Recent Articles


ARP News Update

Christian Responses to Global Turmoil
It seems we can’t turn on the news without being confronted with something totally unforeseen, and entirely beyond our control. Whether it’s social upheaval in the Wisconsin legislature or on the street of Egypt and Libya; or the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster in Japan, in recent weeks we have received news reports from around the world of uprisings, unrest and natural disasters.

How should we as Christians feel, and more importantly, react in response to these things?

God’s Word gives us three meaningful ways to respond to the dramatic images and heart-rending news coming to us each day. How we respond gives witness to our families and to a watching world about a most glorious truth and unshakeable hope, captured in these simple words: Our God reigns.

Read the expanded article by Rev. Matt Miller, senior pastor of Greenville (SC) ARP Church, in the May issue of the ARP Magazine. To subscribe online, go to

First Short-Term Missions Trip to Guadalajara
From Juan Carlos and Ruth Bonilla
We are so excited about receiving our first short-term missions team to work alongside us April 16-23. The team consists of two people from Neely’s Creek ARP Church and one from Paducah, KY.

We are just beginning our ministry in Guadalajara, Mexico, so it’s perfect timing to have help and encouragement from fellow Christians. Our goal for the week is for them to help us build relationships with people in our neighborhood. In order to do this, we will host an English camp at our house April 19-21 for children ages 5-12.

The last day, we will invite the children to return with their parents for a closing program and cookout. We see this opportunity as a great first step for church planting – to first get to know the people in our neighborhood and to build relationships with them. A large banner hanging in front of our house advertises the camp. Posters and flyers are in nearby restaurants and when the group arrives, we will walk around the neighborhood handing out flyers.

In order for this camp to be successful and for us to meet people and build relationships, we need your PRAYERS!!! Please pray that God will bring children to the camp and that the parents will come on Thursday night so we can meet them.

Please pray that through the English classes, music, games, crafts, etc the children will see the love of God shining in each of us. Please also pray for safety and protection for the team as they fly and as we travel with them around the city.

We look forward to writing you after the English camp, to share with you the many ways in which God was at work!
Please visit our ministry website for more info:
ARPs to Guadalajara:

World Witness Church Planting in Guadalajara, Mexico
Church Planting Website – ARPs to Guadalajara:

ARP church plant, Leith, Scotland
By Athole Rennie
Thank you for your prayers for our “Debating Delusions” event last night. We were greatly encouraged by the response. We worked out that as many as 50 percent of those who attended were non-Christians, many of whom were people we’ve gotten to know in the past year. David Robertson responded to some of the objections raised in Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion, and then took questions from the audience.

We had some great discussions afterwards and several people filled out cards requesting more information on the church plant. I had one conversation with one of our staff members at the venue. She said that leading up to the event, she had been dreading working and having to sit in on the talk. However, she had been very challenged by the whole thing and was planning to request the night off to attend one of our next events. She said that what we were doing was really good and that there was nothing else like it around Leith.

Leading up to the event, we promoted the event using Facebook advertising. For £20, our advertisement appeared on 285,000 Facebook pages in the Edinburgh area over the course of two weeks. Of those 285,000 page views, 40 people actually clicked on the ad to find out more. We know of one person who came to the event as a result of the Facebook ad. She talked to some of the guys in the plant after the event, and has expressed an interest in coming along to church on Sunday!
See the June/July issue of the ARP Magazine for the expanded article on the Outreach North America page. To subscribe, go to

Prayer Requests
We give thanks to God for answered prayer and ask that you continue to pray for the following:

  • For those who came to this event– that what they heard would encourage them to further explore the claims of Christ.
  • For the ongoing relationships we have with many who attended. That this meeting would fuel further gospel conversations.
  • Give thanks for the staff member who expressed an interest in attending a future event and pray that initial enthusiasm would lead to further interest.
  • For those who filled out information cards, and that the follow-up would be fruitful.

