Ft. Lauderdale, FL (April 15, 1997)--Bethany Presbyterian Church hosted the Spring stated meeting of Southern Florida Presbytery. Moderator TE Brian Kelso read Acts 18:1-11 and preached on that text, relating it to current ministry. The Moderator Nominee, RE James R. Harding of Old Cutler Church, Miami, was unanimously elected Moderator.
The previous internship experience of Candidate Michael Campbell was approved. His ordination examination was later approved, as was a call to him as Minister of Pinelands Presbyterian Church. The Session was urged to increase his vacation from two to four weeks, and to start an annuity program for him as soon as possible.
An Internship Program for Candidate Randall H. Draughon under the mentorship of TE Andrew Boswell at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was approved. Paul C. Hurst of Coral Ridge came under care as a Candidate. Presbytery approved the internship of James T. Roberts, who has transferred to Evangel Presbytery, because of previous experience.
Presbytery examined and licensed Philip W. Rich and Joseph M. Vacchiano.
Mr. Robert Leuthold, a ruling elder at Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church and an ordained minister in the General Association of Regular Baptists, was approved as Stated Supply of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Wilton Manor, per the request of the Session.
It was moved, seconded, and carried "that the agreement between TE Carlos Salabarria and Shenandoah Presbyterian Church regarding the repayment of a loan to TE Salabarria by Sheandoah be approved with the stipulation that the written documentation of the settlement be held by the Stated Clerk of Presbytery as a matter of permanent record."
The Assistant Minister relationship between TE John D. Tinnin and Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was dissolved, and Mr. Tinnin was transferred to South Coast Presbytery. His letter of resignation to the Session of Coral Ridge on March 17, 1997, asked that he be relieved of his duties effective July 1, 1997. In that letter, he stated that "[t]his time span would allow for Coral Ridge to easily find a replacement for continuity of ministry to the singles. It would also allow me to provide my wife with a settled time in which she could deliver our second child, and we would be able to sell our house and arrange for relocation to my next place of ministry." The Session, "at its properly noticed Called Meeting on April 15, 1997," accepted Mr. Tinnin's resignation, effective April 1, 1997 (two weeks before the Presbytery meeting).
It was reported that "the Minister & Church Relations Committee has not met with TE Frank Erdman as directed by Presbytery but will do so before the next Presbytery meeting."
The Senior Minister relationship between TE James L. Smith, Jr. and Granada Presbyterian Church, Coral Gables, was dissolved and Mr. Smith was transferred to Ascension Presbytery to become Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Butler, PA. According to the attached congregational meeting minutes, the effective date of the dissolution of the pastoral relationship was to be June 30, 1997. [The question of the date of transfer for Mr. Smith is a curious one. According to the Stated Clerk of Ascension Presbytery, at first the effective date was set as July 1, 1997. However, Mr. Smith then asked that it be June 1, 1997. Because of the switch, TE Dominic Aquila, a member of Southern Florida Presbytery, was able to stand for election to the Standing Judicial Commission (SJC) at this year's Assembly. (The Book of Church Order prohibits the election of a person if there is an SJC member already from the same presbytery.) The switch in dates opened the way for the nomination (and election) of Dr. Aquila. It also prohibited the nomination of someone else from Ascension.]
The terms of call to TE Richard Gillen from Faith Presbyterian, a mission work in Okeechobee, were approved. (As noted by Mr. Gillen in the request for the changes, "Because I'm an old duffer my medical ins[urance] is much higher than that young feller McGee [his predecessor--Ed.].")
The call of the Missions Committee to TE Rubins Ferraz as Organizing Minister of the Brazilian Presbyterian Church of Kendall was approved. This mission work, known also as Igreja Presbyteriana Brasileira De Kendall, was placed under the oversight of the Session of Kendall Presbyterian Church in a mother-daughter relationship.
Presbytery approved the dissolution of the pastoral relationship of John Swisher with Shenandoah Presbyterian Church, Miami, subject to the approval of his resignation by the congregation at a meeting to be held on April 20, 1997 [The congregation did accept the resignation--Ed.]. Mr. Swisher is to be carried on the rolls as working out of bounds with Mission to the World.
Sun Lakes Church in Miami Springs and Treasure Coast Presbyterian Church in the Stuart area were established as mission churches under the oversight of the Session of Spanish River Presbyterian Church, Boca Raton, in a mother-daughter relationship.
TE Anthony Chin, Chairman of the Missions Committee, brought to the presbyters' attention the proposed Church Planting Intern Program papers, which were mailed to all ministers and clerks of session. This document will be brought to the floor for action at the July 15, 1997 Stated Meeting.
Mr. Kelso, as Chairman of the Bills & Overture Committee, moved the following: "We request the Credentials Committee to frame procedures that will provide for the fulfillment of the specified injunctions of BCO 20-10 and 21-1 by the Presbytery and its Committees and to submit them for the approval of Presbytery at its July 15, 1997 Stated Meeting, together with recommendations for any necessary changes to the Standing Rules for Presbytery Operation." This motion came in response to an overture from TE Steve Jones of Lake Osborne Presbyterian Church, whose stated concern was that "there are times when this presbytery may consider a man unsuited for a particular call, without any prejudice toward his fitness for the pastoral ministry, and therefore, needs a clear and established convention by which to sustain such decisions." His overture stated that "it is evident that churches and candidates have and do err in judging the fitness of an individual for a particular call, resulting in much harm being done to the man, the church, and the cause of Christ; and that a full and careful approbation by the presbytery provides additional safeguard against inadvisable calls."
The following churches' minutes were approved, with these "notations": Bethany--No record of baptisms; Korean Ban Suk--Too many to list, see attached Examination Form; Redeemer--Congregational minutes incomplete. No record of commissioners appointed to GA and Presbytery and their reports after attending. No record of members received, dismissed, baptisms and deaths; Kendall--Names of Commissioner appointed to GA and Presbytery are not shown nor are there reports by those who attended.
RE Daniel J. Domin, Stated Clerk
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