Covenant Chapel is the English-speaking congregation (EC) of the First Korean Presbyterian Church of Greater Hartford (FKPC), located in Manchester, CT. Though we are financially independent from the Korean-speaking congregation (KC), we consider ourselves to have an inter-dependent relationship with the KC as both sides work together to strive for unity and serve the several different demographics in our congregation. We are reformed in theology and are part of the Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC a NAPARC Member Church).
Covenant Chapel has active small group, mercy, and both long- and short-term missionary ministries. Its demographic is made up of mostly young families, young working professionals and college students with most members who are of 1.5 or second generation Asian American descent. Our college student body is a diverse one, all from several of the various schools in the vicinity, such as the University of Connecticut, Trinity College, Wesleyan University, Central Connecticut State University, and the University of Hartford.
The leadership of the church overall is made up of the session of elders, the pastoral staff, and both ordained and appointed deacons. Covenant Chapel is led by Pastor Fredick Porter and has five active appointed deacons to care specifically for Covenant Chapel's ministries.
We were created for worship, and as Christians, we understand that corporate worship is vital to all that we do as a church. God is worthy to be worshiped, both for who He is and for what He has done through Jesus Christ.
We desire for our church to grow and develop young Christians into fully formed, fully functioning members of God's Church. In essence, it is about people growing in Gospel understanding and outward application.
We believe that it is the primary ministry of every believer to obey the command that God has given us, to take the Gospel to the very ends of the earth, by sharing its message to others in the world. We also believe that God's heart is to reach people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds and that the Gospel is the only thing that breaks those boundaries.
We are reformed in theology, affirming all of the basic tenets of Christianity found in the Apostle's Creed, along with all of the doctrinal distinctives of the Westminster Confession of Faith, Larger Catechism, and Shorter Catechism.For something more concise, please see B.B. Warfield's Brief Untechnical Statement of the Reformed Faith. And see also J.I. Packer's Introductory Essay to John Owen's "Death of Death in the Death of Christ".
We believe in the historic position that God is three persons, one in nature (Trinity). As the Father, God oversaw creation and oversees the functioning of the world. As the Son, Jesus became man and made salvation possible through His death and resurrection. As the Holy Spirit, God has come to earth to fill and direct His people.
Man was originally created in God's image. As God’s creation, he was the pinnacle of God’s creative efforts in Genesis 1 and 2. He was to serve God in all of his labors and be God's representative on the earth. With sin, God’s image was marred in man. Man is now subject to the power and effects of sin in this world. Every man, woman, and child, in every place and in every time, is in need of God's salvation.
Sin is simply rebellion against God. Satan rebelled against the goodness and dominion of God, and Adam and Eve rebelled against God's provision and direction in the garden. As Creator, God deserves our service, worship, and adoration. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, all of mankind is born into sin. We are not just born into sin, we find ourselves slaves to our sinful nature and desires. As a result, we need to be freed from our bondage by a Savior, namely Jesus Christ.
Jesus is fully man and fully God as revealed in the Gospel accounts of the New Testament. He was born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, worked as a carpenter, and began His earthly ministry. In His ministry, He preached to the multitudes, healed the sick and diseased, died on the cross, rose from the grave and ascended into heaven as attested to in the Gospel accounts. Jesus was the perfect mediator between God and man and the perfect sacrifice for the sins of man. His death and resurrection are historical and spiritual realities with far-reaching implications. But His death and resurrection are also a personal opportunity for anyone to receive Jesus and have eternal life.
We believe that the Bible is God's self-revelation to the world. We believe that it is completely true in every way, and that it is our first and final authority in any and all matters. The Scriptures are given to teach us about Jesus Christ and to reveal to us the glory and grace of the Gospel.
We believe that every man, woman, and child is a sinner (Romans 3:23). We also believe that God, through the death and resurrection of Jesus, has offered every man, woman, and child a Savior. The way to salvation is to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as the One who has paid the price for all of our sins and has purchased our salvation through His death and resurrection. Salvation is to begin a personal relationship with Jesus based on His work and His gift of grace. We cannot be saved through obedience to the law, common morality, spiritual heritage, or philosophical beliefs. We are simply saved by grace through faith in our Savior.
We believe that the Gospel is essential for the Christian life. The Gospel, or Good News, is simply that though we are sinners, Jesus has come to save us from our sins. "But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) For most people, the Gospel is just the way into the Kingdom. For us, the Gospel is the way to all spiritual growth too. The Gospel is not just the ABCs of the Christian life, it is the A to Z of the Christian life. The Gospel motivates us, and calls us to change. It rebukes us of our idolatry and points us back to a wonderful Savior. The Gospel tells us that we are more wretched and wicked than we could ever imagine, but that we are also more loved and cherished than we could ever dream.
We believe in the Presbyterian form of church government which stresses accountability within the church structures. We believe that the Church is God's chosen instrument to be a godly and reforming influence in society and in the world at-large. We believe that every Christian is meant to be involved in and serving through a local church.
The Gospel is the air we breathe. It is absolutely essential, and if we don't have it, we suffocate. It is our belief that the Gospel is not important only to our salvation, but to our sanctification as well. We cannot get anywhere in the Christian life without the Gospel. We should be motivated and encouraged that God has come to love even sinners like us. It is this grace that moves us to do all we do as a church.
Relationships are the lifeblood of the Church. For better or for worse, we are bound together through our relationships. We believe that it is God who ultimately changes people, but we also believe that these changes happen primarily through relationships. Jesus reminds us of the importance of not only our relationship with God but of our relationships with one another. As a church, we strive to teach people how to love and serve one another in various ways.
The idea of an "every member" ministry has long since been lost in the Church. In this age of self-service and self-gratitude, we need to learn to look past our own agendas and needs, and understand that the cure for our self-centeredness is for us to look at God's goal and plan. It is only when this happens that the Church becomes Kingdom-centered and people look to serve God and work for His glory, not their own. The Body of Christ will find itself working together, as one, for the cause of Christ in this world. As a church, we want to put people together in service to use their gifts, talents, and passions to further God's word in the world.
We believe that the key to growing and developing Christians is training. Many people want to grow and mature in their faith, but have no practical way of learning how to. It is our belief that it is the role of our pastors to train people by encouraging people to serve in their ministry of choice. This makes discipleship and leadership core to the work of the Kingdom.
Many churches have taken the stance that Sundays are the best place to reach non-Christians with the Gospel message. As a result, they have catered their Sunday services to non-Christians and moved their worship-focused service to the middle of the week. However, we strive for our worship services to be "seeker-sensitive" for non-believers as well as nurturing to believers. Though our message and methods will not be changed to accommodate only non-believers, we warmly welcome anyone wanting to know more about the message of Jesus Christ.
Our church is not about the plot of land on which our building lies. Nor is it about the particular people who gather regularly and call the church their home. Ultimately, our church is about the culture and world in which we live. God has placed us here to be a transforming influence on the people and structures of this world, regardless of race or culture.
Rev. Porter grew up in Newport News, Virginia and graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002. He and his wife Helen were married in 2005 and in 2006 began seminary at Westminster Theological Seminary. He graduated in 2010 and was ordained as a teaching elder in the Korean American Presbyterian Church (KAPC) in 2010. In Aug of 2012 the Porter’s were called to Taipei Taiwan where they served as a Missionary Pastor and family. They returned to the States in 2015. Rev. Porter and Helen are the grateful parents of 2 children: Emily (10) and Elina (7).