As there were in the Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, our church elects persons of wisdom and maturity of faith who have demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. They are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life.

Active elders, along with the installed pastors, constitute the session, the council for the congregation. The session has the responsibility for governing the congregation and guiding its witness to the sovereign activity of God in the world, so that the congregation is and becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness. The session has responsibility and power to provide that the Word of God may be truly preached and heard, provide that the Sacraments may be rightly administered and received, and nurture the covenant community of disciples of Christ.

-from The Book of Order G-2.03 and G-3.02


Shelia Bennett is the elder who oversees the Christian Education Committee. This committee oversees the educational ministries of the congregation including Sunday school, Kirk Night classes, Vacation Bible School, youth ministry and other special learning opportunities for children, youth, and adults. Shelia also serves as the Clerk of Session.

Johnny Harvey is the elder who oversees the Budget Committee. This committee oversees the church’s financial receipts and expenditures. Johnny also serves as the Treasurer.

John Jenkins is the elder who oversees Kirk Night, our Wednesday night programming. John oversees dinner preparation and leads a team of volunteers who cook, serve, and clean up the supper.

Steve Kessel is the elder who oversees Evangelism and Outreach. He helps lead New Member Workshops and leads efforts to reach out to people in Beaufort.

Phil Meeker is the elder who oversees Worship.

Johan Niemand is the elder oversees our physical plant and property.

Richard Norris is the elder who oversees Congregational Nurture. This committee plans special events like our annual Trunk-or-Treat, Easter Egg Hunt, and Church Picnic.

Darryl Poovey is the elder who oversees the exterior and grounds of our church property.

Pete Pratt is the elder who oversees the church’s Stewardship. This committee produces an outlet for church members to show their love, gratitude, thanksgiving, and commitment to the ministry of the Gospel by sharing their time, talent, and treasures.


Bill Ramseyer is the elder who oversees Pastoral Care. This committee, together with the Deacons, provides for the growth of SIPC’s members and friends through personal and pastoral care including prayer ministry, hospital visitation, Stephen Ministry, and meals.


Barbara Thomas is the elder who oversees our Mission and Social Justice Committee and Ministries.

Matthew “Buddy” Yoakum is the elder who oversees Administration and Personnel. This committee is responsible for coordinating all matters related to employment at SIPC, including compensation, benefits, hiring, and general guidance.