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First Presbyterian Church is located in the downtown of the blue-collar city of Kannapolis, NC. The heartbeat of Kannapolis is the city center, which is comprised of one massive company together with an adjoining downtown, which has virtually always been owned by one magnate. For about a century, the dominant business was an enormous textile mill until its closure in 2003. A billionaire then purchased the property, razed the mill and is slowly building a $1.5 billion biotechnology research campus while the once bustling downtown remains largely empty.

This unique history has fostered an unhealthy culture of paternalism. Citizens tend to dodge responsibility, lack initiative and feel powerless. Kannapolis’ lack of leadership and recent decline has been mirrored at First Presbyterian Church. To address this challenge, this doctoral project seeks to develop the session’s leadership by encouraging them to accept willingly their God-given responsibility and pro-actively organize themselves to operate smoothly and effectively. In the process, the session will learn that Christian leadership depends not upon the surrounding downtown or a benefactor; rather, it requires dedication to God’s call, perseverance and corporate responsibility.

A Reformed and evangelical theology of Christian leadership will be articulated that centers in mutually empowering relational love within a covenant of deep commitment. It will be argued that this changed culture of the session will foster an increase in its functionality. Deeper relationships, accountability and responsibility will spur them to action.

This project concludes with an assessment of the session’s leadership. This will be measured by specific goals that will include a timeline detailing various changes. It will evaluate how highly the session is functioning in part by how well it is beginning to turn its focus outwardly to the community. This project will conclude with recommendations for the future.

Content Reader: Robert E. Logan, DMin

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Logan, Robert

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First Presbyterian Church of Kannapolis (Kannapolis, N.C.); Christian leadership; Leadership


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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