The Presbyterian Reformed Church was formed on November 17, 1965, by two congregations in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Each congregation had been established by Scottish and Irish Presbyterians about eighty years before. The creation of the presbytery took place largely at the instigation of John Murray, Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, who had a long relationship with the two founding congregations. Murray composed the proposals leading to the union, and also the constitution which served as the Basis of Union.
The “simplicity and purity of worship” long contended for in the two founding congregations, and provided for in the presbytery’s constitution, entails a rejection of such practices as uninspired hymns and musical instruments in the church’s worship, as being without that biblical warrant which is requisite for the worship of God. Pictures of Christ, and holy days other than the Lord’s Day are also refused. The church teaches a careful observance of the Lord’s Day as the Christian Sabbath. At the Lord’s Supper the communicants sit at a common table, the elements used are bread and wine, and the table is fenced by a prior admonition. Visitors from other churches are admitted to the Lord’s table after examination by the session. The church employs the Authorized King James Version, and the Scottish Metrical Psalter.
The presbytery holds to the original text of the Westminster Confession, without the eighteenth-century American revisions respecting the role of the civil magistrate. The presbytery teaches the obligation of a national acknowledgment of religion, defined by William Cunningham as follows: “It is incumbent upon nations, as such, and civil rulers in their official capacity, or in the exercise of their legitimate control over civil matters, to aim at the promotion of the honor of God, the welfare of true religion, and the prosperity of the church of Christ.”