February 2021 Meeting of Evangel Presbytery

The 5th Stated Meeting of Evangel Presbytery met at Trinity Reformed Church in Bloomington, Indiana on Friday, February 19th, 2021 at 10 am. After Moderator Andrew Dionne prayed and called us to order, Pastor Jody Killingsworth and the musicians at TRC opened our service of worship with a hymn and a psalm. Then Pastor Dionne preached to us from 1 Peter 5:1-4, and Pastor Philip Moyer led us in communion.

In his sermon, Pastor Dionne exhorted us, among other things, not to be lazy. Good thing he did, as we had a full day of business ahead of us. We took attendance and then Stated Clerk Lucas Week made a personal motion to strike the 10am start-time from our bylaws, so we could start subsequent meetings as convenient. The motion passed!

After that we discussed a variety of proposed changes to our BCO. Some changes had already been considered and were brought before the presbytery for a vote. For others, the moderator appointed committees to review the proposals and return to presbytery with recommendations.

We had a brief report from the administrative nominating committee, and then we broke for lunch.

Lunch was awesome: two lasagnas, salad, and butterscotch-chip cookies. There were many guests, and the time of fellowship with old friends and new was sweet. If you were one of the excused absences, or you just haven’t joined the Presbytery yet, you missed out.

The next part of the meeting after lunch was full of joy, as we heard from the various churches and church plants about how things were going over the last few months. The theme was: COVID was tough, but God is faithful.

Best of all, we voted to particularize Sovereign King Church in Memphis, Indiana. The particularization service which includes the ordination of two elders will take place soon. Praise the Lord, and best wishes to Pastor Joseph Spurgeon and his flock.

Later, we heard from Jake Mentzel, the Chairman of the Board of New Geneva Academy, which has cooked up a great pastors training program for this Autumn, with five men (and counting) already signed up.

We ended the day with the ordination of Jason Chen who will pastor the Chinese Reformed Church of Bloomington, Indiana. Pastor Mentzel preached:

This was a long time coming, and an occasion of happiness for all. Congratulations, Pastor Chen!

Our next stated meeting will be held on Thursday, June 3, 2021 at Holy Trinity Reformed Church in Camby, Indiana.

Evangel Presbytery: 1 October 2020 at Clearnote Church

Inside Clearnote Church’s sanctuary, Moderator Andrew Dionne and Clerk of Presbytery Lucas Weeks look on as Pastor Max Curell — chair of the Church Planting committee — gives a report on several news works coming into fellowship.

The 4th Stated Meeting of Evangel Presbytery met at Clearnote Church in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 1, 2020 at 10 am with prayer and a call to worship from Moderator Andrew Dionne. After raising our voices together in psalms and hymns, Pastor Alex McNeilly opened the word from Luke 9:46 – 50. Following the Lord’s Supper and benediction, business began around 11 with adoption of the docket and discussion of a modest budget for 2021.

Following the budget, everyone was ready for lunch, which was ample and delicious. Conversation was prevalent and ranged over everything from upcoming overtures to mutual interests in music. The candy bowl was a great ending to lunch and a source of constant edification throughout the afternoon, leading to the unofficial adoption of it as a standing tradition. Our future hosts at Trinity Reformed Church and Reformed Church of the Holy Trinity should take note!

Following lunch, the moderator introduced an overture from Christ Church Cinncinnati and appointed a study committee to consider it and it’s proposed clarification of means of discipline in the BCO. Following other appointments and a brief report from the Shepherding Committee, Pastor Jospeh Bayly — chair of the Candidates and Credentials Committee — took the podium to lead the ordination exam of pastoral candidates Jason Chen and Joe Helt. Questions from the chair and the floor were lively, but both men showed a firm grasp of church history and the sacraments through their responses. The assembly sustained their examinations unanimously before moving to work on calls for them both.

First Presbyterian Church in Jasper, Indiana brought an overture from the congregation to be received into Evangel, having voted to leave the PCA several weeks before. Pastoral candidate Joe Helt has been serving as their pulpit supply for the past year and the overture included a call for him to serve as their pastor. During a statement from the trustees of the church, it was very sweet to see the affection that has already developed between the Helt family and the membership of First Presbyterian.

Following the receiving of First Presbyterian, the assembly further approved the start of a new work in Bloomington, Indiana — a Chinese-speaking church to serve the city’s Chinese population. This new church will be lead by ordinate Jason Chen. Please keep Kernel of Wheat Fellowship in your prayers as their base of ministry has really struggled over the course of 2020.

The moderator wonders how many amendments to the amendment upon the amendment to the motion he’s going to have to sort through.

The moderator steered deliberations through the remaining committee reports and unfinished business efficiently, leading to an early conclusion around 4pm. Elder Brian Bailey was nominated to serve as moderator in 2021 before the assembly adjourned with prayer. Most of the commissioners then squandered their early dismissal by hanging around the sanctuary, foyer, and parking lot to visit until 5:30 – a testament to the kind hospitality of Clearnote Church.

We praise God for a good day of successful work.

Many thanks to photographer Sarah Schmidtt for capturing the events of the day.

February 2020 Presbytery Meeting

Back in February, Evangel Presbytery met in Bloomington, Indiana at Trinity Reformed Church. We had quite a full docket! Here are a few of the highlights.

The day started with a worship service, and pastor Tim Bayly preached. After hearing preaching and celebrating the Lord’s Supper, we went through the regular meeting preliminaries: roll call, introduction and seating of guests and visitors, and the adoption of our previous minutes and current docket.

After the preliminaries were over, we dove in to the substance of our agenda. As the chairman of the Bylaws Committee, pastor Andrew Dionne presented the proposed bylaws to the presbytery. After some discussion of amendments, the bylaws were approved.

The next major order of business came from the Candidates and Credentials Committee. After examination, four men came under care of presbytery, and three went on to preach and undergo licensure exams. All three were approved by the presbytery and are now licensed to preach.

Next up, the presbytery conducted a transfer exam of pastor Andy Halsey and received him into Evangel Presbytery from the Presbyterian Church in America. Rev. Halsey will serve as an Evangelist, working to start a new church in Columbus, IN.

The meeting ended with a brief report from each of our churches—things that are going well, and challenges each are facing. We also heard an update from our Cincinnati and Sellersburg church plants. Finally, we heard exciting news that a new church plant in Evansville is in the works!

Overall, we had a very productive meeting with some sweet fellowship. Praise be to God!