General Information  

► Meet the Pastor

Meet the Pastor Rev. William ("Will") B. Heyward, Jr.

Rev. William ("Will") B. Heyward, Jr.

* Rev. Heyward (Will) was born into a family of faith. His dad was a Presbyterian minister in North Carolina and his mother was active in the church as a Sunday school teacher and choir member. Will moved to Florida when he was two years old and grew up during the Apollo Space Program. He recalls watching the rocket launches on television and then running outside, looking east and watching the bright light of the rockets disappear over the horizon. "Everyone wanted to be astronauts," he remembers.

* The spirit of exploration was also nurtured by his experience in the church, which started a Youth Club (now Logos) in 1970 when he was in the third grade. Further, the church started an informal worship service that emphasized drama and the arts. Will sang hymns from the Avery and Marsh songbook and participated in youth choirs such that he loooked forward to worship as much as he did the Youth Club.

* Will's home church was a pioneer in making their facility physically accessible to people of all abilities and in making programs accessible to people of all ages. He grew up basking in the hospitality of the Church of Jesus Christ.

* During college, Will was a camp counselor for five summers at Cedarkirk, the Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center in the area. At Cedarkirk, he learned to articulate his faith in Christ. He also began to learn how to extend the hospitality of Christ that he received as a child to others. Will also received his call to ministry during this time.

* After college, he attended Union Theological Seminary in Richmond than then the Presbyterian School of Christian Education. Graduating with a Master's in Divinity and Master's in Christian Education, Will met Lori at PSCE and they married a few months after graduation.


Will served two years at the Denbigh Presbyterian Church in Newport News, VA as an associate paster, and then had the opportunity to return to Cedarkirk where he served as a camp director for three years.

In 1993, Will accepted the call to be the pastor of the Smyrna Presbyterian Church in Waynesboro, VA.

After 19 years of service, Will felt the call to expand his ministry by coming to the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church.


Will and Lori have two children; son Daniel, 21 is a rising senior at UNC, and daughter, Jennifer, 18 is entering her freshman year also t UNC.

Lori is a recreation therapist at Western State Hospital in Staunton, VA and was raised in nearby Banner Elk, NC.


Lori and Will love to hike. He enjoys woodworking and plays the guitar.

Will hasn't exactly given up on his childhood dream to become an astronaut, but remains content to live all of life as a journey of exploration.

^top   General Information Contact   Permalink ID: 1352749865 Posted: 11/12/12

► Meet the Music Director

Meet the Music Director Dr. Eric Thomas

Dr. Eric Thomas

Dr. Thomas has a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance, Masters in Choral Conducting, and Bachelors in Music Education. He has many years of experience in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, having held positions at churches, colleges, and universities in Texas, New York, and Florida, notably including Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

More about Dr. Thomas:

- He has previously served as the music director of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Vero Beach, FL; Caneadea United Methodist Church in Caneadea, NY; and the Cumberland Presbyterian in Jefferson, TX.

- Along with his wife, Kathy, he served in the music ministry of Dr. D. James Kennedy at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, FL, where he conducted the choir and led services in the absence of the music director there. He also frequently appeared on “The Coral Ridge Hour” television program.

- He also served as the artistic director of the Shreveport Chambersingers, and conducted the Florida Atlantic University Men’s Chorus and the Houghton College Mӓnnerchor.

- He has served on the faculties of East Texas Baptist University, and Houghton College, where he was the Director of Opera and Musical Theater. He was adjunct faculty at Florida Atlantic University and Broward College.

- He has sung with opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and in Europe, and has a repertoire of over fifty roles.

- His wife, Kathy, is adjunct faculty at Texarkana College. His son Jimmy, age 9, and Abigail, age 5, will make the move with their mom all the way from Texas after school is out. (And he can’t wait!)

^top   General Information Contact   Permalink ID: 1484537839 Posted: 01/15/17

► Meet the Accompanist

Meet the Accompanist Sabrina Oliver

Sabrina Oliver

My name is Sabrina Oliver and I’m 23 years old. I moved from Pennsylvania to Ashe County about 12 years ago, and thoroughly love the mountains. My parents raised my two brothers, one sister and I in the fear of the Lord and taught us to depend upon Him for everything. They homeschooled me, taught me good morals & solid Christian principles, to think independently, and to respect my elders.

