Assembly Votes to Establish Study Committee on Women in Combat

St. Louis, Missouri (July 2, 1998)-The Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly voted tonight to establish a study committee on the question of women in combat. The ad hoc committee is charged with studying not only women in combat, but also the question as to whether women ought to be in military uniform at all.

The appointment of the committee came in response to an overture from Philadelphia Presbytery, which for the third consecutive year has approached the Assembly asking for pronouncement on the matter. It also comes on the heels of action by the Southern Baptist Convention and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, which overwhelmingly called into question the practice of sending women into battle. Last year, the Reformed Church in the United States also condemned the practice.

Moderator Names Committee to Study Women in Combat

Moderator Kennedy Smartt named the following as members of the committee: Rev. Steve Leonard, U. S. Army chaplain; Rev. Charlie Morrison, U. S. Army chaplain; Rev. Dr. Beryl Hubbard, retired U. S. Air Force chaplain and Interim Pastor at Key Biscayne (FL) Presbyterian Church; Rev. Dr. Peter Lillback, Pastor at Proclamation Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA; Bentley Rayburn, Langley AFB, VA; Keith Stoeber, Louisville, KY; and Donald Wayburn, Falls Church, VA. Named as an alternate was Rev. Dr. Frank Barker, Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, AL.

As of September 4th, a total of $810.00 had been raised for this committee's work.