Texas Presbyterian Church Considering Split From PCUSA

A Texas congregation is considering a vote to break away from Presbyterian Church (USA) due to the denomination's growing acceptance of homosexuality.

The congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Longview will hold a vote on Sunday as to whether or not they will remain part of the PC(USA).

Pastor Jonathan Jehorek of First Presbyterian told local media that the vote was unprecedented and that he himself intended to relinquish his ordination in the PC(USA) effective next Monday.

"We have found ourselves to be Christians who see things very, very differently," said Jehorek to the Longview News-Journal.

"We have tried to see each other, not as doing battle with a warring sect; we are wrestling with brothers and sisters in the faith."

First Presbyterian's issue with the PC(USA) began when the 219th General Assembly of the denomination voted to allow regional bodies to ordain noncelibate homosexuals. In response to the General Assembly's decision, the body of elders who lead the Texas congregation voted 21 to 3 in favor of seeking dismissal from the PC(USA).

Churches across the country have sought and been granted dismissal from their respective presbyteries because of the General Assembly's decision. This number includes First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, the largest Presbyterian congregation in Colorado.

Several PC(USA) churches came together in Orlando in January for a conference sponsored by the conservative group Fellowship of Presbyterians. The result of the "Orlando Covenanting Conference" was the creation of a new body known as the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO).

If successful in breaking away from PC(USA), First Presbyterian of Longview hopes to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a smaller and more conservative denomination.

First Presbyterian Church of Longview did not return a request for comment by press time.