I ran my own business at age 14 (with my Mom’s help) potting plants & selling them to local nurseries. I have been a licensed Massage Therapist for four years and have my own business at Ehlert Chiropractic Clinic in Mountain City. I traveled for over two years as a baby nurse, thoroughly enjoying teaching about infant care. I trained as a Doula/Childbirth Educator, CNA, & personal fitness coach. I enjoyed my three semesters at Caldwell, particularly English, Anatomy and Physiology.

From an early age I was fascinated with the piano, loved sitting where I could see our church pianist’s hands while he played, and dreamed of being a church pianist. At 8 years old, I was thrilled to begin piano lessons, and have had six different instructors, including two ASU professors. I have enjoyed sharing the talent the Lord has given me, by being the church pianist for the Seventh-day Adventist church in Mountain City, playing for weddings, funerals, choirs, special services, accompanying my brother as he plays violin, and my sister as she sings. I have been teaching piano for the past few years and have enjoyed sharing my passion for piano with my students. I also play the flute and enjoy singing.

I love the joy that comes from knowing that I serve a risen Savior who is constantly pursuing my heart and showing me how incredibly precious I am in His eyes. For as long as I can remember, my goal in life has been to live for Jesus. I have always desired above all else to be an overseas missionary and share my passion and love for Christ in Africa. My recent mission trip to Bolivia increased my passion for overseas mission work and I am excited to see the Lord lead.

I feel very privileged to have this wonderful opportunity to share music at MJPC. I look forward to all the memories that will be made and friendships that will be formed. Music is a powerful tool to touch lives and share about the love of Jesus for each person; therefore, I am pleased to have a part in the music ministry.

^top   General Information Contact   Permalink ID: 1498779802 Posted: 06/29/17

► How Do I Navigate the MJPC Website?

How Do I Navigate the MJPC Website?

When you open the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church Web Page,, your browser will be at the Home page. From here, you can navigate to a variety of pages (links) filled with information and pictures about the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church pastor, members, activities, and so forth. Before starting, however, here are a few things to note regarding the Home page:

* The scrolling Web Crawler at the top right of the page contains important NEW information that is updated frequently. The crawler messages change continuously and can be read as they move across the page.

* Text located on any page that becomes highlighted when you mouse over it, is an active link and will automatically take you to that item.

* At any time you want to return Home, left-click the MJPC Mountain logo at the top of each page visited.

To navigate the menu selections shown in the header bar of the Home page:

* Place your cursor over the selected category; a drop down menu will appear.

* Left-click a sub-menu selection from the drop down menu and you will be taken to that page.

* On each sub-menu page, you will also note that the menu selections from the category are displayed on the left.

* Left click any of the other menu selections to navigate to that sub-menu, or choose ALL which will display the information for the category on a single page which you can read by scrolling down the page.

* To return Home from a sub-menu, select Home at the far right of the header bar, or left-click the MJPC Mountain logo at the top of the page.

To navigate any of the sub-menus:

* For many of the menus there are links to other web pages, or a information document (in a PDF format). Most web pages will open in another browser, but upon closing the link you will be returned to your starting point. Documents also open in a new window and can be read, or printed for your use. When closing the document, you will be returned to your starting point.

* The Contact Us button on the header bar opens a page for users to provide MJPC with questions, comments or information that you want us to receive or provide a response to; simply follow the instructions on the page and left-click Confirm your message to send it to us.

* If present, an e-mail [title] can be found on some of the sub-menu selections. Left click the e-mail address to communicate with the individual or committee indicated via your own e-mail server. If an e-mail page is not immediately opened, copy and paste the e-mail address to your e-mail server.

PLEASE NOTE: If at any time you encounter a page that does not properly open, or are directed to a site that appears broken or contains content not appropriate for the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church web site, open the Contact Us link and send a message to advise the Web Manager of your concern.

Enjoy browsing the MJPC Web Page.

Click "Download" to open/print a copy of these instructions.

^top   General Information Contact   Permalink ID: 1352167554 Posted: 11/05/12

► What is RSS?

What is RSS? Really Simple Syndication

Really Simple Syndication

* The RSS link (shown on the right) can be found in the upper right hand corner of the News and Events page.

