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.

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.

ARP News Update

It’s Not Too Late for Camp This Summer!

music drama leaders 2014If you haven’t registered for the 2014 Bonclarken Music Conference, it still isn’t too late!  You may register onsite at Bonclarken THIS COMING SUNDAY at 3pm in the Jean White Room in Founders Hall!  There are still some spots available and you are welcome to come for this great week of worship and fellowship!  If you have questions, email Norma Jean Huffstetler at njhuffstetler@gmail.com

If you would like for your child to come to a session of Camp Bonclarken, there are a few spots left in certain age groups.  Please see the sessions and spots available below and call the Bonclarken Office to secure your child’s spot at Camp Bonclarken 2014! 828-692-2223.

Camp Bonclarken Session One – July 20 – 25, 2014music drama girls
We have room for 5 4th or 5th grade boys.
We have room for 6 4th or 5th grade girls.

music drama boysCamp Bonclarken Session Two – July 28 – August 1, 2014
We have room for 1 2nd grade boy.
We have room for 1 2nd or 3rd grade girls
We have room for 5 4th or 5th grade girls
We have room for 4 6th grade girls
We have room for 12 7th or 8th girls

Red Trinity Hymnals Needed

Travelers ARP Church, Travelers Rest, SC, is looking for the red Trinity Hymnals in good condition. If your church has any to give away, please contact Rev. Billy Barron, travelersarp@gmail.com or 864-420-8112.

RPCNA 2014RPCNA & ARP Synod to Meet in 2015

The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) Synod voted overwhelmingly to accept the invitation of the ARP for the concurrent meeting at Bonclarken. The “negatives” that were expressed prior to the vote centered on the cost being (potentially) double our normal travel expense; otherwise the arguments were in favor of the proposal. This is a concurrent Synod which means we will meet jointly for worship, meals, prayer and a series of seminars presented by the parallel missions of our two churches. The actual meetings will be held separately.

RPCNA Interchurch report is copied below.

Concurrent Synod with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) in 2015 

The most significant aspect of the work of the Interchurch Committee (IC) this year has been evaluating and preparing for the proposed concurrent Synod with the ARP in 2015 at their Bonclarken conference facility in Flat Rock, NC. The Business of Synod Committee and the IC have worked together along with the ARP IC and Bonclarken staff in order to evaluate and begin plans for this meeting. This has included the practical issues like travel and accommodations as well as maximizing the schedule so as to make use of the time together in a profitable way.

Recognizing this unique opportunity leads the IC to recommend that Synod approach the 2015 Synod with a focus on our relationship with the ARP. This would include modifying our normal business and schedule in order to accommodate the particular emphasis of church relations, similar to the pattern of Synod 2010 with its particular emphasis on the Seminary. The draft schedule includes times for joint worship, meals, and prayer, along with a series of seminars presented by the parallel missions of our two churches.

The IC proposes that these seminars be headed up by the Home Missions, Foreign Missions, Education/Seminaries, and Publications Committees of each church involving joint presentations and interaction. Delegates would have opportunity to learn of and learn from each denomination and their labors. And finally, given the hospitable nature of the ARP we anticipate the blessing of fruitful interaction that occurs during the “unplanned” portions of the schedule. Please be praying for this and taking the time to get to know our ARP brothers.

To be clear, this is not a proposal to join together blindly. Rather it is a serious call to pray for and draw close to this sister church who holds dear many of the same aspects of the reformed faith.

Discussion of greater communication and fellowship between the ARP and RPCNA began with our inter church committees in 2004. Let’s be in prayer as planning begins for Synod 2015.

Women’s Ministries Celebrates 100 Years!

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The 100th Women’s Ministries Annual Conference (formerly the Synodical Annual Meeting) will be held at Bonclarken on July 27-28. As always, this meeting is held the day before the Family Bible Conference begins.

We encourage all women at ARP churches to attend this event. Plans include a worship service led by Dr. Derek Thomas, and Ellie Lofaro as the main speaker. The full schedule and a brochure to download can be found ARPWM.org. Please contact Bonclarken at 828-692-2223 for housing arrangements.

Plan to stay on for Family Bible Conference. The speakers for FBC will be Jim Klukow and Richard Phillips.

ARP News Update

Quest 2014

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335 ARP middle school students and leaders are at Bonclarken Conference Center this week for the Quest Conference. 28 churches are represented at this CEM event. The students have had a fun-filled week already with a carnival on Monday, a color run and pool party on Tuesday. Today they had free time with their church family for the afternoon. There is still a full schedule for the rest of the week including dodgeball and a sludge war.

