A RESOLUTION OF THE PRESBYTERY OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGARDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW EURASIA PRESBYTERY
January 29, 2016
Whereas it has sometimes happened that Christian congregations that have come into being on the frontiers of the kingdom of God through the blessing of the Holy Spirit and the committed labors of Christian ministers (however regularly or irregularly ordained) realize the need to be organized into a regional or national church. Such, indeed, was the case with Presbyterians in the New World. When Francis Mekemie organized the first New World presbytery in 1706, it was an action taken apart from and without the authority of any previously existing Church.
Whereas over the past twenty-five years Presbyterian congregations in the Russian-speaking world have been formed by evangelists, some of whom were ordained by established Korean churches, some of whom have never received regular ordination.
Whereas as the years have passed these far-flung congregations have developed a measure of unity in doctrine and life through the offices of the Slavic Reformation Society, an independent Eurasian ministry governed by a board composed of American Presbyterians and directed by the Rev. Blake Purcell, a ministerial member of this presbytery.
Whereas such men and such congregations have been encouraged, supported, and sustained by congregations of the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and the Presbyterian Church in America, none of which bodies is presently in a position to organize a Russian-speaking Presbyterian Church that would be self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating.
Therefore this Presbytery declares its agreement with the plan of our Russian Presbyterian brothers to organize a presbytery, to admit congregations into its membership, and to ordain those ministers and elders who are biblically qualified and not yet regularly ordained.
This Presbytery further authorizes three of its ministers, the Rev. Eric Irwin, the Rev. Michael Kelly, and the Rev. Blake Purcell, who will be in St. Petersburg at the time planned for the service of ordination and organization, to take part along with what other Presbyterian ministers or elders may be present and willing.
Further, this Presbytery sends with its ministers its prayers and best wishes for the new church, for its future ministry, for its congregations, and for its people. May the Lord build his church and may the gates of hell not prevail against it!
Please rejoice with all the churches of the SRS fellowship of Eurasia as they, Lord willing, birth the world's widest presbytery, March 13, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Russia. It will stretch across 9 time zones, from Riga on the Baltic Sea, to the Vladivostok area on the Pacific Ocean
This new denomination and presbytery has its roots in Blake and Cathy Purcell's Navigator ministry they began with college students in Leningrad, USSR, in October of 1990.
In October of 1998 Blake was ordained in the Mississippi Valley Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America as an evangelist to the former Soviet Union. The calling of the evangelist is to establish churches and presbyteries in regions and cultures of the world where the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness has not penetrated and this kind of church has not been planted.
As the resolution of Blake's current presbytery, the Pacific Northwest of the PCA reads, teaching elders Eric Irwin and Michael Kelly, of the PCA, plan to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia to teach at the Spring intensive course in the SRS seminary, and to accept the ordinations of transferring teaching elders and to ordain those teaching elders whose ordinations have expired or have never been ordained, to form their own independent presbytery. Brian Nolder, teaching elder from the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches will also, Lord willing, participate in the ordination ceremony.
This presbytery will not be ecclesiastically under any American denomination, but will continue to have brotherly ties with and the prayers and financial support of North American believers and churches.
In doing this we believe in the reality of Ephesians 4:1-6 and ask you to pray that Ephesians 4 will be the foundation of this new denomination.
Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.