October 2023 Presbytery Meeting

The 13th Stated Meeting of Evangel Presbytery was hosted by Clearnote Church in Indianapolis, IN on Friday, October 6th following the annual NGA Shepherds Conference.

As always our meeting began with a worship service and communion. Pr. Andy Halsey (pastor of Christ Church, Columbus) preached 1 Peter 5:1-4, an exhortation to elders. This was timely and a great encouragement to the presbytery.

Pastor Andy Halsey preaching

Following worship we turned to business. Overtures from previous meetings were ratified, along with a new overture for a committee to be assigned the task of deciding whether there should be new Doctrinal Positions section in the BCO. This committee will determine whether or not this new section should be added, recommend a title, and recommend which current chapters from the BCO would be moved to it (e.g. BCO 28 & 29, Declaration of Doctrine and Policies Concerning Sexuality & Abortion and the Church: What We Teach).

We then heard from our Ad Interim Committee on Abortion. Evangel’s Statement on Abortion is now in book form and available for purchase! You can still access it online for free here, but now you can also get a nice, paperback copy in someone’s hands. With the book now in print the committee was officially dismissed from its work. A big thanks to all who labored to get this work done!

Next, we heard from our Administrative and Nominations Committee and Committee on Candidates and Credentials. Our treasurer, John Kluge, presented the 2024 budget which was approved. Pr. Jeremy Vander Galien was added to the Shepherding Committee. Pr. David Abu-Sara was nominated for Moderator. As part of the Candidates & Credentials Committee report, Pr. Joe Helt’s call to be assistant pastor of Christ Church, Columbus was approved.

We then began hearing updates from churches and church plants with a lunch break in between. Please be in prayer for Christ Church, Cincinnati and give thanks for their recent adult baptisms and increase in small group attendance. Pray also for Clearnote Church, Indianapolis that they would gain older members to father and mother the younger ones as the majority of their church is a younger demographic. Please also pray that their would be more cross-pollination between the church and the daycare facility that they host.

Pastor Max Curell praying for Pastor Jason Chen

Continue to pray also for our mission churches: Chinese Reformed Church (Bloomington), Christ Church (Columbus), and Church of the King (Evansville). The pastors of these plants are working hard in their fields. Pray that the Lord would encourage them knowing their work is not in vain.

We wrapped up with a report from the Sessional Records Committee. This meeting concluded two and a half days of well-needed fellowship and exhortation. Many thanks to Clearnote Church for hosting both our Presbytery Meeting and NGA Shepherds Conference!

Our next stated meeting will be Friday, 16 February 2024 at Sovereign King Church, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Make plans to join us!

June 2023 Presbytery Meeting

The 12th Stated Meeting of Evangel Presbytery was hosted by Christ Church in Cincinnati, OH. However, Grace Bible Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati graciously allowed us to use their building for the meeting. Many thanks!

For our opening worship service Pastor Jeremy Vander Galien preached on Luke 18:1-8. Everyone struggles with prayer, and our Lord knew this would be the case. As Pr. Vander Galien pointed out, this text is not complicated and there’s really no heavy exegesis involved. The point is quite clear. And yet we struggle to be persistent in prayer. We were exhorted not only to pray, but to pray knowing God works quickly.

Pastor Jeremy Vander Galien preaching

Business began with ratifications of previous overtures: one on Fencing the Table and another on guarding against Paedocommunion. The additions passed unanimously and will be located in the BCO Chapter 60.

We then heard from Evangel’s Ad Interim Committee on Abortion. A summary statement of Evangel’s Abortion and the Church was previously presented to the presbytery. The summary statement was now re-presented and voted on to be added to the BCO. This is a truly excellent summary, being easily digestible but still potent. Many thanks to the Ad Interim Committee, especially elder Josh Congrove, for their diligent work. Also, be on the lookout for the book version of Abortion and the Church, hopefully released before our next meeting!

