Presbyterian Church USA
The first Presbyterian churches in America were established in Virginia, New England, Maryland, and Delaware as early as 1611, one of the first leaders being Reverend Richard Denton.
They were distinctly Calvinistic in doctrine; the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger Catechism and Shorter Catechism, adopted in 1729, were the standards of doctrine.
Amendments to the Confession and Larger Catechism, expressing the American doctrine of the independence of the church and of religious opinion from control by the state, were approved in 1788.
The ecclesiastical organization of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, as it was called, had "as its two principal factors the ministers as representatives of Christ and the ruling elders as the representatives of the people."
In December 1861, due to dissessions over slavery, a group of southern Presbyterians organized at Augusta, Georgia, as the General Association of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America; they were strictly Calvinistic in doctrine, adhering firmly to the standards.
In 1864 they adopted the name Presbyterian Church in the United States.
The principal distinctive feature of their government was "the recognition of ruling elders as entitled to deliver the charge in the installation of a pastor and to serve as moderators of any of the higher courts."
They published four periodicals.
In 1973 a group of congregations left the body over doctrinal issues such as women's ordination and abortion; the new group called themselves the Presbyterian Church in America.
In 1983 the remaining Presbyterian Church in the United States congregations merged with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America to form the Presbyterian Church USA.
Over the years foreign missionary work has been carried on in Africa, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Guatemala, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Syria, Thailand, Venezuela, and the Philippines.
New Catholic Dictionary