Faith & Family

First Presbyterian Church of Franklin calls new pastor

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At a special congregational meeting on March 17, First Presbyterian Church of Franklin voted to welcome Elizabeth Jean (Betsy) Stow as its new pastor. 

Rev. Stow grew up in Suffolk, Va., and obtained an undergraduate and graduate degree before working as a public librarian in the Savannah, Ga. region for 11 years. But in 2015 she entered Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., completed her Master of Divinity degree in May 2018, and was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) later that summer. 

ELIZABETH STOW has been chosen to lead the First Prebyterian Church of Franklin.

During her ministry, Stow has served as a hospital chaplain, a hospice chaplain, a retirement community chaplain, a supply pastor, and a church musician. She is currently the assistant director of public services at the John Bulow Campbell Library of Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Ga., where she has served since January 2022.

“She is a warm and caring person who values her ability to give pastoral and spiritual support to our members,” said Gail Lehman, chair of the pastor nominating committee, about Stow. “Romans 12:15 says ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.’ She wants to walk side by side with us, empowering us to find our own calling in the church, be part of our community as we are called to serve, and lead a meaningful worship to help us to grow in our relationship with God.” 

Rev. Stow begins her service at First Presbyterian Church of Franklin on April 15, preaching her first sermon as pastor on Sunday, April 21. A formal installation service and reception will be scheduled at a later date.