The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) was formed by a group of 147 people who met in St. Louis in April 1942. Its founders wanted the new organization to connect the various evangelical denominations and leaders that had become isolated because of the fundamentalist–modernist controversy.
Today, the NAE represents more than 45,000 local churches from 40 different denominations. According to its website, the NAE seeks to influence society for justice and righteousness through united evangelical effort and provides resources for ministry leaders, pastors, churches and denominations. The PCA joined the NAE in 1986; PCA Stated Clerk Dr. Roy Taylor has served as chairman of its board for more than a decade.
In Overture 23, Central Carolina Presbytery calls for the PCA to sever its ties with the NAE. It charges that the NAE “has frequently intermeddled in civil affairs” contrary to chapter 31 of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and cites numerous other Christian bodies that are not members.
Dr. Bill Barcley, pastor of Sovereign Grace Presbyterian Church in Charlotte which proposed the overture, says Central Carolina believes the PCA should withdraw from the NAE because “the NAE claims to be the voice of its members in Washington, yet the NAE continues to take stands on political and social issues that many, if not most, in the PCA would significantly disagree with.”
In response to an earlier overture advocating withdrawal from the NAE, the Interchurch Relations Committee wrote, “The PCA is part of the NAE because it is consistent with our doctrine of the Church, it enables us to have a wider ministry, and it enables us to have a broader, more effective influence.”
The Overture has been referred to the Overtures Committee.