Greenville South Carolina’s First Presbyterian Church Leaves PCUSA, Joins ECO
Back in 2003, when the actions of The Episcopal Church’s General Convention rippled back to the shores of Greenville, South Carolina’s Episcopal congregations, many Episcopalians left for the downtown, historic PCUSA church rather than stay in TEC. In fact, that church, along with a large, independent, contemporary-worship, evangelical church, gained the largest percentage windfall in departing Episcopalians, despite the numerous Anglican entities that were present or in start-up mode in Greenville.
It was fairly clear even then—and became clearer as the years marched onward, that First Presbyterian’s Gospel was very very different from the gospel being chosen at the highest levels of the PCUSA denomination.
And so the natural consequences of those two intrinsically antithetical gospels have played out. The church has left the PCUSA and joined another Presbyterian entity, the latest alternate Presbyterian organization.
I am truly happy for them!
According to Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons, 97 percent of the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Greenville voted in favor of transferring into the ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
In an interview with WYFF4 on April 30, Gibbons said the downtown Greenville church wanted to switch denominations following a decision by the National Governing Body of Presbyterian Church USA that allows gay clergy.
“Changing the definition of marriage, changing ordination standards away from what we believe to be a Christian stance is not a healthy thing,” Gibbons said.
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