South Texas

Christ Presbyterian Church, New Braunfels, TX, hosted the fifty-fourth stated meeting of South Texas Presbytery on July 24-25, 1998. The Moderator, RE Lee Joseph, called the meeting to order with the reading of Psalm 134 and prayer.

Dr. Cortez Cooper, Coordinator of the denominational Mission to North America Committee, preached from Psalm 139:23-24, "A Full Scale Investigation." Host pastor Dick Jones led the service of worship.

Reports were heard from the mission churches of Presbytery, located in Laredo, Victoria, Cypress, Katy, Houston, The Woodlands, and McAllen, TX. Presbytery approved the organization of Grace Presbyterian Church in The Woodlands, and Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Houston.

Efforts are being made to reach out to Huntsville, TX. Any one with friends in Huntsville is encouraged to contact Jody and Carol Kirk, 333 Hardy Street, Huntsville, TX 77340; 409-295-0375.

Presbytery voted to terminate the call of TE Pedro Guzman to Project Houston, due to lack of support. TE David Moran presented statistics about Hispanics in Houston, and reported that a manual for Hispanic church planting has been prepared. Mr. Moran, who had been Senior Pastor of Oaklawn Presbyterian Church in Houston for 19 years, has now accepted a call to a church in Florida.

TE Chris Yates, who was ordained in 1987 to be campus minister with RUM at Texas A&M University, has been called to be a church planter in Indianapolis, IN. A couple from Covenant Theological Seminary will replace him for a year on the campus at College Station.

Per the request of Southwest Presbytery, South Texas Presbytery received that Presbytery's Campus Committee into the Texas Joint Campus Committee. [South Texas, North Texas, and Southwest Presbyteries had earlier this year approved a joint effort at church planting.-Ed.]

TE Legree Finch has accepted a call to Christ Presbyterian Church, Marietta, GA. It was reported that three of the four former ministers from Westminster Presbyterian Church, Bryan, TX, are currently in North Georgia Presbytery.

Dr. Cooper thanked the Presbytery for its displaying a multi-cultural presbytery. Its experiences, he said, had influenced the Metropolitan New York Presbytery as well as multi-cultural efforts in Florida. He also reported that Dr. Jim Bland of South Texas Presbytery would become Associate Coordinator, in anticipation of his becoming Coordinator in 1999.

Presbytery examined and approved for ordination Mr. Bob Schwarzbeck, called as part-time Assistant Minister at Bay Area Presbyterian Church, Webster, TX. Mr. Jeffrey Michael Candell was transferred from Central Georgia Presbytery to become an Associate Pastor at Spring Cypress Presbyterian Church, Spring, TX.

Messrs. Samuel Sung and Ajejandro Villasana were examined and licensed to preach.

Presbytery voted to rescind its April action of having TE Bill Fitzhenry "explain his exception in writing at the October, 1998 meeting of presbytery." Mr. Fitzhenry had complained against this action; his complaint was received, and then declared moot. The Ministerial Relations Committee is to report to Presbytery in October regarding this matter.

Presbytery approved a motion that "in future action, effective immediately, when elders make exceptions to the Westminster Confession, the exception must be in writing. If the Candidates and Credentials Committee, the Ministerial Relations Committee or South Texas Presbytery as a whole so desires, the elder may be required to provide a biblical-theological defense of the exceptions."

RE Gordon Landreth, Chairman of the Administration Committee, reported on the status of the church and civil court process concerning Robert and Melissa Williams.

Mission to North America Committee of Presbytery requested an increase of $1,000.00, for the support of TE Mike McCrocklin's ministry at the Fairfield Mission in Cypress. The Stated Clerk volunteered $600.00 from his budget, and the Treasurer volunteered $400.00 from his; Presbytery approved these contributions.

The Candidates and Credentials Committee budget was increased by $2,000.00 to support Covenant Theological Seminary students from South Texas Presbytery.

It was reported that the President and President-elect of the Pres-WIC organization attended a national Pres-WIC officers conference. Women, including particularly the Spanish-speaking women at Oaklawn Church, are enthusiastic about Pres-WIC activities.

"South Texas Presbytery commended the excellent and distinguished service and many years of spiritual contributions that have been made by TE's Jim Bland, Legree Finch, David Moran, and Chris Yates, and asked God's blessings upon their new spiritual opportunities."

Giving Thanks for an Oasis in a Parched Land

The following motion was adopted at the summer stated meeting of South Texas Presbytery:

Press Release for Saturday, 25 July 1998. New Braunfels, Texas.

The extreme drought blanketing the sovereign state of Texas continues today. The soil is dry and parched. Rivers are down. Tempers and temperatures are up. Plants are withering, unable to find that moisture necessary to sustain life. Food crops are scarce. Cattle are thirsting. It appears as if the land is becoming a desert.

And yet, members of the South Texas Presbytery have found an oasis in the heart of Texas in Christ Presbyterian Church of New Braunfels.

Presbyters have found in Christ Presbyterian Church that the waters of eternal life run deep and pure. The soil of teaching appears to be rich and fertile, and the fruit of the work to have deep and strong roots, thus drawing its life from those eternal resources. During its rest at this oasis of life and growth in New Braunfels, the presbyters were refreshed and renewed through the labors of the membership and leadership of Christ Presbyterian Church.

Though temperatures soared outside, the climate within was cool and refreshing.

Though tempers soar across the region, the warmth of the congregation's fellowship embraced the visiting guests.

Though the presbyters found themselves in a strange city, they found loving acceptance within the local church family.

Though their travels to this place revealed field after field of failed crops, the presbyters found tables overflowing with bountiful and delicious foods.

Though the world struggles to find, recognize and even accept truth, the guests were served the true word of God through the preaching, sharing and prayer together.

A true oasis has been found in New Braunfels. Its name is Christ Presbyterian Church. All who visited this oasis have been blessed.

Though man must move on and will leave this oasis, the memories will be carried to the far corners of South Texas Presbytery and beyond.

Blessings to all who serve at the oasis of Christ Presbyterian Church!