WHO IS THE OPC?
The OPC denomination (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) is a Bible-believing, Christian, Protestant denomination founded in 1936 with the goal of faithfully preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our over 325 congregations are divided into 16 regions throughout the United States and Canada called “presbyteries.”
The word “Orthodox” doesn’t refer to the Greek or Russian Orthodox Churches. Instead, it comes from the Greek language—ortho meaning “straight” or “right” and dox meaning “thought.” The OPC works hard to “think straight” about God and his word, the Bible, which we hold as our ultimate authority. We also subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as a secondary standard, believing it to be a useful and faithful summary of the most important teachings of the Bible, even while being open to changing it wherever it could more faithfully represent the Scriptures.
The OPC is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It has a presence in nearly every state with additional churches in Canada. Our church is part of the Michigan-Ontario Presbytery which includes twenty six churches spread over Michigan, northern Indiana, and southern Ontario.
Apart from our founder, J. Gresham Machen, prominent people associated with the OPC include Carl Trueman, D.G. Hart, David VanDrunen, J.V. Fesko, and Richard Gaffin.
WHAT IS PRESBYTERIANISM?
We believe that local churches are to be governed by elders who meet the biblical qualifications for the office and are elected by each local congregation. Together, the elders provide the spiritual leadership of the church as they teach and shepherd the flock. Among those called to be elders, certain ones are set apart as pastors, teachers, or evangelists, and are usually supported financially; we call them “pastors” or “ministers.”
We think that the best way to govern Christ’s churches is through the oversight provided by sessions (elders who serve as governing bodies of local congregations), each of which is part of a presbytery (a regional group of churches working together). Following the pattern of the early Christian church in the New Testament, all of our churches support and collaborate with one another in what we call our denomination.