the concerns of our letter to the attention of the
Stated Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, but apparently he has received no
meaningful reply.

The GCAC members have spent an inordinate amount of time in trying to resolve a
matter precipitated on the Presbytery of Mississippi by the Grace Chapel Church.
Regrettably this matter could have been completely avoided and concluded many
months ago had only the Grace Chapel Church followed the presbytery’s
Recommended Guidelines for Withdrawal of a Congregation from the
Denomination as had the Covenant Presbyterian Church. But instead they chose to
defy the authority of the Presbytery of Mississippi and of the Constitution of the
Presbyterian Church (USA), vote to disaffiliate from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and
to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, be received by the E vangelical
Presbyterian Church into one of its transition presbyteries, amend its bylaws to strike all
reference to the Presbytery of Mississippi and the Presbyterian Church (USA), change
its corporate name to Grace Chapel Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and file a lawsuit
against the presbytery, all in defiance of the presbytery and the Presbyterian Church
(USA). At the same time, they repeatedly denied the request of the GCAC to have the
opportunity to meet with the Grace Chapel congregation. In contrast, the members of
the GCAC, at all times, have been courteous to the members of the session of Grace
Chapel and have acted within the bounds of the polity of the Presbyterian Church
(USA), to which we all are bound by our ordination as elders and ministers of the Word
and Sacrament.

It therefore is the unanimous opinion of the GCAC that due to the actions by Steve
Bryant and the session of the Grace Chapel Church there no longer remains a
Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation in Madison, Mississippi and, further, that
those persons in Madison who have desired to remain members of the Presbyterian
Church (USA) have dispersed to other area congregations. Accordingly, the GCAC
makes the following unanimous recommendation to the presbytery in the form of a
motion for consideration and action:

      WHEREAS, Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA) has become extinct
      by reason of the abandonment of its work as a particular congregation of
      the Presbyterian Church (USA) and of the Presbytery of Mississippi, as well
      as by the dispersal to other congregations of any former members

       currently wishing to serve Christ through membership                   within    a
       congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (G-8.0401),

       NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Presbytery of Mississippi,
       with deep sorrow and regret, formally recognizes such fact and thereby
       declares Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA) as being an extinct
       congregation and that it be dissolved as a particular congregation of the
       Presbyterian Church (USA) and of the Presbytery of Mississippi, and

       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Presbytery of Mississippi declares
       that such property formerly held by Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church
       (USA) shall be disposed of according to the terms of the Final Declaratory
       Judgment which was approved between the Presbytery of Mississippi and
       Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA) and entered by the Chancery
       Court of Madison County, Mississippi on March 23, 2007, which action was
       reaffirmed on November 14, 2007, when the Presbytery of Mississippi
       relinquished any right, title or interest it may ever have had, if any, in or to
       said property by Quitclaim Deed duly executed and delivered and filed in
       the land records of Madison County, Mississippi.

This report has been approved by the members of the Administrative Commission for
Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA).

Respectfully submitted,

A. M. ―Bubba‖ Martin, Jr.
Administrative Commission for Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church (USA)

After discussion the resolution of the administrative commission was adopted.

                             COMMITTEE ON MINISTRY

Dr Steve Ramp presented the report of the Committee on Ministry.

For action:

The Committee on Ministry recommends that:

   1. Rev. Carolyn Osoinach and Rev. Earl Stewart be examined for reception into the
      Presbytery of Mississippi, pending their dismissal from their current presbytery of
   2. Mr. Clark Remsburg, pastor-elect of First Presbyterian Church of Canton, be
      examined for reception into the Presbytery of Mississippi, pending his ordination
      by Foothills Presbytery

Action items 1 and 2 were approved.

Dr. Ramp examined the three ministers on their Christian experience a nd on their views
in theology. He also examined them on their views on polity while Rev. Su McLain
examined them on their views on the sacraments. After opportunity for additional
questions from members of the presbytery, the examinations were approved as

   3. presbytery approve the following terms of call for Mr. Clark Remsburg:

       Salary                    $41,840
       Housing allowance           7,320
       Total effective salary    $49,160

       Board of Pensions
         Pension (11%)           $5,407.60
         Medical (19.5%)          9586.20
         Death/Disability (1%)      491.60
       Total Board of Pensions $15,485.40

        Reimbursable expenses
          Business travel expense     $12,000
          Book allowance                  459

        Four weeks annual vacation; two weeks continuing education; moving
        Expenses up to $10,000

   4. the following commission to install Mr. Remsburg as pastor of First Presbyterian
      Church of Canton on August 17, 2008 be approved: Rev, Charles Bowdler, Dr.
      Bill dePrater, Dr. Lynn Miller, Rev. Dick Swayze, and elders Muffett Haily and
      Betty Simmons. In addition, Rev. Danny Massie was invited to sit with the
      commission and to preach in the service of installation.
   5. the work of Rev. Carolyn Osoinach as chaplain at Baptist Hospital in Jackson be
      approved as a validated ministry (G-11.0411)

Action items 3 – 5 were approved.

