Site hosted by Build your free website today!


"A Presby what?": Good question. The name of this particular branch of Christendom is derived from the Biblical Greek word presbyteros, which means elder. Our denomination traces its roots to 16th century Geneva and the towering theologian/pastor John Calvin. Another "branch" of our roots comes from Scotland and the prophet/preacher John Knox, a contemporary of Calvin's. The Parish history reaches back to 1791 when Scots-Irish settlers gathered for worship of the Biblical, Triune, God. The Reems Creek congregation officially formed in 1794. Beech traces here beginnings to 1884. One prominent "son" of the Reems Creek congregation is Zebulon Vance, North Carolina's Civil War Governor. The present Reems Creek sanctuary was completed in 1902 and was designed by noted Asheville architect, Richard Sharpe Smith. Smith was an assistant to Richard Morris Hunt, architect of the Biltmore House. The lovely rock Beech sanctuary was completed in 1937, with a new fellowship hall completed in 1994.

The Presbyterian representative form of church government functions through a system of elected elders and called pastors. Thus, we seek God's will for worship, learning, and outreach through an elected body of leaders. On the local level this is the Session of elders. The regional body, or Presbytery, is composed of the pastor and an elder representative from each congregation (larger congregations may have an added elder representative), such as western North Carolina. The General Assembly meets annually with different clergy and elder representatives elected each year from each Presbytery. One of the great highlights each year is the commissioning of missionaries to go into the world and fulfill the "Great Commission" of our Lord Jesus Christ. The smaller General Assembly Council meets throughout the year to guide General Assembly policy and deal with other matters which may arise.

Our Biblical faith is summarized in The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which consists of the Book of Confessions and the Book of Order. The Confessions (BC) are authoritative in helping to preserve orthodoxy and ward off heresy. The Book of Order consists of sections on "The form of Government", "Church Discipline", and "The Directory for Worship". We believe that Holy Scripture is the final, "infallible rule for faith and practice" (from BC, "Westminster Confession").

Another guide to a comprehensive ministry in the world are the "Great Ends of the Church" from the _Book of Order_: 1. The Proclamation of the Gospel for the salvation of humankind. 2. The maintenance of Divine Worship. 3. The shelter, nurture, and fellowship of the children of God. 4. The preservation of the Truth. 5. The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world. 6. The promotion of social righteousness.