* What is important about Really Simple Syndication? If you click on the logo, you will be prompted to subscribe to RSS, after which a link will be placed at the top of your Internet browser.

* Each time you open your browser, if you click on the Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church RSS link and update the page, you will be given a list of the LATEST News and Events items posted on the web page.

* If you recognize a new item that you have not previously read, all you need do is click on the title and you will be taken to the page.

The RSS link is a handy way to enable you to QUICKLY learn about the most CURRENT news and events at MJPC.

As an alternative, if you don't want to use the RSS link, then be sure to bookmark in your browser to open our web page and follow the important things going on in our church.

Click here to visit News and Events:

^top   General Information Contact   Permalink ID: 1353870865 Posted: 11/25/12

Clerk's Corner  

► MJPC Manual of Administrative Operations

► Download:
⇑ Click to close
Manual of Administrative Operations (pdf 27.2 Kb)

^top   Clerk's Corner Contact   Permalink ID: 1353380467 Posted: 11/19/12

► MJPC Policies

► Download:
⇑ Click to close
MJPC Policies (pdf 76.5 Kb)

^top   Clerk's Corner Contact   Permalink ID: 1353465296 Posted: 11/20/12

► Book of Order, 2011-2013

Book of Order, 2011-2013 Resource Link to Obtain a PDF copy from PC (U.S.A.)

Resource Link to Obtain a PDF copy from PC (U.S.A.)

Follow the below link if you would like to obtain your own free PDF copy of the 2011-2013 Book of Order from the PC (U.S.A.) website.

Click here:

^top   Clerk's Corner Contact   Permalink ID: 1353378311 Posted: 11/19/12

► Salem Presbytery

Salem Presbytery

Click on the below, downloadable file - Salem Presbytery - to open/access/read various information files (which are also linked so as to enable their retrieval on the Internet) from the Salem Presbytery to include:

- Presbytery Meetings Index of Information;

- Elder Commissioners for each church;

- Commissioner report form; and

- Voting at Presbytery meetings.

To open a link containing information about all 149 Churches and 2 New Church Developments in Salem Presbytery,

Click here:

► Download:
⇑ Click to close
Salem Presbytery (pdf 38.1 Kb)

^top   Clerk's Corner Contact   Permalink ID: 1353378503 Posted: 11/19/12

► What Does Salem Presbytery Do For The Local Congregation?

What Does Salem Presbytery Do For The Local Congregation?

Training Opportunities

• Training for Clerks of Session

• Officer Training

• Vacation Bible School preview

• “Acts 16:5 Initiative”

• Mission Conferences

• CLP (Commissioned Ruling Elder) Classes

• Special Spiritual/Educational events for Clergy/Educators

• Stewardship Education and Resourcing

• Healthy Boundary Training for Sexual Misconduct Prevention


• Monthly Neighborhood Newsletter

• Presbytery Web Site (

• EQUIP Support Team

• Hunger Action Advocate

• New Church Development/Church Transformation Committee

• Hispanic Ministry Coordinator

• International Mission Partnerships

-- Ghana, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, China

Direct Participation

• Campus Ministries

• Jr. High/Sr. High Youth Retreats

• Youth Triennium

• Presbytery Youth Council

• Outdoor Ministries (Camp Grier, Non site-based Camping)

• Annual Mission Trips to Mexico


• Community Mission Grant

• Local/International Hunger Grants

• New Church Development/Church Transformation Grants

• Hispanic Mission Grants


• Pastoral/Associate Pastoral/Co-Pastor/Educator Searches

• Dealing with Conflict

• Staff Available for retreats/Consultations

-- Long-Range Planning

-- Working together as Pastor-Session, Session-Congregation, Pastor-Congregation

-- Education ministry development/strategy

-- Financial work of the Congregation

• Help with Pulpit Supply

• Review your Sessional Minutes

• Answer question (program & support staff)

• Provide Links to General Assembly Resources

• Spiritual Retreat for Members (Presbyterian Pilgrimage)

• Spiritual Retreat for Youth (Arise)

• Prison Ministry for Members (Kairos)

• Presbyterian Foundation

• Synod Aging Ministry

^top   Clerk's Corner Contact   Permalink ID: 1366599713 Posted: 04/21/13

MJPC Committees       Downloadable EOY Reports and Committee Minutes are attached.

