A Trip Down Memory Lane
Despise not the day of small beginnings. It was on this day, October 30, in 1973 that a small group of men representing just three churches came together to form the Presbytery of Texas, soon to become part of the National Presbyterian Church on December 4, 1973. The young denomination would be renamed the Presbyterian Church in America a year later, and the Presbytery itself would be split into North Texas and South Texas on January 1, 1985. Houston Metro Presbytery would later be formed from South Texas Presbytery on January 1, 2004. The other three Presbyteries with churches in Texas—Korean Southern, Korean Southwest, and Southwest—are multi-state presbyteries, and these latter three were not formed from the original Presbytery of Texas.
Our post today focuses on the minutes of that first Stated meeting of the Presbytery of Texas:—
FIRST STATED MEETING
THE PRESBYTERY OF TEXAS
October 30, 1973
The first stated meeting of the Presbytery of Texas was held in the First Presbyterian Church of Paris, Texas, October 30, 1973. A quorum was present. The meeting was opened with prayer by the Moderator, the Rev. Dan McCown [1924–1979]. A Welcome was given by the Pastor of the Host Church, the Rev. Eric McQuitty. The docket was adopted.
Jimmy Stewart, a candidate for the ministry, delivered a thoughtful sermon on the subject “The Measureless Love of God”, using John 3:16 as a text. He was examined by the Committee on Reception of Ministers and was received in the Presbytery as such. November 18, 1973 was set as the time for his ordination and installation as Minister of Youth for the Fifth Street Presbyterian Church of Tyler.
The Rev. John Knox Bowling of Adamsville, Texas and the Rev. Lardner W. Moore of Sherman, Texas were examined and received into the Presbytery. Both men are honorably retired. The Rev. Bill Buckner of Strawn, Texas was examined. He passed the examination but was not ready to join the Presbytery until he had taken care of two obligations.
The Treasurer, Alex McKenzie, gave his report and stated the Presbytery has received $300.00 and spent $63.50.
The Moderator gave a sunmary of the progress of the Continuing Church and discussed the forthcoming meeting of the General Assembly to be held December 4th in Birmingham, Alabama.
The Oaklawn Presbyterian Church of Houston was received as a member of the Presbytery. Possible new churches and mission work was discussed and it was moved and adopted that a Home Mission chairman be appointed by the Moderator.
A commission to ordain and install James H. Stewart, composed of the following was elected: Presiding Officer, Rev. Dan McCown; Sermon, Rev. Carl Wilson; Charge to the Minister, Rev. Eric McQuitty; Charge to the Congregation Elder A. H. Burton; Prayer, Elder Jack Treloar, Raymond, Miss.
The next stated meeting of the Presbytery was set for January 29th, 1974 at the Oaklawn Presbyterian Church in Houston, the meeting to be called to order at 12:00 Noon.
The meeting was closed with prayer by Rev. Eric McQuitty.
Dan H. McCown, Moderator
A. H. Burton, Clerk
Where are they now?
The Rev. James H. (Jimmy) Stewart was for many years a missionary in Taiwan and Hong Kong, then associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS, and now works with Evangelism Explosion.
Many of the above mentioned men have now passed on to glory. They include:
Rev. John Knox Bowling [1904-1983]
Rev. Dan McCown [1924–1979]
Rev. Eric McQuitty [1930-2009]
Rev. Lardner Moore [1922-1987]
And the churches?
Fifth Street Presbyterian Church, Tyler, TX was organized in 1954.
Oaklawn Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX was organized in 1917.
First Presbyterian Church, Paris, TX, identified in the above minutes, was unable to retain its property and identity as First Presbyterian, so the congregation joining the PCA officially became Faith Presbyterian Church and is recognized as having been organized in 1973.
But look at what has happened in the years since, and how God has blessed:
When the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) began, just a small handful of churches left the mother church to form the new Texas Presbytery.
There are now 97 PCA churches in the State of Texas. Of these
16 are in Houston Metro Presbytery
17 are in Korean Southern Presbytery
39 are in North Texas Presbytery
23 are in South Texas Presbytery, and
2 are in Rio Grande Presbytery [RGP was formed this past Jan. 1, 2018]
Words to Live By:
Clearly the Lord has blessed as His Word has been faithfully proclaimed. May we never rest in our vigilance to remain try to God’s Word in the faithful proclamation of the Gospel of saving grace in Jesus Christ along, by faith alone, and all the glory of God alone.