to North America
This issue: A progress
report on PCA Multi-
cultural Church Planting
MNA and You: Reaching North America for
Nations in our Midst
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And
surely I am with you always to the very end of the age."
When Jesus issued the Great Commission 2,000 years ago,
it wasn’t necessary to travel great distances to reach
people of all nations. Since then, the size of the world’s
population has multiplied many times over. Yet it is once
again possible to reach many nations without long-distance
travel, since many different nationalities are now represented
within North American borders.
Forecasters predict that our population will grow
increasingly more multicultural in the years ahead. The US
currently has the world’s third largest Hispanic population
– 21.4 million. By the year 2025, the number is expected to
reach 60 million, which means the US will have the world’s
second largest Hispanic population. Even before that, by 2010,
Hispanics will lead African Americans as the nation’s
largest minority, and Asians will be close behind. By 2050, it
is estimated that the US Anglo population will no longer be
the majority; it will be outnumbered by the combined
population of minority groups.
the PCA observes its 25th year, the growing
multicultural character of the North American
population presents tough challenges in church
planting. Yet it also spells opportunity in that it
forces innovation. In New York City, where four of the
five boroughs are among the top ten most ethnically
diverse counties in the nation, the PCA has planted
churches to serve people of at least six different
Ethnic diversity is equally strong in Canada’s major
cities. In Toronto, 170 different languages are spoken, and at
Grace Toronto PCA 22 different nationalities are represented.
Faith Reformed Presbyterian in Vancouver also has more than 20
nationalities in its congregation.
And while minorities are flooding the cities, they are also
moving into communities of all sizes. No longer do immigrants
remain in the port cities as they once did. Consequently, PCA
churches everywhere have an opportunity to reach people of
other cultures with the Gospel.
Ethnic diversity presents an ideal opportunity to bring
people to the Lord – especially immigrants, who are most
reachable when they’re new to the country and receptive to
the assistance and fellowship that churches can provide.
Just as the PCA determined at its founding 25 years ago
that this would be a national denomination, PCA leaders were
also determined to reach out to other cultures. Among the
1,360 PCA churches and missions the Lord has led in planting
during our history, about 240 represent minority populations.
Even more important, many have come to Christ through these
At MNA, the term multicultural is intended to indicate all
types of church planting among minority cultures in North
America. In addition to churches that are truly multicultural,
the term includes first-language or immigrant churches,
second-generation churches who speak English, and
have a long history with the PCA, and now have about 130
to 150 congregations in the US. Here, the majority of
Koreans live in several major urban centers such as
Chicago; Washington, DC; Philadelphia; and Los Angeles.
A major challenge today is planting churches to serve
the second generation.
Since 1990, MNA efforts to reach non-Anglo cultures have
intensified. It was then that MNA decided to focus primarily
on first-language immigrant peoples. Today, in addition to
English, PCA churches worship in nine languages: Korean,
Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, Creole, Chinese,
Japanese, and Filipino. In some churches, simultaneous
translations include additional languages.
Among PCA churches representing people of non-Anglo
descent, Koreans have the largest presence. Henry Koh is MNA
Korean Ministries Coordinator and was formerly senior pastor
of Emmanuel Church in Philadelphia, one of the first Korean
churches to join the PCA (1980).
Also representing a large presence in the PCA are
Brazilians, and their number is growing. Earlier this year,
Valter Moura was named Brazilian Movement Leader for the PCA.
Pastor of Christian Community PCA in Danbury, CT, Valter
started this church in early 1996 soon after moving to
About 1 million Brazilians live in the US – mostly in the
Northeast, a region which currently has seven
Portuguese-speaking PCA congregations. Two more are in Miami.
"This year," says Valter, "we started a new
church in Marlborough, Massachusetts, supported entirely by
Brazilian PCA churches – the first one – and it’s
expected to be self-supporting by December." They plan to
start another in the Northeast later this year.
Miami, known as the US capital of Latin America and
the Caribbean, the PCA is working to plant churches to
serve a variety of cultures. For instance, Dony St.
Germain, Haitian pastor of El Shaddai PCA Mission, has
been training church planters for several years to
serve the area’s rapidly growing Haitian population.
So far, he has initiated three churches and will be
instrumental in many more church plants as leaders are
The power of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of godly men
and women are certainly the most vital requirements in church
planting. Yet, certain other needs must be addressed in order
to further our progress in planting churches targeting other
cultures. For example, we must gain increased financial
support; recruit many more indigenous leaders; and provide the
means for training these men to plant churches.
