Who We Are
Morningside Presbyterian Church is a lively congregation with deep roots in the Reformed/Presbyterian tradition, active involvement and mission in our local community and beyond, and a wide embrace for all of God’s children. Morningside’s vision for ministry is one of passion, action and inclusivity, welcoming all to JOURNEY TOGETHER in worship, service, growth and community. When our pastors say from the pulpit "We welcome everyone without reservation," they speak for all of us!
We believe that this loving acceptance — along with intelligent and inspiring preaching, our outstanding music program, and our special attention to children's education and activities — are the elements that have made MPC a thriving and growing congregation. On any given Sunday at Morningside, you will hear the stories of the Bible taught to young children and their voices lifted in song during the worship service. You will find in-depth Bible study that challenges the mind and heart. You will see a congregation of people who care for one another and who reach out to those in need in tangible and collaborative ways. Your worship of God will be enhanced by some of the best music in Atlanta. You will be inspired and encouraged by stirring sermons. Most of all, you will feel the presence of God in the worship, ministry, and mission of this spirited congregation.
We join together as Morningside Presbyterian Church to respond joyfully to God's call in a changing world through worship and study, through sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and through being good stewards of God's gifts. Our community of faith is committed to serving God and neighbor, reflecting our Lord's welcome of all people. Our mission is to address the challenges of this present age with hope, grace, compassion and wisdom.
What We Believe
'Presbyterian' refers to our form of government, in which clergy and lay members share responsibility equally. Our understanding of the basics of Presbyterian belief is best summarized in our denomination’s most recent affirmation, "A Brief Statement of Faith," which gives voice to our convictions about who God is, who we are, and how we are to live as Christians in the world.
As a part of the Christian tradition, we believe that “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their sins against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us” (2 Corinthians 5:19). We believe that through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been set free from the power of sin and death, and have been empowered to walk in newness of life.
As a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Morningside is part of a denomination that traces its history to the Sixteenth Century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with John Calvin (1509-1564), the architect of the Reformed Tradition. Some of Calvin’s principles remain at the core of our beliefs. These include:
The sovereignty of God, who created the world and who makes everyone equally in God’s image.
The authority of scripture, which testifies to the power and love of God, the lordship of Jesus Christ, and the constant presence of the Holy Spirit.
Justification by grace through faith, which proclaims that salvation through Jesus Christ is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments.
Priesthood of all believers, which asserts that all people are called by God to proclaim the love of Christ in words and actions. This is why the Presbyterian Church at all levels is governed by a combination of ordained clergy and laypeople who share responsibility equally.
In addition to these core beliefs, many more can be found in our Book of Confessions, which includes eleven Christian and Presbyterian affirmations of faith dating from the Third Century to the Twentieth Century, and can be downloaded at this link to the PC(USA) site.
Our beliefs do not exist in a vacuum but rather compel us to active service and ministry in the world. Our Book of Order enumerates six “Great Ends of the Church,” which we at Morningside pursue:
The proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind
The shelter, nurture and spiritual fellowship of the children of God
The maintenance of divine worship
The preservation of the truth
The promotion of social righteousness
The exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world
Thus, we believe that Morningside Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the Christian Church in all times and places, exists not to glorify itself but to worship and glorify God — not to serve itself but to serve the world in Christ’s name.
As a member church in the denominational body Presbyterian Church (USA), Morningside subscribes to the aspirations expressed in A Social Creed for the Twenty-First Century, adopted in 2008 by the National Council of Churches as well as PC(USA).
Where We’ve Been
Morningside Presbyterian Church was established as a mission of the Atlanta Presbytery Home Mission Committee and First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta in November 1925. Click here to read or download a summary of MPC’s history, set out in the context of the service of Morningside's 10 senior pastors.
The church building, begun in 1946 and completed in 1949, was designed by noted church architects Thomas and Waggoner of Philadelphia. Our steeple was added in 1955. Surrounded by beautiful neighborhoods, the church sits in the midst of a park-like setting. We seek to be good stewards of our building and joyfully use it for ministry and mission to our congregation and community.
A booklet issued while the building was under construction describes the project and gives a brief history of the church. That booklet has been reproduced as a PDF file — to view the booklet, click here. Another booklet, issued in 1964 when the building was complete (including the steeple) and paid for, updates the history and includes a section on the church and its symbols — click here to see the 1964 booklet, which includes information about the symbolic mural in Fellowship Hall.
Written by Philip Hawkins, A History of Organ Music at Morningside describes our Wickes-Coulter organ and its history.