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Meet Tyler Majors: Pastoral Intern at Lakeway Presbyterian

This June, Tyler Majors became Lakeway Presbyterian’s first pastoral intern. The Morristown, TN church is led by planting pastor Chris Talley, and Tyler has joined Chris in the effort to build community and shepherd the flock.

Chris has invited Tyler, who is going through the ordination process, to preach several times, and he also brought Tyler along to General Assembly as an introduction to the broader denomination. Tyler also helps lead worship services and a men’s leadership book study. Tyler explained, “It’s about how they can be leaders themselves, in their families, and in the church.” This ties into the church’s goal to raise up elders and deacons ahead of particularization.

Tyler continued, “We live on the western edge of our church’s sphere, near Reformed University Fellowship at Carson Newman in Jefferson City. I’m focusing on building community there.”

Tyler and his wife, Katie, both grew up in Grainger County, the county adjacent to Morristown. Growing up in Southern Baptist churches, Tyler said he wasn’t interested in church as a child. He made a profession of faith at Vacation Bible School, but he didn’t take it seriously. His family eventually stopped going to church.

However, a friend in middle school invited him to a summer church camp, and this was a turning point for Tyler. He recalled, “I thought, ‘These people are fun, and they go to church. I could hang out with them.’ I started going to that church where I had great male mentors that filled a father-figure role.”

In this season, Tyler grew to love studying the Bible. “There was no grand moment of conversion; it was just slowly being under the chisel, realizing I actually do believe this, and seeing my life slowly change.”

He stayed involved in the church’s high school and college ministry (while attending Carson Newman), and he eventually led a small group of middle school boys. He decided to attend Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating with his MDiv in 2019 and completing his ThM in 2022.

Meanwhile, Katie’s family had a Methodist background, but they grew complacent about church, only attending on Easter Sunday and other similar occasions. Like Tyler, she made a profession of faith at Vacation Bible School, but it was through her involvement in a high school Young Life program that she came to understand the gospel.

“I did not understand the gospel until it was fleshed out with my Young Life leader,” she explained. “My faith became very real in high school.”

While Katie and Tyler’s families knew each other from living in the same county, the two did not meet until high school. They both went to college at Carson Newman and married before graduating. Now, they have three kids (ages 6, 4, and 2) with a fourth due to arrive this month.

The family landed at Lakeway Presbyterian after moving back to the area not long before COVID-19. “We didn’t have much community here at the time,” says Katie. She is a stay-at-home mom, and Tyler worked on a recovery farm at the time, so church was their primary outside community.

In 2021, Tyler emailed Lakeway to see if they offered childcare. The church didn’t at the time, so the Majors didn’t visit. However, Chris found Tyler’s rarely used Facebook page and reached out personally. A year later, Tyler logged on and finally saw the message. He also heard about a men’s prayer meeting led by Chris. One of his philosophy professors attended the prayer meeting even though he didn’t attend Lakeway, and he recommended it to Chris as a way to connect with other men.

Tyler began exploring various theological views on baptism and discussed this and other topics with Chris, but his interest in Reformed theology began years earlier. He explained, “I hated reading in school, but I loved reading theology, and I became Calvinist in a soteriological aspect early on. Also, some of my mentors who were Baptists were also Calvinists. I was convinced of Presbyterian polity long before embracing Covenant theology.”

On June 12, 2022, the Majors became members of Lakeway, and their children were baptized. The kids are happy to have other friends their age at church. They also enjoy the liturgy, with Tyler saying, “They’ve slowly absorbed the Apostle’s Creed and Lord’s Prayer.”

Liturgy was new to Katie and Tyler, but they’ve grown to appreciate the repetition. Tyler said, “If the sun rises and sets every day and we’re not bored with that, why would I be bored with doing the same thing at church every Sunday?”

Chris and Beth Talley have come alongside the young couple as both mentors and friends. Tyler said, “Chris is my pastor, but he’s my friend as well. He’s a very kind man, and he’s not guarded in his relationships. He’s been more than willing to take me along, and I went to a presbytery meeting with him before we joined the church.”

Katie added, “We had never really had that before. Beth is unlike any pastor’s wife I’ve been around. She doesn’t give glossed over answers. Instead, she’s very real, honest, messy, and not afraid to be open. That’s beautiful.”

The Majors have a heart for those who have given up on the Church. Tyler said, “Our age group is very skeptical of the institution of religion, and my friends who grew up in this area experienced a very legalistic, Bible Belt, cultural Christianity. Many are in the process of deconstructing the idea of church. Right now, my heart is for people to experience that the Church can actually be a beautiful group of imperfect people.”

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