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                                                                                                             Session/Ruling Elders Members



“As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with ministers of word and sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships.” 


The Session at First Presbyterian Church of Alton is comprised of nine Elders, who are chosen by the Nominating Committee and elected by the congregation. Although Elders are ordained for life, they are only allowed to serve two consecutive three-year terms on the Session, after which they must take a year off.  An Elder may, however, be elected to serve as a Deacon, immediately after leaving the Session.

The Session makes decisions for the congregation, including providing for worship and education, managing the physical property, and adopting a budget. The Session is called to govern the church according to their discernment of the will of God for the congregation. The Elders should listen compassionately to the opinions of the members of the congregation and consider them, but ultimately, they are called to make decisions based on what they feel is God’s will, not necessarily what is popular.


First Presbyterian Session/Ruling Elders:


                                                              2024                                                  2025                                                  2026

                                                    Susie Delano (2)                                            Ruth Wimp (2)                                                Nancy Matis (1)

                                              Scott Mandrell (1)                                          Erin Frew (1)                                                   Vickie Oberlink (2)

                                              Bob Thornberry (1)                                        Kate Strohmeier (1)                                        Tom Fields (2)



                                                                                Moderator of Session:     Rev. Kyle Armentrout-Steward

                                                                                      Clerk of Session:     Ruth Wimp