Recent Articles


Pray for Jeff
Rev. Jeff Lewis, Lawrenceville, GA, was working on a construction project this week and was involved in an accident with a circular saw.  He damaged several ligaments and bones in one hand.  He will have surgery today at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta that will attempt to repair the damage. Please pray for this surgery and for Jeff and his family.

Annie Mae “Judy” McClung, Andalusia
Annie Mae “Judy” McClung, 89, of Andalusia died Sun., March 15, 2009, in a local hospital. Funeral services will be 2 p.m., today, Tues., March 17, at Beda Baptist Church with the Rev. Anthony Clark officiating. Interment will follow at Beda Cemetery with Foreman Brown-Service Funeral Home directing. Mrs. McClung retired in 1983, after working 30 years as a nurse at Andalusia Hospital.

She is survived by her son, Rev. P. J. McClung and wife Donna of Andalusia; grandchildren, Shon McClung and wife, Tari, and Phillip McClung, both of Andalusia; Amanda Jones and husband, Bert of Lowell, Ariz.; great grandchildren, Sarah McClung and John Paul Jones.
Pallbearers will be Robert Little, John Knox, John Maust, Bruce Carraway, Gary Smith, and Donald Gene Smith.
Visitation will be held at the funeral home 30 minutes prior to services at the church.
Friends and family unable to attend services may sign a guest register at

Highlights from Spring Presbytery Meetings

Dr. John Carson presented a program related to his work with MT3.  Presbytery then prayed for Dr. Carson and his upcoming three-month trip to Africa and Europe.

Presbytery voted to grant Tom Richie honorable retirement from Young Memorial Church.

The Minister and His Work committee reported on the resignation of Jeff Lewis as Pastor of the Grace Presbyterian Church in Lawrenceville, GA.

Other actions included:

  • Received by transfer from Catawba Presbytery student of theology Stuart Moore.
  • Removed from the roll licentiate Spencer Swain.
  • Heard student sermons from Mark Hering and Timothy Brooks.
  • Heard reports from the Travelers Rest Mission, the International Community Outreach and the Clemson Korean Mission.
  • Learned that the trustees of Presbytery leased the Woodruff property, but are still seeking a buyer for that property.
  • Asked the Stewardship Committee to make a review of projected revenue and expenses for the next five years.


  • Heiko E. Burklin was examined and received from Florida Presbytery effective March 10, 2009.  He has received a call to become pastor of the Neely’s Creek Church and will begin on April 1, 2009.
  • Presbytery voted to begin a mission work in Indian Land, SC.  A call was extended to Gary A. Stiltner to become mission developer effective April 1, 2009.  Stiltner has been working for the Presbytery during the last year to determine the feasibility of the area for a mission. The official name of the mission will be Indian Land Associate Reformed Presbyterian Mission.
  • Received as a candidate Jamey A. Dagenhart, a member of the First Rock Hill Church and a junior at Erskine Seminary.
  • Elected J. Steve Maloney, elder from the Tirzah Church, as Vice Moderator/Moderator-elect.  He will begin his term as Vice Moderator on July 1, 2009 and assume the role of Moderator on July 1, 2010.
  • Heard Mark Witte, a member of First Columbia, preached his Middler Sermon.
  • Elder David Mitchell from the Hickory Grove Church presided as Moderator.


