Our church is presbyterian, which simply means “governed by elders.” This was the pattern in the Old Testament and in the New, where elders (presbyteroi) are also called “overseers” or “bishops” (episkopoi). Together with the pastor, these elders shepherd the church by putting into practice the scriptural rule of Jesus Christ, who is the only king and head of the church. Currently our elders are Doug Robson and Donald Muscarella.
God also sets apart men with gifts for preaching and teaching. These pastors are ministers of Christ to expound his word, shepherd his people, and bless the assembled congregation in his name. Since 2005 our pastor has been James Ganzevoort, a son of the Reformed churches of Grand Rapids, Michigan and a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi.
Following the pattern of Acts 6, our deacons tend to the physical needs of the church. They also lead our efforts to show the mercy of Christ to those in need. Currently our deacons are Bernie McGraw and Dennis Kitts.
These church officers must meet the criteria of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. They must be spiritually mature and doctrinally sound. All of them promise to “receive and adopt the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures” when they are set apart for service by the laying on of hands.
Together, the members of the church elect its elders and deacons and call its pastors. As the sheep of Christ, they should be able to hear Christ’s voice, and recognize the gifts of his Spirit, within those men who are called to be his servants. Members need not agree with every doctrine of the church, but must profess their faith by affirming four membership questions.
Church members also serve God and each other in many ways other than ordained leadership. Sunday school teachers, nursery workers, pianists, mentors, study leaders, building cleaners, and hospitality hosts all contribute to the fullness of ministry at Sandy Springs Presbyterian Church. We specially depend on the members of our Congregational Life committee, who coordinate our events; of our Local Outreach committee, who evangelize the lost and publicize the church; of our Missionary Support Committee, who help us learn about, pray for, give to, and encourage our missionaries; and of our Presbytery Host committee, who are making arrangements for the October 2010 meeting of the OPC Presbytery of the Southeast to be held at Sandy Springs.