Core Values of Ministry:
- Worshipping God and Learning God’s ways.
- Inviting Christ into our lives and inviting others to Christ.
- Letting God’s spirit live in us and Having a giving spirit.
- Serving Christ by serving others in Christ’s name.
- Developing a lifestyle that honors God.
St. Andrew church is currently in the Mission Study process which means we are self-evaluating to determine, with God's leading, our focus for the future. This evaluation, called a Mission Study Report, will be used to create a Ministry Information Form (resume for churches). This MIF is then disseminated to search for a new Pastor. We currently are being pastored by Rev. Leigh Gillis, our Interim Minister. The Pastor Nominating Committee has been formed. The Ministry Information Form is being updated.
What We Believe
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church is a congregation of the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia in the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways. We are part of a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology, and our form of government (polity) stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members. Officers are elected, much as in our national representational government, which is based on the Presbyterian system. Men and women, clergy and laypersons, serve equally in all offices of the church. In its confessions, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) expresses the faith of the Reformed tradition. Central to this tradition is the affirmation of the majesty, holiness and providence of God who creates, sustains, rules and redeems the world in the freedom of sovereign righteousness and love. "A Brief Statement of Faith," affirmed in 1990, describes in a contemporary way our belief in the three persons of the Trinity and their actions in creation. A link to all of the Confessions of the PCUSA can be found at here. Worship in a Presbyterian congregation, in its shape and content, is determined by the pastor and the session, the church’s governing body. It generally includes prayer, music, Bible reading, a sermon based upon Scripture and an offering in response. The Sacraments (baptism and the Lord’s Supper), a time of personal response and a sharing of community concerns may also be included. Please don’t hesitate to leave a question about "What We Believe," and our pastor or other church leader will respond as soon as possible.
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Norfolk Presbytery bought a five-acre plot on Bennett’s Pasture Road in April 1966 with the plan of starting a Presbyterian church in the north Suffolk area. The next year the Presbytery purchased a site for a manse in the Holiday Point subdivision.
Organizing minister, Reverend Frank Washburn, held the first worship service of the Bennett’s Creek Presbyterian Congregation on October 13, 1968 in the old Community Building on Eclipse Road behind Ebenezer Methodist Church.
Twenty-eight original members joined the membership of Green Acres Presbyterian Church three months later on January 19, 1969. These names, and all future member names, would be transferred to the yet unnamed church roll when the congregation was chartered. There was never a feeling the small congregation would not grow into a Presbyterian church.
On March 9, 1969, the Presbyterian congregation met in the St. Matthew Methodist building for worship at 11:15 a.m. and with Church School at 12:00 noon. At first the Methodists and Presbyterian congregations met separately, however, later all services and classes were together alternating hymnals and ministers. The Joint Church School Committee chose the materials studied in the church school classes.
After six years, and with the joint venture failing to grow, the Presbyterians felt if they did not take the giant step of separating and being on their own, they would lose their hope of a Presbyterian church in the area. They selected a Steering/Planning Committee to act as the Session and Diaconate. The committee was composed of H.L (Bo) Bohon, Chairman, Walter (Jack) Holladay, C.E. (Pete) Thurston, Turner Coffman and Judy Bander. This committee searched for possible sites for the future church, selected the first minister, worked with the building committee and conducted the worship, education and fellowship opportunities.
The Steering/Planning Committee selected Robert E. Knox III as the building minister and the Presbytery called him. Reverend Knox moved into the bedroom of the manse the week of June 19, 1978 and conducted services there starting June 25, 1978. At the first Sunday of worship in the manse, there were twenty-eight people (including fourteen children) in Church School and thirty-three for the worship service in the living-dining room.
Sunday, March 25, 1979 after the morning worship service, the congregation selected St. Andrew Presbyterian Church for their name.
The congregation held its first service and celebration of the Sacraments of the Lord’s Supper on November 2, 1980 in their new building at 1885 Bridge Road. On October 4, 1981, the Service for the Organization of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church was held at four o’clock in afternoon. St. Andrew became a chartered Presbyterian church with ninety members.
On December 12, 1993, a new children’s education wing was dedicated to James H. Beachum. He had been at the first meeting in the Community Building in 1968 and had continued to be active in the leadership of the congregation.
On April 25, 1999 Jim Shinn became Project Manager for the next building program that included a sanctuary, new music room and a youth area was completed. The area between the original classroom wing and the Beachum Wing became the Atrium. The old sanctuary became a large kitchen and St. Andrew Hall.
Under our most recent minister, Dr. Keith Curran’s leadership, the church grew in membership, in quality and availability of Biblical studies including the Lay Academy, teacher support, participation in the community, and Missions support. The addition of the Director of Christian Education, Beth Lyon-Suhring, to the staff has been a great help to the children’s education as well as the Small Group studies for adults. The Minister of Visitation, Reverend Dick Lovingood, and presently, Reverend Larry Ugarte’ increased attention to those shut in members and those with health issues in hospitals or other facilities. The Music Department led by Joey Parrish includes the Chancel Choir, Praise Band, two bell choirs and children’s choir and bells.
St. Andrew Presbyterian Church is currently in the Mission Study process and is being led by our interim pastor, Rev. Leigh B. Gillis. A Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) has been elected and is being oriented to the task ahead by Pastor Leigh, and by your Commission on Ministry (COM) liaison Hank Vernon. The committee consists of seven individuals chosen with attention to age, gender, which worship service they attend, length of church membership, your suggestions, and many other factors. Please keep these individuals and their common task in your prayers. SAPC is excited to see what God is leading us to do next!
Judy Bander, Church Historian