A Presbytery Response Team (PRT) gave a report that recommended the Franklin County church be dismissed to align with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).
Nancy Dawson, general presbyter for Presbytery of the Peaks, confirmed in an email to The Layman that the presbytery approved the recommendation for dismissal as presented by the PRT.
Piedmont Presbyterian Church (PPC) is located in Callaway, a community found southeast of Roanoke, and has provided ministry in western Franklin County for 163 years.
Seeking a new affiliation
According to documents located on the presbytery web site, a written request from the PPC session to enter a process of discernment to consider dismissal from the PCUSA was received by the presbytery June 4, 2012.
A May 26, 2013, congregational vote of 46-1 of the 105-member church led the session to request dismissal from the PCUSA and Presbytery of the Peaks to affiliate with the Mid-Atlantic Presbytery of the EPC.
Agreeing to terms
Under terms of dismissal, the church retains its property – sanctuary, manse, two cemeteries and land worth an appraised $630,500 – and the presbytery cedes to the congregation any rights to the name “Piedmont Presbyterian Church” with the stipulation that a new name for the congregation be established which includes the name of the denomination to which it is being dismissed.
Piedmont agreed to commit support to the mission and ministry of the presbytery for a period of five consecutive years, starting in 2014, by paying $6,000 annually in addition to paying mission support requested for 2013 ($2,500) for three years (a total of $7,500) following completion of dismissal and transfer of property.
Presbytery of the Peaks also retains a right of reverter for 10 years on the real property to assure that the congregation remains in its new denomination. That reverter can be exercised if the congregation seeks to leave the EPC for another denomination or independent status, or if it fails to fulfill all stipulations agreed to in the separation agreement.
Additionally, PPC will provide all original historical church records to the presbytery office by Oct. 31, 2013.
It also was agreed to transfer the membership of the Rev. David Coddington, pastor of Piedmont, to the EPC’s Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic, upon his successful examination by the EPC.