By Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News.
Leaders of First Presbyterian Church, the oldest Protestant church in San Antonio and one embroiled in a legal battle over its property with its regional council, Mission Presbytery, voted Monday night to recommend that it leave the Presbyterian Church (USA).
The church’s “session,” or elders, voted 21-2 for “disaffiliation,” pointing to its denomination’s progressive social agenda and its drift from “the authority of Scripture,” officials said. The decision must be voted on by at least 10 percent of the congregation’s 2,100 members. A vote was set for Nov. 1 and an informational meeting on Oct. 25.
Church leaders also recommended that the downtown church join a relatively new denomination, the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, established in 2012 following the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s decision to allow gay clergy.
Also Monday, state District Judge John Gabriel denied a request for a temporary injunction by First Presbyterian, which had sought an order to prevent Mission Presbytery from asserting control of any of its property while it decides whether to leave.