The Presbyterian Church grew out of the Reformation and considers itself to be a church “reformed and always reforming”. This means that we honor the traditions of the past while allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us in the present and future. The seeds of the church’s beginnings lie in the theology of John Calvin, emphasizing the sovereignty of God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We are called Presbyterians because we are self-governed by “presbyters” - a Greek word meaning seniors or elders. There are two kinds of elders: Ruling Elders are members of the congregation who have been elected to serve together on a governing committee called the Session. The Session, in turn, hires Teaching Elders (our pastor) to lead the congregation spiritually.
Presbyterian Churches are organized and governed in a hierarchy. This is similar to how cities, counties, and states combine to form a national government. For the Presbyterian church, we organize ourselves into: churches (at the local level), presbyteries (at the district level), synods (at the regional level), and the PCUSA (at the national level). These broader connections give us the ability to extend our reach nationally and internationally, allowing us to tackle projects too large for a single congregation.