Who are we?
We are a Christian Church Fellowship aligned with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. As such, we are a confessional church that is Reformed in its doctrinal beliefs and Presbyterian in its form of church government. To be a confessional body is to agree together that a certain statement of faith accurately summarizes Biblical teaching. Our Statements of Faith are the historic Westminster Standards: The Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms.
What is a Presbyterian?
Presbyterian is a word from the Bible that means “elder.” Elders are elected by the congregation to oversee our church. Those elders may be either “teaching” elders (pastors of the church who preach regularly and administer the sacraments) or “ruling” elders (laymen from within the congregation who have the spiritual oversight of the church), but in both cases their charge and goal is to shepherd the flock through Christ-like example and service.
What is Reformed?
- To be Reformed is to agree with the system of theology that had its roots in the 1st century church (Apostolic period) and was later given articulation by men such as Augustine, Athanasius, and others.
- The Scriptures, as well as the church’s summary teachings, had almost lost the light of day through the Middle Ages. However, in the Providence of God, they were recovered and subsequently more fully developed in the Reformation of the 16th century. Men such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox as well as the later Puritans were Gospel-driven men that God used mightily in bringing reformation to the European (Western) church.
- As the church matured in these years, its thinking on Scriptural matters developed into the formulation of confessional statements to summarize what it believed the Bible taught. On the European continent, the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt were the primary confessions articulated by the Reformed Church. In Switzerland, the second Helvetic Confession was developed. And in the British Isles, the Westminster Assembly (the last of the great post-Reformation synods, 1643-1652) authored the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
- All of these confessions, though arising from different places and written by various people or assemblies, speak with largely one voice, giving us a system of theology that has been termed “Reformed.”