Loving God and our neighbor and our neighbor is expressed through Presbyterian government. It’s a system that is Biblically balanced through various offices at local, regional, and denominational levels.
A BIBLICALLY-BALANCED CHURCH
Presbyterian government seeks to love God and our neighbor by making use the offices found in his word. The word presbyter comes from the Greek word which means “older” or “elder”. In first century Israel, presbyter was a flexible term. It could describe rulers apart from priests and scribes (Lk. 20:1), an assembly of rulers that included priests and scribes (Acts 4:8), or only a tradition of scribes (Matt. 15:2). 1 Timothy 5:17 differentiates two types: “Let the presbyters who rule well be considered worthy of a double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Here we find two offices of the Presbyterian form of government.
The ones who “labor in preaching and teaching” make up the first office. The Bible calls these presbyters by various titles. As servants of the word, they are called ministers (Luke 1:2; Eph. 6:21), in respect to oversight, they are known as overseers (Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1), as shepherds of the flock, they are considered pastors (Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 5:2), and as instructors of the faith, they are designated teachers (1 Cor. 12:28‑29; Eph. 4:11). Our pastor, Ken Golden, has served since 2011.
Pastor Ken Golden grew up in a nominal Jewish home in New Jersey. He studied art and worked in the pharmaceutical industry before his conversion in 1996. After exploring different churches, Pastor Ken was drawn to the Reformed tradition. He eventually went onto study at Westminster Seminary California, receiving his Masters of Divinity in 2005. He was ordained the same year and pastored an OPC congregation before coming to Sovereign Grace OPC in 2011. Pastor Ken and his wife Cressid have been married since 1992. Their children are Samuel, Joseph, Aaron, and Maelah.
For more information, read his personal testimony.
The ones who rule well without teaching make up the second office of Presbyterianism. Not surprisingly, they are called ruling elders (Rom. 12:8; 1 Cor. 12:28). Since Sovereign Grace OPC is a mission work, our ruling elders are part of our overseeing church, Covenant of Grace OPC, Sugar Grove, IL.
Deacons make up the third office of Presbyterianism. They provide for the earthly needs of the people. The first deacons assisted the apostles (Acts 6:1-7) and later deacons assist the presbyters (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Our deacon, Dave Mattes, has served since 2014.
Dave Mattes was part of the original core group interested in seeing an Orthodox Presbyterian mission work in the Quad Cities. He was ordained to the office of deacon in February 2014. He also serves as church treasurer. Dave is married to Ann. They have two children, Sasha and Ethan. He lives in Muscatine, IA and works as a structural engineer at Hoffman, Inc.