What We Believe

The Presbyterian Church takes its name from our form of church government.  We elect “presbyters” or elders (men and women of any age who are active members of the church) to govern the church alongside the pastor.  Pastors and elders work together to make decisions for the church and to discern the direction God wants us to go.  The Presbyterian Church is a connectional system of church which means various Presbyterian churches work together to govern, do mission work and ministry locally and worldwide, and to start new worshipping communities.  Pastors and elders can serve the church not only in the local congregation, but in the higher governing bodies of the church as well.

As Presbyterians we find our roots in the Protestant Reformation of the 1500’s.  We are linked to the Reformed Church movement from Switzerland that grew and spread across Europe.  A man named John Calvin solidified the theology and beliefs of the Reformed Church and allowed those beliefs to spread around the world.  A pastor named John Knox took Calvin’s explanations of the Reformed faith to Scotland and it was there that the Presbyterian Church took root, eventually coming to the American colonies with Scottish immigrants.   Presbyterians have played an important role in American history, including John Witherspoon, the only pastor to have signed the Declaration of Independence. 

Presbyterians have always valued education – starting many colleges and universities.  For a list of schools related to the Presbyterian Church (USA) click here. (http://www.presbyteriancolleges.org/).  We also value service in the world.  Presbyterians work together to respond to disasters, meet challenges and needs for people locally and around the world, and even to change political structures that lead to injustice.