Presbytery of Philadelphia

The Occom Circle

Presbytery of Philadelphia

Name (variant)

Pby In Phleladelphia


Presbyterianism is a form of Protestantism distinguished from other dissenting sects, which took hold in New England during the 17th and 18th centuries, by its hierarchical form of church governance. At the congregational level, ministers and elders are ratified by a regionally organized district court made up of representatives from individual churches called a presbytery (from the Greek for “elder”), which is governed at the top by a synod. The Presbytery of Philadelphia was the first presbytery in the colonies, organized in 1706 by seven ministers who emigrated from Scotland and Ireland. In 1716, it was divided into three, including the Presbytery of Long Island, which ordained Occom in 1759; at that time, the Synod of Philadelphia was established.


Nevin, Alfred. History of the Presbytery of Philadelphia and of the Philadelphia Central. Philadelphia: W. S. Fortescue & Co., 1888.