Session Updates

Our Session, made up of teaching and ruling elders, typically meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month to pray, plan, and discuss how to lead our congregation. Each meeting they send notes from their minutes for the congregation to look over. Session meetings are public meetings (with the exception of executive session) and you are welcome to attend.
February 19, 2024

1. Before individual meetings, elders, deacons, and officer trainees shared dinner followed by updates from Bill Thompson (financial) and Bryan Counts. In small groups, men shared and answered questions related to Ch. 3 exercises of Gospel Eldership dealing with identifying our idols, followed by prayer.
*Note 1: Pastor Counts and trainee David Myers and staff will be working on Realm updates in preparation for another Church Directory. [Please update your information in Realm!]  
**Note 2: Year-to-date budget: $863,770
***Year-to-date giving (general fund): $898,595. Praise God for the generosity of His people.
2. Thank you notes were gladly received from two congregants.
3. Membership Update
a. (As of 2/2024) Communicants = 414, Non-Communicants = 108, Total = 522
b. Average Weekly Attendance: 1/14/23-2/11/2024 (Attachment p.9)
Worship Center: 478;  Nursery: 32;  On-line: 105;  Total: 624
c.  Total New Communicants 2024 = 8
4. New members Jorge, Jessica, Beatriz, & Gustavo Fogaca De Carvalho as well as Daniel & Martha Froelich were added and assigned shepherding elders.
5. Open staff position search updates were given.
6. Results were shared and discussed from the Values, Vision, and Mission work congregants did with the consultant.  The next step is the development of visionary leadership via the elders praying and fasting this month.  
7. Orangeburg mission trip funding approaches were approved. Note: There will be an online giving option to donate to “Orangeburg Missions Trip”.
8. A formal CPC Care Policy was reviewed and will be voted on next month.
9. A report on an elder accountability process will also be reviewed next month.
10. Future Meeting Info/Events
a. Session – Monday, March 18th
b. Maundy Thursday Service – Thursday, March 28th
c. Easter March 31st
d. Presbytery – Thursday, April 25th at Woodruff Road
e. Spring Session Weekend meeting – Friday evening / Saturday, May 10th-11th
f. PCA GA Richmond, Va - June 10th-14th  (B.Counts, R.Jones, W.Huss, R.Porter, M.Dodd)
January 15, 2024
  1. Bryan led a discussion based on Philippians 3:4-9 and we continued small group work on questions from the book Gospel Eldership. Elders and deacons prayed together for our church in small groups. 
  2. The Lord has been gracious through the generosity of his people and, as a result, general fund giving is above our YTD budget.
  3. Carroll Thompson and John & Jan Sherard were approved for membership and assigned shepherding elders (Doug Wilson; Bill Fisk). We praise God for all our members. As of 1/2024: Communicants = 411, Non-Communicants = 105, Total = 516. Average Weekly Attendance 12/10/23 to 1/7/2024 was 531.
  4. Note upcoming Welcome to CPC 1.28.2024 & Membership Class (2.4.2024 – 3.10.2024) 
  5. The newly re-formed Personnel Committee will be Will Huss, Bill Thompson, Brooks Williams, Jimmy Dixon, Jerdone Davis, and Beth Groomes.  One more person is still to be named. The new Finance Committee is being formed and will be chaired by Bill Harley.
  6. We’ll change how we administer baptisms to give shepherding elders an opportunity to minister to their families. Only the person’s elder will come to the platform and he will pray after the baptism for the individual and family.
  7. Please pray for our presbytery meeting on Saturday, Jan. 27th (9am-3pm) Second Presbyterian Church : Bryan Counts, Reid Jones, & Matthew Icard, Barry Swiger, Bill Caldwell, & Will Huss
  8. We selected our 2024 General Assembly delegates for June 10-14 in Richmond, Virginia: Bryan Counts, Reid Jones, Rob Porter, Will Huss, Mark Dodd.
  9. Please pray for our Values meeting on February 10. 
November 13, 2023

