October 21, 2020
Welcome Rush Otey
The Personnel Committee is pleased and excited to introduce Rush Otey who will serve as our Temporary Supply Minister until our new Senior Pastor is hired. Rush will serve as Head of Staff starting November 4th. His first sermon from our sanctuary will be on Sunday, November 8th. He will be in the church office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (most weeks) and will teach and preach on Sundays, both remotely and in person when we return to the sanctuary.
Rush recently retired from Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church where he served 18 years as the Senior Minister (2002-2020). Born and raised in Gainesville, Georgia—parents were leaders at First Presbyterian Church
Education: Happyland Kindergarten; Gainesville Public Schools; B. A. in English, with honors, Presbyterian College, Clinton, S.C.; D.Min,, with honors, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va.; study year abroad at New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, worked with team ministry in low income parish of Edinburgh, Iona Community, traveled throughout Europe, and in Scandinavia and Russia; Clinical Pastoral Education at Medical College of Virginia hospital and also at Virginia State Penitentiary (maximum security prison); internships at Richmond area churches
Ordained by Mecklenburg Presbytery at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 1973
Post graduate fellowship at Duke Divinity School; selected participant in Pastor-Theologian Program of Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton, New Jersey
1973-1980 Minister to Students (college chaplain) at Davidson College, and assistant minister at Davidson College Presbyterian Church     Board member of Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center, founding member of Ada Jenkins Center, founding board member of ECO (Ex-Convicts Organization) which is now Center for Community Transitions, campus ministry Board at UNCC, CROP, member of PCUS Task Force on Criminal Justice, and others; guest lecturer and seminar leader of various classes at Davidson College
1980-1982  Director, Uniting Campus Ministry, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge—ecumenical and interfaith center funded by United Methodist and Presbyterian judicatories; moderator of University Chaplains Association and liaison with University administration; Board member Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations, Southern University campus ministry, International Hospitality Foundation, Louisiana Interchurch Conference, Baton Rouge chapter of Amnesty International; volunteer chaplain on death row and life sentence units at Angola Prison
1982-1993 St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Tucker, Georgia (northeast Atlanta)—approximately 900 members—congregation was/is very active in urban and international mission, part of founding group of congregations of Druid Hills Night Shelter, Open Door Community, Dekalb Initiative for Affordable Housing; St. Andrews Preschool serves over 200 students; sponsored group home for and with people with physical and mental disabilities, continuous teaching of and with interns from Columbia Seminary; large multi-staff congregation; major capital campaign and renovations and additions; two Sunday worship services
1993-2002 First Presbyterian Church, Pensacola, Florida—downtown congregation of approximately 1000 members, founded in 1845; not unlike many thriving and dynamic urban congregations; two capital campaigns; facilities in constant use; two Sunday worship services
2002-2020 Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC—approximately 500 confirmed members plus over 200 children; participation and leadership in local and regional mission such as Habitat for Humanity, Room in the Inn, Rise Against Hunger, Loaves and Fishes, 20 year continuous partnership with Montclaire Elementary School (Title 1); two capital campaigns; influx of younger members and strengthening of music and worship and Christian education for all ages; developed a strong and creative and complementary staff and Session; retired in April 2020
Service to Church: commissioner to three General Assemblies, moderator of Committee on Ministry for four years in Presbytery of Greater Atlanta and three years in Presbytery of Florida; Presbytery of Charlotte member of Permanent Judicial Commission and co-moderator of an Administrative Commission; Board member of Presbyterian Psychological Services and North Carolina Council of Churches; intern supervisor for Columbia and Union Seminaries since 1984; member of Church in Vocations Group; Editorial Advisory Board of Journal for Preachers since 1990; published numerous articles, sermons, and reviews in several venues
Interests (other than Bible, theology, pastoral care, preaching, teaching, administration): music (played keyboards in rhythm and blues groups during high school and early college years, and love the music of the Church); reading and writing; sports; gardening (have been cutting the grass and raking the leaves since I was eleven years old)
Immediate family: married to Deborah Plonk, retired teacher and psychologist; two adult children, Andrew who lives in Washington, D.C., and Emily who lives in Raleigh, N.C.
Session Meeting Highlights from October 13, 2020
  • The Session met on October 13th using Zoom Internet video and audio.
  • Members shared their appreciation for Scott’s 16 1/2 months with us and wished him and Gail the best as they move to Indiana.
  • The Session approved the call of Rev. Rush Otey to serve as our temporary supply minister and head of staff until we have a new senior minister. Rush will begin November 4, 2020.
  • Approval was granted, giving the committee studying reopening options the latitude to determine dates for safe indoor, outdoor, and alternative services when the local data indicates that it is safe to do so.
  • A plan was approved to transition much of the accounting and bookkeeping services to Younce and Co. and to hire a part-time finance administrator who will take over the in-house financial functions when Christy Canupp retires next spring. The Session also approved a Treasurer position description.
  • An equipment upgrade has occurred in the sanctuary and Internet speed is in process to be increased. Volunteers will receive further training for recording and live streaming services in the sanctuary.
  • The Session voted to approve Francey Brown and Jason Cagle as new members of the First Presbyterian Church Foundation Board.
  • The report on the budget revealed significant reduction in pledges for the year. Church members are again encouraged to please continue to share your pledges and contributions by mail, online, or through the new TEXT-to-Give option. This is important as we work hard to meet our budget during this unprecedented time.
  • The Deacons reported working on the 2021 budget, support of the virtual Crop Walk, and the need for cleaning supplies at Irvin Elementary.
  • The next Session meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

