Our History

First Presbyterian Church of Newark (FPC Newark) has been a part of the community for over 100 years, demonstrating the Lord’s word to the people of the Tri-City area of Fremont, Newark and Union City, California. Organized on July 23, 1894, the “Church on the Corner” continues to serve the community as a place of worship and fellowship in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.”

 

What We Believe

FPC Newark is a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). You can read their statement of faith by clicking here.

You can also learn more about the Presbyterian Church (USA) and what we believe in regarding specific things by clicking here.

 

How to Speak Presbyterian

Here are some words or phrases that we use as Presbyterians. This is taken from the PCUSA website and you can find more by clicking here.

Session
This is the group of people, elected by the congregation, who make the decisions for the running of the local church. In some churches this group is called the “church council.”

Elders
The session is composed of elders. This doesn’t have to do with age so much as those who are considered competent and wise enough to make good decisions. There are two kinds of elders, “ruling elders” and “teaching elders.” The ruling elders come from the congregation and are elected to serve in three-year cycles. The teaching elder is the pastor. This person is called a teaching elder because a pastor has to go to many schools to get the education to preach and teach proper doctrine.

The pastor is often also called the minister or a “minister of the Word and Sacraments.”

Presbytery
The presbytery is made up of a group of churches, usually in a certain geographical area.

The presbytery meeting includes “presbyters,” both ruling and teaching elders, who gather to make decisions affecting the presbytery. By having their representatives gather together as a group, congregations both support each other and are held accountable to each other.

Book of Order
This is the rule book for the Presbyterian Church. It contains the guidelines for church life, including structure, worship and collective action. It not only tells us how to do things but also explains why. It was developed and can be modified by the General Assembly, with the ratification of a majority of the presbyteries.

Calvin and Knox
In the Presbyterian Church you will hear “Calvin Church,” “Calvin this-and-that,” as well as “Knox Church,” etc. John Calvin was a French Reformer who followed in the footsteps of Martin Luther in the 1500s. He gave us the theological foundations for our church, so we have named a lot of things after him. John Knox was a Scottish preacher who brought the teachings of John Calvin to Scotland and got the Presbyterian Church going in that country, so we have named a lot of things after him too.