The Rev. Matt Schramm, chair of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB), has appointed a three-member Evaluation Committee to review a proposal that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Stony Point (N.Y.) Center be separately incorporated as a constituent corporation of the denomination. 

The PMAB voted in September to create the Evaluation Committee using “Criteria and Standards Applied by the General Assembly Council When it Considers Proposals for New Corporations,” which were approved by the PMAB-predecessor General Assembly Council(GAC) in 2007. 

The criteria and standards were developed at a time when the GAC was considering spinning off Presbyterian Disaster Assistance as a separate corporation. The council decided not to do so. 

Schramm’s appointments, which must be ratified by the PMAB’s Executive Committee when it meets Nov. 5, are: 

  • Conrad Rocha, synod executive and stated clerk for the Synod of the Southwest. Rocha, an attorney in Albuquerque, N.M., has extensive experience in the PC(USA), including service on the denomination’s Board of Pensions and PMAB-predecessor General Assembly Mission Council and on a similar panel that studied separate incorporation of the denomination’s Ghost Ranch Conference Center in New Mexico. 
  • Linda Scholl, an attorney and banker in Memphis, Tenn. A ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church of Memphis, she has served in multiple posts for the Presbytery of the Mid-South, on the General Assembly Mission Council and is currently on the board of directors of the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Corporation.
  • Thomas O. Fleming, Jr., a current member of the PMAB and a member of Knox Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. He is senior vice-president for business and finance at Loyola Marymount University and serves on the PMAB’s Finance and Audit committees. Fleming is a Certified Public Accountant with vast business experience. 

The Evaluation Committee is charged to review work done to date on the Stony Point incorporation ― a report from a Stony Point Task force that reported in September 2012, leading the PMAB to approve “a path toward incorporation and appoint a Transitional Task Force (TTT) to follow that path; and the report of the TTT to the board in September, which formally proposed incorporation of Stony Point. 

It was charged to complete its work by Dec. 31, 2013, in order for the PMAB, if it so chooses, to recommend Stony Point incorporation to the 2014 General Assembly next June in Detroit.

Special called PMAB meeting 

Meanwhile, a special meeting of the PMAB has been called for Nov. 12 to respond to a request by  the Stony Point TTT that “an independent investigative committee be appointed to determine if PMA staff persons acted in any way to withhold or did not provide complete and necessary information to the Task Force, Transitional Task Team, Finance Committee or Presbyterian Mission Agency Board.” 

The TTT argued unsuccessfully at the PMAB meeting in September that it had fulfilled the criteria set forth in the 2007 guidelines and therefore that an Evaluation Committee was unnecessary. The TTT was allowed to make its presentation to the PMAB, but only after the motion to create the Evaluation Committee (technically, a “motion to refer,” which takes precedence) was approved.

“The Transitional Task Team asserts that the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board will only be able to make a fully informed decision regarding the future of Stony Point Center if they have the findings of the investigative committee, the work of the Evaluation Committee, and the work of the Transitional Task Team,” the appeal for a special meeting stated. 

More than 20 PMAB members ― double the number needed to force a called meeting ― signed onto the request. The meeting will be held by conference call.