410 East Carolina Ave.
P.O. Box 29
Clinton, SC,  29325


Welcome The Rev. Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins

jeri picture2

The Reverend Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins

Born on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1958, in Spartanburg, The Reverend Dr. Jeri Parris Perkins hails from a family of Scots-Irish immigrants who have been in the Walnut Grove-Pauline-Spartanburg area since the 1780's.  An honor graduate of Spartanburg High School in 1977, she received a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in Religion/Christian Education from Presbyterian College in 1981 and a Master of Divinity (with distinction) from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur in 1987.  In the fall of 1984, she studied at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica, and in 1985-86 at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She received the degree of Doctor of Ministry from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago in 1994.

Jeri grew up under the influence of two spitfire grandmothers - one nicknamed "Scoots!" She met her husband Phil, a Clinical Counselor with ReGenesis medical practice, at PC and they married during her seminary years.  They adopted Kelley, a fifteen-year-old young woman who was growing up at Thornwell Home for Children who is now 41, married, and an attorney in the Aiken County Public Defender’s Office.  She and her husband, Trey, have two daughters, Jeri Katherine (Katie) age 7 and Carly Elizabeth, 4.  Jeri and Phil also adopted an infant, Catherine Carlisle, who has become a terrific 18-year old before their eyes. In 2012, Jenn Paden, a senior at PC and a College Intern at FPC Clinton, joined their family as well.

Jeri began her career as Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church, Laurens, from 1981-1983.  During her seminary years, she served pastoral internships at several churches and spent the academic year from September 1985-July 1986 as Pastoral Intern at The Martyrs' Parish Church, Glasgow, Scotland.  Upon her seminary graduation in June of 1987, she was ordained and installed as the Associate Pastor and Professor of Bible/Ethics at Thornwell Home and School for Children.  She served as Pastor of Owings Presbyterian Church in Owings, SC, from 1988-1992, and as Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Aiken, SC, from 1993-1998.Jeri was also the Chaplain of Presbyterian Home in Clinton and Frampton Hall, 1998-2001, and an Adjunct Instructor of Religion at Presbyterian College, 1999-2001.  In May of 2001, she became the Pastor and Head of Staff of First Presbyterian Church, Hartsville, SC, and served until August of 2010 when she returned to Clinton to assume her current position as the first Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life and Director of the Cornelson Center for the Exploration of Christian Practice at Presbyterian College.

Jeri has been involved in many church-wide and community leadership programs including: Moderator of Trinity Presbytery and Presbytery Council; Moderator of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry in Trinity Presbytery and the Presbytery of New Harmony; and Moderator of the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery of New Harmony. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees for Presbyterian College where she served as Vice-Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, Chair of the Student Life Committee, and served on the Executive Committee. She also served on the Strategic Planning Task Force for Coker College.  Jeri has been the Chair of the Board of the Darlington County Habitat for Humanity as well as a member of local Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. She has been preacher/teacher for numerous retreats, workshops, and conferences throughout the Southeast and has received numerous service awards including the Mary Dean Brewer Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of SC and a scholarship established in her honor at Presbyterian College by FPC Hartsville. 

family1“She pours her heart and soul into all she believes and feels The Lord has called her to do, and she definitely feels a call to Clinton First Presbyterian Church and will serve and lead our church as The Lord compels her in the future.”

~Dixie Prickett, committee member

This fall Jeri was the preacher and worship leader for the Triennial Gathering of the Presbyterian Women of the Synod of the South Atlantic and has been chosen to serve on a PC (USA) Delegation to Israel and Palestine with the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship in January 2014. 

As is evident from this summary, Jeri’s background, formal education, and life’s work have prepared her to serve as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Clinton.  In many ways, she is uniquely qualified to guide our church in these challenging times as we seek to serve our God ever more faithfully.

Last Published: June 30, 2014 1:44 PM
Empowered by Extend, a church software solution from