Who is Calvin Presbyterian Church?

We are a Bible-centered church. We are a decidedly confessional church. We are a Presbyterian church. We are an historical church. We are a pilgrim church. We are a covenantal church. We are an evangelical church. We are a Reformed church.

Reformed Church in Phoenix Arizona

About Calvin Presbyterian Church

Calvin Presbyterian Church is a member of the Southern California Presbytery of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The OPC was founded in 1936 under the leadership of J. Gresham Machen in reaction to unacceptable theological liberalism that had gained wide acceptance in the Northern Presbyterian Church. Our officers hold to the inerrancy of the Scriptures. They also hold to the Westminster Confession of Faith with its Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and have agreed to abide by the government, discipline, and worship of the OPC as outlined in the Book of Church Order. Detailed information on the OPC and its positions can be found on its website

The Southern California Presbytery is made up of member churches in Southern California and Arizona. Calvin Presbyterian Church and Prescott Presbyterian Church are the only two particular churches of the OPC in Arizona. In addition, there are three mission works in Arizona; Iglesia Nueva Vida (presently part of Calvin), and Cottonwood (presently part of Prescott), and Tucson.  Two of Calvin’s elders (Pastor Michael Babcock and John Waggoner) also serve as the Session of Covenant OPC in Tucson. We regularly participate in joint events with our sister churches in Southern California, including Jr. and Sr. High camps, Women’s retreats, Team Baja, Family Camp, and Presbytery meetings.

Communicant members are those adults and children who have been examined and received by the Session of the church. Each communicant member has the privilege of voting on all church matters. Any person may apply for membership in our church by meeting with the Session, confessing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and vowing to be faithful members of this congregation. People may join by Profession of Faith (and baptism, if not previously baptized), by Reaffirmation of Faith, or by Letter of Transfer.

In mid 2005, Calvin assumed oversight of Igesia Nueva Vida, a Spanish speaking mission work of the OPC. INV members are full members of Calvin Presbyterian Church. Calvin and INV share the use of the church facility. It is our shared goal to build up INV so that they may become a particular church at some time in the future.

Are you looking for a church that takes all aspects of your life seriously?

We are a Bible-centered church.

We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. With this, we do not believe the Bible is merely a good book of moral stories. It is the special revelation of God redeeming a lost humanity through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we teach and preach the whole counsel of God, focusing on this Christ-centeredness that is in the Bible. Indeed, we believe that the biblical Christ is the only hope and true comfort in this life and the next for a lost and dying world. We also hold that the Bible is the authority from which we learn how to live and how to worship God. Click here to read the Principles of Public Worship which we follow.

We are a decidedly confessional church

We believe The Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms are the system of doctrine taught in all the Scriptures. These are subordinate to the Bible, but they do help us to summarize and to help us understand more clearly the truths that are revealed in God’s Word.

We are a Presbyterian church

We believe that the church is to be governed by a plurality of elders (“presbyters”) elected by the members of the local congregation.  The elders are responsible“to maintain order and exercise discipline for the preservation both of truth and duty… seeking the honor of Christ’s name, the good of his church, and the reclamation of the offender.” (OPC, Form of Government IV:2). The elders (i.e., the local church) are further accountable to the Presbytery of Southern California (i.e., the regional church), which in turn is accountable to the General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (i.e., the national church).

Are you looking for a church that provides direction in a world that is wandering?

We are an historical church

Unlike many evangelical churches that have sprung up in recent times and that are independent from any other church, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was formed in 1936 in response to the growing liberalism of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. J. Gresham Machen and the other founders were concerned to maintain a faithful witness to the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, which in itself was a movement to recover the faith and practice of the Apostolic church. Calvin OPC gladly confesses the mottos of the Reformation, which are the five “solas” (sola scriptura, solus Christus, sola gratia, sola fide, soli Deo gloria). To find out more on these statements, we offer the Cambridge Declaration. We are glad for our connection to the larger, universal church which not only spans geography but also time.

