The word “Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word “Presbuteros,” which means “elder.” In the New Testament, Presbuteros refers to the practice of choosing leaders and advisors from among the wisest members of the church. To learn more about elders and the Presbyterian church’s structure, visit our Leadership page.
Presbyterian beliefs are built on reformed theology, which evolved during the 16th
century religious movement known as the Protestant Reformation. Reformed theology emphasizes God’s supremacy over everything and that our chief purpose is to glorify and enjoy God forever.
Presbyterians believe the same things as other Christians. We believe in:
- God, the Creator of the universe
- Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God on earth
- The Holy Spirit, the presence of God in the world and in the believer
- The Church, a universal company of Christ’s followers
- Forgiveness of sins, made possible by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ
- Life everlasting, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ
- The Bible, the perfect, inerrant and infallible Word of God
As part of our worship, we recognize:
- Baptism of believers and their children
- “Open” communion for believers of any Christian faith
- Government by elders
- Ordination of women
- Ministry by all people of the congregation
- Confidential giving
Presbyterians recognize two sacraments as described in the Bible.
- Baptism, which unites us with Jesus Christ and makes us members of God’s family
- Communion (or the Lord’s Supper), which is a time to remember Christ’s last meal with the Apostles and a chance to renew faith and prepare for Christian service. The bread and wine of Communion represent Christ’s body and blood when He sacrificed Himself for our sins.