Emmanuel Ministries: "Bringing to light what our fathers knew and we have forgotten"

The Rev. Mr. James T. O'Brien, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in North Carolina, has founded a writing and teaching ministry. According to its informational brochure, Emmanuel Ministries "exists to instruct the people of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures and understood by the historic Reformed fathers." The brochure also states that "Emmanuel Ministries is committed to proclaiming the whole counsel of God as revealed in the inerrant Word of God. The distinctive focus of this ministry is to utilize the writings of our Reformed fathers to help shed light upon the Scriptures. Many deep and precious insights into the Scripture that were known to our Reformation fathers have been forgotten by the church. It is our goal to bring them to light once again that the church may experience the blessings of reformation and revival which our fathers knew."

Mr. O'Brien's credentials include graduation from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with an M.A., summa cum laude, in Church History. From 1983 to 1986, he was the Medieval and Renaissance Fellow at Duke University where he was pursuing a doctorate in Reformation theology. He left graduate school to serve for ten years as pastor of New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC. During 1997, he was the Moderator of Eastern Carolina Presbytery. In the fall of last year, the Presbytery called him to undertake this new ministry.

Emmanuel Ministries has several levels of support, including Subscribers ($25.00 annually), Associates ($100.00), Partners ($250.00), Benefactors ($500.00), and Patrons ($1,000.00). All of these supporters receive a subscription to a bi-monthly newsletter, Gleanings from Emmanuel Ministries. A quarterly sermon tape and various publications are available, also.

In a recent letter, Mr. O'Brien notes that he has "been invited by a group of Reformed ministers from different denominations to present a series of papers on 'The Philosophy of Ministry of the Westminster Standards.'" Among his current research projects are the following: preparation of the volume of the late Dr. John Gerstner's miscellaneous writings on the doctrines of revelation and inspiration; the meaning of the "days of creation" in 17th century theology; working through the doctrine of God, including a manual on prayer and a series of evangelistic sermons for use in churches; soteriological concerns, including the doctrine of justification, the nature of saving faith, and the place of the law in Christian experience; and a seminar on "Drawing Near to God", including the subjects of meditation on the Scripture, self-examination (requiring a full study of the Ten Commandments), and prayer (specifically the Lord's Prayer).

Four men have consented to serve on a Board of Advisors: John Sullivan of Redeemer PCA, Raleigh; Crage Wetter of Trinity Reformed PCA, Wilmington; Scott Will of New Covenant PCA, Raleigh; and Judge Paul Wright of White Oak PCA, Fremont, NC. A modest goal of raising only $24,000.00 for this ministry has been set. All gifts are tax-deductible.

Emmanuel Ministries

313 E. Millbrook Road

Raleigh, NC 27609