About Us/Constitution

Introduction:

(Updated: 24th January 2019; 2nd February 2019; 25th October 2021; 3rd November 2021; February 12th, 2024)

After several months of preparation, the Westminster Evangelical Presbyterian Church was officially constituted in January 2014 at the first Presbytery meeting. The new denomination was founded over the need to protest gospel doctrinal and moral decline in many Presbyterian confessing reformed denominations including the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia, Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of Australia, Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, Presbyterian Church of America, Presbyterian Reformed Church of North America, Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America and then later the Westminster Presbyterian Church in the United States (WPCUS), displaying anti-evangelical doctrines. We have no interest in a modern association of professing “reformed” churches such as NAPARC which serves to protect neo-reformed ecumenical ministers and elders and suppress the reformed evangelical faith. Reformed evangelical saving faith, including repentance unto life, justification by grace through faith alone are not being preached faithfully or honestly. In place of biblical saving faith, a simple faith false gospel in a contrived, imagined ‘Jesus’, with limited doctrines including an unbiblical repentance are being preached in many neo-reformed congregations. This includes a false assurance often based on a false ‘spiritual’ birthday; and in others, justification by faith plus works is taught in some kind of reaction to the simple faith false gospel. Yet both display and advance the sect of Antinomianism with reduced morality and neither proclaiming biblical repentance unto life. Reformed evangelical ministers and elders are being persecuted by neo-reformed Presbyterian denominations for preaching biblical effectual calling (i.e., the new birth), biblical saving faith, including the precise justification by grace through faith alone, with repentance unto life, the pursuit of holiness, the extensive moral law as the rule of right living, perseverance of the saints, with biblical assurance of Salvation. They are slandered with tale bearing, are being kept out of pulpits and sometimes even censured for making a protest secession and standing firm on biblical saving faith (see WCF 14:1-2; 15:1-2). Our protest of the neo-reformed infiltration and their take over of reformed evangelical churches is thoroughly explained in the article “A Call to Reformation and to Unify in the Reformed Evangelical Faith”.

The WPCUS (now defunct) was started by several church officers, with some having seceded from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church of America, over definite evangelical gospel decline. The WPCUS was started by a basic covenant, wherein church officers were to totally subscribe in full to the Westminster Church Standards (1648). Some church officers not knowing what it is to subscribe to the Westminster Church Standards in total were unable to practically implement the church standards by teaching, counsel, or act in Presbytery with the understanding of total Subscription to the legislative intent of the Westminster Standards. Some did not even properly confess the legislative intent of the Shorter Catechism, which is required for covenant church members. Instead they had been reinterpreting the Westminster Standards to suit neo-reformed theology.

Covenant Presbyterian Church in Sydney, Australia had been in union with the WPCUS. The church officers seceded from the WPCUS in January 2008 over the 1st mark of the church and reformed evangelical fundamental of the faith departures. Upon secession, the church officers regret having not listed all the gospel departures at fault in the WPCUS. We now encourage seceders to list all clear gospel doctrinal departures, when leaving a neo-reformed controlled denomination. Typical of a WPCUS moderator, still using the NKJV against the WPCUS Church Constitution, there was attempted discipline of the seceders which was later declared null-n-void by both the Session of the Covenant Presbyterian Church, Sydney (2010) and then the Presbytery of the WEPC (2019). The Presbytery of the WEPC does not tolerate Moral Law Code violations and does not tolerate Napoleonic Code Justice (guilty until proven innocent). The church officers of the Presbytery of the WEPC do their best under God to follow what they have vowed: which is the legislative intent meaning of all the doctrines in the Westminster Church Standards. Furthermore, the Presbytery has vowed to defend biblical seceders in accordance with Romans 16:17, I Corinthians 1:10, 11:18-19, Galatians 1:6-9, 5:19-21, Philippians 1:27, Titus 3:10-11, and Jude 3-4.

