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    Southern Baptists May Remove Church for Woman Co-Pastor

    Southern Baptists May Remove Church for Woman Co-Pastor

    Rev. Mimi Walker was ordained in 2003 and serves as co-pastor with her husband of Druid Hills Baptist Church.  That's the sole reason that the Georgia Baptist Convention wants to remove the church from its role.

    The 52 year old former missionary wonders why.

    “It seems sad that they decided to go backwards in time...I’m not sure what the value is of trying to go back in time when women were held in subservience.”

    More from an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

    The GBC’s executive committee made the recommendation to sever ties with the church at a March 16 meeting. If its recommendation is approved at the annual convention in November, the GBC would no longer accept money from Druid Hills for missions and programs, nor would the church be able to send delegates — called messengers — to future annual meetings.

    “...Druid Hills Baptist Church of Atlanta is not a cooperating church as defined in Article II, Section 1 of the constitution because a woman is serving as co-pastor of the church,” the GBC said in a statement.

    “We are keeping faith with the Baptist Faith and Message with regard to women serving as pastor,” GBC executive director J. Robert White said in a statement. “The GBC has never been opposed to women serving in ministry positions other than pastor.”

    The Georgia Baptist Convention, an affiliate of the Nashville-based Southern Baptist Convention, has roughly 3,600 churches. There are 41 state conventions throughout the country. The Georgia convention is one of the 41 affiliates, but it has its own constitution and bylaws.

    The church will prepare a response if the GBC should “dis-fellowship” it, the Rev. Graham Walker said.


    You can read the whole article here...

    What do you think?  Regardless of your view of women in ministry, is this something that is worth dis-fellowshipping over?



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    1. Gary Snowden on Thu, April 08, 2010

      It’s not worth disfellowshipping the church over, but then that didn’t stop them from doing exactly the same thing last year as Associated Baptist Press reported here.  In that case, the convention ousted a church with a 148-year old relationship with the convention because they had called a woman as senior pastor.

    2. Dave on Thu, April 08, 2010

      Yes, participation in a denomination is a voluntary relationship. If the church does not hold to the doctrine/policies of the organization then it does not belong in the organization. If Druid Hills won’t admit that they are going in a direction that is “outside the boundaries” of what the GBC has already stated that it believes and won’t withdraw themselves from the organization, then the GBC absolutely has the right (obligation) to disassociate or else the doctrine/policies of the organization mean NOTHING. Disassociation from GBC doesn’t mean that the church is not a valid local assembly. It just means that Druid Hills doesn’t hold to the things that the GBC stands for.

    3. CS on Thu, April 08, 2010

      I’m with Dave on this one.  If you don’t want to play by the rules of the organization, don’t be surprised when the organization doesn’t want you to to be a part of them.


    4. Danny on Thu, April 08, 2010

      I may go against the grain on this one, but if a church is going to align with a portion of the SBC, then they should follow the guidelines set.

      Any church joining with the convention is well aware of the issue they take with women pastors and this should not surprise them.

    5. RevKev on Thu, April 08, 2010

      I agree. Years ago (the ‘70’s) I was part of a great denomination that did not allow for the expression of the gift of tongues. I was a student at the time preparing to apply for my district license.  The denomination decided that those who held to this doctrine would be “happier” somewhere else. At first hurt, I later realized they were right. They determine the doctrine based on their interpretation of scripture. I had a different view and I have been “happier” somewhere else. My pastor/mentor at the time said, “Kevin, don’t be a martyr and try to get ‘followers’. Let others make their own decision.’ Good advice to a young man.

    6. Pastor Matt on Fri, April 09, 2010

      Oh please.  More Christians against other Christians.  More Yawn. 

      Can we kick out the Calvinists yet?

