What does “Presbyterian” mean?

The word Presbyterian comes from a Greek word, which means “Elder.” The Presbyterian Church is a church governed by men and women called Elders who are elected by the congregation to seek together the will of Christ for the faith and life of the congregation.

What is a “Presbyterian” church?

Presbyterian churches are part of the “One, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.” More specifically, Presbyterians belong to the Reformed tradition — a tradition that grew out of the Reformation movement in the 16th Century. Presbyterian describes the system of beliefs and the form of church government that grew out of this movement.

What do Presbyterians believe?

Presbyterian congregations do not require uniformity of belief, but we are guided by the Bible (Old and New Testaments) and a Book of Confessions that includes the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, several confessions from the Reformation era, and three 20th Century confessions. With all Christians, we affirm faith in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. With other Protestant Christians, we affirm that our salvation depends on God’s grace alone, received by faith in Jesus Christ alone, as revealed in the Scriptures alone. Central to Presbyterian belief and practice is the affirmation of God’s majesty, holiness and providence. We believe in a God who, in Christ and by the power of the Spirit, creates, sustains, rules and redeems our lives and the world. For more about what Presbyterians believe, see “Presbyterian 101,” found at http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/101/.

Are Presbyterians liberal or conservative?

Yes. And all shades in between. We find our unity in Jesus Christ, not in dogmatic formulations or ideological positions. Presbyterians have always been engaged in the great issues of the time because we believe that anything that touches on the lives of women and men in this world is of concern to God and thus of concern to us.

What would I have to believe in order to join a Presbyterian Church?

We ask these questions of every person who asks to become a member: Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Do you trust in him? Do you desire to be Christ’s disciple, to obey his word and share his love? Will you be a faithful member of this congregation?

 How do I go about joining the church?

Let one of the pastors know of your interest. We receive persons into membership upon their confession of faith and baptism, or by reaffirmation of faith if they have received Christian baptism in some other congregation, or by transfer of membership from another congregation. Several times per year, we offer New Member Orientation classes. Through these classes, prospective members learn more about the church, get to know our pastor and staff, and reflect upon the meaning of Christian discipleship and church membership. See “Join Us” tab for more information about our membership process.

I’m not sure I believe any of this religion stuff, but I am curious.  Is there a place for me at First Presbyterian Church?

Yes indeed! You are not ready to join the church, but that is okay. Come and see. Talk to one of the pastors. We are not into heavy-handed persuasion, but we will listen and try to answer your questions. You will find others like yourself in our congregation.

Okay, I want to visit First Presbyterian Church. What do I need to know?

First Presbyterian Church is conveniently located in downtown Topeka. See About Us to view a map and get directions. The parking lot is at the junction of 8th and Harrison streets. You may also park in the metered parking spaces along Harrison Street. There is no charge for the meters after 5 p.m. weekdays and throughout the weekend.

What time are the services?

During the school year, from the second Sunday in September through May, we worship at 8:15 a.m. in the chapel and 10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Sunday School classes for children, youth, and adults meet from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. During the summer, there is one worship service at 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary and no Sunday School.

What time is the church office open?

Office hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. During these times, the main entry door and telephones are staffed. The office phone number is 233-9601. An automated voice mail system takes messages when the office is closed.

How do I find out what is going on at First Presbyterian Church?

Check the calendar and newsletter, accessible from our homepage. Ask to be added to our mailing list by clicking the icon found on the homepage. Weekly announcements are also printed in the First News insert found in Sunday worship bulletins.

How can I get involved?

Opportunities for involvement — from small groups and volunteer opportunities to missions, ministry and music — are open to anyone who wants to participate, members and visitors alike.

What is the church’s vision for the future?

Because God is sending us into the world of the 21st century, we are embracing what it means to be a “missional” congregation. We expect to be on the move to points near and far as we feel led by God’s Spirit. To that end, we will employ effective spiritual disciplines and practices that prepare people to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in a world that many of us cannot yet imagine.