Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 23 at Fourth United Presbyterian Church

I have been so tired the last two Thursday evenings as I start my drive from the Public Defender's Office in Maryville to our church's Thursday night Bible Study in Knoxville. And, each time, I have gotten new life, new energy, a second wind. I don't know how else to describe it but to say that there is just something very real and very hopeful that is happening at our church. After over a year of struggle to deal with merger issues, conflicts, building problems, racial prejudice, the hope I had for this new church is looking like something real. We are a black church, but we have some white members, and now we have a new group of Presbyterians who are looking for a home because they are too progressive and liberal for the churches in our Presbytery. These new friends are all white people, and there is also this group of Anglicans who are meeting as a house church who are interested in joining with us at times.

There is a real hunger in our world for something real, especially in religion where we meet with what is most real and also more often with what is most unreal.

All I can say for our church, 4th United Presbyterian Church, is that it is real. I am tired these days and seeing things through dark glasses. But, something about these Bible studies just breaks through that. We really tell the truth when we meet. We really struggle to find something holy. You just can't find that in this world, or, at least not too often.

And, it is seeming to me and Sonya (my co-pastor) that there is something going on that just feels a lot bigger than us. We may be delusional, but we know that something good is going to happen - something new is going to happen. It seems to me that we are going to burst the bonds of religion and even break down the barriers between those who are "religious" and those who are not. We are feeling the universal reach of God's reconciling love in Jesus Christ.

I am really lucky to have Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen to work with. Because she is who she is. She loves the truth, and stubbornly works to put truth at the center of the life of our church. It is uncomfortable at times when she seeks to break through the comfortable traditions to the truth, but at this time when I am in so much need of truth, it is very, very comforting.

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


  1. Thanks George, I feel equally blessed to be with in ministry and friendship with you. You know honesty and truth are just golden. We could go very far trying to live with both. I think we're truly on the brink of something real and real good. Thanks be to God. It takes leaders who are a little irreverent, fearless, crazy, but loving peace to go with God, even when it looks crazy.
    Dont know but I like where we are and I like where I think.....we're going.