The Igreja Presbiteriana do Brasil (IPB), the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, is the largest of the Presbyterian denominations in Brazil.
Around 75 per cent of Brazil’s population is Catholic, having been colonised by Portugal which was a predominantly Catholic country. Today only around 10 per cent of Brazil’s population is affiliated to a Protestant church. The first Presbyterian missionary to Brazil was the Rev. Ashbel Green Simonton from USA who arrived in 1859 and founded the first Presbyterian congregation in Rio de Janeiro in 1862.
However, until the Synod was formed in 1888, it remained under the jurisdiction of the joint Missions Board of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) and the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS). In 1903, a split in the church led to the formation of the Independent Presbyterian Church (IPIB).
IPB is an evangelical, Protestant Reformed Church which adheres to Calvinist theology and the Westminster Confession of Faith and is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship.It seeks to worship God, spread the Gospelof Jesus Christ, promote Christian education and social work. It is also heavily committed to church planting.
It is governed by a Supreme Council, the President of which is elected for a term of four years and may be re-elected for subsequent terms. The current president of the Supreme Council of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil is the Brazilian Rev.Roberto Silva, elected in 2002, reelected in 2006 and again in 2010.
Today, it has around one million members in some 5,000 congregations, spread over all the states of Brazil.
Naomi Keefe, a PCI missionary, lives in Olinda in Northeast Brazil. Since the start of 2012, Naomi has been working alongside the Peixinhos congregation of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB) who are reaching out to the poor communities around them sharing the Good News of Jesus.
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