Monday, November 01, 2010

Gleanings from the Pastor's Perspective: Rejoicing over an Installation

The Pastor’s Perspective
“Rejoicing over an Installation”
First Published: March 20, 2007

We are just over two months away from moving into the new sanctuary. Earl gave me a quick tour the other day, and it is breathtakingly beautiful. You will want to be here that first Sunday in June when (we hope to) be worshiping together in this handsome facility.

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the installation service of the Reverend Kenneth A. Pierce, as the new Senior Minister of Trinity Presbyterian Church here in Jackson, this past Sunday evening. Ken was a Thornwell scholar (a Teaching Assistant) for me at Reformed Theological Seminary many years ago. He has grown into an outstanding preacher and pastor. What a blessing he will be to that church, and what a delight to have him in this presbytery.

The service was joyful, with good rousing hymns and psalms. Dr. John R. De Witt (onetime professor of Theology and Church History at Reformed Theological Seminary here in Jackson, then Senior Minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, then Senior Minister of Seventh Reformed church in Grand Rapids, MI, then Senior Minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, SC) preached the induction sermon. I had the privilege of delivering the charge to the minister. Dean Rydbeck of Northpark PCA delivered the charge to the congregation, and Dennis Watts, an elder, who is now part of the new Madison Heights Church in Gluckstadt chaired the presbytery commission and administered the vows to Ken.

Our own congregation was instrumental in planting Trinity Church back in the early 1950s. Indeed, Reed Miller was the church planter/founding pastor of Trinity Church, before he came to First Presbyterian (while he was still teaching philosophy at Belhaven College). Let’s pray God’s rich blessing on the work at Trinity Church.

Now, by the time you are reading this, we will be in the midst of the PCRT (that is, the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology) here at First Presbyterian Church. The theme of the conference is “The Word: Above All Earthly Powers.” The PCRT is a conference designed for Christian laypeople, to enrich us with the deep and practical truths of the Bible. And this year’s PCRT is focusing on the Bible! On Sunday morning, Jerry Bridges will be preaching both services and we’ll have well over a hundred visitors from all around the region and country joining us (editorial note: The audio from this sermon may be found here).

Jerry Bridges has a special connection to our congregation, in that he is related to our former pastor, Reed Miller. For those of you unfamiliar with Jerry and his writings, he is a widely read and respected author and Bible teacher. His most popular book, The Pursuit of Holiness, has sold well over a million copies. As a full-time staff member with The Navigators for many years, Jerry has served in the collegiate ministry and community ministries. For 15 years he was the vice president for corporate affairs for The Navigators. He has also written: The Fruitful Life, Growing Your Faith, The Gospel for Real Life, Trusting God, The Chase, You Can Trust God, The Practice of Godliness, Transforming Grace, The Joy of Fearing God and more!

Don’t miss this soft-spoken but powerful and much beloved godly man bring the word. And bring some friends to hear him too.

Your friend,

Ligon Duncan

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