Puerto Rico Presbyterian Church Exits Denomination Over Homosexuality

Puerto Rican churches are breaking off from the PCUSA over these crucial issues.
Puerto Rican churches are breaking off from the PCUSA over these crucial issues. (Tim Evanson/Flickr)

In an act of full obedience to biblical authority, this past Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, the congregation of Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana en Bayamón (First Presbyterian Church in Bayamón), located in Santa Rosa Community, resigned in plenary from the Presbyterian Church of United States of America (PCUSA) and declared itself an independent Reformed Presbyterian congregation, under the name Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster (Westminster Presbyterian Church), seeking to join the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).

This action, which included over 250 signers, was taken mostly due to the arbitrary and repressive positions assumed by the Commission for Evaluation, Education and Resolution of the Presbytery of San Juan, after the Bayamón congregation communicated their opposition to the position assumed by the PCUSA regarding: 1) the authority of the Holy Scriptures, 2) the centrality of the work of Christ, 3) abortion, 4) same-sex marriage and 5) the ordination of homosexuals, among other topics; and requested to transfer their membership to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) denomination in the United States.

The spokesman for the congregation, Pastor Juan Ramón Rivera Medina, indicated that all prayer and worship services, community work, as well as the other ministries, would continue as they usually do, operating under the newly-created Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster, whose headquarters are now in the facilities of American School, located on Hermanas Dávilas Urbanization, 9th Street, C-1, in Bayamón.

When asked the rationale behind this sudden mass departure, Pastor Rivera Medina indicated that on Jan. 31, 2015, the Presbytery of San Juan presented a resolution to remove Pastor Emeritus Juan Pérez Alda, who pastored the church for over 30 years, from all ties to the congregation and its voluntary services. Moreover, they left the following recommendations pending: to deny their transfer to the EPC, to relieve the congregation-elected governing officials (the Session of Elders) of their duties, and to relieve Senior Pastor Rev. Juan Ramón Rivera Medina of his duties. "In light of this oppressive situation, the Session, myself, and the congregation have decided to obey the Word of the Lord. We did not want to submit to the theologically liberal policies of our former denomination, and as faithful believers in the Word, we decided to leave behind all material possessions and carry firmly onward," concluded Rivera Medina.

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The entire Christian community that defends Biblical authority is invited to join us in prayer. We will be gathering in a Prayer Meeting on Tuesdays at 8:00 PM, and in our Worship Services on Sundays at 10:30 AM, in the facilities of American School, on Urb. Hermanas Dávila, C-1, Calle 9. For more information, access: Facebook/Iglesia Presbiteriana Westminster.

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