Southern Presbyterians Lose Third of Members, But Amicably

(Updated) Mississippi and Tropical Florida presbyteries avoid acrimony often seen when conservative churches leave PC(USA) or other mainline denominations.

Update (April 10, 2013): A recent schism at Fremont Presbyterian Church in California isn't keeping the two congregations from sharing space. The Sacramento Bee reports that the congregation, which divided between 'traditionalists' and 'progressives' over the issue of gay clergy, "still [shares] sacred spaces at the church site near California State University, Sacramento."

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Two Presbyterian regional bodies recently lost one-third of their members with surprisingly little acrimony compared to many departures by conservative congregations from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and other mainline denominations.

The Presbytery of Mississippi has approved the dismissal of five churches–representing 1,400 people, or about one-third of its members–to the more-conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The presbytery has maintained a hands-off policy toward the property and funds of departing churches since renouncing the denomination's property-trust clause in 2006, according to The Layman.

"It ...

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