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Presbyterian = a model of church structure


Elected Elder Leadership  The name presbyterian comes from the Greek word presbutos which means "elder". We are led by elected elders. This type of structure is also sometimes called "representative" or "connected". In the local congregation, the members elect persons as Ruling Elders to be their representatives. These Ruling Elders, along with the Teaching Elders, the pastors of a congregation, form the Session, the body that governs the local congregation.


Local churches and elders connected  This Session, the court that governs the local congregation, is related to a higher court, called the Presbytery. A Presbytery is a governing unit, or a court of the church, that is made up of all of the congregations within a specified geographical area. Each church is represented at Presbytery meetings by the pastor(s)  and Ruling Elders.


Like the local church Session, the Presbytery is under the review and control of a higher court - the General Assembly. The General Assembly is composed of representatives, or commissioners, from churches and presbyteries of the denomination.


Presbyterian in Practice


Walker's EPC is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. We choose to connect with other local churches of like mind and belief through the organization of the EPC. And, we willingly covenant submission to the oversight and governing documents of the EPC.


These governing documents are, in order of precedence:

  • The Bible - the holy,  infallible, true and authoritative word of God

  • The Westminster Confession and Catechisms - a collection of teaching which more concisely express  and interpret the message of the Bible

  • The Book of Order of the EPC - guidelines for applying the Christian faith and biblical teaching in the life and organization of the Church


Some distinctives of the EPC include:

  • Rights in Perpetuity -

the rights of a local congregation to own and control its property, and to elect its own officers. To ensure that such distinctives are not the victims of time or circumstance, there is written into our Constitution a section entitled, “Limitations in Perpetuity.”


  • Congregational Rights -

In addition to rights in perpetuity, the EPC affirms the right of the local congregation to call its own pastor. This means that no pastor can be placed in a congregation without its consent. Also, a local congregation has the right to withdraw from the EPC with its property.


  • The Ruling Elder -

When a denomination becomes clergy dominated, it tends to lose touch with the grassroots of the church. To maintain a good clergy/lay leader balance, the EPC provides for each church to send two Ruling Elders for each Teaching Elder (pastor) to meetings of the Presbytery and General Assembly. Also, the General Assembly Moderator switches each year between a Ruling Elder and a pastor.


Learn more about our denomination, the EPC

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