Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Presbyterian leaders in Pittsburgh reeling from latest exodus

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Story: Presbyterian leaders in Pittsburgh reeling from latest exodus
  1. Bellefield Presbyterian Church
  2. Mt. Lebanon United Presbyterian Church
  3. Round Hill Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth Township
  4. First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown
  5. ?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Westminster Presbyterian SC ditching PCUSA

SC Now Story: Westminster Presbyterian ditching PCUSA
  • Westminster Presbyterian
  • Florence, SC
  • About 118 Members
  • Accepted to EPC
  • Presbytery of New Harmony
  • Both Darlington Presbyterian and McBee Presbyterian will have representatives at the meeting because they have voted to join EPC.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seven churches dismissed from the PCUSA

Layman Online Story: More churches dismissed from the PCUSA
  1. First Presbyterian, Lake Jackson, Texas
    • New Covenant Presbytery
    • $53,000 over 5 years
    • 496-member congregation
    • April it entered into the discernment process
    • voted 240-6 on October 14 to request dismissal.
    • EPC
  2. Memorial Presbyterian, San Augustine, Texas
    • New Covenant Presbytery
    • 65 members
    • $9,000
    • congregation voted 31-0 on Oct. 14 to seek dismissal from the PCUSA
    • Presbytery of the Central South of the EPC
  3. Advent Presbyterian, Spring, Texas
    • New Covenant Presbytery
    • 66-member congregation
    • session of the sent a letter to presbytery on March 18
    • ECO: A Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
  4. Westminster Presbyterian, Lubbock, Texas
    • 10 percent tithe of the church’s assets: 350,000-370,000
    • First congregational vote 200 ballots cast, 80% leave, 13% Stay, 7% ?
    • AC to consult with Westminster on May 5.
    • 580 ballots mailed, 319 (55%) returned, 268 (84%) leave 47(15%) stay, 4 undecided.
    • Pal Duro Presbytery voted Oct. 12-13
  5. First Presbyterian, Hanford, Calif.
    • 233 members
    • 193 people. 70% Leave, 29% Stay, 1% undecided.”
    • Per-capita funds withheld from previous years, as well as current per capita obligations; and reimburse the transition team for expenses they incurred.
    • On Oct. 11, the pastor and congregation were officially received into the EPC’s Presbytery of the Pacific
  6. Bethany Grace Community (formerly Bethany United), Bridgeton, N.J.
    • 100 members
    • June 2012 meeting, West Jersey Presbytery dismissed
  7. Westminster Community Presbyterian, Canton, Ohio
    • 111 members
    • March 10, 2012, Muskingum Valley Presbytery voted to transfer
    • EPC’s Presbytery of the Allegheny.
    • $5,000 to one or more mutually agreed upon local ministries

Monday, October 22, 2012

Guinston, PA votes to leave PCUSA for EPC

York Daily Record/Sunday News religion reporter John Hilton: Belief & Beyond: Guinston votes to leave PCUSA
  • 84-0 10/21/2012, Sunday
  • Rev. Daniel Moore
  • Guinston PC
  • Presbytery of Donegal
  • 157 Members

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

David fells Goliath … again

The Layman Online Story: David fells Goliath … again
  • U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear case:
  • Carrollton Presbyterian Church vs
  • South Louisiana Presbytery
  • 20 member church
  • Church asking for sanctions and legal fees
  • Presbytery held in contempt!
  • Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal upheld summary judgment in favor of Church

The experience of three Hispanic churches in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

he Layman Online Story: The experience of three Hispanic churches in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Two churches leaving PCUSA

Cornelius News Story: Bethel Church votes to leave PCUSA Note: Article also mentions Huntersville Presbyterian Churchleaving in June to ECO

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

One church leaves PCUSA; Others discern their future

Layman Online Story: One church leaves PCUSA; Others discern their future
  • 2,302 - Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kan. - Dismissed to EPC, Aug. 31.
  • 4,125 - Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, Calif. - Discernment
  • 573 - Church of the Redeemer, Snellville, Ga. - Cong. Approved.
  • 675 - First Presbyterian Church of Peachtree City, Ga. - Session Approved
  • 497 - White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, Newark, Del. - Cong Approved
  • 496 - First Presbyterian, Lake Jackson, Texas - Session Approved

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Canton, OH church splits with governing body over gay clergy issue

Canton Rep Story: Canton church splits with governing body over gay clergy issue
  • Westminster Community Church
  • Canton, OH
  • Muskingum Valley Presbytery
  • 95 percent of the congregation voting in favor of the move.
  • Westminster was allowed to keep its 62-year-old building at 171 Aultman Ave. NW.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Churches continue to disband, merge

Churches continue to disband, merge Springfield congregation to shut down short of 100th anniversary.

Presbytery OKs process for churches to depart

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Presbytery OKs process for churches to depart
  • Pittsburgh Presbytery
  • Allow congregations to leave for another denomination
  • while keeping their buildings.
  • engage in an open, two-sided discernment process
  • negotiate a settlement with the presbytery
  • a pledge by both sides to stay out of civil courts.
  • A decision to leave with property requires two congregational votes and approval by the presbytery.
  • Over the last decade PCUSA has lost about 200 theologically conservative congregations
  • Another 600 of its 11,000 congregations are expected to follow them

Pastor renounces the jurisdiction of Cascades Presbytery and the PCUSA

The Layman Online Story: Letters to the editor: Pastor renounces the jurisdiction of Cascades Presbytery and the PCUSA
  • Presbytery of the Cascades
  • near the end of August
  • Thomas R. Teply
  • Gold Beach, Ore.

