RPCNA | Presbytery of the Alleghenies | Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA
Pastor: Ryan Bever
Temporary Governing Body: Paul Martin and David Merkel
Members: 19 Communicant, 17 Baptized
What is now known as Grace & Truth Reformed Presbyterian Mission Church, began in the year of 2012, as a result of several families in the area wanting to get together to start a Reformed Church. The one thing that these families had in common was the desire to be distinctively and historically Reformed, and to sing the Psalms. This desire eventually brought about the formation of an RPCNA preaching station in Harrisonburg, VA. After having consistently met for about five years, under the guidance of the Temporary Governing Body (TGB), this congregation officially called Ryan Bever to serve as their full time stated supply in 2017.
Grace & Truth is under the oversight of the Presbytery of the Alleghenies, and is still in “Mission Church” status, although this congregation is looking to organize in the near future. Currently, the Temporary Governing Body consists of three elders (Ryan Bever, Paul Martin, and David Merkel). Ryan (functionally serving as pastor) and Paul live in the area; David serves the TGB from a distance, while also serving as an elder of Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church in Burtonsville, MD. Teaching elder Tom Reid also served on the TGB until very recently (his credentials recently transferred to another Presbytery), and currently attends their meetings when he is able.
By God’s grace, in the year of 2021, Grace & Truth saw four new families join our congregation. For this we are extremely thankful. We are also thankful for the opportunity to begin renting a church building in the area that is much more conducive to our needs. We began renting the Cedar Grove United Methodist Church in November of 2021, and hope to be able to continue to do so for the unforeseeable future. (Prior to this we were meeting at the Good Shepherd School and Day Care Center, which was a lot smaller.) We have a wide range of ages in our church, and a fair amount of children (seventeen) for the size of our congregation overall, which is always a great blessing.
Worship and Ministry
Currently, Grace & Truth has Sabbath School and Worship services every Lord’s Day morning. Typically, the congregation has a fellowship meal every week after the service. We celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper about four times a year during an afternoon worship service following the meal. We also have a weekly prayer meeting by phone every Wednesday evening.
Grace & Truth tries to take part in various evangelistic and outreach type events. One of the biggest was probably our VBS event this past July. This was our second year of doing an outdoor VBS in the community. This year we had a total of 46 children attend (29 outside of the congregation), which was 15 more than last year. We also had about a dozen adults (some from within and some from without the congregation) help to make this event a success.
We also continue our evangelistic efforts through involvement in things like the Dayton Days Festival in our area. We set up a booth and hand out gospel tracts and other literature. We also continue to have our Men’s Prayer Breakfast on the first Saturday of the month, which sometimes brings a decent crowd of men and boys; some from outside the congregation. Pastor Bever also continues to have men over to his home on Lord’s Day evenings for Bible Study. This has been very fruitful and instrumental in bringing other families into our congregation. The women of the congregation also regularly get together for a monthly book study at which other ladies from the area are invited as well.
Other events have also been scheduled that provide opportunities for ministry in the community. For example, one Saturday morning the men and boys got together for a bow and arrow shooting competition. This event brought some families from outside the congregation. At this same time the women and girls of our congregation had a ladies brunch in which they did some crafts. At both of these events various people from the congregation led a devotional.
We are thankful for the many ways that God has helped our congregation to grow, both spiritually and numerically, and we look forward to what He will do among us, and through us, in the future!
Pray for Us
1. Please pray that God would provide a permanent building of our very own in which to worship.
2. Please pray that God would raise up elders and deacons among us, and that He would lead us and guide us as we seek to become a fully organized congregation.
3. Please pray for the numerical and spiritual growth of the congregation.
Thank you to Ryan Bever for writing about this congregation for us. Pastor Ryan Bever graduated from Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May of 2017 and accepted a pastoral call to Grace & Truth around the same time. He and his family have enjoyed making their transition to the Harrisonburg area. Ryan has a passion for preaching, evangelism, and church planting and is hopeful that Grace & Truth will continue to grow and flourish. Ryan and his wife Betsy have four children: Matthias (11), Madeline (9), Maelie (7), and Mason (3).