PCA Growing?

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church' started by CharlieJ, May 28, 2009.

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  1. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

  2. E Nomine

    E Nomine Puritan Board Freshman

    I heard "City Church" in SF was formerly affiliated with PCA, but they broke off a few years ago over the issue of woman elders, not a pastoral scandal.
  3. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    Really? A city of 808,976 people, served by a single OPC congregation, which, if I'm being VERY generous, probably has less than 200 members. I can think of 808,776 reasons for planting a PCA church in San Francisco.

    And a URCNA church...
    And a ARP church...
    And another OPC church...
  4. Zac Nelson

    Zac Nelson Puritan Board Freshman

    In the first post, it was pointed out that total membership was 345,000. Would this be equivalent to saying that 345,000 people ATTEND PCA churches, or does it number refer to people that have officially signed membership forms etc. If not, the number of attendees could well be double that, when you consider children, and people that just come every week without formally signing up.

    Just curious so I can get a picture of the size.

    I'm in Australia; I would estimate there would be less than 345,000 genuine Christians of any denomination in the entire country. Most Aust Xians tend to be extremely liberal (PCUSA or Episcopalian equivalent), or prosperity gospel Charismatics with no discernible Xian beliefs.
  5. Oecolampadius

    Oecolampadius Puritan Board Sophomore

    You are right. Reformed denominations need to plant more churches there. I wonder why this hasn't happened yet when San Francisco happens to be a major city.
  6. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    No, it wasn't city church. I think Lewis Ruff pastored a church called All Nations.

    The relevant committee declared his adultery by sodomy public knowledge. I checked specifically to make sure this was the case. The committee leader was Bill Hawke if anyone wants to check. Another pastor who was ordaining arminians and baptists resigned this month as well. There's still a lot of fighting in the future, but the Confessional folks are on a roll.
  7. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm a little disappointed that it didn't say "more exciting" than the hippies. I mean, there's real Love in the PCA.
  8. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    I visited a seemingly successful predominately Black church in the southern suburbs of Atlanta a few years ago. It's my understanding that there is one in north Jackson, MS, as well. Last time I looked, there were two Black PCA pastors laboring in the North Texas Presbytery (both at predominately white churches). I think I recall a predominately Black PCA plant in Birmingham.

    I'm sure there are more; I'm going from memory, not research, here. And there are a bunch of Hispanic plants around the country - some in areas that you would not think of.

    And, finally, before anyone casts any more bricks ( a comment NOT aimed at the poster to whom I am responding), let them first count the number of Korean presbyteries in the PCA.
  9. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    Not to get off-topic, too much, but I think there are two reasons: 1) San Francisco is not an easy place to evangelize. 2) San Francisco is an urban-core city, not an affluent suburb, which is where it seems the majority of Reformed church plants are located.
  10. Michael Butterfield

    Michael Butterfield Puritan Board Freshman

    The Source has been given already, but I did want to say again that it is public knowledge. Ruff used to be in the OPC. Actually, an OPC faternal delegate was also at the presbytery meeting in which Ruff was defrocked. This is all public knowledge in Northern California.


    -----Added 5/28/2009 at 09:41:12 EST-----


    Yes, we need more and more reformed church in this dark city.
  11. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    You don't think the large number of militant homosexuals might be a third reason?
  12. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    Thanks for mentioning this. The PCA is not exactly multi-cultural, but we are certainly broadening our church planting efforts. There is also good man (the same one who planted the Birmingham church you mentioned) planting a multi-cultural church in the Dallas area now. Our church is partnering with him.
  13. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Why does the PCA separate the Koreans into their own Presbyteries? In the ARP the Koreans and the Anglos share Presbyteries. In fact my Presbytery of the Northeast is actually a majority Korean presbytery
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Does that make 3 Black pastors in North Texas Presbytery?
    I was thinking of Elliott G. and Julian R.

    Is the new work through the network, or a direct plant?

    -----Added 5/28/2009 at 11:01:06 EST-----

    It's been their choice, to my understanding. I recall at least one Korean congregation that opted for the general presbytery, rather than the Korean group. But when the issue has been raised over the years, they have supported the current structure.

    The first Korean presbytery was established in 1982. Given that date, it may have been an artifact of the 'Joining and Receiving' with the RPC,ES. Perhaps someone with institutional memory can shed some light on that point.
  15. SemperEruditio

    SemperEruditio Puritan Board Junior

    Last count I think there were 36 African-American teaching elders in the PCA. Not sure how many have a predominantly Black/Brown congregation. However color is mute. Randy Nabor at New City Fellowship is technically a White guy and serves a multi-ethnic congregation. His church, from what I've been told, is the PCA model for a multi-ethnic church plant.

    The most unfortunate thing is there is no reason why there cannot be more African-American teaching elders. Anthony Bradley, who graduated from Covenant and now teaches there after earning his PhD from WTS-Philly tells me there is money. There is money for African-Americans, and I think minorities in general, to receive an M.Div from Covenant at no cost to the student and no takers.

    Like I said those middle-upper class Caucasian PCA churches are doing what they can with their money. It is up to us to speak to our Black/Brown brothers/sisters. While it is everyone's responsibility I now place the greater portion of the burden on our Black/Brown PCA folk.
  16. sastark

    sastark Puritan Board Graduate

    That was covered under number 1.
  17. ColdSilverMoon

    ColdSilverMoon Puritan Board Senior

    I agree, especially with the bold-face statement. I don't think it's "wrong" for the PCA to be predominantly White and suburban, but it could certainly be enhanced with more diversity in its congregations. Even the New York City PCA churches are almost entirely White and Asian (including the TE's), which is at great odds with the local population. It seems like more Hispanic and Black TE's would help improve diversity...
  18. raekwon

    raekwon Puritan Board Junior

    No argument here. Personally, I've wavered back and forth regarding whether or not I should start studying toward ordination as a TE (whether through a traditional seminary like Covenant, or one of the new "alternative"-type schools like ClearNote, REPC, LAMP, etc). Of course, it's ultimately a matter of whether or not God is calling me toward such a thing. I'm obviously convinced that he has called me to some extent of pastoral ministry, hence my ordination and service as an RE.