    7. K. A. Christian on Fri, April 09, 2010

      Does anybody today follow rules or guidelines? Being a Christian doesn�t exempt one from following rules� In fact, being a Christian makes one more inclined to follow rules� Everything in life has rules� 

      If I want to play football and score a touchdown, the rules states, I have to cross the goal line in order for my points to count. I can�t stop at the 3 yard line and say I scored. Rules are set in place for a purpose. If you don�t want to follow the rules then don�t sign up�

    8. Pastor Matt on Fri, April 09, 2010

      We’re not playing football and this has nothing to do with the Kingdom and everything to do with institutional politics.  I think you’d feel rather different if you were in the situation.

    9. K. A. Christian on Fri, April 09, 2010

      I know we�re not playing football that was just an illustration� I know we�re talking about the kingdom� When this church signed up to be apart of the Baptist Association they knew fair well there were rules in place� Nobody twisted their arm or forced them to be apart of the association� It has nothing to do with institutional politics� But it has to do with Organizational government.
      Why don�t we just follow rules or find another which fits our taste?

    10. Pastor Matt on Fri, April 09, 2010

      Its an irrelevant illustrations.  It has everything to do with politics and near-Pharisaical control of power and oppression.  Not allowing Women to be is a tradition of man not the law of God - the Baptist Assoc have an ancient and bizarre interpretation of Paul’s writings. 

      They’re also willing to sever relations based on non-core values - not fundamentals - but a minor difference. 

      They need to find a way to be unified despite their differences, not use differences to create division and separation - that’s the difference between a Pharisee and a follow of Christ, my friend.

      Another pastor years before may have signed up to be part of the baptist assoc., but churches get new leadership, things change, people recognise God’s hand on a woman’s life to lead the church. 

      Its not as black and white as you yanks make out (as always) - stop adopting positions - and just follow Christ, be unified despite your differences.

      Sheesh, kebabs.

    11. K. A. Christian on Fri, April 09, 2010

      the new leadership also have the opportunity to stay in or pull out of the association… how does politics come into play when the rules and guidlines of being apart of that organization/association is in black and white?

      Let me ask you this question, you’re a pastor right (of a local congregation)?

    12. Pastor Matt on Fri, April 09, 2010

      Yes I am.  The key difference is that we (as a denomination) meet, discuss and vote changes to the constitution every year.  Hence we began to allow female pastors in a couple of decades ago.  Where we have had some churches want to do something outside of the scope of the constitution there now exists a second level where they are still very much part and parcel of the institution and process - ie, we’ve found a way to stay unified and true to our calling.

      The anglicans have come up with a similar idea with their different communions around the world called overlapping integrities (in order to prevent a split in the anglican communion of the homosexuality issue) - ie, celebrate and work together where we overlap, but recognise and respect where we differ.  We value relationship over rules of men - just like Jesus did.

    13. K. A. Christian on Fri, April 09, 2010

      So Matt (Pastor Matt) you being the pastor, you do have rules as to what makes one a member of the church (congregation) right? I.e, one can’t be a practicing atheist and be a member of your congregation, correct?

    14. Pastor Matt on Fri, April 09, 2010

      Straw man argument.  A female pastor is not an atheist but a practising Christian leader - she does not stand against all that the institution stands for but they are infact both attempting to work to the same end: the advancement of the kingdom.

    15. K. A. Christian on Fri, April 09, 2010

      Matt the issue is in regards to rules that’s set up… if one wishes to be apart of an organization then one has to abide by the rules that’s in place… if the church/congregation was apart of the association before the new pastor was called… that pastor before accepting the call should have sought out the bylaws… by accepting the pastoralship, one agrees to follow the bylaws that’s pre-established… (The organization from reading the article is considering withdrawing fellowship with the congregation because the congregation according to the bylaws installed a woman co-pastor… This doesn’t mean the congregation is no longer apart of the Church universal… it just means that congregation is no longer apart of the association…)

      I’m speaking out of experience… I was offered pastoralship of a particular congregation and I sought out thier bylaws and associational affliations… after examination, i declined the offer because their bylaws didn’t line up to my Biblical conviction…

      Not everything is a fight against the system… some things just take wisdom and change of organization/association… there are plenty of associations that the church could be apart of that falls in line with their belief…

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