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Mission to North America
Churches planting Churches
Multiply

Fall 1998

This issue:  A progress
report on PCA Multi-
cultural Church Planting

MNA and You:  Reaching North America for Christ

The Nations in our Midst

"Therefore go 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." Matthew 28:19-20

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.

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As 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 languages.

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 churches.

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 African-American churches.

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Koreans 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 America.

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.

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In 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 available.

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 unchurched.

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


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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 e-mail: aparrish@pcanet.org. 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    Campus scenes

Celebrating 25 Years:

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 culture.


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A 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.

 

Onward Christian Soldiers:

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.

 

WIC Love Gift:

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:  video@pcanet.org


 

 


A Vital Ministry at Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi (better known as Ole Miss Campus.jpg (8536 bytes)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 life."

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.

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Top:  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.

Above:  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.

 

College Hill.jpg (5566 bytes)College 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.

 

Showing God’s Mercy Gospel in uniform

Developing Multicultural Leaders:

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: fmarsh@pcanet.org

CCDA:  Plan 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).

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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."

 

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MNA Chaplain 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).

The Stewardship Factor


Reaching 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 trust?

7. Has your plan been designed to avoid conflicts among family members?

8. Is the ownership of property coordinated with your estate documents?

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
Phone: 404-320-3303
E-mail:  rstair@pcanet.org

 

 

comments to Fred Marsh, Managing Editor / Photographer.
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 goal.