The St. Andrews Presbytery is currently formed by 7 particular churches, trying to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to build God’s kingdom in the context of Argentina.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Stated Clerk, Guillermo Mac Kenzie, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you very much and God bless you!
The Presbyterian Church is rooted in the Reformation, initiated first by Luther in 1517, demanding that the people have access to knowledge of the Bible and fighting against the abuses of indulgences in his time.
Luther was a great man of God who experienced persecution for defending the truths that he found in the Holy Scriptures. He was the first to give the Bible to the people, making his famous translation of the biblical text into German, so that the Bible might not be the property of the clergy alone. Luther unashamedly proclaimed that salvation is by faith, and only by faith. He insisted that salvation could not be bought with money, nor with good works, but only by living a life of faith in accordance with Scripture.
With the Reformation already underway, John Calvin appeared on the scene. This French theologian, a great scholar of the Bible, studied the ideas of Luther in great depth, inviting people to live out their faith in their daily lives outside of the Church, in their own areas in society. Moreover, Calvin dedicated himself to organizing and structuring theology, writing a great number of biblical commentaries and his famous Institutes of the Christian Religion.
Following Calvin’s theology, John Knox organized the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. The ecclesiastical structure was developed with the intent to not give power to individuals, but to establish courts where all of the decisions would be made corporately and with consensus. That structure of ecclesiastical government has lasted until today, being consistent with the theology that is preached.
This brand of Christian theology and its form of government were brought to Argentina with the arrival of the Scots. The first record of the arrival of two Scots to these lands dates to 1806, and from that time until 1825 there was a veritable flood of Scottish immigrants. It is supposed that there were already some 1200 Scots here in 1822. In 1825 a new group of 220 Scots arrived on the ship Symmetry which settled in Monte Grande, forming a farming colony with the Parish Robertson brothers. In 1826, this colony brought the first Presbyterian pastor to Argentina in order that he might attend to them.
From 1828 onward the colony left, dispersing itself in other places and it was necessary in 1829 to officially establish the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Argentina, the first chapel being inaugurated in downtown Buenos Aires. After a short time, in 1838, he St. Andrews School was inaugurated, which continues operating to this day at the primary, secondary, and university educational levels.
After 1855, the community began to establish churches in various locations, according to the measure in which the community of believers was increasing. That year a chapel was inaugurated in Florencio Varela. In 1868, the same occurred in Jeppener, and also in 1872 in Chascomús next to the cemetery.
In the following years, the church continued to grow. The chapel in downtown Buenos Aires was constructed, on Belgrano Av., where it exists still today with modifications. Also, a chapel was consecrated in the neighborhood of Belgrano and in Bahía Blanca. In 1913, a chapel was inaugurated in Temperley. That same year, another chapel was inaugurated in Remedios de Escalada, and later two others in Quilmes and Olivos.
In 1987, after prosperous times and some difficult times, the St. Andrews Presbytery was formed, joining together all of the Presbyterian churches in Argentina and discontinuing formal relations with the Church of Scotland, although, provisionally, the presbytery was strengthening its ties to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of the United States. During this period the St. Andrews Presbytery received several more churches and new missions programs were opened.
Having transitioned through a process of growth and maturation, the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church today has made its presence in Argentina official and has created a national and independent ecclesiastical body, with the clear vision to continue proclaiming the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in our country.