Our Father’s Son, the Lord of all, the Beginner of all beginnings, our foundation and cornerstone, the redeemer and friend of our Souls, the sum and substance of all we want to be and do.
God’s bond to us of law and love, written in stone, warm as blood. Enduring because it is promised, and binding because it is law.
The family of God, a pilgrim band of disciples, embracing the Savior, carrying the cross, reaching the lost, feeding the hungry, challenging our culture, marching to glory, worshipping the Lord.
ASSOCIATE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN
We are grateful for the unity all believers enjoy in Christ, but we also treasure the rich heritage of our own denomination. Our legacy in the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) roots us in a rich Christian tradition that transcends our contemporary evangelical age and connects us to the witness of saints across time and place.
Associate. Reformed. Presbyterian. These are words with roots, reaching down to the rich, fertile soil of 17th Century Scotland, where the Presbyterians faced the ruthless King of England, Charles II, and his efforts to make the Church of Scotland submit to His rule. In the "killing times" of the 1680s, many of these men, women, and children paid the ultimate price for their devotion to King Jesus. Over the next 100 years, their spiritual children moved to America, settling the middle colonies of the New World with their rugged, determined piety. They formed congregations known as Associate Presbyterian Churches and Reformed Presbyterian Churches. In 1782 in Philadelphia, many of these congregations merged to form a new denomination, the Associate Reformed Church. Today known as the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, we still hold dearly to the Headship of Christ in His church on earth, and our denomination is considered perhaps the oldest conservative Christian denomination in America.
WHAT DOES "PRESBYTERIAN" MEAN?
Presbyterian derives from the Greek word for "elder" or "overseer." The term simply means a church led by a session or gathering of elders. The church elect these men from their midst on the basis of their biblical qualifications (2Timothy 3; Titus 1). Their principle role is to oversee the spiritual needs of the congregation. A presbytery consists of all the elders and ministers of a particular geographic area. Today, there are ten presbyteries in North America which together form the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.
We believe in ONE triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - who is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom power, holiness, justice, and truth.
We believe Jesus Christ is God's incarnate Son, fully Divine and fully man, who died in our place for our sins as our redeemer. We believe He was raised again from the dead on the third day and ascended bodily up into heaven where He now sits as Lord over all at the Father's right hand.
We believe all men are by nature dead in sin and live under the wrath of God. God saves us by His grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
We believe the Bible is the only inerrant and infallible Word of God.
As Christians, our chief end is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever, endeavoring to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and to order our hearts and our lives according to His Word.
We believe in the Christian family as the basic building block of the visible Church, and we baptize our children as a sign and a seal of their membership in this covenant community. We believe our children need to put their faith in Jesus and repent from their sins in order to be saved.
We believe the Church is an essential part of God's plan for communicating grace to sinners. Outside this body, there is no ordinary way to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We all have a creed. Everyone believes something about everything. Writing these creeds down, we believe, makes a powerful, tangible, and definitive statement - a standard by which we can measure our thinking, speaking, and living for God. Our creed is the historic Westminster Confession of Faith and the Shorter and Larger Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly. Unlike Scripture, these documents are neither inerrant nor are they the rule of our faith and practice at Christ Covenant. The Bible alone holds this cherished position in our hearts and minds. However, we find them to be a helpful summary of what we believe the Bible teaches about almost everything.
WHAT IS WORSHIP?
Worship is the verb of Christianity. It stands as the reason for both our creation and our redemption (1 Peter 2:9). Whatever we do, we are to do all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Although in one sense, we believe all of life is worship, we also believe that public worship holds special significance for the Christian Church. Each week on the Lord's Day (the New Testament word for Sunday), God calls His people together to hear His word, to sing His praise, to call upon His Name, and to bring their tithes and offerings before Him in grateful love. Above everything else we want the worship at Christ Covenant to be Biblical. A number of convictions drive this desire.
ORDINARY MEANS OF GRACE
First, the Bible is the best place to meet God and to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. You may have heard the phrase 'ordinary means of grace ministry.' This well describes our Church. The phrase simply means that a church emphasizes the Word, Sacraments, and Prayer in its public worship and ministry. These are the three avenues God has ordained to communicate His grace to mankind. We call them ordinary because they are neither flashy nor programmatic, but there is nothing ordinary about them, nor the God we meet in them.
