Savannah River Presbytery Approves Transferring George Robertson to the EPC

The action to transfer Dr. Robertson to the EPC was approved at a Savannah River Presbytery meeting on July 15, 2017.

The SRP action came after debate on whether to approve Dr. Robertson’s request to be transferred to the PCA’s Covenant Presbytery, which would allow him to retain his membership in the PCA while serving as pastor of an EPC congregation… After a time of debate on whether to transfer Dr. Robertson to Covenant Presbytery, a substitute motion to transfer Dr. Robertson to the EPC was made and was eventually adopted by a vote of 27-13.

 

At its July 15, 2017 stated meeting, Savannah River Presbytery (SRP) of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) approved transferring Dr. George Robertson to the Presbytery of Central South of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). Dr. Robertson, presently pastor of First Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Augusta, Ga., has been nominated to be the pastor of Second Church in Memphis, Tenn., which in the EPC. The congregation will be voting on the recommendation to call Dr. Robertson as its senior pastor at a meeting on July, 23.

The SRP action came after debate on whether to approve Dr. Robertson’s request to be transferred to the PCA’s Covenant Presbytery, which would allow him to retain his membership in the PCA while serving as pastor of an EPC congregation. If this request had been approved Robertson would then have asked Covenant Presbytery to receive him as a member of the Presbytery with permission to “labor out of bounds” in a non-PCA ministry.

After a time of debate on whether to transfer Dr. Robertson to Covenant Presbytery, a substitute motion to transfer Dr. Robertson to the EPC was made and was eventually adopted by a vote of 27-13.

In his letter to the Clerk of Savannah River Presbytery Dr. Robertson expressed his desire to remain in the PCA if the arrangements could be worked out: “While Second Presbyterian is a congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, I have petitioned the leaders of both the EPC and PCA to allow me to remain in the PCA and labor out of bounds (BCO 13-2), at least for the next five years while I complete my duties to the Cooperative Ministries Committee. While this must be acted upon by both the EPC and PCA presbyteries in whose respective bounds ecclesiastically and geographically lies Second Presbyterian, initial support for this arrangement may be seen in the attached letters.”

One of those letters was from Dr. L. Roy Taylor, PCA Stated Clerk. In this letter he gave his support to Dr. Robertson’s request to continue as a member of the PCA while serving in an EPC congregation, stating this would be beneficial for both denominations. He stated in conclusion: “The Cooperative Ministries Committee joins with me in requesting that both Covenant Presbytery, PCA and the Presbytery of the Central South of the Central South, EPC will allow Dr. George Wm. Robertson to serve as senior Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Memphis, while remaining a minister of the PCA for the next five years.”

After considering Dr. Robertson’s request to remain in the PCA while serving in the EPC, Savannah River Presbytery decided it would be best to transfer Dr. Robertson to the EPC.