Louisville, Kentucky (June 17, 1999)-The 27th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America today declared that female preaching does indeed violate Scripture. The court also stated that any contemplated action in dealing with the phenomenon should originate with the lower courts.
The Assembly's position came as it answered in the negative an overture from Western Carolina Presbytery which would have advised the presbyteries and churches that women preaching is inappropriate. However, in answering the overture in the negative, the Assembly gave as grounds that female preaching is out of accord with I Timothy 2:11-12.
Western Carolina's overture was prompted by a report that women have preached at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, prominent PCA congregation in Knoxville, Tenn. Besides sending an overture to General Assembly, the North Carolina presbytery has also written to Tennessee Valley Presbytery, asking for an investigation into the matter.
Dr. Morton H. Smith, the first Stated Clerk of the PCA Assembly, and author of the overture, moved as a substitute that the overture be answered in the affirmative, based upon the same grounds as that cited by the Bills & Overtures (B&O) Committee. The Assembly, however, went with the B&O recommendation. After the vote on the issue, the Rev. Mr. Brent Bradley of Kingsport, Tenn., asked for his affirmative vote to be recorded on the substitute motion. A long line of commissioners joined him in recording their affirmative votes.