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Pittsburgh 1931

5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols

Ligonier Ministries

Religion & Spirituality, Christianity, History

4.81.6K Ratings

🗓️ 11 October 2023

⏱️ 5 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Before Harold John Ockenga took his post as minister of Point Breeze Presbyterian Church, J. Gresham Machen had an important message for him. Today, Stephen Nichols recounts how Machen charged Ockenga to stand firm for the gospel.

Read the transcript: https://www.5minutesinchurchhistory.com/pittsburgh-1931/

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Welcome back to another episode of Five Minutes in Church History, and you might be hearing


some birds chirping in the background, perhaps some noise of the city streets, because we


are once again in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania doing another installment of being on location


for Five Minutes in Church History. When I left, we were in 1931, and we were at first


Presbyterian Church, right here in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, and it was the installation


service for Harold John Ockingay. Well, Ockingay was quite a figure, very talented. He is going to go


on to be the minister of Park Street Church in Boston. It's going to be affiliated with Fuller


Theological Seminary. He's going to be a significant figure in 20th century evangelicalism.


But back in 1931, he was a Pittsburgher. He was here at first press in January, and as a very


talented young minister, he caught the attention of the session not too far away,


in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh, just a couple miles away,


and he was invited to be the senior minister of Point Breeze Presbyterian Church.


Well, Macon once again boarded a train in Philadelphia, and he headed west to preach at yet another


installation service for Ockingay. So in May of 1931, they're at Point Breeze with a congregation


of about a thousand people, Macon preached the charge to the minister, the charge to his student


Ockingay. For the text, Macon chose the 19th chapter of Second Kings. Macon says in this text,


we are told how Hezekiah, the king of Judah, received a threatening letter from the Assyrian


enemy of the people of God. The letter contained unpalatable truth. It set forth the way in which the


king of Assyria had conquered one nation after another, and as Macon continues, could the puny


kingdom of Judah escape, where others had failed. And so Hezekiah takes that threatening letter,


and he lays it out before the Lord, and he petitions the Lord for help for his people.


Macon uses this text because he saw that moment in church history, and even that moment here in


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