The World Reformed Fellowship (WRF) installed a new International Director during its General Assembly, which occurs every three years. Prof. Dr. P. J. (Flip) Buys, from South Africa, took over from Prof. Dr. Samuel Logan, who had previously been president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and who served as International Director of the WRF since 2005.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), to which the World Reformed Fellowship belongs as a member, congratulated the new International Director of the WRF on his election. Thomas Schirrmacher, who was a plenary speaker at the WRF General Assembly, brought the wish for God’s blessing from the WEA General Secretary, Bishop Efraim Tendero, who is from the Philippines. With warm words, Schirrmacher thanked Dr. Logan for a decade of top quality cooperation between the WRF and the WEA, as well as between their representative Theological Commissions, especially in the areas of religious freedom/persecution of Christians and understanding Islam. Schirrmacher said, “I know only a very few Americans who have such a heart for all cultures and who really want to hear from all of them. Sam, we are truly going to miss you!“
Dr. P. J. (Flip) Buys was born in 1947 in South Africa. His doctoral dissertation was an exegetical study of the relationship between evangelization and church development. Buys is a pastor of the Reformed Church of South Africa and has initiated numerous projects in the field of HIV/AIDS and the resulting poverty. He teaches as an adjunct professor of missiology for Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Prof. Dr. Samuel T Logan, Jr, was Professor of Church History and President of Westminster Theological Seminary, 1991-2005. He then became the International Director of the WRF. He is a pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
In his plenary speech for the WRF General Assembly, including representatives from Presbyterian and Reformed Baptist churches from 79 countries, Thomas Schirrmacher spoke about religious freedom. He represented Martin Bucer Seminary, of which he is the Rector, and which is a member of the WRF. He was accompanied by the faculty of Martin Bucer Seminary in São Paulo. Schirrmacher is also an individual member of WRF, as is the Vice President of Martin Bucer Seminary, Prof. Dr. Thomas K. Johnson, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in America, who is a frequent contributor to the WRF website.
In addition to Thomas Schirrmacher, the WEA was represented by Christine Schirrmacher, who, along with the Indonesian evangelist Dr. Stephen Tong, sketched the worldwide situation in relation to Islam in plenary speeches.
The World Reformed Fellowship is an international Protestant association which unites theologically conservative Reformed denominations (including Presbyterian, Anglican, and Reformed Baptist churches), along with national churches and individual congregations, colleges and seminaries, mission agencies, and certain key individuals.
The host church of the WRF General Assembly was the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, which has more than 1 million members, 8,315 ordained ministers, and 5,392 congregations. The second largest WRF member denomination is the Presbyterian Church in America, with 1,800 congregations, mostly in the US and Canada, but individual congregations in several other countries.
Important Reformed educational institutions from around the world belong to the WRF, including Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia (USA) and the Centro Presbiteriano Pos-Graduacao Andrew Jumper of Mackenzie University in São Paulo, Brazil. Martin Bucer Seminary cooperates with both institutions.
When they apply for membership in the WRF, new members have to identify themselves as affirming at least one of the following historic confessions: the Belgic Confession, the Canons of Dordt, the Gallican Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, the London Confession of 1689, the Savoy Declaration, the Second Helvetic Confession, The Thirty Nine Articles, the Westminster Catechism, or the WRF’s own statement of faith.
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- Photo: von links: Paul R. Gilchrist (WRF-Vorsitzender bis Juni 2005), P. J. (Flip) Buys, Thomas Schirrmacher, Rick Perrin (Vorstandsvorsitzender der WRF), Samuel Logan (WRF-Vorsitzender bis März 2015)