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     Session | Church elders meet to discuss and take action
    Mission and service 


    The Swift Presbyterian Church Session met on Monday, May 21. After a quorum was declared, time was spent hearing prayer concerns and joys. Pastor Keith led the group in prayer.

    ✔ We received written reports from Pastor Keith, worship, preschool, finance, missions, and children’s Christian education.

    ✔ We approved minutes from previous meetings — April stated meeting and the April 29 called meeting to approve the confirmation class for membership.

    ✔ We reviewed the financial report.

    ✔ We’re ready to proceed with widening and paving the driveway. There has been a delay in an asphalt company coming to provide a quote.

    ✔ We heard about our current mowing company increasing its rate by 50%. Approved hiring a new service company based on Elder Charlie Hastings’ conversations with member Devery Thomas.

    ✔ The session addressed the request to rename the Andy Lay room to recognize the contributions of Norman Ard as teacher of the adult Sunday school class. The decision was made to unname the room and revert to the room number as originally named. In working with the adult Sunday school class, a framed recognition of former class members and leaders with be hung in the room. It will be possible to add names down the road.

    ✔ The donated Smith Lake property deed has been recorded in the Winston County Courthouse. A realtor from that area is working with us on pricing to sell.

    ✔ Addressed issues with the church phone system. Looking into replacing the whole system.

    ✔ Talked broadly about Pastor Keith’s sabbatical scheduled for 2019.

    Pastor Jody Beth closed with prayer.


    Swift Church session met on Monday, April 16.

    ✔ The meeting was called to order. Prayer concerns were offered and we prayed.

    ✔ We talked about developing “super-liturgists” — people trained and prepared to lead the whole worship service except for the sermon and benediction. Several offered to come to a meeting to learn more about it.

    ✔ We received reports from Pastors Keith and Jody Beth, missions, worship, finance, children’s Christian education and minutes from the previous meeting.

    ✔ We looked at the solid financial situation of the church.

    ✔ We heard from Elder Charlie Hastings about progress on the driveway. People from 811 (“Call before you dig”) people were to come in a few days to mark water lines, electrical, phone and any other buried utilities. When that is complete, we can then lay out the widening of the driveway.

    ✔ We discussed the need for an updated phone system for the church. Ours is beginning to fail. Prices and options are being looked at.

    ✔ We discussed transportation to the Montreat Youth Conference. We will need to rent a vehicle. Devery Thomas found an older but good-quality 15-passenger van for consideration to purchase for the trip and use beyond. We’re checking options.

    ✔ Membership of Diane King was transferred to Gulf Shores Baptist Church.

    ✔ We celebrated that nine youth are concluding confirmation class. The church session will meet with them for approval into membership after worship on April 29. Confirmation Sunday is May 20.

    ✔ It was noted that Pastor Jody Beth will be on vacation May 11–19. Pastor Keith will be on vacation May 7–14. The Rev. Lauren Peters is preaching on Mother’s Day, May 13.

    ✔ Elder Chuck Carneal closed our meeting with prayer.


    The Swift Church session met on March 19 in the Andy Lay room.

    After a quorum was established, Pastor Keith led the group in a time of prayer concerns and prayer. Next:

    ✔ Reports from committees were received.

    ✔ Previous minutes were approved.

    ✔ Financial report was presented. The 2018 budget was approved after questions from
          a previous meeting were addressed.

    ✔ Slow progress on the driveway. The church’s easement is not recorded. All land owners are
          in agreement as to its legitimacy. Official markings will begin soon.

    ✔ The church received as a gift a piece of property on Smith Lake in northern Alabama. The
          session voted to sell the property and to have the trustees handle the business end of that.

    ✔ Upcoming events were discussed.

    ✔ The meeting was adjourned with prayer by Elder Chuck Carneal.


    The Swift Church session met on Monday, Feb. 19. After Pastor Keith Cardwell called the meeting to order:

    ✔ Pastor Jody Beth Melton led the group in Scripture reading and prayer, lifting concerns
          and celebrations of the church and the session members.

    ✔ We received the financial report.

    ✔ We approved written reports and minutes.

    ✔ We discussed the driveway repairs.

    ✔ A report on the recent presbytery meeting was heard.

    ✔ We removed Nancy Labrato and June Curzon from the active role.

    ✔ The meeting closed with prayer.


