who are we?
Women and men who are elected by the congregation and ordained as representatives and leaders of the people are known as Elders. Responsibility for the government and leadership of a particular church belongs to the Session. The Session is composed of the minister in charge and the elders installed as members of the Session. The Session meets monthly. Through the guidance and discernment of the Holy Spirit, the Session is charged with leading members of the church in the ministries which belong to the church as laid out in the Constitution for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church:
- Public worship, including praying, singing of praises, reading the scriptures, presenting tithes and offerings, preaching the word, and celebrating the sacraments
- Christian education, including study of the scriptures for Christian growth
- Activities of fellowship appropriate to the family of God
- Personal witness to unbelievers and to those out of fellowship with the church
- Visitation of the sick
- Pastoral care of families, especially disturbed and broken families
- Stewardship of time, talents, and money, and the care and use of the properties of the church
- Exercise of discipline
- Participation in the ministry of the church beyond the bounds of the local congregation and in such other ministries as appear needful. Leading the people in these ministries may be done by appointing them to serve with elders on various committees representing different areas of ministry and by directing them as individuals in the life of the church
Regarding the government and polity of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the Session reports to the Presbytery and has the responsibility to :
- Call a pastor (also an associate/assistant pastor) subject to the approval of Presbytery
- Receive members into the church
- Resolve questions of doctrine and discipline in the congregation
- Admonish or suspend members found guilty in a disciplinary hearing, subject to appeal to Presbytery
- Urge upon parents the importance of presenting their children for baptism
- Grant letters of dismission, which when given for parents shall always include the names of their baptized children
- Ordain and install Elders and Deacons when elected and require these officers to devote themselves to their responsibilities
- Examine the proceedings and supervise the work of the Deacons (Please note that Liberty does not currently hold the position of Deacons.)
- Establish and give oversight to church schools, Bible classes, fellowship and other organizations within the church, with special attention being given to nurture of the children
- Encourage the stewardship of church members, order and supervise collections for Godly purposes, and in general, oversee the finances of the church
- Assemble the congregation and provide for worship when there is no minister
- Initiate and coordinate the best measures for promoting and extending the work of the church
- Elect representatives to the higher church judicatories, and require on their return a report of their diligence and the decisions of the judicatory
- Observe and carry out the injunctions of the higher judicatories
Similarly, the Constitution for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church outlines the following leadership responsibilities which are specific to the Pastor(s):
- Lead the people in public worship
- Pray for and with them as their mouth to God
- Read the scriptures to the people and proclaim to them the word of God
- Administer the sacraments
- Bless the people from God
- Teach the scriptures to the children, youth, and adults
- Visit the people, especially the poor, the sick, the dying, and those with other critical needs
- Counsel with persons in their preparation for marriage
- Share in the personal witness of the church to unbelievers and those out of fellowship with the church
- In light of the scriptures, counsel with people about their personal needs and problems, with disturbed and broken families, and with elders who comprise the session, lead, and govern the church in all its ministries.
Committees are an integral part of the church, made up of dedicated members of the church community who serve in leadership roles which contribute to the success of the church's ministry and mission. Committee members are made up of lay members and are chaired by a Session member. Committees meet monthly.
- The Worship Committee's main duties are to help facilitate planning worship along with the church's pastoral staff. The annual budget of our church for worship covers the bulletins each Sunday, communion supplies, liturgical supplies, honorariums for guest ministers, paraments, music ministries, etc. This committee is important in the Kingdom of God.
- The Discipleship Committee is responsible for planning, purchasing, and implementing curricula and programs for classes involving all age groups at Liberty. This extends from the nursery age to senior adult members of the congregation. The funds allocated to this committee also support Vacation Bible School, children's and youth ministries, graduate and volunteer recognition, special worship programs, Sunday School materials, etc. This committee is important in the Kingdom of God.
- The Missions Committee seeks to discover the mission needs and opportunities within God’s community as well as to facilitate involvement of members and friends to promote God’s love through service. This committee provides support, funding, and volunteer time to our food pantry, free community meals, local needs, back-to-school programs, college students, camping programs, etc. This committee is important in the Kingdom of God.
- The Stewardship Committee's main duties are recommending the balanced annual operating budget to the session and reviewing and reporting to the session the monthly financial reports. They are also responsible for recommending to the session the use(s) of unspecified gifts, ensuring that designated funds are used for the purpose for which they were given, communicating with the congregation about the financial status of Liberty as well as funding Liberty's OUO (Our United Outreach) to the Missions Ministry Team of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and due to Murfreesboro Presbytery. This committee is important in the Kingdom of God.
- The Building and Grounds Committee is responsible for effective management, maintenance, use and acquisition of property, facilities, and equipment. This committee takes care of everything from changing light bulbs to baby-proofing electrical outlets to painting the wall to fixing the garbage disposal at the manse. The operating budget of this committee extends over the insurances, utility bills, cleaning supplies, pest control services, and lawn care. This committee is important in the Kingdom of God.
Pastor Dr. Rev. Jacqueline Deberry
Pamela Harris, Secretary
Mr. David Emerson, Custodian
Ms. Mary Cantrell, Choir Director
Mrs. Louise Burton, Organist
Ms. Shannon Byrd, Pianist