Ancient Presbyterian Group Is Being Planted Here

By Elizabeth Matthews

Pastor Tom Hawkes and his wife Ann did not relocate to Amelia Island from Charlotte, North Carolina for retirement, as many other people have. They came to tap into the spiritual wealth found in our little coastal town and plant a church.

Christ Presbyterian Church, led by Pastor Hawkes, is a new local church within the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) denomination. The ARP was founded in 1733 in Scotland and Ireland. It later moved to South Carolina and is one of the oldest Presbyterian denominations in the world.

Scripture is the basis of the faith, along with uniting other believers and equipping leaders for tomorrow as its foundational tenets. Christ Presbyterian Church is in the beginning stages, and the Hawkes have spent the past year and a half getting to know the people of Amelia Island.

Pastor Hawkes is a native son, born and raised in Neptune and Atlantic Beach, Florida and coincidentally has Irish roots. He was just a teen when he committed himself to ministry. Well-educated, with a master’s degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the School of Theology in London, he is the director of church planting for the ARP Florida Presbytery. He’s a church-planting expert who knows how to grow leaders.

Christ Presbyterian Church has three directives: Living Christ’s word, knowing Christ’s love and doing Christ’s work. It is meant to be a Bible-centered church where people know and share God’s love at home and abroad. The Hawkes moved here not knowing anyone and have built a small core group of initial members who meet twice a month for Bible study at the Hawkes’ home on Amelia Island. The church is considered to be in the “birth” stage, with plans to fully launch in October of this year.

After visiting the island, the Hawkes sensed how close-knit and friendly the community was, knew they wanted to be a part of it, and that solidified their decision to start the church here. The couple are avid bike riders and nature lovers who have quickly become part of the fabric of the community.

While the Hawkes continues to train and minister internationally, Amelia Island is home. Planting a church is no easy task, and it’s not all left up to them. Pastor Hawkes emphasizes, “The Lord will build the church, not us.”

If you are interested in worshipping with Christ Presbyterian Church, it meets on the first and third Sunday of every month, 6:30 p.m. at 2877 Tidewater St., Amelia Island, FL 32034. Donations and prayers are welcome.

Christ Presbyterian Church can be found online at ChristPresFB.Com.

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Dave Lee
Dave Lee(@beachbum45)
1 year ago

“Ancient “ , how about “ traditional, Biblical, Scottish Origin, “
Not Ancient!