Session (Governing Body)

The Presbyterian Church takes its name from the New Testament Greek word for "Elder": presbuteros. It describes the way the church is governed, with oversight resting on elected bodies at the congregational, regional and national levels.

The governing group in each congregation is called the Session, a body made up of men and women known as "Elders" who have been "set apart" by election and ordination into a supervisory role. The Session meets monthly to conduct the business of the church. "Teaching Elders" are the name for installed pastors in a congregation. They are also members of the Session with equal rights to the other Elders. At First Presbyterian Rev. Jay Sanderford and Rev. Melissa Anne Rogers are all installed pastors and are members of the Session.

Lay Elders generally serve for staggered three-year terms, with a third of the Session elected each year. Ordination is a for life designation. Past Elders are part of a group called - collequially - the College of Elders.

Class of 2020

Dick Carlisle, Diane Hockett, Linda Koopman, Bill McPherson, Karen Mundus, Brian Schneidewind, Bill Upton, Sharon Watling

Dick CarlisleDiane HockettLinda KoopmanBill McPhersonKaren MundusBrian SchneidewindBill UptonSharon Watling

The Elders for 2021

Class of 2021

Susan Cares, Bruce Clyde, Jeanette Kibler, Jim Peggs, Helena Prince, Mary Lynn Thomson, Bob Wallin, Ken Westfall

Susan CaresBruce ClydeJeanette KiblerJim Peggs

Helena PrinceMary Lynn ThomsonBob WallinKen Westfall

Class of 2022

Sue Gott, Carter Hodgson, Katie Parker, Paul Smith, Bruce Thomson, Chris Wahl, Marti Wendler

Images coming soon!

Committees chaired by elders (or in a few cases, co-chaired by elders) oversee many aspects of church life. Co-Opted committee chairs are not currently elders.

Meeting Minutes for Current Session Members

To view previous meeting minutes, please visit the Session Meeting Minutes page. Please note, you will need a username and password to view these files.

Committees and Special Assignments - 2019

Clerk of Session - Linda Rex

Christian Education

  • Diane Hockett - Chair
  • Sharon Watling
  • Karen Mundus
  • Bob Wallin
  • Brian Schneidewind
  • Linda Koopman


  • Pat Tamblyn - Chair
  • Bill Upton
  • Bruce Clyde


  • Jeanette Kibler - Chair
  • Tom Brandt*
  • Haley Brown*
  • Nancy Fox*
  • Mary Smith*
  • Paul Smith*
  • Katie Parker*
  • Sheryl Powell*
  • Jeanette Swartz*

Congregational Life

  • Karla Olson-Bellfi - Chair
  • Henry Johnson
  • Lynn Lande


  • Bill McPherson - Chair
  • Mary Lynn Thomson
  • Jim Peggs


  • Ken Westfall - Chair
  • Rick Platte


  • Dick Carlisle - Chair
  • Carter Hodgson
  • Sue Cares
  • Tim Dickinson
  • Kay Fuller
  • Chris Dahl*
  • Prue Heikkinen*

Congregational Nominations & Session Appointments

  • Lynne Lande - Chair
  • Bill Upton

Mission & Vision/Strategic Planning

  • Bill McPherson
  • Tim Dickinson
  • Karla Olson-Bellfi
  • Linda Koopman

*Non-session member