Alexandria, LA (October 18, 1997)-The Fifty-sixth Stated Meeting of the Louisiana Presbytery was called to order by its Moderator, TE Robert Vincent, at 9:35 a.m. on Saturday, October 18, 1997, at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Alexandria. In the opening worship, TE Dana Casey preached a message from John 16 and led Presbytery in the celebration of the Lord's Table.
The following visitors were present and introduced to Presbytery: Mr. Bill Carr of MTW from Bristol, TN; REs Dick Ayres, Ham Barham, Mike Cook, and members Charlie Franks and Don Sprowl, all from Grace Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, LA. The court granted the privilege of the floor to these visitors.
Presbytery voted to provide up to $400.00 in travel expenses to enable the Clerk to attend the meeting of the Presbytery Stated Clerks in Atlanta on December 13-14, 1997.
Presbytery approved the internship of Mr. Tim Gibson.
TE Bob Dillard led Presbytery in prayer and introduced TE Marcus Rench, who gave a brief report on the mission in Lafayette, Acadiana Presbyterian Church. TE Ken Roth and RE Ellis Smith then gave a report on the progress of DeRidder Presbyterian Church and urged Presbytery to pray earnestly and faithfully for the success of the Reformed Faith in DeRidder, holding out the possibility of shutting down the work in six months if conditions did not change. The Committee recommended that Presbytery continue its support level of $500.00/month for the DeRidder Church. Next, Mr. Dillard reported briefly on the labors of Chaplains Bill Manning and Ken Counts and that of Mr. Lonn Oswalt at Northeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana Technical University, and as the Stated Supply of John Knox Presbyterian Church in Ruston. After a season of prayer for these men and their ministries, it was moved, seconded, and passed to approve the recommendation of the Committee to continue Presbytery's support of the work in DeRidder at $500.00 per month.
TE Marcus Rench led Presbytery in prayer and called upon TE James Jones, former MTW missionary to France, to introduce Mr. Bill Carr of MTW. Mr. Carr gave a brief account of his Christian experience and described his intended missionary work in the Republic of South Africa under the auspices of MTW. TE Paul Lipe then led Presbytery in prayer for Mr. Carr and his family and for the work in South Africa.
Presbytery instructed TE Ken Roth and the Christian Education Committee which he chairs to organize a Presbytery Men's Retreat. TE Paul Lipe next distributed and presented a report to Presbytery from Covenant Theological Seminary. And, TE Bob Dillard gave a short report on the success of the recent WIC Retreat in Shreveport.
Presbytery voted that the Pastoral Care Committee should contact TE Jim Meek "and inform him that Presbytery misses him, would like to have oversight over him again, and if this is not feasible or possible, that he should transfer from Louisiana Presbytery to Missouri Presbytery."
The 1998 Budget for Louisiana Presbytery was adopted with the following items: Presbytery Clerk, $1200.00; Presbytery Clerk--Telephone Expense, $400.00; Bethany Christian Services, $1200.00; Stated Clerk's Conference-Georgia, $400.00; WIC Conference, $400.00; Presbytery Men's Retreat, $750.00; Church Assistance-DeRidder, $6,000.00; Total, $10,350.00
RE Carl Hankins then read a letter dated October 17, 1997, from the Session of Grace Presbyterian Church, Alexandria, detailing a request from some former members of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Opelousas, to start a new church in the Opelousas area under the auspices of the Grace Session, with services to begin Sunday, October 18 [sic], 1997, and TE Bob Vincent from Grace Church supplying the pulpit on that occasion. A motion was made and seconded for the MNA Committee of Presbytery to assist the Grace Session in planting this new work in Opelousas. The Moderator recused himself, and RE Volney Pierce was appointed Moderator pro tempore. A substitute motion was made and seconded to appoint a Presbytery Commission consisting of at least two teaching elders and two ruling elders to investigate the Opelousas situation with the purpose of reconciling the former members of Westminster Church with their Session and so making the planting of a new church unnecessary. It was moved, seconded, and passed to amend the substitute motion to change Presbytery Commission to Presbytery Committee. A second amended motion was then made and seconded to appoint the Presbytery Committee and, at the same time, to allow the Session of Grace Church to continue meeting with the former members of Westminster Church in Opelousas while the Committee conducts its investigation. After much discussion, it was moved, seconded, and passed to call the question. The amendment passed. It was moved, seconded, and passed to call the question on the main motion. At this point, a third amendment was offered: The Moderator pro tempore was to a appoint a Committee of three teaching elders and three ruling elders, with a quorum of two teaching elders and two ruling elders, to investigate the Opelousas situation with the purpose of seeking reconciliation, and to report to Presbytery at its next Stated Meeting, and to allow the Session of Grace Church to continue meeting with the group in Opelousas seeking to start a new church. This motion was carried, with TE Dana Casey (Convener), TE James Jones, TE Paul Lipe, RE Volney Pierce, RE Hewitt Carter, and RE Ellis Smith being appointed to the Committee. TE Robert Vincent then reassumed the chair as Moderator.
