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  Twelve to Receive Degrees During  22nd GPTS Commencement Ceremony May 18th  

Degrees will be conferred upon 12 graduates or honorees during Greenville Seminary's 22nd Annual Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 18. The graduation service begins at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Arts Auditorium adjacent to the seminary. A reception will follow in the seminary's Student Commons.


Delivering this year's commencement address will be Dr. Derek Thomas, distinguished visiting professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Miss. and editorial director for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He also serves as minister of preaching and teaching at First Presbyterian Church in Columbia, S.C. A native of Wales, Dr. Thomas pastored in Belfast, Northern Ireland for 17 years before coming to the United States in 1966. In addition to authoring or editing 15 books, he has served as editor of the Evangelical Presbyterian. He is a frequent speaker at Reformed conferences.


This year's degree recipients include:



Louis Jacobus Cloete, (OPC), Bachelor of Divinity

"I praise the Lord for the multiple blessings He bestowed on my family and I during the years I spent at GPTS. With fondness I will remember the godly instruction from the faculty and fellowship with other students. The privilege of receiving a quality education was a bonus."

Nicholas Shane Napier (PCA), Bachelor of Divinity

"GPTS was more than I could have hoped for in terms of godly instruction and personal benefit. As a former Reformed Baptist pastor, I had heard many positive comments about GPTS, and desired to attend, and the Lord so graciously made it possible for me. My experience at GPTS has far exceeded my expectations, and I am forever grateful to the men who have given such fine instruction."

Jeremiah William Montgomery (OPC), Master of Divinity

"Greenville Seminary emphasizes confessional theology and experimental preaching. These two emphases are the desperate need of the church in every age, and I am thankful to King Jesus for bringing me to learn them here. God be praised for the mission and sacrificial ministry of GPTS."

Kevin Jude Olivier (OPC), Master of Divinity

"I am very thankful that the Lord led me to Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Even though I have a way to go in my development and skills, I am sincerely thankful for the training offered by the seminary, especially in the area of preaching. I especially commend GPTS for its stand on six-day creation and being an institution that requires strict subscription to the Westminster Standards for all its teaching faculty.  These documents give us the best and most accurate summary of what God's Word teaches. I pray that GPTS upholds them until Jesus Christ returns. 

Jim Gary Stevenson (OPC), Master of Divinity

"I am thankful for Greenville's emphasis on experimental Calvinism. The training of men to become preachers of the word of God is the reason I chose this seminary, because our standards tell us that it is especially through the preaching of the word that God convinces and converts sinners and builds them up in holiness and comfort. It has been a privilege and a blessing to learn from godly men who are so dedicated to Reformed and Confessional Presbyterianism."

Steven Kent Walton (PCA), Master of Divinity

"Shortly after beginning my studies, someone asked me what I thought was the best thing about being at Greenville Seminary.  I told him, 'The faculty.'  As I approach graduation, my response would have to be the same.  Although the instructors at GPTS are all fine scholars, they are more than that.  Each one is a preacher by trade and a pastor at heart.  In every class, whether history, systematics, languages, or applied studies, week after week I received nuggets of pastoral wisdom and insight into the work of ministry.  For this I will be forever grateful." 

James Dale Crowley (Missionary in Cambodia), Master of Arts

"This Baptist was treated with the utmost kindness and collegiality during my studies at Greenville Seminary. And what an honor to sit under modern Presbyterian icons like Doctors Pipa and Smith. I leave much better equipped to continue my work among the tribal peoples of Southeast Asia."

Patrick Kevin Daly (ARP), Master of Arts

"I came to GPTS hoping to grow in my understanding of Scripture and the Reformed confessions, in preparation for life-long service in His church, and can gladly say that I am leaving with much more. The relationships I have built with professors and students has specifically been a tremendous blessing to me, and has been used by the Lord in my growth in grace. The Lord has also been pleased to use my education here to prepare me for a job at the Banner of Truth Trust, where I will be working as the manager of sales and marketing/ operations, for North America."

