Bonhomme Presbyterian Church will be able to hold on to its extensive Chesterfield grounds after reaching an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by the church’s former governing body.
The church settled this week with Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery for $1.1 million. Even though the church’s leaders thought they had a strong case, they thought losing their land and property wasn’t worth the risk at trial, they said. The trial was supposed to start in St. Louis County Circuit Court on Monday.
“We have never believed that the presbytery’s claim to the property was valid,” the church’s pastor, the Rev. Tom Pfizenmaier, said Thursday night. “We think we made the right spiritual decision.”
“It is a bitter pill to secure this peace by giving Giddings-Lovejoy an undeserved windfall,”
I hope there is a special place in hell for these presbytery leaders that are blackmailing all these departing churches, it’s stealing by any other name!!!!
The saddest part of this story is that the PCUSA’s larcenous behavior reveals for all to see that many of those who are in positions of power within hierarchical church structures are utterly lacking in character. If they can abuse other people, they will abuse them. And if they can get away with stealing from other people, they will take everything they can get their hands on.
It has been my experience, and that of a great many other people, that when some great evil comes upon the Christian Church, the victims of that evil are almost always the lay people in local congregations, and the perpetrators of that evil are almost always members of the clergy ensconced in and protected by their hierarchy.
This was true in the case of the predatory and homosexual priests of the Roman Catholic Church whose primary targets were the alter boys of the local parishes. And it is also true in the case of the predatory and larcenous clergy of the PCUSA whose primary targets are orthodox and biblical congregations. And in both cases, far from coming to the rescue of the victims of abuse, the hierarchy of these “churches” aided and abetted the perpetrators.
Yes, James H, I am sure that the holy God whom we worship will see that justice is done in the end, and that those who have suffered unjustly will be vindicated. In this circumstance, what we need to do is to leave the meting out of holy justice to God, to shake the dust from our feet, and to get on about the business of the building God’s kingdom.
Last Sunday we installed 30 member new hope Epc Sacramento presbytery took building, remove the session and took over bank account with 130,000$
Donnie – this is way off base. These actions require votes of Presbyteries and all commissioners, they are not nor have they ever been the actions of EP’s or the small staff in a Presbytery. You need to calm down and realize that not everyone has your views on dismissal, these congregations willing entered into relationships with their organizing Presbyteries and now they they have decided they want to leave with property. They call out their confessing brothers and sisters in the Presbytery as apostates. They need to realize the Presbytery will seek to have a settlement that will help them to continue a ministry of moderate progressive nature in their geography when possible.
I wonder how would God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit would feel about this?
I imagine that a big part of it on the side of presbytery is that they are deeply stung by the repudiation of their post modernist anything goes world view and presbytery is lashing out the only way they can.
Really hate to see another church having to pay ransom, especially in a state that has already has a precedent set by the courts that the ‘trust’ clause does not apply.
Still, the congregation is now free of that baggage.
However, when you read the comments on the St Louis Post-Dispatch article, you can see that according to some commentators (who probably only read what the article said about them joining a ‘more conservative’ denomination), the congregation are all fundamentalists and haters because they are upset that the LGBTQXYZ ‘now have a place at the table’.
Trouble is, they always had a place at the table, as we’re all sinners and called to repentance.
The has always been about calling a BEHAVIOR ‘good’ that God has said in the Scriptures is sin.
That the PC(USA)is now more concerned about the ‘feelings’ of fallen mankind and pursuing their ‘happiness’ on earth, then bringing the Word to those fallen people who need to hear the Truth so they will have everlasting Life.
Uh, Polity Wonk, who said anything about EPs or presbytery staff members? You might want to read my post again and actually pay attention to what I wrote. (No self-respecting “polity wonk” could fail to know that when the PCUSA refers to itself as hierarchical, as it has done in various court filings, it always references its courts, or judicatories, governing bodies, councils, or whatever term is currently in use, and not any particular individuals.)
Also, as you should know if you are paying attention, Bonhomme Presbyterian Church is 200 years old. Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery did not even exist back in those days and could not possibly have been the church’s “organizing presbytery.” And whatever presbytery did officially receive this church into its membership back in the early 1800s, it is 100% certain that it did not have any so-called “trust clause” in its constitution.
Finally, I am not aware that any pastor, elder or church member at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church has ever “called out their confessing brothers and sisters in the Presbytery as apostates.” You need to provide proof of this accusation, Polity Wonk, or you need to put a sock in it. It seems to me that the people of Bonhomme Presbyterian Church are not the ones making inflammatory and unfounded accusations, you are.
Bonhomme Presbyterian has done more on accident for the sake of the Gospel than this presbytery has done on purpose!!!
FPC Houston and New Covenant are settling:
The Presbytery negotiated a flat fee for their lawyers, FPC is paying out of pocket. New Covenant was in a better financial position to keep going since FPC had clearly underestimated how much the lawsuit would cost.
I do not believe that God will ultimately bless the PCUSA’s policy of “peaceful separation”. It doesn’t sound like Jesus.
The PCUSA is suffering in many ways and will finally have to unite with another Church Body to survive. For the most part, to most evangelical congregations are leaving. All of this grieves me. I was ordained in 1952 in the PCUS which was a different Church completely. Matt McGowan
The Presbytery’s fixed fee was $995,000. By March 1st of this year its attorneys had laid claim to more than $930,000. With payments coming to an end, the Presbytery’s law firm had a very strong incentive to settle. After all, who wants to perform client services after the last check has been cashed? Telling, the agreement is confidential. I am sure this was at the insistence of the Presbytery given its multiple litigants.
Long ago I learned that to know a person’s true character, one had to watch what that person did, rather than listen to what that person said.
Regarding PC(USA), money is their lust, their love, their heart. Let them have it.