As Presbyterians, decisions affecting our worship, education, spiritual nurture, physical property, and budget are made by our elected leaders. To connect with church officers, see the list of Elders and Deacons and their committee assignments on the church website under the “ABOUT” tab, “Staff and Leadership.”
The Session meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Minutes are open and available by request after they are approved at the following month’s Session meeting.
Successful Work Day!
Thanks to the following members who spent Monday morning working on the church campus: Linda and Brad Barnett, Jenny Chikes, Mary Ann Johnson, Cheryl Kelling, Glenda Steel and Kay Wall. Glenda and Kay helped plan for what needed attention. A special shout out to Kay and Mary Ann for disposing of the yard trimmings.

Building and Grounds Committee
Wade Holland, Jim Holloway and Kathy Pilkington
Journey Sunday School
The Journey Sunday School class is meeting Sunday mornings at 9:45. Following the mask and social distancing protocols, they meet in the classroom or in the Sanctuary, depending on the number of people.
Girl Scouts Hike with Wild Ponies
On Saturday, the Brownie, Junior, and Cadette Girl Scout troops traveled to Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia for their long-awaited hike with the park's wild ponies. The trip, originally planned for the spring, was inspired by a hiking badge that the Brownie and Junior troops worked on last winter. Temperatures upon arrival were below freezing, allowing the group to observe needle ice at the start of the hike, along with the beautiful fall foliage.

After enjoying a two+ mile wild pony hike along the ridge line, the scouts refueled and decided to hike the almost two mile Cabin Creek Trail (difficult rating). The numerous creek crossings, cascading water, rocks, and fall colors provided a lot to appreciate on the way to the waterfall. We even had a first time waterfall viewer in our group! The second half of the loop hike involved scrambling up the rocky incline that made us grateful to have listened to the park ranger's advice to take the trail clockwise.

The Girl Scout troops meet next on Thursday, October 29th. If your 2nd-12th grade girls are interested in joining us, please contact Rene Prager:
Christian Education
Be sure to check out our Virtual Sunday School Classroom with our new Growing in God's Love curriculum. For Pre-K through 5th grade children, this includes a monthly supply kit to take home and use with the virtual classroom each week.
The kits are available in the lobby area of the Fellowship House. Be sure to grab your kit to be ready to go for the lesson this Sunday. You can access the virtual classroom by clicking here or by going to the First Presbyterian Church website! The content will change weekly as we hear a new story each Sunday.
This Sunday continues our unit, "Brave Women and Men in the Old Testament." Kits can be picked up in the church office or reach out to a member of the Christian Education Committee!
Also, please help us as make our kits. Fill out this short questionnaire to help us best prepare for you and be good stewards of our resources!
First Youth Fellowship
If you are a family that has a Youth in grades 6th through 12th, be sure to sign up to receive the First Youth Fellowship newsletter. That is the best way to see all the ways youth can get connected and deepen their faith through service, community, and fun! Sign-up here to receive the Youth Newsletter for detailed information about all youth happenings. **If you didn't receive the Youth Newsletter last week, please be sure to check your spam or junk folder.
All youth families, please fill out the following short questionnaire to help Rachel best prepare and anticipate the needs for our various youth gatherings. Questionnaire found here:
Services Update
Our pastoral staff continues to preach and teach through various means of technology. Please join us for all of our worship opportunities on Facebook (,
Worship is posted at 11:00 a.m.
Sign-up Links
Sign up here to receive the Youth Newsletter for detailed information
about all events related to youth who are in 6th-12 grade.
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Thursday, October 22
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
12:00 p.m. Enneware online
Friday, October 23
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Sunday, October 25
11:00 a.m. Worship
Monday, October 26
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Tuesday, October 27
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:00 p.m. Cub Scouts
7:00 p.m. Scouts Pack 3
Wednesday, October 28
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Church Report
The sympathy and condolences of the congregation are extended to the family of Judy Holloway who died on October 14.
October 22 - Knox Morrison
October 23 - Donna Cline, Debbie Little, Amber Williams
October 24 - Mike Brown
October 25 - Celia Entwistle
October 26 - Ken Johnson, David Niblock
October 27 - Kathleen Jones, Cheryl Kelling, Emily Mitchell
October 28 - Frankie Godley, Jonathan Wall
**To enjoy a sung happy birthday, click here!**
Rush Otey
Temporary Supply Pastor 

Associate Pastor 
for Care and Mission

Associate Pastor
for Christian Formation

Director of Music and Organist


Suzanne Russell
Church Administrator

Financial Secretary

Heath Ritchie
Maintenance Superintendent

Director of First Kids

Wedding Director
Contact Info
First Presbyterian Church
(704) 788-2100 

70 Union Street North
Concord NC 28025 

Mailing Address: 
PO Box 789 Concord NC 28026-0789

Church Office Hours: 
Monday - Thursday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed Friday
The Commons Prayer Room Hours:
Monday: Closed
Open for scheduled groups:
Tuesday,Thursday, Friday
Open to Public:
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday mornings for FPC

Memorial Garden:
(704) 786-8009
36 Spring Street SW
Concord NC 28025
Garden Hours: 
Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed Monday