The Orthodox Presbyterian Church
In 1936, the Rev. J. Gresham Machen, together with a handful of pastors, elders, and churches, broke away from the mainline Presbyterian Church. The mainline church had decided to accommodate the influences of theological modernism, including denying the inerrancy of Scripture, the Virgin Birth of Christ, Christ's sacrificial atonement for the sins of his elect, and even the bodily resurrection of Christ.
Machen founded the Orthodox Presbyterian Church to be the faithful, spiritual heir of historic, Biblical Presbyterianism, as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Since then, the OPC has endeavored by the grace of a God to be a thoroughly Biblical, Reformed church in both faith and practice.
The OPC’s primary standard is the Bible. Our secondary standard is the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. These documents were produced in England in the 1640’s by a group of pastors in an effort to summarize the Bible’s teaching. We think they are still the best summary of the Bible’s teaching.
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Our system of government is laid out here. We are “presbyterian” in government—that simply means that we are led by elders, and that our churches are part of a larger, regional church. Elders and pastors from local churches meet several times a year at Presbytery to serve our regional church, and delegated elders and pastors from these regional Presbyteries meet once a year for General Assembly, to serve the work of the whole Orthodox Presbyterian Church in the United States. We believe this system of government is biblical and wise, as it provides oversight and accountability at every level.
We are a part of a denomination that enthusiastically supports the work of spreading the gospel of Christ through missions both in the United States and all around the world. Our missionaries are fully supported by the denomination. This frees them from having to seek their own support, and so to focus all their energy on the work of spreading the gospel and strengthening and planting churches. For more information on our view and practice of missions, click here.