Presbyterian evangelical churches believe in reformed orthodoxy, such as the essentials of the Christian faith, including the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit in redeeming lives through the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross, and trusting in His free gift of grace for salvation from sin. They are headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, which is close to Detroit.
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church, OR EPC, broke off from the United Presbyterian Church of the USA, or PCUSA, in the early eighties because of differences in beliefs and a perceived liberalism abounding in that denomination. One of the breaking points was when a pastor was elected to a Maryland church who did not fully affirm that Jesus was the Son of God. One of the first things that the EPC did was to draft a list of beliefs centered around the theological core of the Gospel, in order to promote unity within their ranks. Other highlights of the history of this denomination are the fact of its being bound to the Westminster Confession of Faith, without adding to it like the United Presbyterian Church of the USA has. Furthermore, it follows along the main stream of Reformed church denominations such as the Presbyterian Church in America, and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Where it differs primarily from these other church denominations is when it comes to things it considers nonessential, such as beliefs pertaining to the charismatic movement and the ordaining of women in the church. It leaves the ordaining of women to each individual governing church. Their motto is, “In Essentials, Unity; In Non-Essentials, Liberty; In All Things, Charity. Truth in Love.” They also adhere to the Five Points of Calvinism, which is essential to the Reformed understanding of scripture. This denomination has also been thought of or referred to as the “New School” Presbyterianism, whereas the Orthodox Presbyterian Churches and the Presbyterian Churches in America would be thought of as the “Old School” form of Presbyterianism.
The biggest stance the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination has taken is that it refuses to add anything to the Westminster Confession of Faith, which it perceives the PCUSA to have done. It only differs with other main line Reformed denominations in its definitions of what may be considered “non-essential.” Nevertheless, it is considered to be a conservative denomination when compared side by side with the United Presbyterian Churches of the USA, whose controversial departure from scripture and behavioral standards has caused many to break away into these other denominations.