The Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) was established in 1936 as a testimony to the Bible when its authority was denied. Her officers, ministers, ruling elders, and deacons, sincerely receive and adopt the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as our standards, subordinate to the Bible, the Word of God.
The word Presbyterian in our name comes from the Greek word, presbuteros, or “elder.” The Apostle Paul ordained elders in the churches which were established through his missionary preaching. Local church elders, together with the pastor, form the session, which cares for the spiritual well-being of local members. Matters of common concern in a region are handled in a gathering of ministers and elders, called a “presbytery.” Annually representatives of the 16 presbyteries in the OPC meet in a General Assembly to serve the whole church. The presbytery and the General Assembly not only handle administrative matters, but also serve as church courts of appeal if necessary.
Orthodox comes from a word which means “straight.” The OPC is a church that follows the straight teaching of the Bible–and tries to put it into practice.
The OPC seeks to carry out the Lord’s Great Commission, in part through the work of its three ministry committees: the Committee on Christian Education, the Committee on Home Missions, and the Committee on Foreign Missions. The Committee on Christian Education helps the churches teach the truths of Scripture. It produces Sunday School material, training materials, and the Trinity Hymnal (working with Great Commission Publications). Its Ministerial Training Institute supplements seminary training for those preparing for the ministry and for pastors serving churches. The Committee on Christian Education helps plant new churches throughout the United States. It also helps presbyteries support regional home missionaries to identify and develop new church-planting sites. The Committee on Foreign Missions sends missionaries throughout the world to help establish indigenous Reformed churches, and to work with existing churches to help equip them in their service. Where appropriate the preaching of the Word is accompanied by medical ministries of mercy.
The OPC enjoys ecclesiastical fellowship with other churches who share a commitment to the Word of God. It believes in Biblical principles of the unity of the church. As an expression of that unity, it is a member of the North America Presbyterian and Reformed Council (NAPARC) and the International Council of Reformed Churches (ICRC).