Society History

The Mercersburg Society was founded in 1983 by a group of pastors, professors, church judicatory persons and laity for study and discussion of matters of contemporary theology within the context of Mercersburg Theology, a theological system of thought developed by John Williamson Nevin and Philip Schaff from 1840-1860 at the Seminary of the German Reformed Church in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.

The membership of the Society is open to laity and clergy, with the current membership around 125 from a number of different denominations, including the United Church of Christ, Unitarian-Universalist, Episcopal Church, Reformed Church in America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Mennonite Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the United Methodist Church.

The Society organized a theological gathering in 1984 with a group called the Biblical, Theological, Liturgy Group at Craigville, Massachusetts and had its first Mercersburg Convocation, an annual two-day event for members and friends of the Society to study and discuss theology and Mercersburg, in 1985 at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Following the 1985 Convocation, The New Mercersburg Review, the journal of the Society, was started and is published twice a year. A newsletter of the Society has been published at least once a year since 1986.

From 1991-2000, a Theological Forum of the Society convened to gather together members and friends of the Society to discuss theology and produce documents responding to specific theological concerns of the Church today.

The income of the Society is primarily derived from membership dues, life memberships, and private donations.

The Corporate Board of the Society meets annually before the Convocation to approve a budget and to make other necessary decisions for the operation of the Society. An Executive Committee meets two to three times a year between Board meetings to conduct the business of the Society.

The Society has adopted a new Charter and Bylaws


Under our new Bylaws, we no longer have classes; members of the board are elected for a calendar year at a time.

The current officers are:

President: Nathan Baxter
Treasurer/Membership Officer: Tom Busteed
Secretary: Anne Thayer
Program Chair: Randall Zachman
NMR Editor: Chris Anderson
Members at Large: John Cedarleaf, Jocelyn McKeon, Chris Rankin


President (Class of 2020): Carol Lytch – Email
Vice President (Class of 2020): Linden DeBie – Email
Secretary (Class of 2020): Harry G. Royer – Email
Treasurer (Class of 2019): Thomas Lush – Email
Administrative Vice President: Deborah Rahn Clemens – Email
Theological Consultant: Anne Thayer – Email
Editor of NMR: F. Christopher Anderson, OCC – Email
Membership Secretary (2019):  Joel Hummel, OCC – Email
Convocation Registrar: John Cedarleaf – Email
Members at Large:Tekoa Robinson, Tom Busteed, Jocelyn McKeon

Executive Committee, 2019

Annette Aubert – Email
Joel Hummel, OCC – Email

Executive Committee, 2020

John Miller – Email
Harry G. Royer – Email

Executive Committee, 2021

Tom Busteed – Email
Martha Kriebel – Email

Corporate Board, 2019

Richard Christensen – Email
Nathan Baxter – Email
Robert Hunsicker – Email
Ray Jachowski – Email
J. Robert Musser – Email
Deborah Rahn Clemens – Email

Corporate Board, 2020

Ralph Cook – Email
Duke Gray
Judith A. Meier, OCC – Email
Matt Deal – Email
Randall Zachman – Email
Herb Davis – Email

Corporate Board, 2021

F. Chris Anderson, OCC – Email
Peter Schmiechen – Email
Lee Barrett – Email
Peter Goguts – Email
Tekoa Robinson – Email
Joseph Hedden, OCC – Email