If you’ve been following my case with the OPC, I am posting the response of the Presbytery of the Southeast (PSE) to this sustained complaint from July’s General Assembly meeting:
That the Presbytery of the Southeast acknowledge its error in allowing Mr. Spangler to use reviling language in his trial, damaging the good names of Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller, record this in its minutes, communicate this to Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller, and offer to both, in writing and in person, if possible, whatever expression of regret it deems appropriate.
Here is what the PSE deemed appropriate. It was sent to me in an email by the clerk of the presbytery, saying “Dear Aimee, please find attached.”
Mrs. Aimee Byrd
sent via email attachment
Dear Mrs. Byrd,
October 19, 2021
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We hope this finds you well and prospering in the Lord.
As you are surely aware, the Eighty-seventh General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church heard a complaint from a member of our presbytery regarding the trial of the Rev. Michael Spangler. This trial related directly to you as one of the charges against him was for “publicly reviling and detracting from the good names of Mrs. Aimee Byrd and Mrs. Rachel Miller.” You are also surely aware that he was found guilty of this charge and admonished by our presbytery.
The complaint averred that in the course of the trial Rev. Spangler was allowed to reiterate his defaming language (and to add to it) therefore further reviling and detracting from your good name. The General Assembly sustained this complaint and appointed the following amends: “That the Presbytery of the Southeast acknowledge its error in allowing Mr. Spangler to use reviling language in his trial, damaging the good names of Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller, record this in its minutes, communicate this to Aimee Byrd and Rachel Miller, and offer to both, in writing and in person, if possible, whatever expression of regret it deems appropriate.”
We can assure you that our intent in Rev. Spangler’s trial was never to damage your good name or reputation. It was, after all, the presbytery that brought the charge against him and then found him guilty. In seeking to preserve the rights of the accused to defend his actions during trial we allowed the defendant a latitude of speech that, in the judgment of the General Assembly, was too broad. While some objections on these lines were made in the course of the trial, it did not seem to the majority of the presbytery that Rev. Spangler’s language was beyond the pale. We now have, by virtue of this sustained complaint, a clearer standard on how to consider our past proceeding and how to conduct any such future case if we are ever required to do so. We pray that we will not. We regret the distress our conduct of this trial has brought you.
If we may be of further service to you or if you would like to meet with representatives of the presbytery, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of the Southeast
Office of the Stated Clerk
Christ Orthodox Presbyterian Church
And as it turns out, the presbytery decided not to even send Rachel Miller a letter. Something about Michael Spangler’s comments being more about me than her.
Message received, loud and clear.