A recent issue of a moderate-oriented
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship magazine has a cover story on female
pastors, reflecting the fact that the CBF now has 100 women ministers,
including some serving at churches dually aligned with the CBF and the
Southern Baptist Convention. The editor received only a half-dozen
But a sharp reminder that most Southern Baptist churches and institutions are staunch opponents of women clergy arose when the nondenominational magazine Gospel Today published its September-October issue. It features five successful women pastors—who pose, smiling, on the cover. Bookstores affiliated with the SBC removed the magazine from their shelves.
Founder-editor Teresa Hairston said she learned before Labor Day that LifeWay Christian Bookstores—"one of our largest outlets," she said—had opted not to display the issue in more than 100 stores. An anonymous e-mailer first informed her of the situation, complaining that the stores had treated it "like it was pornography."
The smaller CBF magazine coincidentally has
a September-October cover headlining female pastors. The issue features
a photograph of Pastor Julie Pennington-Russell in front of Decatur
(Georgia) First Baptist Church, one of the largest Baptist
congregations led by a woman pastor ...
The Christian Century
The FBC website declares its independence:
FBC Decatur operates on the basis of a Baptist distinctive called "Local Church Autonomy." We believe we have the freedom and wisdom under Christ to govern our ministry and mission based on decisions made by our congregation. In other words, no outside denominational group dictates to us our theology or church governance.
Back when this old blogger attended there (from birth through age 21, roughly), DFB was a tradtional SBC church. Things have changed.