The Story of Lakewood Presbyterian Church
Founded in 1952, Lakewood Presbyterian Church is now in its sixth decade of serving the Jacksonville community.
The mission of Lakewood Presbyterian Church is to:
- Worship the living God as revealed in Jesus Christ.
- Teach the Scriptures.
- Encourage Christian spiritual development.
- Build a fellowship of love and trust.
- Send forth disciples to serve in the community and the world.
The vision of Lakewood Presbyterian Church is to be a community that:
Thinks with the mind of Christ ~ Loves with the heart of Christ ~ Serves with the hands of Christ.
In 1951, the Jacksonville Laymen’s Association agreed that new residential growth in the Lakewood area called for the establishment of a new church. When the 45 adults and children of young founding families gathered for the first Sunday School services on Sunday, Nov. 11, Lakewood Presbyterian Church was on its way to becoming a reality.
Lakewood Presbyterian Church was officially founded in 1952. The church had modest beginnings, but as the community grew, the church on Longwood Road (now University Boulevard) grew and expanded with it. The first service in the Sanctuary that we know today was held on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 1960.
Today LPC has more than 480 members. They range in age from small babies to honored members who are in their nineties. We are blessed to have several of our founding families worship with us each Sunday.
Only four senior ministers have served LPC in its 56+ year history:
- Dr. C. Charles Benz
- J. Hunter Coleman
- John H. Nicolson (now Pastor Emeritus)
- Terry Lucarelli
In the spring of 2017, we welcomed Rev. Tom Borland as our Interim Senior Pastor who will lead us through the process of finding a new Senior Pastor. Rev. Borland comes to us after 36 years of ministry. We are grateful that he has taken on the task of helping us find the pastor God has chosen for us.
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
The Reformed movement spread from Switzerland, where Calvin did much of his writing, to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706.
What is distinctive about the Presbyterian Church?
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.
Presbyterian theological beliefs
The tenets of our faith include:
- The sovereignty of God.
- The authority, though not literal interpretation, of the Scripture.
- Justification by grace through faith.
- The priesthood of all believers.
We believe that:
- God is the supreme authority throughout the universe.
- Our salvation through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments.
- God alone is Lord of the conscience.
- The church Reformed is always reforming according to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our time.
It is everyone’s job – ministers and lay people alike – to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.