*The deacons and elders shared fellowship time over dinner followed by a joint time that included:
  1. Pastor Counts presented a few trust building principles for leaders.
  2. Discussion of officer training process and how current officers will also be asked to do the exercises found in the book Gospel Eldership.
  3. Bill Thompson gave a written and verbal update on finances/giving (Sept/Oct). We praised God for his generosity shown through our congregation’s giving.
  4. There was prayer time in small groups. 
*Session split with the Diaconate for a separate meeting.
  1. It was decided to give additional support to the PCA Administration Committee which does not have enough funds from individual churches to fully operate.
  2. Several new members were approved pending their ascent to vows before the congregation: Ben Huneycutt, Ann Baxa, and Abby Thorsland
  3. Reid Jones gave an update on Sunday School class numbers and the results of his survey about Sunday School at CPC.
  4. We have a team looking at refreshing and refining our values and vision. They are making progress and more will be announced soon. 
  5. The Orangeburg July Missions trip proposal from the Missions Ministry Team was approved.
  6. A CPC Counseling Policy draft was approved in principle. A few church members have been involved in this process with us; and once we have it finalized, we will share with the congregation. 
Individual prayer times were held after each item of business as the Session seeks to be prayerfully dependent in all that they do.

September 18, 2023

  • The Elders and Deacons met together to begin our evening. We heard a financial report from Bill Thompson and Bryan talked about the current officer nomination process. We spent a season in prayer for the financial aspects of our church and for new officers to be raised up. 
  • We heard testimonies of God's faithfulness in the lives of Lawrence Coleman and Jason and Rebecca Perkins. All three were approved to stand for membership. 
  • We heard an encouraging report from David Myers and Daniel Lewis regarding the Outreach Committee. They have been prayerfully considering their vision as a committee and made several recommendations to the session for consideration over the next few months. 
  • Reid reported on the upcoming opportunities for those seeking more information about "who we are as a church" and our next membership class series. 
  • We finalized a discussion about establishing terms for elders. 
    • In a previous meeting we voted to approve a schedule for nominations/elections, expectations for elders who rotate off and a plan for how elders will rotate off. 
    • This month we approved a plan for how elders who have recently served can be reelected and a process for how an elder can be relieved of duties, if needed, during his term of service. 
    • All of these details will be explained in a separate communication to the congregation.
  • We spent a good bit of time discussing our shepherding lists and how we can best care for the members of our congregation. 
  • We joyfully closed our meeting at an early time of 9:30. 

July 31, 2023

Session and diaconate enjoyed dinner together, prayed Psalm 67 for Clemson Pres, and the proposed budget for 2023/24 was presented. After this, the groups divided into their separate meetings.

  • The session discussed a summary of the activities from General Assembly this past summer that was released from the Stated Clerk's office. The link to that summary is provided here for anyone who wishes to hear Bryan Chapel's summary
  • With joy, we approved to receive the following new members into our church after they affirm their membership vows before the congregation: LaVonda Bowen (coming back to Clemson Pres), Cal and Anne Aycock, Garrison Counts, and Trey and Alexis Kennedy. We also were joyful to hear of credible testimonies of personal faith and welcome into communicant membership Olivia and Jayce Johnston (children of Jason and Christine) after they affirm their vows before the congregation.
  • We approved for Bryan to propose a committee to review the current vision statement and core values. We have had them in place for a few years and feel it would be good to review them on a regular basis so he will recommend to the session a committee for this task in the near future.
  • The session heard a report from the 158th meeting of Calvary Presbytery that was held on July 22nd.
  • The session discussed and approved the 2023/24 budget and then discussed and approved a recommendation to the congregation regarding the pastoral calls for Bryan and Matthew. 
  • The session approved to call a congregational meeting for 9am on August 13th to present the budget and vote on the pastors' calls.

June 19, 2023
The elders and deacons met for dinner and discussion prior to the session meeting along with a time of prayer focusing on our core values of being prayerfully dependent and intentionally relational.

