ARP News Update

An update on the new Form of Government

Billy Barron, the chairman of the Committee to Revise the Form of Government has sent this update:

The committee is in the process of going through the document cleaning up editorial and other inadvertent errors. The revisions that are made cannot change the document. We appreciate all those who have pointed out to us such items. At the same time, we are constructing a parallel document to assist with the transition from the old to the new Form of Government.

In the meantime, the draft that was passed by the last two General Synods is online at  The official copy will always be electronic and available on This will guarantee that everyone has access to the latest version at any time.

Need an iPad for Your Ministry?

Get official denominational news in your hands and in the hands of your congregation. If you sign up five people to ARP News Update or three people with a new ARP Magazine subscription by August 31, you will be entered to win an iPad. The drawing will take place on Tuesday, September 2. Email with your entries.

Treble Makers

IMG_0405Bill and Gloria Gaither say it best with the words to their children’s song, “I am a Promise” because of God’s love and His command to care for orphans. Each child is given new security, new direction, love, care, and the chance to come to know Christ as their personal savior at Palmer Home. As the song says so beautifully, they are a “great big bundle of potentiality.”

As they grow and continue to learn that they do have new hope and that God loves them, many of the children begin to look for ways that they can share what God is doing in their lives. Treble Makers was formed for the children of Palmer Home to learn more about music and to have a special way to share their testimonies.

The choir travels to many churches, civic, and community events throughout the year. Sponsors, donors, churches, community supporters, and many others have the opportunity to see firsthand the children that are being ministered to by Palmer Home. Others who may not know about Palmer Home are given the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of Palmer Home and what they can do to help keep the ministry going.

If you would like to schedule the Treble Makers to sing for a worship service or community event please contact Denise Lee at 662-328-5704 ext. 143.

Palmer Home for Children, based in Columbus, MS, is one of the homes supported by Synod’s William H. Dunlap Orphanage Foundation. The choir has performed twice at Synod in recent years and during the Women’s Ministries Oasis.

ARP News Update

Remember Day of Prayer & Fasting

The Moderator asked that this link be shared as you prepare for a Synod-wide prayer focus Sunday, August 24, and a day of prayer and fasting on Monday, August 25, for the persecuted Christians around the world. Pray also for our missionaries who are having opportunities to minister to refugees.

Erskine College Welcomes Class of 2018

Today is move-in day at Erskine College for the Class of 2018. One of the many traditions that Erskine has is to help the freshmen move in. The upperclassmen, staff and volunteers unload cars as they pull up allowing new students to get acquainted with their surroundings. For more pictures click on the link below.

Update from Erskine: A Letter from Dr. Paul Kooistra

Dear Erskine Alumni and Friends:

Greetings from the president’s office at Erskine, where I am just beginning my third week on the job. My wife Sandi and I are pleased to be joining the Erskine family in the pursuit of Erskine’s historic mission of Christ-centered liberal arts and theological education. While I have had the privilege of meeting only a few of you so far, I’m looking forward to meeting more of you in the days ahead.

When I met with the Alumni Presidents Council, I promised them I would listen, and that I would be as frank with Erskine alumni as they were with me. I hope you find this letter to be in keeping with that promise.

As we approach Erskine’s 175th anniversary this fall, it is fitting that we celebrate a long and proud heritage. Yet, even as we do, Erskine faces significant challenges, many not unique to Erskine. The landscape of higher education is shifting in profound ways. Small Christian liberal arts colleges are perhaps feeling this more profoundly.

Continue reading

ARP News Update

images-26Moderator Calls for Synod-wide Day of Prayer and Fasting

Christians are being persecuted and killed by extremists in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. This is a Moderator’s call for a Synod-wide day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters on Sunday, August 24. Please announce this in your churches on Sunday, August 17, and encourage participation. In the midst of great trial for family members, we can offer the support of our prayers for strength to endure and for evil to be thwarted.

Sunday, August 24, will be a day of special prayer focus in our churches for persecuted Christians around the world followed by a day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters on Monday, August 25.

The letter below is from the Erik and Laurie Meberg, World Witness missionaries since 2003. They have served in Turkey for eight years and give first hand details of the situation and how we can help.

unnamed-4Dear Friends,

In light of the horrific reports coming out of northern Iraq, many of us have been shocked at the astrocities that the Islamic State (IS) has perpetrated against the minority people groups of the area.  These groups are all too familiar with ethnic cleansing and violence.  The main victims are the Christians, the village Kurds, and the Yezidis – an ethnically Kurdish, but religiously Zoroastrian community.  All who have the means have fled – often with nothing but what they could carry with them.  While some have chosen to find refuge in the bigger Kurdish cities like Erbil, others have flooded across the border into southeastern Turkey.