  • Voted down a proposal to request Synod to divide the Presbytery.
  • Affirmed the language in a memorial to Synod calling for the severing of all fraternal relations with the Presbyterian Church, USA.
  • Approved a memorial to Synod concerning the 500th Anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, encouraging the congregations and presbyteries to promote commemorative events and petitioning the state and national governments and their leaders to mark the date by appropriate resolutions.
  • Approved the organization of the Covenant of Grace Mission in Winston-Salem, and the call to Rev. Roger Wiles as pastor.
  • Granted permission to Craig Avenue Tabernacle Church to sell the property of its daughter congregation, Hemby Bridge Mission.
  • Granted permission for Hemby Bridge Mission to relocate to Indian Trail and re-appointed the Provisional Session for the Mission; changed the Mission’s name to Good Shepherd Community Mission Church.
  • Appointed provisional elders for Calvary Church and Rivertown Mission.
  • Approved request to the Board of Church Extension for a supplement for the Hope Chapel Mission.
  • Went on record as supporting church planting in Scotland and requested assistance of Outreach North America and World Witness. Gave permission for the treasurer of First Presbytery to receive funding for this project.
  • Endorsed candidacy of the Rev. Juan Carlos Unda as an Army chaplain.
  • Removed Rev. Scott Siems from the roll of ministers and Jeff Weber from the roll of seminary students. Noted transfer of Rev. Luke Davis to the PCA.
  • Received three students under care of Presbytery:  Patrick Gretzinger (All Saints), Josiah Jones (Coddle Creek), and Tripp Kimbrough (Christ Community).
  • Licensed student Robert Arendale and approved his ordination and call as associate pastor to the Ballantyne Church.
  • Approved call to and ordination of Licentiate Stephen Myers to Pressly Memorial Church.
  • Elected elder Bob Stone (Ballantyne) as moderator; Rev. John Currid as vice moderator for the fall 2009 term; and Rev. Vaughn Hathaway as moderator for the spring 2010 term.

An historic meeting of Northeast Presbytery took place on Thursday, March 5, 2009, when the presbytery met in Flushing, NY, at the Hyo Shin Presbyterian Church.  The Hyo Shin Church was received into full membership, along with a number of other Korean-speaking congregations and ministers in October 2007.

Meals of Korean ethnic food were graciously provided by the Church.  Seasons of prayer were led by Korean Pastor Peter Lee and C. K. Rhee.  Devotional hymns were sung in both Korean and English.  Holy Communion was led by Suk Ho Moon, pastor of the Hyo Shin Church, assisted by elders from his congregation.

At this meeting, the presbytery received three additional Korean-speaking pastors: (Rev. Daniel Rhee, Rev. Dong Ik (John) Hwang and  Rev. Jin K. Kim) and voted to ordain and install a Korean assistant pastor (Chang Taek Jeong) for the Joyful Church, Fresh Meadows, NY.

Already the presbytery’s Manual of Procedure is being translated into Korean for the convenience of our Korean speaking brothers.  At this meeting, Presbytery voted to authorize Sessions to keep their minutes in the language most useful to each congregation.


ARP News Update

Missionary Updates
Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, relax, and catch up on news from the Thomas family in Turkey and Jubilee Birthday lady Judi Hodges in Berlin.

Turkey – Joshua and Vonia Thomas:
Dear friends,
We are so sorry it’s been so long since we’ve written. The month of February flew past us. And it appears that March will go by even more quickly.

The girls and I are coming back to the States for 3 weeks.

We knew that I had to go back to the States, for a short time, due to visa rules.
As most of you know Joshua is American, but I’m Canadian. I have to come back for at least a few days before July 28.

Since I must come back anyway, World Witness recently let us know they would like for me to stay a few weeks, and visit a few churches while I am there.
We will be based in South Carolina, arriving on March 19 and leaving April 8.

If your church or small group would like me to come and share what the Lord is doing in Turkey, I would love to do that.  I’m praying that the Lord will open doors and use this time for His glory.

  • Pray for the planning of this trip. Please pray that I would have many opportunities to share about what the Lord is doing here in Turkey.
  • Pray that the Lord would use me to encourage other about missions and His church around the world.
  • Praise the Lord to the opportunities He is already beginning to give.
  • Pray for Isaiah as I will be gone for 3 weeks and for Josh and he to have a special time together.

Love in Christ,
Vonia Thomas

Berlin – Judi Hodges (a grandmother?)
Christmas and January were especially a nice change. Rebekka and Guilliaume moved back to Berlin from France, bringing their 1 and ½ year old daughter to live with me for three weeks while they searched for an apartment. I loved being a family! Rebekka was my first intern in the Family Center four years ago and I got to play mother of the bride and the groom for their wedding then. Now they have returned to Berlin and they have joined our church plant and I get to be an adopted grandma.

While looking for an apartment for them, I decided I needed a new home as well. The old apartment had become too expensive and I felt I needed to cut back on the demands on both my supporters and myself. So after several disappointing visits, I found what I felt was as good as it was going to get… next door to the apartment house where the church plant is housed!  The apartment was smaller, but I felt like it was a good opportunity, and only three floors up… surely I could handle the stairs. My borrowed bike was giving up the ghost and walking the ½ mile to church was not as much fun in the snow and ice.

