Presbyterians United for Biblical Concerns Records
Span Dates: 1965-1989
Volume: 27.00 cubic feet
Committee minutes, correspondence, and extensive subject files document how Presbyterians United for Biblical Concerns (PUBC) worked to create a network of evangelical Presbyterians within the church from 1965-1989.
The Subject Files series, 1965-1988, contains topical files created by the PUBC. Some of the files were used by specific PUBC committees.
Also included are files related to “issues” in the Presbyterian Church. A significant amount contains material on the debate over homosexuality in the church from 1976-1989. This includes: programs and correspondence related to the PUBC Consultation on the Ministry to Homosexuals in 1976 that was attended by members of the UPCUSA Task Force to Study Homosexuality; folders of correspondence and press releases related to dialogue between members of the PUBC and members of Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns (PLGC) in the 1980s; and a subject file on conversion therapy that maintains its original title “redeemed homosexuals.”
On July 1st 1965, a group of Presbyterian pastors, professors, and lay people gathered at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. They gathered to discuss their concerns and create revisions to the drafted Confession of 1967 in the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. According to their statement of purpose, the group hoped to somehow shape the theological content of the confession to make it “more Biblical, more evangelical, and more consistent with our Reformed Faith.”
The organization continued after its initial campaign to revise the Confession of 1967. Throughout its run, it focused on supporting church missions and building a fellowship of evangelicals throughout the church to help one another in their ministry. The PUBC published a quarterly newsletter and bi-monthly church bulletin inserts, held conferences and mission consultations, created an active presence at General Assemblies, and organized an Evangelical Communications Network.
Matthew J. Welde served as the executive director from 1977 to 1989. During this time, the PUBC became actively involved in the conversation over homosexuality in the Presbyterian Church. It notably campaigned for the General Assembly to reject the report of the UPCUSA Task Force to Study Homosexuality which recommended that the church allow the ordination of gay and lesbian Presbyterians in 1978.
In the summer of 1989, the PUBC merged with the Covenant Fellowship to create Presbyterians for Renewal. This organization later merged with the Presbyterian Coalition to form The Fellowship in 2014.
An online finding aid is available.
This collection is part of the National Archives of the Presbyterian Church US and is held at the Presbyterian Historical Society,
425 Lombard St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Presbyterian Church (USA)