Gary Lee Miller (PCA), Master of Arts

"Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is the school of choice for anyone desiring a thoroughly Christian reformed education. The classes were challenging, expanding my spiritual and mental understanding of Scripture. My love for history grew exponentially under Dr. McGoldrick’s tutelage. Dr. Curto, undoubtedly, influenced me most on issues of worldview, apologetics, and education. However, my most memorable moment was speaking to Dr. Pipa, as he expressed his love and care for my family, when my dad passed. May God bless the work of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary."


Michelle Stephanie Sekuras (N/D), Master of Arts

"God has truly smiled upon me by graciously bringing me to GPTS. I have had two significant doctrines impressed upon me at GPTS: The first is the absolute truth that is found only in Scripture, and the second is the value that Christ has placed upon the Church as his bride and body. As a servant of Christ and graduate of this seminary, I will strive to defend and live out the truth found in the inerrant Word by also serving the Church in whatever skills Christ has equipped me with." 


Ian Hamilton (EPCEW), Doctor of Divinity (Honorary)

"I count it a great privilege to be awarded this degree from GPTS. This will be my fourth graduation in three separate decades and my first outside Scotland! GPTS seeks to equip young men to be faithful, godly and effective preacher/pastors in Christ's church, for which I am deeply thankful to almighty God. My plans for the foreseeable future are straightforward, to continue doing what I have been doing for the past thirty years, preaching the glorious gospel of the blessed God. I greatly value your prayers for me and the congregation
I serve in England, Cambridge Presbyterian Church (a congregation of
the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales)."


Richard Davis Phillips (PCA), Doctor of Divinity (Honorary)

"I am grateful for the honor being bestowed on me, all the more because of my high regard for Greenville Seminary's faithfulness to God's Word and zeal for the gospel mission of Christ.  I am honored to join the GPTS fraternity of men committed to advancing the historic Reformed faith." Rev. Phillips is senior pastor of Second Presbyterian Church, Greenville, S.C.

Denominational Affiliations: ARP = Associate Reformed Presbyterian
EPCEW = Evangelical Presbyterian Church of England and Wales
N/D = Non-denominational
OPC = Orthodox Presbyterian Church
PCA = Presbyterian Church in America

  25th Anniversary Feature  
  Pastoral Training Developments in America

Part 3 in a Series

By Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr.

Having laid the biblical and historical foundation for ministerial training, I want to focus on the particular method that developed in America. As I mentioned in previous parts of this series, we inherited the university system of training men for the ministry. But other systems had developed as well. In England the non-conformists developed divinity halls to train ministers, while in Scotland the parsonage system, in which a young man would attach himself to a mature minister to study and prepare, was utilized.


In America, in addition to the university system, some began to implement the parsonage approach to ministerial education. Sometimes it would be less formally organized; a young man would go and live with a minister to learn informally from him through reading and joining in pastoral labors. Oftentimes though, the arrangement was more formal, and a young man would attach himself to a pastor to read divinity. There would be a set curriculum. The candidate would read and discuss with his mentor and thus prepare for the ministry.


The parsonage system though was very inefficient for a country that was experiencing rapid growth. A more efficient system was needed to produce a sufficient number of trained ministers to keep up with the growth of our country. So out of the parsonage system the Academy developed. In the Academy (the most famous being the Log College) a group of students would live with and study under a minister. But the need remained to train a larger number of men; so in the late eighteenth-century, the forerunner of seminaries developed.


Three schools began: The Dutch Reformed developed one in New York; a group of Associated Presbyterians developed one in Geneva, Pennsylvania; and Associate Reformed Church developed one in New York. Each of these schools had one faculty member, a small library, and very few students. A number of people saw the need for a well-endowed school that had more than one faculty member and a good library. And so in 1808, the Congregationalists in New England developed Andover Theological Seminary in Connecticut. Before they started, they had amassed a large library and endowment. They began with three full-time faculty members. This school was the first seminary. Three years later, in 1812, the Presbyterians started Princeton Theological Seminary. Also in 1812, the Reformed Church in America started New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Remarkably, in a five year span three seminaries were begun in the Northeast and in fifty years, sixty seminaries had been started in America.


