Pearcey Report Exclusive
R.C. Sproul, Jr., Defrocked
By Rick Pearcey
Feb. 1, 2006 -- The Pearcey Report has confirmed that R.C. Sproul, Jr., has been defrocked as a minister in the Westminster Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church General Assembly.
Sproul, son of the well-known theologian, author, and highly respected apologist R.C. Sproul, had been associate pastor of St. Peter Presbyterian Church in Abingdon, Va. He is also founder of the Highlands Study Center, located in nearby Bristol, Va.
According to a Jan. 26, 2006, “Declaratory Judgment” from Kenneth Talbot, who is moderator of the Westminster Presbytery and president of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Sproul and three others in church leadership have been deposed “from the office of elder.” The three other men named are Laurence Windham, Wayne Hayes, and Jay Barfield.
Among the reasons for the disciplinary action are charges of spiritual abuse of members and attendees of St. Peter Presbyterian Church, as well as financial irregularities that include the “identity theft” of another church’s Federal Tax I.D. number.
According to the Declaratory Judgment, the deposed men are subject to an ecclesiastical trial, “pending additional charges, both public and personal, that are currently being investigated.” The document charges the men with a “consistent pattern of actions” that are “duplicitous in nature” and that the men “demonstrate that they willingly and knowingly act in an arbitrary fashion in violation of their vows of ordination.”
The document concludes that “their actions manifest that they lack the qualification for the ministry (1 Timothy 3:1-7)” and that “it would be unwise to allow these men to continue to hold an office for which they are not qualified.”
The entire Declaratory Judgment is available here.
Update: R.C. Sproul, Jr., Defrocked -- Statement From the Highlands Center, by Rick Pearcey
Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.