  • The session meeting began with approving Pete Shaner to serve as our acting moderator for the evening (moderating a session meeting is part of the requirements for his internship with the presbytery).
  • We received an update from Mark Dodd and Bryan Counts about General Assembly last week. Teaching Elder Bryan Counts along with session-elected CPC Ruling Elders Mark Dodd and Will Huss represented our church.  Will Dodd also attended as a volunteer floor clerk. ByFaithOnline did three excellent articles summarizing each of the day's activities at GA. The links for each day's articles are here for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday or you can visit If anyone has specific questions please reach out to Mark or Bryan. 
  • We were blessed to hear reports of new member interviews for Luke and Abby Jones and Anna Becker, three of our covenant children, and Elli Miles, wife of Clary Miles. All four were approved to stand before the congregation to complete the process for church membership. 
  • We approved three different Men's events for next academic year and are excited for how God will use these events in the lives of the men of our church.
May 13, 2023
Elders and Deacons met for dinner, then broke into small groups to pray that they would be men who are biblically grounded and gospel-centered. It was encouraging to hear the men confessing sin, praying for the church, and each other.
  • Part of being Presbyterian is having our minutes reviewed by a Presbytery committee to ensure all things are done in order. This is good accountability and we are thankful for this review. This year the committee found a few matters of documentation for us to improve upon as we go forward and our clerk will work with the presbytery committee to close out the items they noted.
  • We received an update on April's presbytery meeting from the elders who were able to attend.
  • We welcomed Caleb Martin as a new member pending his ascent to the membership vows during an upcoming worship service.
  • We heard reports from several ministry teams and are excited about upcoming opportunities discussed in our missions, men's, and welcome ministries.
  • We discussed several items that came out of the April Session Retreat and assigned elders to present the information during our May 21, 2023 all Church meeting.
  • While we will miss having Steve as part of our pastoral staff, we are excited to send him off to new opportunities of serving Jesus. To this end, we approved to call a congregational meeting on Sunday, June 25th at 9am to officially dissolve the pastoral relationship with Steve, after which time he will officially become "honorably retired." We will also be having a celebration picnic to honor him and Phyllis after worship that day.
April 20, 2023
The evening began with a time of dinner with the deacons and Bryan Counts spoke on Bob Flayhart’s Gospel Waltz:
  • Repent: Admit it; Expose it; Grieve it.
  • Believe: EXALT the biblical truth that addresses your sin.
  • Fight: from, not for, your acceptance, vs your specific sin. Calvin: “Obedience comes (beginning, source, root) from the love of God.”