Rev. Stephen Laughridge is the pastor for the week bringing a time of worship in the morning and evening. He is the pastor of Wellspring Presbyterian Church in Daleville, VA. He is married to Pressly Ann, and they have 5 children.

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The Brandon Auten Band is back for another full week. Brandon is on staff at Crossings Community Church in Columbia, SC. He leads worship and the young couples ministry.

Please be in prayer for all of the students, leaders and staff as they are filled with the Holy Spirit.

10417482_600305072501_7157601723310626316_nPictures from the Horizon and Quest Conference can be found https://www.flickr.com/photos/124825197@N07/sets/.

You can also find pictures from leaders on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram #arpmagazine.

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Women’s Ministries 100th Celebration

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 3.13.19 PMMake plans now to join Women’s Ministries for the Life is Great! Conference July 27th-28th at Bonclarken Conference Center. Ellie Lofaro will be speaking and Babbie Mason will lead worship. This is one celebration you don’t want to miss. Visit ARPWM.org to learn more and register.

ARP News Update

 

ONA Announces New Director

Mike JonesThe Board of Directors of Outreach North America is pleased to announce that God’s wisdom and providence has led them to invite Mike Jones to become the next Executive Director.

Rev. Mike and Gina Jones are no strangers to the ARP. In fact, Mike is a fifth generation ARP! Mike’s dad, Dr. Doug Jones, is a retired teaching elder and both of Mike’s grandfathers were ARP ruling elders. Mike received his M.Div. from Erskine Theological Seminary in 1991, was ordained by the Catawba Presbytery, and has served as a Campus Chaplain at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, and the Pastor of Worship and Arts at Hope Presbyterian in Memphis, TN. His most recent calling was the planting and Senior Pastor of Hope Church, ARP in Tampa, FL.

Hope Church in Tampa has enjoyed phenomenal influence in the Tampa bay area. There are literally hundreds of new souls in the Kingdom as a result of God’s blessing and Mike and Gina’s tireless work. We are excited for them to bring their experience, calling, passion, and love for the church and for the lost to the ONA Executive Director position.

They have three wonderful kids, Roman, 15, Christian, 14 and Anna, 8.

ARP News Update

Senior High Horizon Conference

unnamed-2318 ARP high school students and leaders, representing 27 ARP Churches, are at Bonclarken Conference Center this week for the Horizon Conference.

Horizon is a week-long senior high conference that offers great opportunity for spiritual growth and development, unnamedfellowship, and teaching on pertinent information from God’s Word. The goal of this conference is to send young people out into their world, spiritually nurtured, fed, and equipped to live out their faith and share it with those around them.

Paul Boyd is the speaker for the week. He joined the Spanish River Church Planting in May 2013. He is currently the lead pastor at Redeemer Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Paul has a passion for spreading the Gospel and teaching people about their true identity in Christ.

photo-20The Brandon Auten Band is leading worship during Horizon and Quest. Brandon is on staff at Crossings Community Church in Columbia, SC. He leads worship and the young couples ministry.

How exciting to see the good that God is doing in our denomination. Pray for the staff, leaders and youth this week. God can work wonders through this conference in a powerful way.

You can see more pictures on Facebook, twitter and instagram #arpmagazine.

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ARP News Update

Rev. Jamie Hunt voted Moderator-elect

photo-18Rev. Boyce Wilson nominated Rev. Jamie Hunt for Moderator-elect. “We met 49 years ago when we roomed as freshmen at Erskine College in 1965,” Wilson said. Hunt grew up in the Young Memorial ARP Church and has deep roots in Due West, SC. Wilson says that Hunt has “a heart for the local church, for local outreach and for the nations.” He will retire after 33 years as pastor from Coddle Creek ARP Church, Mooresville, NC, in three weeks. “I will sleep well knowing he is moderator even though Jamie Hunt might not sleep well,” Wilson said laughing.

Rev. Stephen Myers, Pressly Memorial ARP Church, Statesville, NC, gave a second to the nomination. “Hunt is a man well equipped by God. He is a faithful pastor who loves the church. He knows the ARP church and where she needs to go. He will lead us forward,” Myers said.

Rev. Jamie Hunt gladly accepted the position. He says, “I will give it all I have got. I believe the future of the church is as bright as the promise of God.”

“I have chosen a man who can supplement my challenges,” Hunt said about Steve Kern, Devenger Road ARP Church, Greenville, SC, vice-moderator elect.

The meeting of Synod ended by 5pm Wednesday. Read more about the 210th meeting in the July issue of the ARP Magazine. www.arpmagazine.org.