Rev. Craig Troxel, pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, IL, was elected as moderator of the 81st General Assembly. Rev. Archibald Allison, pastor of Emmaus Presbyterian Church in Ft. Collins, CO, had also been nominated. Mr. Danny Olinger, who had nominated Mr. Troxel, escorted him to the podium and then led the assembly in prayer.
The 81st General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) is meeting at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from June 4–10, 2014. Ministers and ruling elders from 17 Presbyteries around the country will be on the campus of Kuyper College in Grand Rapids The GA convened at 7:00 p.m., with retiring Moderator Jeffery Landis calling the assembly to order with prayer and the singing of “Rejoice, the Lord Is King.”
Mr. Landis preached a sermon before the assembly from Isaiah 66:15–24, noting that though the passage speaks of end-time judgment, it is in the context of this judgment and the horrors of eternity that God speaks of his grace, and of the mission his church is to fulfill. This mission is the redemption of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue, and this takes place through the preaching of the gospel.
Mr. Landis exhorted the assembly to remember that we are here to work hard because we are making battle plans for 2015 and determining that we are going to be used by Christ to pillage the kingdom of Satan. Even the passing of budgets, which fund home and foreign missionaries and support Christian education, must be viewed as part of these battle plans. Following the sermon, the roll of commissioners was taken.
After a preliminary report from Mr. David Haney from the Committee on Arrangements, and the presentation of the minutes from the 80th General Assembly, nominations for moderator were opened. Ministers Craig Troxel, pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Wehaton, IL, and Archibald Allison, pastor of Emmaus Presbyterian Church in Ft. Collins, CO, were nominated. Mr. Troxel was elected moderator by a vote of 88–48 and was escorted to the podium by Mr. Danny Olinger, who had nominated him. After Mr. Olinger prayed, the new moderator quipped, “Brothers, let’s remember who the real enemy is. It is not the moderator.”
The clerk presented the overtures, communications and appeals, and business items were assigned by the assembly to various advisory committees, which will work throughout the day on Thursday. Having completed its work for the evening, the assembly recessed for the evening with prayer by ruling elder Robert Coie.
Rev. Daniel F. Patterson, Pastor, Second Parish Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Portland, Maine.