At Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church, our purpose is to:
GLORIFY God through ministry, prayer and worship, as we
WELCOME all people to a journey of faith in Christ;
CELEBRATE the presence of the Holy Spirit through worship;
SHARE our gifts, talents, time and financial resources;
EQUIP people for discipleship through Christian education;
NURTURE and love each other through fellowship as a family of faith;
and SERVE those within Knoxville and throughout the world in Jesus’ name.
Who We Are
We believe that Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior and that all people everywhere are called to place their faith, hope, and love in him. We therefore worship him as we acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church; through him we believe in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the authoritative witness without parallel to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to us.
We sincerely receive, adopt, and believe in the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church to be authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do. Those tenets are:
1. The majesty, holiness, and providence of God who creates, sustains, rules, and redeems the world in the freedom of sovereign righteousness and love
2. The election of the people of God for service as well as for salvation
3. Covenant life marked by a disciplined concern for order in the church according to the Word of God
4. A faithful stewardship that shuns ostentation and seeks proper use of God’s creation
5. The recognition of the human tendency to idolatry and tyranny which informs our call to work for the transformation of society by seeking justice and living in obedience to the Word of God.
Within the Reformed tradition, we are a congregation within the denomination known as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and an active church in the Presbytery of East Tennesee.
Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church (SHPC) was organized with seventy-eight (78) charter members on May 22, 1947. The church was established by the Knoxville Presbytery under the sponsorship of the First Presbyterian Church of Knoxville. The organizing pastor, Dr. Julian W. Spitzer, was called as the first Pastor on November 2, 1947.
Under Dr. Spitzer’s leadership, the church grew rapidly. Construction occurred in phases, the first of which included the chapel, offices, and classrooms. Services were first held in the Chapel in December 1949. The sanctuary was completed in March 1954, and the first education building in November 1956. In turn, the Sequoyah congregation sponsored the organization of the Lake Hills Presbyterian Church in 1957 and the West Hills Presbyterian Church in 1963. SHPC was also instrumental in negotiating a relationship between Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and the Knoxville Presbytery, as well as being involved in the formation of Camp John Knox.
Dr. Spitzer retired in March 1979, and Dr. William R. (Bill) Barron was called as Sequoyah Church’s second Pastor in March 1981. In September 1985, ground was broken for construction of the administration building which included a fellowship hall and the expansion and remodeling of the Sanctuary.
During these years, SHPC experienced a tremendous growth in young families in our church community. We opened our doors to several community groups such as the Boy Scout and the Girl Scout troops, neighborhood meetings, exercise and art classes, a monthly community luncheon, many senior activities, and several 12-Step programs. In 1994, Stephen Ministry was established at SHPC serving church members and community friends who were experiencing difficulties in their lives.
Supporting outreach projects and mission work has always been an important part of our church tradition as we share our time, talents and financial resources within the Knoxville community and across the globe. As SHPC supports missionary families around the world, we also have taken mission trips to Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Mexico, Appalachia, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In addition, our congregation is involved in many local and regional activities and services, such as Habitat for Humanity, the Appalachian Task Force at Rose’s Creek, FISH, West Knox Food Pantry, and ministries to the homeless.
As we were outgrowing our facilities in the late 1990s, SHPC’s “Building for Tomorrow” campaign raised almost $5 million (goal: $3.4 million) to fulfill our commitment to an expanded Christian education program. In October 2000, construction was completed on the Spitzer Education Building, a three-level state-of- the-art facility which ushered in a new era of educational ministry. The lower level, called the Kingdom, is devoted to classrooms for the rotation model of Christian education for elementary-aged children. The main level includes a library and has classrooms for nursery aged through preschool children. The upper level is dedicated to adult and youth ministry. In 2003 a new preschool program called the Sequoyah Hills Early Enrichment Program (SHEEP) began operating as a ministry to those in our community. Today, SHEEP is recognized as one of the top early childhood enrichment programs in the state.
- August 2005 – Rev. Mark D. Lampley, Associate Pastor of Christian Formation, installed.
- June 2008 – Dr. William R. (Bill) Barron retired. At his retirement celebration, the Fellowship Hall was renamed Barron Hall in his honor.
- March 2011 – Dr. Holton Siegling, Jr. installed as the third pastor of SHPC.
- August 2012 – Dr. William R. (Bill)Barron named Pastor Emeritus.
- June 2016 – Dr. Holton Siegling, Jr. was called to South Carolina.
- September 2016 – Rev. Rachel Hamburger, Associate Pastor of Congregational Life, installed.
- January 2018 – Dr. Steven P. (Steve) Eason called to serve as Interim Pastor.
- June 2019 – Dr. Steven P. (Steve) Eason retired.
- September 2019 – Dr. John F. (Jay) Howell III installed as the fourth pastor/head of staff of SHPC.
As an active church in the Presbytery of East Tennessee and the Knoxville community, the twelve hundred (1200) members of Sequoyah Hills Presbyterian Church look forward to serving Christ in our church, our community and the world as we strive to be “inwardly strong and outwardly focused.”
- Presbytery of East Tennessee
- Presbyterian Church (USA)
- Presbyterian Affiliated Colleges: King College, Bristol, TN; Knoxville College, Knoxville, TN; Maryville College; Maryville, TN; Montreat College, Montreat, NC; Tusculum College, Greenville, TN
- Presbyterian Seminaries: Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, GA; Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY; Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA