Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Eighth-Largest Member Congregation Votes to Leave and Join Conservative Denomination

(PHOTO: COURTESY OF MEMORIAL DRIVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH) Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church of Houston, Texas, voted in July 2016 to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) and join the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.
(PHOTO: COURTESY OF MEMORIAL DRIVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH)
Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church of Houston, Texas, voted in July 2016 to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) and join the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.

Presbyterian Church (USA)’s eighth largest member congregation voted this month to leave the Mainline denomination over theological differences and join the Evangelical Covenant of Presbyterians, a conservative denomination that has more than 280 member congregations.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, a Houston, Texas-based congregation with approximately 3,700 members, was granted dismissal by the PCUSA Presbytery of New Covenant on Saturday.

Mike Cole, general presbyter for the Presbytery of New Covenant, told The Christian Post that Memorial Drive Presbyterian’s vote to leave was affirmed at the Saturday meeting.

“The presbytery dismissed them on a voice vote that was overwhelmingly in favor,” explained Cole, whose regional body has seen other churches leave the presbytery over the past few years because of the PC(USA)’s liberal theological direction.

“Following the vote, the presbytery prayed for the congregation, pastors and leaders as they transition into another denomination.”

Over the past few years, nearly three hundred congregations have decided to seek dismissal from the PCUSA in large part because of the denomination’s increasing acceptance of homosexuality.

In 2012, a group of theological conservatives gathered in Florida and formed the Evangelical Covenant of Presbyterians, a conservative denomination that has more than 280 member congregations.

Eva Kaminski, spokeswoman for Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, explained to CP that the congregation overwhelmingly supported dismissal in a vote taken earlier this month.

“Congregational survey was 79 percent to be dismissed; Session vote was 85 percent,” explained Kaminski, who noted that they were joining ECO because “it is the best fit for MDPC.”

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Michael Gryboski