First Presbyterian Church of Edmond, Oklahoma Votes to Leave Presbyterian Church (USA)

Members of the First Presbyterian Church of Edmond voted Sunday to sever ties with the Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination.

Applause erupted in the sanctuary Sunday when members of a prominent metro-area church learned they soon would sever ties with the Presbyterian Church (USA).

With 870 members casting ballots, First Presbyterian Church of Edmond voted to leave the denomination and join with another Presbyterian group, the Evangelical Covenant Order.

The Rev. Mateen Elass, First Presbyterian-Edmond's senior pastor, said Sunday's vote was historic because it brought members together for the church's largest congregational meeting and its most significant.

"This is really a vindication for the church leaders and elders, as they were listening to God saying, 'This is where I'm leading First Presbyterian Church of Edmond,'" Elass said.

"I had a lot of people come up to me and say, 'Now we can have a new beginning.'"

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