Scottish church planter, Rev. Athole Rennie was ordained as an ARP church minister in Edinburgh on Nov. 3, 2009.

Every other month, on the first Friday, First A.R. Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, NC, hosts “No Frills Friday.” The name reflects the fact that no food or other social amenities are offered. They gather strictly for a 2 ½ -hour in-depth Bible study. However, an exception was made last month when those attending enjoyed a slice of Russ McAllister’s birthday cake.

It’s in the Mail
Moderator-elect Andrew Putnam has mailed a copy of An Exhortation to Peace and Unity to every ARP minister, and to every congregation currently without a minister. Rev. Putnam asks that each minister read the booklet in preparation for the upcoming meeting of General Synod in June. “This booklet is commended for your reading and spiritual edification in a time when an exhortation to peace and unity is sorely needed in the Christian Church,” he said.
Additional copies are available from the

Synod Reports Past Due!
Cindy Scott in Central Services needs your “Report to Synod” right away: Don’t make her come after you!

New Pages in The ARP
Be on the lookout for new, exciting pages in the ARP Magazine, beginning with the May issue:
Pg. 8
: Family Connection (In a world of TV and computers in every room, what do you do to bring your family together?).
Pg 24
: A Devotion From Serenity Acres (A Women’s Ministries devotion by Barbara Thayer).
Pgs 28 & 29
: These pages will be written by Dr. Sukho Moon, senior pastor of Hyo Shin Presbyterian Church, NY. The first page will be an English translation, and the second page will be written in Korean. The ARP denomination currently has nearly 50 Korean churches. Please join us in welcoming them as a vital part of our denomination.

The ARP Magazine is now on Facebook and Twitter!
Now you can follow your favorite denominational magazine on the world’s best social media sites.

Enquiring Minds Want to Know!
>>>Just how does God work through horse racing?<<<
The answer can be found (where else?) on page 18 in the May ARP Magazine –

Rooted for Renewal
From Hope Chapel’s earliest days, our vision has been to be part of Greensboro, NC in such a integral way that if we ceased to exist, the city itself would miss us. In both word and deed, we want to demonstrate the Gospel to this community. Six months ago we began to pray and search within our ministry area for a building to lease. Our time meeting at Lindley Elementary School has been wonderful (and we will continue to partner with them in all the ways we have been), but we have felt a need to have space available during the week as our ministry grows.

We’ve identified a warehouse building about a half-mile from our current location, located in a high-traffic area and with great potential to be a ministry tool for Hope Chapel. We have begun the negotiation process with the owner and are close to reaching an agreement.

In the meantime, we have had plans drawn and are seeking to raise approximately $80,000 as a one-time up-fit cost. Once we move in, our monthly expenses will actually be less than we currently pay for worship space and our 1,000 square-foot office/rehearsal space.

We feel this is a great opportunity to deepen roots in our ministry area. Would you consider joining us in prayer and through financial support? Plans and more details can be found on our website:


In Loving Memory of Barbara Lauderdale

Barbara Lauderdale, 80, of Due West, SC, a 1947 graduate of Chamblee (GA) High School and 1951 graduate of Erskine College, died March 8, after a long illness. A native of Kansas, Mrs. Lauderdale was a public school and piano teacher, choral director, church organist, and hand bell choir director, and led the music ministry in Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) churches in in Troutman, NC; Charlotte, NC; and in Due West, SC.

She served as a Girl Scout Leader at Covenant Presbyterian; President of the Women of the ARP denomination; on the Erskine College Board of Trustees; and in key leadership roles at many church conferences, the Music Conference, at the Bonclarken Assembly Grounds in NC.

She was pre-deceased by her husband of 54 years, Rev. W.C. “Chap” Lauderdale and survived by two children, Rebecca Tatum and Jim Lauderdale; a grandson, Mark Tatum; a sister, Elaine Goree; and countless nieces, nephews, students and friends who remember her elegant poise, intelligence, hard work, and empathy, as well as her gifts for music and hospitality, vivacious personality, and her keen sense of humor.

