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Most vote to leave national group at First Presbyterian Church of Longview meeting

By Peggy Jones
May 21, 2012 at 10:38 a.m.

In an historic vote Sunday, about three-fourths of the members attending a congregational meeting of First Presbyterian Church of Longview voted to separate from the Presbyterian Church of the USA.

Jim Bartlett – a member of the congregational majority leaving the denomination – said more than 350 people attended the decisive meeting.

Bartlett said the participants were given ballots with three options: to be dismissed from the PCUSA; to remain with the PCUSA or to remain with the building, regardless of the majority outcome.

He said six members voted to stay with the building; 84 voted to stay with the PCUSA and the remainder – more than 250 members voted to leave.

The division is over the decision by the Presbyterian Church of the United States to ordain non-celibate homosexuals.

Bartlett said the departing group will hold church in a new building Sunday.

He said Pastor Jonathan Jehorek has agreed to lead the new congregation, which will seek membership in the conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Pick up the Tuesday edition of the Longview News-Journal for more on this and other stories.



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