GA NEWS: Torrens remembers exuberance reunion reflections

On this 25th anniversary of the reunion of the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (northern stream) and the Presbyterian Church in the United States (southern stream), people who were there look back.

SAN JOSE —- Gary Torrens was at the reunion in Atlanta in 1983 and distinctly remembers the atmosphere of exuberance and hope. He missed out on the festive parade through downtown Atlanta but recalls, “People attending that Assembly very much wanted reunion to happen. There was a climate of excitement.”

This excitement was highlighted for Torrens by a concert performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the Assembly. Concertmaster was Bill Prucell from east Iowa. Torrens knew his family: Prucell’s father was a professor of viola at the University of Iowa, his mother a Suzuki violin teacher.

Prucell, a life-long Presbyterian, went directly from the Suzuki classroom to the Atlanta Symphony, never studying violin in college. This Iowan, a Presbyterian from the North, was seated in the first chair of this great southern orchestra, a fitting promise of the reunited church resulting from that Assembly.