Indianapolis church dismissed from PCUSA

The negotiated settlement was approved at Whitewater Valley Presbytery’s June 2 meeting by a 200-6 vote

One of the largest churches in Indiana’s Whitewater Valley Presbytery has been dismissed from the Presbyterian Church (USA), and plans to affiliate with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).

The 1,200-member Southport Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis voted in late 2009 to leave the PCUSA based on concerns over the direction of the denomination, namely the deviation from core beliefs and basic essentials of faith, including weakening stances on the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture.

The negotiated settlement, which was approved at Whitewater Valley’s June 2 meeting by a 200-6 vote, includes:

The two-campus, 1,200-member congregation is being dismissed to the EPC with its physical property. Southport will pay a lump sum of $330,582.10 to Whitewater Valley Presbytery by Dec. 31, 2010. Southport will pay for Whitewater Valley counsel’s costs and fees to complete the dismissal process.

The dismissal process officially began in early 2009 when the 175-year-old Southport congregation announced its desire to leave the denomination, but was preceded by two years of prayer, discernment, research and discussion. Over the last 15 months, Southport leadership hosted listening groups and provided resources to its members.

In November 2009, the congregation voted 786-37 to seek dismissal from the PCUSA and to affiliate with the EPC.