Ministry Information Form Query

MIF #: 20885.AF0

Ministry General Information

Ministry Number 20885
Ministry Name First Presbyterian Church of Highlands
Mailing Address 471 Main Street (PO Box 548)
Highlands, NC 28741
Phone 828-526-3175
Fax 828-526-0784
WWW Address
Ministry Size 101 - 250 members
Ethnic Composition White 100%
Average Worship Attendance 114
Church School Attendance 26
Curriculum Sparkhouse
Yoked Church False
Community Type Town
Last Information from Statistics of the Church  * (  Show Statistics  )
* Data availability is not guaranteed

Information about the position

Position:   Associate Pastor (Other)
Experience Required:   No Experience
Specific Title:  
Employment Status:   Full-time
Language Requirements:   English
Other Languages:  
Statement Of Faith Required:   Yes
Clergy Couples:   No
Training/Certificate Requirements:  
Other Training:  
Brief Church Mission Statement:

To know Christ and to be committed disciples in God’s kingdom here on earth.

What is the congregation’s or organization’s vision for ministry? Additionally describe how this vision is lived out.

First Presbyterian Church of Highlands (FPCH) is an active, open and welcoming congregation and we eagerly seek to share the hospitality of Christ’s church every day of the week. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Highlands is a small town with pockets of affluence due to tourist and seasonal attributes and poverty given limited economic opportunities for a share of the population. FPCH seeks to devote 25% of its annual budget to mission activities which provide essential support to local nonprofits as well as national and international entities. We are sponsors of the Sonshine School, our tuition-free after school program for elementary children. Our facilities are used regularly for AA and nonprofit board and community meetings, including the High School Homecoming dance. Worship is a priority for us and our music ministry is well-recognized in the community. It is supported by our Matthews Music Fund, which supplements the chancel and bell choirs with professional guest musicians as well as free community concerts. We have a traditional service on Sunday along with adult and children's Sunday School. Weekly and monthly programming includes a Monday morning Zoom prayer group, men's and women's Bible study, and a book club. Our Mullen Lecture series is an annual lecture on a wide range of topics that is open to all.  Our Congregational Care ministry ministers to our congregation, homebound members and the community.

How do you feel called to reach out to address the emerging needs of your community or constituency?

It is our Christian duty to help the less fortunate. As mentioned above, our community has a mix of affluence and poverty with many families at or below the poverty level. These families struggle with problems of alcohol, drugs, domestic violence and physical and mental health and have insufficient resources to meet the challenges. Our Mission ministry team identifies areas of need in our community. For example, previous leaders of FPCH identified and addressed the lack of childcare for local families and workers by creating the Highlands Community Child Development Center, a licensed full-day day care for infants through pre-K, and the Sonshine School, a tuition-free after school program at the church. Our Mission ministry identifies and has supported entities addressing food insecurity, mental and physical health, fuel and clothing needs and shelters for abused and abandoned adults and children. None of this desire to identify and address the needs of our community is an accident. Our commitment to addressing local, national and international needs is an essential fabric of our being. Our Mission ministry has never been confined to the walls of our church. Many of our members and affiliate members, who serve or lead a long list of nonprofit boards, provide windows into our community’s strengths, failings and needs. Our congregation has vast experience in the volunteer and nonprofit world and helps to guide us to the most effective use of our mission resources.

How will this position help you to reach your vision and mission goals?

