Saturday, June 24, 2017

Board of Trustees Adds Four New Members; Promotes Dr. Shaw

The Greenville Seminary Board of Trustees selected four new members during its Spring meeting in May. They are Dr. Kevin Backus, Lt. Cornelius Johnson, Dr. David B. McWilliams, and Rev. Travis Grassmid.

The board also approved the promotion of Dr. Benjamin Shaw from associate professor to full professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. Dr. Shaw's inaugural lecture will be announced at a later date.

In other personnel matters, the board declined to renew an employment contract for Director of Communications Garry Moes, who has relocated to California following major heart surgery.

"I am very appreciative of the work Mr. Moes did. He faithfully served God and the seminary and aided us in continuing to improve our development and recruitment," said President Dr. Joseph Pipa, Jr.

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Dr. McWilliams is senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Lakeland, Florida.

"I am committed to serving Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary because of its rare combination of Reformed scholarship and piety. To be pointed, what commends Greenville is its dedicated submission to Biblical authority, confessional Reformed theology, and experiential Calvinism, all with the passionate purpose of forming men for Gospel ministry. The Reformed and Presbyterian churches desperately need preachers; preachers who expound God’s Word faithfully, who love Reformed confessional theology wholeheartedly, and who are committed to working through the implications of the Reformed heritage for all of life. We need preachers who prayerfully labor for needed Reformation and revival. These are the sorts of ministers that, with God’s help, Greenville seeks to produce. May the Triune God in His loving sovereignty bless this school that generations of solid, pious preachers will fill the pulpits of our denominations and shepherd the flock purchased with Christ’s own blood."


Lt. Johnson is a chaplain with the U.S. Navy and is an ordained teaching elder in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

"I graduated from Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in May of 2000. This school holds a special place in my heart. The theological education that I received, the instructors that trained me, and the camaraderie I enjoyed with my fellow classmates God used to prepare me for the ministry. Since my graduation, my seminary education has propelled me to a further and deeper study of the Reformed Faith. It has also been a great assistance to me as a military chaplain. Working in a pluralistic environment with a diversity of beliefs, faiths, and practices my seminary education has been an anchor to keep me grounded in the doctrines of grace. It is an honor to be elected as a board trustee, and I look forward to serving this great seminary."


Rev. Grassmid is pastor of Zion Reformed Church in Menno, S.D. He is also an alumnus of GPTS and serves on the board as representative of the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS).

"As a graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (2008), I have been blessed to serve my present church for the past five and a half years (having briefly served earlier in the URCNA), GPTS has been used to train me in the fundamentals of the work of the pastorate, a training for which I am always grateful. We keep the seminary always in our prayers, and are thankful that not only our denomination, but also our local congregation has been pleased to support the work of the seminary. It is my prayer, that the Lord would be pleased to use my time as a trustee of GPTS in a way which continues to bless the church, through the seminary's faithful training of new pastors for the work of the ministry of the Word and Sacrament. I look forward to commencing my labors as a representative of the Reformed Church of the United States, for continuing the work of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary."


Dr. Backus is pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church in Grand Island, New York. He also serves as adjunct professor of biblical counseling at Western Reformed Seminary.

"The public and private proclamation of God's word: that's what ministry is all about. Effectively equipping ministers for that work is the passion of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. I count it a privilege to be able to partner with you, albeit in this very small way."