2021 marked 200 years of Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church. That’s a lot of history! But it is easy to summarize the past 200 years of Bloomington RPC as it is only a result of God’s graciousness to us. What a blessing it was for the congregation to spend time reflecting on God’s faithfulness and celebrating His goodness through various events.
In August we had a homecoming weekend where we invited past members, friends and the local community to join with us in our celebrations.
Friday night, several members of the congregation were part of a choir and sang through “Christ in the Psalms” as well as Dr David Whitla giving a presentation on Why we sing the Psalms. Saturday morning, we had two historical lectures titled – Who were the Covenanters by Dr David Whitla and the Life of Rev James Faris – first pastor of Bloomington RPC by Rev. James Faris (2nd Indianapolis RPC). These were well attended as was our cemetery tour. Our cemetery, the Covenanter Cemetery, is in town and so the tour presented an opportunity for the community, who frequently drive past it, to learn more about this historic cemetery.
That evening we had a Hog Roast dinner, with bouncy castles outside for the kids and a barn party for the adults inside.
On the Lord’s Day, for our Sabbath school hour we enjoyed hearing from previous pastors of the church on their reflections of their time at BRPC – Andy McCracken (via Zoom), Stan Copeland, Jerry Milroy, Bill Roberts. For our service we were blessed by Pastor Rich Holdeman’s sermon on Joshua 4 on the importance of remembering the work of God.
The actual anniversary was October 10th. The night before, we enjoyed desserts and then watched the premiere of our documentary movie on our history – 200 years of God’s Grace – Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church. Available here:
(You can also access the documentary at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqIz_tIw6OI&t=385s). At the anniversary service, Pastor James Faris – great, great, great grandson of Rev. James Faris (our congregation’s first pastor) preached on Deuteronomy 12 helping us to focus on our future history. That evening we had a thanksgiving service where various members of the congregation spoke of their thankfulness to God’s goodness to them through the life of the church.
Wished you could have joined us? Well, most of the events were recorded and can be found on our YouTube channel, take a look – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJEYIIW4wcEFqv4u8Lnfs9QcyT-0OyFOx As well as that, we published a book on the history of our congregation titled 200 years of God’s Grace – Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church. If you would like to purchase a copy ($25 plus shipping) please contact us – email@example.com
Thanks to Philip McCollum for putting together this article. Philip grew up on Coleraine, on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. He worked for eight years as associate pastor at Shaftesbury Square Reformed Presbyterian Church in the downtown area of Belfast. In 2011, he married his wife Heather (originally from Marquette, Kansas) and they now have four children. In August 2018 he moved to Bloomington to begin work at Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church.