First Presbyterian Church  |  701 Florida Avenue  |  Bristol, TN 37620  |  423-764-7176  |

In This Issue
Deadlines & Subscriptions
Sam Weddington Is Our New Senior Pastor
In the Pulpit
Five Cents a Meal Offering Sunday
Town Hall Sunday on Relocating Children's Classrooms
Hear Bob Greene in Recital Sunday Afternoon
Meeting to Elect a Trustee May 13
April Stewardship Message
How to Support Our Confirmands
Saturday Is Spring Cleaning Day
Claim Your Lost Items by May 6
FPC Needs Care Shepherds
Spring Song
Save the Date: VBS Coming in July
Will Graham Celebration Begins Friday
Wycliffe Bible Translators Banquet May 10
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Elders and Deacons of FPC
April 29
5th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 22:25-31
Acts 8:26-40
The Breadth of God's Love
Dan Kreiss
Sing Glory to the Name of God
Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
For the Healing of the Nation
O God, We Kneel Before Your Throne
Last Week's Attendance
8:30: 98; 11:00: 115
Deadlines & Subscriptions
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Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN. Please direct questions and suggestions to the editor, Kathy Acuff,


on First Presbyterian Church

April 26, 2018
Sam Weddington Is Our New Senior Pastor
Our new senior pastor and his family.
The Reverend Sam Weddington received unanimous support at FPC's congregational meeting Sunday, April 22, affirming the Pastor Nominating Committee's motion for Sam to be the next Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church. After a nearly 20-month process, the PNC presented Sam after having determined unanimously that he was the pastor God was calling to this position.
As the meeting began, PNC member Ann Abel expressed the committee's feelings as they stood hand in hand before the congregation, "We have seen and felt God at work and we are rejoicing!" The PNC gives all glory to God for the beautiful way God led the church on this journey and the way God connected Sam and FPC.
"The committee reviewed over 250 resumes and interviewed sixteen candidates, giving us a wonderfully positive view into how God is working through the ministries of these individuals," said Nancy Allerton, chair of the PNC. "While all candidates we interviewed had strong attributes, our interview with Sam was extraordinary. He stood out immediately after our first interview." Then, after a second interview and a face to face visit here in Bristol, it was clear to both Sam and the PNC that this was God's plan.
Sam and his family will relocate from New Jersey, where Sam currently serves as senior pastor and head of staff of three congregations in what he terms a multichurch, mission planting, and outreach model. Sam's wife, Grace, also an ordained PC(USA) minister, serves two smaller churches in New Jersey, the pastoral role to which she feels most called. Sam will begin at FPC on August 1, which means his son, Sam (a rising 9th grader), and his daughter, Joan (who will be a 7th grader), will be here in time for school!
The move to Bristol is a homecoming of sorts for Sam. With his deep family roots in Southwest Virginia and summers and holidays spent in the surrounding area as a kid, he and Grace are looking forward to raising their family here. They consider it a tremendous blessing to be much nearer to Sam's family, especially his mother and grandmother, both of whom live in Abingdon.
If you have not seen a copy of the brochure about the Weddingtons that was distributed at the congregational meeting, please stop by the church or contact the church office.
In the days and weeks ahead, please pray earnestly for Sam, Grace, Sam Jr., and Joan as they prepare to leave the church families, friends, and schools where they have invested their lives so deeply these past several years. Pray also for their smooth transition to Bristol and for the house God is preparing (which they have not yet found!). And, finally, pray for God's lovingkindness to surround the members of their current congregations as they receive the news from the Weddingtons and begin their own time of transition.
"We have seen and felt God at work and we are rejoicing!" / John Vann
In the Pulpit
Dan Kreiss, Dean of the Peeke School of Mission at King University and active member of our congregation, was recently ordained by Holston Presbytery. He is currently seeking a call.
Five Cents a Meal Offering Sunday
We will collect our quarterly Five Cents a Meal offering this Sunday, April 29, at both services. The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, which represents about a nickel for each meal in a three-month period. Your offering will provide hunger relief through both local and global ministries. Last year, in response to requests from the Five Cents a Meal offerings, FPC received grants from the Presbytery for Haven of Rest, Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Please be generous!
