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american presbytery picture report for


July 22-24, 2002

Held at Janesville, Wisconsin

Our presbytery meeting was held at the facilities of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Janesville, Wisconsin.  The delegates and observers in attendance were as follows:  Left to right in picture:  Rudy Poettcker (Teaching Elder, Fellsmere, FL but also serving on the session of the First Presbyterian Church of Paramaribo, Suriname); Geoffrey Donnan (Teaching Elder, Fellsmere, FL); Asgar Hamid (ordinand, Ruling Elder, Paramaribo, Suriname); Mike Pasarilla (Teaching Elder, Port Washington, WI); Mrs. Asgar Hamid [Nirmala] (member, First Presbyterian Church, Paramaribo, Suriname); Dan Gibson (Teaching Elder, Janesville, WI); Mike Hamel (Ruling Elder, Port Washington, WI); Guy Fish (Ruling Elder, Janesville, WI); James Connelly (Teaching Elder, Greeley, CO).  Present but not pictured Mike Pregont (Ruling Elder alternative, Janesville, WI); Ron DeTroye (Ruling Elder alternative, Port Washington, WI); Marty Waltho (observer, Teaching Elder, Manawa, WI); Olev Tauts (observer, Ruing Elder, Manawa, WI); Roger Erber (observer, Teaching Elder, Harvard, IL); Scott Price (observer, member, Reformed Presbyterian Church Hanover Presbytery, Glasford, IL); Wes White (observer seminary student, Oak Glen United Reformed Church, Lansing, IL).

Much of the meeting was spent in an ordination examination for Ruling Elder Asgar Hamid from the First Presbyterian Church of Paramaribo, Suriname (South America).  Asgar is a product of missionary education both at the Christian Liberty Academy of Paramaribo, Suriname, and also of the Reformation International Theological Seminary (RITS).  His training was overseen by Rev. Rudy Poettcker who served in Suriname since 1994.  Asgar sits in the "hot seat" and is examined for many hours by the presbytery.

Asgar Hamid (left) ponders a question from Dan Gibson (right) during his ordination examination while others look on.

Asgar Hamid with his wife Nirmala, after successfully passing his ordination examination.  They met at Christian Liberty Academy of Paramaribo, Suriname.  Both are natives of the neighboring country of Guyana but were raised in Suriname.  Asgar's full name (Asgar Mohamed Hamid) discloses his Muslim heritage, though his parents converted to Christianity and he was raised largely as a Baptist and was handpicked to become a pastor in the Baptist church in Suriname.  Nirmala's maiden name was Singh, which tells of her Hindu background.  They have three children and Asgar is now the administrator of the Christian Liberty Academy at which he was once a student.

Asgar and Nirmala Hamid (left) posing with Sharilyn and Rudy Poettcker (right).  At this time, all of them lived in Suriname and Rudy and Asgar composed the session of the First Presbyterian Church of Paramaribo, Suriname which joined the CRPC some years earlier.

Left to right:  Geoffrey Donnan, Asgar Hamid and Rudy Poettcker.  Geoffrey Donnan is the man God used to start the Christian Liberty Academy in Suriname in 1979, and what became later known as First Presbyterian Church in 1978.  He oversaw the work of Asgar Hamid as his administrative assistant in the school prior to the arrival of Rudy Poettcker in 1994.  See this link for more information on the history of the work in Suriname.

Deliberations during Presbytery.  Pictured here are (left to right) Asgar Hamid, Rudy Poettcker, Geoffrey Donnan, Dan Gibson, Mike Hamel, Mike Pasarilla, Guy Fish, James Connelly, Marty Waltho (observer) and Olev Tauts (observer).

One evening after presbytery a fellowship time was held at the property of Dan Gibson in Janesville, WI.  Due to the presence of the Poettckers and Hamids, a student teacher (Cathy Iversen then, now Cathy Peterson) who spent a year in Suriname came up from Compton, Illinois with her husband to visit her old friends.  From left to right at the table are Nancy Donnan (Geoff is taking the picture), Rudy Poettcker, Mike Peterson, Sharilyn Poettcker, Cathy Peterson, Asgar Hamid, Nirmala Hamid.

Entertainment after dinner was provided by the Stack family of the Janesville, WI church.  It consisted of various Celtic songs and dances played on Celtic instruments and accompanied by Celtic dances (jigs) seen below done by some of the children.


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