USA 2009

It was a remarkable and memorable experience to have fellowship with and minister to Christians in the United States this summer.

I flew to Pennsylvania on Monday 25th May, arriving at Messiah College, Grantham where the annual Banner of Truth Conference is held over a period of three days. The College campus is really beautiful (see pictures opposite), a very well-heeled College. The fellowship and food were excellent. The warm of the Christian Ministers in the US was quite remarkable, a very friendly and enjoyable atmosphere that engenders good fellowship. I met my son there who is a Minister with the OPC up in Bangor, Maine.

The ministry was good, all but one of the conference speakers were Scotsmen would you believe, one American, Walt Chantry. There was much talk about Scotland, you would have been forgiven for thinking Scotland was the Promised Land and Glasgow was the New Jerusalem. The others, Ian Hamilton, Sinclair Ferguson and Alistair Begg all preached well, very stimulating, thought provoking. I was especially provoked by Sinclair's two addresses on 'Union with Christ'. Alistair Begg's addresses on 'Persuasive Preaching were a tremendous challenge. The attendance at the conference was the largest to date I'm told, over three hundred men. To hear such a congregation sing Psalms is only a thrill to the soul.

My friend Rick, who is a Chaplain with the National Guard, and I, rose early (5am would believe!!) to see the battlefield at Gettysburg. That was a real thrill. Having read the history was great but to actually see the site and still well preserved as it was on the day of the battle. The lines of the army of North Virginia, Little Round Top where Mr. Chamberlaine, the Maine School teacher turned the Confederate forces, and won day for the Union forces. Thrilling stuff!

On Friday, I travelled up to Wisconsin where I preached on the Lord's day at Pilgrim Covnenant Church, my friend Ralph Ovadal's church. A lovely attentive congregation, a lot of lovely children, well disciplined, no-nonsense services pretty much like our own. I preached a biographical sermon on 'The Glorious Departure of Lord Kenmure', I've never done that before, it was a first and then on Tuesday evening I 'Testified' to the Lord's own gracious dealings with myself.

However, in between all this Ralph and his wife Linda, took me to see a bigh chunk of Wisconsin, well it seemed that way at least, but I was told it was only a tiny part. We went over to the mighty Mississippi, where I saw the museum protraying the history of the river. Ralph and Linda went tracting in the town while I did that (they never miss an opportunity). We travelled up river and saw the huge barges, about the size of three football parks (British ones). Then back inland towards Munroe. We visited Mount Horeb, originally a Norwegian settlement, we went to a tiny little log church, built 1750's, still intact, with it's benches, balcony and quaint little pulpit. No sound systems, carpets or candelabra in those days.

On Wednesday Dr. Tim Williams from Heritage Baptist Church in Woodstock, Illinois picked me up took me down to his place. I ministered there in the evening to a lovely family of God's people, on 'the Lordship of Jesus Christ'. The next day Tim took me into Chicago to see around the City, we visited D.L. Moody's old Church, seen his pulpit and auditorium and visited the Moody Bible Institute. As we travelled by taxi through the City Tim took the opportunity to witness to the taxi drivers, very boldly and forthrightly. Our counterparts in the US are no slouches when it comes to witnessing for the Lord, we could learn a thing or two from them.

The kindness and hospitailty I was shown my whole time in the States was truly remarkable, generous, nothing was too much trouble. The Churches I visited were not big, but they were solid, in the truth and their stand for it. They face the self-same issues we do here, a bit further back than us but it's coming to them too. Freedom of speech is being challenged, the issues of overt and public displays of Sodomy, the ecumenical madness, the slaughter of abortion. But the folk at PCC Munroe, Ralph and his congregation are making a bold, courageous stand against all these issues and more. They preach, do literature drops and seek to build a church in the midst of it all. They are worthy of our prayers. I could take this opportunity to direct you to Ralph's weekly radio programme, where he interviews and deals with a whole variety of topics relevant to the the day, the world and the church. You will find a link on the home page of this site, 'The Heart of the Matter'.


Ralph with his lovely family
Left to right: Joy, Janet, Linda, Ralph, Tom & his wife.


Ralph & I.


The Norwegian Log Church.


Sun sets on the good ol' USA.


Campus grounds Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania

My friend Rick at Gettysburg


Banner of Truth Conference, Pennsylvania


My son Russell & I in the middle.


PCC, Monroe, Wisconsin.


The effect of my ministry.


Heritage Baptist Church, Greenwood, Illinois


 Dr. Tim Williams (left) with his wife & founding members of his church.