Our Denomination

Cornerstone is a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), a denomination organized in 1936 by J. Gresham Machen and others in response to the theological liberalism overtaking the mainline Presbyterian Church.

While many people think of incense and robes when they hear the word “orthodox,” we have no affiliation with the Eastern Orthodox Church. Our founders chose the term because of its etymology. “Ortho” comes from the Greek word for “straight” and “dox” comes from the Greek word for “thinking.” That is what we are about in the OPC—the straightforward, uncompromising proclamation of biblical truth.

Similarly, “presbyterian” comes from the Greek word for “elder.” Our denomination believes that the risen Lord Jesus exercises authority as Teacher, Leader, and Shepherd of His church through ordained elders. In the OPC, we distinguish between teaching elders (i.e. pastors) and ruling elders. Together, the teaching and ruling elders care for the sheep in dependence upon Christ’s Spirit and word.

In the Chattanooga region, you will not find any other OPC congregations. But you will find many PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) congregations. While we have different histories, the OPC and PCA hold to the same doctrinal standards and enjoy close fellowship.

For more information about the OPC, check out our denomination website.