Questions Most Often Asked About The Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Q. What gives the Evangelical Presbyterian Church its distinctive character?
A. Its devotion to the essentials of the historic Christian faith; its commitment to the liberty of the Christian conscience in non-essential matters, where God's Word allows some variance of belief; its emphasis on holding truth and love in dynamic balance; its openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit for the individual and the church.
Q. What is the EPC view of Scripture?
A. Scripture is the infallible Word of God and a perfect and unified witness to God's redemptive revelation. The Bible, totally trustworthy and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority in all matters on faith and life.
Q. Is evangelism a priority of the EPC?
A. Yes! Unequivocally! Proclaiming the Good News by both word and deed is what the church is all about. Being faithful to Christ's mandate brings the assurance of Christ's abiding presence and blessing.
Q. How does the EPC view the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
A. The EPC affirms the gifts of God's Spirit as Biblically valid for today, and counsels that they be exercised under the guidance of God's Word and the authority of the local session. Since the Holy Spirit is the source of Christian unity, we must ever guard against any use of the gifts which would lead to division within the church. We also affirm the priority of the fruit of the Spirit over the gifts in the Christian life.
Q. Is there an official position on abortion?
A. The EPC affirms the person-hood of the unborn child and urges the preservation of all such life. We counsel loving assistance to the mothers and exhort the fathers to be cognizant of their critical moral responsibility in the procreation of new life. A position paper on abortion is available.
Q. What is the EPC's position on the homosexual lifestyle?
A. The Scriptures clearly proclaim homosexual behavior as contrary to God's will and therefore sinful. The EPC affirms a life-changing gospel which can heal and transform even such a deep-rooted and serious deviation as homosexuality. A position paper on homosexuality is available.
Q. Does the denomination encourage worldwide missions?
A. Most certainly! Our present congregations give over $6 million annually for the advancement of the Kingdom through worldwide missions. World Outreach is the mission arm of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. At present, World Outreach labors in 16 countries with 51 commissioned missionaries. Many additional missionaries are supported by the individual churches in the EPC under numerous sending agencies.
Q. Does the local church own its own property?
A. Yes, church property is owned, developed, and managed exclusively by the local congregation. The right is guaranteed irrevocably by The Book of Government, Chapter seven.
Q. Does the denomination have programs for children and youth?
A. The denominational Youth Ministries Committee and Director of Youth Ministries oversee some creative programs, including the annual Summer Jam conference and mission trips. The Christian Education and Publications Committee encourage sand assists local churches in using available resources or children's ministries.
Q. What determines each church's representation at General Assembly?
A. Each church has direct representation to the General Assembly, as it does in its respective presbytery. The basis of representation is that the of two Ruling Elders to one Teaching Elder. This ratio applies both to General Assembly and Presbytery.
Q. Where are the national headquarters located?
A. The Office of the General Assembly has been located from its earliest days in the Detroit metropolitan area. It currently occupies lovely new office space in Livonia, Michigan, a suburban city west of Detroit.
Q. What is the size of the denomination?
A. In sixteen years, the EPC has grown to over 180 congregations with an active membership exceeding 57,000. Diversity in congregational size is a real strength. Churches range from small, newly-born infant size to churches among the largest in Presbyterianism.
Q. What is the geographical distribution of the churches?
A. The EPC is an international church. In the U.S. there are eight presbyteries. Churches may be found in 28 states. The ninth presbytery, St. Andrews, encompasses the state of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Q. What does evangelical mean?
A. The word evangelical refers to the joyous proclamation of the good new of Jesus Christ on the authority of God's Word with an invitation to faith in Christ as Savior and commitment to serve Christ as Lord in the world.
Q. Does the EPC have a Women's Ministries program?
A. The denomination has a Director of Women's Ministries. The Committee on Women's Ministries encourages women of the EPC to develop their gifts and explore avenues of ministry on all levels within denominational life. A yearly Bible study is selected and each year a special project (Faith Focus) is chosen for support. National Leadership Conference is held every second year in the summer. Some presbyteries have annual retreats.