Pastor leaves denomination with congregation in tow

EPC logoBy Stephanie Butzer

For Powell Sykes, the pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, (Burlington, N.C.) everything started with a simple question from a member of his church: “How did this happen?”

The member was referring to how the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) denomination that the church belonged to had voted to remove standards of fidelity in marriage and chastity in singleness for its officers.

“This departure from what Westminster understood to be clear biblical teaching was unfathomable to its members,” Sykes said. “Now, two years later, the congregation is about to become the first church in Burlington belonging to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination.”

When this was first discussed, Mike Stewart, a member at the church, said he was not surprised.

“I knew some of the concerns I had with the PC U.S.A. and when Pastor Sykes brought it up, it wasn’t surprising that our church needed to consider making a move from a denomination that we had less in common with to a denomination that we have more in common with when it comes to our biblical beliefs,” Stewart said.

The Westminster Presbyterian Church on Webb Avenue will become the second church to make the change in Alamance County. The Mebane Presbyterian Church switched in February.



Comments 2

  • May the Lord bless Powell Sykes, and the Westminster Presbyterian Church with their new church family, the E.P.C. I have been praying for them for a long,long time.

  • Just a minor point: Many of these Layman articles about congregations leaving the denomination don’t identify the town and state. There are a ton of Westminster Presbyterians. This article does mention the town, Burlington, but I had to go online to see that it’s in North Carolina.

    By the way, I read Powell Sykes’ book and it’s a very good account of how the current state of the denomination came to be.

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