Did the SBC ban women from ministry leadership?
No. While Southern Baptists did take steps to affirm their belief that the office of pastor is reserved for qualified men, messengers at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting unanimously affirmed the legacy of Southern Baptist women by passing a resolution thanking God for calling women to fulfill the Great Commission and urging churches to continue equipping women to make disciples.
- 2023 Resolution: On the Legacy and Responsibility of Women Fulfilling the Great Commission
- 2018 Resolution: On the Dignity and Worth of Women
What about the changes to the SBC Constitution
Messengers at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting initiated a two-year process to amend the SBC Constitution after two-thirds of messengers approved a motion initially brought in 2022 and presented with dissent by the SBC Executive Committee to the messengers for consideration. However that motion was amended on the floor. The motion that was passed will be brought before messengers again at the 2024 SBC Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. Another two-thirds vote in the affirmative will amend the Constitution.
The amended motion which was approved in 2023 would add a sixth point to Article III reads: Affirms, appoints, or employs only men as any kind of pastor or elder.
The amendment approval process requires votes from two consecutive annual meetings. Therefore, the Constitution remains unchanged.
Did the SBC remove churches with women pastors?
Messengers at the 2023 SBC Annual Meeting affirmed the actions of the SBC Executive Committee in February 2023 when six churches were removed from friendly cooperation with the Convention. Three of those churches appealed the decision.
Saddleback Church was deemed not to be in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention’s statement of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, due to “the church continuing to have a female teaching pastor functioning in the office of a pastor.”
Fern Creek Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., was deemed not to be in friendly cooperation based on the Baptist Faith and Message 2000’s statement that Scripture reserves the office of pastor for men.