A DIVINE DIALOGUE
Second, our worship is a response to God. We seek Him because He first sought us. We speak to Him because He first spoke to us. Worship exists as a holy dialogue between God and man, a divine dance in which God always takes the lead: He speaks, we respond. If you listen carefully, you will see this reflected in our liturgy, almost like a rhythm, a heart beat of devotion. This is why our services begin with a call to worship taken from the Bible. God's commanding voice calls us to sing. The music reverberates in our souls as God's good gift to lift our dusty spirits up to words which always feel beyond us. The songs we sing continue this conversation because they too are filled with Scriptural truth. You will see this devotion to Scripture throughout our service. We strive to read the Bible, preach the bible, pray the Bible, and sing the Bible."
DESIGNED BY GOD
Finally, the Bible teaches us how to worship - the way we should approach God, the words we should use, and the things we should do. It is ultimately most important that our worship be pleasing to God and not so much to us.
You will notice our pastor wears a Geneva Pulpit gown during worship. This is no accident. Much like the sense of decorum a robed “Judge” brings to the courtroom, we believe the gown serves to de-emphasize the pastor’s personality and his style of dress while emphasizing instead the office he holds and drawing the focus of the congregation to the worship of Almighty God and to the hearing of His word.
In 1 Peter 5:2, Scripture calls elders to "shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight . . . willingly, as God would have you." Christ Covenant is a presbyterian church. The term "presbyterian" originates in the language of the Greek New Testament and describes a church led by elders. Elders are elected from the congregation to shepherd the church. We have two types of elders: the pastor who is a full-time minister and who does most of the preaching and teaching at the church, and the ruling elders who assist him in providing executive leadership and pastoral care for the flock. Together they form the Session.
Pastor & Moderator
Neil is married to Catherine and is the father of 6. He is a former pediatric physician and now serves as Senior Pastor. A native of Northern Ireland, he lives in Oak Ridge.
Elder & Clerk
Eric is married to Adair and is the father of 4. He is an electrical engineer and develops cellular technology. A native of West Virginia, he lives in Oak Ridge.
Jim Van Eerden
Jim is married to Rachel and is the father of 11. He is a partner in a private equity firm and a media executive. A native of Wisconsin, he lives in Stokesdale.
Marshall is married to Dorothy and is the father of 3. He specializes in long-term care and insurance advising. He has also served many years in preaching and in church planting. A native of Greensboro, he lives in Oak Ridge.
Sonny is married to Jo Ellen and is the father of 2. With a PhD in chemistry and a degree from Harvard Business School, he has worked in a variety of capacities. He is currently a consultant for higher education. A native of South Carolina, he lives in Greensboro.
Our Deacons oversee the logistical aspects of church leadership. In particular, they marshall our physical and financial resources to meet the pressing needs of our congregation, our Christian brothers around us, and our neighbors in the world. With their help, the elders are able to keep prayer and the ministry of the Word as their primary focus among the flock (Acts 6:4).
Paul is married to Lynn and is the father of 6 grown children and grandfather of 3. He built a career in homebuilding and land development. A native of Virginia, he lives in Greensboro.
George is married to Carlene and is the father of 2 and grandfather of 3. He specializes in providing wood products to the furniture industry. A native of Tennessee, he lives in High Point.
Karl is married to Linda and is the father of 3 and grandfather of 6. He is retired from the printing industry and from missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators. A native of Connecticut, he lives in Reidsville.
Lou is father to one daughter and grandfather to a new granddaughter. He is an electrical engineer by education. A native of Charleston, SC, he now resides in Greensboro.
Lay leaders, both male and female, are vitally important to the ministry of our church. They increase the excellence and efficiency of our ministries in the areas of worship, discipleship, evangelism, mercy, hospitality, and stewardship. Members of our church are encouraged to serve where they can serve joyfully and in accordance with their unique God-given gifts. We believe that God gifts His church and equips Her for ministry through the tapestry of Her people's diverse personalities and spiritual gifts. We rejoice in the humble and joyful service of so many lay leaders in our congregation. Below are links to our lay leader structure (how our ministry leaders are organized) as well as tools we provide our congregation so they might assess and consider their personality gifts and spiritual gifts as they lead and serve in ministries that suit their God-given gifts.
Specifically, many people ask where women may serve in our church. We believe male and female were both created in the image of God. As Creation was "not good" when man was alone, the Church likewise requires the active presence of Godly women and will be its richest and fullest with their participation. In short, we encourage women to serve and lead in any area that is not the ordained office of elder or deacon.