You know what you are looking for in a church. You and your family need to be in a community where there is a connection, a bond. Are we that church for you? We certainly hope so. But only you can determine that. We invite you to explore our beliefs, traditions, and history to decide if FPC Haines City is a good fit for you.
What makes FPC the church we are today? Our foundation is the Word of God, the teachings of the greater church, and the commandments and sacraments as Jesus instructed. We believe that Jesus is the cornerstone of the living church, as evidenced through our history, leadership, and congregation.
Foundations of Our Beliefs
FPC Haines City exists to glorify God by changing lives through the message of Jesus Christ.
All humanity has fallen short of God's glory; is in a state of sin; and deserves the judgment of God. Because of our sin nature, we cannot seek out or please God on our own (Romans 3:23), and we deserve eternal punishment (Romans 1:18).
Not only was Jesus Christ a real person in history, he is the sinless Son of God. First century political and religious leaders put him to death because of his "radical" claims to be God in the flesh, the Divine King promised in Scripture (Messiah), and his message of salvation through faith exclusively in him alone (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Jesus died for his children because he loves us and because we need a perfect Savior to turn away from us God's justified anger (John 6:37-39). Jesus' death was not permanent; on the third day he physically rose from the grave and appeared to numerous eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, when we confess our unworthiness and put our faith in him, we are saved from final judgment and granted eternal life (John 6:40).
The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Divine Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—Three in One and One in Three); he draws us to Christ; gives us saving faith to believe the good news; and strengthens us to live holy (albeit imperfect) lives of obedience to Jesus (Romans 8:5-11). Being a follower of Christ requires personal and often costly sacrifices (Luke 14:25-35).
The Church, the Body of Christ, is a collection of saved sinners across space and time. We are committed to loving and caring for one another. Most importantly, we cultivate relationships to help each other grow in grace and love for our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 12:9-21). Prayer is a powerful gift from God through which we receive grace and forgiveness (Philippians 4:6).
The Church is commanded to reach out to the world with an indiscriminate call to faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16). We are responsible to influence the world, both near and far, for the gospel (Matthew 28:19). Jesus will come again; and when he does, he will renew this fallen world and clothe his people in bodies fit to live on a renewed earth forever. Those without faith in Jesus will receive unending separation from God (Matthew 25:31-46).
We Value People
"People Matter to God"
We Value Application of Scripture
“Teaching is for Life-Change"
We Value Growth
"Real Christ-followers Grow"
We Value Small Groups
"Growing Larger and Smaller at the Same Time"
We Value Excellence
"God is Honored in Excellence"
We Value Service
"Every Member is a Minister"
We Value Creativity and Innovation
"Changing Methods… Unchanging Message"
We Value Unity and Diversity
"Focusing on the Things that Unite Us, Not the Things that Divide Us"
We are Protestant:
that segment within Christendom which is non-Roman or Eastern Orthodox. We embrace the five pillars of the Reformation which are:
- Sola Scriptura, by Scripture alone.
- Sola Gratia, by grace alone.
- Solus Christus, through Christ alone.
- Sola Fide, by faith alone.
- Soli Deo Gloria, glory to God alone.
Presbyterian comes from the Greek word presbuteros ...
meaning elder. It is used 72 times in the New Testament. FPC is governed by a body of twelve elders (also referred to as overseers or shepherds in the Bible) called by God and elected by members of the church. As a Presbyterian church, we believe Jesus, the chief shepherd, has given under-shepherds to care for God's people as they journey through their life of faith this side of heaven (Ephesians 4:11-14; 1 Peter 5:1-4). The Presbyterian form of church government emphasizes the cooperative character of the Church as reflected in the New Testament (Acts 15:2-6). Therefore, while the elders of FPC are primarily responsible for overseeing the ministry of this church, they also share in the work of overseeing the ministry of sister churches throughout the Presbytery of Florida and in the entire denomination through what is called the Synod.
We are Presbyterian in government:
that form of church government that consists of three levels of church governing bodies: The Synod, Presbytery, and Session. The session is made up of elders and teaching elders (pastors) who represent the members of the congregation.
All Presbyterian churches are instructed by the ECO Constitution consisting of two parts: Polity (rules of governance) and Discipline.
We are a creedal and confessional church.
We use the Westminster Confession of Faith, Heidelberg Confession, Nicene Creed, Apostles Creed, Theological Declaration of Barmen and the Scots Confession. They assist us in teaching the truth of our faith. The theology and beliefs of our leadership are most closely represented by the Westminster Confession of Faith.
We are a Confessing Church.
We believe that Jesus Christ alone is Lord of all and the way of salvation. That the Holy Scripture is the triune God’s revealed Word, the church’s only infallible rule of faith and life. That God’s people are called to holiness in all aspects of life. This includes honoring the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, the only relationship within which sexual activity is appropriate and the sanctity of life, that life begins at conception.
Presbyterians have two sacraments.
The Presbyterian Church does not have many ceremonies and rituals. This is because we do not want to distract from the two most important ceremonies Christ left to the church, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We believe these are the only two ceremonies, which we call sacraments, which Christ instituted for the church throughout the ages.
The sacraments are visible and tangible ways of experiencing God’s grace and goodness. They are “signs” of God’s gracious promise and “seals” of God’s life-giving Word. The sacraments not only show us who God is and what God has done for us; they also provide us a way to respond to God’s grace and goodness.
Baptism is administered only once as a sign of our forgiveness from sin and our entrance into the family of God. We administer baptism to infants and children in anticipation of their faith and with the promise of parents to raise them in the “training and instruction of the Lord.” We administer the Sacrament of Baptism to adults upon their public profession of faith. All baptisms are joyfully celebrated within the context of Sunday worship.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is repeated often in the Presbyterian Church. Our congregation celebrates it on the first Sunday of every month. This ceremony reminds us, over and over, that we need the spiritual nourishment Christ brings to us and that Christ, our living Savior, is present with us, now and in the future.
All who are baptized and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are welcome to His table.
The sacraments are intimately connected. In Baptism, we are welcomed, and in the Lord’s Supper, we are sustained as members of the Body of Christ:
Those who have been washed in the waters of baptism and fed at the table of the Lord know that the world continues to bear the marks of sin and brokenness. Washed and fed, we give witness to the redemptive love of God in Jesus Christ. Evangelism is the church’s mission to share with a broken world the good news of God’s saving grace. The sacraments do not turn us away from the needs of others in complacent satisfaction; they lead us back into the world with a greater hunger for righteousness. When Christians join the struggle for justice, for a world where all have enough to eat and all are honored and live in peace, they cry, “How long, O Lord?” More often than not, such communities testify that God may not come when we want, but God gets there on time.
Standing on His Promises
First Presbyterian Church has been around for a long time. Read about how we came to be.
Our pastors and staff take their responsibilities to the limit. Find out who they are and what they do.
Our elders and deacons are elected by the membership of the church and ordained into service.
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone."
Ephesians 2:19-20 (NIV)
Looking for a church family?
We think you would fit into ours very nicely!