By Alva James-Johnson, The Ledger-Inquirer. (Columbus, Ga.)
The Rev. Charles Hasty, former senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Columbus, has accepted a call to pastor a new flock that formed in the wake of a controversial vote that split the downtown congregation.
Dr. Dickie Straus, president of an interim leadership team at Grace Presbyterian Church, said a pastoral search committee recently selected Hasty for the position and he accepted. Straus said Hasty, who stepped down from First Presbyterian in May, is on vacation.
Hasty will assume the pastoral position Aug. 10 and preach his first sermon at Grace Presbyterian on Aug. 16th, according to Straus and other church members. Hasty could not be reached for comment.
“I’m thrilled. I’m very happy about it,” Straus said Tuesday during an interview. “I think Chuck is a very good preacher and Chuck is an excellent pastor. And there’s a big difference between the two. If you’re in the hospital, you want a good pastor. If you’re in the pew, you want a good preacher. And it’s really hard to find a good combination and Chuck is very, very good at both.”
Grace Presbyterian began holding worship services on April 26, a week after members of First Presbyterian defeated a resolution to split from the Presbyterian Church (USA) over same-sex marriage and other doctrinal issues. Those in favor of the dismissal had hoped to join ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, a new denomination formed as a result of disagreements between some churches and PCUSA. But members of the 900-member congregation located at 1100 First Ave., voted 266 to 146 in favor of separating from PCUSA at an April 19 meeting. The resolution fell eight votes short of the two-thirds required for gracious dismissal.