Shortly before the COVID-19 shutdown of Pennsylvania, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (RPTS) in Pittsburgh held its annual support dinner on Saturday, March 14th, 2020. Understandably, many were unable to attend this evening of fellowship and encouragement. The atmosphere took on that of a last gathering for a while. Long after the formal program ended, people stayed and chatted. 

Rev. Bob McCracken

A Faithful Servant

Rev. Bob McCracken was presented with the Faithful Servant award. Bob, a 1956 graduate of RPTS, has served six RP congregations (including one in Australia) during his ministry and provided temporary pastoral supply in seven other congregations after his retirement in 2002. A choir of Bob’s family members serenaded the gathering with some delightful music.

A group of “McCracken” guys serenade the gathering


Another highlight of the evening was the testimony of three current students. Rev. Richard Truss (Pastor of Zion Baptist Church in McKeesport, Pennsylvania), Cherry (an MTS student from East Asia) and Ian Gillies (a student under the care of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland) each shared how their experience at RPTS has been preparing them for ministry.


We also took some time to reflect upon the ministry of Dr. George Scipione. His wife, Eileen, was presented with a book containing hundreds of messages sent during George’s illness. Professor Evans’ remarks about “Doc” Scipione are here.

You can read the program booklet here and can watch a video of the presentation to Rev. McCracken including some wonderful family singing.

A graduate of both Geneva College and RPTS, Mark Sampson currently serves RPTS in various capacities, including as Chief Administrative Officer and Director of Institutional Advancement at RPTS. Mark, an avid reader, and his wife, Sharon, are members of Grace RPC in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. In their spare time, they enjoy camping in their small trailer.   

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