By Junhyeong Kim, Christianity Daily.
Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church of ECO decided to give up its church property at Rowland Heights worth $6.3 million and to purchase and move into a new church building in Chino Hills. The church was originally a part of the Presbyterian Church (USA) but recently left the denomination to join the ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians due to disagreements with the PCUSA’s acceptance of same-sex marriages.
This church, which is a part of the San Gabriel Presbytery, was following the presbytery’s Gracious Dismissal Policy (GDP) to be dismissed, and held a congregational vote in March of 2014 with the presbytery’s agreement. 91 percent of the congregation voted to be dismissed from the congregation.
However, the presbytery ultimately did not accept the vote as valid and revised the GDP, placing the church’s dismissal process on hold. The church held another congregational vote a year later, at which point 95 percent voted to leave the denomination, and that majority left to the ECO thereafter. The San Gabriel Presbytery and the congregational minority that remained in the denomination then filed a lawsuit against the ECO congregation on July 9 with the Los Angeles Superior Court, asserting that they were unlawfully using the church property.
Reverend Tae Hyung Ko, the senior pastor of the ECO congregation, said before the congregation on Sunday that the church will give up the property and move into a new building.
“I wrestled with how we can best give glory to God throughout this process,” Ko said. “I wanted a win-win situation for both us who want to leave the denomination, and those who want to stay in the PCUSA, and suggested giving $1.28 million in offering to the presbytery instead of giving up the property. But they responded differently.”