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SBC expels two churches over women pastors

Delegates hold up their ballots. Associated Press/Photo by Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser

SBC expels two churches over women pastors

Church messengers to the 2023 Southern Baptist Convention voted Wednesday that Fern Creek Baptist of Louisville, Ky., and Saddleback Church of Lake Forest, Calif., are not “in friendly cooperation” with the SBC. About 90 percent of delegates voted to confirm the removals. The convention’s statement of faith says that only qualified men can serve as pastors. The convention voted later Wednesday to further restrict women from leadership roles. 

What happens to the churches now? Saddleback and Fern Creek will continue to function as churches, but they will lose association with the denomination, including the ability to participate in its programs. Saddleback was founded by Rick Warren, who retired from lead pastor last year. Andy and Stacie Wood replaced him as lead pastor and teaching pastor, respectively. The church has since named another female pastor. Southern Baptists should “agree to disagree” in this matter, Warren said at the convention. Three other churches were expelled in February, but only Fern Creek and Saddleback appealed the decision. 

Dig deeper: Read Mary Jackson’s report in Relations on the SBC trying to implement new abuse prevention measures.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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