                                RECESS FOR LUNCH

Elder Peggy Teller led the presbytery in prayer before the midday meal. During lunch
Rev. John Larson presented the report of the Thanks Committee, expressing the
presbytery’s thanksgiving to God for the recovery of the moderator, Mr. Bobby
Robinson, from the serious injuries he sustained in an automobile accident in March, for
the splendid hospitality provided by Dr. Tim Erskine and the members of First
Presbyterian C hurch in Vicksburg, and for the four men who stayed up all night cooking
the pig (or hog) that provided the wonderful pork enjoyed during lunch.

                             PRESENTATION OF GAVEL

Upon the reconvening of presbytery, Dr. Bill dePrater and Dr. John Dudley presented to
Ms. Peggie Herrington a gavel as a small token of the very great appreciation of the
presbytery for the faithful leadership that Ms. Herrington provided to the Presbytery of
Mississippi as moderator during 2007.


Ms. Peggie Herrington presented the recommendation of the Nominations Committee
that Rev. Cory Stott be elected as moderator of the Christian Nurture Committee. There
being no nominations from the floor, the recommendation was approved.

                           PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY

Rev. Jim Truesdell presented the report of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry.

The committee recommends:

1. That the presbytery adopt G. 14.0300 – 14.0600 of the 2005/2007 Book of Order as
a provisional Advisory Handbook for the preparation of ministers of the Word and


The current Book of Order states that ―The process and requirements for the inquiry and
the candidacy phases shall be provided in an advisory handbook developed and
updated as needed by the appropriate General Assembly agencies in consultation with
the Office of the General Assembly, which the presbytery may adopt or modify to
establish its own mandatory procedures.‖ Since the GA has not developed this Advisory
Handbook, the Presbytery of Mississippi needs an orderly process for the preparation of
ministers of the Word and Sacrament.

   2. The committee recommends that the following people be elected to serve as
      ordination exam readers for the Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on
      Examinations for Candidates: Sally-Lodge Teel and Cory Stott.

Action items 1 and 2 were approved

The Committee on Preparation for Ministry will make a recommendation at the October
2008 stated meeting concerning the request of the session of First Presbyterian Church
of Pascagoula that Mr. Brad Lewis be enrolled as an inquirer.

                         CHURCH EXTENSION COMMITTEE

Rev Chris Bullock presented the following report of the Church Extension Committee.

For Information

   1.     The committee approved a scholarship from the Seminary Debt Repayment
          Program to Scott Castleman.
   2.     The committee has established the forms for churches to request support for
          2009. These forms are available today and should be filled out by June 15 th.

For Action

   1. The committee requests permission to plan a two-day workshop introducing to
      pastors, elders, and church members throughout the presbytery Stan Ott’s Acts
      16:5 Initiative. The workshop is to take place this fall or in the spring of 2009. The
      Church Extension Committee will explore methods of funding the workshop so
      that the cost to participants will be as little as possible.
         a. The Acts 16:5 Initiative is designed to lead a group of churches in a
              presbytery through a two or three year process designed to facilitate and
              encourage the transformation of those churches from
                   i. Places that are dying and lack vision to
                  ii. Vibrant and spiritually energized bodies of Christ that are
                           1. Growing in discipleship
                           2. Sharing the love of Christ in their community and aro und the
         b. The committee would begin the ground work for the first Two Day Seminar
              in October (if feasible).
                   i. After or during this event, churches would be invited to join the
                      Initiative and make a 2-3 year covenant to seek the transformation
                      and renewal of their churches through this program.
         c. Develop a plan to help churches who are not able to attend the gathering
              or support the Initiative financially.

   2. The committee recommends and supports the request from New Life
      Presbyterian Church.

Action item 1 was approved. The session of New Life Presbyterian Church has not
completed formulating the request mentioned in action item 2, and so action on it was

                                  MISSION COMMITTEE

The following report prepared by Dr. George Bates, moderator of the Mission
Committee, was received as information. Members of presb ytery were encouraged to
respond to Dr. Bates’ request for prayer contained in the first paragraph of his report.

        As you meet today in Vicksburg, the mission team representing the Presbyter y of
Mississippi is already in Brazil. Our schedule is printed below. Please take it home and
use it as a daily prayer reminder. Share this with your congregations. Your prayers on
our behalf will bring forth great things for our partnership with the Presb ytery of the
Northeast. ―The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective‖ (James 5:16b,

Thursday, May 15 Today we arrived in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and the third
      largest in the world. This afternoon we will go to the central office of the
      General Assembly of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil and meet
      with its moderator, Rev. Assir Pereira, and other officers o f the church. Please
      pray for these godly men as they lead this dynamic and growing church. Pray
      especially for the ―Sowing Seed Project,‖ a long -range plan for evangelism in
      Brazil and abroad.

