The First Evangelical Presbyterian Church of East Liverpool, Ohio (PCA)
A Short History of Presbyterianism and
Presbyterianism, that is faithful to the Scriptures, has a great history and heritage. Its origins are seen in the church of the New Testament and its rebirth at the time of the Protestant Reformation. A true biblical church, then, is founded, not upon the accomplishments or power of men, but in what God has seen fit to do through those who were surrendered to His will and have been obedient to the great truths of His Word.
Presbyterianism as a system of belief and a form of church government appeared as a result of the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation, which began as a sincere attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church of the latter Middle-Ages and to purify it from its corruptions, brought forth the Lutheran, Reformed, and Anglican churches. In Scotland the Reformed churches became known as the Presbyterian Church.
The teaching of the great Reformer John Calvin (1509-1564) was to have a great effect on Presbyterianism. Born in France, Calvin would make Geneva, Switzerland, the great centre of the Reformation in all Europe through his preaching and writing. Calvin set himself to the systematic study of the Scriptures and set forth their teaching in a system which has become know as Reformed theology.
Through the ministry of John Knox (1514-1572) Reformed Theology took hold in Scotland. In 1688 the Church of Scotland was reorganized and became the Established Presbyterian Church in Scotland. Out of this body arose the Associate Presbytery in 1733 under the leadership of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine. Ten years later, another group of Christians who for years had suffered within the Established church formed themselves into the Reformed Presbytery.
Both churches spread to Northern Ireland and eventually to America, these folks being known as the ‘Ulster-Scots’. The immigrants came to the Pennsylvania area first, and it was there that both the Associate and the Reformed Presbyteries of Pennsylvania were organized (1750-1770). Eventually there was a union between the two Presbyteries which resulted in the Associate Reformed Synod in 1782.
At this time our congregation was known as the “Associated Reformed Church of East Liverpool, Ohio”. In 1858 our church was absorbed into the United Presbyterian Church of North America. And in 1958, the United Presbyterian Church of North America was enlarged by merger with the Presbyterian Church, USA to form the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, (UPC, USA). In 1980, our congregation withdrew and joined the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). At this time the name of the congregation was changed to “The First Evangelical Presbyterian Church of East Liverpool, Ohio (PCA)”.
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