Monday, September 3, 2012

End of an era for Fruitvale Presbyterian Church

End of an era for Fruitvale Presbyterian Church
  • Oakland, CA
  • Congregation voted 21-6 to close the church
  • New Revelation Community Church will begin renting the church next week.
  • More than 100 years.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Glenkirk CA Church leaves PCUSSA for ECO

Glenkirk Severs Ties With Presbyterian Denomination
  • Citing theological conflicts
  • The church’s governing board unanimously approved the proposal, which 97 percent of the congregation voted in favor of on Aug. 26.
  • 1,100-member congregation
  • Glendora, CA
  • ECO
  • Founded 1955
  • Glinkirk Church

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Update on statistcs

I almost have the statistics working. I found I was using adherents instead of members. That number includes children, not eligible to vote. When done, i will have stats from 1996-2011 for all of the churches and a web app that allows you to peruse them.

First of Fort Collins seeks dismissal

Coloradoan Story: First Presbyterian seeks dismissal from denomination

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Danville Community Presbyterian secedes from its mother church

Danville Community Presbyterian secedes from its mother church
  • June 3, Joined EPC
  • 1,850-member
  • Property valued at about $14 million
  • Ordination one of five reasons for the split.
  • September 2010 when 96 percent of the congregation voted to secede.
  • Will retain its property.
  • The church paid the Presbytery $108,640 to offset declining revenues from its departure
  • it will continue to support PCUSA missionaries in the amount of $42,500 annually for five years

Monday, July 9, 2012

PCUSA post 2011 individual stats

PCUSA has finally posted 2011 individual church stats. Time to grab them and add them to my 15 year collections.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bayou Presbyterians knock at Supreme Court’s door

The Layman Online Story: Bayou Presbyterians knock at Supreme Court’s door
  • Presbytery of South Louisiana
  • seeking U.S. Supreme Court intervention
  • denominational lawyers from Louisville and New York
  • Carrollton Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

How gracious is the "gracious dismissal process"?

There are currently 3 processes in use:
  1. All your churches belong to us (original)
  2. Bribe us and we will let you go.("gracious")
  3. We wish you well in your new life. (rare)

EPC has grown from 182 to 364 churches in five years

The Layman Online story: EPC has grown from 182 to 364 churches in five years
  • Presbyterian Outlook recently reported 800 churches in the discernment or dismissal process
  • ECO: 600 estimated
  • EPC: 200 estimated
  • Changes this next week at GA, may trigger more.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ECO Welcomes Its Newest Covenant Partner Churches

ECO Blog: ECO Welcomes Its Newest Covenant Partner Churches

13 congregations were officially dismissed to join ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Churches over this past weekend. “We extend the warmest of welcomes to all the congregations who joined ECO this weekend,” stated ECO President, Rev. Dr. Dana Allin. “We look forward to the partnership of these founding congregations to shine the beacon for those congregations who are still in the discerning process,” Allin continued.

  1. All Villages Presbyterian Church in Port Lucie, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  2. Indian River Presbyterian Church in Fort Pierce, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  3. Kirk of the Keys Presbyterian Church in Marathon, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  4. Memorial Presbyterian Church in West Palm Beach, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  5. First Presbyterian Church of Miami Springs, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  6. First Presbyterian Church of North Palm Beach, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  7. Palm City Presbyterian Church, FL (East, June 15, 2012)
  8. First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, CO (West, June 15, 2012)
  9. First Presbyterian Church of LaJunta, CO (West, June 15, 2012)
  10. First Presbyterian Church of Lamar, CO (West, June 15, 2012)
  11. First Presbyterian Church of Monte Vista, CO (West)
  12. Kirkwood Memorial Presbyterian Church in Penrose, CO (West, June 15, 2012)
  13. United Presbyterian Church in Cañon City, CO (West, June 15, 2012)
  14. First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, WA (West, May 2012)
  15. Trinity Presbyterian Church of Satellite Beach, FL(East, June 2012)

Monday, June 18, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court denies Timberridge appeal

The Layman Online Story: U.S. Supreme Court denies Timberridge appeal

Catholic church split?

Darlington church hopeful despite split

This story, is a little hard to understand for me, as a former Roman-Catholic, I was not aware of splits.

Also, this story, shows an internet news story problem. When it is written for a local audience, the writer does not include enough information for non-locals. This church is in Darlington, UK (Northeast England)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Running the numbers -- Dismissals From Tropical Florida And Mississippi presbyteries

The GA Junkie blog: Running the numbers -- Dismissals From Tropical Florida And Mississippi presbyteries

One man's explanation of why He left PCUSA.

Greg Scandlen's American Awakening blog: Leaving

One man's explanation of why He left PCUSA. With a long list of the problem of PCUSA.