Next we heard updates from two of our churches and our mission churches. Pr. Andrew Dionne (Trinity Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg) spoke about both positive and negative responses to pastoral care. There are encouragements and discouragements in pastoral ministry, but the Lord is faithful. We then heard from Pr. Jody Killingsworth (Trinity Reformed Church, Bloomington) who shared with us details regarding their church building. It has been a long and slow process, but they are hoping for additional space to be completed in the fall. The church has been needing the space for quite sometime in order to serve the youth.

As for our mission churches, be in prayer for our pastors and their wives as they continue laboring. Pr. Jason Chen (Chinese Reformed Church, Bloomington) explained how the Chinese have many set backs due to generational sins. But good fruit is coming forth from his ministry. Be in prayer also for Pr. Andy Halsey (Christ Church, Columbus) and Pr. Jacob Mentzel (Church of the King, Evansville). May the Lord bless the work of these churches.

After lunch (brisket!) we heard from the Candidates and Credentials Committee. Pr. Stephen Baker gave updates on New Geneva Academy. This past semester there were six full-time students, three part-time, and a handful of auditors. NGA will also be offering a new 1-year bachelors program in the fall called Groundwork. It is open to both men and women and is designed to catch students up-to-speed on Western Civilization (the how and why of where we are today). 

Greg Anglen on the floor for his transfer exam

We then had two examinations: a transfer exam for Greg Anglen (Sovereign King Church, Jeffersonville) and the final ordination exam for Eric Beerbower (Clearnote Church, Indianapolis). Both men passed and their calls were approved. Congratulations men! 

Eric Beerbower on the floor for his ordination exam

We finished things up by hearing from the Sessional Records Committee. It was a productive meeting full of warm fellowship. Again, many thanks to Christ Church and Grace Bible Presbyterian Church for hosting us! 

Our next stated meeting will be at Clearnote Church in Indianapolis, IN, on Friday, October 6, 2023. We also hope you can join us for the 2023 Shepherd’s Conference which will be held at the same location, October 5-6. We look forward to seeing you there!

February 2023 Presbytery Meeting

The 11th Stated Meeting of Evangel Presbytery met at First Presbyterian Church, in Jasper, Indiana on Thursday, February 16th, 2023. This is the home of one of Evangel’s four church plants, and is pastored by Joe Helt. Thank you for hosting us!

As always our meeting began with morning worship. Pastor David Abu-Sara from Clearnote Church, Indianapolis, preached from the 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, “Each Man Must Be Careful How He Builds.” Using the apostle’s analogy, Pr. David exhorted us to make sure our people are built on the only sure foundation there is: Christ Jesus. We often want quick fixes to difficult problems, but a good pastor will not give in to such demands. It was a very helpful sermon.

After worship we went into business. We heard an overture from Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, SC, regarding paedocommunion. Currently Evangel’s BCO (Chapter 60) does not have language that explicitly addresses the practice, so the overture would add language to prohibit it. Sessions will vote on the overture prior to the next stated meeting along with another overture regarding the fencing of the Lord’s Table.

We then held a views exam for Gary Knapp. Gary is the Executive Director of Still Waters Biblical Counseling Ministry in Maumee, OH and is a member of Christ the Word Church in Sylvania, OH. He passed his views exam and was warmly welcomed as a pastor working out of bounds. Later in our meeting we were blessed to hear personally from one of our pastors who has been laboring out of bounds in Milwaukee, Rev. Brian Bunn.

Gary Knapp on the floor for his views exam

Afterwards we broke for lunch: pulled pork sandwiches and mac n’ cheese. Many thanks to those who hosted us!

After lunch we heard updates from our churches. Please pray for all of Evangel’s churches and especially our mission churches. We were excited to hear that Pr. Andy Halsey (Christ Church Columbus, IN) has recently gone full-time. Also, please pray for Pr. Jason Chen (Chinese Reformed Church Bloomington, IN) that God would send a Chinese speaker to assist Pr. Jason with his work in the church. 

