On Friday, January 22 of this year, Grace Reformed Church, a small mission church of the RPCNA in Columbia, Missouri (USA), welcomed her first pastor. The installation of Pastor Gary McNamee took place 11 years after this congregation first began. This is the story of God’s faithful provision.
In October 2009, the Independent Reformed Church was formed with a steering committee consisting of Rev. Don Jefferson (PCA), Mr. Dave McLane, Rev. Jeff Yelton (RPCNA), and Dr. Noah Manring. The goal: to build a church committed to the Reformed Faith, with distinctive practices of exclusive psalm singing, a-cappella singing, and the use of the Authorized Version of the Bible for preaching. Rev. Jeff Yelton agreed to serve as pulpit supply.
In June 2010, the Free Church Continuing (FCC) received the Independent Reformed Church as a preaching station under the new name of Grace Reformed Church. From January 2012 (when Rev. Yelton moved to Kansas) onward, Grace Reformed Church has sat under a variety of pastors providing pulpit supply. These include Rev. Jeff Yelton (RPCNA), Rev. Jonathan Mattull (FCC), Rev. Don Jefferson (PCA), Rev. Bob McFarland (RPCNA), Rev. John Keddie (FCC), Rev. Brent Evans (OPC), and Dr. Noah Manring (FCC).
Joining the RPCNA
In May of 2018, Rev. Bob Hemphill and Rev. Jonathan Haney of the RPCNA visited Columbia to preach and discuss the possibility of being taken into the RPCNA. On June 26, 2018, a petition was made at the RPCNA Synod meeting in Marion, Indiana to receive Grace Reformed Church as a mission work. In October 2018, the Ad Interim Commission of the Midwest Presbytery established a Temporary Governing Body to oversee Grace Reformed Church as a new mission work under the umbrella of the RPCNA.
The Temporary Governing Body consisted of Rev. Bob Hemphill (chair), Rev. Joe Allyn, Rev. Bob McFarland, Elder Romesh Prakashpalan, and Rev. Greg Stiner. Among their responsibilities were the reception of members, pulpit supply, oversight of the congregation’s spiritual and financial welfare, and guidance toward full organization with officers and a pastor.
Installation of Gary McNamee as First Pastor
On December 4, 2019, Grace Reformed Church was formally welcomed into the Midwest Presbytery as a mission work of the RPCNA and the congregation began the process of searching for a pastor. On August 28, 2020, they issued a call to Gary McNamee.
On Friday, January 22, 2021, Gary McNamee was installed as the first pastor of Grace Reformed Church. Great is God’s faithfulness!
RP Global Alliance thanks the session of Grace Reformed Church for this account. Stay tuned for part two, where Pastor McNamee will share a little of his journey to the pastorate.