Aimee Byrd

Inside the word. Outside the box.

We the undersigned, as ministers, elders, and members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), present and publish this open letter in order to express our deep concern with regard to many comments and posts which were published on the “Genevan Commons” Facebook group and which were recently made public. 

Our concerns include these:

  1. We are greatly concerned that members of our church, including Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller, along with others, have been subjected to disparaging comments which are “corrupt,” “foolish talking,” and “coarse jesting” (Eph 4:29; 5:5). Such words are never acceptable, and certainly not from officers of the church.
  2. We are greatly concerned that officers of the church, who have sworn to be accountable to “their brethren in the Lord” (4th ministerial ordination vow), would attempt to hide behind a group that pledges itself to secrecy, as if “locker room talk” could somehow be exempted from the accountability of the church on the basis of an alleged right to privacy. Indeed, our Lord warns us that “whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops” (Luk 12:3).
  3. We are greatly concerned about the overtly misogynistic tone of the critiques leveled at women authors, whom many Geneva Commons members have not honored as fellow image bearers (Gen 1:27), as fellow heirs of the grace of life (1 Pet 3:7), and as members of Christ’s body who are endowed with many glorious and useful gifts for the building up of the church (Eph 4:7). Rather than thoughtful critique, we are dismayed to find officers of the church deriding and mocking others. Such behavior is completely unacceptable towards our sisters in Christ. It is the opposite of love.
  4. The ninth commandment forbids “undue silence in a just cause, and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves, or complaint to others” (WLC 145); therefore, we cannot remain silent after the public revelation of such unedifying words.

Such sins are an outrage and are extremely grievous in the sight of God. They bring shame and reproach on the church of Jesus Christ, and they encourage a culture of disrespect and derision in the very body which is to be known for its love (John 13:35). Rather than honoring women the way that Christ has honored his precious bride, these men have encouraged each other (and indirectly, the rest of the church and the world now that these words are made public) to disparage women.

To be clear, we the undersigned do not believe all members of the Geneva Commons group to be engaged in these sins, nor are we endorsing the books which they have attacked.

Neither does this letter constitute formal charges against those who have committed these sins. Rather, we hope that this letter will encourage those who have committed these sins to repent publicly and to seek reconciliation promptly with those whom they have wronged. A fraternal appeal must precede any judicial charges, with honest hope and sincere prayer that it will be heeded. We therefore appeal to these brothers, by the mercies of Christ, by his blood shed both for them, for us, and for those whom they have maligned, to listen, heed, and repent.

While this letter was composed quickly and only distributed for review to a short list of pastors and elders, we imagine others might be interested in having their name added. Any interested Orthodox Presbyterian officers should leave their name and title in the comments section to be added.

Mark Jenkins

Pastor, Providence Church, Madison, WI

John S. Shaw

Pastor, Presbytery of Philadelphia, Elkins Park, PA

Jeremiah Montgomery

Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC), Vandalia, OH

Richard Ellis

Pastor, Faith OPC, Elmer, NJ

Calvin D. Keller

Pastor, Harvest Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, NC

John W. Mahaffy

Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church of the OPC, Newberg, OR

Robert Arendale

Teacher, Presbytery of the Southwest, Houston, TX

Todd Bordow

Pastor, Cornerstone OPC, Houston, TX

Matthew Patton

Pastor, Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC), Vandalia, OH

Jonathan Shishko

Pastor, Grace OPC, Columbus, OH

Al Tricarico

Pastor, Presbytery of Philadelphia, Willow Grove, PA

Francis VanDelden

Pastor, New Hope OPC, Frederick, MD

Dave Myers

Elder, New Hope OPC, Frederick, MD

Karl Koops

Elder, New Hope OPC, Frederick, MD

Jonathan Cruse

Pastor, Community Presbyterian Church, Kalamazoo, MI

Mike Shields

Elder, Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church (OPC), Mount Airy, NC

Danny Patterson
Pastor, Second Parish, OPC Portland, ME

Luke Fawcett
Deacon, Resurrection Presbyterian Church, Matthews, NC

David Welliver

Elder, Mission OPCSaint Paul, MN

Ken Golden

Pastor, Sovereign Grace OPCDavenport, IA

Steven R. Hake
Teaching Elder, New Hope Presbyterian Church, Frederick, Maryland

John Livingston

Elder, Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Glenside, PA


Jonathan Holst

Pastor Westminster OPC, Hamden, CT

Matthew Barker

Pastor, Grace Reformed Church (OPC)

