During the June 3 meeting of Central Florida Presbytery, Woodbury Presbyterian Church and St. Stephen Presbyterian Church both were dismissed to align with ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
According to the presbytery’s Process for Pastoral Responsibility, Accountability and Gracious Witness to Congregations at Times of Division, Dismissal or Dissolution (gracious witness process), there is a 90-day period for any appeals to the dismissals, meaning the effective date of dismissal will be Sept. 2.
Woodbury and St. Stephen join two other congregations that have been dismissed in the last two years by the presbytery. First Presbyterian Church of Orlando and Trinity Presbyterian Church were dismissed in June 2012, and Community Presbyterian Church disaffiliated at the same time when the presbytery refused its request for dismissal.
Woodbury Presbyterian Church
According to the settlement agreement, the 144-member congregation will pay $125,899 to the presbytery to depart and retain its property. The payment will be $110,551 for real and personal property, and $15,348 for per capita over a period of three years.
An initial payment of $30,000, made within 20 days of the presbytery’s dismissal vote, will be followed by nine annual payments of principal in the amount of $10,655.44 each plus interest of 4 percent.
There also is a five-year reversion clause that allows Central Florida Presbytery to retain the property if Woodbury dissolves its corporate existence, fails to remain part of a Reformed body or becomes independent.
Woodbury’s session began the dismissal process with the presbytery in February 2013, and a Resolution Team began its work with the church in April 2013.
The vote to seek dismissal from the PCUSA in October 2013 was 72-13 in favor of departure.
St. Stephen Presbyterian Church
The settlement agreement for the 99-member St. Stephen congregation required a payment of $95,017 to leave the PCUSA and keep its property. A negotiated sum of $71,500 was required for property with a one-year per-capita payment of $3,517. The Wells bequest, in the amount of $20,000, also will be transferred from the church to the presbytery.
The first payment, in the amount of $32,017, was made within 20 days of the dismissal vote by the presbytery, followed by 10 annual payments in the amount of $6,300 each along with 4 percent interest.
The agreement also includes a five-year reversion clause that allows Central Florida Presbytery to retain the property if St. Stephen dissolves its corporate existence, fails to remain part of a Reformed body or becomes independent.
St. Stephen initiated the dismissal process early in 2013, and the presbytery formed a Resolution Tem to work with the church in March 2013.
A congregational vote to be dismissed from the PCUSA was taken on Oct. 27, 2013, and yielded a 74-3 margin for leaving the national denomination.