Reformed church in in the Midwest and West Coast

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Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
Last week one of my friend who mooved to northern Michigan told me that he can't find solid Reformed churches(OPC,PCA) in his new town. In Upper Peninsula of Michigan there is no PCA or OPC churhes. PCA have the intention of planting there?

I know that in the Atlantic coast, Middle South, East of Mississippi River except New England have great amount of good PCA churches. A lot of conservative PCUS churches joined from this region, and the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod through was a national church most congregations located in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

There is so few PCA in the West and Midwest. In the Midwest Reformed families travel hours to worship in a conservative Reformed church. In Alaska, Wyoming, Montana ther is less than 10 PCA churches combined.

My second question: Why the conservative United Presbyterian Churches in the 80s opted not to join PCA (former Northern Associate Ref Pres Churches?) Some did Grace Presbyterian in Peoria, IL, and Lennox Ebenezer Presbyterian in SD.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
As to your Michigan question:

1) The area was not settled by Scots. Thus, there was never a strong Presbyterian history in the area.
2) CRC was a member of NAPARC until they got kicked out. Under the comity agreement, the PCA would not have been concentrating on planting churches in the CRC's back yard during the period of the denomination's greatest growth.
3) PCA church planting originally strategically targeted suburban areas - with great success, then areas near a large university campus. Current efforts tend to be urban. None of those models would target the UP. Dynamic populations also favor church planting. Again, I'm not sure that the UP would be a fertile field on that basis.

As for the concentration of PCA churches in the Southeast, remember that the PCA originally came out of what had started as the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America - certainly not an organization with a large national footprint.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks Edward. I just want to point out that there are entire regions that are withour Reformed presence. The UP Michigan is such region. But I think Marquette and Escabana are worth to try planting PCA churches.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
In 2014 Mission to North America announced that they want to plant 400 churches in 5 year period. It meand 80 new church in a year. Now I have seen the PCA congregation list on the net There are approximately 20 more churches that was in 2014. PCA neglects church planting?
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In 2014 Mission to North America announced that they want to plant 400 churches in 5 year period. It meand 80 new church in a year. Now I have seen the PCA congregation list on the net There are approximately 20 more churches that was in 2014. PCA neglects church planting?

Planting a suburban church is generally a 3 year project. Ethnic churches, at least the ones with which I am familiar, can take longer. So you can't expect instant results.

Our congregation had a goal of being involved in 50 domestic church plants by 2020 (Most, but not all, through the Southwest Church Planting Network). We hit that goal a few years ago, and the target has been raised to 100. Our efforts are concentrated in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona. (Technically, I suppose we should add western Louisiana to that list).
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
Congratulation. Southwest Church Planting Network seems to work. But what is in the Midwest.

In Mississippi state there are 0 church plants.MS state is considered as one of the strongholds in the PCA, and the PCA let these churches starving, and dwindling
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In Mississippi state there are 0 church plants.MS state is considered as one of the strongholds in the PCA, and the PCA let these churches starving, and dwindling

Not a whole lot of places to plant churches in Mississippi. And they have a fair number of rural churches in counties which are shrinking. Might be room for one or two up by Memphis. At some point Madison and Rankin might be able to add another. Below I-10, they lost at least half a decade recovering from Katrina. Might be room for one or two down there. If they aren't working on it, they should look over at Monroe for a church or two and a RUF, and perhaps a church in Alexandria. Wilkins pretty well gutted the denomination in Louisiana except for the Florida Parishes and the area south of there. Shreveport - Bossier ought to be able to absorb a couple of more churches, but that's North Texas now.
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
In 2014 Mission to North America announced that they want to plant 400 churches in 5 year period. It meand 80 new church in a year. Now I have seen the PCA congregation list on the net There are approximately 20 more churches that was in 2014. PCA neglects church planting?


The PCA generally neglects planting churches in rural areas. So if there isn't a major city or suburb, you most likely aren't going to get a PCA church.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
I do not understand that Shreveport after the dissolution of Louisiana Presbytery become part of North TX Presbyterian.

The entire Louisiana region could have been one big presbytery with SE Louisiana Presbytery. More effective on church planting. Just a thought. I am not an expert on creating presbyteries.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
I do not understand that Shreveport after the dissolution of Louisiana Presbytery become part of North TX Presbyterian.

Rushton and Delhi further east on I-20 ended up in Mississippi Valley. Shreveport's closer to Dallas than it is to Jackson. Lake Charles pretty much splits the difference between Baton Rouge and Houston, but I can understand why they wouldn't want to be Metro Houston.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
The PCA generally neglects planting churches in rural areas.

