Megachurch Must Pay $7.8 Million to Leave Presbyterian Denomination

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Monday, September 15, 2014

Megachurch Must Pay $7.8 Million to Leave Presbyterian Denomination

A megachurch in Dallas will need to pay $7.8 million to officially leave the Presbyterian Church and still keep its property in Texas.

Last year, nearly 90 percent of the congregation at Highland Park Presbyterian voted to leave the denomination and join the more theologically conservative Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians.

The church has until Nov. 4 to pay to leave the church.

The church had filed a lawsuit against Grace Presbytery, a governing body of Texas Presbyterian churches. The church then decided to settle.

“At that time Grace Presbytery had already approved their end of the settlement, so when [the church] voted to approve the settlement it was binding,” Highland Park communications director Zach House told the Christian Post. ”The primary reason was that after a lengthy process of discerning God’s direction on these issues, the session felt that settling was wise and was what our church was being called to do at this time.”

Said Rev. Janet DeVries, general presbyter of Grace Presbytery: “We give thanks to God for this moment and trust that this settlement serves as a witness across the PC(USA) that the trust clause is an integral part of our constitution and will be taken seriously by Grace Presbytery. We are pleased to have been able to mediate this situation and avoid a court trial.”

Publication date: September 15, 2014