Frequently Asked Questions
Is Faith part of a denomination?
Faith is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America [PCA]. This denomination provides our church with structure, accountability and encouragement by being connected to a larger organization of churches. The PCA is a reformed denomination that was formed in 1973.
What does “Presbyterian” mean?
Presbyterian means “elder-led”. While there is a wide spectrum of what Presbyterian churches believe and practice, being Presbyterian means that our church and denomination are led by elders. See “What is the leadership structure of Faith?” below for a more detailed explanation.
What does “Reformed” mean?
Being reformed means that we have particular beliefs about who God is and what he is doing in the world. For a more detailed description of what those beliefs are, our official statement of faith is the Westminster Confession of Faith [with its Shorter Catechism and Larger Catechism]. The New City Catechism is also a helpful statement of belief that includes more modern language and video explanations from current pastors and theologians.
What is the leadership structure of Faith?
The members of Faith nominate qualified men [see 1 Timothy 3:1-12] for the office of elder and deacon every spring. Those who are interested are trained and examined over the next few months and those who are ready are voted on by the congregation every November.
Elders are called to lead and shepherd the church. They are responsible for the vision of the church and to care for its people. Our elected elders serve alongside the pastors of Faith on this team.
Our current elder team [session] members are: Steven Brooks [pastor], Bill Claxton, Mark Dobish, Chris Irwin, Bob McAndrew [pastor], Jerry Norris
Deacons are called to serve the poor and help oversee areas of the church. The deacons at Faith oversee the finances of the church, take care of the facilities and distribute assistance to the needy in our church and our community.
Our current deacon team members are: Tom Clement, Tim Hoover, Mark Howell, Ed Lane, Chris Milner, Jon North, & Jay Sultan.
How did Faith start?
Faith PCA began as a home Bible study in October 1977. By January 1978 our church had increased in number and began Sunday services in the lounge of the Howard Johnson's on the Atlanta Highway. In 1981 the congregation moved to a local Seventh Day Adventist church building, where they met for over five years. From 1986 to 1988, Faith PCA met in the auditorium at Athens Academy, a nearby private school.
These prior locations: a living room, a lodge, a school, and someone else's church, were formative times for our congregation, reminders that the church, as defined in the Bible, is not a building, but the people of God.
During the time at Athens Academy, our congregation purchased 8.25 acres of land on Mars Hill Road. Construction on our church building began in October 1987, and the first service was held in March 1988. Our church building has seen some changes in the time we've met here from sanctuary enlargements to a new educational wing which increased space for our Students, Sunday School, Library, and Mother's Morning Out program.
By God's guidance, we look expectantly for Him to provide the vision and the ability to meet the changing needs of our congregation and community with the unchanging promises of our Lord.
Why do we collect money during the service?
We believe that giving is an act of worship where we remind ourselves that everything we have is a good gift from our heavenly Father. It is an opportunity for Christians to let go of their finances [which are such a common idol in our culture] and to participate in what God is doing in our church and the world. If you are visiting with us at Faith, please don’t feel any compulsion to give- we’re just glad you’re here!
How do I stay informed?
The majority of our church communication is done through an online community called the City. Not only can you get information about what’s going on at Faith but you can find encouragement, learn and participate in the conversations of our community life.