Mizoram Presbyterian church snaps US ties over gay stand

The Times of India Story: Mizoram Presbyterian church snaps US ties over gay stand
Layman Story: India Presbyterian Church ends partnership with PCUSA over theological differences
  • Presbyterian Church of Mizoram Synod
  • cordial relations with PCUSA since 1999
  • Aizawal, India (between Bangladesh and Burma)
  • the largest church denomination in the Christian-dominated state
  • A meeting of the Synod Executive Committee (SEC), the second-highest decision-making body of the Presbyterian Church, made the decision on Friday.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

9 Departing churches Presbytery of Charlotte

Denominational divide grows among Charlotte’s Presbyterian churches
  • Huntersville Presbyterian
    • voted Sunday to dissolve its affiliation with the Presbytery of Charlotte.
    • formalized by the Charlotte Presbytery delegates in July.
  • Bethlehem Presbyterian in Union County has already left
    • “dismissed” May 15 by the Presbytery
Departing churches
  1. Bethlehem Presbyterian in Union County (left May 15)
  2. Benton Heights Presbyterian in Monroe (has voted to leave)
  3. Huntersville Presbyterian (voted Sunday to leave)
  4. Albemarle Road Presbyterian of Charlotte
  5. Garden Memorial Presbyterian of Charlotte
  6. Bethel Presbyterian in Cornelius
  7. Siler Presbyterian in Webster’s Chapel.
  8. Troy Presbyterian in Montgomery County.
  9. Ridgecrest Presbyterian near Locust in Stanly County

Community Church of Howey-in-the-Hills splits into 2 churches

Daily Commercial Story: Local church breaks with denomination over gay ordination
  • Community Church of Howey-in-the-Hills
  • New Church: Lakes and Hills Covenant Fellowship at the Lakeside Pavilion at Mission Inn
  • Central Florida Presbytery
  • refused dismissal

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Two churches dismissed by Central Florida Presbytery

Orlando Sentinel Story: Two churches dismissed by Central Florida Presbytery
  • First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, which voted 1,759 to 185 in January to leave to EPC.
  • Trinity Presbyterian Church in Satellite Beach dismissed to ECO
  • About 100 members of FPC of Orlando voted to remain with the PC(USA) and form a new church.
  • FPC wil provide new church with $900,000.
  • Central Florida Presbytery

Santa Barbara approves plan for union presbytery with ECO

The Layman Story: Santa Barbara approves plan for union presbytery with ECO

Friday, June 1, 2012

Church factions dispute affiliation, property

Lenconnect.com Story: Church factions dispute affiliation, property

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Government and Church Interactions

How should the relationship between the Governments and Churches be summarized? Often the phrase "wall of separation" is used. Sometimes, the phrase is "entanglement or endorsement". Perhaps we should think about using the phrase: "Blind Lady Justice". A church should be treated as any other non-profit, as though it is not a religion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Super majority of Georgia church leaves PCUSA after presbytery takeover UPDATED

The Layman Online Story: Super majority of Georgia church leaves PCUSA after presbytery takeover
  • Silver Creek Presbyterian Church
  • Silver Creek. GA
  • 136-year-old Georgia church
  • Session unanimously requested dismissal from the PCUSA to the EPC. February, 2012
  • Moving to EPC - temporary name: New Covenant Fellowship
  • Former Silver Creek pastor Jack Foley, who along with the church’s active elders renounced PCUSA jurisdiction on Thursday
  • 65 members (77%) left + pastor
  • 10-20? members stayed?
  • 2010 Statistics: 96 members / 57 worship / $137,025 Contributions
  • 2011 Statistics: 94 members / 56 worship
  • Cherokee Presbytery
  • Presbytery officials are calling a schism
  • Presbytery response team, seemed to pre-ordain a schism.
  • UPDATE: May 2012 Presbytery Handbook for meeting May 22, shows AC/RT for Silver Creek, Mars Hill, Dalton First
  • Feb 28, 2012, Presbytery approved to complete the dissolving of Euharlee Presbyterian Church as requested by the membership
  • Handbook Supplement-with RT letters:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Longview TX, First Presbyterian Church splits from PCUSA

Monday, May 21, 2012

FPC Greenville, SC votes to move to ECO

Greenville Online Story: First Presbyterian a step closer to changing denominations
  • First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, SC
    • ~1,500 Congregation voted: 97% to move to ECO
    • 3,647 members (14%)
    • 1,950 attendance (21%)
    • $4,791,259 contributions (19%)
  • Foothills Presbytery
    • Synod of South Atlantic
    • The next presbytery meeting is August 18 at Seneca Presbyterian Church, 9:00 AM.
    • Considered "Gracious Dismissal Process" at Feb 2012 meeting - Results?
    • 68 churches
    • 25,678 members
    • 9,302 attendance
    • $24,973,095 contributions

Friday, May 18, 2012

5 churches leave PCUSA - Presbytery of Mississippi - UPDATED 3x

Sun Herald Story: 2 churches change denominations
Layman Online Story: Dismissal votes shear a third of Mississippi Presbytery’s members
  • Presbytery of Mississippi dismissed 5 churches on May 17, 2012
  • On April 29, Pascagoula & Ocean Springs voted individually to disaffiliate from the PCUSA

Church, Membership, Worship,Contributions from 2010 PCUSA numbers.

