• In the New Testament, Presbuteros means “elder,” and refers to the custom of choosing leaders and advisors from among the wisest members of the church.

  • Presbyterians are a group of Protestants whose church is founded on the concept of democratic rule under the Word of God.

  • All that is required to be a Presbyterian is to:
         Confess the Christian faith.
         Trust in Christ as our forgiving savior.
         Promise to follow Christ and Christ’s example for living.
         Commit oneself to attend church and to become involved in its work.

    The Presbyterian Church is a representative democracy governed by elders elected from and by the congregation.

  • The overall church structure consists of 4 governing bodies:

    Session (or Local Governing Body) -Ordained ministers (ministers
    of the Word) and elders -all elected by the congregation

    Presbytery -Elders and ministers from congregations who oversee
    the local churches

    Synod -Representatives elected from each Presbytery to oversee
    several Presbyteries

    General Assembly -The national governing body made up of
    equal numbers of lay people and clergy, chosen by the

  • The Presbyterian Church has a rich and exciting history:

    Early Christian Church: The Presbyterian Church, like all Christian churches, traces its roots back to the early church in Jerusalem. Modern Presbyterianism is considered by many to be a rebirth of the early church of the New Testament.

    John Knox: The Scottish Protestant, John Knox, fled persecution in his homeland and studied with Calvin in Geneva. He returned in 1559 and established Presbyterianism in Scotland.

    American Revolution: Presbyterians escaped persecution in Europe and settled in America. Presbyterianism was so prevalent in America that some British called the American Revolution the “Presbyterian Revolt.” At least 14 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Presbyterians (including clergyman, John Witherspoon.)

    Presbyterianism in the U.S: The first Presbytery in America was established in Philadelphia in 1706. During the 1800's, disagreement over slavery and Evangelism broke the church into northern and southern branches. The two branches reunited in 1983 to form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
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