Zach Siggins 

Associate Pastor, Living Hope Presbyterian Church, Gettysburg, PA

Tony Phelps

Pastor, Living Hope OPC, Allentown, PA

David King

Minister, presbytery of the Midwest

John M. Wise
Elder, New Hope OPC, Frederick, MD

John D. Van Meerbeke

Senior Pastor, Living Hope Presbyterian Church, Gettysburg, PA (OPC)

Gabriel Nave 

RE, Harvest OPC, San Marcos, CA

Logan Murray
Ruling elder, Living Hope Presbyterian Church (OPC), Brunswick, ME

Soo Bin Lee
Elder, New City Fellowship, Grand Rapids, MI

Cole Brumley

Elder, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Medford, OR

Darryl A. Bradford Jr.
Elder, New City Fellowship (OPC), Grand Rapids, MI

Bruce G. Buchanan
Pastor, ChainOLakes OPC, Central Lake, MI

Chris Malamisuro 

Pastor, Good Shepherd OPC (Cincinnati)

Robb Leatherwood
Ruling Elder, Calvin Presbyterian Church (OPC), Phoenix, AZ

Rev. Andrew Moody
San Antonio Reformed Church (OPC)

Bradney Lopez

Pastor, Iglesia Presbiteriana Sola Escritura OPC, Arroyo, Puerto Rico

Ryan Cavanaugh
Pastor Mission Church (OPC) Merrillville, Indiana

Joel D. Fick 

Pastor, Redemption OPC, Gainesville, FL

Josh Vander Meulen
Ruling Elder, New City Fellowship OPC, Grand Rapids, MI

Andrew Myers
Associate Pastor, Trinity Church (OPC), Hatboro PA

Geoffrey L. Willour
Pastor, Lake Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Mentor, Ohio

Richard L. Guido 

Ruling Elder, Providence Presbyterian Church (OPC), Huntsville, Alabama

Arthur J Fox

Pastor, Presbytery of Northern California

Brian Belh 

Pastor, Providence Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Rockford, IL (OPC)

Adam P. Vedra
Elder, Harvest OPC, Wyoming, MI

James Lim
Pastor, Faith Presbyterian Church of Long Beach, CA

Josh McKamy
Pastor, Covenant OPC, Chambersburg PA
(mission work of Living Hope Presbyterian Church, Gettysburg, PA)

Gregory C. Miller

Elder, New City Fellowship, Grand Rapids, MI.

David Evert
Ruling Elder, Covenant OPC, LaGrange, GA

Chad Van Dixhoorn
Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary

Everett A. Henes
Pastor, Hillsdale OPC

Michael Borg 

Pastor, Providence Presbyterian, Bradenton, FL (OPC)

C. Steven McDaniel, Jr.
Pastor, Providence OPC, Mantua, NJ

Matthew Stubbs
Ruling Elder, Providence Presbyterian Church (OPC), Huntsville, Alabama

Joshua A. Downs 

Ruling Elder, Redemption OPC, Gainesville, FL

John Hartley 

Pastor, Apple Valley OPC, Neenah, WI

Greg Hoadley 

Pastor, Redeemer OPC, Airdrie, AB, Canada

Josh McKamy
Pastor, Covenant OPC, Chambersburg PA
(mission work of Living Hope Presbyterian Church, Gettysburg, PA)

Mark Sallade 

Senior Pastor, Calvary OPC, Glenside, PA

Sam Logan

OPC Teaching Elder (Retired), Presbytery of New York and New England

Chuck Noren
Elder, Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA

Sean Gregg
Ruling Elder, Trinity OPC, Hatboro, PA

William M. Hobbs

Retired minister, OPC

Ronald L. Beabout
Evangelist in the Presbytery of Central Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Pastor of Grace and Truth OPC, Mifflintown, PA.

Tim Herndon

Pastor, Providence Presbyterian (OPC), West Lebanon, NH

David J. Gregg

Ruling elder, Calvary OPC, Middletown, PA

Peter Lee
Professor of Old Testament
Reformed Theological Seminary
Presbytery of Mid-Atlantic

Michael Haan
Elder (inactive)
Harvest OPC
Wyoming, MI

Aijalon Church
Associate Pastor, Covenant OPC, Sinking Spring, PA

John Muether
Ruling Elder, Reformation OPC, Oviedo, FL

Mark Graham
Ruling Elder (Covenant OPC, Grove City, PA)
Fellow, Greystone Theological Institute

