Hundreds filled the sanctuary on Sunday, March 4, 2018, as more than 35 clergy processed to begin the installation service of the Rev. J. C. Austin as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem.
The afternoon was filled with smiles and tears of joy as members and friends celebrated a new beginning for this historic congregation. A special guest from Louisville, Kentucky, Laurie Griffith from the Office of the General Assembly, PCUSA, was in attendance. The Rev. Dr. Tom Tewell, founder of the Macedonian Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia, delivered the sermon “Balcony People”, reminding each of us about the quiet saints, role models and mentors who have affected our lives.
Rev. Carol Brown, Moderator of Lehigh Presbytery, installed the Rev. J. C. Austin as pastor.
Other participants included the Rev. Stephen Emick, the Rev. Susan Tindall, the Rev. Keith Brown, the Rev. Carol Brown, Elder Susan Farber, the Rev. Dave Duquette, Elder Joanne Kelhart, and Elder Marsha Heimann.
Alexander “Pat” Dyer presented the congregation’s gift to J.C., a set of stoles. J.C. was also presented with Rev. Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie’s most recent book, signed by Dr. Ogilvie with a special message. Special music was provided by the Chancel Choir, under the direction of David Macbeth and the Hill to Hill Brass Quintet.
J.C. was drawn to First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem because “it is a rare opportunity to work with an historic congregation that is re-inventing itself for faithful and effective ministry in the twenty-first century, using their history as a foundation for the future rather than an anchor to the past.”
Seated in chairs: Rev. Tom Tewell, Rev. Keith Brown.
Back row: Rev. Susan Tindall, Rev. Carol Brown, Rev. J.C. Austin, Rev. Dave Duquette, Rev. Stephen Emick, Elder Joanne Kelhart, and Elder Marsha Heimann.
You can read more about J.C. and his installation on the Synod of the Trinity website under featured news.