I'm not sure 'neglect' is the right word. Perhaps 'shows stewardship in generally not attempting to plant'.

But as with all discussion, it might help if we make sure we are talking about the same thing. I'd define rural as ag-based economy, slightly declining to declining population, aging population, low population density (The census bureau defines it as under 2500 people).
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
The PCA generally neglects planting churches in rural areas.

I'm not sure 'neglect' is the right word. Perhaps 'shows stewardship in generally not attempting to plant'.

But as with all discussion, it might help if we make sure we are talking about the same thing. I'd define rural as ag-based economy, slightly declining to declining population, aging population, low population density (The census bureau defines it as under 2500 people).

Rural not cities of +30k people.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Rural not cities of +30k people.

It's been a few years - Weatherford, TX 27,000.

Boerne, TX (2006) - 12,384

Kerrville TX (2013) - 22,663

A small total number compared to the number planted in DFW and Houston, but the plants in those cities are spread across close to 12 million people, or close to half the people in the state.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
But as with all discussion, it might help if we make sure we are talking about the same thing. I'd define rural as ag-based economy, slightly declining to declining population, aging population, low population density (The census bureau defines it as under 2500 people).

I understand what rural means. I just said that PCA loosing, dissolving churches in Mississippi. There are Towns without PCA presence in Nort Mississippi, like Senatobia, New Albany, Booneville, Holly Springs. In Jackson there should be more than 10 congregation African-American as well Hispanic, without suburbs.

South MS in the Gulf Coast can have more PCA churches.

Churches must be planted in Mississippi too, because PCA will loose ground in th estate.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
To my friend in UP Michigan, I think Escabana and Marquette could have PCA churches, UP is some kind of an isolated territory without REformed presence, these could be lights of spiritual darkness.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
You would think church plants ought to happen in regions where there's no denominational presence already, but in fact that isn't necessarily how it works. Yes, there is some effort on denominational levels to enter such areas, but church planting is not easy and plants tend to thrive best where there is a solid "mother church" that supports the effort and perhaps sends out some of its membership to form the new congregation. It also helps to have a strong, compact presbytery with plentiful resources rather than a spread-out one that struggles just to get everybody to regular meetings. All this means that church plants which are most likely to succeed may also tend to be those located not too far from existing churches.

So in a case like the UP of Michigan, which is not really anywhere near a hub of Presbyterian strength, it can be much harder to get traction than in, let's say, Texas or Georgia.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
So in a case like the UP of Michigan, which is not really anywhere near a hub of Presbyterian strength, it can be much harder to get traction than in, let's say, Texas or Georgia.

Jack, New Hampshire is a state where Presbyterian churches are very few, the PCA has 7 congregations there.Churches from the South helped to plant these churches. In UP are sholud be done the same.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Curious, did the Presbytery plant those churches or MNA?

Well, that's going to require a bit of parsing, isn't it? Technically, any mission church is the work of the Presbytery in which it is located, and is only a work of MNA if it is outside the bounds of any Presbytery. (Utah, for example, used to be out of bounds, but has been absorbed by Northern California, and there was that unfortunate incident when the church in Georgia tried to plant a PCA church in Salt Lake City.)

So, with church planting in the southwest, you generally have funding flowing either from the individual churches (not all churches in the Presbytery are members of the network, and some members of the network may do work independent of the network) or the network, under the authority of one of the four Presbyteries. Then you have the MNA's Western Church Planting Ministry.

I used to have a boss who liked to answer 'or' questions with a 'yes'.

Who plants the church? The Presbytery which has authority to set up a mission and particularize a church, or the folks who do the leg work and fund the activity? The answer might well be 'yes'.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
In Jackson there should be more than 10 congregation

Let's look at north Jackson and South Jackson. In north Jackson, Trinity moved north as the area changed, buying a large Methodist facility from a congregation which decided to exit the city limits. They have attempted to plant a multi-racial church at their old location. But the remaining white members were a key to the operation, as there were not enough black Presbyterians in Jackson to support even a single church. In south Jackson, as the area transitioned, the church ended up merging with a suburban church over in Clinton. Earlier, a PCA church in west Jackson relocated their small number of remaining members to a location in North Jackson. At the time, there was an effort toward planting a black church in west Jackson, but that never could be brought to fruition, although it did provide some groundwork for the Trinity/Redeemer deal a generation later.

