University Presbyterian Church
will celebrate it's Jubilee on January 29th, 2009! We are the
youngest of the Reformed Presbyterian Churches, General Synod
and the last of those congregations planted in the United
States of America in 1959. Today we enjoy the company of those
congregations that make up the Presbyterian Church in America.
following is excerpted from A History of University
Presbyterian Church (1959-2001), by Sara Collins Emerick.
To obtain a copy, email here.
Presbyterian Church met officially for the first time
, following many gatherings for prayer. The following Sunday,
in the home of Oscar Black, Sunday school classes began.
On February 22, at a meeting officiated by Dr. Hobart
Bennett, pastor of
Bible Presbyterian Church of
, the corporation became a congregation. On March 1, the
congregation asked for admission to the Reformed Presbyterian
Church of North America, General Synod, and was officially
received on September 5. This denomination found its roots in
the Reformed Presbytery of Scotland as Covenanting
Presbyterian who immigrated to the American Colonies in 1752
to escape persecution from Stuart kings in
. By 1774, they
had formed the first presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian
March 16, 1959
, University Presbyterian Church called its first pastor, Dr.
Clare Cardy. Dr.
Cardy, a graduate of
) and Dallas Theological Seminary, assumed his role on April
12. Under his
leadership, on May 31, the congregation broke ground for its
sanctuary atop the hill east of
‘A-Frame,’ as it is now known, became the new home of
University Presbyterian Church on
December 20, 1959
. By 1963, when
Dr. and Mrs. Cardy were called to another minister, University
Presbyterian was frantically searching for additional Sunday
school space, which led to construction of the fellowship hall
with a nursery and three classrooms.
the fall of 1963, Rev. Roger Shafer, a graduate of
, accepted a call to follow Ron Simpson, who served University
Presbyterian during the summer of 1963 while he completed his
degree at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Rev. Shafer oversaw growth in membership at
from 124 in 1963 to 185 two years later.
Along with Rev. Harry Meiners, Rev. Shafer helped in
the planning of a new work in
, the Alamogordo Chapel.
In 1965, at
, the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, General
Synod, merged with another Reformed body, the Evangelical
Presbyterian Church. Just
four years prior, in 1961, the latter body had changed its
name from the Bible Presbyterian Church, Columbus Synod, in
order to distance itself from the Bible Presbyterian Church
faction of 1956. The
new body was called, the Reformed Presbyterian Church,
Evangelical Synod (RPCES), and experienced nearly immediate
1966, the 53 members of the Alamogordo Chapel dissolved into
the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Alamogordo. In November,
Rev. Shafer resigned and Rev. Meiners stepped in as the
interim pastor. The Third Annual Missionary Conference was
held December 1-4, with a visit from Rev. and Mrs. Gordon R.
April of 1967,
extended a call to Rev. Theodore Martin.
Rev. Martin was a graduate of Montclair Teacher’s
College and Covenant Theological Seminary, the seminary of the
Dyrness was ordained at his home church in
, and returned to
to serve as Minister to Students. The Fourth Annual Missionary
Conference, November 9-12, was led by Rev. Donald J. MacNair,
Executive Director of National Presbyterian Missions.
July 1, 1970
, Rev. Martin resigned and, three months later, God sent Rev.
Leonard Van Horn to
. Though average Sunday attendance had somewhat flattened, in
1971 many young men were preparing for years of future
ministry by coming under care of the presbytery, including
ruling elder, David Moon, MTW missionary to Africa, Paul
Meiners, and the current senior
pastor, John Pickett.
In June of 1973, the
was born out of a prayer meeting.
This school continues to overflow with the ministry of
the Oscar Black family to the educational needs of children in
. In October of
this same year, God sent Rev. Robert “Scottie” Scott to
assume pastoral leadership of
, years marked with missionary visitors from all over the
world (Saudi Arabia, Peru, Japan, Korea, Jordan, Mexico,
etc.), a growth in new visitors of
who became members, and dynamic summer camps.
1979, Rev. Scott’s desire to build a
began to come to fruition as building permits were issued and
construction began in 1980.
This building proved to be an enormous benefit to
, as well as the
. Sadly, this
building was destroyed by fire in July of 1992.
Also during 1979, under the leadership of former
Assistant Pastor, Don Neidigk,
planted Providence Presbyterian Church in northern
. This desire to plant churches became a vision of the
session, which by the following year was supporting missions
, and the Westminster Study Fellowship Mendham,
. Rev. Scott, himself, resigned from ministry in 1981 to serve
church planting ends in
. Dr. Robert
Rayburn commissioned Rev. Scott for this work in August of
pulpit was ultimately filled in April of 1982 by Rev. Randall
“Randy” Martin. Rev.
Martin, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, came to
from McLean Presbyterian Church in
. He led
through great changed in the denomination, as well as great
growth in Sunday morning attendance.
1982, the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, was
joined to and received by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).
Prior to this, there were Reformed churches in the
Southwest that had sought membership with the PCA, and
conversation about a union began back in 1979, but the actual
Joining and Receiving was a significant event. Up to this
point, the RPCES consisted of 189 congregations, 25,673
communicant members, and 482 ministers.
From its beginning as a break from the Bible
Presbyterian Church, the RPCES had experienced growth in its
membership by more than 400 percent!
in 1979, in 1983 Providence Presbyterian Church in
extended a call to Rev. Richard Smith.
ultimately dissolved in 1985 with many of its founding members
1984, Rev. Dan Young was called by
to serve as a Youth Director.
These years of Rev. Martin’s leadership were
characterized by great growth in Sunday morning attendance
(now 280-325) and great vitality in the Evangelism Explosion
program, training no fewer than 13 evangelists in 1986.
In 1987, Rev. Young followed a calling to missions and,
in January of 1989, departed for
, a city visited by Rev. Martin in 1991. Upon his move to
, Rev. Young’s role at
was filled in January of 1988 by Rev. Richard “Rick” Smith
as Minister to Families. Rev. Smith served through 1989, when
Rev. Kris Lundgaard joined
as pastoral intern in December.
1989, Rev. Randy Steele began a church plant work in
called, Faith Presbyterian Mission.
This work began with ten families from
and support from the PCA local sending body,
to North America (MNA). Rev. Mark Cary was ultimately called
as their pastor.
, long involved in world missions, sent the first team to
, but now
) in June-July of 1991. It was also during this year that Rev.
Lundgaard became an Assistant Pastor.
July of 1991 marked the completion of Rev. Martin’s
, as he headed West to pastor a church in
. Rev. Lundgaard
served in his absence as Associate Pastor.
1992, upon the dissolving of Faith Presbyterian Mission, Rev.
Mark Cary, came on staff at
for six months. Also in 1992,
extended a call to Rev. John Pickett, who was installed as
Senior Pastor in August.
1993, still struggling to find the educational space lost with
the destruction of the
in July of the previous year,
constructed a temporary Sunday school facility and Fellowship
Hall down the hill from the sanctuary using donated mobile
homes. This facility is still in use. It was also in 1993 that
the Long Range Planning Committee gathered to consider a
statement of vision for
. The following year saw the expansion of the
campus with the purchase of additional land to the east.
In May of 1997,
began construction of what is now the current sanctuary, and
the first service was held on Easter Sunday, 1999.
It was later in that year that Rev. Lundgaard resigned
as Associate Pastor.
marked the first year of a new ministry model in which five
leaders were approved to lead the five ministry areas of
: Discipleship, Kingdom Expansion, Fellowship, Foundations,
and Worship. It was also in December of this year that Doug
Coyle was called as Assistant Pastor. In 1999, Rev. Mike Biggs
to become the Campus Minister to New Mexico State University (NMSU)
as a minister of Reformed University Fellowship, the campus
ministry of the PCA. Rev.
Biggs served to grow this ministry through 2001, when he
accepted a call to plant a church in
. In 2000,
extended a call to former senior pastor Rev. “Scottie”
Scott to function as an assistant pastor to serve the Kingdom
Expansion Ministry Development Team.
the absence of Rev. Biggs, Rev. Shaynor Newsome accepted a
call to minister to the NMSU campus with RUF, beginning his
ministry in 2002. The year 2003 saw the addition of Rev. John
Jones as Assistant Pastor.
of University Presbyterian Church
Clare E. Cardy, Organizing Pastor
Ronald Simpson, Interim Pastor
Roger Shafer, Sr. Pastor
Harry Meiners, Interim Pastor
Leonard Van Horn, Sr. Pastor
Robert Scott, Sr. Pastor
Randall Martin, Sr. Pastor
Kris Lundgaard, Associate (Interim) Pastor
John Pickett, Sr. Pastor
Tebbano, Sr. Pastor
Seth Dyrness, Minister to Students
Donald Neidigk, Assistant Pastor (intern)
Peter Vaughn, Assoc. Pastor
Dan Young, Assistant Pastor to Youth
Rick Smith, Minister to Families
Kris Lundgaard, Assoc. Pastor
Mark Cary, (former Pastor of Faith
Doug Coyle, Assoc. Pastor
Robert Scott, Assistant Pastor for
Mike Biggs, NMSU Campus Minister
Shaynor Newsome, NMSU Campus
John F. Jones, Assistant Pastor
Patrick Tebbano, Associate Pastor
Rev. Sid Druen, NMSU Campus Minister
Rev. David H. Linden, Assistant Pastor
Rev. John Pickett, Assistant Pastor
Tebbano, Lead Pastor
Rev. Stephen Yates, Pastor of Youth and Family Ministry
Ben Coppedge, NMSU Campus Minister