    But, since the PCA is essentially a three-office denomination (despite what the position papers say), there's more discernment to be done. In the meantime, I'm working toward being licensed to preach in my presbytery.
  19. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    We may not be counting the exact same group, then. One of the guys I was referring to is from another country.

    I can think of a couple who aren't.

    There is an Anglo at the Christo Rey Spanish language mission in Dallas. I'm not sure that it is thriving, however.
    Yes, there is. It appears that God, for His own good counsel, has not called them to that ministry yet.
  20. Reepicheep

    Reepicheep Puritan Board Freshman

    Please clarify what you mean by "liberal". Do they not hold to the authority of Scripture, etc.?
  21. Pilgrim72

    Pilgrim72 Puritan Board Junior

    I left the OPC for the PCA in 2005...
  22. rpeters

    rpeters Puritan Board Freshman

    Wish the PCA would plant a mult-cultered church in the Kankakee area.
  23. SemperEruditio

    SemperEruditio Puritan Board Junior


    Wy Plummer, PCA-MNA African American Ministries Coordinator

    February 2009

    Dear Friend

    Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
    Colossians 3:11

    The daughter of one of our members came to me recently asking if there was a PCA church in Austin TX like New City Fellowship. I had to admit ignorance and told her that I would get back to her. The young lady was going off to college and wanted to attend a PCA church with some degree of ethnic diversity. She wanted a worship experience similar to the one she had grown accustomed to at New City. After some investigating I suggested several PCA churches but warned her that she might be among the onesie-twosies.

    I have a friend who lives in Baton Rouge and recently discovered reformed theology. He visited Redeemer Church in Jackson MS and was impressed by the teaching as well as the fact that Pastor Mike Campbell was African American. He is frustrated with his current church and wondered if there was a multi-ethnic church like Redeemer in Baton Rouge. I told him that there are PCA churches in Baton Rouge but that he and his family might need to join the ranks of the onesie-twosies. He immediately knew what I meant and was concerned about feeling welcomed into the fellowship.

    I met an African American gentleman on a plane who asked if I could recommend a good Bible teaching church in Atlanta. I was surprised by the question knowing that there were many African American churches in Atlanta. In his experience he found his choices to be limited to ether fundamentalist churches with rigid rules or “health and wealth” churches that were only interested in his money. What he wanted was a church that taught the Word of God from a reformed perspective. I told him about Redemption Fellowship in South Atlanta but he told me that he lived more than an hour away. I recommended a church closer to home, but warned him that he might be the only African American in attendance. At best he and his family would join one or two other African Americans in attendance becoming what I called the onesie-twosies.

    Onesie-twosies is a term I coined to describe many PCA churches that have one or two African Americans in attendance. When my wife and I attended a PCA church for the first time in 1981 we were the only African Americans. I noticed when I visited the nearby McLean Presbyterian there was also only one other African American family
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    in attendance. We got to know the family and began to describe ourselves as the onesie-twosies. When I visited other PCA churches I noticed that most of the churches had at least one or two African Americans in attendance, thus the term - onesie-twosies.

    Not all African Americans are prepared to be onesie-twosies. It’s difficult being the only one. Most prefer to attend a church where there are others like themselves or at least where there is some degree of ethnic diversity. What I often hear from onesie-twosies is - “I don’t really like the worship experience, but I love the teaching.” I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve heard this statement repeated. Often they continue by saying, “I would love to attend a PCA church where they are more culturally sensitive but they just don’t exist. Can the PCA plant a multi-ethnic church in my neighborhood?”

    Presently I am aware of three cities that want to plant PCA churches with African American leadership. Some of our white church planters are looking for an African American partner and will not begin the work until they find such a person. There are three multi-ethnic churches with vacant pulpits looking for African American pastors. The call for African American leadership far exceeds the supply. Will you join with me in praying that God will raise up more African American leaders? Will you pray that there will be increasing numbers of African Americans interested in Seminary? Will you pray that our present PCA churches will take a strong interest in other ethnic groups so that people will no longer feel alone and isolated? Will you pray that God will tear down the wall of separation so that there will no longer be a need to describe a church as black or white?

    If you, your church or presbytery want to be involved in this exciting ministry, first of all, please pray for us. Secondly, consider contributing financially. We are very grateful for those of you who are already supporting us and we welcome new partners. You may send your gifts to Mission to North America with the designation: African American Ministries, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 101, Lawrenceville, GA 30043. Further information about the ministry of MNA can be found on our website at Welcome to the Mission to North America Homepage.

    In His Service,


    The following is the May newsletter after a meeting with a group of churchplanters. Interesting stuff. You can see the PCA is praying and working for growth across the board.
  24. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    That's usually the root cause of liberalism. The visible symptoms vary. There are issues with deaconesses, RPW, and other problems.
  25. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Uhm... You do know that "Liberal" has a specific meaning when used in a theological context? And as important as RPW & deaconesses may be to you they are not included in that definition.

    The classic or traditional use of "Liberal" is one that denies the authority of scripture, the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, & the bodily resurection.

    Next to these doctrines, the use of a piano in worship, or (if) the needs of women in the church (are the reponsibility of a specific female 'officer', or are to be the responibility of 'wives of officers') seems to be fairly minor.
  26. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Well, if we're going to take that tone, you do know that there is a difference between 'cause' and 'symptom', don't you?
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