Gilchrist Submits His Resignation
Stated Clerk to Step Down at End of 1998 General
Dr. Paul R. Gilchrist, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, has announced his resignation, effective as of the close of the 26th General Assembly in St. Louis, MO, on July 3, 1998. When his resignation becomes effective, he will have been Stated Clerk for a decade.
The Rev. Mr. William A. Fox, Jr., Chairman of the Administrative Committee (AC), said in an October 13, 1997, letter sent to all Pastors, Clerks of Sessions, and Presbytery Clerks, that the AC "sorrowfully received the announcement from the Stated Clerk . . . of his desire to retire as Stated Clerk." Mr. Fox continued: "It has been my personal privilege and that of the entire PCA to enjoy God's blessing through Paul Gilchrist. Paul has served Christ's Church with excellence, with humility, and with faithfulness, seeking always and only to serve the best interest of the PCA and for the glory of Christ, the Head of the Church. Paul will be missed. We sincerely wish him God's richest blessings as he, no doubt, will continue to serve our Lord in other fields of ministry."
In a written statement sent as part of his Stated Clerk's letter (October 13, 1997), Dr. Gilchrist said: "The Lord certainly has blessed me in so many ways during these 10 years of service for the PCA. I had already served as Stated Clerk for 11 years in the RPCES [Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod] and then 2 years as Associated Clerk of the PCA following J&R [the Joining and Receiving of the RPCES with the PCA in 1982-Ed.]. It has been a genuine privilege and pleasure to be your servant here in Atlanta. I know that the Lord has the right person in mind for the PCA and I am confident because this is His Church and He will build it. May the Lord richly bless you all. Please continue to pray for the Church, for our Committee, and more specifically for the Search Committee of the AC."
Chairman Fox has appointed a Search Committee which
expects to present, through AC, a nomination for Stated Clerk
at the 1998 Assembly. According to Fox's letter, "The Search
Committee earnestly seeks applicants of both ruling and teaching
elders who desire the office of Stated Clerk and the suggestions
from the Church of potential candidates." The Chairman of
the Search Committee is RE Edwin Hackenberg, 422 Dougherty Lane,
Jackson, LA 70748; FAX (504)654-0392; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Profiling Paul Gilchrist
Born in Santiago, Chile, in 1932, the son of missionary parents,
Paul Rowland Gilchrist has had a long history of service with
the Church. A graduate of Columbia (SC) Bible College and Faith
Theological Seminary, he was licensed and ordained by Philadelphia
Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (that is, one
of the predecessor denominations of the RPCES) in 1956. His first
pastorate was Covenant Presbyterian Church, Glen Mills, PA (1956-1960),
followed by Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Levittown, PA (1960-1967).
He left that year to teach Bible at Covenant College, having
just received his Ph.D. from Dropsie University. He remained
on the faculty at the Lookout Mountain, GA, school for 21 years,
leaving there in 1988 to become PCA Stated Clerk. Even while
on staff at Covenant, he found time to be Stated Clerk of the
RPCES (1971-1982), Associated Stated Clerk of the PCA (1982-1984),
and Editor of the PCA Messenger (1987-1988). He has contributed
to the Theological Word Book of the Old Testament, International
Standard Bible Encyclopedia, II, Encyclopedia of Biblical
& Christian Ethics, Bakers Evangelical Comentary of the Bible,
Interpretation and History, and the book Israel's Apostasy
and Restoration. He was a translator and a member of the
executive review committee for the New King James Version. He
also edited the Documents of Synod (1965-1982), the Position
Papers of the PCA (1973-1993), and the PCA Digest.
He is on the advisory board of the Children's Bible in Story.
He has also been a visiting professor at Covenant Theological
Seminary, a visiting lecturer at Reformed Theological Seminary,
and an adjunct professor at Knox Theological Seminary. Columbia
Bible College has honored him as one of its Alumni of the Year.