In 1711, German immigrants began to arrive in great numbers in America. Many of these original settlers were Protestants who held firmly to the Calvinistic doctrines of the Reformation. These “Reformed” Christians eventually founded the German Reformed Church (later known as the Reformed Church in the United States), which became one of the largest denominations in America.
In the 1930’s, theological liberalism led to division in the church, with the majority uniting with a more liberal denomination. The Reformed Church in the United States is, today, composed of that smaller group of churches who have remained faithful to the doctrines of the Reformation. Covenant Reformed Church of Sacramento is a member of this denomination.
We believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God and that it speaks to every area of life. We restrict usage to the Authorized or “King James” Version because it is a reliable translation of the Received Text.
The Heidelberg Catechism has been the primary doctrinal statement of the Reformed churches since 1563. We accept it solely because it is a faithful summary of Biblical truth concerning our sin, our redemption through Christ as Savior and our duty to obey Him as Lord. Membership in Covenant Reformed Church is open to all who confess Christ as Saviour and seek, by God’s grace, to live in obedience to His infallible Word.
What We Believe
A SUMMARY OF OUR BASIC BELIEFS
Our church subscribes to, and regularly recites during our morning worship services, the Apostle’s Creed, The Nicene Creed, The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon and The Athanasian Creed. As a member of the Reformed Church in the United States, we also hold to what is often called the “Three Forms of Unity” – a catechism and two confessions that were written during the Reformation period: The Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt (Click here to download a PDF copy of these creeds and confessions). Our beliefs can be summarized by the following:
1. The Bible is the authoritative Word of God for faith and life. Every word and thought is “God-breathed” and therefore inerrant, infallible, and eternally preserved. Hence the Bible alone is the only standard for faith and life.
2. There is one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is the sovereign creator and Ruler of the universe, sustaining and preserving all creation by His eternal counsel and providence. God has chosen his people in Christ unto Salvation without any merit of man.
3. All men, by the sin of Adam and Eve, fell from their original righteousness and communion with God, making them enslaved to sin and to Satan. Adam's sin has totally corrupted all men and every part of human nature. Being thus depraved in body and soul, men are eternally condemned by the just judgment of God.
4. The Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh. He was born of the virgin Mary, crucified, dead and buried. He rose bodily from the dead and is now reigning at the right hand of God the Father. Christ has died for all whom the Father has given to Him and fully accomplished all that is necessary for their salvation through his active and passive obedience.
5. Sinful men are saved from eternal condemnation by the grace of God alone, through repentance of sin and faith in Jesus Christ. The grace of God's Holy Spirit is necessary and sovereign if we are to believe. Hence, God alone should receive all the glory from beginning to end. For Christians, Jesus Christ is the only Savior and the Sovereign Lord over every part of their lives. God preserves his people in the faith unto everlasting life.
6. The church is the body of professsing Christians and their children. The church is distinguished by the pure preaching of the Word of God, the proper administration of the sacraments, and the faithful exercise of Christian discipline.
7. Jesus Christ will return again bodily to earth as Judge of all men and to receive His church. All men will be raised from the dead and he will separate believers from unbelievers. Unbelievers will be punished forever in hell. He will then consumate His Kingdom of believers which will replace all the kingdoms of this world.
Dr. Frank Walker
Pastor Walker earned a B.A. at Covenant College, M.Div. at the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Episcopal Church, and a Th.M. and Ph.D. at Whitefield Theological Seminary. His dissertation topic was “The Theological Sources of Zacharias Ursinus as Reflected in the Heidelberg Catechism.”
Pastor Walker has been a pastor in the Reformed Church in the United States since 1987, following his ordination by the Reformed Episcopal Church in 1986. He has served congregations in Cincinnati and Napoleon, OH; and, Bakersfield, CA, before joining Covenant Reformed Church in Sacramento in 2000. Pastor Walker resides in the Sacramento area with his wife Chris, with whom he has five grown children and seven grandchildren.
Besides serving as Pastor of Covenant Reformed Church, he is also Professor of Historical Theology at City Seminary of Sacramento. Pastor Walker has written several papers for reformed theological journals. He has served as President of Covenant East Classis and the Western Classis of the Reformed Church in the United States, and currently serves as President of its Synod.
Re. Jim West (Pastor Emeritus)
Pastor West earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Pasadena College and his Bachelor’s of Divinity and Masters of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary in 1972. In 1973, he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Following graduation, he served for several years as Associate Pastor of Knox Presbyterian Church. In 1975, he answered a call to pastor Grace Community Church in San Jose, where he served for eight years. In 1983, he became the pastor of Ebenezer Reformed Church in Shafter, California, a congregation of the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS). Three years later, in 1986, he and his wife moved their young family to Sacramento where he served faithfully as Pastor of Covenant Reformed Church until his retirement in 2013. He continues to serve the congregation as Pastor Emeritus.
Pastor West serves as Professor of Systematic and Pastoral Theology at City Seminary. He is the author of a number of books, booklets, and articles. Pastor West and his wife Elaine live in Carmichael.
The Reformed Church in the United States is a member of the North American Presbyterian and Reformed Council.