Why does the Southwest Church Planting Network exist?

Bill Thomas   -  

In 1998, Pastor Skip Ryan and the Session of Park Cities Presbyterian Church (PCPC) created the Southwest Church Planting Network (SWCPN). Ruling Elder Brad Bradley became the Executive Director and organized the work.  An ambitious goal of seeking to plant 50 new churches across the Southwest United States, 50 new churches around the world through PCPC’s world missions efforts, and starting new Reformed University Fellowship ministries in the southwestern states by the year 2020 was set.  This has been known as the PCPC 2020 Vision.

A summary of the current SWCPN Vision statement can be seen here.

We praise God that that original far-reaching 2020 Vision was achieved nine years early in 2011, launching more than 51 new southwest Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) churches and more than 54 new international churches along with 12 new Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministries across Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona.

Bill Thomas, another PCPC Ruling Elder, became the new Executive Director of the Network where he continued the work led by Brad Bradley. While working with Pastors from across the Southwest, many more new churches were planted in our region. The Presbyteries multiplied from 3 to 6, expanding the reach of both the PCA and the Network.  These Presbyteries grew to include North Texas, South Texas, Houston Metro, Rio Grande, Arizona, and Hills and Plains.

God has done great things in building up PCA churches in the Southwest currently with 108 new church plants and 26 new Reformed University Fellowship ministries. A timeline of the location and year each work was started can be viewed here.

The genesis of these new plants begins at the local Presbytery Missions Committees then endorsed by the Network Executive Committee, comprising of 12 elders from the various Presbyteries.  Many of the Highlights of what the impact has been and how the work is done can be seen in a link here.

Solomon wrote, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”  Psalm 127 

The Lord is building His house (the Church) through the generous giving and time investment of churches and their people across the large region.  Thousands of university students have also been reached, come to Christ, and have been discipled through the great work of our RUF Ministers.  Additionally, we have helped start 4 international RUF chapters at Texas A&M, the University of Texas in Austin, SMU, and UTD. These ministries are impacting thousands of international students for Christ and creating new ambassadors around the world.

After each Quarter of the calendar year, there is a new report on the work of the SW Church Planting Network provided to each Southwest Presbytery.  The latest Quarterly Report (Q4 ’21) can be accessed here.

Praise the Lord for the work of the Southwest Church Planting Network.  God has raised up this ministry to gather His people and bless them across our region and beyond.

Great things He hath done. To Him be the Glory!