Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America

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The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), a Christian church, is a small Presbyterian denomination with churches throughout the United States, in southeastern Canada, and in a small part of Japan. Its beliefs place it in the conservative wing of the Reformed family of Protestant churches. Below the Bible—which is held as divinely inspired and without error—the church is committed to several "subordinate standards", together considered its constitution: the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms, along with its Testimony, Directory for Church Government, Book of Discipline, and Directory for Worship. All communicant members "believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule for faith and life", according to the first of several vows required for such membership.

The RPCNA has a long history, having been a separate denomination in the United States since colonial days. Furthermore, in Scotland (where the denomination originated), Reformed Presbyterians have been a separate denomination since the late 17th century, and today the RPCNA claims identity with the original Presbyterian Church of Scotland that came out of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

As its name suggests, the RPCNA is governed through the Presbyterian system (which the denomination considers to be the only divinely-appointed method of church government), with each individual congregation being governed by two or more elders. As with most Presbyterian denominations, the RPCNA is divided into several presbyteries, but unlike several other smaller Presbyterian denominations, the supreme governing body is a single synod, not a general assembly. Each congregation may send one elder delegate (two for larger congregations) to its presbytery meeting, as well as to the annual Synod meeting. Each minister, whether serving as the pastor of a congregation or not, is automatically a delegate to his presbytery and to Synod.


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