On 8 December 2023, I, Ed Blackwood, was installed as the pastor of Springs Reformed Church (RPCNA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This was an unexpected end to one chapter in my life, and the beginning of a new chapter.
Eight years earlier from that day, having resigned my pastorate in Frankston, Australia, Nancy and I arrived back to the US. Four hours after our arrival, I received a text message from Dr. Jerry O’Neill, president of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary saying, “Ed, give me a call when you get over jet lag. I have an idea to run by you.”
I didn’t wait, but called Jerry from LA. He offered me a position at RPTS as Director of Admissions and Student Services. I took that position and thought I would certainly stay in it until I retired. However, God had other plans. I preached often in the almost eight years I was at RPTS, filling in for vacant pulpits and pastoral vacations. My position was, “I am happy to preach, but I am not looking for a call. I love the work that I am doing at RPTS.” Nancy’s position was, “Ed, you can’t leave RPTS until you retire.”
In February 2023 I preached at Springs Reformed Church and visited our son, Allen, pastor of the Laramie Wyoming RPC. At about that time, Nancy began saying, “Ed, if you think the Lord wants you back in pastoral ministry, I’m with you.” A couple months later, Elder Keith Mann from Springs, asked me if I would come back to Springs and candidate. I agreed to preach, but not to candidate. They invited me to preach the last Lord’s Day of May and the first Lord’s Day of June.
Even though I was only coming out to preach, the SRC elders made it clear that they wanted to pursue me as their next pastor. So after a strong call from the congregation on 2 July, and a month for the call to be processed through two presbyteries, having concluded together with Nancy that the Lord had called us, I accepted the call. We moved to Colorado in October while I finished up my work at RPTS. Early November we moved into our new home, one-half mile from the new Springs Reformed Church building (which the church has been renovating).
On 8 December 2023, as already stated, I was installed as the pastor of SRC. You can watch the service here. Dr. Barry York my boss and dear friend from RPTS preached the installation sermon from Ephesians 4:7-16 on “The Victor’s Gifts.” Chaplain Kelly Moore (ret.), provisional moderator of SRC, and another good friend, gave me a convicting charge from Micah 6:8. Pastor Pete Smith, my pastor (Covenant Fellowship RPC) and dear friend gave a challenging yet encouraging charge to the congregation. And the Lord, we pray, did, and will continue to receive the glory.