Idlewild Presbyterian Church | Memphis, TN

Idlewild Presbyterian Church is a progressive urban church with a commitment to the residents of Memphis. Blessed with a tradition of energetic and inquiring members, it has been in the forefront of worship, education, community service and social change for more than five generations. Located minutes from downtown Memphis in a stately Gothic structure, Idlewild is a thriving community of some 1600 members, and has growing population of young families with children. The music and arts program at Idlewild includes a 30-member adult choir, a grade school choir (20 members) and a pre-school choir (30 members). Recently, it has begun to explore other liturgical arts, and has created a position of artist-in-residence. Long known for its social activism and care for those of the city in need, Idlewild founded a recreation program in the 1960s with the goal of fostering racial reconciliation in the midst of civil rights movement. Current mission projects involve weekly meals and worship for the homeless, as well as various mission projects abroad.

1750 Union Avenue
Memphis TN 38104


Team Leader:
Dr. Ted Gibboney, Organist and Director of Music


A Child Shall Lead

The Role of Children in the Faith Community of Idlewild Presbyterian Church

Idlewild’s project involves a year-long study of the role of children in worship, culminating in a weekend conference to be scheduled for the Spring of 2012. Children presently constitute the core of Idlewild; they participate in worship, an extensive choral program, as well as outreach missions programs. Considering the role of children in a faith community compels one to develop a community that in good measure fulfills the ideal articulated in Isaiah, that is, to grant children their rightful place. Attention to children will CHANGE the church!

Leadership for the conference would fall on the Project Team, the worship committee, and a special Ad Hoc committee formed especially for the project. In addition participating in the ISM Congregations Project, Idlewild intends to glean wisdom from such leaders as John Witvliet, Michael Hawn and John Thornburg. The intended audience for the conference would include all those from our region who have an interest in childhood development as it relates to the church.

The conference will include a community concert, which would involve the choirs from Idlewild as well as those of neighboring churches, and members of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.