In a separate Session meeting:
  • Past minutes were approved.
  • Received Pastor’s report and read a letter from Patrick Lewis.
    • Reid Jones’s starting date is August 1st.
    • Sherry Bull is stepping down as lead for Mercy Ministry.
  • Received financial update
  • Membership update: 502 (22 new) communicant members; 547 average March weekly attendance
  • Received Paul Dubberly and Evan Livingston into membership pending their ascent to vows before the congregation.
  • Received Deacon and Outreach minutes.
  • Heard updates from various committees: church administrator search (candidates in review); Governance/Shepherding; Counseling Policy Review.
  • Established a budget committee for 2023-24 budget development: elders Bill Caldwell, Mark Dodd, and Bill Fisk; and 2 deacons (to be named by Diaconate).
  • Noted 2023 Session Retreat (On Campus) April 28th & 29th.
  • Noted next Presbytery meeting, April 27th @ 9am (Christ Community Church, Simpsonville).
  • Noted next General Assembly, June 13th-16th Memphis, TN. CPC representatives: TE Bryan Counts, RE Mark Dodd, RE Will Huss.
March 20, 2023
  • We again enjoyed a meal and fellowship with the diaconate. We shared time with our fellow officers discussing prayer requests together and discussing how we can lead our congregation well.
  • We received two new members in our body pending their agreement to the membership vows before the congregation on a Sunday morning soon.
  • We heard a report from our Outreach Committee regarding the upcoming mission trips to Guatemala and Orangeburg.
  • We heard from the Welcome Committee that we will be needing new volunteers to help during the upcoming summer months as some of our current volunteers are college students who will be leaving for the summer.
  • We appointed delegates for the upcoming April Presbytery meeting and General Assembly in June.
  • We heard an update from the Assistant Pastor Search Committee.
February 20, 2023
  • Elders and deacons met for dinner and before going to separate meetings we reviewed church finances and possible officer term considerations along with a conversation about how church size impacts congregation dynamics and how we see these trends in our church.
  • We received 12 new members into our body pending their agreement to the membership vows before the congregation on a Sunday morning soon. It was noted that we've had 21 new members join since September and we have 12 people in the newcomer's class and 11 children in our communicant class.
  • We heard a report from our Outreach Committee that they are actively reviewing the ministries we support and working to focus our efforts more clearly on ministries in which we have active involvement.
  • We received an update from the Assistant Pastor Search Committee.  They are moving forward with interviews and are excited about the number of candidates they have received.
  • We heard a report from the Mercy Ministry Team that there is a group forming to be an avenue for resources for those considering Adoption and/or Fostering. In addition, we will continue to discuss opportunities to help other vulnerable children in our communities. More information will be forthcoming from the Mercy Ministry Team.
  • It has been two years since we established a counseling policy detailing how we support those in our congregation who need professional counseling. In order to ensure the policy is working appropriately, Rob Porter will lead a committee reviewing how the policy is working out in practice and report the findings back to the session.
  • Our meeting was closed in prayer by Steve Dickey, joyful over all that God is doing at Clemson Presbyterian. 
January 16, 2023
  • Again this month the elders and deacons enjoyed dinner together and discussed our "Spiritual Renewal Plans". 
  • The session heard reports from 7 new member candidates and approved them to stand before the congregation to join Clemson Pres.
  • We heard a report from the outreach committee and are excited with them about upcoming mission trips to Orangeburg, SC, and Guatemala. We are in prayer with them about the need to get more support for our latest collection effort for the Crates for Ukraine. If you would like to give to the crates project you can get a shopping list at the outreach table in the lobby and drop off items there as well. The final day for dropping off items is Sunday, January 29th.
  • In order to focus attention on how we can better shepherd and lead the congregation, a small group of elders was charged with thinking deeply about how we might improve in these areas and provide a recommendation to the session.
  • A Men's Ministry Committee was formed to help lead our church's ministry to the men of Clemson Pres. 
  • A search committee was presented for our new Assistant Pastor position. The committee members are: Lynn Bowers, Annette Broomfield, Will Becker, Doug Bull, Beth Campbell, Lehmon Dekle, Lainey Graham, and Bryan Counts (a non-voting member). Pray for the committee as they seek the man God would have join our pastoral staff.
  • We continue to refine our membership process to make it more welcoming and less difficult for both those joining as well as for the elders getting to meet with candidates. 
  • In light of Easter being the second Sunday of April and the additional aspects of worship that we celebrate on Easter, we approved moving April's observance of the Lord's Supper to the third Sunday rather than our normal observance on the second Sunday.
  • In order to support the non-pastoral functions that Steve Dickey covers, the session and diaconate are working to create a part-time, temporary Church Administrator position that will be filled in the near future. 
  • We are looking forward to Calvary Presbytery's RUF Campus Ministries hosting Presbytery on our church campus Saturday, January 28th. 

