First Presbyterian, Columbia
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Article on Daughter Church
First Things cover article for the week of May 17, 2010:
EXPECTING A DAUGHTER
In a famous moment in recent British history, Margaret Thatcher, then British prime Minister, appeared on the steps of 10 Downing Street (the UK more modest equivalent of the White House—although Buckingham Palace is quite something!) and announced “We have become a grandmother.”
The announcement that our Session has unanimously welcomed and affirmed the report of our Church Planting Committee means that “We are expecting a daughter!” Our church’s proposals have been enthusiastically endorsed by Catawba Presbytery’s Church Extension Committee and, we hope, will be received at the upcoming presbytery meeting in June.
What does this involve? At least the following:
1. Together we will, under the aegis of Catawba Presbytery, establish another ARP congregation in the Spears Creek area of greater Columbia, to be known as “Grace Presbyterian Church.” Under the guidance of five elders (four from our congregation, one from elsewhere), a “mission developer” ( ARP language for a church planter) will be called to lead the new work.
2. The mission developer will become part of our pastoral team here. He will gather a core group who, while still part of the church family, will “gestate” within the womb of our own church campus.
3. As the fledgling church grows stronger it will begin to meet in the Spears Creek area.
4. During this period, and stretching out into the next five years, our own congregation will continue to support “Grace Presbyterian Church” materially (in a carefully structured way).
5. At some point in the future, “Grace Presbyterian Church” will become a self-supporting congregation on its own—and our daughter church may well begin to plan to want to have her own daughter!
We are immensely grateful to the members of the Church Planting Committee under the chairmanship of our Clerk of Session, Lanny Lambert. Elders Joe Walker and Ken Wingate, deacons Robby Woodard (with his wife Emily) and Thornton Kirby have served alongside Paula Hill, Kelly McCormick (with his wife Jeannie), Adam Neely, and Bonnie Spacek, while Neal Mathias has been an ever-present help throughout the process. Both the denominational agency and the Presbytery’s committee have been encouraging partners all this. It has been a joy to see them all working so willingly and happily together in this important piece of kingdom work.
Soon we hope to have the Provisional Session announced. But in the meantime, keep “Grace Presbyterian Church” in prayer. After all, some of those who may invest themselves in this exciting ministry may be seated next to you in the pew this Sunday—and perhaps are seated even nearer than that!
Sinclair B Ferguson