These schools laid the foundation for the Protestant seminary education in America, which system is now the predominate way men prepare for the ministry. Westminster Seminary basically was formed on the plan of old Princeton. When Dr. Morton Smith started Reformed Seminary and later Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, he used the plan of old Princeton. In a sense Greenville Seminary is a grandchild of old Princeton.


Now the exciting thing today is that we can combine the best of seminary tradition with mentoring. Not only do faculty members mentor students, but also our students must work in local churches.


Moreover, with the advent of distance education, we are seeing the rise of parsonage and presbytery-centered training. Men may now do part of their seminary education in their local churches, taking courses by audio and videotapes, CDs, and on the Internet. At Greenville Seminary we are attempting to work with both local sessions and presbyteries to train men for the ministry. We are using a blend of taped and digitally recorded courses, live courses mediated by computer, local teaching, and men attending classes on campus for a minimum of twenty-four semester hours.


With respect to distance education, we need to keep two cautions in mind. First, private, non-social learning is not the best way to train men for the ministry. The classroom environment is essential for the development of well-balanced ministers. Second, we need to use the Internet with great caution. I trust we have learned our lessons from the television that the medium does shape the message. The Internet is probably not the best place for serious intellectual pursuits.


We live in a day with amazing resources. We need to pray that God will raise up godly men and that our seminaries will labor to provide the churches with an academic, confessional, and practical program for ministerial training. Why should we settle for less? Why should the people in the pew settle for less when our forefathers who lived in a less educated age with fewer resources had a ministry so superior? But as long as the church settles for less, as long as the church settles for mediocre preaching, as long as the church settles for men that cannot carry on a logical conversation, she will have a poorly educated ministry. On the other hand, if the church is guilty of wanting her ears tickled and not wanting doctrine taught and sin exposed, she is going to get a ministry that will meet her expectations.


(The above article, the last in a three-part series, was adapted from one originally published in The Chalcedon Report. Themes herein were developed in Dr. Pipa's lecture at the March 2012 GPTS Spring Theology Conference.)


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GPTS Library Expanding, Campus Bookstore Moved to New Venue  

The seminary's Smith-Singer Library is expanding, and to make way for additional future resources, the GPTS on-campus bookstore has been moved across the first-floor hallway. The bookstore is now sharing space in the Reception area opposite the building's front entrance lobby. Below are two views of the new bookstore area.



Since the previous full-service Presbyterian Bookshop was largely restructured as an affiliate online bookstore last year, space requirements have been reduced. The bookstore still houses copies of class-related textbooks, faculty publications and some volumes unique to our educational endeavors. The bookstore also carries gift items such as GPTS logo polo shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs and insulated travel mugs.


The former bookstore space will be used as the periodical section of the library as well as study space. Reference books will be moved to the former periodical stacks, with additional new space for new volumes of books. The library adds some 500 new volumes a year, with a current collection of about 10,000 volumes, just under the goal of 25,000, the library's maximum capacity.


GPTS students also have access to the nearby Bob Jones University Library as well as other area university and public libraries.


"The GPTS web site includes the link to our catalog as well as other online library catalogs and databases that our students frequently use," says Librarian Andy Wortman. "We recently subscribed to the American Theological Library Associations Databases for our faculty, students, and alumni. With more and more materials becoming available in full text for free or through annual database subscriptions, it removes some of the pressure on our library space (especially helping us eliminate the need for extensive archives)  and allows us to stay focused on our academy-model mission of training men for the ministry (rather than intense doctoral-level research)."


Mr. Wortman noted "our willingness to receive donations of theological literature that we can use to 1) enhance the Smith-Singer Library's own collection, 2) make books available to students at reduced rates, enabling them to begin to collect the tools that they will need for the ministry, and 3) help build the libraries of various mission works that we are involved with (e.g., the mission to Haiti)."


