Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Covenant Church is a congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). The EPC is a family of churches defined by shared core values and bonded by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. The EPC is centered upon the good news of what God has done for the world through His Son, Jesus Christ.
The EPC is evangelical. We are evangelical because we are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word “gospel” literally means – good news. The good news of the gospel is that God sent his one and only son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of the world so that whoever repents of their sin and puts their faith in Jesus can be forgiven by God and and brought into a life changing relationship with him. The Bible says it this way: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but shall have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
The EPC is presbyterian. We are presbyterian because EPC congregations are governed by elders, guided by the Reformed tradition, and grouped together in regional fellowships called presbyteries. The greek word for elder is presbyteros. Individual EPC congregations are not led by a single person, but are governed by a group of elders which include the pastor(s). This model of elder leadership is the biblical norm for church governance. The churches of the New Testament were all led by elders. The Apostle Paul appointed elders to lead each church that he founded (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5).
The EPC is guided by the biblical principles of the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformers were committed to the life changing power of the gospel, the authority and inspiration of the scriptures, the sovereignty of God’s saving grace, and the unique Lordship of Jesus Christ. These commitments were expressed in the five solas: sola scriptura, sola fides, sola gratia, solus Christus, and Soli Deo gloria.
The EPC is grouped together in regional fellowships called presbyteries. EPC congregations are committed to work with one another to expand and extend their ministry. These regional fellowships meet together on a regular basis to worship, collaborate, and broaden their impact for the gospel.
The EPC consists of more than 500 churches with about 145,000 members. Annually EPC churches gather together for a national conference called the General Assembly. We have a world missions program with a priority on sending missionaries to unreached people groups. We are eager to plant churches across the United States and especially in urban communities and college towns. Our desire is that every one of our congregations will carry out the great commission of Jesus Christ to “make disciples of all nations” in the communities in which the Lord has placed them.
Essentials of our Faith
Members in the EPC wholeheartedly affirm the “Essentials of our Faith.” The “Essentials of Our Faith” is a clear statement of historic evangelicalism. The purpose of the “Essentials of Our Faith” is to define the 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
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 faith:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)