1978 - 1982
With 1978 we turn to another chapter. This was the year King College was foundering and about to be closed down. After much prayer and deliberation our session resolved to rescue King College and restore its Christian distinctive under the leadership of Dr. Long and Hugh Maclellan Jr. With the help of Christ Church of Nashville pastored by Cortez Cooper and Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas pastored by Clayton Bell, we succeeded. The congregation at that time could not fully appreciate how bold and deliberate was our session's commitment. The odds were daunting, and it was extraordinary how God worked his will and restored King College. Hugh Maclellan, Jr. still serves as chairman of the board of Trustees and King College has far surpassed its previous zenith. Numerous youth from our church are recent alums.
In 1980 Jim Bachmann came as assistant pastor and minister of education while Roger Gulick continued on as associate pastor.
The testing of our resolve in 1978 was a precursor of a much more daunting dilemma that was blooming. Our denomination was considering a new confession of faith that undermined the Westminster Confession. Dr Long and our session spent more and more of its time on how to respond to inquiries from the general assembly that were steadily moving further and further away from our own high view of scripture.
Finally in 1981 the session presented to the congregation its recommendation that our church switch from the PCUS to the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) which Kennedy Smartt, a son of our church, had been instrumental in founding in 1973. We held a series of information meetings which were also attended by representatives of Presbytery There was much discussion and prayer. Finally in Oct 1981 the congregation voted to move to the PCA. Seventy eight percent of the votes favored the switch.
Some opposing members left to join other churches. Others remained and became reconciled to the change. It was a serious trial for our church. Without the respect and wisdom our members afforded George Long, and his gentle, diplomatic guiding hand, there well could have been a schism.
The final agreement was signed in January 1982. Our elation was dampened because, that same month, Roger Gulick left us to pastor a church in Bluefield, West Virginia.
Next Chapter · Table of Contents