Banner Elk Presbyterian Church was born into a very rural, small mountain community in 1893. Since then, it has been an integral part of the growth of the town and the adjacent Lees-McRae College campus. Today, Banner Elk is a town of about 1,300 residents in the beautiful High Country of the Blue Ridge Mountains (elevation 3,700 ft). During the college year, we welcome an additional 1,000 students. In addition, our friendly resort town has many part-time summer residents that enjoy our cool temperatures. Winters can be snowy, with visitors flocking to two of the largest ski resorts in the South: Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain.
Our congregation is diverse and welcoming to all. Find a mix of longtime locals and recent transplants with fascinating stories and amazing talents. We learn from each other’s differences, albeit liberal or conservative, and celebrate our similarities. Our members come from a variety of religious denominations and traditions. Each summer, part-time residents return to double our congregation size – adding a 8:30 a.m. worship service to accommodate the larger attendance.
During the week, the church building is bustling with a Preschool, educational and social gatherings, and many church and community ministries. Outside our walls, many members volunteer regularly at many non-profits to provide food, clothing, shelter and hope to our neighbors.
Our congregation is part of the Presbyterian Church (USA), a mainline Protestant denomination known for its relatively progressive stance on doctrine. PC(USA) has more than 1.7 million members in more than 10,000 congregations and worshiping communities answering Christ’s call to mission and ministry throughout the United States and the world.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) is governed by sessions, presbyteries and synods. Local congregations elect a board called the session comprised of members who serve three-year terms. A non-voting senior minister moderates the session. Congregations also elect presbyters who form a presbytery to oversee regional groups of local churches. Presbyteries are then governed by synods, and all the synods together form the General Assembly. Confused yet? Read more about PCUSA.
Banner Elk is part of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina with 97 other congregations. We partner for many additional ministries and missions.
Banner Elk Presbyterian Church has had an interesting history, rich in service and ministry since 1893. Rev. Edgar Tufts founded Lees-McRae College and Grandfather Mountain Children Home, in addition to bringing health care and electricity to the valley. Read our history.
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