(4) United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church Defined

The Congregational Churches of America and the Evan­galical and Reformed Churches of America in 1957 united to form a new body known as the United Church of Christ. The definitions of it and the Presbyterian Church which follow were derived from Religions in America compiled by Douglas Horton and John Southerland, and edited by Leo Rosten. The book was published by Simon and Schuster in New York, New York, in 1963.


United Church of Christ


If a creed be defined as an attempt to define one’s faith in the living God, Congregationalists have been among the greatest creed-making of history -for each particular congra­gation is accustomed to write its own creed.


A few churches use the Apostle’s Creed. Other churches have given up the use of this creed, chiefly because one or two of its phrases are believed to be untrue.


Congregationalists remain Puritans, with a passionate regard for truth. They do not adopt a creed unless persuaded it is all true.


The Catholic faith which they hold, is fundamentally a belief not in any creed but in the living person of Jesus Christ.


The Congregationalist is a Catholic, but not in the same sense that he recognizes the sovereignty of the Pope. He is a Catholic in the sense that he holds what he regards as the Catholic faith, that universal faith which is common to all Christians and which binds together the Holy Church.


He holds the Roman to be one of the true branches of the Church.


Presbyterian Church


A Presbyterian is a Protestant who belongs to a particular form of church government. The word Presbyterian refers not to a special system of doctrine of worship, but to a repre­sentative form of church government.


In Greek, “presbyteros” means “elder.” The Presbyterian Church is governed by elders: teaching elders, who are or­dained ministers or pastors, and ruling elders elected from the ranks of the Church.


In each congregation these elders, with a minister at their head as Moderator, form the Session with supreme authority in all spiritual matters in the local church.


There are two additional boards in each congregation: the deacons have the responsibility for distributing charity and in some congregations other duties have been allocated to them, and the trustees hold the property for the congregation and are en trusted with its upkeep, and are also charged with responsibility for finances of the church.


In some Presbyterian churches the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees are performed by the Board of Deacons.