The family extends special thanks to the nursing staff at Covenant Way, formerly Due West Retirement Center, where Mrs. Lauderdale was a resident for many years; and to Judy Burts, who has given much supportive friendship to the family through the years.

Funeral Services will be on Thursday, March 10, 2011, at the Due West (SC) ARP Church at 3 p.m., and visitation with the family at the church will follow.

Donations may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, to Covenant Way, P.O. Box 307, Due West, SC 29639 or to the W. C. Lauderdale Scholarship Fund at Erskine Theological Seminary (P.O .Box 668, Due West, SC 29639), which provides assistance for female students enrolled in Erskine Theological Seminary.

“Love is a song ~ God is the music”

Online condolences may be made to the Lauderdale family by visiting

The Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the Lauderdale family.


Dr. Jim Bell 1928 – 2011

Dr. James Murphy Bell died early today at AnMed Medical Center in Anderson, SC. The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall of the Due West ARP Church on Thursday, March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be Friday, March 4 at 2 p.m. at the Due West ARP Church. Burial will follow in the Due West cemetery.

Any ARP ministers attending the service are asked to serve as honorary pallbearers.

Complete obituary information will be listed with Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home in Abbeville, SC.


Rick Conant has asked 300 of his closest friends and acquaintances to join him in an earnest prayer for revival to begin in our land. This will take place at noon tomorrow, March 2, at All Saints’ Presbyterian  Church at 3901 McKee Road in Charlotte, NC.
“Tomorrow,  many of us will stop at noon and hopefully, with others, pray for a revival to begin in our land. I was reminded last month by Jeff Harper that an appropriate passage from Scripture that we could all reflect on comes from II Chronicles 7:14, where we are instructed, ‘…if My People who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.’
“These words from our Lord seem like really good directions to follow.   If you cannot make it to the church, please just gather with a few others on your own, or take a few minutes at noon to stop where you are and pray.
May God Bless,
Rick Conant, deacon chairman at All Saints Presbyterian Church


First & Second Presbytery
Middle School Spring Retreat
Sign your youth up now for this three-day retreat in the NC mountains March 18-20 at the Bonclarken Conference Center, Flat Rock, NC. Inspiring topics by guest speaker James McManus will included: “What is Behind the Curtain of Your Faith?”; “How You Can Stand on Two Legs and a Faithful Heart Before God?”; “Your Theme Song” and “A Love That Will Not Let You Go.” Music will be provided by Matthew Statham.

For more information call Bonnie Hornsby at (678) 522-0141 or email her at for room reservations.


So What? New Youth Bible Studies from Great Commission Publications
Engaging teens in Bible study doesn’t mean watering it down. GCP’s new youth
Bible studies equip teens to take ownership of their faith in Jesus Christ.
So What does the Bible say?
Teenagers have questions. God’s Word has answers. That’s why Scripture is the
heart of each session. Students will examine what the Bible says, learn what it
means, and see how it relates to their lives.
So What questions does the Bible answer?
A good question has remarkable power to stimulate and engage critical thinking
skills. Each session zeros in on one question and one answer, allowing students
to focus on the truth in Scripture.
So What difference does it make?
Students are asking, ‘How does the Bible apply to my life? How can I live out
what I believe? So what difference does faith in Christ make?’
The question “So What?” captures in a nutshell this series’ primary purpose: that
God the Holy Spirit will work through the study of his Word to bring about
students’ ownership of their faith in Jesus Christ.
The first study, Knowing the God Who Is, will be available this July.
Try it out for FREE! Download three free sessions from


Lucy Patrick 1943-2011

Lucille Bailey Patrick, 68, resident of White Oak Farms, 1722 Deadfall Road W (P.O. Box 3044, Greenwood 29648), wife of William B. Patrick, Jr. died Sunday, February 20, at her home after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Lucy was born at White Oak, GA on Valentine’s Day 1943, the only child of James Perkins Bailey and Laura Walthall Bailey. She was a graduate of Erskine College, where she met her husband of 44 years. Lucy taught math for several years before working energetically to raise their four children and care for the youth of her church and the less fortunate of her community. She delivered Meals on Wheels for over 20 years; she taught at the women’s prison; faithfully served at the Greenwood Food Bank from its founding until after her health failed.

