Judge Says Western Pa. Church Can Keep Property
WASHINGTON, Pa. (AP) – A judge says a western Pennsylvania congregation that left the national Presbyterian church can keep its property.
Peters Creek United Presbyterian Church had filed suit against Washington Presbytery to keep its property after voting to leave the denomination in 2007. The Presbyterian Church USA had not given official approval for the move. The local congregation is now affiliated with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Washington County Court Judge Paul Pozonsky ruled Thursday that the church is the rightful owner of the property. Ray Peterson, chairman of the church’s legal committee, called the decision “God’s victory.’’ Washington Presbytery officials were unavailable to comment on whether an appeal is planned.
Peters Creek church members have said they believe the evangelical church more closely follows biblical teachings on the Trinity, salvation and some social issues, including not allowing the ordination of gay clergy.