Dr. Eric Watkins, pastor of Harvest OPC in San Marcos, CA, and member of the Committee on Home Missions, has written several gospel tracts for OP congregations and church plants.
Watkins brings a wealth of experience to this project. Together, he and General Secretary John Shaw teach a class on “Reformed Evangelism” for the OPC’s Ministerial Training Institute. Watkins has planted two churches for the OPC, and he serves as the Director of the Center for Missions and Evangelism at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Watkins himself grew up in a non-Christian household. He came to know the Lord when he was twenty-one years old, after he had finished following the Grateful Dead across the country. In God’s providence, his older sister gave him a Bible at the tail end of his rock music pilgrimage. Introduced, to the person of Jesus Christ presented in God’s Word, Watkins was convicted of his sin and misery, and he turned to God for grace and salvation.
Church plants use CCE’s pamphlets and tracts in a variety of ways. Yuma OPC in Yuma, AZ, is working on an outreach and evangelism supply station for its members, outfitted with flyers, tracts, books, cards, and Bibles. Harvest OPC in Winston-Salem, NC, manned a literature table at the Carolina Classics Fair in October. This year’s fair saw 180,000 attendees over the course of ten days, and representatives of Harvest OPC were ready to greet them and invite them to worship on Sunday. Ron Beabout, pastor of Grace and Truth OPC in McAlisterville, PA, has used What is Truth? to invite indidivual contacts to worship. In Grand Forks, ND, Pastor Christopher Drew set up a basket of tracts inside Grand Cities Mall, where Faith Presbyterian Church, a presbytery mission work, currently meets for worship.
CHMCE’s manual, Planting an Orthodox Presbyterian Church, emphasizes outreach. It reads, “With the unchurched you do not have deep theological discussions to win them over. With these you talk about basic truth and ultimate issues. Do you believe God can change their hearts? Can He call an unbeliever tomorrow afternoon from darkness into light? Yes, He can!” (60). Each of Watkins’s tracts closes by inviting its reader to visit the local Orthodox Presbyterian church “stickered” on the tract’s back page. Stickers, which are included in the cost of the tract, can be personalized with a church’s address, contact information, website, or service times.