Central Carolina

Denver, NC (July 19, 1997)-The 70th Stated Meeting of Central Carolina Presbytery met at Lakeshore Presbyterian Church. The Moderator, RE Robert Stevenson, called the meeting to order. TE Joel McCall preached from Ephesians 6:18.

Presbytery approved the commission report to ordain and install Dr. Charles Edward Reece, Sr. as organizing pastor of Faith Liberation Church.

A program report was given by Dr. Charles Dunahoo and Mr. Bill LaRose of the denomination's Christian Education and Publications Committee.

TE James White was examined for transfer from Northeast Presbytery, where he was organizing pastor in Binghamton, NY. He expressed exceptions to the Standards regarding recreation on the Lord's Day and reservations on six day creation. TE David Frierson and TE Stephen Stout requested their negative votes recorded on the motion to receive Mr. White. A call of $60,000 from Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, to be assistant pastor with powers of evangelist in church planting, was approved. [Mr. White has not been able to accept this call, as he has been waiting for his house in New York to sell.-Ed.]

Mr. Bob Brown of Christian Classics Foundation Project addressed the Presbytery. It was moved and seconded that the Presbytery, "in conjunction with Institute of Creation Research, host a 'Back to Genesis' Seminar in 1998." The motion carried, 28-22. The next action recorded is as follows: "Mr. [Dan] King, who voted for the motion, moved for reconsideration, and the motion lost 15-32."

Presbytery heard the complaint of the Bible Presbyterian Church, Concord, NC, against the removal of RE Chris Dollar from the Candidates Committee of Presbytery. The point at issue was that Presbytery had, at the insistance of representatives of Christ Covenant Church, Matthews, NC, allowed the Session to determine whether or not Mr. Dollar, an inactive elder at the church, could serve on a Presbytery committee. [Mr. Dollar has been the counsel for a Dr. Shive, who is appealing his excommunication by Christ Covenant Church.-Ed.] The complaint maintained that, since Presbytery is a higher court, it "should exercise 'exclusive original jurisdiction' (BCO 11-4)" in the matter of electing committee members. The complaint also stated that the action by Presbytery suspended one of Mr. Dollar's functions as an Elder. Further, it was alleged that Presbytery's actions "has created an unenforceable and potentially absurd parliamentary precedent," in that, consistently, one would expect that other nominees not actively on a session would also be turned away, and one would expect that members serving on presbytery committees whose terms expire on a session would not be able to continue to serve on committee. The complaint's final point was: "while genuinely seeking to fulfill our conscience-bound obligation to refrain from any attempt to impugn the motives of any person (or any court), we are compelled to note the appearance of prejudice in this case. When the issue of Mr. Dollar's eligibility to serve on the Candidates Committee was debated by Presbytery with some vigor on January 25, no corresponding objection was made to another 'inactive' Ruling Elder, Mr. Ted Spangler, serving on the Stewardship Committee. During that debate, it was reported on the floor of Presbytery that Mr. Spangler had been removed from the roll of Christ Covenant due to his long-standing lack of active involvement at the church. Still, there had been no stated objection to his status on a Presbytery committee when he had been elected unopposed to that committee in October 1996, just moments after Mr. Dollar's nomination had been opposed on the grounds that he was 'inactive.' Thus, Presbytery's actions to remove RE Chris Dollar from the Candidates Committee give the appearance of prejudice, an appearance Presbytery ought to be greatly concerned to avoid."

Among the amends proposed were that Presbytery admit it erred in removing Mr. Dollar from the Candidates Committee; "to instruct the Stated Clerk to communicate in writing this admission of error to Mr. Dollar, expressing Presbytery's awareness of the grief which its error may have caused him"; and "that Presbytery approve a study committee to study the issues raised by this case, i.e., term eldership, the rights and status of an 'inactive elder,' ways in which Presbytery and Sessions can effectively work together in shepherding Ruling Elders, etc."

It was moved, seconded, and approved that "the Complaint be referred to a Commission appointed by the Moderator." A substitute motion was moved that Presbytery sustain the complaint and agree that it erred by unconstitutionally removing Mr. Dollar from the committee. That motion failed, 18-19. The Moderator then ruled that the complaint had to be dealt with at this meeting (BCO 43-2). The motion to sustain the first point of the complaint, that Presbytery had erred, failed, 17-27. The second point, that of apologizing to Mr. Dollar, was ruled moot. The Presbytery then voted, 23-18, to approve a committee to study the issues raised in the complaint.

The candidacy of Mr. DeWayne Rush was transferred to Northern Illinois Presbytery, so that he may accept a call there. Presbytery approved an internship for Mr. Steven Beck at Redeemer Church. Mr. Philip Hargrove was received as a candidate under care. Mr. Cary Holbert was received as a candidate under care from the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and he was licensed to preach. An internship was created for him at New Hope Church, China Grove, NC; and a call to him as student supply was approved. Mr. David Dickson was received as a candidate; licensed to preach; and approved as Ruling Elder supply at Southpoint Church, Gastonia. Presbytery transferred the candidacy and internship of Mr. Richard Harper from North Georgia Presbytery.

Presbytery allowed TE Dick Belcher of Fellowship Presbytery to labor within bounds as a Professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte.

Presbytery appointed the Shepherding Committee as a judicial commission to hear the case without process regarding TE Harry Dorsey.

TE David Frierson, Stated Clerk

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