Lucy served several terms on the Board of Trustees of the Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, NC, where she was a visionary and advocate for effective youth ministry. At Bonclarken, she helped conceive and direct music/drama camps for kids, nature conferences for senior adults, and retreats for young adults. In recognition of her passion, wisdom, and visionary servant leadership, she was inducted into the Bonclarken Hall of Fame.

Over the years, Lucy loved and encouraged dozens of children and youth at the Greenwood Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, planning Appalachian mission trips and picnics on the Patrick’s farm. She has been called by many a second mother, a primary influence on their faith development, and an encourager during good and bad times. In 2010 she received The Julia Rhodes Award for Service from Erskine Seminary for a lifetime of service to the ARP denomination. Lucy was also a great gardener, seamstress, and cook. Many people will miss her daffodils, handcrafts, and Coca-Cola cakes, which she shared generously.

In addition to her faithful husband, Lucy is survived by four children: Elizabeth Patrick and her husband Bill Linderman of Bristol, TN; Banks Patrick of Phoenix, AZ; Rachel Patrick Turner and her husband Rob Turner of Balikesir, Turkey; and Grace Patrick Hunt and her husband Major Boyce Hunt of Beaufort, SC. Lucy also adored her five grandchildren: Daniel and Micah Turner; and Wade, Elec, and Lucy Hunt.

A memorial service will be held at the Greenwood ARP Church, 1635 Cokesbury Road at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011. The family will receive friends at the church on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011 from 6 – 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Bonclarken Conference Center (500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731) or Greenwood ARP Church (P.O. Box 49054, Greenwood 29649). Those wishing to share memories or express their condolences online may do so at



Recommendations for Service
At Tuesday’s meeting of the Nominations Committee, there was a significant lack of Recommendations for Service (RFS) forms submitted, to enable the Committee to nominate individuals for vacancies needing to be filled at the June, 2011 meeting of General Synod.

Please submit names and information about individuals you feel would qualify on RFS forms for consideration for the following vacancies:

Christian Ed. Ministries: 2015-one vacancy
Board of Stewardship:      2016-one vacancy
2017-one vacancy
World Witness:                     2017-two vacancies
Ecclesiastical Commission:2013-one vacancy(Ruling Elder)
2015-two vacancies(one Ruling Elder, one Teaching Elder)
Inter-Church Relations:  2014-one vacancy
2017-one vacancy
Lay Ministry:                         2013-one vacancy(woman)
2015-three vacancies(two women and one layperson)
Theological&Social Concerns: 2015-one vacancy
Worship:                                2015-two vacancies

The due date is March 21, 2011 for submission of the Recommendations for Service forms to Cindy Scott at the ARP Center, 1 Cleveland St, Greenville SC 29601 or

Rev. GJ Gerard, chairman
Nominations Committee of General Synod, ARPC


Former Erskine Exec. V.P. Joins Gordon-Conwell Team

Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary announced today that Dr. Neely Gaston, former Erskine Theological Seminary Executive Vice President, will join the Seminary’s Charlotte (NC) team as Chief Advancement Officer.

Gaston will assume the responsibility of overseeing advancement efforts at the Charlotte campus, including the Charlotte Education Fund (annual operations), church relations, recruitment, marketing and communications.

“Neely will work very closely with Tim Laniak, Dean of the Charlotte campus and serve as a liaison to the institution advancement team, working with me on advancement and communications related matters,” said Kurt Drescher, Vice President of Advancement.

