church to leave PCUSA
The Layman, March 25, 2010
Beaver-Butler Presbytery’s largest congregation has been cleared to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) with its property, based on a financial settlement approved this week.
First Presbyterian Church (FPC) in Beaver, Pa., will keep its land, building and assets in exchange for a monetary settlement, according to a statement by the church’s spokesman.
“First Presbyterian is appreciative of its long relationship with the presbytery, and is looking forward with enthusiasm to its new denominational partnership with the EPC,” FPC-Beaver Elder Arthur Cornell said.
By a vote of 365-12 in February, the congregation voted to leave PCUSA to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). The session approved a settlement of $133,700, which was accepted by the presbytery March 23. The FPC-Beaver session also approved a $17,000 payment to cover its 2009 per capita.
“This money is not part of the settlement, but a voluntary gesture on our part to show our appreciation to the presbytery for a cordial, fair and timely process,” the FPC-Beaver negotiating team said in its report. “We do pray God’s blessings on the Beaver-Butler Presbytery as you move forward in your mission for Christ.”
The negotiated terms of the disaffiliation were based on Beaver-Butler’s separation policy, which was approved last year. According to the separation agreement, Beaver-Butler will dismiss the congregation upon its reception into the EPC. In addition to its property, the 700-member church will retain its corporate name.