Our Short History
A Little Context
Reformation Orthodox Presbyterian Church has its beginning when the Lord began to work in the hearts and lives of a few families living in the Gastonia area. Three of the founding families had, in some way or another, ties to the OPC denomination. Through the years, each family developed a respect for the OPC’s focus upon the primacy of the Word of God in every aspect of life and doctrine, seeking to put into practice that which God has revealed. The OPC had considered planting a church in the Gastonia area for quite some time, and through the desire of a few faithful families, the feasibility to plant in Gastonia became apparent. After many years of prayer, and careful consideration by the families, the Lord was faithful in beginning the work of planting a church in the Gastonia area. The timing of the Lord is always perfect.
This “core group” transferred their church memberships and began meeting and worshipping with Redeemer OPC in Charlotte, NC, the congregation that agreed to provide oversight and help plant the church in Gastonia. We worshipped with Redeemer OPC on Sunday mornings, and had our own worship service on Sunday evenings back in Gastonia. The time with Redeemer OPC helped establish a strong foundation for the work in Gastonia and it was beneficial to experience the connectional nature of the Presbyterian Church and experience that type of community. We were waiting on the Lord to provide us a place to worship both morning and evening in Gastonia, as well as to provide for us pastorally. Again, the Lord was faithful in His time.
By the beginning of 2011, the Lord had moved and provided in many additional ways. The Lord was adding to our number, growing us in our fellowship, strengthening our financial position, providing a place for worship both morning and evening in Gastonia, and was providing great preaching. At this time, we had two excellent men filling the pulpit for us on Sundays: The Rev. Lacy Andrews (Regional Home Missionary with the Presbytery), who had been preaching for us on Sunday evenings since the work’s inception, and Mr. Joseph Fowler (Joby), who had also been preaching for us from time to time, was now preaching and leading worship for us twice a month, as assistant to our Home Missionary. Mr. Fowler was also finishing up his internship at this time with Matthews OPC, in Matthews, NC, which lead to his eventual connection to Reformation OPC in Gastonia.
Calling a Pastor
On July 17, 2011, the members of our mission work unanimously agreed to call Joseph(Joby) Fowler as our organizing pastor in response to a growing relationship and the meeting of the monthly financial income goal set for our mission work by our Session as a precursor to calling a man as an organizing pastor. Pastor Fowler is a native of Douglasville, GA, and grew up in the Presbyterian Church. Pastor Fowler is ever thankful for the Lord’s grace in his life, having been a benefactor of not only godly parents, but also godly pastors, mentors, and theological professors, who labored to instill a deep desire for the growth of the Church, through the proclamation of the Word; bringing God’s truth to bear in the lives of those living in Gaston County and beyond.
Organizing into a Local Congregation
In the Fall of 2014, the members of Reformation OPC nominated a number of men to offices of elder and deacon. An election was held, and three men were elected, two to office of elder, and one to deacon. These men now serve alongside the pastor unto the end of fulfilling the Great Commission. With these elections Reformation OPC moved out of “Mission Work” status and became an local and individual congregation belonging to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. As an Organized Church, we endeavor to bring the Gospel to bear on the lives of those with whom we are surrounded, both to the unbeliever and believer alike.
The history of Reformation OPC is one that reverberates with the theme of God’s faithfulness and gracious work. The ways in which the Lord has poured out provision and blessing are new every day as He continues to establish, a legacy of joy in the families devoted to seeing Christ’s Kingdom grow in Gaston County. The Lord’s perfect timing in all things, continues to both encourage us, and overwhelm us, and our hope is that the Lord would continue shaping us into a vibrant, Christ honoring, mission-minded congregation, which seeks to glorify Him in all we do.
Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! – Psalm 117