A fast-growing theologically conservative Presbyterian denomination will be holding its latest National Gathering later this month in South Carolina.
The Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, a denomination formed in 2012 in response to the increasingly liberal positions of the Presbyterian Church (USA), will be holding its 2017 National Gathering Jan. 24-26.
First Presbyterian Church of Greenville, a congregation of about 3,500 members that joined ECO back in 2012, is the scheduled location for the major gathering.
The Rev. Richard Gibbons, senior pastor of FPC Greenville, told The Christian Post that his church was chosen as the site for the gathering for multiple reasons. "A large central meeting area was required for the plenary sessions, as was multiple breakout rooms for smaller seminars and workshops," said Gibbons.
"The other very practical question was the weather and South Carolina should be pleasant at the end of January. In addition to the above, First Presbyterian is located downtown with several major hotels within walking distance on Main Street."
Gibbons also told CP that his congregation will be occupied with preparing the church for the National Gathering, as they expect approximately 1,100 pastors and elders to come.
"Our senior leadership and staff from facilities, communications, music and worship, IT department, and catering staff will all be actively involved in preparing for meals, internet access, conference publicity and programs," added Gibbons.
"We will also need a significant number of volunteers to assist with directions and guidance across our campus."
Formed in 2012 in reaction to PCUSA's increased acceptance of homosexuality and other issues, ECO reached the milestone of 300 member congregations in September 2016.
"We are blessed to have each and every church and church member in our ECO family. As we grow, it is our prayer that we continue to be a movement that builds flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ," stated ECO last September.
According to ECO, the theme for this year's National Gathering will be 2 Timothy 2:2: "What you have heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will be able to teach others as well."
"God not only deeply cares for us, but entrusts us with furthering His Kingdom here on Earth," explained ECO.
"Our main session speakers, pre-conferences, and breakout sessions will be applicable, encouraging and challenging for any church staff, session, congregation members, and those who are interested in exploring ECO."