The EPC and the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico (La Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de México or INPM) formally ratified an historic partnership on September 8 at the INPM General Assembly in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico. Attending the meeting from the EPC were Jeff Jeremiah, EPC Stated Clerk; Mike Moses, National Leadership Team chairman; and Bill Enns, EPC Associate Executive for Collaborative Ministries. The EPC 36th General Assembly approved a fraternal agreement with INPM in June.
The initial emphasis of the relationship is for INPM to send pastors to the United States to help plant churches among the growing Latino population, and for the EPC to send pastors to help INPM plant churches in ten cities in northeastern Mexico.
Jeremiah noted that the INPM leaders initiated the request to work with the EPC.
“They told us that they want to plant churches in large Mexican communities, and they’ve seen what we’ve been doing and want us to help them do that,” he said. “God has brought together two denominations in two different countries who both have a strong commitment to church planting.”
“What’s unique,” Jeremiah added, “is that we both need each other. We need their help planting churches in Latino communities in the U.S.”
Moses, Pastor of Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, N.C., said his congregation is already working with an INPM pastor in a church plant.
“We are graced for my home church to be the first guinea pig in this relationship, as we are planting such a church soon with one of their young pastors,” Moses said. “May God be glorified and followers of Jesus be encouraged in both countries by this partnership!”
Discussions about a potential ministry partnership began in October 2015, when INPM Secretary Adolfo Job invited Moses and others from the EPC to visit Mexico to discuss the possibility of a fraternal relationship that would focus on church planting in Hispanic communities in the United States.
The INPM has two million members and is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the western hemisphere. The majority of its churches are in the Mexico City area and southern Mexico. Under the leadership of then-President (Moderator) Danny Ramirez Celis, the INPM severed ties with the PCUSA in 2011.
Three representatives of INPM attended the EPC General Assembly at Ward Church in June and brought greetings from the 6,000 Presbyterian churches in Mexico. Job, INPM President (Moderator) Amador Hernandez, and Camarillo Vasquez described their three primary objectives of the partnership: church planting in both countries, enhancing education in seminaries and local schools, and relating church-to-church as brothers and sisters in the Lord.