I filled out numerous forms to apply for an apartment, and was the first of eight people looking at the apartment to hand in my papers. I simply handed them to the landlord when I walked in the door! The last visitors were not even in yet. Immediately, two others offered to pay cash. But the landlord was bound to honor my papers as first in, and I had arrived at his office an hour early, a 70-minute bus ride across town.

But God had a different plan!  The landlord explained that the other woman really wanted that third floor apartment so her cat could sit on the balcony. Would I be willing to look at a first floor apartment directly over our church, which was not yet advertised? It was a bit bigger, a different layout and only 5 Euros ($7) more a month. I agreed, rode back home, met the neighbor and saw the apartment. It was perfect! It was freshly painted white with big windows and my floor would be the ceiling of the children’s Sunday school room. My rent and utilities would be cut in half and for all intents and purposes rent-controlled, unlike the ever escalating costs of the old apartment!

I immediately signed the contract and gave notice on the old apartment. This required three months paid notice… double rent for three months and a second deposit for the life of the apartment rental! Suddenly I needed a lot of cash, but the long-term savings would be more than worth it. I had to re-paint the entire old apartment, remove all fixtures, putty all holes, clean and scrub every surface and do a detailed transfer of the apartment back to the previous landlord. It was exhausting and demanding. I began devoutly praying for a sub-renter with the hopes of avoiding the three months extra rent (Still praying for this one).

During this time I also was expected to work, so there was some play time as well. We had winter break for the kids during which I planned, organized and lead a three-day, day camp for 15 children from our church, continued weekly kid’s Bible club, did weekly mentoring with several women, planned and lead a women’s breakfast, and participated in our house Bible study group every other week.

The church was also growing by leaps and bounds in courage, outreach and in steady visitors. At our end of the year members’ meeting, we reviewed the year’s goals and set new ones. We prayed and fasted and decided to take the step of adding more Sunday events. Not feeling yet up to staffing full worship services, we decided to keep our two Sundays of worship service and children’s Sunday school during the afternoons as they were, (3:30-5:30 with coffee and cake fellowship after the service). To this we then added a first Sunday brunch at 10:30-12:30 with personal testimonies. Third Sundays would now be 10:30 – 12:30, with a church seminar, with in-depth treatment of a biblical theme or principle. (There are very few churches in Germany where there is any kind of adult Sunday school).  Fifth Sundays will be an afternoon time of worship and prayer.

The wonderful planning of our God is that my living room and the long narrow room with my dining table are exactly what we needed for an older kid’s class. The children’s class downstairs is now completely designed for the 2-4 year olds, and Anna Oates is leading that class. After our workday on Saturday, we were able to even build together a kicker table in the small basement for the older boys, with a corner for dress-up play for the girls. We can breathe again and parents can enjoy the fellowship while their children are taught, cared for and entertained.

This is a big step forward for our small church. We had also seen growth in our home Bible study to the point that we now are two groups of 8-12 adults and we are considering a third group. Sunday was our second brunch and we had 32 adults and 22 children present.  Several families and individual guests were present, including non-believers who have come to visit us through the ministries of “Mama Talk,” a parenting course based on Christian principles and offered to the public; Kid’s Club, and the Focus:Life classes of a Christian midwife held in our rooms during the week.

We also see some new faces coming through simply being seen in the neighborhood! The storefront location attracts lots of interest. “D” just moved here last week, saw the sign, attended Sunday’s brunch, bought a book for house Bible study and wants to get involved. He is a young man who came to Christ through a para-church organization in the Ukraine.

As I was buying some supplies in the neighborhood hardware, the owner bagged my goods and asked if I had far to carry them. When I said I was just going to the corner to Paul’s Church, he asked, “Are you a sect?” You have to appreciate that the Germans are very direct. I’ve gotten used to fielding these kinds of questions: “No, sir, we are an evangelical Christian church reaching out in this community. You are welcome to drop by for a cup of tea or coffee to get to know us.”

