ARP News

Prayer Request from Canada

On April 18, 2020, Canada suffered a mass shooting. Here is an update from Rev. John Shearouse, pastor of Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church in Halifax, Canada.

We have two churches. Our main church (Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church in Halifax) is about 1 hour and 15 minutes from where the trouble began and about 25 minutes drive from where the killer was stopped. 

We purchased a church building last year in Glenholme, NS for the purpose of outreach (where we have been holding services twice a month for the past year until Covid shut down our public meetings) which is only about five or ten minutes from where the killer began. This church was named “Erskine United Church” because there first minister was an Associate Presbyterian Minister who arrived in the summer of 1771 from Scotland to begin his labours as the minister of the congregation that built the current building in 1865. It later became a United Church or Canada congregation, but retained the name Erskine. When we purchased it in February 2019, we named is Erskine ARP Church.

Almost everyone that goes to the Erskine ARP Church (our daughter church plant in Glenholme) had friends or friends of friends that were victims.

One of the VONs (Victoria Order of Nurses– home care nurses) who was killed had looked after an elderly Scottish couple that attends the church. Their daughter’s two children were friends with the kids that were bereaved of their parents.

Rev. Lester Settle, an 89 year old who also faithfully attends the Erskine Church, said that Mr Wortman, the killer, went to a neighbor’s house just a couple houses up from him (a quarter mile in rural NS). This neighbor threatened Mr. Wortman with a shotgun when he banged on the door and Mr. Wortman quickly departed, leaving this neighbor and his wife alone. 

This community is a very quiet and peaceful community with a small population. We have been praying for this area and are asking the Lord to use this affliction to turn the hearts of this region back to Him. It used to be a stronghold of faithful reformed churches, but sadly they are all gone now and the people are mainly apostate and indifferent about the gospel. Prayers for this community would be greatly appreciated. We have no doubt that our gracious Lord sent this affliction to awaken them and call them (through the word preached) to return to Him. 

News & Announcements

Prayers for CEM

The summer is the heartbeat for many of the ministries of CEM. We love our summers and the ability to partner with other of Synod’s agencies (i.e., Bonclarken) to see God’s Kingdom grow and mature in our Savior Jesus Christ. In the coming weeks, CEM is having to make very difficult decisions as to what our ministries will look like and if they will even happen.

We are planning to make decisions about June and early July camps and conferences (Quest, Horizon, early sessions of Camp Joy and Appalachia) in early May (May 1- May 15). Camps and conferences that are scheduled for mid-July and later in the summer (later sessions of Camp Joy and Family Bible Conference) are to be determined by June 15th. We are meeting with doctors, directors, Synod’s Director of HR and Risk Management, and our executive committee in determining these key decisions. We covet your prayers daily as these dates approach. Much wisdom and care are needed.

RUF at Erskine College Opening

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

As you may be aware, the Rev. Paul Patrick will be leaving Erskine as the RUF campus minister. Therefore, Synod’s Campus Ministry Oversight Committee is seeking to interview men interested in the position. If you have interest or know someone who might, see the attached document that gives details on the ministry opportunity and instruction on how to be in touch with the committee.


Rev. Morrie Lawing
Chairman, Campus Ministry Oversight Committee

Conversations in the Old Brick Church

The Old Brick Church, for those of you don’t know, is the birthplace of the ARP Church. On May 9, 1803 our forefathers gathered together to form the “Synod of the South” which would eventually become the General Synod of the ARP Church.

Join Pastors Clint Davis & James McManus as they have conversations in this beautiful and historic building. In each episode they will be discussing life and pastoral ministry from a biblical viewpoint.

Watch their first episode at

Rev. Dr. Clyde Taft McCants

Reverend Dr. Clyde Taft McCants, 87, of Winnsboro, passed away on Good Friday, April 10, 2020.

Following his first career as a college faculty member, he served as a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church denomination.  Born in Anderson January 8, 1933, he graduated from Erskine College, earned Masters degrees from Erskine and Duke University and a doctorate from Columbia Theological Seminary.

Dr. McCants taught English at Elon University, Erskine, and Gaston Community College where he also served as department chair. He served for four years on the faculty of Erskine Theological Seminary.

Rev. Dr. McCants began his 40-year career as a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church denomination in 1970 including service at Bethel ARP Chuch in Winnsboro and 11 years as pastor of Greenville ARP Church.  He was elected as Moderator of the ARP denomination.