Town Hall Sunday on Relocating Children's Classrooms
At the April 23 Session meeting, the Elders recognized the need to address concerns about the safety and security of the current location of the children's classrooms. We shared ideas along with concerns, but we also saw the need for timely input from other FPC members. To this end, a town hall meeting to share ideas for relocating the children's classrooms and nursery will be held this Sunday morning at 9:45 in the Fellowship Hall. This is a preliminary fact-and-information meeting only, with the goal of forming a task force to design and quickly implement a relocation plan. The committee will have planning oversight to move the current children's classes and nursery into the main building, with subsequent adult classroom and Boy Scout room relocation to the current children's wing. All interested parties are encouraged to attend and contribute. / Jerry Poteat
Hear Bob Greene in Recital Sunday Afternoon
Come hear Spring: Gardens, Flowers, Birds, a recital of organ music composed by Jehan Alain, Samuel Barber, Robert Farley, Daniel Gawthrop, Gerald Near, Antonio Vivaldi, and the performer himself, Robert Greene, this Sunday, April 29, at 3:00 p.m. in our sanctuary. Assisting him in this varied program will be baritone Mark Davis and flutist Charlotte Ellis. Admission is free, and the public is welcome.
Meeting to Elect a Trustee May 13
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A meeting of the Corporation, for the purpose of electing a Trustee to fulfill an unexpired two-year term, will take place following the ONE Worship service in the sanctuary on Sunday, May 13. All members of FPC are encouraged to attend and cast their vote.
April Stewardship Message
Greetings from your Stewardship Committee: Rebecca Beck, Tom King, Karen Pennington, Jerry Poteat, Katy Stigers, Sara Stocstill, and Katie Sword.
Our vision verse, as a committee, is 1 Peter 4:10: "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."
Unfortunately, the word stewardship, particularly in the context of church, often becomes synonymous with financial pledging and giving. However, it is a much broader concept than that.
While it is important that we honor God and support the work of the church with our treasures, as we've recently been reminded, it is equally important that we be wise stewards of our time and our talents. As Elizabeth Patrick so eloquently shared with us last week, we are called to serve. We are saved by grace through faith, and that faith compels us to be the active and working presence of Jesus in a world that desperately needs Him.
As a congregation, you represent a beautiful tapestry of gifts and talents that can be used in service. We all have different God-given skills and abilities, and that diversity is not accidental but the purposeful calling of each of us by God to this time and this place so that together we might accomplish much in His name, through the equipping of the Holy Spirit.
Over the past several weeks, the Stewardship Committee has met with the staff to help identify and define the multitude of ways that volunteers can be engaged to support the work and ministries of First Presbyterian Church. Trust me when I tell you, there are plenty of needs and plenty of opportunities.
Beginning in May, you are going to be invited to a season of prayer, discernment, and commitment as we ask you all to think about what contributions you can make to the work of the church. We're calling it Engaging Volunteers. While asking you to reflect on your own giftings, we'll also be sharing with you the opportunities available for ministry and service and then helping to match volunteers with needs. We hope that this will be an exciting and energizing time as many of you reaffirm the ways in which you're already serving and as others find and commit to new ways to be a part of the work of the church.
Look for more information about Engaging Volunteers in the coming weeks! / Matt Peltier
How to Support Our Confirmands
Student Ministries invites the congregation to write letters of spiritual encouragement to the young people who will be confirmed in our church this spring.
2018 Confirmands
Davis Akard
Bailey Bechtold
Jon Blankenship
Zora Gross
Rachel Kent
Lily Rosser
Beckham Schiesz
On Sunday, May 13, these students will proclaim their faith before our church family and become members of First Presbyterian Church. As we prepare for this special day, we are asking their friends and families and members of FPC to send in cards and letters of spiritual encouragement for them. The kind words you share will not only encourage them as they prepare to be confirmed but also be kept for years as a reminder of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds them and that will continue to love, guide, and encourage them as they continue to run the race (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Please send your message by May 11, to Katie Arnold, Director of Student Ministries, either by email to, or by mail or hand to First Presbyterian Church, Attn.: Katie Arnold, 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620.
