Traditions and History
We believe that the reformed traditions and history of our church are important in the life of our congregation.
Emphases in the Reformed – Presbyterian Tradition
The Sovereignty of God:
• The reign of God extends to all areas of life.
• God is working out God’s purposes in history and at God’s initiatives.
• God cannot be controlled, domesticated or precisely defined.
The Human Response to God:
• Faith is a gift that comes from God. Faith is trust & obedience.
• The goal of the Christian Life is service to God in conformity with God’s will.
• Christian Life is practical/ethical. Simplicity and discipline in life style.
Centrality of the Word of God:
• Jesus Christ is the Word of God living, “the one sufficient revelation of God”.
• The Bible, by the action of the Holy Spirit in the church and the individual, is the “unique and authoritative witness” to Jesus Christ.
• The sermon, by the action of the Holy Spirit in the church and the individual, can become the Word of God spoken.
• The sacraments, by the action of the Holy Spirit in the church and individual, are the Word of God embodied.
The Ministry of all Believers:
• Each follower is given a gift(s) through the presence of the Holy Spirit for the work of ministry.
• The members of a church bring together their gifts to form a body.
• Leadership in the church is shared, not limited to professionals.
For more information, please contact either Rev. Dr. William Ward or Rev. Brad Rogers.
Westminster Presbyterian Church History
Westminster celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2006!
Ministry projects started at Westminster have grown into full agencies serving the unemployed.
Bits of Interesting History:
- The first meeting of the Westminster Church was on January 3, 1856 and 22 people attended.
- Westminster’s own church was built at South Second and Oak. It was dedicated December 20, 1858. A custodian was hired for $38.00 a year.
- Rev. Morrison Higgins from N.Y. State was the first minister at an annual salary of $800. Only 47 days later he died of pneumonia at the age of 42. The new church was draped in black.
- In 1879 hitching posts were installed along the church. In those early years, pews were rented.
- In the first 50 years of our church history the average tenure of 12 ministers was 4 1/2 yrs. Church officers changed little. Membership grew to 326.
- In early years, several members were excommunicated by session for “improper conduct, drinking and non-attendance.” As late as 1947, three members were dropped for “continued unchristian conduct”.
- On Saturday, April 6, 1946, fire devastated the building that had been Westminster’s home for 87 years.
- After the fire, Mr. & Mrs. O.D. Corbridge gave as a gift a site for a new church at 3000 Rural St., in the middle of a cornfield. During the five intervening years, services were held in the Masonic Temple. The new church was dedicated Dec. 9, 1951.
- Through wars, depression and a disastrous fire this congregation grew from 22 charter members to 776 in the new, expanding neighborhood on Rural Street.
- On Sept. 11, 2001 the request was made to Presbytery to buy 80 acres of land for a future church. On April 15, 2004 ground was broken on land at Spring Creek and Bell School . . . again in a cornfield.
- On Palm Sunday, April 9, 2006, we held our first service in our new building at 2821 N. Bell School Road.
Looking back: In 2001 members of our family said,
"It is exciting to be a part of the future! For families – for our youth - for Westminster’s place in our community." The Lamberts
"We were married at Westminster 19 years ago, and of course, the present church is very precious to us. But 50 years ago, members built a church on the edge of town surrounded by a cornfield-now it’s our turn to plant Westminster Presbyterian Church on the edge of town surrounded by a cornfield, so that many other couples may have the benefit of beginning their marriage and raising a family of faith." Paul & Karen Weis