Congregational Meeting October 1st

We will hold a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 1st, during the CGC hour to elect church officers. Please plan to attend as we rejoice in God’s provision. 
At this meeting the congregation will vote on calling Jay Brown as Associate Pastor, on electing Chris McKean and David Warlick as ruling elders, and on electing Bill Jones, Craig Whitman, and Wayne Hagins as deacons.
Please be in prayer for these exciting steps for Crossgate. There will be more information in the bulletin on Sunday about each of these candidates who were nominated by the congregation, have gone through a training period, and have been examined and approved by the Session. Let us give thanks to the Lord!
Jay Brown

Jay grew up in Southern Ohio near the town of Portsmouth. He graduated in 2011 from Appalachian Bible College in Mt.Hope, WV where he majored in Bible and Missions. It was there that he began to make preparations for cross-cultural ministry. After college, Jay was an intern at a church in Jacksonville, FL where he met his wife, Hannah. Jay and Hannah spent two years as missionaries in Panama before relocating to Upstate SC in 2017. In 2021, Jay went on to complete his Master of Divinity at Erskine Theological Seminary and a pastoral internship at Downtown Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC. He joined the Crossgate staff in January 2022 and was installed as Assistant Pastor in May 2022. Jay and Hannah have four children and one rambunctious dog. Jay enjoys spending time outdoors, working with his hands, or rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes.



Chris McKean
Chris grew up in Southeast Kansas and has lived in Arkansas, Texas, and Georgia before he and his wife Cindy moved to South Carolina in 2010.  Since moving, they have been members at Crossgate for many of those years.  Before relocating to the upstate, they were members of Perimeter PCA Church in Atlanta beginning in 2000.  It was there that he was ordained as an elder in 2006.  He has been retired from the Information Technology industry for about 5 years.  He enjoys home improvement projects, home automation projects, walking on the trails near Lake Keowee, and playing golf.  

David Warlick
David grew up in Simpsonville, South Carolina and moved to Seneca in 2001. He is the Orchestra Director at Seneca Middle and High School. His wife, Leslie, is a professional violinist who teaches at Clemson University. They have two children. Crossgate has been their home church since moving to Seneca because it has always been a supportive, nurturing community. David has led worship since 2008 and continues to enjoy the privilege of participating in the leadership role.



Wayne Hagins
Wayne was born and raised in Columbia, SC.  He and his wife Gayle lived in Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, then Taylors before moving to Seneca in 2013.   They have a son, grandson, great-grandson and three adult step-grandchildren (all in TN) plus a daughter and granddaughter (in Seneca). Wayne spent 24 years in the steel fabrication industry and 25 years in the hot dip galvanizing industry before retiring in 2019. In his youth Wayne lived across the street from a Baptist Church where he came to know Christ. Wayne and Gayle are very happy to have found a church home and family at Crossgate Presbyterian.

Bill Jones
Bill was born in Zion, Illinois and moved during middle school to St. Albans, West Virginia. He has a BS in Metallurgical Engineering and worked in the power generation industry for 37 years as a Registered Professional Engineer. He has been married to Jane for almost 50 years. They have a son, a daughter, and two grandkids. Bill has been involved with choral music since middle school. He currently teaches chemistry at Oconee Christian Academy and audits classes at Clemson. He also participates in the Audio/Video ministry at Crossgate Church. They’ve been attending Crossgate since Winter of 2018.

Craig Whitman
Craig was born and lived in Clinton, SC for his first 40 years.  He grew up going to First Baptist Church in Clinton and became a follower of Jesus in 1983.  He got married in 1996 to Mary and they have two adult boys, Cole (married to Olivia) and Drew. Craig worked for 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry as a manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain manager.  From there, he chased a dream of teaching high school math for 1.5 years.  Since 2013, he has been self-employed as a contract consultant.  He works with small to mid-sized companies across a wide variety of industries helping them find what drives their business. He takes these drivers and puts metrics in place to keep the focus where it should be.  This requires a fair amount of travel and he is fortunate that Mary, a counselor, can travel with him as he works. Craig and Mary started attending Crossgate in 2019 and joined in 2020.  Craig has been active in community groups, the S.A.L.T ministry, and communion committee.


