Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April 25, 2007

[ ] Martin Freeland 1919-2007
[ ] Beverly Heights Quits PC(USA)
[ ] Pressure Group Proposes To Reverse Scotland's Reversal
[ ] Montreat Departs PC(USA)
[ ] Muslim to Stand for Christian Alliance
[ ] Helen Walton 1919-2007


Rev. Martin Clark Freeland, age 87, of 1008 Ryder Church Road, passed away on Tuesday, April 24, 2007, at his home in Bluff City, Tennessee. Rev. Mr. Freeland was born 23 Sept. 1919 in Nashville, Tennessee, son of the late Francis Eugene Freeland and Gertrude King Freeland.

Freeland graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University School of Engineering in 1941,working for Army Engineers in Trinidad, and joined the Navy where he served as an engineer officer on LST 276 in the South Pacific, and was active in D-Day in the Philippines.

In 1953 Freeland graduated from Faith Theological Seminary and was ordained to the ministry by the Bible Presbyterian Church where he served as pastor of Ryder Memorial Presbyterian Church for 38 years, in addition to serving in churches in Kentucky, Alabama and North Carolina and also taught Greek and Science at Graham Bible College for many years.

Funeral services for Rev. Mr. Freeland will be conducted at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 27, 2007, at Weaver Funeral Home, with the Rev. Garry Z. Cole officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to Gideons International, Ryder Church, Graham Bible College, or the charity of your choice. There will be a private burial at Crumley Cemetery.

+ Ryder Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1008 Ryder Church Road, Bluff City, TN 37618 (423)538-8592


Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania, voted on 22 April, to move from the Presbyterian Church (USA) to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The 195-4 vote to leave the Pittsburgh Presbytery reflects a regional trend to buck the left wing drift the largest of America's Presbyterian communities. The regional jurisdiction, unlike many,
has expressed a willingness to let departing congregations keep their property in exchange for substantial payments to the parent body.

+ Beverly Heights United Presbyterian Church,1207 Washington Rd.,
Mount Lebanon, PA 15228


According to reports distributed by the Guardian, an influential group of ministers in the Church of Scotland has said that its clergy and congregations have been "sinfully" intolerant of gays and lesbians in its ranks. In a report on homosexuality, a working party has concluded that the
Church of Scotland has been institutionally homophobic for much of its history, and urged its 520,000 members to accept that gay and lesbian Christians have a right to serve in the church, as long as they are celibate.

The report follows a rift in the church which emerged after the General Assembly narrowly voted in 2006 to allow ministers to bless same sex couples who had married in a civil ceremony. The vote was overturned in December when local presbyteries rejected it, by 36 to nine, effectively making it illegal for a Church of Scotland minister to give same sex blessings.

Callum Phillips, from the homosexual rights group Stonewall Scotland, told the Guardian that the report's ambivalence on active homosexuality was a cop-out. "Theological debates may be very interesting, but same sex relationships are a fact of life, and I would expect all organizations, whatever their basis, to recognize that lesbians and gays have exactly the
same rights to a full relationship under the law."

+ Church of Scotland, Central Administration Office, 121 George St.
Edinburgh EH2 4YN


The Presbytery of Western North Carolina dismissed Montreat Presbyterian Church to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. The 350-member church will not be allowed to keep its name; property is a different matter.

The property it holds was not part of the decision. The presbytery also voted to create a "continuing church," made up of 27 members who wanted to stay in the denomination. North Carolina law will be a factor in determining who gets the building.

+ Montreat Presbyterian Church, PO Box 279 Montreat, NC 28757 (828)669-7577


National elections in Scotland in about a week risk the devolution of the country from the United Kingdom and end to the unique status of the Presbyterian Church. Socialists and Greens are campaigning to end church schools, starting with the Roman Catholics.

And now a Muslim candidate is standing for a new Christian party at the Holyrood elections. Abdul Dean is fighting a regional seat for the Christian Peoples Alliance Party. The candidate from Glasgow's Govan area said: "I prefer living in a country that's serious about its Christianity, rather than a country given over to secular fundamentalism.

"Scotland should not be ashamed of its Christian roots because it has produced the open society which we all enjoy today." In published reports Dean added, "The Christian Peoples Alliance is the only political party that is based on values, rather than ideology."

The party's leader, Teresa Smith, said: "We are a Christian democratic party, not a church organization."Our candidates uphold marriage and have respect for life, social justice and the values of the gospel as the guiding light of the Scottish nation.

The movement is linked to the Christian Democrats in Wales and England as well as other similar groups on the continent.

+ Christian Peoples Alliance of Scotland PO BOX 1233, Dumfries, DG1 1WB

HELEN WALTON 1919-2007

Helen Walton died 20 April in her home at the age of 87. Widow of the late Presbyterian entrepreneur, Sam Walton, she was listed by Forbes as the 29th wealthiest person in the world with net worth of nearly US$17 billion.

According to other published reports, The Walton family currently owns just over 40 percent of Wal-Mart's outstanding shares through a family partnership. Helen Walton's estate, the estate of her son John Walton, who died in a 2005 plane crash, and her three surviving children each own an equal share of the partnership, Walton Enterprises LLC.

Helen Walton was buried Monday in a private ceremony next to her husband Sam in Bentonville Cemetery, which is next to Wal-Mart's headquarters. About 950 people attended Walton's funeral at the First Presbyterian Church along Northwest "J" Street in Bentonville, where "Miss Helen," as she was called, last worshipped on Easter Sunday.

Sam Walton died in 1992 at the age of 74.

+ First Presbyterian Church, 901 NE J St., Bentonville, AR 72712 (479)