There has been the need to protest against the Lord’s Supper being administered and served to professing Christians who are ignorant of biblical saving faith, not bearing fruit in doctrine and life (see KJB I Cor. 11:18-19). Many professing Christians in neo-reformed congregations do not confess the body of divinity gospel doctrines in the Shorter Catechism in its legislative intent meaning.  In our Constitution, we advocate preparatory Communion and close catechised Communion (see LCQA 170-177; “The Administration of the Lord’s Supper in Reformed Evangelical Churches”)We protest against the removal of the term ‘heresy’ and ‘sect’ in many translations (comp. KJB and Geneva Bible, Acts 15:5; I Cor. 11:19; Gal. 5:19-21; Tit. 3:10-11), which was deliberately designed to promote the ecumenical anti-evangelical movement. We make no apology for opposing ecumenicalism which endorses remaining together and coming together in denominations or associations, by compromising the true gospel of free grace. So we are not afraid to call ourselves separatists and seceding over the true reformed evangelical faith, opposing neo-reformed gospel doctrinal departures. In accordance with Scripture, we wholeheartedly believe in the fencing of the Lord’s Supper by the Shorter Catechism and explained in the Larger Catechism and Westminster Confession.

We have a high regard for ministers, elders, individuals, and congregations who have seceded or preparing to secede from denominations in defence of the reformed evangelical faith. This denomination believes in the right of review of any case sent to the Presbytery clerk or Session clerks; and this Presbytery stands firm for the moral right of review (see ‘Basis of Union’, Constitution). The church officers of this denomination are opposed to forms of censure and discipline that amounts to slander, tale-bearing, and banishment. Whilst there will be ex-communicants, the church is to inviting to Protestant evangelical brethren, visitors, inquirers, professing Christians, basic Christians adherents, as well as the innocent who are reformed advocates defending the historic reformed evangelical doctrines.

Confessing the Larger Catechism, we advocate biblical justice in church and society. The WEPC is committed to Moral Law Code Justice as taught in Scripture. We deplore methods of so-called justice which scorns, slanders, tale-bears, falsely accuses, public edicts, and mistreats any accused person and often with malice. Suspicions may arise to accusations, but the accused or one under suspicion remains definitely innocent until proven guilty; and the burden of proof must be consistently placed upon the accuser. Mob rule or such alleged ‘justice’ is to be rejected (Exo. 23:1-2). Moreover, no denominational church court may devise a ‘church procedure’ or ‘Church Order’ which is contrary to Moral Law Code Justice in the Scriptures, regardless of cultural norms. Church procedure must be properly deduced from Scripture and rightly serve the church court in accordance with Moral Law Code Justice (innocent until proven guilty).

This church is very serious about the gospel mission. We endorse the paying of tithes and giving of offerings in support of faithful reformed evangelical ministers and not unfaithful ministers. It is the duty of God-fearing repentant believers to do their best to support faithful gospel ministers who seek to faithfully preach the true gospel of free grace. Banking instructions to transfer donations are listed below.

Contacts

Westminster Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Presbytery Correspondence

Post Office Box 39

Marulan NSW 2579  Australia

Denominational Presbytery Clerk

Rev. G. Bancroft, Moderator

revgbancroft@wepresch.org

Denominational Presbytery Treasurer

Mr. Adrian Van Der Byl, Clerk/Treasurer

treasurer@wepresch.org

Paypal: under treasurer address

See banking details below.

Ferdinand, Indiana

Westminster Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Rev George W. Bancroft

Post Office Box 45

Ferdinand IN

revgbancroft@wepresch.org

Southern Highlands Congregation, Marulan, NSW, Australia

Westminster Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Mr. A. Van Der Byl, elder

Post Office Box 39

Marulan NSW 2579

treasurer@wepresch.org

Banking Details for Tithes, Offerings & Donations

Name: Westminster Evangelical Presbyterian Church, presbytery

Paypal: treasurer@wepresch.org

Send by direct bank transfer or Western Union to bank details below.

