New Presbyterian Church Launching in Calaveras County

Angels Camp, CA…A new Presbyterian church is being established in Angels Camp, with weekly worship services beginning July 28 in Greenhorn Creek. The new Calaveras Presbyterian Church is a developing sister ministry of Oak Hill Presbyterian Church in Sonora. Both churches are affiliated with the Orthodox Presbyterian denomination, a church body which was established in 1936 and includes congregations throughout the United States and other countries. Calaveras Presbyterian Church will initially be meeting at the Fireside Conference Center, 711 McCauley Ranch Rd. in Greenhorn Creek, adjacent to the golf shop and Camps Restaurant.

The weekly schedule will begin with Sunday school for all ages at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday, followed by a half hour of fellowship beginning at 10:15 a.m. The morning worship service will begin at 10:45, and an evening service of worship and informal family Bible study will be held at 6:30 p.m.

The Calaveras church was envisioned by the membership and leadership of Oak Hill Presbyterian Church to address growth in the Sonora congregation putting space pressure on its existing church facilities located at Mono Way and Peaceful Valley Road. The Oak Hill congregation decided earlier this year that launching a sister church in Calaveras County would be the best solution to the growth issue in Sonora. Roughly half of the membership of Oak Hill lives in Calaveras County and has been commuting from as far away as Valley Springs, Mountain Ranch and San Andreas for many years. The Calaveras members will form the core group of Calaveras Presbyterian Church, although the church leadership says it has already received indications of substantial interest in the new church from within the local community.

Calaveras Presbyterian Church will initially be governed by the board of elders at Oak Hill, which is known as the “Session” in Presbyterian government parlance. Both churches are within the Orthodox Presbyterian Church’s regional district, the Presbytery of Northern California and Nevada. As the Calaveras Church develops, it will eventually become a self-governing local congregation.

Oak Hill Elder Brook Moes of Angels Camp, who is beginning Master of Divinity distance studies with Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina, will serve as interim lay pastor for Calaveras Presbyterian Church. Oak Hill Elders Garry Moes of Murphys and Dr. John Keiter of Sonora are the other members of the Session, along with Oak Hill Pastor Dave Bush. Oak Hill Deacons James Toy of San Andreas, Dave Duggan of Murphys, Pierre Joubert of Mountain Ranch, Kris Jack of San Andreas, and Joel Benning of Oakdale round out the leadership of the Calaveras church.

“What we are so excited about is the creation here in Calaveras County of an institutional church with an evangelical heart — a church with deep and abiding roots in the ancient Christian faith where discipleship is fundamentally a willing act of loving obedience rather than mere theological test-passing,” said Brook Moes.
“Our heartfelt desire is to bring glory to God by training the Christians in Calaveras County and beyond to be the loving hands and feet of Jesus in a world so desperately in need of redemption. By the power of the Holy Spirit, we aim to make robust theology, family discipleship, unapologetic obedience to the Word of God, and commitment to the Lordship of Christ in all things the hallmarks of Calaveras Presbyterian Church,” he said, adding, “If these are your goals as well, we covet your prayers and invite you to be part of our loving family.”

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church as a theologically conservative denomination holding to the 17th century Westminster Confession of Faith and Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms as its doctrinal standards.
OPC churches consider the preaching of the Word of God to be their highest and central priority. The confessions of the church emphasize the sovereignty of God in all things, the grace of God in salvation, and the Bible as the final authority on all matters of life and doctrine.

The word “orthodox” in the denomination’s name does not imply any affiliation with the Eastern Orthodox branch of Christianity, but simply means “straight thinking” on historic Christian doctrines, according to Garry Moes. The church endorses the Protestant Reformation’s famous principles: Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, all for the Glory of God Alone.

The Calaveras church’s web site address is calaveraspresbyterian.weebly.com. Its Facebook page address is facebook.com/CalaverasPresbyterian. Elder Brook Moes may be reached by email at koorb1@yahoo.com.

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