Apr 23, 2012 12:24 AM by Jacqui Heinrich

First Presbyterian Church splits from PCUSA

Members of First Presbyterian Church in downtown Colorado springs voted today to divorce from their national organization and join a brand new denomination.

The vote to split off from PCUSA passed almost unanimously, with only 5% of the congregation disagreeing with the move. Church elders say that's because the belief system that was in place will remain the same, but a 140 year tradition will be left behind. "This church has been around since 1872 and we've been a part of the PCUSA. We have a wonderful relationship with the Presbytery in pueblo. Those are hard things to consider leaving," Cindy Sparks, a church elder told News 5 today.

Nonetheless, an overwhelming majority of the congregation voted to split off from its national organization and join a movement that's just beginning: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, also known as ECO.

First Presbyterian leaders say they were attracted to the 'entrepreneurial spirit' of ECO, a more conservative movement that contrasts with the liberal theology of PCUSA, which decided last year to allow openly gay ministers.



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