In God’s providence and for his glory, our provisional session, the church extension committee of our presbytery, our members, and I are all recognizing that Trinity Presbyterian Church of Norman, OK is nearing the point when we move officially from mission status to organized church. Below is an outline to the “Road to Church Organization”- Our organization event will be September 19, *if the Lord wills.
This will be a Historic Day for the Gospel in Oklahoma as our congregation was the first-ever mission in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in our state. Since we began meeting as a small bible study on OU’s campus on Sunday evenings in 2016, God has called many to join in this work of gathering and perfecting the saints for Christ’s church in Norman, OK, and beyond.
- What we must do to get the church organized (5 steps):
- Petition the presbytery with the names of those who want the church to be organized.
- Make sure the church is financially self-sufficient.
- Ask Presbytery to appoint a commission to organize the church (and examine the officers)
- At the organization service, the members make a vow
- At the organization meeting, the church is declared particularized.
This also will mean getting the elders and deacons installed (3 steps):
- Train them (currently ongoing)
- Have them examined by the Presbytery Commission: Written and oral.
- At the Organization service: elders/deacons will be elected, ordained and installed
Getting the pastor installed (2 steps):
- Include in the petition to presbytery the request by the members of the church to call Rev. Justin Westmoreland, who entered the ARPC as an Evangelist to plant the church. The names of those who vote to call the pastor at a congregational meeting: June 27, will be included in the organization petition sent to our presbytery.
- At the organization service, the Pastor will be officially elected and installed.
Bench marks that must be met:
- Church roll opened and receiving members within 6 months- 1 year after services started.
- At least two elder candidates trained and approved for election.
- Elder candidates examined and approved by church extension/provisional session.
- Doctrines and theology of the ARP church accepted by the elder candidates.
- Elder and deacon candidates in agreement with ARP’s Form of Government, Book of Discipline, & Directory of Worship.
- Our new session agrees to send an elder to all stated meetings of Presbytery and Synod, unless providentially hindered.
- Officers are willing to serve on Presbytery and Synod boards and committees as needed.
- The church agrees to meet the Presbytery minimums for pastoral support.
- Roll of communicant and non-communicant members submitted to the church extension committee.
- Petition for organization signed by communicant, non-communicant, and non-member regular attendees submitted to the church extension committee.
- Copy of current/projected budget submitted to the church extension committee and other material showing the congregation is financially self-supporting.
- Congregation agrees to contribute to the Presbytery and Synod’s Denominational Ministries Fund.
- Documentation of the call for the pastor given to Presbytery Church extension committee and candidates committee.
And that is it. If you have questions, please leave below or contact us at the church administrative email. Or if you read this far and want to rejoice with us in God’s glorious work in and through our church, just leave an encouraging note below. THANK YOU!