... Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.—Revelation 15.3.
A Short Autobiographical Sketch
Of the Editor at TrueCovenanter.com:
Jeremy T. Kerr
Hello! My name is Jeremy Thomas Kerr, and I am the editor of TrueCovenanter.com, a library of Protestant, Reformed, and Covenanter resources which I've been compiling since the 1990's. Probably you already know a few things about my website, and would like to know more about who I am, or who the Church is which is represented by the website.
So I'll start by telling you a little about me. I grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland, and was taken to various “main-line” churches throughout my youth. While I was in high-school I gradually became more interested in religion, and initially took interest in the Lutheran reformation, since I was attending a Lutheran church at the time. I can't point to a specific conversion experience, but my beliefs during those years became more defined, I started reading my Bible more often, and started listening to Christian radio, albeit with minimal discernment at first.
I went to Gettysburg College, planning to major in Mathematics, minor in Religion, and then go on to Gettysburg Seminary. Those plans all changed, as my interest in religion became more immediate, eclipsing other studies, and my understanding of the Bible made me realize that neither Gettysburg College, nor Gettysburg Seminary would be good places to study religion or prepare for the ministry. Consequently, I only finished my first year of college.
I would have liked to have found a good Bible college or somewhere to continue my studies. My priority, however, became finding a good church. I was quickly becoming persuaded of the doctrines of Presbyterianism, and the principles of the Covenanters. I managed to find that there were some people who professed to be Covenanters about an hour north of where my mother lived in Cecil County, Maryland. So I got involved with them. I was learning a considerable amount of doctrine and history. But some practical things were missing, and no means were encouraged for continuing a formal education or preparing for the ministry. It was suggested that perhaps the things that other people saw in me and interpreted as implying I had a call to the ministry, were really just things that meant I was a real Christian. With a curious knot to untie, concerns of that sort were kept under a cloud.
At the end of 1998, I married Jill, a friend from Gettysburg College who had also taken interest in the Reformation and in the Covenanters. We started our family young, but this provided something of a way for me to exercise a “ministry.” Jill was, and is, as avid as myself about reading and learning. She wanted to know the Bible better, and read all the same good theological material I wanted to read. We read together. Lots. Sermons. Treatises. Histories. Etc. She has been a great blessing from the Lord. I never could have imagined how great a blessing she would be.
From 2000 to 2013 the Lord has blessed us with eight beautiful and healthy children. Four boys and four girls, to be a little more precise. We home-school them. Most of the credit for that work has to go to Jill. The whole effort of raising children has turned out to be considerably more intense than we realized at the beginning. We thank the Lord for his very needed help. In the meantime, there’s much that he teaches us about ourselves in these children and in our experiences with them. There’s a lot of training and shaping of ourselves, and an abundance of circumstances that necessitate us to draw near to the Lord and depend on him more and more.
By the end of 2001, there was something of a “falling-out” among the Covenanters and others with whom we were meeting. There was nothing of the nature of what some folks like to suggest in the slanders they load upon us as overly precise and ready to divide over a small difference of opinion. Instead, one man presumed to weasel his way into the role of an unordained preacher, knowing that this would be very pleasing to some, and very displeasing to others. A few of us were concerned about both the propriety of such a deed among professing Presbyterians and Covenanters, as well as the particular individual looking to usurp the Christian ministry. We started meeting elsewhere, with grounds and practices very similar to what had been held by the whole group previous to this intrusion. The intrusion was disastrous, and within a year the preacher was no longer preaching.
Since then my family and I have spent time fellowshipping with other Covenanters, and also spent a few years worshipping alone. From 2007 onwards we have been worshipping with other Covenanters in the area. I’ll get to that in just a moment, as the second item to explain, mentioned above.
As may be evident, I do not have any official appointment to the role of editor for Covenanter publications or e-presence. I’m not a pastor or the appointee of any church. I started the website long ago hoping it would be a means of promoting knowledge of the Covenanted Reformation and gathering others to the same cause. I remember how much the Lord used free online literature to help me in my early Christian life, and I’ve always wanted to provide the same for others.
That might leave the reader with a question about what I am otherwise: how do I make a living? what is the rest of my time taken up with? Most of my time is not taken up with this website. I’d love to be able to put more time into it, and into printed publications. A very large part of my time is dedicated rather directly to my family. But my occupation is actually that of a Software Developer and DBA (Database Administrator) for a regional Home Improvement company. In the Lord’s good providence I was given this opportunity, which is a very good means of taking care of a large family. My interest in mathematics gets a little exercise in this, although I don’t get to put in use some of the really fascinating things I learned long ago. I can’t fully put out of my mind a desire to run a more considerable Christian publishing effort, or to enter into the ministry according to earlier hopes. But for now computer programming is my calling and duty, and any other plans will have to depend on the Lord’s plan, and the Lord’s time.
So hopefully that will suffice as an introduction to who I am. I have no background as a schismatic or a separatist. I don’t run this website to make people discontent with their churches. I wish folks would be more charitable about a brother trying to do the little good he can do. I’m a dedicated evangelical Christian holding Reformed Presbyterian principles, striving to be as authentic as possible about it, without pinning my faith on someone else’s sleeve (dead or alive,) and always encouraging others to make progress in the right direction, either following the leadership of their pastor and elders, or dragging their superiors along with them if at all possible.
As for the Church which is represented by this website, it is a church, essentially considered, not properly constituted; and the representation is entirely unofficial. Hopefully my brethren would see the website as representing them. They might not agree with everything on it. I might not agree with everything on it! In any case there are a number of individuals and families in Pennsylvania and other parts of North America, generally dedicated to the main principles and beliefs promoted here. Some of us hope to start a Covenanter Church in Beaver Falls, PA, while others would gladly enjoy fellowship in other locations. At the present, we don’t have any ministry. We would like to. For now we follow the example of Covenanters from earlier times, who also sometimes lacked pastors and ordinances. We read the scriptures together, sing psalms together, pray together, and sometimes read old sermons together, or else engage in Christian conference on religious questions. Some people would call us “Steelites.” We are Christians who are Reformed Presbyterian, and think modern Reformed Presbyterian churches need to go back to being a more reformed. We need some reformation too — We’re not trying to boast about anything or be too good for existing churches and pastors. Some day, we’ll have proper congregations and pastors. Some day, the whole Christian Church is going to be very different from what it has become since the Protestant Reformation came to its end.
Such, it is hoped, will suffice for an explanation of my background, and the context of my church.