Our Denomination

What’s a Denomination?

While many churches are totally independent, our church has always been connected to a larger church family. For many decades we were associated withthe mainline Presbyterian church, the largest wing of which is the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (PCUSA).

In 1981, First Presbyterian Church withdrew from that group to become part of a new denomination, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). One of our former pastors, Rev. Calvin Gray, was the group’s first Moderator.

We’re proud of our association with the EPC which gives us freedom to be ourselves, while keeping us accountable to strong biblical doctrine and organizational integrity. This great balance is reflected in their motto:

In Essentials – Unity

In Non-Essentials – Liberty

In All Things – Charity

You’re welcome to learn more about the EPC at the link below:


Presbyterian churches are never independent, but are connected to a wider church denomination. Our denomination is the EPC. It’s our integral connection to other churches that in part makes us “presbyterian.”

The EPC is subdivided into 8 regional geographic units called presbyteries; ours is the Presbytery of the Midwest, comprising about 38 congregations in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. The presbytery meets several times a year by sending representatives of elders and pastors from these churches to discuss matters relevant to our local congregations.

Since First Presbyterian Church is not an independent church, we are accountable to our presbytery (and ultimately to the EPC) for our doctrine and organizational actions.

Read more about our presbytery here: