Looks like another big church has decided to make the jump from PCUSA to the EPC, according to the Layman Online:
Saying that “remaining in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and fighting for reform is not a viable option,” the largest congregation in the Presbytery of South Louisiana has scheduled a meeting next month to “terminate its voluntary affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and petition for voluntary affiliation with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.”
First Presbyterian Church in Baton Rouge, at the “unanimous recommendation of the session’s denominational affairs committee, the unamimous endorsement of the board of trustees and the unanimous recommendation of the session,” has scheduled a congregational vote on the issue at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
The congregation has 1,592 members, according to official denominational statistics, compared to the average PCUSA congregation’s 209 members. The Presbytery of South Louisiana is comprised of 67 congregations in the southern part of the state, including New Orleans.
In a 55-13 vote Nov. 4, 2006, the presbytery agreed to a stipulated judgment that said First Presbyterian Church “holds all property titled in its name in full, complete and unfettered ownership” and that neither the presbytery “nor any person, entity, administrative unit, agency, commission, committee or governing body action on behalf of the Presbytery of South Louisiana or in its stead, or claiming by, through or under the Presbytery of South Louisiana, has any right, title or interest in or to the Property, whether in trust or otherwise, nor any right to determine control, directly or indirectly, the use or ownership of the property.”
While saying that separation from the PCUSA “will not be without consequences or pain,” the committee recommendation includes “continued, but limited financial support” to the presbytery.
I haven’t been keeping close track, but just from memory I’m sure that this is at least the third congregation that is the largest in its presbytery that has made the move (the others being Memorial Park from Pittsburgh Presbytery and Kirk of the Hills from Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery). These three churches by themselves have a total membership of almost 6000. If anyone knows of any other “largest” churches that have or are preparing to leave PCUSA, let me know.