Funding is a major issue because, in many cases, people of
minority cultures lack the financial resources to support a
church. Usually, it takes non-Anglo churches longer to become
self supporting. Training is equally critical since potential
leaders of minority groups often have limited theological
education and background in church planting.
Indigenous movement leaders are essential to multicultural
church planting – men with the vision and desire, leadership
abilities and spiritual anointing necessary to start a
movement within their own culture. What’s more, they are
highly effective in training others. Following the example of
the apostle Paul who took Timothy and others with him on his
missionary journeys, these movement leaders can disciple men
who will go on to plant additional churches. In this way,
movements gain momentum.
In Miami, Haitian pastor Dony St. Germain is one example.
He is currently training three church planter apprentices.
Certainly, the need for churches is great, considering that
south Florida’s Haitian population numbers about 300,000.
With the Lord’s help, Dony hopes to see Haitian churches
planted in New York City and Boston as well, where the
combined Haitian population is 700,000. Many of them are
In Fayetteville, Georgia, near Atlanta, African-American
pastor Louis Wilson of Redemption Fellowship is also nurturing
future church planters. His focus is serving middle-class
African Americans, a fast growing segment of the population.
Current apprentice Weldon Williams expects to plant a church
in the Chicago area in partnership with Chicago area pastors
Mike Marcy and Ted Powers.
These dedicated church planters need our prayers. And so do
the numerous other people throughout the PCA who are serving
the Lord by taking God’s Word to minority populations across
North America. Pray that God’s hand will guide them, that
the Holy Spirit will encourage them, and that they will be
fruitful in making disciples of all the nations in our midst.
The Vital Church
At the luncheon hosted by MNA Church Vitality at General
Assembly, Bill Thompson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian
in Dothan, AL, was one of several speakers. He emphasized the
value of Days of Prayer and Fasting sponsored by MNA.
"For our presbytery, this one-day event was a powerful
time of renewal… I encourage others to take advantage,"
he said. If your presbytery or church is interested in a Day
of Prayer and Fasting, contact Archie Parrish at MNA or
Also ask about the PCA Convocation on Revival and Reformation,
October 13 - 15 in Jackson, MS, designed for pastors who long
for another Great Awakening.
Church Plant Highlights
At this summer’s General Assembly, held in St.
Louis, the PCA celebrated 25 years. So at its annual breakfast,
MNA recognized all those present who had planted a church over
the past quarter century (see men standing in photo above).
Keynote speaker Tim Keller, senior pastor of Manhattan’s
Redeemer Presbyterian, gave a view of church planting in the
21st century. He articulated an evangelistic vision for the PCA,
outlining methods and strategies for all areas of the church,
from worship to preaching, community service to transforming the
number of Hispanic pastors whom the Lord is using to organize
missions in several US locations took part in the MNA "boot
camp." Clockwise from lower left: Jaime Rodriguez, Tony
Chin (MNA Coordinator of Multicultural Ministries for Florida
and the Caribbean), Demetrio Rodriguez, Peter Padro, Amadeus
Torres, Juan Olivo.
Prior to General Assembly, MNA conducted the first "boot
camp" for new church planters. An intensive four-day
schedule covered the basics of church organizing. Leading the
sessions were John Smed, MNA coordinator of church planting;
Allen Thompson, MNA coordinator of multicultural church
planting, and Tom Wood, pastor of Metro North Community Church
in Goose Creek, NC.
Have you participated in the Women in the Church Love Gift? A
video about the recipients of this annual project is being shown
in PCA churches throughout North America. Each year, the Love
Gift chooses a different focus. For 1998, gifts will go toward
training and developing leaders who serve minority cultures in
North America as a means of furthering works such as those
described in this issue of Multiply. To order, call
404-329-1284, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vital Ministry at Ole Miss
The University of Mississippi
(better known as Ole
Miss) is the site of one of the earliest Reformed University
Fellowships (RUF). Unlike many of our nation’s universities,
Ole Miss has a strong Christian community, and ministries are
permitted to meet in university facilities.
RUF campus minister, Jeffrey Lancaster, sees signs that the
Christian presence may be growing even stronger. He says that
each of the several campus ministries is doing well, and that
all have evangelical leaders.
Nonetheless, RUF at Ole Miss, as it does on every campus, has
an outstanding distinctive in that it teaches a Christian
world-and-life view and emphasizes justification by grace
through faith in Christ alone. Ole Miss students often say RUF
gave them their first understanding of grace – and that their
lives have been dramatically changed. For example:
"If it had not been for God’s work through RUF, I don’t
know where I would be right now. When I came to Ole Miss, I
could have been the poster boy for lost souls. God turned my
life totally around."
