Teaching Elder


Bob Henderson is senior minister and head of staff of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. His ministry is focused on the centrality of worship, on pastoral care, and on vibrant mission programs. Bob previously served as senior pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. Prior to Westminster, Bob was associate pastor of the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in religion and economics from Furman University, his Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary.

This episode is perfect for anyone interested in the Presbyterian church, faith in public life, gay marriage, white privilege, the changing language of proclamation, and what is true.  


  • Bob explains what makes a Presbyterian church a Presbyterian church.

  • He identifies the core principles of Presbyterianism, including the priesthood of all believers, that God alone is lord of the conscious, and faith in public life.

  • He answers what it means to be a confessional church.

  • He discusses whether and how minority views are protected and honored in the Presbyterian church.

  • Bob explains the position of the Presbyterian church nationally on gay marriage.

  • He describes the evolution of his own thinking on gay marriage and the position of Covenant Presbyterian on gay marriage.

  • He addresses why the Presbyterian church nationally is 90% white and its legacy of forcing and leading white supremacy in America.

  • He shares his view on white privilege and whether Covenant Presbyterian members actually want greater racial diversity in their pews.

  • Bob answers what Covenant Presbyterian does well and it could do better.

  • He considers religious life in America and what revival in the Presbyterian church would look like.

  • He talks about growing up on the East Coast, what he learned from his parents, and how he came to the church.

  • He addresses whether wealth gets in the way of salvation and if salvation is preordained.

  • Bob shares a crisis of faith during a mission in college, what was formative during theological school, his first years as a minister, and a mid-career reflection.

  • He recalls arriving at Covenant Presbyterian during the recession.

  • He discusses how his language of proclamation is changing, the authority of the Bible, and his favorite theologians.

  • Bob shares what he knows is true.

plus Mark’s Personal Word Essay: Grace to Mystery

To Learn More About Bob:


  • What struck you about Bob’s comments?

  • How do you live your faith in public?

  • How has your thinking on a topic evolved?

  • What do you do you know is true?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.