The number of churches dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA) last year increased dramatically compared to 2011, according to a recent report.
As reported by The Christian Post, statistics released late last week by the Office of the General Assembly for the Presbyterian Church (USA) showed 110 congregations were permitted to leave the denomination in 2012 in order to join others. In 2011, only 21 did so.
The article suggested the action of a majority of presbyteries voting to allow the ordination of openly homosexual clergy prompted many conservative congregations in PC(USA) to request dismissal from the mainline denomination.
In January 2012, the conservative PC(USA) group the Fellowship of Presbyterians organized a conference in Orlando with around 2,100 Presbyterians from 500 different congregations. The result of the conference was the creation of a “new reformed body” known as the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, or ECO.
Jim Miller with the Institute on Religion and Democracy wrote “ECO now has 28 member churches, all of which were dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA). There are another 48 churches are in the process of transitioning to ECO, and over 75 more are discerning a possible dismissal to ECO. A movement has launched.”