History and philosophy of ministry of the OPC

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.  1 Timothy 4:16

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church was founded on June 11, 1936, in the aftermath of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy, under the leadership of J. Gresham Machen (longtime professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, who also founded Westminster Theological Seminary in 1929). With the infiltration of theological liberalism, the mainline Presbyterian Church in the USA had departed from historic Christianity, including the rejection of doctrines such as the inspiration and authority of Scripture, the virgin birth of Christ, and the substitutionary atonement. In nearly eight decades since its founding, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has slowly grown to over 30,000 members in over 300 churches throughout the United States and Canada.

Committed to God and Scripture

You’ll find Orthodox Presbyterian (OPC) churches of many sizes in many communities throughout North America. All are called to demonstrate the love of God and the relevance of Christ’s message of deliverance to a society that is weary of sin, hollow materialism, and shattered relationships. We enjoy meeting together to worship our Creator and Redeemer. In worship, God’s people adore him, bring him thanks, ask for his help, and receive the blessing of his presence. Through the preaching of the gospel, God announces his saving acts and calls people to believing and obedient response to his Word.

Our modern age has witnessed the progressive rejection of authority. God’s Word, the Bible, has not been spared. However, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church believes that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, the only infallible rule for our faith and conduct. We believe that the Bible alone gives us the correct knowledge of who God is and how we may please him. It teaches that God the Father gave up his Son Jesus Christ to death on the cross to pay the penalty for the sins of his people. We want to share with you the joy that comes from a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Through faithful teaching, our members grow spiritually. We seek to obey God’s laws because such obedience pleases him. So we not only embrace the teaching of God’s Word, but also strive to demonstrate its application in our lives.

Presbyterian in Character

Our church is not new. We trace our historical roots to the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation and its seventeenth-century doctrinal statement, the Westminster Confession of Faith, along with its Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church understands the importance of defending and maintaining the truths of God’s Word. In fact, in 1936 the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was established as a testimony to the Bible when its authority was denied. Her ministers, elders, and deacons sincerely receive and adopt these Westminster standards as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures and known as the Reformed faith.

From the time of Abraham in the Old Testament, God’s church has been led by wise elders, men gifted by God and called to govern his church. The word presbyterian comes from the New Testament Greek word presbyteros, meaning “elder.” The Orthodox Presbyterian Church has followed this biblical pattern for church government. Local church elders, along with the pastor, form a “session” to care for the spiritual welfare of our members. Matters of common concern for churches in a given region, such as establishing new congregations and ordaining ministers, are regulated by a body of ministers and elders called a “presbytery.” Annually, representatives of our sixteen presbyteries form a “general assembly” to give the whole Church direction and advice.

Everyone knows that an orthodontist is concerned about straight teeth. The “ortho” in orthodontist comes from the Greek word for “straight.” The “dox” in orthodox comes from the Greek word for “thinking.” So, in an Orthodox Presbyterian church you will find straight teaching following the long-accepted pattern given in the Bible. We are a church that believes what the Bible says, and we try to put it into practice.

Worldwide Outreach

When you visit our church, you will find enthusiasm there about spreading the good news of God’s salvation locally and around the world. People of all backgrounds are part of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and you will receive a warm welcome among us. Each local congregation has an important role to play in reaching into its own neighborhood, and then joining others in a worldwide outreach. We carry out this worldwide outreach through three ministry committees: the Committee on Christian Education, the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension, and the Committee on Foreign Missions. Each works to accomplish our purpose of bringing glory to God and proclaiming Christ throughout North America and the world, teaching them to obey what he has commanded.

Committee on Christian Education
We help our churches to teach effectively the precious truths of the Reformed faith. We produce Sunday school materials, New Horizons magazine, training materials, a hymnal, and worship aids. Our Ministerial Intern Program helps churches prepare men for the gospel ministry through summer and yearlong pastoral internships. The Ministerial Training Institute of the OPC supplements seminary preparation with courses especially designed to prepare them for ministry.

Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension
We plant new churches throughout North America. We assist presbyteries in supporting regional home missionaries to identify and develop new church-planting sites and help new congregations find pastors. We have special concern for the urban areas of our country. We conduct training seminars for church planters. We also help established churches reach their communities with the gospel, and provide an OPC Loan Fund that helps congregations in need of new buildings.

Committee on Foreign Missions
We send missionaries to the ends of the earth to establish indigenous Reformed churches. Presently we have foreign mission works in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Korea, Suriname, and Uganda. Where appropriate, the preaching of the gospel is accompanied by medical (and other) ministries of mercy. A significant part of the work on our mission fields is dedicated to preparing the next generation of men for the gospel ministry.

Take the Next Step

If you’re looking for a church that …

  • honors God as the sovereign Lord of the universe
  • preaches Christ as the Son of God who died for sinners
  • lives by the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit
  • insists upon the absolute authority of God’s Word

… we invite you to join Redeemer OPC of Danville in glorifying God through the worship, work, and witness of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Join us in worshiping our Redeemer