Black SBC Churches Challenge Denomination’s Ban of Women Pastors

Black SBC Churches Challenge Denomination's Ban of Women Pastors
Black SBC Churches Challenge Denomination’s Ban of Women Pastors
The National African American Fellowship (NAAF), comprising majorly African American churches that affiliate with the Southern Baptist Convention has challenged its denomination over its recent vote by messengers to ban women from serving as a “pastor of any kind.

“NAAF President Gregory Perkins stated In a July 3 letter to SBC president Bart Barber that the messenger’s vote to ban women pastors during the last SBC’s General Meeting in New Orlean is an “unnecessary infringement upon the autonomy of the local church” that will disproportionately impact their congregations.   He urged the denomination leaders to adopt prayers and dialogue instead as a means to resolve the issue.

“We strongly urge our SBC family to consider entering a time of prayer and dialogue because for many, this most recent decision is an unnecessary infringement upon the autonomy of the local church. It has created division within the SBC and may disproportionately impact NAAF-affiliated congregations,” Perkins wrote.
Perkin further asserts that the messenger’s action would be challenging to the over 4,000 predominantly African American churches vested in SBC.
“Many of our churches assign the title ‘pastor’ to women who oversee ministries of the church under the authority of a male Senior Pastor, i.e., Children’s Pastor, Worship Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, etc.,” Perkins argued.
“To disfellowship like-minded churches who share our faith in Jesus Christ, our belief in the authority of Scripture, our mandate to carry out the Great Commission, and our agreement to give cooperatively based upon a local-church governance decision, dishonor the spirit of cooperation and the guiding tenets of our denomination.”

“NAAF leader contends that while “There will always be issues upon which biblically rooted and committed Christians disagree, It is in our best interest to allow a diversity of voices and perspectives to be heard. Let’s seek to better understand the full ramifications of this policy shift and engage in vigorous yet constructive dialogue,” he urged.

SBC leader Bart Barber reacted to the NAFF’S letter in a Monday tweet. He welcomed Perkins’ idea of adopting prayers and dialogue in resolving the issue.
“Our sister SBC churches in the NAAF have asked us for a season of prayer and dialogue. What a Christ-honoring, biblical way to approach decisions when fellow believers want to find common ground and make decisions together!” Barber wrote.
“I honor and value these partners in the work of the gospel. I will make sure that the entire SBC family has ample opportunity for prayer and dialogue throughout the coming year leading up to our meeting next June in Indianapolis,” Barber said.
“Indeed, I plan to see many of our NAAF leaders next week in Asheville, North Carolina, where I trust that we will make a healthy start in both prayer and fruitful conversation with one another.”
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