    The Swift Church Session met Jan. 15. Pastor Jody Beth Melton moderated in the absence of Pastor Keith Cardwell.

    After prayer concerns and prayer, the church council:

    ✔ Received a report about home communion and Live Oak communion.

    ✔ Approved reports.

    ✔ Received end-of-year financials.

    ✔ Tabled final approval of the 2018 budget until next month

    ✔ Gave the go-ahead on a survey of the driveway property line before beginning
           the widening.

    ✔ Approved the annual financial report.

    ✔ Approved request from the mission committee to send $1,000 to the UKirk Campus
           Ministry at the University of South Alabama.

    ✔ Approved clerk of session and treasurer for 2018.

    ✔ Approved baptism of Bolton Thomas and McKenzie Cardwell.

    ✔ Approved communion for worship in 2018.

    ✔ Tabled a request from the youth elder until next month.

    ✔ Closed with prayer.

    December 2017

    Session did not meet in December. Ordination and installation of new officers will be Sunday, Jan. 14, at both the 8:00 and 10:00 services. Our next meeting is Jan. 15.

    November 2017

    The Swift Church Session met on Monday, Nov. 20.

    The time began with a video on “What Is the Church?” After that came prayer concerns and prayer.

    The session:

    ● Received the financial report and draft of 2018 church budget.

    ● Approved written committee reports.

    ● Removed Nancy Labrato from the membership roll due to her death.

    ● Approved use of church for Hannah Melton’s wedding next Oct. 6.

    ● Decided there will be no stated meeting of session in December. A meeting will be called if needed.

    ● Closed with prayer.

    October 2017

    Swift Church Session met on Monday, Oct. 16.

    ● After a time of prayer concerns and celebrations, Pastor Keith led the group in prayer.

    ● We received the deacons report

    ● Also learned the Lord’s Supper was served at worship at Live Oak to 14 people on Oct. 1.

    ● Received the financial report.

    ● Approved committee reports.

    ● Heard final report on the nominating committee’s work.

    ● Approved use of the church for the Melton-Guidroz wedding in July with the Rev. Bert Tuggle and Pastor Jody Beth Melton presiding.

    ● Closed with prayer.

    September 2017

    Swift Church Session met after worship on Sunday, Sept. 17, for the purpose of receiving new members. The church received and welcomed Pat and Bill Rickert on transfer of membership from Gulf Shores Presbyterian Church.

    Swift Church Session met on Monday, Sept. 18, for the stated meeting. We:

    ● Talked of how worship has been hospitality to us — God’s hospitality to us as we worship.
    ● Received prayer concerns and prayed.
    ● Received the financial report.
    ● Approved minutes and committee reports.
    ● Heard of the work of the nominating committee.
    ● Approved Oct. 8 at 9:50 a.m. for congregational meeting in the sanctuary to elect church officers.
    ● Got updates on buildings and grounds matters and the driveway fund.
    ● Shared upcoming ministry of church through various committees.
    ● Closed with prayer.

    August 2017

    The Swift Church Session met on Monday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m. The time started with a review of an article addressing the presence of God and ways to make ourselves available to be aware of God’s presence. That time was followed with prayer concerns and prayer.

    Financial reports were received on the general fund and the Swift Church Preschool. Our expenses for July  were $1,563 more than our income for the month. One reason was there were three pay periods in July.

    Communion was served at Swift Church and Live Oak on July 2 and home communion was served to two families.

    In other matters, the session:

    ● Received reports from deacons, pastor, lay pastor, all committees and approved minutes from previous meetings.

    ● Heard a report from the nominating committee that it is up and functioning and will continue work until three elders, four deacons and a trustee are selected for the congregation’s vote.

    ● Conducted the annual review of membership.

    ● Adjourned with prayer at 7:30.

    July 2017

    The regular monthly meeting of Swift Church session was canceled because of vacation Bible school. The session did meet on two occasions July 16 to receive new members. Daryl Pichoff came forward after the 8:00 service and Tessie Helton-Carrel came forward after the 10:00 service. Both were gladly received.

    June 2017

     The Swift Church Session met on June 19. The meeting opened with prayer concerns, and an opening prayer.

     We approved written committee reports.

     We received the May financial reports and heard a report on a capital campaign for the widening of the driveway and repaving and sealing of the entire parking lot.

     We nominated Lee Mansell and Philip Melton to serve as elders on the nominating committee.