Holly Springs is a town of under 8000 on the edge of a national forest. It's about a half hour drive to the nearest PCA church. Senatobia is about the same size, and is also about a half hour from a PCA church.

Booneville is slightly over 8000, and again is about half an hour to a PCA church. New Albany is, again, slightly over 8000, and is slightly farther - 40 or 45 minutes - to a PCA church. These two would probably orient toward Tupelo, while the first two orient more towards Memphis.

As I indicated up thread, there probably is room for one or two plants in these south Memphis suburbs, but I haven't looked at the demographics enough to zero in on where they should be - I would think a bit closer in, but Senatobia might be a good target.

As for below I-10 - it's 10 years post Katrina, and things have probably reached a point where they can look at growing again. If oil prices stay stable.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
Edward How do you know that?

I see in Alabama the PCA has lot of church plants. The situation is different in Alabama and Mississippi?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
I see in Alabama the PCA has lot of church plants. The situation is different in Alabama and Mississippi?

Just keep in mind the fact that this isn't the sort of thing that gets decided by fiat at the denominational level, as it might if we were Methodists or something. There isn't anyone at PCA headquarters looking at a map of the US and picking one region/state over another, so that we might say they're being unfair. Yes, they are trying to provide aid and a certain amount of direction/encouragement, but the greater push for church plants comes from churches and presbyteries themselves. It isn't forced from on high. That's part of why it isn't all balanced out.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
And why was the Methodists and baptist more effective in planting churches and evangelizing USA. When I lived Europe as a child I believed that the Reformed community in much larger in the USA, when we leared from the Pilgrim forefathers(learned that they were Calvinists). In that part of Europe where I lived we do not heard about Baptists, or Methodists, I did not knew them till mooved here.
 

Calvinbeza

Puritan Board Freshman
Let's look at north Jackson and South Jackson. In north Jackson, Trinity moved north as the area changed, buying a large Methodist facility from a congregation which decided to exit the city limits. They have attempted to plant a multi-racial church at their old location. But the remaining white members were a key to the operation, as there were not enough black Presbyterians in Jackson to support even a single church. In south Jackson, as the area transitioned, the church ended up merging with a suburban church over in Clinton. Earlier, a PCA church in west Jackson relocated their small number of remaining members to a location in North Jackson. At the time, there was an effort toward planting a black church in west Jackson, but that never could be brought to fruition, although it did provide some groundwork for the Trinity/Redeemer deal a generation later.

How do you know this story?
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
In north Jackson, Trinity moved north as the area changed, buying a large Methodist facility from a congregation which decided to exit the city limits. They have attempted to plant a multi-racial church at their old location.

Who states this? You. Where do you get your information?

Some of your facts are off. Trinity is still within the city limits. And it's more east than north. Trinity did not plant a church. The members who stayed planted it with the Presbytery.

In south Jackson, as the area transitioned, the church ended up merging with a suburban church over in Clinton.

This also is incorrect. The church that was in SW Jackson moved to Clinton, there was no merging. This was because of increased crime with a knowledge that another church would be planted there.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
About North Park? I asked folks at First Presbyterian why there was a 50 or so member church meeting in a converted house in the midst of the triangle formed by First Pres, Trinity (old location) and Pear Orchard. I had missed this story on the actual end of North Park - http://byfaithonline.com/church-dies-lives-on-through-pca-foundation/

About the Mt. Salus / St. Paul merger into Pinehaven? - that was well reported at the time. See also a brief reference to the merger here: http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/81114-Church-site-critique . It was common enough knowledge that there wasn't any comment on it on that thread.

About Trinity/Resurrection? It was well reported at the time - I think I recall several stories in the denominational magazine, but I can't locate the older stories. You might start with Dr. Duncan's blog entry - http://ligonduncan.com/a-milestone-for-redeemer-church-jackson-ms-and-an-important-day-for-the-pca/ or a recent story in the local Gannett paper - http://www.clarionledger.com/story/...churches-embracing-ethnic-diversity/30313465/ My house used to be a few blocks from the current Trinity location.

I don't know their current policies, but First Presbyterian Jackson used to follow a model of maintaining a size that their facilities would accommodate (noting that in the last 30 years, they built a new fellowship hall/Sunday School building and completely rebuilt the sanctuary). When they grew to a certain point, they'd spin off a local daughter church. Pear Orchard, one of the Rankin County churches (Lakeland?), Highlands. Looks like Madison Heights is a daughter of those daughter churches, and not a direct work of First. http://www.madisonheightschurch.com/learn/how-we-got-started/
 
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