Eight presbyteries have sent overtures to the 45th General Assembly regarding changes in their boundaries.
In Overture 12, Eastern Canada has asked the Assembly to restore its original boundaries, which included all of the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. In 1991, Eastern Canada were revised to include the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and that portion of Ontario south of the 45th parallel and east of the 77th meridian. These boundaries were set when the presbytery’s resources were more limited to encourage other presbyteries to plant churches in the rest of Ontario and Quebec. In the overture, Eastern Canada says that hope has not materialized and argues that restoring the original boundaries would include their church plant in Ottawa and enable them to more effectively support missionaries planting churches in Quebec.
Overture 13, from Tidewater Presbytery, would transfer Accomack and Northampton counties to Tidewater. They are currently within the bounds of Heritage Presbytery. Tidewater argues that residents of these counties commonly travel to Virginia Beach for shopping, medical care, and other services, and that, as all Tidewater churches are within 100 miles of the area, it would be more feasible for them to support church planting work there. Heritage Presbytery expressed its agreement with this proposal in Overture 24, approved at its May 9 meeting.
Southwest Presbytery is currently one of the larger presbyteries geographically in the PCA. It consists of the fifth and sixth largest states in area, covering 235,000 square miles. Their two most distant churches are separated by an 11 hour drive. Overture 14 calls for their division into two presbyteries: Arizona, which would include that entire state, and Rio Grande, which would include New Mexico and El Paso County, Texas.
The current boundaries of Pittsburgh Presbytery include nine counties in Ohio. Overtures 20 and 23, from Pittsburgh and Ohio Presbyteries respectively, would reassign the three easternmost of these counties, Tuscarawas, Guernsey, and Noble, to Ohio Presbytery. These rural counties are not part of the Pittsburgh combined statistical area (CSA). Interstate 77, which runs through those counties, provides a natural transportation link between Ohio Presbytery’s southernmost church in Vincent, Ohio, and the rest of the Presbytery.
At one time a Mid-America Presbytery existed with boundaries which at one time included the entire state of Oklahoma and counties in southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. Over the years, portions of that presbytery were absorbed by Missouri, Covenant, and North Texas Presbyteries until, in 2001, Mid-America Presbytery ceased to exist. In Overtures 21 and 22, Covenant and North Texas Presbyteries (respectively) call for the creation of a new presbytery with boundaries similar to those of the former Mid-America Presbytery. The two “parent” presbyteries trace the need for this new, as yet unnamed, presbytery to the growth they have experienced in recent years.
These overtures have been sent to the MNA Committee for review and recommendation to the Assembly.