Presbyterian Reformed Church (North America)

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Presbyterian Reformed Church
Classification Protestant
Theology Reformed, Evangelical, Scottish Presbyterian
Governance Presbyterian
Associations North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council
Founder John Murray
Origin 17 November 1965
Ontario, Canada
Separated from The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
Congregations 6[1]
Members 100 plus

The Presbyterian Reformed Church is a Christian denomination that was founded in Ontario, Canada on November 17, 1965,[2] whose churches continue the historic Scottish Presbyterian orthodoxy in doctrine, worship, government and discipline, on the basis of a conviction that these principles and practices are founded in and are agreeable to the Word of God.

The Presbyterian Reformed Church holds to the belief that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the infallible Word of God. The office-bearers must adopt and hold the original 1646 edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Westminster Shorter Catechism as standards subordinate to the Bible. The office-bearers also accept the Westminster Directory of Public Worship as a scriptural and suitable guide in the conduct of public worship.[3] Therefore, psalms are sung in public worship solely and without instrumental accompaniment, and the Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1650 is used solely in the public singing of psalms. The Authorized King James Version of the Bible is solely read in public for the purpose of practical uniformity only.[4] The King-James-Only Movement is not endorsed but it is accepted that the KJV is the Bible that should be used because it is the best translation. The Presbyterian Reformed Church accepts the doctrine of common grace as a biblical doctrine. The Presbyterian Reformed Church holds to the belief that Children of Believers/Members of the Church must be converted, not confirmed.



The beginnings of Presbyterian Reformed Church can be located at Chesley, Ontario, Canada.

In 1873, Rev. Thomas Hannah led a congregation near Williamsford and created the United Presbyterian Church. The church was received in 1912 by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which provided a pastor. By this time, the Presbyterian church in North America had spread to several locations including Lochalsh, Kincardine, East Williams and Brucefield. In 1918, the scattered congregations were recognized as the Ontario congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland sent pastor William Matheson. Matheson grew up in Lochalsh, Ontario but went to Scotland to train and study ministry through the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. During his stay in Scotland, Matheson befriended John Murray, who began to attend Princeton Seminary in 1924. During this time, a controversy broke out in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The church's Synod decided that the use of public transportation to attend service went against the Sabbath. Matheson and Murray claimed otherwise and were cut off from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. As a result, Murray was denied ordination by the Church and instead chose to accept a call to teach at Princeton. In 1937, he was ordained through the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

Matheson became involved with the congregations at Chesley and Lochalsh, as well as the congregations in Bruce, Huron, and Elgin countries and Ontario until his death in 1957. The Chesley congregation eventually began the Presbyterian Reformed Church under the guidance of Murray. Murray conducted Matheson's funeral and later retired in 1968. He returned to Scotland and died in 1975.


In 1976 Dr. William Young, an acquaintance of John Murray, joined the presbytery and began serving a congregation at Seekonk, Massachusetts. This congregation became the Presbyterian Reformed Church in 1978. After the death of John Murray, Dr. David Freeman took over preaching duties in Chesley. In 1979, the presbytery organized a congregation under pastor Harry Grimes which no longer exists.

In 1992, the presbytery received Trinity Reformed Church from Des Moines, Iowa. In 2001, Michael J. Ericson was installed as the pastor. In 1996, a congregation was organized in Portland, Oregon with D. Douglas Gebbie as the pastor. In 1998, a congregation was organized in Charlotte, North Carolina, led by pastor Timothy J. Worrell until 2013 .[2] Which has been closed due to a division over keeping the Lord's Day. One group held to the position that "it was okay to require people to work on Sunday, but if you were required to miss a worship service due to work requirements you should be barred from the Lord's table", while the other group held that "you should never ask or require people to work on Sunday but if you were required to work on Sunday, the church should have mercy on you and pray and hope that God would provide another way for you", and at the same this group would never ask someone to work on Sunday.


  1. ^ Presbyterian Reformed Church (2014), Congregations, retrieved 2014-07-14 
  2. ^ a b Presbyterian Reformed Church (2012), Our History, retrieved 2012-11-13 
  3. ^ Presbyterian Reformed Church (2004), Basis of Union, retrieved 2012-11-13 
  4. ^ Presbyterian Reformed Church (2004), The Form of Church Government, The Ordinances of Worship in a Particular Congregation, retrieved 2012-11-13 

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