Tabernacle Presbyterian Church began as a vision of the Session of Covenant Presbyterian Church for planting Christ-centered churches the Shenandoah Valley region. The Augusta County area was selected and during the summer of 2001, the vision was developed into a mid-week Bible study for those people interested in planting a church in the area. By the end of the summer and after much prayer, a core group had been identified and they decided to proceed with forming a particular church.
In the fall of 2001, the weekly Bible study continued while preparations were made for holding Sunday services. The property on Red Top Orchard Road was rented from the Virginia Associated Reformed Presbytery in early 2002 and after 2 months of cleaning and preparing the building, our first Sunday service was held March 31, 2002. By then end of 2002, additional help was needed to prepare for worship each week and Tim Peters was hired part-time as a Director of Worship and Youth Ministries while he continued his seminary education.
On September 14, 2003, the members of Tabernacle signed a petition to the Blue Ridge Presbytery requesting particularization (the formal recognition of a new church).
Organization petition signing
This petition was accepted by the Blue Ridge Presbytery at their October meeting. A Pulpit Committee was also elected at this meeting for the purpose of calling a pastor. The Pulpit Committee nominated the organizing pastor, Essen Daley and the members voted to extend a call to Essen at the meeting held December 14, 2003. At this same meeting, the church nominated and approved Chuck Bading and Frank Root for the office of Ruling Elder. The Blue Ridge Presbytery accepted the call to Essen and the elections for Ruling Elder at their January meeting.
As the church membership and weekly attendance grew and the end of the building lease approached, alternative locations were considered for worship services, but with no available facility able to offer a comparable alternative, the members voted to purchase the Red Top Orchard Road building and the sale was completed in late December 2003.