New Hope belongs to the Presbyterian branch of the Reformed churches, which means that we govern ourselves in a representative and connected fashion.

“Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word for “elder” or “overseer.” Individual churches in the New Testament were neither democracies nor dictatorships, but republics. There were led by groups of elders which were usually elected by the people. Presbyterian churches like New Hope follow this pattern. While some questions can only be decided by the entire congregation, our members elect elders to govern the church in most matters and to care for the spiritual needs of the people. Some of these elders serve in various vocations, while others give their full time and attention to the ministry of the church. The first are called Ruling Elders, while the second are called Teaching Elders.

Presbyterian churches are also connected to one another. Just as individual Christians need the fellowship provided by the local church, local churches need each other for encouragement and accountability. New Hope is connected to a family of sister churches called the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). We contribute time, labor, and money to the mission and work of this denomination, and rely upon it in turn for ministry opportunities and help with conflict resolution.