Southern Baptist Convention Disfellowships Saddleback Church

Considered one of many nation’s best and best-known megachurches, Saddleback Church, is no longer a part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) after bringing on a female instructing pastor ultimate yr.


Saddleback was amongst 5 church buildings with female pastors who had been deemed “no longer in nice cooperation” with the denomination at a gathering of the SBC Govt Committee in Nashville on Tuesday.

The Lake Forest, California, congregation ordained three women from the stage in May 2021, a selection that rattled some Southern Baptists who contemplate the place of pastor is reserved for males. Then ultimate yr, Saddleback chosen Andy Picket as Rick Warren’s successor and the church’s lead pastor, and his partner Stacie Picket bought right here on as a instructing pastor.


Warren responded to requires the SBC to cut ties collectively together with his church on the convention’s June 2022 annual meeting, held in Anaheim, California. “Are we going to take care of bickering over secondary factors,” he said, “or are we going to take care of the first issue the first issue?”

On the time, the credentials committee—the group tasked with recommending whether or not or to not disfellowship a particular church—hadn’t determine on Saddleback, saying it wasn’t clear if the SBC’s assertion of faith restricted women from anywhere doing pastoral work or with a pastoral title, or if it merely utilized to the senior pastor.

“I would communicate to you all about what I contemplate regarding the current of pastorate versus the office of pastorate, nonetheless I’m not proper right here to talk about that,” Warren remarked, spending most of his time on the mic reflecting on his decades-long historic previous with the SBC.

This week, the committee useful Saddleback be disfellowshipped, saying the church “has a faith and observe that does not fastidiously decide with the Convention’s adopted assertion of faith, as demonstrated by the church having a female instructing pastor functioning throughout the office of pastor.”

The Govt Committee authorised the selection, moreover chopping ties with two church buildings which have female senior pastors (New Faith Mission Ministry in Griffin, Georgia, and St. Timothy’s Christian Baptist in Baltimore, Maryland) and two church buildings which have female lead pastors (Calvary Baptist in Jackson, Mississippi, and Fern Creek Baptist in Louisville, Kentucky).


“As stated throughout the Baptist Faith and Message Article VI, the SBC holds to the concept that the office of pastor is restricted to males as licensed by Scripture,” said Govt Committee chairman Jared Wellman in an announcement. “These church buildings have been valued, cooperating church buildings for a couple of years, and this selection was not made frivolously. Nonetheless, we keep devoted to upholding the theological convictions of the SBC and sustaining unity amongst its cooperating church buildings.”

The credentials committee moreover useful a single church—Freedom Church in Vero Seashore, Florida—be disfellowshipped for factors related to its response to sexual abuse. No matter a rising consciousness of sexual abuse throughout the denomination, the SBC has solely acted to remove a handful of congregations since 2020, the overwhelming majority of whom knowingly employed a registered intercourse offender as pastor. Others have been disfellowshiped for his or her stances on LGBT and racial factors.

Church buildings who lose their place in cooperation with the SBC at the moment are not ready to ship voting messengers to its annual meeting, nonetheless they are going to enchantment the selection. The next SBC annual meeting is scheduled for New Orleans in June.