He published four books related to opera: two on the works of Verdi; an overview of American opera singers and their recordings; and a reference work, Opera for Libraries.  He was elected to the Erskine Academic Hall of Fame, was state chair of the Friends of South Carolina Libraries, and Chair of the Fairfield County Library Commission.

At an age when most people have long since retired, he continued to serve his community as a teacher at Richard Wynn Academy in Winnsboro and as pastor of White Oak ARP Church.

Clyde McCants was the son of the late Edwin Clyde and Mary Rachel Taft McCants.  He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Ellen McCants Evans; and nephew, William Evans.

He is survived by loving nieces and nephews and their spouses: Ed Evans; Gracie Farrow (Glenn); Emalee Dillard (Mark); Chris Evans (Norma); and Jeannie Everett (Kent).  Also great nieces and nephew:  Mary Farrow Dean, Rebecca Farrow Scott, Sydney Evans, Carson Evans, Amie Freeman, Alison Forbes, Ellis Evans, Zack Chapman, Andres Blandon, and Daniel Saavedra. He had four great-great nieces, Mia and Abigail Freeman, Emily Dean, and Rowyn Scott. He had three great-great nephews, Griffin Scott, Parker Dean and Rory Major.

Clyde was a knowledgeable enthusiast and collector with interests not only in opera but also the circus and country music. His collection includes over 12,000 opera CDs. He was known for his outgoing personality and positive, uplifting sermons.   He enjoyed a circle of loyal friends and had a deep appreciation for their support in his later years.

A private committal service will be held at White Oak ARP Church Cemetery conducted by Reverend James McManus. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to:  White Oak Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church,  284 Patrick Rd, Winnsboro, SC 29180; Bethel ARP Church, 101 North Zion Street, Winnsboro, SC, 29180; or Erskine College Giving, 2 Washington St., Due West, SC 29639.


Charles Henry Carlisle

Dr. Charles Henry Carlisle, 95, of Due West, husband of the late Jean Todd Carlisle, his wife of 68 years, died Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at the Abbeville Area Medical Center.  He was born in Newberry to the late Hubert Toland and Ora Askins Carlisle.  He was preceded in death by his brother, Toland Carlisle, and his sisters, Virginia Ouzts, Edna Levy, and Martha Wingard.

Dr. Carlisle earned his Bachelor of Science at Newberry College and Master of Arts in history from the University of South Carolina.  He was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Newberry College and the Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Erskine College.  After graduating from college, Dr. Carlisle served as Principal of the Williston-Elko High School for a few years.

In 1947, Dr. Carlisle began his career at Erskine College as a history professor before becoming Vice President of Business and Finance.  He retired in 1989 with 42 years of service.  A charter member of the Abbeville Rotary Club, Dr. Carlisle had nearly 60 years of perfect attendance.  He was named a Paul Harris Fellow, the Rotary’s highest honor.

Dr. Carlisle had a deep faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and lived a life of service in the church and community.  He was a faithful member of the Due West ARP Church where he served as an elder for many years as well as on various boards of the denomination. He was elected Moderator of the Synod in 1972 and again in 2000.  During his first term as Moderator, Dr. Carlisle shared his vision for the church to minister to the elderly through establishing retirement homes. His vision became a reality with the opening of the Due West Retirement Center, now known as The Renaissance.  In 1999, the Center recognized his service when the newly constructed nursing center was named in his honor.  Dr. Carlisle also served as a Gideon and belonged to the Abbeville Camp, supporting the worldwide distribution of the Bible.  His life verse was Proverbs 3:5-6.

Dr. Carlisle not only had a love of history but a passion for researching and preserving family ancestry.  He and his wife, Jean, travelled extensively, leading tours to many corners of the world, including multiple trips to Scotland.  Most of all he was a devoted father and grandfather, always enjoying time with his family. He is survived by his son Charles Todd Carlisle and his wife, Margaret, of Essex Junction, VT; two daughters, Lucille Slater and her husband, Rev. Greg Slater, of Columbia and Catherine Hardy and her husband, Rev. Steve Hardy, of Iva; seven grandchildren, Charles Hardy and his wife, Alyssa, Stephen Hardy and his wife, Brittany, Todd Hardy, William Slater, Carol Slater Rogers and her husband, Brandon, Andrew Carlisle and his wife, Ashley and Elizabeth Carlisle Anderson and her husband, Josh; and six great-grandchildren.

A private graveside service will be held in the Due West ARP Cemetery with Rev. Calvin Draffin officiating.  Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, we will follow the CDC and state recommended guidelines of social distancing.

