The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Our denomination is an historic association of churches which goes back to the turmoil of the Scottish Reformation in the 16th through 18th centuries. Groups of Scots dissented from English domination of the church, the control of the choice of pastors by the richest landowner in each area, and the dictate that the King of England was the Head of the Church on earth. Over nine hundred of our spiritual ancestors - men, women and children - died for their faith during what has come to be known "the killing time". Thus, our synod (national church body in America) is perhaps the only American denomination whose roots were formed during a period of martyrdom.
The Associate Reformed Synod is not large, consisting of less than three hundred congregations primarily found in the Southeastern United States and eastern Canada. A sizeable contingent of new Korean Presbyterian congregations has recently given our denomination a notable presence on the West coast. In the past, the denomination may have been hindered in growth by its refusal, for much of its history, to sing anything other in worship than the psalms of the Old Testament set to tune. That policy was changed in the last century (see Colossians 3:16), and the denomination is now one of the growing churches in the United States.
We share a common faith with all biblically-minded Presbyterian believers (see the insert regarding doctrine), and we recognize with thanksgiving the ministry of many Christians beyond the Presbyterian stream. Our denominational college is Erskine College and our denomination's seminary is Erskine Seminary, both located in the academic village of Due West, South Carolina. Our denominational headquarters are located in Greenville, South Carolina, and our retreat center, Bonclarken, is found in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Our denomination supports church-planting missionaries and other mission work around the world, with especially important works in Pakistan, Mexico, Russia, and the Middle East. We at All Saints' contribute to this mission work now, and look forward to the day when we support missionaries in very substantial ways.
Our ministers are all trained men, and all are expected to have a sound faith, an exemplary life, and an evangelical spirit. All are under the authority of a shared church constitution and doctrinal standard (The Westminster Confession of Faith). In addition to Erskine Seminary, our ministers are trained at Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Seminary, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and others.
The A.R.P. Synod, like we ourselves, is far from perfect. But through the years, it has kept "the faith once delivered to the saints" and is a true family of faith in a time when many (even in our churches!) feel anonymous and lost in the crowd.
You may find out more about the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church by going to our denominational website.