4 By region
John Knox (1505–1572), a Scot who had spent time studying under Calvin in Geneva, returned to Scotland and urged his countrymen to reform the Church in line with Calvinist doctrines.
In England, Presbyterianism was established in secret in 1592. Thomas Cartwright is thought to be the first Presbyterian in England. Cartwright's controversial lectures at Cambridge University condemning the episcopal hierarchy of the Elizabethan Church led to his deprivation of his post by Archbishop John Whitgift and his emigration abroad. Between 1645 and 1648, a series of ordinances of the Long Parliament established Presbyterianism as the polity of the Church of England. Presbyterian government was established in London and Lancashire and in a few other places in England, although Presbyterian hostility to the execution of Charles I and the establishment of the republican Commonwealth of England meant that Parliament never enforced the Presbyterian system in England.
Some, such as Crown Court (Covent Garden, London), St Andrew's (Stepney, London) and Swallow Street (London), did not join the English denomination, which is why there are Church of Scotland congregations in England such as those at Crown Court, and St Columba's, Pont Street (Knightsbridge) in London.
Presbyterianism first officially arrived in Colonial America in 1644 with the establishment of Christ's First Presbyterian Church in Hempstead, New York. The Church was organized by the Rev. Richard Denton.
Another notable church was established in 1703 the first Presbytery in Philadelphia. In time, the presbytery would be joined by two more to form a synod (1717) and would eventually evolve into the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in 1789.
Presbyterian Churches are the biggest and by far the most influential Protestant denominations in South Korea, with close to 20,000 churches affiliated with the two largest Presbyterian denominations in the country. In South Korea there are 9 million Presbyterians, forming the majority of the 15 million Korean Protestants. In South Korea there are 100 different Presbyterian denominations.
In the mainly Christian Indian state of Mizoram, Presbyterianism is the largest of all Christian denominations. It was brought there by missionaries from Wales in 1897.
The Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu is the largest denomination in the country, with approximately one-third of the population of Vanuatu members of the church
The biggest Presbyterian church is the National Presbyterian Church in Mexico (Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana de México), which has around 2,500,000 members and associates and 3000 congregations
In Brazil, the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (Igreja Presbiteriana do Brasil) totals approximately 1,011,300 members; other Presbyterian churches (Independents, United, Conservatives, Renovated, etc.) in this nation have around 350,000 members.
The Presbyterian Church of East Africa, based in Kenya, is particularly strong, with 500 clergy and 4 million members
The Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Sudan, founded in 1902 by American missionaries in Malakal, was deprived of foreign pastors since 1962 by decision of the Sudanese government but it continued to grow. It is now the 3rd largest Christian church in Sudan with 1'000'000 members