First Presbyterian Church is to be a city-center church compelled by Christ’s love to make disciples in our homes, city, and the world.
The purpose of First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga is to:
GLORIFY: Glorify the Triune God
EDIFY: Edify the church family for godly living
TESTIFY: Testify to the world about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Below are the 1st Pres core values aligned with the church purpose statement. These core values help us in decision making and in expressing our unique identity.
Love and Worship of God
We strive to worship in spirit and in truth the triune God at all times including corporate worship centered on preaching the Word of God. Our passion is to love, enjoy, and glorify God in all things through submission to Jesus, the preeminent One, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We strive to use the Holy Scriptures only in love and with prayer for the edification of believers, for church life decisions, and for the establishment of church policies. We value preaching the Bible, studying it both individually and corporately, and using it to disciple others.
We recognize that prayer is a critical path to develop our relationship with Christ whereby He accomplishes His work for His glory and our benefit. By His grace, we strive to pray at all times by living in the continual consciousness of God
We foster the purity of the church and the resultant peace, cooperation, and unity throughout our inter-generational body of believers.
Caring For Members: We demonstrate the love of God by serving and caring for one another at 1st Pres. We intentionally seek to encourage all members of our church through prayers, words, and deeds.
Welcoming Others: We demonstrate the love of God by both inviting and welcoming anyone to attend our church and by inviting everyone who professes Christ as their Savior to seek membership into our body of believers. We spend time with other Christians in mutual encouragement, exhortation, and care for one another.
We pursue individual spiritual growth in Christ and seek the same for fellow believers through discipleship centered on the study of God's Word. We seek for each believer to discover and practice his/ her spiritual gifts in active ministry.
Local: We endeavor to engage with unbelievers in our community, including within our families and our church, to befriend them and proclaim the gospel in the hope that the Holy Spirit will bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Global: We also evangelize people throughout the world and seek to make them disciples of Jesus Christ.
Because God first loved us, we seek to love others, including the marginalized, through generous acts of kindness and service accompanied by the gospel of Christ. We strive to live peaceably with all people.
We aspire to be aware of and sensitive to the prevailing societal issues and pressures around us with the goal of becoming change agents for Christ in the lives of people in our community.
STATEMENT ON RACISM
First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga is a city center church called by God to “do justice, love mercy, and to walk humbly” (Micah 6:8) with our God. By God’s grace, we will love all of our neighbors as we love the Lord (Matthew 22:37-40).
In light of recent questions regarding policing practices, the accompanying calls for reforms in policing and the criminal justice system, and the outward manifestations of racism more often hidden in the hearts of men and women, we affirm the following statement regarding racism that was adopted in 2016 by our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America.
Racism is the denial of the image of God (Genesis 1:26, 27) and its implications to someone of another ethnicity. Racism in the church is a contradiction of the visible unity of all believers in Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22, Revelation 5:9; 7:9). Racism inside and outside the church is a contradiction of Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:31; Luke 10:25-37, esp. 29, 37), and of God’s creation of all people in his image (Genesis 1:27; Acts 17:26). So theologically, racism entails a denial of the biblical doctrines of creation, man, the communion of saints, and is disobedience to the moral law. We will not mince words. Racism is not only sin, serious sin, it is heresy.”
By God’s grace 1st Pres will seek peace, prosperity (Jeremiah 29:7), and safety of all the citizens of our great city, and oppose racism in its many forms, as we love our neighbors as ourselves.
Submitted by Pastor Tim Kirk on behalf of the 1st Pres Session.