Russell Hamilton
Senior Pastor, Pilgrim Church, Bangor, Maine

Dave Sarafolean

Pastor, Christ Covenant Church, Midland, Michigan

Kim Dang
Senior Pastor, Houston, TX

Lynne Hunter

Ruling Elder Harvest OPC, currently serving as a Deacon at Harvest OPC, Wyoming Michigan

Dean Ter Haar

Ruling Elder, Harvest OPC, Wyoming, MI

Brandon Wilkins
Pastor, Christ Covenant OPC, Crystal Lake, IL

Russell Hamilton
Presbytery of New York & New England
Pastor of Pilgrim OPC in Bangor, Maine

Mike Kearney

Pastor, Covenant OPC, Cedar Falls, IA

Shane Bennett
Pastor, Reformation OPC, Grand Rapids, MI

Dale Bekkering 

Ruling Elder Harvest OPC in Grand Rapids MI

Bryan Dage
Pastor, Emmanuel OPC, Meaford, Ontario

Nathan Strom
Pastor, Bethel OPC, Oostburg, WI

Steven Johnson
Elder, Trinity Presbyterian Church – Medford, OR

Dave Werner
Ruling Elder, New City Fellowship OPC – Grand Rapids, MI

Josiah Stockwell

Ruling elder Pilgrim OPC, Bangor, ME

Andrew Barshinger

Pastor, Faith OPC, Elmer NJ

Michael Chism

Ruling elder, Bonita OPC, Bonita, CA

Darren Thole

Pastor Providence OPC, Madison/Huntsville, AL

Matthew Cotta

Minister, Pasadena OPC

Jeffrey C. Waddington
Pastor, Faith OPC Fawn Grove, PA

124 thoughts on “An Open Letter from Concerned Ministers and Elders in the OPC

  1. James Lim says:

    I would like to add my name to the signatories.

    James Lim
    Pastor, Faith Presbyterian Church of Long Beach (OPC)

    Like

  2. Taylor says:

    Is there a link to these newly made public Genevan Commons posts and comments?

    Like

  3. David Evert says:

    Glad to add my name to this letter

    David Evert
    Ruling Elder, Covenant OPC
    LaGrange, GA

    Like

  4. Everett A. Henes says:

    I am not sure if my comment went through before. I would like to put my name on this letter.

    Everett A. Henes
    Pastor, Hillsdale OPC

    Like

  5. Michael Borg says:

    Please add my name to the list: Michael Borg pastor of Providence Presbyterian, Bradenton, FL (OPC)

    Thank you.

    Like

  6. Graham Veale says:

    To state the obvious…as a personal reminder.
    i ought to pray that the Spirit uses this letter. Because, while I might be cynical, he is not.
    And I ought to pray for the youngsters influenced by that blog.
    And pray that the victims of harassment are healed and refreshed.
    Graham

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Steve McDaniel says:

    C. Steven McDaniel, Jr.
    Pastor
    Providence OPC
    Mantua, NJ

    Like

  8. skrizo says:

    Amen and hallelujah! This is the courageous response to what has occurred we all wanted to see. But the next step is real accountablity. If these men get away with it now without any real repercussions, it will teach others that it’s okay, that they’ll only receive a slap on their wrists. I hope those who need to be strong will find the strength in this time of need to stand up and defend the honor of their sisters. It’s time the church was purged of this evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Matthew Stubbs says:

    Please add my endorsement to the letter.

    Matthew Stubbs
    Ruling Elder, Providence Presbyterian Church (OPC), Huntsville, Alabama

    Like

  10. Chad Van Dixhoorn says:

    Thank you for this open letter. It puts into words my own convictions and concerns. I read some of the offending texts or tweets from the Geneva Commons that gave rise to this and other responses, and it is clear to me that many of these messages do disservice to the idea of a commons, reflect no respectful way of communicating about women, offer no model of how to speak about sisters in Christ, and bring dishonour to the heritage of Geneva.

    Please add my name as a signatory to this letter.

    Your servant in Christ

    Chad Van Dixhoorn
    Professor of Church History
    Westminster Theological Seminary

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Josh Downs says:

    Please add my name:
    Joshua A. Downs, Ruling Elder, Redemption OPC, Gainesville, FL

    Like

  12. Endorsed. John Hartley, Pastor, Apple Valley OPC, Neenah, WI

    Like

  13. Please add my name:
    Greg Hoadley
    Pastor, Redeemer OPC, Airdrie, AB, Canada

    Like

  14. Peggy Wiley says:

    Very relieved to see that there are faithful men that call our brothers to repentance. Continuing to pray that they will see their error and seek peace.

