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A called meeting of the General Assembly is scheduled for May 1 at 4:00 p.m. EST to approve a motion to reschedule the 40th General Assembly from June 23-26, 2020, to September 17-18, 2020. The called meeting will be conducted as a video conference. The motion that the called meeting of the General Assembly will be asked to approve is:

The 40th General Assembly of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is rescheduled from June 23-26, 2020, at Hope Presbyterian Church, Cordova, Tennessee, to September 17-18, 2020, at Hope Presbyterian Church, Cordova, Tennessee.

The proposed September 17-18 meeting will be business only, with no Leadership Institute on Tuesday or Wednesday. Office of the General Assembly staff is exploring the possibility of providing virtual as well as on-site participation for Commissioners.

The information below reflects the schedule and speakers as of March 2020 and is subject to significant change depending on the outcome of the called meeting on May 1. 


The EPC’s Women’s Resource Council is sponsoring a variety of relevant and practical events at the 40th General Assembly. These gatherings are designed specifically for women in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We hope you’ll join us!

Tuesday, June 23
Wednesday, June 24
Thursday, June 25



12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Topic: “In Unity, Liberty, and Charity: Developing Women Leaders in the EPC”
Host: Carolyn Poteet
Location: TBA

A panel discussion with both women and men in leadership in the EPC, discussing what it means to live out our motto, “In Non-Essentials, Liberty.” We will look at what the founders of the EPC meant when they included women’s ordination as a non-essential; share positive stories about people who have helped women understand, grow, and walk in their calling; and reaffirm our unity within the essential tenets as biblically faithful men and women who may disagree on non-essentials like these.

Carolyn Poteet serves as Pastor of Mt. Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Carolyn Poteet



12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Topic: “What Is the Gospel?”
Host: Shannon Basso
Location: TBA

What is the gospel? It’s a word Christians use regularly. But what does it really mean, and how are we to share it and live a life that reflects its truth? Come and be equipped to understand and share the gospel as you “go” into the world with Christ.

Shannon Basso is the Director of Women’s Ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida, and Founder of BECOMING Magazine. She is passionate about educating and equipping women with life-changing biblical truth and is grateful to be a part of a community of women who devote themselves to this cause. Shannon and her husband, Justin, have three children: Evelyn, Will, and Olivia.

Shannon Basso


5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Speakers: Gail Goolsby, Jessica Morris, Sally Saggio
Location: TBA

This year we will focus on the topic, “Making the Gospel Real.” Each TESS Talk is a ten-minute presentation followed by 15-minute table discussions, with questions provided.

Sharing Christ in Our World Today

There are foreigners all around us in this war-ravaged, immigrant-rich, modern world. How do we connect in Christ-like, fear-absent, culturally correct ways? Whether at the nail salon, convenience store, neighbor park, or during a short-term mission trip, we can present ourselves as caring, secure Christ-followers. Let’s explore this wonderful opportunity to touch nations previously closed off but now in our spheres of connection.

Gail Goolsby has more than 25 years of educational experience as teacher, school counselor, and principal—including the K-12 American school in Afghanistan. Her book, Unveiled Truth: Lessons I Learned Leading the International School of Kabul, details the experience with challenging applications for all readers. Gail and her pastor husband have been married 42 years and have three grown children, two sons-in-law, and four granddaughters. As a counselor and ICF-certified life coach, Gail believes there is support and encouragement in God’s Word to help us all learn to live well.

Gail Goolsby

Evangelizing the Generations

Navigating how to share our faith and cultivate relationships among different generations can seem overwhelming and incredibly complicated. Jessica Morris will share her experiences from serving in a multiethnic, mutigenerational church, as well as offer biblical principles to bridging the generational gap in our homes, churches, and communities.

Jessica Morris serves as Assistant Pastor and Weekend Worship Navigator for Hope Church in Cordova, Tennessee.

Jessica Morris

Praying Out Loud for Others—What a Privilege!

Praying out loud can be scary. Many feel our prayers are inadequate or that we cannot pray as eloquent as other believers. But remembering that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and in knowing we are not praying to others—we are praying to God on the behalf of others—gives us confidence that we are not alone. What a privilege it is to pray out loud with others for mutual encouragement and edification.

Sally Saggio has held various positions in the church for 40 years, including elder, deacon, Hospital Visitation Ministry leader, Prayer Team leader, women’s retreat speaker, Bible study leader, and Sunday School teacher. Now retired, she and her husband, Ron, have been married for 50 years. They have two children and four grandchildren. She enjoys book club, playing Mah Jongg, and riding with her husband in their antique car.

Sally Saggio



11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Topic: “Just Love”
Host: Jacqueline Smith
Location: South Hall

Join Jacqueline Smith, Mary Ann Ruff, and the AngelStreet Girls Choir of Memphis for lunch and a program based on the theme of “Just Love.”

Jacqueline Smith has been married to Rufus, Senior Pastor of Hope Church, for more than 30 years. They have three adult children, all of whom live in Memphis and work in professions that empower those who are under-resourced.

Mary Ann Ruff serves as Director of Women’s Ministry for Hope Church.

AngelStreet develops girls by providing musical training in communities with limited artistic opportunities. The AngelStreet experience is an outlet of creativity that strives to invest in young artists to encourage, nurture, and develop deep desires for furthering education.

Jacqueline Smith


12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Topic: “Female Teaching Elders and Candidates”
Host: Anne Horton
Location: TBA

All female Teaching Elders (and female candidates for TE ordination) are invited to join us for an opportunity to connect, encourage, and pray for one another. Please note that this lunch is specifically designed and reserved for female Teaching Elders (and ordination candidates).

Anne Horton serves as Pastor of Cedarville United Presbyterian Church in Cedarville, Ohio.

Anne Horton


5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Topic: “Share the Gospel As We Go”
Speaker: Carmen LaBerge
Location: TBA

Sharing the gospel as we go—everywhere, always, and in all ways. As women, we intersect with people from all walks of life in all kinds of spaces. So how do we capitalize on the divine appointment God has set and share the gospel as we go through an ordinary day? With stories from her own experiences at the grocery store, coffee shop, drug store, airport, and hospital, Carmen LaBerge will remove the mystery and offer practical ideas for effectively serving as Ambassadors of the King and the Kingdom in the midst of the various kingdoms of this world. As a gift, women will receive a signed copy of her book, Speak the Truth: How to Bring God Back into Everyday Conversations.

Carmen Fowler LaBerge communicates the gospel every day in everyday language via her nationally syndicated “Mornings with Carmen” radio broadcast and through the one-minute ReconnectOne program, online at, and via social media. She is an author and public theologian equipping Christians to walk their faith out into the real world in ways that honor Jesus. She spent 17 years in Presbyterian ministry and now labors as a lay person within the wider evangelical community. She has an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and lives near Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, Jim. 

Carmen LaBerge

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