Who We Are
What We Believe
We believe our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the Ten Commandments and in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. We continue to search through prayer and study for God’s will as He leads us in doing His work. We believe it is our duty to respond to the major issues facing our world and community through education, support of denominational and ecumenical programs, and support of worldwide mission efforts. We expect Covenant Church to be a strong witness in the community, stressing Christian values while providing community outreach and service. We strive to be a church that is guided by the Holy Spirit – honoring and affirming each member of the body. We feel compelled to act when segments of society we live in are at odds with theological issues taught to us by Christ.
Covenant Church is committed to the mission and ministry of Christ’s church. Being a very diverse, open-minded, respectful, and embracing congregation, we are proud of our philosophy: “Love Grows Here”.
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs.
Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone’s job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.
Presbyterians confess their beliefs through statements that have been adopted over the years and are contained in The Book of Confessions.
These statements reflect our understanding of God and what God expects of us at different times in history, but all are faithful to the fundamental beliefs described above. Even though we share these common beliefs, Presbyterians understand that God alone is lord of the conscience, and it is up to each individual to understand what these principles mean in his or her life.
On August 16, 1871, seventeen charter members organized a congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Marshall. On October 12, 1873, the first building on the corner of Morgan and Salt Pond streets was dedicated.
As the town grew, so did the membership of the congregation. On December 7, 1890, a new, larger brick building at the corner of Morgan and Odell Streets was dedicated. This building served as the home of the congregation for almost 80 years.
Two national denominational mergers were brought about during these years. The first one was with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1906. The name of the congregation became the Odell Avenue Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The second merger was with the United Presbyterian Church of North America in 1958. The name of the church became Odell Avenue United Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.).
With a third relocation to the corner of Yerby and Lincoln streets, it was necessary to select a new name, and the name Covenant Presbyterian Church was chosen. The present building was dedicated April 12, 1970. Foundation stones from the two former buildings rest at the entryway of the church.
In 1983, another national merger took place, uniting the United Presbyterian Church in the (U.S.A.) and the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Covenant is now a congregation in the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.) and is within the Missouri Union Presbytery, Synod of Mid-America.