Update on the Work of the Presbytery

In John 4:35, Jesus said to His disciples: “Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” He made a very similar statement in Matthew 9:37b-38—“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest.” Both those verses/passages teach the same truth. If the harvest is to be gathered, there must be workers. When the cotton fields have produced their crops, someone has to pick those balls of cotton. When the peaches have ripened on the tree, someone has to gather them before the birds peck them to death, ruining the fruit. 

Vanguard has several mission churches that are starting or have been started. There are challenges with some of them and successes with others. From my experience in the ministry, that seems to always be the case. Of course, we want every particular church and every mission church to be successful. Today, I am going to list some of the matters of praise in the Presbytery. 

First, there are two mission churches being started through the efforts of Ryan Denton—Lubbock Reformed Church in Lubbock, Texas and Grace Covenant Reformed Church in Clovis, New Mexico. Both churches are averaging about 60 people for worship each week. The Lubbock church has approximately $130,000 in the bank and the Clovis church has about $80,000. A good foundation is being laid in both places by Ryan. Both churches have prospects for their ministers. Ryan is an evangelist and loves to start works like these churches, but does not feel called to be the pastor of them. That is fine with Vanguard because we need people gifted as evangelists who can labor in these ways. 

Second, there is Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Live Oak, Texas. This was the first mission church particularized by Vanguard Presbytery in March of 2021. This church is pastored by Dick Jones and has a ruling elder, Travis Sims, who is studying for the ministry at the present time. 

Third, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan held their first worship service on July 2, 2023 with over 130 people in attendance. There were about 60 people who returned for the evening service.  Sacha Walicord is the evangelist/pastor of this church. Sacha left the URCNA denomination to plant a new church for Vanguard in Grand Rapids. 

Fourth, Kris Popovitch was ordained by Vanguard Presbytery on June 27, 2023. His church, Bentheim Reformed Church in Hamilton, MI, left the Reformed Church in America and was allowed by the denomination only to transfer into a few select denominations. One of those is a holding group which technically is not a denomination. The elders of the church are very interested in Vanguard Presbytery for their permanent affiliation. That church is between 300-400 members.

Fifth, both Sacha Walicord and Kris Popovitch are networking with fellow reformed pastors in Michigan about joining Vanguard and there is a good deal of interest there. 

Sixth, the worm is turning towards the good side with respect to Pathway Presbyterian Church in Clarksville, TN (I would have said the “tide is turning” but I am an Ole Miss fan and I just do not use that kind of language!). This church has suffered more than most in getting started, but things are looking up. They have a very good prospect to become their pastor if both sides agree that he is called to do so. The attendance has increased from the previous year. I do not know what their attendance was on July 9th, but on July 2nd they had 28 people present. What that church needs is a pastor and they may have one on the way. 

Now, there are some particular and mission churches that are struggling for various reasons. There are many reasons why churches struggle and identifying the chief problem area is the first step toward solving that problem. The answer is not the same in each situation. In my opinion, some of the mission churches need to find better places to gather for worship. Plus, they need to find better ways to get their message out. Also, those churches probably need some financial assistance from Presbytery to help them do the things they need to do. But what I would say to every such mission work or small church is this—“The fields are white unto harvest.” Do not give up. Quitters never win and winners never quit.

In addition, to the things mentioned above, there are other churches that are looking with great interest towards Vanguard. We want churches to come our way who are committed to the core values and beliefs of Vanguard. Big tent Presbyterianism always ends in heresy after traveling through heterodoxy. That has no appeal to us. We have seen all the acts of that play too many times already. 

Now switching gears, I want to communicate a little bit of what I am doing and why I am so busy. At present. I have the following responsibilities: Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church; Executive Director of Church Planting International; former Moderator and de facto liaison/parliamentarian/counselor for Vanguard Presbytery; writing three books at the present time; I write these email newsletters most every week; I answer telephone calls and numerous emails from people all over the country and. sometimes, from other parts of the world; Chairman of the Board and a professor for the Moscow Reformed Theological seminary (Moscow, Russia); plus, I am working with a group in Virginia for the 300thAnniversary of the birth of Samuel Davies on November 3, 2023 at which I will be the keynote speaker. That is just the beginning of my duties.

I write all this to let everyone on this email list know where my priorities are, especially with respect to carrying on email debates. So, listen very carefully. I do not debate, period! If you take issue with something I write and feel that you and I should debate the matter, please understand that I am not going to debate with you. I do not have time for debates and will not waste my time doing so. I am a careful writer. I have facts before me when I write. I write in such a way that I will not be embarrassed and have to retract what I write later. If you believe what I wrote was wrong, so be it. Maybe you can even prove me wrong. I certainly am very, very fallible. But I am not persuaded by opinions. I like facts much better. 

There were a few people who wanted to debate with me over matters with respect to Doug Wilson just recently. I realize they were probably disappointed that I did not debate with them. So, today I am going to give you a link to follow— https://heidelblog.net/2021/09/it-can-be-difficult-but-we-need-to-open-our-eyes-and-pay-attention-to-the-facts/ There are numerous articles on this link that document beyond a shadow of a doubt that Doug Wilson is a heretic. He is a very slick heretic, but he is a heretic just the same. Seven other US denominations have agreed with me on this matter to one degree or another. R. C. Sproul read my book, Historic Christianity and the Federal Vision, and commented about it—“a marvelous critique of the Federal Vision heresy and an outstanding piece of writing.” Every defense of Wilson anyone would want to make is exploded by the numerous articles at the above link. And here is another link— https://www.vice.com/en/article/m7ezwx/inside-the-church-that-preaches-wives-need-to-be-led-with-a-firm-hand It deals with various sexual sins associated with Wilson’s church and other churches in the CREC denomination started by him. 

So, in case anyone is still in doubt about where I stand, I want to state it clearly and succinctly. Doug Wilson is a heretic. I will not call him a “brother.” This matter is not in doubt nor is it debatable. Anyone who has read or is reading anything from Wilson, needs to read all the articles listed above. If you do so, I very much doubt that you will still try to defend Wilson. 

Dewey Roberts, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Destin, FL 


Please mail any donations to: Vanguard Presbytery, PO Box 1862, Destin, FL 32540

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: