Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GPTS Alumnus Named First Missions Coordinator for URC

The United Reformed Churches in North America, at their 2014 Synod, named former Greenville Seminary graduate Rev. Richard Bout as its first missions coordinator.

Rev. Bout recently returned from Tepic, Mexico where he and his family had been serving as missionaries with Eternal Life Mission. Prior to coming to GPTS in 1997, Rev. Bout, a native of Ontario, had served as an intern in Mexico and missionary in Honduras.

The URC is a federation of churches which has scrupulously avoided creating a denominational bureaucracy. According to an article in Christian Renewal magazine, however, "churches were beginning to recognize the need, particularly in missions, of more organization and coordination. Up until now, congregations had worked in a freelance way, setting up and calling missionaries or supervising existing missionaries and asking for support from hither and yon." A missions committee was formed to "begin the work of coordination."

The Bout Family
Rev. Bout and his wife Angela said they decided to leave the mission field for the sake of their five growing children. They will live in Southern Ontario. Two Ontario churches have agreed to call Rev. Bout, son of former Mexico missionary Rev. Harry Bout, to his new position as federation mission coordinator, which he will undertake in the autumn.

"Praise God that we were able to find a qualified man with first-hand missions experience," said Dr. Brian Lee, a member of the new committee. "We are a small federation, qualified and interested missionaries are few, and it is a particular providence that Rev. Richard Bout was coming off the missions field and in search of a call at just the right time. In our context, his familiarity with the Spanish language is a wonderful blessing to both our domestic missions and our outreach throughout the Americas."