Swift Code/Swift BIC Address: SGBLAU2S

St George’s Bank, Sydney, NSW, Australia

BSB 112-879   Account No. 057 580 368

Westminster Evangelical Presbyterian Church Constitution

Adopted: 10th September 2015   Updated: 30th November 2018

Constitution:

  • Westminster Confession (1647)
  • Larger Catechism
  • Shorter Catechism
  • Westminster Directory for the Public Worship of God (DPW)
  • Westminster Form of Presbyterian Church Government (FPCG)
  • Westminster Directory for Family Worship (DFW)

Basis of Union

  • I. Constitution of this Church
  • In adherence to Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 15:1-16:4, this denomination was constituted in Australia, on 29th January 2014, upholding all the Church
  • Constitutional documents above. The rightness of constituting this new continuing Presbyterian denomination is displayed in this Basis of Union.
  • II. Qualifications & Reception of Constitutional Documents:
  • The Westminster Standards are received as adopted by the Church of Scotland (1645-1648), together with the acceptance qualifications. Acceptance qualifications reference the civil magistrate in the Westminster Confession (23:3 and 31:2) and the teacher or doctor in the WPCG.

III. Vows of Church Officers:

  • Vows of Ministers, Elders, Deacons, as well as Licentiates (Probationers):
  • I, having seriously read and perused the Constitution, do declare in the sight of God and all here present, that I do believe, and am fully persuaded, that so far as I can discern and understand said Confession and Catechisms, they are, in all things, agreeable to the Word of God, taking them in the plain and obvious meaning of the words without exception; and accordingly I do acknowledge them as the confession of my faith, and do promise, through divine assistance, faithfully to adhere thereto. I also believe the Directories for the exercise of worship, discipline, and government, commonly annexed to said Confession, to be agreeable to the Word of God, and I do promise to conform myself thereto in my practice in this denomination, and as far as I can attain unto even in congregations outside this denomination.

IV. The Scriptures, the Preaching of the Word, and the Biblical Psalter

  • As confessed in the Westminster Standards, the Word of God is inerrant, authoritative, and the only rule of faith and practice. This Church holds to the Ecclesiastical Reformation Received Text (see WCF 1:8), as indicated in the proof-texts of the original Westminster Standards, and prescribed worship (WCF 21:1, 5; LCQA 108-109; DPW; FPCG, Of the Ordinances in a Particular Congregation). In accordance with WCF 1:8 and the proof-text of the Westminster Standards, the official pulpit Bible and publications Bible shall be the Authorised King James Version. The New International Version and the English Standard Version are not acceptable Bible translations, being of the wrong Hebrew and Greek text, anti-evangelical, and promotive of sectarian division (see e.g., compare Mat. 5:22; Acts 15:5; I Cor. 6:9-11; 11:18-20; Gal. 5:19-21; II Thess. 2:1-2; Tit. 3:10-11). The Authorised King James Version and the 1650 Psalter are endorsed to be used in this denomination in public worship in all congregations, congregational missions, preaching stations, as well as congregations outside this denomination. Preaching of the Word is to
  • be performed in accordance with the DPW (Of the Preaching of the Word) and FPCG (Pastors). Every minister must be preaching all the gospel doctrines summarised in saving faith, including the Scriptures as the only rule of faith and practice, justification by grace through faith alone, repentance unto life, the pursuit of holiness in the whole moral law, and assurance of grace and salvation as confessed in the Westminster Standards (see II Cor. 2:14-17 Eph. 4:11-14; II Tim. 4:1-2). Ministers should be especially vigilant not to adopt or preach neo-reformed innovations contrary to the Westminster Standards. In accordance with the FPCG (Of the Public Reading of the Holy Scriptures) of this church, in other congregations, ministers should ordinarily preach from the King James Version, but may reference the Geneva Bible in preaching and publication. Wherein there is Constitutional conflicts for church ministers and elders, in the leading of public worship and congregational singing in congregations outside of this denomination, it is quite suitable to have others lead the public worship and then preach from the Authorised King James Version.

V. Church Property

  • In accordance with the Scriptures and the Constitution of this church, church property shall be owned in trust, or by registered company, through church officers as signatories. Whilst civil courts may override this Scriptural apostolic church ordinance by democratic vote in church disputes, until reformation in the nations, this denomination shall not engage in civil law suits over church property (see I Cor. 6:1-8).

