top of page

FAQs about Presbyterians

What is a Presbyterian?


Presbyterianism is part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism, tracing its history to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. The denomination derives its name from the presbyterian form of church government by representative assemblies of elders.


Much of what Presbyterians believe began with the French lawyer John Calvin, whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him. Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland.


John Knox (c. 1514-1572), for whom Knox Presbyterian Church was named, was a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer who was a leader in Scotland’s Reformation. He founded the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.


What do Presbyterians believe?


Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin are still at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of Scripture, justification by grace through faith, and the priesthood of all believers.


We believe that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity come from the Bible, especially what is revealed through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone’s job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.


Presbyterian beliefs are contained in The Book of Confessions. Even though we share the beliefs elucidated above, Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his, her or their life.


Who is welcomed and affirmed at Knox?

You are! See our joint welcoming statement with TLC on the homepage.


Where do you stand on married clergy, women clergy, LGBTQIA+ clergy?

A resounding Yes to all the above!


What’s your stand on the scientific method and evolutionary theory?



Do you have LGBTQIA+ congregation members who participate in your ministry, worship, and the life of the church?



Do you have straight congregation members?



Do you have old … young … middle-aged members?



Do you support social justice projects?

Yes! Locally, those include The Redwood Empire Food BankRedwood Gospel MissionWomen’s Recovery Services, The Palms Inn, Santa Rosa, and The Living Room Sonoma County.


Do you have devotions and prayers for daily meditation?

Yes! Click here to learn more.

If you have additional questions or would a call from our pastor,
Click Here to Email Pastor Janet.


bottom of page