Shepherding Plan

“The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.”  Psalm 23 reminds us: the wholeness and fullness we long for comes from Christ ruling and guiding us. Because Jesus is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11), even our deepest wants and needs are met through him. We get to belong to him, be loved by him, provided for and led by him! Sometimes though, the pathway is difficult, and, as sheep, we all have a tendency to wander. Thankfully, Jesus says, No one is able to snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28-29).

How does Jesus hold on to and guide his sheep? One of the means he uses is under-shepherds. Think of the way Jesus tells Peter, “Feed my sheep” (John 22:17), the way Paul reminds the Ephesians elders “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers” (Acts 20:28), or Peter’s exhortation to elders, “shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1 Peter 5:2). At Crossgate, we believe this is a major part of the role of the Session (pastors and ruling elders), serving as shepherds to guide God’s people to follow Christ, the “Chief-Shepherd.”

How will our spiritual shepherds at Crossgate help us follow Jesus? All of the activities of the church from our worship services and Bible teaching to our community groups and fellowship times are designed to serve this goal. As we all know though, it takes more than participating in programs to grow in Christ. And shepherds don’t just count the number of sheep in the field! They know them each individually, feed them, lead them, and protect them. Each of us needs spiritual guides who pray for us, reach out to us, and spend time with us. That’s why at Crossgate, your pastors and elders do not intend to just leave you on your own to hopefully grow, we want to come alongside you regularly and intentionally and we are putting in place a specific shepherding plan.

What will this shepherding plan involve? While there are many sides to the Session’s oversight and care for you, this shepherding plan at Crossgate involves each member of the Session having certain individuals to specifically care for and follow up with. Three simple aspects of care from the Session are primary:

  1. Praying Weekly (bringing requests for your spiritual growth and specific needs to God )
  2. Contacting Bi-Monthly (checking-in every other month by phone call, text, or email)
  3. Visiting Yearly (whether having you over or coming by – taking time for in-person spiritual guidance)


You can think of it this way: we are always concerned for you, regularly checking-in with you, and intentionally setting aside time with you. That doesn’t mean you have to wait for us to contact you to express any need. We also want to be available to respond to your needs and questions. Overall we want you to be able to expect that we are here for you, representing Christ’s care for you as spiritual shepherds, intentionally guiding and pointing you to Jesus.

Who will be included in this care? We are always concerned for the whole of the Crossgate community: members, non-members, visitors, and friends of the church; however, only members have officially placed themselves under the spiritual oversight of the Session. As we are able, we would be glad to extend specific shepherding care to our regularly attending non-members, by their request. Belonging to Jesus means being one of his sheep, and so it is good to aim to be under the spiritual care of Christ’s church.

How should I respond to this shepherding? Remember Jesus loves you, and your shepherding elder wants to be an agent of expressing his love. All of us tend to put on our best face or hide from certain questions, but, obviously, there is no benefit in trying to hide from Christ. And we hope that you will also be open with us, both about what is good in your life and about what isn’t. As the book of Hebrews says, “They are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account, let them do this with joy and not groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you”(Hebrews 13:17). Our goal, more than finding what’s wrong, is to encourage you in what’s right. We want to help you grow closer to Christ and live for him.

What types of questions will I be asked? While a lot of the conversation will be about what’s going on in your life and how it is affecting you, our Core Values at Crossgate also provide a helpful spiritual focus. For example: Has your engagement in Worship lately felt more vibrant or bland? Why do you think that is? What role has Scripture played in your life lately? What about it is difficult for you and what might be helpful? How are you involved in Community at Crossgate? Where have you felt more connected or disconnected? In what ways are you taking up Service within Crossgate or outside of it? Is there something you would like to be able to do more? Since Christ has a Mission for all of us, what opportunities do you think God has placed in your life with non-Christians? How would you like God to use you? Well, sometimes you won’t know how to answer. That’s fine. These questions aim to open up the topic. We want to come alongside you and build you up in Christ (Acts 20:32).

