RPCNA | St. Lawrence Presbytery | Lisbon (New York, USA)
Pastor: Garrett Mann
Ruling Elders: Brian Bond and Don Smith
Members: 54 Communicant, 32 Baptized
The Back Story: Organized and Re-organized
Glasgow’s History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America credits the Lisbon RP Church near Flackville, St. Lawrence County, New York, as having been organized as a society in 1823, disorganized in 1833, and re-organized in 1840. Other accounts may attribute the beginning of the congregation to a prayer meeting held in 1827. Most agree the current building was erected in 1844.
Over the course of its history, the congregation has experienced many lean years, 65 of them without a pastor. At one time, Lisbon RPC was reduced to the status of a mission station. Yet, in His mercy, the Lord brought about a time of renewal.
In 1958, the church was organized as a congregation once more. Since that time, there have been seven pastors, and a new generation of members has been gathered both from covenant lines and outreach in the community and beyond.
Lisbon RP Today
Today, Lisbon Reformed Presbyterian Church, part of St. Lawrence Presbytery, can be found at the corner of two country roads, near the village of Lisbon, New York. Currently there are about 80 members and adherents. Average attendance at Lord’s Day worship in 2021 was 50. There are 11 people over the age of 65 and 23 children under the age of 18. We rejoiced in three weddings and four births (all boys) in 2021.
About half the congregation farms for a living. Most are dairy farmers, but one family raises pigs. Over a quarter of the congregation drives more than an hour to attend worship. The church building is about 10 miles from the US-Canada border, and one family maintains homes on both sides of the border. An Amish home is the nearest neighbor to the church building. We pray for more families to visit, and become members.
Pastor Garrett Mann, son of Wade and Barbara Mann, grew up in the Lisbon RPC. Upon graduating from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, he took up the call to be our pastor. Garrett and Charity arrived in June 2020 with five small children in tow and took up residence in Garrett’s childhood home.
The installation service for Pastor Garrett Mann and a New Song concert were held outdoors, due to pandemic restrictions. We yearn to resume frequent fellowship dinners but are grateful for occasional indoor meals and one picnic in the churchyard in 2021. Women’s Missionary Fellowship has continued to meet fairly regularly, and the Manns have hosted several “Dinner and Discussion” meals with the young adults.
Pray for Us
We praise the Lord for His sustaining mercies over many years. Please pray with us for:
- effective outreach in the community
- leaders to be raised up from the younger generation
- young families to grow in their walk with the Lord and children to be taught of the Lord
- plans to improve accessibility to the fellowship space in the church basement
Gwen Smith is wife, mother, and grandmother of several descendants of one of the first elders of the Lisbon RPC. She and her husband Don have enjoyed nurturing life on the family farm where that first prayer meeting was held. Shelley Bond is also a wife, mother and enthusiastic grandmother. She and her husband, Brian, look forward to travel and border restrictions being lifted so that they can spend more time with their far-flung family.