Bible Presbyterian Church Splits, Rejects Dr. McIntire
From the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin of April 16, 1956
The national assembly of the Bible Presbyterian Church has rejected the leadership of its principal founder, the Rev. Dr. Carl McIntire, of Collingswood, N. J., it was learned today.
The action was taken at the 19th General Synod meeting of the denomination in St. Louis last week.
The group, composed of some 8,800 members, also disassociated itself from the American Council of Christian Churches and the International Council of Christian Churches.
The synod charged "undemocratic leadership" of the two parent groups and "exaggeration" of membership statistics.
Dr, McIntire, pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, is the founder and a past president of the American Council and founder and president of the International Council.
He was not present at tile week-long meeting of the synod.
It also was reported that a number of faculty members of the Faith' Theological Seminary, Elkins Park, and Shelton College, N. J., will resign at the end of the school year for similar reasons.
McIntire is founder of both schools.
The Rev. Dr. R. Laird Harris, faculty member of the Faith Theological Seminary and moderator of the synod, emphasized that the break reflected no disagreement over church doctrine but a "dissatisfaction with certain administrative actions policies."
The formal resolution, passed 76 to 16, stated:
"Reaffirming its position on the purity of the visible church and its position on separation from modernism and inclusivism, the 19th General Synod . . . finding sufficient cause for dissatisfaction in its representation by the American Council of Christian Churches hereby terminates the power of that agency to represent said denomination." The schism was effective immediately.
Up to Individual Churches
Dr. Harris pointed out, however, that individual churches in the synod had the power to reaffiliate with both the national and international bodies.
It was learned that a new group, called Bible Presbyterian Association, will be organized by church leaders who want to reaffiliate. Dr. Harris said Dr. McIntire is not an officer of the American Council but is "its moving spirit" and is mainly responsible for its policies. The group will meet in Fort Worth, Tex, April 25.
Ousted in 1936
The Bible Presbyterian Church Synod, one of the 14 denominations affiliated with the American Council, will not be represented, Dr. Harris said.
Dr. McIntire, Oklahoma-born fundamentalist, was ousted as pastor of the Collingswood Presbyterian Church in June, 1936 by the General Assembly of 'the Presbyterian Church of the U. S. A. for declining to resign from an independent group that challenged the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions.
The ouster from the $250,000 church was backed by the New Jersey Courts and in March, 1938, Dr. McIntire with 1,200 members of the congregation marched out of the church and founded the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, Haddon Ave. and Cuthbert Blvd., Collingswood.
The church became the nucleus of the Bible Presbyterian Church Synod, which now has 88 affiliated churches. Dr. McIntire in 1941 founded the American Council of Christian Churches, which in organization parallels the National Council of Churches in Christ of the U.S.A.
It claims some 220,000 members.
The International Council of Christian Churches was organized by McIntire in Amsterdam in 1948. It boasts worldwide representation through 54 affiliated demoninations with a total membership of 1,100,000.