VI. Synod, Presbytery, and Session Meetings

  • The Presbytery shall function as the General Synod and the Presbytery, until which time there is division into more than one Presbytery. In the Presbytery-General Synod all ministers shall have right to vote and one elder delegate from each congregation, as well as assessor elders. Ministers are communicant members of the Presbytery. Under special circumstance, elders may be communicant members of the Presbytery until which time they are members of a congregation or mission congregation. All church officers shall submit to the Basis of Union. There shall be a moderator and a clerk of each church court; and all meetings shall be conducted in formal church court manner. Church meetings may be performed by internet connection, but not by individual telephone connection. All ministers and elders shall have right to speak by direction of the moderator and in accordance with moral law code justice. A quorum for a meeting shall be a majority of the voting delegates. Any procedure out of accord with moral law code justice shall not be used in the church courts. Letters addressed to the clerk of any church court shall be presented at the next meeting. Such letters shall be received or not received in accordance with moral law code justice and responded to in like manner; but definite explanation in response must be provided, if a given letter is not received. There is the right to appeal from any lower church court. Banishing
  • ‘excommunications’ (i.e., shunning) shall not be performed by any church court of this denomination nor accepted from other denominations. Censured excommunicates, from congregations outside this denomination, shall be given the definite right to be heard (Prov. 22:1; Acts 24:10-21) along with the censuring body. If the censuring body refuses to submit to the procedure and/or is found to be out of accord with moral law code justice, the censure will be declared null-n-void (Ex. 23:1-2); and the previous congregation or Presbytery shall be so informed by letter. Preaching stations and congregations may be established by the Presbytery or ministerial missionaries in other countries. Applicant God-fearing Christians can apply to the Presbytery for a preaching station in their region. Independent congregations, even formerly of other denominations, may apply for reception into a Presbytery. Students for the ministry, under training of a Presbytery, shall be allowed to preach after sustaining a full examination in the Shorter Catechism. Students for the ministry become probationers, awaiting a ministerial call, by full examination in the Church Constitution, 2/3 vote of a Presbytery, and fully subscribe to the vows of the church, without exception. Transfer ministers and licentiates must sustain an examination by 2/3 vote of the Presbytery in the Church Constitutional documents and fully subscribe to the vows of the
  • church, without exceptions. In place of a Latin examination, the applicant shall be examined in knowledge of the English Bible. Foreign mission congregations can remain a part of this denomination until which time a sufficient size Synod-Presbytery is formed in that country. No minister or elder may be accused of any confessional departure, heresy, scandalous sin including divisive behaviour, without following moral law code justice (John 8:1-11; I Tim. 5:19, 24; Tit. 3:10-11); but necessary biblical procedure shall be followed in the case of definite accusations in accordance with moral law code justice (Matt. 7:15-23; I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Tit. 3:10-11; I Pet. 4:15; II Pet. 2:1-2). Ministers, elders, deacons, and other communicant members may depart from membership (communicant or adherent membership) by disjunction certificate of standing. Ministers and congregations can withdraw from this denomination at any time, if they can no longer subscribe to the Constitution or no longer submit to the Basis of Union. Those who depart by ‘contumacy’ rejecting the God-given church court’s jurisdiction, will not be tried in their absence, being contrary to moral law code justice (II Tim. 5:24-25). Instead, their names shall be deleted from communicant membership with an appropriate warning by letter, but leaving the matter to be judged by the Lord God.

