July 10 Today in OPC History

John and Barb Van Meerbeke


Raised in church-going families, John D. Van Meerbeke and Barbara A. Easton both were involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Delaware, Newark. Shortly after graduation, John and Barb married on this day in 1982. John, a Baptist, and Barb, a United Presbyterian, together were introduced to the Reformed faith. John’s Baptist minister urged him to go to seminary. While attending Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, they worshipped at First Presbyterian Church, North Shore, an OP congregation near Boston. After John’s graduation with a master of divinity degree in 1986, he was ordained by the Presbytery of New York and New England on June 13, 1987. During that year, John and Barb held Bible studies in their home for a core group in North Andover, Massachusetts, where John was the organizing pastor. Three years later on September 8, 1989, the group became a particular OPC congregation and John became the pastor of Merrimack Valley Community Church. In 1999, he stepped into his current pastorate at Living Hope OPC in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. John administered the sacraments at the 69th General Assembly and preached a sermon at a joint service of the 79th General Assembly. He currently serves as president of the OPC’s Committee on Foreign Missions. He chaired the Candidates and Credentials Committee of the Presbytery of Philadelphia until he spearheaded the creation of the Presbytery of Central Pennsylvania, where he was moderator for several years.

John and Barb are thankful their married sons, James, David, and Andrew, are believers who work in the fields of medicine, hospitality management, and architecture.

Picture: John, Barb, and James Van Meerbeke in mid-1980s.



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