As a veteran of more than 30 General Assemblies, Ric Springer sums up his role as chairman of floor clerks succinctly: “Chief gopher, keep the Assembly moving, and meet the needs of the men on the dais.”

Springer, a ruling elder from Calvary PCA in Allenwood, New Jersey, has been a fixture at the PCA Assemblies since his first one in 1982, when he responded to an open call for volunteers to assist the floor clerk in passing out papers. In nearly every Assembly since then, he has been found bustling behind the scenes, headset in place, helping direct a phalanx of vendors to set up the stage, running down information for the stated clerk and moderator during sessions, and overseeing all printed materials and voting. And he does it with humility and winsomeness that draws admiration from those who work alongside him.

“Every Assembly is in a different location with a different set of problems, and Ric instinctively knows what needs to be done,” said Taylor.

“It always amazes me how Ric remembers people’s names and what they do,” said Tom Taylor, a fellow longtime Assembly floor clerk, who serves as ruling elder emeritus in Savannah, Georgia. “He is actually doing what in another setting would be two or three different roles, because of his skill set
and background.”

Springer draws on his skills from a 33-year career in public school administration to manage the moving pieces of each Assembly, whether it’s learning to operate a reel-to-reel recording system on the fly (in 1989) or mediating disputes between vendors. “It’s always a negotiation between the florists and musicians,” jokes Springer. He inherited the role of chairman of floor clerks in 2014 when longtime volunteer Jim Smith, originator of the role, resigned.

When Springer first began volunteering as a floor clerk in 1982, the job was highly physical: lifting boxes, distributing papers, and pacing up and down Assembly aisles for hours each day to count votes on the floor. Now, with the advent of electronic voting, the work is easier. But it is still challenging to find men who are willing to commit to the job year after year, and who are willing to take vacation time to do it.

But Springer says that viewing the work of the Assembly up close for all these years has been a blessing. “I have a greater respect for the work of the church because I see how hard it is,” he says. “People grumble about overtures, but it’s the work of the church.”

Springer wants to continue to serve for as long as he is needed. And his expertise is valuable, according to Taylor.

“Every Assembly is in a different location with a different set of problems, and Ric instinctively knows what needs to be done,” said Taylor.