Welcome to the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Dyersburg, Tennessee. You can just call us “The Cumberland Church”, everyone in town does. We are so happy that you are curious about our church and hope that this portion of our website will help to answer any questions that you may have or a least give you a little better understanding about who we are.
We are a small church of around 300 ish people. On a typical Sunday morning worship service you can expect those in attendance to number 200 or more. We currently have one worship service on Sunday mornings at 10:15 AM. Also, starting at 9:00 AM on Sunday mornings, we have several Discipleship/Bible Study/Small groups that meet prior to morning worship. Some of these groups have been meeting for several decades, but they are always eager to welcome new folks. So, whether you are eight or eighty AND whether there is one of you or a whole family, we have Sunday morning worship and discipleship opportunities for you each week.
What Can I Expect to Experience in Sunday Morning Worship?
We have what is considered to be a “Blended” worship service. We value the traditions that have provided meaningful worship through years past. And, we believe that we can share in God’s creative Spirit by adding new worship styles and traditions to our services. The ministers wear robes and during some seasons, the choir does also. We have a wonderful choir that leads the congregation in old hymns and newer, contemporary worship music. We sometimes use our piano and organ and other times use guitars and drums. We have hymnals and a big screen to aid in our corporate worship. So, a little old, a little new, but all to the glory of Jesus.
The sermons are usually in the 15-20 minute range and are conversational in nature. The sermons are designed to help you to grow in your ability to think about God for yourself. We want to learn something about God and each other and we want to be encouraged as well as challenged. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed each week and sermons come from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
What About the People? What Are They Like?
Our congregation is like a patchwork quilt. We are all different ages and sizes and colors. Our folks come from far away and just around the corner. We have teachers, business professionals, students, retirees, white collar, blue collar, and no collar. This church has been blessed with many different kinds of folks and we all get along famously. One thing that we all have in common is a love for Christ and a sense of learning more about God and who we are in God. This is a journey with ups and downs, but we are getting pretty good at learning to make that journey together.
How Should I Dress?
Well, please do wear some clothes! Many folks like to dress in their “Sunday Best” for our Sunday morning worship. There are also many who wear jeans and a shirt. Honestly, we don’t really care as long as you wear it with integrity. So, please don’t dress for the club, or the beach for that matter, but anything in between and you will fit in just fine. All are welcome without regard to clothing choice…this is worship you know, not a fashion show.
I Heard That You Were , Well, Kind of Uppity?
” I am new in town and I have heard folks in the area refer to this church as a Country Club Church. Well, I have not found that to be true at all now, if it ever was. No, this is a welcoming church. These are good people, real people, and I am very thankful and humbled by the opportunity to serve them as pastor.
We don’t care who you are or where you have been. If you seek God, if you crave a community of faith where it is safe for you and your family to question and learn about Jesus, then this church may just be for you.”
What We Believe As Cumberland Presbyterians
So, You have never heard of Cumberland Presbyterians?
We are not too surprised….
We are a small denomination and here in the Bible Belt we are way outnumbered by Baptists and Methodists, etc… I want to encourage you to not let that unfamiliarity scare you. Cumberland Presbyterians have a rich heritage and a wonderful ministry.
This is a snapshot of our doctrine.
Cumberland Presbyterians accept the Bible as the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We believe that the Holy Scriptures comprise the 66 books of the Old and the New Testaments, and that the best rule of interpretation of Scripture is the comparison of Scripture with Scripture. This means that we do not depend upon a particular verse as literal proof of all beliefs and practices, but we do seek the whole teaching and spirit of the Bible as our guide. We do not limit ourselves to any one translation of the Bible but seek always for a deeper understanding of God’s word.
We believe in God as Creator and Caretaker; in Jesus Christ as divine Savior and Lord; and in the Holy Spirit as God present and at work everywhere in creation.
We believe the Cumberland Presbyterian Church is a part of the Church of which Christ is the head and all believers in Christ are a part. We believe in cooperation with all who accept Jesus as Christ and Lord.
We believe that every person needs regeneration and must make a personal commitment of their life to Christ in order to be saved. We do not believe that any are saved or lost regardless of their own will. All infants dying in infancy and all persons who have never had the faculty of reason are regenerated and saved through Christ. God initiates salvation, sending the Holy Spirit to all persons, calling them to repentance and faith. They have a choice of acceptance or rejection.Preservation of Believers
We believe that a person who is truly regenerated will not totally fall away from a state of grace, but will be preserved to everlasting life. In other words, “Once saved, always saved.” We do not believe that “good works” will save our souls, but are the result of a regenerated life.
We believe that there are only two sacraments of the church:
Water Baptism is a sign or symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and a seal of the Covenant of Grace. Because the Holy Spirit is always represented in the Scriptures as being poured out on the person, its renewal and cleansing is symbolized by pouring or sprinkling water upon the head of the one being baptized. We believe that infant children of Christians should be given the seal of the Covenant just as Hebrew children were in Old Testament days. Infant baptism is now that seal, and represents an act of faith on the part of the parents and the Church as the child is dedicated to the Lord. Infant baptism is not an evidence of salvation, but is an evidence of non-communicant church membership. Those who have been baptized in infancy must make a personal acceptance of Christ and accept the act of their baptism before sharing in the full fellowship of the Church. There is no saving power in water baptism, yet it is the duty of all believers not previously baptized to confess Christ in this solemn ordinance and to present their infant children for baptism.
The Lord’s Supper is the second sacrament of the church. The symbols used are bread and grape juice (wine can also be used). The elements remain, after consecration, literal bread and juice. Since it is the Lord’s Supper and not an ordinance of a particular church, all who acknowledge Jesus as Christ and who have faith to understand the significant of this sacrament are invited to partake this meal with us, regardless of their denominational affiliation.
The term Presbyterian in our name refers to our form of government. This same form of government is used by a number of denominations which are identified as being of the Reformed/ Presbyterian tradition including but not limited to the PCUSA, PCA, and RCA. The term is taken from the Greek word “presbuteros,” which is usually translated “elder.” A Presbyterian church governs its congregation by both teaching elders (the pastor) and ruling elders (men and women elected by the congregation). Together they make up the “Session” and join with “Sessions” of other regional churches in their denomination forming a “Presbytery.” Dyersburg CPC is a part of West Tennessee Presbytery. Presbyteries are joined to form “Synods” which act as church courts of review. The “General Assembly” is the highest church court and meets yearly. (This is very similar to local and state governments that you are probably more familiar with.)
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church has approximately 80,000 members in the United States, Columbia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Liberia. We recently were recognized as a Christian Denomination in Mexico. Our headquarters are in Cordova, Tennessee. We support Bethel University (McKenzie, TN), Memphis Theological Seminary (Memphis, TN), and the Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home (Denton, TX).