By Steve Salyards, The GA Junkie
On 7 January the Permanent Judicial Commission of Grace Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (USA) announced its decision in Disciplinary Case 2015-1: Grace Presbytery v. TE Joseph Rightmyer finding him guilty on eight of the eleven counts he had been charged with. This case comes out of the departure of Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to move to ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
According to the history in the PJC decision, an accusation was made against TE Rightmyer in the Fall of 2013 and an investigating committee of five members was appointed on 2 December 2013 which then returned the charges on 16 October the following year. There was a pre-trial hearing on 14 November and the trial conducted on 6 January. …
… Let me begin my comments with what is to me the elephant in the room — the only reason this trial could take place was because Mr. Rightmyer did not leave the PCUSA with Highland Park Presbyterian Church but chose instead to remain in the PCUSA after his interim service was over. In a large proportion of the departures from the PCUSA all the teaching elders depart for the new denomination taking them out of reach of the PCUSA disciplinary process should the church’s process been outside the established process. It is worth noting that regarding these charges going to trial Mr. Rightmyer did live into his ordination vow to be “… governed by our church’s polity and … abide by it’s discipline.”