The International Presbyterian Church was founded in 1954 through the ministry of Francis Schaeffer in Switzerland. From its early days, the IPC was closely associated with L’Abri, Schaeffer’s better-known ministry among sceptical and doubting young people, which was founded in 1955. In time, two congregations were planted in England: in Ealing, London, in 1969, and in Liss, a small village in Hampshire, in 1972. Both were led by Ranald Macaulay (Schaeffer’s son-in-law) and continue to exist today.
In 1978, a Korean congregation in Kingston joined the denomination. Bob Heppe, an American missionary, started a new church among South Asians in Southall, London, in the 1990s, now known as New Life Masih Ghar. Growth during the rest of the twentieth century was gradual, mainly consisting of Korean church plants in parts of England.
However, since the 2000s there have been encouraging signs of resurgence in the denomination: a significant number of men have been ordained; church plants in Europe have been incorporated into the IPC; four Scottish congregations have joined the IPC in light of the Church of Scotland’s increasing rejection of biblical authority; and most recently two new church plants have been ventured in London, with another one planned for 2017 in Leeds.
Reflecting our ‘international’ nature, we currently have two presbyteries in the UK (British and Korean), a proto-Presbytery in Europe, which currently meets with the British Presbytery, and one Presbytery in South Korea. Once a year the four presbyteries meet together for Synod.