    Like

  15. Bev Sterk says:

    these types of demeaning comments, especially in secret (John 3:19-21), give permission to others that hear these and have a similar mentality, to denigrate women as well… sadly, these types of comments indicate a porn mentality toward women, and then using distortions of scripture to justify those perverted attitudes… I would suggest the next step is confiscating computers and other devices of these leaders and checking for porn history, etc if there is no public repentance from those who made these comments…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. William Duncan says:

    Left unchecked, the men to whom this letter is addressed will eventually wound their sheep. I know because I was once just like them and left carnage in my wake. May God teach them to be loving or, such as he did for me, remove from them their office.

    Like

  17. sloganwrf says:

    Please add my name to this list: Sam Logan; OPC Teaching Elder (Retired), Presbytery of New York and New England

    Like

  18. J Mark Sallade says:

    Please add my name as a signatory to this letter.

    Mark Sallade, Senior Pastor, Calvary OPC, Glenside, PA

    Like

  19. J Mark Sallade says:

    Please add my name as a signatory:

    Mark Sallade
    Senior Pastor, Calvary OPC, Glenside, PA

    Like

  20. David Gregg says:

    I wasn’t going to subject myself to reading into the background material for this letter. But, observing the growing number of men among the signatories who have my deep respect, I did do the “homework”. Based on what I’ve seen myself, I can now request that my name be added to this list of signatures.

    David J. Gregg, ruling elder, Calvary OPC, Middletown, PA

    Like

  21. Tim Herndon says:

    Please add my name. Tim Herndon, Pastor, Providence Presbyterian (OPC), West Lebanon, NH

    Like

  22. Lance says:

    Well, now we know which pastors and churches are into feminism, a heresy that is destroying the church as we speak. I hope I’m around when this all gets worked through and those churches are just worshipping as the State tells them to. I’m glad Genevan Commons is making sure people know about the heretical stuff going on out there. These pastors here will have to answer to God someday for their backing of heresy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. nathanmoelker says:

      Hi! I of course don’t know you. Just want to suggest that if you believe the signatures of this letter to be feminists and heretics, you may be in the wrong denomination, as a vast number of the pastors of the church, including leading lights from various committees and the like, have signed. If you think heresy is that rampant, you’re probably in the wrong church.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Liz Ledger says:

      Lance,

      I noticed you have hidden your name. The other men writing in response have had the moral courage to not only make a comment, but to sign their full name and church affiliation.

      I noticed you did not do the same.

      Liz Ledger
      OPC member
      Grace OPC
      Vienna, VA

      Like

  23. Ronald L. Beabout says:

    I also desire to add my signature to the Letter.

    I am an Evangelist in the Presbytery of Central Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and am Pastor of Grace and Truth OPC, Mifflintown, PA.

    Like

  24. William M Hobbs says:

    Thanks to those who drafted this right-minded note. The lack of civility in the public square of late is unhappily among us. The meanness of some of the remarks as coming from professing followers of the Savior is so very disturbing, I have just this morning been made aware of this material. May our Lord forgive us all when such things are found by His searching eye and may His merciful hand draw us back in remorse to Himself. Please add my name to this letter.

    William M. Hobbs, retired minister, OPC

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Mary Schneider-Johnston says:

    Weak response by the leadership. It should be investigated and church sanctions brought forward.
    I wish you all the best and am deeply grieved.

    Like

    1. Shane Bennett says:

      This is not a weak response. It is a first response. A call to repentance is always an appropriate first response.

      Like

  26. Sean says:

    Please add my name

    Sean Gregg,
    Ruling Elder, Trinity OPC, Hatboro, PA

    Like

  27. I want to add my signature to the OPC Open Letter.
    Chuck Noren
    Elder, Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA

    Like

  28. John Muether says:

    Please add my name to the open letter:

    John Muether
    Ruling Elder, Reformation OPC, Oviedo, FL

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Aijalon Church says:

    Aijalon Church
    Associate Pastor, Covenant OPC, Sinking Spring, PA

    Like

  30. Michael Haan says:

    Greetings,

    Please kindly consider adding my name to (and endorsement of) “An Open Letter from Concerned Ministers and Elders in the OPC.”