  1. First Presbyterian Church of Pascagoula - 602/200/$600,000 - EPC
  2. First Presbyterian Church of Ocean Springs - 507/204/$428,000- EPC
  3. First Presbyterian Church of Port Gibson - 162/110/$136,000 - ?
    Going Inside: Port Gibson’s First Presbyterian: Hand Pointing To Heaven
  4. First Presbyterian Church of Vicksburg - 386/230/$669,000 - ?
  5. Yokena Presbyterian Church - 33/20/$36,000 - ?
    listed in the National Register of Historical Places.
TOTALS: 5(11%)/1,690(30%)/764(30%)/$1,869,000(42%), out of 43/5,566/2,563/$4,460,975

Thanks to the Presbytery for the quick response to my email inquiry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Longview TX, First Presbyterian Church might split from national group

News Journal Story: Longview First Presbyterian Church might split from national group
  • First Presbyterian Church of Longview, TX
  • Congregation will vote Sunday, May 20, 2012 on request to dismiss - non-binding
  • Session voted, 21-3, to seek dismissal. April 3, 2012
  • Members: 742, Worship 280 NOTE: Unlike most PCUSA churches, there numbers have increased steadily over the last 10 years. 15% membership and 3% worship
  • Found 1874
  • (Ed:) Note how the article only tells the story from the pro-gay side. The first comment on the article, I would consider hate speech.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

9 Churches leave PCUSA - UPDATED 4X

Sun Sentinel Story: Congregations leave local Presbyterian district
Sun Sentinel Story: Local Presbyterians vote on split today.
Layman Story: with more details
Layman Online Story: Tropical Florida presbytery agrees to dismiss nine churches

NOTE: Missing Church: Central PC, Miami (Kendall)(394/227) from old list on Layman

(Ed.) The paper did not list all 9, I will update from the Presbytery document even it was not very accurate with church names or cities, compared to PCUSA official documentation. Hopefully, I guessed what that meant.

This Presbytery keeps its minutes encrypted! Are they ashamed of their meetings?

Carmen Fowler, executive director of the national Presbyterian Lay Committee:

  • "About 200 churches have left since 2007"
  • "They see the handwriting on the wall, They can let [congregations] leave with the possibility of a reunion, or they burn their bridges."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Congregation's final service small in numbers but not love

Saint Louis Today Story: Congregation's final service small in numbers but not love
  • 140-year-old church, organized in 1872
  • Festus, MO, 11,602 at the 2010 census
  • Twin City Christian Church began holding services in the community room.
  • The younger and more contemporary congregation will take over the rest of the church
  • First Presbyterian will be assimilated into Grace Presbyterian, just over a mile away in Crystal City.
  • Crystal City and its neighbor Festus are often collectively known as the "Twin Cities"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

An acurate Analysis of why PCUSA is breaking up.

Pod People: Colorado Presbyterians and the Irish abuse scandals

As Nathaniel Campbell noted in his comment on the Colorado Springs article, the press frequently conflates the disputes within the mainline denominations into a single issue — homosexuality.

"there are deeper but acknowledged issues here over hermeneutics and the evangelical insistence on privileging (often exclusionarily) a literal reading of Scripture."

"In my estimation, at least, that is the major “ghost” behind a lot of mainstream/evangelical friction. While on the surface level it manifests as doctrinal disputes, I think it is at root a problem over how to read and understand Scripture."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans more job cuts

Courier-Journal StoryPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans more job cuts
  • 14 current workers will see their jobs cut
  • 17 vacant positions being eliminated.
  • Eighteen new jobs will be created, for a net loss of 13.
  • $87 million originally budgeted for 2012
  • $82 million for 2013
  • $78 million for 2014?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The West Hollywood PC to leave PCUSA for more liberal United Church of Church

The West Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles plans to formally join the ranks of the more liberal United Church of Christ on Saturday. As throngs of religious conservatives break from the PCUSA over the ordination of gay ministers, a small gay-led California parish is staging a schism of its own, saying the church has done too little to accept homosexuality.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Caldwell Presbyterian churches to consolidate

New Jersey Hills Story: Caldwell Presbyterian churches to consolidate

Maumee Valley Presbytery not following its own dismissal rules

The Layman Online Story: Good for goose but not for gander

Sunday, April 29, 2012

47 or 100 congregations seeking membership in ECO UPDATED

47 congregations seeking membership in ECO

Ed: Now Layman Online has this story with the 47 number

Also found a new quote from First Presbyterian Church Pastor David Freehling: "Freehling predicted, within a year, at least 100 churches would belong to ECO and the new denomination would continue to grow."

FPC greenville, SC session votes to dismiss.

