Visitors - Presbyterian 101

"Presbuteros", the Greek word meaning elder, appears 72 times in the New Testament.  It provides the name for the Presbyterian family of churches, which includes the reformed churches of the world.  Both "Presbyterian" and "Reformed" are synonymous with churches of the Calvinist tradition.

In America, the first presbytery was organized in 1706 and the first synod in 1717.  The first General Assembly was held in 1789.  Today's Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was created by the 1983 reunion of the two main branches of the Presbyterians in America separated since the Civil War - the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. and the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  In 1958 the latter was created by the union of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the United Presbyterian Church of North America. 

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is distinctly a confessional and a connectional church, distinguished by the representation of Elders, laymen and laywomen, in its government.  The church has a membership of 2.3 million in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  Currently there are 11 thousand congregations, over 21,000 ordained ministers, 1,100 candidates for ministry, and more than 94,000 elders.

We are part of the Presbytery of the James in the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  This congregation was first created in 1767 when 7 young missionaries were sent to the Culpeper territory by the Donegal Presbytery in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In 1813 our church, then known as Bethesda Presbyterian Church, was organized.  In 2013 we celebrated our 200th anniversary.

Today Culpeper Presbyterian Church is a thriving congegation committed to serving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.  Our location on Main Street in the heart of Culpeper enables us to minister to the community as well as to the approximately 400 members of our family of faith.