FBC Decatur and the GBC

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FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Neil Heath » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:10 pm

I'm sure the news is getting around by now that the Ga. Baptist Conv. has broken ties with FBC, Decatur because it has a woman pastor, Julie Pennington-Russell. I don't know if there was a vote to that effect at the GBC last week or not because I didn't attend and have not heard any report on it's actions. But here's an eyewitness account of Sunday morning worship there from a friend who was visiting that day. I excerpted the pertinent parts because the rest was about the guest choir performing for the service.


Julie's sermon topic was "Getting Off the Hamster Wheel," a biblically based message we busy people can really relate to. I heard her preach at the New Baptist Covenant meeting and have heard her three times in her own church. She is one of the finest preachers God has gifted and called to ministry that I know of among Baptists today.

This big surprise came at the end of the service. Julie said she had something to share, something that she was still processing. She then read from the letter she had received this past week from Dr. Robert White, Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention. The letter indicated that because FBC Decatur had a woman as pastor, they by vote of the GBC could no longer be members. Throughout her presentation Julie showed no anger or resentment toward the GBC. The congregation started clapping and then stood in affirmation of Julie, We than joined hands as she led us in prayer, Then we sang the old Baptist hymn, "Blest be the tie that binds." Tears came to my eyes, as I'm sure it did to many others.


I grieve that the convention I loved and served faithfully for so many years has changed into its present form. In this case, the church has lost very little, the GBC has lost more. I'm proud of that church for taking the high road, for knowing who they are, and for supporting their excellent pastor.
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Haruo » Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:16 pm

Yeah, people (churches, conventions) who think there's something wrong with recognizing a God-given calling because of the gender of Biblical terms, and yet who insist that the commandments which say "thou shalt" where "thou" is a masculine Hebrew form apply to women just amaze me. Our church is doing wonderfully following Christ under a shepherdess, and praise God we're in a convention and especially a Region where there is no controversy on the subject.
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Dave Roberts » Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:12 pm

Maybe Decatur First will join the BGAV which might welcome her into the family. I would!
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby David Flick » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:31 am

Neil Heath wrote:I grieve that the convention I loved and served faithfully for so many years has changed into its present form. In this case, the church has lost very little, the GBC has lost more. I'm proud of that church for taking the high road, for knowing who they are, and for supporting their excellent pastor.

Neil, I join you in grieving for Georgia Baptists. There will come a day (probably not in next couple or three decades, however) when women pastors will be welcome in Southern Baptistdom. The older fundies will have to die off before it happens, but the day will come...
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Neil Heath » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:41 pm

I think you're right, David. We may not see it, but my daughter, who is an ordained children's minister and a pretty good preacher, may see them finally come around.
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Ed Pettibone » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:57 am

David Flick wrote "There will come a day (probably not in next couple or three decades, however) when women pastors will be welcome in Southern Baptistdom. The older fundies will have to die off before it happens, but the way will come...:

Ed: David, are you suggesting that young fundamentalist will be open to female Pastors? :?
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:44 pm

I gotta disagree with David.

Folks like Mohler and Akin are extremely popular with younger Southern Baptists (John Piper too). These men are firmly complimentarian and have not hesitated to express those views. In fact, I'd say that thanks to Mohler, Piper and the Council on Biblical Manhood/Womanhood, the younger generation of Southern Baptist is better equipped to articulate their views regarding gender than the older generation. A more sophisticated form of complimentarianism has emerged or is emerging in Southern Baptist life among those in their 20s and 30s.
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Haruo » Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:54 am

"Complimentarianism" is one of the few words that just tugs at my willpower to try to get me to step in and silently edit other people's posts.

I do think it's nice for people to say things like "You certainly look pretty today, darling!" or "I bow to your superior upper body strength; please open this pickle jar for me, God just made me too weak and fragile for that sort of thing." But I don't think that is actually the doctrine meant. I'm not sure young male SB theologues are any better able to articulate the saying of nice things to their spouses and betrotheds than their predecessors.
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Re: FBC Decatur and the GBC

Postby Big Daddy Weaver » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:21 am

You are correct, it is complEmentarianism. And it is a word that is often not spelled correctly. Unfortunately for those of us who occasionally misspell a word, the spell-checker does us no favors as it marks both complementarian and complimentarian as incorrectly spelled.
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