The Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church
When Church of the Atonement was planted in 1947, we were part of the United Presbyterian Church. In 1981 we joined the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church. The ARP is one of the oldest denominations in North America. Its roots go back to Scotland and the Protestant Reformation in that land, led by John Knox in 1560.
The terms “Associate” and “Reformed” reflect this history as our denomination is the result of a union between two groups of churches that came from Scotland to the Colonies for the sake of religious freedom and the great opportunities unfolding here. They came together in 1782.
The older of the two groups were the “Reformed Presbyterians,” also called covenanters. They especially were renowned for their strong faith tested in the terrible sufferings they endured at the hands of the antagonistic British monarchy from 1660-1689.
The “Associate Presbyterians” were distinguished by their zeal for proclaiming the free offer of the Gospel of salvation to all people, and the necessity of repentance and personal faith in Christ. Feel free to visit the website of the ARP Church where you can read a helpful, short history that fills in more detail.
Our church joined the ARP because of its long history of uncompromising commitment to the authority of the Scripture and to the mission of the church. It is not so large as other denominations whose convictions we share, such as the Presbyterian Church in America. We work closely with these sister churches and esteem their institutions. At the same time, we find great value in the peaceful camaraderie and fellowship within the ARP.