We hope this shepherding plan encourages you and helps us all. Please pray for us as we pray for you.

In Christ,

The Crossgate Session
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21


Growing Leadership

God has given so many gifts to His church, including the spiritual gifts at work through each one of you in the life of this body at Crossgate. He also calls some to take up particular roles of leadership in the church, in the offices of elder and deacon.
As I mentioned this past Sunday, we have wanted to intentionally grow and develop our leadership at Crossgate because this is one of those gifts Christ gives to benefit the whole body. Please continue to pray for God to use and guide the steps in this process and to strengthen Crossgate through it.
Since the officer nominations last October, we have engaged in a season of discernment and training with several men who were willing to consider if God is calling them to serve as an officer in the church. For those who are ready to move forward once this training is complete, (1) there will be an examination by the Session; (2) then we would hold a congregational meeting, where they would be presented to the congregation for election, and (3) those elected would later be ordained and installed. We hope for these steps to take place near the end of summer and early fall.
This is a weighty consideration and significant step for Crossgate. Please pray for Chris McKean and David Warlick who have been going through elder training. And also pray for our Deacon Assistants: Bill Jones, Craig Whitman, Ed Zeagler, Jason Padgett, Michael Thorsland, and Wayne Hagins, who may choose to continue serving as a deacon assistant, to step down from that role, or to move forward toward ordination as a deacon. All of these men are already a great help and blessing to our church!
Additionally, I mentioned that Jay Brown is doing a fantastic job as Assistant Pastor, and the Session would like to present him to the congregation for Associate Pastor. You might wonder, besides the title change, what’s the difference? 
There are two main differences: (1) an associate pastor is called by the congregation, while only the Session is needed to call an assistant pastor, and relatedly, (2) an associate pastor is a voting member of the Session but an assistant is not. This means that if the congregation voted to call Jay as Associate Pastor, he would be part of the full spiritual leadership and oversight of the church. 
This would include an expanded job description involving his oversight of the youth and children’s ministry as well as his engaging in outreach and missions. Since Jay has been faithfully ministering with us for more than a year, hopefully it feels like you already recognize and appreciate his giftedness for serving in these ways. We trust that he has been a blessing to you as he has been a blessing to me, to our youth, and to the whole of the church.
We believe that it is an important principle that the congregation is able to choose those who provide them spiritual oversight in the Lord, by recognizing the gifts of leadership that Christ has given within His church. So please continue to prayerfully consider these steps, and if you have any further questions, please reach out to me or to any of the elders. We will also send out more information before a congregational meeting is held.
As God continues to work through Crossgate and use us for His purpose, please pray that He will use this process to strengthen and grow the church.
In Christ,
David Story