Originally, it was envisioned that an outside entity would open a Reformed bookstore either on the GPTS campus or nearby, Mr. Wortman said. When that did not happen, the seminary created its own shop on campus, but current online bookselling trends and the high cost of maintaining inventories made the physical store uncompetitive and an online store more advisable and profitable. For the past two years, Reformation Heritage Books has provided book sales at the seminary's Spring Theology Conference.

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Summer Institute Tackles Conflict   

Today's pastors and counselors frequently cite "Conflict Resolution" as a growing concern in their ministries.  That subject, subtitled "Exploring Ways to Prevent,  Shepherd and Redeem Conflict in the Church," will be the topic of the 2012 GPTS Summer Institute July 30-August 3. Together we’ll explore the roots of conflict and focus on methods to deal with it biblically. Preventing unnecessary trouble as well as preparing to handle it personally, pastorally and institutionally will be our focus. We will also examine the principles, attitudes and commitments of Scripture that enable us to be good stewards of the conflicts that God chooses to send our way. Shepherding God’s flock through such periods, so that they become periods of blessing and growth, will be our goal. You will be equipped with practical materials and skills to deal with conflict in the church redemptively. [DOWNLOAD BROCHURE]


Dr. Kevin Backus, pastor of Grand Island Bible Church in New York, who has done much training and teaching in the area of biblical counseling and conflict resolution, will be teaching this week-long course. Mark your calendars now, and plan to join us for this informative time of training.


Tuition for the Summer Institute is $225. The conference schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, July 30: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

  • Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, July 31-Aug. 1-2: 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Friday, Aug. 3: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m..

You may register online at Please register by Friday, June 29th.


Also on the summer schedule is our summer theology course, to be held July 23-27. Dr. Morton Smith will again teach his popular course, Studies in Southern Presbyterian Theology. These lectures continue to be a favorite among students, elders, and Christians of all ages. The course is popular because it covers a wide range of topics through the instrumentality of those most interesting and sometimes controversial Southern Presbyterians.


Tuition for the summer theology class on Southern Presbyterianism is $360.00 (tuition and fees), or $60 to audit. Please register by Friday, June 29th through the Registrar’s office only by calling 864.322.2717 ext. 302 or e-mailing the registrar. GPTS students must register by May 11.


The dates and times for the classes are as follows:

  • Monday, July 23: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 - July 26: 9 a.m. - 12 noon and 1 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 27: 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  Dr. Jerry W. Crick: In Memoriam  

The seminary community memorializes the translation to Glory of Dr. Jerry W. Crick of Birmingham, Ala., former assistant professor of philosophy and apologetics at GPTS. Dr. Crick died from tongue cancer on Sunday, April 22. He was 61.


Dr. Crick was also a former student at GPTS and was among the first class to graduate from the seminary, receiving his bachelor of divinity and master of theology degrees in 1991. He received his doctor of theology degree from GPTS in 1992, based on his thesis "The Presuppositional Nature of Saint Anselm of Canterbury's Ontological Argument." He served as adjunct faculty at GPTS from 1999 until 2006.


Dr. Crick was pastor of the Scottish Presbyterian Kirk of the Covenant (now Greenville Presbyterian Church), Greenville, S.C., from 1994 to 2006. He served as executive vice president and professor of theology and philosophy at Christ College, 1993-1996; and professor/instructor in Old Testament, Theology, Philosophy and Apologetics at Bahnsen Theological Seminary, 1997-2008. Most recently, he served as teacher at Redeemer Presbyterian Church (OPC), Vestavia Hills, Ala.


Dr. Crick is survived by his wife Sherri, daughter Amy (Brandon) Rogers, mother Joy Crick, sister Sue (Richard) Bohnen, and brother Mark (Theresa) Crick. He was preceded in death by his father Milton Crick.  