December 12, 2022
  • Elders and Deacons enjoyed dinner together this past Monday. They then each shared their “Spiritual Renewal Plans” for the coming year, recognizing they need to regularly be filled by God’s grace through his means of grace.
  • The session heard reports from three new member candidates and approved them to stand before the congregation to join Clemson Pres.
  • We heard from the Outreach Committee that there will most likely be another series of crates going to Ukraine and we should hear more information about that in the near future.
  • We had a good discussion regarding our desire to have a strong Sunday School program and that we'll be expanding our adult offerings come January. There are still things we need to work through as we review the best uses of resources but we are excited to see how God will use this next semester of classes.
  • We spent a good bit of time discussing issues and opportunities facing our church as we come out of the pandemic, bring on a new senior pastor, and look to the future. We agreed our number one area of focus is how we as a session shepherd and lead our congregation. We'll be praying over and talking more deeply about this during the first part of 2023. 
  • As part of future planning, we discussed the process of finding a Pastor of Adult Discipleship to cover specific areas that will need attention as we plan for Steve's retirement in the middle of next year. We will be forming a search committee for this position in the near future. We also discussed the process of forming a committee to look into what our future staff should look like as we envision where God will take us in the years ahead.
November 27, 2022
  • Before the meeting our elders and deacons met for dinner. During this time Bryan challenged us as our officers to be intentional about our spiritual growth and to that end, we are each going to develop a personal spiritual renewal plan for 2023.
  • We briefly discussed our desire to reinvigorate our Sunday School program and Bryan will be bringing a proposal to our December meeting.
  • We discussed finance, membership, and attendance numbers. We are encouraged by how our congregation is giving and worshiping together.
  • We discussed recent testimonies provided by Henry Uzzell (son of Hank and Anna) and Josh Vanasse (married to Gabby Altman Vanasse) and voted to receive them into communicant membership pending their ascent to vows before the congregation. 
  • Doug Bull shared that he, Sherry, and several others will be in Guatemala for about a week on a mission trip. The session prayed for Doug and the others on the trip.  
  • Bryan presented a finalized document on what making disciples looks like for Clemson Pres and the session unanimously approved the document. We will be sharing this document in the near future. 
  • We discussed future staffing plans and how we can best plan for our long-term staffing needs.
  • We are looking forward to a single meeting in December around the Christmas holiday season and then presbytery will be held at Clemson Pres in January. It will be hosted on our campus by the RUF Campus ministers. We are excited to be a part of this meeting in whatever ways we are needed by the campus ministers.
  • Our meeting was closed in prayer around 9:30. 
OCTOBER 2, 2022
  • This week the session approved delegates to attend the fall presbytery meeting which will be Thursday October 27th. Mike Haas, WIll Huss and Doug Wilson will be our representatives at the meeting.
  • The Session also blocked time off to pray and dream about what kind of disciple God might use CPC to help build. We discussed what that disciple might love, know, and do. We hope to use these discussions to help make our mission to produce mature followers of Christ more concrete, and to be faithful to present our people mature in Christ (Col 1:28). Please pray for us in this.
  • The meeting was closed with a time of prayer over these thoughts and individual needs of the church body. 
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
  • Session again enjoyed a time of fellowship and discussion with the deacons.
  • We received good reports of several new member candidate interviews and voted to receive them into membership pending the candidates assenting to the membership vows before the congregation. We look forward to them standing before the congregation in the very near future. 
  • We received a report on small groups. We have almost 20 active groups ministering to almost 200 people. 
  • We reviewed a proposal that was given to the mercy ministry team regarding a possible vision for ministry to orphans. 
  • The next Newcomers Sunday School class will start on October 9th. 
  • We will also begin a new Sunday School class on October 9th taught by Bryan based on the book "Gospel Centered Life". 
AUGUST 15, 2022
  • Session enjoyed dinner with the diaconate along with a joint devotional time.
  • This meeting was Bryan's first as moderator. He expressed thanks to the men who have acted as moderators during our time without a senior pastor and commended their good work. He shared some of his expectations and hopes about the future regarding the management of meetings and how we functionally operate.
  • We discussed having Steve and Matthew more actively involved in worship on a regular basis since Bryan will be taking the majority of the preaching time.
  • In order to free up bulletin space for ministry information we decided to remove the elder contact information from the weekly bulletin. However, to ensure that people know how to reach the elders, and deacons, we are going to make all officer contact information readily available through other means.
  • We received a great report about the church's support for the crates for Ukraine. The crates are packed and ready to be taken by Ron Sporer and his son next week. The crates will be visible this Sunday and we will be praying for the impact these crates will have during the congregational prayer this week. 
  • We discussed Sunday School and recognized that we need to review our current offerings and what we want to do long-term regarding the Sunday School time.
  • We are reviewing our process for receiving new members and as part of the review, we are no longer going to require new members to attend a session meeting as part of the process. We will have elders meet with new member candidates in a more private setting to hear candidate testimonies and talk about their faith. Then the elders will report to the session regarding the candidates. This will help eliminate extended delays before candidates are admitted to membership and stand before the congregation to be recognized as part of our body. 
  • Several members of our church family were mentioned as having particular needs and each was prayed for by members of the session before we closed our meeting in prayer.
JULY 18, 2022
  • We welcomed Bryan Counts to our session. It is a joy to have him with us.
  • We heard testimonies from Lydia Johnson and Bob & Sandy Moir and they were received as new members.
  • We approved a request from the Outreach Committee to add a designated giving line for Ukraine Relief Crates. 
  • We reviewed and approved the 2022-23 budget (except pastoral packages) and called a meeting for after Worship on August 14th to present the budget and vote on the pastoral packages.