On November 22, 1974, representatives of the Christian Education committees of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the one-year-old Presbyterian Church in America met in Philadelphia to inaugurate a collaborative enterprise to serve both denominations. The new corporation acquired the assets and took on the name of the OPC’s agency, Great Commission Publications, with a view to beginning formal operations on July 1, 1975.
Temporary officers appointed for the new corporation were the Rev. Robert Nicholas (OPC), chairman; the Rev. Harold Borchert (PCA), vice-chairman; and the Rev. Kenneth Meilahn (OPC), secretary. The group also named the Rev. Robley J. Johnston, long-time general secretary for the OPC Christian Education Committee, to be executive director.
According to the Presbyterian Guardian, “a spirit of confidence and unanimity has permeated discussions leading up to this joint endeavor. Problems for the future success of the venture are mainly in the area of securing needed and competent personnel for the proposed schedule of publications.”
The OPC’s Christian Education Committee was particularly hopeful that the partnership would relieve the growing financial burden of producing Sunday school curricula. Still, enough uncertainty accompanied the initial planning so that both churches conceived of it as a five-year experiment, and each had the right to cancel its participation with eighteen months’ notice. Forty-nine years after that inaugural meeting, the joint venture continues to serve both denominations, as well as other Presbyterian and Reformed churches.
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