The Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) recognizes two kinds of biblically sanctioned church officers, or ordained leaders, continuing beyond the apostolic age of the church. Chapter 7 paragraph 2 of the PCA’s Book of Church Order defines these kinds, or classes, of ecclesiastical office, “The ordinary and perpetual classes of office in the Church are elders and deacons. Within the class of elder are the two orders of teaching and ruling elders. The elders jointly have the government and spiritual oversight of the Church, including teaching. Only those elders who are specially gifted, called and trained by God to preach may serve as teaching elders. The office of deacon is not one of rule, but rather of service both to the physical and spiritual needs of the people. In accord with Scripture, these offices are open to men only.”
As a mission work, Antioch Presbyterian Church is currently governed and overseen by a provisional session of elders serving as a commission of Calvary Presbytery. The seven men appointed to the provisional session are active elders within the bounds of Calvary Presbytery, and have graciously agreed to serve “above-and-beyond” to encourage the revitalization of Antioch. They include:
- Dr. Chipley Bennett, PhD – Ruling Elder, Providence Presbyterian Church
- Dr. E. Todd Buchner, DMin – Teaching Elder, Reidville Presbyterian Church
- Mr. W. Tosh Groce – Ruling Elder, Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church
- Mr. Zachary Groff – Teaching Elder, Antioch Presbyterian Church
- Mr. Richard Hollifield – Ruling Elder, Roebuck Presbyterian Church
- Mr. William Johnson – Ruling Elder, Woodruff Road Presbyterian Church
- Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., PhD, DD – Professor of Systematic & Applied Theology, President Emeritus, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; Organizing Pastor & Moderator of the Provisional Session of Antioch Presbyterian Church
At this time, Antioch Presbyterian Church does not yet have a diaconate.
The staff of Antioch Presbyterian Church includes the two pastors whom Calvary Presbytery has called to labor in ministry at Antioch, and a pastoral intern studying for the ministry at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., PhD, DD
Dr. Pipa is one of the charter Teaching Elders of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), having come into the denomination at its formation in 1973. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Dr. Pipa holds degrees from Belhaven College (BA), Reformed Theological Seminary (MDiv), Westminster Theological Seminary (PhD), and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (DD). Dr. Pipa has pastored congregations in Mississippi, Texas, and California. During the 1990s, he labored as a Seminary professor at Westminster Seminary California, where he directed the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program. From 1998 to 2020, Dr. Pipa served as President of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he continues to teach full-time as Professor of Systematic & Applied Theology. He has authored or edited many books and academic articles (for a list, click here). He is married to Mrs. Carolyn “Sissy” Pipa, and they have two grown children and ten grandchildren.
Pastor Groff was ordained to the gospel ministry in 2021, having previously served Antioch as Ministerial Assistant. A native of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, Zack holds degrees from Temple University (BA) and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv). He currently works full-time as Director of Advancement & Admissions at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he has worked since January 2017. Before coming to South Carolina, Zack worked in college ministry area leadership in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has authored several academic articles, and he regularly writes for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and the Gospel Reformation Network (for a list of publications, click here). He is married to Mrs. Jocelyn Groff, and they have six children.
Mr. Timothy Cook
Mr. Cook joined Antioch in 2021 and immediately began a pastoral internship under the oversight of Antioch’s provisional session. A native of Tampa, Florida, Tim is a graduate of Liberty University currently pursuing a Master of Divinity (MDiv) at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Before coming to South Carolina, Tim was a candidate for the ministry under-care of the Southwest Florida Presbytery of the PCA, under the immediate oversight of the session of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Brandon, FL.