Unto this catholic and visible Church, Christ hath given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world; and doth by his own presence and Spirit, according to his promise, make them effectual thereunto.
Westminster Confession of Faith, XXV:3
What is the vision for this church?
The Church of Jesus Christ exists for the gathering and perfecting of the saints.
The Church of Jesus Christ exists for the...saints.
This historic statement sets forth two requirements:
The church must proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ clearly and attractively in its community for the purpose of gathering those Jesus calls to himself.
The church must work unto the perfecting of the saints. This work is not complete until Jesus returns in glory and finally makes his people perfect. And still the church must lead its people in growth by grace. The preaching, teaching, worship, and fellowship must be action-oriented so that the people of God are challenged to work out their faith with fear and trembling and to actively love God and neighbor.
What denomination is this church?
For the time being, we are an independent Presbyterian congregation similar to St. Andrew's Chapel in Orlando, FL (prior to joining the PCA) and Independent Presbyterian in Savannah, GA. Our theology aligns with NAPARC member denominations and we have close relationships with congregations in the ARP and PCA denomination. The elders and pastors of those churches provide us with guidance, counsel, and assistance.
Why we worship the way we do?
Some aspects of our worship (time, which instruments, which songbook) are matters of convenience or suitability. Other aspects (commitment to the means of grace, what we sing, the content of our liturgy) are about much more than that. We are convinced that God teaches us in the Scriptures how he is to be worshipped. If we worship him using those means, and if we approach him with humility, he will feed us and use us to reach the lost.
Another pastor (R.C. Sproul, back in 2011) wrote this, with which we agree:
We are living in strange times in terms of how the church functions. We have been caught up with a fierce desire to find a way to relate to a culture that has been immunized to Christianity. We try to find new methods to reach the lost. The motivation is righteous, because we should have compassion for the lost. The danger comes when we ask the lost how they want to come into the kingdom of God, how they want to worship God, and how they want to hear God's word...that is fatal. Sooner or later the church must come back to confidence in God's way of doing God's work...
What else do I need to know?
Take a look at this page for information about how we worship, this page specific to music, this page about our views on raising Christian children, and this page introduces our leaders. Also, we've put together a podcast for a crash course on who we are, what we believe, and why we believe it.