Tulsa's Kirk Of The Hills Church Severs Ties With National Church

Thursday, August 31st 2006, 5:42 am
By: News On 6

A battle involving nearly 3,000 members of a Tulsa church could wind up in court.

The Kirk of the Hills congregation voted overwhelmingly Wednesday night to back their pastors' decision to sever ties with the nation's leading Presbyterian denomination.

They also voted to join the more conservative evangelical branch. The votes come after national leaders decided to allow local churches the option of setting aside ordination requirements that prohibit gay ministers.

Kirk of The Hills pastor Dr. Thomas Gray: "I think that most of the mainline denominations are going to be far more liberal in a few years than they even are today, so we're not the only church considering this."

The dispute is over who holds the title to Kirk of the Hills 8 acre property. The church has filed a lawsuit against the national denomination which says it owns the real estate. Tulsa members say they paid for the property.

Dr. Gray says there may still be room to negotiate. The church does not want to see a court battle.