    In Christ,

    Michael Haan
    Elder (inactive)
    Harvest OPC
    Wyoming, MI

    Like

  31. Peter Lee says:

    Thank you for putting this response. It articulated some of my reactions to the visceral words shared by men in our church. There is no justification for such language. It would be better to hear direct challenges to exegesis and theology than name-calling. Please put my name down as a signatory.
    Peter Lee
    Professor of Old Testament
    Reformed Theological Seminary
    Presbytery of Mid-Atlantic

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Logan Murray says:

    You may disagree with our opinion that this online content was inappropriate but accusing all those of us who hold that view of heresy is unwarranted. It’s changing the subject to fit your narrative, which seems to be that any criticism of Genevan Commons content reflects a doctrinal downgrade. In fact, how we speak of our brothers and sisters in Christ is crucially important, because they are image bearers of Christ. Avoiding labeling those with whom we differ will go a long way to bringing peace. I don’t know you personally and I’m certainly not judging your motives or the sincerity of your beliefs, just asking you to avoid the broad brush stroke with which you apply the charge of heresy.

    Like

  33. Mark Graham says:

    Please add my name to the Open Letter
    Mark Graham, Ruling Elder (Covenant OPC, Grove City) and Fellow (Greystone Theological Institute)

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Aijalon Church says:

    Please add my name-
    Aijalon Church
    Associate Pastor, Covenant OPC, Sinking Spring, PA

    Like

  35. Lynne Hunter says:

    Please add my name to the letter
    Lynne Hunter
    Ruling Elder Harvest OPC
    currently serving as a Deacon at Harvest OPC

    Like

  36. Kim Dang says:

    Please add my name to this letter.
    Kim Dang
    Senior Pastor, Houston, TX

    Like

  37. Dave Sarafolean says:

    Dave Sarafolean, Pastor
    Christ Covenant Church
    Midland, Michigan

    Like

  38. Please add my name to this list of signatures.
    Many thanks!

    Russell Hamilton
    Senior Pastor, Pilgrim Church, Bangor, Maine.

    Like

  39. Dean Ter Haar says:

    Please add my name to the Open Letter
    Dean Ter Haar, Ruling Elder (Harvest OPC, Wyoming, MI)

    Like

  40. Dale Bekkering says:

    Please add my name – Dale Bekkering, Ruling Elder Harvest OPC in Grand Rapids MI

    Like

  41. Shane Bennett says:

    I’m a little late in coming to this, but I had to due my research.
    Please Add my name to the list:

    Shane Bennett
    Pastor, Reformation OPC, Grand Rapids, MI

    Like

  42. Michael J Kearney says:

    Please add my name –

    Mike Kearney

    Pastor, Covenant OPC, Cedar Falls, IA

    Like

  43. Russell Hamilton says:

    Dear Aimee,
    So disturbed by the words used against you. Please add my name and signature to this letter. Thank you for your efforts to push us to think and debate an important area of living the Christ-filled life.

    Russell Hamilton
    Presbytery of New York & New England
    Pastor of Pilgrim OPC in Bangor, Maine

    Like

  44. Brandon Wilkins says:

    I would like to add my name.

    Brandon Wilkins
    Pastor, Christ Covenant OPC, Crystal Lake, IL

    Like

  45. Melissa says:

    To all the men who have signed this letter, please consider reading the attacked books.

    Like

    1. Robb Leatherwood says:

      While, as the letter indicates, our signatures don’t reflect agreement or disagreement with the content of the books, I couldn’t agree more with your recommendation: I’ve read Aimee’s three most recent books, and all three are excellent. There are many things worth thoughtfully engaging with, even if you don’t agree with every conclusion. I recommend them often.

      Like

    2. Carol Crevier says:

      Melissa, I’m just now reading through the 118 comments, and so glad to see you are one of the women engaged with thinking about this. Certainly the content of Aimee’s writing matters. However these brothers are responding to the ‘ad hominem’attacks against the author, not the content of her writing. It would seem that we as women in Christ ought to expect this kind of nationwide deep expression of concern and request for apologies when a woman is being treated in this manner. We are not reading ‘slips of the tongue’ over and over again in that thread. It is a pattern of degrading speech. I have been a member of a Reformed fb group of thousands of women fir several years. The moderators are godly women who work hard to ensure that our collective conversation remains charitable towards all; including men with whom we might deeply disagree. Sarcasm may be in order as a literary device at times, but not directed at a person to demean them; rather within the context of discussing the ideas. This is a deep obligation to honor the image of God within another person. We are living in an age where illiberal people want to silence people with whom they disagree. This cancel culture is not pleasing to God. He has equipped us greatly with His truth and so we can civilly have deep discussions with those whom we do not see eye to eye, without fear. I am hoping many OPC, PCA and other Reformed women engage with this issue.

      Liked by 1 person

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