HOUSTON (AP) — An influential, wealthy Houston church is considering a split from the nation’s largest Presbyterian body as it is embroiled in a national debate between those who want to take a more conservative view of the Bible and those who support measures to make room for gay marriage, a newspaper reported Sunday.
The First Presbyterian Church, the oldest such congregation in the city, will vote next Sunday on whether it wants to remain with Presbyterian Church (USA) or join a breakaway faction that wouldn’t allow for gay clergy or marriage, The Houston Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1dAhc7p ).
Similar debates are going on in Presbyterian churches nationwide since Presbyterian Church USA, which has more than 10,000 churches and 1.8 million members, decided to allow local congregations to choose whether they want to ordain gay clergy. The Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, the largest such congregation in the state, has already joined forces with the breakaway movement, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. Another Houston church is also in the process of joining the evangelical group.
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