The Presbyterian Church USA has a governing hierarchy that begins with the General Assembly; underneath that are Synods usually made up of several states followed by the Presbytery of a smaller geographical division that oversees the local churches. The First Presbyterian Church of Huntington is part of the Presbytery of West Virginia. In the local church, such as First Presbyterian of Huntington, WV, the ruling body is called the Session composed of Elders elected by the congregation. Our Head of Staff, an ordained minister, moderates the Session meetings and is a voting member. There is also a Clerk of Session who can be a voting or non-voting member of the Session. Their task is to advise the Session on the church’s polity and record the minutes of each meeting.
The congregation elects the Elders to terms of three years, with one-third of the entire body rotating off Session each year and newly elected Elders stepping up to replace them. Elders are to represent the congregation’s diversity and are not only to govern the church but also to serve as her spiritual leaders. FPC has twelve elders, listed above, dedicated to leading the church and offering their time and talent to do that task. Our Clerk of Session is not elected and is a non-voting member of Session. First Presbyterian Church Session meets once every thirty days, usually directly after worship on the third Sunday of the month. Each Session member serves on or chairs a committee in the church.