Newcomers often ask "How do I start?" Our answer is "Through regular worship and getting involved in one or more of the ministries offered at Central."
The Worship page of this website will help you learn more about Central's worship services. Greeters are available at the entrances at Sunday services to help orient you and answer your questions (you can find out more about our Sunday schedule here).
The navigation links to the left of this page will help you explore Central and its many ministries and programs.
If you are interested in learning more about membership, please have an initial conversation with Resident Pastor Cat Goodrich. Membership is open to all who trust in the grace and love of God most clearly revealed in Jesus Christ and who affirm faith in God through Christ as Lord, Savior, and friend. Central welcomes all people into membership, regardless of race, culture, sexual orientation, or economic condition.
Cat will arrange a time to meet with you about membership. You are also encouraged to participate in an Inquiry Class. During this time together, you will learn more about Central Presbyterian Church and Presbyterian theology. The class will also include a tour of our buildings.
New members are received by Session, Central’s governing body, in one of the four ways:
By Profession of Faith in Jesus Christ before Session and then the congregation. If you were previously baptized, but never made a public profession.
By Profession of Faith in Jesus Christ and Baptism. If you have not been baptized, you may join by making a public profession of faith before Session and the congregation and then being baptized in a Sunday morning worship service.
By Reaffirmation of Faith. If you have been a member of a Christian church, but have not been active in recent years, you may join by re-affirming your need of, and dependence on, the grace and love of God.
By Certificate of Transfer. If you have made a profession of faith and are a member of another church, you may join by transferring your certificate of membership from the church that you are leaving to join Central.
For those still debating, here are some thoughts about why you might join Central:
Q. Why should I become a member of Central Church?
A. There are many benefits to becoming a church member. First, in placing yourself under the care of the church you will be put on the “radar screen.” Central Church is working toward having every member connected with the members and ministries of the church. Each member is assigned to a “parish,” a neighborhood community of fellowship and pastoral care. Second, by becoming an intentional member of this community, you will experience the joy of learning from, being nurtured by, and celebrating with others committed to this body of Christ. Third, members play a vital role in the government of the church through serving on Session committees and electing church officers. Membership is also a requisite to serving the church as a deacon or elder.
Q. Can I become a member at Central if I want to retain my membership at a different church or if I will only be in Atlanta for a short time?
A. Absolutely! Many students and seminarians plan to return to their home churches and want to retain their membership there, but also desire to commit themselves to the church where they worship while students. For this reason, we make affiliate membership available. All the requirements and benefits of full membership apply to affiliate membership (with the exception of voting in congregational meetings and holding a church office), but affiliate members do not transfer membership from their home churches.
Want to know more about what Presbyterians believe? Follow this link to the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s website to learn more.