Commemorating the Official Birthday of the PCA
As the Presbyterian Church in America marks its first 50 years as a denomination, celebrations have been hosted around the country by churches, presbyteries, agencies, and committees. For example, on September 13, Grace Presbytery celebrated its 50th anniversary at its stated meeting, hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, MS. Four of the men present at its first meeting still serve in that presbytery! Together, Grace rejoiced in the Lord’s faithfulness in raising up 37 churches and one mission church from its original 13 churches 50 years ago.
We joyfully celebrated together as a denomination at General Assembly in Memphis through prayer, a resolution of thanks to our founding fathers and mothers, a commissioned 50th anniversary anthem, and a series of video testimonials.
These celebrations of God’s faithfulness have echoed across the denomination this year. And the celebration isn’t over!
In December we remember the day that our denomination officially took shape in 1973 when the first General Assembly in Birmingham, Alabama convened at Briarwood Presbyterian Church. December 4, 1973 is the closest date we have to an official birthday.
Here are some ways you and your church can still enter into our denomination’s celebration as 2023 draws to a close:
1. Receive the Anniversary edition of byFaith.
We are producing a special issue of byFaith magazine filled with reflections on key milestones, our denominational impact and influence, and the healthy debates that have shaped and sharpened us over the years. This edition of byFaith is free to any who sign up to receive it on or before October 31. Use this link and share it with your church members to receive a free copy of this commemorative publication.
2. Watch Video testimonials.
A series of special videos have been produced featuring men and women from across the denomination sharing how God used the PCA to draw them to Christ and strengthen their faith. These testimonies will give you reasons to rejoice at the many ways God continues to work through the PCA.
3. Engage in our Anniversary Devotional series.
Church leaders have been publishing devotions every week on passages of Scripture that speak to the distinctives of the Reformed faith and the priority of the Great Commission. The series has featured installments from Kevin DeYoung, Nancy Guthrie, Tim Keller, and many others. The series will continue through the end of the year.
4. Utilize Our Monthly prayer guide.
You can find ways to pray for every agency and committee in the PCA through a series of prayer guides. Every month you’ll find practical ways to pray and resources to help your children join in this effort as well.
5. Sign Up to Pray on our Denomination-Wide Day of Prayer December 3.
A special day of prayer has been designated for Sunday, December 3, the Sunday proximate to our official birthday December 4. Churches are encouraged to set apart time in their services to praise God for His faithfulness to the PCA and pray for the denomination’s future. A prayer guide has been published and individuals can sign up to participate over the course of that entire day. You can register and explore resources for the day of prayer here.
Please join us in using this milestone as a season of turning to God, praising Him for His faithfulness, and collectively seeking His favor for our next 50 years together.