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General History

The Holy Spirit gave spiritual life to Geoff and Nancy Donnan in 1974. After 13 years of atheism and agnosticism, the Lord called Geoff to Christian missionary service in 1975. After some years of theological training, Geoff was licensed to the Gospel ministry in 1977. Having raised the necessary financial commitments, the Donnan family was sent by their church in 1978 to Suriname (formerly Dutch Guiana), South America. A church was immediately planted in the capitol city of Paramaribo, in 1979 a Christian school was established and in 1980 the Good News Bible Study ministry began. The church, school and Bible course ministry survived the 1980 Revolution in Suriname (and the eight tumultuous years that followed) and continue to this day.

In 1979, Caribbean Christian Ministries was formally established in Suriname and became the legal entity for their work. In 1986, the Donnans moved to Florida to establish the U.S. Regional Office, while continuing close oversight of the work in Suriname. Reformation Christian Ministries (RCM) was legally incorporated under a local Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Florida. In 1996, RCM expanded into a number of countries and also established a college and seminary ministry, as well as a supporting audiovisual and printing ministry.

Since their conversion, the Donnans have been led to a deeper understanding of God’s Sovereign Grace in the affairs of men. This led in 1977 to a full commitment to the Doctrines of Grace (Calvinism) and in 1981 to seek permission from their sending church to become fully Reformed and Presbyterian. Geoff was ordained in 1981 and then later was transferred to presbyterial oversight.

Navy submariner David Card entered the scene in 1991 when he met Kimarie Donnan at church during a port call to Ft. Lauderdale. After a short time of correspondence, he asked for permission to court. After some years of study, discussions and courtship, he asked for permission to marry. In 1994, David and Kimarie married and moved to upstate New York where David was stationed as an instructor in the Navy’s nuclear power program. David was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1996 and the Card family moved to Florida. David worked with Reformation Christian Ministries as Registrar and Course Production Administration for the college and seminary programs until March of 2008 when he took a job at Florida Power and Light as a nuclear reactor operator in training. Kimarie and the children assist the ministry in specific projects mainly having to do with the mailing of newsletters, but is primarily a full-time mother. The Cards have nine children.

Rev. Dr. Jackson Snyder was hired in June, 2008 to take on most of the functions of David Card.  He has a great deal of academic training and experience in pastoral ministry as well as website design and programming.  He currently lives in Vero Beach, Florida.

In 1992, Rev. & Mrs. Patrick Dickens joined RCM as missionaries to Albania. They had served previously under the Free Will Baptist Church in Ivory Coast, but became convinced of the error of their doctrine and after some years in the U.S. joined RCM to serve in Albania. They were forced to return to the United States after three years in Durrės, Albania, to care for elderly and ill parents. They continue vitally involved in the work in Albania, but unable at present to return.

In 1994, Rev. & Mrs. Rudy Poettcker joined RCM as missionaries to Suriname. They came from the Mennonite tradition and lived in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. Rev. Poettcker had been in the pastorate and also had business background. They served in Suriname in various capacities in the school (Headmaster of Christian Liberty Academy, Paramaribo and Sharilyn serving as school nurse). Rev. Poettcker also was asked to pastor First Presbyterian Church in Paramaribo, but now serves on the session having trained his replacement in Rev. Asgar Hamid. In 2006, the Poettckers were asked by RCM to relocate to the U.S. so that Rev. Poettcker could take over responsibility as Dean of Studies for the college and seminary programs. He now lives in Palm Bay, Florida about 18 miles from RCM's headquarters.

Having come from broad evangelical backgrounds to the theology of the Reformation and backed by committed overseeing elders, the Donnans, Cards, Dickens and Poettckers are well prepared for their work of promoting the Reformation. It has happened to each of them.

Reformation Christian Ministries holds to the original Westminster Standards (Confession, Larger and Shorter Catechisms) and the Three Forms of Unity (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism and Canons of Dort). RCM is not a para-church ministry, but is a ministry of a local church overseen by its elders. RCM is eligible to receive tax-exempt donations in both the United States and Canada. It is financially underwritten by donations from individuals and churches.

Reformation Christian Ministries has a corresponding office in Canada; a field office in Suriname; and official co-laboring relationships in Albania, Italy and Russia (other countries are in consideration). The objective of RCM is to assist in bringing Gospel-centered outreach and education aimed at Reformation to nations by locating and working with men whom God has specifically called to be the modern-day counterparts of Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox and other Reformers. RCM seeks to provide educational and other forms of support, especially to church-run ministries native to each country. To accomplish this, RCM promotes the establishment of strong, indigenous, self-supporting local churches with effective outreach and educational ministries aimed at bringing the Gospel to people who will then be used to bring about Reformation in their country. Normally we work with local people, but missionaries may be sent in support of these objectives.

For more information on RCM's legal and organizational history

 
 
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