Evangel Presbytery met on Friday, October 8th, 2021 at Trinity Reformed Church in Bloomington, Indiana. Our meeting started at 9 am with worship and prayer, followed by a sermon from Pastor Joseph Bayly. Pastor Bayly preached from 1 Kings 1:1-10 and warned us of the sins of pride and ambition. If we are to be wise, we must not only be able to see these sins in ourselves and others, but we must kill them. This was a needed exhortation as all men are prone to such errors. 

Changes to our BCO were discussed and voted on, followed by two written reports from men laboring out-of-bounds, Brian Bunn and Jürgen von Hagen.

Two overtures (petitions from churches to the presbytery) were then presented, both regarding major issues that all Christians must face: 

  1. Pastor Joseph Spurgeon proposed that a committee be formed to study abortion with the purpose of drafting and adopting a statement about it. 
  2. Pastor Lucas Weeks presented a statement that had been adopted by Trinity Reformed Church on September 19, 2021 titled Conscience and Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates: In Defense of Sphere Authority. The statement was adopted by Evangel Presbytery and can be read here. We encourage you to do so!

Following a budget proposal, we heard updates from our churches and mission churches. Even though these updates often include struggles and disappointments, it is always an encouraging portion of the meeting, for we see God’s kindness and mercy to his people. It is a truly sweet time to hear from our pastors. 

During this time, we had an exciting announcement: Christ Church Cincinnati asked to be particularized! Here is a brief history of Christ Church from Pr. Alex McNeilly: 

The church was planted under the leadership of pastors Joseph Bayly (senior) and Paul Belcher (assistant) in 2015, along with the help of several others. Alex McNeilly joined as an assistant pastor in September 2019. On September 12, 2021, the congregation elected two elders (Ken Patrick and Tom Thistleton) and two deacons (Rob Bedinghaus and Scott Hillger), called Joseph Bayly to serve as their senior pastor, and signed a petition to Evangel Presbytery to be organized as a particular church. The newly elected officers will be ordained and installed at an organization service on Sunday, October 31. For several years, the church met in an elementary school in Milford, Ohio, a suburb on the east side of Cincinnati. The church now meets for worship in the gym at Mars Hill Academy in Mason, Ohio, a suburb northeast of Cincinnati. The congregation has steadily grown over the past six years so that it now comprises roughly sixteen households, including families with (many) children as well as single adults.

We praise God for his kindness to us in this!

Following this announcement, we had a great lunch and time of fellowship at the church before reconvening. 

After lunch, the Candidates and Credentials committee brought some recent exceptions to the Westminster Confession of Faith to the floor of presbytery for discussion.

After hearing from our Sessional Records Committee our meeting ended (earlier than expected, which is always nice as there is more time for fellowship!). 

This meeting was preceded by our annual Shepherd’s Conference. The theme was The Good Soldier. The sessions were full of exhortation and encouragement, with much needed fellowship (and food) in between! 

Our next stated meeting will be on Friday, February 18th, 2022 at Clearnote Church in Indianapolis. We look forward to seeing you there!