I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic* church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
*NOTE: Many Protestants are unhappy using the word “catholic” in the Apostles Creed. This is not a reference to the Roman Catholic denomination. The word has the meaning of universal, and has been used for over 1,500 years. Some Protestants prefer to use either "universal" or "Christian" instead of "catholic."
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH is a Protestant congregation in what is called the REFORMED tradition. Our church government is led by ELDERS (teaching elders and ruling/governing elders). In the Greek language of the New Testament, the word for 'elders' is 'presbyteros'. So, the moniker PRESBYTERIAN refers to church government by elders. Teaching Elders are ordained clergy, also known as clergy, pastors, or ministers. Ruling Elders are ordained members from the congregation (they are not clergy), selected by the congregation to lead them in the ways of the Lord. Local churches are ruled by a body called SESSION, composed of both types of elders.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF WHAT OUR CONGREGATION BELIEVES
- God is Sovereign.
- God is mysteriously and wonderfully Three-in-One and One-in-Three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- Humanity was created perfect, but all have fallen into sin (rebellion against God).
- No person or group can restore perfect relationship with God on their own.
- God initiated our rescue by sending His Son, Jesus, to perfectly redeem us at the Cross.
- There is salvation (eternal rescue) in no one other than Jesus, and all who truly seek Him will find Him.
- Jesus, our Messiah (Christ) and Lord, is Head of the Church (across all years, places, denominations).
- The Holy Spirit works in the lives of men and women to protect and guide them in living.
- There will be an end to this current world, and Jesus will return to rule and judge and recreate.
- The Church in this world is always a mixture of righteousness and failure to live righteously.
- The Bible is God's perfect Word to us, revealing our brokenness, God's plan to redeem us, and His promises to those who choose to seek Him.