First and foremost, we are committed to—
- Proclaiming salvation, found in Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). And again, “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Rom 10:10).
- Preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God, which is altogether useful for our growth in godliness and joy in Christ (Acts 20:27; 2 Tim 3:15–17)
- Worshipping God with the reverence, love, order, and joy which he calls us to (Heb 12:28–29; 1 Cor 13–14)
- The Reformational Recovery ofBiblical doctrine and piety (“piety”, meaning “living out” our faith in all spheres of life—family, church, work, school, prayer and Bible reading, etc.).
- Evangelistic outreach in Williams and the surrounding area—and to the rest of the world—according to our Lord’s great commission (Matt 28:18–20).
- Service to one another (as a body of believers), and our community (James 1:27).
If you are looking for more, here’s the more prolific version—
We are a mission work of Prescott Presbyterian Church, a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). Therefore, we believe and confess the faith according to the OPC’s confessions and catechisms.
What is the OPC?
The Orthodox Presbyterian Church is a conservative, reformed denomination with over 30,000 members and 300 churches across the United States and Canada. Our denomination’s story begins at Princeton Seminary (now Princeton University) in the early 20th century when Princeton was taken over by faculty and professors who rejected core teachings of the Christian faith (e.g., Scripture’s divine authority, substitutionary atonement for sins, among others). Not only did the seminary fall away from these critical teachings of the Christian faith, but the Presbyterian Church (which was associated with Princeton at the time) likewise followed suit. American Presbyterianism had fallen into darkness.
Nevertheless, God is passionate to keep a remnant of his own shining through the midst of trial. In 1936, a small band of Princeton professors—after faithfully seeking to restore the seminary to Biblical truth—started a new seminary and denomination. As a result, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has, for more than 80 years, helped Christ’s universal church keep the light of the gospel shining for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
What Do We Teach, and What Do We Mean by “Reformed” and “Confessions”?
First, please understand that we do not require our members to believe everything in our confessions and catechisms (which are explained in the next paragraph). Rather to become a member, you only need to affirm the five base-line questions at the bottom of this page (under “membership vows”). That said, the confessions and catechisms explain what our denomination and our ministers believe and teach.
We confess and teach a Christian faith which is distinctly “reformed” in its theology—as articulated in the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms (the Larger Catechism, and Shorter Catechism). We believe everything that the Bible teaches is set forth for our joy in God and our growth in godliness—and even more so, for God’s glory. So, even though we regularly work with churches of different denominations, we do not take lightly the nuances of Christian theology (i.e., reformed theology). God gave these truths to us in Scripture for a reason! By learning them, we grow in our godliness and joy in God, and so glorify God.
If you are unfamiliar with what it means to be “reformed”—or more generally, what are reformed confessions and catechisms—here’s a quick run-down. Our confessions and catechisms are documents which the church put together as a way to articulate and teach what we believe about any given topic in the Bible. Specifically, the Westminster confession and catechisms were written in mid-17th century England by pastors and theologians who loved God and his Scriptures. These pastors and theologians specifically held fast to the Biblical teachings of the reformers who taught during the reformation (think Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox). In this respect, many have said that the Westminster assembly (the assembly wherein these documents were written) was the culmination of the reformation. This is why you may hear us refer to our Christian faith as distinctively “reformed”, as we live our lives under the same gospel zeal and teaching which these reformers recovered.
Notably, our confessions and catechisms themselves teach that the Bible, as God’s word, is the church’s primary authority. Perhaps you have heard the term “sola scriptura”—a latin term coined during the reformation that refers to this very matter. This is why we often call our confessions and catechisms our “secondary standards”—they are subservient to Scripture, as they are designed to point to and summarize God’s word.
The Westminster Confession articulates our faith in positive affirmations, whereas the larger and shorter catechisms articulate our faith in question-and-answer format. If you come worship with us on Sunday, you will not only hear God’s word (i.e., the Scripture) read and preached from—but you will also hear our people read from our confession and catechisms. We do this because the author of Hebrews tells us, “let us hold fast to our confession” (Hebrews 10:23)— that is, let us “hold fast” to what Scripture tells us to be true and necessary for both salvation and living God-honoring lives.
Book of Church Order
As a church plant in the Orthodox “Presbyterian” Church, we are therefore “Presbyterian” in the way our church is governed. This means we believe that God calls presbyters (the Greek word for “elder”) to shepherd his church according to the Scriptures (cf. Titus 1:5; 1 Tim 5:17). In order to assist our elders to this end, the OPC uses The Book of Church Order to set forth Scriptural principles and standards which are useful and necessary for church government, discipline, and worship. Thus—the Book of Church Order consists of three main sections: the Form of Government, Book of Discipline, and Directory for the Public Worship of God. In a word, these three documents (all published together as “The Book of Church Order”) explain the way we endeavor to worship God and serve his church.
You do not need to become a member in order to worship with us. However, if you desire to receive the benefits of membership (we’d love to talk with you about those benefits!), you must be able to answer the following questions in the affirmative (i.e., our Membership Vows) —
1. Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?
2. Do you believe in one living and true God, in whom eternally there are three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—who are the same in being and equal in power and glory, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son, come in the flesh?
3. Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, that you repent of your sin, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?
4. Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord, and do you promise that, in reliance on the grace of God, you will serve him with all that is in you, forsake the world, resist the devil, put to death your sinful deeds and desires, and lead a godly life?
5. Do you promise to participate faithfully in this church’s worship and service, to submit in the Lord to its government, and to heed its discipline, even in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life?