Two churches were dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA) during their respective presbytery meetings.
First Presbyterian Church of Kannapolis was dismissed during Charlotte Presbytery’s Feb. 8 meeting, and Edna Presbyterian Church was released from the national denomination at the March 1 meeting of Mission Presbytery.
Charlotte Presbytery gave approval for the dismissal of First Presbyterian Church-Kannapolis, located northeast of Charlotte, N.C., in Cabarrus and Rowan counties, and its pastor Darryl Evans to be dismissed to ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, pending finalization of some legal issues.
An Administrative Commission document from the presbytery showed that FPC-Kannapolis, organized in 1909, followed the policy on reconciliation, and a quorum of the congregation voted Jan. 12 to seek dismissal from the PCUSA.
The FPC-Kannapolis web site shows that nearly 98 percent of the active voting membership (132 of 135) cast ballots in favor of being dismissed to align with ECO, allowing the congregation to leave with its property. The presbytery’s policy allows churches with a vote of 90 percent or greater in favor of leaving to do so without having to negotiate financial dismissal terms with the Administrative Commission.
A task force was formed by the FPC-Kannapolis session in October 2012 to examine the state of the PCUSA, Charlotte Presbytery and other movements taking place among Reformed denominations.
Acting on findings from a report given by the task force in May 2013, the session officially engaged in the dismissal process on Aug. 21, 2013, voting unanimously a month later to recommend the congregation be dismissed to join ECO.
Church officials declined to comment about the dismissal.
The 159-year-old church, located in the southeast Texas coastal county of Jackson between Galveston and Corpus Christi, was dismissed to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).
The session of the 63-member church worked through the listening phase of the presbytery’s gracious separation policy process with a Resolution Team and eventually worked out a settlement agreement.
According to a presbytery document, Edna Presbyterian Church agreed to pay a 10 percent settlement tithe of $80,108.60. It is due within 60 months of the dismissal with a promissory note for the tithe amount and a lien on the church property.
Edna also will pay closing costs related to the transfer of property.