When Presbyterians do church together, we shy away from individual leaders, even Pastors, having too much power. We’ve seen what one unchecked leader can do. We also shy away from giving the people at large too much power. We remember how the crowd was asked, and yelled, “Give us Barrabas! Crucify Jesus!”

Therefore, leadership in a Presbyterian church happens not with one person at the top or with all the people at the bottom, but in the middle. We lead through the Session, the Diaconate, and the Staff.

Session

The word Presbyterian comes from the Greek word “presbuteros” which means “elder”, not as in older but as in wiser, trusted, calm, thick-skinned, leader whom the community has come to trust. Our Session is eleven persons, nine lay people elected by the congregation as Ruling Elders with voice and vote on all matters relating to the church, and our two Pastors as Teaching Elders with voice and vote but outnumbered by the laypersons.

We believe women and men are equally called to all forms and shapes of ministry. Therefore, on the Session, we try to have a balance of younger and older, male and female, long-time member and relatively new member.

Each Elder is elected to a three-year term, and serves as a liaison between the Session and one of our Session Committees. Each year, one-third of the Elders rotate off of Session, and a new class of Elders is nominated, elected, examined, ordained, and installed to active service. Think of it as “term-limits.” Our Pastors serve on Session as long as they serve the congregation.

Rev. Joel L. Tolbert became pastor of The Presbyterian Church of Chestertown in late January 2020. Joel was born in
Caitlan joined PCC in May 2012 as the Director of Youth Ministry. In June 2014, following her graduation from seminary,
Elder, Class of 2021 Liaison to Outreach and Communications Committee
Elder, Class of 2022 Liaison to Worship, Music, and the Arts Committee
Elder, Class of 2021 Liaison to Missions and Property Committees
Elder, Class of 2020 Liaison to Outreach and Communications Committee
Elder, Class of 2020 Liaison to Worship, Music, and the Arts Committee
Elder, Class of 2020 Liaison to Human Resources and Administration and Finance Committees
Elder, Class of 2022 Liaison to Administration and Finance Committee
Elder, Class of 2021 Liaison to Christian Education Committee
Clerk of Session Secretary of the Corporation
Elder, Class of 2022 Liaison to Stewardship Committee

Diaconate

This Congregation also uses a Diaconate, or Board of Deacons. In a Presbyterian church, Deacons are uniquely called individuals. While Elders on Session have to plan for buildings, dollars, personnel, and programs, Deacons are called to care for the flesh of the church and community.

Rev. Joel L. Tolbert became pastor of The Presbyterian Church of Chestertown in late January 2020. Joel was born in
Caitlan joined PCC in May 2012 as the Director of Youth Ministry. In June 2014, following her graduation from seminary,
Deacon, Class of 2020
Deacon, Class of 2020 Moderator
Deacon, Class of 2021
Deacon, Class of 2022
Deacon, Class of 2022
Deacon, Class of 2021
Deacon, Class of 2022
Deacon, Class of 2021 Vice-Moderator
Deacon, Class of 2020 Secretary
Deacon, Class of 2020

Staff

This Congregation also employs staff, which includes the pastors and extends to Direcotrs and Assistants and other ministry support persons. The Staff resource and support the Elders, Committees, and Deacons to guide our ministries to be in tune with God’s vision of community for this time and space. Here are the current Leaders of our Congregation:

Rev. Joel L. Tolbert became pastor of The Presbyterian Church of Chestertown in late January 2020. Joel was born in
Caitlan joined PCC in May 2012 as the Director of Youth Ministry. In June 2014, following her graduation from seminary,
Kate Bennet has been organist at PCC since 2004 and Music Director since 2010. Kate earned her BA in Music
A Queen Anne's County native, Patti is married with two sons. She is a skilled administrator, and feels honored to
Terri has been our Director of Christian education since 2005. She is married to Charlie Gloyd and has 2 grown
Bio coming soon!

Corporate Officers

By our Book of Order, every congregation shall also be a registered non-profit corporation in States where that is an option. The congregation elects corporate officers to execute official legal actions on behalf of the Session. By our by-laws, we have three corporate officers.

Treasurer, 2020
Clerk of Session Secretary of the Corporation