This is Ligonier's friendly neighborhood blog and an attempt to recapture our lively opinionated debates in a free speech zone.

Please join our conversations. Contributors welcome.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

found this bizarre site, Ligonier Tales

Have you seen it?  RC Sproul, Jr.'s autobiographical writings about growing up in Ligonier.  Alot of it is boring but alot of it is fascinating.  Here's a blurb:

The festival season swiftly moved from down home to upscale as next on the social calendar came the Rolling Rock races. Rolling Rock was a small country club built for the pleasure of the Mellon family and some of their favorite friends. You could play a round of golf there, though there were finer courses in the vicinity. You could play tennis there, or take a swim. You could also go hunting. The gameskeepers at Rolling Rock were more than happy to snatch a pheasant from it’s cage, put it in a burlap sack, swing it over their head a dozen times or so, and then let the poor creature out to stagger a step or two before becoming an interesting trophy for a businessman likely as unsteady on his feet as the bird. The likewise kept foxes there. I think stranger even than the Mellon bodyguards that followed our bus to school was the weird truth that some of the young ladies in my class were excused for being late to school several times a year because they and their horses were busy participating in a fox hunt. I remember watching them wistfully in their finest red velvet as our bus drove through the hunting grounds on the way to school.


Byron said...

RC Sproul Jr is the son of RC Sproul, a minister and theologian who started the Ligonier Valley Study Center in Stahlstown, eventually growing, changing the name to Ligonier Ministries, and moving to Orlando, FL.

RC JR is a pastor and head of the Highlands Study Center in southwest Virginia.

At one point (2004/2005), RC JR was writing what he called a "novella" about life growing up in Ligonier. It was a project that produced a few chapters, and then, for whatever reason, he abandoned it. The originals were posted on the HSC site referred to above. RCJR has since removed them.

Along about that time, there was someone who took it upon themselves to expose what he felt was excesses in RC JR's ministry. This person set up the site with the name "", and copied all the "Ligonier Tales" stories to that site.

The Tales make for some interesting reading. As you say, boring at parts, and interesting at other parts. Enjoy the Tales if you'd like, but please do not form your only impression of RC JR from the site where they appear.

Diane Cipa said...

Interesting, thanks, Byron.

liggy girl said...

The LVSC was where Foggy Mountain grandma remembers it.

Kim~"HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs" said...

Ligonier Valley Study Center was also home of the Ligonier Valley Treatment Center for awhile. It was a drug and alcohol rehab in the late 80's early 90's. I worked there for several years at a secretary.

Kelli said...

Thanks Byron for the warning. Is it the site that's bizarre or the person being talked about on the site that's bizarre? Hard to tell.

They say on the home page that it's satire, but it's hard to know where the satire ends and the truth begins. Too many disturbing things documented that sound too factual. For example there's the issue of Sproul being defrocked from the ministry. That was easy to find other sources on the internet to confirm it did happen.

Brian, you say, "RC JR is a pastor and head of the Highlands Study Center in southwest Virginia." If he's defrocked how is he still a pastor? That's confusing. Are you sure about that?

Byron said...

Kelli (I hope you manage to find this way down here) -

Until 2006, the St. Peter Presbyterian Church, with RC JR as an assistant pastor, was part of a small, conservative Presbyterian denomination known as the "Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Assembly" (RPCGA). In 2006, the RPCGA removed RC JR and the other church elders from office. The action came as a result of a disagreement over specific points of doctrine. After that, the church (including RC JR) left the RPCGA and joined the Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC), another small conservative denomination which holds different positions on the specific points of disagreement.

St. Peter is pastored by Laurence Windham. RC JR is an assistant pastor there who still preaches on occasion, but focuses most of his energy on the Highlands Study Center.

So it is accurate to say both that RCJR was defrocked (in one denomination) and continues as a pastor (by virtue of being received as a pastor in another denomination).

The site where these stories are found is apparently run by somebody with a vendetta against RC JR, and whoever it is will protray him in the worst possible light.

Buck said...

Seems to be some confusion here over Sproul being defrocked over "a disagreement over specific points of doctrine." The Wikipedia article on R. C. Sproul, Jr. says, "In January 2006, Sproul and the Session of SPPC were deposed from office by the RPCGA under charges including abuse of authority in an inexcusable manner against several families, alleged illegal use of the ARP's tax identification number, planting a church without authority, and practicing paedocommunion." Sometimes pastors and priests do get tossed from their churches over religious beliefs that don't conform to what their churches require. But RC JR's defrocking was much more serious than just being over doctrinal differences.

Maybe things will work out better for him in his new church? Let's hope so, and hopefully he'll make things right with the people that he abused his authority with.

Gary Black said...

R.C. Sproul Jr. is "considered ordained" in the CREC, run by Pastor Douglas Wilson of Christ Kirk, Moscow Idaho. There he has continued ministering to those in his flock, along with Pastor Laurence Windham.

It's a known fact to most members (and former members) of Christ Kirk that the person operating the website, "Drinking with R.C. Sproul Jr." is none other than Peter Kershaw of Branson, MO, a notorious tax evader and friend of Peter J. Peters that openly supports the Christian Identity and militia movements. Kershaw worked in tandem with Harry Seabrook, a white separatist, as well as Michael Metzler (former Kirker), to wage an internet smear campaign against Dr. Sproul and Rev. Wilson, before being completely exposed on

To pay his website any heed would be a grave injustice to such a fine man. And I fine man he is. I've had the honor of personally meeting Dr. Sproul at one of his conferences in 2002, and he has done much good for the Reformed faith. Ligonier is also a fine ministry as well, and has unfortunately been another target in the Kershaw/Seabrook internet smear campaign.

The RPCGA, which defrocked Dr. Sproul, has already been exposed as supporting paedocommunion and presumptive regeneration. Fortunately, almost nobody in the larger evangelical church took their "defrocking" seriously; least of all other Christians of the Reformed faith.