What Is a Presbyterian?

Presbyterians are a group of Protestants whose church is founded on the concept of democracy under the word of God.

All that is required to be a Presbyterian is to:

  • Confess the Christian faith
  • Trust in Jesus Christ as our forgiving Savior
  • Promise to follow Jesus and His example for living
  • Commit oneself to attend church and to become involved in its work

The Presbyterian Church is a Christian community governed by elders (called the Session) elected from and by the congregation, for the work of the church. Deacons are elected from the congregation to conduct the charitable ministries of the church.

Presbyterians believe:

  • God – the Father
  • Jesus Christ – the Son of God
  • Holy Spirit – the presence of God in the world and the believer
  • Life everlasting – shown by the resurrection of Jesus
  • Bible – the inspired word of God

Presbyterians recognize two sacraments:

Baptism: This unites us with Jesus Christ and makes us members of God’s family, the Church.

  • It is an initiation into the church community
  • It is a public confession, a statement of faith made in the presence of others
  • Does not guarantee access to heaven
  • Can be performed in another church 

Communion: also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist

This represents the sacrificial body (bread) and blood (juice) of Christ to recall the last meal shared with the Apostles. Together they symbolize the New Covenant between God and all people.

The Presbyterian Church is really about people. To all Presbyterians their faith means:

  • Maintaining Christian habits – regular church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, and participation in church activities and service
  • Setting a Worthy Example – striving to be more like Christ
  • Giving – of time, talents and resources given to by God
  • Becoming Involved – in Christian work around the world and supporting the Mission