VII. The Sacraments, Communicant & Adherent Membership:

In accordance with Matthew 28:18-20 and Ephesians 4:11-14, congregations, mission congregations, and preaching stations are established by ministerial authority. Elders and deacons shall be trained/examined in the Larger Catechism, ordained, and installed by ministerial authority. Reformed evangelical Baptism shall be performed exactly as set forth in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms (SCQA 95-97; LCQA 106, 171, 172, 173, 176, 177), distinguishing it from the Lord’s Supper (i.e., adherent Baptism membership and Communicant membership). The Lord’s Supper shall be fenced in accordance with the gospel body of divinity of the Christian faith set forth in the Shorter Catechism and close Communion (between sister denominations). Ordinarily, established congregations may have the Lord’s Supper, two or four times a year in accordance with preparation Communion (LCQA 171, 174-175, 177; WDPW, Of the Administration of the Sacraments, “Lord’s Supper”.  Since there is such widespread ignorance of the reformed evangelical doctrines, no mission congregation shall be established in communicant membership by mere letter with signatories, without prior examination in the Shorter Catechism and initially to be Baptised members. Christian adherents may become communicant members by accredited fruit profession of saving faith and obedience before the Session or constituting minister (I Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21), and not merely by so-called ‘credible profession of faith’ or other forms of ‘simple faith’, without sufficient gospel doctrinal knowledge and period of observation: hence close catechised Communion. Upon sustaining examination in the Shorter Catechism before the Session, or constituting minister, baptised adherents with fruit in doctrine and life become communicant members. Communicant membership may be established from another state or country by internet session meeting with sermon recordings and internet services. Preaching stations may be established by the Presbytery or ministerial missionaries in other countries. Communicant members of other reformed evangelical congregations in the same denomination or sister denomination may partake at the Lord’s Supper by official letter of the home reformed evangelical congregation. Being concerned for the prevalence of ‘gluten intolerance’, ‘celiac disease’, and various unnecessary additives in wine, ministers and elders should not alter the Scripture prescribed elements in the Lord’s Supper. Instead, they should try to use organic wine and home made or organic bakery bread from original seed, attempting to avoid hybrid GE or GMO wheat seed. Communicant members in good standing have the privilege of voting in accordance with biblical communicant membership, including the signing of a ministerial or licentiate call. Ministers of the denomination are periodically to preach that ordinarily communicant members in good standing, unless in poverty, are to support the gospel ministry by tithes (see LCQA 109) and offerings (Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 23:23; I Cor. 9:13-14). Upon departure, communicant or adherent baptised members may receive a disjunction certificate, intending to transfer to a reformed evangelical congregation not having fraternal relations with the WEPC; that is, provided there has been no censure. Upon request, communicant or adherent baptised members may have their names deleted from the roles, but without letter of standing; the congregational session shall also give a biblical warning in breaking covenant vows (see LCQA 113). Talebearing (e.g., telling unsubstantiated accusation stories), busy body behaviour, false witness bearing, as well as scorning including lying, are serious and scandalous sins of the 9th commandment as well as divisive; and these repeated acts of serious or scandalous sins are construed to be ‘hatred’ in Scripture (Pro. 10:18; 12:22; 14:5-6; 26:22-28; Gal. 5:19-21; I Pet. 4:15; I John 2:10-11; 3:15). Judging with moral discernment is a duty of every God-fearing repentant believer. (Prov. 1:1-3; 2:1-11; I Cor. 2:15; 5:12-13). Hypocritical and other false judging against the moral law is condemned in Scripture (Matt. 7:1-6; I Cor. 2:15; James 4:11-12). As much as lies within each member, peacemaking is the duty of every communicant member and shall be required for maintaining of communicant membership (Psa. 34:14; Rom. 12:18; Heb. 12:14; I Pet. 3:11). Communicant members may not harbour exemption behaviour to clear moral injunctions, church ordinances, and gospel doctrines (see e.g., Rom. 12:18; I Cor. 1:10; 11:1-16, 18-19; Phil. 1:27). An unteachable spirit is the scandalous sin of pride (Prov. 8:32-36; 11:2-3; 16:18-23; 21:3-4; 22:3-4; 28:9). No communicant member may be accused of any heresy, scandalous sin including divisive behaviour, without following moral law code justice (John 8:1-11; I Tim. 5:19, 24; Tit. 3:10-11); but necessary biblical procedure shall be followed in the case of definite accusations in accordance with moral law code justice with a view to suspension from the Lord’s Supper, reducing to adherent status (Matt. 7:15-23; I Cor. 5:1-13; 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Tit. 3:10-11; I Pet. 4:15; II Pet. 2:1-2).