In a message to friends following her husband's death, Mrs. Crick said: "Thanks to all of you who have prayed for him and for me and our family. Amy and I would appreciate your continued prayers for grace, peace, strength, wisdom — all that we need and that we are confident the Lord will provide, though these are very difficult times for us. We are thankful that Jerry is free of pain and disease, but above all that he is free from sin and its effects and that he is seeing his Savior face to face. We truly believe he has heard the words, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.' His great love for the Lord was evident and was the basis and driving force in everything that he did and his selflessness a level we should all aspire to reach. God blessed me beyond measure with a truly wonderful husband for nearly 28 years, and I had hoped for at least 28 more and often heard him pray that we would grow old together; but the Lord determined otherwise, and we know that all that He does is perfect. I may not yet know HOW this is for my good, but I know that it IS so because God has ordained it."


The family requests that memorial gifts be given to:

  • Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, PO Box 690, Taylors SC 29687. Go here to make a memorial donation.
     Memorial Gift

  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2122 Columbiana Road, Vestavia Hills, AL, 35216

  • New Beacon Hospice, 122th 7th Ave, NE, Suite D, Alabaster, AL 35007

So Let It Bee! 

To many, honey bees are among the finest examples of the intricate and intelligent creativity of God. The seminary community had an opportunity in early May to witness this up close and personal, recalling the words of the Psalmist: "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" or, speaking of God's judgments, "More are they to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honey-comb."


On May 4th, a swarm of bees attached itself to the rear wall of the seminary building for several hours, causing some concern and excitement on the last regular day of the Spring semester. (See photo below.) This prompted Administrative Assistant Gail Anderson to do some quick 'net research, finding this explanation:


"Swarming is the natural reproductive life cycle of honey bees. Warm weather, combined with an abundance of nectar and pollen stimulate the colony to increase in population. This can cause over-crowding which leads the bees to swarm. Swarms usually emerge from the colonies between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on warm sunny days. The old queen, together with about half of the bees from the colony, leave the hive and cluster on a nearby object such as a fence, tree, or a small shrub. The swarm may remain for a few hours or a few days, while the scout bees (worker bees) search for a new, permanent nesting site. Once found, the swarm will move to this site and establish a new colony. Bee swarms are NOT normally aggressive because they are gorged full of honey and homeless, which reduces their defensive behavior. A swarm will become increasingly defensive, if provoked, the longer it remains in a given location. In the original colony, a new queen emerges and continues to maintain the parent colony."

Mrs. Anderson called a local beekeeper, who came with a box to encourage relocation of the swarming colony. But before he arrived, the bees had begin to form a new hive high in a nearby tree.

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  Auction Continues: Diamonds and the Ritz!   

A few luxury items donated for our Anniversary Gala Silent Auction remain available for public bidding. Currently featured is one gold diamond ring (right) donated by Art and Joanne Batzig of Greer, S.C. This would make a wonderful Mother's Day gift! Proceeds go to support the seminary's general fund. Bidding closes May 17.

Sold Click Here to Bid
  Luxury Palm Beach Ritz/Photo Package

Also available: A night at the 5-Star / 5-Diamond Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach, Florida, plus a family portrait session and 20" wall portrait on canvas with lavish artistry by internationally renown photographer Bradford at his luxurious Bradford Renaissance Portraits studio on world-famous Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. The donor values this package at $5,500. Make us an offer for this package. See more information and available dates here. Make your offer in an e-mail message to or by calling Garry Moes at (864) 322-2717, ext. 319.

TERMS: Portrait may be of a family or individual (no pets). Winning bidder must contact Bradford Portraits for a mutually agreed upon date and for hotel booking. GPTS will provide contact information and gift certificate. Package  does not include transportation.


Listen to the GPTS Weekly Web-based Radio Broadcasts



Sunny Southern California Bequest Property for Sale


Greenville Seminary is the beneficiary of a Southern California estate bequest that  includes a townhouse/condo in an upscale gated golf community in the Pacific Coast city of Oceanside. The seminary is attempting to sell this property to help amortize our building mortgage. This lovely coastal Mediterranean-style home includes two bedrooms and two baths and a two-car garage. It is located 100 yards from the community's clubhouse. The city of Oceanside is a delightful beach community with close ties to Camp Pendleton Marine Base. If you are interested in this property or know someone who might be interested, contact President Joseph A. Pipa Jr.  Make an Offer!  •   MORE INFORMATION HERE, INCLUDING PHOTOS AND LISTING AGENT

κατέχω - Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.... Hebrews 10:23

Check out the new look for  our online journal Katekōmen. (New mobile version on iPhones, too. On your iPhone, point your browser to  


Read a new book review on the work of Petrus van Mastricht by Ryan McGraw.