We then heard from the Ad interim Committee on Abortion. This committee has been at work for 14 months. The fruit of their work has been Evangel’s Statement on Abortion. A new audio version can be accessed here, with subsequent parts being released as they are recorded. The Committee reported on a “concise summary version” of the Statement which the presbytery will consider adding to the BCO at a future meeting. As to the original, full statement, the funds were approved for Warhorn Media to publish a printed version this year.

Elder Abram Hess was then elected as the new moderator, and John Kluge was approved as treasurer. As always, we closed with prayer.

Evangel’s next stated meeting will be at Christ Church in Cincinnati, OH, on Thursday, June 1, 2023. We look forward to seeing you there!

October 2022 Presbytery Meeting

The 10th Stated Meeting of Evangel Presbytery met at Trinity Reformed Church in Bloomington, Indiana on Friday, October, 7th, 2022. The 2022 NGA Shepherd’s Conference was held at the same location the previous two days. It was a blessed time! We especially enjoyed having Dr. Richard C. Gamble speak to us about John Calvin’s Life, Ministry, and Theology. If you missed it recordings are available here.

Presbytery began with morning worship. Pastor Jake Mentzel from Church of the King, Evansville, preached an encouraging message on Paul’s greetings from his letters. We were reminded that every church is full of saints called by God, even the problematic Corinthian church. We are not to be faithless in how we look at the people in our own church. They too are saints.

After communion we began tending to the business of the day. A report from the Ad Interim Committee on Abortion updated us: Evangel’s Statement on Abortion is in the process of being published in book form. In the meantime, elders of Evangel received spiral bound copies. Warhorn Media is also releasing podcasts on the Statement: check out season 3 of The World We Made and new episodes of Sound of Sanity.

Evangel’s Statement on Abortion coming soon in book format

We then held a licensure exam for Eric Beerbower. He is currently helping Pastor David Abu-Sara at Clearnote Church, Indy, and has previously been licensed in the PCA. Eric passed this floor exam and will continue the process of ordination in Evangel. He is a great blessing to us! Please pray for him as he continues the process. 

After a delicious Italian lunch we had three New Geneva Academy students come under care. Daniel Coughlin and Daniel Frohman of Trinity Reformed Church, Bloomington, and Matt Shifflett of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Spartanburg presented their testimonies and sense of call to the ministry. All three were accepted for being taken under care. Please pray for these men and the other NGA students as they continue their studies and work towards ordination.

NGA students coming under care

We then held one more exam, a transfer exam for Jeremy Vander Galien. Jeremy pastors Pine Grove Community Church in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He passed his exam and was approved to labor out of bounds. Please welcome our brother and pray for him and the elders of Pine Grove!

Pastor Jeremy Vander Galien during his transfer exam

After this we heard from the Shepherding Committee. They have decided from now on to have only two particularized churches give updates each presbytery meeting. This time we heard from Christ Church, Cincinnati and Clearnote Church, Indy. Both churches have many young families and many little ones, praise God! This does make for many needs. Christ Church has especially been getting hit with physical suffering throughout the congregation. Please pray for these churches and their elders!

We then heard from our mission churches. Pastor Jason Chen of Chinese Reformed Church, Bloomington has been busy translating and writing worship songs in Chinese for his congregation. His church is small but there is growth. One of their young men was recently baptized! Both Church of the King, Evansville, and First Presbyterian Church, Jasper are in need of worship leaders. If you know eligible men please send them their way! Please continue to pray for all of our church plants. This is hard work and takes great patience. We trust the Lord’s blessing on it!

After a few amendments shoring up the BCO we concluded with prayer.

Evangel’s next stated meeting will be at First Presbyterian Church, Jasper, IN, on Thursday, February 16, 2023. We look forward to seeing you there!

Day of Fasting and Prayer for the End of Abortion

Tomorrow, July 6th, Evangel Presbytery will be observing a day of fasting and prayer for the end of abortion. We ask all our members to call upon God to end the slaughter of the innocent and grant repentance to the Church and our nation.

This would be a good day to read our recent statement, Abortion and the Church if you have not done so already.

“The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16b