Since the Review of Session Records Committee now consisted of only one member, TE Eric McQuitty, the Presbytery gratefully acknowledged RE Dale Peacock's offer to serve on the Committee and elected him by acclamation.
TE James Jones informed Presbytery of the possibility of setting up a Website for Presbytery and the churches in Presbytery. It was moved, seconded, and passed to allow Mr. Jones to develop a Web page for Presbytery, similar to the one he had done for Westminster Presbytery.
By acclamation, Presbytery elected RE Ellis Smith as Moderator for 1998.
Mr. Smith read the report of the Committee on Thanks, again expressing Presbytery's gratitude to the Session of Grace Presbyterian Church, Alexandria, for the use of their fine facilities.
announced that the Fifty-seventh Stated Meeting of the Louisiana
Presbytery would, D.V., take place on Saturday, January 17, 1998,
at 9:30 a.m. Upon the invitation of TE Paul Lipe, the meeting
will be held at Delhi Presbyterian Church in Delhi, Louisiana,
the third Saturday in January, and if for some reason there were
no January Stated Meeting, Delhi would be glad to host the April
Oakdale, LA (December 29, 1997)-A Called Meeting of the Louisiana Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America was called to order by its Moderator, TE Robert Vincent, at 2:07 p.m on Monday, December 29, 1997, at the First Presbyterian Church of Oakdale. Prayer was offered by TE Bill Manning of the First Church. After the Stated Clerk determined that a quorum was present, the Moderator recused himself from the chair and turned the gavel over to the Moderator-Elect for 1998, RE Ellis Smith. Six ministers and five ruling elders were present.
It was the opinion of the
Administration Committee in its letter to Presbytery that since
a church freely enters Presbytery and may freely leave Presbytery
for independency or another denomination, Grace Presbyterian Church
of Alexandria's action at its congregational meeting of December
7, 1997, had already severed its connection with the Louisiana
Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. After consideration
of the Administration Committee's letter, Grace Presbyterian's
request, and the pertinent sections of the BCO (25-11 and 13-9),
it was moved, seconded, and passed to dismiss Grace Presbyterian
Church, Alexandria, from Louisiana Presbytery of the Presbyterian
Church in America to the Presbytery of the Central South of the
Evangelical Presbyterian Church, to wit:
Whereas the Grace Presbyterian Church of Alexandria, Louisiana, has requested
that she be dismissed from the Louisiana Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church
in America in order to join the Presbytery of the Central South of the Evangelical
Presbyterian Church in accordance with PCA BCO 13,9f, we regretfully yet willingly
grant to her congregation
our blessings in their service to our Lord Jesus Christ.
TE Robert Vincent then read a prepared statement to Presbytery as to why he was compelled to leave the Presbytery. It was thereupon moved, seconded, and passed to dismiss TE Robert Benn Vincent, Sr. to the Presbytery of the Central South of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, pending his reception. TE Kenneth Roth led Presbytery in prayer for Mr. Vincent and Grace Church. [See related article in this issue.]
Presbytery voted to dismiss TE Robert D. Dillard, Jr. to the Southern Florida Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America, pending his reception. TE Bill Manning led Presbytery in prayer for Mr. Dillard and his family as they move from North Louisiana to South Florida.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
RE George T. Thompson, Stated Clerk
147 W. Jefferson Street, Opelousas, LA 70570