We have learned some sad news about our work in Mexico. Cumberland Presbyterians in Mexico report that a small group of people living in Juarez, Mexico have appropriated the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Mexico’s legal identity without authorization. These persons were part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Northern Mexico and they secretly formed a new legal structure, effectively assuming the identity of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Mexico. They seized the Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s bank account in Mexico, all property of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Mexico, ordered our missionaries to leave Mexico, and insist that they must approve all mission work in Mexico. This independent group then announced to people in Mexico and to some in the U.S. that they were the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Mexico.
This group was not sanctioned under any judicatory of the Cumberland Presbyterian church or affiliated with the Missions Ministry Team, which is the mission agency of the General Assembly. The persons who initiated this action comprise a small family cluster with only a few followers. They have named their own pastors and by all appearances believe they can gain support from Cumberland Presbyterians in the U.S.
The Mexico Cumberland Presbyterian Council of Churches is the only Cumberland Presbyterian entity in Mexico that our denomination recognizes officially. It consists of provisional Cumberland Presbyterian churches, six ordained Cumberland Presbyterian pastors and one NCD fellowship, based in Mexico City. There are more than 200 faithful Cumberland Presbyterians who are part of the Mexico Cumberland Presbyterian Council of Churches. The Mexico Cumberland Presbyterian Council of Churches has lost its legal identity and assets, but they have not lost their ecclesiastical identity or our support. The Cumberland Presbyterian pastors, churches, and participants in the Mexico Cumberland Presbyterian Council of Churches, which functions much like a presbytery, is under the judicatory care and oversight of the General Assembly’s mission agency; the pastors and churches are attached to Red River Presbytery.
We wish to state clearly that any support, assistance, or acknowledgement of this independent splinter group in Juarez, Mexico would be in violation of General Assembly directives, and would damage the legitimate Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Mexico.
We are aware that this independent family group is reaching out to Cumberland Presbyterians in the U.S., claiming the authority of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Mexico. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Mexico is represented by the Mexico Cumberland Presbyterian Council of Churches. Any support, assistance, work groups, etc., wishing to help with our work in Mexico needs to carefully coordinate their efforts through the MMT, which is working with the Mexico Cumberland Presbyterian Council of Churches. This painful event gives us experience as a global church standing together as one, united in our support of Cumberland Presbyterians in new mission fields who are experiencing hardships at the hands of disruptive attacks on their ministry.
Communications Ministry Team of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church
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