What’s a Presbyterian?

What's a Presbyterian (logo of Presbyterian Church USA)

What’s a Presbyterian? Presbyterian beliefs are based on the writings of John Calvin. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers.

We believe that God is the supreme authority. Believers are called to do God’s work in the world:

  • sharing the Good News of his love with others;
  • inviting them into His family of faith, the Church;
  • striving for justice for all;
  • compassionately caring for others;
  • and walking humbly with God.

Our lives are lived in daily gratitude for the grace of God. Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ.

Our salvation through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone’s job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world.

How does it work?

The big difference between Presbyterians and other Christian denominations is structure:  the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike. For a more detailed description of Presbyterian beliefs, click here.

While all Protestant Christians believe in the sacraments, baptism, and a triune God, Presbyterians are governed from the bottom up, by a body of people (called the Session and Elders) elected within each congregation, rather than from the top down (by a hierarchy of bishops, priests, or a Pope).

Presbyterians  are connected to other Presbyterian churches by region (Presbyteries and Synods).  Each  congregation elects its own representatives to send to the larger Presbytery, the Presbytery elects representatives to the Synod, and the Synod to a national General Assembly. This is what we mean by decisions being made from the bottom up.

Click here for a list of our staff.

The names and ministry representatives of this church can be found here.


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