Eastern University staff said they did not see the man on campus after the incident, according to the OPC, and all the commissioners to the General Assembly were present and accounted for.
The three other incidents that the OPC had characterized as “racially disparaging interactions” were deemed to be misunderstandings.
One commissioner—who has not been named—was reportedly trying to make a joke about the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in America.
He confessed it was “a clumsy and misguided attempt at friendly humor” and expressed a desire to reconcile with the students who were offended.
The final incident was reportedly confusion over self-serve pizza in the cafeteria. The OPC has determined that the “interaction that was misunderstood by those present.”
An Eastern University spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
The General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC) apologized Friday for four racist incidents at its annual gathering.
In a statement of “sorrow and regret” passed without dissent, the General Assembly said “there is no place in the church for such conduct” and “we repudiate and condemn all sins of racism, hatred, and prejudice, as transgressions against our Holy God, who calls us to love and honor all people.”
The 126 commissioners from the Reformed denomination’s 296 congregations gathered in Philadelphia at Eastern University on Wednesday.
The annual meetings do not normally involve much controversy and could even be considered boring when compared to the dramatic conflicts within the Presbyterian Church in America or Southern Baptist Convention.
The OPC commissioners came prepared to hear two amendments to the Book of Discipline, receive reports on giving and Sunday school attendance, and vote on a resolution of thanks to Richard B. Gaffin Jr., a Westminster Theological Seminary professor who is retiring from the Committee on Foreign Missions after 52 years.