Wednesday morning we begin offering the rooms to neighborhood parents for a two-hour toddlers’ play time with coffee and tea for parents. Mothers from the church will be there as well to enjoy the fellowship and strike up conversations and relationships that lead to Gospel conversations.

We are beginning the new book study on personal evangelism in the home Bible study groups and we are diligently seeking God’s leading about offering a 10-week series of three-hour meetings on Friday nights from spring into summer. We call it an Alpha Course, and it will mean offering a light supper, presentation of basic Bible truths, and discussion groups. We are praying for a minimum of 10 people to sign up.

In June we will participate in a neighborhood festival, offering a children’s game area, rooms for being quiet, an information booth about local Christian churches and a chair and the chance to “talk about what’s on your mind.” For Easter vacation, I will probably do another mini-camp (VBS style) with our church kids.

The end of March I will get to meet with other World Witness missionaries for a short retreat here in Europe. At the same time I will get to meet with a former youth leader from my early ministry here, who is now serving as a street evangelist in Madrid. I am so thankful to see what God is doing in his life. Then at the end of April I will fly home to attend the celebration of my youngest sister’s marriage. I tear up just thinking about it.

On a personal note, I continue to have some problems with the nerve damage in my foot (from former back surgery) and I have small tears in my left shoulder cap. Therapy and care may help to avoid surgery. Please pray for God’s healing.

Our deepest desire is to see new believers come to know and love Jesus! Please be praying that God will be honored and glorified here in all that we do! Pray for a harvest of souls!

Please do keep praying for a German pastor to take up the reins as our missionary pastor looks toward furlough in summer 2010. We need both the man of God’s choosing and the financing for him of God’s providing. Pray, pray, and pray!
Love and joy to you all in your walk with our Savior!


ARP Center Closed by Winter Storm

The ARP Center will be closed Monday, March 2, 2009 due to a widespread winter storm in upstate South Carolina. We expect conditions to improve sufficiently to be open as scheduled on Tuesday. You may monitor our on-line Plan Book and our Twitter feed for the latest information.


ARP News Update

Counselor Wannabe?
Are you completing the 10th grade in the spring, or are now in 11th grade through college? If you are interested in applying to be a camp counselor at Bonclarken this summer, please email Trip McGill to request an application: or tripmcgill@bonclarken. Positions are available for: Bonclarken Music Drama Camp, Bonclarken Music Conference and/or Camp Bonclarken.

SONLIFE Church Services
Pastor Bob Hovey of Sonlife ARP Church in Jacksonville, FL, will host his first “open to the public” worship service on Sunday, March 1. The service will begin at 5 pm, with a light supper to follow. If you are in the Jacksonville area, you may be interested in supporting this new church on this special day. For directions to the church, email

Happy Birthday Emma!
Longtime member of Greenwood (SC) ARP Church, Emma Milling, turns 105 today. She has lived at the Rolling Green Retirement Community in Greenville, SC, for the past seven years. Family and friends will gather today to honor her at a birthday party at Rolling Green. She is a Winthrop College graduate and taught school for 41 years. She has traveled extensively and began painting in her 80’s. She is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Synod Registration Online
You can register now for Synod 2009 online. Leland Beaudrot assures us that the process will be easier than last year, thanks to a new software application. More information on the Pre-Synod and General Synod meetings, as well as the online registration link, is available here:

Super Senior High Retreat Reminder
Catawba, First and Second Presbyteries will hold their annual retreat March 6-8 at the Bonclarken Conference Center, Flat Rock, NC. The retreat theme is “Hold the Applause,” Romans 1:32. Guest speaker is Jake Vance, youth director at First ARP Gastonia, NC. Dylan McKeeman, contemporary worship director at Back Creek ARP Church, Charlotte, NC, is guest musician. Details:

Grease Paint, Nose Putty & False Faces
We mourn the death of Jack Farnam Heinsohn on Jan. 11, and remember him as a unique individual who came kicking and screaming into the ministry – greasepaint and all! Read how he discovered what made clowns, comedians and court jesters a popular part of all eras of history in the March issue of The Associate Reformed Presbyterian; online in PDF format; or streamed online in iPaper. To subscribe to the print and/or online version, visit


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