ARP News

Erskine Announces 17th President

The Board of Trustees of Erskine College and Theological Seminary has announced the appointment of Interim President Dr. Robert E. Gustafson, Jr. as 17th president of the institution.

“The Presidential Search Committee is convinced, after observing Dr. Gustafson’s seven months as interim president, that his gifts and abilities perfectly fit Erskine’s current needs,” Board Chairman Sam James said. “Our committee unanimously presented him to the Board of Trustees for approval.”

Gustafson began his work as interim president Nov. 1 upon the retirement of Dr. Paul Kooistra, Erskine’s 16th president.

Interviewed during the first few weeks of his tenure as interim president, Gustafson noted “the resonance of my leadership experiences in secondary education with the college environment,” saying, “Although I worked with students preparing for the college and university world, the daily routines, challenges, and issues of a head of school at that level are strikingly similar to my task at Erskine.”

As head of school at the Stony Brook School, Stony Brook, N.Y., for 15 years, Gustafson was responsible for oversight of a $9 million annual operating budget and more than 100 faculty and staff members. He also served for five years as head of school at Jackson Preparatory School, Jackson Miss.

“Rob Gustafson is a visionary leader with a history of effectiveness in Christian education,” Board Vice Chairman Tom Hellams said. Hellams, who headed the Presidential Search Committee, called Gustafson “a dedicated Christian with a pastor’s heart, a deep thinker, and a lifelong learner, ready to address the challenges of Erskine College and Theological Seminary.”

Erskine’s newly appointed president was educated at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., where he received the bachelor of arts degree in religious studies; Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Mass., where he was awarded the master of theological studies degree; Columbia University Teachers College, New York, N.Y., where he was the recipient of a Klingenstein Fellowship Grant and earned a master of arts degree in educational administration; and Erskine Theological Seminary, where he received a doctor of ministry degree.

Gustafson and his wife, Marjorie Graham Gustafson, are the parents of two children.

Plans for Gustafson’s inauguration as president will be announced at a later date.

ARP News

Imogene Covone

Imogene Covone passed away yesterday, May 25. She was a retired missionary to Mexico where they served for thirty five years. She lived in Florida with her daughter Gina. Please pray for her family during this time.

Her son Philip had this to say about her, “She loved like Jesus Christ, forgave as he fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, gave clothes to the naked, visited the abandoned on the pressure and hospital; she cared more for others than for herself . To her, there were no strangers, and if anyone talked to her for a minute, she said, ‘my house is your house.’ If one spoke to her once, they never forget it.”

ARP News

Prayers for Synod 2017

Here is a prayer guide that can be used by individuals, churches, or groups of ARPs to pray for our Synod and the upcoming meeting June 5-8. It is set up as a service, but you can utilize it however bests fits your situation.

Synod 2017 Prayer Guide


Be sure to follow The ARP Magazine on all social media forms (Instagram, Facebook & Twitter) for immediate updates during the General Synod meeting. There will be evening updates on this site. #arpsynod2017

ARP News

Rev. Jim Corbitt

Rev. Dr. James T. Corbitt, 79, of Greenville, SC passed away Monday, May 1, 2017 at his home.

Born in Ashland, KY, he was a son of the late W.M. “Jim” Corbitt and Jewel Corbitt. Rev. Corbitt earned a chemical engineering degree from Virginia Tech and worked as an engineer for 11 years before God called him into the ministry. After graduating Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, MS, Rev. Corbitt founded the Devenger Road Presbyterian Church, formerly known as Grier Memorial Presbyterian Church in Greer, SC. After 18 years as pastor, he served as director of Outreach North America in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church before retiring in 2004. He received honorary doctorates from American Theological Seminary in Los Angeles, CA and from Erskine College in Due West, SC. Rev. Corbitt had an extensive counselling ministry throughout his career and was fundamental in starting numerous congregations in the A.R.P. Church. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Carolyn Hay.

He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Nancy; 2 sons, Mark Corbitt (Sandi) of AL, and John Corbitt (Michelle) of TX; 2 grandchildren, Ethan and Ryan Corbitt; and 2 brothers, Steve Corbitt of KY, and Stan Corbitt of TX.

A worship service celebrating Jim’s life will be held at 2pm Thursday, May 4, 2017 at Devenger Road Presbyterian Church in Greer, SC. The family will receive friends at the church following the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Outreach North America, or to Devenger Road Presbyterian Church.

ARP News

Rev. Jim Corbitt

Rev. Jim Corbitt passed away this morning, May 1. He was ordained June 3, 1974 to become a Mission Developer and then pastor of Grier Memorial (now Devenger Road) Church, which he served until 1992 when he became Director of Outreach North America. He served until his retirement in July 2004. Jim was Moderator of General Synod in 1991 and Second Presbytery in 1979 and served on numerous boards and committees.

ARP News

The Bridge ARP Church

A car crashed into The Bridge ARP Church today, April 28. Rev. John Casteel was the only one at the church at the time. Thankfully no one was injured. The lobby was the only thing damaged. They will hold services as normal on Sunday. Pray for the church as they begin repair of the building. The Bridge is located in Simpsonville, SC. 

ARP News

Click on the magazine cover on the left to read the May/June edition of  The ARP Magazine..

We hope you will enjoy this issue and will share with your friends and family. The cover photo links to two feature articles. One article is found on page 26, the Family Page and the other on page 8, “Why Kids Don’t Need a Megachurch.”
Don’t forget to check out the Moderator’s Challenge on page 4 and the Women’s Ministries articles. We hope you can stay connected to the denomination through this resource and find value in it for your church.
Contact our office if you would like to receive a complimentary print copy by emailing