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About the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was formed from the merger of two conservative Scottish Presbyterian denominations in 1782, making it the oldest Presbyterian church in this country.  We are a classically and consistently Reformed and Evangelical denomination, holding the inerrant Bible as our only rule of both faith and practice.  While there are only 300 ARP churches in North America and Scotland, we have had a historic missions emphasis.  

Our sister synod, the ARP Church of Pakistan, has some 110,000 members, and the ARP Church of Mexico has another 30,000 members.  We have a number of outstanding boards and agencies which you can visit online. 

Here are a few personal testimonies about the ARP Church:

“During the seventeen years that I have been a member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church I have been privileged to watch an old church become a new one. Indeed, to me, that’s the genius of the ARP today. This very old church, whose origin dates to the 1700s, is a very new church as well. How is that? At its inception, its goal was to provide a place for true Presbyterians who were unwilling to bow to erroneous teaching about the Gospel, to worship, fellowship, and reach out to the lost...  Now, in our generation there has been not only a revival of its original mission, but an even greater desire for local and world outreach”

Jay Adams, author and ARP minister

“Why become ARP? Because I appreciate a church that historically wanted to be faithful without being schismatic. Because deep roots in the Reformed tradition are important to me. Because church is family, and here we are neither lost in the cogs of denominational politics nor retreating into practical independency. Because the ARP provides a place to stand (on Christ, in Scripture, in loyalty to the Westminster Standards), room to breathe (comparative freedom from kingdom-building mentalities), and an opportunity to grow (as the church looks to be faithful to the Lord into the future.)”

Sinclair Ferguson, author and retired ARP minister

“As a founding member of an ARP church plant, and as an elder, nothing has provoked me to grow more spiritually than to be associated with such a solid, Biblically-grounded denomination.”

Bill Wolfe, Astronaut Instructor, Johnson Space Center


Charting a new course?

Here are 4 convincing reasons to choose the ARP Church.

Roots

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church was organized in 1782. Many advantages come with the maturity of more than 200 years.

  • Identity

    We know what we believe and what we stand for.
  • Stability

    We are blessed with a stability and maturity developed over many generations of working through all sorts of theological and social issues.
  • History

    We appreciate our rich heritage, which reaches back to 17th century Scotland.
  • Family

    We have earned a reputation of being a close-knit, loving denomination. Our church government has stood the test of time. The ARP Church is governed by teaching elders (pastors) and ruling elders in the local churches in the regional presbyteries and by the General Synod. Each church sends representatives to presbytery and synod meetings.

Faithfulness

Our commitment to the Reformed faith remains strong.
  • We stand firm on the sovereignty of God.
  • We believe that the Bible is the "Word of God written, without error in all that it teaches."
  • We are not afraid to challenge our culture,
    • proclaiming God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
    • remaining faithful to our doctrinal standards,
    • refusing to ordain practicing homosexuals, yet respecting them as people made in the image of God, who need to hear the Gospel
    • affirming the virgin birth of Christ,
    • believing the authenticity of the first 11 chapters of Genesis,
    • warning about the damage produced by sin and the reality of hell,
    • encouraging and supporting the ministry of women in the church to the greatest extent possible, yet recognizing that the Bible reserves the roles of elders and pastors for men.

Doctrinal debates over the years have strengthened the unity and stability fostered by the Reformed faith. We remain committed to Biblical teachings in all things.

Outlook

While we are proud of our roots that go back to the “Second Reformation” in Scotland, we are also encouraged as we look toward the future.
  • The ARP Church is growing. We have 265 congregations in 10 presbyteries in the United States and Canada, and 30 new churches being planted.
  • The ARP Church is obeying Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples. Our foreign mission fields include Pakistan, Mexico, Russia, Germany, Turkey, Wales, and Persian-speaking people. ARPs also work on other mission fields through cooperative agreements.
  • The ARP Church is renewing. We have offered a revitalization program for 10 years. Currently we are providing a variety of tools to help in the renewal of existing churches.

We are encouraged that the ARP denomination is alive and continues to grow by God’s grace—numerically, geographically, and most important, spiritually.

But first and foremost, we are encouraged about the years ahead because we know the sovereign God who holds the future.

Attitude

A sense of unity is evident in the ARP Church. We are walking together in a common direction.

  • We have learned how to disagree without divisiveness.
  • Respect and civility are part of the ARP tradition; attitudes that are becoming all too uncommon in our society, and even in church courts.
  • Guests have described our annual Synod meetings as having the atmosphere of a family reunion. We like to be together and that honors our heavenly Father.
  • Our Synod agencies practice teamwork, and seek to provide tools to help local congregations.


We strive—to the greatest degree possible—to demonstrate the attitude of Christ.

We have given only four of the many reasons why a church, a group, or an individual might choose the ARP. As a fellowship of believers we open our doors, praying that those who come in will find comfort, encouragement, and spiritual growth. We welcome people from varied racial and cultural backgrounds—all who seek to worship our sovereign God.

We invite your inquiry.