SJC Panel: Northwest Georgia Presbytery Wrongly Agreed with Midway Session on Accepting Biased Evidence

The NWGP saw no harm in using an email from deeply interested parties to convict RE Dudt, contrary to the BCO…

The Midway Session indicted RE Dudt for soliciting support to delay a congregational meeting to elect three associate pastors, all or nothing, in the middle of an historic pandemic.

The mother of one of the associate pastors sent RE Dudt an email expressing her disappointment in his actions. The Midway Session then used this email as their key piece of evidence to indict and convict RE Dudt of violating his officer vows.


BCO 31-8 warns that “great caution ought to be exercised in receiving accusations from any person…who is deeply interested in any respect in the conviction of the accused.”

To receive accusations against RE Dudt from the mother of one of the associate pastors, whose email could have delayed her son’s promotion to be a voting member of the session, ought to prompt any independent judge to ask if her familial relationship created a “deep interest in any respect” to the outcome of the trial.

The eyes of the SJC panel members were open where the Northwest Georgia Presbytery and the Midway Session were blind.

The SJC Panel decision says:

A 13th specification of Presbytery error, Appellant alleges that Presbytery erred by not recognizing that the MPC Session failed to exercise great caution by receiving accusations from witnesses “deeply interested in any respect in the conviction of the accused” (BCO 31-8).

This specification of error is sustained.

A Minute Explanatory. See Minute for the 24th specification of Session error.

The Minutes for the 24th specification of Session error said: The ROC indicates there are at least two instances of evidence of accusations being received from individuals who were “deeply interested in any respect to the conviction of the accused” (BCO 31-8). (ROC 171-180 and 163-164)


Was the Midway Session’s case against RE Dudt so thin that they had to resort to using the email from the mother of an associate pastor as the basis of their charges against him?

Was the Northwest Georgia Presbytery so beholden to the influence of the Midway Session that it has blinded itself to even the most obvious attempts at prejudicing the outcome of a trial, contrary to Scripture?

At least the men on the SJC Panel saw through this fog.