Fraternal Delegates Address General Assembly

St. Louis, Missouri (July 1, 1998)-Several fraternal delegates and official observers addressed the 26th PCA General Assembly.

Representing the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was Dr. John Carson, new President of Erskine Theological Seminary. He stated that he had watched the birth and growth of the PCA. "It's been with great joy that I have seen your growth in Christ." He spoke of the increasingly Reformed position of his denomination, and suggested that his induction into the presidency of his church's seminary "may be a final indication of the direction of the ARP."

Rev. Mark Herrington of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church stated: "My brothers and I in the OPC do celebrate with you. . . . We bring you genuine fraternal greetings. . . . We do want to see the unity of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . I believe that you and I love the same things that are important."

Rev. Chung Il Cho of the Korean American Presbyterian Church spoke of the KAPC's recent 22nd General Assembly in Los Angeles. The increase of bi-lingual congregations and younger leaders replacing older were mentioned as significant phenomena.

Dr. Ed Davis, Stated Clerk of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, addressed the court as an observer. He began: "Having been a Clerk for 18 years, I know what it's like to watch the docket and listen to fraternal delegates." He stated: "We trust that the partnership we continue to hammer out will first and foremost be a partnership in Christ, and only secondarily organizationally." The PCA has on several occasions declined to enter into close fraternal relations with the EPC, a denomination which ordains women to all ecclesiastical offices.

Rev. Jerome Julien of the newly-established United Reformed Churches of North America also spoke to the Assembly. The URCNA's approximately 60 churches and 15,000 members are mostly recent seceders from the Christian Reformed Church. "The hurts are there, the scars are there," said Mr. Julien. "The Reformation continues, because we must always be reformed by God's Word. . . . We ask you that, as an older sibling in the Reformed tradition, with a similar history, you will teach us."

Several representatives of the Synod of the Nile were recognized; and Rev. Safwat el Bayyadi, who serves as Chairman of the Protestant Council in Egypt, brought greetings from this historic Presbyterian church. "We are looking forward to sisterhood," he declared; and he presented to the Assembly a golden medallion from his church. Representatives from each of two Korean denominations were granted the opportunity to speak, as was Rev. Scott Lindsay of the Presbyterian Church of Australia.