How We Are Organized
The term "Presbyterian" refers to our form of government, which is representative in nature. The local congregation is governed by elders, collectively called "The Session", who are elected by the congregation. The Session's four committees are:
Worship & Pastoral Care
Evangelism and Church Growth
The Pastor moderates monthly Session meetings.
Kingston also has, by the expressed will of the Session, a Board of Deacons (also elected by the congregation), to whom they have delegated specific responsibilities and authority. Its five committees are:
Building & Grounds
Stewardship & Mission
Nursery & Ushering
The Diaconate also meets monthly, and reports to the Session.
A Board of Trustees also serves under the Session's authority, and they collectively oversee the church's long-term property use, and its investment funds. The Trustees meet quarterly.
The members of these boards are each divided into three classes; a new class is elected each year, so officers serve for three years. Each Presbyterian congregation retains the right to elect their officers, to call their pastor, and to buy, sell or encumber property. Kingston also has its own Manual of Operations, which establishes local church policies.
Authority in a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation is from the bottom (congregation) upward - not from the top (denomination) down, so there is far more local control in a particular church than there is regional or national control. Staff at the Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly levels all serve to support, resource, and equip the local congregations, which, in turn, voluntarily choose to provide financial support to these upper-level bodies.
Kingston Presbyterian Church is one of 68 members of the Presbytery of New Harmony, some 60+ congregations in the large northeastern corner of South Carolina. The pastor and elder(s) are representatives of each congregation to four or five presbytery meetings annually. The presbyteries in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida comprise the Synod of the Southeast. The 16 synods in the United States, in turn, make up the Presbyterian Church (USA). The denomination is guided by decisions of a biennial General Assembly (representatives from each presbytery), and a permanent General Assembly staff, centrally located in Louisville, KY.