• Bryan Counts received his final approval at Calvary Presbytery on April 28, and we’re excited to welcome Brian, Erika, Garrison, Daniel, Caroline and JB to Clemson.

    The Counts are in the process of selling their home in Colorado, packing to move, saying goodbye, and looking for a home here in Clemson. Add on a summer family vacation and taking their oldest, Garrison, to college this fall and you can imagine the many things that we can be praying for them!

    Bryan should be here late July or early August. The Session will update the congregation when we have a firm start date. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the ceremony to install Bryan as our new Senior Pastor on Sunday, August 7 at 6:00pm in the Worship Center. More details to follow. Just a reminder: his start date and the official installation ceremony are independent of each other.

    As we eagerly wait for Counts family to arrive, here’s how we can continue to pray for each other:

    • Pray that God would strengthen and encourage us as we wait.
    • Pray for encouragement, joy and stamina for our staff, session, deacons and volunteers.
    • Pray for the men who will be filling our pulpit over the next few months.
    • Pray for the Counts to find a home in Clemson, and for all the other details noted above.

  • Bryan Counts preached Easter Sunday from Ephesians 3:20-21(ESV):

    “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly [infinitely] than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

    Immediately following the service, the congregation voted in an overwhelming majority to call Bryan Counts as the next Senior Pastor of Clemson Presbyterian Church. There were 277 votes cast: 274 yes, 2 abstentions, 1 no. Your PNC was dismissed from official duties with thanks, though we’ll be providing a few more updates until Bryan is installed as our pastor. We as a committee continue to marvel at God’s lavish kindness to us and to our church. He truly has done infinitely more than we imagined. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    On Monday, April 18, Bryan appeared before the Examination Committee of Calvary Presbytery and successfully completed his exam. Many elders were able to gather in Greenville to pray for him during the exam, while many in the congregation gathered in the Fellowship Hall to pray (see photos below). We all rejoiced at how quickly and efficiently the process went, and were greatly encouraged by the prayers of the saints on behalf of everyone involved. To God be the glory, great things he has done!

    The final three steps:

    1. Bryan will appear before Calvary Presbytery during the regularly scheduled quarterly meeting on April 28th for final approval. We’ll update you when that’s complete. Presbytery will consider the congregational vote and Bryan’s examination result, both of which are overwhelmingly favorable.
    2. After approval at Presbytery, the Counts can relocate to the area, and the Session will work with Bryan to determine a start date (which is independent of his official installation date below).
    3. The official ceremony to install Reverend Bryan Counts as the Senior Pastor of Clemson Presbyterian Church will be Sunday, August 7 at 6:00pm in the Worship Center.

    We look forward to extending a warm welcome to Bryan, Erika, Garrison, Daniel, Caroline and JB Counts when they arrive. Details of that joyful time will be announced soon.

    Please continue to pray for Bryan, his family, and our church in the last few steps of this process. Bryan has asked us to pray the following from 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (ESV):

    “May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

    May it be so. Submitted with love and great joy,

    Your Pulpit Nominating Committee

  • We’re progressing with candidate interviews which are going well. We know no one loves His church more than God, and He’s clearly guiding us through the ups and downs of this process. As a committee we are encouraged and hopeful.

    We’re thankful for how in moments of uncertainty, God has carried us and clearly answered prayer, providing unity in our committee. We’re thankful for God-given energy as every committee member works diligently and with a sense of urgency through this process.  Over the past two weeks we’ve had at least 3 lengthy meetings each week.

    We’re also thankful for the members of this congregation who have provided us with recommendations, offered words of encouragement and have prayed for us and prayed for the man whom the Lord will call to our body.  Thank you for your support and patience.

    We continue to devote significant time in prayer in every meeting and interview, and we see God working!

    Please join us in praying for:

    • Continued strength and energy – the committee is meeting weekly (and often multiple times a week), is working offline individually listening to sermons, reading materials on candidates, etc., and is involved in interviewing. All this is on top of work, family, and other commitments.
    • Continued unity of mind and purpose as we go forward and utilize our different perspectives, backgrounds, and talents for this work of the committee and CPC.
    • For the man God has for us – that God would make his call clear.
    • For all the candidates who have been involved in the process but not selected – that they would be encouraged that God is at work in them and has His perfect plan for them.
    • For patience as God prepares CPC for a new under-shepherd in His perfect timing

    .As always, if you have questions or feedback, your PNC members are happy to talk with you! You can also email us at pastorsearch@clemsonpres.org.

  • Your committee has worked through all the applications received for the senior pastor position. We’re also continually assessing names given to us by people in the congregation as well as other trusted sources. We’re still accepting names, so if you have a suggestion email pastorsearch@clemsonpres.org.

