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New Horizons

August, 1997: The 64th General Assembly

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The Sixty-fourth General Assembly

On Wednesday, June 4, 1997, at 8:00 p.m., the Sixty-fourth General Assembly (GA) of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) commenced with a worship service in the auditorium of "Old Main," the original building of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. For your reporter it was a real privilege to participate in the glorious singing of such great, bold hymns as "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," and "Unto the Hills...." During the service, Lawrence Semel, pastor of Reformation OPC in Morgantown, West Virginia, preached from Philippians 3:1-21 on our present and future citizenship in heaven.

Thursday, June 5

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The 1997 PCA General Assembly

The Presbyterian Church in America held its Twenty-fifth General Assembly in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 9-13, 1997. Meeting in the sprawling facilities of Village Seven Presbyterian Church, more than 750 teaching elders and 350 ruling elders gathered to do the work of the church and to worship and fellowship together. Most of the commissioners brought their wives, and an ambitious women's program was also part of the annual event. More than half of the teaching and ruling elders in attendance gathered early on Monday (by the appointment of their presbyteries) to serve on committees of commissioners to review the work of the church's permanent committees and its administrative and judicial business. At Tuesday night's opening worship service, the 2,000-seat sanctuary was filled to overflowing, and seats were sometimes hard to come by in daily sessions of the assembly.

On the first full day of business, Stated Clerk Paul Gilchrist reviewed the PCA's growth and current statistics. The PCA is now a denomination of 275,326 communicant members and covenant children, 2,573 ministers, and 1,338 churches and missions. During the course of the week, the assembly celebrated the placing of eighty church planters during the year and fielding the largest Presbyterian foreign missions force in the world, with over 500 career missionaries. The work of Covenant College and Covenant Theological Seminary and the assembly's Christian education and administrative arms were also reviewed. Read more

 
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