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C or C interviews Rev. Daniel Patterson of Grace OPC Battle Mountain

29 September, 2008

Chaos: Hi Danny. Our family really enjoyed worshipping with you guys at Grace a few weekends ago.  Tell us about your call to the ministry.

Danny: I was a junior in college, majoring in Psychology, and I was really struggling with the best way that I could be of service to the church.  I liked the idea of counseling, but I didn’t like the idea of   “touching bases” with people once a week and then not seeing them again until the next week.  Because of my desire to serve the church on a more regular basis, I started exploring other ways I could minister to God’s people.  One of my professors in college, Dr. Bill Dennison, took me aside and encouraged me to think about the ministry.    That encouragement was followed by an encouragement by my old Sunday  School teacher.  I prayed about it for quite some time, then decided   to contact my session back home and seek their blessing to come under care of presbytery to prepare for the gospel ministry. They encouraged  me to do it, I finished up my junior and senior years at Covenant    College (majoring in Psychology), and then entered seminary.

Chaos: Where did you attend sem?

Danny: Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana.  You can check the school out at www.midamerica.edu

Chaos: How and when did you become the pastor of that church?

Danny: I was officially ordained and installed as the pastor of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Battle Mountain, Nevada, on April 13, 2003.  I had labored at Grace two summers before that as an intern and  the church was gracious enough to call me to be their pastor.

Chaos: What have been the challenges? Blessings? Encouragements?

Danny: The challenges at Grace are what you would find in most Reformed and
Presbyterian Churches.  Bringing people along in seeing both the necessity and blessing of making use of the means of grace is a constant challenge.  Being in a remote place is probably one of the most significant challenges.  The closest minister of like faith is  220 miles away, and I typically drive an average of 7 hours to go to presbytery meetings and committee meetings.

Grace, however, has been blessed with a knack for wonderful fellowship.  There is a not a Sunday evening that goes by that the church doesn’t gather together at someone’s house for a fellowship
dinner.  The people here are also very hungry for the Word and receive it gladly.

Chaos: Why did you choose to minister in the OPC?

Danny: I chose to minister in the OPC because an OPC church called me. I had formerly been in the PCA.  I, furthermore, appreciated what seemed  to be a cohesiveness in the OPC that I thought was somewhat lacking in  the PCA.

Chaos: You’re on the OPC candidates and credentials committee for the Northern Cal/Nevada Presb., right? And you are seeing some new blood coming into your ranks. Are you optimistic about the OPC’s future? How do you perceive the WSC students that are seeking licensure? Do they look like they have something to offer churches that are seeking faithful and competent ministers?

Danny: Yes, I’m currently serving on the candidates and credentials committee of the Presbytery of northern California and Nevada.  Most of the men we have received lately have been from WSC, and I have been pleased both with the extent of their theological knowledge, and their determination to serve in the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, despite obstacles they might encounter at the presbytery level.

I am very optimistic about the OPC’s future and see some of the new men coming in as perhaps even more solid and sure doctrinally than even the previous generation of ministers.

Chaos: How was the transition as a family, moving from seminary to Battle Mountain?

Danny: The transition from Dyer to Battle Mountain was very natural. Because both my wife and I had been somewhat transitory in college and  seminary, it wasn’t hard to move again.  The remoteness of Battle Mountain did take some getting used to, but we have loved ministering people here, and it has been a great place to raise our boys.  Out the front door is 20 acres of desert where the boys can chase lizards, snakes, etc.  Right out the backyard is even more space to roam.

Chaos: Future goals?

Danny: My desire is to minister here in Battle Mountain as long as the Lord  would have me stay, but I hope someday to head back to school and get  a D.Min.  I’m not what you might call an “academic”, but I do wish
to  try and be the best pastor I can be.  I think a D.Min might help me with that.

Chaos: Again, Alisia, Isabelle and I are very thankful for Grace OPC’s hospitality when we visited.

Danny: It was our pleasure to have your family.  You were a blessing to us.

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