Memorial contributions, in memory of Dr. Carlisle, may be sent to the Due West ARP Church, PO Box 397, Due West, SC 29639 or to the Bonclarken Conference Center, 500 Pine Drive, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

Easter Offering and Updates

Easter Offering

Easter Offering materials were mailed to all churches prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. In order to help you communicate with your church members electronically about the Easter Offering, the bulletin insert is below. The insert includes a link to make it easy to pay online. Thank you for sharing this with your congregations. The Easter Offering is a vital resource used to assist specific agencies in the denomination. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Cindy Scott and Shay O’Sheal
Central Services

Easter Offering Bulletin Insert

Easter Offering Poster

The ARP Center

In an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, the ARP Center in Greenville, SC, will be temporarily closed to the public.  Our lobby will be open for a few hours each day for mail/package shipping/delivery.  Staff and employees will be working more from home and limiting their time spent in the office.  Everyone is still accessible by email and phone (864-232-8297 or their direct lines – leave a voicemail for a call back). Find the directory here.

Online Worship Services

Check for a complete list of churches offering online services.


Prayer Request

Dr. Charles Carlisle, a former moderator of Synod is in critical condition in the Abbeville, SC Hospital.  Dr. Carlisle is 95 years old and served as moderator on two occasions.  Please pray for him and his family.






Good Friday Call to Prayer & Fasting

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

The whole world is in the throes of a coronavirus pandemic that is spreading death, illness, economic turmoil, unemployment, isolation, panic, and fear. In such desperate times, the people of God should humble themselves and pray to almighty God for His grace, mercy, and love to heal us, restore us, and relieve us from this crushing burden of disease.

In response to the ravages of this historic plague, this call for prayer and fasting is an historic, ecumenical event because the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church will for the first time unite as one to pray for God’s mercy and healing.

The Call: For all believers in Christ in the ARP to join brothers and sisters in the PCA, EPC, and ACNA to set aside Good Friday, April 10, as a day of prayer and fasting to cry out for God’s help against the COVID-19 virus in addition to a day of worship.

The goal is for all 585,000 or so members of these four churches to have the opportunity to join hearts and voices and participate together. Other denominations are aware of the planning for this event and have asked to be invited. Among these are the National Association of Evangelicals and ECO. Should these groups participate, we could have millions of Christians joining their hearts in prayer.

At the bottom of this message are links to three resources:

  1. A Guide to Prayer and Fasting by Dr. Richard Pratt, President of Third Millennium Ministries;
  2.  A suggested prayer list; and
  3. A prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that addresses the needs of suffering people in troubled times.

    They are sent to you eight days in advance of this event to give you time to review and consider their use in your church. You are of course free to use other materials that would be helpful to your congregation.

    I hope you will publicize this event and distribute the appropriate resources to your membership in the coming days by whatever means are most effective. It would be wonderful if the membership of the PCA, EPC, ACNA, and ARP were all united in prayer to God on Good Friday!

    Thank you for spreading this word far and wide! Remember: He is risen!


    A Guide to Prayer and Fasting
    Suggested Prayers
    Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer

Letter from the Moderator

March 31, 2020

Dear Special People,

“How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137:4). It’s a great question, isn’t it? Those exiled Israelites did not hide their harps under the bushes, or the hollows of the rocks; rather they hung them up in plain view, that the sight of them might affect them with their deplorable change of circumstances. Yet, (dare I even say this?) perhaps they were at fault even in doing this; for praising God is never out of season.

Yes, praising God is never out of season!  And, that’s what I want us to get in this strange place we are living through! And by His grace, living “through” it we are for we shall soon, we trust, be able to worship together again in those houses of worship we each love.

In the meantime, your local church expenses go on, as do those of Christ’s work around the world. Indeed, during this strange time some expenses, both local and missional, are greater than they would be in a normal time. So, as your Moderator, I write now to make an appeal because you have proven before that you are among the most generous of God’s people. Would you prayerfully consider sending your church your tithe right away? Maybe you can even make a special extra gift to support our mission work around the world. I am reminded of Oswald Smith’s great charge, “The mission of the church is missions and when the church takes care of missions God will take care of the church!” And He will!

You can put your gift in the mail directly to your church or to your church treasurer. Contact the ARP Center if your church needs help setting up a temporary online giving option. Either way, God will be honored and His work will be advanced and you will be appreciated. Remember, praising God with our money will never be out of season!

Yours for Building Healthy Churches and Birthing Healthy Christians,

Leslie Holmes