First, Presbyterians are Christians. We affirm Jesus of Nazareth as Lord and Savior, and through him worship the one God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Second, Presbyterians are Reformed. Our roots are in the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
Third, we are evangelical. We believe that the essence of the faith is the good news (evangel) that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose for the salvation of humankind.
Fourth, we are ecumenical. We affirm the unity of all Christians as a gift of God, and share with believers of every denomination the worship and work of the Church “catholic” (meaning “universal”).
The term “Presbyterian” refers to a representative style of church government. Each congregation elects elders from among its members. The elders, together with ministers of Word and Sacrament, are called presbyters (derived from a Greek word for “elder”).
Presbyters form the local governing body of each congregation, called the Session; they also govern through regional bodies called Presbyteries and Synods, and the national governing body, the General Assembly. Presbyterian simply means “government by presbyters”.
The Presbyterian Churches of Crestview and Laurel Hill are congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), the oldest and largest of American Presbyterian bodies.
Presbyterians insist that God alone is Lord of the conscience, and therefore welcome diversity and open inquiry. Doctrine for us is more a matter of emphasis than an exclusion of different points of view.
With all Christians, we worship the Triune God. With other Protestants, we place special emphasis on God’s Word in scripture and God’s grace through the gift of faith. As Reformed Christians, we also stress God’s sovereignty as Creator and Redeemer of all. This theme prompts special emphasis on:
Reformed Christians tend to be involved Christians -- people who seek to glorify God not just in Sunday worship, but in all of life.
How Do I Join a Presbyterian Church?
Faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the sole entrance criterion. As expressions of that faith, baptism, public profession of faith, and the declaration of intent to support the work and worship of the church are the only requirements for membership in the P.C.(U.S.A.).
Baptism is also administered to the children of believers, who have the status of “baptized members” until their confirmation.
Confirmed members may be received by the Session in one of three ways:
Profession of faith;
Reaffirmation of faith;
Transfer of membership from another Christian church.
The pastor would be happy to talk with you about any aspect of First Presbyterian Church. New member classes are offered periodically.