Tag Archives: Martinsville

Tornado Damage in Sullivan & Martinsville

The following is adapted from the Prayers of the Presbytery announcement sent by the Rev. Susan McGhee on Sunday, April 2, 2023.

Another news article, Tornadoes damage PC(USA) churches and destroy homes in the presbyteries of Ohio Valley and Arkansas, was published by PCUSA on 4/4/2023.

In Sullivan, where the Rev. Dawn Black serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, one hundred fifty homes in town and another fifty in the county were destroyed as a (preliminary) EF-4 tornado swept through the area (the church building was not damaged). Peak winds were 155 miles per hour during the storm that traveled 8.94 miles. As of Sunday evening, there where three confirmed fatalities and at least 300 displaced residents.

In Martinsville, an EF0 tornado with wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour traveled through the areaThe Rev. John Erickson serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church, which sustained considerable damage, ripping the steeple from the building and sending debris into the sanctuary.

The Rev. Susan McGhee, Executive Presbyter, has contacted Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), and a National Response Team is being deployed. She will meet with the leaders of that team Wednesday through Friday to tour the affected areas, offer support to pastors and people, and work on next steps.

Monetary support is always helpful at times like this, as it can quickly be sent to where it is most needed. Gifts can be made to the Presbytery of Ohio Valley marked “disaster assistance” and mailed to
Presbytery of Ohio Valley
P.O. Box 7003
Bloomington, IN 47407

Report from POV Assembly 3/8/12

Presbytery of Ohio Valley

“What Happened at Assembly on March 8?”

Post Tornado Meeting

The Presbytery met for the first meeting after the tornadoes impacted so many of our people and communities. The clerk was simply marking people from those towns and counties as excused. He was thinking that they were far too busy. He needed to go back and mark quite a few of them as PRESENT. The call of being Christ’s community brought many to the meeting. Folk from impacted towns and counties joined those filled with concern for sisters and brothers from other areas who were filled with concern. This was a well very attended and warm spirited meeting.

Commissioning of Disaster Response Coordinators

Mike and Jean Beaver had been on the job since “tornado Friday”. They were commissioned as the coordinators for this response effort. One of the very first questions that must be asked in a disaster is, “Who is going to be in charge?” Jean and Mike Beaver answered the call and that response was blessed by an Assembly as they were commissioned them to this task.

Overture Concurrence Votes

The whole Overture process is complex at best. What happens is that a presbytery initiates an action, often in response to a session of one of its congregations. That action “goes up” to GA as an Overture. At the General Assembly these Overtures are processed through committees and reported to the floor of GA. They are then voted “yes or no”. If the Overture involves constitutional change, it is then sent back to all presbyteries for ratification or rejection.

The presbytery was asked by two different sessions to concur/agree with Overtures from two other presbyteries. Neither of these overtures involves constitutional change.

One overture directs internal GA agencies to implement an action of a prior assembly to assure appropriate response to persons with disability.

A second overture is a call to unity around the various viewpoints on matters of ordination, marriage, etc. The overture acknowledges the sincere opinion and motivation of various views and asks that we respect and value each other. This overture is a call to unity in our diverse positions.

The presbytery voted to concur with both overtures. We will be allowed to name Advocates to speak in favor of these initiatives at the GA meeting in Pittsburgh this summer.

Protocols on Pastoral Services

The presbytery approved a new standing rule which would describe a mechanism for a minister in temporary pastoral service to become the installed pastor of that same congregation. The changed Form of Government allows for this change, but the presbytery needed a way for such requests to be processed.

Presbytery also accepted an administrative process to approve some non continuing pastoral services across the boundaries of our presbytery and others.

Sharing and Welcoming our Future

In recent months the committees and commissions of the presbytery have spent time considering and sharing answers to a simple question. That question is, “What sort of Presbyterian Church would you want to be a member of?”

The Assembly spent time in small groups asking that question and listening to others as they answer. The answers are generally powerful, often produce the same themes, and are almost always something that can be accomplished.

Reports and Worship

The assembly received and acted on reports from committees and commissions. The worship included a sermon offered by Scott Hill and Communion celebrated by Susan McGhee.


Larry Jackman
Stated Clerk
Presbytery of Ohio Valley

Assembly: March 2012

The next Assembly will take place at 10:00am Eastern time on Thursday, 3/8/2012, at First Presbyterian Church in Martinsville, IN.

Registration will begin at 9:00am.

Reports for the Packet must be submitted via email by noon on Monday, February 27th to Stephanie Worden.

The packet, driving directions, and the minutes from the December meeting will be available for download from the assembly webpage after 4:00pm (EST) on Thursday, March 1st.

Coming to the meeting? Let us know by registering!

Gathering of the North Central Region

Thursday, November 10th from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

At First Presbyterian in Martinsville, 240 E. Washington St.

Located on the corner of Sycamore and Washington Streets, the easiest access is from the Hwy 37N/252 intersection to Hospital Dr. (left turn at stoplight from 37N, or straight across from 252).

Turn left at T onto Morgan St.  Go west on Morgan to Sycamore, a block before the downtown square, and turn left.  Turn left again onto Washington St. and park on either side.


Join us for fellowship, food, worship, and program.

The cost of the meal will be $6.00.  To assist with a count for the meal, please RSVP to the church office at (765) 342-3282 by Monday, November 7th.

The program will include a tour of the Good Shepherd Clinic, introduction of churches new to the NC Region, announcements about upcoming events (e.g. youth and shared officer training), and a discussion about a spring planning session for future NC Region gatherings.

See you on November 10th!