About 200 people attended the Reformation Indy 2012 conference at Southside Indianapolis Reformed Presbyterian Church on March 23-24, 2012. Dr. Joseph A. Pipa, Jr., president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, spoke on the theme, “Divine Guidance: Finding God’s Will in a Confusing World.”
“I was assigned the topic,” Dr. Pipa says, “but think it very useful for today’s Christian.” He listed his hopes for the conference as: “to simplify the process of decision making; help people be more practically committed to the sufficiency of scripture; help get rid of a voodoo approach to guidance; and help both parents and young people better appreciate the parental role, particularly in vocational and marriage decisions. Also to challenge young men to consider the call to ministry.”Dr. Pipa addressed attendees in three lectures: Scripture and Guidance, Providence and Guidance, and Practical Steps for Guidance. He also answered questions during a 45-minute session at the conclusion of the conference.
Conference organizers have multiple goals for the annual conference.
“We hope to establish this as a ‘lamp’ for the Reformed faith in Indianapolis to reach out to the Christian community with sound teaching,” explains Senior Pastor Gordon Keddie, “and also to be a meeting place for the Reformed community and those who are wrestling with the issues which we hope to address in future years.”
Southside Indianapolis RP Church began to plan its first Reformation Indy conference on “Balanced Christianity” in 2010, but at very short notice had the opportunity to host speaker and author Rev. Ted Donnelly (pastor of Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland and Professor of New Testament at the Reformed Theological College in Belfast).
“Since he is so well known in RP circle, it was well attended,” says Rev. Keddie, “notwithstanding the haste with which it had to be put together and the limited time for publicity.”
The 2011 conference emphasized “Reforming Missions” with speaker Rev. Steven Miller, former OPC missionary in Eritrea, now a pastor and Adjunct Professor of Missions at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh.
“We are very happy with the progress we have seen in three years,” says Rev. Keddie. “The news is getting out. Perhaps half of the people come from other churches and some attendees I spoke with are being drawn to the Reformed faith.”
Next year’s conference is scheduled for March 22-23, 2013, with Dr. Joel Beeke speaking on “Spiritual Warfare.”
Southside Indianapolis RP Church consists of 220 members with an additional 30-40 adherents. The congregation began meeting in a member’s home in 1979 and has met on its current property for 28 years.
“Originally the building was a house (built of Bedford limestone) with a three car garage,” Rev. Keddie says. “As the church grew, from about 50 souls who were sent from Second RP on the Northside, additions were made until just three years ago a $1.2 million auditorium was added.”
The original part of the building was then converted into a suite of offices, a small conference room, and a large classroom. The property is a 3.5 acre site on the south side of Indianapolis on Meridian Street, which Rev. Keddie describes as “the central N-S axis not only of the city, but also of the state of Indiana.”
In addition to Rev. Keddie, who is from Scotland, the congregation is served by Associate Pastor David Whitla, from Northern Ireland. Both are married to American women. The Keddies have three adult sons and anticipate the birth of their second grandchild. The Whitlas have four young children.
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 14 of the April 11, 2012, issue of Christian Renewal.