Over 100 people gathered in Edmunds Hall to observe the Reverend Rachel Parsons-Wells’ ’02 installation as a teaching elder and director of religious life and service during an ecumenical worship service held on November 12, 2014. The service was planned by student members of various campus religious organizations.
Presbyterian College established an Installation Commission with representatives from the faculty, staff and students of PC, as well as representatives of Trinity Presbytery. Students from all different religious groups on campus, as well as a pharmacy faculty member, led the attendees in hymns, praise songs, scripture, prayers and a sermon prior to the official installation.
Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins ’81, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clinton officiated over the Presbyterian Church (USA) formal installation portion of the service and led the constitutional questions for Rev. Parsons-Wells. Assisting in the ceremony were ruling elders from Trinity Presbytery: Andrea Flores, Mary Fortune ’76 of First Presbyterian Church of Laurens and Ed Young ’75 of First Presbyterian Church of Clinton. Sophomore Ellison Brown asked questions of the Congregation. Dr. Bob Bryant, Kristin Herrington professor of Bible, chair, department of religion and philosophy, led the laying on of hands. Dr. Peter Hobbie, the Emma Bailey and the Rev. George H. Cornelson professor emeritus of the Christian religion, provided the charge. Other members of the installation committee present were Director for Student Involvement and Multicultural Programs Lashawna Wright and Professor of English Dr. Lynne Simpson.
Rev. Parsons-Wells graduated from Presbyterian College in 2002 with a degree in psychology. She obtained her masters of divinity degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in 2007. Her husband, Jacob, and son, Dylan, live in Clinton. She stated during the worship service that the installation is similar to downloading an app to an iPhone. Installing her in this role here at PC puts her “into place” in this community to serve together through good and bad times. Rev. Parsons-Wells oversees religious life activities, as well as Student Volunteer Services and the CHAMPS program.