    A little bit about our process: 

    We review all the materials provided by the applicant, listen to multiple sermons, and gather more information about the candidate from other sources including their church websites, social media, etc.  We then decide which candidates we’d like to contact to hold an initial interview. We are in the midst of the initial interview process now with several candidates.

    Early on in this process, we had one candidate that we progressed much farther with, including a day-long face-to-face interview. We thought that he might be the man God was directing us to and were planning the next steps with him. As we and the candidate prayed through it all, we unanimously and independently arrived at the same conclusion – this was not God’s plan for us. While it was a great disappointment on many levels for all of us, we nevertheless were and are unified in our conviction that God would have us go elsewhere for His man for CPC. We see this as God’s faithful answer to our prayer for clear guidance for our work. We would encourage you through this, as we have been encouraged, that though we all would have loved to be at the point of recommending someone to you, we want it to be the man God has chosen for us. And He has heard our and your prayers in this particular case. We are so grateful for the clarity he provided all of us and the unity of mind He has created amongst us.

    Please continue to pray for us for these things:

    • Continued strength and energy – the committee is meeting weekly to discuss and decide on a path forward, is working offline individually listening to sermons, reading materials on candidates, etc., and is involved in interviewing. And that is on top of work, family, and other commitments including many things involving the life of CPC.
    • Continued unity of mind and purpose as we go forward and utilize our different perspectives, backgrounds, and talents for this work of the committee and CPC
    • For the man God has for us – that he would be prepared and would be clear when the time comes that this is his new calling
    • For the committee that we would be clear on who of the men we talk to is the one God would have us recommend
    • For all the men who have applied but not been selected – that they would be encouraged that God is at work with them and has His perfect plan for them even if they may be temporarily disappointed as to the outcome of our search.
    • For CPC to be patient and that God will be preparing all of us for a new under-shepherd in God’s perfect timing.
  • Be encouraged. Keep praying.

    The Lord has been gracious to the committee, giving us unified hearts and clear direction as the Spirit leads us through many discussions, evaluations and decisions. We’re reaching the end of the application and first assessment phases and are preparing for interviews now.

    Please pray that God will guide our conversations with candidates and that He will give us wisdom and clarity as we work diligently towards the end goal of presenting a nominee to the congregation for approval. Please also pray for the candidates, that God will keep and guide them through this process.

    As always, if you have questions or feedback, we welcome your input, through our email, or you can talk to any of your committee members in person.

    In His Service,
    CPC Pastoral Nominating Committee

  • 11.29.21: The PCA has posted the search documents and we are beginning to receive applications.

    12.3.21: The Pastor Search webpage goes live

  • The PNC has met regularly to organize the search process including meeting with the Session and spending the first portion of each meeting in prayer.

4.18.22 Update

After the congregational meeting on April 17, the congregation voted in an overwhelming majority to call Bryan Counts as the next Senior Pastor of Clemson Presbyterian Church. Bryan will now go before the Examination Committee on April 18th and pending approval there will go before Presbytery on April 28th. Continue to pray for Bryan, his family, and our church in the last few steps of this process.

from the committee

With much excitement and thanksgiving, the Clemson Presbyterian Church Pulpit Nominating Committee (PNC) unanimously recommends Bryan Counts for the position of Senior Pastor.   Bryan has been faithfully serving at Village Seven Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Colorado Springs in varying capacities over the past 17 years.   Bryan has served as associate pastor / discipleship (executive) pastor for over 13 years and most recently as interim senior pastor where the Lord has used him to lead the congregation of about 1400 congregants.  Prior to his time at Village Seven, he graduated with a BA from Covenant College and then received his MDIV from Covenant Seminary (Magna Cum Laude).

Bryan and his wife Erika have four children, Garrison (18), Daniel (16), Caroline (14), and JB (4).   Although they have strong ties and friendships at Village Seven, both Bryan and Erika have sensed the Lord calling them to leverage their gifts in a new area, and now specifically at Clemson Presbyterian Church.  An added bonus to this move is that both Bryan and Erika have family and connections in the Greenville area. The following are some of the reasons for selecting Bryan.

1. Preaching:

Bryan’s sermons were observed by the PNC members to be biblically-grounded, gospel-centered, and grace-filled. His preaching style is relatable to a multi-generational congregation and he demonstrates humility and vulnerability from the pulpit as well as in person. It’s clear that he has embraced the gospel himself prior to preaching to the congregation. Through interviews, it’s obvious that Bryan has an unswerving commitment to the authority, inerrancy, and infallibility of Scripture and its sufficiency for faith and practice. In talking to his references, a number mentioned preaching as a strength, that this is an area where Bryan has grown greatly over the past year and an area where they expect Bryan to continue to grow in the years ahead.  He is accustomed to preaching in a large space and to a large audience.