Thank you for joining us as we celebrate this important and exciting time in the lives of our students! Please contact Katie, if you have any questions.
Saturday Is Spring Cleaning Day
Spring cleaning day is upon us! Volunteers from the church will gather at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, April 28, in the Slater Center parking lot (to avoid the congestion of the King University graduation) and disperse to help members of the congregation clean gutters, change smoke alarm batteries and light bulbs, clear yard debris, and perform other rites of spring. It won't be fun without you! Volunteers are asked to bring ladders, gloves, rakes, and other tools they might need. To volunteer or to request assistance, please contact Dave Welch at
Claim Your Lost Items by May 6
It is time for our annual spring cleaning, and we are clearing out the items that have collected in our Lost & Found Department. If you think something you've lost may be found in our collection, please come to the Fellowship Hallway through Sunday, May 6, and find your lost item. After this date, items will be donated to Haven of Rest in hopes of finding new homes.
FPC Needs Care Shepherds
The goal of the Deacons' Care Shepherd ministry is to show Christian love and care to those of our church family who are in need. There are opportunities to provide meals to those just home from the hospital, visit our shut-ins at home and in care facilities, and comfort those in distress. Volunteers serve one month at a time on a Care Shepherd team that ministers to the needs of the congregation for that month. Five deacons (Sujean Bradley, David Ginn, Brenda Lawson, Barb Thompson, and Ann Woods) are each coordinating a team. We are now seeking volunteers to serve for a month in the period from May through December, and we won't say no to anyone who wants to sign up now for 2019! Please pick up a volunteer sign-up sheet during one of the worship services this week. Thank you!
Spring Song
Spring is sprung,
the grass is riz.
We know where them mowers is.
The little birds are on the wing,
The mowers waiting in the wings
To take the Cat out on the lawn
Whence the little birds have flown.
Yes, indeed, we know where them mowers is. And where they will be, for gallant Captain Randy Cook of our all-volunteer mowing team has worked up a roster. Our first volunteer on the field this spring is Roger Sikorski, who has grass-cutting duties April 25-28. Larry Connolly will take up the task May 2-5. Where would we be without our hardy volunteers? Wishing for wings as we flounder through a sea of green.
If you feel like getting out there and doing something practical about spring, join the team! We welcome men and women, adults and teens. Families too: younger children can move fallen branches and debris to the curb, and a parent or elder sibling can mow. It's easy, and you can mow only once or no more than thrice. Simply contact Randy at or 423-956-1541. If you're new to Scag mowers, he will be happy to give you a lesson on our Tiger Cat.
Save the Date: VBS Coming in July
Mark your calendars for this year's Vacation Bible School! It will take place in the evenings from 6:00 to 8:30 beginning Sunday, July 8, and continuing through Wednesday, July 11. For more information, or to volunteer, contact Lilly Osborne at
Will Graham Celebration Begins Friday
A major Will Graham Celebration, sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been scheduled for this weekend, April 27 -29, in the Tri-Cities. FPC's Evangelism & Outreach Committee encourages each member of our congregation to attend one or more of these Christian evangelistic events and to prayerfully invite and bring with them any friends who do not currently have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The primary goal of this celebration is to lead nonbelievers to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to help connect them with a church in their area.
Four big events will be held in Freedom Hall Civic Center, located at 1320 Pactolas Road in Johnson City. Admission to each event is free. No ticket is required.
  • Adults & Families: 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 27
  • KidzFest: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 28
  • Youth Night (Adults and families welcome): 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28
  • Adults & Families: 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 29
An important preparatory event for those selected to serve as counselors will take place tonight:
  • Counselor Rehearsal: 7:30-9:00 p.m. Thursday, April 26, Freedom Hall, Johnson City.
For more information, see the Celebration website at, email, or call the Celebration office at 423-461-0057.
Wycliffe Bible Translators Banquet May 10
Pastor Jacob Ram
Members of FPC are invited to a Wycliffe Bible Translators banquet Thursday, May 10, at the Holiday Inn in Johnson City. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the program will begin at 7:00 p.m. The speaker will be Pastor Jacob Ram, who pastors a church in Botswana. Wycliffe is a worldwide Christian ministry dedicated to translating the entire Bible into the heart language of every major language group in the world. The evening's program will explain how technology is being used to speed up the process of translation, and how you can have a part in Bible translation.
