Greenville Seminary students, faculty, and alumni have a strong track record of evangelistic church-planting ministry in a variety of settings, both foreign and domestic. For example, Dr. L. Anthony Curto (Professor of Missions & Apologetics) and Mrs. Kathleen Curto (Registrar) dedicated ten years to church-planting missions work in northern Uganda before coming to Greenville Seminary. At various times in the past, our faculty have been instrumental in serving on provisional sessions and in core groups for church plants in the Greenville area and elsewhere around the country. Presently, members of the Greenville Seminary community and alumni network are actively involved in mission works of several Reformed denominations.
Pastor William Castro (ThM ’09) is the Organizing Pastor of Emmanuel Upstate Presbyterian Church (Iglesia Emmanuel), a mission work of Calvary Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in Greenville, SC. Emmanuel Upstate is a multicultural church plant that conducts worship services in English and Spanish. A number of current students and their families are involved in the work, and the church enjoys enthusiastic support from Calvary Presbytery and local congregations in the Greenville area. For more information about Emmanuel Upstate, visit emmanuelupstate.org.
Pastor Bradley Peppo (MA ’14) serves as an Evangelist in the Presbytery of Ohio of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), and has been involved in a series of church plants in the Miami Valley of Ohio since 2013. In 2014-15, Pastor Peppo was instrumental in the planting of Living Water Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Springfield, OH while serving as interim pastor for Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC) in Vandalia, OH. After Living Water particularized in 2017, Pastor Peppo began looking for new church-planting opportunities in the area surrounding Dayton, OH. A group initially formed in western Montgomery County, and ultimately became First Street Reformed Fellowship (OPC) in downtown Dayton. While this work was coalescing, Pastor Peppo labored to plant what is now Wilmington Reformed Church (OPC) in Wilmington, OH. For more information, visit pohopc.org, the website of the Presbytery of Ohio of the OPC.
Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr. (President Emeritus & Professor of Systematic and Homiletical Theology) was recently called by Calvary Presbytery of the PCA to serve as Organizing Pastor of Antioch Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Woodruff, SC, not far from the Seminary. Zachary Groff (Class of 2021) is serving the mission work as Dr. Pipa’s Ministerial Assistant, and Johann Xie (Class of 2022) is coordinating media production for the work. Antioch originally formed in 1843, was reorganized in the early twentieth century, and is experiencing its second reorganization beginning this year. The mission of the work as a parish church at the crossroads of Greenville and Spartanburg Counties is the gathering and perfecting of God’s people through biblical worship, evangelism, and pastoral care. For more information, visit antiochpca.com.
Pastor John Blevins (MDiv ’15), Associate Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Oak Ridge, TN, is leading an effort to plant a new PCA congregation in the Powell area of Knoxville, TN. Currently in its earliest stages, the Powell Area Church Plant has established a support network centered on Covenant PCA in Oak Ridge, but emanating out across Tennessee Valley Presbytery of the PCA and beyond. Pastor Blevins maintains a prayer support group through social media and email. To get in touch with Pastor Blevins, visit covenant-pca.com.
Pastor Nathan John Hilton (MDiv ’18) and Pastor Florian Weicken (MDiv ’19) are actively involved in planting new congregations of the growing Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales (EPCEW) denomination. Pastor Hilton is planting Sunderland Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPCEW), which currently meets at the Fulwell Community Library in downtown Sunderland. Pastor Weicken is planting Zurich Presbyterian Church (Zürich Presbyterianische Gemeinde) with a core group of 22 souls in the city of Zurich, Switzerland. Both Pastor Hilton and Pastor Weicken are originally from their respective church planting locales, and are remarkable in their zeal for Christ’s glory as articulated in the Westminster Standards. More information about Sunderland Evangelical Presbyterian Church can be found at sunderlandpres.org.uk; more information about Zurich Presbyterian Church can be found at zuerichpres.ch.
There are other church plants and alumni which we could (and will) highlight as we celebrate God’s answer to our prayers for an enduring Reformation among the nations. For more information, please contact the Seminary’s advancement office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 864.322.2717.
This article will appear in print in the Fall 2020 edition of Foundations, the newsletter of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, scheduled to arrive in recipients’ mailboxes later this month. If the content of this article appeals to you, consider making a year-end gift in any amount to help Greenville Seminary continue to equip preachers, pastors, and churchmen for Christ’s Kingdom among the nations at gpts.edu/donate. Thank you!