Huntington, WV, is about three hours south of Columbus, OH, about two hours east of Lexington, KY, and about an hour west of Charleston, WV. Huntington is also the site of Trinity Presbyterian Church, a small mission work of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Rev. David Robbins was ordained in April of 2010 as evangelist to the work, which is located some distance from the rest of the congregations in the Ohio Presbytery.
“Huntingtonis a significant location,” he says. “It is the prominent city in our tri-state area, and it’s also a beachhead into Appalachia. People have very deep religious roots here, but many do not understand the free gospel of grace. My great desire is to see many come to know Christ and the fullness of his grace, to root them in a biblical lifestyle of gratitude, and to fully establish the OPC congregation here with local elders.”
About 30-35 people regularly attend Trinity’s services in a rented facility (1221 6th Ave.) in the downtown area of Huntington. Sunday School is held at 10:00 a.m. prior to the 11:00 a.m. worship service. Evening worship services are generally held at 6:00 p.m.; although the second service is at 2:00 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month with the congregation enjoying a fellowship meal between services. Discussion groups or prayer meetings are regularly held on Wednesday evenings.
Rev. Robbins relates that many of the congregation’s challenges are “outreach-oriented.”
“This region is probably more saturated with churches than anywhere I’ve ever been before; yet the Reformed faith and the gospel of free salvation in Jesus Christ are virtually unknown in this passionately independent area,” he says. “Much wisdom and energy are needed to reach those who have never heard a clear presentation of that good news; to correct false perceptions and beliefs about the faith in general, and the church in particular; and to forge lasting spiritual relationships in a deeply relationship-centric community.”
He additionally notes that since the inception of the work, “the Lord has graciously kept his people here despite many personal troubles and apparent spiritual attacks.”
“It’s a great joy to me to serve the Lord in the ministry of word and sacrament; and I find God’s people truly a source of delight,” he adds. “Trinity OPC is blessed with a wonderful group of loving Christians who earnestly desire Reformed teaching.”
Trinity Presbyterian Church hosted a Bible conference on November 12, 2011. Dr. Sam Meier, a professor in the Ohio State University Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, spoke in four sessions on “The Lives of the Prophets.”
About 35 people attended the conference, which was sponsored solely by Trinity. Although disappointed in the attendance, the congregation is eager to try again next year.
A 2008 graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary, Rev. Robbins served nearly two years as a pastoral intern at Grace OPC in Columbus, OH, prior to his ordination at Trinity. He and his wife, Rashel, have two children. They are taking guardianship of Rashel’s sister Daniela, whom Rashel is teaching at home.
Rev. Robbins and the Trinity congregation appreciate the prayers of fellow Reformed Christians as well as any efforts to spread the word about the work.
“If you know of anyone in our area who is looking for a Reformed congregation,” he says, “please let them know about Trinity!”
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 34 of the December 28, 2011, issue of Christian Renewal.