The only way to really know someone is to know their story…
In 1982, Liberty Church of Randallstown encouraged members living in Reisterstown to start a new congregation in their community. On March 6th, 1983, organizing pastor Herb Ruby and twenty-six members from Liberty Church began holding worship services in a rented building. On November 6, 1983, Herb Ruby was officially called as pastor, five elders were installed as Session members, seventy-five members were received, and Covenant of Grace was officially recognized as part of the Presbyterian Church in America.
In December of 1988, the congregation moved onto the 9-acre property into a new 16,000 square foot building. On January 29, 1989, the new building was prayerfully dedicated to God’s service during the official ceremony. In 2001, two annex buildings added 3,600 square feet to adult classroom space and youth activities.
Covenant of Grace is part of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). The PCA has a strong commitment to evangelism, outreach at home and abroad, and Christian education. From its inception, the PCA’s purpose has been to be “faithful to the Scriptures, true to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.”
The PCA is an Evangelical and Reformed Presbyterian denomination. By Evangelical, we mean that we emphasize the gospel (good news of salvation) through faith in Jesus Christ, as well as affirming other orthodox Christian doctrines and holding to the inerrancy of Scripture.
By Reformed, we mean that we are connected to the teachings of the historic church and the doctrinal beliefs recovered by the Reformation. These doctrinal beliefs are expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. All officers of the Presbyterian Church in America must personally subscribe to and uphold the teachings of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
By Presbyterian, we describe our representative form of church government. Local churches are governed by a “Session of presbyters” (elders), elected by the members of the congregation. Representatives of local churches within a geographical area compose a “presbytery.” Representatives of presbyteries meet annually at “General Assembly.”
The PCA headquarters in Lawrenceville, GA is the location from which most of the ministries of the denomination are coordinated. These ministries are carried on by four Program committees:
- Mission to the World – mission agency with 600 foreign missionaries working in about 60 nations and 160 chaplains in the military and in hospitals.
- Mission to North America – serves PCA churches and presbyteries as they advance God’s Kingdom in North America through the development of intentional evangelism and outreach ministries.
- CDM (Committee on Discipleship) – serving the PCA in its commitment to creating disciples by teaching and training leaders and church members as well as by providing a biblically based Sunday school curriculum for all ages through its publishing house, Great Commission Publications.
- Reformed University Ministries – serves university students through ordained, seminary trained campus ministers and interns serving on college campuses.
Other agencies Lawrenceville, GA that minister to the denomination include:
- Administrative Committee – responsible for the administration planning, coordinating, and arranging facilities for the annual General Assembly meeting through the Office of the Stated Clerk. The General Assembly is the ruling body made up of about 2,980 commissioners (ministers and ordained lay leaders).
- PCA Foundation – teaches more effective stewardship.
- PCA Retirement & Benefits, Inc – provides life, disability, retirement plan benefits and a relief fund for PCA pastors, lay church workers, and the staffs of PCA committees, agencies, and institutions.
National denominational institutions located outside PCA’s headquarters include:
- Ridge Haven – a PCA conference center located close to Rosman, North Carolina.
- Covenant College – liberal arts college with over 750 students, located at Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
- Covenant Theological Seminary – trains graduates for ministry, located in St. Louis, Missouri.
For more information about the Presbyterian Church in America, click here to visit the PCA’s website.