Our church was organized by 44 charter members as Normandy Heights Presbyterian Church on May 14, 1950 in Odessa, Texas. A wooden structure at Adams and 25th Streets served until 1958, when an Arizona stone sanctuary was dedicated. In 1960, the church name was changed to Westminster Presbyterian. The church moved to 4901 Maple in 1966, relocating the sanctuary and adding educational space on property donated by First Presbyterian Church. In 1975, a rotunda was built to accommodate growing membership. With the continued growth, a new expansion was dedicated in 1992. Under the combined director of pastoral and lay leaders, membership continues to grow and progress the church mission of gathering for worship and dispersing to glorify God in the world.
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with John Calvin (1509 – 1564), whose writings crystallized much of the reformed thinking that came before him.
Presbyterians are distinctive in two major ways, they adhere to a pattern of religious thought, known as reformed theology, and a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of both ministers and church members. Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. In other words, God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God's purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God's generous gift to us rather than the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone's job – ministers and lay people alike – to share this Good News with the whole world. For this purpose, a combination of clergy and laity of men and women govern the Presbyterian church at all levels.
As far back as 1837, the General Assembly declared that the church, by its very nature, is a missionary society whose purpose is to share the love of God in Jesus Christ in word and deed and with the entire world. Witnessing to the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world, Presbyterians engage in mission activities, seek to alleviate hunger, foster self-development, respond to disasters, support mission works, preach the gospel, heal the sick, and educate new generations for the future. In partnership with more than 150 churches and Christian organizations around the world, the missionary efforts of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) involve approximately 1,000 volunteers and compensated personnel. To explore more about the PC (USA) denomination, please visit www.pcusa.org
We welcome all visitors and invite those seeking to strengthen their faith to join our church. Informational membership packets are located by all of the church’s entrance doors. If, upon reviewing the material, you are interested in becoming a member of the church, you may request a meeting with the membership committee or the Pastor. You may join with a letter of transfer from another church, profession of faith or reaffirmation of faith. Prospective members will meet with the Pastor and membership committee to approve the membership request.
The PCUSA Book of Order (G-1.0304) defines the ministry of membership:
Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ is a joy and a privilege. It is also a commitment to participate in Christ’s mission. A faithful member bears witness to God’s love and grace and promises to be involved responsibly in the ministry of Christ’s Church. Such involvement includes:
- Proclaiming the good news in word and deed,
- Taking part in the common life and worship of a congregation.
- Lifting one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support,
- Studying Scripture and the issues of Christian faith and life,
- Supporting the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents,
- Demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church,
- Responding to God’s activity in the world through service to others,
- Living responsibly in the personal, family, vocational, political, cultural, and social relationships of life,
- Working in the world for peace, justice, freedom, and human fulfillment,
- Participating in the governing responsibilities of the church, and
- Reviewing and evaluating regularly the integrity of one’s membership, and considering ways in which one’s participation in the worship and service of the church may be increased and made more meaningful.