Many of you have asked us how to send help to those directly affected by the violence.  We just received a request from the Evangelical Church in Diyarbakir, Turkey.  In their city, there are 170 family units of Yezidi refugees, and in another town in the Mardin province there are 90 family units of Kurdish refugees.  These numbers are only expected to swell in the near future.  This is the church we worked with while in Diyarbakir, who cared for us while we were in Mardin, and who continues to support the churches in southeast Turkey. Continue reading

ARP News Update

images-26Day of Prayer and Fasting

Christians are being persecuted and killed by extremists in Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. This is a Moderator’s call for a Synod-wide day of prayer and fasting for these brothers and sisters on Sunday, August 24. Please announce this in your churches on Sunday, August 17, and encourage participation. In the midst of great trial for family members, we can offer the support of our prayers for strength to endure and for evil to be thwarted.


images-41arp365 Deadline

It is time to submit dates for meetings and events for arp365 (our online calendar for the denomination). While some dates later in 2015 may not be confirmed yet, we would appreciate receiving any dates you can confirm at this point.

Send information to Cindy Scott ( Cindy will work with you if any dates for meetings or events overlap.

Full-time Houseparents Needed

Full-time houseparents (married couple – husband and wife) are needed at Calvary Home For Children. Send resumes to

ARP News Update

Rev. Tony Grant

Rev. Dr. Tony Delano Grant, 73, pastor of York ARP Church (SC), died Monday, July 28, 2014, at his home in Rock Hill. He served the church for 34 years before his retirement July 1, 2014. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force.

A memorial service will be at 2:00 PM on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at York A.R.P. Church with Rev. Wallace Tinsley officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at York A.R.P. Church, and other times at the home of son Martin Grant, 1661 Huntmoor Dr., Rock Hill, SC 29732.

Rev. Grant was a son of the late Guy and Louise Rumler Grant. He is survived by wife Beth Martin Grant of Rock Hill, SC, two sons, Wesley S. Grant (Amy) of Chapin, SC, Martin Edward Grant (Kimberly) of Rock Hill, SC, brother Richard Grant (Linda) of Blythewood, SC, and four grandchildren, Marin Danna Grant, Piper Kenna Grant, Gracie Isabella Grant, and Colin Ezekiel Grant.

Memorials may be made to York A.R.P. Church, PO Box 475, York, SC 29745. Online condolences to the family may be made at Bratton Funeral Home in York is serving the Grant family.

ARP News Update Correction

Erskine College Welcomes Paul Kooistra as 16th President

Kooistras-for-news-300x200The Rev. William S. Cain, chairman of the Erskine Board of Trustees, announced today that Dr. Paul Kooistra of Suwannee, Ga., has been appointed president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary.

“I am thrilled to have Dr. Paul Kooistra as president and part of the Erskine family,” Cain said. “He is a time-tested leader who lives out his life with grace and humility before the Lord.”

Kooistra, who has headed Mission to the World (MTW), an agency of the Presbyterian Church in America, since 1994, previously served for nearly a decade as president of Covenant Theological Seminary in Creve Coeur, Mo. He has gained a reputation for transformational leadership in challenging circumstances.

His experience in the field of higher education has included service on the faculties of Belhaven College, Reformed School of Education, and Reformed Theological Seminary. Earlier in his career, he served two pastorates in Florida and was principal of a Christian day school.

Kooistra announced plans to step back from his longtime leadership role at Mission to the World about a year ago.

Praising Kooistra as “a man who has wonderfully served Christ’s church in numerous capacities with great ability and deep humility,” President Emeritus of Covenant Theological Seminary Dr. Bryan Chapell said, “He has been a youth pastor, a minister of Christian education, a preacher, a Christian school leader, a professor, a mission leader, an author, a friend to many—and a leader of remarkable courage and insight when we most needed it.”

Dr. George W. Robertson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Ga., has known Kooistra for nearly 30 years as “professor, pastor, president, boss, friend, and spiritual father” and offered his enthusiastic endorsement.

“I cannot think of any finer or more effective leader for your post than Paul,” he said. “The secret to Paul’s leadership genius is not so much organizational prowess —though he has that—as it is the theology of the Cross.”

Interim Presidential Search Committee Chair Bobby McDonald noted that Kooistra had been consulted concerning Erskine Seminary’s Augusta campus. “Dr. Kooistra was mentioned early in our search due to his prior involvement with Erskine,” he said.

“Looking at the list of qualities we sought in a candidate, Paul Kooistra was quickly identified as a contender for the position,” McDonald explained. “As we studied, met, and dialogued with Dr. Kooistra and his wife, Sandi, it became evident his knowledge of Erskine and academic leadership would serve the college as well.”

The search committed presented Kooistra to the trustees, and the Board of Trustees met with him July 17-18 to discuss priorities for what was expected to be an interim presidency.

“As we got to know Dr. Kooistra and his skill set better, and as he got to know more about what Erskine needed, it became apparent to both parties that there was an opportunity for him to do more for Erskine than we originally conceived,” Board Chairman William Cain said.

The executive committee recommended that Kooistra be named sixteenth president rather than interim president, making a motion to the full board. “The board agreed it was the right move for Erskine,” Cain said.

The vote was unanimous.

Asked about his plans for his tenure as president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary, Kooistra revealed his reliance on God’s providence and his willingness to listen to others.

“As I begin to work at Erskine, the only goals I have set for myself are to depend on the Lord and pray that He will lead me and the institution; to listen and get as much advice as I can from those who are already involved in the institution as to what we need to do and where we need to begin; and finally, to begin to take the necessary steps to move Erskine forward,” he said.

Faculty and staff members attended a luncheon with Kooistra in Moffatt Dining Hall Friday.