Calling it an act of “full obedience to Biblical authority,” a 492-member congregation in Puerto Rico left the Presbyterian Church (USA) this past Sunday and is seeking membership in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Formerly known as Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana en Bayamón (First Presbyterian Church in Bayamon), the church, now with a new name — Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster (Westminster Presbyterian Church) — will hold all of its worship services and ministries at the American School, in Bayamón.
According to a press release from the church, the mass resignation from the PCUSA was taken “mostly due to the arbitrary and repressive positions assumed by the Commission for Evaluation, Education and Resolution of the Presbytery of San Juan, after the Bayamon congregation communicated their opposition to the position assumed by the PCUSA regarding: 1) the authority of the Holy Scriptures, 2) the centrality of the work of Christ, 3) abortion, 4) same-sex marriage, and 5) the ordination of homosexuals, among other topics; and requested to transfer their membership to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) denomination in the United States.”At its Jan. 31 meeting San Juan Presbytery presented a resolution to remove Pastor Emeritus Juan Pérez Alda, who pastored the church for more than 30 years, from all ties to the congregation and its voluntary services, and several recommendations were left pending action by the presbytery, including: to deny their transfer to the EPC, to relieve the congregation-elected governing officials (the Session of Elders) of their duties, and to relieve Senior Pastor Rev. Juan Ramón Rivera Medina of his duties.
“In light of this oppressive situation, the session, myself, and the congregation have decided to obey the Word of the Lord. We did not want to submit to the theologically liberal policies of our former denomination, and as faithful believers in the Word, we decided to leave behind all material possessions and carry firmly onward,” said Pastor Juan Ramón Rivera Medina.
The press release invites “the entire Christian community that defends Biblical authority … to join us in prayer.” Prayer meetings will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, and the worship services at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays, in the facilities of American School, on Urb. Hermanas Dávila, C-1, Calle 9. For more information, access: Facebook/Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster. Office: Tel. 787-228-1749.