We would like to encourage as many of you and your friends as possible to attend this free event. To make a reservation for dinner and the program, please call Brent Nelson at 1-866-461-0197 or 1-615-415-1432, or email The Holiday Inn is located at 101 W. Springbrook Drive.
Music Notes
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, Sanctuary Choir, Adult Handbell Choir.
Cornelius Plantinga
Sunday's music: Our anthem, "O God, We Kneel Before Your Throne," was inspired by a sermon on Ephesians 3:14-21 delivered by Cornelius Plantinga, senior research fellow at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary. The anthem was composed by Roy Hopp, Director of Music at Woodlawn Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, MI, and Adjunct Professor of Choral Music at Calvin Theological Seminary, where he directs the Seminary Choir. Hopp graduated from Calvin College with a bachelor's in Music Education and from Michigan State University with a master's in Choral Conducting. He has served as a Director of Music in churches in West Michigan and Colorado for the past 20 years.
Organist's footnotes: Sunday's prelude, played by the Adult Handbell Choir, is an arrangement of "To God Be the Glory" by Cynthia Dobrinski (b. 1950). Dobrinski is a composer and arranger of handbell music with more than 175 works in print. She also works as an instructor and has conducted 350 handbell workshops and festivals internationally. Dobrinski earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Texas Christian University and her Master of Music degree in organ performance from Northwestern University. She was a Fulbright scholar and taught for 15 years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Jean Langlais (1907-1991) was a prolific composer, writing 254 works with opus numbers. It was as an organist that Langlais made his name, following in the footsteps of César Franck and Charles Tournemire as organiste titulaire at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris in 1945, a post in which he remained until 1988. "Prélude Modal" (offertory) is the first of his 24 Pieces for Harmonium or Organ, Op. 6 (1934-1936). Seldom seen on this side of the Atlantic, harmoniums (a kind of reed organ) were common throughout Europe, and especially in France, in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many composers (including Langlais) specified registration markings for the harmonium in their scores.
Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778) was an English composer. He wrote the patriotic song "Rule Britannia"; a version of "God Save the King," which became the British national anthem; and the song "A-Hunting We Will Go." Arne was a leading British theatre composer of the 18th century, working at Drury Lane and Covent Garden. He was born to a Church of England father and a Roman Catholic mother in Covent Garden, and baptized at St Paul's, Covent Garden. His Catholicism meant that he never composed music for the Church of England, unlike most other leading English composers of his time. I find it interesting how often his name comes up in crossword puzzles!
Pray for One Another

An extensive list of prayer concerns, "Pray for One Another," is available for pickup at the church each week.
In Our Prayers
DeeDee Galliher
Ron Grubbs
Blaine Hunigan
Don Moneyhun
Chuck Thompson
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
April 29         Han Ong, Chuck Preston
April 30         Aiden Kite
May 1            Debbie Garritson, Jane Keeter, Maxwell Mumpower
May 2            Martin Dotterweich, Susan Zeiler
May 3            Cecily Strang, John Vann
May 4            Dan Gross, David Johnson, Mary Caroline Mumpower, Dave Welch
Church Calendar
Sunday, April 29
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Town Hall, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
3:00 p.m.       Bob Greene Recital, Sanctuary
5:00 p.m.       Season of Prayer, Chapel
Monday, April 30
5:30 p.m.       Adult Handbells
Tuesday, May 1
10:00 a.m.    Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conference Room
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, May 2
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir
7:30 p.m.       8:30 Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, May 3
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Human Resources Comm., Room 117
Saturday, May 5
4:30 p.m.       Sharing Christ Ministry, Sixth & State Streets
Elders and Deacons of FPC
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Church Officers
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Aaron Brooks
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Randy Cook
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Debbie McMillin
Pete Holler
David Hyde
Stuart Parker
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Chuck Thompson
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Adam Abel
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Nancy Butterworth
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
David Ginn
Greg Roberts
Brenda Lawson
Rett Stocstill
Nate Sproles
Barbara Thompson
Ann Woods
Bill Whisnant