By Greg Garrison, www.al.com
The historic First Presbyterian Church of Selma has voted to leave the mainline Presbyterian Church (USA), which approves ordaining gays, and join a more conservative denomination, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, which opposes gay ordination and same-sex unions.
“That was a church that’s over 175 years old and has been with the Presbyterian Church (USA) or its predecessor denominations all those years,” said the Rev. Dana Waters III, who was pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Selma from 1975-87.
The Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, a regional body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) that covers central Alabama, voted 37-27 on May 8 in a meeting at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Montgomery to release the congregation from its affiliation, said Waters, who was pastor of South Highland Presbyterian Church in Birmingham after he left Selma until he retired in 2000.