     We voted to hold a congregational meeting on July 9 at 9:50 a.m. for the purpose of nominating four members at large to serve on the nominating committee.

     We commissioned Chuck Carneal to be the elder commissioner at a called meeting of the presbytery to take place June 26.

     We called Philip Melton as elder commission for the next stated presbytery meeting, Aug. 15, in Bay Minette.

     The meeting closed with prayer.

    May 2017

     The Swift Church session met on May 15. The time began with looking at changes to the Book of Order regarding the Lord’s Supper. With implementation of constitutional changes in July, the Lord’s Supper will be open to all people, regardless of baptismal status.

     We received the April financial report.

     Approved written reports.

     A presentation was given on the state of the preschool. There will be a summer session this year for the first time in a couple of years. Finances are stable.

     There is significant turnover in staff for summer/fall. New hires have begun during a transitional period. Additional educational tools/games have been purchased using some of the Norman Ard memorial money.

     Buildings and grounds reports that to widen the driveway and coat the existing parking lot, we are looking in the $18,000-to-$20,000 range. The finance committee has been tasked with making plans for a capital funds campaign.

     The meeting closed with prayer.

     On May 21, the session met after the 10:00 worship service to receive Sally deSarro into membership. She comes to us on transfer from Orange Beach Presbyterian Church. Sally is Ellafair Cotter’s daughter.

    April 2017

     Swift Church session met on Monday, April 17.

     There was a time of prayer concerns and prayer.

     The session received the financial report for March.

     The session received reports from ministry teams.

     The focus ministry team of the month was missions. They talked about the successes of using visual aids for special offerings. Also in conversation: upcoming offerings and the interest of University of South Alabama Campus Ministry (UKirk South) talking with the church about that ministry.

     There was discussion on bids for getting the driveway widened and the existing drive and parking resealed. Also, there was approval of having the rot on the fellowship hall siding repaired.

     The meeting adjourned with prayer at 7:30.


    Swift Church session met on Monday, March 20. We began with hearing of Lectio Divina and the “how to” of that spiritual discipline. This was followed by prayer concerns and prayer.

    We received the financial report, which showed February income to be $39,742 with expenses of $34,389.

    We approved committee reports, which included dates for VBS and fundraisers for youth.

    A significant time was spent on conversations regarding buildings and grounds. The rot in the exterior walls of the fellowship hall and the deteriorating driveway were two main topics. Charlie Hastings is getting prices on these two concerns. We also talked about the value of a community garden plot on the northwest section of the property.

    Our focus ministry at next month’s meeting will be missions.

    See newsletter reports from church committees for more detail.


    The Swift Church session met following worship on Sunday, Feb. 19, to receive into membership Aaron and Lyndsey Ward. The Wards with their two young sons, Brody and Jaxton, have attended for some time and are already active in many Swift activities. Please welcome them.

    The session met Monday, Feb. 20. Time together began with prayer concerns and prayer. Pastor Jody Beth offered an overview of her continuing education training from last week. We received reports, either verbal or written, from all committees and pastoral staff. We addressed the early 2017 finances. We approved the baptisms of Brody and Jaxton Ward with the date to be determined.

    The session then discussed tweaks to leadership role in serving communion.


    Swift Church session met on Monday, Jan. 16. The meeting began with a welcome to new session members Greg McNair, Tara Morrow, Charlie Hastings and Chuck Carneal.

    ● We shared prayer concerns/celebrations and prayed.

    ● Approved written committee reports, previous minutes and pastors’ reports

    ● Heard of end-of-2016 financials and approved report

    ● Agreed to offer the use of the north field of the church yard to Doc McDuffie Road community as a place to play soccer on weekends

    ● Heard that the mission committee has applied for a grant for South Baldwin Literacy Council to staff English classes at Swift Church for Doc McDuffie Road community

    ● Received an update on varmints in the chapel/fellowship hall attics and approved a quote from Beebe’s Pest Control for eradication

    ● Approved the annual report that goes to the General Assembly office

    ● Elected Greg McNair as commissioner to next presbytery meeting

    ● Elected Sue Ann Lay as clerk of session

    ● Elected Lynn Aspray as church treasurer

    ● Closed with prayer by Chuck Carneal

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      • Presbytery of South Alabama
      • Synod of Living Waters


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      23208 Swift Church Road
      Foley, AL 36535
      Phone: (251) 943-8367
      email: swiftpc@gulftel.com