The first 2012 edition of our print newsletter Foundations is available for reading and/or printing here: FOUNDATIONS. Articles include "The Necessity and Nature of a Seminary Education," by Dr. Joseph A. Pipa Jr., and "Finding True North," by Garry J. Moes.

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The tables below show our General Fund and Capital Fund financial condition as of the end of April 2012. We are grateful to God and our supporters for every good and perfect gift. Monthly deficits in the last 90 days have eaten into our margins, however, as contributions and other income have fallen below budgeted levels. At the same time, operating expenses continue to plague us in this inflationary economy. We are doing our best to control expenses as we finalize our 1212-13 fiscal year budget, which takes effects July 1.


Please consider a generous gift as we continue operations during this final quarter of our 2011-2012 fiscal year ending June 30. Pray that God will be pleased to bless our annual mid-year support appeal beginning this month. This fund drive is critical to maintaining operations during the summer months, which traditionally are an austere time for non-profit organizations.


General Fund for April 2012
  April Budget April Actual April  Actual v. Budget
Expenses $80,250 $83,364 +$3,114
$62,134 $44,028 -$18,108
Other Income $18,189 $ 9,651 -$8,538
Total Income $80,323 $53,679 -$26,644
Net Income $73 -$29,685 -$29,758
  Fiscal Year to Date Budget Fiscal Year to Date Actual Fiscal Year to Date Actual v. Budget
Expenses $ 802,528 $811,855 +$9,327
$621,334 $598,375 -$22,959
Other Income $181,890 $200,525 +$18,635
Total Income $803,224 $798,900 -$4,324
Net Income $696 -$12,955 -$13,651
Capital Fund Update
Goal $3,500,000
Received $2,790,213
Long-term Pledges Outstanding $611,724
Total Received and Pledged $3,901,937
Additional Income Needed $98,063
Outstanding Obligations $37,000
Monthly Note $5348
Remaining Mortgage $1,018,794

If you would like to make a convenient online donation to Greenville Seminary, click the  "Donate" button below. Whether or not you can contribute financially, here is another way you can help the seminary:

Spread the Word! Do you know someone that would be interested in learning more about our organization or supporting us? If so, fill out the form here and an e-mail message with a link to our website will be sent to them. Thank you for your continued support for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.



Sharing in the Advancement of GPTS

Visit the GPTS Development Office web site for information on ways to support and spread the word about Greenville Seminary:

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Visit the GPTS Presbyterian Bookshop at

Visit our online Gift Shop to purchase GPTS golf shirts, sweatshirts, coffee mugs, and travel mugs. All net proceeds help support the seminary.


New audio and video resources arising from our 2012 and 2011 Spring Theology Conferences are now available. The 2011 GPTS Summer Institute is now available on DVD from our Gift Shop. More info and ordering here


The family film More than Diamonds is now being offered on DVD to friends of the seminary. By special arrangement with the producers, each purchase made online through a special web page will generate a donation to GPTS. More info here.

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DON'T "GOOGLE" IT! "GOODSEARCH" IT! Earn money for GPTS while you shop online or search the web. Make "GoodSearch" your default Internet search engine and shop through "GoodShop" at thousands of online stores that give a portion of purchase proceeds to GPTS: More Here. There are currently 68 people registered as GPTS supporters with GoodSearch, and there have been more than 1,200 searches benefiting GPTS. Your online shopping is also contributing to our earnings, which reached more than  $178 by May 1. We need hundreds more! Begin shopping or searching now by using the device in the right column above.


To add a new all-in-one GoodApp toolbar to your Firefox or Internet Explorer web browser, go HERE.


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