Greenville Online Story: First Presbyterian Church moves to leave denomination (ED: locked out by pay-wall)

2 Mississippi Presbyterian churches vote to leave - UPDATED

Sun Herald Story: Presbyterian churches will vote on changing affiliations

Sun Herald Story: Churches vote to change affiliation

Cañon City, Co First Presbyterian Church splits from national church

Canon City Daily Record Story: Cañon City First Presbyterian Church splits from national church
  • First Presbyterian Church, Canon City, CO
  • 98 percent vote
  • 206 Members in 2010
  • Pueblo Presbytery
  • The mainstream Presbyterian Church will continue to support the local church for three to five years.
  • In exchange, the members will be able to keep the property without problems of ownership and trust clauses.
  • Freehling said that constitutional changes by the national church have created a complete paradigm shift from the traditional values of Presbyterian government and are in direct conflict with scripture.
  • Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
  • "By June 16, this congregation will be a formal member of the new denomination, along with First Presbyterian of Colorado Springs, and perhaps eight other churches in Southern Colorado."
  • Freehling predicted, within a year, at least 100 churches would belong to ECO and the new denomination would continue to grow.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two churches reach dismissal settlement with Beaver-Butler

Layman Online Story: Two churches reach dismissal settlement with Beaver-Butler
  • Beaver-Butler Presbytery
    • Since 2008, Beaver-Butler has shrunk from 87 to 83 congregations
    • at least six other churches are contemplating a departure,
  • Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church
  • Four Mile Presbyterian Church
  • Highland Presbyterian Church
    • Slippery Rock
    • requested a meeting with a Presbytery Resolution Team
  • Portersville Presbyterian Church
    • 2008 Dismiss to the EPC
    • $42,300
    • 176-member
    • vote of 115-3.
  • First Presbyterian Church
    • Beaver
    • dismised In February 2010
    • $133,700
  • Chippewa United Presbyterian Church of Beaver Falls
    • dismised in 2010
    • EPC

Monday, April 23, 2012

1st Pres Colorado Springs votes to leave.

(Ed Note:) Many of the stories quote "1,769 voted out of the 4,000 members.". The last official PCUSA listing of 2009 shows 4,108 members with attendance of 2,486 and contributions of $6,846,660. The church failed to submit for 2010. If you use the more accurate worship number, 71% voted instead of the quoted 43%. We all know that churches are slow and reluctant to remove members from the roles.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pittsburgh Presbytery planning to reorganize

Pittsburgh Presbytery planning to reorganize
  • Pittsburgh Presbytery
  • reorganization that would divide its 145 congregations into four geographical branches
  • "With 300 leaders at meetings, "we have congregations and pastors who live in isolation from one another."
  • 37,000 members in Allegheny County
  • the 3rd largest regional governing body in PC(USA)
  • 250,000 of principal from its endowment each year to balance their budget
  • $2.8 million budget.
  • 50 congregations either can't or won't pay their "per capita"
  • Ten of those are withholding money in protest of denominational policies
  • Last year the presbytery voted to stop forwarding roughly $30,000 per year to the national church on behalf of the congregations that didn't pay.
  • last month the denomination's highest court ruled that the decision violated the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA).
  • The reorganization plan would cut the presbytery staff from 16 to 11, assigning one staff member to each of the four branches.
  • The fact that only a third of congregations now participate in presbytery meetings is due "to decisions that have come out that angered various people who have become disillusioned with the presbytery system as a whole,

Colorado Springs church to vote on whether to leave

The Republic Story: Colorado Springs church to vote on whether to leave Presbyterian Church (USA.)
  • First Presbyterian Church in downtown Colorado Springs
  • officially vote Sunday April 22 to join ECO
  • The church's leaders voted in January to leave
  • informal vote in March, the general church membership supported efforts to leave the denomination.
  • nearly 4,000 members
  • one-third of church members must vote, and 80 percent must favor the split.
  • the Pueblo Presbytery, likely in June

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

ECO - A rose by any other name...

ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians New Presbyterian denomination has new name
  • OLD: Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, (ECO)
  • NEW: ECO: a Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians
  • Webpage
  • Effective April 9
  • Name collision with Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC)
    • over 800 churches
    • Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants
    • Evangelical, but not exclusive
    • Biblical, but not doctrinaire
    • Traditional, but not rigid
    • Congregational, but not independent

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Disaffected churches continue to wait for presbytery dismissal decisions.

The Layman Online Story: Disaffected churches continue to wait for presbytery dismissal decisions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Westminster PC in Florence SC ditching PCUSA

SC Now Story: Westminster Presbyterian ditching PCUSA
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church
  • Church unanimous voted to leave and join the EPC
  • New Harmony Presbytery approved
  • Florence, SC
  • Organized on Dec. 14, 1947
  • 2301 Second Loop Road
  • 38 Members

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Churches Joining EPC Presbytery of the Mid Atlantic

Story from Website: Mid-Atlatic EPC Presbytery

Churches joining EPC from PCUSA

  • Asbury Presbyterian (Westfield, NC)
  • Darlington Presbyterian (Darlington, SC)
  • McBee Presbyterian (McBee, SC
  • Westminster Presbyterian (Florence, SC)
  • Norton Presbyterian (Norton, VA)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

As spring opens, more PCUSA dismissals bloom

From a Layman Story: As spring opens, more PCUSA dismissals bloom

Does anyone know which churches have RETURNED to PCUSA in the last 20 years?

Reuters Story: Presbyterian synod approves parish split with property The Rev. Gradye Parsons, the highest-ranking official in the church general assembly, said some congregations that have left the fold during the past 20 years have rejoined.

Did a whole church return? or just a small portion (so called "true church")?