Gaston joins Gordon-Conwell Charlotte after eight years as Executive Vice President of Erskine Theological Seminary in Due West, SC, where his duties included overseeing development, enrollment and marketing efforts – among others responsibilities for the seminary.




1917 ~ 2011

Please be in prayer for the Wilson family in the death of R.B. Wilson, husband of Carrie Wilson, father of ARP minister, Boyce Wilson, and grandfather of ARP World Witness missionary to Mexico, Ruth Bonilla.

The funeral service is scheduled for 1p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, at First ARP Church in Gastonia, NC, with Rev. Mike Lineberger and Rev. Eddie Spencer officiating. Visitation will follow the service. Interment will be private.

Rufus Boyce (R.B.) Wilson, Jr., 93, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 at Gaston Memorial Hospital. He was born June 4, 1917 in Aberdeen, NC, the son of Rufus Boyce and Bess Wilcox Wilson. R.B. was manager of the Akers Center Hardware Store for 22 years and worked in the hardware business over 60 years. He was an active member of Gastonia First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church for over 80 years, where he served as deacon, elder and elder emeritus.

R.B. joined the Boy Scouts in 1932 and became the first recipient of the Eagle Scout Award in Troop 4 at First ARP Church. He also received the Silver Beaver Award, Scouters Award and Scout Masters Key Award. He had 62 years in scouting. He also served in the Army Air Transport Command during World War II. He was active in many community service organizations.

R.B. was preceded in death by his son, Robert, brother, Jack Wilson and three sisters, Betty Lou Avery, Margaret Howard and Mary Jean Sapp. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Carrie Christian; son, R. Boyce Wilson and wife Cathy of Rock Hill, SC; daughter, Mary Lineberger and husband Mike of Gastonia; six granddaughters and 11 great grandchildren; three sisters and one brother.

Memorials may be made in RB’s name to Christian Education Ministries, 1 Cleveland Street, Suite 210, Greenville, SC 29601 for Camp Joy – Robert Wilson Scholarship Fund.

Online condolences to


ARP News Update


For Tony Locke and family
From Calvin Draffin, stated clerk

Please be in prayer for Tony Locke and his family.

Tony went to the hospital with chest pains.  They ran tests and discovered a 100 percent blockage in one of his arteries.  They performed an emergency angioplasty and were able to remove the blockage, although the doctor said it was like drilling concrete.

Some heart damage was discovered but the doctor believes it could heal over time, since they were able to restore blood flow when they did.

Tony and his heart will need to be closely monitored over the next few days and months ahead.

It is a praise that God allowed Tony to get to the hospital when he did and that the operation went as well as it did.

But I would urge you to lift him and his family up in prayer now as Tony recovers and works with doctors in the coming days in getting his heart healthy again.

Tony is currently in the Cardiac Care Unit in the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, GA. He is pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Tucker, GA.

Rhett Carson
Associate Pastor, Peachtree Corners Church, Doraville, GA


Seminary Transition

Erskine Family:

Following up yesterday’s announcement regarding Erskine Theological Seminary, I wanted to share with you our plan for moving forward during the transition period.

I have asked Dr. Stephen D. Lowe, Sr. to serve as Acting Vice President for the Seminary. In addition to serving as Professor of Christian Education, Steve has also served as Dean of the Erskine Virtual Campus. He has done an excellent job helping us provide access to Erskine Seminary courses to students around the world.

At the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting in February, I will ask the board to name Steve as Interim Vice President while we continue to pursue a candidate to fill the position long-term. In the meantime, I am forming a committee to assist in the identification of several highly qualified candidates, one of whom will be presented to the Board or Trustees. I anticipate being able to permanently fill this position within eighteen months.

I appreciate Steve’s willingness to step into this role temporarily, and I am confident he will be a tremendous help to us during this transitional time.  I trust you will keep us all in your prayers.

All for Christ!

David A. Norman
Erskine College & Theological Seminary


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