2. Spiritual Maturity:

In his personal life and professional relationships, Bryan demonstrates a pattern of humility, friendliness, and approachability. He has a good sense of humor and is

able to laugh at himself.   We received feedback from many references and the consistent traits mentioned were spiritual maturity, humility, faithfulness, thoughtfulness, and that he is a good listener. Here’s what the people who know him best say about him:

  • “He is well-grounded in biblical and theological principles and this foundation directs him.”
  • “If I want godly counsel, Bryan’s the guy I want to talk to. He’s a good listener. And Erika is pure gold.”
  • “Bryan is a rare combination of sure-footed and sincere.”
  • “When he makes a mistake, he is quick to repent.”
  • “He likes to process things and be deliberate in his approach.”
  • “Bryan is the kind of guy who I want to hang out with…”
  • “He has gone through some recent trials but has handled them very graciously.”
  • “He is loyal and hardworking.”
  • “Loving husband and father”
  • “Bryan will seek out men that will help hold him accountable.”
  • “Erika is incredibly Godly and talented. She practices hospitality and has the ability to be open, honest.”

3. Discipleship and Spiritual Formation:

Bryan has been engaged in leading discipleship at Village Seven for both young adults and adults. He is presently the Discipleship pastor at Village Seven which encourages members to be involved in community groups and small group bible studies. He has a desire for the leaders to equip members to grow in their personal faith, and to equip them for acts of service within the church, the community, and the nations. Bryan is coming from a church that is presently engaged with 67 missionaries world-wide.

4. Leadership:


Bryan demonstrates an ability to work well with the officers, staff members, and ministry teams, overseeing their efforts and empowering them in their roles. He has a collaborative style of leadership. Here’s what his references said about his leadership abilities and approach:

  • “He is good conversing with people, exploring their thoughts; he does not issue out orders.”
  • “He will keep the trains running on time, but he is not a micromanager. “
  • “He is empowering, and people will feel like they have the direction and support they need from him.”
  • “Bryan is a pastor’s pastor. He is very grounded in the job, fully present, and good at all aspects of the job.”
  • “If you are looking for solid, consistency that will run the ship well, he would be it.”
  • “Bryan is one of the best pure pastors that I’ve ever known.  He has a pastor’s heart.  He cares for people.”
  • “Bryan has been effective as an interim senior pastor and has successfully helped the church step through a number of changes over the past year.”
  • “Bryan is going to lead you to the destination and you won’t know how you got there because it’ll be so smooth.”

meet the counts family

Over the next week there are three opportunities for you to meet Bryan and his family. Below are details on each opportunity. If there is a question you would like for Bryan to answer during the Q&A, please submit that below.

  • Come to the Fellowship Hall to meet Bryan and Erika Counts, hear why the PNC unanimously voted to nominate Bryan, and hear Bryan and Erika answer some frequently asked questions.

  • This informal Q&A will meet in the Fellowship Hall and will give Bryan and his family a chance to answer your questions. 

    Nursery care is provided for ages 4 and under.

  • This informal Q&A will meet in the Fellowship Hall and will give Bryan and his family a chance to answer your questions. 

  • Bryan will preach during our Easter service and a congregational meeting will follow immediately after the service to vote on Bryan Counts as senior pastor.

Pastor nominating process

What happens after the Pulpit Nominating Committee recommends a candidate?

We’re so grateful for how you have been praying for and encouraging us over the last six months, and now we want to graciously welcome you into this process - you have a pivotal and important role to play.

  • Once the PNC announces the nominee, you the members take the primary role of evaluating the candidate and deciding if he will be our next senior pastor. We are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out!
  • The session will call a congregational meeting with at least one week’s notice to vote on the candidate.

  • The candidate and his family will visit, and there will be opportunities for you to meet them on April 10 & 16. The candidate will preach April 17.
  • The congregation will meet to vote either yes or no to call the candidate. Only communing members of Clemson Pres who are in good standing are allowed to vote; however, you’re welcome to attend the meeting regardless of membership status. This will happen on Sunday, April 17 immediately after the worship service.
  • When a congregation votes to call a candidate, he’s then examined by a committee of Presbytery on his Christian experience and views in theology, the Sacraments, and church government. This exam will be on Monday, April 18.
  • When he passes the examination, he will then go before the entire Presbytery to be examined on Thursday, April 28.
  • Once approved by Presbytery, the candidate can be officially installed as the new senior pastor at Clemson Presbyterian Church, date to be determined.