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Tenn. Megachurch Votes to Leave PCUSA

Members of Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church unhappy with the Presbyterian Church (USA) allowing alternative names for the Trinity and other theological differences voted to leave the denomination a
( [email protected] ) Jan 30, 2007 05:27 PM EST

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - Members of Signal Mountain Presbyterian Church unhappy with the Presbyterian Church (USA) allowing alternative names for the Trinity and other theological differences voted to leave the denomination and join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

The 2,000-member church voted 1,172-10 Sunday for the split from the denomination, which has its General Assembly offices in Louisville, Ky. The church voted by a similar margin to join the Evangelical Presbyterian denomination

Spokesmen for the Presbytery of East Tennessee said it could be months before the dismissal is approved.

Church elders called for the vote because of a stricter view of the Bible than the Presbyterian Church (USA) on Jesus, the infallibility of Scripture and a peace, unity and purity clause.

"This varied interpretation frequently has placed us at odds with General Assembly actions, priorities and program directives," they said in a statement printed in the program Sunday.

Elder Diane Mizell said a key in choosing the Evangelical Presbyterian Church was that women can be ministers, session members and deacons.

With the vote, the future of the church's campus still must be decided. The property could revert to the Presbyterian Church (USA), according to Stephen N. Brenz, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of East Tennessee. But he said the congregation could be dismissed with the property.

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