Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Church Discernment Processes

resources guidanceBelow are links to position papers and summaries of the discernment process for congregations that have made — or are making — a decision to leave the PCUSA. 

Los Ranchos engaged in a presbytery-wide process that resulted in more than a dozen churches being dismissed. However, following their dismissals, those contrary to gracious dismissal filed charges against the presbytery in ecclesiastical court barring the churches from realigning.

St Andrews PC, Newport Beach, CA is one of the congregations referenced above.

College Hill PC, Cincinnati, OH was dismissed from the PCUSA.

Grace Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX was dismissed from the PCUSA.

First Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX moved through a discernment process that lead to its leadership unanimously recommending to the membership that the church realign from the PCUSA to the ECO. The majority vote did not achieve the super-majority requirement set by the presbytery’s policy. So, the church and the presbytery are now in civil litigation.

Third PC, Richmond, VA was dismissed from the PCUSA.

Colonial Presbyterian Church, Kansas City, MO and Overland Park, Kan. ended up in civil court and won rulings in both Missouri and Kansas. They are no longer in the PCUSA.

Central PC, Merced, CA

Westminster PC, Lubbock, TX

First Presbyterian Church of Omak: The Folder and Deep Discernment

Desert Hills Presbyterian Church, Carefree, Ariz.

Community Presbyterian Church, Danville, Calif.

Westside Church, Richland, WA

Fremont Presbyterian Church, Sacramento, Calif.

The Watchman’s Cry, Woodbury Presbyterian, Orlando, Fla.

Eastminster Presbyterian Church, Marietta, Ga.

Southport Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, Ind.

Sunset Presbyterian Church, Portland, Ore.

Saddlerock Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Wenatchee, Wash. (formerly First Presbyterian Church)

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Trinity Presbyterian Church’s Denominational Affiliation


New Wineskins’ webinar archive of the pastor panel discussion, gracious dismissal overview and attorney panel discussion

Related articles


Presbytery dismissal policies: The good, the bad and the ugly,  by Lloyd J. Lunceford

Presbytery dismissal policies ‘do great harm to local churches’ by Lloyd J. Lunceford



  1. Reverend Dr. Patricia Slomanski says:

    PLEASE make available to readers a list of churches which have left the PCUSA, those which are in discernment, and where these churches have gone. You used to have a listed, but I can’t find it anymore. I believe that it would wake up some denominational loyalists who sit in the pew every week, uninformed and who think that everything in the PCUSA is just hunky doory. Please do this for your readers.

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