First Presbyterian Church is seeking God's chosen servant to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the people of Jacksonville and its surrounding communities.  The Senior Pastor will provide leadership for the weekly worship services, serve as moderator for the Session, be a primary counselor for church members in crisis situations, and perform all other duties associated with this role.

Church Address: 118 East Monroe street 32202
Denomination: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO)
Church Membership: 435
Annual Budget: $689,000 (2017)

For more information on the church, please see  our Vision, Mission and Values as well as our Beliefs.

Job Description:  Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church

Primary Purpose of Job:

The office of Senior Pastor is vital to the life and welfare of this church.The Senior Pastor serves as the leader, the shepherd, resource person, counselor, administrator, and spiritual nourisher for the whole church family. The Senior Pastor sets the example in lifestyle and personal devotion.The Senior Pastor is a role model, the importance of which is difficult to quantify. While a forty-fifty hour work week is anticipated, rarely are the duties and responsibilities accomplished in this amount of time. With these kinds of demands, the Senior Pastor shall take a day per week for personal use, four weeks annual vacation, two weeks for continuing education, and two weeks for conference speaking.In order to facilitate the efficient execution of the above responsibilities, a systematic schedule should be developed reflecting the work style of the Senior Pastor.

Chiefly, the Senior Pastor is charged with encouraging and executing the vision of the church, motivating and equipping the lay leadership, supervising the staff, preaching and leading the congregation in worship, and praying.


  1. A personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior
  2. A demonstrated, consistent practice of the spiritual disciplines of personal prayer and Bible study
  3. A college degree, graduate degree in theology or work toward such, and ordination in a Reformed denomination (eventual ordination in ECO will be required)
  4. A demonstrated ability to pastor and care for the spiritual needs of individuals
  5. A demonstrated ability to communicate effectively as a preacher and teacher of Scripture
  6. An understanding of both small group dynamics and large group principles
  7. Active support of the church's ministries such as the Stephen ministry
  8. Moral convictions and lifestyle which are consistent with a traditional understanding of biblical teachings
  9. Theological views consistent with the historical Presbyterian and Reformed faith in accordance with Scripture
  10. Agreement with the vision, mission, values and beliefs of First Presbyterian Church
  11. Ability to express one's self clearly and to be grammatically correct in writing and speech
  12. Ability and willingness to express one's faith in Jesus Christ to others and have the demonstrated ability to lead another person to Jesus Christ
  13. Love of people
  14. Ability to work well with people and to function well in a team ministry by being open, giving supervision, and receiving care

Relationships to Session:

  1. The Senior Pastor will normally moderate the meetings of the Session. The responsibility may be shared with other ordained pastors on the staff.
  2. The Senior Pastor will meet as needed with the Clerk of Session and Sessional Committee Chairs.
  3. The Senior Pastor will normally train newly elected Elders each year.
  4. The members of the Personnel Committee will evaluate the work of the Senior Pastor each year, normally in June-July.
  5. The Senior Pastor will normally train/orient the annual Nominating Committee. He serves as an ex officio member of the committee.

Relationships to the Staff:

  1. The Senior Pastor serves as the head of staff and is responsible for the entire staff. Even so, some professional staff may actually supervise the work of other staff.
  2. The Senior Pastor is normally available to the staff from Saturday to Thursday as needed, but Friday is set aside for sermon preparation, study, and writing.
  3. The Senior Pastor will often lead the regular weekly all-staff meeting.
  4. The Senior Pastor will normally lead and participate in the weekly professional program staff meeting.
  5. The Senior Pastor will receive and review the ongoing ministry of the church.

Relationships to the Higher Governing Bodies:

  1. Attends and participates in the meetings of the Presbytery.
  2. Serves on one committee of the Presbytery, as agreed upon by the Presbytery and the Senior Pastor.
  3. Attends and participates in meetings of the Synod as requested and as schedule allows.
  4. Communicates to the Session and the congregation various concerns and issues of interest and importance to the larger church.
  5. Encourages the church's denominational affairs council to present and/or lead the Session and/or congregation in one church-wide issue annually.


  1. Casts the vision:
    Under God's guidance, casts the vision for ministry at and through First Presbyterian Church to reach people for Jesus Christ
    Refreshes the vision several times a year from the pulpit and at other gatherings.
  2. Initiates leadership:
    Oversees the process for evaluating the church’s strengths and weaknesses, goals and objectives, then recommends changes.
    Coordinates committee work, programs, and ministries of the church to reach people for Jesus Christ.
    Identifies and equips lay members to lead in various ministries of and through the church.


  1. Prepares and delivers sermons at the regular, appointed times for worship:
    Spends approximately 15 hours a week reading, studying, praying and writing in preparation for preaching.
    Preaches approximately 38-42 Sundays a year.
    Delivers sermons with biblical teachings and values.
  2. Suggests and plans special services during the year:
    Oversees such services as Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunrise, National Day of Prayer, and Christmas Eve.
  3. Develops the congregation as a worshipping community:
    Through liturgy, music, preaching and other creative means, provides for both the leadership and response of the congregation in worship.
    Trains or oversees training for lay liturgy leaders.
    Utilizes various visual aids such as banners to enhance color or festivity into the celebration of worship.
  4. Administers the Sacraments at the appointed times:
    Normally serves Communion on the first Sunday of each month, Maundy Thursday, Easter and Christmas Eve.
    Normally celebrates Baptisms at 11:00 and when communion is not served.
    Provides Baptismal instruction and counseling before recommendations are sent to the Session.
  5. Coordinates music for worship services:
    Reviews and makes final decisions on all music for worship services.
    Establishes a smooth working relationship with church musicians to provide for a unified service.
  6. Funeral services:
    Designs and conducts funeral services of members as requested and as able.
    Shares responsibilities for funerals for non-members with the Assistant Pastor
  7. Weddings:
    Designs and conducts wedding services of members as requested and as able.
    Provides or directs appropriate pre-marital counseling for individuals prior to wedding.
  8. Carries out above responsibilities in correlation with the Worship Committee.

Pastoral Care

  1. Regular visitation of members and new member prospects:
    Develops with the Assistant Minister a plan to visit shut-ins/
    Generally visits new member prospects as requested.
    Initiates, as opportunities are present, evangelistic outreach visits.
    Provides regular pastoral contacts with the church's leadership.
  2. Emergency and hospital visits:
    Makes such visits as necessary.When away or on Fridays, has Assistant Minister handle all emergencies.
  3. Pastoral counseling:
    Provides short term counseling (1-3 sessions) as ability and schedule allow.
    Researches and develops referral contacts.
    Provides appropriate referrals for those needing long-term counseling.
    Refers to Stephen Ministers when appropriate.
    Encourages small group participation by all members.
  4. Programs:
    Serves as resource, as needed, for various programs and activities in the church.
    Suggests program ideas to help meet church goals and spiritual needs of the community.
  5. Stewardship:
    Leads the congregation toward the goal of full Christian commitment of time, talent and money.
    Personally tithes.
    Preaches annual stewardship sermon and occasionally a stewardship series.
    Advises Stewardship Council on both stewardship and fund raising.
    Coordinates with Worship Committee Chair as necessary.
  6. Education:
    Oversees the work of the Discipleship Committee.
    Teaches Bible studies and classes as schedule allows.
    Teaches annual Elder training class.
  7. Evangelism:
    Develops and cultivates fellowships with the unchurched, as able.
    Shares gospel as opportunities arise.
    Equips members of the congregation with the skills to share their faith, as schedule allows.

Application Details

To apply, please send a cover letter stating why you would want to serve as Senior Pastor at FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH with your resume, and a brief summary of your spiritual journey to