The Orthodox Presbyterian Church Begins Its 79th General Assembly – By Ken Montgomery

The 79th General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church is meeting at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois, June 6–12, 2012. The meeting began with a sermon preached by the retiring moderator, Mr. Danny Olinger, who serves as the General Secretary of the OPC Committee of Christian Education.

Mr. Olinger preached from Genesis 1:1-2, reminding the Assembly that the Bible “starts with God” and that the “from Him and through Him” principle is not left behind as biblical revelation unfolds, but rather is further confirmed and heightened in redemption. Ministers and members of the church are set free to love one another because of the prior love of God, a love that modernism has all but redefined around man’s flimsy conceptions. Mr. Olinger concluded by drawing the Assembly’s attention to the  references to God in the book of Revelation, where it is clear that it is not only “from Him and through Him” but also “to Him” are all things. Creational history has its origins in the sovereign God, but also achieves its destiny in Him.

The first major item of business was to elect a new moderator for the 79th General Assembly. Mr. Tony Curto was elected to this position. Mr. Curto has served the OPC in many areas, including as a foreign missionary, regional home missionary, and faithful servant in the courts of the church. He presently teaches evangelism and missions at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina.

The Assembly docket includes reports from the three standing program committees of the OPC: Christian Education, Foreign Missions, and Home Missions. Also, the Assembly will consider several matters in the area of Appeals and Complaints. Much of the first full day (Thursday) is spent with commissioners breaking out into several “Advisory Committees” which then bring recommendations before the Assembly in the docketed order.

One of the highlights of General Assembly is the hearty and heart-felt singing of the 130+ ministers and elders who attend. Joining in singing such hymns as “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art” and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation” is a visible way to appreciate and enjoy the unity of Christ’s church as it meets under the presiding guidance of the only Head, the Lord Jesus.