February 4, 2022

With the announcement about the Officer Elections coming up on March 6th, I realize it would be helpful to give a little more background on that process. Also we will provide a brief bio on both Mark Buford and Jamie Burkemper in the coming weeks. Mark is being presented as a candidate for the office of Deacon at Crossgate. Jamie’s situation is more unique, being presented as a candidate for the office of Ruling Elder from Crossgate but in order to serve as an MTW Team Leader in Madrid, Spain.
In general, the process for the election of church officers (Elders or Deacons) involves four stages: nomination by the congregation, a period of training and testing of gifts, examination by the Session, and then being presented to the congregation for election. 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 give helpful guides for the qualifications the Bible gives for the role of Elder (or Overseer) and Deacon.
Mark Buford was actually nominated back before the pandemic but his leadership training was interrupted by Covid. However, he completed the training material this past September, has been regularly involved in serving with the deacons, and passed his examination before the Session in December.
Jamie and Jen Burkemper, have been long-term members at Crossgate, but, because they have been serving as missionaries sent by the church, you might not know them as well. Since 2005 they have been working with Missions to the World (MTW), first in Mexico, and this past summer they transitioned to Madrid, Spain.
Now Jamie, if elected, would not be serving in the regular shepherding and oversight role at Crossgate (that would be difficult to do from Spain!). Rather his election as Ruling Elder would be another step in Crossgate supporting and sending him as a missionary to Madrid, especially as the MTW Team Leader there. This past summer our denomination made a new requirement that all Team Leaders must be ordained elders. Additionally this past year Jamie completed his studies at Covenant Seminary as further training for his role.
In recognizing both Jamie’s abilities to serve as MTW Team Leader in Madrid and these new requirements, Jamie was nominated for Ruling Elder at Crossgate in July. In August when the Burkempers last visited, Tom especially made sure to introduce Jamie and mention this situation to the congregation. Then the session also examined and approved Jamie in August, intending to wait until the next congregational meeting to handle these officer elections together.
The congregational role of electing officers is an important and serious responsibility. In it, as you recognize gifts God has given for the benefit of the church, you are confirming God’s call on these individuals to these roles of Deacon and Ruling Elder, and affirming your desire to support them in it. So we want you to be well informed and have ample time for consideration before the congregational meeting March 6th. Again we will also provide brief bios of both men and we welcome further questions you may have.
We hope and pray that God will continue to raise up others to serve as elders and deacons at Crossgate. And we are thankful for the many gifts He has given all through this congregation and the ways we serve Christ and one another together.
In Christ,
David Story


January 14, 2022

What an honor and privilege now to be your pastor at Crossgate! And what an encouragement the installation service was last Sunday evening! As I said then my heart is full, and I am deeply humbled by your willingness for me to take on this role.
God has called us together into the gospel work that He has for us here at Crossgate. And I look forward to the future as God guides our steps and uses us to glorify his name. And while I have commented numerous times that I have big shoes to fill, there is also a strong foundation to stand on – a great history of a church built on the foundation of God’s Word, Christ Jesus himself the chief cornerstone.
Let me make two requests of you as I begin this new role. First, I hope you will take the opportunities to allow me get to know you better as your pastor. Having been here for more than two years, I am so glad to already know you as much as I do. And what a wonderful group of people God has brought together as the Crossgate church family! It is a joy to see your faces, catch up, and talk more each week. You mean so much to me already.
At the same time, I am aware that there is a deeper closeness and openness to develop in being your pastor – a level that wasn’t as much looked for or needed when Tom was here as your pastor but that can be felt more keenly now. There is so much more of your story that I have yet to hear, how God has worked in your past, your struggles and joys in the present, and your hopes for the future. You need your pastor to know you deeply, and I look forward to us developing that together.
Secondly, I want to encourage you to continue serving and using your gifts at Crossgate. This one body has many members and it is only when each part is working properly that the body grows, building itself up in love. I have been here long enough to know that there are a lot of parts that keep this ship moving and that I may not know even half of what each of you do. If you all were to suddenly stop and wait for specific direction from me, things would fall apart quickly. But I am encouraged by how well you love one another, meet the needs around you, study Scripture, reach out, draw others in, and seek out the opportunities God has give you. Let’s keep that going!
While I hope to strengthen and encourage you in your role and to further fan into flame the good work that God is doing in you, I want to remind you that at my installation, Crossgate did not become David’s church any more than it was Tom’s church previously. Crossgate has always been Christ’s church, as well as your church when God called you into it. Let’s each of us continue to honor God with the gifts He has given us. And if you are wondering how you can serve and be more involved, please consider this an invitation to jump right in, and know that I am glad to guide you and talk with you more.
Well, it has been a good “first week” in this new role, and I look forward to the weeks and years ahead serving the Lord together, depending on His grace, and continuing to grow true disciples!
In Christ,
David Story