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Presbyterian Pastor Says He Will Stand for Truth -- Even at Cost of His Ministry

Presbyterian Pastor Says He Will Stand for Truth -- Even at Cost of His
Ministry

By Jim Brown and Jenni Parker

December 29, 2003

(AgapePress) - A Bible-believing minister in the Presbyterian Church USA
may be stripped of his ordination credentials for criticizing leaders in
his denomination and accusing them of denying the authority of scripture.

A committee in the Presbytery of Western North Carolina is recommending
that Pastor Parker T. Williamson be removed from his position as CEO of
the Presbyterian Lay Committee and editor-in-chief of its publications.

The Presbyterian Layman, a magazine that Williamson edits, recently
urged Presbyterians to withhold undesignated gifts to the denomination
because of its support for partial-birth abortion, homosexuality, and
other practices that violate scripture. The pastor and editor has long
spoken out against what he perceives as apostasy in the denomination,
both vocally and in print.

A Presbytery of Western North Carolina committee recently voted to
approve a recommendation to place Williamson on "inactive status."
Presbytery officials call the action administrative rather than
disciplinary, and claim they a re concerned about the minister's
character and conduct. But he believes the church leaders are simply
worried about losing money.

According to Williamson, denomination officials have put up with the
biblical stance of his ministry since its inception in 1965. But now
that money is involved, he contends that things have "reached a new level."

"We have criticized the leadership of this denomination for its
abandonment of scripture as the authority for the church's faith and
life," the pastor says, "and they are having a hard time tolerating the
existence of the critic."

The Presbytery of Western North Carolina's Committee on Ministry voted
in a closed session on December 9 to approve a recommendation to
withdraw its validation of Williamson's ministry. Next the matter will
go before the full presbytery at a January 31 meeting at First
Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. The outspoken minister
says he is prepared to defend himself.

"I intend to argue the case there. I'm fully prepared to lose my
ordination if that's what it takes in order to stand for what clearly is
God's truth," Williamson says.

Should the presbytery concur with the committee's decision, the minister
would be placed on "inactive" status and lose his speaking and voting
privilege s at presbytery meetings. And if Williamson's ministry were
not restored to active status within three years, then his ordination
would be revoked and h is name would be stricken from the presbytery roll.

Williamson became a member of the presbytery in 1971 and served as
pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir, North Carolina, before he
was hired by the Presbyterian Lay Committee in 1989.

END

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