Seneca Presbyterian Church was founded in 1875. It was one of the four foundational churches in the new town of Seneca. Those churches - the Baptists, the Episcopalians, the Methodists, and the Presbyterians - at one time worshiped in the same space, sharing worship times. We know because we have a copy of the schedule framed and on the wall in our office. It wasn't long before those four churches built their own buildings - then all within a few blocks of downtown. All of the others - the Baptists (First Baptist), the Episcopalians (The Episcopal Church of the Ascension), and the Methodists (St. Mark United Methodist) - have since moved from downtown. But we stayed! Our location makes it possible for us to serve our neighbors, especially those who ride the CAT bus.
Seneca Presbyterian has been involved in the life of Seneca and Oconee County since that 1875 start. We have served on the city council, the county commission, and even as mayor. We have been teachers and principals, plant managers, insurance salespersons, factory workers, and farmers. When the lakes came that made our county such a beautiful site for retirees, we were blessed with a large number of those transplants from all over the country: Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maine, and on and on. So we know our heritage and we know the life of a retiree. But we also know the lives of families and children, too.
We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA). That means we are connected with over two million fellow Presbyterians worshiping in 10,000 congregations across the United States.
Presbyterians have been around for almost 500 years. We trace our theological heritage to John Calvin and share that heritage with other denominations in what we call the Reformed family of faith. Presbyterians are known for our colleges and our educated clergy. We believe we have a thoughtful faith - one that engages both mind and heart. We believe we should use that mind in interpreting the Bible and in understanding who God is and what God is doing in the world. We also believe that we don't have to agree on everything about what it means to be a Christian. We do believe in an important core of faith, but we also know that faithful Christians can disagree even on important concerns. Beyond that important core, we don't believe anyone can tell you what you have to believe in order to be a Christian. Listening to the Bible, to others, and to the Holy Spirit, we believe God will guide you as you grow in faith.
And what is that core? Jesus Christ is Lord. The love and grace of God is available to all.