We are a pilgrim church

Like Abraham, we are looking “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). We believe we are called to be a pilgrim people, being in this world but not of it (John 17:14, 16), longing for the resurrection at the coming of our Lord Jesus in eternal glory (Jn. 5:28-29), and so our lives are affected by this particular world-view, having an eye to God’s glory. Therefore, the church is to turn away from false teachers and doctrines, becoming separate from the philosophy of the world. “So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” (Heb. 13:13-14).

Are you looking for a church that cares for families and individuals?

We are a covenantal church

We hold to what is known as Covenant Theology. The covenantal promise is summed up in that God promises to be a God to His people and to their children. We, therefore, believe and practice infant baptism. With the chosen covenant community of all ages, we turn away from stark individualism and place a strong emphasis on church membership, seeing ourselves as being united to each other through our union in Christ. We are called the “family of God” and understand that the call of the Christian is to devote themself to others in love and fellowship. We also believe that our baptized children, as members of the church, should be in the worship service where God’s special presence is. Therefore, we encourage parents to train their children to worship God from tender years and bring them into the service. (There is always a nursery with nursery workers, however, for those who may need it.) Furthermore we believe that worship is a covenantal meeting of the Triune God with His people and understand worship to be a dialogue between God and His people. God speaks to us in the reading and preaching of the Word and in the sacraments, and we respond with singing, prayer, and cheerful giving.

Are you looking for a church that sees the real need of the world?

We are an evangelical church

As we worship together as God’s people, we desire that others may join in the fellowship of Christ. Therefore, we preach the hidden wisdom of the cross, which is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who are being saved it is the power of God unto salvation. But we do not merely call men to repentance and faith in Christ, we seek to disciple them (Matt. 28:19) and so we seek to offer opportunities where we may grow as disciples. However, we do not rely upon programmes or techniques, but rest on God’s unchanging grace. We believe the best advertisement is in changed lives, and we are excited to tell others of this life-changing power of the Gospel. We strongly want Jesus’ statement to be true of us, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (Jn. 13:35).

We are a Reformed church

All these convictions places us in what is known as the Reformed branch of Protestant churches. We believe that the Reformed Faith is a balanced and deeper understanding of the Gospel that is just what Phoenix needs. Moreover, it is Reformed, Christ-centered theology that will provide Phoenix with a church that serves as an alternative to two very common misrepresentations to Biblical Christianity: (1) The philosophy of so many who regard Christianity as just a set of moral teachings or an ethical system that produces self-righteousness, and (2) Liberal, Relativistic churches which conform to the culture by uncritically submitting to the spirit of the age. Our Reformed emphasis declares that without union with Christ, who alone fulfilled the Law, there is no true Christianity. The ethical commands of Scripture are based on the truth of the Christian’s union with Christ. It is only as we take this into account that we will avoid moralism and legalism, and have the power to flee from this godless and sinful generation which is under God’s condemnation. And it is through the Reformed emphasis of the Regulative Principle that we are free in worship inasmuch we are seeking Him in the way He has prescribed in His Word and not by any other way we please or devise. Indeed, this is actually a great liberty, for this sets us free from the traditions and machinations of men, that we may now worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

An Invitation to You

There are many churches in Phoenix, and the natural question is, “Why should I consider Calvin Orthodox Presbyterian Church?” We are glad for the fellowship and mission we share with other evangelicals, but we offer a distinctive emphasis which we believe important, though not widely available in this area.

We are committed to:

  • An accurate, redemptive-historical exposition of the Scriptures
  • Encouraging a real community amongst our members
  • Evangelism that calls people to repentance while resting on the power of God and not in manipulative techniques
  • Worship based on God’s Word where the emphasis is on pleasing God and maintaining the honour and glory of Christ in all that we do, and not on the subjective experience of the worshiper
  • The historic doctrines of the Protestant faith as summarized in the Westminster Confession and Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

If what you see here is what you are looking for, we invite you to worship with us and to participate in establishing a community of worshipers for the glory of Jesus Christ our Lord. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21).

"Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul, for My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30