We anticipate the position of Associate Pastor will augment the pastoral leadership so that those areas which demand attention—a discipleship emphasis in Adult Education, for example—will receive the leadership required. The goals that have been explicitly voiced in our Vision Statement are 1) nurturing love of God, love of neighbor and faith seeking understanding, 2) building fellowship and recognizing talents to strengthen the sense of the body of Christ, 3) becoming as diverse as the communities we serve, 4) increasing congregational involvement in the work of the church, 5) deepening mission commitment and 6) strengthening financial commitment to support our growing ministries. We hope the Associate Pastor would give particular attention to the recruitment of new members with an emphasis on young families with children and congregational spiritual development and revitalization by reconnecting with congregants who have stopped attending as well as seeking to connect with all who are looking for a church family to call their spiritual home. Because this congregation experiences a swell of attendance with our seasonal members and visitors, the Associate Pastor needs to possess the skill of appealing to both the local year-round members and the seasonal visitors alike. In addition, we would hope the Associate Pastor would be engaged in the community through the schools or many nonprofits serving the area.

Provide a description of the characteristics needed by the person who is open to being called to this congregation and or organization.

Our congregation, with a traditional PC (USA) worship style, is a denomination diverse group from many areas of the country but mostly the southeastern United States. Our aging demographic proves to be well traveled and educated and expects and enjoys challenging preaching while nurturing spiritual growth. Our Associate Pastor would provide authentic, directive guidance, faith, integrity, and a rich spiritual life with comfortable ease. Our Associate Pastor would have the opportunity to interact with other pastors in our community. Highlands is an ecumenical town with strong church influence. A strong mission commitment would be part of the fabric of the Associate Pastor’s call. Love and unity of the congregation is a must. The individual must be flexible, motivated, community oriented, emotionally and spiritually mature (not defined by age). They must also be an effective preacher, teacher and leader communicating in clear theology with compassion and have an open mind and heart, love of God and the Gospel and all of God’s Glory. The Associate Pastor must have a strong working relationship with the congregation and community. We would welcome a leader with an open mind to growth and new opportunities, looking to the ever-changing environment of Highlands as we live into the future.

What specific tasks, assignments, and program areas will this person have responsibility?

The Associate Pastor we seek would be a generalist. The individual would ultimately be responsible for the entire range of ministry offerings as time, energy and skill development allow. This is an opportunity for an Associate Pastor to learn where his or her specific gifts and challenges lie as the entire spectrum of ministry demands will be engaged. We have a congregation that has specific needs and often on a seasonal basis. The candidate should be eager to learn and to accept challenges. There will be opportunities to preach at least once a month and to serve as worship liturgist on the remaining Sundays. In addition, the Associate Pastor will help provide leadership in education, weddings, visitations, and funerals and memorial services. The individual will help increase the high visibility of the church in Highlands and the surrounding communities. Overall, this is an opportunity for an Associate Pastor looking to develop in all facets of the ministry while working closely with our Senior Pastor and the congregation at a church that has been moving forward to serve God and community since 1885.

Optional Links

Leadership Competencies:
Preaching and Worship Leadership
Spiritual Maturity
Public Communicator
Decision Making
Organizational Agility
Interpersonal Engagement
Compensation and Housing:   (Cost of Living Calculator)
Minimum Effective Salary: $50,000   (Effective Salary Definition)
Housing Type: Housing Allowance
Name Relation
Lee Bowman
1 Landsdown Avenue, Greenville SC 29601
Former Pastor
Kellan Day Assistant Rector, Episcopal Church of the Incarnation of Hi
529 Main Street (PO Box 729) Highlands NC 28741
Minister at neighboring church
Cam Murchison
114 Silver Creek Road Morganton, NC 28655
Stated Clerk of Presbytery of WNC
Has the Pastor Nominating Committee and Search committee affirmed its intention to follow the Form of Government in this regard?
Deadline date for this MIF:  (none)
Version Track Info: This MIF was last updated on   12/21/2022

Self-referral Contact Information

EP:   Rev Byron Wade Address  114 Silver Creek Rd., Morganton, NC, 28655
Daytime Phone  ‭(828) 430-1515‬ Office Phone  828-438-4217
Fax  828-437-8655 Email
PNC:  George Manning Address  PO Box 2496, Highlands NC 28741
Daytime Phone  828-787-1875 Office Phone  404-783-1530
Fax  Email