Evangel

The September 28, 1999, stated meeting of Evangel Presbytery elected the Rev. Bill Hay, Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama, as Moderator.

Presbytery approved the minutes of several commissions: to assist the Session to install the Rev. Henry Morris as Assistant Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Tuscumbia, Alabama; to ordain and to assist the Session to install the Rev. Marty Crawford as Assistant Pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, Birmingham;

Presbytery adopted a resolution in honor of Dr. Frank M. Barker, Jr., who was retiring as Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama (see below).

A complaint had been brought against the Session of Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church, Albertville, Alabama. Presbytery voted to uphold the action of the Session in response to the original complaint, and to deny the request that the Presbytery assume original jurisdiction over the church.

Presbytery adopted a budget of $83,625.

The following men were received under care as candidates: Messrs. Justin Clement, Casey Custer, and Rick Mitchell. Mr. Lyle Caswell was removed from the roll of candidates, upon Presbytery receiving word that he had been ordained in Australia by the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The internship of Mr. Rick Searle was approved. He was examined and approved for ordination, based on a call from Decatur (Ala.) Presbyterian Church to be Assistant Minister.

Mr. Robert Allman was examined and licensed.

Mr. Michael MacCaughelty was examined and approved for ordination, having been called as Assistant Minister by Altadena Valley Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama.

The Committee on Candidates, Interns and Licentiates raised the question regarding Candidate Jay Barrett, who is legally blind. The study of original languages is difficult to impossible for him because of his blindness. Presbytery asked the Committee to give the Presbytery advice on the matter. The Committee later reported, and the Presbytery approved, the statement "that Jay Barrett's languages will not hinder his ordination in Evangel Presbytery."

Presbytery approved the reception of the Rev. Shelton MacGillivery from the Evangelical Presbyterian Church to serve as Pastor at the Grace Fellowship Presbyterian Church of Albertville. He had served previously in the PCA's Eastern Canada Presbytery.

The Presbytery approved the change in call of the Rev. Tom Cox from Assistant to Associate Pastor at Faith Presbyterian Church, Anniston, Alabama; and the change in call of the Rev. Ralph Keel from Assistant to Associate Pastor at Southwood Presbyterian Church, Huntsville, Alabama. [However, no installation services were arranged in order to effect these changes.-Ed.]

Presbytery voted to allow the Rev. Anthony Gordon to remain on the roll of Evangel Presbytery as a minister out of bounds while he gets acquainted with Nashville Presbytery. He has been called to be Headmaster of New Hope Academy, Franklin, Tennessee.

Presbytery dissolved the pastoral relationship between the Rev. Nick Willborn and Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama; and the associate pastoral relationship between that congregation and the Rev. Carl Russell.

The pastoral relationship between the Rev. Jamie Sanders and Southwood Presbyterian Church was dissolved, so that he could be transferred to Tennessee Valley Presbytery.

Presbytery voted not to approve the call of the Eastside Presbyterian Church, Gadsden, Alabama, to Mr. Robert Countess as stated supply.

Presbytery voted not to accede to the judicial reference of the Session of Faith Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama, asking that the higher court assume original jurisdiction in a discipline matter. Instead, the Presbytery offered advice. First, the Session should exercise its right to remove from their membership rolls the woman in question, since she had joined a congregation in another branch of the visible church; the matters under investigation should be communicated to her new church if they request such information. The man in question should be given sufficient time either to recommit himself to his membership vows at Faith Church or to relocate to another PCA church. If he does not join another church, the Session at Faith should exercise pastoral discipline and erase his name from the membership rolls. If either the man or the woman should come under the jurisdiction of another PCA court in the future, the Session should counsel any such church receiving them to request the information of the matters under investigation.

Presbytery found in order the appeal of Mr. Ed Fitzsimmons, and authorized the Stated Clerk to assemble the appropriate materials and forward them to the General Assembly Stated Clerk.

Dr. Frank Barker reported on several areas where the home missions committee would be looking to plant new churches: Springville-Trusville; Mt. Laurel/Chelsea area; Montevallo; and Oxford. He reported on the present status of the several mission works.

Presbytery approved the call to the Rev. Henry Morris to plant a church in Florence. The call has a total package of $46,246.93 with four weeks vacation.

A commission was appointed to organize the mission work at Madison, Alabama, as a particular church, under the leadership of the Rev. Stewart Jordan.

The Committee on National & Local Moral & Ethical Issues urged the churches to work on getting out the vote on the lottery issue on October 5th.

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Resolution of The Presbytery of The Evangel

WHEREAS, in 1960 Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in the United States as a member of Birmingham Presbytery, and;

WHEREAS, he was commissioned by the Birmingham Presbytery to plant a new PCUS church in the Cahaba Heights community of Birmingham, and on September 25, 1960, Briarwood Presbyterian Church was officially chartered with Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. as its organizaing pastor, and;

WHEREAS, for nearly four decades, Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. has labored faithfully in the cause of Christ as the first and only Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, and;

WHEREAS, God has richly blessed his ministry from the days of an organizing pastor of a small flock to a church with a membership of over four thousand, having a world-wide impact for Christ, and;

WHEREAS, during the last forty years, Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. has been steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that his labor is not in vain, and;

WHEREAS, in 1973, to remain fully loyal to the doctrines of the Reformed faith and to be obedient to the Great Commission, upon a unanimous vote, his congregation withdrew from the Presbyterian Church in the United States to join others in forming the Presbyterian Church in America, and;

WHEREAS, over the twenty-five years since the Presbyterian Church in America was founded at Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. has labored tirelessly for his church, Evangel Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church in America through serving in any capacity where requested or elected to serve, including the office of Moderator of the General Assembly, and;

WHEREAS, Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. is retiring from the Briarwood Presbyterian Church after serving forty years as Senior Pastor, and;

WHEREAS, upon his retirement he carries with him the love and deep respect of the fathers and brothers of Evangel Presbytery which he has served so well, now:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by Evangel Presbytery, to express its profound appreciation to Teaching Elder Frank M. Barker, Jr. for all the tasks he has done so well in serving the Lord and His Church for forty years, and be it;

FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be spread upon the minutes of the Evangel Presbytery and that a copy be furnished to the Session of Briarwood Presbyterian Church.