We Are NorthminsterWhat is a church? On one level, Christ’s church is the assembly of all Christians of every time and every place. It is often called the ‘church invisible’ because it is simply impossible for human eyes to see that great collection of saints from everywhere and everywhen. On another level, Christ’s church is the gathering of specific believers at a specific time in a specific place. These innumerable churches are all alike: They are, each and every one of them, meetings of Christians who are marked by the preaching of God’s Word and the practice of the Lord’s Supper and baptism. And yet, these myriad congregations are so different and diverse that their distinctions defy description. Except for certain fundamental points, their Christian doctrine varies; except for a few recurring aspects, their Christian worship is different; except for some common themes, their Christian fellowship diverges. Each congregation of baptized sojourners is identical in its reception of God’s grace through preaching and sacraments; each congregation of baptized sojourners is as distinct as it can be in its collection of unique individuals.
So, who is Northminster? Northminster Presbyterian Church is a collection of Christians that was foreseen by God before even the foundations of the earth were laid. It is also a group of believers located in the Roanoke Valley that is almost seventy years old. Northminster is a Protestant church in the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition: In short, we are ruled by elders; we believe in the sovereignty of God and the brokenness of humanity; and we abide by the Christian Bible, from which is discerned the principles that make up our denomination’s Constitution. We are beneficiaries of the 16th century Reformation: Only Christ is the arbiter of salvation; only Scripture is the authoritative and inspired Word of God; only God’s grace can save us; only faith is the vessel of that grace; only God receives the glory and praise and worship. But we are still ‘reforming’, too. As God’s Holy Spirit leads us into deeper understanding of God’s Word, we are guided into deeper relationships with God and with one another.
With God and with one another. That would sum up Northminster well. We are a gathering of folks who have different personalities and experiences and abilities and ideas and talents. All of those characteristics are molded by preaching and sacrament into Northminster Presbyterian Church. We value devout and energetic Christian worship; we look for ways to share Christ’s grace through Christian service; we enjoy spending time with each other in Christian fellowship. We are just like every church that has ever existed—and we are like no other on the planet. We are Northminster.
“Minster” is from an old English word, ‘mynster’ literally meaning ‘monastery’. It quickly came to mean ‘cathedral’ and then simply ‘church’. Our congregation meets in the north part of Roanoke, so we are a north minster—a north church. Even though we meet in north Roanoke, however, our members come from all over the valley. We have faithful parishioners from Salem, Cave Spring, Botetourt, and Raleigh Court, in addition to North County and the neighborhoods surrounding the congregation building. So, wherever you are, we invite you to worship and serve and fellowship at the Northminster!