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February 23

Radio Ministry and the Lord's Supper

On this date in 1957, the Presbytery of New Jersey answered the question of the session of Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Vineland, New Jersey, about participation in the Lord's Supper for those who listened to the radio broadcasts of the worship services led by Pastor Everett DeVelde. Edmund Clowney, chairman of the special committee to study the question, recommended that the PNJ advise the Covenant Church session that individuals and groups cannot properly be invited to join in the celebration of the Lord's Supper by listening to a radio broadcast and using elements which they have themselves supplied. It was the judgment of the presbytery that the standards of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church require for a proper participation in the Supper that the communicant be present in person at an assembly of the congregation where the sacrament is administered in accordance with the ordinance of Christ by a minister of the gospel. The presbytery added, however, that this judgment does not question the propriety of a radio broadcast of the service of the Lord's Supper apart from an invitation to participate.

Ten years earlier Mr. DeVelde had started a broadcast of the morning services at Covenant Church on radio station WWBZ. The next year he started the Faith and Life Hour, a twenty-five minute daily broadcast. The broadcasts would continue until 1980.

Picture: Everett DeVelde in 1980.

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