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.