who we are and what we believe

peters creek is a congregation of the evangelical presbyterian church

The Mission of the EPC

The EPC exists to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus as a denomination of Presbyterian, Reformed, Evangelical, and Missional congregations.

The Vision of the EPC

To the glory of God, the EPC family aspires to embody and proclaim Jesus’ love as a global movement of congregations engaged together in God’s mission through transformation, multiplication, and effective Biblical leadership.

The Motto of the EPC:

In Essentials: Unity
In Non-Essentials: Liberty
In All Things: Charity

Click to read about the distinctives of the EPC!

What We Believe:

The Seven Essentials of Our Faith

All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God's redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these additional Essentials of our faith2

1.We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise forever!

2. Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.

3. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.

4. Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God's free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.

5. The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.

6. Jesus Christ will come again to the Earth--personally, visibly, and bodily--to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (Rev. 22:20)

7. The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to "Him who loved us and gave Himself for us." He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Eph. 2:10)

These Essentials are set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Explanatory Statement of the Seven Essentials

The Westminster Confession of Faith is a confessional statement of orthodox Presbyterianism. The Westminster Confession of Faith is our standard of doctrine as found in Scripture. It is a positive statement of the Reformed Faith. The Westminster Confession of Faith constitutes a system of biblical truth that an officer of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church is required to believe, acknowledging that each individual court has the freedom to allow exceptions which do not infringe upon the system of doctrine in the Westminster Confession of Faith.

"Essentials of Our Faith" is an irenic statement of historic evangelicalism. The purpose of "Essentials of Our Faith" is to define core beliefs of the Christian Faith. It expresses historic Christian beliefs common to all true believers and churches throughout the world. "Essentials of Our Faith" is not intended to be the exclusive test of orthodoxy for ordination. It is not intended to be used as an explicit standard for minimal core beliefs for candidates, ordination or ministerial examinations. It is not to be construed as a substitute for the Westminster Confession of Faith.

Both the Westminster Confession of Faith and "Essentials of Our Faith" are important documents in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Westminster Confession of Faith and "Essentials of Our Faith" are not alternative statements of truth, nor are they competitive statements of truth. They each serve important and harmonious purposes within the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The Westminster Confession of Faith preserves our commitment to the historic orthodoxy of the Reformed Faith. "Essentials of Our Faith" preserves our commitment to historic evangelicalism.

Peters Creek is a Reformed Congregation

We trace our heritage to the Protestant Reformation which began in 1517.  There are two broad streams of the Reformation, Lutheran and Reformed.  The Reformed stream traces its roots to John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation centered in Geneva.  From Geneva, a young Scottish minister named John Knox took Reformation concepts to Scotland, especially the Presbyterian form of church government.  John Knox became the father of Scottish Presbyterianism and the Church of Scotland. From the Church of Scotland arose a number of Presbyterian movements. One of those is the Covenanter Movement, which started in 1638. 

Many Scots signed what was called the National Covenant. It was declaration of sorts that opposed the Stuart King's interference with the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.  A very important tenet of the Covenanter movement was the idea that Scripture was the "only infallible rule of faith and life." As a result of their political stance, the Covenanters faced persecution, which forced them to flee from Scotland to Holland and Ireland.  Beginning  in 1717, there were a series of migrations from Ireland to America. 

These migrations gave birth to the Associate Reformed Synod in America. Peters Creek was a congregation of the Reformed Synod of North America.  In 1858 the Associate Synod changed its name to the United Presbyterian Church of North America.  One hundred years later, the United Presbyterian Church of North America merged with the northern branch of the Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

In 2007, living up to our Covenanter heritage, Peters Creek left the Presbyterian Church (USA) and joined with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.  In a series of steps, Peters Creek reaffirmed the historic Creeds of the Christian Church and the Westminster Confession of Faith.  This Confession of Faith teaches that the Bible is the only infallible rule for faith and life, that God is Sovereign in our Salvation, that salvation is by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, through Jesus Christ Alone, all to God's Glory Alone.

Click here for the History of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.