We are a new church, beginning a new journey as a member of a new denomination. Many of us were formerly active in Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations, but we also have former members of Episcopal, United Methodist, and other mainline churches. We are children, youth, young adults, and older adults. We have members that were raised in a church, but drifted away in college or as young adults and have decided to return later in life. Others have been active in active in a congregation throughout their entire lives. We are also actively seeking those who have not yet known the grace of God in the context of a community of faith.
We have come togther to take this journey because we grew tired of churches and denominations that felt the need to tilt at every political windmill, where it all too often seemed that fighting and trying to win arguments became more important than experiencing the grace of God. We long for a church that truly is a big tent, welcoming all people while celebrating diversity of thought outside of the essentials of our faith. We want to be a place of sanctuary from the outside world...a place of acceptance where young and old from every background can come together and experience God in a meaningful and life-changing way. We also want to be a place of support, where no one has to walk alone in the darkness that all too often threatens to envelop us in this life.
We are not a church that has all the answers. However, if you're looking for a group of people who have come together to worship, learn, and actively search for God's will in their lives, using the scriptures and the Reformed creeds and confessions as a guide, we hope you'll give us a chance to be your church.
If you have questions about our congregation, please contact us at [email protected].
The earliest Christian church consisted of the Jews and Gentiles who had known and heard the teachings of Jesus. From this group, the faith spread from the middle east to other parts of the world, despite persecution from governments and other faiths and controversy among its adherents.
During the 4th century, the church became established as a political and spiritual power under the Emperor Constantine. Theological and political disagreements between members of the eastern (Greek-speaking) and western (Latin-speaking) branches eventually caused the church to divide into two main branches: the Eastern Orthodox Church in the east and the Roman Catholic Church in the west.
In western Europe, the political and religious authority of the Roman Catholic Church remained largely unquestioned until the Renaissance in the 15th century. The invention of the printing press in Germany around 1440 made it possible for common people to have access to printed materials, including the Bible. This enabled many to discover the religious thinkers who had begun to question the practices and authority of the Roman Catholic Church. One of these figures, Martin Luther, a German priest and professor, is credited with starting the movement known as the Protestant Reformation when he posted a list of ninety-five grievances against the Roman Catholic Church on a church door in Wittenburg, Germany in 1517.
Some twenty years later, a French/Swiss theologian, John Calvin, further refined the reformers’ new way of thinking about the nature of God and God’s relationship with humanity in what came to be known as Reformed theology. John Knox, a Scotsman who studied with Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, took Calvin’s teachings back to Scotland. Other Reformed communities developed in England, Holland, and France. The Presbyterian Church traces its ancestry primarily back to Scotland and England.
Presbyterians have played an important part in United States history. The Rev. Francis Mackemie, who arrived in the U.S. from Ireland in 1683, helped to organize the first American Presbytery at Philadelphia in 1706. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Rev. John Witherspoon, was a Presbyterian minister. The Rev. William Tennent founded a ministerial "log college" in New Jersey that evolved into Princeton University. Other Presbyterian ministers, such as the Rev. Jonathan Edwards and the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, were driving forces in the so-called "Great Awakening," a revivalist movement in the early 18th century.
While we all share the same proud heritage, the Presbyterian church in the United States has split many times, most recently in January of 2012, when ECO: A Covenenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, our denomination, was formed.