ED: I found a new link to the same Reuters Story. for now.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I redid the statistics to base CPI adjustment to 2000 Dollars instead of 2010. (Click on pics to enlarge)

Sacramento Presbytery drives Fremont church to lawyers

Layman Story: Sacramento Presbytery drives Fremont church to lawyers

Churches Departing/Departed Presbytery of Sacramento.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pennsylvania church joins eight others seeking dismissal from Shenango

Layman Story: Pennsylvania church joins eight others seeking dismissal from Shenango

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Statistics charts - Click for better image

Adjusted data - adjusted by CPI to all be in 2010 Dollars

2 Colorado Churches vote to split from PCUSA, 6 more evaluating

Pueblo Chieftain Story: A faith divided Rift over gay ordination threatens local churches

Chapel Hill of Gig Harbor, Wash accepts Dismissal

Layman Story: Washington church agrees to presbytery terms in latest dismissal ‘A sense of inevitability’
  • On March 1 voted unanimously to accept a dismissal agreement
  • Presbytery of Olympia
  • 1,600-members
  • Church keeps its property
  • $283,908 in four annual payments of $70,977
  • Expects to join Evangelical Presbyterian Church in June
  • Presbytery voted down 10A by a vote of 39-78
  • Presbytery to vote at April meeting

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oregon Supreme Court: Hope Presbyterian Church of Rogue River v. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Lewis & Clark Law School Podcast: Oregon Supreme Court: Hope Presbyterian Church of Rogue River v. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Questions from the Audience Following Arguments The Oregon Supreme Court held a session at Lewis & Clark Law School to hear two cases. This case is Hope Presbyterian Church of Rogue River v. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). On review, the issues are:
  1. Whether Oregon follows the majority of states, which apply the “neutral principles” approach to church property disputes, or instead follows the minority of states, which apply the “hierarchical deference” approach to church property disputes.
  2. Whether the Court of Appeals correctly held that, based on the appropriate legal approach, a trust was created over all of plaintiff’s real and personal property, in a legally cognizable form.
  3. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in disregarding the distinction between the corporate owner of a church’s real and personal property, and a church congregation.
  4. Whether ORS 130.505(1) permits a corporation-settlor of an alleged trust to revoke that trust, when the terms of the trust do not expressly provide that it is irrevocable.
  5. Whether the effect of the decision of the Court of Appeals is to create a special class of religious trust, in contravention of Article I, Sections 2 and 3, of the Oregon Constitution..

More Colorado Presbyterian churches consider split

Gazette Story: More area Presbyterian churches consider split from organization

Eight churches in the region have expressed an interest in splitting from Presbyterian Church (USA), said Ronald Anderson, executive presbyter for the region that is based in Pueblo and spans much of southern Colorado. Those eight churches account for almost a fourth of the total churches in the Presbytery of Pueblo and make up more than half of the region’s total members.

Central Florida Presbytery says not so fast to First Presbyterian of Orlando

Central Florida Presbytery says not so fast to First Presbyterian
  • Central Florida Presbytery as postponed its decision until June.
  • First Presbyterian Church of Orlando
  • Jan 29 Vote: 1,759 to 185
  • unresolved issues:
    • 61 Members want to form their own church
    • on the division of personal property, such as hymnals
    • continue to use church facilities and resources
    • Senior Pastor David Swanson said his church has offered the members who want to remain with the PC(USA) space in the downtown campus, but the offer was declined.

Colorado Springs church votes to split PCUSA

Colorado Springs Gazette Story: Springs congregation votes to divorce Presbyterian sect

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Texas presbytery expels pastors from Hispanic churches

Layman Story: Texas presbytery expels pastors from Hispanic churches
  • Mission Presbytery immediately vacate church premises.
  • all three congregations had voted to be dismissed to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC)
  • Mission Presbytery
  • El Principe de Paz Church in Mercedes (67)
  • Iglesia Presbyteriana Getsemani in San Benito (123)
  • Iglesia Presbyteriana San Pablo in Brownsville (30)

Colorado Springs 1st PCUSA considers split

First Pres considers split from national organization
  • One of the first in Colorado Springs, was founded in 1872.
  • about 4,000 members it is one of the largest in the country
  • It may seek to join the conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).
  • a non-technical vote at 3 p.m. Sunday in the downtown sanctuary
  • A team from Pueblo Presbytery will be at the meeting.
  • The session voted in January to recommend that the congregation request dismissal from PCUSA.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Statistcs Triva

Presbyteries: Peace River and San Diego have the highest worshiper per church ratio: 27,115 and 27,347 if my data is correct. Note: still working on data validity. I have my dynamic data web pages about 1/2 done.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Statistics third try.

Fixed PCUSA totals. Added more info about sizes and broke up 100-500 into 100-250, 250-500. PCUSA Stats

Note: 52% of the members are in 12% of the churches (>500).

Note: 41% of the CHURCHES (<100) have 8.2% of the members.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Layman Story: Presbytery denied state Supreme Court hearing in Carrollton property dispute

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Next Step - Statistics

Posted second step in statistics on this page: PCUSA Stats

Better Data, added 2000 and 2010 number for: Membership, Worship, Contributions.

