News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Local Presbyterians link to hire youth minister

By Melanie B. Smith 340-2468

The need? Youth ministry for three Decatur Presbyterian churches.

The creative solution? Share a full-time youth worker.

First, Westminster and St. Andrew Presbyterian churches hope their plan will result in filling a void in youth work.

The Rev. David Rollins, Westminster's pastor, said the three congregations worked together on projects in the past, successfully doing mission work and conducting vacation Bible schools.

They also worship together on Maundy Thursdays and train officers together, he said.

Rollins said the churches wondered what else they could and should do cooperatively to serve Christ better and be a more effective witness.

When churches found themselves without ministers to work with young people, they turned to the successful model of linking up, he said.

"The churches looked at finances and realized that perhaps we could come together, find and fund a full-time position to be a catalyst for youth ministry in all three churches," Rollins said.

A committee of two people from each congregation studied the proposal and recommended it. They wrote a job description and decided a salary package.

Now another committee is advertising in The Daily and other newspapers, online at and through the North Alabama Presbyterian Web site.

Rollins said the leaders know it will be important to have the minister visible in all three churches. They will discourage youths from moving from one church to another, he said, because that wouldn't "grow the Kingdom" of God.

The three congregations are members of the Presbyterian Church USA.

For more information, go to or call Westminster at 353-0278.

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