VIII. The Solemnization of Marriage and the Family

  • In accordance with Scripture, the creation ordinance of marriage between a man and a woman is to be ordinarily performed by a gospel minister and such a marriage is to be recorded by church marriage certificate and registration in the congregations of this denomination (see DPW, The Solemnization of Marriage). In anti-Christian countries, and particular formerly Protestant Christian countries of Britain, the Commonwealth, and the United States, it is prudent that ministers of this denomination ordinarily refrain from performing marriages among those who are not communicant or adherent members of a reformed evangelical church. Furthermore, unless a given nation upholds the Ten Commandments as the law of the nation, ministers of this denomination should not be on a general civil registry to perform marriages. In countries that do not uphold the Ten Commandments as the law of the nation in violation of Matthew 5:19-21, Romans 2:14-15, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21, communicant members may choose to register the marriage for civil purposes; but such a ceremony or registration is not the solemnisation of marriage. Furthermore, professing Christians should not be registering marriages in civil governments with designations other than husband and wife. The solemnisation in marriage of communicant and adherent members must be in accordance with the creation ordinance, between a man and a woman, and ordinarily occurs by proclamation of a lawful gospel minster. It is not the solemnisation of marriage, when a state celebrant performs a “wedding” who does not
  • honour the creation ordinance marriage institution, between ‘man and wife’. With reference to children in a marriage, the Sovereign Lord God determines the nature of a male and female in body and soul at conception and displayed in birth of the child; and no pretext to emotional disturbance, cross dressing, or creation of different body parts can change the soul of a male or female, or the womb of the female. Biblical communicant and adherent membership, including church office designations, shall recognise the definite creation male and female distinctions. God’s means of conception is by the union of a man and woman and morally performed by the marriage-bed (see Gen. 1:28; 2:24-25; 4:2, 25; 25:21; 30:22-23; Heb. 13:4). The conception of a baby by laboratory IVF is a direct invasion upon God’s sovereign creation ordinance of conception in Providence and will bear the punishment of the Lord (see Gen. 4:1, 25; 25:21; 29:21; 30:22-23; Psa. 113:9). Also laboratory IVF employs the practice of ‘survival of the fittest’ with abortive discarding in laboratory conception. In accordance with Larger Catechism QA 135-136, the practice of family planning with abortion, by deliberate abortion in the womb or by abortive ‘pill’, is murder and a scandalous violation of the 6th Commandment; and it is to preached by every minister of the gospel that life begins at conception and that each baby is created in the image of God upon conception. Since life begins upon conception, it is the duty of birth attendants, doctors or midwives, to seek to advance the God-given life of mother and child, with no allowance for abortion under any circumstance, since life begins upon conception (see Gen. 4:1; 25:21; 29:32-33). It is the duty of gospel ministers and other church leaders to call those, who have either had an abortion, taken an abortive ‘pill’, or employed IVF, to repentance as far as they can within themselves. The practice of laboratory ‘conception’, abortion, with the manufacturing and trafficking of vital life organs for so-called medical research or life sustaining of another is evolutionary, ‘survival of the fittest’; and it is a scandalous violation of the 6th Commandment.

IX. Fraternal Relations and Associations with Other Churches:

  • As it is the duty of truly likeminded churches to eventually merge, or establish sister church relations across national bounds, this Church shall seek to have fraternal relations with a view to sister church relations with likeminded denominations. This denomination does not acknowledge international Presbyterian and “reformed” associations, wherein there are churches which are not truly confessing historic reformed church standards in all honesty, in doctrine, worship, and practice. In accordance with Westminster Confession 31:4, this denomination (except for sister denominations) will not automatically honour other church court censures, but will follow a procedure of full right of review in accordance with moral law code justice (see section VI above).

X. Amending the Constitution of the Church:

  • This Constitution may only be altered by ¾ vote of two consecutive General Synod-Presbytery meetings.

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