The Rev. Charles Hasty, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church since 2002, announced his resignation from the 900-member downtown church tonight, according to an email sent to the congregation.
On April 19, members voted on whether to leave the denomination, PC (USA), over issues including the national church’s acceptance of same-sex relationships. The tally was 266-146 to leave the denomination, but the vote fell just short of the 67 percent required to accomplish what the church calls “gracious dismissal.”
Over the past two Sundays, at least 70 members have left the church to start another church, Grace Church of Columbus, for now meeting at Shearith Israel Synagogue on River Road.
“My heart, like all of yours, is broken in the wake of the fractured vote for gracious dismissal and the resulting conflicted state of our relationships within First Presbyterian and between First Presbyterian and Flint River Presbytery,” Hasty wrote in a letter he read tonight to the church’s Session, the church’s governing body.
“Undoubtedly, there is more work to be done; however, the work God is calling this church to do will be under different leadership. I am announcing my resignation as Senior Pastor effective May 24, 2015.”
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SOURCE: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer