In celebration of the 35th anniversary of its founding in 1981, the EPC is releasing Liberty in Non-Essentials: The Story of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The book was written by EPC teaching elder Don Fortson, Professor of Church History and Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C.
Featuring a foreword by Stated Clerk Jeff Jeremiah, the 275-page book includes chapters on Presbyterian history in North America; Bart Hess and Andy Jumper (key architects of the EPC); early General Assembly meetings; the denomination’s evangelical heritage, Reformed roots, and missional focus; explosive growth in the last 10 years, and more. Also included are 20 pages of full-color photos, 14 maps that illustrate presbytery development through the years, and a detailed index.
“I am thrilled that we are able to make this history of the EPC available at this year’s Assembly,” Jeremiah said. “We are celebrating 35 years as a family of churches at the same time that Ward Church—our GA host whose pastor in 1981, Bart Hess, was instrumental in our founding—is celebrating 60 years of ministry.”
Fortson spent four years researching and writing the volume.
“It has been an immense blessing to review, absorb, wonder, and write about all the Lord has done in our midst,” Fortson said.
Jeremiah said the book is timely and important because for many in the EPC, the names of EPC leaders in the 1980s and 1990s are just that—names.
“We praise God for the significant leadership they brought to creating a new denomination, and the entire EPC should know about them, what they did, and how they did it,” Jeremiah noted. “More than 400 churches have joined the EPC since 2007 and may not know the stories behind these dedicated servants. And for those churches God will send our way in the future, this will be a great resource for answering the question, ‘Who is the EPC?’”
Liberty in Non-Essentials will be available at the General Assembly book table in the displays area. Following the Assembly, it will be available at www.epcresources.org.