Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the Swiss Reformer, John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. At the heart of the Reformed tradition is a belief in salvation by God’s grace and not human works, the centrality of the Scripture as the authoritative guide for faith and practice, the sovereignty of God, and the priesthood of all believers.
Believing in the church’s responsibility to address social and moral issues in the world, Presbyterians engage in mission activities, seek to alleviate hunger, foster self-development, respond to disasters, support mission works, preach the gospel, heal the sick, and educate new generations for the future.
There is no strict set of beliefs which unites Presbyterians or separates them from other followers of Christ. Like other Christians, Presbyterians believe in: God as Creator, Christ as the human manifestation of God, the Holy Spirit as the presence of God in the world and in the believer, the Church as the universal company of Christ’s followers, forgiveness of sin made possible through Christ’s death, life everlasting shown by the resurrection of Jesus, and the Bible as the inspired word of God.
All that is required to be a Presbyterian is to:
- Confess the Christian Faith
- Trust in Christ as your forgiving Savior
- Promise to follow Christ and Christ’s example for living
- Commit oneself to attend church and to become involved in its work