Houston church move to conservative group fails

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Associated Press

Posted on February 25, 2014 at 6:32 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 6:32 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — Members of a more than century-old Presbyterian church in Houston have failed to attract a supermajority of the congregation vote to join a more conservative group and break away from the Presbyterian Church USA.

A majority of the 3,100-member congregation of First Presbyterian Church believed the national organization had become too liberal and favored joining a breakaway denomination, But the tally of 1,681 ballots Sunday fell 36 votes short of the supermajority needed to make the move.

Senior Pastor Jim Birchfield, among the leadership that backed the shift, tells the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/Ot01eC) the result for some members is the toughest possible outcome.

A change would have affiliated the church with a denomination known as ECO — A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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