Our Beliefs

Hopewell is a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Below are a few basic questions and answers taken from the EPC website. For more detail information, visit the EPC website.

What is the EPC’s view of the Bible?

We believe that the Bible is fully inspired by God the Holy Spirit to lead people to a saving knowledge of God and to help them understand their world rightly. By its very nature, the Bible is infallible.

What does the EPC believe?

The EPC is Presbyterian in government, Reformed in theology and Evangelical in spirit.

What does it mean to be “Presbyterian?”

To be Presbyterian is to be governed according to the pattern of elders seen in the Old and New Testaments. We are ruled neither by bishops in a hierarchical model nor by members in a congregational model. Biblically qualified elders are recognized through congregational election and, along with ministers, rule the church corporately. It also means being connected in mutual accountability and responsibility. Just as individual Christians are connected to one another as members of the body of Christ, so also individual congregations are connected under Christ as the great Head of the Church.

What does it mean to be “Reformed?”

To be “Reformed” means several things. Historically, it means that we trace our roots to the Reformation, when John Calvin and others led the movement to reform the Church according to Scripture. Theologically, it means belief in the absolute sovereignty of God and that the highest good is God’s glory. This historical and theological heritage is often expressed in the “solas” of the Reformation—God’s grace alone as the only way to be reconciled to God, faith alone as the only means of receiving God’s grace, Christ alone as the ground of God’s saving grace, Scripture alone as the only infallible authority for belief and God’s glory alone as the ultimate purpose for the lives of men and women.

What does it mean to be “Evangelical?”

To be “Evangelical” means to believe in the importance of sharing the good news that through Jesus Christ the kingdom of God has been inaugurated, freeing people from the guilt and power of sin through personal faith and repentance. We express this priority on evangelism by stating it in our governing documents as the first work of the church. This priority is evidenced in our emphasis on church planting and world missions.

Does the EPC believe in missions?

Absolutely! Our World Outreach Committee oversees the sending of over 75 missionaries to over 20 different countries. Some of our best and brightest members are serving with the generous support of our congregations because we believe that the gospel must be proclaimed to all nations.

What is your relationship to other Presbyterian and Reformed denominations?

We lie in the middle area of a continuum of American Presbyterian denominations. The EPC believes in historic Christianity as taught in Scripture, thus looking to the Bible as our guide on moral issues and believing in the reality of sin, salvation and judgment. At the same time, we want to give evidence of what we consider a mark of the true church—loving fellowship—by holding our convictions with charity toward others and charitably allowing a diversity of views within the EPC on non-essential issues. Thus we identify positively with those Presbyterian denominations which hold to biblical authority.