The Pulpit Search Committee at First Presbyterian Church is recommending Dr. Gabriel Fluhrer to the congregation to be the next senior pastor of the historic Chattanooga church.
Dr. Fluhrer will preach at First Presbyterian on May 9.
He will be just the 14th pastor at First Presbyterian in its long history dating back to the early days of Chattanooga.
The most recent pastor, Dr. Tim Tinsley, died earlier this year.
Here is what Dr. Fluhrer shared about himself and his family:
I was born in Ohio in 1978, one of four boys, while my father was completing his doctorate. From there, my family moved around, following my dad’s career as a college professor and administrator. My mom taught English as a Second Language for most of her career. Eventually, our family moved to Greenville, South Carolina, in the late 1980s and that was home for most of my life. While in high school, I made a profession of faith, but quickly fell away. I began my college studies at a satellite campus of the University of South Carolina and transferred to the main campus in Columbia to complete my last two years. I graduated with a degree in philosophy, with aspirations of graduate school and then law school.
While attending South Carolina, I met Callie, whose mother’s family is from Lexington, Kentucky, while her father and his siblings grew up on Signal Mountain. (Those in Callie’s dad’s family were longtime members of Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church. Callie spent many family Thanksgivings visiting relatives in Chattanooga.) She came to the University of South Carolina to study nursing. We were introduced by mutual friends and then the Lord began to work in our lives.
I was born again, by God’s amazing grace, about the time I graduated in 2002 and Callie came to faith in Christ shortly thereafter. I moved back to Greenville and began to work in youth ministry. She graduated in 2004 and took a job as an oncology nurse at a hospital in Greenville. We were discipled by a number of godly men and women during this time and were married in April of 2005.
Our first daughter, Garner Katherine, was born in 2006. Daughters Anna Abigail and Dorothy Caldwell were born in 2010 and 2015, respectively. They love swimming, horseback riding, tennis, music, and basically anything fun outside.
From 2004 until 2010 I served on the staff of the historic Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville. I graduated from Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2008 and was ordained to the ministry that same year. From 2010 to 2015 I studied at Westminster Theological Seminary, which concluded with an award of Ph.D. in Historical and Theological Studies. Today, I continue to serve on the Board of Trustees at Westminster Theological Seminary. My time at Westminster coincided with my serving as church planter of Shiloh Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, N.C. from 2011 to 2015. From 2015-2017 I served on the staff of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, Miss., and was called to First Presbyterian in Columbia in 2017. Also, in 2017, we suffered the unexpected loss of Callie’s mother, which was a very difficult time for our family. But God was gracious and has drawn close to us. Both in Jackson and here in Columbia, my main responsibilities have been preaching and leadership
Our family feels incredibly honored to be called by God to First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga. We believe it is a church with a rich history and a bright future, both of which combine to make this an amazing opportunity to watch the Lord do great things by His grace alone. Knowing something of Chattanooga through Callie’s family roots, we believe it is a strategic city for Christ’s kingdom, and First Presbyterian Chattanooga is at the heart of it. I feel called to serve First Presbyterian Chattanooga in any way I can to help her fulfill her vision as a city-center church reaching Chattanooga and the world with the greatest news ever. Finally, our family cannot wait to meet all of you.
It is only by the Lord’s voice and His unique timing that we feel called to Chattanooga. We very much feel like we are stepping out in faith like Abraham, when he followed God’s instruction to “leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” As we look back at our ministry at First Presbyterian Columbia, we have seen the Lord grow a small Sunday School class into a large vibrant class that includes a multi-generational group of seekers (non-believers), new believers and longtime believers called to work in areas of mercy ministry and racial reconciliation.
EDUCATION Ph.D. Historical and Theological Studies (Apologetics), 2015 Westminster Theological Seminary M.Div., 2008 Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary B.A. Philosophy, 2002 University of South Carolina
MINISTRY and TEACHING EXPERIENCE Director Christian Education then Assistant Minister, 2005-2010 Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, South Carolina Organizing Pastor, 2011-2015 Shiloh Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, North Carolina Assistant Minister, 2015-2017 First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi Associate Minister of Discipleship, 2017-Present First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina Professor of Record, 2014-Present Reformed Theological Seminary, Distance Education Department Visiting Professor of Theology and Philosophy, 2017-Present Reformed Theological Seminary, Houston, Atlanta, and Charlotte campuses
SELECT PUBLICATIONS Editor, Atonement, P&R Publishing, 2010 Editor, Solid Ground, P&R Publishing, 2012 Regular contributor to Ligonier Ministries’ monthly magazine TABLETALK Author, Alive: How the Resurrection of Christ Changes Everything, Reformation Trust Publishers, 2020 A full version of Gabe’s resume may be accessed via the following QR code:
You may listen to Gabe’s sermons by going to www.sermonaudio.com or by downloading the sermonaudio app and searching by Dr. Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer.