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Birth of a Reformed Denomination

Birth of a Reformed Denomination

Anticipating a new birth generates many emotions – anxiety of projected pain, uncertainty of the future, excitement for something new … and delight in the realization that God is up to something. 

A new reformed Presbyterian denomination is being established in the country of Poland. Although there is no official religion, and religious toleration is guaranteed by the Constitution, 87% of the population claim Roman Catholicism as their faith. Protestant denominations, about 30, have difficulty thriving. One such is the Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland, established in the 16th Century with roots in the Reformation. Current membership is less than 4,000; and theology has unfortunately turned liberal in most of its churches. For those who desire a robust reformed theology, Presbyterian ecclesiology and structure, as well as a confessional worship style, a new denomination is of the essence. After several years of planning, praying, and listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, by several reformed leaders in Poland and other countries, four reformed and confessional churches currently seek to form a Polish Reformed Presbytery. 

My wife, Kay, and I spent six weeks this summer supporting and encouraging our church plant in Warsaw, while enjoying much time with a delightful couple, Micha? and Dorota Rogatko. Their conversion many years ago, from their Roman Catholic roots to vibrant faith in the Scriptures, its emphasis on the free offer of the Gospel, and the doctrine of “justification by grace through faith in Christ alone,” caused some disappointment and friction in their relationships with family and friends. Yet they remained convinced of their decision and joined a Protestant church, Church of the Good Shepherd of Warsaw. Micha? grew in his faith and became an elder; Dorota leads several Bible studies.

A few years ago, World Witness sent the Rev. Dr. Dariusz Bry?ko and his family to plant a reformed church in Warsaw, and the Rogatkos were some of the first to join in this effort. Upon Dariusz’s leaving World Witness, the church was left without a pastor. However, World Witness missionary, Rev. Dr. Frank van Dalen stepped up to supervise the work. Ordained elders, Michal (vice chairman of the emerging Presbytery), Adam Grabowicz (Erskine Seminary student), and deacon Vasil Krstevski will lead the congregation for the next two years, until Mr. Filip Sylwestrowicz (student under care of Catawba Presbytery and PhD theology candidate, Oxford) is called as its pastor, upon the completion of his studies.

The Lord, in His sovereignty and grace, has raised up four churches across Poland (two in Warsaw and one each in Gdansk and Krakow) who desire to join their efforts in establishing a new denomination. It will be named the Evangelical- Presbyterian Church. 

These are exciting developments! The Lord has placed World Witness and the ARP strategically at the side of Polish believers who are seeking to provide a strong and stable platform for future Gospel ministry in Poland. Will you join us in prayer for this endeavor?

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