It seems that churches, like individuals, have "peak and valley" periods in their lives. For Westminster, a mountain top experience began with the admittedly difficult decision to leave our 100- year old home in the center of West Chester to build a new church on 10 acres of farmland which had been donated by a member. Through the construction of the initial three buildings, followed by the fourth building a few years later, we have been blessed by committed members who support the vision of 'Knowing Christ, Making Christ Known' in this new location.
If you were to stand in the chancel during Sunday services, you would see 700-800 people on a weekly basis. They represent age groups from the very young to the very old, varieties of trades, businesses and professions. During the Thought for Children, children who commonly stream up the aisles leave no doubt about the presence of young families. Organ and choir music are important elements of our Traditional worship and are augmented periodically by bell choirs, children's choirs and instrumentalists. Our Contemporary worship includes guitars, keyboard and drums. Visitors are particularly welcomed at each service, then contacted individually during the following week.
The population served by the church is approximately 100,000 within a 15 mile radius. The church is located three miles south of the Borough of West Chester in a highly visible location along one of the main highways. The Borough is home to a state university as well as most major denominational churches. The public school systems are excellent and there are strong private and parochial schools as well. Our proximity to Wilmington, Delaware, Philadelphia, New York and Washington , DC provides a wealth of opportunities for culture and recreation. World renowned medical facilities are readily available.
Knowing Christ and Making Christ Known
As followers of Jesus Christ, we commit to:
Worship that glorifies God and transforms us,
Intentional, hope-filled community,
A lifetime of spiritual growth and joyful generosity,
As we are sent to demonstrate the Kingdom of God in the world.
What We Believe
Westminster is a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
What is distinctive about the Presbyterian Church?
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways: they adhere to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members. Learn more.
Presbyterian Theological Beliefs
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs:
- The sovereignty of God
- The authority of the scripture
- Justification by grace through faith
- The priesthood of all believers
What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone's job - ministers and lay people alike - to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike. Learn more.