Elder Election

On July 25, 2021, the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, approved a resolution to proceed with the election of new ruling elders. The nomination period opened on July 27, 2021 and closed on  August 31, 2021. The nomination period will be followed by a period of nominee instruction and examination. Nominees will then be approved by the Session and presented to the congregation no later than November 1 for prayerful consideration in anticipation of the December 5 election. 

Please be in prayer that the Lord will raise up a group of Godly men to help lead this church. 

View the candidate list. Access a brief bio and picture of each candidate here.

Election Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When and where will the election be held?
A. The election will be held in the sanctuary of the church at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021.

Q. Can I vote absentee, or must I be present to vote?
A. Communing members must be physically present in the sanctuary to vote. Written ballots will only be distributed at the December 5 election meeting and submitted ballots will only be accepted at the meeting.

Q. Will there be multiple voting or runoffs?
A. No. All voting will be conducted at the December 5 election meeting; there will be no runoffs.

Q. What vote will be required for an elder nominee to be elected?
A. A majority vote of the communing members present based on the number of ballots submitted will be required for election. To be elected, a nominee must receive an affirmative vote on more than 50% of the received ballots. Communing members will be permitted to vote for as few or as many nominees as they desire. No nominee may be elected without receiving the requisite majority vote, but because there is a limitation on the number of elders to be elected as addressed below, receipt of a majority vote does not guarantee election.

Q. How many Ruling Elders will be elected?
A. Sixteen (16), provided at least 16 nominees receive the requisite majority vote and there is no tie in the voting at the point where the 16 nominees receiving the most votes is determined. In the event there is such a tie in the voting, all nominees who received the same number of votes at the point of identification of the top 16 will be deemed elected. For example, if five nominees finish tied for 14th, all five of these nominees will be deemed elected which would result in 18 elders being elected. The nominee finishing next in this hypothetical example after those nominees who tied for 14th does not finish 15th; he finishes 19th and not within the top 16.

Q. Is there Sunday school on this day?
A. Yes. Sunday school will be held from 9:45 to 10:20. Please pick up your children (except nursery) promptly at 10:20 to allow all teachers to be in the sanctuary by 10:30.


BE IT RESOLVED by the Congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, that:

The Congregation elect additional Ruling Elders, the election to be held in the sanctuary of the church at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 5, 2021.

The manner set forth by the Book of Church Order, Presbyterian Church in America, for the election by the Congregation of persons to the office of Ruling Elder prescribes that public notice shall be given of the time, place, and purpose of this meeting at least one month prior to the appointed time, during which time the Congregation is asked to submit names to the Session, keeping in mind that each prospective officer should be an active male member who meets the qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. The prospective officer shall be examined in:

a. his Christian experience,
b. his knowledge of the system of doctrine, government, discipline contained in the Standards,
c. the duties of the office to which he has been nominated, and
d. his willingness to give assent to the questions required for ordination.

The Session shall examine and approve those nominated and then report to the Congregation before election day those eligible for election.

This plan will be followed, and each communing member of the Congregation in good and regular standing will have from Tuesday, July 27, 2021, until 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 31, 2021, to submit written nominations to the Session. Only those men who have been members of First Presbyterian Church for at least three years, who meet the qualifications of Scripture, whose reputation and character are known, who are committed to the doctrines of our church, and who show the gifts for the office of Ruling Elder are eligible for nomination.

By submitting and signing an officer nomination form, church members are attesting that they have spoken with the person being nominated and have gained his permission to do so.

For a male member of the Congregation to be considered for nomination for Ruling Elder, he shall be required to receive at least three (3) nominations. All nominations shall be handed or mailed to the Executive Minister’s office on the provided form.

For multiple nominations, a separate form for each nominee should be provided.

The Moderator will appoint at once nine (9) managers to conduct the election and count the votes. The voting will be by secret written ballot which will be prepared by the committee of managers, and on election day one (1) ballot will be furnished each communing member of the Congregation present. The names of the nominees will be alphabetically listed on the ballot. A maximum number of sixteen (16) Ruling Elders are to be elected. All voting will be conducted at the above-referenced election on Sunday, December 5, 2021; there will be no runoffs. A majority vote of the communing members present based on the number of ballots submitted will be required for election. The Congregation may vote for as many or as few nominees as they desire. If more than sixteen (16) nominees receive the required majority vote, the top sixteen (16) (including any ties) shall be deemed elected.

Qualifications of Elders

What is an elder?

In the Presbyterian Church there are two types of officers: elders and deacons. Within the office of elder are two kinds: teaching elders (commonly referred to as ministers or preachers) and ruling elders. The elders jointly are responsible for the government and spiritual oversight of the church, including teaching. In conformity to Scripture, the office of elder is open to men only.

The Bible requires the elders to watch diligently over the flock committed to their charge, to promote sound belief and godly living. The elders exercise government and discipline, and take oversight of the spiritual interest of the particular church. They visit their homes, especially the sick. They instruct seekers, comfort those who are mourning, and nourish and guard the children of the church. They endeavor to set a worthy example to the flock entrusted to their care by their zeal to evangelize the unconverted and make disciples. They pray with and for the people, and are careful and diligent in seeking the fruit of the preached word among the flock.

This office is a great privilege and responsibility. Our elders will one day give an account of their governance to the Almighty.

What are the biblical qualifications?

The Bible is clear about the qualifications for an elder. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 that an elder “must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”

How should I vote?

We elect a man to the office of elder not because he is popular, or an influential businessman or professional, nor because he is a personal friend. Rather, we elect a man to office of elder because of his godliness and giftedness.

So, we prepare to vote by prayerfully considering the nominees in light of the scriptural qualifications and responsibilities. Then we ask ourselves two questions:

  1. Does this brother meet the requirements of Scripture for the high office?
  2. Does he evidence the abilities to perform the duties of the office?

We hope that you will use this booklet to better prepare for the upcoming election of officers. Remember, your participation in the election of the church officers is one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities of your church membership at First Presbyterian Church. One of the great strengths of First Presbyterian Church down through the years has been the Christian character and wisdom of its officers.

May our God be gracious to grant us His favor again providing a new generation of godly officers.

Nominees for the Office of Elder

Access a brief bio and picture of each candidate here.

Hall Bailey
Ken Ball
Charles Barbour
Brooks Buchanan
Sharkey Burke
Beau Burrow
Reid Cotten
Holt Crews
Auston Edwards
Spence Flatgard
Paul Forster
Dave Fulcher
Matt Graves
Bo Gregg
Zeb Henson
Rob Jones
Dallis Ketchum
Stephen Kruger
Jeff Lamb
Robert Leard
David Marchetti
Doug McDaniel
Jimmy Moore
Ford Mosby
Mike Myers
Nathan Oakley
Lee Owen
Phillip Parker
Jim Poole
Trey Porter
Jim Prince
Bryan Rutledge
Ernie Strahan
Mike Tramel
Matthew Turnage
Chase Wynn