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Question and Answer

How to Start a New OP Church

Question:

Please advise basic requirements to start a new church under your denominational banner.

Answer:

The process required in our Form of Government is two-fold. First, if a group is an organized church outside the OPC, the local Presbytery must examine members and officers to satisfy themselves that they meet the constitutional standards of the OPC (which are, for members, reasonable evidence of saving faith and, for ordained officers, satisfactory evidence that they qualify as "adopting the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this church as containing the system of doctrine taught in Holy Scripture").

Secondly, if the group is not an organized church, the adherents of the group may become members of an overseeing congregation. Then, by Presbytery action, it becomes a "Mission Work" of the OPC. The group thus comes under the care of the OPC and a constituent part of it, with all the privileges of church membership. That includes exemption from government tax liability.

What I advise you to do is to make contact with the General Secretary of the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension. Click the "Home Missions" link in the left column of this page and then "Want to start an OPC in your area?" under Resources.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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