NAPARC Churches: Presbyterian Reformed Church (PRC)

The Presbyterian Reformed Church might easily be confused with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America because of some similarity in name. The Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) will be featured at a later time.

The Presbyterian Reformed Church was founded in Ontario, Canada, on November 17, 1965, and presently consists of only six congregations.

In 1873, Rev. Thomas Hannah led a congregation near Williamsford, Ontario, and created the United Presbyterian Church The church was received in 1912 by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. By then the Presbyterian church in North America had spread to several other locations, and in 1918, the scattered congregations were recognized as the Ontario congregations of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

In 1919, Rev. William Matheson returned to Ontario after going to Scotland to study for the ministry through the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. He continued to be involved with the Ontario congregations until his death in 1957. During his stay in Scotland, Matheson befriended John Murray. Murray began to study at Princeton Seminary in 1924, during which time a controversy broke out in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. The church’s synod decided that the use of public transportation on the Lord’s Day to attend worship services was grounds for church discipline. 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 and then for many years at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. Murray was ordained by the Orthodox Presbyterian Church but had considerable influence in the PRC. The Chesley, Ontario, congregation eventually began the Presbyterian Reformed Church under the guidance of Murray.

The RPC churches continue historic Scottish Presbyterian orthodoxy in doctrine, worship, government, and discipline. The PRC subscribes to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms. They also subscribe to the Westminster Directory of Public Worship. 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 singing of one of the RPC congregations can be found at http://presbyterianreformed.org/ psalms-cd/.

The RPC has congregations in Chesley, Ontario; Des Moines, Iowa; Columbus, Indiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; East Greenwich, Rhode Island; and one congregation in England.

Information obtained from the Presbyterian Reformed website at http://presbyterianreformed.org/, where complete information can be found.

 

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