Today in Church History

September 16

Egbert W. Andrews, Richard B. Gaffin, Sr., R. Heber McIlwaine, John P. Galbraith, Orthodox Presbyerian Church: foreign missions

On September 16, 1937, The Committee on Foreign Missions of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (established by the third General Assembly in 1937) appointed its first foreign missionaries.

The Committee appointed Egbert W. Andrews and R. Heber McIlwaine to serve in Manchuria, and Mr. and Mrs.Richard B. Gaffin as missionaries to China. All had recently resigned from the Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions, having determined that the leadership of that Board had moved into a non-Presbyterian direction. All of them would have long and distinguished careers in foreign missionary service for the OPC.

John P. Galbraith, long-time General Secretary for the Committee on Foreign Missions, recalled these appointment in this way:

It was a great day in the history of the Orthodox Presbyterian history when these missionaries went to their fields of service. For the first time in many years, we who wanted only the truth of the gospel preached by our representatives were sure that this would be done. We had been members of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., which came to the place that it would hear nothing of an exclusive gospel, and sent out 'missionaries' accordingly. We were now thankful to be able to say that we did not simply tolerate those who would preach the one and only gospel - we required it. These four missionaries would have had it no other way. They rejoiced in it. And they set an example and a goal for those who would follow after.

- John Muether

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