Next Step: Add older data for 1985-2000 and some older churches. (Back to EPC founding.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

General Presbyter for the Presbytery of Charlotte Fired UPDATED

Charlotte Observer Story: Top Charlotte Presbyterian leader fired

NEW: Fired presbyter speaks out

  • Presbytery of Charlotte
  • Sam Roberson will receive a year's pay as severance.
  • The Presbytery covers seven counties
  • 40,000 church members
  • third largest presbytery.
  • his wife, Linda Sizoo is pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, Fort Mill, SC.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 PCUSA Statistics First Pass

Over on another page: PCUSA Stats I put up my first cut at 2012 statistics. When I am done I will have 25 years of data to show.

2012 Highlights:

  • Pbys: 173
  • Churches 10,709
  • Members 2,643,609
  • Contributions: $2,000,077,327 - 2 Billion
  • 703 Churches with no members reported - Looks like data error.
  • 4,139 churches with members 1-99
  • 4,543 churches with members 100-500
  • 1,324 churches with members >500

Monday, February 6, 2012

Episcopal and FPC of Buffalo, NY to discuss sharing building.

Buffalo News: Venerable Protestant churches discuss uniting
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • "maintenance of the sprawling Byzantine-style church [...] is becoming a yolk around the shoulders of a congregation that would rather put its limited resources into keeping worship and music lively."
  • FPC needs a new roof and repointing work on the tower hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • using savings to cover operating expenses
  • In 2010, Trinity also received a grant of $526,796 from the state Environmental Protection Fund to repair or replace the roofs on its three buildings (ED: what? State support of a church?)

Several comments on the story, indicate that they want the state to interfere with how the church operates. The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Info Wanted: Whole Presbteries Leaving PCUSA

Can anyone provide the names of the 2 Presbyteries who are thinking of leaving PCUSA wholesale? If publicly known.

PCA starts new downtown Oklahoma City church

News OK Story: Presbyterians start new downtown Oklahoma City church

FPC Orlando votes to leave denomination

Orlando Sentinel Story: First Presbyterian votes to leave denomination

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mass exodus of churches continue to flee PCUSA into 2012

Layman Online Story: Mass exodus of churches continue to flee PCUSA into 2012

On a Side Note: Wikipedia entry on ECO is already a battleground between those who feel it is homo-phobia vs those who think this is about multiple issues.

Bruce Reyes-Chow blogs about ECO.

Bruce Reyes-Chow (former PCUSA Moderator) blog on Huffington Post:

My Thoughts on The Fellowship and The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians

Ed: I've added some of his list of articles to mine.

Monday, January 23, 2012


News Stories about the "NEW" Presbyterian Denomination:

Evangelical Covenant Order Of Presbyterians (ECO)

Information from ECO: Website Tidbits on ECO
  • Peer review systems for churches
  • Promoting leadership training
  • Instituting a less hierarchical form of government
  • Benefits have been defined, must be offered to all full time employees
  • 2,100 Presbyterians from about 500 congregations attend the conference.
  • Presbyterians have the option of joining the ECO or becoming an affiliate member while remaining in another denomination.

ED: I left out the stories full of hate speech, which is all the liberals can use.

ED: I don't think any of the stories brought up the fact that conservative churches in PCUSA, feel like prisoners or victims of blackmail. PCUSA is using the property clause as a ball and chain to keep churches in the denomination that want to leave as well as the power of an AC to summarily fire the pastor and elders.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lebanon PC (Lebanon, Ohio ) dismissed to EPC.

Layman Online Story: Ohio presbytery unanimously agrees to church’s dismissal to EPC

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gashland wins property-dispute appeal against Heartland Presbytery

Layman Story: Missouri church wins property-dispute appeal against PCUSA presbytery
  • Gashland Presbyterian Church MO
  • Heartland Presbytery
  • September 2007, when Gashland requested dismissal
  • After waiting four months, the church voted to disaffiliate from the denomination, leading Heartland to belatedly form an administrative commission to hold a dismissal hearing in April 2008.
  • In November 2009, Heartland filed suit in circuit court.
  • a 2009 lower-court dismissal

Federated congregation leaves PCUSA and is now an American Baptist church

Layman Story: Federated congregation leaves PCUSA and is now an American Baptist church

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Saddlerock EPC (WA) celebrates dismissal from PCUSA

Layman Online Story: Washington church celebrates dismissal from PCUSA
  • Saddlerock Evangelical Presbyterian Church (FPC of Wenatchee)
  • Presbytery of Central Washington
  • 507 members in 2010 and brought in $795,557 in offerings
  • Terms:
    • That we give $175,000 as a mission/church development gift to the Presbytery;
    • That we give $47,892 for three years of presbytery per capita;
    • That we give up to $5,000 in reimbursable expenses from the [administrative commission];
    • That we incur all costs associated with the legal transfer of our property, assets, and corporation;
    • To concur with the requests of the Rev. Patrick McElroy and the Rev. Paul Pankey [the church’s associate pastor] continue in their current pastoral positions and to have their ordination credentials transferred in good standing from the Presbytery of Central Washington of the [PCUSA] to the Presbytery of the Pacific of [EPC], a recognized Reformed body in relationship with the PCUSA;
    • That all records of the First Presbyterian Church of Wenatchee PCUSA and its predecessors be converted into microfiche at First Presbyterian’s expense for the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fort Scott Kansas Pastor leaves First Presbyterian

Fort Scott Tribune Story: Citing theological and differences in personal beliefs, Mansour Khajehpour has resigned his post as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Scott.

