NEW IDEAS: PRESBYTERIAN UNITY
By Amb. Dhano Obongo,
Jan 19, 2018(Nyamilepedia) — In the 1880s the American Mission initiated work in Cairo, Egypt. It was a combination of two denominations; the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, (PC/USA) and the Reformed Church of America (RCA).
In those days American Presbyterians were represented in southern and border states of their nation by the United Presbyterian Church (UP/USA). Historically Calvinist theology was brought to America by immigrants from Scotland and Ireland as early as 1640. Splits and amalgamations marked the history of Presbyterianism in America but Presbyterians are found in every state. Issues such as same gender marriage provide cause to deplore unity.
In 1858 a large protestant missionary movement within America found two small Scottish Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania assisting missionary work in India and Egypt. In1898 Egyptian Sudan suddenly became open to western Christian missionaries. Expanding southward for these two churches became possible for an ordained worker, the Reverend J. Kelly Giffen, who was ordained for missionary work in Egypt. He had arrived in Cairo with a new bride, Grace, in 1881. Giffen was ﬂuent in Arabic and wanted to work among Islamized Sudanese in the northern part of Sudan. But he was rejected to go there. However, he was permitted to enter jungle regions of South Sudan. He arrived among the Cholo community March 27, 1902, at Dolibe Hill and spread the gospel throughout the Upper Nile Province.
Why have I narrated this Presbyterian history? Simply because I wanted to appeal to the two leaders of the Presbyterian Churches, The Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and the Evangelical Presbyterian church of the former united Sudan. It is time to consider coming together under a united robust Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. These two Calvinist bodies have the same doctrine and biblical teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul’s teaching and thought.
We are in the opening of a new year having celebrated the birth of our redeemer. I seize this opportunity on behalf of the silent Presbyterian communicants and myself to appeal to my beloved leaders of the two Presbyterian bodies, namely the Right Reverend Peter Gai Lual, General Moderator of the PCOSS and the Right Reverend James Par Tap, General Moderator of the EPC to consider the concept of uniting the two Presbyterian churches. It would be a good gift in 2018 for the communicants of two to become one.
Why? We seek a well built body of Christ. It would be a wonderful legacy for these two leaders to leave behind for coming generations a great Presbyterian Church. United we stand. Divided we fall. God bless the Presbyterian Church.
The author is a former pastor trainee of the PCOS. He can be reached at email address: email@example.com