Southern Baptists have a busy couple of days facing them this week

Thousands will gather in Indianapolis Tuesday and Wednesday for the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The meeting comes at a fraught time in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Messengers — as voting delegates are known — will vote on whether to establish a constitutional ban on churches with women pastors. (See earlier story below about how one Gainesville church reacted to the issue a year ago.)

They’ll hear a report — and get outside criticism — of their handling of sexual abuse among their clergy.

With membership in steady decline, they’ll hear a report on how an earlier effort to reverse that trend fell short. And they’ll vote for a new president from among six candidates.

Speaking of presidential candidates, an outside group is inviting attendees to a virtual speech by former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, at an off-site event. Proposed resolutions deal with topics ranging from Gaza to abortion and in vitro fertilization.


The First Baptist Church of Gainesville (FBC) is pulling out of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Chattahoochee Baptist Association, and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, “pending FBC approval at an upcoming church conference,” according to an open letter to church membership from Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Jeremy Shoulta.

At issue is the SBC’s affirmation at its annual conference this week of its opposition to women clergy by amending its constitution to remove any church from its membership which “appoints or employs a woman as a pastor of any kind.”

In his letter, which you can read here… Rev. Shoulta points out that First Baptist has “celebrated the presence of women pastors on our staff for some time, and we will not compromise this practice…”

The church’s staff directory lists three women ministers: Rev. Kellie Denton, Associate Pastor for Faith and Formation; Rev. Ruth Demby, Associate Pastor for Missions; and Susan Eernisse, Associate Minister of Music.

To read more of the preview of this year’s SBC get-together, click here: KEYWORD NOTICE – From women pastors to sexual abuse to Trump, Southern Baptists have a busy few days ahead of them – SRN News