► Committee and Session Meetings

Committee and Session Meetings Listing of dates/times of Committee/Session meetings

Listing of dates/times of Committee/Session meetings

Elders: be sure to bookmark this posting and check back often to keep apprised of upcoming Committee and Session meetings. If available, information for Elders will also be posted in the Session Only page on the MJPC Website.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1357517116 Posted: 01/06/13

► Building and Grounds Committee

Building and Grounds Committee

Church buildings take lots of upkeep, and the Building and Grounds Committee works hard to keep the church in good repair, clean, and the grounds in good shape. It also oversees usage of the building by outside groups.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351352051 Posted: 10/27/12

► Care Committee

Care Committee

So, then, as we have the opportunity, let us do well to everyone, and especially to those who are in the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

GOAL: Give the proper care and assistance to the members of our church (or other request) who need or desire care, due to circumstances that occur or have occurred.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351352085 Posted: 10/27/12

► Discipleship Committee

Discipleship Committee

* In accordance with the Book of Order, the Committee shall provide for the "preservation of the truth" as professed in our Reformed tradition of faith.

* Recruit, train and equip leaders in the educational programs of the church. Plan a variety of learning opportunities for our members such that we may grow in our understanding and knowledge of God, and Discipleship in accordance with the Reformed Faith. Promote learning opportunities for our members both within and outside the congregation.

* The Christian Education Committee shall include at least two elders, in addtion to the hired Director of Children's Ministry.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351352123 Posted: 10/27/12

► Fellowship and Hospitality Committee

Fellowship and Hospitality Committee

The Fellowship and Hospitality Committee plans get-togethers for the congregation like church suppers, or outings to see plays, visits to historic churches, browsing through interesting towns, or just eating out together and listening to some bluegrass. The Committee also looks for ways to help our visitors feel welcomed and at home at MJPC.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351352322 Posted: 10/27/12

► Finance and Stewardship Committee

Finance and Stewardship Committee

* In accordance with the Book of Order (G-10.0400) the Finance and

Administration Committee shall provide for the Financial Support of the Church; have oversight over the stewardship of time, talent, and treasure in our congregation; and provide a forma process by which the session may select and evaluate the professional staff.

* The Committee also has the important task of the annual Stewardship Campaign, which helps us to plan our budget efficiently every year.

* The Finance & Administration Committee shall include at least two elders.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351352344 Posted: 10/27/12

► Mission Committee

Mission Committee

* In accordance with the Book of Order, the Committee shall lead the congregation in promoting "social righteousness and exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world" (G-1.0200).

* The Committee shall promote the work and love of our Lord Jesus Christ through service to the world and to support mission projects locally, nationally and internationally.

* The Mission Committee shall include at least two elders.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351351428 Posted: 10/27/12

► Personnel and Administration Committee

Personnel and Administration Committee

Personnel Committee Responsibilities

Session Personnel Committee

Purpose: To provide for an orderly, focused and considerate means for the session to build a healthy work environment.

Membership: Three persons: one from the session, one of whom shall be appointed chair by the session, and three members from the congregation. The pastor serves as an ex-officio member.

All members are appointed by the session. The committee will be divided into classes which are determined by the session’s normal rotation process. No one may serve more than two consecutive terms.

Meetings: The committee shall meet at least quarterly and on the call of the chairperson and pastor.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1358270839 Posted: 01/15/13

► Worship Committee

Worship Committee

* In accordance with the Book of Order, the Committee shall provide for the 'proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind and the maintenance of divine worship' (G-1.0200).

* The Committee shall plan, in conjunction with the pastor and music staff, regular and special worship services, and to provide worship services support.

* The Worship Committee shall include at least two elders.

^top   MJPC Committees Contact   Permalink ID: 1351351993 Posted: 10/27/12

Elder Information  

► Information Needed for Service as an Elder

Persons interested/willing to serve Mount Jefferson Presbyterian Church as an Elder should review the below, downloadable file that lists "Elder Commitments" for the role.

► Download:
⇑ Click to close
Elder Commitments (pdf 499.5 Kb)

^top   Elder Information Contact   Permalink ID: 1442767644 Posted: 09/20/15