The church’s members voted Sunday to leave the denomination and to join A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO), which was formed by former PCUSA congregations in 2012, The Dallas Morning News reports.
“By joining ECO, we are not walking away from our Presbyterian values; we are restoring them,” the Rev. Joe Rightmyer, interim senior pastor of Highland Park Presbyterian, wrote in a statement on the church’s website. “With this vote to change, we will still be in the rich stream of Presbyterian theology, and we are ready to begin working with other churches in a growing denomination that is guided by the same beliefs and tenets that direct us.”
The church disagreed with a 2011 vote by PCUSA that allowed people in same-sex relationships to be ordained as pastors and deacons.
Kent Krause, a church elder, told the DMN that the disagreement wasn’t the main reason behind the split “by any stretch of the imagination,” and that the split has been debated for years.