This week in Christian history: ‘Rock of Ages’ writer ordained, bombed church reopens

Orthodox Presbyterian Church founded — June 11, 1936 

J.G. Machen
John Gresham Machen (1881-1937), fundamentalist Christian leader and New Testament scholar who helped to found the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. |

This week marks the anniversary of the founding of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, which was created in response to the debate between fundamentalism and liberalism in the Presbyterian Church in the USA.

The new church was briefly led by J. Gresham Machen, a distinguished professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, who had founded Westminster Theological Seminary in 1929.

“Originally calling itself the Presbyterian Church of America, the young church was forced by the threat of a lawsuit to change its name in 1939, and it adopted the name Orthodox Presbyterian Church,” explained the OPC on its website.

“In nearly eight decades since its founding, the OPC has slowly grown to over 30,000 members in over 300 churches throughout the United States and Canada. It has been vigorous in its defense and propagation of the historic Reformed faith as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms.”

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