This Day in Presbyterian History:
The first Bible Presbyterian Church in the Nation
The four-year old daughter of the church planter knew that her father was troubled over what to call the new church he was planting in that farm town in Lemmon, South Dakota in 1936. So in her child-like sense of mind, she announced to him one day that he should call the new Presbyterian church, the Bible Presbyterian Church, since he only preached the Bible to the small group of people. So, the first Bible Presbyterian Church in the land was informally named by the Rev. David K. Myers. Later, this name would be appropriated by the small group which came out of the Presbyterian Church of America in 1938.
Rev David Myers, the father of this writer, was a graduate of both Wheaton College and Princeton Theological Seminary. In fact, he graduated in 1929 from the former school. Studying abroad in Edinburgh at New College, he failed to get his doctorate due primarily to the unbelief of that Scottish school. His thesis on the infallibility of the Scriptures did not sit well with the unbelieving professors. But it was not a wasted time, as Mr. Myers brought back a Scottish wife!
Below, Rev. David K. Myers and his family, standing outside the church’s first building.
Moving to the Western parts of the United States, David Myers was ordained and joined the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. through Yellowstone Presbytery. But his support of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions in 1933 caused his name to be on a watch list. However, it was after he joined the Presbyterian Church of America, that the Yellowstone Presbytery brought him to trial and suspended him from the gospel ministry. Appeals all the way to General Assembly did not bring relief to his ordination. Received as a minister in the PCA, he became a church planter in South Dakota, on November 4, 1936, with the center of his ministry in Lemmon, but serving little outposts of the gospel, which he covered by car and later by plane. The church in Lemmon, now part of the Presbyterian Church in America, recently in 2011 celebrated their seventy-fifth anniversary.
(Note: The late Dr. David K. Myers does not reveal the exact date of the start-up of the Lemmon Bible Presbyterian Church in his autobiography, which the PCA History Center helped to reproduce, but does state that it was in November of 1936. This exact date of November 4th is an alleged date, chosen because this writer does remember South Dakota winters.)
Words to live by: Does not Scripture states that “a little child shall lead them?” When God calls someone to stand up in faith to do God’s work, He will use all sorts of individuals to encourage them in their work for Christ. Added on to his little daughter were all sorts of rugged individuals in an area hit hard by the Great Depression who dared to trust God in great difficulties. Our God continues to do the same feats of faith today.
Through the Scriptures: John 1 – 3
Through the Standards: The similarity of the sacraments in both testaments
“The sacraments of the old testament in regard to spiritual things thereby signified and exhibited, were, for substance, the same with those of the new.”