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Presbyterians Confront Unordained Female Deacons At PCAGA

While the Annual Southern Baptist Convention was going on, the Presbyterian Church in America General Assembly was happening as well. As we are covering as many denomination meetings as we can since many happened over the last two weeks with varying degrees of interest and coverage. We have provided perhaps the only coverage of the LCMS election and utilized Jon Harris’ channel for covering the Christian Reformed Church. The PCAGA caught headlines for Overture 12 which intended to take a denominational stand against mutilating children via transgenderism. It was a highlight that made the news, but it was not nearly as noteworthy as prior year accomplishments. Jon Harris brought back Zach Garris and Sean McGowan to give a deeper dive on the PCAGA than can easily be gleaned from outsiders.

Overture 12 was viewed as controversial in part because the PCA has a rarer history of addressing the civil magistrates than say the Southern Baptist Convention with its resolutions. It was argued by some that transgendering children was not extraordinary enough to break from this tradition and interpretation of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Nevertheless it passed with 58% of the vote.

Overture 26 confronted churches in the PCA who give women and men the title of deacon without ordination. It specifies that churches may not to render titles to those not ordained (deacon and elder). This addresses the issue of “commissioning” women as deacons without ordination. this issue has also led to men not being ordained. Zach Garris believes that this will be a controversial Overture in the presbytery level. As it is an amendment to the Book of Church Order, it will need to be passed by the presbyteries and then again at next year’s PCAGA. Overture 26 passed 1427-481.


Similar to the SBC, the PCA had to address a rise in feminism in the denomination. A rebellious church and Presbytery have been referred to the Standing Judicial Commission for their allowing of a woman, Fleming Rutledge, to preach at their church. This is likely to receive censure from the SCJ, the “Supreme Court” of the PCA.

Overall the conservatives in the PCA are feeling rather victorious as a result of the events at the General Assembly.

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