For over 60 years, God has faithfully accomplished His ministry through this Body of Christ called Colonial. Born from a church plant Sunday school called Boone Church, Colonial Presbyterian Church was established in 1953 at 9500 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO. Our Overland Park, KS campus, near Quivira Rd and 135th Street, was opened in 2002, making us one church in two locations.
As members of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church we hold tightly to the Essentials of Our Faith as laid out by the EPC. We also maintain the system of doctrine found in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Additionally, the EPC website provides multiple position papers that address specific subjects: EPC POSITION PAPERS. Beliefs are often best discussed in dialogue. Accordingly, our pastors would love the opportunity to talk with you about the beliefs of Colonial.
Here is a brief overview of what we believe:
So, why “Presbyterian?” What does that word mean, anyway? So glad you asked!
The word “Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word presbyteros, which means “elder.” So, to make it really simple, if a church is Presbyterian, the church is governed by elders.
You might be familiar with churches that are governed in more of a top-down style, usually through a hierarchy. For instance, Episcopalian churches are governed by bishops (episkopos is the Greek word for “bishop”). In other kinds of churches, the congregations are autonomous and the members make all the decisions through voting. Those churches are usually called Congregational in their government.
In Presbyterian churches, congregations elect their elders, and the elders prayerfully make most decisions as a group on behalf of the congregation (although very large decisions often include a congregational vote or direct input). If a decision has to be made that affects several churches, elders from each of those churches get together to make the decision collaboratively.
If you’re thinking, “Some of that sounds like how the United States government works,” then you’re right! Many aspects of the United States’ representational government were modeled after Presbyterianism!
It’s not only churches in Presbyterian denominations that run this way. Any church that is governed by elders is Presbyterian in their government, and this includes many other denominations and non-denominational churches.
At Colonial, we currently have 18 elders serving the congregation in this way with 6 of those elders also having clergy responsibilities.
If a church is part of an actual Presbyterian denomination, it means that not only is it Presbyterian in church government, but it also subscribes to Presbyterian theology to some level.
Probably the most thorough explanation of Presbyterian theology is in the Westminster Confession of Faith – and it is thorough! Members are not required to agree with everything in the Confession, but it does represent a summary of what Presbyterian churches will teach.
Colonial belongs to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) denomination. The EPC recognizes that not every church or church member is going to agree on every doctrinal point, so they’ve written “The Essentials of our Faith,” which are seven statements held to be core, non-negotiable beliefs. This is a much shorter list than, say, the Westminster Confession, and it allows us to have the freedom to disagree (with love and respect) on matters that aren’t considered absolutely essential.
So, there you have it! We’re Presbyterian because we believe churches are best run by a Spirit-led group accountable to each other and their congregations, and because we hold to key doctrines of the faith while also allowing freedom to biblically and lovingly disagree.
When you’re Presbyterian, it isn’t just you trying to be a Christian on your own, anymore. You get a whole family as part of the deal.