This is the opposite of yesterdays story of a pastor leaving. He is a "member" of Fellowship of Presbyterians which is conservative.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Pastor breaks away to start own church

Petaluma Patch StoryFirst Presbyterian Pastor to Start Own Church.
  • Dave Weidlich, 56
  • New Church: The Vine
  • Supports Occupy Movement

Ed: Looks like a far left pastor, left a moderate church.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story: Ligonier church sued over withdrawal
  • Presbytery of Redstone
  • voted to seize the keys of the church
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church
  • allegedly ignoring internal procedures for withdrawing from the presbytery.
  • Ligonier, Pennsylvania
  • 425 members
  • The congregation of St. Francis in the Fields Episcopal Church near Somerset split off in 2008 and, more recently, members of Fort Palmer Church in Fairfield left the presbytery.
  • Church lawyer says they followed procedure.

PCUSA pastors leaves to start new church instead of fighting.

Delaware Online Story: New paths for many as church diverges

Presbylaw temporary site.

Announcement Policy

If you have comments, corrections, or updates to this website please email me: PRESBYLAW webmaster or leave a comment.

If you wish to make a church announcement of a vote or lawsuit, I will need to verify. You either need to send it via a email that I can publicly verify belongs to the church, or point to a website with a news story, or official church website. Contacting the layman may be a better route.


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Denomination NameParentLocationSizeYear
United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. - UPCUSA(N) PUSA & UPCNA New York City8,909/2,342,4411958-1983
Presbyterian Church in United States (Confederate) - PCUS(S) Presbyterian Church in United States Atlanta, Ga.4,250/814,9311861-1983
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) PC(U.S.A) UPCUSA(N) & PCUS(S) Louisville, Kentucky11,596/3,122,213June 10, 1983
Evangelical Presbyterian Church EPC UPCUSA(N) & PCUS(S) Livonia, MI67/19,000 (1982)1980/1981
Presbyterian Church of America PCA PCUS(S) Lawrenceville, GA260/41,232May 18, 1973
Orthodox Presbyterian Church Presbyterian U.S.A. Willow Grove, PA 300/20,417 1936
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church Associate Presbytery/Reformed Presbytery Greenville, SC 250/40,392 1782



News Crosswalk The Intersection of Faith and Life
News Church Report National business news magazine
NewsPC(USA) NewsPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.) News Service
NewsSave Hollywood PresLinks to news about PC(USA) Troubles
NewsThe Layman OnlineTHE News Source about PC(USA)
NewsLayman - propertyThe Layman - Property Issues Archive
Blog Reformed Pastor EPC Pastor - Church Planter
BlogFull Court PresbyPastor Lance's Blog to his Congregation about PUP etc.
BlogClassical PresbyterianBlogging for the Reformed Resistance in the PC(USA)
BlogAnderson SpeakCommentary on Faith, Christianity, and the PCUSA by Noel K. Anderson
BlogBayou Christian Bill Crawford, Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Thiboduax
Blogblog 137Pastor Dave Moody, Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Sparta, IL.
BlogTruth in Love NetworkA group of Presbyterian elders who are concerned with the direction of the PC(USA).
BlogMark D. RobertsProfessor & Senior Pastor of Irvine Presbyterian Church, CA
BlogInstitute on Religion and Democracy25 years of working to reform the social and political witness of American churches
Blog The Berkley Blog James D. Berkley, Director of Presbyterian Action
BlogTom's ThoughtsTom Gray, Co-Pastor, Kirk of the Hills, Tulsa, OK
WebStand to ReasonChristian Ambassadors for defense for classical Christianity
WebPresbyterian ForumWorking for reformation through overt political action
WebWiki:PresbyterianWikipedia's Presbyterian Overview
WebKirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OKChurch in Tulsa, OK - Fighting for its Property.
WebKirk's Legal Docs (pdfs)Kirk Of The Hills, Tulsa, OK
WebKirk Docs (text)Kirk Of The Hills docs, Converted to text
PDFLegal Strategy #1PC(USA)'s Legal Strategy for churches wanting to leave
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DocSecret Document #3News about a third secret document
PicPresby Chart 1Chart showing the history of breakups and mergers (standard)
WebPresby Chart 2Presbyterian Church History-Lesson 13-An Overview of Contemporary American Presbyterianism
WebPresby Chart 3 (text)History of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
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WebAdvisory OpinionsPC(USA) Stated Clerk Advisory Opinions (not binding, nor authoritative)
WebPC(USA) Constitutional MusingsOffice of Constitutional Services - Unofficial Thoughts
WebPC(USA) Amicus Curiae BriefsStated Clerk & AC on Litigation - Friend of the Court Briefs
WebGAPJC PC(USA)PC(USA) General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission Decisions
WebPension Board PC(USA)PC(USA) Board of Pensions
WebFoundation PC(USA)Presbyterian Foundation, New Covenant Trust and New Covenant Mutual Funds
WebPC(USA) BOO AnnotatedPC(USA) Book of Order - Annotated
WebPresbyterian CoalitionWorking for a Revitalized Church
WebConfessing Church Movement1,314/434,697
WebNew WineskinsNew Wineskins Association of Churches(2001)

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