What does our name mean?

When you meet someone for the first time, usually you begin with learning their name and finding out a little about them. It’s the same for a church. Each congregation has its own background and even personality. Our name says something about us.

So what does McKinnon Reformed Presbyterian Church mean? Click through the tabs to find out more about who we are.

Google_MapsThe history of our congregation is quite interesting complete with an Irish flavour!

In 1928 the Rev W. R. McEwen was appointed by the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland to its “colonial mission” in Australia. Upon his arrival he ministered in the Geelong Reformed Presbyterian Church to allow the Rev H. K. Mack, the minister of the Geelong congregation, an opportunity to return “home” to Ireland for a time. On the return of Rev Mack, Rev McEwen looked for a place to begin a new congregation. The suburb of McKinnon was chosen as it was a growing district with few churches. He rented a house which served as a meeting place for a Sabbath School and Sunday evening services. The construction of a church building began in October 1939 and, although not finished, was opened on 24 February 1940. Six years later, on 11 April 1946, elders were appointed and the congregation logcially became the McKinnon Reformed Presbyterian Church.

The McKinnon congregation has fluctuated significantly in recent decades and closure seemed painfully imminent. However, faithful ministry in recent years has spawned encouragement among those who remained. A slow, diffcult but rewarding process of revitalisation is now under way. This is providing a renewed focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ, bringing with it renewed hope and enthusiasm for the work and witness of this congregation in the community of McKinnon and surrounding suburbs.

Minsters/Pastors of the McKinnon Reformed Presbyterian Church
1946-1980 W.R. McEwen
1980-1985 George McEwen
1985-2002 Chris Brown
2003-2005 Wally Gear (Part Time)
2006-2008 Ed Blackwood
2009-2010 Alastair McEwen (Part Time)
2011-present Graeme Hart

general_rp_logoSome see the word “Reformed” in our name and think it means “new and improved.” That is, our church must have been formed by breaking away from an existing Presbyterian church and “re-forming” as a new church. Actually, our congregation has this word in our name because we belong to the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia, a denomination that has existed for over 150 years, and even then began as a church plant by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, which, in turn, began as a church plant by the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland! But that’s another story!

The word “Reformed” refers to the Protestant Reformation that occurred in the 1500’s, when God raised up men and women throughout Europe who regained a knowledge of and love for the Bible. They believed the Bible alone was God’s Word, not church tradition, church councils or even the pope. These Reformers endeavoured to reform the corrupt teaching, worship, and church governance that had developed in the church (i.e. Roman Catholic Church) by applying the Bible’s truths to all aspects of life.

Does this mean having “Reformed” in our name is just an historical thing? Not at all! The rediscovery of and love for the Scriptures continues today, impacting what we believe and, in turn, how we live and worship.

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Many people may be familiar with the word “Presbyterian.” But what does it actually mean? The word simply refers to the way in which our church is governed, i.e. by elders or presbyters. The word “Presbyterian” comes from a word meaning “elder” and means that God has appointed spiritual leaders to oversee or rule the church. In line with the requirements for elders in Scripture, men have been chosen who are spiritually minded to “shepherd” (oversee, look after) the congregation. They have godly character and are managing their own homes well as the Bible teaches (see 1 Timothy 3:1-7). The great desire of the elders is not to lord their position over the church, but to serve the congregation so that all acknowledge Jesus as the King of the church and Lord over all.

Reformed Presbyterian Church of AustrlaliaAs a Presbyterian church we belong to a larger body called the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Australia, which has congregations in Frankston and Geelong. We are also connected with other Reformed Presbyterian churches around the world (i.e. North America, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Cyprus, and South East Asia). This unity with other
churches means we are both serving with others in preaching the gospel but also accountable to maintain godliness in our churches.

Our Presbytery site

peopleMost people when they think of a church have in mind a building or a certain address. But that’s not what we mean. It’s not even what the Bible means. When the Bible refers to the church it doesn’t speak of a building or address; it speaks of people!

People who have been brought into God’s family through the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So we like to think of local churches as the physical expression of God’s family. A spiritual home. A place of belonging. A place where we all get to hear again and again the good news of God’s forgiveness of our sins and offenses through his only son, Jesus Christ. A place like a spiritual hospital where all sorts of spiritually sick hearts and minds and healing and restoration and new life in Jesus Christ! A place where we learn to grow as followers of Jesus shoulder to shoulder, the young and the old together, families, singles, widows, whoever! A place where we learn to apply the implications of the gospel of Jesus to our lives. A place where we can worship our God together.