Bad news has dominated State College, Pennsylvania, the home of Penn State University. But Pastor Jeremiah Montgomery and the people of Resurrection OPC herald God’s good news of redemption. Each Lord’s Day the mission work gathers to praise the Lord for life and peace, forgiveness and transformation, truth and glory.
Resurrection OPC is the newest mission work in the newest presbytery of the OPC (Central Pennsylvania). The work was begun with the encouragement and support of Westminster OPC in Hollidaysburg, where Mark Brown has been pastor since its inception in 1977.
Pastor Montgomery is a home-grown shepherd. He grew up as a covenant child in Westminster Church, where his dad serves as a ruling elder. He went to college locally. His seminary training was through the extension program of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Pastor Brown was his mentor in preparation for ministry.
Jeremiah observes that the fundamentals in Resurrection OPC are strong. The people love worship. They come faithfully to morning and evening services on the Lord’s Day. They are committed to the Lord and to doing the work that will help the mission work to mature as a congregation. They are united.
The congregation has faced some struggles and disappointments together. Their facilities are less than ideal. They worship in a banquet facility in the morning, without additional space for Sunday school, and in a different facility in the evening. Their prayerful and diligent search for one facility that would accommodate their growing ministry has not yet born fruit. Please continue to pray with them that God would meet this need.
God is gathering in more people. A family with five children is in the process of uniting with the church. The parents of the first Penn State student to join Resurrection OPC have become members.
The congregation has many talented people. Incredible musicians assist with the musical accompaniment for the congregation’s worship. A woman in the congregation bakes the bread for communion. She is also an avid gardener and brings floral arrangements to grace the worship space. Other members serve faithfully behind the scenes: coordinating refreshments, designing advertisements, keeping the books, and operating the sound system. Every need at Resurrection OPC finds willing hands.
Early in the life of Resurrection OPC, God gave them a new convert. He found eternal life just two months before he died. His widow is part of the congregation.
Jeremiah is laying plans to engage in open-air preaching on Fridays, once again on the campus of Penn State. Typical open-air preachers on campus are “screamers” who angrily yell at students passing by. Others are Eastern Orthodox mystics. In this venue that seems much-abused, Jeremiah announces, “We want good things for you.” As he tells them of Christ, he invites students to engage him in a discussion of their religious beliefs. In the spring, Jeremiah preached on campus six times. Resurrection Church’s students were very supportive, as was the wider Christian community on campus. As Christian students accompanied him and listened, some passersby would heckle. But others would stop and converse with the group.
Jeremiah and his wife, Beth, are expecting their fifth child and first girl soon. Their boys love Legos. They are avid readers, an interest they learned from their parents. Jeremiah is also an author. P&R Publishing has recently released his first novel, The Dark Faith. He also listens to fiction as he runs. He completed a full marathon in 2011, and has just completed his second half-marathon for 2012.
The biggest challenge for Jeremiah and the people of Resurrection OPC is meeting people and having spiritually significant conversations. Please pray that God would give them many divine appointments. They long to see many people come to a committed faith in Christ. Remember to pray for a better meeting facility.
Praise God for his covenant faithfulness and for the gifts and graces he has poured out on the people of Resurrection Church.