The Fall Stated Meeting of Eastern Carolina Presbytery convened on October 16 at Village Chapel, New Bern, North Carolina. The Moderator, Ruling Elder Tem Blackburn, called the meeting to order and presided. The opening worship was led by the host church, with the sermon by Candidate-under-care Byron Peters, as part of his ordination exam today.
Mr. Peters was examined for ordination and approved. He has been called as Assistant Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd, Durham, North Carolina.
The Presbytery approved a petition to the General Assembly, asking it to assume original jurisdiction in the judicial case of Presbyterian Church in America vs. John Wood.
Presbytery handled a complaint concerning Licentiate Inman's approval without exception at the Summer Stated Meeting. A motion to deny the complaint failed, 11-13. A motion to sustain the complaint failed, 12-13, with Ruling Elder Ron Gilbert recording his affirmative vote.
Presbytery voted to amend its Manual of Operations so as to conform to BCO 13-6 with regard to the examination of ministers seeking admittance to the Presbytery. The vote was 19-0.
The Rev. Douglas Addington, Chairman of the Mission to North America Committee, reported that the Hurricane Disaster Fund, established by this committee in September, had received $25,000 so far, with checks arriving daily. Also, a summary of the physical needs was presented. People desiring to provide personal assistance should contact either Mr. Addington or one of the noted pastors.
Presbytery granted Evangelist Bill Marshall another year of the powers of evangelist to govern, and to receive and dismiss members.
As requested by the Rev. Dr. Al Herrington, Presbytery approved his change in call from Executive Director of Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship to Full-time Evangelist, working out of Conyers, Georgia.
The Treasurer's Report was received and spread on the minutes. The Moderator announced the shortfall of YTD Income vs YTD budget at 11.7%.
The Presbytery voted to adjourn the stated meeting until November 6, 1999, to be reconvened immediately after a called meeting on that date. On November 6, the Presbytery reconvened at Antioch Presbyterian Church, Goldsboro, North Carolina.
The Presbytery voted to divest the Rev. Jeff Miller without censure pending his being assigned as a member of Trinity Reformed Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, North Carolina, with that Session's consent.
Presbytery received the report of S. Brane regarding Emmanuel Ministries, ECP and the US Internal Revenue Service and spread it upon the minutes. Presbytery also determined that this report, the report of the auditing committee and the applicable IRS guidelines be assembled by the Committee on Administration and delivered to the Stated Clerk for forwarding to Emmanuel Ministries.
A letter was received from the Rev. and Mrs. Eddie (Gail) Brown in Nairobi, Kenya, ministering to Ugandan refugees.
The Rev. Ron Gray reported regarding flooding in Rocky Mount caused by Hurrican Floyd. The mission work has moved to an otherwise vacant Baptist church building. One hundred and twenty people came to the opening worship service in September. There are now 60 people involved regularly in the mission church. The flooding in Ron's study did destroy his entire library and office equipment.
Ruling Elder Austin Leake, Stated Clerk of Presbytery,
gave the Treasurer's report. The financial shortfall is significant,
the balance is approximately $6,243 and only $5,000 has been received
this quarter. The disaster fund, to help in the aftermath of
Hurricane Floyd, has approximately $35,000.
At a called meeting on November 6, 1999, Eastern Carolina Presbytery transferred the Rev. Paul Zetterholm from Mississippi Valley Presbytery, to become Pastor of Harvest Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville, North Carolina. He stated he has only one exception to the Westminster Standards, this being with regard to Sabbath observance in that he does not find that the Scripture precludes family and church family, non-commercial recreational activities on the Lord's Day in light of Exodus 31:17 and other teaching on Sabbath Day refreshment.