What do we mean when we say our church is “historic”?
We mean that we agree with the Historic Creeds of the faith from the early Church, such as the Apostle’s Creed and Nicene Creed. These creeds were written as a declaration of basic Christian beliefs to unify Christians, protect the truth and expose false teachings.
For this reason, we utilize these ancient creeds in our worship services to remind ourselves of the most basic aspects of our faith, and to declare our common faith together with the ancient church.
We also mean we stand within the rich tradition of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century which was an effort to “reform” Christian beliefs and practices back to the infallible Scriptures. Secondly and particularly we mean we are part of the theological Protestant tradition of John Calvin. The Westminster Confession of Faith, a Reformed confession in the Calvinist theological tradition, written in the 17th century by “learned, godly and judicious” clergy. These men came together when the the English Parliament called upon to meet at Westminster Abbey in order to provide advice on issues of worship, doctrine, government and discipline in the church. It was meant to be an ecumenical document aimed at bringing Christian unity in Britain. The assembly met for five years (1643-1648) and produced the Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Westminster standards have served as the doctrinal standards for Presbyterians and many other churches (including some Anglicans, Baptists and independent Congregationalists) for over 3 centuries. The PCA holds to the American version of 1789.
Grace is the only church in the Yulee-Fernandina Beach area that officially teaches and preaches from a Reformed theological perspective. This does not mean we think we are better than other churches, nor does it mean we believe being “reformed” is necessary to be a true church. There are many churches in the area that faithfully preach and teach the scriptures, proclaim the true gospel and are being used by the Lord to reach many souls, and we rejoice in this. But at the same time, we are not ashamed to say we believe the Reformed perspective is the most accurate summary of what the Bible teaches.
Grace is a member church of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) denomination. Founded in 1973 by 250 Presbyterians in response to growing theological liberalism within its parent denomination, the PCA today consists of over 340,000 members in nearly 1700 churches and missions throughout the USA and Canada and regionally divided into 89 presbyteries. Grace is in the bounds of the North Florida Presbytery. The PCA also has Covenant College and Covenant Theological Seminary. It is theologically conservative, reformed, and evangelical and has as its motto: “Faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.”