Monday, May 10, 2010

Richard Belcher: A Layman's Guide to the Sabbath Question

MP3 Available Here

Richard Belcher, founding pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in West Columbia, SC (see, will address the theme: "A Layman's Guide to the Sabbath Question".

From Tuesday, May 11th, through Friday, May 14th, "Iron Sharpens Iron" will be airing a 4-day live series entitled "Saturday or Sunday: Which Day is the Christian Sabbath?: A Debate Between Baptists". The participants in this debate are Samuel Waldron, one of the pastors of the Heritage Baptist Church of Owensboro, Kentucky and the Professor of Systematic Theology at the Midwest Center for Theological Studies, and Rod Henry, a former missionary to the Philippines and the pastor of Next Step Christian Church (Seventh Day Baptist) in Thornton, Colorado.

Tonight, in order to further prepare us for this week's 4-day debate, we have invited Dr. Richard Belcher on "Iron Sharpens Iron" to give us an overview of the book he edited,
A Layman's Guide to the Sabbath Question.

Believers today have varying convictions concerning a day of worship and practices related to such a day. But how many understand why they do or do not follow such practices?

The authors (Dr. Richard Belcher & Richard Belcher Jr.) of this present volume seek to aid all believers in coming to a clearer understanding of this Sabbath question. First, they present three views concerning Sabbath or Lord's Day observance. Second, they compare these three positions. Finally, suggestions are given the reader to guide him to a personal conclusion in the matter.

All who read this work will not only develop a clearer understanding of their own position, but they will also come to a sharper focus of the other viewpoints and those tenets which distinguish the three.

Richard P. Belcher was born in St. Joseph, MO on October 12, 1934. He was the second child of three of Mr. and Mrs. George Delbert Belcher. He professed faith in Christ at the age of nine years, and was baptized at the First Baptist Church of St. Joseph. At the age of thirteen, the family moved to the St. Louis area, where he spent his high school years, participating in the sports of football, basketball and track. It was during his senior year at Kirkwood High School that he sensed God’s call to the ministry.Upon graduating from high school, he went to Hannibal LaGrange Baptist College in Hannibal, MO. Immediately he began preaching in local churches in the Missouri area, and then he began to pastor a rural church outside of Troy, MO as he started his sophomore year of college. During that year he also started another church outside of Wentzville, MO. After his sophomore year he married Mary Anne Casner of Troy, and they moved to Wheaton, IL so he could attend Wheaton College. While at Wheaton he started another church at Dekalb, IL and spent three and a half years pastoring there as he also finished college in 1956.

From Dekalb he moved his family (a wife, a son, Richard, Jr. and a daughter Anne Jeannette) back to Troy, MO, as he then spent the next two years in full time evangelistic work, traveling from church to church in itinerant ministry. He left this ministry in the Spring of 1961 to pastor the First Baptist Church of Washington Park, in East St. Louis, IL. He spent the next fifteen years pastoring this church, while at the same time he finished a Bachelor of Divinity degree, a Master of Arts degree, and a Master of Theology degree, all from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. He also finished all the class work for a Doctor of Theology degree, before moving to Columbia, SC in the summer of 1976 to join the faculty of Columbia Bible College (now Columbia International University). He went to CIU to teach Bible and theology, but now is Director of the Pastoral Ministries Program, and teaches Bible, Greek, Church History, Pastoral Ministries, Preaching, etc.

From this base in the following years he finished the Doctor of Theology degree from Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis in 1981, began Richbarry Press and the writing of many books about 1981 also, traveled extensively in ministry all over the states, participated in ministry in India. In the mid-nineties he began the ministry Evangelizing India for Christ. He and several other families also began Covenant Baptist Church in the Columbia area in the mid-nineties. He still remains active n all of these ministries.

His family now includes five grandchildren, two boys and three girls, plus five great-grandchildren. His son, Richard, is on the faculty of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, where he teaches in the Old Testament department, and his daughter Angie Gottman lives in Springfield, MO with her family.

His greatest joy is preaching and teaching the Word of God, or to lose himself in writing one of the journey books, as he watches the Lord spin the plot of the story around the strong theology he wishes to teach.


J.R. Polk said...

I just wanted to let you know that something is wrong with the mp3.

James Swan said...

Thanks. I'll look in to it.

Jen said...

I would have loved to heard this one, Chris. Richard Belcher is one of my favorite authors.

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