"Although I had heard sermon after sermon about the
Savior, I never really met Him until I came to RUF. I have
become a Christian at Ole Miss and it has totally changed my
Jeffrey became Ole Miss RUF minister six years
ago and has three interns working with him: Andy Beaird, Kelly
Shannon, and Eleanor Danner. Their large group fellowship
meetings have an average attendance of 220. Sunday night
fellowships, which meet in different sorority houses, are also
quite popular. During the week, there are 12 to 15 small groups
led by students and ministry staff.
Jeffrey Lancaster (in red shirt), RUF campus minister at Ole
Miss, is a 1986 graduate. He was active in RUF as a student
and has served as campus minister for six years. An average of
220 students attend weekly large group meetings.
Members of the softball team of Christ Presbyterian in Oxford
take a break from practice. Started in 1995, the congregation
is pastored by Shane Sunn (front row, left, with family). A
number of RUF members are involved with the church, and also
participate in the softball team.
Hill Presbyterian, led by Pastor Alan Cochet, also serves RUF
students at Ole Miss. One of the oldest churches in the Oxford
area, College Hill began in the 1880s.
Additional leaders are urgently needed if the PCA is to make
significant progress in planting churches that serve a variety of
cultures. In some cases, indigenous pastors with the spiritual
skills for the job require only further education or training to
become effective church planters. Urban & Mercy Ministries,
through the annual Thanksgiving Offering, addresses this need. The
bulletin insert for this year’s offering is now available. MNA
urges pastors to order a supply for distribution this fall. For
details, contact Fred Marsh at MNA or email: email@example.com
to attend the 1998 Christian Community Development Association
conference, Oct. 28 - Nov. 1 in St. Louis. For details,
contact MNA (see below for phone/addresses).
Gathered at a
dinner hosted by Urban & Mercy Ministries at General Assembly
were leaders from New CIty Fellowship congregations in St. Louyis,
who presented the evening program. With three St. Louis
locations and multicultural congregations. New City is
dedicated to serving people in disadvantaged communities.
Steve Jameson, the church planting pastor of New City South, said
"We invest ourselves in the lives of others by assisting them
with job training, tutoring, and home repair as a means of
reaching them with the Gospel. One of our newest ventures is
a furniture building business that will provide furniture and
employment for those in need."
Ministries hosted a dinner at General Assembly in recognition of
PCA chaplains as well as in appreciation for those who lend
support. The event also provided an update of ministry activity.
About 115 attended, including pastors, ruling elders, chaplains
and their wives. Primary speaker was Deputy Chief of Chaplains of
the US Air Force, Brigadier General Daryl Jones. During dinner,
Coordinator of Chaplain Ministries, Dave Peterson, introduced a
new brochure (shown at right). Its purpose: to present a brief
overview of the work of PCA chaplains, increase awareness of the
Chaplain Guardian Corps, and encourage prayer and financial
support. "We want to spread the word about our work,"
said Dave, "and we want each chaplain to have at least 120
believers praying for him on a regular basis," To request a
brochure, contact MNA (see back cover for phone/addresses).
people with the Gospel requires financial resources.
One way to provide these resources is through your estate
plan. Even if you prepared a will or estate plan in the past,
it may be wise to review your plan again from time to time.
Here’s a checklist to help you decide if now is the time to
check over your plan.
1. When your plan or will was prepared, did you acknowledge
that God is the owner of everything, and did the Holy Spirit
guide you in its preparation?
2. Has your plan been reviewed within the last three years?
3. Do you have a durable power of attorney?
4. Have you prepared instructions about the distribution of
personal possessions, including household goods?
5. Have there been significant changes in people or
property related to your plan?
6. Have you considered the many advantages of a living
7. Has your plan been designed to avoid conflicts among
8. Is the ownership of property coordinated with your
9. Have you provided for guardianship and property
management for minor children?
10. Are you comfortable with your existing plan?
If you answered "no" to any of these questions,
it’s time to review your plan. To do so, you may follow the
same process you did with its origination. Or, you may request
professional counsel from the PCA Foundation. At no charge,
the Foundation can advise you, prepare a complete estate plan,
or update an existing one.
For more information contact:
Randy Stair, President PCA Foundation
1852 Century Place, Suite 180
Atlanta GA 30345
|comments to Fred Marsh, Managing Editor /
Design: Studio Supplee.
Copy Editor/Writer: Joan Quillen. Material in Multiply may be
reproduced with permission.
Mission to North America serves the
churches and presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church in America
by enabling the PCA to plant, grow, and multiply churches.
Church Vitality, Urban and Mercy Ministries, Chaplain
Ministries, and Campus Ministries all contribute to that greater