It was on the 21st of July, 1948, in a hospital delivery room in Media, Pennsylvania, that the attending physician said to Mrs. John Fluck, “It’s a boy!” There would be four more children to follow in different hospitals later, but I was the first. John Fluck, recently discharged from the Army Corps of Engineers having served in the European Theater, married Barbara Ann Beebe in September of 1947. He was 23 and she was 19. Less than a month after her 20th birthday, I was born.
We lived in several places as dad finished college and started as an engineer with Dupont. When he was released by Dupont, he took a job as a field engineer with Pitometer Associates. He stayed there until his retirement. We moved to a new housing development between Ambler and Norristown, Pennsylvania, in a part of Whitpain Township called BlueBell. An Orthodox Presbyterian minister named Henry Fikkert was knocking on doors in our neighborhood. Thus began my introduction to Christianity. My mother insists that I was a covenant child, baptized in the United Presbyterian Church, but I only remember finding out about that under the teaching at Community OPC there in Blue Bell.
At fourteen, in the spring of 1963, I became a communicant member in the OPC. The reason I joined church was because Bonnie, Connie, Linda, and Susie also became members. It would be about six years or so before my conversion. On my fifteenth birthday we moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In high school I discovered swimming, and it became my raison d’etre for the next three years. It was in August that summer that I met my future wife, Loretta. I was smitten, but it would take six years to convince her that we should marry.
I attended Dordt College. Loretta joined me there and we were married before our senior year (August 23, 1969). I had been a secondary education major, but we needed part-time work to survive. Since Dordt did not allow me to practice teach and hold a part-time job, I switched my major and finished in the general course. Uncle Sam decided he did not need me in Vietnam, and the Lord used a couple of old “friends,” Dr. Jay Adams and Dr. D. Claire Davis, to lay the burden of seminary on me. I tried working full time for two years, commuting an hour each way to Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia from New Jersey, while also being a husband and father. I understand that only two kinds of people try that: geniuses and idiots, and I did not fit the former category. I dropped out of seminary for two years to work for the gas and electric company in New Jersey. The Lord worked much sanctification in me, which I had lacked before. My father invited us to move to Pittsburgh to live on the third floor of his house so I could spend three years slowly finishing seminary at Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
After seminary I didn’t know what to do, so I called Henry Fikkert who said Cedar Grove OPC was looking for an intern. A 2 ½ year internship in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, was concluded with Licensure by the OPC in the Presbytery of the Midwest. I received a call to Calvary OPC in La Mirada, California (December of 1979), where we stayed for 18 ½ years. Our four children consider themselves Californians though none were actually born there.
In the spring of 1998, I left the OPC over what I saw as its increasing departure from the exegetical theology and preaching which that denomination had once championed. The Western Classis of the RCUS took me in, and Ebenezer RCUS of Shafter, California, called me to serve as missionary pastor to the Los Angeles Basin. We began Rehoboth RCUS in our living room. We were blessed with the oversight, advice, and support of that Consistory in Shafter, especially of Rev. Vern Pollema. We worked with Rehoboth for 13 years.
In the spring of 2011, we felt it was time for us to leave Rehoboth, and we were called to Sovereign Grace Church, an independent congregation who desired to come into the RCUS. Covenant East Classis received me and authorized me to serve outside their ecclesiastical boundaries to prepare SGC for entrance into the RCUS, Lord willing. We are currently approaching the day (September 28, 2014) of the congregation’s vote to officially apply for entrance into the RCUS. Pray for us.