Friday, May 16 We will fly from São Paulo to Natal, a beautiful city of 600,000 on the
       coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte. On the way we will stop at Forteleza
       where Marta Carriker, our guide and translator for the rest of the trip, will join us.
       She and her husband Tim are PC(USA) missionaries in Brazil. Tim teaches at
       the IPIB seminary in Forteleza, and Marta is assigned as a mission interpreter for
       groups such as ours coming from the United States Please pray today for them
       and for their important work in Brazil. Also pray for Diego Moura who recently
       graduated from this seminary and for the church he now serves.

Saturday, May 17 We will travel by charter bus from Natal into the backlands of the
      states of Rio Grande do Norte and Paraiba, the arid Sertão region. When we
      stop for lunch at the town of Acari, we will be met by Pastor Fabio’s wife Igara.
      This couple operates a Christian boarding school in that community which gives
      an excellent education to those who attend. Please pray that God will continue
      to bless them and provide support for their ministry.

Sunday, May 18 We arrived yesterday afternoon in the city of Patos, Paraiba, popula-
     tion approximately 100,000. This will be our headquarters for the next several
     days, and we will travel to outlying towns on day trips. Tonight we will worship
     at the Bello Horizonte Presbyterian Church. Please pray for this church and its
     pastor, Rev. Jango Miranda, and especially for this service and for me since I
     have been asked to deliver the sermon.

Monday, May 19 At this point, Pastor Jango is in charge of our agenda. We will
     probably visit the Linda Bates Pre-School and some of the families who have

      received cisterns at their homes. Both these projects are supported by our
      presbytery. Please pray for the children and staff of the pre-school that God
      will continue to provide the needed resources for the pre-school – especially for
      Maria de Lourdes, director of the pre-school, who is bei ng treated for thyroid
      cancer. Also pray for those who have not yet received water that God will enable
      us and our Brazilian partners to minister to them.

Tuesday, May 20 Today, we hope to travel to the town of Malta and visit the ―Casa
     Amarela‖ (Yellow House), an after-school program operated by the Presbyterian
     congregation in Malta. This provides a vital opportunity to present the gospel to
     children in this poor neighborhood of Malta. Please pray for Rosinha and Adel-
     son, the Brazilian missionary couple who work with the Malta church and are in
     charge of the Casa Amarela. We will then move on to Pombal, one of the cities
     affected by the recent flood. Please pray for all those affected by this rare and
     unexpected event. Also pray for Raimundo and Valdivia Couto, missionaries
     who are planting a new church in this city of 60,000.

Wednesday, May 21 Today we return to Natal. Please pray for the four IPIB churches
     in Natal, their members and pastors: First Presbyterian and Pastor Kleber,
     Second Presbyterian and Pastor Ermany, Third Presbyterian and Pastor Rubens,
     Ad Felipe Camarão Church and Pastor Junior. Pray for the Center for
     MissionaryTraining in Natal which prepares lay missionaries to do church
     planting in the forgotten villages and towns of the Sertão and for Themis, its

Thursday, May 22 Today we begin our return trip leaving Natal and going to São Paulo
      for an overnight trip back to the US. Pray today, giving thanks for all the
      wonderful experiences this team has enjoyed during the past week and for the
      Brazilian Presbyterian brothers and sisters we have spent time with, both old
      friends and new. Praise Him for the unity in Jesus Christ which binds us together
      in one holy and universal church, both now and in the world to come.

Respectfully submitted,
George T. Bates
Mission Committee Moderator

                               CHRISTIAN NURTURE

Rev. Cory Stott reported on plans for Junior Camp this summer and for Kaleidoscope
2009. Dr. Joan Gray, the moderator of the 217 th General Assembly, will be the keynote
speaker for Kaleidoscope 2009.

                              HUNGER SUBCOMMITTEE

Ms. Sara Brown presented the following report of the Hunger Subcommittee and also
reported briefly on the five gatherings held within the bounds of presbytery since the last
stated meeting to explain to interested groups the procedures for applying for a grant
from the Self Development of People program.

Twenty-two congregations have mailed in their hunger survey to the presbytery office.
Please check with your Presbyterian Women moderator or contact person to determine
whether this survey has been filled out and returned. If it has not, please make every
effort to mail it to the presbytery office as soon as possible.

Of the twenty-two congregations that have responded thus far, thirteen report that they
have participated in the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. Part of the relief efforts on
the Mississippi Gulf Coast have been funded from this offering. We shall continue to
benefit from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering through 2010.


 There being no further business, presbytery was adjourned with prayer by Dr. William
Smith at 1:25 p.m. to meet, Deo volente, in its next stated meeting at First Presbyterian
Church of Bay St. Louis on Thursday, October 23, 2008.

Mr. Bobby Robinson Moderator                     ATTEST: ______________________
Dr. John C. Dudley, Stated Clerk                          John C. Dudley, Stated Clerk

Nota bene: These minutes were read and approved by the moderator of presbytery,
the stated clerk, the presbytery executive, and the moderator of Presbyterian Women.


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