WHO WE ARE:
THE 7 ESSENTIALS
FHPC believes all Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all areas of life. The infallible Word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God’s redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks. On this sure foundation we affirm these Essentials:
1. We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise forever!
2. Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the third day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He now is our High Priest and Mediator.
3. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
4. Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God’s free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifies them in His sight. Only such as are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
5. The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the body of Christ. The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity; where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
6. Jesus Christ will come again to the earth—personally, visibly, and bodily—to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
7. The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to “Him who loved us and gave Himself for us.” He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
These Essentials are set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
WHAT DOES PRESBYTERIAN MEAN?
Presbyterian is one of those tricky words.
It’s tricky because it has dual meanings. To be presbyterian is first and foremost a church government description. Within Christianity, there are three main ways that denominations govern themselves: congregational, episcopal, and presbyterian. The presbyterian form of government, in simplest terms, means that the local church is led by elders. Those elders are nominated, trained, and elected from within the church membership.
Out of the various protestant denominations that use a presbyterian form of government, there are actual Presbyterian denominations. These denominations use the presbyterian form of government and have Presbyterian in their name. Located along that branch of Presbyterian denominations is our denomination: the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Our denomination calls the elders who are called and elected to lead the church the Session. The Session is made up of the elders elected from the church membership (they are called Ruling Elders) and any pastors who are called to serve at that particular church (they are called Teaching Elders).
OUR CURRENT PASTOR
Pastor Chris Greenwood is an ordained Teaching Elder with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and has been our pastor since May of 2018. He is joyfully married to his bride, Sara, and together they are blessed to be the parents of four wonderful children. They are excited to serve the American church locally through FHPC and globally through their discipleship ministry: Mathetes 268 Ministries.
Pastor Chris became a Christian the summer of 1994 as a rising junior in high school. Despite joining a local church at the encouragement of a high school friend, he was never intentionally taught how to grow in his faith as a follower of Jesus. After high school, Pastor Chris asked the Lord to send someone into his life who would teach him how to become a follower of Christ. Two months later, the Lord answered that prayer when his dorm Resident Assistant began to disciple him his freshman year of college. Over the next eight years, Pastor Chris was almost continually discipled by Godly men. After college, Pastor Chris and his new wife taught for two years at a private Christian school before moving to NC where he attended Campbell University Divinity School and obtained a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) degree. In 2008, after graduating from Campbell, Pastor Chris and his wife accepted their first call as an Associate Pastor at an Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and moved to the Washington D.C. area. It was there that the Pastor Chris completed his ordination requirements and was ordained in November, 2009. Once again, the Lord arranged for Godly men to disciple him via Skype, and at this point his wife also began being discipled for the first time since college. While at the church, Pastor Chris began to disciple men of all ages one-on-one and help move the church towards a discipleship based culture. At one point, he was discipling eleven men per week. Pastor Chris finds it amazing and humbling to say that he has been discipled for all but 5 years of his life as a follower of Jesus.
Since being led away from the church outside DC, Pastor Chris has started a discipleship ministry, helped re-create a discipleship ministry at another EPC church as an Associate Pastor, and accepted a call with FHPC to be our lead pastor.
Pastor Chris enjoys movies, eating Chipotle, discipling people in the faith, reading when he has time, and being with his family. He would love to meet you someday!
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT ON SUNDAY MORNINGS?
You should expect to be warmly welcomed by a church family who is excited to meet you.
Sunday mornings only happen once a week and so we look forward to them. We view them as the primary time we get to corporately gather to worship Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Our service begins at 10:30am and typically ends no later than noon. The style of dress is eclectic with some choosing to wear suits/dresses while others wear jeans and of course everything in between. We have been consistently told that we are a warm, loving, and friendly church. We are grateful and honored to be affirmed in such a way and believe that will be your experience when you come and worship with us as well.
It might be helpful for you to know that we strongly believe that worship is more than music. It is our conviction that worship is the offering of our very lives to the One who created us.
From the earliest pages of Scripture, God has demonstrated His desire to “walk (with us) in the cool of the day” (see Genesis 3:8). Worship calls us 1) to remember the One who has done all things, 2) to reflect on the One who holds all things together, and 3) to revere the One who made/makes all things new (both at the beginning during creation and even now at re-creation through Jesus Christ).
FHPC believes in corporate worship. We believe in theologically sound worship. We believe in spanning the centuries to use the very best of hymnody all the way through modern Christian hymns and songs. We believe worship is Spirit-led and Spirit-inspired. We believe planning honors God and so does a heart tuned into that still small voice nudging us in an unexpected direction.
Worship at FHPC is protected and buffered by two guardrails for the sake of being true to our convictions and orthodox in our doctrine. Those guardrails are Biblical worship and historical worship. Our liturgical structure is shaped by John Calvin’s “Service for the Lord’s Day” and our experiential structure is shaped by Robert Webber’s Ancient Future Worship guidelines of historical worship.
We look forward to having you join us.
WHAT ARE THE SERMONS LIKE?
Our current pastor prefers expository preaching. Exposi-what?
Simply put, he prefers to preach through a passage by going verse by verse. He prefers this method because it makes all of us wrestle with the full counsel of God rather than skipping around to the parts we like and find easy to hear and understand. When you come to visit, you will most likely find him in the middle of a sermon series. The series might be through a book of the Bible or a series of sermons on some psalms or parables. He does sometimes preach a topical message or series, but those are not as common.
He tends to end his sermons with applications that tie back into the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. He reminds us that the Scriptures are full of admonitions to remember. In heeding that admonition, he seeks to take us back each week to the two central ideas Jesus left with the early church: to love God with all that we are and love others as ourselves and to actively be about the work of discipling the nations.
His messages seek to be life giving and applicable, relatable and honest, and yet retain a sense of majesty and wonder as we seek to explore and understand the heartbeat of God. He is always glad to have feedback and sit and talk with anyone who is wrestling with the truths of a particular message.
We are looking forward to hearing what you learn.