Grace Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and holds to the inerrancy, infallibility and authority of Scripture. As Presbyterians, we hold to the Westminster Standards which includes the Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The Westminster Standards, while subordinate to Scripture, are helpful and accurate summaries of the Christian faith.
We affirm the five Solas of the Protestant Reformation.
- Sola Scriptura – The Bible alone can bind the conscience of believers and is infallible, inerrant and sufficient.
- Sola Fide – Justification is by faith alone. The merit of Christ imputed to us by faith is the sole ground of our acceptance by God.
- Solus Christus – Christ is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed.
- Sola Gratia – Our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s unfathomable grace for us and in us.
- Soli Deo Gloria – To God alone belongs the glory.
The human soul was made to know and worship God. We experience something deeply fulfilling when we worship the true God in the true way, in “spirit and truth,” as Jesus said (John 4:23). The problem today is that such worship is difficult to find. In some places worship is formal, dull, and dead. It consists of the same ceremonies, the same rituals, and the same words repeated by rote, week after week after week. In other places it is alive enough, but it has degenerated into entertainment. Neither formalism nor entertainment can satisfy the soul that seeks to connect with God. We offer a worship that is reverent, unambiguously God-centered, orderly, and conducted with humble dignity. Our services join together that which is so often separated: reverent worship and biblical preaching. We see this as the distinctive benefit of our ministry: God-centered worship and Bible teaching at the same place and at the same time.
Our service is a classic worship service in the tradition of Reformed (or Presbyterian) Protestantism. Given the diversity of styles of worship today, what we do is unfamiliar to many of our visitors. We offer the following information as an aid in understanding the meaning of each part of the service.
The Elements of Our Worship
Our worship is simple, consisting of the few biblical elements that God has commanded. Our approach to worship means that:
We read and preach the Word – Approximately a chapter is read in each service in addition to the portion upon which the sermon is to be based. Normally our sermons are sequential, verse-by-verse expositions of whole books of the Bible.
We pray the Word – Our prayers are filled with the praises, the confessions, and the promises of Scripture. We offer a full-diet of prayer in each service.
We sing the Word – We incorporate at least one metrical Psalm (the biblical Psalms translated and rhymed for singing) in each service. We also sing biblically rich hymns.
We receive the Visible Word – The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the word of God made visible and perceivable by our senses.
The Order of Our Worship
The design of our worship, both morning and evening, is driven by what one might call “gospel logic.”
- A cycle of praise (call to worship / prayer of praise / hymn / Gloria Patri / Creed); is followed by…
- A cycle of confession (recitation of the Law of God / confession of sin / assurance of pardon / tithes and offerings); which is followed by…
- A cycle employing the means of grace (intercessory prayers / sacraments / Scripture reading / sermon); which is followed by…
- A cycle of thanksgiving and blessing (concluding hymn / benediction)
This is essentially the pattern of Isaiah 6, the Lord’s Prayer, and the gospel itself. In knowing the true God (in praise), we know ourselves (as sinners), our need (for grace), and give thanks for His gifts in Christ. Sometimes each element is distinct.
The end result, we trust, is a well-ordered worship that is in “spirit and truth” (John 4:23), conducted with “reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28), and characterized by both emotional discipline and holy joy (Ps. 2:11; 1 Cor. 14:32-40). Please review one of our worship bulletins to better familiarize yourself with our order of worship
At Grace we also emphasize the importance of catechizing believers of all ages. For more information on the importance of catechism, please read, “A 21st-Century Plea for Catechizing Our Covenant Children.”
Our Teaching Elders
Dr. Ron Gleason Teaching Elder / Senior Pastor
Ron is married with six children. After graduating from the Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, he served three years in the Army as a tank platoon leader. Soon thereafter, he completed an M.Div. degree at Gordon-Conwell Seminary and a Drs. degree at the Free University of Amsterdam. He then pastored churches in Holland and Canada, worked with Ligonier Ministries in Toronto and, after moving to California in 1994, completed his Ph.D. from Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia.
Ben Muresan Teaching Elder / Assistant Pastor
Ben is married with two children. He graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2010 with an M.Div. and from Vanguard University in 2005 with a B.A. in Pastoral Leadership Studies. He was ordained and installed as the Assistant Pastor at Grace on February 20, 2011.
Grace Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Founded in 1973, the PCA is one of the fastest growing denominations in the United States with 1, 442 church in 79 presbyteries.
From its inception, the PCA has determined its purpose to be “faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.”
The PCA has a strong commitment to evangelism and missions at home and abroad. Its mission organization, Mission to the World, is represented in over 60 nations. The PCA has one of the highest ratios of missionaries to members of any major denomination in the United States.
The PCA also has a strong commitment to Christian education. Its publishing house, Christian Education and Publications, produces high quality Sunday School material. The PCA also hosts Covenant College, in Georgia, and Covenant Seminary, in Missouri.
The PCA’s representative form of church government is rooted in its name – presbyterian. Local churches are governed by elders (presbyters) elected by the church members. This form of government extends through the regional presbyteries, which facilitate connectionalism, to the national General Assembly, which expresses the PCA’s connectionalism and the bond of union between and among all the churches.
More information about the PCA can be found on its website located at www.pcanet.org.