About First Pres
Established in Jesus
Everything we do flows from our belief in the God of the Bible who sent His son, Jesus, for the forgiveness of sin and the redemption of the world. The foundation is Jesus and the good news He brings to us (what we believe/our doctrine). We long to look more like Jesus everyday. Our identity is shaped by who He says we are, rather than what the world says about us (who we are). As we are founded in and formed by the wisdom of God, through Jesus, we develop rhythms in our lives of work and rest, grace and truth, all to the glory of God and for the good of others (how we live).
The word “Presbyterian” actually describes the church’s form of governance, more than theology. Our church works within a larger network of churches, to ensure accountability, share resources and support the ministry of the global church.
First Presbyterian Church of Orlando is governed under the constitution of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). Also known as the Book of Order, the constitution provides for two groups of leaders to help oversee the work of the church: elders and deacons.
A Presbyterian church is governed according to the pattern of elders seen in the Old and New Testaments. The word "presbyter" is Greek for elder.
The office of elder is a distinctive mark of Presbyterianism: ordained non-clergy (non-pastors) who take part in local pastoral care and decision making at all levels. These Biblically-qualified elders are elected from the church family and, along with ministers, lead the church corporately.
At First Pres, elders make up our governing body, called the Session. Each elder serves a three-year term, with one third of the Session rotating out of service at the end of each year – also known as their “class.”
The Diaconate (the fancy name for a group of deacons) is made up of individuals who are responsible for the care and nurture of the church family. Deacons are identified in the Bible as people called to sympathy, witness and service after the example of Jesus Christ and actively serve the church family for three years.
The office of deacon is important to the ongoing relationships and community in the life of our church family. Deacons visit the sick, hospitalized and homebound, and offer communion. They are present at regular worship services and memorial services to offer care and to pray for those in need.