ARP News Update

Quest 2014


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.


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

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






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 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.


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.

ARP News Update

Highlights from Wednesday morning Synod Session 2014

photo 2Worship was led by Rev. Philip Bunch from First ARP Rock Hill, SC. “We should pray fervently and frequently that the Lord shall return. We get caught up praying for sickness, Bunch said. “We need to die to ourself so that Christ might reign as Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Business continued with reports from Special Committees. A motion was passed to give churches, presbyteries, etc. until December 2014 to have all written policies in line with the new form of government without penalty.

There was discussion about a Complaint from Catawba Presbytery. After much discussion, the complaint has been sustained Synod has voted to endorse the RPCNA booklet on The Gospel and Sexual Orientation.  Rev. Paul Patrick,  Campus Minister at Erskine College, showed a video of the work with RUF and the Barn Ministry.

Alex Pettett, World Witness Executive Director, had a chance to speak to the floor of Synod about his vision for World Witness and his excitement of the opportunity. “I have a lot to learn but we are here to serve. We ask for your prayers,” Pettett said.

Rev. Morrie Lawing spoke to Synod on behalf of the Board of Trustees of Erskine College. “I challenge you to consider giving to your school,” Lawing said. “We are not out of the woods. We long for our school to be committed Christian liberal arts school. We need your support.”

Norman Harper Price, Providence ARP, NC, closed with prayer.

ARP News Update

centennialchurchFire at Centennial ARP Church, Columbia, SC

 — The Columbia Fire Department responded to a fire at a downtown church late Tuesday morning.

Crews received the call Centennial Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church at 1431 Laurel Street around 11:32 a.m. Tuesday, according to Assistant Chief James Helms, a Columbia Fire Department spokesman.

“The initial call came into the Fire Department as a fire alarm activation,” Helms said. “The first arriving unit reported smoke and an active fire in the basement fellowship hall.”

Helms said fire crews quickly extinguished the fire and initiated the smoke removal process, and the fire was under control by 12:13 p.m.

“All church personnel had safely evacuated the building prior to the arrival of fire crews, and no injuries were reported,” Helms said.

Helms said there were 38 firefighters and five additional Richland County EMS on the scene.

Damage estimates are $250,000, and the cause was due to an overheated fluorescent light ballast, according to Helms.


ARP News Update

210th General Synod Opening Worship

Rev. Jeff Kingswood, Moderator of Synod, opened the 210th meeting of General Synod with a sermon from Colossians 1:15-20. “But in Christ, by the power of Christ, the church is powered as a new creation. I charge you in the week ahead to keep eyes on Jesus. Think not of reputation of agendas, goals or politics but think of the sufficiency, supremacy and the glory of the exalted Jesus,” Kingswood said.

0713Synod pgs Mod Kingswood thumbnail_DSC5308Retiring Moderator’s Address from Jeff Kingswood

It has been a blessing to visit, speak with, and work with the support staff of our denomination and to see the “behind the scenes” labours that they offer day in and day out, in order to make our denomination and its agencies run as smoothly as they do! Include them in your prayer.

There is much to be thankful for in our denomination. We may grow discouraged in our separate corners because we lose sight of the big picture. That is what being moderator has done for me. It has helped to keep me looking to the bigger picture – it has kept me looking to the biblical picture of the Bride of Christ.

And brothers and sisters I am convinced that until the bride of Christ embraces that as her identity, her calling, and her mission in this world, we will continue to be absorbed with petty party politics, turf wars, and perpetuating lifeless institutions. And to the world we will look like orphaned children squabbling over a meaningless inheritance. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus Christ, when we use the means He has appointed in His Word for the governance of the Church and the furtherance of Her mission then we will begin to look like that glorious bride we were meant to be. Then the world will see and know that Jesus lives, reigns, rules and that the Church is not only His Bride for whom He died, but His army which He leads into battle! And then the world, the very gates of hell, will not be able to stand against her!

Moderator’s Challenge From Larry Littlejohn

0714 Littlejohn headshotMy challenge for the coming year is that we develop a greater understanding of God’s imprint on us both individually and corporately as His dearly loved children. God from the beginning of time has marked His own. He will at the end of time mark them once again as His own for all eternity.

What does Scripture tell us about His imprint? The first indication in Genesis 1:26 records God’s saying, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” God is Spirit so being made in His image must mean something more than the physical.

The basic, real, and invariable nature of God is love. The members of the godhead, perfect in their love for each other, had no need for mankind to complete them. Rather they created mankind as an expression of that love. Here was a creature made in their likeness with the capacity to know and love. Here was one who could glorify his creator and enjoy Him forever as no other.

We have all made vows that need to be paid along this path of genuine love. Let us be His hands of mercy. Let us be His word of hope. Let us be displays of true joy. Let us faithfully bear the imprint of His love as individuals, as families, and as churches. Let us faithfully make His imprint upon the world-at-large. That is my challenge.

ARP Women’s Ministries President, Sally Illman

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 12.47.35 PMIt is a pleasure to speak to you today about ARP Women’s Ministries. As your ministry, a ministry of Synod, we are overseen by the Synod Executive Committee. We are a little different in that we are not an agency.   We do have a structured board and each presbytery has a president or representative. Do you know the name of your presbytery’s president or representative? If you don’t, the next edition of the ARP Magazine will help you find her.

So, are we valuable to you and your churches?  Our vision statement is simple: “ARP Women’s Ministries is an organization which encourages and equips the community of ARP women to work together for God’s glory and purpose.”  That means that we exist to focus on two biblical mandates.

The first is equipping.  Certainly your women get fine teaching and preaching from your church worship services and studies.

One thing we do to help you is to work with CEM to suggest Reformed, theologically sound, useful books for women to study. Are you familiar with this next year’s selections, Opening up Titus by David Campbell, which is a study of the whole book of Titus, and A Woman’s High Calling – Ten Ways to Live Out God’s Plan for Your Life, by Elizabeth George, which is a topical study of Titus 2:3-5? Would it be useful your women? What are they reading now? Make no mistake, your women, whether organized or unorganized, are reading and studying something.

The second is connecting our ARP women.  We are connected in polity because we believe it is biblical.  That includes the women.  General Synod Committees include representatives from ARP Women’s Ministries, and the feedback I get is that they are valued highly by the Committees on which they serve.

Look, these are tough times for all churches, and that is just as true for us in the ARP.  We as women are as concerned as you are.  Consider your women, and their role in a connected body.  Consider all they do in your churches.  Consider how they, your families, and your entire church might benefit from your supporting them to be actively involved with women from other churches through ARP Women’s Ministries.  We need you, and for God’s glory, we think that you need us.


Follow along for more Synod updates through ARP News Update, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #synod2014 #210arpgs #arpmagazine

To read more about the Synod meeting, subscribe to the next issue of the ARP Magazine,